Publications by authors named "Mo Chen"

423 Publications

Oncologic and survival outcomes in elderly patients with locally advanced rectal cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and total mesorectal excision.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 21. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Centre, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Centre for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: The efficacy of the addition of neoadjuvant chemotherapy to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and total mesorectal excision for locally advanced rectal cancer in elderly patients has not been established.

Methods: A total of 3096 locally advanced rectal cancer patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, along with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and total mesorectal excision, with or without adjuvant chemotherapy, between January 2010 and December 2018, were studied retrospectively. Patients were divided into elderly (>75 years) and younger (≤75 years) groups, and propensity score matching was used to balance a potentially confounding clinical bias. Overall survival, cancer-specific survival, disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival and local recurrence-free survival rates for the two groups were compared. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for different clinicopathological variables were calculated to determine predictors of 3-year overall survival.

Results: Mean follow-up was 39.0 (range, 5-140) months. The overall 3-year overall survival, cancer-specific survival, disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival and locoregional relapse-free survival rates were 86.1, 87.6, 80.0, 82.4 and 95.4%, respectively. Only 3-year overall survival rates differed significantly between the elderly (77.2%) and younger (88.9%) groups (P = 0.01). Cancer-specific survival, disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival and locoregional relapse-free survival rates did not differ significantly between the two groups. Significant negative independent prognostic factors for 3-year overall survival were age >75 years (HR = 2.016, 95% CI 1.157-23.511, P = 0.01) and high pathologic TNM stage (yp stage III, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: For elderly locally advanced rectal cancer patients who have good health and performance status, the addition of neoadjuvant chemotherapy to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and total mesorectal excision can result in disease-related survival rates and oncological outcomes similar to those experienced by younger patients. The decision to use this treatment approach in elderly patients should not be based solely on chronological age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyab095DOI Listing
June 2021

Novel Long Non-coding RNA Expression Profile of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Reveals Potential Biomarkers and Regulatory Mechanisms in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 2;9:639321. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Rheumatology, School of Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Objective: The multisystem involvement and high heterogeneity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) lead to great challenges in its diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of this study was to find new lncRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of SLE patients by transcriptome sequencing and explore their potential as biomarkers and their correlation with clinical features.

Materials And Methods: Transcriptome sequencing was used to screen differentially expressed lncRNAs (DELs) and mRNAs (DEMs). The expression of these selected lncRNAs and mRNAs in SLE patients and healthy controls was verified by qPCR. DAVID and WebGestalt were used to perform enrichment analysis. Cytoscape was used to construct a protein-protein network, a coexpression network, and a competitive endogenous RNA network to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of lncRNAs at the transcriptome level.

Results: A total of 1737 DELs and 4078 DEMs were identified between SLE patients and healthy controls. Ten lncRNAs and eight genes were verified by qPCR in a larger sample set. The lncRNA was significantly downregulated in SLE patients and was also significantly related to the activity and severity of disease. The upregulated genes were enriched in defense and the immune response, while the downregulated genes were mainly enriched in SLE-related pathways. Topology network analysis revealed that the lncRNAs were involved in regulation at the transcriptome level, including acting directly on mRNA or indirectly affecting gene expression by acting on miRNA.

Conclusion: In this work, we identified many mRNAs and novel lncRNAs by transcriptome sequencing. The functions and regulatory mechanisms of these lncRNAs were analyzed by bioinformatic methods. The novel lncRNA is significantly downregulated in SLE patients and is significantly related to the activity and severity of disease. Additionally, we propose that may enhance the signal transduction of β2-AR by cis regulating , inducing NK cells to produce high levels of IFN-γ and thereby exacerbating SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.639321DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8208038PMC
June 2021

Communication interventions on conditional requesting or rejecting skills for individuals with moderate to severe developmental disabilities: a scoping review.

Authors:
Mo Chen

Int J Dev Disabil 2017 Nov 23;65(4):205-219. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

To synthesize communication intervention studies that addressed conditional requesting or rejecting skills for individuals with moderate to severe developmental disabilities from 1980 to 2017. A systematic search was conducted and the yielded 20 studies were coded from three aspects, including participant characteristics, intervention characteristics, and quality of study parameters. The identified studies involved 31 participants who ranged from 4 to 45 years of age and had a diagnosis of a developmental disability with moderate to severe disabilities. These individuals with moderate to severe disabilities were able to learn to request or reject conditionally, with maintenance and generalization reported in some studies. In general, the identified studies differed in their specific intervention goals related to conditional requesting or rejecting skills. The methodological adequacy of the studies identified warrants improvement. There is the need for future research on conditional communication intervention for individuals with developmental disabilities to refine and expand the existing evidence base.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20473869.2017.1405560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8115443PMC
November 2017

Erratum to "MiR-17 Targets PTEN and Facilitates Glial Scar Formation after Spinal Cord Injuries via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway" [Brain Res. Bull. 128 (2017) 68-75].

Brain Res Bull 2021 Jun 13. Epub 2021 Jun 13.

