Publications by authors named "Hang Dong"

173 Publications

Temporal dynamic in the impact of COVID- 19 outbreak on cause-specific mortality in Guangzhou, China.

BMC Public Health 2021 May 8;21(1):883. Epub 2021 May 8.

Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, 510440, Guangdong, China.

Background: Studies related to the SARS-CoV-2 spikes in the past few months, while there are limited studies on the entire outbreak-suppressed cycle of COVID-19. We estimate the cause-specific excess mortality during the complete circle of COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou, China, stratified by sociodemographic status.

Methods: Guangzhou Center for Disease Control Prevention provided the individual data of deaths in Guangzhou from 1 January 2018 through 30 June 2020. We applied Poisson regression models to daily cause-specific mortality between 1 January 2018 and 20 January 2020, accounting for effects of population size, calendar time, holiday, ambient temperature and PM. Expected mortality was estimated for the period from 21 January through 30 June 2020 assuming that the effects of factors aforementioned remained the same as described in the models. Excess mortality was defined as the difference between the observed mortality and the expected mortality. Subgroup analyses were performed by place of death, age group, sex, marital status and occupation class.

Results: From 21 January (the date on which the first COVID-19 case occurred in Guangzhou) through 30 June 2020, there were three stages of COVID-19: first wave, second wave, and recovery stage, starting on 21 January, 11 March, and 17 May 2020, respectively. Mortality deficits were seen from late February through early April and in most of the time in the recovery stage. Excesses in hypertension deaths occurred immediately after the starting weeks of the two waves. Overall, we estimated a deficit of 1051 (95% eCI: 580, 1558) in all-cause deaths. Particularly, comparing with the expected mortality in the absence of COVID-19 outbreak, the observed deaths from pneumonia and influenza substantially decreased by 49.2%, while deaths due to hypertension and myocardial infarction increased by 14.5 and 8.6%, respectively. In-hospital all-cause deaths dropped by 10.2%. There were discrepancies by age, marital status and occupation class in the excess mortality during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Conclusions: The excess deaths during the COVID-19 outbreak varied by cause of death and changed temporally. Overall, there was a deficit in deaths during the study period. Our findings can inform preparedness measures in different stages of the outbreak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10771-3DOI Listing
May 2021

Risk prediction models for colorectal cancer: evaluating the discrimination due to added biomarkers.

Int J Cancer 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Most risk prediction models for colorectal cancer (CRC) are based on questionnaires and show a modest discriminatory ability. Therefore, we aim to develop risk prediction models incorporating plasma biomarkers for CRC to improve discrimination. We assessed the predictivity of 11 biomarkers in 736 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and 639 women in the Nurses' Health Study. We used stepwise logistic regression to examine whether a set of biomarkers improved the predictivity on the basis of predictors in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. Model discrimination was assessed using C-statistics. Bootstrap with 500 randomly sampled replicates was used for internal validation. The models containing each biomarker generated a C-statistic ranging from 0.50 to 0.59 in men and 0.50 to 0.54 in women. The NCI model demonstrated a C-statistic (95% CI) of 0.67 (0.62-0.71) in men and 0.58 (0.54-0.63) in women. Through stepwise selection of biomarkers, the C-statistic increased to 0.70 (0.66-0.74) in men after adding growth/differentiation factor 15, total adiponectin, sex hormone binding globulin, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1B (P for difference=0.008); and increased to 0.62 (0.57-0.66) in women after further including insulin-like growth factor 1 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (P for difference=0.06). The NCI + selected biomarkers model was internally validated with a C-statistic (95% CI) of 0.73 (0.70-0.77) in men and 0.66 (0.61-0.70) in women. Circulating plasma biomarkers may improve the performance of risk factor-based prediction model for CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33621DOI Listing
May 2021

MiR-506-3p Promotes the Proliferation and Migration of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells via Targeting KLF4.

Pathobiology 2021 Apr 21:1-12. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi'an, China.

Background: The dysregulation of proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is one of the major causes of atherosclerosis (AS). Accumulating studies confirm that Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) can regulate the proliferation and differentiation of VSMCs through multiple signaling pathways. However, the mechanism of KLF4 dysregulation remains unknown.

Methods: Apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE-/-) mice and human VSMCs were used to establish AS animal model and cell model, respectively. qRT-PCR was employed to determine the expressions of miR-506-3p and KLF4. Cell Counting Kit -8, Transwell, TUNEL assays, and flow cytometry were performed to measure the proliferation, migration, and apoptosis of VSMCs. The upstream miRNAs of KLF4 were predicted by microT, miRanda, miRmap, and TargetScan databases. The interaction between KLF4 and miR-506-3p was confirmed using qRT-PCR, Western blot, and luciferase reporter gene assay.

Results: KLF4 expression was significantly decreased in the VSMCs of ApoE-/- mice fed with high-fat diet and in human VSMCs treated with oxidized low-density lipoprotein in time-dependent and dose-dependent manners. The transfection of miR-506-3p mimics or KLF4 shRNA promoted the proliferation and migration of VSMCs but inhibited the apoptosis while miR-506-3p inhibitors and pcDNA3.1-KLF4 exerted opposite effects. Additionally, KLF4 was confirmed as a target gene of miR-506-3p and could be negatively regulated by miR-506-3p.

Conclusion: MiR-506-3p can promote the proliferation and migration of VSMCs via targeting KLF4, which can probably contribute to the pathogenesis of AS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000513506DOI Listing
April 2021

Risk Assessment for Longitudinal Trajectories of Modifiable Lifestyle Factors on Chronic Kidney Disease Burden in China: A Population-based Study.

J Epidemiol 2021 Apr 3. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

National Clinical Research Center of Kidney Diseases, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine.

Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important contributor to morbidity and mortality from noncommunicable diseases. We aimed to examine the longitudinal trajectories in risk factors, estimate their impact on CKD burden in China from 1991 to 2011, and project trends in the next 20 years.

