Publications by authors named "Miao Liu"

727 Publications

GB Tags: Small Covalent Peptide Tags Based on Protein Fragment Reconstitution.

Bioconjug Chem 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Chemistry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada.

Developing peptide tags that can bind target proteins covalently under mild conditions is of great importance for a myriad of applications, ranging from chemical biology to biotechnology. Here we report the development of a small covalent peptide tag system, termed as GB tags, that can covalently label the target protein with high specificity and high yield under oxidizing conditions. The GB tags consist of a pair of short peptides, GN and GC (GN contains 45 residues and GC contains 19 residues). GN and GC, which are split from a parent protein GB1, can undergo protein fragment reconstitution to reconstitute the folded structure of the parent protein spontaneously. The engineered cysteines in GN and GC can readily form a disulfide bond oxidized by air oxygen after protein reconstitution. Using thermally stable variants of GB1, we identified two pairs of GB tags that display improved thermodynamic stability and binding affinity. They can serve as efficient covalent peptide tags for various applications, including specific labeling of mammalian cell surface receptors. We anticipate that these new GB tags will find applications in biochemical labeling as well as biomaterials, such as protein hydrogels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.1c00325DOI Listing
July 2021

Beyond the mean: Quantile regression to differentiate the distributional effects of ambient PM constituents on sperm quality among men.

Chemosphere 2021 Jul 8;285:131496. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Ambient PM (particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter) constituents have been related to mean changes in semen quality, but focusing on the mean response may not well capture distributional and heterogeneous effects of PM constituents on semen quality. In this study, 2314 semen samples of 622 men between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2019 from Guangdong Human Sperm Bank were subjected to semen quality analysis. Daily average concentrations of PM constituents including 4 water-soluble ions and 15 metals/metalloid were measured for 7 days per month at 3 fixed atmospheric pollutant monitoring stations. We used quantile regression for longitudinal data to examine whether the associations between PM constituents and quality indicators of semen varied across quantiles of outcome distribution. Heterogeneous associations were found between PM constituents and sperm quality across different quantiles. An interquartile range (14.0 μg/m) increase in PM mass was negatively associated with lower tails of sperm concentration and upper tails of sperm count distribution. PM vanadium exposure was significantly related to the 90th percentile of sperm count distribution, but not to the lower quantiles. In addition, those subjects with relatively high sperm motility were more susceptible to sulfate, chromium, and manganese constituents in PM. Our results indicate that PM and certain constituents were associated with sperm quality, especially sperm motility, and the associations are more pronounced in men with relatively high or low sperm motility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131496DOI Listing
July 2021

An herbal preparation ameliorates heart failure with preserved ejection fraction by alleviating microvascular endothelial inflammation and activating NO-cGMP-PKG pathway.

Phytomedicine 2021 Jun 20;91:153633. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, National Clinical Research Center for Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Tianjin 300193, China.; Hubei Key Laboratory of Economic Forest Germplasm Improvement and Resources Comprehensive Utilization, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang 438000, China.. Electronic address:

Background: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a heterogeneous disease presenting a substantial challenge to clinicians. Currently, there is no safe and efficacious HFpEF treatment. In this study, we reported a standardized herbal medicinal product, QiShenYiQi (QSYQ), that can be used in the treatment of HFpEF.

Methods: HFpEF mice were established by infusing a combination of N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and feeding them a high-fat diet for 14 weeks. In the 10th week, the HFpEF mice were given dapagliflozin or QSYQ via oral gavage for four weeks. The blood pressure, echocardiography, hemodynamics, leukocyte infiltration, and oxidative stress in HFpEF mice were evaluated. Besides, inflammatory factors, endothelial adhesion factors, and endothelial-mesenchymal transformation (EndMT) markers were investigated.

Results: QSYQ significantly attenuated concentric cardiac remodeling while improving diastolic function and left ventricular compliance in HFpEF mice. QSYQ also inhibited inflammation and immunocyte recruitment during HFpEF. The infiltration of CD8, CD4 T cells, and CD11b/c monocytes was substantially mitigated in the myocardium of QSYQ-treated mice. TNF-α, MCP-1, NF-κB, and NLRP3 levels also reduced after QSYQ treatment. Furthermore, QSYQ significantly reversed the elevated expression of endothelial adhesion factors and EndMT occurrence. These effects of QSYQ were demonstrated by the activation of NO-cGMP-PKG pathway and reduction of eNOS uncoupling in the HFpEF heart.

Conclusion: These results provide novel evidence that QSYQ treatment improves HFpEF by inhibiting microvascular endothelial inflammation and activating NO-cGMP-PKG pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2021.153633DOI Listing
June 2021

Reduced medical spending associated with integrated pharmacy benefits.

Am J Manag Care 2021 Jul 1;27(7):e242-e247. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, 5525 Reitz Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Email:

Objectives: Although pharmacy benefit carve-outs are promoted as a cost-containment tool, their impact on medical spending is not well understood. We compare the health care spending of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) members covered by an integrated ("carved-in") pharmacy benefit with that of members covered under a pharmacy benefit carve-out.

Study Design: Matched, longitudinal cohort study.

Methods: We identified members with coverage through an employer contracting for administrative services only (ie, self-insured) and determined whether they received a pharmacy benefit through BCBSLA. We matched members with and without integrated benefits using a baseline year and compared their medical spending trajectories in 3 subsequent years. These comparisons were repeated in the subset of patients with chronic comorbidities.

Results: Among patients with chronic illnesses, relative growth in per-member per-month (PMPM) medical spending was significantly lower in the integrated benefit group by the second and third follow-up years. Neither the level nor the growth of PMPM medical spending significantly differed in the full population sample, although point estimates suggest that the integrated benefit members may be on a lower cost growth trajectory over time.

