Publications by authors named "Lu Qi"

913 Publications

Molecular cloning, expression, and functional features of IGF1 splice variants in sheep.

Endocr Connect 2021 Jul 1. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Y Yao, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, China.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1),also known as somatomedin C, is essential for the regulation of animal growth and development. In many species, the IGF1 gene can be alternatively spliced into multiple transcripts, encoding different pre-pro-IGF1 proteins. However, the exact alternative splicing patterns of IGF1 and the sequence information of different splice variants in sheep are still unclear. In this study, four splice variants (class 1-Ea, class 1-Eb, class 2-Ea, and class 2-Eb) were obtained, but no IGF1 Ec, similar to that found in other species, was discovered. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the four splice variants shared the same mature peptide (70 amino acids) and possessed distinct signal peptides and E peptides. Tissue expression analysis indicated that the four splice variants were broadly expressed in all tested tissues and were most abundantly expressed in the liver. In most tissues and stages, the expression of class 1-Ea was highest, and the expression of other splice variants was low. Overall, levels of the four IGF1 splice variants at the fetal and lamb stages were higher than those at the adult stage. Overexpression of the four splice variants significantly increased fibroblast proliferation and inhibited apoptosis (P < 0.05). In contrast, silencing IGF1 Ea or IGF1 Eb with siRNA significantly inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis (P < 0.05). Among the four splice variants, class 1-Ea had a more evident effect on cell proliferation and apoptosis. In summary, the four ovine IGF1 splice variants have different structures and expression patterns and might have different biological functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-21-0181DOI Listing
July 2021

Temporal and mediation relations of weight loss, and changes in insulin resistance and blood pressure in response to 2-year weight-loss diet interventions: the POUNDS Lost trial.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA.

Purpose: Body weight and insulin resistance (IR) are closely correlated, and their temporal sequences in affecting blood pressure (BP) remain poorly defined. We examined the temporal sequences of weight loss and IR change, and their relations with BP in the Pounds Lost trial, a randomized weight-loss diet intervention study.

Methods: The present study included overweight/obese adults, who were randomized in a 2 × 2 factorial design to low-calorie diets containing 20 or 40% fat and 15 or 25% protein (diets with 65, 55, 45 and 35% carbohydrate). Weight, IR, systolic and diastolic BP levels were measured at baseline, 6 and 24 months. After excluding the subjects who took antihypertensive drugs, cross-lagged path and mediation analyses were performed among 540 participants.

Results: After adjusting for age, race, sex, and diet groups, the cross-lagged path coefficient from baseline weight to 24-month IR (β = 0.135, P = 0.04) was significantly greater than the path coefficient (β = 0.022, P > 0.05) from baseline IR to 24-month weight (P < 0.05 for the difference in βs), indicating that weight-loss preceded change of IR. The mediation effects of 24-month IR on the 24-month systolic BP and diastolic BP were estimated at 20.94% (P = 0.004) and 17.03% (P = 0.034), respectively.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that weight loss precedes change of IR, which mediates a significant proportion of the effects of weight loss on changes of BP in response to the diet interventions.

Trial Registration: NCT00072995 First Posted November 17, 2003 Last Update Posted January 30, 2013 this study was not 'retrospectively registered'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02643-8DOI Listing
July 2021

[Perioperative airway management of infantile subglottic hemangioma].

Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi 2021 Jun;35(6):501-504;510

Department of Anesthesiology,Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine.

To investigate the relevant influencing factors for perioperative airway events of infantile subglottic hemangioma, and to further discuss the strategies of perioperative airway management. A total of 36 infants with subglottic hemangioma that had no response to the drug therapy and underwent surgical treatment from July 2007 to April 2017 were enrolled. The relevant influencing factors, including gender, age, birth weight, age of onset, degree of tracheal stenosis and histories of underlying diseases(congenital heart disease and respiratory disease), were also recorded simultaneously. Intraoperative SpO₂ decline, intraoperative emergency tracheal intubation, intraoperative emergency tracheotomy, whether preserving tracheal intubation after operation or not, and postoperative emergency tracheal intubation were included in the perioperative airway events of infantile subglottic hemangioma. The relevant influencing factors of perioperative airway events were analyzed so that meaningful statistical indicators were selected for grouped logistic regression analysis, and the correlation was evaluated based on value and 95% confidence interval(). Based on the correlation between influencing factors and airway events, perioperative airway management was discussed. ①The degree of tracheal stenosis was a risk factor for SpO₂ decline(95%[2.121-33.818]); ②The degree of airway stenosis, history of comorbid cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease were the influencing factors for intraoperative emergency tracheal intubation(95%[0.863-21.692], [0-+∞] and [1.741-232.403], respectively); ③The degree of airway stenosis was the influencing factor for postoperative emergency tracheal intubation(95%[1.277-20.421]); ④The degree of airway stenosis was a risk factor for whether preserving postoperative tracheal intubation or not(95%[1.523-13.296]). ①Infants with a history of preoperative underlying diseases are more likely to present with intraoperative airway instability and SpO₂ decline, which deserves more preoperative and postoperative attention. Tracheal intubation should be performed timely in case of intraoperative SpO₂ decline. ②Preoperative tracheotomy should be performed in infants with preoperative grade Ⅲ airway stenosis, especially those with comorbid heart diseases or respiratory diseases. ③The degree of airway stenosis is an extremely important influencing factor for perioperative airway management of infantile subglottic hemangioma. For infants whose airway stenosis were greater than 60% of airway diameter, the airway maintenance should be closely monitored. Once SpO₂ decreases, tracheal intubation should be performed immediately. It's recommended to preserve tracheal intubation so as to ensure the airway stability. The tracheal intubation could be prolonged to 48-72 hours postoperatively. ④The surgical approach has no significant effect on perioperative airway management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13201/j.issn.2096-7993.2021.06.004DOI Listing
June 2021

A universal gene correction approach for FKRP-associated dystroglycanopathies to enable autologous cell therapy.

