Publications by authors named "Hong Su"

631 Publications

Wide-bound salt tolerance of the inocula from marine sediment and their specific microbial community.

Environ Res 2021 Apr 9:111119. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

National Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

The microorganisms in marine sediment are promising candidates for the treatment of the saline wastes due to their property of salt tolerance. However, the knowledge about the microbial community and property of the marine sediments is still limited. In the present study, the salt tolerance of the microorganisms in the marine sediment that was collected from a marine fish farm was investigated by being used as inoculum for anaerobic digestion. The microbial communities were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. The inoculum from the wastewater plant (IWTP) was taken as a control. The inoculum from the marine sediment (IMS) showed excellent capacity for anaerobic digestion at salinities of 0.3% - 6%. Even at a salinity of 9%, the methane yield remained 60% of the highest yield. IMS provides promising microbial resources for the treatment of both fresh-water and saliferous organic wastes. While the IWTP was sensitive to salt, the methane yield decreased to 56% of the highest yield at the salinity of 3%. The bacterial taxonomic richness of IMS was about half of that in IWTP. Eighty-one genera were identified only in IWTP but not in IMS. The IMS possessed fewer bacterial members related to the nitrogen cycle than IWTP, but more members related to the sulfur cycle. The members of animal parasites or symbionts in IMS were significantly fewer than those in IWTP. The archaeal compositions of IMS and IWTP were different. The relative abundance of the unidentified archaea in IMS was much higher than that in IWTP with 12.52% vs 0.06% at phylum level. The findings of this work expand our understanding of the microorganisms in marine sediments and will promote the application of them in waste treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111119DOI Listing
April 2021

Minimally Invasive Living Donor Liver Transplantation: Pure Laparoscopic Explant Hepatectomy and Graft Implantation Using Upper Midline Incision.

Liver Transpl 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Minimally invasive approaches, including laparoscopic procedures, have increasingly been applied in surgery due to their advantages such as reduced surgical trauma, a better quality of life, shorter hospital stay, and less postoperative morbidity compared with open surgeries. Minimally invasive approaches in liver transplantation (LT) may have similar advantages for the recipients, including less pain and a shorter hospital stay, which could facilitate rehabilitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lt.26066DOI Listing
April 2021

Efficacy of S-pantoprazole 10 mg in the Symptom Control of Non-erosive Reflux Disease: A Phase III Placebo-controlled Trial.

J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2021 Apr;27(2):223-230

Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Background/aims: S-isomer (S) pantoprazole is more bioavailable and less dependent on cytochrome 2C19 than is racemic pantoprazole. We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 10 mg S-pantoprazole for treatment of non-erosive reflux disease (NERD).

Methods: In this phase 3, double-blind, randomized placebo controlled, multicenter study, 174 NERD patients were randomized to one of both treatment groups: 10 mg S-pantoprazole, or placebo once daily for 4 weeks. Symptoms and safety were assessed. The efficacy endpoints were complete relief of symptoms, > 50% improvement of all reflux symptoms and recurrence.

Results: Eighty-eight patients were assigned to the S-pantoprazole group (25 males, mean 43.7 years old) and 86 to the placebo group (32 males, mean 43.0 years old), and 163 patients were subjected to full Analysis Set. A higher proportion of patients in the S-pantoprazole group had complete symptom relief (42.0 % [34/81] vs 17.1% [14/82], < 0.001) and > 50% symptom responses (66.0% vs 50.0%, = 0.010 for heartburn; 64.2% vs 28.0%, = 0.010 for acid regurgitation; and 51.9% vs 30.5%, = 0.03 for epigastric discomfort) compared to the placebo group. The factors associated with poor responsiveness to PPI were older age, female, greater body mass index, and severe baseline symptoms.

Conclusions: Low dose of S-pantoprazole (10 mg) for 4 weeks was more efficacious than placebo in providing reflux symptom relief in patients with NERD, especially acid regurgitation. More doses or longer periods of treatment with S-pantoprazole would be needed to completely eliminate symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5056/jnm19053DOI Listing
April 2021

Social support, self-worth, and subjective well-being in older adults of rural China: a cross-sectional study.

Psychol Health Med 2021 Mar 29:1-7. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

College of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Northeast Petroleum University, Daqing, China.

This study explored the relationship between social support and subjective well-being of the rural Chinese older adults and investigated whether self-worth could mediate this association. A total number of 356 older adults from rural areas of China were investigated using three scales. The results were as follows: there were significant correlations between social support, self-worth, and subjective well-being (where < 0.01 in all of them). Bootstrapping mediation analyses indicated that self-worth partly mediated the association between social support and subjective well-being. Accordingly, social support and self-worth are important targets for improving the subjective well-being level of the rural older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2021.1905861DOI Listing
March 2021

Effect of temperature stress on gut-brain axis in mice: Regulation of intestinal microbiome and central NLRP3 inflammasomes.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 26;772:144568. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Temperature stress was reported to impact the gut-brain axis including intestinal microbiome and neuroinflammation, but the molecular markers involved remain unclear. We aimed to examine the effects of different temperature stress on the intestinal microbiome and central nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasomes.

Materials And Methods: Mice models were established under low temperature (LT), room temperature (RT), high temperature (HT), and temperature variation (TV) respectively for seven days. We examined temperature-induced changes of intestinal microbiome composition and the levels of its metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), as well as the expressions of central NLRP3 inflammasomes and inflammatory cytokines. Redundancy analysis and Spearman correlation analysis were performed to explore the relationships between microbiome and NLRP3 inflammasomes and other indicators.

Results: HT and LT significantly increased the Alpha diversity of intestinal microbiome. Compared with RT group, Bacteroidetes were most abundant in LT group while Actinobacteria were most abundant in HT and TV groups. Nineteen discriminative bacteria were identified among four groups. LT increased the expressions of acetate and propionate while decreased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes; HT decreased the expression of butyrate while increased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α; TV decreased the expression of propionate while increased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes and TNF-α. Microbiome distribution could significantly explain the differences in NLRP3 between comparison groups (LT&RT: R = 0.82, HT&RT: R = 0.86, TV&RT: R = 0.94; P < 0.05). The discriminative bacteria were significantly correlated with SCFAs but were correlated with NLRP3 inflammasomes and cytokines in the opposite direction.

