Publications by authors named "Junfeng Zhang"

732 Publications

The exposome in practice: an exploratory panel study of biomarkers of air pollutant exposure in Chinese people aged 60-69 years (China BAPE Study).

Environ Int 2021 Sep 12;157:106866. Epub 2021 Sep 12.

China CDC Key Laboratory of Environment and Population Health, National Institute of Environmental Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100021, China; Center for Global Health, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211166, China. Electronic address:

The exposome overhauls conventional environmental health impact research paradigms and provides a novel methodological framework that comprehensively addresses the complex, highly dynamic interplays of exogenous exposures, endogenous exposures, and modifiable factors in humans. Holistic assessments of the adverse health effects and systematic elucidation of the mechanisms underlying environmental exposures are major scientific challenges with widespread societal implications. However, to date, few studies have comprehensively and simultaneously measured airborne pollutant exposures and explored the associated biomarkers in susceptible healthy elderly subjects, potentially resulting in the suboptimal assessment and management of health risks. To demonstrate the exposome paradigm, we describe the rationale and design of a comprehensive biomarker and biomonitoring panel study to systematically explore the association between individual airborne exposure and adverse health outcomes. We used a combination of personal monitoring for airborne pollutants, extensive human biomonitoring, advanced omics analysis, confounding information, and statistical methods. We established an exploratory panel study of Biomarkers of Air Pollutant Exposure in Chinese people aged 60-69 years (China BAPE), which included 76 healthy residents from a representative community in Jinan City, Shandong Province. During the period between September 2018 and January 2019, we conducted prospective longitudinal monitoring with a 3-day assessment every month. This project: (1) leveraged advanced tools for personal airborne exposure monitoring (external exposures); (2) comprehensively characterized biological samples for exogenous and endogenous compounds (e.g., targeted and untargeted monitoring) and multi-omics scale measurements to explore potential biomarkers and putative toxicity pathways; and (3) systematically evaluated the relationships between personal exposure to air pollutants, and novel biomarkers of exposures and effects using exposome-wide association study approaches. These findings will contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the adverse health impacts of air pollution exposures and identify potential adverse clinical outcomes that can facilitate the development of effective prevention and targeted intervention techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106866DOI Listing
September 2021

Ionic Hydrogels Based Wearable Sensors to Monitor the Solar Radiation Dose for Vitamin D Production and Sunburn Prevention.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Materials & Manufacturing Technology, Ministry of Education, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, 928 Second Avenue, 310018 Hangzhou, China.

Wearable solar radiation sensors based on ionic hydrogels are facilely prepared to simultaneously monitor the radiation dose for the production of vitamin D and the prevention of sunburn. Tetramethylethylenediamine (TEMED) is neutralized with acrylic acid (AA) to obtain tetramethylethylenediamine acrylate (TEMEDA), which is further polymerized with acrylamide by a free radical reaction. By simply adding MB or NR during the polymerization, the final obtained ionic hydrogels can indicate solar radiation. Due to the extent of discoloration, the discoloration speed of MB and NR is correlated to the radiation dose. This wearable sensor can indicate the solar radiation dose required by the human body to synthesize vitamin D through the discoloration of the ionized hydrogel of MB, whereas those with NR are able to illustrate the threshold of radiation dose that causes potential skin hurt. Therefore, the benefit and drawback of solar radiation can be well balanced by optimizing the exposure time to solar irradiation. In addition, polyurethane cross-linked with a thermoresponsive coating is used as band for this wearable sensor. Due to the hydrophilicity below its transition temperature, the cross-linked band possesses the easy cleaning capability of stains after the daily wear. Such type of wearable sensor can be broadly used for monitoring the solar radiation, especially in outdoor activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c13027DOI Listing
September 2021

Joint associations of metabolically healthy abdominal obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with prediabetes and diabetes in Chinese adults.

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2021 Aug;9(1)

Epidemiology Research Unit, Translational Medicine Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China

Introduction: We aimed to evaluate the joint associations of metabolically healthy abdominal obesity (MHAO) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) on risks of diabetes and prediabetes.

Research Design And Methods: Baseline information of 1318 adults with abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥90 cm for men and 80 cm for women) from an ongoing cohort study in Xiamen, China were analyzed. Metabolic health was identified as none of the criteria of metabolism syndrome, except for obesity, was met.

Results: MHAO and metabolically unhealthy abdominal obesity (MUAO) were identified on 173 (13.1%) and 1145 (86.9%) subjects. NAFLD was further diagnosed on 60 (34.7%) in MHAO and 721 (63.0%) in MUAO groups (p<0.001). Both MUAO (vs MHAO) and NAFLD (vs non-NAFLD) were independently associated with increased risks of diabetes as well as prediabetes plus diabetes, with the adjusted ORs (95% CIs) of 9.40 (3.38 to 26.14) and 2.02 (1.47 to 2.77), respectively. Compared with MHAO and non-NAFLD, MHAO and NAFLD showed significantly increased risks of prediabetes plus diabetes with the adjusted ORs (95% CIs) of 2.87 (1.32 to 6.27, p=0.008). And there were significantly positive trends between increasing categories jointly by MHAO and NAFLD (from MHAO and non-NAFLD, MHAO and NAFLD, MUAO and non-NAFLD to MUAO and NAFLD) with risks of diabetes and prediabetes plus diabetes (both trend tests: p<0.001).

Conclusions: About 35% of subjects with MHAO accompanied by NAFLD showed excessive risk of prediabetes plus diabetes compared with MHAO and non-NAFLD. Thus, NAFLD should be screened and intervened even for those subjects with metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) and should be considered as one additional criterion when defining and diagnosing MHO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388268PMC
August 2021

Remote Passivation in Two-Dimensional Materials: The Case of the Monolayer-Bilayer Lateral Junction of MoSe.

J Phys Chem Lett 2021 Aug 17;12(33):8046-8052. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy 12180, United States.

