Publications by authors named "Pei Zhang"

782 Publications

Analysis of right ventricular flow with 4-dimensional flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Quant Imaging Med Surg 2021 Aug;11(8):3655-3665

Siemens Shenzhen Magnetic Resonance Ltd., Shenzhen, China.

Background: Cardiac flow closely interact with function, however, the correlation of right ventricular (RV) flow and function remains unknown, thus our objective is to observe right ventricular flow with four-dimensional phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (4D flow CMR) in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and to analyze flow components with RV function and hemodynamics.

Methods: This study retrospectively enrolled 30 patients with PAH (mean age: 49±13 years, 16 females) and 14 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers as controls (mean age: 44±12 years, 9 females). All patients who underwent CMR and right heart catheterization (RHC) within 1 week between January 2019 and July 2020 were included. Hemodynamics were measured with RHC. RV flow components, including the percentages of direct flow (RVPDF), retained inflow (RVPRI), delayed ejection flow (RVPDEF) and residual volume (RVPRVo) were quantified using 4D flow CMR. The associations between RV flow components and other CMR metrics, clinical data, and hemodynamics were analyzed by Spearman's correlation analysis.

Results: In patients with PAH, RVPDF was decreased and RVPRVo was increased compared with the normal control group. The sum of RVPDF and RVPDEF RV was significantly correlated with RV ejection fraction (RVEF) (r=0.802, P<0.001), and there was no notable difference between RVEF and the sum of RVPDF and RVPDEF (t=0.251, P=0.831). Both RVPDF and RVPRVo were correlated (in opposite directions) with the RV end-diastolic volume index, RV end-systolic volume index, RV global longitudinal strain, and RVEF. RVPDF was negatively correlated with pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), and positively correlated with cardiac output and cardiac index. RVPRVo was positively correlated with PVR and negatively correlated with cardiac output and cardiac index.

Conclusions: RV blood flow components qualified with 4D flow CMR is a valuable noninvasive method for the assessment of RV function and hemodynamics in patients with PAH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/qims-20-1267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245951PMC
August 2021

Comparison of synchronization between left bundle branch and his bundle pacing in atrial fibrillation patients: An intra-patient-controlled study.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Aug 1. Epub 2021 Aug 1.

Department of Cardiology, Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Intervention and Regenerative Medicine of Zhejiang Province, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Background: His bundle pacing (HBP) is a physiological pacing strategy to preserve the electrical synchrony of ventricular conduction and left ventricular (LV) function. Left bundle branch pacing (LBBP) has emerged as an alternative physiological pacing technique.

Objective: To evaluate cardiac electrical and mechanical synchrony comparing LBBP and HBP in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods: Consecutive patients with symptomatic bradycardia and AF were enrolled from January to June of 2019. The cardiac electrical and mechanical synchrony in different pacing mode were evaluated at baseline and after implantation.

Results: Both HBP and LBBP were performed in 20 patients. LBBP significantly widened the QRS duration compared with the intrinsic conduction (113.2 ± 14.5 ms vs. 96.5 ± 16.2 ms; P = .01), while HBP did not (104.5 ± 22.3 ms vs. 96.5 ± 16.2 ms; P = .12). Both LBBP and HBP patients had similar LV myocardial strain measurements for the mechanical synchrony evaluation without significant change compared with baseline. There was no significant difference in right ventricular synchrony measurement between LBBP and HBP. Compared to HBP, LBBP had less interventricular synchrony (IMVD, 14.7 ± 9.2 ms vs 3.1 ± 12.7 ms, P < .01; Ts-LV-RV, 37.9 ± 10.7 ms vs 18.5 ± 10.8 ms, P < .001).

Conclusions: Although LBBP's a physiological pacing mode can achieve a similar cardiac electrical and mechanical synchronization when compared to HBP, LBBP results in modest delay in RV activation, and the clinical implication remains to be studied. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.14331DOI Listing
August 2021

Identification of the Prognostic Signatures of Glioma With Different Status.

Front Oncol 2021 14;11:633357. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China.

The high-grade glioma is characterized by cell heterogeneity, gene mutations, and poor prognosis. The deletions and mutations of the tumor suppressor gene (5%-40%) in glioma patients are associated with worse survival and therapeutic resistance. Characterization of unique prognosis molecular signatures by status in glioma is still unclear. This study established a novel risk model, screened optimal prognostic signatures, and calculated the risk score for the individual glioma patients with different status. Screening results revealed fourteen independent prognostic gene signatures in PTEN-wt and three in the -50PTEN-mut subgroup. Moreover, we verified risk score as an independent prognostic factor significantly correlated with tumor malignancy. Due to the higher malignancy of the PTEN-mut gliomas, we explored the independent prognostic signatures (, , and ) for a potential therapeutic target in PTEN-mut glioma. We further separated IDH wild-type glioma patients into GBM and LGG to verify the therapeutic target along with PTEN status, notably, the above screened therapeutic targets are also significant prognostic genes in both IDH-wt/PTEN-mut GBM and LGG patients. We further identified the small molecule compound (+)-JQ1 binds to all three targets, indicating a potential therapy for PTEN-mut glioma. In sum, gene signatures and risk scores in the novel risk model facilitate glioma diagnosis, prognosis prediction, and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.633357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8317988PMC
July 2021

Effect of prone position ventilation on right heart function in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Clin Respir J 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Anesthesiology, Tianjin Central Hospital of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tianjin, China.

Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe respiratory disease with a high mortality rate. It is characterized by acute onset of pulmonary oedema, hypoxaemia and the need of mechanical ventilation. As the primary treatment, ventilation has been considered effective in treating patients with ARDS. Recently, numerous studies have shown that prone position ventilation demonstrates more efficacy compared to traditional supine position. However, the potential impact of the non-physiological prone position on patients remail unclear. Current study aims to evaluate the effect of prone position ventilation on right heart function in ARDS patients.

