Publications by authors named "Qing Xie"

609 Publications

Translocator Protein-Targeted Photodynamic Therapy for Direct and Abscopal Immunogenic Cell Death in Colorectal Cancer.

Acta Biomater 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1161 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA; Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA; Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA. Electronic address:

Abscopal effect is an attractive cancer therapeutic effect referring to tumor regression at a location distant from the primary treatment site. Immunogenic cell death (ICD) offers a mechanistic link between the primary and remote therapeutic effects by activating favorable anti-tumor immune responses. In this study, we induced ICD in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines in vitro and in vivo by targeting the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), a mitochondrial receptor overexpressed in CRC. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using a TSPO-targeted photosensitizer, IR700DX-6T, caused effective apoptotic cell death in fourteen CRC cell lines. In a syngeneic immunocompetent CRC mouse model, the growth of tumors subjected to TSPO-PDT was greatly suppressed. Remarkably, untreated tumors in the opposing flank also showed marked growth suppression. Dendritic and CD8 T cells were activated after TSPO-PDT treatment, accompanied by decreased Treg cells in both treated and non-treated tumors. In addition, a cancer vaccine developed from TSPO-PDT produced a significant tumor inhibition effect. These results indicate that TSPO-PDT could not only directly suppress tumor growth but also dramatically provoke host anti-tumor immunity, highlighting the potential of TSPO-PDT as a successful therapeutic for CRC that exhibits systemic effects. Statement of Significance: Abscopal effect is an attractive cancer therapeutic effect referring to tumor regression at a location distant from the primary treatment site. Immunogenic cell death (ICD) offers a mechanistic link between the primary and remote therapeutic effects by activating favorable anti-tumor immune responses. In this study, we report a new therapeutic approach that can reduce the growth of multiple CRC cell lines by inducing ICD. Notably, a direct and abscopal effect was observed in mouse tumor-derived MC38 cells when injected into syngeneic immunocompetent mice. If comparable effects could be achieved in humans, it would establish a novel paradigm for treating micro- and macro-metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.07.052DOI Listing
July 2021

Mental health risk assessment and intervention of vocational college students with the assistance of mental health education.

Work 2021 Jul 16. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, Colorado, CO, USA.

Background: With the rapid development of higher education in China, vocational colleges are developing rapidly. However, most higher vocational colleges have a short history of running schools, insufficient management systems, averaged student quality, low government social recognition, and poor employment quality, making vocational college students' mental health issues prominent.

Objectives: The purposes are to evaluate and intervene in students' mental health issues in vocational colleges, thereby formulating corresponding intervention mechanisms.

Methods: The questionnaires and in-depth interviews are utilized to investigate and collect students' mental health in vocational colleges. Corresponding intervention mechanisms are formulated according to the results obtained.

Results: A total of 510 equivalent questionnaires are distributed to three different local vocational colleges. Finally, 496 questionnaires are returned, of which 441 questionnaires are valid. Investigation and analysis results show that only 34.82%of students are considered mentally healthy and relatively healthy in terms of mental health, while 22.22%have some or severe mental health issues. Employment brings the greatest pressure. Further investigation of the students' personalities shows that 54.88%of students are classified as impulsive personalities, and 40.82%are inferiority personalities, clarifying students' mental health issues. Finally, intervention mechanisms are formulated from three perspectives: preventive intervention, response intervention, and follow-up intervention to improve students' mental health issues.

Conclusion: The mental health issues of students in vocational colleges are assessed and analyzed clearly, making the intervention measures more targeted, which can provide a reference for the intervention and evaluation of students' mental health issues in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-205354DOI Listing
July 2021

Correction to: Associations between prenatal exposure to cadmium and lead with neural tube defect risks are modified by single-nucleotide polymorphisms of fetal MTHFR and SOD2: a case-control study.

Environ Health 2021 Jul 12;20(1):80. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Peking University, Beijing, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-021-00762-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8276399PMC
July 2021

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in Chinese chronic hepatitis B patients: Results of a multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, clinical trial at 96 weeks.

World J Clin Cases 2021 Jun;9(18):4690-4699

Department of Infectious Diseases, Center for Liver Diseases, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100034, China.

Background: Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is a prodrug of a nucleotide analogue. As an antiviral drug, TDF has been proposed in the first-line treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Qingzhong, a brand name of TDF, commercialized by Jiangsu Chia-tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Co Ltd., and Viread, another brand name of TDF, commercialized by GlaxoSmithKline, have both been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration, China.

Aim: To investigate the efficacy and safety of the two TDF agents in the treatment of Chinese CHB patients.

Methods: This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with the identifier number of NCT02287857. A total of 330 Chinese CHB patients, among which 232 were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive, were included in this 5-year-long, multicenter, double-blinded, double-dummy, randomized-controlled, non-inferiority phase III trial. The participants were initially randomized into two groups: Group A ( = 161), in which the participants received 300 mg Qingzhong once a day for 48 wk; and Group B, in which the participants received 300 mg Viread once a day for 48 wk. Starting from week 49, all the participants in Groups A and B received 300 mg Qingzhong once a day until the 96 week. In this study, the primary endpoint was the decrease in plasma level of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA at the 96 week, while the secondary endpoints were suppression of HBV replication, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization, HBeAg loss, and HBeAg seroconversion rates.