Two-dimensional (2D) monolayer-bilayer (ML-BL) lateral junctions (LJs) have recently attracted attention due to their straightforward synthesis and resulting clean interface. Such systems consist of an extended ML with a secondary layer present only over half of the system, leading to an interface that is associated with the terminating edge of the secondary half layer. Our first-principles calculations reveal that the edges of the half layer completely lack reconstruction in the presence of unintentional dopants, in this case, Re. This observation is in startling contrast to the known physics of three-dimensional (3D) semiconductor surfaces where reconstruction has been widely observed. Herein, the electrostatics of the reduced dimensionality allows for greater separation between compensating defects, enabling dopants to remotely passivate edge states without needing to directly participate in the chemistry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c02457DOI Listing
August 2021

The associations of nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposures with plasma glucose and amino acids.

Environ Pollut 2021 Aug 10;289:117945. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

BIC-ESAT and SKL-ESPC, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China; Center for Environment and Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China. Electronic address:

Nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) have been widely studied for their mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. This study aims to investigate whether exposure to nitro-PAHs is associated with biomarkers of carbohydrate metabolism, an underlying risk factor for metabolic disorder. Early morning urine and blood samples were longitudinally collected two times with a four-week interval from 43 healthy adults. Five urinary amino-PAHs (1-aminonaphthalene, 2-aminonaphthalene, 9-aminophenanthrene, 2-aminofluorene, and 1-aminopyrene) were measured as biomarkers of nitro-PAH exposures. We measured plasma concentrations of glucose and six amino acids that can regulate insulin secretion, including aspartate (Asp), glutamate (Glu), glutamine (Gln), alanine (Ala), Arginine (Arg), and ornithine (Orn). We found that increasing concentrations of 9-aminophenanthrene were significantly associated with increasing glucose levels and with decreasing Asp, Glu, Ala, and Orn levels. We estimated that 26.4 %-43.8 % of the 9-aminophenanthrene-associated increase in glucose level was mediated by Asp, Glu, and Orn. These results suggest that exposure to certain nitro-PAHs affects glucose homeostasis, partly resulting from the depletion of insulin-stimulating amino acids (Asp, Glu, and Orn).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117945DOI Listing
August 2021

Changes in children's lung function over two decades in relation to socioeconomic, parental and household factors in Wuhan, China.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jul;13(7):4601-4613

Nicholas School of the Environment and Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, USA.

Background: It is important to identify risk and beneficial factors for children's lung function. This study aims to ascertain potential changes in children's lung function in relation to changes in socioeconomic, parental and household factors, based on a comparison between two periods spanning 25 years in Wuhan, the largest metropolis in central China.

Methods: In two cross-sectional studies, lung function measurements and questionnaire surveys were conducted on school-age children in 1993-1996 (Period I) and in 2018 (Period II). Children of 6-12 years old from elementary schools were selected by a multistage sampling method. Demographic information, socioeconomic status, feeding methods, parental illness and behavior patterns, as well as household characteristics, were collected through a questionnaire survey. Spirometric lung function was measured, including forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV), forced expiratory flow at 25% and 75% of the pulmonary volume (FEF25-75), and peak expiratory flow (PEF). Wilcoxon analysis of variances was used to assess the differences in lung function indexes between Period I and Period II. Multiple linear regression models were used to estimate the association of lung function with regard to socioeconomic, parental and household factors, respectively.

Results: Significant prevalence reductions were observed for household coal use, paternal smoking and maternal asthma, while the prevalence increased significantly for children sleeping in their own rooms or own beds and breastfeeding, ventilation use during cooking, and parental education level from Period I to Period II. When adjusted for age, height, weight, sex and other factors assessed in the study, children had significant lower values of FVC, FEV, and PEF in Period II than in Period I. Enclosed kitchen was significantly associated with lower lung function in children in Period I. Urban living condition and higher maternal education level were each associated with a higher FVC, while father having no fixed income was associated with a lower FVC and a lower FEV, respectively, in Period II. In comparison with Period I, the beneficial impact of urban living and that of breastfeeding were enhanced and the detrimental effect of poor household condition was weakened in Period II.

Conclusions: Lung function was lower in 2018 than in 1993-1996 in school-age children living in Wuhan. Although improvements in urban living and household environmental conditions as well as increased breastfeeding in Period II could have contributed to increased lung function, other unmeasured risk factors may have played a more dominant role in leading to a net decrease in lung function from Period I to Period II. Future studies are needed to identify these risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-21-158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8339758PMC
July 2021

Household environmental factors and children's respiratory health: comparison of two cross-sectional studies over 25 years in Wuhan, China.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jul;13(7):4589-4600

School of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Beijing Key Laboratory of Resource-oriented Treatment of Industrial Pollutants, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China.

Background: Over the recent decades, residential lifestyle and household environment have changed substantially with rapid development of industrialization and urbanization in China. Whether the prevalence of respiratory diseases changed is still lack of evidence. The objective of this study is to assess potential changes in children's respiratory disease prevalence and associated household environmental factors in Wuhan over a 25-year time interval.

Methods: Two cross-sectional studies in the Period 1 (1993 to 1996) and Period 2 (2017 to 2018) were compared in this research. Elementary school children in period 1 (N=2,517) and in period 2 (N=3,152) were recruited in Wuhan, China. The respiratory health condition, home environmental factors, and family socioeconomic status of each subject were acquired through questionnaire survey using the same protocols in both periods. We used the Chi-square test to analyze the difference of household environmental factors (focused on three indoor air quality determinants) and children's respiratory health condition between two periods. Logistic regression models were used to assess the impacts of household environmental determinants on children's respiratory diseases and symptoms between the two studies, by adjusting a set of covariates.

Results: The three indoor air quality determinants have reduced substantially in prevalence from period 1 to period 2: environment tobacco smoke (ETS) from 86.6% to 45.9%, household coal use from 47.6% to 4.9%, and kitchen smoke from 58.9% to 7.3%. The prevalence of certain respiratory symptoms in children significantly decreased, such as cough with colds (51.1% to 41.6%) and phlegm with colds (22.3% to 17.7%). The prevalence of asthma was 2.5% and 2.4% and that of bronchitis was 27.1% and 29.8% in both periods. Coal use was a risk factor for asthma in period 1 (OR =2.34, 95% CI: 1.30-4.23), while it was not significantly associated with prevalence of asthma in period 2 (OR =0.60, 95% CI: 0.08-4.51).