Conclusions: LT inhibits while HT and TV promote the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in brain, and intestinal microbiome and its metabolites may be the potential mediators. Findings may shed some light on the impact of temperature stress on gut-brain axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144568DOI Listing
June 2021

Disparities of weather type and geographical location in the impacts of temperature variability on cancer mortality: A multicity case-crossover study in Jiangsu Province, China.

Environ Res 2021 Mar 17;197:110985. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Considering the serious health burden caused by adverse weather events, increasing researches focused on the relationship between temperature variability (TV) and cause-specific mortality, but its association with cancer was not well explored. We aimed to investigate the impacts of TV on cancer mortality and examine the modifying effects of weather type and geographical location as well as other characteristics.

Materials And Methods: Daily city-specific data of cancer deaths, mean temperature (Tmean), maximum and minimum temperatures (Tmax and Tmin), relative humidity (RH), rainfall, and air pollutants were collected during 2016-2017 in 13 cities in Jiangsu Province, China. TV was defined as the standard deviation of the daily Tmax and Tmin on the exposure 0-t days. A two-stage analysis was applied. First, a time-stratified case-crossover design was used to examine the odds ratio (OR) and attributable fraction of cancer mortality per 1 °C increase in TV by adjusting for potential confounders. Random effect meta-analysis was used to summarize the pooled ORs. Second, stratified analysis was performed for weather type, geographical location, demographics, and other city-level characteristics. The weather was defined as four types according to days during warm or cold season combined with high or low RH.

Results: A total of 303670 cases were included in our study. Meta-analysis showed that the ORs of cancer mortality per 1 °C increase in TV significantly increased and peaked in TV (OR=1.0098, 95% CI: 1.0039-1.0157). The attributable fraction of TV on cancer mortality was 4.74%, accounting for 14395 deaths in the study period. Significant ORs of TV-related cancer mortality were found during the warm season combined with high RH and in the northern region of Jiangsu. Susceptible groups of TV-related cancer mortality were identified as female patients, patients aged 45-65 years, and those living in cities with lower per capita green area.

Conclusions: TV can significantly increase the risk of cancer mortality, especially during warm and humid days and in the northern region of Jiangsu. Findings are of great significance to formulate urban planning, resource allocation, and health intervention to prolong the life of cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110985DOI Listing
March 2021

Temporal trends of the association between extreme temperatures and hospitalisations for schizophrenia in Hefei, China from 2005 to 2014.

Occup Environ Med 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

Objective: We aimed to examine the temporal trends of the association between extreme temperature and schizophrenia (SCZ) hospitalisations in Hefei, China.

Methods: We collected time-series data on SCZ hospitalisations for 10 years (2005-2014), with a total of 36 607 cases registered. We used quasi-Poisson regression and distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) to assess the association between extreme temperature (cold and heat) and SCZ hospitalisations. A time-varying DLNM was then used to explore the temporal trends of the association between extreme temperature and SCZ hospitalisations in different periods. Subgroup analyses were conducted by age (0-39 and 40+ years) and gender, respectively.

Results: We found that extreme cold and heat significantly increased the risk of SCZ hospitalisations (cold: 1st percentile of temperature 1.19 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.37) and 2.5th percentile of temperature 1.16 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.31); heat: 97.5th percentile of temperature 1.37 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.66) and 99th percentile of temperature 1.38 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.69)). We found a slightly decreasing trend in heat-related SCZ hospitalisations and a sharp increasing trend in cold effects from 2005 to 2014. However, the risk of heat-related hospitalisation has been rising since 2008. Stratified analyses showed that age and gender had different modification effects on temporal trends.

Conclusions: The findings highlight that as temperatures rise the body's adaptability to high temperatures may be accompanied by more threats from extreme cold. The burden of cold-related SCZ hospitalisations may increase in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2020-107181DOI Listing
March 2021

Metabolic networks of plasma and joint fluid base on differential correlation.

PLoS One 2021 22;16(2):e0247191. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China.

Whether osteoarthritis (OA) is a systemic metabolic disorder remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the metabolic characteristics between plasma and knee joint fluid (JF) of patients with advanced OA using a differential correlation metabolic (DCM) networks approach. Plasma and JF were collected during the joint replacement surgery of patients with knee OA. The biological samples were pretreated with standard procedures for metabolite analysis. The metabolic profiling was conducted by means of liquid mass spectrometry coupled with a AbsoluteIDQ kit. A DCM network approach was adopted for analyzing the metabolomics data between the plasma and JF. The variation in the correlation of the pairwise metabolites was quantified across the plasma and JF samples, and networks analysis was used to characterize the difference in the correlations of the metabolites from the two sample types. Core metabolites that played an important role in the DCM networks were identified via topological analysis. One hundred advanced OA patients (50 men and 50 women) were included in this study, with an average age of 65.0 ± 7.6 years (65.6 ± 7.1 years for females and 64.4 ± 8.1 years for males) and a mean BMI of 32.6 ± 5.8 kg/m2 (33.4 ± 6.3 kg/m2 for females and 31.7 ± 5.3 kg/m2 for males). Age and BMI matched between the male and female groups. One hundred and forty-five nodes, 567 edges, and 131 nodes, 407 edges were found in the DCM networks (p < 0.05) of the female and male groups, respectively. Six metabolites in the female group and 5 metabolites in the male group were identified as key nodes in the network. There was a significant difference in the differential correlation metabolism networks of plasma and JF that may be related to local joint metabolism. Focusing on these key metabolites may help uncover the pathogenesis of knee OA. In addition, the differential metabolic correlation between plasma and JF mostly overlapped, indicating that these common correlations of pairwise metabolites may be a reflection of systemic characteristics of JF and that most significant correlation variations were just a result of "housekeeping" biological reactions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247191PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7899361PMC
February 2021

Lower-than-standard particulate matter air pollution reduced life expectancy in Hong Kong: A time-series analysis of 8.5 million years of life lost.