Department of Trauma Neurosurgery, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, Jilin, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.05.027DOI Listing
June 2021

Liraglutide modulates olfactory ensheathing cell migration with activation of ERK and alteration of the extracellular matrix.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Jun 11;141:111819. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia; Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia; School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia; Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia. Electronic address:

Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) is a promising approach for repairing the injured nervous system that has been extensively trialed for nervous system repair. However, the method still needs improvement and optimization. One avenue of improving outcomes is to stimulate OEC migration into the injury site. Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist used for management of diabetes and obesity. It has been shown to be neuroprotective and to promote cell migration, but whether it can stimulate glial cells remains unknown. In the current study, we investigated the effects of liraglutide on OEC migration and explored the involved mechanisms. We showed that liraglutide at low concentration (100 nM) overall promoted OEC migration over time. Liraglutide modulated the migratory behavior of OECs by reducing time in arrest, and promoted random rather than straight migration. Liraglutide also induced a morphological change of primary OECs towards a bipolar shape consistent with improved migration. We found that liraglutide activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), which has key roles in cell migration; the timing of ERK activation correlated with stimulation of migration. Furthermore, liraglutide also modulated the extracellular matrix by upregulating laminin-1 and down-regulating collagen IV. In summary, we found that liraglutide can stimulate OEC migration and re-model the extracellular matrix to better promote cell migration, and possibly also to become more conducive for axonal regeneration. Thus, liraglutide may improve OEC transplantation outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111819DOI Listing
June 2021

Effects of Enterococcus faecalis administration on the community structure of airborne bacteria in weanling piglet and layer hen houses.

J Gen Appl Microbiol 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Beijing Agro-Biotechnology Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences.

Probiotics have been shown to improve microbial compositions in animal intestine and feces, but the effects of probiotic administration on airborne microbial composition in animal houses remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary Enterococcus faecalis on the bacterial community structure in the air of piglet and layer hen houses. Indoor air and feces from piglet and layer hen houses were sampled after supplementing E. faecalis in feed for 60 days, and bacterial community structures were analyzed using Illumina high-throughput sequencing technology. Results showed that Chao1, ACE, Shannon, and Simpson indices of bacterial diversity did not significantly change in feces or indoor air of piglet or layer hen after supplementation with E. faecalis (P > 0.05). However, E. faecalis administration resulted in a decrease in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria (P < 0.05). In addition, E. faecalis significantly reduced the relative abundance of opportunistic pathogens such as Acinetobacter, Escherichia, and Shigella (P < 0.05), and beneficial bacterial genus such as Lactobacillus was significantly enriched in both feces and indoor air (P < 0.05). These changes should be of benefit to livestock, farm workers, and the surrounding environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2323/jgam.2020.11.001DOI Listing
June 2021

Effect of partner reauditorization on young adults' attitudes toward a child who communicated using nonelectronic augmentative and alternative communication.

Augment Altern Commun 2021 Jun 7:1-13. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.

This study examined whether partner reauditorization affected the attitudes reported by young adults toward a child who communicated using nonelectronic AAC. The study also examined preferences for the way the AAC system was used (i.e., in the presence or absence of reauditorization), whether reauditorization was associated with differences in perceptions about the social interactions with the child, and ease of understanding the child's aided messages. For the study, 84 young adults viewed (a) one video of a child who communicated using nonelectronic AAC in which the child's communication partner reauditorized the child's aided message, and (b) a second video in which the message was not reauditorized. Participants answered survey questions designed to measure dependent variables including attitudes, ease of understanding, perceptions about the child's social interactions, and preferences regarding reauditorization. Attitudes toward the child were more positive when reauditorization was implemented. Partner reauditorization may play a role in improving attitudes that individuals hold about a child who uses nonelectronic AAC and may also contribute to the ease of understanding an aided message.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2021.1916075DOI Listing
June 2021

Sex-Based Differences in Clinical Outcomes After Arthroscopic Anterior Shoulder Stabilization: Results at 5-Year Follow-up.

Orthop J Sports Med 2021 May 20;9(5):23259671211008841. Epub 2021 May 20.

Sports Medicine Institute, Department of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Background: The influence of patient sex on clinical outcomes after arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilization is unclear.

Purpose: To investigate sex-based differences in clinical outcomes after arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilization.

Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted among 76 patients who underwent arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilization from February 2010 to December 2017. The patients were grouped by sex. The recurrence rate of instability was compared, as were pre- and postoperative pain scores, functional outcome scores, and active range of motion (ROM). Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was also performed for structural assessment of the glenohumeral joint.

Results: No significant difference was found in the recurrence rate between female and male patients (13.3% vs 14.8%; ≥ .999; risk ratio, 1.107 [95% CI, 0.266-4.597]). Compared with male patients, female patients had a significantly lower preoperative Constant score (94.4 ± 6.4 vs 85.4 ± 11.1; = .002), forward flexion (173.8° ± 10.7° vs 154.0° ± 33.8°; = .011), abduction (171.0° ± 18.4° vs 142.7° ± 39.9°; = .001), and external rotation (76.6° ± 21.6° vs 67.7° ± 20.4°; = .037). Postoperatively, female patients had a significantly lower Simple Shoulder Test score compared with men (8.8 ± 1.9 vs 10.3 ± 1.6; = .005). The mean changes from pre- to postoperative Rowe score (43.6 ± 21.4 vs 31.5 ± 19.8; = .044), Constant score (9.9 ± 8.9 vs 0.8 ± 8.1; = .002), forward flexion (24.0 ± 36.2 vs 4.2 ± 10.9; = .013), abduction (36.0 ± 38.3 vs 7.6 ± 18.4; < .001), and external rotation (19.7 ± 21.3 vs 6.7 ± 26.2; = .023) in female patients were significantly higher than those in the men. There were no sex-based differences on any MRI parameter measured.