Results: For the participants with HBeAg-positive CHB, the decrease in mean HBV DNA level relative to the baseline value was comparable between Groups A and B (5.77 5.73 log IU/mL, > 0.05) at the 96 week. In addition, similar percentages of HBeAg-positive participants in the two groups exhibited undetectable levels of HBV DNA, HBeAg loss, and HBeAg seroconversion (71.05% 77.97%, 31.00% 27.27%, and 20.22% 15.79%, respectively, in Group A Group B; > 0.05). For the participants with HBeAg-negative CHB, the decrease in mean HBV DNA level relative to the baseline value was also comparable between Groups A and B (4.46 4.70 log IU/mL, > 0.05) at the 96 week. In addition, similar percentages of HBeAg-negative participants in the two groups exhibited undetectable levels of HBV DNA (87.23% 94.12% in Group A Group B, respectively; > 0.05). Finally, similar percentages of CHB patients (HBeAg-positive or HBeAg-negative) in the two groups exhibited normalization of ALT (80.14% 84.57% in Group A Group B, respectively; > 0.05), and similar incidences of adverse events were observed (106 104 in Group A Group B, respectively; > 0.05).

Conclusion: Both Qingzhong and Viread are effective and safe in the treatment of Chinese CHB patients according to the results of our clinical trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12998/wjcc.v9.i18.4690DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223849PMC
June 2021

3-year Treatment of Tenofovir Alafenamide . Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate for Chronic HBV Infection in China.

J Clin Transl Hepatol 2021 Jun 28;9(3):324-334. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

The Sixth People's Hospital of Shenyang, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.

Background And Aims: Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) has similar efficacy to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) but with improved renal and bone safety in chronic hepatitis B patients studied outside of China. We report 3-year results from two phase 3 studies with TAF in China (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02836249 and NCT02836236).

Methods: Chinese hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive and -negative chronic hepatitis B patients with viremia and elevated alanine aminotransferase were randomized 2:1 to TAF or TDF treatment groups and treated in a double-blind fashion for 144 weeks (3 years). Efficacy responses were assessed by individual study while safety was assessed by a pooled analysis.

Results: Of the 334 patients (180 HBeAg-positive and 154 HBeAg-negative) randomized and treated, baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The overall mean age was 38 years and 73% were male. The mean HBV DNA was 6.4 log IU/mL. The median alanine aminotransferase was 88 U/L, and 37% had a history of antiviral use. At week 144, the proportion with HBV DNA <29 IU/mL was similar among the two groups, with TAF at 83% vs. TDF at 79%, and TAF at 93% vs. TDF at 92% for the HBeAg-positive and -negative patients, respectively. In each study, higher proportions of TAF than TDF patients showed normalized alanine aminotransferase (via the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the China criteria) and showed loss of HBsAg; meanwhile, the HBeAg seroconversion rates were similar. Treatment was well-tolerated among the TAF patients, who showed a smaller median decline in creatinine clearance (-0.4 vs. -3.2 mL/min; =0.014) and less percentage change in bone mineral density vs. TDF at hip (-0.95% vs. -1.93%) and spine (+0.35% vs. -1.40%).

Conclusions: In chronic hepatitis B patients from China, TAF treatment provided efficacy similar to TDF but with better renal and bone safety at 3 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14218/JCTH.2020.00145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237145PMC
June 2021

TNF-α induces up-regulation of MicroRNA-27a via the P38 signalling pathway, which inhibits intervertebral disc degeneration by targeting FSTL1.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 Aug 30;25(15):7146-7156. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Orthopaedic, Qilu Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine of Shandong University, Jinan, China.

The mechanism of intervertebral disc degeneration is still unclear, and there are no effective therapeutic strategies for treating this condition. miRNAs are naturally occurring macromolecules in the human body and have many biological functions. Therefore, we hope to elucidate whether miRNAs are associated with intervertebral disc degeneration and the underlying mechanisms involved. In our study, differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted by the GEO database and then confirmed by qPCR and in situ hybridization. Apoptosis of nucleus pulposus cells was detected by flow cytometry and Bcl2, Bax and caspase 3. Deposition of extracellular matrix was assessed by Alcian blue staining, and the expression of COX2 and MMP13 was detected by immunofluorescence, Western blot and qPCR. Moreover, qPCR was used to detect the expression of miR27a and its precursors. The results showed that miR27a was rarely expressed in healthy intervertebral discs but showed increased expression in degenerated intervertebral discs. Ectopic miR27a expression inhibited apoptosis, suppressed the inflammatory response and attenuated the catabolism of the extracellular matrix by targeting FSTL1. Furthermore, it seems that the expression of miR27a was up-regulated by TNF-α via the P38 signalling pathway. So we conclude that TNF-α and FSTL1 engage in a positive feedback loop to promote intervertebral disc degeneration. At the same time, miR27a is up-regulated by TNF-α via the P38 signalling pathway, which ameliorates inflammation, apoptosis and matrix degradation by targeting FSTL1. Thus, this negative feedback mechanism might contribute to the maintenance of a low degeneration load and would be beneficial to maintain a persistent chronic disc degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16745DOI Listing
August 2021

Cu-PSMA-BCH: a new radiotracer for delayed PET imaging of prostate cancer.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2021 Jun 25. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research, Ministry of Education/Beijing), NMPA Key Laboratory for Research and Evaluation of Radiopharmaceuticals (National Medical Products Administration), Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, No. 52 Fu-Cheng Rd, Beijing, 100142, China.

Purpose: Develop a Cu labeled radiopharmaceutical targeting prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and investigate its application for prostate cancer imaging.

Methods: Cu-PSMA-BCH was prepared and investigated for stability, PSMA specificity, and micro-PET imaging. With the approval of Ethics Committee of Beijing Cancer Hospital (No. 2017KT97), PET/CT imaging in 4 patients with suspected prostate cancer was performed and the radiation dosimetry was estimated. Then, PSMA PET-ultrasound image-guided biopsies were performed on 3 patients and the fine needle aspirates were further performed for autoradiography and immunohistochemistry analysis.