Conclusions: Household indoor air quality determinants and respiratory health condition of children in Wuhan has been improved over the last 25 years. At present, kitchen smoke is an important factor affecting the prevalence of wheeze whatever child has a cold or not and reducing exposure to ETS could be beneficial to protect children to be less likely to develop bronchitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-20-2170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8339747PMC
July 2021

Children's lung function in relation to changes in socioeconomic, nutritional, and household factors over 20 years in Lanzhou.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jul;13(7):4574-4588

Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China.

Background: Lanzhou has experienced rapid urbanization, leading to changes in socioeconomic, nutritional, and household factors. These changes may affect children's lung function.

Methods: Two cross-sectional studies of school-age children (6-13 years of age) from the urban (Chengguan) (Period 1 in 1996 with n=390; Period 2 in 2017 with n=192) and the suburban (Xigu) (Period 1 n=344; Period 2 n=492) district were conducted. Demographic information, household factors, and nutrition status were obtained via a questionnaire survey. Forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV) were measured in each period. Student's t-test analysis of variance was used to assess the differences in FVC and FEV between Periods 1 and 2. Generalized linear models were used to analyze the associations between questionnaire derived factors and lung function. Analyses were done separately for girls and boys.

Results: Children had significantly lower mean FEV and FVC measures in Period 2 than in Period 1. This reduction was greater in children living in the urban area than those living in the suburban area. Obese children had significantly lower lung function but this was only statistically significant in Period 1.

Conclusions: Children's lung function (FVC and FEV) were lower in 2017 than in 1996. Rapid urbanization may have contributed to the decline of lung function. Obesity may be a risk factor for impaired lung function in children living in Lanzhou and possibly elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-20-2232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8339784PMC
July 2021

The effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on the prevalence of adults' respiratory diseases in four Chinese cities: a comparison between 2017-2018 and 1993-1996.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jul;13(7):4560-4573

Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China.

Background: Over the past decades, both ambient and household air pollution have changed in several aspects, including the emission sources and the concentrations of pollutants, in many Chinese cities. It is unknown whether these changes are associated with changes in health conditions, especially given changes in other factors due to rapid economic growth.

Methods: Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted in two periods spanning more than twenty years (1993-1996 . 2017-2018) in four Chinese cities of Chongqing, Wuhan, Lanzhou, and Guangzhou. Data were collected regarding adults' respiratory disease, smoking status, education, occupation, and household characteristics. Ambient air pollution data were obtained for each study. We first used logistic regression models to construct the district-specific adjusted disease prevalences. In the second stage, first-difference regression models were employed to examine whether the change in respiratory diseases prevalences was associated with the change in outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution surrogates.

Results: A total of 7,557 and 9,974 households were participating in Period 1 (1993-1996) and Period 2 (2017-2018), respectively. Compared to Period 1, we found substantial reductions in the ambient air pollution concentrations, and a suggestive improvement in cooking-related indoor air pollution in Period 2. We observed decreases in the district-specific covariate-adjusted prevalences of both asthma and chronic bronchitis among participants, with an average reduction of 3.6% (range: 0.0% to 24.3%). From Period 1 to Period 2, one percent decrease in the proportion of cooking with coal was associated with a 19.0% (95% CI, 0.96-37.04%) decrease in the prevalence of males' chronic bronchitis and a 1.86% (0.69-3.04%) increase in the prevalence of females' asthma. Little evidence was observed regarding the potential health benefits associated with the decreases in ambient air pollution levels.

Conclusions: The substantial reduction in household use of coal for cooking might be an important contributor to the decrease in adults' respiratory disease prevalence from 1993-1996 to 2017-2019 in four Chinese cities. Changes in this indoor air pollution source, along with other risk factors for respiratory diseases, may have masked respiratory health benefits associated with reductions in outdoor air pollution levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-20-2121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8339734PMC
July 2021

Tobacco smoking and older people amid the COVID-19 pandemic: An elephant in the room.

Age Ageing 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afab170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8344474PMC
July 2021

Mechanisms Underlying the Role of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Clinical Diseases: Good or Bad.

Immune Netw 2021 Jun 26;21(3):e21. Epub 2021 May 26.

Institute of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Basic Medical School, Jining Medical University, Jining 272067, China.

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have strong immunosuppressive activity and are morphologically similar to conventional monocytes and granulocytes. The development and classification of these cells have, however, been controversial. The activation network of MDSCs is relatively complex, and their mechanism of action is poorly understood, creating an avenue for further research. In recent years, MDSCs have been found to play an important role in immune regulation and in effectively inhibiting the activity of effector lymphocytes. Under certain conditions, particularly in the case of tissue damage or inflammation, MDSCs play a leading role in the immune response of the central nervous system. In cancer, however, this can lead to tumor immune evasion and the development of related diseases. Under cancerous conditions, tumors often alter bone marrow formation, thus affecting progenitor cell differentiation, and ultimately, MDSC accumulation. MDSCs are important contributors to tumor progression and play a key role in promoting tumor growth and metastasis, and even reduce the efficacy of immunotherapy. Currently, a number of studies have demonstrated that MDSCs play a key regulatory role in many clinical diseases. In light of these studies, this review discusses the origin of MDSCs, the mechanisms underlying their activation, their role in a variety of clinical diseases, and their function in immune response regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4110/in.2021.21.e21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263212PMC
June 2021

Malondialdehyde in dried blood spots: a biomarker of systemic lipid peroxidation linked to cardiopulmonary symptoms and risk factors.