Methods: Following Berlin diagnostic criteria, 80 eligible patients were recruited and randomly assigned into prone position ventilation group and supine position ventilation group. Different ventilation methods were implemented in these two groups.

Results: Both positions showed the beneficial effects, as evidenced by decreased PV score and APACHE II score, enhanced blood gas index and right heart function parameters, and the prognosis analysis. However, compared to those receiving SPV treatment, the patients demonstrated greater benefits from PPV treatment, with significant differences in PV score (p<0.01) and APACHE II score (p<0.001), blood gas index such as PAPm (p<0.05), and right heart function indicators (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Prone position mechanical ventilation is more beneficial than supine position ventilation in improving the blood gas status of patients with moderate to severe ARDS, and it is more helpful to reduce the load on the right heart and promote the recovery of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/crj.13431DOI Listing
July 2021

Key amino acids of M1-41 and M2-27 determine growth and pathogenicity of chimeric H17 bat influenza virus in cells and in mice.

J Virol 2021 Jul 21:JVI0101921. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China.

Based on our previous studies, we show that M gene is critical for viral replication and pathogenicity of the chimeric H17 bat influenza virus (Bat09:mH1mN1) by replacing bat M gene with those from human and swine influenza A viruses. However, the key amino acids of M1 and/or M2 proteins responsible for virus replication and pathogenicity remain unknown. In this study, the Eurasian avian-like M gene from the A/California/04/2009 pandemic H1N1 virus significantly decreased viral replication in both mammalian and avian cells in the background of chimeric H17 bat influenza virus by replacing the PR8 M gene. Further studies revealed that the M1 was more crucial for viral growth and pathogenicity in contrast to the M2, and amino acid residues of M1-41V and M2-27A were responsible for these characteristics in cells and in mice. These key residues of M1 and M2 proteins identified in this study might be important for influenza virus surveillance and used to produce live attenuated vaccines in the future. The M1 and M2 proteins influence the morphology, replication, virulence and transmissibility of influenza viruses. Although a few key residues in M1/M2 proteins have been identified, whether other residues of M1/M2 proteins involved in viral replication and pathogenicity need to be discovered. In the background of chimeric H17 bat influenza virus, the Eurasian avian-like M gene from A/California/04/2009 significantly decreased viral growth in mammalian and avian cells. Further study showed that M1 was implicated more than M2 for viral growth and pathogenicity and , and the key amino acid residues of M1-41V and M2-27A were responsible for these characteristics in cells and in mice. These key residues of M1 and M2 proteins could be used for influenza virus surveillance and live attenuated vaccine application in the future. These findings provide important information for knowledge on the genetic basis of virulence of influenza viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01019-21DOI Listing
July 2021

Prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes in Shanghai.

Int J Ophthalmol 2021 18;14(7):1066-1072. Epub 2021 Jul 18.

Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Center, Shanghai 200040, China.

Aim: To investigate the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in residents of Shanghai and analyze the risk factors of DR.

Methods: This study involved 7233 patients with diabetes in 2016. The demographic data of the participants were collected using a questionnaire survey. Physical examination, laboratory tests, and ophthalmological examinations were conducted. Two professional ophthalmologists diagnosed and graded DR by fundus examination and then combined the results with fundus images. The unconditional multivariate Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk factors.

Results: In total, 6978 patients with type 2 diabetes in Shanghai with a mean age of 68.33±8.40y were recruited, including 2975 males (42.6%) and 4003 females (57.4%). Overall, 1184 patients were diagnosed with DR, with a prevalence rate of 16.97%. Regression analysis showed that duration of diabetes (OR 1.061, 95%CI 1.049-1.073), high systolic blood pressure (SBP; OR 1.071, 95%CI 1.037-1.106), increased glycosylated hemoglobin level (OR 1.234, 95%CI 1.162-1.311), high blood glucose level (OR 1.061, 95%CI 1.023-1.099), increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR; OR 1.132, 95%CI 1.053-1.217) and mean platelet volume (MPV; OR 1.077, 95%CI 1.016-1.142) were risk factors of DR. Conversely, hematocrit (HCT; OR 0.971, 95%CI 0.954-0.988) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV; OR 0.980, 95%CI 0.965-0.994) were protective factors.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of DR in Shanghai is 16.97%. The duration of diabetes, high SBP, increased glycosylated hemoglobin, NLR, and MPV were determined as risk factors of DR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18240/ijo.2021.07.16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243199PMC
July 2021

Characterization of resistance and fitness cost of Descurainia sophia L. populations from Henan and Xinjiang, China.

Sci Rep 2021 Jul 19;11(1):14655. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

College of Resources and Environment, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Hualan Road, Hongqi District, Xinxiang, 453003, Henan Province, China.

Descurainia sophia L. is a notorious weed in winter wheat field and has serious resistance to tribenuron-methyl. Xinjiang is a main wheat production region in China with no information on D. sophia resistance to tribenuron-methyl. Here, resistance levels of D. sophia populations to tribenuron-methyl from Xinjiang and Henan were investigated. In addition, homozygous mutation subpopulations of high resistant D. sophia populations from Xinjiang and Henan were generated and then cross-resistance and fitness cost were determined. Results showed that 5 out of 31 populations from Xinjiang developed resistance to tribenuron-methyl, including two high resistant populations (X30 and X31). While 10 out of 11 populations from Henan showed resistance to tribenuron-methyl, including three high resistant populations (H5, H6 and H7). X30 and X31 shared the same mutation type of Pro197Thr in ALS1, while the mutation type of ALS1 in H5, H6 and H7 were Pro197Ser, Pro197His and Pro197Ala, respectively. The homozygous mutation subpopulations (SX30, SX31, SH5, SH6, SH7) showed cross-resistance to flucarbazone-sodium, bensulfuron methyl and flumetsulam. Under monoculture condition, relative growth rates of SX30, SX31 were higher than susceptible population (SX13), while that in SH5, SH6, SH7 were almost same with SX13. When mix planted with SX13, SX30 and SX31 displayed weaker competitiveness than SX13, while SH5, SH6, SH7 showed stronger competitiveness than SX13. The results suggested that D. sophia from Xinjiang had low resistance frequency to tribenuron-methyl and the high resistant populations had fitness costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-94317-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290039PMC
July 2021

Self-starting triple-wavelength vector dark soliton with a bismuth-doped fiber saturable absorber.