Cell Rep 2021 Jul;36(2):109360

Lillehei Heart Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA; Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Mutations in the fukutin-related protein (FKRP) gene result in a broad spectrum of muscular dystrophy (MD) phenotypes, including the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS). Here, we develop a gene-editing approach that replaces the entire mutant open reading frame with the wild-type sequence to universally correct all FKRP mutations. We apply this approach to correct FKRP mutations in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients displaying broad clinical severity. Our findings show rescue of functional α-dystroglycan (α-DG) glycosylation in gene-edited WWS iPS cell-derived myotubes. Transplantation of gene-corrected myogenic progenitors in the FKRP-NSG mouse model gives rise to myofiber and satellite cell engraftment and, importantly, restoration of α-DG functional glycosylation in vivo. These findings suggest the potential feasibility of using CRISPR-Cas9 technology in combination with patient-specific iPS cells for the future development of autologous cell transplantation for FKRP-associated MDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109360DOI Listing
July 2021

Optimization nutrient removal at different volume ratio of anoxic-to-aerobic zone in integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) system.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jul 2;795:148824. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Low Carbon Water Environmental Technology Research Center, School of Environment & Natural Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China.

This study evaluated the influence of different volume ratios of the anoxic-to-aerobic zone (V/V) on the enhancement of nitrogen and phosphorus removal in an integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) system. As the V/V increased from 1:2 to 2:1, the removal of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients of the IFAS system was improved. At V/V = 1:1, the removal effect of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients was optimal, and the average removal rates of COD, NH-N, TN, and TP of the system reached 90 ± 3.2%, 98.2 ± 1.4%, 88.9 ± 2.2%, and 89.1 ± 2.7%, respectively. As the volume of the anoxic zone continued to increase, the denitrifying phosphate-accumulating capacity of the system was enhanced, and the highest ratio of specific anoxic and aerobic phosphorus uptake rate could reach 65.3%. Analysis of the molecular evaluation showed that, the proportion of nitrifying bacteria in the biofilm gradually increased as V increased. Moreover, denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms (DNPAOs), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (Anammox) bacteria were all enriched all showed enrichment in the biofilm of fiber carriers, which further strengthened the system's synergistic removal of nitrogen and phosphorus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148824DOI Listing
July 2021

Adherence to a healthy sleep pattern is associated with lower risks of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer-specific mortality.

J Intern Med 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

Background: Individual unhealthy sleep behaviors have been associated with increased risks of all-cause mortality and deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. The evidence regarding the association of sleep patterns with these risks is limited.

Objective: To examine the associations of sleep patterns with all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality in a large prospective cohort.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 283443 adults from UK Biobank without CVD and cancer at baseline. We created a healthy sleep score and sleep patterns combining five individual sleep behaviors.

Results: During a mean (SD) of 8.9 (1.1) years (2.5 million person-years) of follow up, a total of 7936 all-cause deaths, 762 CVD-caused deaths, and 4540 cancer-caused deaths occurred during follow up. One point increase of the healthy sleep score was associated with a 4-11% lower risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.96), CVD mortality (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.95), and cancer mortality (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99), with adjustment for age, sex, assessment centers, smoking status, alcohol intake status, socioeconomic status, and physical activity. Compared with participants with an unfavorable sleep pattern, those with a favorable sleep pattern had 24%-42% lower risks of all-cause and CVD mortality. The association with all-cause mortality tended to be stronger among underweight participants and those with insufficient physical activity.

Conclusions: A healthy sleep pattern was associated with lower risks of all-cause mortality and mortality from CVD and cancer. Our findings highlight the importance of improving overall sleep behaviors in lowering mortality. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joim.13367DOI Listing
July 2021

Healthful plant-based dietary patterns, genetic risk of obesity, and cardiovascular risk in the UK biobank study.

Clin Nutr 2021 Jun 24;40(7):4694-4701. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: People with a higher genetic risk for obesity are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD), and healthy plant-based dietary patterns may be associated with decreased risks of obesity and cardiovascular events. We investigated whether adherence to healthy plant-foods-rich dietary patterns might attenuate risks of obesity and related cardiovascular abnormalities for people at genetically higher risk of obesity.

Methods: This study included 121,799 middle-aged adults in UK Biobank who were initially free of metabolic diseases and cancer. We calculated a healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI) based on 17 major food groups as well as a genetic risk score (GRS) for obesity consisting of body mass index (BMI)-associated variants. The incidence of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, MI, or stroke) was prospectively followed during a mean (SD) 5.1 (0.9) years.