Conclusion: Female patients had a similar recurrence rate as that of male patients after arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilization. Most postoperative clinical outcome measures showed no significant difference between the sexes. Despite worse preoperative values, more significant improvements in postoperative shoulder function and active ROM were seen in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/23259671211008841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8142006PMC
May 2021

Exosomal S100A4 derived from highly metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma cells promotes metastasis by activating STAT3.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2021 May 26;6(1):187. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of General Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Cancer Metastasis Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Intercellular cross-talk plays important roles in cancer progression and metastasis. Yet how these cancer cells interact with each other is still largely unknown. Exosomes released by tumor cells have been proved to be effective cell-to-cell signal mediators. We explored the functional roles of exosomes in metastasis and the potential prognostic values for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Exosomes were extracted from HCC cells of different metastatic potentials. The metastatic effects of exosomes derived from highly metastatic HCC cells (HMH) were evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Exosomal proteins were identified with iTRAQ mass spectrum and verified in cell lines, xenograft tumor samples, and functional analyses. Exosomes released by HMH significantly enhanced the in vitro invasion and in vivo metastasis of low metastatic HCC cells (LMH). S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) was identified as a functional factor in exosomes derived from HMH. S100A4 exosomes significantly promoted tumor metastasis both in vitro and in vivo compared with S100A4 exosomes or controls. Moreover, exosomal S100A4 could induce expression of osteopontin (OPN), along with other tumor metastasis/stemness-related genes. Exosomal S100A4 activated OPN transcription via STAT3 phosphorylation. HCC patients with high exosomal S100A4 in plasma also had a poorer prognosis. In conclusion, exosomes from HMH could promote the metastatic potential of LMH, and exosomal S100A4 is a key enhancer for HCC metastasis, activating STAT3 phosphorylation and up-regulating OPN expression. This suggested exosomal S100A4 to be a novel prognostic marker and therapeutic target for HCC metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00579-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149717PMC
May 2021

Antimicrobial responses of peripheral and central nervous system glia against Staphylococcus aureus.

Sci Rep 2021 May 21;11(1):10722. Epub 2021 May 21.

Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia.

Staphylococcus aureus infections of the central nervous system are serious and can be fatal. S. aureus is commonly present in the nasal cavity, and after injury to the nasal epithelium it can rapidly invade the brain via the olfactory nerve. The trigeminal nerve constitutes another potential route of brain infection. The glia of these nerves, olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and trigeminal nerve Schwann cells (TgSCs), as well as astrocytes populating the glia limitans layer, can phagocytose bacteria. Whilst some glial responses to S. aureus have been studied, the specific responses of different glial types are unknown. Here, we compared how primary mouse OECs, TgSCs, astrocytes and microglia responded to S. aureus. All glial types internalized the bacteria within phagolysosomes, and S. aureus-conjugated BioParticles could be tracked with subtle but significant differences in time-course of phagocytosis between glial types. Live bacteria could be isolated from all glia after 24 h in culture, and microglia, OECs and TgSCs exhibited better protection against intracellular S. aureus survival than astrocytes. All glial types responded to the bacteria by cytokine secretion. Overall, OECs secreted the lowest level of cytokines, suggesting that these cells, despite showing strong capacity for phagocytosis, have immunomodulatory functions that can be relevant for neural repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-90252-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140078PMC
May 2021

A Deeper Look at Autonomous Vehicle Ethics: An Integrative Ethical Decision-Making Framework to Explain Moral Pluralism.

Front Robot AI 2021 4;8:632394. Epub 2021 May 4.

Robots with Social Intelligence and Empathy (ROSIE) Lab, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

The autonomous vehicle (AV) is one of the first commercialized AI-embedded robots to make autonomous decisions. Despite technological advancements, unavoidable AV accidents that result in life-and-death consequences cannot be completely eliminated. The emerging social concern of how an AV should make ethical decisions during unavoidable accidents is referred to as the moral dilemma of AV, which has promoted heated discussions among various stakeholders. However, there are research gaps in explainable AV ethical decision-making processes that predict how AVs' moral behaviors are made that are acceptable from the AV users' perspectives. This study addresses the key question: What factors affect ethical behavioral intentions in the AV moral dilemma? To answer this question, this study draws theories from multidisciplinary research fields to propose the "Integrative ethical decision-making framework for the AV moral dilemma." The framework includes four interdependent ethical decision-making stages: AV moral dilemma issue framing, intuitive moral reasoning, rational moral reasoning, and ethical behavioral intention making. Further, the framework includes variables (e.g., perceived moral intensity, individual factors, and personal moral philosophies) that influence the ethical decision-making process. For instance, the framework explains that AV users from Eastern cultures will tend to endorse a situationist ethics position (high idealism and high relativism), which views that ethical decisions are relative to context, compared to AV users from Western cultures. This proposition is derived from the link between individual factors and personal moral philosophy. Moreover, the framework proposes a dual-process theory, which explains that both intuitive and rational moral reasoning are integral processes of ethical decision-making during the AV moral dilemma. Further, this framework describes that ethical behavioral intentions that lead to decisions in the AV moral dilemma are not fixed, but are based on how an individual perceives the seriousness of the situation, which is shaped by their personal moral philosophy. This framework provides a step-by-step explanation of how pluralistic ethical decision-making occurs, reducing the abstractness of AV moral reasoning processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2021.632394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8129167PMC
May 2021

Inhibitory control training reveals a common neurofunctional basis for generic executive functions and language switching in bilinguals.

BMC Neurosci 2021 May 17;22(1):36. Epub 2021 May 17.

State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, People's Republic of China.

