Publications by authors named "Fei Zheng"

201 Publications

Application of quantum dots in perovskite solar cells.

Nanotechnology 2021 Mar 1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi , CHINA.

Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are important candidates for next generation thin-film photovoltaic technology due to their superior performance in energy harvesting. At present, their photoelectric conversion efficiencies (PCEs) are comparable to those of silicon-based solar cells. PSCs have usually multi-layer structure. Therefore, they face the problem that the energy levels between adjacent layers often mismatch to each other. Meanwhile, large amount of defects are often introduced due to the solution preparation procedures. What's more, the perovskite is prone to degradation under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. These problems could degrade the efficiency and stability of PSCs. In order to solve these problems, quantum dots (QDs), a kind of low-dimensional semiconductor material, have been recently introduced into PSCs as charge transport materials, interfacial modification materials, dopants and luminescent down shifting materials. By these strategies, the energy alignment and interfacial conditions are improved, the defects are efficiently passivated, and the instability of perovskite under UV irradiation is suppressed. So the device efficiency and stability are both improved. In this paper, we overview the recent progress of QDs' utilizations in PSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abead9DOI Listing
March 2021

Integrated metabolomics and network pharmacology to reveal the mechanisms of hydroxysafflor yellow A against acute traumatic brain injury.

Comput Struct Biotechnol J 2021 26;19:1002-1013. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Institute of Integrative Medicine, Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a leading cause of mortality, morbidity and disability worldwide. Hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) is effective in treating TBI, but the potential mechanisms require further exploration. We aimed to reveal the mechanisms of HSYA against acute TBI by an integrated strategy combining metabolomics with network pharmacology. A controlled cortical impact (CCI) rat model was established, and neurological functions were evaluated. Metabolomics of brain tissues was used to identify differential metabolites, and the metabolic pathways were enriched by MetaboAnalyst. Then, network pharmacology was applied to dig out the potential targets against TBI induced by HSYA. The integrated network of metabolomics and network pharmacology was constructed based on Cytoscape. Finally, the obtained key targets were verified by molecular docking. HSYA alleviated the neurological deficits of TBI. Fifteen potentially significant metabolites were found to be involved in the therapeutic effects of HSYA against acute TBI. Most of these metabolites were regulated to recover after HSYA treatment. We found 10 hub genes according to network pharmacology, which was partly consistent with the metabolomics findings. Further integrated analysis focused on 4 key targets, including NOS1, ACHE, PTGS2 and XDH, as well as their related core metabolites and pathways. Molecular docking showed high affinities between key targets and HSYA. Region-specific metabolic alterations in the cortex and hippocampus were illuminated. This study reveals the complicated mechanisms of HSYA against acute TBI. Our work provides a novel paradigm to identify the potential mechanisms of pharmacological effects derived from a natural compound.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2021.01.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868816PMC
January 2021

Atrial fibrillation in preterm neonates: A case study.

J Electrocardiol 2021 Jan 26;65:66-68. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Obstetrics, Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Hubei Province, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. Electronic address:

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is rarely found in newborns and infants. It is usually associated with some underlying diseases and presents as tachyarrhythmia. Here, we describe a case of AF in a preterm neonate. Paroxysmal AF and multifocal atrial tachycardia had been observed in the postnatal dynamic electrocardiogram. Further investigations revealed patent foramen ovale, pulmonary disease, heart failure and potential viral myocarditis. After receiving antiarrhythmic therapy and supportive treatment, the neonate underwent successful cardioversion and showed favorable outcomes without any recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2021.01.009DOI Listing
January 2021

Stability of Lines with Zero Receding Contact Angle Produced by Inkjet Printing at Small Drop Volume.

Langmuir 2021 Jan 3;37(1):26-34. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Department of Materials, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, U.K.

We present an experimental study of the maximum and minimum bounding drop spacing for a parallel-sided liquid line produced by inkjet printing with drop volumes of 1.5 and 8.5 pL, on substrates with advancing contact angles of 46 and 54°, and zero receding contact angle. The results are used to validate models of the limiting bounds for the formation of stable parallel-sided lines as a function of drop spacing and transverse printing speed. The model for the maximum drop spacing bound (minimum line width) shows a good agreement with our results, but, when used to predict the stable line width, there is an influence of printing speed not captured by the model. This is probably because of a coupling between printed drop volume and ejection velocity outside the scope of the model. The minimum drop spacing bound (maximum stable line width) is limited by a bulging instability, and our results agree with the existing model, except for printing with the largest drop volumes at low temperature. It is shown that under these conditions, there is a different mechanism for bulging that occurs after printing over a period of minutes, if the liquid bead is present on the surface for a significant period of time before drying. Our results suggest that this mechanism is possibly triggered by imperfections on the substrate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c01928DOI Listing
January 2021

Fates of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Gut Microbiome from Different Soil Fauna under Long-Term Fertilization.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 Jan 17;55(1):423-432. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1799 Jimei Road, Xiamen 361021, China.

