Publications by authors named "Nian Liu"

485 Publications

HO Self-Supplying and GSH-Depleting Nanoplatform for Chemodynamic Therapy Synergetic Photothermal/Chemotherapy.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Sep 9. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Target Research, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, P. R. China.

Chemodynamic therapy (CDT) that utilizes Fenton-type reactions to convert endogenous hydrogen peroxide (HO) into hydroxyl radicals (OH) is a promising strategy in anticancer treatment, but the overexpression of glutathione (GSH) and limited endogenous HO make the efficiency of CDT unsatisfactory. Here, an intelligent nanoplatform [email protected]/DOX-HA (CPPDH), which induced the depletion of GSH and the self-supply of HO, was proposed. When CPPDH entered tumor cells through the targeting effect of hyaluronic acid (HA), a release of Cu and produced HO were triggered by the acidic environment of lysosomes. Then, the Cu was reduced by GSH to Cu, and the Cu catalyzed HO to produce OH. The generation of OH could be distinctly enhanced by the GSH depletion and HO self-sufficiency. Besides, an outstanding photothermal therapy (PTT) effect could be stimulated by NIR irradiation on mesoporous polydopamine (mPDA). Meanwhile, mPDA was an excellent photoacoustic reagent, which could monitor the delivery of nanocomposite materials through photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Moreover, the successful delivery of doxorubicin (DOX) realized the integration of chemotherapy, PTT, and CDT. This strategy could solve the problem of insufficient CDT efficacy caused by the limited HO and overexpression of GSH. This multifunctional nanoplatform may open a broad path for self-boosting CDT and synergistic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c10341DOI Listing
September 2021

Sex differences in the association between green tea consumption and hypertension in elderly Chinese adults.

BMC Geriatr 2021 09 7;21(1):486. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Background: Green tea has been one of the most popular beverages in China since ancient times. Mixed results concerning the effect of green tea consumption on the incidence of hypertension have been published over the past decades. However, no previous studies have focused on longevous individuals in China and the sex differences in the association between habitual green tea intake and hypertension.

Methods: The data extracted from the database of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) in 2018 were used for a secondary analysis. Logistic regression models were employed to examine the odds ratio (OR) of daily green tea consumption on the incidence of hypertension by sex.

Results: A total of 9277 individuals were included in the analysis (39.8% were men). The included individuals had a mean age of 80.9 and 84.8 years for those who drank green tea daily and those who had never, respectively (p <  0.001). The incidence of hypertension varied at baseline according to green tea drinking habit and sex. For women who had a habitual green tea intake or had never drunk green tea, the incidence of hypertension was 47.3 and 43.9%, respectively (p = 0.241), whereas it was 51.6 and 39.7% for men (p <  0.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, a 38% increase in the risk of hypertension was observed in men who consumed green tea daily (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.15-1.67; p <  0.001).

Conclusions: Chinese longevous men had a 38% higher risk of developing hypertension when drinking green tea daily. However, no effect of green tea consumption on the incidence of hypertension in women was found. More attention should be paid to the lifestyle of longevous individuals for health promotion, and a sex-specific approach to deliver care for very elderly people is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12877-021-02431-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424953PMC
September 2021

Aerobic exercises ameliorate benign prostatic hyperplasia via IGF-1/IGF-1R/ERK/AKT signalling pathway in prostate tissue of high-fat-diet-fed mice with insulin resistance.

Steroids 2021 Aug 27:108910. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Shanghai Key Lab of Human Performance, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China. Electronic address:

This study investigated the changes in the prostate of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice with insulin resistance (IR) and explored the possible mechanisms of the effects of 8-week treadmill aerobic exercise on prostatic hyperplasia in insulin-resistant mice through the IGF-1/IGF-1R/ERK/AKT signalling pathway. Results showed IR in mice caused an increase in prostate-related indicators, such as prostate weight (PW) and prostate volume (PV), resulting in prostatic hyperplasia. The area of the glandular lumen and the height of the glandular epithelium in mice with IR were increased, which indicating that it caused prostatic hyperplasia through epithelial cell proliferation. In addition, the level of IGF-1 in serum and the expression of IGF-1R, ERK and AKT in prostate tissue of high-fat diet induced IR mice increased significantly, which might be related to the proliferation of prostate cells. However, aerobic exercise lowered the blood sugar, serum insulin and IGF-1; inhibited the combination of IGF-1 and IGF-1R on the prostate; down-regulated the expression of IGF-1R, ERK and AKT proteins; and then suppressed the expression of downstream proliferation genes, thereby achieving the purpose of inhibiting the proliferation of prostate epithelial cells. In conclusion. Eight weeks of aerobic exercise might improve the prostate hyperplasia in mice via down-regulating the serum insulin and IGF-1, thus enhancing the insulin sensitivity of insulin-resistant mice and regulating the IGF-1/IGF-1R/ERK/AKT signalling pathway by inhibiting the expression of IGF-1R, ERK and AKT in the prostate tissue. However, this exercise had no significant effect on PV, PW and prostate index (PI).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2021.108910DOI Listing
August 2021

Effects of different fermentation assisted enzyme treatments on the composition, microstructure and physicochemical properties of wheat straw used as a substitute for peat in nursery substrates.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Aug 21;341:125815. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Wuhan Optics Valley Bluefire New Energy Co., Ltd., Wuhan 430000, China.