Results: Cu-PSMA-BCH was prepared with high radiochemical yield and stability. In vivo study showed higher uptake in PSMA ( +) 22Rv1 cells than PSMA ( -) PC-3 cells (5.59 ± 0.36 and 1.97 ± 0.22 IA%/10 cells at 1 h). It accumulated in 22Rv1 tumor with increasing radioactivity uptake and T/N ratios from 1 to 24 h post-injection. In patients with suspected prostate cancer, SUVmax and T/N ratios increased within 24 h post-injection. Compared with image at 1 h post-injection, more tumor lesions were detected at 6 h and 24 h post-injection. The human organ radiation dosimetry showed gallbladder wall was most critical, liver and kidneys were followed, and the whole-body effective dose was 0.0292 mSv/MBq. Two fine needle aspirates obtained by PET-ultrasound-guided targeted biopsy showed high radioactive signal by autoradiography, with 100% PSMA expression in cytoplasm and 30% expression in nucleus.

Conclusion: Cu-PSMA-BCH was PSMA specific and showed high stability in vivo with lower uptake in liver than Cu-PSMA-617. Biodistribution in mice and PCa patients showed similar profile compared with other PSMA ligands and it was safe with moderate effective dosimetry. The increased tumor uptake and T/N ratios by delayed imaging may facilitate the detection of small lesions and guiding targeted biopsies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-021-05426-9DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of central obesity with hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B receiving antiviral therapy.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2021 Aug 22;54(3):329-338. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Guangzhou, China.

Background: Obesity is typically associated with metabolic dysfunction, but its impact on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).

Aim: To study the effect of obesity on HCC development in patients with CHB receiving antiviral therapy.

Methods: We included patients from a Chinese multicentre, prospective, observational, treated CHB cohort in this study. General obesity was evaluated by body-mass index (BMI). Central obesity was evaluated by waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio.

Results: A total of 5754 nucleos(t)ide analogue treated patients were enrolled in the analysis. The 5-year cumulative incidence of HCC was 2.9%. Waist-to-height ratio performed better in predicting HCC development than BMI, waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. Patients with central obesity (defined as waist-to-height ratio >0.5) had significantly higher 5-year incidence of HCC than those without central obesity in the overall population (3.9% vs 2.1%, hazard ratio [HR]: 2.06, P = 0.0001) and 745 propensity score matched pairs (4.7% vs 2.3%, HR: 2.04, P = 0.026), respectively. Besides cirrhosis status and aMAP HCC risk score, central obesity was also independently associated with HCC risk (HR: 1.63, P = 0.013). Waist-to-height ratio gain within 1 year was associated with a significantly higher HCC risk with an adjusted HR value of 1.88 (95% confidence interval: 1.12-3.13, P = 0.017).

Conclusions: Central obesity, evaluated by the waist-to-height ratio, was associated with a twofold increase in HCC risk among CHB patients receiving antiviral treatment, highlighting the important role of abnormal metabolic function in the progression of liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.16469DOI Listing
August 2021

PHF19 activates hedgehog signaling and promotes tumorigenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Exp Cell Res 2021 Jun 12;406(1):112690. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200025, China. Electronic address:

Aberrant activation of Hedgehog-Gli1 signaling and accumulation of Gli1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are frequently observed. However, the mechanisms leading to the overactivation of this signaling pathway are not fully understood. In this study, we show that the short isoform of PHD finger protein 19 (PHF19) interacts with β-TrCP, the E3 ligase of Gli1, and that knocking down PHF19 promotes the ubiquitination of Gli1. In a biological function study, PHF19 was found to promote the growth of HCC cells both in liquid culture and in soft agar. Moreover, knocking out PHF19 in a HCC mouse model (Myc) using the hydrodynamic method inhibited tumorigenesis and improved survival. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PHF19 promotes the growth of HCC cells by activating the Hedgehog signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2021.112690DOI Listing
June 2021

Molecular simulation of nano polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane doping effect on the properties of two-component crosslinked epoxy resin.

J Mol Graph Model 2021 09 7;107:107961. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment & System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China.

Epoxy resin (EP) has been extensively used in the field of insulation for its excellent electrical strength, mechanical property, chemical stability, and low cost. In this paper, computer molecular simulation is used to analyze the influence of nano-POSS (Nano-Polyhedral Oligomericsils Esquioxane) doping on the properties of epoxy composite from the micro point of view, which can provide a scientific basis for the optimization of the epoxy system. Two kinds of nano-POSS fillers with different mass fractions were doped into the base material of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) and 3,4-epoxycyclohexylmethyl 3,4-epoxycyclohexanecar (OSC). By molecular dynamics (MD) simulation the influence of nanofillers on the microstructure, thermal and mechanical properties of the composite were analyzed. Simulation results show that the doping of nano-POSS can improve the thermal and mechanical properties of the epoxy composite. Different nano-POSS has little effect on the glass transition temperature (T), coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), and mechanical properties of the epoxy system, while the filling amount has an obvious improvement effect. Compared with EP/methyl-POSS system, the thermal and mechanical properties of the EP/phenyl-POSS system are better. At the same time, the doping of nano-POSS changed the microstructure parameters of epoxy composite. With the increase of nano-POSS filler content, fractional free volume (FFV) and mean square displacement (MSD) of both EP/POSS systems increased after the first drop. Besides, when the content of nano-POSS exceeded a certain range, the aggregation of filler itself hindered the accumulation of epoxy molecular chain segments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmgm.2021.107961DOI Listing
September 2021

LncRNAs serve as novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of childhood ALL.

Biomark Res 2021 Jun 10;9(1):45. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Diagnostics, Key Laboratory of Big Data Mining and Precision Drug Design, School of Medical Technology, Guangdong Medical University, Guangdong Medical University, 523808, Dongguan, China.

Background: Although some studies have demonstrated that lncRNAs are dysregulated in hematopoietic malignancies and may regulate the progression of leukemia, the detailed mechanism underlying tumorigenesis is still unclear. This study aimed to investigate lncRNAs that are differentially expressed in childhood B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and their potential roles in the progression of childhood ALL.