Opt Lett 2021 Jul;46(14):3336-3339

We report on the generation of a triple-wavelength vector dark soliton in an all-fiber ring cavity of erbium-doped fiber laser mode-locked with a bismuth-doped fiber saturable absorber. The formation of the triple-wavelength vector dark soliton is due to the cross-phase coupling derived from the cavity birefringence. The mode-locked laser operated at a 1.89 MHz repetition rate with a 335 ns pulse width, and its robustness is confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.430343DOI Listing
July 2021

A conserved epitope III on hepatitis C virus E2 protein has alternate conformations facilitating cell binding or virus neutralization.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Jul;118(28)

Division of Plasma Protein Therapeutics, Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002;

Epitope III, a highly conserved amino acid motif of APTYSW on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) E2 glycoprotein, resides in the critical loop that binds to the host receptor CD81, thus making it one of the most important antibody targets for blocking HCV infections. Here, we have determined the X-ray crystal structure of epitope III at a 2.0-Å resolution when it was captured by a site-specific neutralizing antibody, monoclonal antibody 1H8 (mAb1H8). The snapshot of this complex revealed that epitope III has a relatively rigid structure when confined in the binding grooves of mAb1H8, which confers the residue specificity at both ends of the epitope. Such a high shape complementarity is reminiscent of the "lock and key" mode of action, which is reinforced by the incompatibility of an antibody binding with an epitope bearing specific mutations. By subtly positioning the side chains on the three residues of Tyr, Ser, and Trp while preserving the spatial rigidity of the rest, epitope III in this cocrystal complex adopts a unique conformation that is different from previously described E2 structures. With further analyses of molecular docking and phage display-based peptide interactions, we recognized that it is the arrangements of two separate sets of residues within epitope III that create these discrete conformations for the epitope to interact selectively with either mAb1H8 or CD81. These observations thus raise the possibility that local epitope III conformational dynamics, in conjunction with sequence variations, may act as a regulatory mechanism to coordinate "mAb1H8-like" antibody-mediated immune defenses with CD81-initiated HCV infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2104242118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8285954PMC
July 2021

Using ensemble of ensemble machine learning methods to predict outcomes of cardiac resynchronization.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Introduction: The efficacy of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been widely studied in the medical literature; however, about 30% of candidates fail to respond to this treatment strategy. Smart computational approaches based on clinical data can help expose hidden patterns useful for identifying CRT responders.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the electronic health records of 1664 patients who underwent CRT procedures from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2017. An ensemble of ensemble (EoE) machine learning (ML) system composed of a supervised and an unsupervised ML layers was developed to generate a prediction model for CRT response.

Results: We compared the performance of EoE against traditional ML methods and the state-of-the-art convolutional neural network (CNN) model trained on raw electrocardiographic (ECG) waveforms. We observed that the models exhibited improvement in performance as more features were incrementally used for training. Using the most comprehensive set of predictors, the performance of the EoE model in terms of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and F1-score were 0.76 and 0.73, respectively. Direct application of the CNN model on the raw ECG waveforms did not generate promising results.

Conclusion: The proposed CRT risk calculator effectively discriminates which heart failure (HF) patient is likely to respond to CRT significantly better than using clinical guidelines and traditional ML methods, thus suggesting that the tool can enhanced care management of HF patients by helping to identify high-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.15171DOI Listing
July 2021

Therapeutic Perspective of Temozolomide Resistance in Glioblastoma Treatment.

Cancer Invest 2021 Jul 19:1-18. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China.

Glioblastoma (GB) is the most lethal form of primary brain neoplasm. TMZ is the first-line standard treatment, but the strong resistance constrains the efficacy in clinical use. GB contains glioma stem cells (GSCs), which contribute to TMZ resistance, promote cell survival evolvement, and repopulate the tumor mass. This review summarizes the TMZ-resistance mechanisms and discusses several potential therapies from the conservative opinion of GSC-targeted therapy orientation to the current view of TMZ resistance-aimed efficacy, which will provide an understanding of the role of heterogeneity in drug resistance and improve therapeutic efficacy in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07357907.2021.1952595DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of potential micro-messenger RNAs (miRNA-mRNA) interaction network of osteosarcoma.

Bioengineered 2021 Dec;12(1):3275-3293

Department of Orthopedics, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China.

Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor in children and adolescents. Numerous studies have reported the importance of miRNA in OS. The purpose of this study is to predict potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets for OS diagnosis and prognosis by analyzing miRNAs of OS plasma samples from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database.Data-sets were downloaded from the GEO and analyzed using R software. Different expressions of miRNAs (DE-miRNAs) in plasma and mRNAs (DE-mRNAs) in OS patients were identified. Funrich was used to predict the transcription factors and target genes of miRNAs. By comparing the target mRNAs and DE-mRNAs, the intersection mRNAs were identified. The intersection mRNAs were imported to perform Gene Ontology (GO) functional annotation and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis. MiRNA-mRNA regulatory network and a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network were constructed by using Cytoscape. Finally, a total of 164 DE-miRNAs, 256 DE-mRNAs, and 76 intersection mRNAs were identified. The top 10 TF of up- and down-regulated DE-miRNAs were also predicted. In addition, GO and KEGG analyses further revealed the intersection mRNAs. By constructing the miRNA-mRNA networks, we found miR-30d-5p, miR-17-5p, miR-98-5p, miR-301a-3p, and miR-30e-5p were the central hubs. COL1A1, COL1A2, MMP2, CDH11, COL4A1 etc. were predicted to be the key mRNA by constructing the PPI networks. Through a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of miRNAs and mRNAs in OS, we explored the potential effective biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for the diagnosis and prognosis of OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1947065DOI Listing
December 2021

CXC chemokines and their receptors in black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii): Characterization, evolution analyses, and expression pattern after Aeromonas salmonicida infection.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Jul 7;186:109-124. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

School of Marine Science and Engineering, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China. Electronic address:

Chemokines are crucial regulators of cell mobilization for development, homeostasis, and immunity. Chemokines signal through binding to chemokine receptors, a superfamily of seven-transmembrane domain G-coupled receptors. In the present study, seventeen CXC chemokine ligands (SsCXCLs) and nine CXC chemokine receptors (SsCXCRs) were systematically identified from Sebastes schlegelii genome. Phylogeny, synteny, and evolutionary analyses were performed to annotate these genes, indicating that the tandem duplications (CXCL8, CXCL11, CXCL32, CXCR2, and CXCR3), the whole genome duplications (CXCL8, CXCL12, CXCL18, and CXCR4), and the teleost-specific members (CXCL18, CXCL19, and CXCL32) led to the expansion of SsCXCLs and SsCXCRs. In addition, SsCXCLs and SsCXCRs were ubiquitously expressed in nine examined healthy tissues, with high expression levels observed in head kidney, liver, gill and spleen. Moreover, most SsCXCLs and SsCXCRs were significantly differentially expressed in head kidney, liver, and gill after Aeromonas salmonicida infection, and exhibited tissue-specific and time-dependent manner. Finally, protein-protein interaction network (PPI) analysis indicated that SsCXCLs and SsCXCRs interacted with a few immune-related genes such as interleukins, cathepsins, CD genes, and TLRs, etc. These results should be valuable for comparative immunological studies and provide insights for further functional characterization of chemokines and receptors in teleost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.07.014DOI Listing
July 2021

Self-compassion and the Mitigation of Negative Affect in the Era of Social Distancing.

Mindfulness (N Y) 2021 Jun 28:1-12. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Objectives: The outbreak of contagious diseases and their associated non-pharmaceutical interventions can lead to negative mental health consequences. This study aimed to investigate online self-compassion exercises' effectiveness in alleviating people's negative affect (anxiety and negative emotions) during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Methods: Study 1 examined the associations between self-compassion and negative affect using an anonymous online survey. In study 2, two pilot experiments were conducted to examine online self-compassion exercises' (i.e., instructor-guided meditation and self-guided writing) effectiveness to mitigate individuals' negative affect. In study 3, a randomized controlled study was conducted to further examine online self-compassion writing's effectiveness in reducing people's negative affect.

Results: The results of study 1 indicated a significant negative association between self-compassion and participants' negative affect. Participants in study 2a reported significant decreases in negative affect after completing the self-compassion meditation. Study 2b showed that participants who completed the self-compassion writing reported significantly more self-compassion and less anxiety when compared to participants who did not. Study 3 showed substantial pre/post-test changes in participants who completed self-compassion writing. Importantly, there were significant increases in participants' self-compassion and decreases in negative affect when compared to participants in the control condition.

Conclusions: Self-compassion exercises were effective to alleviate individuals' anxiety and reduce negative emotions (even within a brief session) during the pandemic lockdown.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12671-021-01674-w.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01674-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236748PMC
June 2021

Use of historical and contemporary distribution of mammals in China to inform conservation.

Conserv Biol 2021 Jul 5. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Shaanxi Key Laboratory for Animal Conservation, College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an, China.

A systematic understanding of dynamic animal extinction trajectories for different regions in a nation like China is critically important to developing practical conservation strategies. We explored historical and contemporary changes in terrestrial mammalian diversity to determine how diversity in each of the 5 regions in China has changed over time and to examine the conservation potential of these regions. We used records from databases on Pleistocene mammalian fossils and historical distribution records (1175-2020) for Primates (as a case study) to reconstruct evolutionary and historical distribution trajectories of the 11 orders of terrestrial mammals and to predict their prospective survival based on the national conservation strategy applied. The results indicated that since the Pleistocene, 4-5 mammalian orders have been lost in the northeast, 3 in central China, 2 along the coast, and 1 in the northwest. In the southwest, all 11 orders were maintained. Contemporarily, the coast and southwest had the highest and second-highest species densities. The southwest region and southeastern sections of the northwest region were the most historically and contemporarily diverse areas, which suggests that they should be the first priority for protected area (PA) designation. The central and coastal areas should be secondarily prioritized. In these 2 regions, conservation should focus on human coexistence with nature. Less attention should be paid to the PA in the northeast and western northwest because in these areas ecosystems are depauperate and the climate is harsh. Conservation in these areas should focus principally on avoiding further human encroachment on natural areas. Article impact statement: Historical and contemporary patterns of extinction can be a basis for mammalian conservation strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13795DOI Listing
July 2021

Relationship between Renal Damage and Serum Complement C3 in Children with Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis.

Nephron 2021 Jul 1:1-9. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Paediatrics of Jinling Hospital, Nanjing, China.