Background: The neural networks underpinning language control and domain-general executive functions overlap in bilinguals, but existing evidence is mainly correlative. Here, we present the first neurofunctional evidence for a transfer effect between (domain-general) inhibitory control and language control through training. We trained Chinese-English bilinguals for 8 days using a Simon task taxing the inhibitory control system, whilst an active control group was trained with a color judgment task that does not tax the inhibitory control system. All participants performed a language-switching task before and after training. It has been suggested that the activity of the left DLPFC was associated with domain-general top-down cognitive control (Macdonald et al. Science 288: 1835-1838, 2000) and bilingual language control (Wang et al. Neuroimage 35: 862-870, 2007). In addition, the dACC was closely related to the conflict detection (Abutalebi et al. Cereb Cortex 18:1496-1505, 2008). Last, the activity of the left caudate has been linked with lexical selection (Abutalebi et al. Cereb Cortex 18:1496-1505, 2008), especially the selection of the weak language (Abutalebi et al. Cortex 49: 905-911, 2013). Therefore, we focused on these three regions of interest (ROIs) where neural changes associated with transfer were expected to occur.

Results: The results showed a negative correlation between changes in activation levels in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and changes in the switch cost magnitude in the language-switching task in the training group but not in the control group, suggesting that the DLPFC plays a critical role in the transfer effect from domain-general executive functions to language control. However, there was no measurable effect in the anterior cingulate cortex or left caudate nucleus, suggesting that the inhibitory control training increased the neural efficiency for language production in bilinguals in terms of attention shifting and conflict resolution, but the training did not affect conflict detection and lexical selection.

Conclusion: These findings showed how cognitive training evidence can help establish a causational link between the neural basis of domain-general executive functions and language control in bilinguals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12868-021-00640-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8130123PMC
May 2021

Patient Outcomes and Fear of Returning to Sports After Arthroscopic Bankart Repair With Remplissage.

Orthop J Sports Med 2021 Apr 29;9(4):23259671211001775. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Although Bankart repair with remplissage is commonly performed to treat anterior shoulder instability, there is limited information on specific outcomes or patients' fears regarding return to sports (RTS).

Purpose: To study recurrence rates, pain, shoulder function, active range of motion (ROM), RTS rate, and patients' fears and expectations for RTS after arthroscopic Bankart repair with remplissage for anterior shoulder instability. We compared these outcomes with those after Bankart repair alone.

Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was carried out between 2007 and 2017 among patients who underwent arthroscopic Bankart repair with remplissage (group BR) and Bankart repair alone (group B). At the final follow-up, outcomes including recurrence, pain, shoulder function, active ROM, RTS rate, and fear toward RTS were assessed. The specific outcomes for RTS were evaluated based on 3 levels: return to normal life, RTS at any level (RTSA), and RTS at previous level (RTSP).

Results: A total of 70 patients were included (29 in group BR and 41 in group B) with a mean 67.2 months of follow-up. Group BR demonstrated a significantly lower recurrence rate than did group B (0 vs 22.0%, respectively; = .007) as well as higher postoperative Rowe score (92.8 ± 7.1 vs 83.3 ± 16.2, respectively; = .005). There were no differences between the groups in postoperative visual analog scale for pain score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Oxford Shoulder Instability Score, or active ROM. The rates of RTSA (100% vs 84.2%; = .03) and RTSP (77.8% vs 50.0%; = .02) were higher in group BR than in group B, respectively, and significantly fewer patients in group BR reported fear of RTS (40.7% vs 63.2%; = .04).

Conclusion: In this study, recurrence rate, pain, shoulder function, active ROM, and RTS rate were satisfactory after arthroscopic Bankart repair with remplissage. Patients who underwent this procedure reported less fear toward RTS and higher rates of RTSA and RTSP than did those who undergo Bankart repair alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/23259671211001775DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8111275PMC
April 2021

Mapping local and long-distance resting connectivity markers of TMS-related inhibition reduction in schizophrenia.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 Apr 30;31:102688. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.

Short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) is a biomarker for altered motor inhibition in schizophrenia, but the manner in which distant sites influence the inhibitory cortical-effector response remains elusive. Our study investigated local and long-distance resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) markers of SICI in a sample of N = 23 patients with schizophrenia and N = 29 controls. Local functional connectivity was quantified using regional homogeneity (ReHo) analysis and long-range connectivity was estimated using seed-based rsFC analysis. Direct and indirect effects of connectivity measures on SICI were modeled using mediation analysis. Higher SICI ratios (indicating reduced inhibition) in patients were associated with lower ReHo in the right insula. Follow-up rsFC analyses showed that higher SICI scores (indicating reduced inhibition) were associated with reduced connectivity between right insula and hubs of the corticospinal pathway: sensorimotor cortex and basal ganglia. Mediation analysis supported a model in which the direct effect of local insular connectivity strength on SICI is mediated by the interhemispheric connectivity between insula and left sensorimotor cortex. The broader clinical implications of these findings are discussed with emphasis on how these preliminary findings might inform novel interventions designed to restore or improve SICI in schizophrenia and deepen our understanding of motor inhibitory control and impact of abnormal signaling in motor-inhibitory pathways in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8135038PMC
April 2021

Assessing Agreement between Frequency-Specific Chirp Auditory Steady-State Response and Pure Tone Audiometry in Adults by Intraclass Correlation Coefficient.

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 2021 May 12:1-9. Epub 2021 May 12.

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

Introduction: Chirp auditory steady-state response (ASSR) can be used to assess frequency-specific hearing thresholds. However, its reliability has not been confirmed yet. The purpose of this proposed study is to analyze the agreement of thresholds measured by chirp-ASSR and pure tone audiometry (PTA) to investigate the value of chirp-ASSR in hearing threshold evaluation.

Methods: Participants with normal hearing (age: 18-66, 108 ears) and patients with sensorineural hearing loss (age: 22-82, 75 ears) were tested using PTA and chirp-ASSR at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman plot were introduced to analyze the agreement between the 2 methods.

