Publications by authors named "Hui Ma"

711 Publications

Semen parameters in men recovered from COVID-19.

Asian J Androl 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, The CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Diseases, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is emerging as a global health threat and shows a higher risk for men than women. Thus far, the studies on andrological consequences of COVID-19 are limited. To ascertain the consequences of COVID-19 on sperm parameters after recovery, we recruited 41 reproductive-aged male patients who had recovered from COVID-19, and analyzed their semen parameters and serum sex hormones at a median time of 56 days after hospital discharge. For longitudinal analysis, a second sampling was obtained from 22 of the 41 patients after a median time interval of 29 days from first sampling. Compared with controls who had not suffered from COVID-19, the total sperm count, sperm concentration, and percentages of motile and progressively motile spermatozoa in the patients were significantly lower at first sampling, while sperm vitality and morphology were not affected. The total sperm count, sperm concentration, and number of motile spermatozoa per ejaculate were significantly increased and the percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm was reduced at the second sampling compared with those at first in the 22 patients examined. Though there were higher prolactin and lower progesterone levels in patients at first sampling than those in controls, no significant alterations were detected for any sex hormones examined over time following COVID-19 recovery in the 22 patients. Although it should be interpreted carefully, these findings indicate an adverse but potentially reversible consequence of COVID-19 on sperm quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/aja.aja_31_21DOI Listing
May 2021

Type 2 diabetes is causally associated with reduced serum osteocalcin: A genome-wide association and Mendelian randomization study.

J Bone Miner Res 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Recent advances indicate that bone and energy metabolism are closely related. However, little direct evidence on causality has been provided in humans. We aimed to assess the association of three bone-related biomarkers 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and osteocalcin (OCN) with several metabolic phenotypes, and investigate any causal relevance to the associations using a Mendelian randomization (MR) study. Serum 25OHD, PTH and total OCN were measured at baseline in 5169 eligible Chinese participants in Changfeng study. Partial correlation and bivariate GREML analysis were used to estimate phenotypic and genetic correlations, respectively. Multiple linear regression and logistic regression were used to assess linear associations. Genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) was performed. Bidirectional two sample MR analyses were conducted to examine causal relationships between OCN and body mass index (BMI), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM), using our GWAS result of OCN and GWAS statistics from Biobank Japan project (BBJ) and the largest meta-analysis of T2DM GWAS in East Asian population. Circulating OCN was significantly associated with higher DBP and HDL-C, and decreased TG, blood glucose level, insulin resistance, liver fat content, bone mineral density, BMI, and a favorable body fat distribution pattern. GWAS identified one novel serum PTH locus and two novel serum OCN loci, explaining 0.81% and 1.98% of variances of PTH and OCN levels, respectively. MR analysis suggested a causal effect of T2DM on lower circulating OCN concentration (causal effect: -0.03; -0.05 to -0.01; p=0.006 for T2DM_BBJ and -0.03; -0.05 to -0.01; p=0.001 for T2DM_EAS). These findings indicate that T2DM might impact bone remodeling and provide a resource for understanding complex relationships between osteocalcin and metabolic (and related) traits in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.4330DOI Listing
May 2021

Biological Evaluation of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU as a Positron Emission Tomography Tracer for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Front Chem 2021 16;9:630452. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Radiology Intervention and Medical Imaging, Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Medical Radiopharmaceuticals Translational Application, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

N-(2-[F]fluoropropionyl)-L-glutamate ([F]FPGLU) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) imaging has been performed in our previous studies, but its radiosynthesis method and stability need to be improved. Hence, we evaluated the synthesis and biological properties of a simple [F]-labeled glutamate analog, [F]AlF-1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic-acid-2-S-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl)-l-glutamate ([F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU), for HCC imaging. [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU was synthesized via a one-step reaction sequence from NOTA-NSC-GLU. In order to investigate the imaging value of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU in HCC, we conducted positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging and competitive binding of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU in human Hep3B tumor-bearing mice. The transport mechanism of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU was determined by competitive inhibition and protein incorporation experiments . [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU was prepared with an overall radiochemical yield of 29.3 ± 5.6% ( = 10) without decay correction within 20 min. competitive inhibition experiments demonstrated that the Na-dependent systems , B0, ASC, and minor were involved in the uptake of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU, with the Na-dependent system possibly playing a more dominant role. Protein incorporation studies of the Hep3B human hepatoma cell line showed almost no protein incorporation. Micro-PET/CT imaging with [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU showed good tumor-to-background contrast in Hep3B human hepatoma-bearing mouse models. After [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU injection, the tumor-to-liver uptake ratio of [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU was 2.06 ± 0.17 at 30 min post-injection. competitive binding experiments showed that the tumor-to-liver uptake ratio decreased with the addition of inhibitors to block the X system. We have successfully synthesized [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU as a novel PET tracer with good radiochemical yield and high radiochemical purity. Our findings indicate that [F]AlF-NOTA-NSC-GLU may be a potential candidate for HCC imaging. Also, a further biological evaluation is underway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2021.630452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085524PMC
April 2021

Morin attenuates pyroptosis of nucleus pulposus cells and ameliorates intervertebral disc degeneration via inhibition of the TXNIP/NLRP3/Caspase-1/IL-1β signaling pathway.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Apr 29;559:106-112. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implants, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, PR China. Electronic address:

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a major cause of lower back pain (LBP), a condition that causes a heavy economic burden globally. The production of cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, is increased in the degenerating intervertebral disc. Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) participates in NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent pyroptosis in liver. Therefore, we hypothesized that TXNIP maypromote pyroptosis via NLRP3/Caspase-1/IL-1β signaling pathway in nucleus pulposus (NP) cell. This study examined the effects of TXNIP on IDD, explored the underlying mechanisms of action and find Morin which is the inhibitor of TXNIP can attenuates pyroptosis of nucleus pulposus cells and ameliorates intervertebral disc degeneration. Our findings indicate that TXNIP promote pyroptosis via NLRP3/Caspase-1/IL-1β signaling pathway in NP cell. Morin considerably inhibited the TXNIP/NLRP3/Caspase-1 signaling pathway in vitro. In vivo. Our data show that TXNIP can aggravates intervertebral disc degeneration and morin may be a useful therapeutic agent for IDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.04.090DOI Listing
April 2021

COVID-19 tissue atlases reveal SARS-CoV-2 pathology and cellular targets.

Nature 2021 Apr 29. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple-organ failure, but little is known about its pathophysiology. Here, we generated single-cell atlases of 23 lung, 16 kidney, 16 liver and 19 heart COVID-19 autopsy donor tissue samples, and spatial atlases of 14 lung donors. Integrated computational analysis uncovered substantial remodeling in the lung epithelial, immune and stromal compartments, with evidence of multiple paths of failed tissue regeneration, including defective alveolar type 2 differentiation and expansion of fibroblasts and putative TP63 intrapulmonary basal-like progenitor cells. Viral RNAs were enriched in mononuclear phagocytic and endothelial lung cells which induced specific host programs. Spatial analysis in lung distinguished inflammatory host responses in lung regions with and without viral RNA. Analysis of the other tissue atlases showed transcriptional alterations in multiple cell types in COVID-19 donor heart tissue, and mapped cell types and genes implicated with disease severity based on COVID-19 GWAS. Our foundational dataset elucidates the biological impact of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection across the body, a key step towards new treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03570-8DOI Listing
April 2021

A protein-fragment complementation assay reveals that celastrol and gambogic acid suppress ERα mutants in breast cancer.

Biochem Pharmacol 2021 Apr 27;188:114583. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Shanghai Key Laboratory of New Drug Design, School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China. Electronic address:

Somatic gain-of-function mutations within estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) are highly associated with hormone therapy resistance in breast cancer. However, current understanding of abnormal activity of ERα mutants and their relevant targeted intervention is still very limited. Herein, we developed a new, real-time, and reliably Gaussia luciferase-based protein-fragment complementation assay (GLPCA) for evaluating ERα mutants activities. We found that, compared with ER WT, ERα mutants (Y537S/N and D538G) exhibit high ligand-independent activity, suggesting the gain-of-function phenotype of these ERα mutants. Notably, Y537S, the most common ERα mutant type, has the highest intrinsic activation. We then collected and screened a natural product library for potential ERα antagonists via GLPCA and identified celastrol and gambogic acid as new antagonists of the ERα Y537S mutant. Moreover, interactions between these two compounds and the ERα Y537S mutant were confirmed by molecular docking and cellular thermal shift assay. Importantly, we further demonstrated that celastrol and gambogic acid exhibit synergistic antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects when combined with an approved CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib in breast cancer cells expressing ERα Y537S. In summary, GLPCA provides a powerful platform for exploring innovative functional biology and drug discovery of antagonists targeting ERα mutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114583DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparison of bacterial communities and antibiotic resistance genes in oxidation ditches and membrane bioreactors.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 26;11(1):8955. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

College of Resource and Environmental Science, Xinjiang University, No. 666 Shengli Road, Tianshan District, Urumqi, China.

Oxidation ditches (ODs) and membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are widely used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) running through the whole system. In this study, metagenomic sequencing was used to compare the bacterial communities and ARGs in the OD and MBR systems, which received the same influent in a WWTP located in Xinjiang, China. The results showed that the removal efficiency of pollutants by the MBR process was better than that by the OD process. The composition and the relative abundance of bacteria in activated sludge were similar at the phylum and genus levels and were not affected by process type. Multidrug, fluoroquinolones and peptides were the main ARG types for the two processes, with macB being the main ARG subtype, and the relative abundance of ARG subtypes in MBR effluent was much higher than that in the OD effluent. The mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in the activated sludge were mainly transposons (tnpA) and insertion sequences (ISs; IS91). These results provide a theoretical basis for process selection and controlling the spread of ARGs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88335-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8076264PMC
April 2021

Intestinal pharmacokinetics of resveratrol and regulatory effects of resveratrol metabolites on gut barrier and gut microbiota.

Food Chem 2021 Mar 26;357:129532. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Food Science and Health, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China. Electronic address:

Resveratrol, a dietary polyphenol, has a variety of intestinal bioactivities. However, its material basis remains unknown. This study examined the intestinal pharmacokinetics of resveratrol using HPLC-MS/MS. After oral ingestion in mice, resveratrol and its sulfation metabolites were identified in copious amount in the entire intestinal tract and feces. The glucuronidation metabolites were found in major quantity only in the small intestine. The amount of resveratrol and its metabolites in the total intestine peaked at 4 h, with a concentration of 200 ± 74.8 μM, which corresponded to 14.0% of the administrated dose. During in vitro fermentation, resveratrol-3-O-sulfate, but not resveratrol, significantly promoted the growth of Lactobacillus reuteri (10-fold higher). During the incubation with Caco-2 cells, resveratrol-3-O-sulfate significantly up-regulated the mRNA expressions of tight junction and mucin-related proteins. In conclusion, the intestinal concentration of resveratrol could partially support its intestinal bioactivities, which may be mediated through the actions of its metabolites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129532DOI Listing
March 2021

Propionic Acid-Based PET Imaging of Prostate Cancer.

