Publications by authors named "Wenbo Zhang"

302 Publications

Steering Room-Temperature Plexcitonic Strong Coupling: A Diexcitonic Perspective.

Nano Lett 2021 Oct 13. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Physics, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.

Plexcitonic strong coupling between a plasmon-polariton and a quantum emitter empowers ultrafast quantum manipulations in the nanoscale under ambient conditions. The main body of previous studies deals with homogeneous quantum emitters. To enable multiqubit states for future quantum computing and network, the strong coupling involving two excitons of the same material but different resonant energies has been investigated and observed primarily at very low temperature. Here, we report a room-temperature diexcitonic strong coupling (DiSC) nanosystem in which the excitons of a transition metal dichalcogenide monolayer and dye molecules are both strongly coupled to a single Au nanocube. Coherent information exchange in this DiSC nanosystem could be observed even when exciton energy detuning is about five times larger than the respective line widths. The strong coupling behaviors in such a DiSC nanosystem can be manipulated by tuning the plasmon resonant energies and the coupling strengths, opening up a paradigm of controlling plasmon-assisted coherent energy transfer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02248DOI Listing
October 2021

pH-Induced Electrostatic Interaction between Polyacrylates and Amino-Functionalized Graphene Oxide on Stability and Coating Performances.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Oct 3;13(19). Epub 2021 Oct 3.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710129, China.

Electrostatic interaction between polymers and nanofillers is of great importance for the properties and design of their composites. Polyacrylates with carboxyl, hydroxyl and acylamino groups were synthesized via emulsion polymerization and marked as P(MMA-BA-AA), P(MMA-BA-HEA) and P(MMA-BA-AM), respectively. Amino-functionalized graphene oxide (NGO) was prepared by Hoffman rearrangement using GO as the raw material. The polyacrylate composites were prepared by mixing NGO with each of the three kinds of polyacrylate. Effects of pH and NGO amounts on the properties of polyacrylate composites were studied. It was found that the surface charge of polyacrylate and NGO had the greatest effect on the composite properties. P(MMA-BA-AM)/NGO was not stable at any pH (2-8). With the same NGO amount of 0.1 wt%, the toughening effect of NGO on P(MMA-BA-AA) was larger than that on P(MMA-BA-HEA). The break strength of P(MMA-BA-AA)/NGO and P(MMA-BA-HEA)/NGO increased to 5.22 MPa by 47% and 3.08 MPa by 31%, respectively. NGO could increase the thermal stability of P(MMA-BA-AA) and P(MMA-BA-HEA) to different degrees. The polyacrylate film-forming processes were tested, and it showed that NGO influenced polyacrylate through the whole film-forming process. The results provide potential methods for the design of polymer-based nanocomposites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13193406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8512073PMC
October 2021

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the therapeutic effects of minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion on spondylolisthesis.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 Sep;10(9):9848-9858

Department of Orthopedics, Zunyi Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zunyi, China.

Background: Minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) can minimize surgical incision, tissue damage, and intraoperative blood loss in the treatment of spondylolisthesis. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research to confirm its clinical efficacy.

Methods: Chinese and English databases were searched with "open", "minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion", "MIS-TLIF", "spondylolisthesis", and "open transforaminal interbody fusion" as search terms. Rev Man 5.3 provided by the Cochrane system was used to assess the quality of the literature.

Results: Of the 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 7 references were level A (58.34%), 4 were B level (33.33%), and 1 reference was C level (8.33%). There was a statistically significant difference in intraoperative blood loss between MI-TLIF and open transforaminal interbody fusion (O-TLIF) in the treatment of spondylolisthesis [mean difference (MD) =-349.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): (-410.66, -288.03), P<0.00001]. There was also a statistically significant difference in visual analogue scale (VAS) scores before and after MI-TLIF at the last follow-up [MD =5.72, 95% CI: (4.83, 6.62), P<0.00001], and in the complication rate between MI-TLIF and O-TLIF [odds ratio (OR) =0.48, 95% CI: (0.30, 0.76), P<0.00001].

Discussion: This meta-analysis confirmed that MI-TLIF could significantly reduce intraoperative blood loss, mitigate patient pain, and reduce the incidence of complications without increasing the operation time in the treatment of spondylolisthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-21-2137DOI Listing
September 2021

Nonlinear frequency domain PMD modeling and equalization for nonlinear frequency division multiplexing transmission.

Opt Express 2021 Aug;29(18):28190-28201

Polarization mode dispersion (PMD) is one of the fundamental properties of a standard single-mode fiber. It affects the propagating signals and degrades the performance of high-speed optical fiber communication systems. PMD also gives an effect on the nonlinear spectra or scattering data in nonlinear frequency division multiplexing (NFDM) systems. However, PMD is usually described in the linear frequency domain, and there are few investigations about the influence of PMD in the nonlinear frequency domain (NFD). An NFD-PMD model is needed to understand the impact of PMD in the NFD. In this work, using a linear approximation method, we first propose an NFD-PMD model and verify its effectiveness. With the guide of the NFD-PMD model, a blind NFD-PMD equalization scheme is designed. The simulation results indicate that the proposed NFD-PMD equalization scheme has better performance than the training sequence method based on linear frequency domain equalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.428053DOI Listing
August 2021

Effect of Levetiracetam on Cognition in Patients With Alzheimer Disease With and Without Epileptiform Activity: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Sep 27. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco.

Importance: Network hyperexcitability may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).