To solve the central problems caused by traditional composting treatments, such as long-time consumption and poor regulation effects, this study used three fermentation methods and four enzymes to develop rapid and directional regulation methods to convert wheat straw into a suitable substrate. The results showed that the mixed anaerobic method led to better pH (4.39-5.75) and EC values (1.27-1.89 mS/cm) in the straw substrates, while the aerobic method retained more nutrients and increased lignin and cellulose contents by 5.07-8.04% and 1.52-3.32%. The cellulase mixed with hemicellulase or laccase treatments all increased the crystallinity by 0.45-7.23%. The TG/DTG results showed that all treatments decreased the initial straw glass transition temperature, particularly when using the mixed anaerobic method, with decreases of 10.63-25.48 °C. Overall, mixed anaerobic fermentation and multiple enzymes, including cellulase, have been suggested as alternative biological modification methods for straw substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125815DOI Listing
August 2021

Instance-Level Relative Saliency Ranking with Graph Reasoning.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2021 Aug 26;PP. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Conventional salient object detection models cannot differentiate the importance of different salient objects. Two works have proposed to detect saliency ranking by assigning different degrees of saliency to different objects. However, one of these models cannot differentiate object instances and the other focuses more on sequential attention shift order inference. In this paper, we investigate a practical problem setting which requires to simultaneously segment salient instances and infer their relative saliency rank order. We present a novel unified model as the first end-to-end solution, where an improved Mask R-CNN is first used to segment salient instances and a saliency ranking branch is then added to infer the relative saliency. For relative saliency ranking, we build a novel graph reasoning module by combining four graphs to incorporate the instance interaction relation, local contrast, global contrast, and a high-level semantic prior, respectively. A novel loss function is proposed to effectively train the saliency ranking branch. Besides, a new dataset and an evaluation metric are proposed for this task, aiming at pushing forward this field of research. Finally, experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model is more effective than previous methods. We show an example of its practical usage on adaptive image retargeting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2021.3107872DOI Listing
August 2021

Dietary Inulin Regulated Gut Microbiota and Improved Neonatal Health in a Pregnant Sow Model.

Front Nutr 2021 9;8:716723. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between maternal dietary fiber intake and piglet health. Multiparous sows were randomly assigned to two groups and fed diets without inulin (control group, = 20) or 1.6% inulin (1.6IN group, = 20). The results indicate that 1.6IN prevented the prolonged farrowing duration of sows ( < 0.05) and shortened the average piglet birth interval ( < 0.1). In addition, 1.6IN decreased the percentage of the piglet born weak and the percentage of the piglet with hyperthermia after birth ( < 0.01). Compared with the control group, the 1.6IN group had a lower concentration of urea nitrogen in the colostrum, and also prevented diarrhea, increased litter gain, survival rate, and average daily gain for suckling piglets ( < 0.05). Furthermore, 1.6IN decreased the relative abundance of Firmicutes, , and ; increased the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, , and . Overall, this study showed that maternal fiber nutrition during pregnancy regulated the health of offspring, and the response of the maternal intestinal microbes played an important role in intervening in the phenotype of sows and neonatal piglets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.716723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380823PMC
August 2021

A strategy of idarucizumab for pericardial tamponade during perioperative period of atrial fibrillation ablation.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100029, China.

Objective: To investigate the optimal idarucizumab (dabigatran antagonist) usage strategy for patients with acute pericardial tamponade receiving uninterrupted dabigatran during catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods: Ten patients presenting acute pericardial tamponade while receiving uninterrupted dabigatran during catheter ablation for AF in Beijing Anzhen Hospital from January 2019 to July 2020 were enrolled and retrospectively analyzed. A "wait and see" strategy of idarucizumab was carried out for all patients; in brief, idarucizumab was applied following pericardiocentesis, comprehensive evaluation of bleeding and hemostasis RESULTS: There were 5 males, 5 paroxysmal AF, and the average age of the patients was 64.0 ± 9.8 years. Among the 10 patients, 4 were treated with dabigatran 110 mg, 6 were treated with dabigatran 150 mg, and 1 was simultaneously given clopidogrel. The average time from pericardial tamponade to the last dose of dabigatran was 8.2 ± 3.4 h. All patients underwent pericardiocentesis successfully, and the average drainage volume was 322.5 ml (220.0 ml ± 935.0 ml). For reversal anticoagulation, 6 patients received protamine, and 5 patients received idarucizumab. Of the 5 patients who were treated with idarucizumab, 4 presented exact hemostasis, except for 1 patient who underwent continuous drainage and finally received surgery repair. The average time to restart anticoagulation was 1.1 ± 0.3 days after the procedure, and no rebleeding, embolism or deaths were observed.

Conclusion: The "wait and see" strategy of idarucizumab for acute pericardial tamponade during the perioperative period of catheter ablation for AF may be safe and feasible. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.14344DOI Listing
August 2021

Lenghu on the Tibetan Plateau as an astronomical observing site.