Applying organic fertilizers has been well documented to facilitate the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soil ecosystems. However, the role of soil fauna in this process has been seldom addressed, which hampers our ability to predict the fate of and to manage the spread of ARGs. Here, using high-throughput quantitative polymerase chain reaction (HT-qPCR), we examined the effect of long-term (5-, 8-, and 10-year) fertilization treatments (control, inorganic fertilizers, and mixed fertilizers) on the transfer of ARGs between soil, nematodes, and earthworms. We found distinct fates for ARGs in the nematodes and earthworms, with the former having higher enriched levels of ARGs than the latter. Fertilization impacted the number and abundance of ARGs in soil, and fertilization duration altered the composition of ARGs. Shared ARGs among soil, nematodes, and earthworm guts supported by a fast expectation-maximization microbial source tracking analysis demonstrated the trophic transfer potential of ARGs through this short soil food chain. The transfer of ARGs was reduced by fertilization duration, which was mainly ascribed to the reduction of ARGs in the earthworm gut microbiota. This study identified the transfer of ARGs in the soil-nematode-earthworm food chain as a potential mechanism for a wider dissemination of ARGs in the soil ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03893DOI Listing
January 2021

Utility of the ability for basic movement scale II as a prediction method of ambulation ability in patients after the hip fracture surgery.

J Orthop Sci 2020 Dec 4. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, International University of Health and Welfare, Chiba, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: This study was to investigate whether the Ability for Basic Movement Scale II (ABMS II) at admission of the convalescent rehabilitation ward (CRW) could predict the ambulation ability in patients after hip fracture surgery.

Methods: The data of the ABMS II and Functional Ambulation Category (FAC) of 118 postsurgical patients with hip fracture who were transferred to the CRW were retrospectively analyzed (mean age 82.7 ± 7.9, female/male: 89/29). Binary logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis were used to investigate the predictive value of ABMS II for walking ability at discharge.

Results: Spearman's correlation analysis showed that there were significantly positive correlations between the ABMS II score at admission and FAC score at discharge (ρ = 0.70, P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed that ABMS II and BMI can be the predictor in both FAC <4 or ≥4 groups. ROC analysis indicated that an optimal cutoff of 24.5 points of ABMS II score predicted independent walking ability (area under the Curve (AUC) 0.87, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The ABMS II at admission in CRW can be a prediction method of ambulation recovery for the patients after hip fracture surgery.

Study Design: Retrospective clinical study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jos.2020.09.013DOI Listing
December 2020

Fabrication of microvascular constructs using high resolution electrohydrodynamic inkjet printing.

Biofabrication 2020 Dec 7. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Blond McIndoe Laboratories, The University of Manchester, ., Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND.

Fabrication of the intricate anatomy of vasculature within engineered tissue remains one of the key challenges facing the field of tissue engineering. We report the use of electrohydrodynamic (EHD) inkjet printing to create hydrogel-based microvascular tissues with hierarchical and branching channels, whose minimum feature size of 30 μm approaches the physical scale of native capillary blood vessels. The principle relies on the use of complementary thermoreversible gelling properties of Pluronic F127 (PF-127) and gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA), which served as sacrificial templates and permanent matrices respectively. Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were successfully co-cultured within the engineered microvascular tissue constructs for up to 21 days, and attained high cell viability. Tissue specific morphology was maintained on perfusion. The ability to create cellularised, vascularised proto-tissues with high spatial resolution using EHD inkjet printing, provides a new strategy for developing advanced vascular models with the potential to impact upon an extensive range of biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1758-5090/abd158DOI Listing
December 2020

Vagus nerve stimulation optimized cardiomyocyte phenotype, sarcomere organization and energy metabolism in infarcted heart through FoxO3A-VEGF signaling.

Cell Death Dis 2020 11 12;11(11):971. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Physiology, Hubei Key Laboratory of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, School of Basic Medicine Science, Hubei University of Medicine, 442000, Hubei, China.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) restores autonomic balance, suppresses inflammation action and minimizes cardiomyocyte injury. However, little knowledge is known about the VNS' role in cardiomyocyte phenotype, sarcomere organization, and energy metabolism of infarcted hearts. VNS in vivo and acetylcholine (ACh) in vitro optimized the levels of α/β-MHC and α-Actinin positive sarcomere organization in cardiomyocytes while reducing F-actin assembly of cardiomyocytes. Consistently, ACh improved glucose uptake while decreasing lipid deposition in myocytes, correlating both with the increase of Glut4 and CPT1α and the decrease of PDK4 in infarcted hearts in vivo and myocytes in vitro, attributing to improvement in both glycolysis by VEGF-A and lipid uptake by VEGF-B in response to Ach. This led to increased ATP levels accompanied by the repaired mitochondrial function and the decreased oxygen consumption. Functionally, VNS improved the left ventricular performance. In contrast, ACh-m/nAChR inhibitor or knockdown of VEGF-A/B by shRNA powerfully abrogated these effects mediated by VNS. On mechanism, ACh decreased the levels of nuclear translocation of FoxO3A in myocytes due to phosphorylation of FoxO3A by activating AKT. FoxO3A overexpression or knockdown could reverse the specific effects of ACh on the expression of VEGF-A/B, α/β-MHC, Glut4, and CPT1α, sarcomere organization, glucose uptake and ATP production. Taken together, VNS optimized cardiomyocytes sarcomere organization and energy metabolism to improve heart function of the infarcted heart during the process of delaying and/or blocking the switch from compensated hypertrophy to decompensated heart failure, which were associated with activation of both P13K/AKT-FoxO3A-VEGF-A/B signaling cascade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03142-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665220PMC
November 2020

A review of the interaction between anthocyanins and proteins.