Chemosphere 2021 Jun 11;272:129926. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Increasing studies reported increased mortality risk associated with exposure to lower-than-standard air pollution. This study aimed to investigate mortality burden and life expectancy loss due to lower-than-standard particulate matter air pollution in Hong Kong, China.

Methods: We obtained 17-year (2000-2016) daily time-series data on mortality, particulate matters with aerodynamic diameters <2.5 μm (PM) and <10 μm (PM). We applied a distributed lag non-linear model to fit the association of years of life lost (YLL) with PM and PM. Total YLL attributable to PM and PM concentrations below ambient air quality standards were estimated.

Results: We estimated 5.2% of total YLL due to PM, of which, 33.5%, 52.8% and 94.5% occurred in concentrations not exceeding the criterion of WHO, the USA, and China, corresponding to 0.3, 0.4 and 0.7 years loss in life expectancy, respectively. There was 6.9% (annual 34434.4 YLL) of total YLL due to PM, of which, 50.7%, 50.7%, 99.5% and 99.5% occurred in concentrations below the criterion of WHO, Europe, the USA, and China, which corresponded to 0.5, 0.5, 1 and 1 year loss in life expectancy, respectively. Assuming that PM and PM concentrations had met stricter standards, more gains in life expectancy could be expected in women than in men, in people aged up to 64 years than those of 65 years or older, and in those with respiratory disease than those with cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions: Exposure to lower-than-standard particulate matters air pollution could shorten life expectancy and incur massive mortality burden in Hong Kong.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129926DOI Listing
June 2021

Arabidopsis ACINUS is O-glycosylated and regulates transcription and alternative splicing of regulators of reproductive transitions.

Nat Commun 2021 02 11;12(1):945. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA.

O-GlcNAc modification plays important roles in metabolic regulation of cellular status. Two homologs of O-GlcNAc transferase, SECRET AGENT (SEC) and SPINDLY (SPY), which have O-GlcNAc and O-fucosyl transferase activities, respectively, are essential in Arabidopsis but have largely unknown cellular targets. Here we show that AtACINUS is O-GlcNAcylated and O-fucosylated and mediates regulation of transcription, alternative splicing (AS), and developmental transitions. Knocking-out both AtACINUS and its distant paralog AtPININ causes severe growth defects including dwarfism, delayed seed germination and flowering, and abscisic acid (ABA) hypersensitivity. Transcriptomic and protein-DNA/RNA interaction analyses demonstrate that AtACINUS represses transcription of the flowering repressor FLC and mediates AS of ABH1 and HAB1, two negative regulators of ABA signaling. Proteomic analyses show AtACINUS's O-GlcNAcylation, O-fucosylation, and association with splicing factors, chromatin remodelers, and transcriptional regulators. Some AtACINUS/AtPININ-dependent AS events are altered in the sec and spy mutants, demonstrating a function of O-glycosylation in regulating alternative RNA splicing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20929-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7878923PMC
February 2021

Spermidine Attenuates Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis via Blocking Ca Overload in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Independently of ROS.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jan 29;22(3). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Anti-Aging Research Center, Dong-eui University, Busan 47340, Korea.

Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells occupy the outer layer of the retina and perform various biological functions. Oxidative damage to RPE cells is a major risk factor for retinal degeneration that ultimately leads to vision loss. In this study, we investigated the role of spermidine in a hydrogen peroxide (HO)-induced oxidative stress model using human RPE cells. Our findings showed that 300 μM HO increased cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase, whereas these effects were markedly suppressed by 10 μM spermidine. Furthermore, spermidine significantly reduced HO-induced mitochondrial dysfunction including mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial activity. Although spermidine displays antioxidant properties, the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon HO insult was not regulated by spermidine. Spermidine did suppress the increase in cytosolic Ca levels resulting from endoplasmic reticulum stress in HO-stimulated human RPE cells. Treatment with a cytosolic Ca chelator markedly reversed HO-induced cellular dysfunction. Overall, spermidine protected against HO-induced cellular damage by blocking the increase of intracellular Ca independently of ROS. These results suggest that spermidine protects RPE cells from oxidative stress, which could be a useful treatment for retinal diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7866386PMC
January 2021

Ambient particulate matter (PM, PM, PM) and childhood pneumonia: The smaller particle, the greater short-term impact?

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 1;772:145509. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China; Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Major Autoimmune Disease, Hefei, China. Electronic address:

Background: Smaller sizes of ambient particulate matter (PM) can be more toxic and can be breathed into lower lobes of a lung. Children are particularly vulnerable to PM air pollution because of their adverse effects on both lung functions and lung development. However, it remains unknown whether a smaller PM has a greater short-term impact on childhood pneumonia.

Aims: We compared the short-term effects on childhood pneumonia from PM with aerodynamic diameters ≤1 μm (PM), ≤2.5 μm (PM), and ≤10 μm (PM), respectively.

Methods: Daily time-series data (2016-2018) on pneumonia hospitalizations in children aged 0-17 years, records of air pollution (PM, PM, PM, and gaseous pollutants), and weather conditions were obtained for Hefei, China. Effects of different PM were quantified using a quasi-Poisson generalized additive model after controlling for day of the week, holiday, seasonality and long-term time trend, and weather variables. Stratified analyses (gender, age, and season) were also performed.

Results: For each 10 μg/m increase in PM, PM, and PM concentrations over the past three days (lag 0-2), the risk of pneumonia hospitalizations increased by 10.28% (95%CI: 5.88%-14.87%), 1.21% (95%CI: 0.34%-2.09%), and 1.10% (95%CI: 0.44%-1.76%), respectively. Additionally, both boys and girls were at risk of PM effects, while PM and PM effects were only seen in boys. Children aged ≤12 months and 1-4 years were affected by PM, but PM and PM were only associated with children aged 1-4 years. Furthermore, PM effects were greater in autumn and winter, while greater PM and PM effects were evident only in autumn.