Conclusions: Members with chronic illnesses receiving an integrated pharmacy benefit experienced slower medical cost growth compared with members covered by a pharmacy carve-out. Group leaders and brokers should consider the additional cost savings achieved by integrated pharmacy benefits when comparing the total costs of carve-in vs carve-out prescription drug programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.37765/ajmc.2021.88708DOI Listing
July 2021

Higher Prevalence of Non-thyroidal-Illness Syndrome in Elderly Male Patients With Active Infection.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 8;8:682116. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Gastroenterology, Second Medical Center, Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Diseases, Beijing, China.

It is currently unclear whether the infection leads to associated alterations in thyroid functions and thyroidal illnesses. This study aims to analyse this relationship in an elderly male cohort over a five-year period. A case retrospective study. A longitudinal study was designed to collect subjects (≥65 years old) receiving both a thyroid examination and infection status determined by C-urea breath test in 2013 at our unit. Subjects were followed every 1 to 2 years until December 2017 for laboratory results, visits to outpatient clinics/emergency departments etc. Blood tests and thyroid ultrasonography were performed to determine thyroid function and morphology. 356 male subjects with mean age 78.5 ± 9.8 years were included. Active infection was positive in 88 subjects (24.7%). Thyroid function tests and ultrasonography showed similar patterns between positive and negative groups. Non-thyroidal-illness syndrome (NTIS) was diagnosed in 30/210 (14%) patients who experienced acute illnesses and hospitalization over five-year follow-up. Notably, NTIS demonstrated significantly higher prevalence in the positive group compared to the negative group (17.1 vs. 5.6%, = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that when age, APACHE II score and hemoglobin levels were adjusted, status still has significant interrelationship with NTIS (OR = 3.497, = 0.003). There is a positive association between chronic active infection and NTIS prevalence in this elderly male cohort. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of infection on NTIS in elderly male patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.682116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295606PMC
July 2021

Development and Validation of a Risk Prediction Model for Ventricular Arrhythmia in Elderly Patients with Coronary Heart Disease.

Cardiol Res Pract 2021 2;2021:2283018. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Cardiology, First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Background: Sudden cardiac death is a leading cause of death from coronary heart disease (CHD). The risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) increases with age, and sudden arrhythmic death remains a major cause of mortality in elderly individuals, especially ventricular arrhythmias (VA). We developed a risk prediction model by combining ECG and other clinical noninvasive indexes including biomarkers and echocardiology for VA in elderly patients with CHD.

Method: In the retrospective study, a total of 2231 consecutive elderly patients (≥60 years old) with CHD hospitalized were investigated, and finally 1983 patients were enrolled as the model group. The occurrence of VA within 12 months was mainly collected. Study parameters included clinical characteristics (age, gender, height, weight, BMI, and past medical history), ECG indexes (QTcd, Tp-e/QT, and HRV indexes), biomarker indexes (NT-proBNP, Myo, cTnT, CK-MB, CRP, K, and Ca), and echocardiology indexes. In the respective study, 406 elderly patients (≥60 years old) with CHD were included as the verification group to verify the model in terms of differentiation and calibration.

Results: In the multiparameter model, seven independent predictors were selected: LVEF, LAV, HLP, QTcd, sex, Tp-e/QT, and age. Increased HLP, Tp-e/QT, QTcd, age, and LAV were risk factors (RR > 1), while female and increased LVEF were protective factors (RR < 1). This model can well predict the occurrence of VA in elderly patients with CHD (for model group, AUC: 0.721, 95% CI: 0.669∼0.772; for verification group, AUC: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.648∼0.818; Hosmer-Lemeshow  = 13.541, =0.095). After adjusting the predictors, it was found that the combination of clinical indexes and ECG indexes could predict VA more efficiently than using clinical indexes alone.

Conclusions: LVEF, LAV, QTcd, Tp-e/QT, gender, age, and HLP were independent predictors of VA risk in elderly patients with CHD. Among these factors, the echocardiology indexes LVEF and LAV had the greatest influence on the predictive efficiency of the model, followed by ECG indexes, QTcd and Tp-e/QT. After verification, the model had a good degree of differentiation and calibration, which can provide a certain reference for clinical prediction of the VA occurrence in elderly patients with CHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/2283018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275423PMC
July 2021

Remediation of arsenic-contaminated soil by nano-zirconia modified biochar.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Shandong Environmental Protection Scientific Research and Design Institute Co. Ltd, Jinan, 250013, China.

Nowadays, the soil arsenic pollution is considered as a serious environmental issue, and the high toxicity of arsenic can seriously affect the quality and safety of agricultural products and human health. Biochar, as a solidifying/passivating agent, has been widely used in the treatment of soil heavy metal pollution. Pine biochar (BC) was used as a carrier in this study, and biochar-loaded nano-zirconia (N-ZrO-BC) was synthesized to investigate its adsorption and fixation characteristics on As (V) in soil and water. The adsorption experiment showed that the second-order kinetic equation had a good fitting effect on the adsorption curve of As (V) on the N-ZrO-BC surface, which indicated that chemical adsorption was the main factor controlling the reaction rate. FTIR and SEM results showed that ion exchange and surface complexation were the main mechanisms of As (V) adsorption by N-ZrO-BC. Soil culture experiments showed that the stabilization efficiency of arsenic in soil with 2% N-ZrO-BC reached 99.30% after 60 days, and the extractable arsenic content was reduced to 3.07 μg·L, which reached the quality standard of class III groundwater (<0.01 mg·L, GB/T 14848-2017). Comparing with the control, the content of acid extractable arsenic in soil decreased by 90.57%, and the residual arsenic increased by 51.46%, indicating that the addition of N-ZrO-BC could effectively promote the transformation of active arsenic to stable arsenic in soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15362-8DOI Listing
July 2021

Synergistic Impact of Body Mass Index and Cognitive Function on All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 29;12:620261. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Key Laboratory of Aging and Geriatrics, National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Kidney Disease, The 2nd Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Background: Body mass index (BMI) and cognitive function are independent predictors of mortality risk. However, little is known about the combined impact of BMI and cognitive function on the risk of all-cause mortality in older adults. In this study, we aimed to examine the associations between BMI, cognitive function, and all-cause mortality, including between-factor interactions, in the general population of older adults in China.