Mol Imaging Biol 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging, Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Translational Application of Medical Radiopharmaceuticals, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510080, China.

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the potential value of 2-[F]fluoropropionic acid ([F]FPA) for PET imaging of prostate cancer (PCa) and to explore the relationship between [F]FPA accumulation and fatty acid synthase (FASN) levels in PCa models. The results of the first [F]FPA PET study of a PCa patient are reported.

Procedures: The LNCaP, PC-3 cell lines with high FASN expression, and DU145 cell lines with low FASN expression were selected for cell culture. A PET imaging comparison of [F]FDG and [F]FPA was performed in LNCaP, PC-3, and DU145 tumors. Additionally, in vivo inhibition experiments in those models were conducted with orlistat. In a human PET study, a patient with PCa before surgery was examined with [F]FPA PET and [F]FDG PET.

Results: The uptake of [F]FPA in the LNCaP and PC-3 tumors was higher than that of [F]FDG (P<0.05 and P<0.05), but was lower in DU145 tumors (P<0.05). The accumulation (% ID/g) of [F]FPA in the LNCaP, PC-3, and DU145 tumors decreased by 27.6, 40.5, and 11.7 %, respectively, after treatment with orlistat. The [F]FPA showed higher radioactive uptake than [F]FDG in the first PCa patient.

Conclusions: The [F]FPA uptake in PCa models may be varies with fatty acid synthase activity and could be reduced after administration of a single FASN inhibitor, albeit the activity that is not measured directly. The [F]FPA seems to be a potential broad-spectrum PET imaging agent and may serve as a valuable tool in the diagnosis of PCa in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-021-01608-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Characterization of Genes From : Searching for the Most Virulent Ones.

Front Microbiol 2021 22;12:632047. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China.

Grapevine downy mildew is an insurmountable disease that endangers grapevine production and the wine industry worldwide. The causal agent of the disease is the obligate biotrophic oomycete , for which the pathogenic mechanism remains largely unknown. Crinkling and necrosis proteins (CRN) are an ancient class of effectors utilized by pathogens, including oomycetes, that interfere with host plant defense reactions. In this study, 27 genes were cloned from the isolate YL genome, hereafter referred to as genes, and characterized and genes in 'YL' share high sequence identities with their ortholog genes in the other three previously sequenced isolates. Sequence divergence among the genes in the family indicates that different genes have different roles. Phylogenetic analysis of the PvCRN and the CRN proteins encoded by genes in the genome suggests that various functions might have been acquired by the superfamily through independent evolution of species. When transiently expressed in plant cells, the PvCRN protein family shows multiple subcellular localizations. None of the cloned PvCRN proteins induced hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death on the downy mildew-resistant grapevine . This was in accordance with the result that most PvCRN proteins, except PvCRN11, failed to induce necrosis in . Pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) induced by INF1 was hampered by several PvCRN proteins. In addition, 15 PvCRN proteins prevented Bax-induced plant programmed cell death. Among the cell death-suppressing members, PvCRN17, PvCRN20, and PvCRN23 were found to promote the susceptibility of to , which is a semi-biotrophic oomycete. Moreover, the nucleus-targeting member, PvCRN19, promoted the susceptibility of to . Therefore, these PvCRN proteins were estimated to be virulent effectors involved in the pathogenicity of YL. Collectively, this study provides comprehensive insight into the CRN effector repertoire of YL, which will help further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of grapevine downy mildew.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.632047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044898PMC
March 2021

Degradation Alignment in Remaining Useful Life Prediction Using Deep Cycle-Consistent Learning.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Apr 14;PP. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Due to the benefits of reduced maintenance cost and increased operational safety, effective prognostic methods have always been highly demanded in real industries. In the recent years, intelligent data-driven remaining useful life (RUL) prediction approaches have been successfully developed and achieved promising performance. However, the existing methods mostly set hard RUL labels on the training data and pay less attention to the degradation pattern variations of different entities. This article proposes a deep learning-based RUL prediction method. The cycle-consistent learning scheme is proposed to achieve a new representation space, where the data of different entities in similar degradation levels can be well aligned. A first predicting time determination approach is further proposed, which facilitates the following degradation percentage estimation and RUL prediction tasks. The experimental results on a popular degradation data set suggest that the proposed method offers a novel perspective on data-driven prognostic studies and a promising tool for RUL estimations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3070840DOI Listing
April 2021

miR-20a-5p inhibits endometrial cancer progression by targeting janus kinase 1.

Oncol Lett 2021 May 30;21(5):427. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Emergency Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, Hebei 075000, P.R. China.