Objective: To determine the ability of the antiseizure drug levetiracetam to improve cognition in persons with AD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The Levetiracetam for Alzheimer's Disease-Associated Network Hyperexcitability (LEV-AD) study was a phase 2a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial of 34 adults with AD that was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, between October 16, 2014, and July 21, 2020. Participants were adults 80 years and younger who had a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 18 points or higher and/or a Clinical Dementia Rating score of less than 2 points. Screening included overnight video electroencephalography and a 1-hour resting magnetoencephalography examination.

Interventions: Group A received placebo twice daily for 4 weeks followed by a 4-week washout period, then oral levetiracetam, 125 mg, twice daily for 4 weeks. Group B received treatment using the reverse sequence.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was the ability of levetiracetam treatment to improve executive function (measured by the National Institutes of Health Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research [NIH-EXAMINER] composite score). Secondary outcomes were cognition (measured by the Stroop Color and Word Test [Stroop] interference naming subscale and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale) and disability. Exploratory outcomes included performance on a virtual route learning test and scores on cognitive and functional tests among participants with epileptiform activity.

Results: Of 54 adults assessed for eligibility, 11 did not meet study criteria, and 9 declined to participate. A total of 34 adults (21 women [61.8%]; mean [SD] age, 62.3 [7.7] years) with AD were enrolled and randomized (17 participants to group A and 17 participants to group B). Thirteen participants (38.2%) were categorized as having epileptiform activity. In total, 28 participants (82.4%) completed the study, 10 of whom (35.7%) had epileptiform activity. Overall, treatment with levetiracetam did not change NIH-EXAMINER composite scores (mean difference vs placebo, 0.07 points; 95% CI, -0.18 to 0.32 points; P = .55) or secondary measures. However, among participants with epileptiform activity, levetiracetam treatment improved performance on the Stroop interference naming subscale (net improvement vs placebo, 7.4 points; 95% CI, 0.2-14.7 points; P = .046) and the virtual route learning test (t = 2.36; Cohen f2 = 0.11; P = .02). There were no treatment discontinuations because of adverse events.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, levetiracetam was well tolerated and, although it did not improve the primary outcome, in prespecified analysis, levetiracetam improved performance on spatial memory and executive function tasks in patients with AD and epileptiform activity. These exploratory findings warrant further assessment of antiseizure approaches in AD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02002819.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.3310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477304PMC
September 2021

The plant beneficial rhizobacterium FZB42 controls the soybean pathogen due to bacilysin production.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2021 Sep 22:AEM0160121. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, 210037, Nanjing, China.

Soybean root rot caused by the oomycete is a serious soil-borne disease threatening soybean production in China. FZB42 is a model strain for Gram-positive plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and is able to produce multiple antibiotics. In this study, we demonstrated that FZB42 can efficiently antagonize The underlying mechanism for the inhibition was then investigated. The FZB42 mutants deficient in the synthesis of lipopeptides (bacillomycin D and fengycin), known for antifungal activities, and polyketides (bacillaene, difficidin, and macrolactin), known for antibacterial activities, were not impaired in their antagonism toward ; in contrast, mutants deficient in bacilysin biosynthesis completely lost their antagonistic activities toward , indicating that bacilysin was responsible for the activity. Isolated pure bacilysin confirmed this inference. Bacilysin was previously shown to be antagonistic mainly toward prokaryotic bacteria rather than eukaryotes. Here, we found that bacilysin could severely damage the hyphal structures of and lead to the loss of their intracellular contents. A device was invented allowing interactions between and FZB42 on nutrient agar. In this manner, the effect of FZB42 on was studied by transcriptomics. FZB42 significantly inhibited the expression of genes related to growth, macromolecule biosynthesis, pathogenicity, and ribosomes. Among them, the genes for pectate lyase were the most significantly downregulated. Additionally, we showed that bacilysin effectively prevents soybean sprouts from being infected by and could antagonize diverse species, such as , , , , and, most importantly, . spp. are widespread eukaryotic phytopathogens and often extremely harmful. can infect many types of plants important to agriculture and forestry and thus cause large economic losses. Perhaps due to inappropriate recognition of as a common pathogen in history, research on the biological control of is limited. This study shows that FZB42 can antagonize various species and prevent the infection of soybean seedlings by . The antibiotic produced by FZB42, bacilysin, which was previously known to have antibacterial effectiveness, is responsible for the inhibitory action against . We further showed that some genes and pathways may be targeted in future biocontrol studies. Therefore, our data provide a basis for the development of new tools for the prevention and control of root and stem rot in soybean and other plant diseases caused by .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01601-21DOI Listing
September 2021

Long noncoding RNA DLGAP1-AS2 facilitates Wnt1 transcription through physically interacting with Six3 and drives the malignancy of gastric cancer.

Cell Death Discov 2021 Sep 20;7(1):255. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of General Surgery, Affiliated People's Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China.

The long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) DLGAP1-AS2 has recently been characterized as an oncogenic lncRNA in several cancers. However, its biological roles and clinical significance in gastric cancer (GC) remains barely understood. In this study, we performed a systematic analysis of DLGAP1-AS2 expression with data from the TCGA and GEO database as well as our clinic GC samples. In agreement with previous studies, our findings demonstrated that DLGAP1-AS2 was significantly up-regulated in GC and its high expression was associated with poor prognosis, suggesting that DLGAP1-AS2 might be a putative oncogenic lncRNA of GC. Loss of DLGAP1-AS2 restricted cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in GC cell lines. Mechanically, Wnt1 was identified as the downstream target of DLGAP1-AS2 by using bioinformatics analysis coupled with qPCR and Western blot assays. Furthermore, DLGAP1-AS2 was found to directly interact with the transcriptional repressor Six3, and this interaction hampered Six3 binding to the promoter regions of the Wnt1 gene, thereby leading to transcriptional activation of Wnt1. Consequently, GC cells lacking DLGAP1-AS2 showed a decreased Wnt1 expression and weakened Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Further, Six3 silencing could reverse the above effects, highlighting a pivotal role of Six3 in the DLGAP1-AS2-mediated activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Either genetic (Wnt1 knockdown) or pharmacological (LF3) inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling could effectively abolish the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by Six3 depletion, thereby preventing GC cell malignant transformation. Taken together, our results suggest that DLGAP1-AS2 functions as an oncogenic factor by directly interacting with Six3 to relieve its suppression on Wnt1 expression, thereby driving the malignancy of GC. DLGAP1-AS2/Six3/Wnt1/β-catenin signaling axis might serve as a promising diagnostic and therapeutic target for GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41420-021-00649-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8452735PMC
September 2021

