Publications by authors named "Heng Chen"

181 Publications

Parvaxanthines D-F and Asponguanosines C and D, Racemic Natural Hybrids from the Insect .

Molecules 2021 Jun 9;26(12). Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

Five new compounds including three pairs of enantiomeric xanthine analogues, parvaxanthines D-F (-), two new guanosine derivatives, asponguanosines C and D ( and ), along with two known adenine derivatives were isolated from the insect . Racemic - were further separated by chiral HPLC. Their absolute configurations were assigned by spectroscopic and computational methods. It is interesting that all of these isolates are natural product hybrids. Antiviral, immunosuppressive, antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties of all the isolates were evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26123531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8229431PMC
June 2021

Post-translational Formation of Aminomalonate by a Promiscuous Peptide-modifying Radical SAM Enzyme.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Fudan University, Chemistry, 220 Handan Rd Yuanchengying Building 415, 200433, Shanghai, CHINA.

Aminomalonate (Ama) is a widespread structural motif in Nature, whereas its biosynthetic route is only partially understood. In this study, we show that a radical S-adenosylmethionine (rSAM) enzyme involved in cyclophane biosynthesis exhibits remarkable catalytic promiscuity. This enzyme, named three-residue cyclophane forming enzyme (3-CyFE), mainly produces cyclophane in vivo, whereas it produces formylglycine (FGly) as a major product and barely produce cyclophane in vitro. Importantly, the enzyme can further oxidize FGly to produce Ama. Bioinformatics study revealed that 3-CyFEs have evolved from a common ancestor with anaerobic sulfatase maturases (anSMEs), and possess a similar set of catalytic residues with anSMEs. Remarkably, the enzyme does not need leader peptide for activity and is fully active on a truncated peptide containing only 5 amino acids of the core sequence. Our work discloses the first ribosomal path towards Ama formation, providing a possible hint for the rich occurrence of Ama in Nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202107192DOI Listing
June 2021

Effects of temperature on the growth and carbohydrate production of three benthic dinoflagellate species from Hainan Island, South China Sea.

Ecotoxicology 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Dinoflagellates in the genera Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus are typical members of the marine benthic community particularly in tropical areas. Their geographic distribution has shown an increasing expansion towards temperate waters recently due to the global warming and climate changes; however, the knowledge is little of how the increasing temperatures might influence the physiological characteristics of Ostreopsis spp. and Gambierdiscus spp. Here, we carried out experiments to understand the effect of different temperatures on the growth, chlorophyll a content, and carbohydrate yield of Chinese strains of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, O. lenticularis, and Gambierdiscus caribaeus. Specifically, seven temperatures (15, 17.5, 20, 25, 30, 32.5, and 35 °C) were set for the two Ostreopsis species and five temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 °C) were set for G. caribaeus. Our results suggested that both Ostreopsis (both species were 17.5-32.5 °C) and Gambierdiscus (20-35 °C) could survive a wide range of temperatures, consistent with the record worldwide. Cell density and chlorophyll a content were observed to be higher at high temperatures (30 and 32.5 °C) for both Ostreopsis species whereas G. caribaeus reached the maximum cell density and highest growth rate at 20 °C. Higher carbohydrate yield was detected in the suboptimal temperatures for all three dinoflagellates especially during the decaying phase. Our study reveals the optimal temperatures for the growth of three benthic harmful dinoflagellate species and provides insight into how the increasing temperature will affect their abundance as well as distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10646-021-02428-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Differences in Maturation Status and Immune Phenotypes of Circulating Helios and Helios Tregs and Their Disrupted Correlations With Monocyte Subsets in Autoantibody-Positive T1D Individuals.

Front Immunol 2021 12;12:628504. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

CD4 Tregs are involved in the regulation of various autoimmune diseases but believed to be highly heterogeneous. Studies have indicated that Helios controls a distinct subset of functional Tregs. However, the immunological changes in circulating Helios and Helios Tregs are not fully explored in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we elucidated the differences in maturation status and immune regulatory phenotypes of Helios and Helios Tregs and their correlations with monocyte subsets in T1D individuals. As CD25 FOXP3 Tregs also represent a subset of functional Tregs, we defined Tregs as FOXP3CD127 and examined circulating Helios and Helios Treg subpopulations in 68 autoantibody-positive T1D individuals and 68 age-matched healthy controls. We found that expression of both FOXP3 and CTLA4 diminished in Helios Tregs, while the proportion of CD25 Tregs increased in Helios Tregs of T1D individuals. Although the frequencies of neither Helios nor Helios Tregs were affected by investigated T1D genetic risk loci, Helios Tregs correlated with age at T1D diagnosis negatively and disease duration positively. Moreover, the negative correlation between central and effector memory proportions of Helios Tregs in healthy controls was disrupted in T1D individuals. Finally, regulatory non-classical and intermediate monocytes also decreased in T1D individuals, and positive correlations between these regulatory monocytes and Helios/Helios Treg subsets in healthy controls disappeared in T1D individuals. In conclusion, we demonstrated the alternations in maturation status and immune phenotypes in Helios and Helios Treg subsets and revealed the missing association between these Treg subsets and monocyte subsets in T1D individuals, which might point out another option for elucidating T1D mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.628504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149963PMC
May 2021

TUPDB: Target-Unrelated Peptide Data Bank.

Interdiscip Sci 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Center for Informational Biology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 611731, China.