Methods: Microarrays were used to detect differentially expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs. Several aberrantly expressed lncRNAs were validated by qRT-PCR. Leukemia-free survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method with a log-rank test. The co-expression correlations of lncRNAs and mRNAs were determined by Spearman's correlation coefficient. CCK-8 assays and flow cytometry were performed to measure cell proliferation and apoptosis.

Results: We revealed that many lncRNAs were abnormally expressed in B-ALL and T-ALL. LncRNA/mRNA co-expression and the gene locus network showed that dysregulated lncRNAs are involved in diverse cellular processes. We also assessed the diagnostic value of the differentially expressed lncRNAs and confirmed the optimal combination of TCONS_00026679, uc002ubt.1, ENST00000411904, and ENST00000547644 with an area under the curve of 0.9686 [95 % CI: 0.9369-1.000, P < 0.001], with 90.7 % sensitivity and 92.19 % specificity, at a cut-off point of -0.5700 to distinguish childhood B-ALL patients from T-ALL patients, implying that these specific lncRNAs may have potential to detect subsets of childhood ALL. Notably, we found that the 8-year leukemia-free survival of patients with high TCONS_00026679 (p = 0.0081), ENST00000522339 (p = 0.0484), ENST00000499583 (p = 0.0381), ENST00000457217 (p = 0.0464), and ENST00000451368 (p = 0.0298) expression levels was significantly higher than that of patients with low expression levels of these lncRNAs, while patients with high uc002ubt.1 (p = 0.0499) and ENST00000547644 (p = 0.0451) expression levels exhibited markedly shorter 8-year leukemia-free survival. In addition, some lncRNAs were found to play different roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis in T-ALL and B-ALL.

Conclusions: Dysregulated lncRNAs involved in different regulatory mechanisms underlying the progression of childhood T-ALL and B-ALL might serve as novel biomarkers to distinguish ALL subsets and indicate poor outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40364-021-00303-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193891PMC
June 2021

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the Affected Hemisphere Enhances Hand Functional Recovery in Subacute Adult Stroke Patients: A Randomized Trial.

Front Aging Neurosci 2021 19;13:636184. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Either motor training or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could modulate the neural plasticity after stroke. Therefore, synchronizing the two interventions may optimize the efficiency of recovery. In the present study, we aim to investigate the effect of rTMS along with hand grip training on the neurobehavioral and hand functional recovery in one cohort of subacute stroke patients. Thirty-nine stroke patients were enrolled in a single-center, single-blinded, randomized clinical trial. We tested different intervention effects of rTMS and hand grip training (group A), rTMS alone (group B), and hand grip training alone (group C). For the rTMS-treated groups, patients received 10 consecutive sessions of 5-Hz stimulation over the affected hemisphere with 750 pulses. Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (JTHFT), Fugl-Meyer assessment of upper extremity (FMA-UE), grip strength, modified Barthel index (mBI), and ipsilesional motor evoked potential (iMEP) latency were assessed and compared across the groups. We found that only rTMS along with hand grip training group all improved in JTHFT, FMA-UE, grip strength, and mBI ( ≤ 0.01) compared with the baseline among the three groups. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that rTMS plus hand grip training had much better results in improvement of neurobehavioral outcomes compared to the rTMS alone- and hand grip training alone-treated patients ( < 0.05). However, no significant differences were detected in neurophysiologic outcome between intra-groups and inter-groups ( > 0.05). These proof-of-concept results suggested that rTMS alone with hand grip training was a unique approach to promote hand functional recovery in stroke patients. It provided important information to design a large-scale multi-center clinical trial to further demonstrate the efficiency of the combination of central and peripheral stimulation. http://www.chictr.org.cn (#ChiCTR1900023443).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2021.636184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8171119PMC
May 2021

Associations between prenatal exposure to cadmium and lead with neural tube defect risks are modified by single-nucleotide polymorphisms of fetal MTHFR and SOD2: a case-control study.

Environ Health 2021 06 5;20(1):66. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Peking University, Beijing, China.

Background: Prenatal exposure to heavy metals is implicated in the etiology of birth defects. We investigated whether concentrations of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in umbilical cord tissue are associated with risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) and whether selected genetic variants of the fetus modify their associations.

Methods: This study included 166 cases of NTD fetuses/newborns and 166 newborns without congenital malformations. Umbilical cord tissue was collected at birth or elective pregnancy termination. Cd and Pb concentrations were assessed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, and 20 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 9 genes were genotyped. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to estimate the risk for NTDs in association with metal concentrations or genotype using logistic regression. Multiplicative-scale interactions between the metals and genotypes on NTD risk were assessed with logistic regression, and additive-scale interactions were estimated with a non-linear mixed effects model.

Results: Higher concentrations of Cd were observed in the NTD group than in the control group, but no difference was found for Pb. Concentrations of Cd above the median level showed a risk effect, while the association between Pb and NTD risk was not significant in univariate analyses. The association of Cd was attenuated after adjusting for periconceptional folic acid supplementation. Fetuses with the AG and GG genotypes of rs4880 in SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2) tended to have a lower risk, but fetuses with the CT and TT genotypes of rs1801133 in MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolatereductase) have a higher risk for NTDs when compared to their respective wild-type. rs4880 and Cd exhibited a multiplicative-scale interaction on NTD risk: the association between higher Cd and the risk for NTDs was increased by over fourfold in fetuses carrying the G allele [OR 4.43 (1.30-15.07)] compared to fetuses with the wild-type genotype. rs1801133 and Cd exposure showed an additive interaction, with a significant relative excess risk of interaction [RERI 0.64 (0.02-1.25)].

Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to Cd may be a risk factor for NTDs, and the risk effect may be enhanced in fetuses who carry the G allele of rs4880 in SOD2 and T allele of rs1801133 in MTHFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-021-00752-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8180011PMC
June 2021

Progression Rates by Age, Sex, Treatment, and Disease Activity by AASLD and EASL Criteria: Data for Precision Medicine.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Internal Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Saga, Japan.

Background & Aims: Antiviral treatment criteria are based on disease progression risk, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance recommendations for patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) without cirrhosis is based on an annual incidence threshold of 0.2%. However, accurate and precise disease progression estimate data are limited. Thus, we aimed to determine rates of cirrhosis and HCC development stratified by age, sex, treatment status, and disease activity based on the 2018 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and 2017 European Association for the Study of the Liver guidelines.

Methods: We analyzed 18,338 patients (8914 treated, 9424 untreated) from 6 centers from the United States and 27 centers from Asia-Pacific countries. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate annual progression rates to cirrhosis or HCC in person-years.

Results: The cohort was 63% male, with a mean age of 46.19 years, with baseline cirrhosis of 14.3% and median follow up of 9.60 years. By American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases criteria, depending on age, sex, and disease activity, annual incidence rates ranged from 0.07% to 3.94% for cirrhosis, from 0.04% to 2.19% for HCC in patients without cirrhosis, and from 0.40% to 8.83% for HCC in patients with cirrhosis. Several subgroups of patients without cirrhosis including males younger than 40 years of age and females younger than 50 years of age had annual HCC risk near or exceeding 0.2%. Similar results were found using European Association for the Study of the Liver criteria.

Conclusion: There is great variability in CHB disease progression rates even among "lower-risk" populations. Future CHB modeling studies, public health planning, and HCC surveillance recommendation should be based on more precise disease progression rates based on sex, age, and disease activity, plus treatment status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.05.062DOI Listing
June 2021

Molecular Dynamics Simulation for the Effect of Fluorinated Graphene Oxide Layer Spacing on the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Fluorinated Epoxy Resin.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 May 20;11(5). Epub 2021 May 20.

State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment & System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.

Traditional epoxy resin (EP) materials have difficulty to meet the performance requirements in the increasingly complex operating environment of the electrical and electronic industry. Therefore, it is necessary to study the design and development of new epoxy composites. At present, fluorinated epoxy resin (F-EP) is widely used, but its thermal and mechanical properties cannot meet the demand. In this paper, fluorinated epoxy resin was modified by ordered filling of fluorinated graphene oxide (FGO). The effect of FGO interlayer spacing on the thermal and mechanical properties of the composite was studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. It is found that FGO with ordered filling can significantly improve the thermal and mechanical properties of F-EP, and the modification effect is better than that of FGO with disordered filling. When the interlayer spacing of FGO is about 9 Å, the elastic modulus, glass transition temperature, thermal expansion coefficient, and thermal conductivity of FGO are improved with best effect. Furthermore, we calculated the micro parameters of different systems, and analyzed the influencing mechanism of ordered filling and FGO layer spacing on the properties of F-EP. It is considered that FGO can bind the F-EP molecules on both sides of the nanosheets, reducing the movement ability of the molecular segments of the materials, so as to achieve the enhancement effect. The results can provide new ideas for the development of high-performance epoxy nanocomposites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11051344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160737PMC
May 2021

Refractive errors and visual impairment among children and adolescents in southernmost China.

BMC Ophthalmol 2021 May 20;21(1):227. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Ophthalmology, Central South University Xiangya School of Medicine Affiliated Haikou Hospital, Haikou, 570208, Hainan, China.

Background: Refractive errors and visual impairment in southernmost China have not been reported previously. We aim to investigate and determine the age-specific prevalence of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and visual impairment based on a large population cross-sectional study in Hainan area of southernmost tropical province in China.

Methods: A population-based sample of 31,524 children aged 6-15 years from Hainan was assessed. Non-cycloplegic autorefraction and visual acuity (VA) analyses were performed on all participants and a subgroup of participants undergoing cycloplegia.

Results: Of all participants, 23.0% presented uncorrected VA (UCVA) was worse than 20/40 in worse eye, 6.0% presented mild presenting visual acuity impairment (PVAI), 7.0% presented moderate PVAI, 0.2% presented severe PVAI in the better eye, and 46.9% presented abnormal UCVA [worse than 20/25 (≥ 6, < 8 years old) and worse than 20/20 (≥ 8 years and older)] at least in one eye. The overall prevalence of myopia [spherical equivalent (SE) ≤  - 0.50 D] and high myopia (SE ≤  - 6.00 D) were 46.0%, 1.0% respectively. Hyperopia [SE ≥  + 1.00 D (≥ 7 years old) and SE ≥  + 2.00 D (≥ 6, < 7 years old)] and significant hyperopia (SE ≥  + 3.00 D) were 4.2 and 0.6%, respectively. Astigmatism [cylinder ≥ 1.00 D (≥ 7 years old) and ≥ 1.75 D (≥ 6, < 7 years old)] was found in 31.9%.

Conclusions: Myopia was the most common refractive error in southernmost province in China (Hainan). Its prevalence increased with age, while hyperopia prevalence showed a decreasing trend. However, myopia, especially high myopia prevalence was much lower than in other urban regions across China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12886-021-01993-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139091PMC
May 2021

Incidences and Determinants of Functional Cure during Entecavir or Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate for Chronic Hepatitis B.

J Infect Dis 2021 May 17. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, United States of America.

Background: Long-term incidences and baseline determinants of functional cure (HBsAg seroclearance) during entecavir (ETV) or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) treatment are incompletely understood.

Methods: This is an international multicenter cohort study of treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients who initiated on ETV or TDF without baseline malignancy. Patients were observed for HBsAg seroclearance until death or loss to follow-up. We calculated the incidences and explored the baseline determinants of HBsAg seroclearance using competing risk regression.