Results: We found significant interactions between GRS and hPDI on adiposity (P <0.0001); adherence to hPDI was more strongly associated with lower levels of adiposity among participants with higher GRS than those with lower GRS. Further, we found a similar pattern of GRS-hPDI interactions on untreated hypertension (P = 0.0036). When we tested GRS-hPDI interactions on cardiovascular events, adherence to hPDI was more strongly associated with a decreased risk of MI among people with high GRS (above median) than those with low GRS (P = 0.006). Among participants with high GRS, high adherence to hPDI (the top tertile of hPDI) was associated with an HR 0.54 (95% CI: 0.39, 0.74) for MI, as compared to low adherence.

Conclusions: Adherence to healthy plant-based dietary patterns significantly attenuated risks of cardiovascular abnormalities for people at genetically higher risk of obesity. Our results support the precision medicine strategies considering genetics and dietary habits to modify cardiovascular health for people at higher risk of genetically determined obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.06.018DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of Total Bilirubin With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in the General Population.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 18;8:670768. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Cardiology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

The study aims to investigate the association of total bilirubin with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the general population. A total of 37,234 adults from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2014 were enrolled. Baseline levels of total bilirubin associated with risk of mortality were evaluated on a continuous scale (restricted cubic splines) and by quartile categories with Cox regression models. Higher levels of total bilirubin was positively associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46-1.72; < 0.001]. Compared with individuals with the lowest quartile of bilirubin, the multivariable adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was 1.25 (1.14-1.37) for individuals in the highest quartile. Restricted cubic splines indicated that the association was non-linear in cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality while linear in all-cause mortality. Total bilirubin was associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.670768DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253250PMC
June 2021

Alcohol Consumption Levels as Compared With Drinking Habits in Predicting All-Cause Mortality and Cause-Specific Mortality in Current Drinkers.

Mayo Clin Proc 2021 07;96(7):1758-1769

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Electronic address:

Objective: To investigate the joint associations of amounts of alcohol consumed and drinking habits with the risks of all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality.

Patients And Methods: A total of 316,627 healthy current drinkers, with baseline measurements between March 13, 2006, and October 1, 2010, were included in this study. We newly created a drinking habit score (DHS) according to regular drinking (frequency of alcohol intake ≥3 times/wk) and whether consuming alcohol with meals (yes).

Results: During a median follow-up of 8.9 years, we documented 8652 incident cases of all-cause death, including 1702 cases of cardiovascular disease death, 4960 cases of cancer death, and 1990 cases of other-cause death. After adjustment confounders and amount of alcohol consumed, higher DHS was significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, or other-cause mortality (P<.001, P=.03, P<.001, and P<.001, respectively). We observed that the amount of alcohol consumed have different relationships with the risks of all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality among participants with distinct drinking habits, grouped by DHS. For example, in the joint analyses, a J-shaped association between the amount of alcohol consumed and all-cause mortality was observed in participants with unfavorable DHS (P=.02) while the association appeared to be U-shaped in participants with favorable DHS (P=.003), with lower risks in those consuming greater than or equal to 50 g/wk and less than 300 g/wk.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that alcohol consumption levels have different relationships with the risk of mortality among current drinkers, depending on their drinking habits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2021.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8262073PMC
July 2021

Joint Associations of Actual Age and Genetically Determined Age at Menarche With Risk of Mortality.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2115297. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Importance: Previous studies have shown an association between actual age at menarche and risk of all-cause mortality; however, the results are inconsistent, and no study has analyzed the joint associations between genetic susceptibility and actual age at menarche with the risk of mortality in prospective cohorts.

Objectives: To investigate joint associations of actual age and genetically determined age at menarche with risk of all-cause mortality.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cohort study was conducted using data from the UK Biobank population across the United Kingdom from March 13, 2006, to October 1, 2010. A total of 264 546 women aged between 39 and 71 years with actual menarcheal age were included in this study; 246 676 of these women had genetic data available. Actual age at menarche was obtained from the touchscreen questionnaire at recruitment from 2006 to 2010. Genetically determined age at menarche was assessed by a genetic risk score. Statistical analysis was performed from August 22 to December 12, 2019.

Exposure: Age at menarche.

Main Outcomes And Measures: A multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to assess associations of actual or genetically determined age at menarche with risk of all-cause mortality.

Results: The mean (SD) age of the study population at baseline was 56.4 (8.0) years, and the mean (SD) age at menarche included in the analyses was 13.0 (1.6) years. During a median of 9.0 years (range, 8.3-9.7 years) of follow-up, 7761 deaths were documented among the women with actual age at menarche, and 7054 deaths were documented among the women with genetically determined age at menarche. Both the actual age at menarche and the genetically determined age at menarche showed a U-shaped association with the risk of all-cause mortality (lowest actual age [<12 years] vs reference age [15 years]: hazard ratio [HR], 1.16 [95% CI, 1.07-1.26]; highest actual age [≥16 years] vs reference age [15 years]: HR, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.05-1.31]; P < .001 for quadratic trend; genetic risk score [GRS] of 1 vs reference score [GRS of 4]: HR, 1.10 [95% CI, 1.01-1.19; GRS of 6 vs reference score [GRS of 4]: HR, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.00-1.18]; P = .03 for quadratic trend). Significant interactions were also found between actual age at menarche and genetically determined age at menarche with all-cause mortality (HR of mortality associated with age of menarche <12 year was 1.24 [95% CI, 1.10-1.40] in the GRS of 1 group and 1.44 [95% CI, 1.21-1.72] in the GRS of 6 group; P = .001 for interaction). Women with mismatch of actual age and genetically determined age at menarche had the highest mortality risks; participants with the lowest genetic risk score and the highest age at menarche had an HR of 2.12 (95% CI, 1.58-2.83), and participants with the highest GRS and the lowest age at menarche had an HR of 1.44 (95% CI, 1.21-1.72).