The isolation of target-unrelated peptides (TUPs) through biopanning remains as a major problem of phage display selection experiments. These TUPs do not have any actual affinity toward targets of interest, which tend to be mistakenly identified as target-binding peptides. Therefore, an information portal for storing TUP data is urgently needed. Here, we present a TUP data bank (TUPDB), which is a comprehensive, manually curated database of approximately 73 experimentally verified TUPs and 1963 potential TUPs collected from TUPScan, the BDB database, and public research articles. The TUPScan tool has been integrated in TUPDB to facilitate TUP analysis. We believe that TUPDB can help identify and remove TUPs in future reports in the biopanning community. The database is of great importance to improving the quality of phage display-based epitope mapping and promoting the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. The TUPDB database is available at http://i.uestc.edu.cn/tupdb .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12539-021-00436-5DOI Listing
May 2021

Photocatalytic inactivation and destruction of harmful microalgae Karenia mikimotoi under visible-light irradiation: Insights into physiological response and toxicity assessment.

Environ Res 2021 07 7;198:111295. Epub 2021 May 7.

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Catalysis and Health Risk Control, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Laboratory for Contaminants Exposure and Health, Institute of Environmental Health and Pollution Control, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China; Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Environmental Catalysis and Pollution Control, Key Laboratory of City Cluster Environmental Safety and Green Development, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China. Electronic address:

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) caused by Karenia mikimotoi have frequently happened in coastal waters worldwide, causing serious damages to marine ecosystems and economic losses. Photocatalysis has potential to in-situ inhibit algal growth using sustainable sunlight. However, the inactivation and detoxification mechanisms of microalgae in marine environment have not been systematically investigated. In this work, for the first time, visible-light-driven photocatalytic inactivation of K. mikimotoi was attempted using g-CN/TiO immobilized films as a model photocatalyst. The inactivation efficiency could reach 64% within 60 min, evaluated by real-time in vivo chlorophyll-a fluorometric method. The immobilized photocatalyst films also exhibited excellent photo-stability and recyclability. Mechanisms study indicated photo-generated h and O were the dominant reactive species. Algal cell rupture process was monitored by fluorescent microscope combined with SEM observation, which confirmed the damage of cell membrane followed by the leakage of the intracellular components including the entire cell nucleus. The physiological responses regarding up-regulation of antioxidant enzyme activity (i.e. CAT and SOD), intracellular ROSs level and lipid peroxidation were all observed. Moreover, the intracellular release profile and acute toxicity assessment indicated the toxic K. mikimotoi was successfully detoxified, and the released organic matter had no cytotoxicity. This work not only provides a potential new strategy for in-situ treatment of K. mikimotoi using sunlight at sea environments, but also creates avenue for understanding the inactivation and destruction mechanisms of marine microalgae treated by photocatalysis and the toxicity impacts on the marine environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111295DOI Listing
July 2021

[Research Progress in Hepatocyte Growth Factor/Mesenchymal-epithelial Transition Factor Signaling Pathway:Effects and Mechanisms on Resistance to Targeted Therapy for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer].

Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao 2021 Apr;43(2):259-264

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,Daping Hospital,Army Medical University of the People's Liberation Army,Chongqing 400042,China.

Targeted therapy is an important therapeutic method for advanced non-small cell lung cancer with driver gene alteration.However,resistance to targeted therapy will inevitably happen in clinical practice,which has become a major issue demanding prompt solution.Studies have demonstrated that bypass resistance mediated by the activation of hepatocyte growth factor(HGF)/mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor(MET)signaling pathway is a common cause of resistance to targeted therapy.Presently,relevant studies have accumulated rich experience in the specific mechanisms.To be brief,HGF/MET is an important target for overcoming the resistance to targeted therapy and promises to be a leading biomarker for judging and observing the occurrence of resistance.This paper introduces the recent studies concerning the effects and mechanisms of HGF/MET signaling pathway on resistance to targeted therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3881/j.issn.1000-503X.11968DOI Listing
April 2021

Individual-based morphological brain network organization and its association with autistic symptoms in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Jul 2;42(10):3282-3294. Epub 2021 May 2.

The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.

Individual-based morphological brain networks built from T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reflect synchronous maturation intensities between anatomical regions at the individual level. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a socio-cognitive and neurodevelopmental disorder with high neuroanatomical heterogeneity, but the specific patterns of morphological networks in ASD remain largely unexplored at the individual level. In this study, individual-based morphological networks were constructed by using high-resolution structural MRI data from 40 young children with ASD (age range: 2-8 years) and 38 age-, gender-, and handedness-matched typically developing children (TDC). Measurements were recorded as threefold. Results showed that compared with TDC, young children with ASD exhibited lower values of small-worldness (i.e., σ) of individual-level morphological brain networks, increased morphological connectivity in cortico-striatum-thalamic-cortical (CSTC) circuitry, and decreased morphological connectivity in the cortico-cortical network. In addition, morphological connectivity abnormalities can predict the severity of social communication deficits in young children with ASD, thus confirming an associational impact at the behavioral level. These findings suggest that the morphological brain network in the autistic developmental brain is inefficient in segregating and distributing information. The results also highlight the crucial role of abnormal morphological connectivity patterns in the socio-cognitive deficits of ASD and support the possible use of the aberrant developmental patterns of morphological brain networks in revealing new clinically-relevant biomarkers for ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193534PMC
July 2021

Autoimmune thyroid disease correlates to islet autoimmunity on zinc transporter 8 autoantibody.

