Publications by authors named "Xia Cao"

289 Publications

Trigonelline induces autophagy to protect mesangial cells in response to high glucose via activating the miR-5189-5p-AMPK pathway.

Phytomedicine 2021 May 29;92:153614. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Jilin University, 1266 Fujin Road, Changchun, Jilin 130021, China. Electronic address:

Background: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a primary cause of end-stage renal disease. Increasing evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in DN pathogenesis. Trigonelline (TRL) has been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, promote nerve regeneration, and exert anti-cancer and sedative properties.

Method: The effect of TRL on human mesangial cell (HMC) growth was assessed using the MTT assay. Differentially expressed miRNAs were validated using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). Bioinformatics, cell transfection, and Western blot analyses were utilized to confirm the binding of miR-5189-5p to HIF1AN. The effects of miR-5189-5 expression on cell proliferation were also assessed. Western blot analysis was used to determine the activation of multiple signaling molecules including phosphorylated-(p)-AMPK, SIRT1, LC3B, p62, and Beclin-1 in the autophagy pathway.

Results: TRL improved proliferation, increased the expression of miR-5189-5p, reduced HIF1AN, and restored the inhibition of autophagy in HMCs induced by high glucose. MiR-5189-5p mimics inhibited HIF1AN expression, and the miR-5189-5p inhibitor increased HIF1AN expression. MiR-5189-5p mimics significantly improved the proliferation of HMCs induced by high glucose, reduced the relative protein expression of p-AMPK, SIRT1, LC3B, and Beclin-1, and significantly increased the relative protein expression of p62.

Conclusion: We showed that TRL up-regulated miR-5189-5p expression, activated the AMPK pathway, and activated autophagy in HMCs. Our study demonstrates that TRL could be a new treatment strategy to protect mesangial cells in response to high glucose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2021.153614DOI Listing
May 2021

A case describing patients with COVID-19 that secondarily transmitted.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 Aug;10(8):8972-8981

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

Background: The recent emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major global health threat. Monitoring viral transmission and disease characteristics as the disease spreads globally is vital. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and source of infection in patients with secondary transmission of COVID-19 outside the outbreak area.

Methods: The epidemiological, demographic, clinical, laboratory, radiological, and treatment data of five patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who were treated in the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University (Ningxia, China) from 1 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 were presented. The final follow-up evaluation was performed on 12 March 2020.

Results: The five participants included two couples and a young woman, none of whom had visited Hubei. It was likely that four of the participants had been infected by exposure to asymptomatic visitors from Wuhan. The other participant lived in a densely-populated community with potential COVID-19 cases. A variety of symptoms were presented by four participants, including cough, fevers, sputum, breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue, sore limbs, sore throats, headaches, and rhinorrhea. A severe infection, with dyspnea and decreased oxygen saturation, was experienced by one participant who had a history of chronic bronchitis. A single participant was asymptomatic, but had ground-glass opacities (GGOs) on chest imaging. Another two participants also displayed GGOs. Lymphopenia was noted in three participants. During the follow-up period, all participants were cured and discharged to their homes.

Conclusions: This study included patients who had acquired infections of COVID-19 through local transmission. These findings will provide a better understanding of secondary transmission of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-21-1757DOI Listing
August 2021

The Function and Regulation of Platelet P2Y12 Receptor.

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Jilin University, Fujin Road, Changchun, 130021, Jilin, China.

In addition to the key role in hemostasis and thrombosis, platelets have also been wildly acknowledged as immune regulatory cells and involving in the pathogenesis of inflammation-related diseases. Since purine receptor P2Y12 plays a crucial role in platelet activation, P2Y12 antagonists such as clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor have been widely used in cardiovascular diseases worldwide in recent decades due to their potent antiplatelet and antithrombotic effects. Meanwhile, the role of P2Y12 in inflammatory diseases has also been extensively studied. Relatively, there are few studies on the regulation of P2Y12. This review first summarizes the various roles of P2Y12 in the process of platelet activation, as well as downstream effects and signaling pathways; then introduces the effects of P2Y12 in inflammatory diseases such as sepsis, atherosclerosis, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and asthma; and finally reviews the current researches on P2Y12 regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10557-021-07229-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Regulatory role of methionine enkephalin in myeloid-derived suppressor cells and macrophages in human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Oct 23;99:107996. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Gynecology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 4 Chongshandong Road, Huanggu District, Shenyang, Liaoning 110004, China. Electronic address:

The antitumor effects of methionine enkephalin (MENK), also known as opioid growth factor (OGF), including its inhibitory effects on cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC), have been established. In this study, we determined the precise mechanism by which MENK suppresses CSCC cell growth. In particular, MENK induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in CSCC cells via the Bcl-2/Bax/Caspase-3 signaling pathway. Moreover, MENK reduced immunosuppression by downregulating the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulating the polarization of tumor-associated macrophages from M2 to M1 in vivo. Furthermore, JAK2/STAT3, an important tumor-promotion and immunosuppression signaling pathway that is involved in MDSC expansion in tumors and macrophage polarization, was inhibited. These findings highlight the potential of the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway as a therapeutic target and suggest the clinical application of MENK for CSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107996DOI Listing
October 2021

A Polymer-in-Salt Electrolyte with Enhanced Oxidative Stability for Lithium Metal Polymer Batteries.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jul 25;13(27):31583-31593. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States.

The lithium (Li) metal polymer battery (LMPB) is a promising candidate for solid-state batteries with high safety. However, high voltage stability of such a battery has been hindered by the use of polyethylene oxide (PEO), which oxidizes at a potential lower than 4 V versus Li. Herein, we adopt the polymer-in-salt electrolyte (PISE) strategy to circumvent the disadvantage of the PEO-lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) system with EO/Li ≤ 8 through a dry ball-milling process to avoid the contamination of the residual solvent. The obtained solid-state PISEs exhibit distinctly different morphologies and coordination structures which lead to significant improvement in oxidative stability. P(EO)LiFSI has a low melting temperature, a high ionic conductivity at 60 °C, and an oxidative stability of ∼4.5 V versus Li/Li. With an effective interphase rich in inorganic species and a good stability of the hybrid polymer electrolyte toward Li metal, the LMPB constructed with Li||LiNiCoMnO can retain 74.4% of capacity after 186 cycles at 60 °C under the cutoff charge voltage of 4.3 V. The findings offer a promising pathway toward high-voltage stable polymer electrolytes for high-energy-density and safe LMPBs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c04637DOI Listing
July 2021

Construction and optimization of herpes simplex virus vectors for central nervous system gene delivery based on CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing.

Curr Gene Ther 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Key Laboratory of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Kuming Medical College, Kunming, 650101, China.

Aims: We aim to define parameters affecting the safety and long-term transgene expression of attenuated HSV-1 vectors and optimize the expression cassettes to achieve robust and sustained expression in CNS.

Background: Engineered, attenuated Herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors are promising vehicles for gene delivery to the peripheral and central nervous systems. The virus latent promoter (LAP) is commonly used to drive exogenous gene expression; however, parameters affecting the safety and long-term transgene expression of attenuated HSV-1 vectors have not been fully understood.

Objective: This study aimed to construct attenuated HSV-1 vectors using the CRISPR-Cas9 system and examine the influence of transgene cassette construction and insertion site on transgene expression and vector safety.

Method: In this study, we used a CRISPR-Cas9 system to accurately and efficiently edit attenuated HSV-1 strain 1716, and constructed two series of recombinant virus LMR and LMRx with different sets of gene cassettes insertion in Exon1(LAP2) and 2.0 kb intron downstream of LAP, respectively. The transgene expression and viral gene transcriptional kinetics were compared in in-vitro cell lines. The reporter gene expression and safety profiles of each vector were further evaluated in the mouse hippocampus gene transduction model.