Methods: We used the data between 2011 and 2018 from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey that included adults aged ≥65 years residing in the 23 provinces of China. The association between BMI and cognitive function on all-cause mortality was examined with the Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: The study included 8,293 Chinese older adults. Low BMI (underweight) and cognitive impairment were associated with the highest risk of death after adjustments [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.18; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.96-2.41]; this combined effect was more prominent among adults aged <100 years and women. In addition, there was an interaction effect of BMI and cognitive impairment on all-cause mortality (P <0.001). Concurrently, among older adults with normal cognition, the risk of mortality related to underweight was higher than among their cognitively impaired counterparts [55% (normal cognition) 38% (cognitive impairment)].

Conclusions: Low BMI (underweight) and cognitive impairment were independently and jointly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality among Chinese older adults, and females showed a stronger effect in this association. The association between BMI and mortality was more pronounced in the participants with normal cognition than in their cognitively impaired counterparts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.620261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8276260PMC
June 2021

High-Throughput Screening of Element-Doped Carbon Nanotubes Toward an Optimal One-Dimensional Superconductor.

J Phys Chem Lett 2021 Jul 13;12(28):6667-6675. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory, Dongguan, Guangdong 523808, China.

In order to search for optimal one-dimensional (1D) superconductors with a high transition temperature (), we performed high-throughput computation on the phonon dispersion, electron-phonon coupling (EPC), and superconducting properties of (5,0), (3,3), and element-doped (3,3) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) based on first-principles calculations. We find that the CNT (5,0) is superconductive with of 7.9 K, while the (3,3) CNT has no superconductivity. However, by high-throughput screening of about 50 elements in the periodic table, we identified that 14 elemental dopants can make the (3,3) CNT dynamically stable and superconducting. The high ≈ 28 K suggests that the Si-doped (3,3) CNT is an excellent one-dimensional (1D) superconductor. In addition, the Al-, In-, and La-doped (3,3) CNTs are also great 1D superconductor candidates with a of about 18, 17, and 29 K, respectively. These results may inspire the synthesis and discovery of optimal high- 1D superconductors experimentally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c02000DOI Listing
July 2021

Therapeutic effects of quinine in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis.

Mol Med Rep 2021 May 9;23(5). Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Dermatology, Shenzhen University General Hospital, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518060, P.R. China.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that seriously affects quality of life. Quinine is a bitter taste receptor agonist that exhibits antimalarial effects. The aim of the present study was to examine the therapeutic effects of quinine in AD‑like mice. AD was induced with 2,4‑dinitrochlorobenzene, and the mice were treated with 10 mg/kg quinine for 1, 4 and 7 days. A total of 60 BALB/c mice were divided into the following groups: Healthy, AD‑like, AD‑like + quinine and healthy + quinine, with 1, 4 and 7 days groups for each treatment. Blood was extracted from all mice and ELISA was performed to detect immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. H&E‑stained tissue sections were prepared from skin lesions on the backs of the mice and pathological changes were observed. Cytokines were detected via ELISA, and the filaggrin (FLG) and kallikrein‑7 (KLK7) proteins were detected via western blotting and immunohistochemistry. IKKα and NF‑κB mRNA were analyzed via reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. Quinine ameliorated skin damage in the AD‑like mice, reduced IgE expression in the blood, inhibited expression of IKKα and NF‑κB, reduced cytokine secretion, reduced KLK7 expression, reduced scratching frequency, increased FLG expression and repaired the skin barrier. These results suggested that quinine exhibited therapeutic effects in AD‑like mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.11952DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7974254PMC
May 2021

Inhibitory Effect of PD-1/PD-L1 and Blockade Immunotherapy in Leukemia.

Comb Chem High Throughput Screen 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

School of Computer Science, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. Australia.

Background: PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. And some clinical trials have also confirmed the excellent efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors on lymphoma. However, the efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors on leukemia remains unclear. Main body: To understand the connection between PD-1/PD-L1 and leukemia better, this review concentrates on the up-regulated expression of PD-1/PD-L1 and the PD-1/PD-L1 blockade trials in participants with leukemia. PD-1/PD-L1 signal performs momentously negative immunoregulation of cancer, which can inhibit the activation of cytotoxic T cells and involve in the immune escape in tumors. Activated PD-1/PD-L1 may transduce negative intracellular signals to block the mitotic cycle and the development of T-cells. Several pathways are involved in these critical biochemical processes, including MAPK, Calcium, PI3K/AKT, and so on. Lately, PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies have illustrated unprecedented curative effects in the field of Hodgkin's lymphoma and some solid tumors. Specimens from patients with leukemia demonstrated the elevated level of PD-1/PD-L1 in T lymphocytes. This finding inspired hematologists to use PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors for subjects suffering from leukemia. Some clinical trials implied that PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors could help patients fight against leukemia. However, other researchers reported the opposite results.

Conclusions: PD-1/PD-L1 is upregulated in leukemia, but the results regarding PD-1/PD-L1 blockade are mixed and more clinical trials are needed to be conducted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1574893616666210707101516DOI Listing
July 2021

Membrane-Permeable Antibacterial Enzyme against Multidrug-Resistant .