Food Sci Technol Int 2020 Oct 15:1082013220962613. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, China.

Anthocyanins have good physiological functions, but they are unstable. The interaction between anthocyanins and proteins can improve the stability, nutritional and functional properties of the complex. This paper reviews the structural changes of complex of anthocyanins interacting with proteins from different sources. By circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, it was found that the contents of α-helix (from 15.90%-42.40% to 17.60%-52.80%) or β-sheet (from 29.00%-50.00% to 29.40%-57.00%) of the anthocyanins-proteins complex increased. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that the regions of amide I (from 1627.87-1641.41 cm to 1643.34-1651.02 cm) and amide II (from 1537.00-1540.25 cm to 1539.00-1543.75 cm) of anthocyanins-proteins complex were shifted. Fluorescence spectroscopy showed that the fluorescence intensity of the complex decreased from 150-5100 to 40-3900 a.u. The thermodynamic analysis showed that there were hydrophobic interactions, electrostatic and hydrogen bonding interactions between anthocyanins and proteins. The kinetic analysis showed that the half-life and activation energy of the complex increased. The stability, antioxidant, digestion, absorption, and emulsification of the complex were improved. This provides a reference for the study and application of anthocyanins and proteins interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1082013220962613DOI Listing
October 2020

Unannounced Meal Detection for Artificial Pancreas Systems Using Extended Isolation Forest.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2020 07;2020:5892-5895

This study aims at developing an unannounced meal detection method for artificial pancreas, based on a recent extension of Isolation Forest. The proposed method makes use of features accounting for individual Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) profiles and benefits from a two-threshold decision rule detection. The advantage of using Extended Isolation Forest (EIF) instead of the standard one is supported by experiments on data from virtual diabetic patients, showing good detection accuracy with acceptable detection delays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176856DOI Listing
July 2020

Metabolomics Analysis of Hippocampus and Cortex in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury in the Subacute Phase.

Front Neurosci 2020 4;14:876. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Laboratory of Ethnopharmacology, Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex and serious disease as its multifaceted pathophysiological mechanisms remain vague. The molecular changes of hippocampal and cortical dysfunction in the process of TBI are poorly understood, especially their chronic effects on metabolic profiles. Here we utilize metabolomics-based liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry coupled with bioinformatics method to assess the perturbation of brain metabolism in rat hippocampus and cortex on day 7. The results revealed a signature panel which consisted of 13 identified metabolites to facilitate targeted interventions for subacute TBI discrimination. Purine metabolism change in cortical tissue and taurine and hypotaurine metabolism change in hippocampal tissue were detected. Furthermore, the associations between the metabolite markers and the perturbed pathways were analyzed based on databases: 64 enzyme and one pathway were evolved in TBI. The findings represented significant profiling changes and provided unique metabolite-protein information in a rat model of TBI following the subacute phase. This study may inspire scientists and doctors to further their studies and provide potential therapy targets for clinical interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.00876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499474PMC
September 2020

Two-dimensional iterative projection method for subsample speckle tracking of ultrasound images.

Med Biol Eng Comput 2020 Dec 30;58(12):2937-2951. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Speckle tracking provides robust motion estimation necessary to create accurate post-processed images. These methods are known to be less accurate in the lateral dimension compared with the axial dimension due to the limitations on the lateral resolution of ultrasound scanning. This paper proposes a two-dimensional iterative projection (TDIP) algorithm using the Riesz transform to generate the analytic signals. The TDIP is an improvement to an already accurate speckle tracking algorithm called the phase coupled (PC) method. The PC method projects the intersection of gradients on the correlation map to the zero phase contour to estimate displacement. The TDIP method performs iterative projections and uses the aggregate of these projected locations to estimate the motion, in addition to rejecting inaccurate projections by checking them against the aggregate projection location. The TDIP additionally adopts the Riesz transform to generate two-dimensional analytic signals to improve lateral accuracy. The Riesz transform is a multidimensional extension of the Hilbert transform into the nD Euclidean space and therefore can be used to include data in both axial and lateral dimensions as opposed to the commonly used Hilbert transform which is one dimensional. The accuracy of the TDIP is quantitatively proven on simulated datasets from the Field II simulation program and on experimental data from two flow phantoms. At all cases, the TDIP is more accurate than the PC algorithm at two-dimensional displacement estimation. Graphical Abstract The lateral estimates from the Phase Coupled algorithm. This method uses the Hilbert transform for the analytic signal. There is large estimated motion within the flow blockage bounded by the red, fin shape in the center of the flow channel. The flow channel itself is also bounded by dashed, red lines. Graphical Abstract The lateral estimates from the TDIP method. This method is not tracking motion within the blockage in the center of the flow channel. The channel and the blockage are both bounded by dashed, red lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11517-020-02264-zDOI Listing
December 2020

The Art and Science of Selecting a CD123-Specific Chimeric Antigen Receptor for Clinical Testing.