Methods: We used data from a cohort of the China Health and Nutrition Survey and applied the comparative risk assessment method to estimate the number of CKD events attributable to all non-optimal levels of each risk factors.

Results: In 2011, current smoking was the leading individual attributable factor for CKD burden in China responsible for 7.9 (95% CI, 7.5-8.3) million CKD cases with a population-attributable fraction of 8.7% (95% CI, 6.0-11.6), while the rates of smoking have reduced and may have mitigated the increase in CKD. High triglyceride (TG) and high systolic blood pressure (SBP) were the leading metabolic risk factors responsible for 6.8 (95% CI, 6.4-7.1) million and 5.8 (95% CI, 5.5-6.1) million CKD-attributable cases, respectively. Additionally, the number of CKD cases associated with high body mass index (BMI), high diastolic blood pressure (DBP), high plasma glucose, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was 5.4 (95% CI, 5.1-5.6), 3.9 (95% CI, 3.7-4.1), 3.0 (95% CI, 2.8-3.1) and 2.6 (95% CI, 2.5-2.8) million, respectively.

Conclusions: Current smoking, high TG, and high SBP were the top three risk factors that contributed to CKD burden in China. Increased BMI, DBP, plasma glucose, and decreased HDL-C were also associated with the increase in CKD burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2188/jea.JE20200497DOI Listing
April 2021

Zirconia Nanoparticles Induce HeLa Cell Death Through Mitochondrial Apoptosis and Autophagy Pathways Mediated by ROS.

Front Chem 2021 16;9:522708. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Clinical Laboratory of the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Zirconia nanoparticles (ZrO NPs) are commonly used in the field of biomedical materials, but their antitumor activity and mechanism is unclear. Herein, we evaluated the anti-tumor activity of ZrO NPs and explored the anti-tumor mechanism. The results of and experiments showed that the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HeLa cells was elevated after ZrO NPs treatment. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that after treatment with ZrO NPs, the mitochondria of HeLa cells were swollen, accompanied with the induction of autophagic vacuoles. In addition, flow cytometry analysis showed that the apoptotic rate of HeLa cells increased significantly by Annexin staining after treatment with ZrO NPs, and the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was reduced significantly. The proliferation of HeLa cells decreased as indicated by reduced Ki-67 labeling. In contrast, TUNEL-positive cells in tumor tissues increased after treatment with ZrO NPs, which is accompanied by increased expression of mitochondrial apoptotic proteins including Bax, Caspase-3, Caspase-9, and Cytochrome C (Cyt C) and increased expression of autophagy-related proteins including Atg5, Atg12, Beclin-1, and LC3-II. Treating HeLa cells with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) significantly reduced ROS, rate of apoptosis, MMP, and anti-tumor activity. In addition, apoptosis- and autophagy-related protein expressions were also suppressed. Based on these observations, we conclude that ZrO NPs induce HeLa cell death through ROS mediated mitochondrial apoptosis and autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2021.522708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007972PMC
March 2021

Associations of vitamin D status with colorectal cancer risk and survival.

Int J Cancer 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, International Joint Research Center on Environment and Human Health, Center for Global Health, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Biological evidence suggests that vitamin D has numerous anticancer functions, but the associations between vitamin D status and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and survival remain inconclusive. Based on UK Biobank, we prospectively evaluated the associations of season-standardized 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations with CRC risk among 360 061 participants, and with survival among 2509 CRC cases. We observed an inverse linear relationship between 25(OH)D concentrations and CRC risk (P for linearity = .01; HR per 1-SD increment, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.99). Compared to the lowest quartile of 25(OH)D, the highest quartile was associated with a 13% (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.98) lower risk of CRC. For CRC survival, compared to those in the lowest quartile of 25(OH)D, cases in the highest quartile had a 20% (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65-0.99) lower risk for overall death. Our findings indicate that higher concentrations of serum 25(OH)D are associated with lower incidence and improved survival of CRC, suggesting a role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33580DOI Listing
March 2021

Total flavonoids of rhizoma drynariae ameliorates bone formation and mineralization in BMP-Smad signaling pathway induced large tibial defect rats.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Jun 26;138:111480. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Orthopaedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. Electronic address:

Osteogenesis and angiogenesis acts as an essential role in repairing large tibial defects (LTDs). Total flavonoids of rhizoma drynariae (TFRD), a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, is reported to show anabolic effects on fracture healing. However, whether TFRD could improve the bone formation and angiogenesis in LTDs remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of TFRD on bone formation and angiogenesis in LTDs in distraction osteogenesis (DO). Using a previously established fracture model, LTD rats was established with circular external fixator (CEF). All rats then randomly divided into TFRD low dosage group (with DO), TFRD medium dosage group (with DO), TFRD high dosage group (with DO), model group (with DO) and blank group (without DO). Twelve weeks after treatment, according to X-ray and Micro-CT, TFRD groups (especially in medium dosage group) can significantly promote the formation of a large number of epiphyses and improve new bone mineralization compared with model group, and the results of HE and Masson staining and in vitro ALP level of BMSC also demonstrated the formation of bone matrix and mineralization in the TFRD groups. Also, angiographic imaging suggested that total flavonoids of TFRD was able to promote angiogenesis in the defect area. Consistently, TFRD significantly increased the levels of BMP-2, SMAD1, SMAD4, RUNX-2, OSX and VEGF in LTD rats based on ELISA and Real-Time PCR. In addition, we found that ALP activity of TFRD medium dosage group reached a peak after 10 days of induction through BMSC cell culture in vitro experiment. TFRD promoted bone formation in LTD through activation of BMP-Smad signaling pathway, which provides a promising new strategy for repairing bone defects in DO surgeries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111480DOI Listing
June 2021

Time trends of major cancers incidence and mortality in Guangzhou, China 2004-2015: A Joinpoint and Age-Period-Cohort Analysis.