ACS Infect Dis 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Bacteriophage endolysins (lysins, or murein hydrolases) are enzymes that bacteriophages utilize to degrade the cell wall peptidoglycans (PG) and subsequently disintegrate bacterial cells from within. Due to their muralytic activity, lysins are considered as potential candidates to battle against antibiotic resistance. However, most lysins in their native form lack the capability of trespassing the outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative (G-ve) bacteria. To turn the bacteriophage enzymes into antibacterial weapons against G-ve bacteria, endowing these enzymes the capability of accessing the PG substrate underneath the OM is critical. Here we show that fusing a membrane-permeabilizing peptide CeA at the C-terminus of a muralytic enzyme LysAB2 renders a two-step mechanism of bacterial killing and increases the activity of LysAB2 against the multidrug resistant by up to 100 000-folds. The engineered LysAB2, termed LysAB2-KWK here, also shows remarkable activity against at the stationary phase and a prominent capability to disrupt biofilm formation. In addition, the enzyme shows a broad antibacterial spectrum against G-ve bacteria, a decent tolerance to serum, and a prolonged storage life. LysAB2-KWK rescues the larva of the greater wax moth from infection through systemic administration. Altogether, our work equips a globular lysin with OM permeabilization activity to enable effective killing of G-ve bacteria, reveals the critical role of the C-terminus of a globular lysin in the antibacterial activity, and points toward a viable route to engineer globular lysins as antibacterial enzymes for potential clinical use against multidrug resistant G-ve bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.1c00222DOI Listing
July 2021

Potential role of glutathione S-transferase P1 gene polymorphism and metabolic syndrome in lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

World J Urol 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Urology, Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) gene polymorphism and metabolic syndrome (MS) on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Methods: This study included 195 patients diagnosed with LUTS secondary to BPH as case group, divided into simple BPH group (S-BPH group) and combined with MS group (MS-BPH group). Control group included 200 healthy elderly men without LUTS. Use peripheral blood samples detected the GSTP1 gene polymorphism (Ile 105 Val A → G polymorphism) by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Recorded age, GSTP1 gene polymorphism, international prostate symptom score (IPSS), prostate volume (PV), residual urine volume (RV), maximal urinary flowrate (Qmax), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to statistical analysis.

Results: Pairwise compared between control group, S-BPH group and MS-BPH, the PV (P < 0.001), PSA (P < 0.001), RV (P < 0.001), Qmax (P < 0.001), IPSS (P < 0.001), frequencies of GSTP1 gene (P < 0.05) were shown significant different, and MS-BPH group had larger PV, and more severe LUTS. In case group, variation genotypes (GSTP1 A/G + G/G) always had larger PV, higher PSA and IPSS, more RV and lower Qmax than homozygote (GSTP1 A/A) and the comparison were significant different (P < 0.05). Variation genotypes were positively correlated with PV (β = 0.092, P < 0.001), RV (β = 0.228, P = 0.004), IPSS (β = 0.274, P = 0.038), PSA (β = 1.243, P < 0.001) and negatively correlated with Qmax (β = -0.362, P = 0.025).

Conclusion: In patients with BPH, GSTP1 variation genotypes and MS might be potential risk factors for faster progression of benign prostatic enlargement and LUTS, which might increase the surgical rate.

Trial Registration: ChiCTR-IPR-14005580.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03778-3DOI Listing
July 2021

Determination of Bioelectrical Impedance Thresholds for Early Detection of Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema.

Int J Med Sci 2021 11;18(13):2990-2996. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Breast Center, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing, China.

Bioelectrical impedance technology is a common technique used for the early detection of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). However, studies on the threshold value established by Inbody 720 device (Biospace, Korea) have been extremely limited. We aimed to determine its reference range and cutoff values. All patients were recruited from October 2017 to October 2019 at the Peking University People's Hospital Breast Center. In total, 82 patients with unilateral BCRL and 1305 healthy subjects were recruited in this study. We measured the extracellular fluid (ECF) ratio, extracellular water (ECW) ratio, as well as the single-frequency bioimpedance analysis (SFBIA) ratios at 1 and 5 kHz with the Inbody 720 device. The Youden index-based cutoff points, mean + 2SD and mean + 3SD values of these four indicators for both dominant and nondominant arms were also calculated. Data were collected from 1387 women, including healthy subjects and patients with lymphedema. All statistical analyses were performed with SPSS. Significant differences were found between the two groups in the ECW, ECF, and SFBIA ratios. For the dominant affected arms, the Youden index-based cutoff points for the ECF, ECW, as well as SFBIA ratios at 1 and 5 kHz were 1.009, 1.008, 1.068, and 1.068, respectively. For the nondominant affected arms, the Youden index-based cutoff points were 1.014, 1.013, 1.047, and 1.048, respectively. The mean + 2 standard deviations (SD) and mean + 3SD values were also calculated. We determined the Youden index-based cutoff points, mean + 2SD and mean + 3SD values of the ECF, ECW, as well as SFBIA ratios at 1 and 5 kHz for both dominant and nondominant arms with data from 1305 healthy subjects. Next, the Youden index-based cutoff points, the mean + 2SD and mean + 3SD values were used to recognize patients with lymphedema. We found that the Youden index-based cutoff points and the mean + 2SD showed similar identification capacity on lymphedema, and they seemed to distinguish more patients with lymphedema than mean + 3SD values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/ijms.53812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241780PMC
June 2021

Crop Classification Based on Red Edge Features Analysis of GF-6 WFV Data.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 Jun 24;21(13). Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