Conservation and Identity Selection of Cationic Residues Flanking the Hydrophobic Regions in Intermediate Filament Superfamily.

Front Chem 2021 2;9:752630. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medicine Peking Union Medical College, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

The interplay between the hydrophobic interactions generated by the nonpolar region and the proximal functional groups within nanometers of the nonpolar region offers a promising strategy to manipulate the intermolecular hydrophobic attractions in an artificial molecule system, but the outcomes of such modulations in the building of a native protein architecture remain unclear. Here we focus on the intermediate filament (IF) coiled-coil superfamily to assess the conservation of positively charged residue identity via a biostatistical approach. By screening the disease-correlated mutations throughout the IF superfamily, 10 distinct hotspots where a cation-to-cation substitution is associated with a pathogenic syndrome have been identified. The analysis of the local chemical context surrounding the hotspots revealed that the cationic diversity depends on their separation distance to the hydrophobic domain. The nearby cationic residues flanking the hydrophobic domain of a helix (separation <1 nm) are relatively conserved in evolution. In contrast, the cationic residues that are not adjacent to the hydrophobic domain (separation >1 nm) tolerate higher levels of variation and replaceability. We attribute this bias in the conservation degree of the cationic residue identity to reflect the interplay between the proximal cations and the hydrophobic interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2021.752630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8443778PMC
September 2021

Environmental performance of blue foods.

Nature 2021 09 15;597(7876):360-365. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm, Sweden.

Fish and other aquatic foods (blue foods) present an opportunity for more sustainable diets. Yet comprehensive comparison has been limited due to sparse inclusion of blue foods in environmental impact studies relative to the vast diversity of production. Here we provide standardized estimates of greenhouse gas, nitrogen, phosphorus, freshwater and land stressors for species groups covering nearly three quarters of global production. We find that across all blue foods, farmed bivalves and seaweeds generate the lowest stressors. Capture fisheries predominantly generate greenhouse gas emissions, with small pelagic fishes generating lower emissions than all fed aquaculture, but flatfish and crustaceans generating the highest. Among farmed finfish and crustaceans, silver and bighead carps have the lowest greenhouse gas, nitrogen and phosphorus emissions, but highest water use, while farmed salmon and trout use the least land and water. Finally, we model intervention scenarios and find improving feed conversion ratios reduces stressors across all fed groups, increasing fish yield reduces land and water use by up to half, and optimizing gears reduces capture fishery emissions by more than half for some groups. Collectively, our analysis identifies high-performing blue foods, highlights opportunities to improve environmental performance, advances data-poor environmental assessments, and informs sustainable diets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03889-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Trends in the biological functions and medical applications of extracellular vesicles and analogues.

Acta Pharm Sin B 2021 Aug 10;11(8):2114-2135. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China.

Natural extracellular vesicles (EVs) play important roles in many life processes such as in the intermolecular transfer of substances and genetic information exchanges. Investigating the origins and working mechanisms of natural EVs may provide an understanding of life activities, especially regarding the occurrence and development of diseases. Additionally, due to their vesicular structure, EVs (in small molecules, nucleic acids, proteins, etc.) could act as efficient drug-delivery carriers. Herein, we describe the sources and biological functions of various EVs, summarize the roles of EVs in disease diagnosis and treatment, and review the application of EVs as drug-delivery carriers. We also assess the challenges and perspectives of EVs in biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2021.03.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424226PMC
August 2021

Emerging COVID-19 impacts, responses, and lessons for building resilience in the seafood system.

Glob Food Sec 2021 Mar 6;28:100494. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns are creating health and economic crises that threaten food and nutrition security. The seafood sector provides important sources of nutrition and employment, especially in low-income countries, and is highly globalized allowing shocks to propagate. We studied COVID-19-related disruptions, impacts, and responses to the seafood sector from January through May 2020, using a food system resilience 'action cycle' framework as a guide. We find that some supply chains, market segments, companies, small-scale actors and civil society have shown initial signs of greater resilience than others. COVID-19 has also highlighted the vulnerability of certain groups working in- or dependent on the seafood sector. We discuss early coping and adaptive responses combined with lessons from past shocks that could be considered when building resilience in the sector. We end with strategic research needs to support learning from COVID-19 impacts and responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2021.100494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8417121PMC
March 2021

Overall Survival Prediction for Gliomas Using a Novel Compound Approach.

Front Oncol 2021 18;11:724191. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

School of Medical Technology and Information Engineering, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.