Cancer Med 2021 Apr 16;10(8):2865-2876. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Cancer is an important focus of public health worldwide. This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of temporal trends in incidence and mortality of leading cancer in Guangzhou, China from 2004 to 2015.

Methods: Data were collected from the population-based registry in Guangzhou. Age-standardized incidence rate (ASIR) and age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) were calculated and Joinpoint regression was used for evaluating the average annual percent changes (AAPC) among the entire study period and the estimated annual percent changes (EAPC) in time segments. The effects of age, period, and birth cohort were assessed by the age-period-cohort model.

Results: The age-standardized incidence and mortality by the world standard population decreased significantly among males with AAPC of -1.7% (95% CI: -3.0%, 0.2%) and -2.7% (95% CI: -4.3%, -1.1%) for all malignancies during 2004-2015, while among females, the age-standardized incidence had a non-significant reduction with AAPC of -1.3% (95% CI: -2.8%, 0.2%) and the age-standardized mortality demonstrated a remarkable decline (AAPC -2.0%, 95% CI: -3.6%, -0.3%). For males, the most commonly diagnosed cancers were trachea, bronchus, and lung (TBL), liver, colorectal, nasopharyngeal, stomach, and prostate cancer. For females, breast, TBL, colorectal, liver stomach, and thyroid cancer ranked the top. Unfavorable trends were observed in ASIR of colorectal, thyroid, and prostate cancer. APC models yielded different ages, periods, and birth cohort effect patterns by cancer sites.

Conclusions: Cancer burden remained a public health challenge in Guangzhou as the aging population and lifestyles changes, despite declines in incidence and mortality rates in some cancers. Surveillance of cancer trends contributed to valuable insights into cancer prevention and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026941PMC
April 2021

Explainable automated coding of clinical notes using hierarchical label-wise attention networks and label embedding initialisation.

J Biomed Inform 2021 04 9;116:103728. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Institute of Health Informatics, University College London, London, United Kingdom; Health Data Research UK, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Diagnostic or procedural coding of clinical notes aims to derive a coded summary of disease-related information about patients. Such coding is usually done manually in hospitals but could potentially be automated to improve the efficiency and accuracy of medical coding. Recent studies on deep learning for automated medical coding achieved promising performances. However, the explainability of these models is usually poor, preventing them to be used confidently in supporting clinical practice. Another limitation is that these models mostly assume independence among labels, ignoring the complex correlations among medical codes which can potentially be exploited to improve the performance.

Methods: To address the issues of model explainability and label correlations, we propose a Hierarchical Label-wise Attention Network (HLAN), which aimed to interpret the model by quantifying importance (as attention weights) of words and sentences related to each of the labels. Secondly, we propose to enhance the major deep learning models with a label embedding (LE) initialisation approach, which learns a dense, continuous vector representation and then injects the representation into the final layers and the label-wise attention layers in the models. We evaluated the methods using three settings on the MIMIC-III discharge summaries: full codes, top-50 codes, and the UK NHS (National Health Service) COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) shielding codes. Experiments were conducted to compare the HLAN model and label embedding initialisation to the state-of-the-art neural network based methods, including variants of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs).

Results: HLAN achieved the best Micro-level AUC and F on the top-50 code prediction, 91.9% and 64.1%, respectively; and comparable results on the NHS COVID-19 shielding code prediction to other models: around 97% Micro-level AUC. More importantly, in the analysis of model explanations, by highlighting the most salient words and sentences for each label, HLAN showed more meaningful and comprehensive model interpretation compared to the CNN-based models and its downgraded baselines, HAN and HA-GRU. Label embedding (LE) initialisation significantly boosted the previous state-of-the-art model, CNN with attention mechanisms, on the full code prediction to 52.5% Micro-level F. The analysis of the layers initialised with label embeddings further explains the effect of this initialisation approach. The source code of the implementation and the results are openly available at https://github.com/acadTags/Explainable-Automated-Medical-Coding.

Conclusion: We draw the conclusion from the evaluation results and analyses. First, with hierarchical label-wise attention mechanisms, HLAN can provide better or comparable results for automated coding to the state-of-the-art, CNN-based models. Second, HLAN can provide more comprehensive explanations for each label by highlighting key words and sentences in the discharge summaries, compared to the n-grams in the CNN-based models and the downgraded baselines, HAN and HA-GRU. Third, the performance of deep learning based multi-label classification for automated coding can be consistently boosted by initialising label embeddings that captures the correlations among labels. We further discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the overall method regarding its potential to be deployed to a hospital and suggest areas for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2021.103728DOI Listing
April 2021

Machine Learning for the Prediction of Red Blood Cell Transfusion in Patients During or After Liver Transplantation Surgery.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 22;8:632210. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Blood Transfusion, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China.

This study aimed to use machine learning algorithms to identify critical preoperative variables and predict the red blood cell (RBC) transfusion during or after liver transplantation surgery. A total of 1,193 patients undergoing liver transplantation in three large tertiary hospitals in China were examined. Twenty-four preoperative variables were collected, including essential population characteristics, diagnosis, symptoms, and laboratory parameters. The cohort was randomly split into a train set (70%) and a validation set (30%). The Recursive Feature Elimination and eXtreme Gradient Boosting algorithms (XGBOOST) were used to select variables and build machine learning prediction models, respectively. Besides, seven other machine learning models and logistic regression were developed. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) was used to compare the prediction performance of different models. The SHapley Additive exPlanations package was applied to interpret the XGBOOST model. Data from 31 patients at one of the hospitals were prospectively collected for model validation. In this study, 72.1% of patients in the training set and 73.2% in the validation set underwent RBC transfusion during or after the surgery. Nine vital preoperative variables were finally selected, including the presence of portal hypertension, age, hemoglobin, diagnosis, direct bilirubin, activated partial thromboplastin time, globulin, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase. The XGBOOST model presented significantly better predictive performance (AUROC: 0.813) than other models and also performed well in the prospective dataset (accuracy: 76.9%). A model for predicting RBC transfusion during or after liver transplantation was successfully developed using a machine learning algorithm based on nine preoperative variables, which could guide high-risk patients to take appropriate preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.632210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937729PMC
February 2021

Sex-specific associations of circulating testosterone levels with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 May;184(5):723-732

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, International Joint Research Center on Environment and Human Health, Center for Global Health, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Objective: Testosterone is a critical determinant of health in both genders. However, the relationship between circulating levels of testosterone and mortality remains undetermined.