A red edge band is a sensitive spectral band of crops, which helps to improve the accuracy of crop classification. In view of the characteristics of GF-6 WFV data with multiple red edge bands, this paper took Hengshui City, Hebei Province, China, as the study area to carry out red edge feature analysis and crop classification, and analyzed the influence of different red edge features on crop classification. On the basis of GF-6 WFV red edge band spectral analysis, different red edge feature extraction and red edge indices feature importance evaluation, 12 classification schemes were designed based on GF-6 WFV of four bands (only including red, green, blue and near-infrared bands), stepwise discriminant analysis (SDA) and random forest (RF) method were used for feature selection and importance evaluation, and RF classification algorithm was used for crop classification. The results show the following: (1) The red edge 750 band of GF-6 WFV data contains more information content than the red edge 710 band. Compared with the red edge 750 band, the red edge 710 band is more conducive to improving the separability between different crops, which can improve the classification accuracy; (2) According to the classification results of different red edge indices, compared with the SDA method, the RF method is more accurate in the feature importance evaluation; (3) Red edge spectral features, red edge texture features and red edge indices can improve the accuracy of crop classification in different degrees, and the red edge features based on red edge 710 band can improve the accuracy of crop classification more effectively. This study improves the accuracy of remote sensing classification of crops, and can provide reference for the application of GF-6 WFV data and its red edge bands in agricultural remote sensing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21134328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8271903PMC
June 2021

Spatial transcriptome profiling by MERFISH reveals fetal liver hematopoietic stem cell niche architecture.

Cell Discov 2021 Jun 29;7(1):47. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Department of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.

The hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche has been extensively studied in bone marrow, yet a more systematic investigation into the microenvironment regulation of hematopoiesis in fetal liver is necessary. Here we investigate the spatial organization and transcriptional profile of individual cells in both wild type (WT) and Tet2 fetal livers, by multiplexed error robust fluorescence in situ hybridization. We find that specific pairs of fetal liver cell types are preferentially positioned next to each other. Ligand-receptor signaling molecule pairs such as Kitl and Kit are enriched in neighboring cell types. The majority of HSCs are in direct contact with endothelial cells (ECs) in both WT and Tet2 fetal livers. Loss of Tet2 increases the number of HSCs, and upregulates Wnt and Notch signaling genes in the HSC niche. Two subtypes of ECs, arterial ECs and sinusoidal ECs, and other cell types contribute distinct signaling molecules to the HSC niche. Collectively, this study provides a comprehensive picture and bioinformatic foundation for HSC spatial regulation in fetal liver.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41421-021-00266-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238952PMC
June 2021

Volatile Organic Compounds to Identify Infectious (Bacteria/Viruses) Diseases of the Central Nervous System: A Pilot Study.

Eur Neurol 2021 Jun 28:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, China.

Background: Central nervous system (CNS) infectious diseases are common diseases in emergency rooms and neurology departments. CNS pathogen identification methods are time consuming and expensive and have low sensitivity and poor specificity. Some studies have shown that bacteria and viruses can produce specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The aim of this study is to find potential biomarkers by VOC analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients with bacterial and viral meningitis/encephalitis (ME).

Methods: CSF samples from 16 patients with bacterial ME and 42 patients with viral ME were collected, and solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyze the metabolites in the CSF.

Results: There are 2 substances (ethylene oxide and phenol) that were found to be different between the 2 groups. Ethylene oxide was significantly greater in the group of bacterial ME patients than in the viral ME group of patients (p < 0.05). In addition, phenol was remarkably increased in the group of ME patients compared with the bacterial ME patients (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Ethylene oxide and phenol may be potential biomarkers to distinguish bacterial ME and viral ME. VOC analysis of CSF may be used as a supporting tool for clinical diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000507188DOI Listing
June 2021

Effectiveness and safety of Chinese herbal formula combined with western medicine for ankylosing spondylitis: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Jun;100(25):e26374

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang, China.

Background: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic progressive inflammatory disease of the spine, which mainly invades the sacroiliac joint, spine, and large joints near the trunk, leading to fibrous and skeletal ankylosis and deformity, and can cause damage to the eyes, lung, cardiovascular, kidney and other organs. Chinese herbal formulas (CHF) is an important interventions of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and CHFs combined with western medicine are widely used in clinical practice to treat AS.

Methods: Eight databases will be systematically retrieved from their inceptions to March 2021. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CHFs combined with western medicine for AS treatment will meet the inclusion criteria. The primary outcomes we focus on include clinical effectiveness rate, TCM syndrome score, TCM symptom score, Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity index (BASDAI), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI), chest expansion, nocturnal spinal pain, adverse reactions, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C protein response (CRP). The research screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment will be performed independently by 2 researchers, and divergence will be solved by a third researcher. Revman 5.3 software will be used for meta-analysis. The confidence of evidence will be graded using grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) algorithm and methodological quality will be assessed adopting risk of bias in systematic reviews (ROBIS).

Results: This systematic review (SR) will provide evidence-based medical evidence for AS therapy by CHF combined with western medicine and we will submit the findings of this SR for peer-review publication.

Conclusions: This SR will provide latest and updated summary proof for assessing the effectiveness and safety of CHF combined with western medicine for AS.

Registration Number: INPLASY 202150089.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000026374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238346PMC
June 2021

Association of co-pay elimination with medication adherence and total cost.

Am J Manag Care 2021 Jun;27(6):249-254

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, 5525 Reitz Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Email:

Objectives: To determine whether elimination of co-pays for prescription drugs affects medication adherence and total health care spending.

Study Design: Retrospective comparative study.

Methods: We conducted a difference-in-differences comparison in the year before and after expansion of a Zero Dollar Co-pay (ZDC) prescription drug benefit in commercially insured Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana members with continuous disease management program enrollment were analyzed, of whom 6463 were enrolled in the ZDC program and 1821 were controls who were ineligible because their employers did not opt in.

Results: After ZDC expansion, medication adherence fell in the control group and rose in the ZDC group, with a relative increase of 2.1 percentage points (P = .002). Medical spending fell by $71 per member per month (PMPM) (P = .027) in the ZDC group relative to controls. Overall, there was no significant increase in the cost of drugs between treatment and controls. However, when drugs were further categorized, there was a significant increase of $8 PMPM for generic drugs and no significant difference for brand name drugs. Comparisons of medication adherence rates by household income showed the largest relative increase post ZDC expansion among low-income members.

