Publications by authors named "Feng Xue"

1,010 Publications

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Real-time dynamic vocal tract imaging using an accelerated spiral GRE sequence and low rank plus sparse reconstruction.

Magn Reson Imaging 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; Department of Radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Purpose: To develop a real-time dynamic vocal tract imaging method using an accelerated spiral GRE sequence and low rank plus sparse reconstruction.

Methods: Spiral k-space sampling has high data acquisition efficiency and thus is suited for real-time dynamic imaging; further acceleration can be achieved by undersampling k-space and using a model-based reconstruction. Low rank plus sparse reconstruction is a promising method with fast computation and increased robustness to global signal changes and bulk motion, as the images are decomposed into low rank and sparse terms representing different dynamic components. However, the combination with spiral scanning has not been well studied. In this study an accelerated spiral GRE sequence was developed with an optimized low rank plus sparse reconstruction and compared with L1-SPIRiT and XD-GRASP methods. The off-resonance was also corrected using a Chebyshev approximation method to reduce blurring on a frame-by-frame basis.

Results: The low rank plus sparse reconstruction method is sensitive to the weights of the low rank and sparse terms. The optimized reconstruction showed advantages over other methods with reduced aliasing and improved SNR. With the proposed method, spatial resolution of 1.3*1.3 mm with 150 mm field-of-view (FOV) and temporal resolution of 30 frames-per-second (fps) was achieved with good image quality. Blurring was reduced using the Chebyshev approximation method.

Conclusion: This work studies low rank plus sparse reconstruction using the spiral trajectory and demonstrates a new method for dynamic vocal tract imaging which can benefit studies of speech disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2021.04.016DOI Listing
May 2021

Bile Acids Impair Vaccine Response in Children With Biliary Atresia.

Front Immunol 2021 16;12:642546. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Liver Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Vaccination is the best way to protect children under 5 years from death or disability. Children with biliary atresia (BA), which is the most common pediatric cholestatic end-stage liver disease (PELD), are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. However, the vaccination coverage and factors modulating vaccine responses in children with BA are largely unknown.

Methods: In this study, 288 children (median age: 7 months) diagnosed with BA before liver transplantation were enrolled for the evaluation of vaccination status and the factors affecting the immune response to the hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine. Moreover, 49 BA children (median age: 4 months) were enrolled for flow cytometric analysis of CD4 T cells and CD19 B cell subsets and correlations with serum bile acid levels.

Results: Generally, these children had very low routine vaccination rates for the meningococcal serogroup AC (Men AC) (41.2%), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) (31.3%), poliomyelitis (Polio) (25.3%), hepatitis A (HAV) (25.0%), Japanese encephalitis (JE) (15.0%), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) (14.2%), meningococcal serogroup A (Men A) (13.5%) and varicella (VAR) (10.8%) vaccines, but not for the HBV (96.2%) and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) (84.7%) vaccines. Remarkably, 19.8% (57/288) of the patients had HBV infection. Out of 220 patients vaccinated for HBV, 113 (51.4%), 85 (38.6%) and 22 (10%) had one, two or three doses of the HBV vaccine, respectively. Furthermore, logistic regression analysis revealed that the bile acid level was an independent factor associated with poor HBV vaccine response ( = 0.03; OR = 0.394; 95% CI = 0.170-0.969). Immunophenotyping showed that bile acids were only negatively correlated with the CD19CD27IgG post-class-switched memory B cell ratio ( = 0.01).

Conclusion: This study reveals the overall vaccination rates of routine vaccines in Chinese BA children are very low and the poor HBV vaccine responses are associated with bile acids, possibly the inhibition of CD19CD27IgG post-class-switched memory B cell response.

Clinical Trial Registration: http://www.chictr.org.cn, identifier ChiCTR1800019165.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.642546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085329PMC
April 2021

Biodegradable Flexible Electronic Device with Controlled Drug Release for Cancer Treatment.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.

Nowadays, controllable drug release is a vitally important strategy for cancer treatment and usually realized using implanting biocompatible devices. However, these devices need to be removed by another surgery after the function fails, which brings the risks of inflammation or potential death. In this article, a biodegradable flexible electronic device with controllable drug (paclitaxel) release was proposed for cancer treatment. The device is powered by an external alternating magnetic field to generate internal resistance heat and promote drug release loaded on the substrate. Moreover, the device temperature can even reach to 65 °C, which was sufficient for controllable drug release. This device also has similar mechanical properties to human tissues and can autonomously degrade due to the structure design of the circuit and degradable compositions. Finally, it is confirmed that the device has a good inhibitory effect on the proliferation of breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and could be completely degraded . Thus, its great biodegradability and conformity can relieve patients of second operation, and the device proposed in this paper provides a promising solution to complete conquest of cancer .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c04653DOI Listing
April 2021

A new effective way to degrade methylene blue by introducing negative ions powder into FeO/HO system to accelerate Fe(III)/Fe(II) transformation.

Water Sci Technol 2021 Apr;83(8):1834-1846

College of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China E-mail:

Negative ions powders (NIP) have been widely applied in many fields because of their natural electric field and far infrared radiation, especially in wastewater treatment. In this study, the NIP was first introduced into FeO/HO system to degrade methylene blue (MB). The MB removal was completely achieved at 5 h via a non-photochemical pathway and the degradation rate constant of this system is about 0.565 h, which is about 16 times higher than in FeO/HO Fenton-like system (0.035 h). In addition, the results of quenching experiments indicate that the electron (e) and negative oxygen ion (•O) are the main reactive species. It was determined that FeO@NIP is the effective component that leads to the activation of HO to produce •OH, which derive from the pathway: NIP acts as an electron donor to reduce Fe(III) into Fe(II). Moreover, NIP can produce negative ions, which is also conductive to degradation. This study suggests a promising direction for the practical application of NIP based catalysis by integrating it with the Fe(III)/Fe(II) transformation process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2021.097DOI Listing
April 2021

Study on the Influence of mRNA, the Genetic Language, on Protein Folding Rates.

Front Genet 2021 6;12:635250. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

College of Physics and Electronic Information, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot, China.