Conclusions And Relevance: The results suggest that both actual age and genetically determined age at menarche exhibit U-shaped associations with all-cause mortality. Women with mismatch of actual age and genetically determined age at menarche may have the highest risk of all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.15297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246309PMC
June 2021

Hypermethylated PCDHGB7 as a universal cancer only marker and its application in early cervical cancer screening.

Clin Transl Med 2021 Jun;11(6):e457

Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Department of General Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Cancer Metastasis Institute, Laboratory of RNA Epigenetics, Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ctm2.457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214855PMC
June 2021

Replacement of Sedentary Behavior by Various Daily-Life Physical Activities and Structured Exercises: Genetic Risk and Incident Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, LA

Objective: To prospectively analyze the association of sedentary behavior time with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk and perform the isotemporal substitution analyses to estimate the effect of substitution of sedentary behaviors by equal time of different types of daily-life physical activities and structured exercise. We also examined modifications by the genetic predisposition to T2D.

Research Design And Methods: We included 475,502 participants free of T2D in the UK Biobank. Sedentary time was quantified by summing up the time spent on television watching, computer use, and driving.

Results: During a median follow-up of 11 years, we documented 18,169 incident T2D cases. In comparison of the extreme categories (≥6 vs. <2 h/day), the hazard ratio for T2D was 1.58 (95% CI 1.47, 1.71) after adjustment for age, race, sex, lifestyle factors, and other covariates. Replacing 30 min of sedentary behavior per day with an equal amount of time of different types of daily-life activities and structured exercise was significantly associated with a 6-31% risk reduction of T2D, with strenuous sports showing the strongest (31%, 95% CI 24, 37) benefit. Moreover, we found a significant interaction between sedentary behavior and genetic predisposition for the risk of T2D ( = 0.0008). The association was more profound among participants with a lower genetic risk of T2D.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that sedentary behavior time is associated with an increased risk of T2D; replacing sedentary behavior with a short duration (30 min/day) of daily-life physical activities or structured exercise is related to a significant reduction in T2D risk. Furthermore, such association was stronger among those with a lower genetic risk of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc21-0455DOI Listing
June 2021

Revertant Phenomenon in DMD and LGMD2I and Its Therapeutic Implications: A Review of Study Under Mentorship of Terrence Partridge.

Authors:
Qi Long Lu

J Neuromuscul Dis 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research, Cannon Research Center, Musculoskeletal Institute, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC, USA.

This review recollects my initial research focus on revertant fibers (expressing dystrophin in the background of frame-shifting mutation) in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) muscles in Professor Terrence Partridge's Muscle Cell Biology Laboratory in MRC Clinical Research Science Center, Harmmersmith Hospital, London, UK. Our data indicated that revertant fibers are most likely resulted from epigenetic random events which skip exon(s) flanking the mutated exon, leading to the restoration of the reading frame. Some of these events establish themselves as relatively permanent skipping patterns, a mechanism similar to multiple transcript species established in various cell types. With this hypothesis, antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping is likely to have a great chance to achieve restoration of therapeutic levels of dystrophin in DMD muscles. This leads to our first reports of local and systemic efficacy of antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping for DMD treatment. The experience under Terry's mentorship shaped my thinking and led me to explore another revertant feature in the dystroglycanopathy caused by mutations in the Fukutin Related Protein (FKRP) gene which functions as a glycosyltransferase. Mutant FKRPs retain partial function and produce a fraction of normal to no detectable levels of laminin-binding α-dystroglycan (matriglycan) in most of the muscle fibers. Reversion to near normal levels of matriglycan expression in muscles with FKRP mutations depends on muscle regeneration and in muscles of neonate mice, suggesting that changes in metabolism and gene expression could be sufficient to compensate for the reduced function of mutant FKRP genes even those associated with severe congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). This is now supported by our successful demonstration that supply of FKRP mutant mice with ribitol, a precursor for substrate of FKRP, is sufficient to restore the levels of matriglycan with therapeutic significance. Our data overall suggest that rare events of reversion in muscular dystrophy, and likely other diseases could provide unique insight for mechanisms and therapeutic exploitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JND-210692DOI Listing
June 2021

Ultrasound-guided thermal ablation for papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: a multicenter retrospective study.

Int J Hyperthermia 2021 ;38(1):916-922

Department of Ultrasound, the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China.

Purpose: Ultrasound-guided thermal ablation (including microwave ablation [MWA] and radiofrequency ablation [RFA]) has emerged as a remarkable technology for the treatment of benign and malignant diseases. The objective of this multicenter study was to assess the efficacy and safety of thermal ablation in a large cohort of patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC).

Materials And Methods: Retrospective study of 725 patients who underwent MWA/RFA at 11 centers between March 2015 and March 2020. The mean age of patients was 46 ± 11 years (range, 22-81); the mean follow-up time was 21 ± 13 months (range, 6-60). Changes in size of tumor, the rates of tumor disappearance, disease progression, and complications were assessed.