Conclusions: Elimination of co-pays for drugs indicated to treat chronic illnesses was associated with increases in medication adherence and reductions in overall spending of $63. Benefit designs that eliminate co-pays for patients with chronic illnesses may improve adherence and reduce the total cost of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.37765/ajmc.2021.88664DOI Listing
June 2021

The association between nutritional status and functional limitations among centenarians: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Geriatr 2021 06 21;21(1):376. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Institute of geriatrics, the 2nd Medical Center, State Key Laboratory of Kidney Disease, Beijing Key Laboratory of Aging and Geriatrics, National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics Diseases, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, 100853, Beijing, China.

Background: Although there have been studies on the association between nutritional status and functional limitations, there were few studies on Asian centenarians in community. Therefore, this study aims to identify associations between nutritional status and functional limitations among centenarians in China.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with the data from the China Hainan Centenarian Cohort Study. These data ultimately included basic characteristics, hematologic indicators, and chronic disease status for 1,002 centenarians. The nutritional status was evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short-Form scale. The functional limitations were assessed using the activities of daily living (ADL) scale, namely Barthel Index and Lawton Scale. The association between nutritional status and ADL was assessed using multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: In this study, the prevalence of malnutrition was 20.8 % among centenarians, basic ADL (BADL) limitation was 28.6 %, and instrumental ADL (IADL) limitation was 64.7 %. As the nutritional status deteriorated, the risk of ADL limitations increased in total population (BADL limitation: OR = 17.060, 95 % CI: 8.093-35.964; IADL limitation: OR = 11.221, 95 % CI: 5.853-21.511; p for trend < 0.001). Similar results were found in both men and women after stratifying sex but were more prominent in women.

Conclusions: Malnutrition is associated with functional limitations among centenarians in China and more pronounced among women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12877-021-02312-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8218470PMC
June 2021

Chemoattractants driven and microglia based biomimetic nanoparticle treating TMZ-resistant glioblastoma multiforme.

J Control Release 2021 Jun 12;336:54-70. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China. Electronic address:

Currently, clinical treatment for temozolomide (TMZ)-resistant glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is still a difficult problem. The aim of this paper is to set up a new GBM-targeted drug delivery system to treat TMZ-resistant GBM. Zoledronate (ZOL) not only induces apoptosis of TMZ-resistant GBM cells by down-regulation of farnesyl pyrophosphate synthetase (FPPS) but also increases the proportion of M1-type GBM associated macrophages (GAM). Based on chemoattractants secreted by GBM cells, a ZOL loaded nanoparticle coated with microglia cell membrane ([email protected]) was prepared to deliver ZOL to central nervous system to treat TMZ-resistant GBM. [email protected] was actively recruited to TMZ-resistant GBM region by CX3CL1/CX3CR1 and CSF-1/CSF-1R signal axis, and the release of ZOL from [email protected] was triggered by glutathione in GBM cells. [email protected] inhibited the growth of TMZ-resistant GBM through inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the migration and invasion of TMZ-resistant GBM cells. Besides, the immunosuppressive and hypoxic microenvironment, playing an important role in the growth of TMZ-resistant GBM, was significantly improved by [email protected] through increasing the proportion of M1-type GAM and blocking the expression of HIF-1α. [email protected] has a great potential application in the treatment for TMZ-resistant GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.06.015DOI Listing
June 2021

Epidemiological feature, viral shedding, and antibody seroconversion among asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers and symptomatic/presymptomatic COVID-19 patients.

J Infect Public Health 2021 Jul 27;14(7):845-851. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Epidemiology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China. Electronic address:

Background: Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is pandemic. However, data concerning the epidemiological features, viral shedding, and antibody dynamics between asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers and COVID-19 patients remain controversial.

Methods: We enrolled 193 SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects in Ningbo and Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China, from January 21 to March 6, 2020. All subjects were followed up to monitor the dynamics of serum antibody immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG against SARS-CoV-2 using colloidal gold-labeled and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Results: Of those, 31 were asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers, 148 symptomatic COVID-19 patients, and 14 presymptomatic COVID-19 patients. Compared to symptomatic COVID-19 patients, asymptomatic carriers were younger and had higher levels of white blood cell and lymphocyte, lower level of C-reactive protein, and shorter viral shedding duration. Conversion of IgM from positive to negative was shorter in asymptomatic carriers than in COVID-19 patients (7.5 vs. 25.5 days, P = 0.030). The proportion of those persistently seropositive for IgG against SARS-CoV-2 was higher in COVID-19 patients than in asymptomatic carriers (66.1% vs. 33.3%, P = 0.037). Viral load was higher in symptomatic patients than presymptomatic patients (P = 0.003) and asymptomatic carriers (P = 0.004). Viral shedding duration was longer in presymptomatic COVID-19 patients than in asymptomatic carriers (48.0 vs. 24.0 days, P = 0.002). Asymptomatic carriers acquired infection more from intra-familial transmission than did COVID-19 patients (89.0% vs. 61.0%, P = 0.028). In 4 familial clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection, asymptomatic carriers were mainly children and young adults while severe COVID-19 was mainly found in family members older than 60 years with comorbidities.

Conclusion: Asymptomatic carriers might have a higher antiviral immunity to clear SARS-CoV-2 than symptomatic COVID-19 patients and this antiviral immunity should be contributable to innate and adaptive cellular immunity rather than humoral immunity. The severity of COVID-19 is associated with older age and comorbidities in familial clustering cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2021.05.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8154191PMC
July 2021

Evaluation of the Shale Oil Reservoir and the Oil Enrichment Model for the First Member of the Lucaogou Formation, Western Jimusaer Depression, Junggar Basin, NW China.