Nature 2021 08 18;596(7872):353-356. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

CAS Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

On Earth's surface, there are only a handful of high-quality astronomical sites that meet the requirements for very large next-generation facilities. In the context of scientific opportunities in time-domain astronomy, a good site on the Tibetan Plateau will bridge the longitudinal gap between the known best sites (all in the Western Hemisphere). The Tibetan Plateau is the highest plateau on Earth, with an average elevation of over 4,000 metres, and thus potentially provides very good opportunities for astronomy and particle astrophysics. Here we report the results of three years of monitoring of testing an area at a local summit on Saishiteng Mountain near Lenghu Town in Qinghai Province. The altitudes of the potential locations are between 4,200 and 4,500 metres. An area of over 100,000 square kilometres surrounding Lenghu Town has a lower altitude of below 3,000 metres, with an extremely arid climate and unusually clear local sky (day and night). Of the nights at the site, 70 per cent have clear, photometric conditions, with a median seeing of 0.75 arcseconds. The median night temperature variation is only 2.4 degrees Celsius, indicating very stable local surface air. The precipitable water vapour is lower than 2 millimetres for 55 per cent of the night.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03711-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373612PMC
August 2021

Fine-mapping and gene candidate analysis for AhRt1, a major dominant locus responsible for testa color in cultivated peanut.

Theor Appl Genet 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People's Republic of China, Wuhan, 430062, People's Republic of China.

Key Message: AhRt1 controlling red testa color in peanut was fine-mapped to an interval of 580 kb on chromosome A03, and one gene encoding bHLH transcriptional factor was identified as the putative candidate gene. Peanut with red testa has higher nutritional and economic value than the traditional pink testa varieties. Identification of genes controlling red testa color will accelerate the breeding program and facilitate uncovering the genetic mechanism. In this study, in order to identify gene underlying the red testa color in peanut, a F population derived from a cross between a pink testa peanut variety "Fuhua 8" and a red testa variety "Quanhonghua 1" was constructed. The genetic analysis for the F population revealed that the red testa color was controlled by one single dominant locus. This locus, named as AhRt1 (Arachis hypogaea Red Testa 1), was preliminary identified in chromosome A03 by BSA-sequencing analysis. Using a segregation mapping population, AhRt1 was fine-mapped to a 580-kb genomic region by substitution mapping strategy. Gene candidate analysis suggested that one predicted gene encoding bHLH transcriptional factor may be the possible candidate gene for AhRt1. A diagnostic marker closely linked to candidate gene has been developed for validating the fine-mapping result in different populations and peanut germplasm. Our findings will benefit the breeding program for developing new varieties with red testa color and laid foundation for map-based cloning gene responsible for red testa in peanut.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03924-wDOI Listing
August 2021

Preventive and Prebiotic Effect of α-Galacto-Oligosaccharide against Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis and Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis in Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Aug 11;69(33):9597-9607. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

School of Basic Medicine, Qingdao Medical College, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, China.

β-Galacto-oligosaccharide (β-GOS) showed great potential in ulcerative colitis (UC) adjuvant therapy. Herein, the preventive and prebiotic effect of enzymatic-synthesized α-linked galacto-oligosaccharide (α-GOS) was investigated in dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis and gut microbiota dysbiosis mice. Compared with β-GOS, the α-GOS supplement was more effective in improving preventive efficacy, promoting colonic epithelial barrier integrity, and alleviating inflammation cytokines. Moreover, the activation of the NOD-like receptor (NLR) family member NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammation was significantly inhibited by both α-GOS and β-GOS. Gut microbiota analysis showed that α-GOS treatment reshaped the dysfunctional gut microbiota. The subsequent Spearman's correlation coefficient analysis indicated that these gut microbiota changes were significantly correlated with the inflammatory parameters. These results suggested that the enzymatic-synthesized α-GOS is a promising therapeutic agent in UC prevention and adjuvant treatment by maintaining intestinal homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c03792DOI Listing
August 2021

An End-to-End Pipeline for Early Diagnosis of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Based on a Compact CNN Model.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jul 11;11(7). Epub 2021 Jul 11.

The College of Electrical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China.

Timely microscopy screening of peripheral blood smears is essential for the diagnosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) due to the occurrence of early death (ED) before or during the initial therapy. Screening manually is time-consuming and tedious, and may lead to missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis because of subjective bias. To address these problems, we develop a three-step pipeline to help in the early diagnosis of APL from peripheral blood smears. The entire pipeline consists of leukocytes focusing, cell classification and diagnostic opinions. As the key component of the pipeline, a compact classification model based on attention embedded convolutional neural network blocks is proposed to distinguish promyelocytes from normal leukocytes. The compact classification model is validated on both the combination of two public datasets, APL-Cytomorphology_LMU and APL-Cytomorphology_JHH, as well as the clinical dataset, to yield a precision of 96.53% and 99.20%, respectively. The results indicate that our model outperforms the other evaluated popular classification models owing to its better accuracy and smaller size. Furthermore, the entire pipeline is validated on realistic patient data. The proposed method promises to act as an assistant tool for APL diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11071237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8304210PMC
July 2021

Comparison of prognosis and outcomes of catheter ablation versus drug therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation and stable coronary artery disease: A prospective propensity-score matched cohort study.

Clin Cardiol 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, Beijing, China.

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (SCAD) frequently coexist.

Hypothesis: To investigate the prognosis of catheter ablation versus drug therapy in patients with AF and SCAD.