Endocr Connect 2021 May 19;10(5):534-542. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Objective: The most common coexisting organ-specific autoimmune disease in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, there have been few clinical reports based on a large population about the prevalence of zinc transporter 8 autoantibody (ZnT8A) and other islet autoantibodies in AITD patients. We aimed to explore the presence of islet autoantibodies, ZnT8A, glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADA) and insulinoma-associated antigen 2 autoantibodies (IA-2A) compared with thyroid autoantibodies, thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin autoantibodies (TGAb) and thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies (TRAb) in patients with Graves' disease (GD), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and T1DM patients with AITD.

Methods: Totally, 389 patients with GD, 334 patients with HT, 108 T1DM patients with AITD and 115 healthy controls (HC) were recruited in the study. Islet autoantibodies (ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A) were detected by radioligand binding assay. Thyroid autoantibodies, TPOAb and TGAb were detected by chemiluminescence assay, and TRAb was detected by RIA.

Results: The prevalence of ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A was higher in GD and HT patients than that of HC (ZnT8A: GD 8.48%, HT 10.8% vs HC 1.74%; GADA: GD 7.46%, HT 7.74% vs HC 0.870%; IA-2A: GD 4.88%, HT 3.59% vs HC 0%; All P < 0.05) but lower than that of T1DM subjects with AITD (ZnT8A: 42.6%; IA-2A: 44.4%; GADA: 74.1%; all P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: An increased prevalence of ZnT8A as well as GADA and IA-2A was found in both GD and HT patients, indicating that there is a potential link between thyroid autoimmunity and islet autoimmunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-20-0650DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8183620PMC
May 2021

A novel numerical model of combination levels of C-peptide and insulin in coronary artery disease risk prediction.

Math Biosci Eng 2021 03;18(3):2675-2687

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the First Affiliated Hospital with Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing 210029, China.

Objective: Insulin resistance is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). The C-peptide-to-insulin ratio (C/I) is associated with hepatic insulin clearance and insulin resistance. The current study was designed to establish a novel C/I index (CPIRI) model and provide early risk assessment of CAD.

Methods: A total of 865 adults diagnosed with new-onset diabetes mellitus (DM) within one year and 54 healthy controls (HC) were recruited to develop a CPIRI model. The CPIRI model was established with fasting C/I as the independent variable and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) as the dependent variable. Associations between the CPIRI model and the severity of CAD events were also assessed in 45 hyperglycemic patients with CAD documented via coronary arteriography (CAG) and whom underwent stress echocardiography (SE) and exercise electrocardiography test (EET).

Results: Fasting C-peptide/insulin and HOMA-IR were hyperbolically correlated in DM patients and HC, and log(C/I) and log(HOMA-IR) were linearly and negatively correlated. The respective correlational coefficients were -0.83 (p < 0.001) and -0.76 (p < 0.001). The equations CPIRI(DM) = 670/(C/I)2.24 + 0.25 and CPIRI(HC) = 670/(C/I)2.24 - 1 (F = 1904.39, p < 0.001) were obtained. Patients with insulin resistance exhibited severe coronary artery impairment and myocardial ischemia. In CAD patients there was no significant correlation between insulin resistance and the number of vessels involved.

Conclusions: CPIRI can be used to effectively evaluate insulin resistance, and the combination of CPIRI and non-invasive cardiovascular examination is of great clinical value in the assessment of CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/mbe.2021136DOI Listing
March 2021

Atypical Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Intra/Inter-Sensory Networks Is Related to Symptom Severity in Young Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Front Physiol 2021 24;12:626338. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Ministry of Education (MOE), Key Lab for NeuroInformation, The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been reported to have altered brain connectivity patterns in sensory networks, assessed using resting-state functional magnetic imaging (rs-fMRI). However, the results have been inconsistent. Herein, we aimed to systematically explore the interaction between brain sensory networks in 3-7-year-old boys with ASD ( = 29) using independent component analysis (ICA). Participants were matched for age, head motion, and handedness in the MRI scanner. We estimated the between-group differences in spatial patterns of the sensory resting-state networks (RSNs). Subsequently, the time series of each RSN were extracted from each participant's preprocessed data and associated estimates of interaction strength between intra- and internetwork functional connectivity (FC) and symptom severity in children with ASD. The auditory network (AN), higher visual network (HVN), primary visual network (PVN), and sensorimotor network (SMN) were identified. Relative to TDs, individuals with ASD showed increased FC in the AN and SMN, respectively. Higher positive connectivity between the PVN and HVN in the ASD group was shown. The strength of such connections was associated with symptom severity. The current study might suggest that the abnormal connectivity patterns of the sensory network regions may underlie impaired higher-order multisensory integration in ASD children, and be associated with social impairments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.626338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044873PMC
March 2021

Temporal metabolic and transcriptomic characteristics crossing islets and liver reveal dynamic pathophysiology in diet-induced diabetes.

iScience 2021 Apr 5;24(4):102265. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China.