Endometrial cancer (EC) is a multi-factorial disease of which pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. The function and underlying mechanism of microRNA-20a-5p (miR-20a-5p) in EC remain poorly understood. The present study aimed to analyze the association between miR-20a-5p expression and the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with EC. Whether miR-20a-5p could inhibit EC progression by targeting janus kinase 1 (Jak1) was subsequently investigated. To do so, human EC tissues and paracancerous tissues were collected from 47 patients with EC. miR-20a-5p and Jak1 mRNA and protein expression was determined by reverse transcription quantitative PCR and western blotting, respectively. Cell proliferation, invasive ability and adhesion were investigated by MTT, Matrigel invasion and cell adhesion assays, respectively. Dual luciferase reporter assay was used to verify whether miR-20a-5p could directly target Jak1. The results demonstrated that miR-20a-5p was downregulated and that Jak1 was upregulated in EC tissues compared with paracancerous tissues. In addition, miR-20a-5p expression and Jak1 expression level were negatively correlated in EC tissues. miR-20a-5p expression was also significantly associated with the depth of myometrial invasion, FIGO stage, histologic grade and lymph node metastasis in patients with EC. Furthermore, Jak1 was identified as a new direct target of miR-20a-5p, and Jak1 overexpression was demonstrated to reverse the effects of miR-20a-5p-mimic on EC cell proliferation, invasive ability and adhesion. Taken together, the results from this study revealed for the first time that miR-20a-5p expression was significantly associated with the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with EC. These findings suggested that miR-20a-5p may act as a tumor suppressor in EC, in part through decreasing Jak1 expression. miR-20a-5p and Jak1 may therefore serve as potential therapeutic targets in EC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.12688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025135PMC
May 2021

Rapid Fabrication of Microfluidic Devices for Biological Mimicking: A Survey of Materials and Biocompatibility.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 Mar 23;12(3). Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Instituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, São Carlos 13566-590, SP, Brazil.

Microfluidics is an essential technique used in the development of in vitro models for mimicking complex biological systems. The microchip with microfluidic flows offers the precise control of the microenvironment where the cells can grow and structure inside channels to resemble in vivo conditions allowing a proper cellular response investigation. Hence, this study aimed to develop low-cost, simple microchips to simulate the shear stress effect on the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Differentially from other biological microfluidic devices described in the literature, we used readily available tools like heat-lamination, toner printer, laser cutter and biocompatible double-sided adhesive tapes to bind different layers of materials together, forming a designed composite with a microchannel. In addition, we screened alternative substrates, including polyester-toner, polyester-vinyl, glass, Permanox and polystyrene to compose the microchips for optimizing cell adhesion, then enabling these microdevices when coupled to a syringe pump, the cells can withstand the fluid shear stress range from 1 to 4 dyne cm. The cell viability was monitored by acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EB) staining to detect live and dead cells. As a result, our fabrication processes were cost-effective and straightforward. The materials investigated in the assembling of the microchips exhibited good cell viability and biocompatibility, providing a dynamic microenvironment for cell proliferation. Therefore, we suggest that these microchips could be available everywhere, allowing in vitro assays for daily laboratory experiments and further developing the organ-on-a-chip concept.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12030346DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005101PMC
March 2021

The Effect of Hispidulin, a Flavonoid from , on Human Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma CNE-2Z Cell Proliferation, Migration, Invasion, and Apoptosis.

Molecules 2021 Mar 14;26(6). Epub 2021 Mar 14.

School of Pharmacy, Bengbu Medical College, 2600 Donghai Road, Bengbu 233030, China.

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common malignant head and neck tumor. Drug resistance and distant metastasis are the predominant cause of treatment failure in NPC patients. Hispidulin is a flavonoid extracted from the bioassay-guided separation of the EtOH extract of with strong anti-proliferative activity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (CNE-2Z). In this study, the effects of hispidulin on proliferation, invasion, migration, and apoptosis were investigated in CNE-2Z cells. The [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] (MTT) assay and the colony formation assay revealed that hispidulin could inhibit CNE-2Z cell proliferation. Hispidulin (25, 50, 100 μM) also induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in CNE-2Z cells. The expression of Akt was reduced, and the expression of the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 was increased. In addition, scratch wound and transwell assays proved that hispidulin (6.25, 12.5, 25 μM) could inhibited the migration and invasion in CNE-2Z cells. The expressions of HIF-1α, MMP-9, and MMP-2 were decreased, while the MMPs inhibitor TIMP1 was enhanced by hispidulin. Moreover, hispidulin exhibited potent suppression tumor growth and low toxicity in CNE-2Z cancer-bearing mice at a dosage of 20 mg/kg/day. Thus, hispidulin appears to be a potentially effective agent for NPC treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26061604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001992PMC
March 2021

Comparison between image texture and polarization features in histopathology.

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Mar 23;12(3):1593-1608. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Center for Precision Medicine and Healthcare, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, Shenzhen 518055, China.

Digital pathology has shown great importance for diagnostic purposes in the digital age by integrating basic image features into multi-modality information. We quantify the degree of correlation between the multiple texture features from H&E images and polarization parameter sets derived from Mueller matrix images of the same sample to provide more microstructural information for assisting diagnosis. The experimental result shows the correlations between texture feature and polarization parameter via Pearson coefficients. Polarization parameters , and the depolarization parameter correlated with image texture features and , and can be used as powerful tools to quantitatively characterize cell nuclei related with tumor progression in breast pathological tissues. Polarization parameters and associated with the image texture feature have great potential for the quantitative characterization of proliferative fibers produced by inflammation. Furthermore, polarization parameters have the advantages of stable recognition in low resolution images. This work validates the associations between image texture features and polarization parameters and the merit of polarization imaging methods in low-resolution situations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.416382DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7984792PMC
March 2021

Fast Mueller matrix microscope based on dual DoFP polarimeters.