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2020 Sep 30;18:571-581. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting CD123, an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) antigen, hold the promise of improving outcomes for patients with refractory/recurrent disease. We generated five lentiviral vectors encoding CD20, which may serve as a target for CAR T cell depletion, and 2 or 3 generation CD123-CARs since the benefit of two costimulatory domains is model dependent. Four CARs were based on the CD123-specific single-chain variable fragment (scFv) 26292 (292) and one CAR on the CD123-specific scFv 26716 (716), respectively. We designed CARs with different hinge/transmembrane (H/TM) domains and costimulatory domains, in combination with the zeta (z) signaling domain: 292.CD8aH/TM.41BBz (8.41BBz), 292.CD8aH/TM.CD28z (8.28z), 716.CD8aH/TM.CD28z (716.8.28z), 292.CD28H/TM. CD28z (28.28z), and 292.CD28H/TM.CD28.41BBz (28.28.41BBz). Transduction efficiency, expansion, phenotype, and target cell recognition of the generated CD123-CAR T cells did not significantly differ. CAR constructs were eliminated for the following reasons: (1) 8.41BBz CARs induced significant baseline signaling, (2) 716.8.28z CAR T cells had decreased anti-AML activity, and (3) CD28.41BBz CAR T cells had no improved effector function in comparison to CD28z CAR T cells. We selected the 28.28z CAR since CAR expression on the cell surface of transduced T cells was higher in comparison to 8.28z CARs. The clinical study (NCT04318678) evaluating 28.28z CAR T cells is now open for patient accrual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omtm.2020.06.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393323PMC
September 2020

ClC-2 inhibition prevents macrophage foam cell formation by suppressing Nlrp3 inflammasome activation.

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2020 Oct 13;84(10):2096-2103. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University , Jinan, China.

Macrophage foam cell formation and inflammation are a pathological hallmark of atherosclerosis. ClC-2 has been implicated in various pathological processes, including inflammation and lipid metabolic disorder. However, the functional role of ClC-2 in macrophage foam cell formation and inflammation is unclear. Here, we found that ClC-2 was dominantly expressed in macrophages of atherosclerotic plaque and increased in atherogenesis. Knockdown of ClC-2 inhibited ox-LDL -induced lipid uptake and deposition in macrophages. The increase in CD36 expression and the decrease in ABCA1 expression induced by ox-LDL were alleviated by ClC-2 downregulation. Further, ClC-2 lacking limited the ox-LDL-induced secretion of inflammatory cytokines and chemokine, and suppressed Nlrp3 inflammasome activation. Restoration of Nlrp3 expression reversed the effect of ClC-2 downregulation on macrophage lipid accumulation and inflammation. Collectively, our study demonstrates that ClC-2 knockdown ameliorates ox-LDL-induced macrophage foam cell formation and inflammation by inhibiting Nlrp3 inflammasome activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09168451.2020.1793294DOI Listing
October 2020

In Vitro Effects of Ginseng and the Seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa on Gut Microbiota of Rats with Spleen Deficiency.

Chem Biodivers 2020 Sep 18;17(9):e2000199. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Jilin Ginseng Academy, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, 130117, P. R. China.

Ginseng and the seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa, which are traditional Chinese medicinal materials, were often used in ancient Chinese recipes as a pair of medicines. They can replenish the primordial qi and tonify the spleen. This study investigated the effects of ginseng and the seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa (GS) extract on gut microbiota diversity in rats with spleen deficiency syndrome (SDS). A total of 52 compounds (including 16 flavonoids, 35 saponins, and 1 alkaloid) were identified and analyzed from the GS extract by UPLC-Q-Orbitrap-MS/MS. The GS extract significantly increased the relative abundance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in rats with SDS but decreased that of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. At the genus level, the GS extract significantly increased the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in rats with SDS but decreased that of Streptococcus, Escherichia-Shigella, Veillonella, and Enterococcus. In addition, the GS extract influenced glucose and amino acid metabolism. In summary, the results showed that the GS extract changed the structure and diversity of gut microbiota in rats with SDS and balanced the metabolic process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.202000199DOI Listing
September 2020

Ion Concentration Effect on Nanoscale Electrospray Modes.

Small 2020 06 2;16(24):e2000397. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Design and Manufacture of Micro-Nano Biomedical Instruments, School of Mechanical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, 211189, P. R. China.

The phenomena and mechanism of electrospray modes in nanoscale are investigated from experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. It is found that the ionic concentration plays a crucial role in determining the dripping or the jetting modes in a nanoscale electrospray system. Molecular dynamics simulations uncover that the two modes are caused by the competition between the electric field stress and surface tension, which is similar to the mechanism in a macroscale electrospray system. However, in a nanoscale electrospray system, the two competing forces of the electric field stress and surface tension are more sensitive to the ion distributions than that in a macroscale electrospray system, in which the applied voltage and pressure dominate. With the decrease of the nozzle diameter to nanoscale, the ions not only affect the local electric field stress, but also destroy the hydrogen bonds among water molecules, which lead to that the ion concentration becomes a dominant factor in determining the electrospray modes in nanoscale. The discovery provides a novel method to control nanoscale electrospray modes, which may find potential applications for mass spectrometry, film deposition, and electrohydrodynamic printing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.202000397DOI Listing
June 2020

Revealing the Role of Methylammonium Chloride for Improving the Performance of 2D Perovskite Solar Cells.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Jun 28;12(23):25980-25990. Epub 2020 May 28.

School of Chemistry and ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.