Conclusion: This study suggests a greater short-term impact on childhood pneumonia from PM in comparison to PM and PM. Given the serious PM pollution in China and other rapid developing countries due to various combustions and emissions, more investigations are needed to determine the impact of different PM on childhood respiratory health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145509DOI Listing
June 2021

Machine learning-based patient classification system for adult patients in intensive care units: A cross-sectional study.

J Nurs Manag 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Psychiatry, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Aim: This study aimed to develop a patient classification system that stratifies patients admitted to the intensive care unit based on their disease severity and care needs.

Background: Classifying patients into homogenous groups based on clinical characteristics can optimize nursing care. However, an objective method for determining such groups remains unclear.

Methods: Predictors representing disease severity and nursing workload were considered. Patients were clustered into subgroups with different characteristics based on the results of a clustering algorithm. A patient classification system was developed using a partial least squares regression model.

Results: Data of 300 patients were analysed. Cluster analysis identified three subgroups of critically patients with different levels of clinical trajectories. Except for blood potassium levels (p = .29), the subgroups were significantly different according to disease severity and nursing workload. The predicted value ranges of the regression model for Classes A, B and C were <1.44, 1.44-2.03 and >2.03. The model was shown to have good fit and satisfactory prediction efficiency using 200 permutation tests.

Conclusions: Classifying patients based on disease severity and care needs enables the development of tailored nursing management for each subgroup.

Implications For Nursing Management: The patient classification system can help nurse managers identify homogeneous patient groups and further improve the management of critically ill patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jonm.13284DOI Listing
February 2021

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and obesity in school-aged children and adolescents in Jiangsu province of China.

Environ Res 2021 Apr 26;195:110804. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China; Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Major Autoimmune Disease, Hefei, China. Electronic address:

Studies have shown that ambient air pollution is associated with obesity in adults, but epidemiological evidence is scarce for children and adolescents. This study sought to examine the association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and obesity in a large population of children and adolescents in China. A cross-sectional analysis was performed from a school-based health lifestyles intervention project between September 1, 2019 and November 31, 2019, including 36,456 participants aged 9-17 years in Jiangsu province of China. Exposure to air pollutants (nitrogen dioxide (NO), ozone (O), particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters ≤10 μm (PM), and ≤2.5 μm (PM)) were measured based on the nearest air monitoring station for each selected school. Data on each participant's weight and height was also recorded. Demographic and obesity-related behavioral information was collected using a self-reported questionnaire. We used the multivariate regression model to estimate the effects of three-year (2016-2018) average concentrations and the exceedance concentration days (ECD) of air pollutants on obesity after adjusting potential confounders. The ECD was defined as daily concentration exceeding the Chinese National Ambient Air Quality Standard and World Health Organization Ambient Air Quality Guidelines. We observed that higher concentrations of PM, NO, and O were associated with elevated likelihood of obesity. For each 10 μg/m increment in concentration, odds ratio of obesity was 1.185 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.054, 1.333) for PM, 1.127 (95%CI: 1.042, 1.219) for NO, and 1.041 (95%CI: 1.001, 1.082) for O, respectively. A significant association between the ECD and obesity was also found for PM and O. Effects of air pollutants on obesity were stronger in males, low economic level regions, and age subgroups of 9-11 and 15-17 years. Our findings suggest that long-term exposures to PM, NO, and O were associated with higher prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents. Continuous efforts to reduce air pollution level could help ease the increasing prevalence of obesity within a region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110804DOI Listing
April 2021

Association between cold spells and childhood asthma in Hefei, an analysis based on different definitions and characteristics.

Environ Res 2021 Apr 21;195:110738. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, 230032, China; Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: As the global climate continues to warm, there is an increased focus on heat, but the role of low temperatures on health has been overlooked, especially for developing countries. Methods We collected the admission data of childhood asthma in 2013-2016 from Anhui Provincial Children's Hospital, as well as meteorological data from the Meteorological Bureau for the study period and collected data of pollutants from 10 monitoring stations around Hefei city. Poisson's generalized additive model (GAM) combined with a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) was used to estimate the short-term effects of cold spell on childhood asthma in cold seasons (November to March). 16 definitions of cold spells were clearly compared, which combining 4 temperature indexes (daily minimum and mean temperature; daily minimum and mean apparent temperature), 2 temperature thresholds (2.5th and 5th) and 3 durations of at least 2-4 days. We then have an analysis of the modifying effect of characteristics of cold spells and individuals(gender and age), with a view to discovering the susceptible population to cold spell. Results There was significant association between cold spells and admission risk for childhood asthma. And the definition, in which daily minimum apparent temperature falls below 5th percentile for at least 3 consecutive days, produced the optimum model fit performance. Based on this optimal fit we found that, for the total population, the effect of cold spell lasted approximately five days (lag1-lag5), with the largest effect occurring in lag 3 (RR = 1.110; 95% CI: 1.052-1.170). In subgroup analysis, the cumulative effect of lag0-7 was higher in males and school-age children than in females and other age groups, respectively. In addition, we found that the effect of is higher as the duration increases. Conclusion This study suggests an association between cold spell and childhood asthma, and minimum AT may be a better indicator to define the cold spells. Boys and school-age children are more vulnerable to cold spell. And one of our very interesting findings is that if a cold spell lasts for several days, the impact of the cold spell on those later days is likely to be greater than that of the previous days. In conclusion, we should pay more attention to the protection of boys and school-aged children in our future public health protection and give more attention to those cold spells that last longer. Therefore, we recommend that schools and health authorities need to take targeted measures to reduce the risk of asthma in children during the cold spell.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110738DOI Listing
April 2021

Intelligent Fault Diagnosis of Hydraulic Piston Pump Based on Wavelet Analysis and Improved AlexNet.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Jan 14;21(2). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

National Research Center of Pumps, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China.