Opt Lett 2021 Apr;46(7):1676-1679

In this Letter, we report a dual division of focal plane (DoFP) polarimeters-based full Mueller matrix microscope (DoFPs-MMM) for fast polarization imaging. Both acquisition speed and measurement accuracy are improved compared with those of a Mueller matrix microscope based on dual rotating retarders. Then, the system is applied to probe the polarization properties of a red blood cells smear. The experimental results show that a DoFPs-MMM has the potential to be a powerful tool for probing dynamic processes in living cells in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.421394DOI Listing
April 2021

Triptycene-based Chiral Porous Polyimides for Enantioselective Membrane Separation.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

College of Life Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430074, China.

Enantiomers of 2, 6-diaminotriptycene (R, R-1 and S, S-1) are split by chiral-phase HPLC and their absolute configurations are identified by single-crystal X-ray diffraction technology. Using the enantiomers as monomers, a couple of chiral porous polyimides (R-FTPI and S-FTPI) are prepared by polycondensation reactions and display good heat stability, high BET surface area and good solubility in organic solvents. Moreover, both of R-FTPI and S-FTPI can be cast into robust, free-standing films suitable for enantioselective separation with symmetrical chiral selectivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202102350DOI Listing
April 2021

A Plasmopara viticola RXLR effector targets a chloroplast protein PsbP to inhibit ROS production in grapevine.

Plant J 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas (Northwest A&F University), Yangling, Shaanxi, P.R. China.

Pathogens secrete a large number of effectors that manipulate host processes to create an environment conducive to pathogen colonization. However, the underlying mechanisms by which Plasmopara viticola effectors manipulate host plant cells remain largely unclear. In this study, we reported that RXLR31154, a P. viticola RXLR effector, was highly expressed during the early stages of P. viticola infection. In our study, stable expression of RXLR31154 in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and Nicotiana benthamiana promoted leaf colonization by P. viticola and Phytophthora capsici, respectively. By yeast two-hybrid screening, the 23-kDa oxygen-evolving enhancer 2 (VpOEE2 or VpPsbP), encoded by the PsbP gene, in Vitis piasezkii accession Liuba-8 was identified as a host target of RXLR31154. Overexpression of VpPsbP enhanced susceptibility to P. viticola in grapevine and P. capsici in N. benthamiana, and silencing of NbPsbPs, the homologs of PsbP in N. benthamiana, reduced P. capcisi colonization, indicating that PsbP is a susceptibility factor. RXLR31154 and VpPsbP protein were co-localized in the chloroplast. Moreover, VpPsbP reduced H O accumulation and activated the O signaling pathway in grapevine. RXLR31154 could stabilize PsbP. Together, our data revealed that RXLR31154 reduces H O accumulation and activates the O signaling pathway through stabilizing PsbP, thereby promoting disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.15252DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of age at photostimulation on sexual maturity and reproductive performance in rooster breeders.

Poult Sci 2021 May 26;100(5):101011. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Key Laboratory of Animal (Poultry) Genetics Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address:

The 2 × 4 factorial experiment was designed to determine the effect of strain and photostimulation age on sexual maturity and reproductive performance of rooster breeders. A total of 96 White Leghorn (WL) and 120 Beijing You Chicken (BYC) roosters were randomly allocated to 4 treatments at 14 wk of age. The treatments represent photostimulation at 16, 18, 20, and 22 wk of age, respectively (PS16, PS18, PS20, and PS22), in both strains. Photostimulation was achieved by increasing the day length from 8L:16D to 14L:10D and by increasing lighting intensity from 10 lx to 80 lx. Three birds from each interaction were sacrificed to characterize the comb and testis weights at 4 time points: 1 d before photostimulation and 2, 4, and 6 wk after photostimulation. Semen quality and hatching performance with the semen of the experimental roosters were measured at 30 and 45 wk of age, respectively. Results showed that the testis weight of PS20 and PS22 in WL and BYC was 6.4- and 2.9-fold higher than that of PS18 before photostimulation, while testis weight of PS18 in both strains increased sharply after photostimulation. The diameter of seminiferous tubules increased in the photostimulated roosters as compared with the nonphotostimulated ones, and mature spermatozoa were produced 4 wk after photostimulation and at 20 wk of age for PS16. The WL had lower semen volume and total sperm count than BYC (P < 0.01), but there was no difference on effective sperm count (P > 0.05). In addition, semen quality traits were not affected by age at photostimulation (P > 0.05) in both strains. The fertility and hatching performance were not affected by strain or photostimulation age (P > 0.05). In summary, the sexual maturation of rooster breeders can be advanced by photostimulation at an early age, which does not lead to a difference in semen quality or hatching performance at adult stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.01.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005824PMC
May 2021

A recurrent ZSWIM7 mutation causes male infertility resulting from decreased meiotic recombination.

Hum Reprod 2021 Apr;36(5):1436-1445

Division of Reproduction and Genetics, First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, the CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Disease, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.

Study Question: Are mutations in the zinc finger SWIM domain-containing protein 7 gene (ZSWIM7) associated with human male infertility?

Summary Answer: The homozygous frameshift mutation (c.231_232del) in ZSWIM7 causes decreased meiotic recombination, spermatogenesis arrest, and infertility in men.

What Is Known Already: ZSWIM7 is a SWIM domain-containing Shu2/SWS1 protein family member and a subunit of the Shu complex. Zswim7 knockout mice were infertile due to impaired meiotic recombination. However, so far there is no direct evidence that mutations of ZSWIM7 cause human infertility.

