Publications by authors named "Liang Peng"

896 Publications

Lime-Phosphorus Fertilizer Efficiently Reduces the Cd Content of Rice: Physicochemical Property and Biological Community Structure in Cd-Polluted Paddy Soil.

Front Microbiol 2021 19;12:749946. Epub 2021 Nov 19.

Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.

Due to the biomagnifying effect in the food chains, heavy metals will cause serious harm to the food produced in paddy soil, and then threaten human health. The remediation of soil heavy metals by the addition of amendments is a common method. However, the combination of the two amendments has been less studied and its effect is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of different concentrations of a lime and calcium-magnesium phosphate (CMP) amendments metal availability and paddy soil bacteria biodiversity. The experiment proves that the addition of 0.5 and 1.0‰ amendment can effectively reduce cadmium (Cd) availability and the cadmium content in rice to be below 0.2 mg/kg, meeting the national food safety level. The results demonstrate that increasing pH and phosphorous (P) in soil were two important factors decreasing available cadmium. Furthermore, biodiversity analysis of the treated soil showed that the amendment increased biodiversity. Proteobacteria and Chloroflex were the most abundant bacteria at the phylum level, followed by Acidobacterium and Nitrospirae. The abundance of -, , and increased as phosphorous increased. Cadmium passivation might induce those species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.749946DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8638080PMC
November 2021

Laser induced forward transfer isolating complex-shaped cell by beam shaping.

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Nov 19;12(11):7024-7032. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

State Key Laboratory of Applied Optics, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Changchun, 130033, China.

Beam shaping techniques have been widely used in holographic optical tweezers to accurately manipulate tiny particles and hologram optimization algorithms have also been widely reported to improve the optical trapping performance. In this paper, we presented a beam shaping laser induced forward transfer (BS-LIFT) technique to isolate complex-shaped cells. To do this, we built up a BS-LIFT instrument which combined beam shaping methods and laser induced forward transfer using liquid-crystal-on-silicon spatial light modulator. The laser beam was modulated into multiple desired points at the focal plane employing the Gerchberg-Saxton (GS) algorithm. Feasibility was verified through transferring various samples. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of BS-LIFT applied to the transfer complex-shaped cells. We successfully transferred cells whose size ranged from 1 µm to 100 µm. Our design will provide a novel approach for the application of this beam shaping technique and the isolation of single cells with variable shapes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.439054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8606160PMC
November 2021

Significantly Different Lipid Profile Analysis of under Low-Temperature Storage by UPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap/MS.

Foods 2021 Oct 29;10(11). Epub 2021 Oct 29.

National Engineering Research Center of Seafood, Collaborative Innovation Center of Seafood Deep Processing, School of Food Science and Technology, Dalian Polytechnic University, Dalian 116034, China.

Low-temperature storage is one of the most important preservation methods for aquatic product storage. However, the effects of low-temperature storage on the lipid profiles of shrimp are unclear. Herein, UPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap/MS combined with LipidSearch software was applied to analyze the effect of three low storage temperatures (4 °C, -2 °C, and -18 °C) on the lipidomics of . A total of 15 lipid classes were analyzed, and PC, PE, DG, and TG accounted for vast majority of peak areas. Furthermore, 531 individual lipid variables enriched in 12 metabolic pathways were identified via bioinformatics analysis methods. A total of 56 significantly different lipid molecular species (55 belonging to PC, PE, DG, and TG) were selected as potential biomarkers of lipid oxidation via correlational analysis between physical properties (texture and color) and individual lipid variables. The results indicated that the three low storage temperatures caused different effects on the lipidomics profile of , and PC, PE, DG, and TG could become potential focuses in further studies of lipid oxidation in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10112624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8622687PMC
October 2021

NLRX1 can counteract innate immune response induced by an external stimulus favoring HBV infection by competitive inhibition of MAVS-RLRs signaling in HepG2-NTCP cells.

Sci Prog 2021 Oct;104(4):368504211058036

Department of Infectious Diseases, Third Affiliated Hospital, 144991 Sun Yat-sen University, China.

Introduction: This study is aimed at the determination of the effect of the immune-regulatory factor NLRX1 on the antiviral activity of hepatocytes against an external stimuli favoring hepatitis B virus infection, and to explore its mechanism of action.

Methods: A HepG2-NTCP model was established using the LV003 lentivirus. Cells were transfected using an overexpression vector and NLRX1 siRNA to achieve overexpression and interference of NLRX1 expression (OV-NLRX1, si-NLRX1). Levels of HBsAg and HBcAg were determined using Western blotting analysis and immunohistochemical analysis. The levels of hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis B virus cccDNA were determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression and transcriptional activity of IFN-α, IFN-β, and IL-6 were measured using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and promoter-luciferase reporter plasmids. Co-immunoprecipitation was used to determine the effect of NLRX1 on the interaction between MAVS and RIG-1. Western blotting was used to obtain the phosphorylation of essential proteins in the MAVS-RLRs signaling pathways.

Results: NLRX1 promoted HepG2-NTCP cell hepatitis B virus infection. Compared to the control group, the levels of HBsAg, HBcAg, hepatitis B virus cccDNA, and hepatitis B virus DNA increased in the OV-NLRX1 group and decreased in the si-NLRX1. Co-immunoprecipitation results showed that NLRX1 competitively inhibited the interaction between MAVS and RIG-1, and inhibited the phosphorylation of p65, IRF3, and IRF7. Additionally, NLRX1 reduced the transcription activity and expression levels of the final products: IFN-α, IFN-β, and IL-6.

Conclusions: NLRX1 can counteract innate immune response induced by an external stimuli favoring hepatitis B virus infection by competitive inhibition of MAVS-RLRs signaling in HepG2-NTCP cells. Inhibition of the MAVS-RLR-mediated signaling pathways leads to a decline in the expression levels of I-IFN and IL-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00368504211058036DOI Listing
October 2021

Isolating and culturing of single microbial cells by laser ejection sorting technology.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2021 Nov 24:AEM0116521. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

State Key laboratory of Applied Optics, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130033, P. R. China.

