Publications by authors named "Huihui Zhang"

233 Publications

Absolute Structure Determination and Kv1.5 Ion Channel Inhibition Activities of New Debromoaplysiatoxin Analogues.

Mar Drugs 2021 Nov 11;19(11). Epub 2021 Nov 11.

Department of Development Technology of Marine Resources, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China.

Potassium channel Kv1.5 has been considered a key target for new treatments of atrial tachyarrhythmias, with few side effects. Four new debromoaplysiatoxin analogues with a 6/6/12 fused ring system were isolated from marine cyanobacterium sp. Their planar structures were elucidated by HRESIMS, 1D and 2D NMR. The absolute configuration of oscillatoxin J () was determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and the absolute configurations of oscillatoxin K (), oscillatoxin L () and oscillatoxin M () were confirmed on the basis of GIAO NMR shift calculation followed by DP4 analysis. The current study confirmed the absolute configuration of the pivotal chiral positions (7S, 9S, 10S, 11R, 12S, 15S, 29R and 30R) at traditional ATXs with 6/12/6 tricyclic ring system. Compound , and exhibited blocking activities against Kv1.5 with IC values of 2.61 ± 0.91 µM, 3.86 ± 1.03 µM and 3.79 ± 1.01 µM, respectively. However, compound exhibited a minimum effect on Kv1.5 at 10 µM. Furthermore, all of these new debromoaplysiatoxin analogs displayed no apparent activity in a brine shrimp toxicity assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md19110630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8622842PMC
November 2021

Type I Interferon Promotes Antitumor T Cell Response in CRPC by Regulating MDSC.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Nov 8;13(21). Epub 2021 Nov 8.

Sheng Yushou Center of Cell Biology and Immunology, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

Background: Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the leading cause of death among prostate cancer patients. Here, our aim was to ascertain the immune regulatory mechanisms involved in CRPC development and identify potential immunotherapies against CRPC.

Methods: A CRPC model was established using Myc-CaP cells in immune-competent FVB mice following castration. The immune cell profile of the tumor microenvironment (TME) was analyzed during CRPC development. Different immunotherapies were screened in the CRPC tumor model, and their efficacies and underlying mechanisms were investigated in vitro and in vivo.

Results: During CRPC development, the proportion of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) in the TME increased. Among the immunotherapies tested, IFNα was more effective than anti-PD-L1, anti-CTLA-4, anti-4-1BB, IL-2, and IL-9 in reducing Myc-CaP CRPC tumor growth. IFNα reduced the number of G-MDSCs both in vitro during differentiation and in vivo in CRPC mice. Furthermore, IFNα reduced the suppressive function of G-MDSCs on T cell proliferation and activation.

Conclusion: G-MDSCs are crucial to effective immunotherapy against CRPC. Treatment with IFNα presents a promising therapeutic strategy against CRPC. Besides the direct inhibition of tumor growth and the promotion of T cell priming, IFNα reduces the number and the suppressive function of G-MDSCs and restores T cell activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215574DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8582786PMC
November 2021

Exponential synchronization of coupled neural networks under stochastic deception attacks.

Neural Netw 2022 Jan 23;145:189-198. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

School of Mathematics and Statistics, Shandong Normal University, Ji'nan 250014, China. Electronic address:

In this paper, the issue of synchronization is investigated for coupled neural networks subject to stochastic deception attacks. Firstly, a general differential inequality with delayed impulses is given. Then, the established differential inequality is further extended to the case of delayed stochastic impulses, in which both the impulsive instants and impulsive intensity are stochastic. Secondly, by modeling the stochastic discrete-time deception attacks as stochastic impulses, synchronization criteria of the coupled neural networks under the corresponding attacks are given. Finally, two numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the correctness of the theoretical results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2021.10.015DOI Listing
January 2022

Polydatin protects neuronal cells from hydrogen peroxide damage by activating CREB/Ngb signaling.

Mol Med Rep 2022 Jan 9;25(1). Epub 2021 Nov 9.

State Key Laboratory of Developmental Biology of Freshwater Fish, School of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410081, P.R. China.

Oxidative stress‑induced neuronal cell death contributes significantly to the physiological processes of a number of neurological disorders. Polydatin (PD) has been reported to protect against Alzheimer's disease (AD), ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury. However, the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms remain to be elucidated. The current study suggested that PD activates AKT/cAMP response element‑binding protein (CREB) signaling and induces neuroglobin (Ngb) to protect neuronal cells from hydrogen peroxide (HO) . PD inhibited the HO‑induced neuronal cell death of primary mouse cortical neurons and N2a cells. Functional studies showed that PD attenuated HO‑induced mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production. Mechanistically, PD was verified to induce the phosphorylation of AKT and CREB and increase the protein level of Ngb. The luciferase assay results showed that Ngb transcriptional activity was activated by CREB, especially after PD treatment. It was further indicated that PD increased the transcription of Ngb by enhancing the binding of CREB to the promoter region of Ngb. Finally, Ngb knockdown largely attenuated the neuroprotective role of PD against HO. The results indicated that PD protected neuronal cells from HO by activating CREB/Ngb signaling in neuronal cells, indicating that PD has a neuroprotective effect against neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8600421PMC
January 2022

Mutations in the nAChR β1 subunit and overexpression of P450 genes are associated with high resistance to thiamethoxam in melon aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2021 Oct 29;258:110682. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