Methods: In total, 25 512 patients with AF in the Chinese AF Registry between 2011 and 2019 were screened for SCAD. 815 patients with AF and SCAD underwent catheter ablation therapy were matched with patients by drug therapy in a 1:1 ratio. Primary end point was composite of thromboembolism, coronary events, major bleeding, and all-cause death. The secondary endpoints were each component of the primary endpoint and AF recurrence.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 45 ± 23 months, the patients in the catheter ablation group had a higher AF recurrence-free rate (53.50% vs. 18.41%, p < .01). In multivariate analysis, there was no significant difference between the strategy of catheter ablation and drug therapy in primary composite end point (adjusted HR 074, 95%CI 0.54-1.002, p = .0519). However, catheter ablation was associated with fewer all-cause death independently (adjusted HR 0.36, 95%CI 0.22-0.59, p < .01). In subgroup analysis, catheter ablation was an independent risk factor for all-cause death in the high-stroke risk group (adjusted HR 0.39, 95%CI 0.23-0.64, p < .01), not in the low-medium risk group (adjusted HR 0.17, 95%CI 0.01-2.04, p = .17).

Conclusions: In the patients with AF and SCAD, catheter ablation was not independently associated with the primary composite endpoint compared with drug therapy. However, catheter ablation was an independent protective factor of all-cause death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clc.23699DOI Listing
July 2021

Key Regulators of Sucrose Metabolism Identified through Comprehensive Comparative Transcriptome Analysis in Peanuts.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jul 6;22(14). Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430062, China.

Sucrose content is a crucial indicator of quality and flavor in peanut seed, and there is a lack of clarity on the molecular basis of sucrose metabolism in peanut seed. In this context, we performed a comprehensive comparative transcriptome study on the samples collected at seven seed development stages between a high-sucrose content variety (ICG 12625) and a low-sucrose content variety (Zhonghua 10). The transcriptome analysis identified a total of 8334 genes exhibiting significantly different abundances between the high- and low-sucrose varieties. We identified 28 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in sucrose metabolism in peanut and 12 of these encoded sugars will eventually be exported transporters (SWEETs). The remaining 16 genes encoded enzymes, such as cell wall invertase (CWIN), vacuolar invertase (VIN), cytoplasmic invertase (CIN), cytosolic fructose-bisphosphate aldolase (FBA), cytosolic fructose-1,6-bisphosphate phosphatase (FBP), sucrose synthase (SUS), cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI), hexokinase (HK), and sucrose-phosphate phosphatase (SPP). The weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) identified seven genes encoding key enzymes (CIN, FBA, FBP, HK, and SPP), three SWEET genes, and 90 transcription factors (TFs) showing a high correlation with sucrose content. Furthermore, upon validation, six of these genes were successfully verified as exhibiting higher expression in high-sucrose recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Our study suggested the key roles of the high expression of SWEETs and enzymes in sucrose synthesis making the genotype ICG 12625 sucrose-rich. This study also provided insights into the molecular basis of sucrose metabolism during seed development and facilitated exploring key candidate genes and molecular breeding for sucrose content in peanuts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8306169PMC
July 2021

Self-Assembling Films of Covalent Organic Frameworks Enable Long-Term, Efficient Cycling of Zinc-Ion Batteries.

Adv Mater 2021 Aug 19;33(34):e2101726. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Center for Soft and Living Matter, Institute for Basic Science, UNIST-gil 50, Ulsan, 44919, South Korea.

Despite their safety, nontoxicity, and cost-effectiveness, zinc aqueous batteries still suffer from limited rechargeability and poor cycle life, largely due to spontaneous surface corrosion and formation of large Zn dendrites by irregular and uneven plating and stripping. In this work, these untoward effects are minimized by covering Zn electrodes with ultrathin layers of covalent organic frameworks, COFs. These nanoporous and mechanically flexible films form by self-assembly-via the straightforward and scalable dip-coating technique-and permit efficient mass and charge transport while suppressing surface corrosion and growth of large Zn dendrites. The batteries demonstrated have excellent capacity retention and stable polarization voltage for over 420 h of cycling at 1 mA cm . The COF films essential for these improvements can be readily deposited over large areas and curvilinear supports, enabling, for example, foldable wire-type batteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202101726DOI Listing
August 2021

In vivo optical molecular imaging of inflammation and immunity.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2021 Jul 17. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

School of Control Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, 250061, China.

Inflammation is the phenotypic form of various diseases. Recent development in molecular imaging provides new insights into the diagnostic and therapeutic evaluation of different inflammatory diseases as well as diseases involving inflammation such as cancer. While conventional imaging techniques used in the clinical setting provide only indirect measures of inflammation such as increased perfusion and altered endothelial permeability, optical imaging is able to report molecular information on diseased tissue and cells. Optical imaging is a quick, noninvasive, nonionizing, and easy-to-use diagnostic technology which has been successfully applied for preclinical research. Further development of optical imaging technology such as optoacoustic imaging overcomes the limitations of mere fluorescence imaging, thereby enabling pilot clinical applications in humans. By means of endogenous and exogenous contrast agents, sites of inflammation can be accurately visualized in vivo. This allows for early disease detection and specific disease characterization, enabling more rapid and targeted therapeutic interventions. In this review, we summarize currently available optical imaging techniques used to detect inflammation, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), bioluminescence, fluorescence, optoacoustics, and Raman spectroscopy. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different in vivo imaging applications with a special focus on targeting inflammation including immune cell tracking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00109-021-02115-wDOI Listing
July 2021

Understanding and Controlling the Nucleation and Growth of Zn Electrodeposits for Aqueous Zinc-Ion Batteries.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jul 10;13(28):32930-32936. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States.