Single cell isolation and cultivation play an important role in studying physiology, gene expression and functions of microorganisms. A series of single-cell isolation technologies have been developed, among which single-cell ejection technology is one of the most promising. Single cell ejection technology has applied Laser Induced Forward Transfer Technique (LIFT) to isolate bacteria but the viability (or recovery rate) of cells after sorting has not been clarified in the current research progress. In this work, to keep the cells alive as much as possible, we propose a three-layer LIFT system (top layer: 25-nm aluminum film; second layer: 3 μm agar media; third layer: liquid containing bacterial) for the isolation and cultivation of single Gram-negative (), Gram-positive ( GG, LGG), and eukaryotic microorganisms (). The experiment results showed that the average survival rates for ejected pure single cells were 63% for , 22% for DH5α, and 74% for LGG. In addition, we successfully isolated and cultured the GFP expressing JM109 from the mixture containing complex communities of soil bacteria by fluorescence signal. The average survival rate of JM109 was demonstrated to be 25.3%. In this study, the isolated and cultured single colonies were further confirmed by colony PCR and sequencing. Such precise sorting and cultivation technique of live single microbial cells could be coupled with other microscopic approaches to isolate single microorganisms with specific functions, revealing their roles in the natural community. We developed a laser induced forward transfer (LIFT) technology to accurately isolate single live microbial cells. The cultivation recovery rates of the ejected single cells were 63% for , 22% for DH5α, and 74% for GG (LGG). Coupled LIFT with fluorescent microscope, we demonstrated that single cells of GFP expressing JM109 were sorted according to fluorescence signal from a complex community of soil bacteria, and subsequently cultured with 25% cultivation recovery rate. This single cell live sorting technology could isolate single microbes with specific functions, revealing their roles in the natural community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01165-21DOI Listing
November 2021

Engineering Novel CD19/CD22 Dual-Target CAR-T Cells for Improved Anti-Tumor Activity.

Cancer Invest 2021 Nov 25:1-11. Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Department of Hematology, Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, Guangzhou, China.

Despite high remission rates following chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) cell therapy in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), relapse due to loss of the targeted antigen is increasingly recognized as a mechanism of immune escape. We hypothesized that simultaneous targeting of CD19 and CD22 may improve the CAR-T effect. The and leukemia model was established, and the anti-tumor effects of BiCAR-T, CD19 CAR-T, CD22 CAR-T, and LoopCAR6 cells were observed. We found that the BiCAR-T cells showed significant cytotoxicity and . The CD19/CD22 bivalent CAR provides an opportunity to test whether simultaneous targeting may reduce the risk of antigen loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07357907.2021.2005798DOI Listing
November 2021

Comparison of Survival of Patients With T cN Oropharyngeal Cancer Treated With or Without Elective Neck Dissection.

Laryngoscope 2021 Nov 19. Epub 2021 Nov 19.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Objectives/hypothesis: This study aimed to examine the prognostic value of elective neck dissection (END) in T clinical negative cervical lymph node (cN ) oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) patients.

Study Design: An observational retrospective study.

Methods: This retrospective study included 845 patients diagnosed with T cN OPC during 2010-2015 from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression models were used to evaluate the prognostic roles of END. Furthermore, propensity score matching was used to balance the covariates between the END and observation (OBS) groups, and subgroup analyses were conducted in the matched cohorts. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS).

Results: Our study showed that END was an independent prognostic factor associated with a better 3-year OS compared with OBS in human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive cohort (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.464; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.235-0.916; P = .027). However, we found no prognostic value of END in HPV-negative cohort (adjusted HR, 0.837; 95% CI, 0.535-1.310; P = .435). In the subgroup analyses, we found that younger patients (≤65 years old) and patients with nontonsillar tumors in HPV-positive cohort were more likely to benefit from END, while patients with tonsillar tumors in HPV-negative cohort may benefit from END.

Conclusions: We found that patients with HPV-positive T cN OPC could benefit from END in terms of OS, especially younger patients and those with nontonsillar tumors. Patients with HPV-negative T cN OPC could not benefit from END in terms of OS, while those with tonsillar tumors may benefit from END.

Level Of Evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 2021.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lary.29951DOI Listing
November 2021

A Prospective Multicenter Study of the Chinese Scoring System for Hepatitis B Liver Failure.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 2;8:751807. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

To evaluate the clinical utility of a Chinese scoring system for hepatitis B liver failure in a prospective and multicenter study. Clinical data for 1,143 patients with hepatitis B liver failure who had been followed up for a minimum of 6 months were collected from seven liver disease centers across China. The disease severity and prognosis for the patients were predicted using the Chinese scoring system and compared to those predicted with the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, MELD-Na score, and Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) score. The Chinese scoring system was more effective at predicting the outcomes of survival and mortality than the MELD score. In the peak disease stage, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the Chinese scoring system was 0.954, significantly higher than that (0.896) for the MELD scoring system ( < 0.001). The positive prediction at 30, 90, and 180 days with the Chinese scoring system was 0.764 (95% CI: 0.714-0.808), 0.731 (95% CI: 0.694-0.769), and 0.724 (95% CI: 0.679-0.765), also significantly higher than that with the MELD, MELD-Na, and CTP scores ( < 0.001). In addition, the Chinese scoring system was superior to the MELD, MELD-Na, and CTP scores ( < 0.001) at predicting the prognosis of patients with hepatitis B liver failure at both 30 and 180 days. The Chinese scoring system demonstrated superior performance to the three established scoring systems in assessing the severity and outcomes of hepatitis B liver failure in this cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.751807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8592973PMC
November 2021

Experience performing partial fistulectomy through a single incision to treat pyriform sinus fistula in children.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2021 Dec 11;151:110973. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Child Development and Disorders, National Clinical Research Center for Child Health and Disorders, China International Science and Technology Cooperation Base of Child Development and Critical Disorders, Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Pediatrics, China.

Background And Objectives: The surgical treatment of pyriform sinus fistula (PSF) is improving. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of partial fistula excision in children with PSF assisted by using methylene blue.

Methods: According to the method used to treat PSF infection, the patients were divided into a conservative treatment group, a single incision group (the children drained the abscess through the incision at the dermatoglyph of the cricothyroid joint), and a non single incision group (the children drained the abscess through the incision in the most obvious area of the abscess or ulceration). The data were retrieved from the electronic medical records (EMRs) and hospital information system (HIS). The patient and observer scar assessment scale (POSAS) scores at 6 months after fistula resection were compared.