Many works have reported that protein folding rates are influenced by the characteristics of amino acid sequences and protein structures. However, few reports on the problem of whether the corresponding mRNA sequences are related to the protein folding rates can be found. An mRNA sequence is regarded as a kind of genetic language, and its vocabulary and phraseology must provide influential information regarding the protein folding rate. In the present work, linear regressions on the parameters of the vocabulary and phraseology of mRNA sequences and the corresponding protein folding rates were analyzed. The results indicated that (the adjacent base-related information redundancy) values and the GC content values of the corresponding mRNA sequences exhibit significant negative relations with the protein folding rates, but (the single base information redundancy) values exhibit significant positive relations with the protein folding rates. In addition, the results show that the relationships between the parameters of the genetic language and the corresponding protein folding rates are obviously different for different protein groups. Some useful parameters that are related to protein folding rates were found. The results indicate that when predicting protein folding rates, the information from protein structures and their amino acid sequences is insufficient, and some information for regulating the protein folding rates must be derived from the mRNA sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.635250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8056030PMC
April 2021

VscF in T3SS1 Helps to Translocate VPA0226 in .

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2021 1;11:652432. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.

In , type III secretion system 1 (T3SS1) is a major virulence factor that delivers effectors into the host eukaryotic cytoplasm; however, studies on its infection mechanism are currently limited. To determine the function of the gene, we constructed the deletion mutant Δ and complementation strain CΔ. Compared with those of wild-type POR-1 and CΔ, the cytotoxic, adherent, and apoptotic abilities of Δ in HeLa cells were significantly reduced ( < 0.01). Furthermore, in infected HeLa cells, the mutant strain reduced the translocation rates of VP1683 and VP1686 effectors compared to the wild-type and complementation strains. A BLAST search showed that is homologous to the MixH needle protein of , indicating that the gene encodes the needle protein of T3SS1 in . Additional translocation assays showed that VPA0226 translocated into the HeLa eukaryotic cytoplasm T3SS1, secretion assays showed that VPA0226 can be secreted to supernatant by T3SS1, indicating that VPA0226 belongs to the unpublished class of T3SS1 effectors. In conclusion, our data indicate an essential role of vscF in T3SS1 and revealed that VPA0226 can be secreted into the host cell cytoplasm T3SS1. This study provides insights into a previously unexplored aspect of T3SS1, which is expected to contribute to the understanding of its infection mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2021.652432DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047418PMC
April 2021

Is the effect of atorvastatin 60 mg on stabilization of lipid-rich plaque equivalent to that of rosuvastatin 10 mg? A serial optical coherence tomography combined with intravascular ultrasound imaging.

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 2021 May 17;97 Suppl 2:1097-1107. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin, China.

Objectives: This study aimed to compare the effect of atorvastatin 60 (AT60) mg to that of rosuvastatin 10 (RT10) mg on the morphological changes in lipid-rich plaques (LRPs) and plaque volume, using serial optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS).

Background: Intensive lipid lowering therapy by statin provides more clinical benefit compared to that of moderate lipid lowering therapy.

Methods: Fifty patients who underwent OCT and IVUS at baseline, 6, and 12 months were grouped by statin therapy into the AT60 mg (n = 27) and RT10 mg (n = 23) groups. The relationships between absolute and percentage changes in biomarkers and fibrous cap thickness (FCT) during follow-up were investigated using a simple regression analysis.

Results: At 6 months, the mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level reduced from 113.5 to 65.5 mg/dl (AT60 mg group) and 100.2 to 72.2 mg/dl (RT10 mg groups). A continuous increase in FCT from baseline to 12 months was observed in both groups (p < .001, p < .001, respectively). Mean lipid arc significantly decreased in both AT60 mg (189.0 ± 55.9°, 170.9 ± 60.2°, 155.6 ± 50.6°, p < .001) and RT10 mg (160.0 ± 45.6°, 151.2 ± 48.5°, 141.1 ± 52.9°, p = .010) groups. Plaque burden did not change significantly in both groups.

Conclusions: Lipid-lowering therapy effect with AT60 mg was equivalent to that of RT10 mg in terms of change in plaque morphology. AT60 mg showed more intensive low-density lipid cholesterol level reduction compared to RT10 mg while RT10 mg was effective in increasing the high-density lipid cholesterol level. Both statin therapies could effectively stabilize LRPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccd.29654DOI Listing
May 2021

Biocatalytic approaches for the synthesis of optically pure vic-halohydrins.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2021 May 13;105(9):3411-3421. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

School of Food Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Nanjing Normal University, NO 1, Wenyuan Road, Nanjing, 210023, People's Republic of China.

Enantiopure vicinal halohydrins (vic-halohydrins) are highly valuable building blocks for the synthesis of many different natural products and pharmaceuticals, and biocatalytic methods for their synthesis have received considerable interest. This review emphasizes the application of biocatalytic approaches as an efficient alternative or complement to conventional chemical reactions, with a special focus on the asymmetric reductions catalyzed by ketoreductases, kinetic resolution catalyzed using lipases or esterases, stereoselective biotransformation catalyzed by halohydrin dehalogenases, asymmetric hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, asymmetric dehalogenation catalyzed by haloalkane dehalogenases, and aldehyde condensation catalyzed by aldolases. Although many chiral vic-halohydrins have been successfully synthesized using wild-type biocatalysts, their enantioselectivity is often too low for enantiopure synthesis. To overcome these limitations, catalytic properties of wild-type enzymes have been improved by rational and semi-rational protein design or directed evolution. This review briefly introduces the research status in this field, highlighting aspects of basic academic research in the biocatalytic synthesis of optically active vic-halohydrins by employing such unconventional approaches. KEY POINTS: • Outlines the enzymatic strategies for the production of enantiopure vic-halohydrins • Highlights recent advances in biocatalytic production of enantiopure vic-halohydrins • Provide guidance for efficient preparation of enantiopure vic-halohydrins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-021-11266-2DOI Listing
May 2021

Expression and significance of related genes in the early stage of post-traumatic heterotopic ossification in a rat model of Achilles tenotomy.

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2021 Mar;55(2):94-101

Department of Orthopedics, Southern Medical University Affiliated Fengxian Hospital, Shanghai, China;The Third School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Objective: This study aims to determine expression profiles of relevant genes in the early stages of post-traumatic heterotopic ossification (HO) in a rat model of Achilles tenotomy.