J Thorac Dis 2021 Jun;13(6):3731-3740

Nicholas School of the Environment & Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: There are few oxidative biomarkers that can be used in resource-limited settings (e.g., rural Africa) where blood collection facilities are lacking. This study aims to evaluate the potential of malondialdehyde (MDA) in dried blood spots (DBS) as a useful biomarker to monitor cardiopulmonary health.

Methods: We first conducted a cross-validation comparison of matched capillary DBS, plasma, and whole venous blood collected from nine healthy volunteers for the measurement of total MDA (free + conjugated) and C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-established biomarker of systemic inflammation. Then a field study was conducted in a rural Senegal with a population of 441 women routinely exposed to severe household air pollution, examining associations of MDA and CRP levels in 882 DBS with self-reported cardiopulmonary symptoms.

Results: In the cross-validation study, CRP levels were strongly correlated across DBS, plasma, and whole blood. MDA levels were correlated between DBS and whole blood and were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower in plasma, suggesting that DBS MDA may reflect total oxidation levels in intracellular and extracellular compartments. In the field study, we observed significantly higher MDA levels in women with secondhand smoke exposure. An interquartile range increase in MDA concentration was associated with 27.0% (95% CI: 3.1-56.5%) and 21.1% (95% CI: -3.5% to 52.0%) increases in the incidence of chest tightness and breath difficulty, respectively. In contrast, CRP levels were not associated with worse outcomes or risk factors.

Conclusions: These results support the use of DBS as a convenient alternative to venous blood when MDA is measured as a biomarker for cardiopulmonary health risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-21-604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8264672PMC
June 2021

Serum free fatty acids are associated with severe coronary artery calcification, especially in diabetes: a retrospective study.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 07 15;21(1):343. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: Serum free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations are associated with coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus (DM). Few studies focused on the relationship between serum FFA levels and coronary artery calcification (CAC).

Methods: This was a retrospective, single-centered study recruiting patients underwent FFA quantification, coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). CAC severity was assessed with the maximum calcific angle (arc) of the calcified plaque scanned by IVUS. Patients with an arc ≥ 180° were classified into the severe CAC (SCAC) group, and those with an arc < 180° were classified into the non-SCAC group. Clinical characteristics, serum indices were compared between 2 groups. Logistic regression, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and area under the curves (AUC) were performed.

Results: Totally, 426 patients with coronary artery disease were consecutively included. Serum FFA levels were significantly higher in the SCAC group than non-SCAC group (6.62 ± 2.17 vs. 5.13 ± 1.73 mmol/dl, p < 0.001). Logistic regression revealed that serum FFAs were independently associated with SCAC after adjusting for confounding factors in the whole cohort (OR 1.414, CI 1.237-1.617, p < 0.001), the non-DM group (OR 1.273, CI 1.087-1.492, p = 0.003) and the DM group (OR 1.939, CI 1.388-2.710, p < 0.001). ROC analysis revealed a serum FFA AUC of 0.695 (CI 0.641-0.750, p < 0.001) in the whole population. The diagnostic predictability was augmented (AUC = 0.775, CI 0.690-0.859, p < 0.001) in the DM group and decreased (AUC = 0.649, CI 0.580-0.718, p < 0.001) in the non-DM group.

Conclusions: Serum FFA levels were independently associated with SCAC, and could have some predictive capacity for SCAC. The association was strongest in the DM group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02152-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8281587PMC
July 2021

Urinary Amino-Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Residents: Finding a Biomarker for Residential Exposure to Diesel Traffic.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 08 15;55(15):10569-10577. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, Jiangsu Province 215316, China.

Despite substantial evidence of marked exposure to and ill-health effects from diesel exhaust (DE) emissions among occupational population (e.g., miners, truck drivers, and taxi drivers), it is less understood to what extent non-occupational population was exposed to DE among various combustion sources, largely due to the lack of biomarkers that would indicate specific exposure to DE. We evaluated whether urinary amino-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (APAHs), such as major metabolites of DE-specific nitrated PAHs, can be used as DE exposure biomarkers in residential settings. We measured five urinary APAHs in 177 urine samples from 98 UK residents, 89 (91%) of them were London residents, and estimated their residential proximity to various traffic indicators (e.g., the road type, road length, traffic flow, and traffic volume). Participants living within 100 m of major roads exhibited increased levels of all five APAHs, among which 2-amino-fluorene (2-AFLU) reached statistical significance ( < 0.05). We estimated that a 10 m increase in the length of nearby major roads (<100 m) was associated with a 4.4% (95% CI of 1.1 to 7.6%) increase in 2-AFLU levels. Levels of 2-AFLU were significantly associated with the traffic flow of nearby buses and heavy-duty vehicles but not motorbikes, taxis, or coaches. We did not observe a significant association between distance to major roads or the sum of the major road length within 100 m with the other four biomarker concentrations. These results suggest the use of urinary 2-AFLU as a biomarker of DE exposure in urban residents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c01549DOI Listing
August 2021

Delivering Antisense Oligonucleotides across the Blood-Brain Barrier by Tumor Cell-Derived Small Apoptotic Bodies.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2021 07 4;8(13):2004929. Epub 2021 May 4.

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology School of Life Sciences Nanjing University 163 Xianlin Avenue Nanjing 210093 China.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is the most restrictive and complicated barrier that keeps most biomolecules and drugs from the brain. An efficient brain delivery strategy is urgently needed for the treatment of brain diseases. Based on the studies of brain-targeting extracellular vesicles (EVs), the potential of using small apoptotic bodies (sABs) from brain metastatic cancer cells for brain-targeting drug delivery is explored. It is found that anti-TNF- antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) combined with cationic konjac glucomannan (cKGM) can be successfully loaded into sABs via a transfection/apoptosis induction process and that the sABs generated by B16F10 cells have an extraordinarily high brain delivery efficiency. Further studies suggest that ASO-loaded sABs (sCABs) are transcytosed by b. End3 (brain microvascular endothelial cells, BMECs) to penetrate the BBB, which is mediated by CD44v6, and eventually taken up by microglial cells in the brain. In a Parkinson's disease (PD) mouse model, sCABs dramatically ameliorate PD symptoms via the anti-inflammatory effect of ASO. This study suggests that sABs from brain metastatic cancer cells are excellent carriers for brain-targeted delivery, as they have not only an extraordinary delivery efficiency but also a much higher scale-up production potential than other EVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.202004929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261483PMC
July 2021

Event-triggered model predictive control of positive systems with random actuator saturation.