Results: A total of 239 patients diagnosed with PSF underwent partial resection of the fistula through cervical approach with methylene blue. The success rate of the operation was 100%. The average operation time was 32 ± 13.2 min. The average hospital stay was 1 ± 0.2 days. There were 2 cases of transient hoarseness and 6 cases of wound infection. There were 17 patients in the conservative treatment group, 81 patients in the single incision group and 145 patients in the nonsingle incision group. The average POSAS scores of the three groups were 2.56 ± 0.6, 3.12 ± 0.84 and 4.56 ± 1.56, respectively, with significant differences among the three groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Partial fistulectomy assisted by using methylene blue through a single incision in the neck for the treatment of PSF in children yields a high success rate, fewer postoperative complications and greater comfort than traditional surgery. This alternative surgery can be used to treat PSF in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2021.110973DOI Listing
December 2021

Mn(CeZr)O chelation-induced synthesis and its hydrothermal aging characteristics for catalytic abatement of toluene.

Chemosphere 2021 Oct 28:132662. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, Shandong, 266590, PR China. Electronic address:

In this work, Mn(CeZr)O was synthesized by using chelation-induced synergistic self-assembly strategy for the combustion of toluene. The physicochemical properties of the synthesized catalysts were characterized by XRD, ICP-MS, SEM, TEM, XPS and N sorption. The Mn(CeZr)O catalyst with T = 225 °C exhibited improved catalytic performance than the original MnO catalyst (T = 260 °C) and had significant low-temperature activity. The relationship between catalyst activity and structure was analyzed. By substituting Ce and Zr elements into the hollow microspheres of MnO, oxygen vacancies were produced. The main factors affecting the catalytic activity of the catalyst and the reason why it remained high catalytic activity after a long period of hydrothermal treatment were discussed. After hydrothermal aging, the original pore structure of Mn(CeZr)O catalyst collapsed and the specific surface area decreased, but the overall crystallinity of the catalyst increased and the content of oxygen species in the lattice increased. The distribution of Mn and oxygen species on the catalyst surface changed significantly after hydrothermal treatment. The appropriate ratio of Mn to Mn and the ratio of lattice oxygen to adsorbed oxygen species are beneficial to the redox reaction cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132662DOI Listing
October 2021

Ajugol enhances TFEB-mediated lysosome biogenesis and lipophagy to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Pharmacol Res 2021 Dec 31;174:105964. Epub 2021 Oct 31.

School of Basic Medical Sciences, North China University of Science and Technology, No. 21 Bohai Road, Caofeidian District, Tangshan, Hebei 063210, China. Electronic address:

Lipophagy is the autophagic degradation of lipid droplets. Dysregulated lipophagy has been implicated in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Ajugol is an active alkaloid isolated from the root of Rehmannia glutinosa which is commonly used to treat various inflammatory and metabolic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the effect of ajugol on alleviating hepatic steatosis and sought to determine whether its potential mechanism via the key lysosome-mediated process of lipophagy. Our findings showed that ajugol significantly improved high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis in mice and inhibited palmitate-induced lipid accumulation in hepatocytes. Further analysis found that hepatic steatosis promoted the expression of LC3-II, an autophagosome marker, but led to autophagic flux blockade due to a lack of lysosomes. Ajugol also enhanced lysosomal biogenesis and promoted the fusion of autophagosome and lysosome to improve impaired autophagic flux and hepatosteatosis. Mechanistically, ajugol inactivated mammalian target of rapamycin and induced nuclear translocation of the transcription factor EB (TFEB), an essential regulator of lysosomal biogenesis. siRNA-mediated knockdown of TFEB significantly abrogated ajugol-induced lysosomal biogenesis as well as autophagosome-lysosome fusion and lipophagy. We conclude that lysosomal deficit is a critical mediator of hepatic steatosis, and ajugol may alleviate NAFLD via promoting the TFEB-mediated autophagy-lysosomal pathway and lipophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105964DOI Listing
December 2021

Spiral self-assembly of lamellar micelles into multi-shelled hollow nanospheres with unique chiral architecture.

Sci Adv 2021 Nov 3;7(45):eabi7403. Epub 2021 Nov 3.

Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, iChEM and State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, P. R. China.

[Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abi7403DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8565844PMC
November 2021

Effects of Danhong injection on cardiac function and blood lipid in patients with angina pectoris of coronary heart disease: A protocol for randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Oct;100(43):e27479

The People's Hospital of Dazu, Chongqing Dazu, Chongqing Province, China.

Background: Angina pectoris of coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Danhong injection is a supplement for angina pectoris of coronary heart disease. A large number of studies have confirmed its efficacy and safety. However, there is no rigorous clinical study to evaluate the effects of Danhong injection on cardiac function and blood lipid in patients with angina pectoris of coronary heart disease.

Methods: This is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to study the effects of Danhong injection on cardiac function and lipid profile in patients with angina pectoris of coronary heart disease. Participants will be randomly divided into treatment group and control group. The treatment group will be treated with Danhong injection and the control group will be treated with placebo under basic treatment according to recommended guideline, and followed up for 3 months after 14 consecutive days of treatment. Outcomes include: cardiac function (left ventricular end-diastolic diameter); left ventricular end-systolic diameter; left ventricular ejection fraction, blood lipid levels (total cholesterol; triacylglycerol; low density lipoprotein cholesterol; high density lipoprotein cholesterol), the number of angina attacks per week, total amount of nitroglycerin tablets, and adverse reactions.

Discussion: This study will evaluate the efficacy of Danhong injection in improving cardiac function and blood lipid in patients with angina pectoris of coronary heart disease. The results of this study will provide reference for clinical use of Danhong injection to improve cardiac function and blood lipid in patients with angina pectoris of coronary heart disease.Trial registration: OSF Registration number: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/TPZJ5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000027479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8556048PMC
October 2021

Prospective, multicentre, randomised controlled trial comparing the seroclearance of HBsAg between combination therapy of peg-interferon alpha and tenofovir with tenofovir monotherapy in nucleos(t)ide analogue-experienced patients with HBV-related liver fibrosis: a study protocol.