Methods: A total of 80 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to two groups: the HO group and the control group. Tenotomy was performed in the Achilles tendon of the rats in the HO group, and no intervention was conducted in the control group. On the 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 14th days after the operation, 8 rats were taken from each group at each time point, and the Achilles tendon and surrounding tissue specimens were collected. Gene expressions of TGF-β, BMP, GDF, IL, and MMP families as well as TNF-α, HIF-1α chordin, gremlin, noggin, and NODAL were analyzed by qRT-PCR. The relevant genes that were highly expressed at different time points were screened, and immunohistochemical staining was then used to verify their expression. At the 10th week, HO formation was explored by radiographic and histological examination in the remaining 8 rats of each group.

Results: Both the radiographic and histological analyses indicated that all the rats developed HO in the HO group (100%), whereas no HO occurred in the control group. Surrounding tissues obtained from the HO group showed significantly higher gene expressions of TGF-β1, BMP-1, IL1β, HIF-1α, and MMP-2 but lower expressions of BMP-4, GDF-8, and TNF-α compared with the control group. In addition, immunohistochemical staining confirmed the higher protein expression levels of relevant genes in the HO group.

Conclusion: TGF-β1, BMP-1, IL-1β, HIF-1α, MMP-2, BMP4, GDF-8, and TNF-α may be associated with the formation of traumatic HO; and BMP4, GDF-8, and TNF-α may play a protective role in the early stage of HO. In this study, we investigated the expression levels of the related cytokines in the early stages of traumatic HO in the Achilles tendon tenotomy rat model to better understand the pathogenesis of HO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5152/j.aott.2021.18480DOI Listing
March 2021

lncSAMM50 Enhances Adipogenic Differentiation of Buffalo Adipocytes With No Effect on Its Host Gene.

Front Genet 2021 26;12:626158. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, Guangxi University, Nanning, China.

Fat deposition is one of the most important traits that are mediated by a set of complex regulatory factors in meat animals. Several researches have revealed the significant role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in fat deposition while the precise regulatory mechanism is still largely elusive. In this study, we investigated the lncRNA profiles of adipose and muscle tissues in buffalo by using the Illumina HiSeq 3000 platform. In total, 43,809 lncRNAs were finally identified based on the computer algorithm. A comparison analysis revealed 241 lncRNAs that are differentially expressed (DE) in adipose and muscle tissues. We focused on lncSAMM50, a DE lncRNA that has a high expression in adipose tissue. Sequence alignment showed that lncSAMM50 is transcribed from the antisense strand of the upstream region of sorting and assembly machinery component 50 homolog (), a gene involved in the function of mitochondrion and is subsequently demonstrated to inhibit the adipogenic differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocyte cells in this study. lncSAMM50 is highly expressed in adipose tissue and upregulated in the mature adipocytes and mainly exists in the nucleus. Gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that lncSAMM50 promotes the adipogenic differentiation by upregulating adipogenic markers but with no effect on its host gene in buffalo adipocytes. These results indicate that lncSAMM50 enhances fat deposition in buffalo and provide a new factor for the regulatory network of adipogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.626158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8033173PMC
March 2021

Different fixation pattern for thoracolumbar fracture of ankylosing spondylitis: A finite element analysis.

PLoS One 2021 9;16(4):e0250009. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Department of Traumatic Orthopaedics, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing, China.

The objective of this study is to establish an ankylosing spondylitis (AS) thoracolumbar fracture finite element (FE) model and provide a proper posterior fixation choice from the biomechanical perspective. The ankylosing spondylitis T9-L5 FE model was built and the range of motion (ROM) was compared to previous studies. The L1 transverse fracture was simulated and was separately fixed by five different patterns. The pull force and yielding force of the screws, the von Mises stress of the internal fixation, and the displacement of fracture site were analyzed to evaluate the proper fixation pattern for thoracolumbar fracture of AS. ROM of AS model was obviously restricted comparing to the normal vertebral experimental data. All the fixation patterns can stabilize the fracture. At least four levels of fixation can reduce the von Mises stress of the internal fixation. Four levels fixation has a higher pull force than the six levels fixation. Skipped level fixation did not reduce the stress, pull force and yielding force. The kyphosis correction did not change the biomechanical load. At least 4 levels fixation was needed for AS thoracolumbar fracture. The cemented screws should be chosen in 4 levels fixation to increase the holding of the screws. The skipped fixation has no advantage. The kyphosis correction can be chosen after weighing the pros and cons.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0250009PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034711PMC
April 2021

Proposed modification of the eighth edition of the AJCC staging system for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

HPB (Oxford) 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Background: To improve the prognostic accuracy of the 8th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) with establishment and validation of a modified TNM (mTNM) staging system.

Methods: Data on patients who underwent curative-intent resection for ICC was collected from 15 high-volume centers worldwide (n = 643). An external validation dataset was obtained from the SEER registry (n = 797). The mTNM staging system was proposed by redefining T categories, and incorporating the recently proposed N status as N0 (no lymph node metastasis [LNM]), N1 (1-2 LNM) and N2 (≥3 LNM).

Results: The 8th AJCC TNM staging system failed to stratify overall survival (OS) of stage II versus IIIA, stage IIIB versus IV, as well as overall stage III versus IV among all patients from the two databases, as well as stage I versus II, and stage III versus III among patients who had ≥6 LNs examined. There was a monotonic decrement in survival based on the proposed mTNM staging classification among patients derived from both the multi-institutional (Median OS, stage I 69.8 vs. II 37.1 vs. III 18.9 vs. IV 16.4 months, all p < 0.05), and SEER (Median OS, stage I 87.0 vs. II 29.3 vs. III 17.7 vs. IV 14.2 months, all p < 0.05) datasets, which was also verified among patients who had ≥6 lymph node harvested from both databases.

Conclusion: The modified TNM staging system for ICC using the new T and N definitions provided an improved means to stratify patients relative to long-term OS versus the 8th AJCC staging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2021.02.009DOI Listing
March 2021

[Clinical Analysis of Hospitalized Children with Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia].

Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi 2021 Apr;29(2):574-580

State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, National Clinical Research Center for Blood Diseases, Institute of Hematology & Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Laboratory of Blood Disease Gene Therapy, CAMS Key Laboratory of Gene Therapy for Blood Diseases, Tianjin 300020, China,E-mail:

Objective: To investigate the factors affecting the chronicity of childhood primary immune thrombo-cytopenia (ITP) and compare the efficiency of different first-line treatment regimens.