Result: The in-vitro cell line analysis indicated that the insertion of a gene expression cassette would disrupt virus gene transcription. Mouse hippocampus transducing analysis suggested that complete expression cassette insertion at 2.0 kb intron could achieve robust and longtime gene expression than the other constructs. Recombinants with gene expression cassettes lacked Poly (A), which induced significant neuronal inflammation due to persistent viral antigen expression and microglia activation.

Conclusion: Our results indicated that the integrity of LAT transcripts was not necessary for the establishment of long-term latent expression. Exogenous strong promoters (like cBh promoter) could remain active during latency when placed in Exon1 or 2.0 Kb Intron of LAT locus, although their transcriptional activity declined with time. Consistent with previous research, the foreign gene expression would last much longer when the gene cassette was located downstream of Exon1, which suggested a role of LAP2 in maintaining promoter activity during latency. Besides, over-transcription of the downstream part of LAT may induce continuous activation of the attenuated vectors, suggesting an important role of LAT in maintaining viral reactivation potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1566523219666210618154326DOI Listing
June 2021

Rapid prediction of deterioration risk among non-high-risk patients with acute pulmonary embolism at admission: An imaging tool.

Int J Cardiol 2021 09 15;338:229-236. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, No. 36 Sanhao Street, Shenyang, China. Electronic address:

Background: Computed tomography (CT) pulmonary angiography as the first-line diagnosis tool of acute pulmonary embolism (PE), might improve this discriminatory power. We aimed to developed a simply tool combining multi-CT parameters to complete individualized risk assessment of deterioration in non-high-risk patients with acute PE at admission.

Method: Consecutive non-high-risk patients with acute PE who were treated in a Chinese center during 2010-2021, were collected.Prognosis-related CT parameters were reviewed. Deterioration was defined as any adverse event within 30 day after admission. Eligible patients were randomized into derivation and validation cohorts. In the derivation cohort, CT parameters were screened for importance using classification tree methodology and enrolled variables was partitioned via curve-fitting and dose-response analysis. A nomogram was developed and the predictive power in both cohorts was evaluated based on the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI).

Result: A total of 1001 patients were included. The preliminary analyses revealed that deterioration risk was related to the right-to-left ventricular diameter ratio at 4-chamber view, pulmonary vein filling abnormality. After a curve-fitting to deterioration risk, these parameters were partitioned and used to develop a nomogram, which had AUROC values of 0.91 (95% CI: 0.87-0.96) in the derivation cohort and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81-0.97) in the validation cohort. A web-based version of the radiomics scoring tool was published online for use in clinical practice (https://acutepeprediction.shinyapps.io/Radiomics_Predictive_Tool/).

Conclusion: This simply tool can complete rapid estimation of deterioration risk among non-high-risk acute PE patients at admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.06.013DOI Listing
September 2021

Knowledge Mapping of Dietary Factors of Metabolic Syndrome Research: Hotspots, Knowledge Structure, and Theme Trends.

Front Nutr 2021 31;8:655533. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.

The global incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is continuously increasing, making it a potential worldwide public health concern. Research on dietary factors related to MetS has attracted considerable attention in the recent decades. However, the research hotspots, knowledge structure, and theme trends for the dietary factors associated with MetS remain unknown, and have not yet been systematically mapped. This study aimed to review the research status of diet as a risk factor for MetS through bibliometric methods. Bibliometric analysis was conducted using the Web of Science database. Research hotspots were identified using biclustering analysis with the gCLUTO software, and knowledge structure was explored via social network analysis using the Ucinet software. Theme trends were investigated using evolutionary analysis with the SciMAT software. In total, 1,305 papers were analyzed. The research output on the dietary factors associated with MetS increased steadily. The research scope was gradually expanding and diverse. Overall, eight research hot spots, four key dietary nodes, and four motor themes on the dietary factors associated with MetS were identified. Fatty acids, dietary fiber, and polyphenols have been the focus of research in this field over the years. Evolutionary analysis showed that fish oil and vitamin C were well-developed research foci recently. Prebiotics was recognized as an emerging theme with certain developmental potential. These findings provide a better understanding of the research status of the dietary factors associated with MetS and a reference for future investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.655533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8200392PMC
May 2021