Results: From 6 months post-ablation, the size of tumors was significantly reduced compared with those recorded pre-ablation ( < 0.001 for all). Five hundred and fifteen (71.0%) PTMCs had completely disappeared as assessed by ultrasound examination. Six (0.8%) patients developed disease progression post-ablation; of these, 5 (0.7%) patients developed new PTMCs, while one (0.1%) patient developed cervical lymph node metastasis. Nineteen (2.6%) patients developed complications post-ablation; of these 14 (1.9%) patients developed voice hoarseness, 4 (0.6%) developed hematoma, and one (0.1%) patient developed cough.

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided thermal ablation represents an effective and safe treatment for patients with PTMC besides active surveillance and surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2021.1936218DOI Listing
July 2021

Pharmacokinetic bioequivalence and safety assessment of two metformin hydrochloride tablet formulations using a phase I, randomized, open, two-period, two cross-over, single-dose, fed study in healthy Chinese adult subjects.

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Objectives: To assess the bioequivalence and safety of generic metformin hydrochloride (test preparation) and glucophage (reference preparation) in healthy Chinese subjects.

Materials And Methods: A bioequivalence and safety assessment of two formulations of metformin (850 mg) using a randomized, open, two-period, two cross-over, single-dose, fed trial in 36 healthy Chinese adult subjects was performed at our center from March 22, 2018, to April 9, 2018. Bioequivalence was determined as two-sided 90% confidence intervals (CI) of the test-to-reference ratio of area under the curve (AUC) and peak concentration (C) for each constituent within 80.00 - 125.00%. SAS 9.4 software was employed for the statistical analysis.

Results: One subject was excluded from the trial. The 90% CIs (95.36 - 101.43% for AUC, 95.65 - 101.66% for AUC; 94.43 - 101.74% for C) of test/reference preparation for these pharmacokinetic parameters were within the range of 80.00 - 125.00%. No severe adverse events were observed during this trial. The two preparations were safe and well-tolerated.

Conclusion: It was concluded that generic metformin was bioequivalent and as safe as glucophage under fed conditions in healthy Chinese subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/CP204002DOI Listing
June 2021

Thermal Shock-Activated Spontaneous Growing of Nanosheets for Overall Water Splitting.

Nanomicro Lett 2020 Aug 12;12(1):162. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Composite and Functional Materials, Key Laboratory of Advanced Ceramics and Machining Technology, (Ministry of Education), Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300350, People's Republic of China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40820-020-00505-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770656PMC
August 2020

Risk factors and incidence of third trimester stillbirths in China.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 16;11(1):12701. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Obstetrical Department, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, China.

About 2.6 million third-trimester stillbirths occur annually worldwide, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. However, the causes of stillbirths are rarely investigated. We performed a retrospective, hospital-based study in Zhejiang Province, southern China, of the causes of third-trimester stillbirths. Causes of stillbirths were classified using the Relevant Condition at Death classification system. From January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2018, we enrolled 341 stillbirths (born to 338 women) from 111,275 perinatal fetuses (born to 107,142 women), as well as 293 control cases (born to 291 women). The total incidence of third-trimester stillbirths was 3.06/1000 (341/111,275). There were higher proportions of women with a high body mass index, twins, pregnancy-induced hypertension, assisted reproduction and other risk factors among the antepartum than the control cases. The antepartum stillbirth fetuses were of lower median birth weight and gestational age and had a smaller portion of translucent amniotic fluid than the control cases. The antepartum stillbirth fetuses had a higher frequency of abnormalities detected prenatally and of fetal growth restriction than the control cases. Of 341 cases (born to 338 mothers), the most common causes of stillbirth were fetal conditions [117 (34.3%) cases], umbilical cord [88 (25.8%)], maternal conditions [34 (10.0%)], placental conditions [31 (9.1%)], and intrapartum [28 (8.2%)]. Only eight (2.3%), three (0.9%), and two (0.6%) stillbirths were attributed to amniotic fluid, trauma, and uterus, respectively. In 30 (8.8%) cases, the cause of death was unclassified. In conclusion, targeted investigation can ascertain the causes of most cases of third-trimester stillbirths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92106-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209053PMC
June 2021

Current status, existent problems, and coping strategy of urban drainage pipeline network in China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Low-carbon Water Environmental Technology Center, School of Environment & Natural Resource, Renmin University of China, 59 Zhongguancun Street, Beijing, 100872, People's Republic of China.

Urban drainage pipeline systems collect and transport domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, and rainwater. They are important components of urban infrastructure. The quality of drainage facilities directly determines the level of urban development and affects the urban landscape and sanitary environment. In recent years, however, the phenomenon of "attaching importance to construction, despising management and maintenance" has prevailed in China's urban drainage pipeline network. The problems such as structural damage, corrosion, and blockage of the sewage pipelines are becoming increasingly prominent in China, causing a lot of operational challenges such as direct discharge of sewage, backward irrigation of river and lake water, infiltration of external water, and overflow pollution. To comprehensively acquire these information about China's urban drainage pipeline network, this paper reviews current status of construction, operation, management and maintenance, existent problems, and coping strategy of the sewage pipelines. Finally, future directions are also discussed in detail for rational construction and maintenance of sewage pipelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14802-9DOI Listing
June 2021

MicroRNA-17-5p Promotes Cardiac Hypertrophy by Targeting Mfn2 to Inhibit Autophagy.