Methods: Children with ITP hospitalized in our hospital from September 2013 to October 2018 were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Three hundred and one children (150 males and 151 females) were included in this study, with a median age of 8 (0.17-17) years old, and 110 (36.5%), 92 (30.6%), and 99 (32.9%) cases were grouped into newly diagnosed, persistent, and chronic ITP, respectively. The median of follow-up was 41.92 (1.07-74.03) months. At the end of the follow-up (October 2019), among the 202 newly diagnosed/persistent ITP children, 79 cases (59 newly diagnosed and 20 persistent ITP) achieved remission within 1 year after initial diagnosis, with a remission rate of 39.3%; 122 cases (50 newly diagnosed and 72 persistent ITP) developed chronic disease, with a chronicity rate of 60.7%; one case underwent splenectomy. In 99 cases with chronic ITP, 5 cases underwent splenectomy. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that, the insidious onset of symptoms (OR=3.754, 95%CI: 1.882-7.488, P=0.000) increased the risk of chronicity, while the positive antibody to anti-platelet membrane glycoprotein (OR=0.446, 95%CI: 0.224-0.888, P=0.021) might reduce the risk of chronicity. And no difference was found by the analysis of subtype of anti-platelet membrane glycoprotein (P=0.305). The efficacy of the first-line treatment of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) alone or combined with steroid was better than that of steroid alone (P=0.028, 0.028), however, the efficiency was not significantly different between IVIG alone and combined with steroid (P=0.086).

Conclusion: Insidious onset of symptoms in pediatric ITP increases the risk of chronicity, while the positive titer of anti-platelet membrane glycoprotein may reduce the risk. In the first-line treatment for the newly diagnosed/persistent children. The efficacy of IVIG alone or combined with steroid is better than that of steroid alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19746/j.cnki.issn.1009-2137.2021.02.042DOI Listing
April 2021

Large fuzzy biodegradable polyester microspheres with dopamine deposition enhance cell adhesion and bone regeneration in vivo.

Biomaterials 2021 May 24;272:120783. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

MOE Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Synthesis and Functionalization, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, China; Dr. Li Dak Sum & Yip Yio Chin Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China. Electronic address:

The biodegradable polymer microparticles with different surface morphology and chemical compositions may influence significantly the behaviors of cells, and thereby further the performance of tissue regeneration in vivo. In this study, multi-stage hierarchical textures of poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolide) (PLGA)/PLGA-b-PEG (poly(ethylene glycol)) microspheres with a diameter as large as 50-100 μm are fabricated based on interfacial instability of an emulsion. The obtained fuzzy structures on the microspheres are sensitive to annealing, which are changed gradually to a smooth one after treatment at 37 °C for 6 d or 80 °C for 1 h. The surface microstructures that are chemically dominated by PEG can be stabilized against annealing by dopamine deposition. By the combination use of annealing and dopamine deposition, a series of microspheres with robust surface topologies are facilely prepared. The fuzzy microstructures and dopamine deposition show a synergetic role to enhance cell-material interaction, leading to a larger number of adherent bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), A549 and MC 3T3 cells. The fuzzy microspheres with dopamine deposition can significantly promote bone regeneration 12 w post surgery in vivo, as revealed by micro-CT, histological, western blotting and RT-PCR analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.120783DOI Listing
May 2021

Distance dilution of antibiotic resistance genes of sediments in an estuary system in relation to coastal cities.

Environ Pollut 2021 Mar 22;281:116980. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Urban Water Supply and Drainage System Safety and Energy Saving Engineering Technology Center, Fujian University of Technology, Fuzhou, 350118, China.

Coastal tourist and industrial cities are most likely to have differential effects on the distance dilution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in an estuary system. This study used high-throughput fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction to identify sediment ARGs in two typical estuaries of coastal tourist and industrial cities (Xiamen and Taizhou) in China. The distance dilution of ARGs and its relationship with key environmental factors were analysed. The results indicated that along the river inlet towards the sea, the distance dilution effect on ARG abundance in estuary sediments of Taizhou was approximately double that in Xiamen, and the macrolide, lincosamide, and streptogramin B (MLSB) and vancomycin genes were replaced by the fluoroquinolone, quinolone, florfenicol, chloramphenicol, and amphenicol (FCA) and β-lactam genes in Taizhou, whereas β-lactam genes succeeded the MLSB and sul genes in Xiamen. The abundance and number of ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were positively correlated with the particle size and total organic carbon (TOC) contents of sediments, whereas they were negatively associated with the oxidation and reduction potential (E) and pH of sediments, as well as the seawater salinity. The sediment particle size (SPZ) was the dominant physicochemical factor affecting the abundance of ARGs (r = 0.826, p < 0.05) and MGEs (r = 0.850, p < 0.01). These findings suggest that although the distance dilution effect on the ARG abundance of estuary sediments of the industrial city is greater than that of the tourist city, the larger SPZ, higher TOC content, and lower salinity, pH, and E in estuary regions adjacent to the industrial city can more significantly facilitate the proliferation and propagation of ARGs in the sediments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116980DOI Listing
March 2021

Prognostication of patients with COVID-19 using artificial intelligence based on chest x-rays and clinical data: a retrospective study.

Lancet Digit Health 2021 05 24;3(5):e286-e294. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Rhode Island Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Chest x-ray is a relatively accessible, inexpensive, fast imaging modality that might be valuable in the prognostication of patients with COVID-19. We aimed to develop and evaluate an artificial intelligence system using chest x-rays and clinical data to predict disease severity and progression in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We did a retrospective study in multiple hospitals in the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, PA, USA, and Brown University affiliated hospitals in Providence, RI, USA. Patients who presented to a hospital in the University of Pennsylvania Health System via the emergency department, with a diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by RT-PCR and with an available chest x-ray from their initial presentation or admission, were retrospectively identified and randomly divided into training, validation, and test sets (7:1:2). Using the chest x-rays as input to an EfficientNet deep neural network and clinical data, models were trained to predict the binary outcome of disease severity (ie, critical or non-critical). The deep-learning features extracted from the model and clinical data were used to build time-to-event models to predict the risk of disease progression. The models were externally tested on patients who presented to an independent multicentre institution, Brown University affiliated hospitals, and compared with severity scores provided by radiologists.