BMJ Open 2021 10 25;11(10):e049104. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Introduction: Combination antiviral therapy of nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) and pegylated interferon alpha (peg-IFN alpha) decrease hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) levels to achieve functional cure and improve long-term prognosis in chronic hepatitis B patients. However, for hepatitis B-related liver fibrosis, studies on combination of these two medicines are limited. This study was designed to compare the efficacy between peg-IFN alpha combined with tenofovir (TDF) and TDF monotherapy for the clearance of HBsAg in NA-experienced patients with HBV-related liver fibrosis.

Methods And Analysis: This study was designed to be a prospective, multicentre, open, randomised controlled study. A total of 272 patients with HBV-related liver fibrosis will be randomised into the combination therapy group or the monotherapy group at a 1:1 ratio. Participants in the combination group will receive subcutaneous injections of peg-IFN alpha 180 µg per week for 48 weeks combined with oral TDF 300 mg daily. Participants in the monotherapy group will receive 300 mg oral TDF daily alone. All participants will undergo long-term treatment with TDF and will be followed up at the outpatient department for 144 weeks after randomisation. Clinical symptoms, laboratory tests and examination indicators will be collected at each follow-up time point, and adverse events will be recorded. The primary endpoint is serological clearance rate of HBsAg at 48 weeks.

Ethics And Dissemination: The ethics committee of the Third Affiliated Hospital at Sun Yat-sen University approved this study (Approval Number: (2020)02-183-01). The results of the study will be presented at relevant meetings and published in an appropriate journal after the completion of the trial and the analysis of the data.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04640129.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8547364PMC
October 2021

Evaluation of an Injectable Hydrogel Based on Hyaluronic Acid-chitosan/β-glycerophosphate-loaded Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Enhancing the Therapeutic Efficacy of Myocardial Infarction.

Macromol Biosci 2021 Oct 21:e2100286. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

Y. Li, Department of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, The Affiliated cancer hospital of Zhengzhou University, PR China.

Myocardial infarction (MI), which is due to cardiac dysfunction, results in morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the cellular activity of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)generally limits their therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of MI. Here, inject able hyaluronic acid-chitosan/β-glycerophosphate (HA-CS/β-GP) hydrogel-loaded MSCs were prepared, after which their effects on the treatment of MI were investigated. The synthesized HA-CS/β-GP hydrogels exhibited swelling ratio (SR), an in vitro degradation value, and a gelatin time of 82.19 ± 4.1, 88.18% ± 2.4%, and 9 s, respectively. Further, rheological studies revealed that the elastic modulus of the HA-CS/β-GP hydrogels was ≥230 Pa, exhibiting large elastic to viscous modulus ratio, which indicated their mechanical strength. Furthermore, the in vitro 3T3 cell and MSC culture studies confirmed the good biocompatibility of the HA-CS and HA-CS/β-GP hydrogels. The implantation of the synthesized hydrogels in the mouse MI model considerably improved the therapeutic effect of the MSCs (enhanced cardiac function, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and increased vascularization) for the first time. The innovative synergistic strategy of combining injectable HA-CS and HA-CS/β-GP hydro gels with MSCs might be suitable for the effective treatment of cardiac morbidity due to MIs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.202100286DOI Listing
October 2021

The Assessment of Upper-Limb Spasticity Based on a Multi-Layer Process Using a Portable Measurement System.

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2021 3;29:2242-2251. Epub 2021 Nov 3.

Spasticity is a common disabling complication caused by the upper motor neurons dysfunction following neurological diseases such as stroke. Currently, the assessment of the spastic hypertonia triggered by stretch reflexes is manually performed by clinicians using perception-based clinical scales, however, their reliability is still questionable due to the inter-rater and intra-rater variability. In order to objectively quantify the complex spasticity phenomenon in post-stroke patients, this study proposed a multi-layer assessment system based on a novel measurement device. The exoskeletal device was developed to synchronously record the kinematic, biomechanical and electrophysiological information in sixteen spastic patients and ten age-matched healthy subjects, while the spastic limb was stretched at low, moderate and high velocities. The mechanical impedance of the elbow joint was identified using a modified genetic algorithm to quantify the alterations in viscoelastic properties underlying pathological resistance. Simultaneously, the time-frequency features were extracted from the surface electromyography (sEMG) signals to reveal the neurophysiological mechanisms of the spastic muscles. By concatenating these single-layer decisions, a support vector regression (SVR)-based fusion model was developed to generate a more comprehensive quantification of spasticity severity. Experimental results demonstrated that the stiffness and damping components of the spastic arm significantly deviated from the nonspastic baseline, and strong correlations were observed between the proposed spasticity assessment and the severity level measured by clinical scales ( R = 0.86, P = 1.67e - 5 ), as well as the tonic stretch reflex threshold (TSRT) value ( R = - 0.89, P = 3.54e - 6 ). These promising results suggest that the proposed assessment system holds great potential to support the clinical diagnosis of motor abnormalities in spastic patients, and ultimately enables optimal adjustment of treatment protocols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNSRE.2021.3121780DOI Listing
November 2021

Progression-free survival assessed per immune-related or conventional response criteria, which is the better surrogate endpoint for overall survival in trials of immune-checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Cancer Med 2021 Dec 20;10(23):8272-8287. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Institute of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, P. R. China.