Results: One-hundred eight participants underwent both chirp-ASSR and PTA to estimate their thresholds. The ICCs yielded by these 2 methods are 0.757, 0.893, 0.883, and 0.921 (p < 0.001) at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz carrier frequency, respectively. However, there is a significant difference between the 2 methods at 2 kHz: the mean value of the ASSR thresholds is 5.27 dB HL higher than the value of PTA thresholds. Additionally, the 95% limits of agreement range from -27.48 to 26.66 dB HL at 0.5 kHz, from -18.19 to 17.87 dB HL at 1 kHz, from -12.01 to 22.55 dB HL at 2 kHz, and from -21.29 to 19.17 dB HL at 4 kHz, which are large enough to affect clinical decision-making.

Conclusion: In this study, we have confirmed good to excellent correlation between chirp-ASSR and PTA in threshold estimation for adults with and without hearing loss. The degree of correlations is higher for participants with hearing loss and for measurements at high frequencies. However, significant systematic difference and large limits of agreement between the 2 methods have been found. These findings show that chirp-ASSR can be treated as a supplementary method to PTA when evaluating the hearing level, but the 2 methods are not interchangeable due to their systematic difference and large limits of agreement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515237DOI Listing
May 2021

Targeting Matrix Metalloproteinases: A Potential Strategy for Improving Cell Transplantation for Nervous System Repair.

Cell Transplant 2021 Jan-Dec;30:9636897211012909

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia.

Cell transplantation shows promise for repair of the injured nervous system, including spinal cord injury (SCI) and peripheral nerve injury (PNI). There are, however, still problems hampering these therapies moving from bench to bedside, and the methods need optimization. Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems are suggested to improve outcomes, bridging the gap between the in vitro and in vivo environments. In such constructs, cells are allowed to interact with each other and with the extracellular matrix (ECM) in 3D as they do in vivo. Transplanting cells in 3D constructs, rather than in suspension, is thought to promote cell survival and maintain important cellular behaviors. One such critical behavior is cell migration into and within the injury site. Understanding and controlling the migratory capability of 3D-cultured cells is therefore pivotal for developing better transplantation techniques. ECM remodelling can influence numerous cellular functions, including cell migration and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important enzymes for ECM modulation. Here, we discuss the idea of modulating MMPs to control cell migration in 3D culture systems, which can improve the therapeutic potential of cells transplanted in 3D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09636897211012909DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120536PMC
May 2021

Voluntary and magnetically evoked muscle contraction protocol in males with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Safety, feasibility, reliability, and validity.

Muscle Nerve 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

Division of Rehabilitation Science, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Introduction/aims: Clinical trials addressing treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) require reliable and valid measurement of muscle contractile function across all disease severity levels. In this work we aimed to evaluate a protocol combining voluntary and evoked contractions to measure strength and excitability of wrist extensor muscles for safety, feasibility, reliability, and discriminant validity between males with DMD and controls.

Methods: Wrist extensor muscle strength and excitability were assessed in males with DMD (N = 10; mean ± standard deviation: 15.4 ± 5.9 years of age), using the Brooke Upper Extremity Rating Scale (scored 1-6), and age-matched healthy male controls (N = 15; 15.5 ± 5.0 years of age). Torque and electromyographic (EMG) measurements were analyzed under maximum voluntary and stimulated conditions at two visits.

Results: A protocol of multiple maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) and evoked twitch contractions was feasible and safe, with 96% of the participants completing the protocol and having a less than 7% strength decrement on either measure for both DMD patients and controls (P ≥ .074). Reliability was excellent for voluntary and evoked measurements of torque and EMG (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] over 0.90 and over 0.85 within and between visits, respectively). Torque, EMG, and timing of twitch-onset measurements discriminated between DMD and controls (P < .001). Twitch contraction time did not differ significantly between groups (P = .10).

Discussion: Findings from this study show that the protocol is a safe, feasible, reliable, and a valid method to measure strength and excitability of wrist extensors in males with DMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.27323DOI Listing
May 2021

Language switching training modulates the neural network of non-linguistic cognitive control.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(4):e0247100. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, P. R. China.

Bilingual language experience, such as switching between languages, has been shown to shape both cognitive and neural mechanisms of non-linguistic cognitive control. However, the neural adaptations induced by language switching remain unclear. Using fMRI, the current study examined the impact of short-term language switching training on the neural network of domain-general cognitive control for unbalanced Chinese-English bilinguals. Effective connectivity maps were constructed by using the extended unified structural equation models (euSEM) within 10 common brain regions involved in both language control and domain-general cognitive control. Results showed that, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/pre-supplementary motor area (dACC/pre-SMA) lost connection from the right thalamus after training, suggesting that less neural connectivity was required to complete the same domain-general cognitive control task. These findings not only provide direct evidence for the modulation of language switching training on the neural interaction of domain-general cognitive control, but also have important implications for revealing the potential neurocognitive adaptation effects of specific bilingual language experiences.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247100PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8049316PMC
April 2021

The effects of maternal SSRI exposure on the serotonin system, prefrontal protein expression and behavioral development in male and female offspring rats.