Findings: 1834 patients who presented via the University of Pennsylvania Health System between March 9 and July 20, 2020, were identified and assigned to the model training (n=1285), validation (n=183), or testing (n=366) sets. 475 patients who presented via the Brown University affiliated hospitals between March 1 and July 18, 2020, were identified for external testing of the models. When chest x-rays were added to clinical data for severity prediction, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) increased from 0·821 (95% CI 0·796-0·828) to 0·846 (0·815-0·852; p<0·0001) on internal testing and 0·731 (0·712-0·738) to 0·792 (0·780-0 ·803; p<0·0001) on external testing. When deep-learning features were added to clinical data for progression prediction, the concordance index (C-index) increased from 0·769 (0·755-0·786) to 0·805 (0·800-0·820; p<0·0001) on internal testing and 0·707 (0·695-0·729) to 0·752 (0·739-0·764; p<0·0001) on external testing. The image and clinical data combined model had significantly better prognostic performance than combined severity scores and clinical data on internal testing (C-index 0·805 vs 0·781; p=0·0002) and external testing (C-index 0·752 vs 0·715; p<0·0001).

Interpretation: In patients with COVID-19, artificial intelligence based on chest x-rays had better prognostic performance than clinical data or radiologist-derived severity scores. Using artificial intelligence, chest x-rays can augment clinical data in predicting the risk of progression to critical illness in patients with COVID-19.

Funding: Brown University, Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Development Initiative, Radiological Society of North America, National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(21)00039-XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7990487PMC
May 2021

Development of deep learning algorithms for predicting blastocyst formation and quality by time-lapse monitoring.

Commun Biol 2021 Mar 26;4(1):415. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Approaches to reliably predict the developmental potential of embryos and select suitable embryos for blastocyst culture are needed. The development of time-lapse monitoring (TLM) and artificial intelligence (AI) may help solve this problem. Here, we report deep learning models that can accurately predict blastocyst formation and usable blastocysts using TLM videos of the embryo's first three days. The DenseNet201 network, focal loss, long short-term memory (LSTM) network and gradient boosting classifier were mainly employed, and video preparation algorithms, spatial stream and temporal stream models were developed into ensemble prediction models called STEM and STEM. STEM exhibited 78.2% accuracy and 0.82 AUC in predicting blastocyst formation, and STEM achieved 71.9% accuracy and 0.79 AUC in predicting usable blastocysts. We believe the models are beneficial for blastocyst formation prediction and embryo selection in clinical practice, and our modeling methods will provide valuable information for analyzing medical videos with continuous appearance variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-01937-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998018PMC
March 2021

Sub-thermionic, ultra-high-gain organic transistors and circuits.

Nat Commun 2021 03 26;12(1):1928. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

National Laboratory of Solid-State Microstructures, School of Electronic Science and Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China.

The development of organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) with low power consumption and high gain will advance many flexible electronics. Here, by combining solution-processed monolayer organic crystal, ferroelectric HfZrO gating and van der Waals fabrication, we realize flexible OTFTs that simultaneously deliver high transconductance and sub-60 mV/dec switching, under one-volt operating voltage. The overall optimization of transconductance, subthreshold swing and output resistance leads to transistor intrinsic gain and amplifier voltage gain over 5.3 × 10 and 1.1 × 10, respectively, which outperform existing technologies using organics, oxides and low-dimensional nanomaterials. We further demonstrate battery-powered, integrated wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) and pulse sensors that can amplify human physiological signal by 900 times with high fidelity. The sensors are capable of detecting weak ECG waves (undetectable even by clinical equipment) and diagnosing arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation. Our sub-thermionic OTFT is promising for battery/wireless powered yet performance demanding applications such as electronic skins and radio-frequency identification tags, among many others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22192-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997979PMC
March 2021

Association of FOXP3 gene polymorphisms with chronic immune thrombocytopenia in a Chinese Han population.

Int J Lab Hematol 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, National Clinical Research Center for Hematological disorders, Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, China.

Introduction: Forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) is encoded by the human FOXP3, an X-chromosome gene, and is a transcription factor that regulates regulatory T-cell (Treg) development and function. FOXP3 gene polymorphisms have recently been investigated as candidate risk factors in various autoimmune diseases. This study aimed to investigate the possible influence of FOXP3 gene polymorphisms on genetic predisposition to chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).

Methods: The study cohort comprised 329 chronic ITP patients and 279 healthy controls, who were genotyped for three polymorphisms in the promoter region of FOXP3 gene, -6054 del/ATT, -3279 A/C, and -924 A/G.

Results: Of the three polymorphisms identified, the -3279 AA genotype was more frequent in female patients with chronic ITP than in female controls (P = .035, OR 0.434, 95% CI 0.223-0.846), and the -3279 A carrier was shown to be associated with the risk of chronic ITP in female cohort (P = .003, OR 0.610, 95% CI 0.437-0.851). Furthermore, the female patients with chronic ITP had remarkably more frequent haplotype -6054 del/-3279 A/-924 A (P = .027, OR 3.584, 95% CI 1.148-11.186) and less haplotype -6054 del/-3279 C/-924 G (P = .039, OR 0.445, 95% CI 0.204-0.973) in comparison with female healthy controls. Although there were no significant differences in the male cohort, when the combined alleles and haplotypes of the two genders were analyzed, the results obtained were similar to those of females.

Conclusion: According to our data, the -3279 A/C polymorphism of FOXP3 gene may be associated with the susceptibility to chronic ITP in Chinese Han population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijlh.13525DOI Listing
March 2021

Distribution of anti-melanoma differentiation associated gene 5 (MDA5) IgG subclasses in MDA5+ dermatomyositis.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 Mar 20. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Dermatology, Rui Jin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 200025 Shanghai, China.

Objectives: The anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) antibody is the main predictor of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in dermatomyositis (DM) and clinically amyopathic dermatomyositis (CADM). Nevertheless, a subset of MDA5+ patients have a favorable prognosis. We aimed to determine the possibility of using anti-MDA5 antibody isotypes and IgG subclasses for evaluating ILD risk.

Methods: The isotypes (IgG, IgA and IgM) of anti-MDA5 were detected in serum samples of 36 anti-MDA5+ patients with DM/CADM using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). IgG subclasses of anti-MDA5 antibodies were further investigated. Laboratory findings and cumulative survival were analyzed based on the isotypes of anti-MDA5 and subclasses of anti-MDA5 IgG.