Progression-free survival (PFS) has been used as a surrogate endpoint for overall survival (OS) in lung cancer trials. The pattern of response to immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) differs from that to conventional chemotherapy, so immune-related response evaluation criteria were proposed. This study aims at determining which PFS measure, PFS assessed per immune-related response evaluation criteria (iPFS), or conventional criteria (cPFS), is the better surrogate endpoint for OS in trials of ICIs in lung cancer. We selected clinical trials in lung cancer that administered ICIs to at least one arm and reported both median OS and median PFS from PubMed, Embase, and The Cochrane Library. We compared the correlation between treatment effect (hazard ratio) on OS and cPFS or iPFS and the correlation between median OS and median cPFS or iPFS using weighted linear regression at trial level. We analyzed 78 ICI arms (13,438 patients) from 54 studies, including 66 arms with cPFS, seven arms with iPFS, and five arms with both kinds of PFS. We demonstrated an excellent correlation between treatment effect (hazard ratio) on OS and iPFS (R  = 0.91), while the correlation was moderate for cPFS (R  = 0.38). Similarly, the correlation between median OS and median iPFS was also strong (R ranging from 0.86 to 0.96) across different phases of trials and different types of lung cancer, ICI, and treatment modalities, while it was much weaker for median cPFS (R ranging from 0.28 to 0.88). In conclusion, iPFS provides better trial-level surrogacy for OS than cPFS in trials of ICIs in lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.4347DOI Listing
December 2021

Qing-Re-Xiao-Zheng Formula Modulates Gut Microbiota and Inhibits Inflammation in Mice With Diabetic Kidney Disease.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 16;8:719950. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Beijing Key Lab for Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China.

Evidence indicates that the metabolic inflammation induced by gut microbiota dysbiosis contributes to diabetic kidney disease. Prebiotic supplementations to prevent gut microbiota dysbiosis, inhibit inflammatory responses, and protect the renal function in DKD. Qing-Re-Xiao-Zheng formula (QRXZF) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula that has been used for DKD treatment in China. Recently, there are growing studies show that regulation of gut microbiota is a potential therapeutic strategy for DKD as it is able to reduce metabolic inflammation associated with DKD. However, it is unknown whether QRXZF is effective for DKD by regulating of gut microbiota. In this study, we investigated the reno-protective effect of QRXZF by exploring its potential mechanism between gut microbiota and downstream inflammatory pathways mediated by gut-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the kidney. High-fat diet (HFD) and streptozotocin injection-induced DKD mice model was established to assess the QRXZF effect . Mice treated with QRXZF for 8 weeks had significantly lower levels of urinary albumin, serum cholesterol and triglycerides. The renal injuries observed through histological analysis were attenuated as well. Also, mice in the QRXZF group had higher levels of Zonula occludens protein-1 (ZO-1) expression, lower levels of serum fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran and less-damaged colonic mucosa as compared to the DKD group, implying the benefit role for the gut barrier integrity. QRXZF treatment also reversed gut dysbiosis and reduced levels of gut-derived LPS. Notably, the expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which are important inflammation pathways in DKD, were suppressed in the QRXZF groups. In conclusion, our results indicated that the reno-protective effects of QRXZF was probably associated with modulating gut microbiota and inhibiting inflammatory responses in the kidney.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.719950DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481597PMC
September 2021

The 96-week clinical outcomes after cessation of nucleos(t)ide analog treatment in chronic hepatitis B patients.

Gastroenterol Rep (Oxf) 2021 Aug 10;9(4):313-322. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P. R. China.

Background: Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients have a high virological relapse rate after cessation of nucleos(t)ide analog (NA) treatment, but the clinical outcome remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the 96-week clinical outcomes and the risk factors for relapse in CHB after cessation of NAs.

Methods: This study was a prospective trial; 74 eligible patients were enrolled. The patients underwent NA cessation and follow-up according to the 2012 Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver Guideline. Symptoms, biochemical (aspartate aminotransferase [AST], alanine aminotransferase [ALT], total bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine), virological data (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg], hepatitis B e antigen [HBeAg], hepatitis B e antibody [HBeAb], hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA levels), and color Doppler ultrasound examination results were recorded and analysed.

Results: After NA cessation, 19 cases were HBsAg-negative without relapse during the 96-week follow-up. Of the 55 cases of HBsAg-positive after cessation, four types of clinical outcomes were observed. Twelve patients had no relapse during the 96-week follow-up (type A, 21.8%), 7 patients underwent virological relapses but spontaneously had a non-virological relapse (type B, 12.7%), 10 patients maintained virological relapse (type C, 18.2%), and 26 patients turned to clinical relapse, received NA retreatment, and achieved ALT normalization and negative conversion of HBV DNA within 12 months (type D, 47.3%). The 2-year overall cumulative rates of virological and clinical relapses were 58.1% and 24.3%, respectively. Independent factors associated with virological relapse were duration of negative HBV DNA, EOT (end of treatment) HBsAg, and original status of HBeAg. The EOT HBsAg was also an independent factor for clinical relapse.

Conclusions: There are four types of clinical outcomes in patients with CHB after cessation of NA treatment. Further research is needed to explore the mechanism of different clinical outcomes. The EOT HBsAg level is an independent factor associated with both virological and clinical relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gastro/goab013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8460097PMC
August 2021

Atmospheric volatile halogenated hydrocarbons in air pollution episodes in an urban area of Beijing: Characterization, health risk assessment and sources apportionment.

Sci Total Environ 2022 Feb 10;806(Pt 1):150283. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China. Electronic address:

Volatile halogenated hydrocarbons (VHCs) have attracted wide attention in the atmospheric chemistry field since they not only affect the ecological environment but also damage human health. In order to better understand the characteristics, sources and health risks of VHCs in typical urban areas in Beijing, and also verify the achievement in implementing the Montreal Protocol (MP) in Beijing, observational studies on 22 atmospheric VHCs species were conducted during six air pollution episodes from December 2016 to May 2017. The range in daily mixing ratios of the 6 MP-regulated VHCs was 1000-1168 pptv, and the 16 MP-unregulated VHCs was 452-2961 pptv. The 16 MP-unregulated VHCs accounted for a relatively high concentration proportion among the 22 VHCs with a mean of 70.25%. Compared with other regions, the mixing ratios of MP-regulated VHCs were in the middle concentrations. The mixing ratios of the MP-regulated VHCs remained the same concentrations during the air pollution episodes, while the concentrations of MP-unregulated VHCs were generally higher on polluted days than on clean days and increased with the aggravation of the pollution episodes. The mixing ratios of dichlorodifluoromethane and trichlorofluoromethane were higher than Northern Hemisphere (NH) background values, while the mixing ratios of the other 4 MP-regulated VHCs were moderate and similar to the NH background values. All the 9 VHCs with carcinogenic risk might pose potential carcinogenic risks to the exposed populations in the six pollution episodes, while none of the 12 VHCs might pose appreciable non-carcinogenic risks to the exposed populations. Considering the higher concentration levels and higher risk values of 1,2-dichloropropane, 1,2-dichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride and trichloromethane, Beijing needs to further strengthen the control of these VHCs. The analysis of air mass transportation and PMF model showed that regional transportation and leakage of CFCs banks were important sources of VHCs in Beijing, and the contribution of industrial process and solvent usage should not be neglected. The results revealed the effective implementation of the MP in Beijing and its surrounding areas, while further measures are suggested to control the emissions of important VHCs especially from regional transportation and leakage of CFCs banks to reduce the possible health risks to the exposed population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150283DOI Listing
February 2022

Development and validation of a multi-residue method for the simultaneous analysis of brominated and organophosphate flame retardants, organochlorine pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic compounds in household dust.