ACS Omega 2021 May 28;6(18):12081-12098. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Oil Production Engineering Research Institute, Daqing Oil Field Company, Daqing 163453, China.

The Lucaogou Formation (Fm) in the Jimusaer depression is the first large-scale development of a terrigenous clastic sedimentary shale oil reservoir in China. Nearly one billion tons of shale oil resources have been discovered. However, the current exploration and development is concentrated in the eastern part of the sag. The limited geological understanding in the western area has restricted the prediction and development of "sweet spots" for shale oil. To help rectify this, we have studied the petrology, geochemistry, oil content, and pore properties of the second part of the first member (Mbr) of the Lucaogou Fm (Pl ) in a typical well (Ji-X) in the western part of the sag. The results show that Pl in the Jimusaer sag is a mixed fine-grained sedimentary system composed of sandstone, mudstone, and carbonate, which can be divided into seven types: dolomitic mudstone, calcareous mudstone, mudstone, mixed fine-grained rock, argillaceous limestone, sandstone, and argillaceous dolomite. The organic matter type of Pl in well Ji-X is dominated by types I and II, and this is the best source rock in the whole exploration area of the Jimusaer sag. The overall oil saturation is relatively high, but the maturity of crude oil is low, and the overall oil quality is heavy, which is mainly controlled by the sedimentary environment and maturity of source rocks. Lithology and reservoir physical properties are the key to control oil content. The high-quality light oil reservoir lithology is argillaceous dolomite and sandstone. The higher the content of macropores and mesopores, the weaker the heterogeneity of the pore structure, and the better the oil content in the reservoir. There are four light oil sweet spots in the upper part (burial depth less than 4366 m), and there are excellent source rocks with high HI and high organic matter content near each sweet spot. This discovery of shale oil enrichment regularity will effectively guide the development of shale oil in continental lacustrine basins in other parts of the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.1c00756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8154140PMC
May 2021

Integrated DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Analysis Identified S100A8 and S100A9 in the Pathogenesis of Obesity.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 13;8:631650. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Pathophysiology, School of Preclinical Medicine, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.

To explore the association of DNA methylation and gene expression in the pathology of obesity. (1) Genomic DNA methylation and mRNA expression profile of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) were performed in a comprehensive database of gene expression in obese and normal subjects. (2) Functional enrichment analysis and construction of differential methylation gene regulatory networks were performed. (3) Validation of the two different methylation sites and corresponding gene expression was done in a separate microarray dataset. (4) Correlation analysis was performed on DNA methylation and mRNA expression data. A total of 77 differentially expressed mRNAs matched with differentially methylated genes. Analysis revealed two different methylation sites corresponding to two unique genes-s100a8-cg09174555 and s100a9-cg03165378. Through the verification test of two interesting different expression positions [differentially methylated positions (DMPs)] and their corresponding gene expression, we found that methylation in these genes was negatively correlated to gene expression in the obesity group. Higher S100A8 and S100A9 expressions in obese subjects were validated in a separate microarray dataset. This study confirmed the relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression and emphasized the important role of S100A8 and S100A9 in the pathogenesis of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.631650DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8163519PMC
May 2021

Prediction of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Permeability of Chemicals Based on Machine-Learning and Ensemble Methods.

Chem Res Toxicol 2021 Jun 28;34(6):1456-1467. Epub 2021 May 28.

Research Center for Computer Simulating and Information Processing of Bio-macromolecules of Shenyang, Liaoning University, Shenyang 110036, China.

The ability of chemicals to enter the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a key factor for central nervous system (CNS) drug development. Although many models for BBB permeability prediction have been developed, they have insufficient accuracy (ACC) and sensitivity (SEN). To improve performance, ensemble models were built to predict the BBB permeability of compounds. In this study, in silico ensemble-learning models were developed using 3 machine-learning algorithms and 9 molecular fingerprints from 1757 chemicals (integrated from 2 published data sets) to predict BBB permeability. The best prediction performance of the base classifier models was achieved by a prediction model based on an random forest (RF) and a MACCS molecular fingerprint with an ACC of 0.910, an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.957, a SEN of 0.927, and a specificity of 0.867 in 5-fold cross-validation. The prediction performance of the ensemble models is better than that of most of the base classifiers. The final ensemble model has also demonstrated good accuracy for an external validation and can be used for the early screening of CNS drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00343DOI Listing
June 2021

[Relationship between urban atmospheric environment and surrounding two-dimensional and three-dimensional landscape pattern in China.]

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2021 May;32(5):1593-1602

Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China.

Atmospheric environment in urban built-up area is severely influenced by the surrounding landscape pattern. Understanding the relationship between air pollution and surrounding landscape pattern at small scale has great significance for mitigating air pollution from the perspective of urban construction. The annual average concentrations of NO, SO, PM and PM from 266 air pollution monitoring stations in 30 provincial capitals of China in 2017 were chosen as dependent variables. Ten two-dimensional and three-dimensional landscape pattern indices (number of buildings, building aggregation, building density, impervious water ratio, quantitative density of catering, building footprint area, high building ratio, floor area ratio, total building area and building type Shannon diversity index) within the 3 km area around the monitoring stations were used as independent variables. The effects of landscape pattern on the concentration of four air pollutants were analyzed using the boosted regression trees model. The results showed that the concentration of four air pollutants in the central and northern cities were significantly higher than that in the southeast coastal cities and southwest cities. The most important factor affecting the concentrations of NO, SO, PM and PM was the impervious ratio, with relative contribution rates of 40.7%, 36.3%, 51.0% and 51.8% respectively. The results of sub-region analysis showed that the most important influencing factor differed in different regions, including the impervious ratio in the East and Central China; the number and density of buildings in South China; the impervious ratio and diversity of building types in North China; the impervious ratio and the number of buildings in Northeast China, the density of buildings in Northwest China. Such differences were mainly caused by climate, topography, urban planning, and other factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.202105.015DOI Listing
May 2021

Regulation of the mammalian maternal-to-embryonic transition by eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E.