To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying islet dysfunction and insulin resistance in diet-induced diabetes, we conducted temporal RNA sequencing of tissues responsible for insulin secretion (islets) and action (liver) every 4 weeks in mice on high-fat (HFD) or chow diet for 24 weeks, linking to longitudinal profile of metabolic characteristics. The diverse responses of α, β, and δ cells to glucose and palmitate indicated HFD-induced dynamic deterioration of islet function from dysregulation to failure. Insulin resistance developed with variable time course in different tissues. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis implicated islets and liver jointly programmed β-cell compensatory adaption via cell proliferation at early phase and irreversible islet dysfunction by inappropriate immune response at later stage, and identified interconnected molecules including growth differentiation factor 15. Frequencies of T cell subpopulation showed an early decrement in Tregs followed by increases in Th1 and Th17 cells during progression to diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008187PMC
April 2021

Linked Social-Communication Dimensions and Connectivity in Functional Brain Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Cereb Cortex 2021 Jul;31(8):3899-3910

The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, High-Field Magnetic Resonance Brain Imaging Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, PR China.

Much recent attention has been directed toward elucidating the structure of social interaction-communication dimensions and whether and how these symptom dimensions coalesce with each other in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the underlying neurobiological basis of these symptom dimensions is unknown, especially the association of social interaction and communication dimensions with brain networks. Here, we proposed a method of whole-brain network-based regression to identify the functional networks linked to these symptom dimensions in a large sample of children with ASD. Connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) was established to explore neurobiological evidence that supports the merging of communication and social interaction deficits into one symptom dimension (social/communication deficits). Results showed that the default mode network plays a core role in communication and social interaction dimensions. A primary sensory perceptual network mainly contributed to communication deficits, and high-level cognitive networks mainly contributed to social interaction deficits. CPM revealed that the functional networks associated with these symptom dimensions can predict the merged dimension of social/communication deficits. These findings delineate a link between brain functional networks and symptom dimensions for social interaction and communication and further provide neurobiological evidence supporting the merging of communication and social interaction deficits into one symptom dimension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8258445PMC
July 2021

Podosome formation in the murine palatal mucosae: Its proteolytic role in rete peg formation.

Ann Anat 2021 May 16;235:151703. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School & Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China; Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Electronic address:

Background: Basement membrane remodeling is an indispensable factor for oral mucosal rete peg formation, but how the basement membrane is remodeled remains unclear. Our previous study indicated that keratinocyte growth factor induces the assembly of podosomes, which are dynamic organelles critical for matrix remodeling in human immortalized oral epithelial cells. This study explores podosome formation and its role in basement membrane remodeling during murine oral mucosal rete peg formation.

Methods: Perinatal murine palatal tissue slices were obtained from embryonic day 17.5 (E 17.5) to postnatal day 10.5 (P 10.5) BALB/c mice. Rete peg formation was observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Proteolysis of the basement membrane was detected by immunofluorescence staining. The assembly of podosomes and their correlation with basement membrane proteolysis were investigated by laser scanning confocal microscopy.

Results: The shape of basal layer keratinocytes at the sites of emerging rete pegs changed from typically polygonal to spindle-shaped. Basement membrane proteolysis, indicated by decreased type IV collagen (Col IV) staining, was detected during rete peg formation. Classical markers for podosomes, including cortactin/Tks5, WASP, and matrix metalloproteinase foci, were easily observed at the spindle-shaped cells. Podosomes were visible in regions where there was a significant decrease in Col IV staining.

Conclusions: These observations indicated that podosomes form at the front of the emerging rete peg and may play a pivotal role in basement membrane remodeling during rete peg formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aanat.2021.151703DOI Listing
May 2021

Co-delivery of 5-fluorouracil and miRNA-34a mimics by host-guest self-assembly nanocarriers for efficacious targeted therapy in colorectal cancer patient-derived tumor xenografts.

Theranostics 2021 1;11(5):2475-2489. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310016, P.R. China.

A co-delivery system that can transport chemotherapeutic drugs and nucleotide drugs to distinct targets in tumors is an attractive strategy for cancer therapy. In this study, well-defined targeted quantum dot (QD)-based multifunctional nanocarriers were developed through self-assembly driven by host-guest interactions. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and microRNA-34a mimics (miR-34a(m)) were co-administered to achieve synergistic effects for colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy for the first time. Furthermore, the CRC patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) model, which closely mimics human CRC tumor pathological properties, was used for evaluating the therapeutic effect in this research. Multiple β-cyclodextrin (CD)-attached QD nanoparticles were used as host molecules. An adamantane (ADA)-modified TCP1 peptide-targeting ligand (TCP1) was used as the guest molecule. 5-FU and miR-34a(m) were loaded into TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers, which were used to treat CRC and . In addition, the CRC PDX model was used to evaluate the treatment efficacy of this co-delivery system. 5-FU and miR-34a(m) can be efficiently encapsulated into TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers and delivered into CRC cells, which led to the inhibition of the proliferation and migration of CRC cells and suppression of tumor growth in a CRC cell-derived tumor xenograft model. The obtained data further suggested that co-delivery of 5-FU and miR-34a(m) could achieve synergistic effects for CRC therapy. Notably, targeted therapy via the co-delivery of 5-FU and miR-34a(m) by TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers significantly inhibited the growth of PDX tumors. These studies strongly indicate that such a nanocarrier-based co-delivery system is a promising combined therapeutic strategy that utilizes chemotherapeutic drugs and nucleotide drugs for enhancing colorectal cancer targeting and synergistic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.52076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797688PMC
January 2021

Investigation of circular RNAs in an ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Acarina: Varroidae) of the honey bee.