Methods: We examined the associations of serum total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in 154 965 men and 93 314 postmenopausal women from UK Biobank. Cox regression models were used to calculate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% CIs. Given multiple testing, P < 0.005 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 8.9 (inter-quartile range: 8.3-9.5) years, we documented 5754 deaths in men, including 1243 (21.6%) from CVD and 2987 (51.9%) from cancer. In postmenopausal women, 2435 deaths occurred, including 346 (14.2%) from CVD and 1583 (65.0%) from cancer. TT and FT concentrations were inversely associated with all-cause mortality in men, with the multivariable HR of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.75-0.91) and 0.80 (95% CI: 0.73-0.87) for the highest (Q5) vs the lowest quintile (Q1), respectively. In postmenopausal women, TT concentrations showed a positive association with all-cause mortality (HR for Q5 vs Q1 = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.06-1.37). Furthermore, higher TT and FT concentrations were associated with a lower risk of cancer mortality in men (both P for trend = 0.001), whereas TT concentrations were suggestively associated with a higher risk of cancer mortality in postmenopausal women (P for trend = 0.03).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high levels of circulating testosterone may be beneficial for all-cause and cancer mortality in men but detrimental in postmenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-1253DOI Listing
May 2021

Construction of an immune-related gene signature to predict survival and treatment outcome in gastric cancer.

Sci Prog 2021 Jan-Mar;104(1):36850421997286

Department of Medical Oncology, the First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.

Immune cells have emerged as key regulators in the occurrence and development of multiple tumor types. However, it is unclear whether immune-related genes (IRGs) and the tumor immune microenvironment can predict prognosis for patients with gastric cancer (GC). The mRNA expression data in GC tissues ( = 368) were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Differentially expressed IRGs in patients with GC were determined using a computational difference algorithm. A prognostic signature was constructed using COX regression and random survival forest (RSF) analyses. In addition, datasets related to "gemcitabine resistance" and "trastuzumab resistance" (GSE58118 and GSE77346) were obtained for GEO database, and DEGs associated with drug-resistance were screened. Then, we analyzed correlations between gene expression and cancer immune infiltrates via Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER) site. The cBioportal database was used to analyze drug-resistant gene mutation status and survival. One hundred and fifty-five differentially expressed IRGs were screened between GC and normal tissues, and a prognostic signature consisting of four IRGs (NRP1, PPP3R1, IL17RA, and FGF16) was closely related to the overall survival (OS). According to cutoff value of risk score, patients were divided into high-risk and low-risk group. Patients in the high-risk group had shorter OS compared to the low-risk group in both the training ( < 0.0001) and testing sets ( = 0.0021). In addition, we developed a 5-IRGs (LGR6, DKK1, TNFRSF1B, NRP1, and CXCR4) signature which may participate in drug resistance processes in GC. Survival analysis showed that patients with drug-resistant gene mutations had shorter OS ( = 0.0459) and DFS ( < 0.001). We constructed four survival-related IRGs and five IRGs related to drug resistance which may contribute to predict the prognosis of GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0036850421997286DOI Listing
March 2021

Synchronous Interface Modification and Bulk Passivation via a One-Step Cesium Bromide Diffusion Process for Highly Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Mar 19;13(8):10110-10119. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Technology Disciplines State Key Laboratory, Shaanxi Joint Key Laboratory of Graphene, School of Microelectronics, Xidian University, Xi'an 710071, China.

Perovskite film modification is one of the most effective methods to improve the performance of perovskite solar cells. The modification should follow its characters of an asymmetric structure and the corresponding charge transportation and extraction. In this work, it is shown that synchronous interface modification and bulk passivation for highly efficient PSCs can be achieved by a one-step cesium bromide (CsBr) diffusion process because it is more suitable for an asymmetric structure. The synchronous interface modification and bulk asymmetric passivation can be better applied to the asymmetric PSC structure and can boost the power conversion efficiency apparently from 19.5 to 22.1%. It is shown that the perovskite crystallization is improved and the charge extraction is also enhanced obviously due to the better band alignment matching. The diffusion of CsBr into the perovskite bulk could form a gradient distribution, which is more applicable to the asymmetric charge transport and extraction. Thus, the CsBr at the interface between the electronic transport layer (ETL) and perovskite, as well as in the perovskite bulk, could suppress charge recombination. All of these factors can improve the and as well as the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the PSCs. The results point out that the studied method is a simple and efficient way to fabricate high-performance PSCs by interface modification and bulk asymmetric passivation in a single step.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c00066DOI Listing
March 2021

Plasma sex hormones and risk of conventional and serrated precursors of colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women.

BMC Med 2021 Jan 28;19(1):18. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 667 Huntington Avenue, Kresge 906A, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Background: Sex hormones have been suggested to play a role in colorectal cancer (CRC), but their influence on early initiation of CRC remains unknown.

Methods: We retrospectively examined the associations with risk of CRC precursors, including conventional adenomas and serrated polyps, for plasma estrone, estradiol, free estradiol, testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and the ratio of estradiol to testosterone among 5404 postmenopausal women from the Nurses' Health Study I and II. Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Given multiple testing, P < 0.005 was considered statistically significant.