Results: The analysis included 4,769 patients (median age, 50 years; 69.05% male), with a median follow-up of 5.16 years (26,614.47 person-years). HBsAg clearance occurred in 58 patients, yielding a 10-year cumulative incidence of 2.11% (95% CI, 1.54 -- 2.88%) and an annual rate of 0.22% (95% CI, 0.17--0.28%). Baseline predictors included low-level viremia with HBV DNA <2,000 IU/mL (adjusted sub-distribution HR [aSHR], 3.14; 95% CI, 1.80--5.49), elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) >200 U/L (aSHR, 3.68; 95% CI, 2.07--6.53), serum bilirubin (aSHR, 1.11 per mg/dL; 95% CI, 1.06--1.17), and fatty liver (aSHR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.03--3.29).

Conclusion: HBsAg seroclearance rarely occurs in CHB patients treated with ETV or TDF and is associated with low-level viremia, ALT flare, bilirubin level, and fatty liver.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab241DOI Listing
May 2021

MEF2C silencing downregulates NF2 and E-cadherin and enhances Erastin-induced ferroptosis in meningioma.

Neuro Oncol 2021 May 13. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Background: Ferroptosis, a programmed cell death characterized by lipid peroxidation, is implicated in various diseases including cancer. Although cell density-dependent E-cadherin and Merlin/Neurofibromin (NF2) loss can modulate ferroptosis, the role of ferroptosis and its potential link to NF2 status and E-cadherin expression in meningioma remain unknown.

Methods: Relationship between ferroptosis modulators expression and NF2 mutational status was examined in 35 meningiomas (10 NF2 loss and 25 NF2 wildtype). The impact of NF2 and E-cadherin on ferroptosis were examined by LDH release, lipid peroxidation and western blot assays in IOMM-Lee, CH157 and patient-derived meningioma cell models. Luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were used to assess the ability of MEF2C (myocyte enhancer factor 2C) to drive expression of NF2 and CDH1 (E-cadherin). Therapeutic efficacy of Erastin-induced ferroptosis was tested in xenograft mouse models.

Results: Meningioma cells with NF2 inactivation were susceptible to Erastin-induced ferroptosis. Meningioma cells grown at higher density increased expression of E-Cadherin, which suppressed Erastin-induced ferroptosis. Maintaining NF2 and E-cadherin inhibited ferroptosis-related lipid peroxidation and meningioma cell death. MEF2C was found to drive the expression of both NF2 and E-cadherin. MEF2C silencing enhanced Erastin-induced ferroptotic meningioma cell death and lipid peroxidation levels in vitro, which was limited by forced expression of MEF2C targets, NF2 and E-Cadherin. In vivo, anti-meningioma effect of Erastin was augmented by MEF2C knockdown and was counteracted by NF2 or E-Cadherin.

Conclusions: NF2 loss and low E-cadherin create susceptibility to ferroptosis in meningioma. MEF2C could be a new molecular target in ferroptosis-inducing therapies for meningioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab114DOI Listing
May 2021

Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies present new prospects to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Front Med 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200025, China.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused global public health and economic crises. Thus, new therapeutic strategies and effective vaccines are urgently needed to cope with this severe pandemic. The development of a broadly neutralizing antibody against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is one of the attractive treatment strategies for COVID-19. Currently, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein is the main target of neutralizing antibodies when SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells through an interaction between the S protein and the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expressed on various human cells. A single monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment is prone to selective pressure due to increased possibility of targeted epitope mutation, leading to viral escape. In addition, the antibody-dependent enhancement effect is a potential risk of enhancing the viral infection. These risks can be reduced using multiple mAbs that target nonoverlapping epitopes. Thus, a cocktail therapy combining two or more antibodies that recognize different regions of the viral surface may be the most effective therapeutic strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11684-021-0847-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079842PMC
April 2021

Safety and immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (CHESS2101): A multicenter study.

J Hepatol 2021 08 24;75(2):439-441. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

CHESS-COVID-19 Group, The Third People's Hospital of Zhenjiang City, Zhenjiang, China.

Background & Aims: The development of COVID-19 vaccines has progressed with encouraging safety and efficacy data. Concerns have been raised about SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses in the large population of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study aimed to explore the safety and immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccination in NAFLD.

Methods: This multicenter study included patients with NAFLD without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. All patients were vaccinated with 2 doses of inactivated vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The primary safety outcome was the incidence of adverse reactions within 7 days after each injection and overall incidence of adverse reactions within 28 days, and the primary immunogenicity outcome was neutralizing antibody response at least 14 days after the whole-course vaccination.

Results: A total of 381 patients with pre-existing NAFLD were included from 11 designated centers in China. The median age was 39.0 years (IQR 33.0-48.0 years) and 179 (47.0%) were male. The median BMI was 26.1 kg/m (IQR 23.8-28.1 kg/m). The number of adverse reactions within 7 days after each injection and adverse reactions within 28 days totaled 95 (24.9%) and 112 (29.4%), respectively. The most common adverse reactions were injection site pain in 70 (18.4%), followed by muscle pain in 21 (5.5%), and headache in 20 (5.2%). All adverse reactions were mild and self-limiting, and no grade 3 adverse reactions were recorded. Notably, neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 364 (95.5%) patients with NAFLD. The median neutralizing antibody titer was 32 (IQR 8-64), and the neutralizing antibody titers were maintained.

Conclusions: The inactivated COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe with good immunogenicity in patients with NAFLD.