Results: Among the MDA5+ patients with DM/CADM, the positive rates of anti-MDA5 IgG, IgA, IgM were 100%, 97%, and 6%, respectively. The positive rates of anti-MDA5 IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 were 72%, 25%, 0%, and 28%, respectively. The incidence of acute interstitial pneumonia, mortality rate, and serum ferritin were significantly higher in anti-MDA5 IgG1+ patients than those in anti-MDA5 IgG1- patients with DM/CADM (P = 0.0027, 0.015, 0.0011, respectively). The sensitivity and specificity of anti-MDA5 IgG1 for predicting mortality were 100% and 41.7%, respectively. A combination of anti-MDA5 IgG1 and IgG4 for predicting mortality, yielded better specificity (87.5%).

Conclusion: IgA and IgG are the primary anti-MDA5 antibody isotypes. Anti-MDA5 IgG1 is the primary component of MDA5 IgG subclasses and anti-MDA5 IgG1 and IgG4 might serve as useful biomarkers for predicting mortality in DM-ILD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab268DOI Listing
March 2021

Machine Learning-Based Prediction of COVID-19 Severity and Progression to Critical Illness Using CT Imaging and Clinical Data.

Korean J Radiol 2021 Mar 9. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.

Objective: To develop a machine learning (ML) pipeline based on radiomics to predict Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and the future deterioration to critical illness using CT and clinical variables.

Materials And Methods: Clinical data were collected from 981 patients from a multi-institutional international cohort with real-time polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19. Radiomics features were extracted from chest CT of the patients. The data of the cohort were randomly divided into training, validation, and test sets using a 7:1:2 ratio. A ML pipeline consisting of a model to predict severity and time-to-event model to predict progression to critical illness were trained on radiomics features and clinical variables. The receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC-AUC), concordance index (C-index), and time-dependent ROC-AUC were calculated to determine model performance, which was compared with consensus CT severity scores obtained by visual interpretation by radiologists.

Results: Among 981 patients with confirmed COVID-19, 274 patients developed critical illness. Radiomics features and clinical variables resulted in the best performance for the prediction of disease severity with a highest test ROC-AUC of 0.76 compared with 0.70 (0.76 vs. 0.70, = 0.023) for visual CT severity score and clinical variables. The progression prediction model achieved a test C-index of 0.868 when it was based on the combination of CT radiomics and clinical variables compared with 0.767 when based on CT radiomics features alone ( < 0.001), 0.847 when based on clinical variables alone ( = 0.110), and 0.860 when based on the combination of visual CT severity scores and clinical variables ( = 0.549). Furthermore, the model based on the combination of CT radiomics and clinical variables achieved time-dependent ROC-AUCs of 0.897, 0.933, and 0.927 for the prediction of progression risks at 3, 5 and 7 days, respectively.

Conclusion: CT radiomics features combined with clinical variables were predictive of COVID-19 severity and progression to critical illness with fairly high accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3348/kjr.2020.1104DOI Listing
March 2021

A polygenic methylation prediction model associated with response to chemotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer.

Mol Ther Oncolytics 2021 Mar 20;20:545-555. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, Shaanxi, China.

To identify potential aberrantly differentially methylated genes (DMGs) correlated with chemotherapy response (CR) and establish a polygenic methylation prediction model of CR in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), we accessed 177 (47 chemo-sensitive and 130 chemo-resistant) samples corresponding to three DNA-methylation microarray datasets from the Gene Expression Omnibus and 306 (290 chemo-sensitive and 16 chemo-resistant) samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. DMGs associated with chemotherapy sensitivity and chemotherapy resistance were identified by several packages of R software. Pathway enrichment and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analyses were constructed by Metascape software. The key genes containing mRNA expressions associated with methylation levels were validated from the expression dataset by the GEO2R platform. The determination of the prognostic significance of key genes was performed by the Kaplan-Meier plotter database. The key genes-based polygenic methylation prediction model was established by binary logistic regression. Among accessed 483 samples, 457 (182 hypermethylated and 275 hypomethylated) DMGs correlated with chemo resistance. Twenty-nine hub genes were identified and further validated. Three genes, anterior gradient 2 (AGR2), heat shock-related 70-kDa protein 2 (HSPA2), and acetyltransferase 2 (ACAT2), showed a significantly negative correlation between their methylation levels and mRNA expressions, which also corresponded to prognostic significance. A polygenic methylation prediction model (0.5253 cutoff value) was established and validated with 0.659 sensitivity and 0.911 specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omto.2021.02.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943968PMC
March 2021

Cronkhite-Canada syndrome associated with perianal condyloma acuminatum with malignant transformation: A case report.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Mar;100(10):e25067

Binzhou Medical University Hospital, The Yellow Rive Second Road, Binzhou City, Shandong Province, China.

Rationale: Cronkhite-Canada syndrome (CCS) is a rare non-familial polyposis syndrome characterized by multiple gastrointestinal polyps with the ectodermal triad. To date, many complications of CCS have been reported in the literature, but perianal condyloma acuminatum with malignant transformation has not been included.

Patient Concerns: This report presents the case of a 52-year-old Chinese man who presented with diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. He developed skin pigmentation and atrophy of the fingernails and toenails. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy, and enteroscopy revealed diffuse polyps along the entire digestive tract. Histopathological examination revealed polyps of different pathological types dominated by hamartoma. Physical examination revealed a crissum cauliflower-like neoplasm (2.5 × 2.0 cm). After perianal tumor resection, pathology suggested that this was a perianal condylomatous lesion with malignant transformation, as well as well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma.

Diagnoses: These clinical features and endoscopic findings were consistent with CCS which associated with perianal condyloma acuminatum with malignant transformation.

Intervention: Clinical remission was achieved with glucocorticoid, azathioprine, and nutritional support.

Outcome: At the 4-year follow-up, the patient had no diarrhea or loss of appetite, had gained 13 kg in weight, and the perianal tumor had not recurred.

Lessons: No previous report has described CCS in a patient with perianal condyloma acuminatum with malignant transformation. As both conditions are related to immune disorders, their occurrence may be correlated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7969240PMC
March 2021

Immune cell function assays in the diagnosis of infection in pediatric liver transplantation: an open-labeled, two center prospective cohort study.