Neurochem Int 2021 06 6;146:105041. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

School of Rehabilitation, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China. Electronic address:

Fluoxetine (FLX), a commonly used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is often used to treat depression during pregnancy. However, prenatal exposure to FLX has been associated with a series of neuropsychiatric illnesses. The use of a rodent model can provide a clear indication as to whether prenatal exposure to SSRIs, independent of maternal psychiatric disorders or genetic syndromes, can cause long-term behavioral abnormalities in offspring. Thus, the present study aimed to explore whether prenatal FLX exposure causes long-term neurobehavioral effects, and identify the underlying mechanism between FLX and abnormal behaviors. In our study, 12/mg/kg/day of FLX or equal normal saline (NS) was administered to pregnant Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (FLX = 30, NS = 27) on gestation day 11 till birth. We assessed the physical development and behavior of offspring, and in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was conducted to quantify biochemical alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Ex vivo measurements of brain serotonin level and a proteomic analysis were also undertaken. Our results showed that the offspring (male offspring in particular) of fluoxetine exposed mothers showed delayed physical development, increased anxiety-like behavior, and impaired social interaction. Moreover, down-regulation of 5-HT and SERT expression were identified in the PFC. We also found that prenatal FLX exposure significantly decreased NAA/tCr with 1H-MRS in the PFC of offspring. Finally, a proteomic study revealed sex-dependent differential protein expression. These findings may have translational importance suggesting that using SSRI medication alone in pregnant mothers may result in developmental delay in their offspring. Our results also help guide the choice of outcome measures in identifying of molecular and developmental mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2021.105041DOI Listing
June 2021

Inhibition of the norepinephrine transporter rescues vascular hyporeactivity to catecholamine in obstructive jaundice.

Eur J Pharmacol 2021 Jun 26;900:174055. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Anesthesiology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Naval Medical University, No. 225 Changhai Road, Shanghai, China; Department of Anesthesiology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 160 Pudian Road, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

In patients with obstructive jaundice, the cardiovascular system exhibits hypotension and vascular hyporeactivity. Most norepinephrine is taken up through the neuronal norepinephrine transporter (NET), which is implicated in cardiovascular diseases. A previous study demonstrated that pharmacological NET inhibition could increase resting blood pressure. However, the role of NETs in vascular hyporeactivity induced by obstructive jaundice is poorly understood. This study used the NET inhibitor nisoxetine and a rat model of bile duct ligation (BDL) to investigate whether NET is associated with BDL-induced vascular hyporeactivity. Rats were injected with nisoxetine via the tail vein for 7 consecutive days after BDL. Samples of the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion (SCG) and thoracic aortic rings were processed for investigations. Our results showed that NET expression in the SCG was significantly increased after BDL. Nisoxetine prevented the augmentation of NET expression, increased α-adrenoceptor activation, and enhanced the weakened contractile responses of thoracic aortic rings after BDL. Our study demonstrates that nisoxetine plays a protective role in BDL-induced vascular hyporeactivity through increased α-adrenoceptor activation in rats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2021.174055DOI Listing
June 2021

Magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy: Correlations with seizure outcome.

Epilepsia 2021 May 13;62(5):1085-1091. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Objective: This study was undertaken to identify clinical factors associated with seizure freedom after magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLiTT) in temporal lobe epilepsy patients with unilateral mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS).

Methods: We identified 56 patients with magnetic resonance imaging-defined MTS who underwent MRgLiTT with at least 1 year of follow-up. Primary outcome was seizure freedom at 1 year. We examined the association of seizure freedom and the following clinical factors: age at surgery, gender, history of febrile seizures, history of focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures, duration of epilepsy at the time of surgery, frequency of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), seizure frequency, and presence of bilateral IEDs.

Results: Thirty-five (62.5%) patients were seizure-free at 1 year. The presence of bilateral IEDs and age at surgery were associated with 1-year seizure freedom after MRgLiTT. The presence of bilateral IEDS was associated with lower odds of seizure freedom (odds ratio [OR] = .05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .01-.46, p = .008), whereas increasing age at surgery was associated with increased odds of seizure freedom (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.03-1.19, p = .009).

Significance: This study demonstrates associations between presence of bilateral IEDs and age at surgery and seizure freedom at 1 year after MRgLiTT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16872DOI Listing
May 2021

Binding site profiles and N-terminal minor groove interactions of the master quorum-sensing regulator LuxR enable flexible control of gene activation and repression.

Nucleic Acids Res 2021 04;49(6):3274-3293

State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China.

LuxR is a TetR family master quorum sensing (QS) regulator activating or repressing expression of hundreds of genes that control collective behaviors in Vibrios with underlying mechanism unknown. To illuminate how this regulator controls expression of various target genes, we applied ChIP-seq and DNase I-seq technologies. Vibrio alginolyticus LuxR controls expression of ∼280 genes that contain either symmetric palindrome (repDNA) or asymmetric (actDNA) binding motifs with different binding profiles. The median number of LuxR binding sites for activated genes are nearly double for that of repressed genes. Crystal structures of LuxR in complex with the respective repDNA and actDNA motifs revealed a new mode of LuxR DNA binding that involves contacts of its N-terminal extension to the minor groove. The N-terminal contacts mediated by Arginine-9 and Arginine-11 differ when LuxR binds to repDNA vs actDNA, leading to higher binding affinity at repressed targets. Moreover, modification of LuxR binding sites, binding profiles, and N-terminal extension have important consequences on QS-regulated phenotypes. These results facilitate fundamental understanding of the high flexibility of mechanisms of LuxR control of gene activation and repression in Vibrio QS, which may facilitate to design QS inhibiting chemicals that interfere with LuxR regulation to effectively control pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkab150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034623PMC
April 2021

Intermittent hypoxia: Friend or foe on endothelial repair in mouse model.

Exp Lung Res 2021 May-Jun;47(5):211-225. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.

Obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by intermittent hypoxia (IH), is a common respiratory disease. The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between hypoxia and endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) function, and explain the role of IH in endothelial repair. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from a mouse model of IH. The number of CD133 kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), CD133CD34, CD34KDR and ALDHCD34KDR EPCs was determined by flow cytometry. HIF-1α, stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) α and VEGF were measured by ELISA. The proliferative ability of PBMCs was determined. EPC migration was assessed by Transwell assay and surface proteins by western blot analysis. EPCs were co-cultured with mouse brain endothelial cells and their angiogenic ability was analyzed. The number of CD133KDR, CD133CD34 and CD34KDR EPCs increased with IH ingravescence. The number of ALDHCD34KDR EPCs with mild IH stimulation was higher and gradually decreased in the moderate and severe IH groups. The release of HIF-1α, SDF-1α and VEGF in the serum increased with the increase in the degree of IH. In the mild IH treatment, the migration and angiogenesis of EPCs, as well as the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and cysteine-X-cysteine receptor 4, were higher than those in the control group, but progressively decreased in the groups with moderate and severe IH.: Increased levels of IH accelerated the increase in vasoactive factors in peripheral blood, thereby mobilizing a large number of EPCs. Increasing of IH diminished the mobilization, chemotactic and angiogenetic ability of EPCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01902148.2021.1891355DOI Listing
March 2021

Effectiveness of salvage intratympanic dexamethasone treatment for refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss classified by audiogram patterns.

Acta Otolaryngol 2021 May 27;141(5):449-453. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Otology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Background: Intratympanic dexamethasone is commonly conducted to treat refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss (RSSNHL). However, no consensus has been reached on its effectiveness.

Objectives: The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of otoendoscope-assisted salvage intratympanic dexamethasone treatment (IDT) on RSSNHL with different audiogram patterns after failure of initial therapy.

Material And Methods: A total of 108 patients with unilateral RSSNHL were classified into 4 groups according to audiogram patterns. Hearing results were evaluated by pure-tone audiometry (PTA), which was performed at baseline and one month after otoendoscope-assisted salvage IDT. The effectiveness of otoendoscope-assisted salvage IDT was assessed in each group.

Results: The efficiency in low-frequency, high-frequency, flat, and deaf group was 48%, 24.1%, 46.2%, 17.9%, respectively. The efficacy did not differ between the high-frequency and deaf group. Notably, the efficacy in the low-frequency and flat group was significantly higher than that in the deaf group.

Conclusions: Otoendoscope-assisted salvage IDT is a safe and effective treatment for RSSNHL. This treatment provided better results for patients with low-frequency damaged and flat curve audiogram than patients with other audiogram patterns.

Significance: Audiogram patterns should be considered in the clinical management of patients with RSSHNL prior to salvage IDT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00016489.2021.1889029DOI Listing
May 2021

Construct validity of the Family Outcomes Survey - Revised expanded helpfulness scale.

Res Dev Disabil 2021 May 20;112:103895. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore. Electronic address:

Background: With family centred practice as one of the tenets in early childhood intervention (ECI), it is important to understand family outcomes as a means of assessing the effectiveness of ECI services.

Aims: The present paper investigates the psychometric properties of an expanded measure of caregivers' perceptions of helpfulness of ECI services, the Family Outcomes Survey - Revised, Expanded Part B (FOS-RE B).

Methods And Procedures: Two-hundred and forty-six caregivers of children enrolled in an ECI programme in Singapore completed the FOS-RE B, as well as convergent validity measures (FOS-R Part A, Depression, Stress and Anxiety Scale and questions addressing perceptions of family situation and optimism for the child's future). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the factor structure of the FOS-RE B and correlations were used to examine convergent validity.

Outcomes And Results: The factor structure of the FOS-RE B was found to mirror the structure of the FOS-R A, as hypothesized. Evidence for convergent validity, in the form of correlations with family well-being measures was found, as well as evidence for good internal consistency reliability.

Conclusions And Implications: It is concluded that the FOS-RE B presents a promising measure of perceived helpfulness of ECI services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.103895DOI Listing
May 2021

PSD-93 mediates the crosstalk between neuron and microglia and facilitates acute ischemic stroke injury by binding to CX3CL1.

J Neurochem 2021 Jun 8;157(6):2145-2157. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, China.

Post-synaptic density 93 (PSD-93) mediates glutamate excitotoxicity induced by ischemic brain injury, which then induces microglial inflammatory response. However, the underlying mechanisms of how PSD-93 mediates the crosstalk between neurons and microglia in the post-synaptic dense region remain elusive. CX3 chemokine ligand 1 (CX3CL1) is a chemokine specifically expressed in neurons while its receptor CX3CR1 is highly expressed in microglia. In this study, we examined the interaction of PSD-93 and CX3CL1 in the crosstalk between neurons and microglia in acute ischemic stroke. We utilized male C57BL/6 mice to establish the middle cerebral artery occlusion model (MCAO) and designed a fusion small peptide Tat-CX3CL1 (357-395aa) to inhibit PSD-93 and CX3CL1 interaction. The combination peaks of PSD-93 and CX3CL1 at 6 hr after I/R were observed. The binding sites were located at the 420-535 amino acid sequence of PSD-93 and 357-395 amino acid sequence of CX3CL1. Tat-CX3CL1 (357-395aa) could inhibit the interaction of PSD-93 and CX3CL1 and inhibited the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β and TNF-α expression and provided neuroprotection following reperfusion. Together, these data suggest that PSD-93 binds CX3CL1 to activate microglia and initiate neuroinflammation. Specific blockade of PSD-93-CX3CL1 interaction reduces I/R induced neuronal cell death, and provides a new therapeutic target for ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15324DOI Listing
June 2021

Self-assembly delivery system based on small-molecule camptothecin prodrug for treatment of colorectal carcinoma.