Aqueous Zn-ion batteries (AZBs) have been proposed as one of the most promising electrical energy-storage systems due to their low cost, high safety, environmental friendliness, and high energy density. However, their application is impeded by the Zn dendrite growth, which may puncture the separator, causing an internal short circuit. Although numerous efforts have been devoted to alleviating dendrite issues by structural design, surface modification, or electrolyte optimization, there are few works focusing on the fundamental research to understand the formation of Zn dendrites, which is critical to address the dendrites issue. In this work, we have systematically investigated the nucleation and growth behaviors of Zn on a stainless steel substrate. We reveal the dependence of Zn growth morphology on cycling conditions (current density and areal capacity) and further elucidate the intricate correlation with cycle life. It is observed that higher current density corresponds to higher nuclei density with a smaller size of zinc deposits and lower areal capacity render smaller zinc flakes, which contributes to the long cycle life of Zn-ion batteries. Based on these findings, a seeding protocol is then proposed to improve the uniformity and compaction of the Zn electrode. The methodology and findings here can potentially be applied to study the nucleation and growth of other metals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c06131DOI Listing
July 2021

Calcination-Free Synthesis of Well-Dispersed and Sub-10 nm Spinel Ferrite Nanoparticles as High-Performance Anode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Case Study of CoFe O.

Chemistry 2021 Sep 22;27(50):12900-12909. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States.

Spinel ferrites are promising anode materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) owing to their high theoretical specific capacities. However, their practical application is impeded by inherent low conductivity and severe volume expansion, which can be surpassed by increasing the surface-to-volume ratio of nanoparticles. Currently, most methods produce spinel ferrite nanoparticles with large size and severe aggregation, degrading their electrochemical performance. In this study, a low-temperature aminolytic route was designed to synthesize sub-10 nm CoFe O nanoparticles with good dispersion through carefully exploiting the reaction of acetates and oleylamine. The performance of CoFe O nanoparticles obtained by a traditional co-precipitation method was also investigated for comparison. This work demonstrates that CoFe O nanoparticles synthesized by the aminolytic route are promising as anode materials for LIBs. Besides, this method can be extended to design other spinel ferrites for energy storage devices with superior performance by simply changing the starting material, such as MnFe O , MgFe O , ZnFe O , and so on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.202102098DOI Listing
September 2021

Design, synthesis, biological evaluation and pharmacophore model analysis of novel tetrahydropyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrazol derivatives as potential TRKs inhibitors.

Eur J Med Chem 2021 Jun 15;223:113627. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Key Laboratory of Structure-Based Drug Design and Discovery, Ministry of Education, School of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, 103 Wenhua Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang, 110016, PR China.

The tropomyosin receptor kinases TRKs are responsible for different tumor types which caused by NTRK gene fusion, and have been identified as a successful target for anticancer therapeutics. Herein, we report a potent and selectivity TRKs inhibitor 19m through rational drug design strategy from a micromolar potency hit 17a. Compound 19m significantly inhibits the proliferation of TRK-dependent cell lines (Km-12), while it has no inhibitory effect on TRK-independent cell lines (A549 and THLE-2). Furthermore, kinases selectivity profiling showed that in addition to TRKs, compound 19m only displayed relatively strong inhibitory activity on ALK. These data may indicate that compound 19m has a good drug safety. Partial ADME properties were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Compound 19m exhibited a good AUC values and volume of distribution and low clearance in the pharmacokinetics experiment of rats. Finally, a pharmacophore model guided by experimental results is proposed. We hope this theoretical model can help researchers find type I TRK inhibitors more efficiently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113627DOI Listing
June 2021

SCG: Saliency and Contour Guided Salient Instance Segmentation.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 28;30:5862-5874. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Different from conventional instance segmentation, salient instance segmentation (SIS) faces two difficulties. The first is that it involves segmenting salient instances only while ignoring background, and the second is that it targets generic object instances without pre-defined object categories. In this paper, based on the state-of-the-art Mask R-CNN model, we propose to leverage complementary saliency and contour information to handle these two challenges. We first improve Mask R-CNN by introducing an interleaved execution strategy and proposing a novel mask head network to incorporate global context within each RoI. Then we add two branches to Mask R-CNN for saliency and contour detection, respectively. We fuse the Mask R-CNN features with the saliency and contour features, where the former supply pixel-wise saliency information to help with identifying salient regions and the latter provide a generic object contour prior to help detect and segment generic objects. We also propose a novel multiscale global attention model to generate attentive global features from multiscale representative features for feature fusion. Experimental results demonstrate that all our proposed model components can improve SIS performance. Finally, our overall model outperforms state-of-the-art SIS methods and Mask R-CNN by more than 6% and 3%, respectively. By using additional multitask training data, we can further improve the model performance on the ILSO dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3088282DOI Listing
June 2021

Mediating effects of insulin resistance on the development of hypertension associated with elevated serum uric acid: a prospective cohort study.

J Hum Hypertens 2021 Jun 19. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, 02901, Rhode Island, USA.