Background: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) disease is a well-known antibody-induced autoimmune disease. The pathogenesis of AAV has not yet been completely clarified, but may be related to heredity, infection, environmental factors, cellular immunity, etc. In recent years, complement in AAV pathogenesis has become the latest research hotspot, and the decrease of serum complement C3 is associated with poor prognosis of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated glomerulonephritis. In the current study, we investigated the associations between serum complement C3 and kidney injury in AAV children.

Methods: Twenty-four children with AAV admitted to our hospital from June 2014 to June 2019 were divided into the low C3 group and the normal C3 group. All the children have undergone renal biopsy. The clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, renal pathology, treatment, and prognosis of the 2 groups were observed. The primary end point was end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Results: It was shown that kidney injury was more obvious in patients with low C3 than in patients with normal C3 serum. The values of ESR, Scr, and UA before treatment in the low C3 group were higher than those in the normal C3 group (p < 0.01); the values of RBC, Hb, PLT, ALB, LDH, and eGFR in the normal C3 group were higher than those in the low C3 group (p < 0.01). The values of urinary protein and NAG enzyme in the low C3 group were higher than those in the normal C3 group (p < 0.01). The area of glomerular abandonment, sclerosis, segmental sclerosis, crescent, cellular crescent, cellular fibrous crescent, fibrous crescent, segmental loop necrosis, and the number of cases with acute renal tubulointerstitial lesions in the low C3 group were bigger than those in the normal C3 group (p < 0.05 and < 0.01). The number of cases with C3 deposition in the low C3 group was higher than that in the normal C3 group (p < 0.05). The number of patients receiving CRRT and PE in the low C3 group was higher than that in the normal C3 group (p < 0.05 and < 0.01). In this study, 3 children entered the stage of ESRD and 1 died in the low C3 group.

Conclusion: The kidney injury of AAV children with low complement C3 is serious, and the prognosis is poor. We should pay attention to the influence of decreased complement C3 on the condition and prognosis of AAV children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516533DOI Listing
July 2021

TP53 mutations in circulating tumor DNA in advanced epidermal growth factor receptor-mutant lung adenocarcinoma patients treated with gefitinib.

Transl Oncol 2021 Sep 27;14(9):101163. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100021, China. Electronic address:

Tumor protein p53 (TP53) is a tumor suppressor gene and TP53 mutations are associated with poor prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer. However, the in-depth classification of TP53 and its relationship with treatment response and prognosis in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant tumors treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors are unclear. Circulating tumor DNA was prospectively collected at baseline in advanced treatment-naïve EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma patients treated with gefitinib in an open-label, single-arm, prospective, multicenter, phase 2 clinical trial (BENEFIT trial) and analyzed using next-generation sequencing. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Of the 180 enrolled patients, 115 (63.9%) harbored TP53 mutations. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of patients with TP53-wild type tumors were significantly longer than those of patients with TP53-mutant tumors. Mutations in exons 5-8 accounted for 80.9% of TP53 mutations. Mutations in TP53 exons 6 and 7 were significantly associated with inferior PFS and OS compared to wild-type TP53. TP53 mutation also influenced the prognosis of patients with different EGFR mutations. Patients with TP53 and EGFR exon 19 mutations had significantly longer PFS and OS than patients with TP53 and EGFR L858R mutations, and both groups had worse survival than patients with only EGFR mutations. Patients with TP53 mutations, especially in exons 6 and 7, had a lower response rate and shorter PFS and OS when treated with gefitinib. Moreover, TP53 exon 5 mutation divided TP53 mutations in disruptive and non-disruptive types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254117PMC
September 2021

Using high-throughput multiple optical phenotyping to decipher the genetic architecture of maize drought tolerance.

Genome Biol 2021 Jun 24;22(1):185. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Center of Plant Gene Research, and Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.

Background: Drought threatens the food supply of the world population. Dissecting the dynamic responses of plants to drought will be beneficial for breeding drought-tolerant crops, as the genetic controls of these responses remain largely unknown.

Results: Here we develop a high-throughput multiple optical phenotyping system to noninvasively phenotype 368 maize genotypes with or without drought stress over a course of 98 days, and collected multiple optical images, including color camera scanning, hyperspectral imaging, and X-ray computed tomography images. We develop high-throughput analysis pipelines to extract image-based traits (i-traits). Of these i-traits, 10,080 were effective and heritable indicators of maize external and internal drought responses. An i-trait-based genome-wide association study reveals 4322 significant locus-trait associations, representing 1529 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and 2318 candidate genes, many that co-localize with previously reported maize drought responsive QTLs. Expression QTL (eQTL) analysis uncovers many local and distant regulatory variants that control the expression of the candidate genes. We use genetic mutation analysis to validate two new genes, ZmcPGM2 and ZmFAB1A, which regulate i-traits and drought tolerance. Moreover, the value of the candidate genes as drought-tolerant genetic markers is revealed by genome selection analysis, and 15 i-traits are identified as potential markers for maize drought tolerance breeding.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that combining high-throughput multiple optical phenotyping and GWAS is a novel and effective approach to dissect the genetic architecture of complex traits and clone drought-tolerance associated genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02377-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223302PMC
June 2021

Early response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy helps decrease recurrence rate of cervical cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 Jun 22;10(6):6092-6103. Epub 2021 May 22.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been used for treatment of cervical cancer for a long time; however, the role of early non-response on prognosis is still confusing. This study was designed to assess its impact on disease-free survival (DFS).

Methods: Databases "PubMed", "Embase" and the "Cochrane Library" were searched out through May 2020, and both random effects model and fixed effect model were employed to calculate the main pooled results. I2 and Cochrane Q test were used to test the heterogeneity among the studies. Funnel plot with Begg's and Egger's tests was used to assess the publication bias that may exist in the study. Sensitivity analysis was performed to detect the origin of the heterogeneity.