Transl Pediatr 2021 Feb;10(2):333-343

Department of Liver Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Limited studies have been performed in assessment of immune status of pediatric liver transplants (PLTs). We conducted this study to evaluate Cylex immune cell function assay in diagnosis of infection and its potential clinical application in Chinese infant PLTs.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 227 infant PLTs from two medical centers were enrolled, and 216 completed the study. Cylex ATP values were measured before and after liver transplantation (LT) at week 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 and 24 respectively. Accordingly, patients' clinical records, including demographic data, liver function results, tacrolimus dosages and concentrations were collected and analyzed.

Results: One hundred and sixty of 216 PLTs (74.1%) were diagnosed infection based on the parameters including abnormal vital signs, imaging changes, and pathogens detection, while 44 (20.4%) were clinically stable and 12 (5.6%) experienced acute rejection. The median Cylex ATP value in infant PLTs post-surgery reduced significantly in infection group compared to stable group (median, 137 . 269 ng/mL, P<0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis determined that the cut-off value of Cylex ATP was 152 ng/mL in diagnosis of infection [area under the curve (AUC): 0.784, 95% CI: 0.720-0.848]. Meanwhile, Cylex ATP value showed no correlation to tacrolimus dosage, blood concentration, dose-normalized concentration/dose ratio or Kaup index. However, it tended to correlate weakly with the white blood cell (WBC) number (R =0.462, P<0.0001) and lymphocyte counts (R =0.363, P<0.0001).

Conclusions: In this study, we demonstrated that low Cylex ATP represented partly over-immunosuppression and had diagnostic value in infant PLTs with infections, which might assist individualized immunosuppression in PLT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tp-20-256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944184PMC
February 2021

Two-year add-on effect of using low concentration atropine in poor responders of orthokeratology in myopic children.

Br J Ophthalmol 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Fudan University Eye Ear Nose and Throat Hospital, Shanghai, Shanghai, China

Methods: Axial elongation in 73 eyes of 73 subjects who completed 3 years of orthokeratology (ortho-k) treatment was retrospectively reviewed. During their first year of ortho-k treatment (phase 1), they all demonstrated an axial elongation of 0.30 mm or greater. They were then divided into two groups: orthokeratology and atropine (OKA) group (n=37) being treated with nightly 0.01% atropine in addition to ortho-k treatment for another 2 years and orthokeratology (OK) group (n=36) continued to be treated with ortho-k without atropine (phase 2). Axial elongation over time and between groups was compared.

Results: Baseline biometrics was similar between the two groups in phase 1 (all p>0.05). The mean axial elongation was 0.47±0.15, 0.21±0.15, 0.23±0.13 mm for the OKA group and 0.41±0.09, 0.30±0.11, 0.20±0.13 mm for the OK group during the first, second and third year, respectively. The cumulative axial elongation over 3 years was 0.91±0.30 mm for the OKA group and 0.91±0.24 mm for the OK group. The overall AL change was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.262). Baseline myopic refractive error had a significant impact on axial elongation over 3 years of treatment (p<0.001). None of baseline age (p=0.129), lens design (p=0.890) or treatment modality (p=0.579) had a significant impact on axial elongation.

Conclusions: For fast myopia progressors and poor responders of ortho-k, combining 0.01% nightly atropine did not significantly change the3-year axial elongation outcome as compared to ortho-k mono-therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-317980DOI Listing
March 2021

Fully-automated global and segmental strain analysis of DENSE cardiovascular magnetic resonance using deep learning for segmentation and phase unwrapping.

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 2021 03 11;23(1):20. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Health System, Box 800759, Charlottesville, VA, 22908, USA.

Background: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) cine displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) measures heart motion by encoding myocardial displacement into the signal phase, facilitating high accuracy and reproducibility of global and segmental myocardial strain and providing benefits in clinical performance. While conventional methods for strain analysis of DENSE images are faster than those for myocardial tagging, they still require manual user assistance. The present study developed and evaluated deep learning methods for fully-automatic DENSE strain analysis.

Methods: Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) were developed and trained to (a) identify the left-ventricular (LV) epicardial and endocardial borders, (b) identify the anterior right-ventricular (RV)-LV insertion point, and (c) perform phase unwrapping. Subsequent conventional automatic steps were employed to compute strain. The networks were trained using 12,415 short-axis DENSE images from 45 healthy subjects and 19 heart disease patients and were tested using 10,510 images from 25 healthy subjects and 19 patients. Each individual CNN was evaluated, and the end-to-end fully-automatic deep learning pipeline was compared to conventional user-assisted DENSE analysis using linear correlation and Bland Altman analysis of circumferential strain.

Results: LV myocardial segmentation U-Nets achieved a DICE similarity coefficient of 0.87 ± 0.04, a Hausdorff distance of 2.7 ± 1.0 pixels, and a mean surface distance of 0.41 ± 0.29 pixels in comparison with manual LV myocardial segmentation by an expert. The anterior RV-LV insertion point was detected within 1.38 ± 0.9 pixels compared to manually annotated data. The phase-unwrapping U-Net had similar or lower mean squared error vs. ground-truth data compared to the conventional path-following method for images with typical signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) or low SNR (p < 0.05), respectively. Bland-Altman analyses showed biases of 0.00 ± 0.03 and limits of agreement of - 0.04 to 0.05 or better for deep learning-based fully-automatic global and segmental end-systolic circumferential strain vs. conventional user-assisted methods.

Conclusions: Deep learning enables fully-automatic global and segmental circumferential strain analysis of DENSE CMR providing excellent agreement with conventional user-assisted methods. Deep learning-based automatic strain analysis may facilitate greater clinical use of DENSE for the quantification of global and segmental strain in patients with cardiac disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12968-021-00712-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7949250PMC
March 2021

Maxing Shigan Decoction Mitigates -Induced Pyroptosis in A549 Cells via the NLRP3 Inflammasome.

Infect Drug Resist 2021 3;14:859-867. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Pediatrics, Pudong New Area People's Hospital, Shanghai, 201200, People's Republic of China.

Background: is a predominant cause of community-acquired respiratory infections. We recently discovered the clinical efficacy of Maxing shigan decoction (MXSG) in infection and designed a study to explore the mechanism of action.