Study Design, Size, Duration: Screening for mutations of ZSWIM7 was performed using in-house whole-exome sequencing data from 60 men with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). Mice with a corresponding Zswim7 mutation were generated for functional verification.

Participants/materials, Setting, Methods: Sixty Chinese patients, who were from different regions of China, were enrolled. All the patients were diagnosed with NOA owing to spermatocyte maturation arrest based on histopathological analyses and/or immunostaining of spermatocyte chromosome spreads. ZSWIM7 mutations were screened from the whole-exome sequencing data of these patients, followed by functional verification in mice.

Main Results And The Role Of Chance: A homozygous frameshift mutation (c.231_232del) in ZSWIM7 was found in two out of the 60 unrelated NOA patients. Both patients displayed small testicular size and spermatocyte maturation arrest in testis histology. Spermatocyte chromosome spreads of one patient revealed meiotic maturation arrest in a pachytene-like stage, with incomplete synapsis and decreased meiotic recombination. Male mice carrying a homozygous mutation similar to that of our patients were generated and also displayed reduced recombination, meiotic arrest and azoospermia, paralleling the spermatogenesis defects in our patients.

Limitations, Reasons For Caution: As Zswim7 is also essential for meiosis in female mice, future studies should evaluate the ZSWIM7 mutations more in depth and in larger cohorts of infertile patients, including males and females, to validate the findings.

Wider Implications Of The Findings: These findings provide direct clinical and functional evidence that the recurrent ZSWIM7 mutation (c.231_232del) causes decreased meiotic recombination and leads to male infertility, illustrating the genotype-phenotype correlations of meiotic recombination defects in humans.

Study Funding/competing Interest(s): This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31890780, 31630050, 32061143006, 82071709, and 31871514), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB19000000), and the National Key Research and Developmental Program of China (2018YFC1003900 and 2019YFA0802600).

Trial Registration Number: Not applicable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deab046DOI Listing
April 2021

Convalescent Plasma in the Treatment of Severe COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Iran J Public Health 2020 Nov;49(11):2022-2031

Department of Pharmacy, Shaanxi Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Xi'an, 710003, China.

Background: COVID-19 is a public health emergency of international concern. Its incidence rates and mortality are very high; however, so far, an effective drug treatment remains unknown. Based on the role of convalescent plasma therapy in previously identified viral pneumonias, patients with severe COVID-19 have been given this therapy. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize the clinical evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma therapy in the treatment of severe COVID-19.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, Ovid, China Knowledge Network, China Biomedical, VIP Chinese Sci-tech Journal, Wanfang Database, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were searched up to 21 June 2020, to identify clinical studies and registered trials on the use of convalescent plasma in the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19. Stata 13.0 was used to perform Meta-analysis. All records were screened as per the protocol eligibility criteria.

Results: Nineteen clinical reports regarding convalescent plasma in the treatment of severe COVID-19 were included. Through systematic analysis, convalescent plasma was found to yield some efficacy on severe COVID-19 and had almost no obvious adverse reactions.

Conclusion: Convalescent plasma therapy seems to yield some efficacy among patients with severe COVID-19 and almost no obvious adverse reactions were found. However, at present, the clinical evidence is insufficient, and there is an urgent need for support from high-quality clinical trial data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v49i11.4716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917505PMC
November 2020

TRIM32 inhibits the proliferation and migration of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells through the inactivation of PI3K/Akt pathway in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

J Bioenerg Biomembr 2021 Jun 10;53(3):309-320. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, No. 277 West Yanta Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710061, China.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive and fetal cardiovascular disease. Tripartite motif 32 (TRIM32) is a member of TRIM family that has been found to be involved in cardiovascular disease. However, the role of TRIM32 in PAH remains unclear. Here we investigated the effects of TRIM32 on hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) in vitro. Our results showed that TRIM32 protein level in the plasma samples from PAH patients was decreased as compared with healthy volunteers. Exposure to hypoxia condition caused a significant decrease in TRIM32 expression in PASMCs. Overexpression of TRIM32 inhibited hypoxia-induced proliferation and migration of PASMCs. TRIM32 overexpression elevated the increased apoptotic rate and caspase-3 activity in hypoxia-induced PASMCs. Moreover, overexpression of TRIM32 reversed hypoxia-induced down-regulation of myocardin, SM 22 and calponin, as well as up-regulation of osteopontin (OPN). Whereas, TRIM32 knockdown shwed the opposite effect. Furthermore, overexpression of TRIM32 inhibited hypoxia-induced activation of PI3K/Akt with decreased phosphorylated level of PI3K and Akt. Additionally, activation of PI3K/Akt by IGF-1 treatment reversed the effects of TRIM32 on hypoxia-induced PASMCs. In conclusion, these findings indicated that TRIM32 was involved in the development of PAH through regulating the proliferation, migration, apoptosis and dedifferentiation of PASMCs, which might be mediated by the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Thus, TRIM32 might be a potential target for PAH treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10863-021-09880-wDOI Listing
June 2021

Comparison of different calibration methods for Mueller matrix microscopy of cells.

Appl Opt 2021 Feb;60(5):1380-1386

Mueller matrix (MM) imaging has demonstrated its potential application in much research, especially in probing delicate and complex biomedical specimens. Qualities of MM images are important for further quantitative characterization. In this paper, we compare the performance and imaging qualities of three calibration methods. Air, waveplate and cell specimen are selected as standard samples for comparison. In addition, we also propose two general MM imaging quality indices that can be used as quantitative evaluations for MM imaging systems and calculation processes based on real samples. The numerical calibration method turns out to give the best accuracy and precision, as well as the best image qualities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.411625DOI Listing
February 2021

Characterization of physiological states of the suspended marine microalgae using polarized light scattering: erratum.