Nonlinear Dyn 2021 Jun 29:1-21. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

School of Automation, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, 310018 China.

This paper investigates the event-triggered model predictive control of positive systems with actuator saturation. Interval and polytopic uncertainties are imposed on the systems, respectively. First, a new model with actuator saturation obeying Bernoulli distribution is established, which is more general and powerful for describing the saturation phenomenon than the saturation in a deterministic way. Then, a linear event-triggering condition is constructed based on the state and error signal. Under the event-triggering condition, an interval estimate approach is presented to reach the positivity and stability of the systems. The saturation part in the controller is technically transformed into a non-saturation part. Thus, a linear programming approach is proposed to compute the event-triggered controller gain and the corresponding gain of attraction domain. A predictive algorithm is introduced for the computation of the event-triggered controller parameters. Finally, an example is provided to illustrate the validity of the design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11071-021-06636-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8239486PMC
June 2021

Transformation and kinetics of chlorine-containing products during pyrolysis of plastic wastes.

Chemosphere 2021 Jun 28;284:131348. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Xiangtan University School of Environment and Resources, Xiangtan University, Xiangtan, 411100, China. Electronic address:

Pyrolysis can not only effectively dispose of plastic wastes but also reclaim valuable chemicals and biochar. However, the production and release of second pollutants, particularly chlorine-containing products, have been neglected. The mechanism for the transformation of chlorine during the pyrolysis of plastic wastes remains unclear. Herein, a thermogravimetric Fourier transform infrared mass spectrometry technology was used to investigate the migration and transformation of substances during the pyrolysis of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic from 200 °C to 900 °C with heating rates of 5, 50, 100, 150, and 200 K min. Results show the first stage of weight loss is at 200 °C-360 °C, where the dehydrochlorination of PVC mainly occurred, accompanied by the formation of conjugated double bonds and a small number of hydrocarbon compounds. The second stage of weight loss is at 360 °C-550 °C, where the breakage and rearrangement of the long polyethene chain may occur. Kinetics analysis shows the higher activation energy value is in the second stage, which indicates that the second stage reaction is less likely to occur and the Flynn-Wall-Ozawa method is more suitable for the study of plastic pyrolysis kinetics. This study suggests that second pollutants can be minimized during controllable pyrolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131348DOI Listing
June 2021

Protective Effect of Optic Atrophy 1 on Cardiomyocyte Oxidative Stress: Roles of Mitophagy, Mitochondrial Fission, and MAPK/ERK Signaling.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 7;2021:3726885. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China.

Myocardial infarction is associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying cardiomyocyte oxidative stress during myocardial infarction are not fully understood. In the present study, we explored the cardioprotective action of optic atrophy 1- (Opa1-) mediated mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) in oxidative stress-challenged cardiomyocytes, with a focus on mitochondrial homeostasis and the MAPK/ERK pathway. Our results demonstrated that overexpression of Opa1 in cultured rat H9C2 cardiomyocytes, a procedure that stimulates mitophagy, attenuates oxidative stress and increases cellular antioxidant capacity. Activation of Opa1-mediated mitophagy suppressed cardiomyocyte apoptosis by downregulating Bax, caspase-9, and caspase-12 and upregulating Bcl-2 and c-IAP. Using mitochondrial tracker staining and a reactive oxygen species indicator, our assays showed that Opa1-mediated mitophagy attenuated mitochondrial fission and reduced ROS production in cardiomyocytes. In addition, we found that inhibition of the MAPK/ERK pathway abolished the antioxidant action of Opa1-mediated mitophagy in these cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Opa1-mediated mitophagy protects cardiomyocytes against oxidative stress damage through inhibition of mitochondrial fission and activation of MAPK/ERK signaling. These findings reveal a critical role for Opa1 in the modulation of cardiomyocyte redox balance and suggest a potential target for the treatment of myocardial infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/3726885DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205577PMC
June 2021

Integrative iTRAQ-based proteomic and transcriptomic analysis reveals the accumulation patterns of key metabolites associated with oil quality during seed ripening of Camellia oleifera.

Hortic Res 2021 Jul 1;8(1):157. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics & Germplasm Enhancement, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (East China), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the P.R. China, Engineering Research Center of Germplasm Enhancement and Utilization of Horticultural Crops, Ministry of Education of the P.R. China, Institute of Plasma Engineering, Nanjing, China.

Camellia oleifera (C. oleifera) is one of the four major woody oil-bearing crops in the world and has relatively high ecological, economic, and medicinal value. Its seeds undergo a series of complex physiological and biochemical changes during ripening, which is mainly manifested as the accumulation and transformation of certain metabolites closely related to oil quality, especially flavonoids and fatty acids. To obtain new insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms, a parallel analysis of the transcriptome and proteome profiles of C. oleifera seeds at different maturity levels was conducted using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) complemented with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) data. A total of 16,530 transcripts and 1228 proteins were recognized with significant differential abundances in pairwise comparisons of samples at various developmental stages. Among these, 317 were coexpressed with a poor correlation, and most were involved in metabolic processes, including fatty acid metabolism, α-linolenic acid metabolism, and glutathione metabolism. In addition, the content of total flavonoids decreased gradually with seed maturity, and the levels of fatty acids generally peaked at the fat accumulation stage; these results basically agreed with the regulation patterns of genes or proteins in the corresponding pathways. The expression levels of proteins annotated as upstream candidates of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and chalcone synthase (CHS) as well as their cognate transcripts were positively correlated with the variation in the flavonoid content, while shikimate O-hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HCT)-encoding genes had the opposite pattern. The increase in the abundance of proteins and mRNAs corresponding to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) was associated with a reduction in linoleic acid synthesis. Using weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), we further identified six unique modules related to flavonoid, oil, and fatty acid anabolism that contained hub genes or proteins similar to transcription factors (TFs), such as MADS intervening keratin-like and C-terminal (MIKC_MADS), type-B authentic response regulator (ARR-B), and basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH). Finally, based on the known metabolic pathways and WGCNA combined with the correlation analysis, five coexpressed transcripts and proteins composed of cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenases (CADs), caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT), flavonol synthase (FLS), and 4-coumarate: CoA ligase (4CL) were screened out. With this exploratory multiomics dataset, our results presented a dynamic picture regarding the maturation process of C. oleifera seeds on Hainan Island, not only revealing the temporal specific expression of key candidate genes and proteins but also providing a scientific basis for the genetic improvement of this tree species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41438-021-00591-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245520PMC
July 2021