Nanomedicine (Lond) 2021 02 16;16(5):355-372. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Pharmaceutics, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, PR China.

The aim of this study was to prepare small-molecule camptothecin (CPT) prodrugs and evaluate their effectiveness in colorectal carcinoma therapy. Prodrug nanoparticles (NPs) were physicochemically characterized and evaluated for their cytotoxicity in human colon cancer (HCT116) cell lines. The antitumor efficacy of the NPs was evaluated in HCT116 tumor-bearing mice. The prepared NPs exhibited high drug loading capacity (32% of CPT w/w) and also kept a high active lactone fraction of CPT (>85%) during circulation. The NPs were internalized into tumor cells efficiently compared with free drug and significantly enhanced the drug's therapeutic efficacy. The developed small-molecule CPT prodrug NPs could be a promising strategy in the clinical therapy of colorectal carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/nnm-2020-0453DOI Listing
February 2021

Anti-Tumor Efficiency of Perillylalcohol/β-Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complexes in a Sarcoma S180-Induced Mice Model.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Feb 10;13(2). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

University of Tiradentes (Unit), Postgraduate Program Industrial Biotechnology, and Health and Enviroment. Av. Murilo Dantas, 300, 49010-390 Aracaju, Brazil.

The low solubility and high volatility of perillyl alcohol (POH) compromise its bioavailability and potential use as chemotherapeutic drug. In this work, we have evaluated the anticancer activity of POH complexed with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) using three complexation approaches. Molecular docking suggests the hydrogen-bond between POH and β-cyclodextrin in molar proportion was 1:1. Thermal analysis and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) confirmed that the POH was enclosed in the β-CD cavity. Also, there was a significant reduction of particle size thereof, indicating a modification of the β-cyclodextrin crystals. The complexes were tested against human L929 fibroblasts after 24 h of incubation showing no signs of cytotoxicity. Concerning the histopathological results, the treatment with POH/β-CD at a dose of 50 mg/kg promoted approximately 60% inhibition of tumor growth in a sarcoma S180-induced mice model and the reduction of nuclear immunoexpression of the Ki67 antigen compared to the control group. Obtained data suggest a significant reduction of cycling cells and tumor proliferation. Our results confirm that complexation of POH/β-CD not only solves the problem related to the volatility of the monoterpene but also increases its efficiency as an antitumor agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916601PMC
February 2021

Community-based population monitoring for large baleen whales: the case study of Bryde's whale in Beibu Gulf of China.

Integr Zool 2021 Feb 9. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Citizen science is a popular method for the long-term monitoring of the distribution of wild animals. The application of these methods in different species and environments still poses challenges, especially for aquatic animals. In this study, we investigated the distribution of the Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) in the Beibu Gulf of China by using scientific boat-based surveys and citizen science approaches using 2 different methods of data collection. First, we built our mobile app (Whale Guard) and installed it on fishermen's phones. Second, we used a popular instant messaging app (WeChat) to create an online fisherman community. We found that the mobile phone app collected far fewer reports (5 reports) than the online community group (42 reports, P < 0.01). By using a variety of incentives, we maintained the fisherman's community's activity without significant user loss (P < 0.01). We also found that the locations collected by social media applications in this study were consistent with observations from scientific boat-based transect surveys. The sightings distribution of Bryde's whales differed from those in previous surveys in that they were present across larger areas. Social media apps reported that 69% of reports was confirmed by more than one person, whereas Whale Guard reports were much lower (0, P <0.001). Community-based citizen science can greatly contribute to the long-term monitoring of Bryde's whales, and it has successfully overcome the challenges of data accessibility, accuracy, and fragmentation. Our study shows how to appropriately use citizen science in different community groups and community-based approaches make them useful for large baleen whale surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12525DOI Listing
February 2021

Elevated sputum IL-36 levels are associated with neutrophil-related inflammation in COPD patients.

Clin Respir J 2021 Feb 8. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130041, China.

Background: Interleukin (IL)-36, including IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ in the IL-1 family, are agonists of their receptors. IL-36 expression is associated with inflammation, including lung infection in humans. However, there is no information on its role in the inflammation of different types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Objective: This study focused on the sputum IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ levels in stable COPD patients and their relationship with lung function and other cytokines in different inflammatory types of COPD patients.

Methods: Sputum specimens were collected from 73 stable COPD patients and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. The levels of sputum IL-36α, IL-36β, and IL-36γ and other cytokines were quantified and sputum cells were characterized. The potential relationship between the levels of sputum IL-36α, IL-36β, or IL-36γ and lung functional measures, inflammatory cells, and cytokines was analyzed.

Results: In comparison with the healthy controls, sputum IL-36α and IL-36γ levels significantly increased in COPD (106.8 pg/mL vs. 76.9 pg/mL P =.001, 397.9 pg/mL vs. 359.5 pg/mL P =.006). The sputum IL-36α and IL-36γ levels were significantly higher in the neutrophilic and mixed granulocytic types than that in the eosinophilic and paucigranulocytic types of COPD patients. The sputum IL-36α levels were positively correlated with sputum IL-36γ levels and the numbers of sputum neutrophils, and the sputum IL-36γ levels were positively correlated with the numbers of sputum lymphocytes in COPD patients.

Conclusions: Elevated levels of sputum IL-36α and IL-36γ were detected in COPD patients and may provide insights into the inflammatory pathways in neutrophilic COPD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/crj.13338DOI Listing
February 2021