Parasitol Res 2021 Feb 16;120(2):715-723. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Apicultural Research Institute, College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225009, China.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a large class of non-protein-coding transcripts that are involved in a diverse spectrum of regulatory mechanisms across a broad range of biological processes. To date, however, few studies on circRNAs have investigated their role in the biology of invertebrate parasites. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is perceived as the principal biotic threat towards global honey bee health. This parasite cannot be sustainably controlled partially due to the lack of knowledge about its basic molecular biology. In this paper, we unveil the circRNA profile of V. destructor for the first time and report the sources, distribution, and features of the identified circRNAs. Exonic, intronic, exon-intron, and intergenic circRNAs were discovered and exon-intron circRNAs were the most abundant within the largest spliced length. Three hundred and eighty-six (8.3%) circRNAs were predicted to possess translational potential. Eleven circRNAs, derived from six parental genes, exhibited strong bonds with miRNAs as sponges, suggesting an efficient post-transcriptional regulation. GO term and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses of the parental genes of the identified circRNAs showed that these non-coding RNAs were mainly engaged in protein processing, signal transduction, and various metabolism processes. To our knowledge, this is the first catalog of a circRNA profile of parasitiformes species, which reveals the prevalence of circRNAs in the parasite and provides biological insights for future genetic studies on this ubiquitous parasitic mite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-020-07018-2DOI Listing
February 2021

The dependence of the boson peak on the thickness of CuZr film metallic glasses.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2021 Jan;23(2):982-989

Engineering Research Center of High Performance Copper Alloy Materials and Processing, Ministry of Education, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China. and School of Materials Science and Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China.

In this study, intensive calculations were performed to investigate the behavior of the low-temperature excess heat capacity of Cu50Zr50 ultrathin film metallic glasses. Our results show that there is a well-defined boson peak in the film metallic glasses and that the boson peak height exhibits an obvious size-dependent feature. Furthermore, there is a critical thickness dc in the curves between the boson peak height and the thickness, where the boson peak height changes abruptly. Through structural analysis, we found that the low-temperature excess heat capacity of the film metallic glasses is correlated with the density layering structure near the surface. The structural parameter S is defined by atomic density and it was found that the boson peak height is highly correlated with S. Our investigation of ultrathin film metallic glasses provides a deeper understanding about the structural origin of the boson peak in metallic glasses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cp05327aDOI Listing
January 2021

Investigation on the Corrosion of the Elbows in the Flue Gas Cooler of a 600 MW Coal-Fired Power Plant.

ACS Omega 2020 Dec 10;5(50):32551-32563. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

National Thermal Power Engineering & Technology Research Center, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China.

Sulfuric acid condensation has long been considered as the major cause of the corrosion issues at the cold-end of coal-fired boilers. However, in a flue gas cooler, where flue gas is cooled to around 90 °C for heat recovery, the influence of chlorides might be underestimated. In this article, some elbows of the heat transfer tubes in the flue gas cooler of a coal-fired power plant were found to be badly corroded, after a 5-year operation. The corroded elbows, coupled with the corrosion products and deposits on the tube wall, were sampled and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and ion chromatography. The results indicated that chlorides, unexpectedly, formed in flue gas before the dew point for hydrochloric acid was met. The corrosion layer on the steel surface was mainly composed of FeO, FeO, and FeO(OH), while showing an oxidation gradient in depth. The sulfates in the corrosion products were rather limited. Instead, Cl from the deposits gradually accumulated deep inside the corrosion layer, resulting in a considerable generation of Cl-containing compounds. The enrichment of Cl induced cracking and spalling of the corrosion products, and greatly accelerated the failure of the tube wall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c04838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758941PMC
December 2020

Exploring the industrial solid wastes management system: Empirical analysis of forecasting and safeguard mechanisms.

J Environ Manage 2021 Feb 6;279:111627. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

School of Management, Harbin Normal University, Harbin, 150025, China.

Industrial solid wastes (ISWs) not only destroys the ecological environment, but also seriously affects human health, which is one of the main obstacles to sustainable development. Consequently, Effective management of ISWs is essential to support efforts to achieve cleaner production and ecological upgrading of industrial structure. In this study, metabolic grey model (MGM (1,1)) is adopted to forecasting the ISWs generation and treatment in China. Meanwhile, we develop an ISWs management system involving its safeguard mechanisms. Forecasting results show that China's ISWs generated have been a slowly increasing trend from 2018 to 2025, which will be controlled between 389819 million tons and 488002 million tons, and the utilization, disposal and storage of ISWs have a significant upward trend. However, the ratio of ISWs utilized will eventually remain at around 50% in the future. According to the prediction results, the application of this ISWs management system can increase the efficiency of waste recycling and reuse, and make ISWs become renewable resources. Research results also illustrate that the safeguard mechanisms, including government policy tools, collaborative agents of the industry-university, green technology innovation, and circulation of green products, have ensured a highly efficient recycling and beneficial waste management to create more added values for the ISWs materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111627DOI Listing
February 2021

Thermodynamic Evaluation and Sensitivity Analysis of a Novel Compressed Air Energy Storage System Incorporated with a Coal-Fired Power Plant.

Entropy (Basel) 2020 Nov 18;22(11). Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Emission Surveillance and Control for Thermal Power Generation, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China.