Layered perovskite films, composed of two-dimensional (2D) Ruddlesden-Popper perovskites (RPPs), show improved stability compared to their conventional three-dimensional (3D) counterparts in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). However, 2D PSCs exhibit a lower power conversion efficiency (PCE), which has been attributed to compositional inhomogeneity and nonuniform alignment of the 2D perovskite phases. Methylammonium chloride (MACl) has been adopted as an additive to improve the PCE and the operational stability of 2D PSCs, although the role of MACl in performance enhancement is unclear. In this work, time- and spatially resolved fluorescence and absorption techniques have been applied to study the composition and charge carrier dynamics in MACl-doped BAMAPbI (⟨⟩ = 5) layered perovskite films. The inhomogeneous phase orientation distribution in the direction orthogonal to the substrate for undoped layered perovskite films undergoes reorganization upon MACl doping. Based on structural and crystallographic analyses, it is revealed that MACl can facilitate the crystallization of small- 2D perovskite phases at the cost of consuming an increased amount of BA cations. Consequently, an increase in the thickness of large- 2D perovskite phases accompanies their enhanced perpendicular alignment ([101] crystalline orientation) to the substrate, which facilitates charge carrier transport and collection by electrodes. The defect passivation of the MACl-doped layered perovskite film provided by the small- phase is also beneficial to the photovoltaic performance of the PSC device. A maximum PCE (∼14.3%) was achieved at 6 mol % MACl doping, with this optimum level influenced by the increased interfacial roughness of the layered perovskite film caused by the edges of small- perovskite flakes emerging on the front surface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c05714DOI Listing
June 2020

Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistome in Ready-to-Eat Salad.

Front Public Health 2020 25;8:92. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, China.

Ready-to-eat salad harbors microorganisms that may carry various antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). However, few studies have focused on the prevalence of ARGs on salad, thus underestimating the risk of ARGs transferring from salad to consumers. In this small-scale study, high-throughput quantitative PCR was used to explore the presence, prevalence and abundance of ARGs associated with serving salad sourced from two restaurant types, fast-food chain and independent casual dining. A total of 156 unique ARGs and nine mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were detected on the salad items assessed. The abundance of ARGs and MGEs were significantly higher in independent casual dining than fast-food chain restaurants. Absolute copies of ARGs in salad were 1.34 × 10 to 2.71 × 10 and 1.90 × 10 to 4.87 × 10 copies per g salad in fast-food and casual dining restaurants, respectively. Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes were the dominant bacterial phyla detected from salad samples. , and were the 10 most dominant bacterial genera found in salad samples. A significant positive correlation between ARGs and MGEs was detected. These results integrate knowledge about the ARGs in ready-to-eat salad and highlight the potential impact of ARGs transfer to consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7109403PMC
March 2020

Meta-analysis on the use of hyaluronic acid gel to prevent intrauterine adhesion after intrauterine operations.

Exp Ther Med 2020 Apr 3;19(4):2672-2678. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Human Health and Human Services, Yiwu Maternity and Children Hospital, Jinhua, Zhejiang 322000, P.R. China.

Intrauterine adhesion (IUA) is a severe complication that occurs following abortion, and hyaluronic acid gel has been used to prevent IUA following intrauterine operation. The present study aimed to systematically evaluate the efficacy of hyaluronic acid gel in preventing IUA following intrauterine operation. In the current study, a literature search was performed using PubMed, Cochrane Library and EMbase databases for randomized controlled clinical trials that used hyaluronic acid gel as an adjuvant therapy following intrauterine operation. The terms 'hyaluronic acid', 'intrauterine adhesions', 'Asherman's syndrome', 'IUA', 'dilatation and curettage', 'abortion' and 'hysteroscopic' were used to search for articles published online before July 31, 2018. RevMan 5.3 software was used to analyze the indicators of uterine cavity adhesion formation and pregnancy rates following intrauterine operation. A total of seven randomized controlled clinical studies were included, consisting of 952 patients who underwent intrauterine operation. The meta-analysis indicated that the use of hyaluronic acid gel reduced the incidence of IUA [relative risk (RR)=0.42; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.30-0.57; P<0.001] and the score for IUA after an intrauterine operation (mean difference=-1.29; 95%=-1.73 to -0.84; P<0.001). A subgroup analysis revealed that the preventive effect of hyaluronic acid gel on IUA was not affected by the type of intrauterine operation, namely abortion (RR=0.40; 95% CI=0.26-0.62; P<0.001) and hysteroscopy (RR=0.44; 95% CI=0.28-0.68; P<0.001). The preventive effect of hyaluronic acid gel on IUA was also not affected by primary disorders/diseases including the following: Abortion (RR=0.48; 95% CI=0.29-0.78; P=0.003); IUA (RR=0.38; 95% CI=0.21-0.67; P<0.001) and submucosal myoma of the uterus, endometrial polyps or mediastinum uterus (RR=0.40; 95% CI=0.18-0.90; P=0.03). Hyaluronic acid gel improved pregnancy rates after intrauterine operations (RR=1.94; 95% CI=1.46-2.60; P<0.001). In conclusion, hyaluronic acid gel was indicated to significantly reduce the incidence of IUA following intrauterine operation, regardless of the type of intrauterine operation or the presence of primary diseases. Treatment with hyaluronic acid gel was also revealed to increase pregnancy rates following intrauterine operation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7086218PMC
April 2020

Proteomics Analysis of Brain Tissue in a Rat Model of Ischemic Stroke in the Acute Phase.