The TMXR is a strain of melon aphids (Aphis gossypii Glover) that has extremely high resistance (resistance ratio > 2300 fold) to thiamethoxam. We explored the basis of this resistance by examining differences in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (CYP450s) between the TMXR and the susceptible strain. The results showed that two mutation sites of nAChR β1 subunit, V62I and R81T, were found in TMXR, with the mutation frequencies of the two mutation sites as 93.75%. Meanwhile, compared with the susceptible strain, the expression level of nAChR β1 subunit gene in the TMXR decreased by 38%. In addition, piperonyl butoxide (PBO) showed a synergistic ratio of 17.78-fold on TMX toxicity against the TMXR, which suggested the involvement of CYP450s in the TMX resistance of melon aphid. Moreover, the expression levels of 4 P450s genes were significantly higher in the TMXR than the susceptible strain. Through RNAi, we verified that down-regulating CYP6DA1 increased the sensitivity of TMXR to TMX toxicity, demonstrating that a decrease in CYP6DA1 expression may reduce resistance in vivo. These results suggest that A. gossypii has the capacity to develop extremely high resistance to TMX through aggregated resistance mechanisms including enhancement of detoxification by upregulation of CYP450s, and target insensitivity caused by alteration of nAChR β1 subunit with mutation and low expression. These findings provide basic information for further clarifying the molecular mechanism of insecticide resistance in A. gossypii.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2021.110682DOI Listing
October 2021

Bivalent β-Carbolines Inhibit Colorectal Cancer Growth through Inducing Autophagy.

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2021 ;69(11):1104-1109

Cancer Center, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.

In this study, a series of alkyl diamine linked bivalent β-carbolines was synthesized and evaluated as antitumor agent. The results demonstrated that most compounds displayed good antiproliferative activities with IC value lower than 10 µM against a panel of human tumor cell lines, and compound 8 was found to be the most potent antiproliferative agent with IC value of 1.39, 1.96, 1.42, 1.49, 1.32, 1.96 and 1.63 µM against human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7), human adenocarcinoma cell line (769-P), human malighant melanoma cell line (A375), human ovarian cancer cell line (SK-OV-3), human colon carcinoma cell line (HCT-116), human gastric cancer cell line (BGC-823) and human esophageal squamous carcinoma cell line (Eca-109), respectively. Further investigations on mechanism of action of this class of compound demonstrated that the representative compound 8 inhibited colorectal cancer growth through inducing autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1248/cpb.c21-00588DOI Listing
January 2021

Angiopoietin-like protein 2 deficiency promotes periodontal inflammation and alveolar bone loss.

J Periodontol 2021 Oct 28. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST KLOS) and Key Laboratory for Oral Biomedical Engineering of Ministry of Education (KLOBME), School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

Background: Human periodontitis is a highly prevalent inflammatory disease that leads to connective tissue degradation, alveolar bone resorption, and tooth loss. Angiopoietin-like 2 (ANGPTL2) regulates chronic inflammation in various diseases and is functionally involved in maintaining tissue homeostasis and promoting tissue regeneration, but there is limited information about its function in periodontitis. Here we investigated the expression and explicit role of ANGPTL2 in periodontitis.

Methods: Immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were used to detect the ANGPTL2 expression in periodontal tissues and periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs). A ligature-induced periodontitis model was generated in wild-type and ANGPTL2 knockout mice. qRT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to assess the production of inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in cultured PDLCs. Western blot was performed to detect proteins in relevant signaling pathways.

Results: Increased ANGPTL2 expression was observed in inflamed periodontal tissues and PDLCs. ANGPTL2 deficiency promoted alveolar bone loss with enhanced osteoclastogenesis and inflammatory reactions in ligature-induced periodontitis. Downregulation of ANGPTL2 remarkably enhanced expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, MMP1, and MMP13 in Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide-induced PDLCs, whereas ANGPTL2-overexpressing PDLCs showed opposite trends. ANGPTL2 downregulation activated STAT3 and nuclear factor-κB pathways and blocked Akt signaling under inflammatory environment. Treatment with a STAT3 inhibitor partially suppressed the inflammatory reaction of PDLCs mediated by ANGPTL2 knockdown.

Conclusions: Our study provides the first evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect of ANGPTL2 in murine periodontitis. The findings demonstrate the critical and protective role of ANGPTL2 in alveolar bone loss and periodontal inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JPER.21-0290DOI Listing
October 2021

virusMED: an atlas of hotspots of viral proteins.

IUCrJ 2021 Sep 28;8(Pt 6). Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Hunan University College of Biology, Bioinformatics Center, Hunan 410082, People's Republic of China.

Metal binding sites, antigen epitopes and drug binding sites are the hotspots in viral proteins that control how viruses interact with their hosts. virusMED ( etal binding sites, pitopes and rug binding sites) is a rich internet application based on a database of atomic interactions around hotspots in 7041 experimentally determined viral protein structures. 25306 hotspots from 805 virus strains from 75 virus families were characterized, including influenza, HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Just as Google Maps organizes and annotates points of interest, virusMED presents the positions of individual hotspots on each viral protein and creates an atlas upon which newly characterized functional sites can be placed as they are being discovered. virusMED contains an extensive set of annotation tags about the virus species and strains, viral hosts, viral proteins, metal ions, specific antibodies and FDA-approved drugs, which permits rapid screening of hotspots on viral proteins tailored to a particular research problem. The virusMED portal (https://virusmed.biocloud.top) can serve as a window to a valuable resource for many areas of virus research and play a critical role in the rational design of new preventative and therapeutic agents targeting viral infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S2052252521009076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8479994PMC
September 2021

Exogenous melatonin alleviates NO damage in tobacco leaves by promoting antioxidant defense, modulating redox homeostasis, and signal transduction.