Results: A total of 1,349 articles were found at first; then, after several rounds of exclusion, we identified 8 articles with 9 studies which were accordant with the standards of the inclusion. A combined analysis was performed among the 1,462 responders and 490 non-responders. For 1-year DFS, sub-analysis showed hazard ratio (HR) was 0.25 (95% CI: 0.14-0.43) using RECIST criteria; and HR was 0.52 (95% CI: 0.36-0.75) using WHO criteria; Egger's test showed that P=0.35 for RECIST criteria and P=0.57 for WHO criteria; Begg's test showed P=0.34 for RECIST criteria and P=0.60 for WHO criteria. For 3-year DFS, HR was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.16-0.43) using RECIST criteria and was 0.47 (95% CI: 0.30-0.73) using WHO criteria. For 5-year DFS, HR was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.16-0.42) using RECIST criteria and was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.33-0.71) using WHO criteria.

Discussion: Early non-response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was significantly associated with higher recurrence of cervical cancer. Prospective randomized studies are warranted to validate this finding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-20-2004DOI Listing
June 2021

Tryptophan Pathway-Targeted Metabolomics Study on the Mechanism and Intervention of Cisplatin-Induced Acute Kidney Injury in Rats.

Chem Res Toxicol 2021 Jul 10;34(7):1759-1768. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Key Laboratory of Drug Quality Control and Pharmacovigilance (Ministry of Education), State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicine, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, P.R. China.

Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent widely employed in the treatment of various solid tumors. However, its use is often restricted by acute kidney injury (AKI) which is the dose-limiting adverse effect of cisplatin. While numerous studies aiming to alleviate the AKI have been conducted, there are no effective remedies in clinical practice. In this paper, a targeted metabolomics study was performed to reveal the potential relationship between tryptophan metabolism and cisplatin-induced AKI. A chemical derivatization integrated liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) approach was utilized to quantify 29 metabolites in the tryptophan pathway in rat kidney medulla and cortex after cisplatin administration. Results showed that tryptophan metabolism was remarkably disturbed both in the medulla and cortex after cisplatin administration. We also found that the tryptophan pathway in the medulla was more sensitive to cisplatin exposure compared with the cortex. Among these metabolites, indoxyl sulfate was focused for further study because it accumulated most significantly in the kidney cortex and medulla in a dose-dependent manner. A function verification study proved that chlormethiazole, a widely used CYP2E1 inhibitor, could reduce the production of indoxyl sulfate in the liver and attenuate cisplatin-induced AKI in rats. In conclusion, our study depicted the tryptophan pathway in cisplatin-induced AKI for the first time and demonstrated tryptophan metabolism is closely associated with the renal toxicity caused by cisplatin, which can be of great use for the discovery of renal toxicity attenuating remedies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.1c00110DOI Listing
July 2021

Anisotropically Fatigue-Resistant Hydrogels.

Adv Mater 2021 Jul 10;33(30):e2102011. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, 518055, China.

Nature builds biological materials from limited ingredients, however, with unparalleled mechanical performances compared to artificial materials, by harnessing inherent structures across multi-length-scales. In contrast, synthetic material design overwhelmingly focuses on developing new compounds, and fails to reproduce the mechanical properties of natural counterparts, such as fatigue resistance. Here, a simple yet general strategy to engineer conventional hydrogels with a more than 100-fold increase in fatigue thresholds is reported. This strategy is proven to be universally applicable to various species of hydrogel materials, including polysaccharides (i.e., alginate, cellulose), proteins (i.e., gelatin), synthetic polymers (i.e., poly(vinyl alcohol)s), as well as corresponding polymer composites. These fatigue-resistant hydrogels exhibit a record-high fatigue threshold over most synthetic soft materials, making them low-cost, high-performance, and durable alternatives to soft materials used in those circumstances including robotics, artificial muscles, etc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202102011DOI Listing
July 2021

Repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor regulates glutamate receptors and immediate early genes to affect synaptic plasticity.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 06 9;13(11):15569-15579. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Neurology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072, China.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the regulatory effects of repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) on the glutamate receptors and immediate early genes (IEGs) in the SH-SY5Y cells.

Methods: The genes regulated by REST were screened by bioinformatics between AD patients and the control group. Then, SH-SY5Y cells were treated with 10 μM Aβ or REST siRNA/cDNA, and the expressions of synaptic genes and IEGs were detected. Moreover, the protein expression of synaptophysin and PSD-95 was detected by Western blotting in the primary mouse hippocampal neurons.

Results: Firstly, 464 differentially expressed genes regulated by REST were identified between Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and controls, and REST was closely related to the glutamatergic synapses and long-term potentiation. GRIA1, GRIN2A, GRIN1, and ARC showed significant variations with the changes of REST. Moreover, the loss of REST reduced the expression of synaptophysin and PSD-95, which was related to synaptic plasticity.

Conclusion: REST maintains synaptic plasticity by affecting both glutamate receptors and IEGs, and the imbalance between neural excitation and inhibition mediated by REST compromises neural function, contributing to cognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.203118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8221361PMC
June 2021

Chlorogenic acid sustained-release gel for treatment of glioma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm 2021 Sep 14;166:103-110. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Key Laboratory of Drug-Targeting and Drug Delivery System of the Education Ministry, Sichuan Engineering Laboratory for Plant-Sourced Drug and Sichuan Research Center for Drug Precision Industrial Technology, West China School of Pharmacy, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China. Electronic address:

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) may provide an effective and safe option for tumor treatment. However, its application is limited because of short residence time in vivo and repeated administration required. A phospholipid-based in situ gel containing chlorogenic acid (CGA PG) was prepared via a simple way. The CGA PG exhibited good fluidity, easy injectability, high-drug-loading capacity, and suitable sustained-release behavior whether in vitro or in vivo. Furthermore, CGA PG could suppress tumor growth with no significant side effects. Overall, CGA PG may be a promising sustained drug delivery system with excellent therapeutic effect on glioma and hepatocellular carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2021.05.028DOI Listing
September 2021

Total Glucosides of Paeony Inhibited Autophagy and Improved Acute Kidney Injury Induced by Ischemia-Reperfusion via the lncRNA TUG1/miR-29a/PTEN Axis.