Results: During 20 years of follow-up, we documented 535 conventional adenoma cases and 402 serrated polyp cases. Higher concentrations of SHBG were associated with lower risk of conventional adenomas, particularly advanced adenomas (multivariable OR comparing the highest to the lowest quartile, 0.40, 95% CI 0.24-0.67, P for trend < 0.0001). A nominally significant association was found for SHBG with lower risk of large serrated polyps (≥ 10 mm) (OR, 0.47, 95% CI 0.17-1.35, P for trend = 0.02) as well as free estradiol and free testosterone with higher risk of conventional adenomas (OR, 1.54, 95% CI 1.02-2.31, P for trend = 0.03 and OR, 1.33, 95% CI 0.99-1.78, P for trend = 0.03, respectively).

Conclusions: The findings suggest a potential role of sex hormones, particularly SHBG, in early colorectal carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01895-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841996PMC
January 2021

Risk Factors and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer According to Major Molecular Subtypes.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2021 Feb 7;5(1):pkaa089. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease that can develop via 3 major pathways: conventional, serrated, and alternate. We aimed to examine whether the risk factor profiles differ according to pathway-related molecular subtypes.

Methods: We examined the association of 24 risk factors with 4 CRC molecular subtypes based on a combinatorial status of microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and and mutations by collecting data from 2 large US cohorts. We used inverse probability weighted duplication-method Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate differential associations across subtypes.

Results: We documented 1175 CRC patients with molecular subtype data: subtype 1 (n = 498; conventional pathway; non-MSI-high, CIMP-low or negative, -wild-type, -wild-type), subtype 2 (n = 138; serrated pathway; any MSI status, CIMP-high, -mutated, -wild-type), subtype 3 (n = 367; alternate pathway; non-MSI-high, CIMP-low or negative, -wild-type, -mutated), and subtype 4 (n = 172; other marker combinations). Statistically significant heterogeneity in associations with CRC subtypes was found for age, sex, and smoking, with a higher hazard ratio (HR) observed for the subtype 2 (HR per 10 years of age = 2.64, 95% CI = 2.13 to 3.26; HR for female = 2.65, 95% CI = 1.60 to 4.39; HR per 20-pack-year of smoking = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.45) than other CRC subtypes (all < .005). A stronger association was found for adiposity measures with subtype 1 CRC in men and subtype 3 CRC in women and for several dietary factors with subtype 1 CRC, although these differences did not achieve statistical significance at α  level of .005.

Conclusions: Risk factor profiles may differ for CRC arising from different molecular pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pkaa089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791624PMC
February 2021

Pre-diagnostic circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 and risk of COVID-19 mortality: results from UK Biobank.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Mar 9;36(3):311-318. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, International Joint Research Center on Environment and Human Health, Center for Global Health, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, 101 Longmian Avenue, Nanjing, 211166, China.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deteriorates suddenly primarily due to excessive inflammatory injury, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is implicated in endocrine control of the immune system. However, the effect of IGF-1 levels on COVID-19 prognosis remains unknown. Using UK Biobank resource, we investigated the association between circulating IGF-1 concentrations and mortality risk (available death data updated on 07 Sep 2020) among COVID-19 patients who had pre-diagnostic serum IGF-1 measurements at baseline (2006-2010). Unconditional logistic regression was performed to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of mortality. Among 1670 COVID-19 patients, 415 deaths occurred due to COVID-19. Compared to the lowest quartile of IGF-1 concentrations, the highest quartile was associated with a 41% lower risk of mortality (OR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.41-0.86, P-trend = 0.01). In the continuous model, per 1-standard deviation increment in log-transformed IGF-1 was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk (intraclass correlation coefficients corrected OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.73-0.99). The association was largely consistent in the various stratified and sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, our data suggest that higher IGF-1 concentrations are associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 mortality. Further studies are required to determine whether and how targeting IGF-1 pathway might improve COVID-19 prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00709-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794621PMC
March 2021

Construction of homologous cancer cell membrane camouflage in a nano-drug delivery system for the treatment of lymphoma.

J Nanobiotechnology 2021 Jan 6;19(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Blood Transfusion, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410013, People's Republic of China.

Background: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) possesses great heterogeneity in cytogenetics, immunophenotype and clinical features, and chemotherapy currently serves as the main treatment modality. Although employing monoclonal antibody targeted drugs has significantly improved its overall efficacy, various patients continue to suffer from drug resistance or recurrence. Chinese medicine has long been used in the treatment of malignant tumors. Therefore, we constructed a low pH value sensitivity drug delivery system based on the cancer cell membrane modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with traditional Chinese medicine, which can reduce systemic toxicity and improve the therapeutic effect for the targeted drug delivery of tumor cells.

Results: Accordingly, this study put forward the construction of a nano-platform based on mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) loaded with the traditional Chinese medicine isoimperatorin (ISOIM), which was camouflaged by the cancer cell membrane (CCM) called CCM@MSNs-ISOIM. The proposed nano-platform has characteristics of immune escape, anti-phagocytosis, high drug loading rate, low pH value sensitivity, good biocompatibility and active targeting of the tumor site, blocking the lymphoma cell cycle and promoting mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.

Conclusions: Furthermore, this study provides a theoretical basis in finding novel clinical treatments for lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12951-020-00738-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789287PMC
January 2021

Construction of biomimetic silver nanoparticles in the treatment of lymphoma.