Honeysuckle-derived microRNA2911 inhibits tumor growth by targeting TGF-β1.

Chin Med 2021 Jun 29;16(1):49. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing, 210093, China.

Background: Honeysuckle is a time-honored herb with anticancer activity in traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, accumulating reports are suggesting that the microRNAs in this medicinal plant not only play a physiological role in their original system, but also can be transmitted to another species as potential therapeutic components. In the numerous bioactive investigations, the anti-tumor effects of these microRNAs in the magical herb are rarely studied, especially the special miR2911, a honeysuckle-encoded atypical microRNA, with high stability during the boiling process and unique biological activity to target TGF-β1 mRNA.

Methods: Luciferase assay was conducted to test the ability of miR2911 to target TGF-β1 mRNA. ELISA was performed to determine the expression level of TGF-β1 of mouse colorectal adenocarcinoma CT26 cells when treated with miR2911 and tumor tissue in Sidt1 and Sidt1 mice. qRT-PCR was performed to examine the level of expression of miR2911. Tumor-bearing wild and nude mice were employed to evaluate the anti-tumor effect of honeysuckle and miR2911 in vivo. Tumor tissue necrosis was observed by H&E staining. Besides, the infiltration of T lymphocytes across solid tumors was tested by immunostaining staining.

Results: Our results showed that honeysuckle slowed the development of colon cancer down. Further research showed that miR2911 could bind strongly to TGF-β1 mRNA and down-regulate the expression of TGF-β1 and had a high stability under boiling and acid condition. Moreover, SIDT1 mediated dietary miR2911 inter-species absorption. And we found that miR2911 had a similar anticancer effect as honeysuckle. Mechanistically, miR2911 reversed the tumor-promoting effect of TGF-β1 by an increase of T lymphocytes infiltration, resulting in slowing the colon cancer process in immunocompetent mice. Consistent with this inference, the anti-tumor effect of miR2911 was revealed to be abolished in T cell immune deficiency mice.

Conclusion: Taken together, honeysuckle-derived miR2911 showed an anti-tumor effect in colon cancer through targeting TGF-β1 mRNA. The down-regulation of TGF-β1 promoted T lymphocytes infiltration, and accordingly impeded the colon tumor development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13020-021-00453-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244210PMC
June 2021

STAT5 promotes chronic pancreatitis by enhancing GM-CSF-dependent neutrophil augmentation.

J Leukoc Biol 2021 08 28;110(2):293-300. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Clinical Research Center, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a continuing or relapsing inflammatory disease of the pancreas, characterized by fibrosis of the whole tissue. The regulatory mechanisms of the immune microenvironment in the pathogenesis of CP are still not clear. Immune cells, especially myeloid cells, play an important role in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms of immune infiltration has a significant impact on CP intervention. Here, we demonstrated that transcription factor STAT5 was involved in and critical for the progression of CP. Inflammatory stress could significantly increase the expression and activation of STAT5 during CP. STAT5 deficiency or inhibition contributed to alleviating pancreatic inflammation and fibrosis in CP mice. The increased neutrophil infiltration, mediated by up-regulated GM-CSF, was responsible for the pancreatitis-promoting activity of STAT5. Our investigation highlighted the importance of STAT5 in regulating the immune microenvironment of CP. Targeting STAT5 may hold distinct promise for clinical treatment to alleviate CP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JLB.3MA1020-647RDOI Listing
August 2021

Can Smoking Cause Differences in Urine Microbiome in Male Patients With Bladder Cancer? A Retrospective Study.

Front Oncol 2021 8;11:677605. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Urology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Tobacco smoking is a carcinogen for many cancers including bladder cancer. The microbiota is involved in the occurrence, development, and treatment of tumors. We explored the composition of male urinary microbiome and the correlation between tobacco smoking and microbiome in this study.

Methods: Alpha diversity, principal component analysis (PCA) and Adonis analysis, linear discriminant analysis (LDA) coupled with effect size measurement, and PICRUSt function predictive analysis were used to compare different microbiome between smokers and non-smokers in men.

Results: There were 26 qualified samples included in the study. Eleven of them are healthy controls, and the others are from men with bladder cancer. Simpson index and the result of PCA analysis between smokers and non-smokers were not different (P > 0.05) in healthy men. However, the abundance of Bacteroidaceae, Erysipelotrichales, Lachnospiraceae, Bacteroides, and so on in the urinary tract of smokers is much higher than that of non-smokers. Compared to non-smokers, the alpha diversity in smokers was elevated in patients with bladder cancer (P < 0.05). PCA analysis showed a significant difference between smokers and non-smokers (P < 0.001), indicating that tobacco smoking plays a vital role in urinary tract microbial composition.

Conclusion: The composition of microbiome in the urinary tract is closely related to tobacco smoking. This phenomenon is more significant in patients with bladder cancer. This indicates tobacco smoking may promote the occurrence and development of bladder cancer by changing urinary tract microbiome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.677605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8217881PMC
June 2021

The effect of warm needle moxibustion on lumbar disc herniation.

Am J Transl Res 2021 15;13(5):5059-5065. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Acupuncture and Massage, The Sixth People's Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University Shanghai, China.