Front Mol Neurosci 2020 27;13:27. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Laboratory of Ethnopharmacology, Institute of Integrative Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

: Stroke is a leading health issue, with high morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Of all strokes, approximately 80% of cases are ischemic stroke (IS). However, the underlying mechanisms of the occurrence of acute IS remain poorly understood because of heterogeneous and multiple factors. More potential biomarkers are urgently needed to reveal the deeper pathogenesis of IS. : We identified potential biomarkers in rat brain tissues of IS using an iTRAQ labeling approach coupled with LC-MS/MS. Furthermore, bioinformatrics analyses including GO, KEGG, DAVID, and Cytoscape were used to present proteomic profiles and to explore the disease mechanisms. Additionally, Western blotting for target proteins was conducted for further verification. : We identified 4,578 proteins using the iTRAQ-based proteomics method. Of these proteins, 282 differentiated proteins, comprising 73 upregulated and 209 downregulated proteins, were observed. Further bioinformatics analysis suggested that the candidate proteins were mainly involved in energy liberation, intracellular protein transport, and synaptic plasticity regulation during the acute period. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis indicated a series of representative pathological pathways, including energy metabolite, long-term potentiation (LTP), and neurodegenerative disease-related pathways. Moreover, Western blotting confirmed the associated candidate proteins, which refer to oxidative responses and synaptic plasticity. : Our findings highlight the identification of candidate protein biomarkers and provide insight into the biological processes involved in acute IS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2020.00027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7057045PMC
February 2020

The driving factors of nematode gut microbiota under long-term fertilization.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2020 04;96(4)

Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1799 Jimei Road, Xiamen 361021, China.

Animal bodies are colonized by many microorganisms which can provide indispensable services to their hosts. Although nematode gut microbiota has been extensively studied in recent years, the driving factors of gut microbiome of soil nematodes from a long-term fertilization field are unclear. Here, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we explored the nematode gut microbiota under different fertilization patterns (control, inorganic fertilizers and mixed fertilizers) and fertilization durations (5 y, 8 y and 10 y). Our results revealed that nematode gut microbiota was dominated by core bacterial taxa AF502208 (anaerobic bacteria), Enterobacter (plant litter decomposition) and Ancylobacter (organic matter decomposition and nitrogen cycling), significantly distinct from soil microbiome, and the assembly of that was a non-random process, which suggested host conditions contributed to maintaining the gut microbiota. Moreover, fertilization pattern had a greater influence on nematode gut microbiome than fertilization duration. Inorganic fertilization (5.19) significantly reduced the diversity of the nematode gut microbiota (6.68) shown by Shannon index (P < 0.05). Canonical correspondence analysis demonstrates that soil properties such as pH, organic matter, total phosphorus, available phosphorus, ammonium nitrogen, moisture content, nitrate nitrogen and total nitrogen have significant effects on the nematode microbiome. Structured equation models further revealed that fertilization could obviously affect the nematode gut microbiota, and the effects were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for the drivers of soil bacteria and soil properties. This study provides a solid evidence that the shifting of nematode gut microbiota under long-term fertilization was resulted from environmental factors and host conditions, and advance the insights into host-microbiome in the agricultural ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa037DOI Listing
April 2020

Comparing eight types of ginsenosides in ginseng of different plant ages and regions using RRLC-Q-TOF MS/MS.

J Ginseng Res 2020 Mar 8;44(2):205-214. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Jilin Ginseng Academy, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, China.

Background: This article aims to compare and analyze the contents of ginsenosides in ginseng of different plant ages from different localities in China.

Methods: In this study, 77 fresh ginseng samples aged 2-4 years were collected from 13 different cultivation regions in China. The content of eight ginsenosides (Rg, Rc, Rg, Rf, Rb, Rb, Re, and Rd) was determined using rapid resolution liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (RRLC-Q-TOF MS/MS) to comparatively evaluate the influences of cultivation region and age.

Results: Ginsenoside contents differed significantly depending on age and cultivation region. The contents of ginsenosides Re, Rc, Rg, Rg, and Rf increased with cultivation age, whereas that of ginsenoside Rb peaked in the third year of cultivation. Moreover, the highest ginsenoside content was obtained from Changbai (19.36 mg/g) whereas the lowest content was obtained from Jidong (12.05 mg/g). Ginseng from Jilin Province contained greater total ginsenosides and was richer in ginsenoside Re than ginseng of the same age group in Heilongjiang and Liaoning provinces, where Rb and Rg contents were relatively high.

Conclusion: In this study, RRLC-Q-TOF MS/MS was used to analyze ginsenoside contents in 77 ginseng samples aged 2-4 years from different cultivation regions. These patterns of variation in ginsenoside content, which depend on harvesting location and age, could be useful for interested parties to choose ginseng products according to their needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgr.2017.11.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031739PMC
March 2020

The framework of an agricultural land-use decision support system based on ecological environmental constraints.

Sci Total Environ 2020 May 6;717:137149. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Land Resources Management, Hohai University, No.8 Focheng West Road, Nanjing 211000, PR China.