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2021 Feb 17;119:111648. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Blood Transfusion, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410013, PR China. Electronic address:

Lymphoma is a well-known malignant tumor in the human body. Although many anticancer drugs have been developed to improve the survival rate of patients, about 40% of patients continue to be recurrent or refractory, a key issue needing remedy. Therefore, it is necessary to identify alternative treatments to reduce the disease's mortality. To this effect, a new type of anti-lymphoma nanocomplex FA@RBCm-AgNPs was prepared using AgNPs as the core of nanoparticles along with the targeting molecule folic acid inserted erythrocyte membrane as the shell. The biomimetic properties of red blood cell membrane (RBCm) endow F-RAN with good biocompatibility as well as the ability to evade clearance of the reticuloendothelial system. In addition, F-RAN was modified with folic acid to actively and selectively identify tumor cells. In vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrate that F-RAN can inhibit lymphoma cells and induce apoptosis of stem cells while promoting apoptosis of lymphoma with no obvious side effects. Hence, F-RAN may serve as a new treatment for lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2020.111648DOI Listing
February 2021

Ultrawide Band Gap Oxide Semiconductor-Triggered Performance Improvement of Perovskite Solar Cells via the Novel GaO/SnO Composite Electron-Transporting Bilayer.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Dec 26;12(49):54703-54710. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Shaanxi Joint Key Laboratory of Graphene, Xidian University, Xi'an 710071, China.

The performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs), especially for the parameters of open-circuit voltage () and fill factor, is seriously restricted by the unavoidable interfacial charge recombination. In this study, an ultrawide band gap semiconductor material of GaO is introduced between fluorine-doped tin oxide and SnO to regulate the interfacial charge dynamics by forming the GaO/SnO electron-transporting bilayer. GaO has an appropriate conduction band minimum which benefits the electron transport, and at the same time, it has a very deep valence band maximum which could be regarded as an effective blocking layer. Such an innovative structure triggers the advantages of a lower work function and a smoother surface of the electron-transporting bilayer which leads to a high-quality perovskite film. Furthermore, superior hole-blocking properties of the introduced GaO layer could effectively reduce the interfacial recombination. All the properties could help to improve the extracting and transporting ability of charge carriers synergistically. Finally, the efficiency and stability of PSCs are greatly enhanced. All results suggest that the performance of PSCs could be improved effectively by introducing the ultrawide band gap oxide semiconductor of GaO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c16168DOI Listing
December 2020

Circulating liver function markers and colorectal cancer risk: A prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 2;148(8):1867-1878. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Evidence links the liver to development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, it remains unknown how liver function may influence CRC risk in the general population. We conducted a prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank of 375 693 participants who provided blood samples in 2006 to 2010. Circulating levels of liver function markers (alanine transaminase [ALT], aspartate transaminase [AST], total bilirubin [TBIL], gamma glutamyltransferase [GGT], alkaline phosphatase [ALP], total protein [TP] and albumin [ALB]) were measured. Incident cancer cases were identified through linkage to the national cancer registry up to 2019. Repeated biomarker measurements were available from a subset of 11 320 participants who were re-assessed in 2012 to 2013. After a median follow-up of 10.0 years, we documented 2662 cases of CRC. Circulating levels of ALT, AST, TBIL, GGT, TP and ALB at baseline were inversely associated with CRC risk (P < .01), with multivariable hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) comparing decile 10 vs 1 of 0.62 (0.51-0.75), 0.63 (0.53-0.75), 0.85 (0.72-1.02), 0.74 (0.61-0.89), 0.70 (0.59-0.84) and 0.66 (0.55-0.79), respectively. Strengthened associations were found after recalibration for repeated measurements. The associations appeared stronger for proximal colon cancer than distal colon cancer and rectal cancer, but consistent for early-, mid- and late-onset CRC. In a large cohort of general population, the UK Biobank, higher circulating levels of ALT, AST, TBIL, GGT, TP and ALB, largely within the normal range, were associated with a lower risk of CRC. The findings support a link between liver function and CRC, and may spur future research on the gut-microbiota-liver axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33351DOI Listing
April 2021

Red Hair Color Is Associated with Elevated CRP Levels among US Women.

J Invest Dermatol 2021 May 13;141(5):1342-1344. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Epidemiology, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2020.09.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8041909PMC
May 2021

Association between ambient ozone pollution and mortality from a spectrum of causes in Guangzhou, China.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 31;754:142110. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China; JNU-QUT Joint Laboratory for Air Quality Science and Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China; Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Joint Laboratory of Collaborative Innovation for Environmental Quality, Guangzhou 511443, China. Electronic address:

Ambient ozone (O) has emerged as an important public health issue worldwide. Previous studies found an association between O and cardiorespiratory mortality. However, evidence was limited regarding the risk of O on mortality from other diseases. In this study, we aimed to estimate the association between O and mortality from a broad spectrum of diseases in Guangzhou, China, which has experienced a rapid increase in O concentration over the past decades. Daily data were obtained on cause-specific mortality, air pollutant concentrations and weather conditions during 2013-2018. A generalized additive model with quasi-Poisson regression was applied to examine the association between O and mortality from 10 broad causes and 26 refined subcategories, with adjustment of long-term and seasonal trends, weather conditions, public holidays and days of the week. We found that the threshold concentrations of O were 40 μg/m for all-cause, non-accidental, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality. Mortality risk increased monotonically with O concentrations above the threshold. Per 10 μg/m increase of O at lag 0-3 days was associated with 0.54% (95%CI: 0.34-0.74%), 0.56% (95%CI: 0.36-0.76%), 0.59% (95%CI: 0.30-0.88%), 0.78% (95%CI: 0.33-1.24%) and 0.52% (95%CI: 0.21-0.83%) elevated risk of death from all causes, non-accidental causes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and neoplasms, respectively. Among the subcategories, the largest effect estimate was observed in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The elderly suffered from a higher mortality risk from O. Stringent emission control strategies and multi-sectoral collaborations are needed to reduce the detrimental impact of O on vulnerable populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142110DOI Listing
February 2021

Lactobacillus plantarum surface-displayed influenza antigens (NP-M2) with FliC flagellin stimulate generally protective immune responses against H9N2 influenza subtypes in chickens.