Objective: To investigate the effect of warm needle moxibustion on patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH).

Methods: A total of 100 patients with lumbar disc herniation treated in our hospital were recruited as the study cohort and randomly assigned into a control group and an observation group. The patients in the control group underwent routine acupuncture treatment, while those in the observation group underwent warm needle moxibustion treatment. The observed indexes, including the clinical efficacy, the visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores, the Oswestry disability index (ODI) scores, and the serum inflammatory factor levels were compared between the control group and the observation group.

Results: The total cure rate in the observation group was significantly higher than it was in the control group (76.0% vs 92%, P=0.029). Compared with the patients in the control group after the treatment, the patients' VAS and ODI scores in the observation group were significantly lower, but their JOA scores were significantly higher, and the differences were statistically significant (all P<0.001). Moreover, the serum IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels in the observation group were remarkably lower than the corresponding levels in the control group (all P<0.001).

Conclusions: Warm needle moxibustion has a significant effect on patients with lumbar disc herniation, because it helps to relieve the pain and other symptoms and reduces the serum inflammatory factor levels.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205828PMC
May 2021

Population ageing and deaths attributable to ambient PM pollution: a global analysis of economic cost.

Lancet Planet Health 2021 06;5(6):e356-e367

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Background: The health impacts of ambient air pollution impose large costs on society. Although all people are exposed to air pollution, the older population (ie, those aged ≥60 years) tends to be disproportionally affected. As a result, there is growing concern about the health impacts of air pollution as many countries undergo rapid population ageing. We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in the economic cost of deaths attributable to ambient air pollution and its interaction with population ageing from 2000 to 2016 at global and regional levels.

Methods: In this global analysis, we developed an age-adjusted measure of the value of a statistical life-year (VSLY) to estimate the economic cost of deaths attributable to ambient PM pollution using Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 data and country-level socioeconomic information. First, we estimated the global age-specific and cause-specific mortality and years of life lost (YLLs) attributable to PM pollution using the global exposure mortality model and global estimates of exposure at 0·1° × 0·1° (about 11 km × 11 km at the equator) resolution. Second, for each year between 2000 and 2016, we translated the YLLs within each age group into a health-related cost using a country-specific, age-adjusted measure of VSLY. Third, we decomposed the major driving factors that contributed to the temporal change in health costs related to PM. Finally, we did a sensitivity test to analyse the variability of the estimated health costs to four alternative valuation measures. We identified the uncertainty intervals (UIs) from 1000 draws of the parameters and concentration-response functions by age, cause, country, and year. All economic values are reported in 2011 purchasing power parity-adjusted US dollars. All simulations were done with R, version 3.6.0.

Findings: Globally, in 2016, PM was estimated to have caused 8·42 million (95% UI 6·50-10·52) attributable deaths, which was associated with 163·68 million (116·03-219·44) YLLs. In 2016, the global economic cost of deaths attributable to ambient PM pollution for the older population was US$2·40 trillion (1·89-2·93) accounting for 59% (59-60) of the cost for the total population ($4·09 trillion [3·19-5·05]). The economic cost per capita for the older population was $2739 (2160-3345) in 2016, which was 10 times that of the younger population (ie, those aged <60 years). By assessing the factors that contributed to economic costs, we found that increases in these factors changed the total economic cost by 77% for gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, 21% for population ageing, 16% for population growth, -41% for age-specific mortality, and -0·4% for PM exposure.

Interpretation: The economic cost of ambient PM borne by the older population almost doubled between 2000 and 2016, driven primarily by GDP growth, population ageing, and population growth. Compared with younger people, air pollution leads to disproportionately higher health costs among older people, even after accounting for their relatively shorter life expectancy and increased disability. As the world's population is ageing, the disproportionate health cost attributable to ambient PM pollution potentially widens the health inequities for older people. Countries with severe air pollution and rapid ageing rates need to take immediate actions to improve air quality. In addition, strategies aimed at enhancing health-care services, especially targeting the older population, could be beneficial for reducing the health costs of ambient air pollution.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, and Qiushi Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00131-5DOI Listing
June 2021

Transdermal Delivery of Lidocaine-Loaded Elastic Nano-Liposomes with Microneedle Array Pretreatment.

Biomedicines 2021 May 23;9(6). Epub 2021 May 23.

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.

This study aimed to improve the transdermal delivery of lidocaine hydrochloride (LidH) using elastic nano-liposomes (ENLs) and microneedle (MN) array pretreatment. LidH-containing ENLs were prepared using soybean phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol, with Span 80 or Tween 80, using a reverse-phase evaporation method. The ENL particle size, stability, and encapsulation efficiency (EE) were characterized and optimized based on the component ratio, pH, and type of surfactant used. In vitro transdermal diffusion study was performed on MN-pretreated mouse skin using Franz diffusion cells. The anesthetic effects of LidH in various formulations after dermal application were evaluated in vivo in rats by measuring the tail withdrawal latency after photothermic stimulation. Stable LidH-loaded Tween 80 or Span 80 ENLs were obtained with particle sizes of 115.8 and 146.6 nm and EEs of 27% and 20%, respectively. The formulations did not exert any cytotoxicity in HaCaT cells. Tween 80 and Span 80 ENL formulations showed enhanced LidH delivery on pretreated mice skin in vitro and prolonged the anesthetic effect in vivo compared to that by LidH application alone. LidH-loaded ENLs applied to MN-pretreated skin can shorten the onset time and prolong the anesthetic effect safely, which merits their further optimization and practical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9060592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8224805PMC
May 2021

Blood flow changes in the forearm arteries after ultrasound-guided costoclavicular brachial plexus blocks: a prospective observational study.

BMC Anesthesiol 2021 05 29;21(1):164. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, China.