Many studies have demonstrated that elevated serum uric acid independently increases the risk of developing hypertension. However, the role of insulin resistance in the relationship between serum uric acid and hypertension is still unelucidated. Based on a prospective cohort study, we aimed to examine the longitudinal link between serum uric acid and hypertension and whether this relationship was mediated by insulin resistance. Overall, 21,999 participants without hypertension or gout at baseline with a mean age of 46 ± 13 years in the Jinchang Cohort were included in our study. Adjusted Cox-regression analyses and mediation analyses were performed to assess the risk of hypertension by serum uric acid quartile distribution and whether insulin resistance mediated the association between serum uric acid and hypertension. During the first follow-up period, 3080 participants developed hypertension. After controlling for covariates, compared with the lowest quartile of serum uric acid, the risk of hypertension in the highest quartile was 1.21 (1.06, 1.38) in the overall population. The risks for males and females were 1.14 (1.00-1.29) and 1.30 (1.08-1.56), respectively. The correlation between serum uric acid and hypertension was especially observed in younger people (<30 years). The mediating effects of insulin resistance were 0.058 (0.051, 0.065), 0.030 (0.025, 0.036) and 0.056 (0.047, 0.065), and the proportions mediated were 39.73, 36.59 and 38.62% in the overall, male and female populations, respectively. Elevated serum uric acid levels are associated with an increased risk of incident hypertension, and insulin resistance may play a mediating role in the relationship between serum uric acid and hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-021-00562-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Enzymatically synthesized α-galactooligosaccharides attenuate metabolic syndrome in high-fat diet induced mice in association with the modulation of gut microbiota.

Food Funct 2021 Jun;12(11):4960-4971

College of Basic Medicine, Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, China.

The composition and structure of gut microbiota plays an important role in obesity induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) and related metabolic syndrome (MetS). Previous studies have shown that galacto-oligosaccharides (GOSs) have an effective anti-obesity effect. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of enzymatically synthesized α-galacto-oligosaccharides (ES-α-GOSs) on MetS and gut microbiota dysbiosis in HFD-fed mice, and to further investigate whether the attenuation of MetS is associated with the modulation of gut microbiota. Our results indicated that ES-α-GOS could notably ameliorate obesity-related MetS, including hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance and mild inflammation. The subsequent analysis of gut microbiota further showed that ES-α-GOS supplements can significantly modulate the overall composition of the gut microbiota and reverse the gut microbiota disorder caused by HFD feeding. Moreover, Spearman correlation analysis showed that 40 key bacteria reversed by ES-α-GOS were highly associated with metabolic parameters. These results suggested that ES-α-GOSs could serve as a potential candidate for preventing obesity-induced MetS in association with the modulation of gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo03113eDOI Listing
June 2021

Dissection of the Genetic Basis of Yield-Related Traits in the Chinese Peanut Mini-Core Collection Through Genome-Wide Association Studies.

Front Plant Sci 2021 20;12:637284. Epub 2021 May 20.

Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan, China.

Peanut is an important legume crop worldwide. To uncover the genetic basis of yield features and assist breeding in the future, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for six yield-related traits of the Chinese peanut mini-core collection. The seed (pod) size and weight of the population were investigated under four different environments, and these traits showed highly positive correlations in pairwise combinations. We sequenced the Chinese peanut mini-core collection using genotyping-by-sequencing approach and identified 105,814 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The population structure analysis showed essentially subspecies patterns in groups and obvious geographical distribution patterns in subgroups. A total of 79 significantly associated loci ( < 4.73 × 10) were detected for the six yield-related traits through GWAS. Of these, 31 associations were consistently detected in multiple environments, and 15 loci were commonly detected to be associated with multiple traits. Two major loci located on chromosomal pseudomolecules A06 and A02 showed pleiotropic effects on yield-related traits, explaining ∼20% phenotypic variations across environments. The two genomic regions were found 46 putative candidate genes based on gene annotation and expression profile. The diagnostic marker for the yield-related traits from non-synonymous SNP (Aradu-A06-107901527) was successfully validated, achieving a high correlation between nucleotide polymorphism and phenotypic variation. This study provided insights into the genetic basis of yield-related traits in peanut and verified one diagnostic marker to facilitate marker-assisted selection for developing high-yield peanut varieties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.637284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174301PMC
May 2021

Factors Affecting the Public Acceptance of Extramarital Sex in China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 05 27;18(11). Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Sociology, School of Public Administration, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510000, China.

There is a lack of quantitative studies on the acceptance of extramarital sex in China. Based on data from the Chinese General Social Survey 2013 (CGSS2013), this paper used a zero-inflated Poisson regression model to analyze the factors influencing the public's attitudes toward extramarital sex. When other variables were controlled, groups of younger ages, higher educational levels, and stronger tendencies toward "liberalization" and non-Islamic beliefs were more tolerant toward extramarital sex, whereas gender and Christian beliefs had no significant influence. In this regard, family and marriage counseling, and society's moral tolerance and social control of religion are discussed, and further research on cross-cultural verification is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8199045PMC
May 2021

Modifications of the Langendorff Method for Simultaneous Isolation of Atrial and Ventricular Myocytes from Adult Mice.