Methods: Serum IL-1β, IL-18, and TNF-α, and transcript expression of the NLR Family, Pyrin Domain Containing Protein 3 (NLRP3) were measured in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 30 children with infection and 30 healthy donors. An in vitro model of infection in A549 cell culture was used to explore the curative effects and mechanisms of MXSG. Pyroptosis was measured by flow cytometry with activated caspase-1 and propidium iodide staining. IL-1β, IL-18, and TNF-α, and NLRP3 transcript expression were measured by qRT-PCR. Protein expression of NLRP3, Caspase-1, pro-caspase-1, IL-1β, pro-IL-1β, and GSDMD-N was determined by Western blotting. Experimental confirmation was performed in NLRP3-overexpressing A549 cells and in the presence of an NLRP3 inhibitor, INF39.

Results: infection-induced IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α, and mRNA expression of NLRP3 in PBMCs and promoted pyroptosis in A549 cells. It also induced IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α, and up-regulated NLRP3, ro-IL-1β, Caspase-1, Pro-Caspase-1, and GSDMD-N in culture. Similar to the NLRP3 inhibitor INF39, MXSG (0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mg/mL) suppressed pyroptosis induced by infection and decreased IL-1β ( < 0.001), IL-18, TNF-α in culture. MXSG down-regulated NLRP3, pro-IL-1β, Caspase-1, pro-Caspase-1, and GSDMD-N in infected cultures and mitigated NLRP3 overexpression-induced pyroptosis.

Conclusion: MXSG mitigates -induced pyroptosis in A549 cells via the NLRP3 inflammasome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S292413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937399PMC
March 2021

Potential interaction between autophagy and auxin during maize leaf senescence.

J Exp Bot 2021 May;72(10):3554-3568

Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China.

Leaf senescence is important for crop yield as delaying it can increase the average yield. In this study, population genetics and transcriptomic profiling were combined to dissect its genetic basis in maize. To do this, the progenies of an elite maize hybrid Jidan27 and its parental lines Si-287 (early senescence) and Si-144 (stay-green), as well as 173 maize inbred lines were used. We identified two novel loci and their candidate genes, Stg3 (ZmATG18b) and Stg7 (ZmGH3.8), which are predicted to be members of autophagy and auxin pathways, respectively. Genomic variations in the promoter regions of these two genes were detected, and four allelic combinations existed in the examined maize inbred lines. The Stg3Si-144/Stg7Si-144 allelic combination with lower ZmATG18b expression and higher ZmGH3.8 expression could distinctively delay leaf senescence, increase ear weight and the improved hybrid of NIL-Stg3Si-144/Stg7Si-144 × Si-144 significantly reduced ear weight loss under drought stress, while opposite effects were observed in the Stg3Si-287/Stg7Si-287 combination with a higher ZmATG18b expression and lower ZmGH3.8 expression. Thus, we identify a potential interaction between autophagy and auxin which could modulate the timing of maize leaf senescence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erab094DOI Listing
May 2021

Murine Model of Primary Acquired Ocular Toxoplasmosis: Fluorescein Angiography and Multiplex Immune Mediator Profiles in the Aqueous Humor.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021 Mar;62(3)

Department of Infection and Host Defense, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Japan.

Purpose: To establish a murine model of primary acquired ocular toxoplasmosis (OT) and to investigate the immune mediator profiles in the aqueous humor (AH).

Methods: C57BL/6 mice were perorally infected with Toxoplasma gondii. The ocular fundus was observed, and fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed. The AH, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and serum were collected before infection and at 28 days post-infection (dpi); the immune mediator levels in these samples were analyzed using multiplex bead assay.

Results: Fundus imaging revealed soft retinochoroidal lesions at 14 dpi; many of these lesions became harder by 28 dpi. FA abnormalities, such as leakage from retinal vessels and dilation and tortuosity of the retinal veins, were observed at 14 dpi. Nearly all these abnormalities resolved spontaneously at 28 dpi. In the AH, interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12(p40), IL-12(p70), CCL2/MCP-1, CCL3/MIP-1α, CCL4/MIP-1β, CCL5/RANTES, and CXCL1/KC levels increased after infection. All these molecules except IL-1α, IL-4, and IL-13 showed almost the same postinfection patterns in the CSF as they did in the AH. The tumor necrosis factor α, IL-4, and IL-5 levels in the AH and CSF of the T. gondii-infected mice were lower than those in the serum. The postinfection IL-1α, IL-6, CCL2/MCP-1, CCL4/MIP-1β, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor levels in the AH were significantly higher than those in the CSF and serum.

Conclusions: A murine model of primary acquired OT induced via the natural infection route was established. This OT model allows detailed ophthalmologic, histopathologic, and immunologic evaluations of human OT. Investigation of AH immune modulators provides new insight into OT immunopathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.3.9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7960860PMC
March 2021

Long non-coding RNA TMPO-AS1 serves as a tumor promoter in pancreatic carcinoma by regulating miR-383-5p/SOX11.

Oncol Lett 2021 Apr 4;21(4):255. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of General Surgery, Qingdao Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Qingdao Hiser Hospital), Qingdao, Shandong 266000, P.R. China.

The dysregulation of lncRNA TMPO antisense RNA 1 (TMPO-AS1) has been detected in various malignant tumors. However, the role of lncRNA TMPO-AS1 remains unclear in pancreatic carcinoma. The present study aimed to elucidate the functional mechanism of TMPO-AS1 in pancreatic carcinoma. In the present study, RT-qPCR, western blotting, MTT, Transwell, luciferase reporter and xenograft assays were used to investigate the role of lncRNA TMPO-AS1 in pancreatic carcinoma. Upregulation of lncRNA TMPO-AS1 was revealed in pancreatic carcinoma tissues and cells. Furthermore, knockdown of TMPO-AS1 restrained cell proliferation and motility in pancreatic carcinoma. In addition, microRNA (miR)-383-5p acted as a 'sponge' for lncRNA TMPO-AS1. The expression levels of lncRNA TMPO-AS1 and miR-383-5p were mutually inhibited in pancreatic carcinoma. Moreover, miR-383-5p was revealed to directly target SRY-related high-mobility group box 11 (SOX11). Notably, SOX11 could promote the occurrence of pancreatic carcinoma by interacting with the lncRNA TMPO-AS1/miR-383-5p axis. In conclusion, upregulation of lncRNA TMPO-AS1 promoted tumor growth, cell migration and invasion in pancreatic carcinoma by downregulating miR-383-5p and upregulating SOX11.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.12517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882873PMC
April 2021