A novel compressed air energy storage (CAES) system has been developed, which is innovatively integrated with a coal-fired power plant based on its feedwater heating system. In the hybrid design, the compression heat of the CAES system is transferred to the feedwater of the coal power plant, and the compressed air before the expanders is heated by the feedwater taken from the coal power plant. Furthermore, the exhaust air of the expanders is employed to warm partial feedwater of the coal power plant. Via the suggested integration, the thermal energy storage equipment for a regular CAES system can be eliminated and the performance of the CAES system can be improved. Based on a 350 MW supercritical coal power plant, the proposed concept was thermodynamically evaluated, and the results indicate that the round-trip efficiency and exergy efficiency of the new CAES system can reach 64.08% and 70.01%, respectively. Besides, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effects of ambient temperature, air storage pressure, expander inlet temperature, and coal power load on the performance of the CAES system. The above work proves that the novel design is efficient under various conditions, providing important insights into the development of CAES technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e22111316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711495PMC
November 2020

Impact of the Number of Cores on the Prostate Cancer Detection Rate in Men Undergoing in-Bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Targeted Biopsies.

J Comput Assist Tomogr 2021 Mar-Apr 01;45(2):203-209

From the Department of Radiology.

Objective: To determine the incremental detection rate of clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa) provided by sequential cores during in-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided prostate biopsies.

Methods: Single-center, retrospective interpretation of prospectively acquired data in men without previous diagnosis of csPCa who underwent in-bore MRI-guided prostate biopsy between May 2017 and December 2019. Endpoints included detection of csPCa (grade group [GG] ≥ 2) and rate of GG upgrade provided by additional cores. Descriptive statistics presented as mean and standard deviation for the continuous variables, and frequency and percentage for the categorical variables.

Results: Four hundred and forty-three men with 747 lesions met eligibility criteria. Clinically significant prostate cancer was detected in 43.1% (322/747) of the biopsied lesions and GG 2 PCa or greater was identified by the first core in 78.3% (252/322) of them. On a per-core basis, cores 2, 3, 4, and 5 found new csPCa in 6% (42/744), 4% (26/719), 1% (2/137), and 0% (0/11) of the cases. Core biopsy 2, 3, 4, and 5 resulted in GG upgrade in 12% (91/744), 7% (49/719), 7% (9/137), and 0% (0/11) of the lesions, respectively. Each additional core was associated with a mean increase of 5 minutes in the duration of the biopsy.

Conclusions: In men undergoing in-bore MRI-guided prostate biopsies, 3 targeted cores per lesion provide an optimal trade-off between detection of clinically significant tumors and biopsy duration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RCT.0000000000001115DOI Listing
April 2021

In vitro and in vivo synergistic anti-tumor effect of LIN28 inhibitor and metformin in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Eur J Pharmacol 2021 Jan 26;891:173757. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, 237 Luoyu Road, 430079, Wuhan, PR China; Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, 237 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430079, PR China. Electronic address:

Cancer stem cell therapy is becoming a focal point for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). They can be regulated by tumor glucose metabolism, whereas the regulation is not fully investigated in OSCC. Herein, we studied the synergistic anti-tumor effect of a LIN28 inhibitor C1632 and hypoglycemic medication metformin in OSCC. In this study, OSCC cell lines SCC9 and CAL27 were treated with C1632 and metformin respectively or synergistically. First, western blotting was performed to detect the expression level of LIN28 and its downstream molecule HMGA2. Second, MTT assay was conducted to assess cell proliferation. Next, wound healing assay and transwell assay were applied to evaluate cell migration. Then, xenograft mouse experiment was done to explore anti-tumor effect in vivo. Finally, western blotting was used to investigate the pharmacological mechanisms of the synergistic effect oft he two medication. Results showed that LIN28 and HMGA2 expression decreased significantly in SCC9 and CAL27 cells under 240 μM C1632 treatment for 72 h. These effects were synergized under combined treatment for 24 h. Cell proliferation ability and migration ability of both cell lines decreased significantly under respective and combined treatment. In xenograft mouse experiment, tumor weights decreased by 48% under 40 mg/kg/3d C1632 treatment, 53% under 250 mg/kg/d metformin treatment and 91% under combined treatment for 18 days. Tumor volumes decreased by 32%, 57% and 47% under C1632, metformin and combined treatment respectively. These results indicated that C1632 and metformin exerts synergistic anti-tumor effects in OSCC cell lines SCC9 and CAL27, and also inhibits xenograft tumor growth in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173757DOI Listing
January 2021

Carbendazim exposure during the larval stage suppresses major royal jelly protein expression in nurse bees (Apis mellifera).

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 19;266:129011. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, China. Electronic address:

Studying the sublethal effects of agrochemical pesticides on nontarget honeybees (Apis mellifera) is important for agricultural development. Carbendazim is a widely used broad-spectrum fungicide that inhibits mitotic microtubule formation and cell division. However, the impact of carbendazim on bee health and development has not been fully elucidated. Here, using proteomics approaches, we assessed in vitro the changes in the expression of functional proteins in the head of newly emerged adults following treatment with field concentration of carbendazim during the larval stage. Treatment with carbendazim severely altered 266 protein expression patterns in the heads of adults and 218 of them showed downregulation after carbendazim exposure. Notably, major royal jelly proteins, a crucial multifunctional protein family with irreplaceable function in sustaining the development of colonies, were significantly suppressed in carbendazim-treated bees. This result was verified in both head and hypopharyngeal gland of nurse bees. Moreover, visual and olfactory loss, immune functions, muscular activity, social behavior, neural and brain development, protein synthesis and modification, and metabolism-related proteins were likely inhibited by carbendazim treatment. Together, these results suggest that carbendazim is an environmental risk factor that likely weakens bee colonies, partially due to reduced expression of major royal jelly proteins, which may be potential causes of colony collapse disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129011DOI Listing
March 2021

Parcellation of the thalamus by using a dual-segment method based on resting-state functional connectivity: An application on autism spectrum disorder.