Appl Opt 2021 Feb;60(5):1143

This publisher's note corrects the author affiliations section of Appl. Opt.59, 1307 (2020)APOPAI0003-693510.1364/AO.377332.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.419407DOI Listing
February 2021

Long non-coding RNAs and are associated with metabolic activity in tuberculosis lesions of sputum-negative tuberculosis patients.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 03 3;13(6):8228-8247. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Accurate diagnosis of complete inactivation of tuberculosis lesions is still a challenge with respect to sputum-negative tuberculosis. RNA-sequencing was conducted to uncover potential lncRNA indicators of metabolic activity in tuberculosis lesions. Lung tissues with high metabolic activity and low metabolic activity demonstrated by fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography were collected from five sputum-negative tuberculosis patients for RNA-sequencing. Differentially-expressed mRNAs and lncRNAs were identified. Their correlations were evaluated to construct lncRNA-mRNA co-expression network, in which lncRNAs and mRNAs with high degrees were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR using samples collected from 11 patients. Prediction efficiencies of lncRNA indicators were assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Bioinformatics analysis was performed for potential lncRNAs. 386 mRNAs and 44 lncRNAs were identified to be differentially expressed. Differentially-expressed mRNAs in lncRNA-mRNA co-expression network were significantly associated with fibrillar collagen, platelet-derived growth factor binding, and leukocyte migration involved in inflammatory response. Seven mRNAs (, , , , , , and ) and two lncRNAs ( and ) were validated to be significantly up-regulated. The area under the curve of and was 0.750 and 0.813, respectively. Two lncRNAs and might be considered as potential indicators of metabolic activity in tuberculosis lesions for sputum-negative tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034958PMC
March 2021

Comparative study of the influence of imaging resolution on linear retardance parameters derived from the Mueller matrix.

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Jan 9;12(1):211-225. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Guangdong Research Center of Polarization Imaging and Measurement Engineering Technology, Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Minimal Invasive Medical Technologies, Institute of Optical Imaging and Sensing, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China.

Polarization imaging techniques are emerging tools to provide quantitative information of anisotropic structures, such as the density and orientation distribution of fibers in tissue samples. Recently, it is found that when using Mueller matrix polarimetry to obtain the structural features of tissue samples, some information can be revealed by relatively low-resolution polarization parameter images. Thus, to analyze what kinds of anisotropic optical and structural information contained in high-resolution polarization images are preserved in low-resolution ones, here we carry out a comparative study of the influence of imaging resolution on the Mueller matrix derived linear retardance parameters. We measure the microscopic Mueller matrix of human healthy breast duct tissues and ductal carcinoma (DCIS) tissues, which have distinct typical fibrous structures, using objectives with different numerical aperture. Then we quantitatively compare a group of image texture feature parameters of the linear retardance parameters images under high and low imaging resolutions. The results demonstrate that the fibers density information contained in the texture features of linear retardance parameter image are preserved well with the decline of imaging resolution. While for the azimuthal orientation parameter which closely related to the spatial location, we still need high imaging resolution to obtain quantitative structural information. The study provides an important criterion to decide which information of fibrous structures can be extracted accurately using transmission Mueller matrix microscope with low numerical aperture objectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.410989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7899522PMC
January 2021

A single-cell and spatial atlas of autopsy tissues reveals pathology and cellular targets of SARS-CoV-2.

bioRxiv 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused over 1 million deaths globally, mostly due to acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome, or direct complications resulting in multiple-organ failures. Little is known about the host tissue immune and cellular responses associated with COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and lethality. To address this, we collected tissues from 11 organs during the clinical autopsy of 17 individuals who succumbed to COVID-19, resulting in a tissue bank of approximately 420 specimens. We generated comprehensive cellular maps capturing COVID-19 biology related to patients' demise through single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-Seq of lung, kidney, liver and heart tissues, and further contextualized our findings through spatial RNA profiling of distinct lung regions. We developed a computational framework that incorporates removal of ambient RNA and automated cell type annotation to facilitate comparison with other healthy and diseased tissue atlases. In the lung, we uncovered significantly altered transcriptional programs within the epithelial, immune, and stromal compartments and cell intrinsic changes in multiple cell types relative to lung tissue from healthy controls. We observed evidence of: alveolar type 2 (AT2) differentiation replacing depleted alveolar type 1 (AT1) lung epithelial cells, as previously seen in fibrosis; a concomitant increase in myofibroblasts reflective of defective tissue repair; and, putative TP63 intrapulmonary basal-like progenitor (IPBLP) cells, similar to cells identified in H1N1 influenza, that may serve as an emergency cellular reserve for severely damaged alveoli. Together, these findings suggest the activation and failure of multiple avenues for regeneration of the epithelium in these terminal lungs. SARS-CoV-2 RNA reads were enriched in lung mononuclear phagocytic cells and endothelial cells, and these cells expressed distinct host response transcriptional programs. We corroborated the compositional and transcriptional changes in lung tissue through spatial analysis of RNA profiles and distinguished unique tissue host responses between regions with and without viral RNA, and in COVID-19 donor tissues relative to healthy lung. Finally, we analyzed genetic regions implicated in COVID-19 GWAS with transcriptomic data to implicate specific cell types and genes associated with disease severity. Overall, our COVID-19 cell atlas is a foundational dataset to better understand the biological impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection across the human body and empowers the identification of new therapeutic interventions and prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.25.430130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924267PMC
February 2021

Analysis of lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles in peripheral blood leukocytes of the half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) treated with chitosan oligosaccharide.