As a highly malignant tumor, the incidence and mortality of glioma are not optimistic. Predicting the survival time of patients with glioma by extracting the feature information from gliomas is beneficial for doctors to develop more targeted treatments. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a way to quickly and clearly capture the details of brain tissue. However, manually segmenting brain tumors from MRI will cost doctors a lot of energy, and doctors can only vaguely estimate the survival time of glioma patients, which are not conducive to the formulation of treatment plans. Therefore, automatically segmenting brain tumors and accurately predicting survival time has important significance. In this article, we first propose the NLSE-VNet model, which integrates the Non-Local module and the Squeeze-and-Excitation module into V-Net to segment three brain tumor sub-regions in multimodal MRI. Then extract the intensity, texture, wavelet, shape and other radiological features from the tumor area, and use the CNN network to extract the deep features. The factor analysis method is used to reduce the dimensionality of features, and finally the dimensionality-reduced features and clinical features such as age and tumor grade are combined into the random forest regression model to predict survival. We evaluate the effect on the BraTS 2019 and BraTS 2020 datasets. The average Dice of brain tumor segmentation tasks up to 79% and the average RMSE of the survival predictive task is as low as 311.5. The results indicate that the method in this paper has great advantages in segmentation and survival prediction of gliomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.724191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416476PMC
August 2021

Methyltransferase-like 3-induced N6-methyladenosine upregulation promotes oral squamous cell carcinoma by through p38.

Oral Dis 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Shandong Provincial ENT Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a main type of squamous cell cancer, is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Recent reports suggested methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3)-mediated N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification to be an essential regulator in the fate determination of stem cells. However, the functional significance of METTL3 in OSCC remains largely unknown.

Methods: METTL3 expression was examined in OSCC patient samples, followed by correlation analysis against clinical tumor features. Functional assays, such as assessment of surface marker expression, colony forming, BrdU incorporation, tumor xenograft assay, and m6A dot blot, were conducted to study the impact of METTL3 knockdown (KD) in OSCC cells.

Results: High METTL3 expression was positively correlated with more severe clinical features of OSCC tumors. METTL3 KD caused impairment of stem-like capacities in OSCC cells, such as tumorigenicity in vivo and colony-forming ability in vitro. Furthermore, METTL3-KD and cycloleucine, a methylation inhibitor, decreased m6A levels and down-regulated p38 expression in OSCC cells. On the contrary, the impaired cell proliferation capacity of OSCC cells after METTL3-KD was restored by exogenous expression of p38.

Conclusion: Our findings identified m6A methyltransferase METTL3 as a key element in the regulation of tumorigenesis in OSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/odi.14016DOI Listing
September 2021

Tomato SlPP2C5 is Involved in the Regulation of Fruit Development and Ripening.

Plant Cell Physiol 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China.

Abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant development mainly through its signaling in which ABA binds to receptors to inhibit type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs). The exact roles of PP2Cs in fruit development are still unclear. In this work, we verify that tomato SlPP2C5 works as a negative regulator in ABA signaling during fruit development. SlPP2C5 was inhibited by both monomeric and dimer ABA receptors SlPYLs through ABA dose-dependent way and it interacted physically with SlPYLs and SlSnRK2s. SlPP2C5 was highly expressed in fruits induced by exogenous ABA. Plants with over-expressed SlPP2C5 had lower sensitivity to ABA which showed faster seed germination and primary root growth compared to WT, while SlPP2C5-suppressed plants were more sensitive to ABA. SlPP2C5-OE delayed fruit ripening onset while SlPP2C5-RNAi advanced fruit ripening. Alteration of SlPP2C5 expression impacts fruit quality parameters as well, including pericarp thickness, fruit shape index, seed number and weight, and the soluble solid content. RNA-seq analysis revealed that there were significant expression differences of genes related to ethylene release and lycopene synthesis between WT and both SlPP2C5-OE and SlPP2C5-RNAi lines with an inversed variation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that SlPP2C5 plays an important role in the regulation of fruit development, ripening and quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcab130DOI Listing
August 2021

Probabilistic shaping and neural network-based optimization for a nonlinear frequency division multiplexing system.

Opt Lett 2021 Aug;46(15):3697-3700

A joint scheme introducing probabilistic shaping (PS) at the transmitter and utilizing a neural network (NN) equalizer at the receiver is proposed to improve the performance of the -modulated nonlinear frequency division multiplexing (NFDM) system. Through a numerical simulation, we demonstrate that PS plays a leading role for low launch power case, which improves the performance of the system effectively, while the NN equalizer's superiority appears in a high launch power region, whose main role is to weaken the correlation among subcarriers for improving system performance. The proposed scheme would enlighten the optimum modulation and detection schemes of the NFDM system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.430859DOI Listing
August 2021

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy for Energy Materials.

Acc Chem Res 2021 09 19;54(18):3505-3517. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States.

The development of clean energy generation, transmission, and distribution technology, for example, high energy density batteries and high efficiency solar cells, is critical to the progress toward a sustainable future. Such advancement in both scientific understanding and technological innovations entail an atomic- and molecular-resolution understanding of the key materials and fundamental processes governing the operation and failure of the systems. These dynamic processes span multiple length and time scales bridging materials and interfaces involved across the entire device architecture. However, these key components are often highly sensitive to air, moisture, and electron-beam radiation and therefore remain resistant to conventional nanoscale interrogation by electron-optical methods, such as high-resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy.Fortunately, the rapid progress in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) for physical sciences starts to offer researchers new tools and methods to probe these otherwise inaccessible length scales of components and phenomena in energy science. Specifically, weakly bonded and reactive materials, interfaces and phases that typically degrade under high energy electron-beam irradiation and environmental exposure can potentially be protected and stabilized by cryogenic methods, bringing up thrilling opportunities to address many crucial yet unanswered questions in energy science, which can eventually lead to new scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs.Thus, in this Account, we aim to highlight the significance of cryo-EM to energy related research and the impactful results that can be potentially spawned from there. Due to the limited space, we will mainly review representative examples of cryo-EM methodology for lithium (Li)-based batteries, hybrid perovskite solar cells, and metal-organic-frameworks, which have shown great promise in revealing atomic resolution of both structural and chemical information on the sensitive yet critical components in these systems. We will first emphasize the application of cryo-EM to resolve the nanostructure and chemistry of solid-electrolyte interphases, cathode-electrolyte interphase, and electrode materials in batteries to reflect how cryo-EM could inspire rational materials design and guide battery research toward practical applications. We then discuss how cryo-EM helped to reveal guest intercalation chemistry in weakly bonded metal-organic-frameworks to develop a complete picture of host-guest interaction. Next, we summarize efforts in hybrid perovskite materials for solar cells where cryo-EM preserved the volatile organic molecules and protected perovskites from any air or moisture contamination. Finally, we conclude with perspectives and brief discussion on future directions for cryo-EM in energy and materials science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.1c00183DOI Listing
September 2021