Hydraulic piston pump is the heart of hydraulic transmission system. On account of the limitations of traditional fault diagnosis in the dependence on expert experience knowledge and the extraction of fault features, it is of great meaning to explore the intelligent diagnosis methods of hydraulic piston pump. Motivated by deep learning theory, a novel intelligent fault diagnosis method for hydraulic piston pump is proposed via combining wavelet analysis with improved convolutional neural network (CNN). Compared with the classic AlexNet, the proposed method decreases the number of parameters and computational complexity by means of modifying the structure of network. The constructed model fully integrates the ability of wavelet analysis in feature extraction and the ability of CNN in deep learning. The proposed method is employed to extract the fault features from the measured vibration signals of the piston pump and realize the fault classification. The fault data are mainly from five different health states: central spring failure, sliding slipper wear, swash plate wear, loose slipper, and normal state, respectively. The results show that the proposed method can extract the characteristics of the vibration signals of the piston pump in multiple states, and effectively realize intelligent fault recognition. To further demonstrate the recognition property of the proposed model, different CNN models are used for comparisons, involving standard LeNet-5, improved 2D LeNet-5, and standard AlexNet. Compared with the models for contrastive analysis, the proposed method has the highest recognition accuracy, and the proposed model is more robust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21020549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7828838PMC
January 2021

Characteristics of symptomatic belching in patients with belching disorder and patients who exhibit gastroesophageal reflux disease with belching.

J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2021 Apr;27(2):231-239

Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Background/aims: Belching disorder (BD) is clinically distinct from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with belching. Supragastric belching (SGB) is closely associated with reflux episodes. This study investigates belch characteristics in association with reflux, compared between patients with BD and those who had GERD with belching.

Methods: Impedance pH monitoring data from 10 patients with BD and 10 patients with GERD who exhibited belching were retrospectively analyzed. Belches were considered "isolated" or "reflux-related" and acidic/non-acidic. Belch characteristics were compared between patients with BD and those with GERD.

Results: Symptomatic belches were more frequent in patients with BD than in patients with GERD (median, 160.5 vs 56.0, < 0.05). SGB was the most common type in both groups; common subtypes comprised "isolated" in patients with BD and "isolated during the reflux period" in patients with GERD. Reflux-related SGB was more common in patients with GERD than in BD (78.3% vs 45.2%, < 0.005). Both "preceding belching" including the reflux period and acidic SGB were more common in patients with GERD than in BD (31.8% vs 8.6% and 38.1% vs 8.9%, both < 0.05). Supragastric belch number positively correlated with all reflux episodes in patients with GERD (adjusted = 0.572, = 0.007).

Conclusions: BD is characterized by more belching, compared to GERD. SGB is more frequently associated with reflux in GERD than in BD; acidity may be related to GERD. In BD, SGB is typically non-acidic and unrelated to reflux. Distinct SGB characteristics may reflect different pathogenic mechanisms of reflux and associated symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5056/jnm20114DOI Listing
April 2021

Recognition of small molecule-RNA binding sites using RNA sequence and structure.

Bioinformatics 2021 Jan 8. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

School of Mathematical Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300071, China.

Motivation: RNA molecules become attractive small-molecule drug targets to treat disease in recent years. Computer-aided drug design can be facilitated by detecting the RNA sites that bind small molecules. However, very limited progress has been reported for the prediction of small molecule-RNA binding sites.

Results: We developed a novel method RNAsite to predict small molecule-RNA binding sites using sequence profile- and structure-based descriptors. RNAsite was shown to be competitive with the state-of-the-art methods on the experimental structures of two independent test sets. When predicted structure models were used, RNAsite outperforms other methods by a large margin. The possibility of improving RNAsite by geometry-based binding pocket detection was investigated. The influence of RNA structure's flexibility and the conformational changes caused by ligand binding on RNAsite were also discussed. RNAsite is anticipated to be a useful tool for the design of RNA-targeting small molecule drugs.

Availability And Implementation: http://yanglab.nankai.edu.cn/RNAsite.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa1092DOI Listing
January 2021

The Improvement of Immune Effect of Recombinant Human Beta-Defensin 2 on Hepatitis B Vaccine in Mice.

Viral Immunol 2021 Mar 28;34(2):96-111. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Nanchang University, Nanchang, People's Republic of China.

Immunization with hepatitis B vaccine is an effective measure for prevention and control of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection. Although lots of efforts to improve the effect of hepatitis B vaccine have been made, the function of human beta defensin 2 (hBD2) on hepatitis B vaccine keeps unclear. In this article, we report that hBD2 not only promoted the activation and maturation of immature dendritic cells (iDCs) by increasing MHC II and CD86 expression, but it also significantly upregulated the mRNA level of and in mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. The serum concentrations of IFN- in mice stimulated with 300 ng hBD2 increased from 25.21 to 42.04 pg/mL, with a time extension from 4 to 12 h post-injection. During the process of three times immunization (1, 14, 28 days) with 3 μg hepatitis B vaccine combined with or without 300 ng hBD2 with a 2 week interval in BALB/c mice, the antibody against HBsAg (HBsAb) concentration in serum at every time point of observation in the combined group was statistically higher than the hepatitis B vaccine group. The serum concentration of IgG2a subclass HBsAb on the 14th day post last injection in the combined group was significantly higher than the hepatitis B vaccine group. Further, the splenic cells from the mice treated with both hBD2 and hepatitis B vaccine possessed a greater ability to produce a surface antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) specific IFN- than those treated with hepatitis B vaccine alone. The percentages of CD3/CD4 T cells and CD3/CD8 T lymphocytes in spleens from the mice treated with 300 ng hBD2 were statistically higher than the phosphate buffered saline group. These data suggest that hBD2 improves iDC maturation and the immune efficiency of hepatitis B vaccine in BALB/c mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vim.2020.0052DOI Listing
March 2021

The Improvement of Immune Effect of Recombinant Human Beta-Defensin 2 on Hepatitis B Vaccine in Mice.

Viral Immunol 2021 Mar 28;34(2):96-111. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Nanchang University, Nanchang, People's Republic of China.