Background: An increase in blood flow in the forearm arteries has been reported after brachial plexus block (BPB). However, few studies have quantitatively analysed the blood flow of the forearm arteries after BPB or have studied only partial haemodynamic parameters. The purpose of the present study was to comprehensively assess blood flow changes in the distal radial artery (RA) and ulnar artery (UA) after BPB performed via a new costoclavicular space (CCS) approach using colour Doppler ultrasound.

Methods: Thirty patients who underwent amputated finger replantation and received ultrasound-guided costoclavicular BPB were included in the study. The haemodynamic parameters of the RA and UA were recorded before the block and 10 min, 20 min, and 30 min after the block using colour Doppler ultrasound to determine the peak systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), mean velocity (V), pulsatility index (PI), resistance index (RI) and area. The volumetric flow rate (VFR) was calculated using the formula Q = area×V. The aforementioned parameters were compared not only before and after the BPB but also between the RA and UA.

Results: Compared with those of the respective baselines, there was a significant increase in the PSV, EDV, V, area, and VFR and a significant decrease in the PI and RI of the RA and UA 10 min, 20 min, and 30 min post-block. The increase 30 min post-block in EDV (258.68 % in the RA, 279.63 % in the UA) was the most notable, followed by that in the V (183.36 % in the RA, 235.24 % in the UA), and the PSV (139.11 % in the RA, 153.15 % in the UA) changed minimally. The V and VFR of the RA were significantly greater than those of the UA before the BPB; however, there was no significant difference in the VFR between the RA and UA after the BPB.

Conclusions: A costoclavicular BPB can increase blood flow in the forearm arteries. The RA had a higher volumetric flow rate than the UA before the BPB; however, the potential blood supply capacity of the UA was similar to that of the RA after a BPB.

Trial Registration: This study was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (http://www.chictr.org.cn/searchproj.aspx, clinical trial number: ChiCTR 1900023796, date of registration: June 12, 2019).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12871-021-01383-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164273PMC
May 2021

CBFβ promotes colorectal cancer progression through transcriptionally activating OPN, FAM129A, and UPP1 in a RUNX2-dependent manner.

Cell Death Differ 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is commonly associated with aberrant transcription regulation, but characteristics of the dysregulated transcription factors in CRC pathogenesis remain to be elucidated. In the present study, core-binding factor β (CBFβ) is found to be significantly upregulated in human CRC tissues and correlates with poor survival rate of CRC patients. Mechanistically, CBFβ is found to promote CRC cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and inhibit cell apoptosis in a RUNX2-dependent way. Transcriptome studies reveal that CBFβ and RUNX2 form a transcriptional complex that activates gene expression of OPN, FAM129A, and UPP1. Furthermore, CBFβ significantly promotes CRC tumor growth and live metastasis in a mouse xenograft model and a mouse liver metastasis model. In addition, tumor-suppressive miR-143/145 are found to inhibit CBFβ expression by specifically targeting its 3'-UTR region. Consistently, an inverse correlation between miR-143/miR-145 and CBFβ expression levels is present in CRC patients. Taken together, this study uncovers a novel regulatory role of CBFβ-RUNX2 complex in the transcriptional activation of OPN, FAM129A, and UPP1 during CRC development, and may provide important insights into CRC pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-021-00810-2DOI Listing
May 2021

Recent Insights on Catalyst Layers for Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2021 08 24;8(15):e2100284. Epub 2021 May 24.

State Key Laboratory of Engines, School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, P. R. China.

Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) performance have significantly improved in the last decade (>1 W cm ), and is now comparable with that of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). At high current densities, issues in the catalyst layer (CL, composed of catalyst and ionomer), like oxygen transfer, water balance, and microstructural evolution, play important roles in the performance. In addition, CLs for AEMFCs have different requirements than for PEMFCs, such as chemical/physical stability, reaction mechanism, and mass transfer, because of different conductive media and pH environment. The anion exchange ionomer (AEI), which is the soluble or dispersed analogue of the anion exchange membrane (AEM), is required for hydroxide transport in the CL and is normally handled separately with the electrocatalyst during the electrode fabrication process. The importance of the AEI-catalyst interface in maximizing the utilization of electrocatalyst and fuel/oxygen transfer process must be carefully investigated. This review briefly covers new concepts in the complex AEMFC catalyst layer, before a detailed discussion on advances in CLs based on the design of AEIs and electrocatalysts. The importance of the structure-function relationship is highlighted with the aim of directing the further development of CLs for high-performance AEMFC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.202100284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336519PMC
August 2021

Pyruvate Kinase M2 Contributes to TLR-Mediated Inflammation and Autoimmunity by Promoting Pyk2 Activation.

Front Immunol 2021 7;12:680068. Epub 2021 May 7.

Institute of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Jining Medical University, Jining, China.

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play critical roles in regulating the abnormal activation of the immune cells resulting in the pathogenesis of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), which governs the last step of glycolysis, is involved in multiple cellular processes and pathological conditions. However, little is known about the involvement of PKM2 in regulating TLR-mediated inflammation and autoimmunity. Herein, we investigated the role of PKM2 in the activation of the TLR pathways and the pathogenesis of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The activation of TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 pathways was found to induce the up-regulation of PKM2 expression in macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells. The over-expression of PKM2 promotes the activation of TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 pathways while interference with the PKM2 expression or the addition of the PKM2 inhibitor (PKM-IN) markedly inhibited the activation of TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 pathways. Mechanistically, PKM2 augmented the activation of TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 pathways by promoting the activation of the proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2). Intriguingly, the PKM2 inhibitor PKM2-IN significantly protected the mice from the endotoxic shock mediated by the TLR4-agonist LPS. Additionally, it alleviated the progression in the TLR7-agonist imiquimod-mediated lupus mice and spontaneous lupus MRL/ mice. Moreover, PKM2 expression was highly elevated in the monocytes, DCs and B cells from systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) patients compared with those from the healthy donors. Besides, the PKM2 expression level was positively correlated with the degree of activation of these immune cells. In summary, PKM2 contributed to TLR-mediated inflammation and autoimmunity and can be a valuable target to control inflammation and autoimmunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.680068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138060PMC
May 2021
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