J Vis Exp 2021 05 13(171). Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Cardiology, Bejing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University;

A single cardiomyocyte is a vital tool in the cellular and subcellular level studies of cardiac biology and diseases as a fundamental unit of contraction and electrical activity. Hence, isolating viable, high-quality cardiomyocytes from the heart is the initial and most crucial experimental step. Comparing the various protocols for isolating the cardiomyocytes of adult mice, the Langendorff retrograde perfusion is the most successful and reproducible method reported in the literature, especially for isolating ventricular myocytes. However, isolating quality atrial myocytes from the perfused heart remains challenging, and few successful isolation reports are available. Solving this complicated problem is extremely important because apart from ventricular disease, atrial disease accounts for a large part of heart diseases. Therefore, further investigations on the cellular level to reveal the mechanisms are warranted. In this paper, a protocol based on the Langendorff retrograde perfusion method is introduced and some modifications in the depth of aorta cannulation and the steps that may affect the digestion process to isolate atrial and ventricular myocytes were simultaneously made. Moreover, the isolated cardiomyocytes are confirmed to be amenable to patch clamp investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/62514DOI Listing
May 2021

A simple and easily implemented risk model to predict 1-year ischemic stroke and systemic embolism in Chinese patients with atrial fibrillation.

Chin Med J (Engl) 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, National Clinical Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data-Based Precision Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing 100029, China Ping An Health Technology, Beijing 100035, China Heart Health Research Center, Beijing 100029, China Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052, China.

Background: Accurate prediction of ischemic stroke is required for deciding anticoagulation use in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Even though only 6% to 8% of AF patients die from stroke, about 90% are indicated for anticoagulants according to the current AF management guidelines. Therefore, we aimed to develop an accurate and easy-to-use new risk model for 1-year thromboembolic events (TEs) in Chinese AF patients.

Methods: From the prospective China Atrial Fibrillation Registry cohort study, we identified 6601 AF patients who were not treated with anticoagulation or ablation at baseline. We selected the most important variables by the extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) algorithm and developed a simplified risk model for predicting 1-year TEs. The novel risk score was internally validated using bootstrapping with 1000 replicates and compared with the CHA2DS2-VA score (excluding female sex from the CHA2DS2-VASc score).

Results: Up to the follow-up of 1 year, 163 TEs (ischemic stroke or systemic embolism) occurred. Using the XGBoost algorithm, we selected the three most important variables (congestive heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction, age, and prior stroke, abbreviated as CAS model) to predict 1-year TE risk. We trained a multivariate Cox regression model and assigned point scores proportional to model coefficients. The CAS scheme classified 30.8% (2033/6601) of the patients as low risk for TE (CAS score = 0), with a corresponding 1-year TE risk of 0.81% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41%-1.19%). In our cohort, the C-statistic of CAS model was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.65-0.73), higher than that of CHA2DS2-VA score (0.66, 95% CI: 0.62-0.70, Z = 2.01, P = 0.045). The overall net reclassification improvement from CHA2DS2-VA categories (low = 0/high ≥1) to CAS categories (low = 0/high ≥1) was 12.2% (95% CI: 8.7%-15.7%).

Conclusion: In Chinese AF patients, a novel and simple CAS risk model better predicted 1-year TEs than the widely-used CHA2DS2-VA risk score and identified a large proportion of patients with low risk of TEs, which could potentially improve anticoagulation decision-making.

Trial Registration: www.chictr.org.cn (Unique identifier No. ChiCTR-OCH-13003729).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CM9.0000000000001515DOI Listing
May 2021

Effectiveness of ethanol infusion into the vein of Marshall combined with a fixed anatomical ablation strategy (the "upgraded 2C3L" approach) for catheter ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 07 9;32(7):1849-1856. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Cardiology, National Clinical Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Introduction: Linear ablation in addition to pulmonary vein antrum isolation (PVAI) has failed to improve the success rate for persistent atrial fibrillation (PeAF), due to incomplete block of ablation lines, especially in the mitral isthmus (MI).

Methods And Results: The study enrolled 191 patients (66 in group 1 and 125 in group 2). In group 1, ethanol infusion into the vein of Marshall was first performed, followed by radiofrequency (RF) applications targeting bilateral PVAI and bidirectional block in the roofline, cavotricuspid isthmus, and MI. In group 2, PVAI and the three linear ablations were completed using only RF energy. MI block was achieved in 63 (95.5%) and 101 (80.8%) patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively (p = .006). Patients in group 1 had shorter ablation time for left pulmonary vein antrum (8.15 vs. 12.59 min, p < .001) and MI (7.0 vs. 11.8 min, p < .001) and required less cardioversion (50 [78.5%] vs. 113 [90.4%], p = .007). During the 12-month follow-up, 58 (87.9%) patients were free from atrial fibrillation/atrial tachycardia in group 1 compared with 81 (64.8%) in group 2 (p < .001). In multivariate cox regression, the "upgraded 2C3L" procedure is associated with a lower recurrence rate (hazard ratio = 0.27, 95% confidence interval = 0.12-0.59).