Drug Des Devel Ther 2021 25;15:2229-2242. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, People's Republic of China.

Objective: Total glucosides of paeony (TGP) has been proven to affect anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and hypoxia tolerance. This study investigates the effect of TGP on autophagy in acute kidney injury (AKI) induced by ischemia-reperfusion (I/R).

Methods: Rat model of AKI induced by I/R was established. Rats were administered with TGP at different doses by oral gavage. The contents of BUN, creatinine, NGAL, Kim-1 and IL-18 were detected. The levels of inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6) and autophagy were measured. The expressions of lncRNA TUG1, miR-29a and PTEN were detected and their binding relationships were verified. I/R rat model with overexpressed TUG1 was established to explore the effect of TGP on kidney injury and autophagy. The hypoxia/reoxygenation (HR) model of HK-2 cells and the HR model of HK-2 cells overexpressing TUG1 and low-expressing PTEN were established.

Results: TGP decreased the contents of BUN, creatinine, NGAL, Kim-1 and IL-18, and reduced the levels of inflammatory factors. LncRNA TUG1 and PTEN were downregulated, and miR-29a was upregulated in kidney tissues. The binding relationships between lncRNA TUG1 and miR-29a, and miR-29a and PTEN were confirmed. TGP suppressed PTEN expression via the lncRNA TUG1/miR-29a axis. Overexpressing lncRNA TUG1 attenuated the protective effect of TGP on AKI and autophagy in HK-2 cells. TGP improved cell viability and inhibited the autophagy in HR model of HK-2 cells via lncRNA TUG1/miR-29a/PTEN axis.

Conclusion: TGP inhibited autophagy and improved AKI induced by I/R via the lncRNA TUG1/miR-29a/PTEN axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S286606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164873PMC
May 2021

Replication and virulence of chimeric bat influenza viruses in mammalian and avian cells and in mice.

Microb Pathog 2021 Aug 25;157:104992. Epub 2021 May 25.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China; Animal Influenza and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Innovation Team, China. Electronic address:

Previous studies have shown that chimeric bat influenza viruses can be generated by reverse genetic system. However, the roles of the surface or internal genes of chimeric bat influenza viruses in viral replication and virulence in different host species were still not completely understood. In this study, we generated a chimeric H9N2 bat virus with both HA and NA surface genes from the avian A2093/H9N2 virus and compared its replication and virulence with the chimeric H1N1 bat virus with both HA and NA from the PR8/H1N1 virus in vitro and in mice. The chimeric H1N1 virus showed significantly higher replication in mammalian and avian cells and significantly higher virulence in mice than the chimeric H9N2 virus. Moreover, the chimeric H9N2 virus with the bat influenza internal M gene showed a higher replication in mammalian cells than in avian cells. While the chimeric H9N2 virus with the avian-origin viral M gene displayed a higher replication than that with the bat influenza M gene in avian cells, which likely resulted from increased receptor binding ability to α 2,3 sialic acid linked glycans of the former virus. Our study indicates that bat influenza internal genes are permissive in both mammalian and avian cells, and the bat influenza internal M gene shows more compatibility in mammals than in the avian host. Although the surface genes play more critical roles for viral replication in different host substrates, influenza M gene also potentially impacts on replication, virulence and host tropism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2021.104992DOI Listing
August 2021

Interlayer hydrogen bonding directed magnetic properties for a different number of water-intercalated structural heterometallic phosphates based on paddlewheel units Ru(PO).

Dalton Trans 2021 Jun;50(24):8364-8371

Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule of the Ministry of Education, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Physico-Inorganic Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, P. R. China.

Layered heterometallic phosphates {Mn(H2O)4}2Mn(H2O)2Ru2(PO4)4(H2O)2 (1) with a new topology were constructed from Ru2(PO4)46- and Mn2+ in the presence of anions as assisting reactants whose alkaline strength plays a key role in directing a different number of lattice water-intercalated structures. In the presence of CO32- and SO42- as assisting reactants, the assembling reaction in the aqueous solution at room temperature results in compounds 1·10H2O and 1·4H2O, respectively. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis reveals that compounds 1·10H2O and 1·4H2O crystallize in orthorhombic space group Pbca and monoclinic space group P21/c, respectively. The layered structure of 1 is constructed by alternating Ru2O10 tetragonal dipyramid and MnO6 octahedra bridged by PO4 tetrahedra. The neutral heterometallic phosphate layers of 1 are separated by a different number of interlayer lattice water molecules, and hydrogen bonds are responsible for the neutral inorganic layer connection. Magnetism measurements show that compound 1·10H2O exhibits a soft magnet behaviour ordering below 8.5 K with indirect hydrogen bonding between these ferrimagnetic layers, and a reentrant spin-glass-like transition is observed for compound 1·4H2O, exhibiting two steps transition at 8.0 and 12 K, due to a strong competition between intralayer magnetic coupling and interlayer antiferromagnetic interactions mediated through the direct hydrogen bonding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt00896jDOI Listing
June 2021

A study of breastfeeding practices, SARS-CoV-2 and its antibodies in the breast milk of mothers confirmed with COVID-19.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2020 Nov 10;4:100045. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Neonatology, Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Hubei Province, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China.