Agricultural land use is a complicated systems engineering. Modern agriculture faces increasingly more risks. Managers should obtain reliable information to assist in decision-making through certain methods that allow them to achieve an economic, social, and ecological environment that is crucial in coordinating the development of agricultural land-use patterns. This study proposes a framework of an agricultural land-use decision support system (LDSS) based on ecological environmental constraints according to the DSS design philosophy, which provides a scientific basis for managers to allocate land resources. This framework of LDSS consists of a land quality assessment module, an eco-economic coupling module, and a land-use optimisation module. Firstly, it establishes a natural-society-economic land quality evaluation system to simulate the comprehensive benefit relationship of land use. Secondly, it analyses the risks of soil, water, and ecological security in the process of land use; simulates and reveals the mechanism of occurrence; and completes the correlation equation expression between natural-economic-social indictor and land use risk. Based on different scenarios design, the ecological environmental risk factors are used as constraints. Finally, the multi-objective linear programming method is employed to calculate the optimal comprehensive benefits of land use and optimal land-use structure based on the constraints of the ecological environment. Then the study takes Changsha County, a high-intensification, main grain-producing area in Central and South China, as a case area to demonstrate the feasibility of the framework of LDSS, and draws the highest comprehensive benefits and optimal structure of land use under the premise that the rural ecological environment conforms to national standards. Case study shows that the LDSS framework is feasible, easy to operate, and easy to promote. The research results can provide efficient and practical support for managers to allocate land resources and formulate sustainable land-use policies rationally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137149DOI Listing
May 2020

Myocarditis presenting as typical acute myocardial infarction: A case report and review of the literature.

World J Clin Cases 2020 Jan;8(2):415-424

Department of Cardiology, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan 250014, Shandong Province, China.

Background: Myocarditis refers to a variety of myocardial inflammatory lesions. A variety of factors such as infection and physical and chemical factors can cause myocarditis. Depending on the severity of myocardial damage, myocarditis patients can manifest heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and even sudden death. Here we present a case of viral myocarditis that mimicked acute coronary syndrome.

Case Summary: A middle-aged male patient presented with chest pain and elevated troponin I after a flu-like infection. This patient had a history of hypertension and a habit of alcohol and tobacco use. Electrocardiography showed typical changes in acute myocardial infarction, with the T-wave increasing. Coronary angiogram revealed no stenosis. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed edema of the middle and apical septal and apical anterior walls on T2-weighted images and the T1 mapping. Late gadolinium enhancement of the middle and apical septal and apical anterior walls could be found. Rubella virus immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M antibodies were abnormally elevated. The patient was given antiviral and antibiotic treatments, and serum biomarkers and electrocardiograph returned to normal after 5 d of treatment. After one-year follow-up, the patient showed no symptoms, and cardiac magnetic resonance showed that myocardial thickness was significantly thinner than before, and fibrosis was less than before.

Conclusion: This case illustrates the utility of cardiac magnetic resonance for diagnosis of infarction-like myocarditis when the angiogram is normal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12998/wjcc.v8.i2.415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000954PMC
January 2020

The grapevine NaE sodium exclusion locus encodes sodium transporters with diverse transport properties and localisation.

J Plant Physiol 2020 Mar - Apr;246-247:153113. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine & Waite Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, 5064, Australia; ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine & Waite Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, 5064, Australia. Electronic address:

Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is a valuable crop for human consumption and wine production, and is prone to suffering from salinity stress in arid regions or when exposed to low quality irrigation water. A previous study identified a quantitative trait locus (QTL) NaE, containing six High-affinity Potassium Transporter 1 genes, that was associated with shoot Na exclusion in grapevine. While HKT1;1 was predicted to be the most likely gene within this QTL to encode for this important salinity tolerance sub-trait, four other HKTs within the QTL remained uncharacterised; VviHKT1;2 encodes a truncated transcript unlikely to form a functional transporter. In this study, two allelic variants for each of VviHKT1;6, VviHKT1;7 and VviHKT1;8 from the heterozygous grapevine variety Cabernet Sauvignon were functionally characterised. Using the Xenopus laevis oocyte heterologous expression system, as well as transient expression in tobacco leaves, we found that the VviHKT1;6 and VviHKT1;7 alleles encoded plasma membrane localised proteins that facilitated significant non-rectifying Na transport. Conversely, proteins encoded by the VviHKT1;8 alleles were inwardly-rectifying, weak Na transporters that localised to intracellular organelles. Mining of previous RNA-seq gene expression data suggested that VviHKT1;6-8 are weakly expressed in grapevine roots, flower buds, and seeds under normal conditions and different nutrient regimes. We propose that VviHKT1;6 and VviHKT1;7 are likely to have a less significant role in grapevine leaf Na exclusion than VviHKT1;1, and that VviHKT1;8 is involved in endomembrane Na transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2020.153113DOI Listing
August 2020

Cascade cycling of nicotinamide cofactor in a dual enzyme microsystem.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2020 Mar 5;56(18):2723-2726. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

School of Environment and Resource and Key Laboratory of Solid Waste Treatment and Resource Recycle of Ministry of Education, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China.