Immunization with hepatitis B vaccine is an effective measure for prevention and control of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection. Although lots of efforts to improve the effect of hepatitis B vaccine have been made, the function of human beta defensin 2 (hBD2) on hepatitis B vaccine keeps unclear. In this article, we report that hBD2 not only promoted the activation and maturation of immature dendritic cells (iDCs) by increasing MHC II and CD86 expression, but it also significantly upregulated the mRNA level of and in mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. The serum concentrations of IFN- in mice stimulated with 300 ng hBD2 increased from 25.21 to 42.04 pg/mL, with a time extension from 4 to 12 h post-injection. During the process of three times immunization (1, 14, 28 days) with 3 μg hepatitis B vaccine combined with or without 300 ng hBD2 with a 2 week interval in BALB/c mice, the antibody against HBsAg (HBsAb) concentration in serum at every time point of observation in the combined group was statistically higher than the hepatitis B vaccine group. The serum concentration of IgG2a subclass HBsAb on the 14th day post last injection in the combined group was significantly higher than the hepatitis B vaccine group. Further, the splenic cells from the mice treated with both hBD2 and hepatitis B vaccine possessed a greater ability to produce a surface antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) specific IFN- than those treated with hepatitis B vaccine alone. The percentages of CD3/CD4 T cells and CD3/CD8 T lymphocytes in spleens from the mice treated with 300 ng hBD2 were statistically higher than the phosphate buffered saline group. These data suggest that hBD2 improves iDC maturation and the immune efficiency of hepatitis B vaccine in BALB/c mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vim.2020.0052DOI Listing
March 2021

Inhibition of oxidative stress induced-cytotoxicity by coptisine in V79-4 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts through the induction of Nrf-2 mediated HO-1 expression.

Genes Genomics 2021 Jan 25;43(1):17-31. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Biochemistry, Dong-eui University College of Korean Medicine, 47227, Busan, Republic of Korea.

Background: Coptisine is a natural alkaloid compound and is known to have multiple beneficial effects including antioxidant activity. However, whether it can protect lung fibroblasts from oxidative damage has not been studied yet.

Objectives: To investigate the potential inhibitory effect of coptisine against oxidative stress in V79-4 lung fibroblast cells.

Methods: V79-4 cells were treated with HO (1 mM) in the presence or absence of coptisine (50 µg/ml), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC, 10 mM) or zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP, 10 µM) for the indicated times. The alleviating effects of coptisine on cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, DNA damage, mitochondrial dynamics, and inhibition of ATP production against HO were investigated. Western blot analysis was used to analyze the expression levels of specific proteins.

Results: Coptisine inhibited HO-induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage by blocking abnormal ROS generation. HO treatment caused cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase accompanied by increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p21 and decreased expression of cyclin B1 and cyclin A. However, these effects were attenuated in the presence of coptisine or NAC. Coptisine also prevented apoptosis by decreasing the rate of Bax/Bcl-2 expression in HO-stimulated cells and suppressing the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and the cytosolic release of cytochrome c. In addition, the activation of nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) was markedly promoted by coptisine in the presence of HO. However, zinc protoporphyrin IX, a potent inhibitor of HO-1, attenuated the ROS scavenging and anti-apoptotic effects of coptisine.

Conclusions: Based on current data, we suggest that coptisine can be used as a potential treatment for oxidative stress-related lung disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13258-020-01018-3DOI Listing
January 2021

Coptisine induces autophagic cell death through down-regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and up-regulation of ROS-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells.

Arch Biochem Biophys 2021 01 21;697:108688. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Department of Biochemistry, Dong-eui University College of Korean Medicine and Anti-Aging Research Center, Dong-eui University, Busan, 47227, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Coptisine is isoquinoline alkaloid derived from Coptidis Rhizoma and is known to have potential anti-cancer activity toward various carcinomas. Targeting autophagy is one of the main approaches for cancer therapy, but whether the anti-cancer efficacy of coptisine involves autophagy is still unclear. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of coptisine on autophagy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Hep3B cells, and identified the underlying mechanism. Our results showed that coptisine increased cytotoxicity and autophagic vacuoles in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, the expressions of light chain 3 (LC3)-I/II, Beclin-1 and autophagy genes were markedly increased by coptisine, while the expression of p62 decreased. In addition, we found that pretreatment with bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, markedly reduced coptisine-mediated autophagic cell death, but 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor for autophagosome formation did not. Moreover, our results showed that although coptisine up-regulated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that partially induced LC3-I/II, coptisine-mediated AMPK signaling did not directly regulate autophagic cell death. Additionally, we found that coptisine suppressed the phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR), and this effect was notably enhanced by PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Meanwhile, coptisine significantly increased both the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the recruitment of mitophagy-regulated proteins to mitochondria. Furthermore, N-acetylcysteine, a potential ROS scavenger, substantially suppressed the expression of mitophagy-regulated proteins and LC3 puncta by coptisine. Overall, our results demonstrate that coptisine-mediated autophagic cell death was regulated by PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling and mitochondrial ROS production associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Taken together, these findings suggest that coptisine exerts its anti-cancer effects through induction of autophagy in HCC Hep3B cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2020.108688DOI Listing
January 2021

Coptisine induces autophagic cell death through down-regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and up-regulation of ROS-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells.