Vet Microbiol 2020 Oct 27;249:108834. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

College of Animal Science and Technology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin Provincial Engineering Research Center of Animal Probiotics, Key Laboratory of Animal Production and Product Quality Safety of Ministry of Education, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, China. Electronic address:

The H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) causes serious economic losses to the poultry industry every year. Vaccines that induce a mucosal immune response may be successful against influenza virus infection because its transmission occurs primarily in the mucosa. To develop novel and potent oral vaccines based on Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) to control the spread of AIV in poultry industry, in the present study, we constructed and expressed fusions of the influenza antigens NP and M2 with the Salmonella Typhimurium flagellinprotein FliC on the surface of L. plantarum. Oral immunization of chicks was performed, and serum antibodies, mucosal antibodies, and specific cellular immunity were detected. Immunizing chicks with avian influenza virus was evaluated. The results showed high levels of IgG in addition to high levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in chickens orally administered recombinant L. plantarum. In addition, the fusion may significantly increase the levels of NP- and M2-specific T cell-mediated immunity in the case of mucosal administration of NC8-pSIP409-pgsA'-NP-M2-FliC. Recombinant NC8-pSIP409-pgsA'-NP-M2-FliC mediated effectively protected chickens against influenza virus and reduced virus titers in the lung. Our study outcomes indicate that the expression of influenza NP-M2 and a mucosal adjuvant (FliC), by L. plantarum could generate a mucosal vaccine candidate for animals in the future to defend against AIVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2020.108834DOI Listing
October 2020

A Non-Linear Temperature Compensation Model for Improving the Measurement Accuracy of an Inductive Proximity Sensor and Its Application-Specific Integrated Circuit Implementation.

Sensors (Basel) 2020 Sep 3;20(17). Epub 2020 Sep 3.

The School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No. 28, Xianning West Road, Xi'an 710049, China.

The non-linear characteristic of a non-contacting Inductive Proximity Sensor (IPS) with the temperature affects the computation accuracy when measuring the target distance in real time. The linear model based method for distance estimation shows a large deviation at a low temperature. Accordingly, this paper presents a non-linear measurement model, which computes the target distance accurately in real time within a wide temperature range from -55 °C to 125 °C. By revisiting the temperature effect on the IPS system, this paper considers the non-linear characteristic of the IPS measurement system due to the change of temperature. The proposed model adopts a non-linear polynomial algorithm rather than the simple linear Look-Up Table (LUT) method, which provides more accurate distance estimation compared to the previous work. The introduced model is fabricated in a 0.18 μm Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process and packaged in a CQFN40. For the most commonly used sensing distance of 4 mm, the computed distance deviation of the Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips falls within the range of [-0.2,0.2] mm. According to the test results of the ASIC chips, this non-linear temperature compensation model successfully achieves real-time and high-accuracy computation within a wide temperature range with low hardware resource consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s20175010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7506972PMC
September 2020

Synthesis and biological study of class I selective HDAC inhibitors with NO releasing activity.

Bioorg Chem 2020 11 26;104:104235. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Ji'nan, Shandong 250012, PR China. Electronic address:

Based on the multi-mechanism antitumor strategy and the regulatory effect of nitric oxide (NO) on histone deacetylases (HDACs), a series of N-acyl-o-phenylenediamine-based HDAC inhibitors equipped with the phenylsulfonylfuroxan module as NO donor was designed, synthesized and biologically evaluated. The in vitro HDAC inhibitory assays revealed that compared with the clinical class I selective HDAC inhibitor MS275, compounds 7c, 7d and 7e possessed similar HDAC inhibitory potency and selective profile, which were confirmed by the results of western blot analysis. The western blot analysis also showed that NO scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) could weaken the intracellular HDAC inhibitory ability of compound 7c, supporting the HDAC inhibitory effect of NO generated by 7c. It is worth noting that compounds 7c, 7d and 7e exhibited more potent in vitro antiproliferative activities than MS275 against all four tested solid tumor cell lines. The promising in vivo antitumor potency of 7c was demonstrated in a HCT116 xenograft model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioorg.2020.104235DOI Listing
November 2020

Metabolomic Signatures of Long-term Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women.

Diabetes Care 2020 10 11;43(10):2588-2596. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Objective: Coffee may protect against multiple chronic diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms remain unclear.

Research Design And Methods: Leveraging dietary and metabolomic data in two large cohorts of women (the Nurses' Health Study [NHS] and NHSII), we identified and validated plasma metabolites associated with coffee intake in 1,595 women. We then evaluated the prospective association of coffee-related metabolites with diabetes risk and the added predictivity of these metabolites for diabetes in two nested case-control studies ( = 457 case and 1,371 control subjects).

Results: Of 461 metabolites, 34 were identified and validated to be associated with total coffee intake, including 13 positive associations (primarily trigonelline, polyphenol metabolites, and caffeine metabolites) and 21 inverse associations (primarily triacylglycerols [TAGs] and diacylglycerols [DAGs]). These associations were generally consistent for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, except for caffeine and its metabolites that were only associated with caffeinated coffee intake. The three cholesteryl esters positively associated with coffee intake showed inverse associations with diabetes risk, whereas the 12 metabolites negatively associated with coffee (5 DAGs and 7 TAGs) showed positive associations with diabetes. Adding the 15 diabetes-associated metabolites to a classical risk factor-based prediction model increased the C-statistic from 0.79 (95% CI 0.76, 0.83) to 0.83 (95% CI 0.80, 0.86) ( < 0.001). Similar improvement was observed in the validation set.

Conclusions: Coffee consumption is associated with widespread metabolic changes, among which lipid metabolites may be critical for the antidiabetes benefit of coffee. Coffee-related metabolites might help improve prediction of diabetes, but further validation studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-0800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7510042PMC
October 2020

A Nano-Traditional Chinese Medicine Against Lymphoma That Regulates the Level of Reactive Oxygen Species.