Pathological Change and Whole Transcriptome Alternation Caused by ePTFE Implantation in Myocardium.

Biomed Res Int 2021 18;2021:5551207. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Cardiovascular Center, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 201102, China.

Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) is commonly used in cardiovascular surgery, but usually causes postoperation complications. Although great efforts have been done to relieve these complications or to understand their mechanism, there are no applicable strategies available and no understanding mechanisms, especially in the myocardium. Here, ePTFE membranes are implanted into the right ventricular outflow tract of rabbits, and the implant-related myocardium is dissected and analyzed by histology and transcriptome sequencing. ePTFE implantation causes myocardium inflammation and fibrosis. There are 1867 differently expressed mRNAs (DEmRNAs, 1107 upregulated and 760 downregulated) and 246 differently expressed lncRNAs (DElncRNAs, 110 upregulated and 136 downregulated) identified. Bioinformatic analysis indicates that the upregulated DEmRNAs and DElncRNAs are mainly involved in inflammatory, immune responses, and extracellular matrix remodeling, while the downregulated DEmRNAs and DElncRNAs are predominantly functioned in the metabolism and cardiac remodeling. Analysis of coexpression and regulatory relationship of DEmRNAs and DElncRNAs reveals that most DElncRNAs are -regulated on the relevant DEmRNAs. In conclusion, ePTFE implantation causes severe myocardial tissue damages and alters the transcriptome profiles of the myocardium. Such novel data may provide a landscape of mechanisms underlying the adverse reactions caused by ePTFE implantation and uncover new therapeutic targets for inhibiting the ePTFE-related complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/5551207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8235981PMC
October 2021

The role of bFGF in preventing the shrinkage of cardiac progenitor cell-engineered conduction tissue by downregulating α-SMA expression.

Life Sci 2021 Oct 6;282:119794. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Anatomy, Naval Medical University, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

Aims: Engineered conduction tissues (ECTs) fabricated from cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) and collagen sponges were precisely targeted for the treatment of atrioventricular conduction block in our previous studies. However, obvious shrinkage and deformation of ECTs was observed during in vitro culture. According to the literature, it can be speculated that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) may downregulate alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) produced by CPCs to prevent the shrinkage of CPC-engineered conduction tissues.

Main Methods: In this study, culture media with or without bFGF were used for both cell culture and 3D tissue construction. The expression of α-SMA and the size change of engineered tissue were analyzed to evaluate the feasibility of adding bFGF to regulate α-SMA expression and shrinkage of constructs. In addition, cardiac-specific examinations were performed to evaluate the effect of bFGF on cardiac tissue formation.

Key Findings: Supplementation with bFGF efficiently relieved shrinkage of engineered tissue by downregulating the expression of α-SMA at both the cellular and 3D tissue levels. Moreover, bFGF had a positive influence on cardiac tissue formation in terms of cell viability, tissue organization and electrical conduction velocity.

Significance: This study provides a guide for both shape control and quality improvement of CPC-engineered cardiac tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119794DOI Listing
October 2021

Relationship between neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive functions in patients with cognitive impairment.

Psychogeriatrics 2021 Sep 3;21(5):773-782. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Institutes of Neuroscience, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Background: Cognitive decline and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are main clinical manifestations in Alzheimer disease (AD). It is unclear whether the link between specific NPS and cognitive domains exists in AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Our study aimed to examine the association between specific cognitive domain and NPS in AD and MCI, and to evaluate whether this association showed variety in different stages of cognitive impairment.

Methods: A total of 458 patients diagnosed as AD or MCI were included in this study. Neuropsychological batteries were applied in the study. The association between NPS and cognitive function were evaluated by multiple linear regression, and its correlation was evaluated by Spearman correlation coefficient.

Results: The prevalence of NPS increased with the severity of cognitive impairment, and there were significant differences between MCI and AD. NPS were predominantly associated with cognitive domains, including memory, language, attention, and executive function. Both regression liner analysis and correlation analysis showed delusion, hallucination, and aberrant motor behaviour (AMB) were linked to language and attention. In addition, regression liner analysis illustrated depression, anxiety, and apathy were related to learning and episodic memory. Generally, the delusion, hallucination, and AMB have the broadest impact on cognition.

Conclusion: Specific NPS was predominantly associated with different cognitive domains. Symptoms of agitation, delusion and irritability indicate worse cognitive performance. Therefore, cognitive improvement should be a therapeutic strategy in managing NPS in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyg.12738DOI Listing
September 2021

C-Reactive Protein Levels and Clinical Prognosis in LAA-Type Stroke Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Biomed Res Int 2021 8;2021:6671043. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, National Clinical Research Center for Child Health, Hangzhou, China.