Conclusion: Compared with the conventional "2C3L" approach, the "upgraded 2C3L" approach has higher effectiveness for ablation of PeAF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.15108DOI Listing
July 2021

A carrier-free metal-coordinated dual-photosensitizers nanotheranostic with glutathione-depletion for fluorescence/photoacoustic imaging-guided tumor phototherapy.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 Oct 30;600:243-255. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Target Research, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, PR China. Electronic address:

As a promising noninvasive tumor treatment modality, dual phototherapy, including photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT), has drawn extensive research interest in imaging-guided synergistic antitumor treatment. However, developing a high-efficient phototherapeutic agent is still a huge challenge, since single photosensitizer often suffers from the insufficient photothermal conversion efficiency (PCE) or low reactive oxygen species (ROS) productivity. Moreover, the overexpression of reductive glutathione (GSH) in tumor cells also severely compromises PDT efficiency. Here, inspired by the glutathione oxidase activity of high-valent transition metal ions, we designed a copper-coordinated nanotheranostic ([email protected]) by the coordination-driven co-assembly of photothermal-agent indocyanine green (ICG) and photodynamic-agent pheophorbide A (PhA), in which Cu acted as a bridge to tightly associate ICG with PhA. Such carrier-free metal-coordinated nanotheranostics exhibited ultra-high dual-photosensitizers co-loading (~96.74 wt%) and excellent structural stability. Notably, NanoICG significantly increase the PCE of ICG via J-aggregation induced UV-vis absorption red-shift. Once [email protected] accumulated in tumor sites, they could be disassembled triggered by the weakly acidic and highly reducible tumor microenvironment. Moreover, the Cu can deplete intracellular GSH and impair cellular antioxidant defense system, reducing the unnecessary ROS consumption caused by glutathione. Under fluorescence/photoacoustic imaging-guided laser irradiation, local hyperthermia and ROS were generated to induce tumor cells apoptosis. The in vitro and in vivo experiments consistently confirm that [email protected] could induce remarkable tumor inhibition through self-enhanced PTT and PDT, which may pave a new way for cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2021.04.131DOI Listing
October 2021

Highly Permeable Polyamide Nanofiltration Membrane Mediated by an Upscalable Wet-Laid EVOH Nanofibrous Scaffold.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 May 7;13(19):23142-23152. Epub 2021 May 7.

Key Laboratory of Textile Fiber and Products, Ministry of Education, Hubei International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Base of Intelligent Textile Materials & Application, Wuhan Textile University, Wuhan 430200, China.

For energy-saving purposes, the pursuit of ultrahigh permeance nanofiltration membranes without sacrificing selectivity is never-ending in desalination, wastewater treatment, and industrial product separation. Herein, we reported a novel facile route to engineer a highly porous and superhydrophilic nanofibrous substrate to mediate the interfacial polymerization between trimesoyl chloride and piperazine, generating an ultrathin PA active layer (∼13 nm) with a hierarchical crumpled surface. The wet laying process and subsequent plasma treatment endowed a rougher and more hydrophilic surface for ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) nanofibers in the thin compact nanofibrous scaffold (∼9 μm) with a mean pore size of 210 nm, radically different from the nanofibrous membrane by other methods. Nanofibrous scaffold with these features provide abundant thin-thick alternative continuous water layers between nanofibers and organic phase, facilitating the formation of the abovementioned PA layer. As a result, an ultrahigh permeance of 42.25 L·m h bar and a reasonably high rejection of 95.97% to 1000 ppm NaSO feed solution were obtained, superior to most state-of-the-art NF membranes reported so far. Our work provides an easy and scalable method to fabricate advanced PA NF membranes with outstanding performance, highlighting its great potential in liquid separation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02776DOI Listing
May 2021

Croconaine-based nanoparticles enable efficient optoacoustic imaging of murine brain tumors.

Photoacoustics 2021 Jun 23;22:100263. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Chair of Biological Imaging, Center for Translational Cancer Research (TranslaTUM), School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich 81675, Germany.

Contrast enhancement in optoacoustic (photoacoustic) imaging can be achieved with agents that exhibit high absorption cross-sections, high photostability, low quantum yield, low toxicity, and preferential bio-distribution and clearance profiles. Based on advantageous photophysical properties of croconaine dyes, we explored croconaine-based nanoparticles (CR780RGD-NPs) as highly efficient contrast agents for targeted optoacoustic imaging of challenging preclinical tumor targets. Initial characterization of the CR780 dye was followed by modifications using polyethylene glycol and the cancer-targeting c(RGDyC) peptide, resulting in self-assembled ultrasmall particles with long circulation time and active tumor targeting. Preferential bio-distribution was demonstrated in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models by multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) imaging and histological analysis. Our findings showcase particle accumulation in brain tumors with sustainable strong optoacoustic signals and minimal toxic side effects. This work points to CR780RGD-NPs as a promising optoacoustic contrast agent for potential use in the diagnosis and image-guided resection of brain tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pacs.2021.100263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080078PMC
June 2021

Paraneoplastic immunoglobulin A nephropathy in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma: A case report and literature review.

J Int Med Res 2021 Apr;49(4):300060521996868

Department of Nephrology, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China.

Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (lgAN) is a common primary glomerulonephritis, but paraneoplastic IgAN has been rarely reported. This current case report describes a 49-year-old male patient that was referred with proteinuria, oedema and hypoproteinaemia after lung cancer surgery and before the first cycle of chemotherapy. Renal biopsy confirmed lgAN. The patient received four cycles of chemotherapy (first cycle: pemetrexed + nedaplatin; second to fourth cycle: pemetrexed + carboplatin). The symptoms of IgAN were gradually relieved with additional cycles of chemotherapy. At the latest follow-up on 10 February 2020, there was no evidence of lung cancer recurrence and all symptoms of lgAN had disappeared. lgAN combined with lung adenocarcinoma is quite rare, which suggests that IgAN might be a paraneoplastic manifestation of lung adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300060521996868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113932PMC
April 2021
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