The Effects of Limosilactobacillus reuteri LR-99 Supplementation on Body Mass Index, Social Communication, Fine Motor Function, and Gut Microbiome Composition in Individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome: a Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

The Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Limosilactobacillus reuteri (Lactobacillus reuteri, Lact. reuteri) has demonstrated anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects in previous studies. In the present study, we aim to evaluate the effects of Lact. reuteri supplementation on body mass index (BMI), social behaviors, and gut microbiota in individuals with PWS. We conducted a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 71 individuals with PWS aged 6 to 264 months (64.4 ± 51.0 months). Participants were randomly assigned to either receive daily Lact. reuteri LR-99 probiotic (6 × 10 colony forming units) or a placebo sachet. Groupwise differences were assessed for BMI, ASQ-3, and GARS-3 at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks into treatment. Gut microbiome data was analyzed with the QIIME2 software package, and predictive functional profiling was conducted with PICRUSt-2. We found a significant reduction in BMI for the probiotic group at both 6 weeks and 12 weeks relative to the baseline (P < 0.05). Furthermore, we observed a significant improvement in social communication and interaction, fine motor function, and total ASQ-3 score in the probiotics group compared to the placebo group (P < 0.05). Altered gut microbiota was observed in the probiotic group to favor weight loss and improve gut health. The findings suggest a novel therapeutic potential for Lact. reuteri LR-99 probiotic to modulate BMI, social behaviors, and gut microbiota in Prader-Willi syndrome patients, although further investigation is warranted.Trial registration Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR1900022646.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12602-021-09800-9DOI Listing
June 2021

Prognostic significance of p53, Sox11, and Pax5 co-expression in mantle cell lymphoma.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 7;11(1):11896. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Hematology/Hematology Research Laboratory, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, #37 Guo Xue Xiang Street, Chengdu, 610041, China.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a relatively rare subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. To identify molecular biomarkers in MCL, we performed immunohistochemistry tissue arrays using biopsies from 64 MCL patients diagnosed in West China Hospital from 2012 to 2016. TP53 mutation status in those patients was also examined by sequencing. The sequencing results showed TP53 mutations were highly heterogeneous in MCL. We identified four novel TP53 mutations in MCL: P151R, G199R, V218E, and G325R. The MCL patients with TP53 mutations had inferior progression-free survival (PFS, p = 0.002) and overall survival (OS, p = 0.011). Tissue array results showed the expression of p53, Sox11, or Pax5 alone did not correlate with the patient PFS and OS. However, the MCL patients with triple-positive expression of p53/Sox11/Pax5 had inferior PFS (p = 0.008) and OS (p = 0.002). Such risk stratification was independent to the mantle cell lymphoma international prognostic index (MIPI), Ki-67 value, and TP53 mutation status of the patients. The triple-positive patients might represent a subtype of high-risk MCL. Our findings might indicate a novel way to stratify MCL and predict patients' prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91433-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185106PMC
June 2021

The association of carotid artery atherosclerosis with the estimated excretion levels of urinary sodium and potassium and their ratio in Chinese adults.

Nutr J 2021 06 6;20(1):50. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Health Management, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Background: Arterial stiffness is an independent cardiovascular risk factor. However, the association between sodium/potassium intake and vascular stiffness was inconsistent. Therefore, a large community-based cross-sectional study was performed to try and achieve more definitive conclusion.

Methods: Urinary sodium, potassium, and creatinine levels were tested in spot urine samples during physical examinations of each recruited participant. The 24-h estimated urinary sodium excretion (eUNaE) and estimated urinary potassium excretion (eUKE) levels were determined using the Kawasaki formula (used as a surrogate for intake). Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques were measured using ultrasound.