Cardiovasc Toxicol 2021 Sep 12;21(9):759-771. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Cardiology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001, Jiangsu, China.

Pathological cardiac hypertrophy is the leading cause of heart failure, and miRNAs have been recognized as key factors in cardiac hypertrophy. This study aimed to elucidate whether miR-17-5p affects cardiac hypertrophy by targeting the mitochondrial fusion protein mitofusin 2 (Mfn2)-mediated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and regulating autophagy. miR-17-5p expression was shown to be upregulated both in vivo and in vitro. In addition, a miR-17-5p inhibitor significantly reversed AngII-induced cell hypertrophy in neonatal rat left ventricle myocytes (NRVMs). In contrast to miR-17-5p expression, Mfn2 expression was inhibited in rat hearts at 4 weeks after transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and in an Ang II-induced cell hypertrophy model. We examined miR-17-5p targeting of Mfn2 by dual luciferase reporter and Western blot assays. In addition, we also verified the relationship between Mfn2 and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Mfn2 overexpression attenuated miR-17-5p-induced cell hypertrophy, and in rat myocardial tissue, miR-17-5p induced autophagy inhibition. In summary, the results of the present study demonstrated that miR-17-5p inhibits Mfn2 expression, activates the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and suppresses autophagy to promote cardiac hypertrophy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12012-021-09667-wDOI Listing
September 2021

Perinatal exposure to maternal smoking and adulthood smoking behaviors in predicting cardiovascular diseases: A prospective cohort study.

Atherosclerosis 2021 07 26;328:52-59. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Little is known about the associations between perinatal exposure to maternal smoking and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence in offspring, and whether such associations are modified by adulthood and genetically determined smoking behaviors.

Methods: A total of 414,588 participants without CVD at baseline were included from the UK Biobank in 2006-2010 and followed up through 2018. Cox-proportional hazard models were used to examine the association of perinatal maternal smoking with CVD, and both multiplicative and additive interaction analyses were performed to investigate the modification effects of own smoking behaviors.

Results: During a median follow-up of 8.93 years, we observed 10,860 incident CVD events, including 7006 myocardial infarction (MI) and 4147 stroke. We found that perinatal exposure to maternal smoking was associated with increased risks of CVD (HR: 1.10; 95% CI: 1.05-1.14), MI (1.10; 1.05-1.16) and stroke (1.10; 1.03-1.18). In addition, we observed significant interactions between perinatal exposure to maternal smoking and adulthood exposure to own smoking on CVD and MI on both the multiplicative and additive scales (all p < 0.05). The attributable proportions due to additive interaction between perinatal and adulthood exposure to smoking were 14% (9%-19%) for CVD and 16% (10%-22%) for MI, respectively. Perinatal exposure to maternal smoking also showed an interaction with genetically determined smoking on MI (p < 0.05), but no interactions were found on the total CVD and stroke.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that perinatal exposure to maternal smoking is associated with increased risks of CVD events, and such relations are modified by adulthood smoking behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.05.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254766PMC
July 2021

Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and mortality among adults with prediabetes.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Objectives: To investigate the association of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels with mortality among adults with prediabetes.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 15195 adults with prediabetes (aged ≥20 years) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III and NHANES 2001-2014. Mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer was linked to National Death Index mortality data.

Results: The median (interquartile range) concentration of serum 25(OH)D was 60.5 (45.3, 77.4) nmol/L, and only 23.1% had sufficient vitamin D (≥75 nmol/L). Elevated serum 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly associated with lower levels of insulin, HOMA-IR, triglyceride, and C-reactive protein, and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein at baseline (all Ptrend<0.05). During a median follow up of 10.7 years, 3765 deaths (including 1080 CVD deaths and 863 cancer deaths) were identified. Compared with participants with 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for participants with 25(OH)D ≥75 nmol/L were 0.66 (0.53, 0.82) for all-cause mortality (Ptrend<0.001), 0.66 (0.48, 0.89) for CVD mortality (Ptrend=0.001), and 0.82 (0.49, 1.35) for cancer mortality (Ptrend=0.32). For per unit increment in ln-transformed 25(OH)D, there was a 27% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 34% lower risk of CVD mortality (both P<0.01).

Conclusions: These findings suggested that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality among individuals with prediabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab402DOI Listing
June 2021

Electrokinetic and in situ spectroscopic investigations of CO electrochemical reduction on copper.

Nat Commun 2021 Jun 1;12(1):3264. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Rigorous electrokinetic results are key to understanding the reaction mechanisms in the electrochemical CO reduction reaction (CORR), however, most reported results are compromised by the CO mass transport limitation. In this work, we determined mass transport-free CORR kinetics by employing a gas-diffusion type electrode and identified dependence of catalyst surface speciation on the electrolyte pH using in-situ surface enhanced vibrational spectroscopies. Based on the measured Tafel slopes and reaction orders, we demonstrate that the formation rates of C products are most likely limited by the dimerization of CO adsorbate. CH production is limited by the CO hydrogenation step via a proton coupled electron transfer and a chemical hydrogenation step of CO by adsorbed hydrogen atom in weakly (7 < pH < 11) and strongly (pH > 11) alkaline electrolytes, respectively. Further, CH and C products are likely formed on distinct types of active sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23582-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169934PMC
June 2021

Magnetite/Poly(ortho-anisidine) Composite Particles and Their Electrorheological Response.