Lay Summary: The development of vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has progressed rapidly, with encouraging safety and efficacy data. This study now shows that the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe with good immunogenicity in the large population of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.04.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185617PMC
August 2021

Peginterferon and Entecavir Combination Therapy Improves Outcome of Non-Early Response Hepatitis B e Antigen-Positive Patients.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2020 Nov 30;7(11):ofaa462. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Infectious Disease, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: The efficacy of nucleot(s)ide analogs (NAs) and pegylated interferon (PegIFN) combination therapy for hepatitis B e antigen-positive (HBeAg) patients is still controversial. Whether PegIFN and entecavir (ETV) combination therapy could provide a greater benefit for HBeAg patients was assessed.

Methods: Treatment-naïve HBeAg patients initiated on PegIFN alfa-2a (PegIFNα-2a) for 24 weeks without early response (early response: HBsAg <1500 IU/mL and hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA <10 copies/mL) were recruited in the current study. Among total of 94 patients, 51 were continued on PegIFNα-2a monotherapy, and 43 were offered PegIFNα-2a and ETV combined therapy.

Results: Better outcomes in response to the combined therapy, compared with that of the monotherapy, were demonstrated, including more HBsAg decline and loss and HBV DNA decline and HBeAg clearance. Importantly, the patients with HBsAg levels between 1500 and 20000 IU/mL initially or between 5000 and 20000 IU/mL after 24 weeks of PegIFNα-2a benefitted more from the combined therapy, compared with those on monotherapy.

Conclusions: Combined therapy of PegIFNα-2a and ETV is more efficacious for HBeAg patients without early response to PegIFN monotherapy, and HBsAg levels are a good predictor of treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8050793PMC
November 2020

[Structural Characteristics of Zooplankton and Phytoplankton Communities and Its Relationship with Environmental Factors in a Typical Tributary Reservoir in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 May;42(5):2303-2312

College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.

Based on the data of zooplankton, phytoplankton, and water environmental factors in different seasons in a typical tributary reservoir in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Changshou Lake), this study explored the relationships between the structures of the zooplankton and phytoplankton communities and environmental factors using Pearson correlation analysis. The results showed that there were a total of 107 species of 8 phyla of phytoplankton, and cyanobacteria was the most critical constituent with a relative abundance of 61%. The dominant populations included , , and . A total of 82 species of 4 phyla of zooplankton were identified, and rotifers was the most abundant with a relative abundance of 88%. The dominant populations included six species, such as , , and . The spatial differences in the abundances, biomass, and biodiversity indexes of zooplankton and phytoplankton were not significant, whereas the seasonal differences in all the other indexes were significant, except for the zooplankton biodiversity indexes. The abundance of phytoplankton was the highest in summer, followed by spring, and it was the lowest in winter. The maximum abundance of zooplankton occurred in spring, and the biomass of zooplankton and phytoplankton in spring was significantly higher than that in winter. The number of phytoplankton species and the Shannon-Wiener index, Pielou's uniformity index, and Margalef richness index in summer were significantly lower than those in winter and spring. The water quality evaluation showed that Changshou Lake was in a clean to oligo-pollution state in winter and spring and a moderate-pollution state in summer, thereby suggesting that Changshou Lake was in an overall eutrophic state. The environmental factors, including Chla, DOC, nutrients (TP, NO-N, NO-N, and NH-N), DO, Eh, and , influenced the structures of the zooplankton and phytoplankton communities in Changshou Lake, and there were seasonal differences in the environmental factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202008263DOI Listing
May 2021

Diagnostic Performance of FibroTouch Ultrasound Attenuation Parameter and Liver Stiffness Measurement in Assessing Hepatic Steatosis and Fibrosis in Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Clin Transl Gastroenterol 2021 Apr 13;12(4):e00323. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Introduction: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of ultrasound attenuation parameter (UAP) and liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by FibroTouch for diagnosis of hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Methods: We recruited 237 patients undergoing FibroTouch and liver biopsy within 2 weeks. The pathological findings of liver biopsy were scored by Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network, and the diagnostic accuracy of UAP for steatosis and LSM for fibrosis was evaluated by area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC). The impacts of histological parameters on UAP and LSM were analyzed, and diagnostic performance of FibroTouch UAP and LSM was compared with other noninvasive biomarkers.

Results: The success rate of FibroTouch examination was 96.51%. The AUROC of UAP for diagnosis of steatosis ≥S1, ≥S2, and S3 was 0.88, 0.93, and 0.88, and the cutoff values were 244, 269, and 296 dB/m, respectively. The AUROC of LSM for the diagnosis of fibrosis stages ≥F2, ≥F3, and F4 was 0.71, 0.71, and 0.77, and the cutoff values were 9.4, 9.4, and 11 kPa, respectively. Multiple regression analysis showed that LSM was positively correlated with degree of fibrosis and NAFLD activity score. UAP was positively correlated with liver steatosis. The diagnostic performance of UAP for steatosis was significantly superior to that of the hepatic steatosis index.

Discussion: FibroTouch has a low failure rate with moderate to high diagnostic performance for discriminating the steatosis degree and fibrosis stage and is suitable for clinical evaluation and monitoring of patients with NAFLD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/ctg.0000000000000323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8049161PMC
April 2021

Total mercury and methylmercury in human hair and food: Implications for the exposure and health risk to residents in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, China.