J Hazard Mater 2022 Feb 20;424(Pt A):127265. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. Electronic address:

Nitrogen dioxide (NO) is a common outdoor air pollutant, which has adverse effects on the environment and human health. Herein, NO inhibited photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity in plants. Melatonin (Mel) is a neurohormone found in the pineal gland. Exogenous Mel alleviated chlorophyll degradation and increased the expression of key proteins and genes in the process of chlorophyll synthesis in tobacco leaves exposed to NO. Additionally, the activities of photosystem II (PSII) and photosystem I (PSI) were enhanced. PSII and PSI reaction center proteins and genes were upregulated. Mel pre-treatment enhanced enzyme activities and expression of proteins related to the ascorbic acid-glutathione cycle and thioredoxin-peroxiredoxin pathway in leaves exposed to NO, thus regulating their redox balance. Furthermore, exogenous Mel mediated the polyamine synthesis pathway and increased the expression of the key enzyme proteins SAMS1, SAMS2, and SAMS3 in the polyamine synthesis pathway in leaves under NO stress. Mel regulated ABA signal transduction and calmodulin binding transcription factors CAMTA12 and NtCaM calmodulin NtCaM2 in Ca signal transduction. Collectively, these results elucidate that Mel can alleviate high-concentration NO, thus suitable for agricultural application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127265DOI Listing
February 2022

Thioredoxin-like protein CDSP32 alleviates Cd-induced photosynthetic inhibition in tobacco leaves by regulating cyclic electron flow and excess energy dissipation.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Oct 13;167:831-839. Epub 2021 Sep 13.

College of Life Sciences, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China; College of Resources and Environment, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China; School of Forestry, State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China. Electronic address:

Thioredoxin-like protein CDSP32 (Trx CDSP32), a thioredoxin-like (Trx-like) protein located in the chloroplast, can regulate photosynthesis and the redox state of plants under stress. In order to examine the role of Trx CDSP32 in the photosynthetic apparatus of plants exposed to cadmium (Cd), the effects of Trx CDSP32 on photosynthetic function and photoprotection in tobacco leaves under Cd exposure were studied using a proteomics approach with wild-type (WT) and Trx CDSP32 overexpression (OE) tobacco plants. Cd exposure reduced stomatal conductance, blocked PSII photosynthetic electron transport, and inhibited carbon assimilation. Increased water use efficiency (WUE), cyclic electron flow (CEF) of the proton gradient regulation 5 pathway (PGR5-CEF), and regulated energy dissipation [Y(NPQ)] are important mechanisms of Cd adaptation. However, CEF of the NAD(P)H dehydrogenase pathway (NDH-CEF) was inhibited by Cd exposure. Relative to control conditions, the expression levels of violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE) and photosystem II 22 kDa protein (PsbS) in OE leaves were significantly increased under Cd exposure, but those in WT leaves did not change significantly. Moreover, the expression of zeaxanthin epoxidase (ZE) under Cd exposure was significantly higher than that in WT leaves. Thus, Trx CDSP32 increased Y(NPQ) and alleviated PSII photoinhibition under Cd exposure. Trx CDSP32 not only increased PGR5-like protein 1A and 1B expression, but also alleviated the down-regulation of NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase subunits induced by Cd exposure. Thus, Trx CDSP32 promotes CEF in Cd-exposed tobacco leaves. Thus, Trx CDSP32 alleviates the Cd-induced photoinhibition in tobacco leaves by regulating two photoprotective mechanisms: CEF and xanthophyll cycle-dependent energy dissipation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.09.016DOI Listing
October 2021

A CLDN18.2-Targeting Bispecific T Cell Co-Stimulatory Activator for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Cancer Manag Res 2021 7;13:6977-6987. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Sheng Yushou Center of Cell Biology and Immunology, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, People's Republic of China.

Background: Co-stimulatory receptor agonist antibodies have shown promising antitumor efficacy in preclinical models. However, their clinical development lags due to systemic or local adverse effects of non-specific T cell activation. Utilization of a bispecific antibody format to reduce off-tumor immune activation is a focus of co-stimulatory receptor agonist antibody design.

Methods: In this study, a bispecific antibody with anti-CLDN18.2 and anti-CD28 moieties was produced. Its T cell costimulation ability was evaluated in T cell coculture assay in vitro. Its safety and anti-tumor efficacy were explored in mouse tumor models.

Results: Anti-CLDN18.2-anti-CD28 bispecific antibody could co-stimulate T cells and increase the expression of effector cytokines in a CLDN18.2-dependent manner. Treatment of anti-CLDN18.2-anti-CD28 could reduce tumor burden and increase tumor-infiltrated T cells. Immunosuppressive cells including tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells were also reduced without systemic adverse effects.

Conclusion: This work provided proof-of-concept evidence for a new strategy to develop a bispecific co-stimulatory activator for treating CLDN18.2 tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S330637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8434866PMC
September 2021

An ultrahigh sensitivity micro-cliff graphene wearable pressure sensor made by instant flash light exposure.

Nanoscale 2021 Sep 23;13(36):15380-15393. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Centre for Translational Atomaterials, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, P. O. Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia.

Wearable and highly sensitive pressure sensors are of great importance for robotics, health monitoring and biomedical applications. For simultaneously achieving high sensitivity within a broad working range, fast response time (within a few milliseconds), minimal hysteresis and excellent cycling stability are critical for high performance pressure sensors. However, it remains a major challenge. Herein, we report a conceptual micro-cliff design of a graphene sensor with a record high sensitivity of up to 72 568 kPa in a broad working range of 0-255 kPa, which is one order of magnitude higher than the state-of-the-art reported sensitivity. In addition, the detection limit can be as low as 0.35 Pa and the fast response time is less than 5 ms. The sensor also has a minimal hysteresis and an outstanding cycling stability of 5000 cycles, all of which meet the requirements of an ideal pressure sensor. More interestingly, the micro-cliff graphene sensor is made by the fast and scalable flash reduction of graphene oxide using a single flashlight pulse within 150 ms and has been integrated into a wearable smart insole and an E-glove prototype for demonstration of health monitoring applications. This micro-cliff graphene pressure sensor achieves record-high sensitivity, which brings new possibilities in sensor research and promises broad applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr04333aDOI Listing
September 2021

Study on the Interactive Effects of Solid Particles and Asphaltenes on the Interfacial Structure and Stability of a Water-in-Model Oil Emulsion.