Front Chem 2020 14;8:565. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Department of Blood Transfusion, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Jolkinolide B (JB) is a bioactive compound isolated from a Chinese herbal medicine that exerts antitumor activity. However, the anti-lymphoma effect of JB and its mechanism are yet to be revealed. Because free JB has poor pharmacokinetics and weak antitumor efficacy, we opted to use black phosphorus quantum dot (BPQD) nanomaterials as a drug loading platform to synthesize a nano-traditional Chinese medicine (nano-TCM) called BPQDs@JB. Compared with free JB, Raji cells administrated with BPQDs@JB exhibited the cell viability of 19.85 ± 1.02%, and the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was promoted. Likewise, BPQDs@JB was capable of rising the apoptosis rate of Raji cells to 34.98 ± 1.76%. In nude mice transplanted tumor model administrated with BPQDs@JB, the tumor tissue sections administrated with BPQDS@JB achieved a conspicuous red fluorescence, demonstrating the presence of most ROS production in the BPQDS@JB. TUNEL achieved a number of positive (brown) nuclei , revealing that BPQDS@JB could significantly induce tumor tissue apoptosis. As revealed from the mentioned results, BPQDs@JB can generate considerable ROS and interfere with the redox state to inhibit tumor. In brief, BPQDs@JB may be adopted as a treatment option for lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2020.00565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7381219PMC
July 2020

Body shape trajectories and mortality in the Seguimiento universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2020 09 12;30(10):1742-1750. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

University of Navarra, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Pamplona, Spain; IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, Pamplona, Spain; Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red Area de Fisiologia de la Obesidad y la Nutricion (CIBEROBN), Madrid, Spain; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background And Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the association between body shape trajectories and all-cause mortality in a Mediterranean cohort.

Methods And Results: Using a group-based modeling approach to fit body shape trajectories from the age of 5-40 years, among 11,423 participants from the Spanish SUN cohort, we assessed the subsequent risk of all-cause mortality. To create the trajectories, we used a censored normal model as a polynomial function of age. Cox regression models adjusted for sex, age, years of university education, marital status, smoking status, package-years of smoking, and recruitment period were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) for mortality according to each assigned trajectory. Overall, five distinct trajectories were identified: "lean-moderate increase," "medium-moderate increase," "medium-stable," "heavy-medium," and "heavy-moderate increase." During 106,657 person-years of follow-up, we observed 240 deaths. Compared with those who maintained a medium body shape in early and middle life ("medium-stable" trajectory), those who were heavy and had a moderate increase ("heavy-moderate increase" trajectory) showed higher mortality risk [HR = 1.91 (95% confidence interval: 1.14-3.21)]. In contrast, participants who were heavy in early life, and then decreased their body shape during early adulthood, and maintained a medium body shape throughout middle adulthood ("heavy-medium"), tend to exhibit lower mortality risk [HR = 0.60 (0.34-1.05)], similarly to those who were lean at childhood and had a moderate increase during adulthood ("lean-moderate increase") [HR = 0.82 (0.58-1.15)].

Conclusion: A moderate increase in body shape among subjects who were already heavy at early life was associated with higher risk of mortality in a Mediterranean cohort of university graduates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2020.06.002DOI Listing
September 2020

Electro-assisted regeneration of pH-sensitive ion exchangers for sustainable phosphate removal and recovery.

Water Res 2020 Oct 10;184:116167. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA; Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), Stanford, CA, 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Removal and recovery of phosphate from wastewater can minimize deleterious environmental impacts and supplement fertilizer supply. Hybrid anion exchangers (HAIX, with doped ferric oxide nanoparticles (FeOnp)) can remove phosphate from complex wastewaters and recover concentrated phosphate solutions. In this study, we integrate HAIX with a weak acid cation exchanger (WAC) to enrich phosphate and calcium in mild regenerants and precipitate both elements for recovery. We demonstrated an electro-assisted regeneration approach to avoid strong acid and base input. Based on demonstrated pH sensitivities of both materials, electrochemically produced mild electrolytes (pH 3 and pH 11), which are 100-1000 times less concentrated than typical regenerants, preserved 80% WAC and 50% HAIX capacities over five batch adsorption-regeneration cycles. FeOnp in HAIX facilitated regeneration due to pH sensitivity and their likely distribution on the resin particle surface, which reduced intraparticle diffusion path length. In column tests, repeatable phosphate removal (> 95%) from synthetic wastewater (3 mg P/L) was achieved with 20 kWh/kg P specific energy consumption. After removal, a similar 50% HAIX regeneration efficiency as batch experiments was achieved. In spent regenerant, more than 95% phosphorus was recovered as hydroxyapatite. This novel approach enhances ion exchange by minimizing chemical inputs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116167DOI Listing
October 2020

Circulating sex hormone levels in relation to male sperm quality.

BMC Urol 2020 Jul 17;20(1):101. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 211166, China.

Background: Although sex hormones play critical roles in spermatogenesis and sperm maturation, it remains inconclusive whether circulating sex hormones can serve as non-invasive biomarkers to improve the assessment of sperm quality.

Methods: We systematically evaluated the association of various sex hormones in serum with sperm quality among 338 men in subfertile couples. Concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone (TT), total estradiol (E2), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were detected by chemiluminescent immunoassay. Free testosterone and estradiol were calculated using a validated algorithm. A generalized liner regression model controlling for lifestyle factors was used to evaluate the associations with sperm count, concentration, motility, and morphology.

Results: After adjusting for age, body mass index, current smoking and alcohol drinking, LH, FSH, and TT levels were all inversely associated with sperm motility (all P for trend < 0.05); however, in mutual adjustment analysis, only LH remained an inverse association with sperm motility after adjusting for FSH and TT levels (P for trend = 0.04). Higher concentrations of LH were also associated with lower sperm progressive motility (P for trend = 0.04). Moreover, LH and FSH levels were both inversely associated with normal sperm morphology (P for trend = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively).

Conclusions: Increased levels of LH are associated with poor sperm motility and morphology, suggesting that LH may play a central role in sperm maturation. Future studies are warranted to assess potential clinical utility of LH for risk stratification and tailed prevention of male infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12894-020-00674-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367383PMC
July 2020