Neurosci Lett 2021 01 24;742:135518. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

School of Medicine, Guizhou University, Guizhou, China; Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology and Center for Information in BioMedicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China. Electronic address:

Background: Evidence suggests thalamus is a key "information relay" center and all cortical areas receive inputs from the thalamus and each of the main nuclei of thalamus connects a single one or a few cortical areas. The traditional "winner-takes-all" thalamus parcellation method was then proposed based on this assumption. However, this method is based on the structural segments of the cortex which is not suitable for the functional parcellation of the thalamus.

Method: Here we proposed a dual-segment method for thalamus functional parcellation based on the resting-state fMRI data. The traditional "winner-takes-all" and the proposed dual-segment methods were both applied to the dataset of 76 healthy controls (HCs) and 34 subjects with autism spectrum disorder.

Results: The results showed that the thalamus was subdivided into two sub-regions by using the dual-segment method: one is located in the dorsomedial part of thalamus which connects the high-level cognitive cortical regions; the other is located in the ventrolateral part of thalamus which connects the low-level sensory cortical areas. The functional connectivity strength between thalamus sub-regions and the corresponding cortical regions based on the dual-segment method was higher than that of results from the traditional "winner-takes-all" method. The thalamo-cortical functional connectivity based on our proposed method also showed higher classification ability to distinguish subjects with autism spectrum disorder from HCs.

Conclusion: Our study will provide a new method for functional thalamus parcellation which might help understand the sub-regions functions of thalamus in neuroscience studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2020.135518DOI Listing
January 2021

Atypical Functional Covariance Connectivity Between Gray and White Matter in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Res 2021 03 18;14(3):464-472. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

School of Medicine, Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder with atypical gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) functional developmental course. However, the functional co-developmental pattern between GM and WM in ASD is unclear. Here, we utilized a functional covariance connectivity method to explore the concordance pattern between GM and WM function in individuals with ASD. A multi-center resting-state fMRI dataset composed of 105 male children with ASD and 102 well-matched healthy controls (HCs) from six sites of the ABIDE dataset was utilized. GM and WM ALFF maps were calculated for each subject. Voxel by voxel functional covariance connectivity of the ALFF values across subjects was calculated between GM and WM for children with ASD and HCs. A Z-test combining FDR multi-comparison correction was then employed to determine whether the functional covariance is significantly different between the two groups. A "bundling" strategy was utilized to ensure that the GM/WM clusters showing atypical functional covariance were larger than 5 voxels. Finally, canonical correlation analysis was conducted to explore whether the atypical GM/WM functional covariance is related to ASD symptoms. Results showed atypical functional covariance connections between specific GM and WM regions, whereas the ALFF values of these regions indicated no significant difference between the two groups. Canonical correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between the atypical functional covariance and stereotyped behaviors of ASD. The results indicated an altered functional co-developmental pattern between WM and GM in ASD. LAY SUMMARY: White matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) are two major human brain organs supporting brain function. WM and GM functions show a specific co-developmental pattern in typical developed individuals. This study showed that this GM/WM co-developmental pattern was altered in children with ASD, while this altered GM/WM co-developmental pattern was related to stereotyped behaviors. These findings may help understand the GM/WM functional development of ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aur.2435DOI Listing
March 2021

Static and dynamic alterations in the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

PeerJ 2020 2;8:e10052. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Radiology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital, Chongqing, China.

Background: Static changes in local brain activity in patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been studied. However, the dynamic characteristics of local brain activity are poorly understood. Whether dynamic alterations could differentiate patients with ALS from healthy controls (HCs) remains unclear.

Methods: A total of 54 patients with ALS (mean age = 48.71 years, male/female = 36/18) and 54 (mean age = 48.30 years, male/female = 36/18) HCs underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans. To depict static alterations in cortical activity, amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) which measures the total power of regional activity was computed. Dynamic ALFF (d-ALFF) from all subjects was calculated using a sliding-window approach. Statistical differences in ALFF and d-ALFF between both groups were used as features to explore whether they could differentiate ALS from HC through support vector machine method.

Results: In contrast with HCs, patients with ALS displayed increased ALFF in the right inferior temporal gyrus and bilateral frontal gyrus and decreased ALFF in the left middle occipital gyrus and left precentral gyrus. Furthermore, patients with ALS demonstrated lower d-ALFF in widespread regions, including the right lingual gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, bilateral precentral gyrus, and left paracentral lobule by comparison with HCs. In addition, the ALFF in the left superior orbitofrontal gyrus had a tendency of correlation with ALSFRS-R score and disease progression rate. The classification performance in distinguishing ALS was higher with both features of ALFF and d-ALFF than that with a single approach.

Conclusions: Decreased dynamic brain activity in the precentral gyrus, paracentral gyrus, lingual gyrus, and temporal regions was found in the ALS group. The combined ALFF and d-ALFF could distinguish ALS from HCs with a higher accuracy than ALFF and d-ALFF alone. These findings may provide important evidence for understanding the neuropathology underlying ALS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643554PMC
November 2020

Genome-Wide Identification of Long Non-coding RNAs in the Gravid Ectoparasite .