Langmuir 2021 Sep 31;37(36):10827-10837. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Safety, Chemistry and Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway.

Asphaltenes and solid particles are common compositions in crude oil emulsions. They can be anchored at the oil/water interface, exerting significant effects on the strength of an interfacial layer. In this study, the interactive effects of the asphaltenes and solid particles on the interfacial structure are investigated. First, the solid particles and asphaltenes are proven to perform different roles in stabilizing the emulsion by influencing the strength of the interfacial layer with the change in asphaltene concentration. Subsequently, the competitive coadsorption process of the asphaltenes and particles is examined by measuring the dynamic interfacial tension. The adsorption of particles could occupy the interfacial area, postponing the adsorption of asphaltenes. The crumpling ratio of the interfacial layer formed by the asphaltenes and solid particles indicates that the composite layer should be more flexible with a higher compressibility compared to that formed by only asphaltenes. It is observed by SEM that the binary layer possesses a composite structure with the particles as the framework and the asphaltenes as the filling. The interactive mechanism between the asphaltenes and particles should lie in the adsorption of the asphaltenes on the particles. Systematic experiments on the contact angle, adsorbed amount, and desorption percentage reveal that asphaltenes could adsorb on the surface of the particles, modifying the wettability. The change in asphaltene concentration will result in the varying wettability modification due to asphaltene adsorption on the particles, leading to the different adsorption abilities and barrier effects of the modified particles at the interface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c01753DOI Listing
September 2021

Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes Improve Ovarian Function and Proliferation of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency by Regulating the Hippo Signaling Pathway.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 12;12:711902. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.

Background: Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is associated with severe physical damage and psychological burden on women. Transplantation of exosomes is an encouraging regenerative medicine method, which has the potential for restoring ovarian functions on POI with high efficiency. This study aims at evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes (hUCMSC-Exos) on ovarian dysfunction of POI and the role of Hippo pathway in this exosome-mediated treatment.

Methods: POI mice models were established through intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide. Subsequently, transplantation of hUCMSC-Exos was conducted to administer POI mice. Ovaries and plasma of these mice models were harvested after two weeks of treatment. Ovarian morphology and follicle number were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Moreover, ELISA was used to detect hormone levels, which are related to ovarian function in serum. To assess the recovery of reproductive ability, we recorded the rate of pregnancy, the amount of offspring, and the time of birth in different groups. To explore the underlying mechanisms of exosome-mediated treatment for ovarian function recovery, the proliferation of ovarian cells was detected by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining. Additionally, we conducted EdU and CCK-8 assays to assess the proliferative ability of ovarian granulosa cells (GCs) that were cultured . Western blot analysis was conducted to estimate the proteins levels of Hippo- and proliferation-associated molecules .

Results: After transplantation of hUCMSC-Exos, the ovarian function-related hormone levels and the number of ovarian follicles returned to nearly normal degrees. Meanwhile, there was a significant improvement in reproductive outcomes after exosomal treatment. Furthermore, the improvement of ovarian function and proliferation was associated with the regulation of Hippo pathway. , co-culture with exosomes significantly elevated the proliferation of ovarian GCs by regulating Hippo pathway. However, the positive effects on the proliferation of GCs were significantly depressed when key Hippo pathway molecule was inhibited.

Conclusion: This study suggested that hUCMSC-Exos promoted ovarian functions and proliferation by regulating the Hippo pathway. Therefore, exosomal transplantation could be a promising and efficient clinical therapy for POI in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.711902DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397419PMC
August 2021

Systematic Review and Quality Evaluation of Pharmacoeconomic Studies on Traditional Chinese Medicines.

Front Public Health 2021 3;9:706366. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

West China School of Pharmacy, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

This study was aimed to find and appraise the available published pharmacoeconomic research on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), to identify related issues and make suggestions for improvement in future research. After developing a search strategy and establishing inclusion and exclusion criteria, pharmacoeconomic studies on TCM were sourced from seven Chinese and English databases from inception to April 2020. Basic information about the studies and key pharmacoeconomic items of each study were extracted. The quality of each study was evaluated by using the British Medical Journal economic submissions checklist for authors and peer reviewers, focusing on factors such as study design, research time horizon, sample size, perspective, and evaluation methods. A total of 431 published pharmacoeconomic articles with 434 studies on topics including cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-minimization, cost-utility, or combination analyses were identified and included in this review. Of these, 424 were published in Chinese and 7 in English. These studies conducted economic evaluations of 264 Chinese patent medicines and 70 types of TCM prescriptions for 143 diseases, including those of the central nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, gynecologyical, and other systems. The studied TCMs included blood-activating agents (such as Xuesaitong tablet, Fufant Danshen tablet, and Danhong Injection), blood circulation promoting agents (such as Shuxuetong injection, Rupixiao tablet, and Fufang Danshen injection), and other therapeutic agents. The overall quality score of the studies was 0.62 (range 0.38 to 0.85). The mean quality score of studies in English was 0.72, which was higher than that of studies in Chinese with 0.62. The quality of pharmacoeconomic studies on TCM was relatively, generally low. Major concerns included study design, inappropriate pharmacoeconomic evaluation, insufficient sample size, or non-scientific assessment. Enhanced methodological training and cooperation, the development of a targeted pharmacoeconomic evaluation guideline, and proposal of a reasonable health outcome index are warranted to improve quality of future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.706366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8368976PMC
October 2021

Physiological and comparative transcriptome analysis of leaf response and physiological adaption to saline alkali stress across pH values in alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Oct 31;167:140-152. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

College of Life Sciences, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. Electronic address:

Soil salinization is a critical factor limiting growth and causing physiological dysfunction in plants. The damage from alkaline salt in most plants is significantly greater than that from neutral salt. However, there is still a lack of research on the action mechanism by which saline alkali stress on plants under the same salt concentration across different pH values. The present study examined the effects of different pH values (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, and 10.0) under the same salt concentration (200 mmolL) on photosynthetic function, photoprotective mechanism, nitrogen metabolism, and osmotic regulation in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leaves, including a transcriptomic analysis of changes in gene expression related to the above metabolic processes. The results showed that low pH saline alkali stress (pH 7.0 and 8.0) promoted chlorophyll synthesis in alfalfa leaves, and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and cyclic electron transfer (CEF) were promoted. There was no significant effect on plant growth or photochemical activity. The soluble sugar, proline, and soluble protein contents did not change significantly, and there was no obvious oxidative damage in alfalfa leaves. However, when pH increased to 9.0 and 10.0, KEGG enrichment analysis showed that photosynthesis (map00195) and nitrogen metabolism (map00910) were significantly enriched (P < 0.05), and PSII antenna protein coding genes were down-regulated under pH 9.0 and 10.0 treatments. The activities of PSII and PSI were decreased under high pH saline alkali stress, and the expression levels of the photosynthetic electron transporter-related genes PetA, PetB, petE, and petF were also significantly down-regulated. PSII was more sensitive to high pH saline alkali stress than PSI, and the PSII receptor side was more sensitive to high pH saline alkali stress than the PSII donor side. The activities of the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) and PSI were significantly damaged only at pH 10.0. The activities of nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR), the expression levels of their genes, and the content of soluble protein were also decreased under pH 9.0 and 10.0 treatments. The inhibition of plant growth and oxidative damage to alfalfa leaves caused by high pH saline alkali stress were mainly related to the inhibition of photosynthesis (light energy absorption, electron transfer) and nitrogen metabolism (NO reduction). Under high pH saline alkali stress (pH 10.0), the photoprotection mechanisms such as CEF and NPQ were inhibited, which was also one of the important reasons for photoinhibition in alfalfa leaves. The accumulation of osmotic adjustment substances, such as soluble sugar and proline, was an important mechanism by which alfalfa physiologically adapted to high pH alkaline salt stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.07.040DOI Listing
October 2021

Sequence structure organizes items in varied latent states of working memory neural network.

Elife 2021 07 26;10. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.

In memory experiences, events do not exist independently but are linked with each other via structure-based organization. Structure context largely influences memory behavior, but how it is implemented in the brain remains unknown. Here, we combined magnetoencephalogram (MEG) recordings, computational modeling, and impulse-response approaches to probe the latent states when subjects held a list of items in working memory (WM). We demonstrate that sequence context reorganizes WM items into distinct latent states, that is, being reactivated at different latencies during WM retention, and the reactivation profiles further correlate with recency behavior. In contrast, memorizing the same list of items without sequence task requirements weakens the recency effect and elicits comparable neural reactivations. Computational modeling further reveals a dominant function of sequence context, instead of passive memory decaying, in characterizing recency effect. Taken together, sequence structure context shapes the way WM items are stored in the human brain and essentially influences memory behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.67589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328517PMC
July 2021

Geographical variations in maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy associated with birth weight in Shaanxi province, Northwestern China.

PLoS One 2021 22;16(7):e0254891. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, P.R. China.

The geographical variation of maternal dietary patterns related to birth outcomes is important for improving the health of mothers and children; however, it is currently unknown. Thus, the objective of the study was to investigate geographical variations of maternal dietary pattern during pregnancy, and evaluate the spatial varying association of maternal dietary patterns in pregnancy with abnormal birth weight. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Shaanxi province in Northwest China in 2013 to evaluate the relationship between abnormal birth weight and dietary pattern using the Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR). Three dietary patterns during pregnancy were extracted through factor analysis, explaining approximately 45.8% of the variability of food intake. Approximately 81.6% of mothers with higher scores on the equilibrium pattern was more unlikely to have small for gestational age (SGA) infants, with the lower OR observed in Central and South Shaanxi. The snacks pattern was positively associated with low birth weight (LBW) for 23.2% of participants, with the highest OR in Central Shaanxi. Among about 80.0% of participants with higher scores on the snacks pattern living in South and Central Shaanxi, there was a higher risk for SGA. The OR values tend to descend from South to North Shaanxi. The OR values of the negative association between prudent pattern and LBW decreased from South to North Shaanxi among approximately 59.3% of participants. The prudent pattern was also negatively associated with the increasing risk of fetal macrosomia among 19.2% of participants living mainly in South Shaanxi. The association of maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy with abnormal birth weight varied geographically across Shaanxi province. The findings emphasize the importance of geographical distribution to improve the dietary patterns among disadvantaged pregnant women.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254891PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8297908PMC
November 2021

Identification, cloning, and characterization of Cherry Valley duck CD4 and its antiviral immune responses.

Poult Sci 2021 Sep 19;100(9):101262. Epub 2021 May 19.

Sino-German Cooperative Research Centre for Zoonosis of Animal Origin of Shandong Province, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology and Disease Control and Prevention, Shandong Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center of Animal Disease Control and Prevention, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, 61 Daizong Street, Tai'an City, Shandong Province 271018, China; Collaborative Innovation Center for the Origin and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Shandong First Medical University, Tai'an City, Shandong Province 271000, China. Electronic address:

CD4 protein is a single chain transmembrane glycoprotein and has a broad functionality beyond cell-mediated immunity. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding sequence (CDS) of duck CD4 (duCD4) and analyzed its sequence and structure, and expression levels in several tissues. It consists of 1,449 nucleotides and encodes a 482 amino acid protein. The putative protein of duCD4 consisted of an N-terminal signal peptide, three immunoglobulins and one immunoglobulins-like domain in its central, one terminal transmembrane region, and a C-terminal domain of the CD4 T cell receptor. The duCD4 also has the typical signature "CXC" of CD4s. The multiple sequence alignment suggests duCD4 has four potential N-glycosylation sites and the phylogenetic analysis suggests duCD4 shares greater similarity with avian than other vertebrates. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that duCD4 mRNA transcripts are widely distributed in the healthy Cherry Valley duck, and the highest level in the thymus. During the virus infection, the obvious change of duCD4 expression was observed in the spleen, lung and brain, which suggesting that duCD4 could be involved in the host's immune response to multiple types of viruses. Our research studied the characterization, tissue distribution, and antiviral immune responses of duCD4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287243PMC
September 2021