Materials (Basel) 2021 May 28;14(11). Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea.

Magnetic and semiconducting FeO/poly(o-anisidine) (POA) core/shell composite particles were fabricated by an oxidation process using FeO synthesized separately. The dispersion stability in a liquid medium and the electrical conductivity of synthesized particles were improved because of the conductive POA polymeric shell. The morphological, microstructural, compositional/elemental, and thermal behaviors of the particles were characterized using SEM with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, TEM, XRD, and thermogravimetric analysis, respectively. A smart electro-magneto-rheological suspension containing FeO/POA particles with two functionalities, magnetism and conductivity, was prepared. Its electrorheological properties were investigated at different electric field strengths using a rotational rheometer. Without an electric field, the sample demonstrated typical Newtonian fluid behavior, as expected. However, while under the electric field, it exhibited a solid-like behavior, and the dynamic (or elastic) yield stress of the ER fluid increased linearly as a function of the electric field strength in a power-law function with an index of 2.0, following the polarization mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14112900DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8198630PMC
May 2021

PointINS: Point-based instance segmentation.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2021 Jun 1;PP. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

In this paper, we explore the mask representation in instance segmentation with Point-of-Interest (PoI) features. Differentiating multiple potential instances within a single PoI feature is challenging, because learning a high-dimensional mask feature for each instance using vanilla convolution demands a heavy computing burden. To address this challenge, we propose an instance-aware convolution. It decomposes this mask representation learning task into two tractable modules as instance-aware weights and instance-agnostic features. The former is to parametrize convolution for producing mask features corresponding to different instances, improving mask learning efficiency by avoiding employing several independent convolutions. Meanwhile, the latter serves as mask templates in a single point. Together, instance-aware mask features are computed by convolving the template with dynamic weights, used for the mask prediction. Along with instance-aware convolution, we propose PointINS, a simple and practical instance segmentation approach, building upon dense one-stage detectors. Through extensive experiments, we evaluated the effectiveness of our framework built upon RetinaNet and FCOS. PointINS in ResNet101 backbone achieves a 38.3 mask mean average precision (mAP) on COCO dataset, outperforming existing point-based methods by a large margin. It gives a comparable performance to the region-based Mask R-CNN with faster inference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2021.3085295DOI Listing
June 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Long noncoding RNA promotes migration of breast cancer via FXR 1.

Cell Adh Migr 2021 12;15(1):140-151

Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

LncRNA plays a critical role in tumor progression. However, the role it executes in breast cancer is still unclear. Here, we report a newly discovered lncRNA, , which could be remarkably up-regulated in breast cancer cells and tissues. We found that the expression of was positively correlated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and HER2. More interesting, overexpression of significantly increased cell migration, while specific knockdown led to the opposite. RNA pull-down and RNA immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that could directly bind to FXR1 to promote tumor metastasis. and FXR1 were positively correlated. FXR1 was also significantly up-regulated in breast tumors. Taken together, we propose that regulates FXR1 to promote breast cancer metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19336918.2021.1921402DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168597PMC
December 2021

Risk Factors for Mortality in Neonatal Gastric Perforation: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Front Pediatr 2021 13;9:652139. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Neonatal Surgery, Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Neonatal gastric perforation is a rare but life-threatening issue. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and prognosis of patients with neonatal gastric perforation and identify predictive factors for poor prognosis. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with neonatal gastric perforation treated in a tertiary pediatric public hospital between April 2009 and October 2020. The enrolled patients were divided into survival and non-survival groups. Demographic information, clinical characteristics, laboratory and imaging features, and outcomes were collected from the electronic medical record. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to obtain the independent factors associated with death risk. Additionally, we separated this population into two groups (pre-term and term groups) and explored the mortality predictors of these two groups, respectively. A total of 101 patients with neonatal gastric perforation were included in this study. The overall survival rate was 70.3%. Seventy-one (70.3%) were pre-term neonates, and sixty-two (61.4%) were low-birth-weight neonates. The median age of onset was 3 days (range: 1-11 days). Abdominal distension [98 (97.0%) patients] was the most common symptom, followed by lethargy [78 (77.2%) patients], shortness of breath [60 (59.4%) patients] and vomiting [34 (33.7%) patients]. Three independent mortality risk factors were identified: shock (OR, 3.749; 95% CI, 1.247-11.269; = 0.019), serum lactic acid > 2.5 mmol/L (5.346; 1.727-16.547; = 0.004) and platelet count <150 × 10/L (3.510; 1.115-11.053; = 0.032). There was a borderline significant association between sclerema neonatorum and total mortality (4.827; 0.889-26.220; = 0.068). In pre-term infants, serum lactic acid > 2.5 mmol/L and platelet count <150 × 10/L remained independent risk factors for death. In term infants, the incidence of shock, coagulopathy, pH < 7.3, serum lactic acid > 2.5 mmol/L, and hyponatremia were statistically different between non-survival and survival groups. Shock, hyperlactatemia, and thrombocytopenia are independently associated with an increased risk of death in patients with neonatal gastric perforation. Identification of modifiable risk factors during the critical periods of life will contribute to the development of effective prevention and intervention strategies of neonatal gastric perforation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.652139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155276PMC
May 2021

Consumption of Preserved Egg Is Associated with Modestly Increased Risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Chinese Adults.

J Nutr 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Nutritional Epidemiology Institute and School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.