Anal Methods 2021 10 14;13(39):4623-4633. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Laboratory for Contaminants Exposure and Health, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Catalysis and Health Risk Control, Institute of Environmental Health and Pollution Control, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, P. R. China.

Household dust is a sink for multiple toxic chemicals with known or suspected potential health effects. However, most dust exposure studies focus on a few chemicals, which may limit overall understanding of human exposure characteristics because people spend most of their time indoors. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a multi-residue analysis of 20 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 8 polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners (PBDEs), 3 hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDs), 8 synthetic musks (Musks), and 7 organophosphate esters (OPEs) in indoor dusts. After extraction with acetone/hexane (v/v, 1 : 1), all target compounds were fractionated with a Florisil solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge into two fractions: PAHs, PBDEs, HBCDs, OCPs and Musks, which were eluted with hexane/dichloromethane, and OPEs eluted with ethyl acetate. Further clean-up using acidified silica 44% cartridges was then performed to enable determination of PBDEs and HBCDs. Instrumental analysis of the target chemicals was performed using gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). A newly-optimized GC-MS/MS method was employed for the simultaneous determination of PAHs, OCPs, and Musks. The lower limit of quantification (LOQ) values of PAHs, OCPs, and Musks were 0.14-0.92 ng g, 0.06-0.38 ng g and 0.07-0.40 ng g, respectively. PBDEs were quantified by GC-MS with electron capture negative ionization, and HBCDs and OPEs by LC-MS/MS with electrospray ionization (ESI) in negative and positive ion mode, respectively. Recovery experiments showed that the average recoveries and relative standard deviations were 99-113% and 1-14% for PBDEs, 89-105% and 1-6% for HBCDs, 71-120% and 3-17% for PAHs, 71-112% and 2-17% for OCPs, 77-120% and 2-13% for Musks, and 80-127% and 1-14% for OPEs. Validation experiments showed that the method achieved good accuracy. The developed method was used to analyze SRM 2585 and real indoor dust samples to demonstrate its suitability for routine analysis. The target contaminants were widely detected in SRM 2585 and indoor dust collected from Wuhan of Central China, with PAHs the major species, followed by OPEs, OCPs, and PBDEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1ay00860aDOI Listing
October 2021

Assessment of the potential for phytoremediation of cadmium polluted soils by various crop rotation patterns based on the annual input and output fluxes.

J Hazard Mater 2022 Feb 12;423(Pt B):127183. Epub 2021 Sep 12.

College of Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, Hunan, China. Electronic address:

Phytoremediation potential of two oil crop rotations (oilseed sunflower-rape (O+Ra) and peanut-oilseed rape (P+Ra)) was compared with three conventional cropping patterns (rice-rape (R+Ra), rice-rice (R+R), single cropped rice (SR)) in experimental plots with cadmium (Cd)-contaminated soil. A new approach was used to evaluate phytoremediation potential based on the balance between annual input and output fluxes of Cd in farmland soil. In O+Ra and P+Ra rotations, 77.24 and 62.09 g/ha Cd were removed, respectively, whereas in R+Ra, R+R, and SR patterns, 41.79, 46.46, and 23.85 g/ha Cd were removed, respectively. The balance between inputs and outputs of Cd was - 40.72 and - 25.76 g/ha under O+Ra and P+Ra rotations, respectively. Available Cd content in topsoil was reduced by 5.58% and 3.91% under O+Ra and P+Ra rotations, respectively. Based on the balance between Cd inputs and outputs, phytoremediation efficiencies of O+Ra (1.23%) and P+Ra (0.78%) rotations were higher than those of R+R (0.29%), R+Ra (0.13%), and SR (-0.38%) systems. Because crop removal is the main Cd output pathway, selection of a suitable crop is particularly important in remediation of Cd-contaminated farmland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127183DOI Listing
February 2022

Elevated Expression and Activity of Sodium Leak Channel Contributes to Neuronal Sensitization of Inflammatory Pain in Rats.

Front Mol Neurosci 2021 27;14:723395. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Inflammatory pain encompasses many clinical symptoms, and there is no satisfactory therapeutic target. Neuronal hyperexcitability and/or sensitization of the primary nociceptive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal dorsal horn are critical to the development and maintenance of inflammatory pain. The sodium leak channel (NALCN), a non-selective cation channel, mediates the background Na leak conductance and controls neuronal excitability. It is unknown whether abnormal activity of NALCN mediates the pathological process of inflammatory pain. Complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) was injected into the left footpad of rats to induce inflammatory pain. The thresholds of mechanical and thermal sensation and spontaneous pain behaviors were assessed. The expression of NALCN in DRG and spinal dorsal cord was measured. NALCN currents and the contribution of NALCN to neuronal excitability in the DRG and spinal dorsal cord were recorded using whole-cell patch-clamping recording. NALCN was abundantly expressed in neurons of the DRG and spinal dorsal cord. In acutely isolated DRG neurons and spinal cord slices from rats with CFA-induced inflammatory pain, NALCN currents and neuronal excitability were increased. Subsequently, intrathecal and sciatic nerve injection of NALCN-small interfering RNA (siRNA) decreased NALCN mRNA and reverted NALCN currents to normal levels, and then reduced CFA-induced neuronal excitability and alleviated pain symptoms. Furthermore, pain-related symptoms were significantly prevented by the NALCN-shRNA-mediated NALCN knockdown in DRG and spinal cord. Therefore, increased expression and activity of NALCN contributed to neuronal sensitization in CFA-induced inflammatory pain. NALCN may be a novel molecular target for the control of inflammatory pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2021.723395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8430348PMC
August 2021

Downregulation of miR‑214-3p attenuates mesangial hypercellularity by targeting PTEN‑mediated JNK/c-Jun signaling in IgA nephropathy.