TMT-based quantitative proteomic analysis of the effects of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci (Pst) infection on photosynthetic function and the response of the MAPK signaling pathway in tobacco leaves.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Sep 26;166:657-667. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

College of Life Sciences, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. Electronic address:

To reveal the mechanism of photosynthesis inhibition by infection and the response of the MAPK signaling pathway to pathogen infection, tobacco leaves were inoculated with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci (Pst), and the effects of Pst infection on photosynthesis of tobacco leaves were studied by physiological and proteomic techniques, with a focus on MAPK signaling pathway related proteins. Pst infection was observed to lead to the degradation of chlorophyll (especially Chl b) in tobacco leaves and the down-regulation of light harvesting antenna proteins expression, thus limiting the light harvesting ability. The photosystem II and I (PSII and PSI) activities were also decreased, and Pst infection inhibited the utilization of light and CO. Proteomic analyses showed that the number of differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) under Pst infection at 3 d were significantly higher than at 1 d, especially the number of down-regulated proteins. The KEGG enrichment of DEPs was mainly enriched in the energy metabolism processes such as photosynthesis antenna proteins and photosynthesis. The down-regulation of chlorophyll a-b binding protein, photosynthetic electron transport related proteins (e.g., PSII and PSI core proteins, the Cytb6/f complex, PC, Fd, FNR), ATP synthase subunits, and key enzymes in the Calvin cycle were the key changes associated with Pst infection that may inhibit tobacco photosynthesis. The effect of Pst infection on the PSII electron acceptor side was significantly greater than that on the PSII donor side. The main factor that decreased the photosynthetic ability of tobacco leaves with Pst infection at 1 d may be the inhibition of photochemical reactions leading to an insufficient supply of ATP, rather than decreased expression of enzymes involved in the Calvin cycle. At 1 d into Pst infection, the PSII regulated energy dissipation yield Y(NPQ) may play a role in preventing photosynthetic inhibition in tobacco leaves, but the long-term Pst infection significantly inhibited Y(NPQ) and the expression of PsbS proteins. Proteins involved in the MAPK signaling pathway were up-regulated, suggesting the MAPK signaling pathway was activated to respond to Pst infection. However, at the late stage of Pst infection (at 3 d), MAPK signaling pathway proteins were degraded, and the defense function of the MAPK signaling pathway in tobacco leaves was damaged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.06.049DOI Listing
September 2021

The Antimicrobial Peptide Mastoparan X Protects Against Enterohemorrhagic O157:H7 Infection, Inhibits Inflammation, and Enhances the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier.

Front Microbiol 2021 10;12:644887. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, China.

can cause intestinal diseases in humans and livestock, destroy the intestinal barrier, exacerbate systemic inflammation, and seriously threaten human health and animal husbandry development. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the antimicrobial peptide mastoparan X (MPX) was effective against infection. BALB/c mice infected with by intraperitoneal injection, which represents a sepsis model. In this study, MPX exhibited no toxicity in IPEC-J2 cells and notably suppressed the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released by . In addition, MPX improved the expression of ZO-1, occludin, and claudin and enhanced the wound healing of IPEC-J2 cells. The therapeutic effect of MPX was evaluated in a murine model, revealing that it protected mice from lethal infection. Furthermore, MPX increased the length of villi and reduced the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the jejunum. SEM and TEM analyses showed that MPX effectively ameliorated the jejunum damage caused by and increased the number and length of microvilli. In addition, MPX decreased the expression of IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, p-p38, and p-p65 in the jejunum and colon. Moreover, MPX increased the expression of ZO-1, occludin, and MUC2 in the jejunum and colon, improved the function of the intestinal barrier, and promoted the absorption of nutrients. This study suggests that MPX is an effective therapeutic agent for infection and other intestinal diseases, laying the foundation for the development of new drugs for bacterial infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.644887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222680PMC
June 2021

Alkaline thermal pretreatment of waste activated sludge for enhanced hydrogen production in microbial electrolysis cells.

J Environ Manage 2021 Sep 12;294:113000. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, Beijing Key Lab of Oil & Gas Pollution Control, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, 102249, China; College of Chemical Engineering and Environment, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, 102249, China. Electronic address:

Resource utilization of waste activated sludge (WAS) has become a mainstream development direction. Alkaline thermal pretreatment (TPT) was found to greatly promote the bioaccessibility and biodegradability of the sludge. The organic matter including soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), soluble carbohydrate, soluble protein and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) after low temperature (90 °C) pretreatment was 4.8%-65.9% higher than that after high temperature (180 °C) pretreatment. These increasements could be contributed by the alkaline treatment condition and the longer treatment time. The alkaline condition reduced the resistance of cell wall to the temperature. The pretreatment time at 90 °C was two times of that at 180 °C, allowing more organic matter to be released. But the total energy consumption of low temperature pretreatment (2580.7 kJ/L) was 30.5% lower than that of high temperature pretreatment (3711.8 kJ/L). The sludge fermentation liquid (SFL) was then employed as the substrate in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), and the utilization efficiency of acetic acid was the highest (74.9%-83.2%). The hydrogen yield using low temperature pretreated sludge was 0.44 m/(m·d), which was higher than that of using high temperature pretreated sludge (0.31 m/(m·d)). These results suggested that alkaline TPT at 90 °C was an effective way to hydrolyze sludge and further enhance hydrogen production in MECs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113000DOI Listing
September 2021

The triclosan-induced shift from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism link to increased steroidogenesis in human ovarian granulosa cells.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Sep 31;220:112389. Epub 2021 May 31.

Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200292, China. Electronic address:

Triclosan (TCS) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC), which is used ubiquitously as an antimicrobial ingredient in healthcare products and causes contamination in the environment such as air, water, and biosolid-amended soil. Exposure to TCS may increase the risk of reproduction diseases and health issues. Several groups, including ours, have proved that TCS increased the biosynthesis of steroid hormones in different types of steroidogenic cells. However, the precise mechanism of toxic action of TCS on increased steroidogenesis at a molecular level remains to be elucidated. In this study, we try to address the mode of action that TCS affects energy metabolism with increased steroidogenesis. We evaluated the adverse effects of TCS on energy metabolism and steroidogenesis in human ovarian granulosa cells. The goal is to elucidate how increased steroidogenesis can occur with a shortage of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) whereas mitochondria-based energy metabolism is impaired. Our results demonstrated TCS increased estradiol and progesterone levels with upregulated steroidogenesis gene expression at concentrations ranging from 0 to 10 µM. Besides, glucose consumption, lactate level, and pyruvate kinase transcription were increased. Interestingly, the lactate level was attenuated with increased steroidogenesis, suggesting that pyruvate fate was shifted away from the formation of lactate towards steroidogenesis. Our study is gathering evidence suggesting a mode of action that TCS changes energy metabolism by predominating glucose flow towards the biosynthesis of steroid hormones. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that TCS presents such toxic action in disrupting hormone homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112389DOI Listing
September 2021

Radical-mediated sulfonyl alkynylation, allylation, and cyanation of propellane.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jun;57(49):6066-6069

Key Laboratory of Organic Synthesis of Jiangsu Province, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, 199 Ren-Ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China. and Key Laboratory of Synthetic Chemistry of Natural Substances, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 345 Lingling Road, Shanghai 200032, China.

Bicyclo[1.1.1]pentane (BCP) is widely applied as the bioisostere for aryl, internal alkynes, and tert-butyl groups in medicinal chemistry. We herein disclose an efficient and practical preparation of sulfonyl alkynyl/allyl/cyano-substituted BCP derivatives through a novel radical-mediated difunctionalization of propellane. The radical alkynylation, allylation, and cyanation processes readily proceed under mild photochemical conditions. The synthetic method features broad functional group tolerance, high product diversity, gram-scale preparation, and excellent atom-economy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc02249kDOI Listing
June 2021

Engineering mesenchymal stromal cells with neutralizing and anti-inflammatory capability against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2021 Jun 14;21:754-764. Epub 2021 May 14.

Sheng Yushou Center of Cell Biology and Immunology, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

The emergence of the novel human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has markedly affected global health and the economy. Both uncontrolled viral replication and a proinflammatory cytokine storm can cause severe tissue damage in patients with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 utilizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its entry receptor. In this study, we generated ACE2 extracellular domain-Fc and single-chain variable fragment-interleukin 6 (IL-6) single-chain variable fragment against IL-6 receptor (scFv-IL6R)-Fc fusion proteins to differentially neutralize viruses and ameliorate the cytokine storm. The human ACE2 (hACE2)-Fc fusion protein showed a potent inhibitory effect on pseudo-typed SARS-CoV-2 entry and a good safety profile in mice. In addition, scFv-IL6R-Fc strongly blocked IL-6 signal activation. We also established a mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based hACE2-Fc and scFv-IL6R-Fc delivery system, which could serve as a potential therapy strategy for urgent clinical needs of patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omtm.2021.05.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118700PMC
June 2021

Removal of refractory organics in wastewater by coagulation/flocculation with green chlorine-free coagulants.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Sep 8;787:147654. Epub 2021 May 8.

State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, Beijing Key Lab of Oil & Gas Pollution Control, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China; College of Chemical Engineering and Environment, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China. Electronic address:

Coagulation/flocculation is considered an economical and practical technology to remove refractory organic matter from wastewater. Coagulants containing chlorine may release chloride ions into water, thereby resulting in corrosion. A green chlorine-free coagulant of polyaluminum ferric silicate (PSAF) was synthesized to treat non-oily (e.g., humus wastewater) and oily refractory wastewaters (e.g., lubricating oil wastewater). Results showed that the highest removal efficiency of humus substances in non-oily wastewater achieved 96.0% at pH 7.0 using PSAF alone. When treating oily wastewater, the dosage and addition sequence of PAMALAM significantly affected the coagulation performance. The removal efficiencies of turbidity, chemical oxygen demand, and total nitrogen were increased by 0.3, 1.8, and 5.9 folds, respectively, with the optimal adding sequence of PSAF +0.08% PAMALAM. More fulvic acid-like substances can be removed during this process. The analysis of zeta potential and floc properties revealed that charge neutralization, sweep, and adsorption/entrapment mechanisms existed during the single PSAF coagulation process, and PAMALAM mainly improved the adsorption, bridging, and sweep function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147654DOI Listing
September 2021

Observation of the impact of the eight-step process combined with the four-track crossover quality control applied to patients with glioma surgery: a randomised trial.

Ann Transl Med 2021 Apr;9(8):696

Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Background: At present, surgery is the main treatment for patients with glioma, but there are certain risks in the operation. The traction and stress reaction of related brain tissue during surgery can cause complications such as cerebral edema, which adversely affects the prognosis of patients. The purpose of the present study was to explore the effect of an eight-step process combined with four-track quality control applied to patients undergoing glioma surgery.

Methods: A total of 122 patients undergoing glioma surgery admitted to our hospital from March 2017 to March 2020 were selected and divided into two groups according to the random number table method, each with 61 cases. The control group underwent routine intervention after surgery and the observation group underwent an eight-step process combined with four-track cross-over quality control intervention after surgery. The postoperative rehabilitation effects, cancer-related fatigue, changes in quality of life, and the incidence of complications before and after intervention were compared between the two groups.