Front Genet 2020 16;11:575680. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Apicultural Research Institute, College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) emerge as critical regulators across a wide variety of biological functions in living organisms. However, to date, no systematic characterization of lncRNAs has been investigated in the ectoparasitic mite , the most severe biotic threat to honey bees worldwide. Here, we performed an initial genome-wide identification of lncRNAs in via high-throughput sequencing technology and reported, for the first time, the transcriptomic landscape of lncRNAs in the devastating parasite. By means of a lncRNA identification pipeline, 6,645 novel lncRNA transcripts, encoded by 3,897 gene loci, were identified, including 2,066 sense lncRNAs, 2,772 lincRNAs, and 1,807 lncNATs. Compared with protein-coding mRNAs, lncRNAs are shorter in terms of full length, as well as of the ORF length, contain less exons, and express at lower level. GO term and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses of the lncRNA target genes demonstrated that these predicted lncRNAs may be potentially responsible for the regulatory functions of cellular and biological progresses in the reproductive phase of . To our knowledge, this is the first catalog of lncRNA profile in the parasitiformes species, providing a valuable resource for genetic and genomic studies. Understanding the characteristics and features of lncRNAs in would promote sustainable parasite control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.575680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596327PMC
October 2020

White-matter functional topology: a neuromarker for classification and prediction in unmedicated depression.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 10 30;10(1):365. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054, People's Republic of China.

Aberrant topological organization of brain connectomes underlies pathological mechanisms in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, accumulating evidence has only focused on functional organization in brain gray-matter, ignoring functional information in white-matter (WM) that has been confirmed to have reliable and stable topological organizations. The present study aimed to characterize the functional pattern disruptions of MDD from a new perspective-WM functional connectome topological organization. A case-control, cross-sectional resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study was conducted on both discovery [91 unmedicated MDD patients, and 225 healthy controls (HCs)], and replication samples (34 unmedicated MDD patients, and 25 HCs). The WM functional networks were constructed in 128 anatomical regions, and their global topological properties (e.g., small-worldness) were analyzed using graph theory-based approaches. At the system-level, ubiquitous small-worldness architecture and local information-processing capacity were detectable in unmedicated MDD patients but were less salient than in HCs, implying a shift toward randomization in MDD WM functional connectomes. Consistent results were replicated in an independent sample. For clinical applications, small-world topology of WM functional connectome showed a predictive effect on disease severity (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) in discovery sample (r = 0.34, p = 0.001). Furthermore, the topologically-based classification model could be generalized to discriminate MDD patients from HCs in replication sample (accuracy, 76%; sensitivity, 74%; specificity, 80%). Our results highlight a reproducible topologically shifted WM functional connectome structure and provide possible clinical applications involving an optimal small-world topology as a potential neuromarker for the classification and prediction of MDD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01053-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603321PMC
October 2020

Mapping Progressive Gray Matter Alterations in Early Childhood Autistic Brain.

Cereb Cortex 2021 Feb;31(3):1500-1510

Sichuan Provincial Center for Mental Health, The Center of Psychosomatic Medicine of Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China.

Autism spectrum disorder is an early-onset neurodevelopmental condition. This study aimed to investigate the progressive structural alterations in the autistic brain during early childhood. Structural magnetic resonance imaging scans were examined in a cross-sectional sample of 67 autistic children and 63 demographically matched typically developing (TD) children, aged 2-7 years. Voxel-based morphometry and a general linear model were used to ascertain the effects of diagnosis, age, and a diagnosis-by-age interaction on the gray matter volume. Causal structural covariance network analysis was performed to map the interregional influences of brain structural alterations with increasing age. The autism group showed spatially distributed increases in gray matter volume when controlling for age-related effects, compared with TD children. A significant diagnosis-by-age interaction effect was observed in the fusiform face area (FFA, Fpeak = 13.57) and cerebellum/vermis (Fpeak = 12.73). Compared with TD children, the gray matter development of the FFA in autism displayed altered influences on that of the social brain network regions (false discovery rate corrected, P < 0.05). Our findings indicate the atypical neurodevelopment of the FFA in the autistic brain during early childhood and highlight altered developmental effects of this region on the social brain network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa304DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869087PMC
February 2021

Attenuated link between the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in children with autism spectrum disorder: Evidence from effective connectivity within the "social brain".

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2020 Oct 21:110147. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, MOE Key Lab for Neuroinformation, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, PR China; School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, PR China. Electronic address:

Although accumulating neuroimaging studies have reported that social behavior deficits in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are commonly attributed to the dysfunction of social brain regions underlying social cognition, the dynamic interaction within the social brain network and its association with social deficits remain unclear. Here, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (I and II) were analyzed in 105 children with ASD and 102 demographically matched typically developing controls (TDCs) (age range: 7-12 years old). Term-based meta-analysis combined the prior reference and anatomical labeling were used to define the regions of interests of the social brain network, and multivariate Granger causality analysis with blind deconvolution was employed to assess the effective connectivity within the social brain network in the ASD and TDC groups. Between-group comparison revealed significantly attenuated effective connectivity from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to the bilateral amygdala in children with the ASD group compared with TDC group. In addition, raw values of the effective connectivity from the mPFC to the bilateral amygdala were used to predict social deficits in ASD. Our findings indicate the impaired mPFC-amygdala pathway and its association with social deficits in children with ASD and provide a new perspective into the neuropathology of the developing autistic brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110147DOI Listing
October 2020
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