Arch Biochem Biophys 2021 01 21;697:108688. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Department of Biochemistry, Dong-eui University College of Korean Medicine and Anti-Aging Research Center, Dong-eui University, Busan, 47227, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Coptisine is isoquinoline alkaloid derived from Coptidis Rhizoma and is known to have potential anti-cancer activity toward various carcinomas. Targeting autophagy is one of the main approaches for cancer therapy, but whether the anti-cancer efficacy of coptisine involves autophagy is still unclear. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of coptisine on autophagy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Hep3B cells, and identified the underlying mechanism. Our results showed that coptisine increased cytotoxicity and autophagic vacuoles in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, the expressions of light chain 3 (LC3)-I/II, Beclin-1 and autophagy genes were markedly increased by coptisine, while the expression of p62 decreased. In addition, we found that pretreatment with bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, markedly reduced coptisine-mediated autophagic cell death, but 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor for autophagosome formation did not. Moreover, our results showed that although coptisine up-regulated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that partially induced LC3-I/II, coptisine-mediated AMPK signaling did not directly regulate autophagic cell death. Additionally, we found that coptisine suppressed the phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR), and this effect was notably enhanced by PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Meanwhile, coptisine significantly increased both the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the recruitment of mitophagy-regulated proteins to mitochondria. Furthermore, N-acetylcysteine, a potential ROS scavenger, substantially suppressed the expression of mitophagy-regulated proteins and LC3 puncta by coptisine. Overall, our results demonstrate that coptisine-mediated autophagic cell death was regulated by PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling and mitochondrial ROS production associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Taken together, these findings suggest that coptisine exerts its anti-cancer effects through induction of autophagy in HCC Hep3B cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2020.108688DOI Listing
January 2021

Transdermal Delivery Systems of Natural Products Applied to Skin Therapy and Care.

Molecules 2020 Oct 30;25(21). Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City 402, Taiwan.

Natural products are favored because of their non-toxicity, low irritants, and market reacceptance. We collected examples, according to ancient wisdom, of natural products to be applied in transdermal delivery. A transdermal delivery system, including different types of agents, such as ointments, patches, and gels, has long been used for skin concerns. In recent years, many novel transdermal applications, such as nanoemulsions, liposomes, lipid nanoparticles, and microneedles, have been reported. Nanosized drug delivery systems are widely applied in natural product deliveries. Nanosized materials notably enhance bioavailability and solubility, and are reported to improve the transdermal permeation of many substances compared with conventional topical formulations. Natural products have been made into nanosized biomaterials in order to enhance the penetration effect. Before introducing the novel transdermal applications of natural products, we present traditional methods within this article. The descriptions of novel transdermal applications are classified into three parts: liposomes, emulsions, and lipid nanoparticles. Each section describes cases that are related to promising natural product transdermal use. Finally, we summarize the outcomes of various studies on novel transdermal agents applied to skin treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25215051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662758PMC
October 2020

Auranofin Attenuates Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease by Suppressing Lipid Accumulation and NLRP3 Inflammasome-Mediated Hepatic Inflammation In Vivo and In Vitro.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Oct 23;9(11). Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Biochemistry, College of Korean Medicine, Dong-eui University, Busan 47227, Korea.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes liver dysfunction and is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Chronic inflammation is associated not only with the development of NAFLD, but also with hepatic diseases, including steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Auranofin is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and has recently been reported to have potential effects against a variety of diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and viral infection. In this study, auranofin may be considered as a new treatment for the management of metabolic syndrome, as well as in the treatment of NAFLD through immunomodulation. To determine the effect of auranofin on NAFLD, C57BL/6 mice were randomly grouped, fed a regular diet or a high fat diet (HFD), and injected with normal saline or auranofin for 8 weeks. Auranofin significantly decreased the body weight, epididymal fat weight, serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and glucose, as well as the serum triglyceride, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels as compared to the HFD group. We also observed that hepatic steatosis was increased in the HFD group and was suppressed by auranofin treatment. In addition, auranofin suppressed the expressions of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, caspase-1, and the NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) in the liver tissue. Furthermore, the expression of NADPH oxidase 4 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), which are a major source of oxidative stress and a regulator of adipogenesis, respectively, were also decreased by auranofin. In addition, primary mouse hepatocytes were incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and palmitic acid (PA) to induce lipid accumulation and hepatic inflammation for an in vitro model. Auranofin could significantly inhibit LPS- and PA-induced inflammatory activity including nitric oxide and NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated cytokines. The results of this study demonstrate that auranofin treatment inhibits the characteristics of NAFLD through the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome. Therefore, auranofin may have potential as a candidate for improving NAFLD symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9111040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690872PMC
October 2020

Intraday effects of outdoor air pollution on acute upper and lower respiratory infections in Australian children.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jan 5;268(Pt A):115698. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia. Electronic address:

Children's respiratory health are particularly vulnerable to outdoor air pollution, but evidence is lacking on the very acute effects of air pollution on the risk of acute upper respiratory infections (AURI) and acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in children. This study aimed to evaluate the risk of cause-specific AURI and ALRI, in children within 24 h of exposure to air pollution. We obtained data on emergency cases, including 11,091 AURI cases (acute pharyngitis, acute tonsillitis, acute obstructive laryngitis and epiglottitis, and unspecified acute upper respiratory infections) and 11,401 ALRI cases (pneumonia, acute bronchitis, acute bronchiolitis, unspecified acute lower respiratory infection) in Brisbane, Australia, 2013-2015. A time-stratified case-crossover analysis was used to examine the hourly association of AURI and ALRI with high concentration (95th percentile) of four air pollutants (particulate matters with aerodynamic diameter <10 μm (PM) and <2.5 μm (PM), ozone (O), nitrogen dioxide (NO)). We observed increased risk of acute tonsillitis associated with PM within 13-24 h (odds ratio (OR), 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-2.06) and increased risk of unspecified acute upper respiratory infections related to O within 2-6 h (OR, 1.38, 95%CI, 1.12-1.70), NO within 1 h (OR, 1.19; 95%CI, 1.01-1.40), and PM within 7-12 h (OR, 1.21; 95%CI, 1.02-1.43). Cold season and nigh-time air pollution has greater effects on AURI, whereas greater risk of ALRI was seen in warm season and daytime. Our findings suggest exposures to particulate and gaseous air pollution may transiently increase risk of AURI and ALRI in children within 24 h. Prevention measures aimed at protecting children's respiratory health should consider the very acute effects of air pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115698DOI Listing
January 2021

Esophageal Involvement and Determinants of Perception of Esophageal Symptoms Among South Koreans With Systemic Sclerosis.