Results: The time of catheter removal, the time of first eating, the time of getting out of bed, and the length of hospital stay of the observation group were shorter than those of the control group (P<0.05). In the observation group cognitive fatigue, physical fatigue, and emotional fatigue scores were lower than those of the control group after intervention (P<0.05) and the quality-of-life scores of the observation group after intervention were higher than those of the control group (P<0.05). The total incidence of complications in the observation group was lower than that of the control group (P<0.05).

Conclusions: The eight-step process combined with four-track quality control applied to patients undergoing glioma surgery can reduce cancer-related fatigue, improve quality of life, reduce complications, and promote speedy recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-1228DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106022PMC
April 2021

The effect of sociodemographic factors on COVID-19 incidence of 342 cities in China: a geographically weighted regression model analysis.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 May 7;21(1):428. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710061, People's Republic of China.

Background: Since December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread quickly among the population and brought a severe global impact. However, considerable geographical disparities in the distribution of COVID-19 incidence existed among different cities. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of sociodemographic factors on COVID-19 incidence of 342 cities in China from a geographic perspective.

Methods: Official surveillance data about the COVID-19 and sociodemographic information in China's 342 cities were collected. Local geographically weighted Poisson regression (GWPR) model and traditional generalized linear models (GLM) Poisson regression model were compared for optimal analysis.

Results: Compared to that of the GLM Poisson regression model, a significantly lower corrected Akaike Information Criteria (AICc) was reported in the GWPR model (61953.0 in GLM vs. 43218.9 in GWPR). Spatial auto-correlation of residuals was not found in the GWPR model (global Moran's I = - 0.005, p = 0.468), inferring the capture of the spatial auto-correlation by the GWPR model. Cities with a higher gross domestic product (GDP), limited health resources, and shorter distance to Wuhan, were at a higher risk for COVID-19. Furthermore, with the exception of some southeastern cities, as population density increased, the incidence of COVID-19 decreased.

Conclusions: There are potential effects of the sociodemographic factors on the COVID-19 incidence. Moreover, our findings and methodology could guide other countries by helping them understand the local transmission of COVID-19 and developing a tailored country-specific intervention strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06128-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102852PMC
May 2021

Identifying the fouling behavior of forward osmosis membranes exposed to different inorganic components with high ionic strength.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Sep 4;28(34):46303-46318. Epub 2021 May 4.

Research Institute of Membrane Separation Technology of Shaanxi Province, Key Laboratory of Membrane Separation of Shaanxi Province, Key Laboratory of Northwest Water Resources, Environmental and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Shaanxi Province, School of Environmental & Municipal Engineering, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, Yan Ta Road. No.13, Xi'an, 710055, China.

Functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotube (f-MWCNT) mixed matrix forward osmosis (FO) membranes were fabricated by phase inversion, and the mechanism of sodium alginate (SA) membrane fouling in the presence of various inorganic components with high ionic strength was thoroughly investigated. The membrane incorporated with 0.5% f-MWCNTs (M-0.5) exhibited enhanced performance, which was attributed to the hydrophilicity of the modified nanoparticles and their good compatibility with the cellulose acetate (CA) substrate. Moreover, it was found that the initial permeate flux decline rate for all FO membranes investigated followed the order Na + Ca + Mg > Na + Ca > Na + Mg > Na, which was attributed to the particle size of SA macromolecules in the corresponding solutions. However, the gradual change in attenuation was consistent with adhesion force observations made for the SA-fouled FO membrane in the later steady-state stage, and there was little difference among M-0 (without f-MWCNTs), M-0.5, and M-1 (with 1% f-MWCNTs). Furthermore, the SA adsorption layer was most compact in the presence of Ca, and the flux recovery rate (FRR) was the lowest after simple hydraulic cleaning, but the overall FRRs for FO membranes were greater than 85%. This implies that although a decrease in electrostatic repulsion leads to the formation of a compact fouling layer, an increase in hydration repulsion of hydrated salt ions plays a major role in membrane fouling under high ionic strength conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14170-4DOI Listing
September 2021

Role of miR164 in the growth of wheat new adventitious roots exposed to phenanthrene.

Environ Pollut 2021 Sep 21;284:117204. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, 210095, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), ubiquitous organic pollutants in the environment, can accumulate in humans via the food chain and then harm human health. MiRNAs (microRNAs), a kind of non-coding small RNAs with a length of 18-30 nucleotides, regulate plant growth and development and respond to environmental stress. In this study, it is demonstrated that miR164 can regulate root growth and adventitious root generation of wheat under phenanthrene exposure by targeting NAC (NAM/ATAF/CUC) transcription factor. We observed that phenanthrene treatment accelerated the senescence and death of wheat roots, and stimulated the occurrence of new roots. However, it is difficult to compensate for the loss caused by old root senescence and death, due to the slower growth of new roots under phenanthrene exposure. Phenanthrene accumulation in wheat roots caused to generate a lot of reactive oxygen species, and enhanced lipoxygenase activity and malonaldehyde concentration, meaning that lipid peroxidation is the main reason for root damage. MiR164 was up-regulated by phenanthrene, enhancing the silence of NAC1, weakening the association with auxin signal, and inhibiting the occurrence of adventitious roots. Phenanthrene also affected the expression of CDK (the coding gene of cyclin-dependent kinase) and CDC2 (a gene regulating cell division cycle), the key genes in the cell cycle of pericycle cells, thereby affecting the occurrence and growth of lateral roots. In addition, NAM (a gene regulating no apical meristem) and NAC23 may also be related to the root growth and development in wheat exposed to phenanthrene. These results provide not only theoretical basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of crop response to PAHs accumulation, but also knowledge support for improving phytoremediation of soil or water contaminated by PAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117204DOI Listing
September 2021
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