Methods: We prospectively included 200 patients with LAA-type AIS and tested their CRP levels on admission. We followed these patients consecutively. The primary outcome was an adverse event, defined as a modified Rankin Scale score of 2-6 at months 3, 6, and 12 after discharge. A logistic regression model was used to analyze the relationship between CRP and the functional outcome of LAA stroke.

Results: We divided 200 patients into 3 groups evenly based on CRP level. After adjustment for gender, age, smoking history, drinking history, history of hyperlipidemia, history of diabetes, lipid levels, and blood glucose levels, logistic regression showed that the incidence of LAA-type AIS poor outcome was positively associated with CRP level at admission, whether it was 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months after discharge, respectively (OR: 2.574, 95% CI: 1.213-5.463; OR: 2.806, 95% CI: 1.298-6.065; OR: 2.492, 95% CI: 1.167-5.321. In the highest tertile vs. the lowest tertile as a reference), and both were statistically different.

Conclusions: High CRP level predicts poor functional outcome in LAA-type AIS patients, which provides a strong basis for clinicians to make treatment decisions for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6671043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205586PMC
September 2021

Opposite Regulatory Effects of Immobilized Cations on the Folding Vs. Assembly of Melittin.

Front Chem 2021 11;9:685947. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Ions are crucial in modulating the protein structure. For the free ions in bulk solution, ammonium is kosmotropic (structure forming) and guanidinium is chaotropic (structure breaking) to the protein structure within the Hofmeister series. However, the effect of immobilized ions on a protein surface is less explored. Herein, we explored the influence of two immobilized cations (ammonium in the side chain of lysine and guanidinium in the side chain of arginine) on the folding and assembly of melittin. Melittin adopts an α-helix structure and is driven by hydrophobic interactions to associate into a helical bundle. To test the influence of immobilized cations on the peptide structure, we designed the homozygous mutants exclusively containing ammonium (melittin-K) or guanidinium (melittin-R) and compared the differences of melittin-K vs. melittin-R in their folding, assembly, and molecular functions. The side chains of lysine and arginine differ in their influences on the folding and assembly of melittin. Specifically, the side chain of R increases the α-helical propensity of melittin relative to that of K, following an inverse Hofmeister series. In contrast, the side chain of K favors the assembly of melittin relative to the side chain of R in line with a direct Hofmeister series. The opposite regulatory effects of immobilized cations on the folding and assembly of melittin highlight the complexity of the noncovalent interactions that govern protein intermolecular architecture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2021.685947DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8225954PMC
June 2021

The psychological impact on patients with memory disorders and their caregivers during COVID-19.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2021 Aug 23;33(8):2317-2325. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Geriatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, No.1 Youyi Road, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, 400016, China.

Background: COVID-19 is erupting globally. Mass quarantine had been implemented all around China which could influence the psychological status of patients with memory disorders and their caregivers.

Aim: To investigate the psychological impact of mass quarantine on patients with memory disorders and their caregivers in China.

Methods: We completed a cross-sectional study in 787 patients and their caregivers registered from 2010 to 2019 in Memory Clinic, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, by telephone interviews. The performance in neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs), sleep, nutrition, chronic diseases of patients, and the burden of care, anxiety and depression of caregivers was assessed by six assessment scales (MNA-SF, PSQI, NPI, RSS, PHQ-9 and GAD-7).

Results: Only 68 (8.6%) patients worried about the outbreak of COVID-19. The prevalence of NPSs among all subjects was nearly 60.0%. Approximately 50.0% of the caregivers reported distress. More than 70.0% of patients remained stable in NPSs. However, anxiety, depression, aberrant motor disorder and delusion were exacerbated (22.9%, 18.6%, 17.1% and 16.8%, respectively). Appetite and eating disorder led alleviation rate by 25.8% while disappearing rate of agitation led by 5.8%. 7.5% of caregivers manifested depressive symptoms while 4.9% expressed anxiety symptoms, and 40.8% showed care burden. The coefficients of RSS and PHQ-9, RSS and GAD-7, RSS and NPI-D, PHQ-9 and GAD-7 were 0.7, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.6, respectively (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Changes in NPSs during COVID-19 were observed in some patients with memory disorders and their caregivers, and adherence to medication contributed to the stabilization of NPSs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-021-01911-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8219516PMC
August 2021

A Deep Multi-Task Learning Framework for Brain Tumor Segmentation.

Front Oncol 2021 4;11:690244. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

College of Medical Technology, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.

Glioma is the most common primary central nervous system tumor, accounting for about half of all intracranial primary tumors. As a non-invasive examination method, MRI has an extremely important guiding role in the clinical intervention of tumors. However, manually segmenting brain tumors from MRI requires a lot of time and energy for doctors, which affects the implementation of follow-up diagnosis and treatment plans. With the development of deep learning, medical image segmentation is gradually automated. However, brain tumors are easily confused with strokes and serious imbalances between classes make brain tumor segmentation one of the most difficult tasks in MRI segmentation. In order to solve these problems, we propose a deep multi-task learning framework and integrate a multi-depth fusion module in the framework to accurately segment brain tumors. In this framework, we have added a distance transform decoder based on the V-Net, which can make the segmentation contour generated by the mask decoder more accurate and reduce the generation of rough boundaries. In order to combine the different tasks of the two decoders, we weighted and added their corresponding loss functions, where the distance map prediction regularized the mask prediction. At the same time, the multi-depth fusion module in the encoder can enhance the ability of the network to extract features. The accuracy of the model will be evaluated online using the multispectral MRI records of the BraTS 2018, BraTS 2019, and BraTS 2020 datasets. This method obtains high-quality segmentation results, and the average Dice is as high as 78%. The experimental results show that this model has great potential in segmenting brain tumors automatically and accurately.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.690244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8212784PMC
June 2021

Association between single nucleotide polymorphisms of tropoelastin gene and aortic dissection.

Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2021 May;46(5):458-466

Department of Vascular Surgery, Hainan General Hospital, Haikou 570311.

Objectives: To evaluate the relation between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of tropoelastin gene and aortic dissection (AD) via identifying SNPs in the tropoelastin gene, and to detect the level of tropoelastin mRNA, elastin and elastic fibers.

Methods: The specimens of the AD group (=96) and the control group (=95), including their blood and aortic wall tissues, were collected. DNA was extracted from the blood samples in the 2 groups, and the SNPs in the tropoelastin gene were examined by the MassARRAY genotyping technique, and their haplotypes were constructed by PHASE software. The expression of tropoelastin mRNA and elastin in the aortic tunica media was respectively detected by real-time PCR or Western blotting. Elastin Van Gieson (EVG) staining was used to observe the shape of aortic tunica media and clarify the distribution of elastic fibers. The frequency of genotypes and haplotypes of SNP loci in the tropoelastin gene was analyzed and compared between the 2 groups, and the expression of tropoelastin mRNA, elastin and elastic fibers were also compared.

Results: Seven SNP loci of the tropoelastin gene were detected in these samples. Among them, 5 SNP loci were polymorphic. The frequency of 3 SNP loci[rs2071307 (G/A), rs34945509 (C/T) and rs17855988 (G/C)] was significantly different between the AD group and the control group (all <0.05). There were significantly different in the haplotypes frequency of rs2071307 (G/A), rs34945509 (C/T) and rs17855988 (G/C) between the 2 groups (all <0.01). Real-time PCR and Western blotting showed that the relative expression of tropoelastin mRNA and elastin in the aortic tunica media in the AD group was significantly lower than that in the control group (<0.05). EVG staining showed that the aortic tunica media was torn, the morphology and structure of elastic fibers were broken, cracked, and disordered in the AD group, while the aortic tunica media was in complete structure and well arrangement.The elastic fibers were presented closely and orderly in the control group.

Conclusions: The polymorphisms of rs2071307 (G/A), rs34945509 (C/T), and rs17855988(G/C) in the tropoelastin gene may eventually affect the synthesis of elastic fibers and they may play an important role in the occurrence of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2021.200624DOI Listing
May 2021

Association of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity with cognitive impairment in peritoneal dialysis patients.

Ren Fail 2021 Dec;43(1):934-941

Department of Nephrology,The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University and Key Laboratory of Nephrology, Ministry of Health and Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, PR China.

Background: The relationship between cognitive impairment (CI) and arterial stiffness in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients has not been clearly clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between CI and arterial stiffness in PD patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled PD patients who performed a vascular profiler test at a single PD center in China between January 2014 and June 2016. The cognitive function was evaluated using the Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). A noninvasive vascular screening device was used to assess arterial stiffness relevant indicators.

Results: A total of 643 PD patients with median age 45 (37-57.4) years and median duration of PD 27.8 (8.7-56.4) months were enrolled. The rate of CI was 49.9%. The mean brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was 17.2 ± 5.6 m/s. Compared with normal cognitive function group, patients with CI had higher baPWV (18.6 ± 7.0 15.8 ± 3.2 m/s), systolic blood pressure (150.3 ± 21.5 144.2 ± 20.2 mmHg), and pulse pressure (59.7 ± 14.7 52.5 ± 11.6 mmHg), and lower ankle-brachial index (ABI, 1.12 ± 0.12 1.15 ± 0.09) (all <.05). Compared with systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and ABI in receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, baPWV had better performance in predicting CI (area under curve: 0.68, 95% confidence interval: 0.64-0.72). BaPWV was independently associated with MoCA score (B per SD, -0.42 [95% confidence interval, -0.71 to -0.12];  = .006) and CI (OR per SD, 1.55 [95% confidence interval, 1.11-2.17];  = .011) in PD patients after adjustment for confounders.

Conclusions: Higher baPWV was independently associated with CI in PD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0886022X.2021.1937221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205036PMC
December 2021

LDL‑induced NLRC3 inflammasome activation in cardiac fibroblasts contributes to cardiomyocytic dysfunction.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Jul 26;24(1). Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Gastroenterology, Feicheng Mining Center Hospital, Feicheng, Shandong 271600, P.R. China.

Heart failure (HF) is a progressive myocardial disease that affects pulse rate. Notably, chronic inflammation serves a crucial role in cardiac dysfunction and HF. Appropriate cardiomyocyte‑fibroblast communication is essential for cardiac function. In addition, cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) are the main cellular population in the cardiac microenvironment; therefore, determining the role of CFs in HF progression and the associated molecular basis is important. In the present study, ELISAs were performed to detect inflammatory factors in the sera of patients with HF and their association with CF activation was analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficient. The mechanism underlying the proinflammatory phenotype of CFs was investigated via western blotting. Notably, the levels of IL10 and TNF‑α were significantly increased in the sera of patients with HF. Further analysis revealed that CFs were extensively activated in the cardiac tissues of patients with HF and released excessive amounts of cytokines, which could impair the viability of cardiomyocytes. Moreover, low‑density lipoprotein (LDL)‑induced NLRC3 inflammasome was activated in CFs, which gave rise to proinflammatory phenotypes. Targeting LDL in CFs significantly improved the functioning of cardiomyocytes and inhibited apoptosis. These findings highlighted the critical role of LDL in inflammasome activation; to the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to reveal that CF‑induced microenvironmental inflammation may suppress cardiomyocyte viability. The present study established the cellular basis for CF activation during HF progression and provided information on the cellular interactions important for HF treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170230PMC
July 2021