Dev Comp Immunol 2021 Jul 20;120:104043. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Qingdao University, Qingdao, 266071, China; Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266237, China. Electronic address:

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a multifaceted role in transcriptional regulation and are important regulators of immune function. Scarce information is available regarding lncRNAs in fish. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells participate in the immune response of fish and aid resistance to infection with pathogenic microorganisms. Chitosan oligosaccharide can improve cellular and humoral immunity to enhance disease resistance in fish. In this study, we obtained peripheral blood leukocytes from half-smooth tongue sole and studied the effect of chitosan oligosaccharide on the lncRNA-mRNA expression profile of these cells using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics techniques. A total of 609 differentially expressed mRNAs and 50 differentially expressed lncRNAs were identified. The GO term enrichment analysis of the differentially expressed genes was annotated by 220 GO terms, 137 biological processes, 18 cellular components, and 65 molecular functions. Sixteen KEGG pathways, including immune signaling pathways, metabolism, and genetic information processing, were significantly enriched in differentially expressed genes. Thirty-six differentially expressed lncRNAs and 32 differentially expressed mRNAs produced a coexpression network containing 90 relationship pairs. The prediction of lncRNA target genes revealed 244 lncRNAs that potentially cis-regulated 294 differentially expressed mRNAs. qPCR verified that the expression levels of 17 differentially expressed lncRNAs and 15 differentially expressed mRNAs were consistent with the RNA-Seq results. Among them, 6 lncRNAs and 7 mRNAs were differentially expressed genes obtained from the prediction and analysis of lncRNA target genes, and 8 lncRNAs and 4 mRNAs were differentially expressed genes that participated in the construction of the coexpression network. In peripheral blood leukocytes after chitosan oligosaccharide treatment, as well as in peripheral blood and spleen after Vibrio anguillarum stimulation, lncRNAs and mRNAs showed significant differential expression. The results indicated that they may be related to the immune response, providing novel reference information for further research on the role of lncRNAs in immune regulation in half-smooth tongue sole.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2021.104043DOI Listing
July 2021

Reduction in Nesfatin-1 Levels in the Cerebrospinal Fluid and Increased Nigrostriatal Degeneration Following Ventricular Administration of Anti-nesfatin-1 Antibody in Mice.

Front Neurosci 2021 28;15:621173. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Medical School of Qingdao University, Qingdao, China.

Nesfatin-1 is one of several brain-gut peptides that have a close relationship with the central dopaminergic system. Our previous studies have shown that nesfatin-1 is capable of protecting nigral dopaminergic neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity. A recent study also revealed a reduced blood level of nesfatin-1 in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The current study was designed to investigate whether reduced nesfatin-1 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) induces nigrostriatal system degeneration. An intra-cerebroventricular (ICV) injection technique was used to administer anti-nesfatin-1 antibody directly into the lateral ventricle of the brain. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results showed that ICV injection of anti-nesfatin-1 antibody into the lateral ventricle of the brain once daily for 2 weeks caused a significant reduction in nesfatin-1 levels in the CSF (93.1%). Treatment with anti-nesfatin-1 antibody resulted in a substantial loss (23%) of TH-positive (TH+) dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), as shown by immunofluorescence staining, a depletion in dopamine and its metabolites in the striatum detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and obvious nuclear shrinkage and mitochondrial lesions in dopaminergic neurons in the SNpc detected by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, the results from our Western blot and ELISA experiments demonstrated that anti-nesfatin-1 antibody injection induced an upregulation of caspase-3 activation, increased the expression of -ERK, and elevated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the SNpc. Taken together, these observations suggest that reduced nesfatin-1 in the brain may induce nigrostriatal dopaminergic system degeneration; this effect may be mediated mitochondrial dysfunction-related apoptosis. Our data support a role of nesfatin-1 in maintaining the normal physiological function of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.621173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890421PMC
January 2021

Controllable synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon containing Co and CoFe nanoparticles as effective catalysts for electrochemical oxygen conversion.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 May 2;590:622-631. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093, China. Electronic address:

Sufficient and well-distributed active sites and highly conductive carbon matrix are two important factors to achieve highly efficient electrocatalysts. In this study, we report an adjusted metal-organic frameworks (MOF)-based route for the preparation of nitrogen-doped Fe/Co bimetallic electrocatalysts. With suitable Fe/Co molar ratio (Fe/Co = 1/4.15), Co nanoparticles (NPs) with mild oxidation state and CoFe alloys wrapped with thin graphene layers are embedded in an integrated and continuous carbon network. The corresponding FC@NCs-4.15 catalyst exhibits excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity (onset potential (E) of 0.94 V and half-wave potential (E) of 0.84 V vs RHE) in alkaline medium, close to commercial Pt/C and superior to the other two FC@NCs. The desirable ORR performance results from the uniform distribution CoFe active sites, electron density modification from Co NPs to surrounding carbon layers, hierarchical pore structure with large surface area, low carbon content, high pyridinic and graphitic N components. The FC@NCs-4.15 also displays satisfactory methanol crossover tolerance and durability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2021.01.097DOI Listing
May 2021