Results: In 13,523 subjects aged 18-80 years, the relationships between carotid plaques and IMT with eUNaE, eUKE and their ratios were analyzed. Overall, 30.2% of participants were diagnosed with carotid artery plaques. The ratio of estimated sodium vs. potassium excretion (Na/K ratio) of the individuals with carotid artery plaques was significantly higher than that of participants without plaque (2.14 ± 0.73 vs. 2.09 ± 0.61, P < 0.01). After adjusting for age, gender, and other lifestyle covariates, a significant positive relation was found between carotid plaque and Na/K ratios (OR = 1.06, P < 0.05). In participants without plaque, a similar positive association was observed between Na/K ratios and increased bifurcation carotid IMT (β = 0.008, P < 0.01), especially in the females (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: In this study, in which sodium intake was estimated on the basis of measured urinary excretion, high estimated excretion levels of urinary sodium and/or low estimated excretion levels of urinary potassium might be associated with an increased presence of carotid atherosclerosis in Chinese individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-021-00710-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8182948PMC
June 2021

Association of prenatal factors and cord blood lead levels in China: A nested cohort cross-sectional study.

J Trace Elem Med Biol 2021 Sep 15;67:126783. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Pediatrics, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 110000, Shenyang, Liaoning, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Background: Lead exposure all over the world has gradually declined. As fetuses are more prone to lead exposure, even to low levels of lead exposure, it is important to monitor blood lead levels (BLLs) in pregnancy.

Methods: We obtained data on BLLs in the third trimester of pregnancy from medical records and measured cord BLLs obtained from 121 mother-child pairs in Shenyang, China from September 2019 to February 2020. We also estimated relationships between socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors during pregnancy as well as cord BLLs to identify the source of lead exposure during pregnancy. BLLs was estimated by atomic absorption spectrometry through graphite furnace ionization techniques. The data which obtained by questionnaires during pregnancy included maternal sociodemographic, lifestyle, dietary factors. We have established three multivariate logistic regression models in which the dichotomous BLLs was used as the dependent variable (cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L vs <20 μg/L).

Results: The median and geometric mean of cord BLLs were 22.90 μg/L, 21.88 μg/L and BLLs in the third trimester of pregnancy were 25.29 μg/L, 24.66 μg/L, respectively. BLLs showed significant correlations between cord and the third trimester of pregnancy (r = 0.277, P = 0.012). Pregnant women who had not been exposed to passive smoking had lower OR (95 %) [0.43(0.19-0.94)] for cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L than pregnant women who had. Intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during third trimester of pregnancy presented an OR (95 %) [0.23(0.08-0.61)] for cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L. Consuming more whole grains (>3 times/week) and beverage (≥1 times/week) showed an OR (95%CI) for cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L of 0.09(0.02-0.53) and 0.19(0.06-0.69), respectively.

Conclusion: This study showed the cord BLLs of Chinese are still higher than most developed countries. Passive smoking is a risk factor for cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L and supplement of DHA, whole grains and beverage consumption during pregnancy may act as a beneficial factor against having cord BLLs ≥20 μg/L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2021.126783DOI Listing
September 2021

Methionine enkephalin activates autophagy and stimulates tumour cell immunogenicity in human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Jul 6;96:107733. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Immunology, College of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Shenyang 110122, China. Electronic address:

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) is a common skin tumour. Due to weak immunogenicity, recurrence is frequent after treatment. In this study, we explored the effects and mechanisms of methionine enkephalin (MENK), an endogenous opioid peptide and negative growth regulator, in CSCC. MENK inhibited A431 cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis through the opioid growth factor receptor (OGFr). Importantly, MENK also induced autophagy in CSCC and stimulated the emission of DAMPs in A431 cells, which resulted in enhanced activation of dendritic cells (DC).In conclusion, MENK provides an effective method with therapeutic potential to modulate the CSCC microenvironment by utilizing autophagy in the cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107733DOI Listing
July 2021

Relationship between small dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with carotid plaque in Chinese individuals with abnormal carotid artery intima-media thickness.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 04 27;21(1):216. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Health Management Centre, Kaifeng Central Hospital, Kaifeng, 475000, Henan, China.