J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2020 09;26(4):477-485

Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Background/aims: Our study aims to characterize esophageal motor function; evaluate the relationships among esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), high-resolution manometry (HRM), and 24-hour esophageal multichannel intraluminal impedance monitoring combined with pH-metry (MII-pH); and elucidate the determinants of esophageal symptom perception in South Koreans with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Methods: We reviewed prospectively collected HRM (n = 46), EGD (n = 41), and MII-pH (n = 37) data from 46 consecutive patients with SSc (42 females; mean age 50.1 years) who underwent esophageal tests between June 2013 and September 2018.

Results: The most common HRM diagnosis was normal (39.1%), followed by ineffective esophageal motility (23.9%) and absent contractility (21.7%). Erosive esophagitis was observed in 12.2% of total SSc patients, with a higher frequency in patients with absent contractility than those with normal motility (44.5% vs 0.0%, = 0.01). Pathologic acid exposure was observed in 6 patients (20.0%) and positive symptom association in 18 patients (60.0%) in MII-pH tests of symptomatic patients. The proportion of SSc patients with esophageal symptoms not explained by reflux or mucosal or motor esophageal abnormalities was 33.0%.

Conclusions: Esophageal involvement among South Koreans with SSc was characterized by heterogeneous motility patterns, with a higher prevalence of normal motility and lower prevalence of erosive esophagitis. Reflux hypersensitivity or functional heartburn might be partly attributed to the perception of esophageal symptoms in SSc patients who have neither gastroesophageal reflux disease nor esophageal dysmotility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5056/jnm19148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547196PMC
September 2020

Gamma Aminobutyric Acid-Enriched Fermented Oyster () Increases the Length of the Growth Plate on the Proximal Tibia Bone in Sprague-Dawley Rats.

Molecules 2020 Sep 23;25(19). Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Anti-Aging Research Center, Dong-eui University, Busan 47340, Korea.

Bone growth during childhood and puberty determines an adult's final stature. Although several prior studies have reported that fermented oyster (FO) consisting of a high amount of gamma aminobutyric acid can be attributed to bone health, there is no research on the efficacy of FO on growth regulation and the proximal tibial growth plate. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of FO oral administration on hepatic and serum growth regulator levels and the development of the proximal tibial growth plate in young Sprague-Dawley rats. Both oral administration of FO (FO 100, 100 mg/kg FO and FO 200, 200 mg/kg FO) and subcutaneous injection of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH, 200 μg/kg of rhGH) for two weeks showed no toxicity. Circulating levels of growth hormone (GH) significantly increased in the FO 200 group. The expression and secretion of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were enhanced by FO administration. FO administration promoted the expression of bone morphogenic proteins IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in the proximal tibial growth plate. This positive effect of FO resulted in incremental growth of the entire plate length by expanding the proliferating and hypertrophic zones in the proximal tibial growth plate. Collectively, our results suggested that oral administration of FO is beneficial for bone health, which may ultimately result in increased height.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25194375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7582314PMC
September 2020

Comprehensive Survey and Comparative Assessment of RNA-Binding Residue Predictions with Analysis by RNA Type.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Sep 19;21(18). Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Department of Computer Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.

With close to 30 sequence-based predictors of RNA-binding residues (RBRs), this comparative survey aims to help with understanding and selection of the appropriate tools. We discuss past reviews on this topic, survey a comprehensive collection of predictors, and comparatively assess six representative methods. We provide a novel and well-designed benchmark dataset and we are the first to report and compare protein-level and datasets-level results, and to contextualize performance to specific types of RNAs. The methods considered here are well-cited and rely on machine learning algorithms on occasion combined with homology-based prediction. Empirical tests reveal that they provide relatively accurate predictions. Virtually all methods perform well for the proteins that interact with rRNAs, some generate accurate predictions for mRNAs, snRNA, SRP and IRES, while proteins that bind tRNAs are predicted poorly. Moreover, except for DRNApred, they confuse DNA and RNA-binding residues. None of the six methods consistently outperforms the others when tested on individual proteins. This variable and complementary protein-level performance suggests that users should not rely on applying just the single best dataset-level predictor. We recommend that future work should focus on the development of approaches that facilitate protein-level selection of accurate predictors and the consensus-based prediction of RBRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7554811PMC
September 2020

Impact of temperature variability on childhood allergic rhinitis in a subtropical city of China.

BMC Public Health 2020 Sep 17;20(1):1418. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Department of Science and Education, Children's Hospital of Anhui Medical University (Anhui Provincial Children's Hospital), No.39, Wangjiang East Road, Hefei, 230032, Anhui Province, China.

Background: Many studies have shown an association of childhood respiratory diseases with short-term temperature variability such as diurnal temperature range (DTR) and temperature change between two neighboring days (TCN). However, the impact of temperature variability on allergic rhinitis (AR) has not been investigated so far. This study sought to evaluate the short-term effect of temperature variability (i.e., TCN and DTR) on AR, as well as to identify vulnerable subpopulations.

Method: We collected daily data on emergency room visits and outpatients for AR and weather variables in Hefei, China during 2014-2016. A distributed lag non-linear model that controlled for long-term trend and seasonality, mean temperature, relative humidity, day of week was used to fit the associations of AR with DTR and TCN. Stratified analyses by age, sex and occupation were also performed.

Results: During the study period, there were a total of 53,538 cases and the average values of DTR and TCN were 8.4 °C (range: 1.0 °C to 21.2 °C) and 0 °C (range: - 12.2 °C to 5.9 °C), respectively. While we did not observe an adverse effect of DTR on AR, TCN was significantly associated with increased risk of AR. Specifically, a large temperature drop between two adjacent days (3.8 °C, 5th percentile of TCN) has a delayed and short-lasting effect on AR, with the estimated relative risk of 1.02 (95% confidence interval: 1.01 to 1.04) at lag 12. Moreover, boys and children older than 15 years seemed to be more vulnerable to the effect of TCN.

Conclusions: This study provided evidence of an adverse effect of large temperature drops between two adjacent days on childhood AR. Attention paid to boys and older children may help prevent AR attacks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09531-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499962PMC
September 2020