Background: Although preserved egg is a traditional Chinese delicacy widely consumed in China and Southeast Asian countries, whether habitual preserved egg consumption is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains unknown.

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the association between preserved egg consumption and risk of NAFLD in a cohort of Chinese adults.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 15,883 participants aged 19-88 y (58% women) from the TCLSIH (Tianjin Chronic Low-grade Systemic Inflammation and Health) cohort study who were free of liver diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease at baseline. Preserved egg consumption was assessed using an FFQ at baseline. NAFLD was diagnosed by transabdominal sonography during an annual health examination. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate HRs and 95% CIs across categories of preserved egg consumption.

Results: During 56,002 person-years of follow-up, 3683 first incident cases of NAFLD were recorded. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle risk factors, total energy intake, egg intake, and eating patterns, the multivariable HRs (95% CIs) of incident NAFLD according to categories of preserved egg consumption were 1.00 (reference) for never, 1.05 (0.98, 1.14) for <1 time/wk, 1.09 (0.96, 1.24) for 1 time/wk, and 1.26 (1.09, 1.46) for ≥2 times/wk (P-trend < 0.01). The results were robust to a series of sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: Habitual preserved egg consumption is associated with a modestly higher risk of NAFLD among the Chinese adult population. The mechanism underlying this association warrants further research.This trial was registered at www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/ as UMIN000027174.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab163DOI Listing
May 2021

Volumetric white matter tract segmentation with nested self-supervised learning using sequential pretext tasks.

Med Image Anal 2021 Aug 30;72:102094. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

School of Information and Electronics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

White matter (WM) tract segmentation based on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) provides an important tool for the analysis of brain development, function, and disease. Deep learning based methods of WM tract segmentation have been proposed, which greatly improve the accuracy of the segmentation. However, the training of the deep networks usually requires a large number of manual delineations of WM tracts, which can be especially difficult to obtain and unavailable in many scenarios. Therefore, in this work, we explore how to perform deep learning based WM tract segmentation when annotated training data is scarce. To this end, we seek to exploit the abundant unannotated dMRI data in the self-supervised learning framework. From the unannotated data, knowledge about image context can be learned with pretext tasks that do not require manual annotations. Specifically, a deep network can be pretrained for the pretext task, and the knowledge learned from the pretext task is then transferred to the subsequent WM tract segmentation task with only a small number of annotated scans via fine-tuning. We explore two designs of pretext tasks that are related to WM tracts. The first pretext task predicts the density map of fiber streamlines, which are representations of generic WM pathways, and the training data can be obtained automatically with tractography. The second pretext task learns to mimic the results of registration-based WM tract segmentation, which, although inaccurate, is more relevant to WM tract segmentation and provides a good target for learning context knowledge. Then, we combine the two pretext tasks and develop a nested self-supervised learning strategy. In the nested self-supervised learning strategy, the first pretext task provides initial knowledge for the second pretext task, and the knowledge learned from the second pretext task with the initial knowledge is transferred to the target WM tract segmentation task via fine-tuning. To evaluate the proposed method, experiments were performed on brain dMRI scans from the Human Connectome Project dataset with various experimental settings. The results show that the proposed method improves the performance of WM tract segmentation when tract annotations are scarce.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.media.2021.102094DOI Listing
August 2021

Diabetic polyneuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome together affect hand strength, tactile sensation and dexterity in diabetes patients.

J Diabetes Investig 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

People's Hospital of Jiaozuo City, Jiaozuo, Henan Province, China.

Aims/introduction: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) can occur together, and this concomitance is thought to be higher in diabetes patients. We aimed to examine and compare hand function in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients without CTS and DPN (CTS-DPN-), patients with CTS without DPN (CTS+DPN-), patients with DPN without CTS (CTS-DPN+), and patients with CTS and DPN (CTS+DPN+).

Materials And Methods: A total of 161 type 2 diabetes mellitus patients underwent physical examination and electrodiagnostic tests. Grip and pinch strengths, tactile sensory thresholds were measured for each participant. Purdue pegboard test was used in evaluating the hand dexterity of the participants.

Results: Of the 161 type 2 diabetes mellitus participants, 36 (22.4%) had both CTS and DPN. CTS participants had lower grip (26.6 ± 10.6 vs 35.2 ± 14.3, P < 0.001) and pinch (6.3 ± 2.6 vs 7.5 ± 2.9, P = 0.026) strengths compared with non-CTS participants, whereas DPN participants had elevated tactile sensory thresholds of both the second (2.8 [2.8-3.6] vs 2.4 [2.4-2.8], P < 0.001) and the fifth (2.8 [2.8-3.6] vs 2.4 [2.4-2.8], P < 0.001) fingers compared with non-DPN participants. The CTS+DPN+ group had lower Purdue pegboard test scores than other groups. Grip (r = 0.482, 0.530, 0.467, 0.498, all P < 0.001) and pinch (r = 0.246, P = 0.003; r = 0.265, P = 0.001; r = 0.264, P = 0.001; r = 0.235, P = 0.005) strengths were positively correlated with Purdue pegboard test scores, whereas tactile sensory thresholds were negatively correlated with Purdue pegboard test scores (r = -0.447 to -0.359, all P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with both DPN and CTS had lower grip and pinch strengths and decreased tactile sensation, both of which were correlated with poorer hand dexterity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jdi.13580DOI Listing
May 2021
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