Zika virus induces neuronal and vascular degeneration in developing mouse retina.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2021 05 25;9(1):97. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX, 77555-0144, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, can cause severe eye disease and even blindness in newborns. However, ZIKV-induced retinal lesions have not been studied in a comprehensive way, mechanisms of ZIKV-induced retinal abnormalities are unknown, and no therapeutic intervention is available to treat or minimize the degree of vision loss in patients. Here, we developed a novel mouse model of ZIKV infection to evaluate its impact on retinal structure. ZIKV (20 plaque-forming units) was inoculated into neonatal wild type C57BL/6J mice at postnatal day (P) 0 subcutaneously. Retinas of infected mice and age-matched controls were collected at various ages, and retinal structural alterations were analyzed. We found that ZIKV induced progressive neuronal and vascular damage and retinal inflammation starting from P8. ZIKV-infected retina exhibited dramatically decreased thickness with loss of neurons, initial neovascular tufts followed by vessel dilation and degeneration, increased microglia and leukocyte recruitment and activation, degeneration of astrocyte network and gliosis. The above changes may involve inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated cell apoptosis and necroptosis. Moreover, we evaluated the efficacy of preclinical drugs and the safety of ZIKV vaccine candidate in this mouse model. We found that ZIKV-induced retinal abnormalities could be blocked by a selective flavivirus inhibitor NITD008 and a live-attenuated ZIKV vaccine candidate could potentially induce retinal abnormalities. Overall, we established a novel mouse model and provide a direct causative link between ZIKV and retinal lesion in vivo, which warrants further investigation of the underlying mechanisms of ZIKV-induced retinopathy and the development of effective therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-021-01195-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147371PMC
May 2021

Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Analysis of the Immunometabolic Rewiring and Immunopathogenesis of Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Front Immunol 2021 14;12:651656. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Center for Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Although immune dysfunction is a key feature of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the metabolism-related mechanisms remain elusive. Here, by reanalyzing single-cell RNA sequencing data, we delineated metabolic remodeling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to elucidate the metabolic mechanisms that may lead to the progression of severe COVID-19. After scoring the metabolism-related biological processes and signaling pathways, we found that mono-CD14 cells expressed higher levels of glycolysis-related genes ( and ) and PPPrelated genes ( and ) in severe patients than in mild patients. These genes may contribute to the hyperinflammation in mono-CD14 cells of patients with severe COVID-19. The mono-CD16 cell population in COVID-19 patients showed reduced transcription levels of genes related to lysine degradation (, and ) and elevated transcription levels of genes involved in OXPHOS (, , , and ), which may inhibit M2-like polarization. Plasma cells also expressed higher levels of the OXPHOS gene in COVID-19 patients, which was positively associated with antibody secretion and survival of PCs. Moreover, enhanced glycolysis or OXPHOS was positively associated with the differentiation of memory B cells into plasmablasts or plasma cells. This study comprehensively investigated the metabolic features of peripheral immune cells and revealed that metabolic changes exacerbated inflammation in monocytes and promoted antibody secretion and cell survival in PCs in COVID-19 patients, especially those with severe disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.651656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079812PMC
May 2021

Early alterations of neurovascular unit in the retina in mouse models of tauopathy.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2021 03 24;9(1):51. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX, 77555-0144, USA.

The retina, as the only visually accessible tissue in the central nervous system, has attracted significant attention for evaluating it as a biomarker for neurodegenerative diseases. Yet, most of studies focus on characterizing the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and degeneration of their axons. There is no integrated analysis addressing temporal alterations of different retinal cells in the neurovascular unit (NVU) in particular retinal vessels. Here we assessed NVU changes in two mouse models of tauopathy, P301S and P301L transgenic mice overexpressing the human tau mutated gene, and evaluated the therapeutic effects of a tau oligomer monoclonal antibody (TOMA). We found that retinal edema and breakdown of blood-retina barrier were observed at the very early stage of tauopathy. Leukocyte adhesion/infiltration, and microglial recruitment/activation were constantly increased in the retinal ganglion cell layer of tau transgenic mice at different ages, while Müller cell gliosis was only detected in relatively older tau mice. Concomitantly, the number and function of RGCs progressively decreased during aging although they were not considerably altered in the very early stage of tauopathy. Moreover, intrinsically photosensitive RGCs appeared more sensitive to tauopathy. Remarkably, TOMA treatment in young tau transgenic mice significantly attenuated vascular leakage, inflammation and RGC loss. Our data provide compelling evidence that abnormal tau accumulation can lead to pathology in the retinal NVU, and vascular alterations occur more manifest and earlier than neurodegeneration in the retina. Oligomeric tau-targeted immunotherapy has the potential to treat tau-induced retinopathies. These data suggest that retinal NVU may serve as a potential biomarker for diagnosis and staging of tauopathy as well as a platform to study the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-021-01149-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7992935PMC
March 2021

Air-Filtering Masks for Respiratory Protection from PM and Pandemic Pathogens.

One Earth 2020 Nov;3(5):574-589

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Air-filtering masks, also known as respirators, protect wearers from inhaling fine particulate matter (PM) in polluted air, as well as airborne pathogens during a pandemic, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fibrous medium, used as the filtration layer, is the most essential component of an air-filtering mask. This article presents an overview of the development of fibrous media for air filtration. We first synthesize the literature on several key factors that affect the filtration performance of fibrous media. We then concentrate on two major techniques for fabricating fibrous media, namely, meltblown and electrospinning. In addition, we underscore the importance of electret filters by reviewing various methods for imparting electrostatic charge on fibrous media. Finally, this article concludes with a perspective on the emerging research opportunities amid the COVID-19 crisis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962856PMC
November 2020
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