Development 2021 06 25;148(12). Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Reproductive Medicine Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 325000, China.

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) mediates cap-dependent translation. Genetic and inhibitor studies show that eIF4E expression is required for the successful transition from maternal to embryonic control of mouse embryo development. eIF4E was present in the oocyte and in the cytoplasm soon after fertilization and during each stage of early development. Functional knockout (Eif4e-/-) by PiggyBac [Act-RFP] transposition resulted in peri-implantation embryonic lethality because of the failure of normal epiblast formation. Maternal stores of eIF4E supported development up to the two- to four-cell stage, after which new expression occurred from both maternal and paternal inherited alleles. Inhibition of the maternally acquired stores of eIF4E (using the inhibitor 4EGI-1) resulted in a block at the two-cell stage. eIF4E activity was required for new protein synthesis in the two-cell embryo and Eif4e-/- embryos had lower translational activity compared with wild-type embryos. eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) is a hypophosphorylation-dependent negative regulator of eIF4E. mTOR activity was required for 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and inhibiting mTOR retarded embryo development. Thus, this study shows that eIF4E activity is regulated at key embryonic transitions in the mammalian embryo and is essential for the successful transition from maternal to embryonic control of development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.190793DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254863PMC
June 2021

Correlation between steroid levels in follicular fluid and hormone synthesis related substances in its exosomes and embryo quality in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2021 May 17;19(1):74. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, No. 111 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai, 200032, PR China.

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine and metabolic disorder with various manifestations and complex etiology. Follicular fluid (FF) serves as the complex microenvironment for follicular development. However, the correlation between the concentration of steroid in FF and the pathogenesis of PCOS is still unclear.

Methods: Twenty steroid levels in FF from ten patients with PCOS and ten women with male-factor infertility undergoing in vitro fertilization were tested by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in order to explore their possibly correlation with PCOS. Meanwhile, the mRNA levels of core enzymes in steroid synthesis pathway from exosomes of FF were also detected by qPCR.

Results: The estriol (p < 0.01), estradiol (p < 0.05) and prenenolone (p < 0.01) levels in FF of PCOS group were significantly increased, compared to the normal group, and the progesterone levels (p < 0.05) were decreased in PCOS group. Increased mRNA levels of CYP11A, CYP19A and HSD17B2 of exosomes were accompanied by the hormonal changes in FF. Correlation analysis showed that mRNA levels of CYP11A and HSD17B2 were negatively correlated with percent of top-quality embryos and rate of embryos develop to blastocyst.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that increased levels of estrogen and pregnenolone in follicular fluid may affect follicle development in PCOS patients, and the mechanism is partially related to HSD17B1, CYP19A1 and CYP11A1 expression change in FF exosomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12958-021-00749-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127216PMC
May 2021

Dynamical evolution of anisotropic response of type-II Weyl semimetal TaIrTe under ultrafast photoexcitation.

Light Sci Appl 2021 May 14;10(1):101. Epub 2021 May 14.

International Center for Quantum Materials, School of Physics, Peking University, 100871, Beijing, China.

Layered type-II Weyl semimetals, such as WTe, MoTe, and TaIrTe have been demonstrated as a supreme photodetection material with topologically enhanced responsivity and specific sensitivity to the orbital angular momentum of light. Toward future device applications with high performance and ultrafast response, it is necessary to understand the dynamical processes of hot carriers and transient electronic properties of these materials under photoexcitation. In this work, mid-infrared ultrafast spectroscopy is performed to study the dynamical evolution of the anisotropic response of TaIrTe. The dynamical relaxation of photoexcited carriers exhibits three exponential decay components relating to optical/acoustic phonon cooling and subsequent heat transfer to the substrate. The ultrafast transient dynamics imply that TaIrTe is an ideal material candidate for ultrafast optoelectronic applications, especially in the long-wavelength region. The angle-resolved measurement of transient reflection reveals that the reflectivity becomes less anisotropic in the quasi-equilibrium state, indicating a reduction in the anisotropy of dynamical conductivity in presence of photoexcited hot carriers. The results are indispensable in material engineering for polarization-sensitive optoelectronics and high field electronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41377-021-00546-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121930PMC
May 2021

A resveratrol-loaded nanostructured lipid carrier hydrogel to enhance the anti-UV irradiation and anti-oxidant efficacy.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2021 Aug 27;204:111786. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China; Key Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology of Chinese Materia Medica of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China. Electronic address:

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA damage in skin tissue, which can further result in skin cancers. Using sunscreens is one of the most popular and the most effective method to resist UV irradiation. Resveratrol (RES) shows high absorbance in UV region and significant anti-oxidant effects. However, RES is easily degraded by UV irradiation, resulting in the decrease of bioactivity and the limitation of its application in the pharmaceutical preparations of skin. In this paper, a nanostructured lipid carrier gel loaded with RES (RES-NLC-gel) was prepared to improve the stability of RES and the accumulation of RES in the epidermis. Moreover, RES-NLC-gel could scavenge free radical effectively and protect human keratinocyte from UV irradiation by inhibiting the generation of ROS, decreasing the protein expression of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax and increasing the protein expression of Bcl-2. When mice skin was pretreated with RES-NLC-gel, there were less erythema, wrinkles and scabs on mice skin. The epidermal thickness of mice skins obviously reduced in dose-dependent manner. The activities of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in mice skin tissue significantly increased. Thus, RES-NLC-gel exhibited an obvious anti-UV irradiation and anti-oxidant activity in vivo. RES-NLC-gel displayed great application potential in protecting skin from UV irradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2021.111786DOI Listing
August 2021
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