Background: The possibility of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission to neonates through breast milk remains unverified.

Methods: This paper presents the interim results of a longitudinal study being carried out in Hubei province. As of 1 April 2020, 24 mothers confirmed with COVID-19, 19 mothers suspected with COVID-19 but Polymerase chain reaction negative, and 21 mothers without COVID-19 and their neonates have been recruited. Telephone follow-up was conducted to collect information on breastfeeding practices. Forty-four breast milk samples were collected from 16 of the 24 mothers with confirmed COVID-19 for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) ribonucleic acid (RNA) and antibodies (IgM and IgG) testing.

Findings: The average mother-child separation time was 36•7 ± 21•1 days among mothers confirmed with COVID-19, significantly longer than that of the suspected group (16•6 ± 13•1 days) and control group (10•5 ± 8•2 days). Both the COVID-19 confirmed (58•3%) and suspected (52•6%) groups presented significantly lower rates of breastfeeding as compared with the control group (95•2%). All 44 breast milk samples tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. Thirty-eight breast milk samples underwent antibody testing and all tested negative for IgG. Twenty-one breast milk samples from 8 women tested positive for IgM, while the remaining samples from 11 women tested negative.

Interpretation: Considering the lack of evidence for SARS-CoV-2 transmission through breast milk, breastfeeding counselling along with appropriate hand hygiene precautions and facemasks should be provided to all pregnant women.

Funding: The study was funded by the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2020.100045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654387PMC
November 2020

Community structure of environmental microorganisms associated with COVID-19 affected patients.

Aerobiologia (Bologna) 2021 May 4:1-9. Epub 2021 May 4.

College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 China.

To clarify the characteristics and distribution of hospital environmental microbiome associated with confirmed COVID-19 patients. Environmental samples with varying degrees of contamination which were associated with confirmed COVID-19 patients were collected, including 13 aerosol samples collected near eight patients in different wards, five swabs from one patient's skin and his personal belongings, and two swabs from the surface of positive pressure respiratory protective hood and the face shield from a physician who had close contact with one patient. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) was used to analyze the composition of the microbiome. One of the aerosol samples (near patient 4) was detected positive for COVID-19, and others were all negative. The environmental samples collected in different wards possessed protean compositions and community structures, the dominant genera including , , , , , and . Top 10 of genera accounted for more than 76.72%. Genera abundance and proportion of human microbes and pathogens radiated outward from the patient, while the percentage of environmental microbes increased. The abundance of the pathogenic microorganism of medical supplies is significantly higher than other surface samples. The microbial compositions of the aerosol collected samples nearby the patients were mostly similar to those from the surfaces of the patient's skin and personal belongings, but the abundance varied greatly. The positive rate of COVID-19 RNA detected from aerosol around patients in general wards was quite low. The ward environment was predominantly inhabited by species closely related to admitted patients. The spread of hospital microorganisms via aerosol was influenced by the patients' activity.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10453-021-09708-5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10453-021-09708-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8093081PMC
May 2021

, a dwarf new species of Amaryllidaceae from Hunan, China.

PhytoKeys 2021 21;177:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000, China.

S.Y. Zhang, a new species from Hunan Province (central South China), is described and illustrated. This new species is a fertile diploid plant and its karyotype is 2n = 22. It is most similar to L. × haywardii in morphology, but the latter is a hybrid species and distributed in East China and the plant is much larger. Amongst the original species, is similar to , but differs from it in its flowers being rose-red (vs. red) and stamens and tepals are nearly the same length (vs. stamens significantly longer than tepals).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.177.62741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081704PMC
April 2021

In silico network pharmacology and in vivo analysis of berberine-related mechanisms against type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Aug 3;276:114180. Epub 2021 May 3.

Endocrinology Department, Affiliated Hospital to Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Berberine (BBR), extracted from the traditional medicinal plant Coptis chinensis Franch., has been widely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its complications.

Aim Of The Study: To determine the potential pharmacological mechanisms underlying BBR therapeutic effect on T2DM and its complications by in silico network pharmacology and experimental in vivo validation.

Materials And Methods: A predictive network depicting the relationship between BBR and T2DM was designed based on information collected from several databases, namely STITCH, CHEMBL, PharmMapper, TTD, Drugbank, and PharmGKB. Identified overlapping targets related to both BBR and T2DM were crossed with information on biological processes (BPs) and molecular/signaling pathways using the DAVID platform and Cytoscape software. Three candidate targets identified with the BBR-T2DM network (RXRA, KCNQ1 and NR3C1) were evaluated in the C57BL/6J mouse model of T2DM. The mice were treated with BBR or metformin for 10 weeks. Weight, fasting blood glucose (FBG), oral glucose tolerance, and expression levels of the three targets were evaluated.

Results: A total of 31 targets of BBR that were also related to T2DM were identified, of which 14 had already been reported in previous studies. Furthermore, these 31 overlapping targets were enriched in 21 related BPs and 18 pathways involved in T2DM treatment. The identified BP-target-pathway network revealed the underlying mechanisms of BBR antidiabetic activity were mediated by core targets such as RXRA, KCNQ1, and NR3C1. In vivo experiments further confirmed that treatment with BBR significantly reduced weight and FBG and alleviated insulin resistance in T2DM mice. Moreover, BBR treatment promoted RXRA expression, whereas it reduced KCNQ1 and NR3C1 expression in the liver.

Conclusion: Using network pharmacology and a T2DM mouse model, this study revealed that BBR can effectively prevent T2DM symptoms through vital targets and multiple signaling pathways. Network pharmacology provides an efficient, time-saving approach for therapeutic research and the development of new drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114180DOI Listing
August 2021
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