Encapsulation of two enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and glucose oxidase (GOx), within peroxidase-like tourmaline microparticle (TM)-based colloidosomes was used to construct a functionalized microsystem capable of sustainable cascade cycling of nicotinamide cofactor (NAD/NADH) via chemical signaling between spatially confined dual-enzyme and active membranes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9cc10031hDOI Listing
March 2020

Arsenic transformation mediated by gut microbiota affects the fecundity of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Environ Pollut 2020 May 14;260:113991. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361021, China. Electronic address:

Arsenic biotransformation has been discovered in guts of soil invertebrates. Reproduction of invertebrates is sensitive to arsenic contamination in soils. However, little is known about the impact of gut microbe-mediated arsenic biotransformation on the fecundity of invertebrates. Here, Caenorhabditis elegans was firstly pre-fed with Escherichia coli BL21 possessing the capability of reducing arsenate [As(V)] or BL21M having the ability to reduce As(V) and methylate arsenite [As(III)], then inoculated worms were transferred to inactive E. coli AW3110 (harboring no arsenic transformation gene)-seeded plates treated with As(V) at different concentrations. Quantification of gut microbes showed that both E. coli BL21 and BL21M stably colonized in the guts after worms were cultured on inactive E. coli AW3110-seeded plates for 72 h. The analysis of arsenic species indicated that there was As(III) in C. elegans guts colonized with E. coli BL21, As(III) and dimethylarsinic acid [DMAs(V)] in C. elegans guts with E. coli BL21M exposed to As(V) for 6 h. After treatment of 100 μM As(V), decrease in brood sizes was observed for worms that were colonized with E. coli BL21 or BL21M compared to that with AW3110 in the guts. The levels of vitellogenin (VTG), glutathione S-transferases (GST) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), closely linked to reproduction and antioxidation-linked indicators, were the highest in worms whose guts colonized with E. coli BL21, followed by worms colonized with E. coli BL21M and worms colonized with inactive E. coli AW3110 exposed to As(V). Our results indicated the toxic impact of As(III) and DMAs(V) produced by gut microbes on reproduction of C. elegans. The work provides novel insight into the interplay between arsenic biotransformation mediated by gut microbes and the host fecundity in soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.113991DOI Listing
May 2020

Patterned, morphing composites via maskless photo-click lithography.

Soft Matter 2020 Feb 8;16(5):1270-1278. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Department of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK.

Morphing materials, also known as smart materials are attracting increasing attention as sensors, actuators and in soft robotic applications. In this work bilayered morphing composites were created by exploiting the thiol-ene photoclick reaction via maskless digital light processing (DLP). This technique allows for gradients and patterns of near infrared (nIR)-triggered materials to be efficiently crosslinked to substrates, with suitable interfacial adhesion to realise complex morphing. Photo-thermally responsive composites are produced by DLP patterning of reduced graphene oxide-filled chitosan-methacrylamide (rGO-chitosan-MA) on thiolated polydimethylsiloxane substrates via thiol-ene photoclick reaction. Morphing composites with parallel striped patterns and box-like hinges were printed via DLP to realise self-rolling and self-folding behaviours. Bilayered structures, with gradient rGO-chitosan-MA thicknesses (2-8 μm), were produced by controlling the light intensity from the DLP device. These gradient bilayered structures enable photothermal-triggered gradient bending and morphing exemplified here by a "walking worm" and a kirigami-inspired "opening flower". Thermo-mechanical calculations were performed to estimate bending angles, and finite element analysis applied to simulate self-folding and bending. The difference between simulation and measurements is in the range 0.4-7.6%, giving confidence to the assumptions and simplifications applied in design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9sm02056jDOI Listing
February 2020

Metabolomics analysis of the hippocampus in a rat model of traumatic brain injury during the acute phase.

Brain Behav 2020 02 17;10(2):e01520. Epub 2019 Nov 17.

Laboratory of Ethnopharmacology, Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has increased in rank among traumatic injuries worldwide. Traumatic brain injury is a serious obstacle given that its complex pathology represents a long-term process. Recently, systems biology strategies such as metabolomics to investigate the multifactorial nature of TBI have facilitated attempts to find biomarkers and probe molecular pathways for its diagnosis and therapy.

Methods: This study included a group of 20 rats with controlled cortical impact and a group of 20 sham rats. We utilized mNSS tests to investigate neurological metabolic impairments on day 1 and day 3. Furthermore, we applied metabolomics and bioinformatics to determine the metabolic perturbation caused by TBI during the acute period in the hippocampus tissue of controlled cortical impact (CCI) rats. Notably, TBI-protein-metabolite subnetworks identified from a database were assessed for associations between metabolites and TBI by the dysregulation of related enzymes and transporters.

Results: Our results identified 7 and 8 biomarkers on day 1 and day 3, respectively. Additionally, related pathway disorders showed effects on arginine and proline metabolism as well as taurine and hypotaurine metabolism on day 3 in acute TBI. Furthermore, according to metabolite-protein database searches, 25 metabolite-protein pairs were established as causally associated with TBI. Further, bioinformation indicated that these TBI-associated proteins mainly take part in 5'-nucleotidase activity and carboxylic acid transmembrane transport. In addition, interweaved networks were constructed to show that the development of TBI might be affected by metabolite-related proteins and their protein pathways.

Conclusion: The overall results show that acute TBI is susceptible to metabolic disorders, and the joint metabolite-protein network analysis provides a favorable prediction of TBI pathogenesis mechanisms in the brain. The signatures in the hippocampus might be promising for the development of biomarkers and pathways relevant to acute TBI and could further guide testable predictions of the underlying mechanism of TBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010586PMC
February 2020