Int J Biol Sci 2021 31;17(13):3343-3355. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Department of Nephrology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Kidney Disease and Blood Purification, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Mesangial cell (MC) proliferation and matrix expansion are basic pathological characteristics of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). However, the stepwise mechanism of MC proliferation and the exact set of related signaling molecules remain largely unclear. In this study, we found a significant upregulation of miR-214-3p in the renal cortex of IgAN mice by miRNA sequencing. hybridization analysis showed that miR-214-3p expression was obviously elevated in MCs in the renal cortex in IgAN. Functionally, knockdown of miR-214-3p alleviated mesangial hypercellularity and renal lesions in IgAN mice. , the inhibition of miR-214-3p suppressed MC proliferation and arrested G1-S cell cycle pSrogression in IgAN. Mechanistically, a luciferase reporter assay verified PTEN as a direct target of miR-214-3p. Downregulation of miR-214-3p increased PTEN expression and reduced p-JNK and p-c-Jun levels, thereby inhibiting MC proliferation and ameliorating renal lesions in IgAN. Moreover, these changes could be attenuated by co-transfection with PTEN siRNA. Collectively, these results illustrated that miR-214-3p accelerated MC proliferation in IgAN by directly targeting PTEN to modulate JNK/c-Jun signaling. Therefore, miR-214-3p may represent a novel therapeutic target for IgAN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/ijbs.61274DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416718PMC
July 2021

Persistence of the immune responses and cross-neutralizing activity with Variants of Concern following two doses of adjuvanted SCB-2019 COVID-19 vaccine.

J Infect Dis 2021 Sep 4. Epub 2021 Sep 4.

Global Research in Infectious Diseases (GRID), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Background: We have previously reported the safety and immunogenicity four weeks after two doses of the Clover COVID-19 vaccine candidate, SCB-2019, a stabilized pre-fusion form of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein (S-trimer). We now report persistence of antibodies up to 6 months after vaccination, and cross-neutralization titers against three Variants of Concern (VoC).

Methods: In a phase 1 study adult (18-54 years) and elderly (55-75 years) volunteers received two vaccinations 21 days apart with 3, 9 or 30µg doses of SCB-2019 adjuvanted with CpG-1018/alum or placebo. We measured IgG antibodies against SCB-2019, ACE2-competitive-binding antibodies, and neutralizing antibodies against wild type SARS-CoV-2 (Wuhan-Hu-1) at Days 101 and 184, and neutralizing antibodies against three VoC, Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) in Day 36 sera.

Results: Titers waned from their peak at Days 36-50, but SCB-2019 IgG antibodies, ACE2-competitive binding antibodies and neutralizing antibodies against wild type SARS-CoV-2 persisted at 25-35% of their observed peak levels at Day 184. Day 36 sera also demonstrated dose-dependent increases in neutralizing titers against the three VoC.

Conclusions: SCB-2019 dose-dependently induced immune responses against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 which persisted up to Day 184. Neutralizing antibodies were cross-reactive against three of the most prevalent VoC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499965PMC
September 2021

Three-dimensional macroscopic aminosilylated nanocellulose aerogels as sustainable bio-adsorbents for the effective removal of heavy metal ions.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Nov 31;190:170-177. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

School of Engineering, Zhejiang A & F University, No. 666 Wusu Street, Lin'an District, Hangzhou 311300, PR China. Electronic address:

Designing an environmentally benign bio-adsorbent for the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous medium was a sustainable strategy to ensure water safety. Herein, three-dimensional macroscopic aminosilyated nanocellulose aerogels (APTM-modified TO-NFC) for the removal of heavy metal ions in water were successfully synthesized from bamboo-derived TEMPO-oxidized nanofibrillated cellulose (TO-NFC) and aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMs) via a facile freeze-drying process. Owing to a relatively high BET surface area (129.32 m g), high porosity (99.14%) as well as high substitution degree of amino groups (0.41), the resulting APTM-modified TO-NFC aerogel exhibited good adsorption capacity of 99.0, 124.5, and 242.1 mg g for Cu, Cd and Hg, respectively. Furthermore, the crosslinked and three-dimensionally porous architecture imparted it with relatively high compression strength, good excellent stability in water, and ease of recyclability from water after the usage. The pH value of the solution had a great influence on adsorption efficiency of the aerogel adsorbent, and optimal adsorption efficiency could be achieved at pH 3-7. Thermodynamic parameters suggested the spontaneous and endothermic nature of adsorption process. This work provides a facile method for preparing sustainable bio-adsorbent for effective heavy metal ions removal from aqueous medium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.08.186DOI Listing
November 2021

Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Patients: Short-Term Outcomes and Antifungal Options.

Infect Dis Ther 2021 Dec 1;10(4):2525-2538. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Hepatology Unit, Department of Infectious Diseases, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, No 1838, Guangzhou Dadao Bei, Guangzhou, 510515, People's Republic of China.

Introduction: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) patients are susceptible to invasive fungal infections. We evaluated the prognosis and antifungal options in ACLF patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA).

Methods: ACLF patients with IPA from 15 hospitals were retrospectively screened from 2011 to 2018, and 383 ACLF patients without lung infections were included from a prospective cohort (NCT02457637). Demographic, laboratory, clinical data, and 28-day outcomes were documented in the two cohorts.

Results: ACLF patients with probable IPA (n = 145) had greater 28-day mortality (33.6% vs. 15.7%, p < 0.001) than those without (n = 383). The respiratory failure-associated 28-day mortality was greater in ACLF patients with IPA than in those without before (17.1% vs. 0.3%, p < 0.001) and after (16.0% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.001) propensity score matching in 116 pairs. IPA patients with lung injury had greater 28-day all-cause mortality (66.5% vs. 24.2%, p < 0.001) and IPA-associated mortality (45.8% vs. 8.1%, p < 0.001) than patients without lung injury (PaO2/FiO2 ≥ 400 mmHg). Antifungal therapy was prescribed to 139 of 145 patients, and 102 patients were treated with voriconazole alone (n = 59) or sequential/combined therapy (n = 43) with varying loading doses (100-800 mg) and daily maintenance doses (0-800 mg). A proposed optimal voriconazole regimen (loading dose, 200 mg twice daily; daily maintenance dose, 100 mg) achieved comparable short-term survival and optimal trough drug concentrations (1-5 μg/mL) on therapeutic drug monitoring in 26 patients.