Environ Pollut 2021 Aug 1;282:117041. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, China. Electronic address:

Three Gorges Dam (TGD) is the largest hydroelectric construction in the world, and its potential impacts on the ecological environment and human health risks have invoked considerable global concern. However, as a mercury (Hg) sensitive system, limited work was conducted on the Hg exposure level of local residents around the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR). Thus, 540 human hair samples and 22 species of local food samples were collected to assess the Hg exposure and human health risk to the residents located in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) and to investigate their dietary exposure to Hg. The results showed that the geometric mean concentrations of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in hair were 0.42 ± 0.43 μg g and 0.23 ± 0.32 μg g, respectively, lower than the reference level (1.0 μg g) recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), indicating a low level Hg exposure for residents around the TGR. No significant difference in the accumulation of Hg in hair between the gender subgroups was observed, whereas age difference, smoking and alcohol drinking behavior, and fish consumption frequency were significant predictors of hair Hg level. Besides, THg and MeHg of all the investigated food samples did not exceed the corresponding Chinese national standard. The average probable daily intakes (PDIs) of THg and MeHg were 0.032 μg kg day and 0.007 μg kg day, which were obviously below the recommended values of 0.57 μg kg day and 0.1 μg kg day, respectively. The cereal (mainly rice) contribution of THg (76.0%) and MeHg (74.4%) intakes to the local residents around the TGR was much higher than that of fish (10.7% and 22.9%, respectively) due to the considerable rice consumption. Overall, residents around the TGR were at a low Hg exposure and rice consumption was the major pathway for Hg exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117041DOI Listing
August 2021

A High Percentage of Patients Recovered From COVID-19 but Discharged With Abnormal Liver Function Tests.

Front Physiol 2021 17;12:642922. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become the most severe global health issue. Abnormal liver functions are frequently reported in these patients. However, liver function abnormality was often overlooked during COVID-19 treatment, and data regarding liver functions after cure of COVID-19 is limited. This study aimed to reveal the changes of liver function tests (LFTs) during hospitalization, and its clinical significance in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: In this retrospective, bi-center study, a total of 158 hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in China were included from January 22nd, 2020 to February 20th, 2020. Clinical features, laboratory parameters including LFTs, and treatment data were collected and analyzed. LFTs included alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, and total bilirubin. Patients were considered with abnormal LFTs when any value of these tests was higher than upper limit of normal.

Results: Of 158 patients with COVID-19, 67 (42.41%) patients had abnormal LFTs on admission and another 50 (31.65%) patients developed abnormal LFTs during hospitalization. The incidence of LFTs abnormality in severe COVID-19 cases was significantly higher than non-severe cases. All LFTs in COVID-19 patients were correlated with oxygenation index. There was no statistical difference in treatment between the patients with or without liver test abnormalities. By the time of discharge, there were still 64 (40.50%) patients with abnormal LFTs. Logistic regression analysis identified younger age, hypertension and low lymphocyte counts as independent risk factors for persistent abnormal LFTs during hospitalization.

Conclusion: Liver function tests abnormality was common in COVID-19 patients and was more prevalent in severe cases than in non-severe cases. A substantial percentage of patients still had abnormal LFTs by the time of discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.642922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8015938PMC
March 2021

Response to de Mattos et al.

Authors:
Zhujun Cao Qing Xie

Am J Gastroenterol 2021 Jul;116(7):1550-1551

Department of Infectious Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001224DOI Listing
July 2021

Acute-on-chronic liver failure in East Asia: an underestimated issue with limited data.

Authors:
Zhujun Cao Qing Xie

Gut 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Medical School Affiliated Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-324564DOI Listing
March 2021

Correlation evaluation of functional corticomuscular coupling with abnormal muscle synergy after stroke.

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2021 Mar 25;PP. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Objective: While neuroplasticity and functional reorganization during motor recovery can be indirectly reflected and evaluated by functional corticomuscular coupling (fCMC), little work has been published regarding the cortical origin of abnormal muscle synergy and compensatory mechanism in the separation movement of stroke patients.

Methods: In this study, we proposed to use extended partial directed coherence (ePDC) combined with an optimal spatial filtering approach to estimate fCMC in stroke patients and healthy controls, and further established muscle synergy model (MSM) to jointly explore the modulation mechanism between cortex and muscles.

Results: Compared to healthy controls, stroke patients had significantly reduced coupling strength in both descending and ascending pathway. Moreover, the MSM were abnormal with high variability and low similarity in the separation stage of stroke patients. Further exploration of the positive relationship between fCMC characteristics and MSM parameters proved the possibility of using fCMC-MSM-based correlation indicator to evaluate abnormality of the cortical related synergy movement as well as the rehabilitation level of stroke patients.

Conclusion: We developed a computational procedure to evaluate the correlation between fCMC and MSM in stroke patients.

Significance: This article provides a quantitative evaluation metrics based on fCMC to reveal the deficits during poststroke motor restoration and a promising approach to help patients correct abnormal movement habits, paving the way for neurophysiological assessment of neuromuscular control in conjunction with clinical scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2021.3068997DOI Listing
March 2021

[Concentration Levels and Potential Ecological Risks of Current Use Pesticides in the Surface Seawater of Typical Liaoning Sea Areas].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 Apr;42(4):1772-1780

Key Laboratory of Marine Biological Resources and Ecology, Liaoning Ocean and Fisheries Science Research Institute, Dalian 116023, China.

Fourteen current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the surface seawaters of the typical Liaoning sea areas were analyzed using HPLC-MS/MS. The concentrations, distribution, and ecological risks were studied, as well as their source appointments using principal component analysis (PCA). The results revealed that seven types of CUPs were detected in the surface seawaters of the typical Liaoning sea areas. The total concentrations of these CUPs ranged from 16.7 ng·L to 176.1 ng·L. The samples with high concentrations were collected mostly from the estuary, and the concentrations of CUPs in the western Liaodong Bay were generally higher than those in the northeastern Yellow Sea. Atrazine and triadimenol were the predominant CUPs, and their contribution rates accounted for 56.0% and 34.5%, respectively. The PCA results indicated that six types of CUPs might be caused by the runoff from farmlands and the wastewater discharge from the chemical pesticide factory, and fruit planting could be a substantial contributor to the single component acetochlor. Atrazine and acetochlor posed medium-high ecological risks to the microalgae, while all the seven types of CUPs showed relatively lower risks to invertebrates and fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202008125DOI Listing
April 2021
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