Conclusion: Presence of IPA increases the short-term mortality of ACLF patients mainly due to respiratory failure. An optimal voriconazole regimen is needed for such critical patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00524-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8572893PMC
December 2021

Filter-feeding fish (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) mediated phosphorus recycling versus grazing pressure as drivers of the trophic cascade in large enclosures subsidized by allochthonous detritus.

Water Res 2021 Oct 19;204:117579. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

Department of Ecology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.

Stocking of filter-feeding fish is a common tool used in (sub)tropical Chinese reservoirs to control phytoplankton. However, field investigations have showed that such stocking would enhance instead of controlling phytoplankton in these reservoirs. Reservoirs generally receive a considerable amount of detritus from their catchments which may constitute an important carbon source to filter-feeding fish. Whether direct consumption of detritus increases the availability of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (P) to phytoplankton and thereby provides resilience against the control of phytoplankton biomass is debated. We conducted an enclosure experiment in a (sub)tropical Chinese reservoir (Liuxihe Reservoir) to assess how a gradient of filter-feeding fish (Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) biomass affected P dynamics and fish grazing and predation when subsidized by allochthonous detritus. Fish had strong effects on the dynamics and fluxes of P. TP concentration in the water column increased over time in all enclosures, but the presence of fish slowed its increase. Thus, TP decreased with increasing fish biomass. Fish were a net sink of P to the water column, because they gained mass during the experiment. Moreover, P sequestered by fish could largely account for the lower TP concentrations observed in enclosures with fish compared to fishless enclosures. Fish presence at high biomass strongly reduced the abundance of large zooplankton species and P excretion by zooplankton. However, the negative effect of fish predation on zooplankton was negligible when fish was present at low biomass. Increasing fish biomass increased the relative role of fish in P cycling but decreased the overall P excretion by fish and zooplankton. Compared to enclosures with high fish biomass, both zooplankton grazing effect on phytoplankton (zooplankton: phytoplankton biomass ratio as a proxy) and the overall P excretion were much higher, whereas fish grazing effect on phytoplankton (fish: phytoplankton biomass ratio as a proxy), chlorophyll a and the yield of chlorophyll a per TP were much lower in enclosures with low fish biomass. This suggested that phytoplankton limitation might shift from one of zooplankton control to one of limitation by P availability with increasing fish biomass. Relative to fish mediated P recycling and fish grazing, zooplankton grazing appeared to be more important as a driver of trophic cascades in systems subsidized by allochthonous detritus. Silver Carp stocked at high biomass would strongly reduce zooplankton grazing pressure and increase the yield of phytoplankton per TP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.117579DOI Listing
October 2021

Serum from Acute-on-chronic Liver Failure Patients May Affect Mesenchymal Stem Cells Transplantation by Impairing the Immunosuppressive Function of Cells.

J Clin Transl Hepatol 2021 Aug 30;9(4):503-513. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Background And Aims: The safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) have been validated. However, the impact of the pathological ACLF microenvironment on MSCs is less well understood. This study was designed to explore the changes in the functional properties of MSCs exposed to ACLF serum.

Methods: MSCs were cultured in the presence of 10%, 30% and 50% serum concentrations from ACLF patients and healthy volunteers. Then, the cell morphology, phenotype, apoptosis and proliferation of MSCs were evaluated, including the immunosuppressive effects. Subsequently, mRNA sequencing analysis was used to identify the molecules and pathways involved in MSC functional changes in the context of ACLF.

Results: In the presence of ACLF serum, MSC morphology significantly changed but phenotype did not. Besides, MSC proliferation activity was weakened, while the apoptosis rate was lightly increased. Most importantly, the immunosuppressive function of MSCs was enhanced in a low-concentration serum environment but transformed into a proinflammatory response in a high-concentration serum environment. RNA sequencing indicated that 10% serum concentration from ACLF patients mediated the PI3K-Akt pathway to enhance the anti-inflammatory effect of MSCs, while the 50% serum concentration from ACLF patients promoted the conversion of MSCs into a proinflammatory function by affecting the cell cycle.

Conclusions: The 50% ACLF serum concentration is more similar to the environment in the human body, which means that direct peripheral blood intravenous infusion of MSCs may reduce the effect of transplantation. Combining treatments of plasma exchange to reduce harmful substances in serum may promote MSCs to exert a stronger anti-inflammatory effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14218/JCTH.2021.00014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8369013PMC
August 2021

Characterization of Intracellular Structure Changes of under Sonication Treatment by Polarized Light Scattering.

Biosensors (Basel) 2021 Aug 17;11(8). Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Guangdong Research Center of Polarization Imaging and Measurement Engineering Technology, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China.

Cyanobacterial bloom is one of the most urgent global environmental issues, which eventually could threaten human health and safety. Sonication treatment (ST) is a potential effective method to control cyanobacteria blooms in the field. Currently, the bottleneck of extensive application of ST is the difficulty to estimate the ST effect on the cyanobacterial cells and then determine suitable ST times in the field. In this study, cyanobacterial samples sonicated at different times were first measured by a spectrophotometer to calculate the removal efficiency of cells. Additionally, they were observed by TEM to reveal the intracellular structure changes of the cells. Then the samples were measured by an experimental setup based on polarized light scattering to measure the polarization parameters. Experimental results indicated that the polarization parameters can effectively characterize the intracellular structural changes of cells with different ST times, which is quite consistent with the results for removal efficiency and TEM images. Further, the optimal ST time can be inferred by the polarization parameters. These results demonstrate that polarized light scattering can be a potentially powerful tool to explore suitable times for sonication treatment of cyanobacteria blooms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bios11080279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393532PMC
August 2021
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