Aim: To investigate the relationship of small dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (sdLDL-C) to carotid artery intima-media thickness (CA-IMT) and carotid plaque (CAP) in Chinese general population, and to evaluate whether sdLDL-C could be an independent risk factor for individuals with subclinical atherosclerosis.

Methods: A total of 729 subjects were randomly collected from consecutive individuals from April 2019 to April 2020 for an annual health checkup. CA-IMT > 1.0 mm was defined as abnormal IMT. Plaque stability was measured by ultrasound examination based on the property of the echo. And sdLDL-C levels were detected by LipoPrint system. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with CA-IMT and carotid plaque.

Results: The abnormal IMT group had significantly higher sdLDL-C levels than control group (p < 0.0001). And sdLDL-C levels were significantly positively correlated with IMT value (r = 0.1396, p = 0.0021) and presence of carotid plaque (r = 0.14, p = 0.002) in the subjects with abnormal IMT. In addition, subjects with higher levels of sdLDL-C (r = 0.11, p = 0.035) tended to have unstable CAP. After adjustment for age, gender and blood glucose, sdLDL-C level was an independent risk factor of the presence of CAP (OR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.02-1.83, p = 0.034) in subjects with abnormal IMT.

Conclusion: SdLDL-C is an independent risk factor of the occurrence of CAP in the Chinese subjects with abnormal IMT. Our findings provide supporting evidence that sdLDL-C might be an alternative way to predict CVD in early stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02023-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080368PMC
April 2021

Recent Advances in Self-Powered Electrochemical Systems.

Research (Wash D C) 2021 12;2021:4673028. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China.

Electrochemistry, one of the most important research and production technology, has been widely applicated in various fields. However, the requirement of external power source is a major challenge to its development. To solve this issue, developing self-powered electrochemical system (SPES) that can work by collecting energy from the environment is highly desired. The invention of triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), which can transform mechanical energy into electricity, is a promising approach to build SPES by integrating with electrochemistry. In this view, the latest representative achievements of SPES based on TENG are comprehensively reviewed. By harvesting various mechanical energy, five SPESs are built, including electrochemical pollutants treatment, electrochemical synthesis, electrochemical sensor, electrochromic reaction, and anticorrosion system, according to the application domain. Additionally, the perspective for promoting the development of SPES is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.34133/2021/4673028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7982057PMC
March 2021

Psychometric properties of the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire among Chinese parents of children with ADHD or ASD.

Gen Psychiatr 2021 9;34(2):e100246. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: There is an urgent need in clinical practice to measure the stress of parenting. The Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) was found to be useful to measure parenting stress, but it has not been validated among the Chinese population.

Aims: To assess the reliability and construct validity of the Chinese version of CGSQ among Chinese parents.

Methods: From 2016 to 2017, 266 parents (patient group) with a child having DSM-5-defined attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n=107) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n=159) and 268 parents of healthy children (control group) were recruited to the present study in Kunming, Yunnan province. All the parents were asked to fill out the Chinese version of CGSQ. We conducted exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to verify construct validity of CGSQ in both patient and control groups. Cronbach's α coefficient as an index of internal consistency was assessed for each subscale. Fourteen days later, 23 subjects filled out the scale again. Intra-class correlation coefficient was calculated to evaluate the test-retest reliability.

Results: (1) Cronbach's alpha of the global scale was 0.901 for the control group and 0.952 for the patient group. The test-retest reliability for the whole scale was 0.890; (2) CFA indicated that the three-factor model had better fitting indices compared with the two-factor model in both groups. Besides, the fitting indices in the patient group were more favourable than those of the control group, with χ/df=1.564, Goodness-of-Fit Index=0.841, Comparative Fit Index=0.954, and root mean square error of approximation=0.065 for the patient group at three-factor model; (3) The caregiver strain of ASD parents was statistically higher than that of ADHD parents, and caregiver strain of ADHD parents was higher than that of control group.

Conclusion: These findings provide initial evidence to support the construct validity and reliability of CGSQ as a parenting stress measurement tool for Chinese parents, especially for parents of children with ADHD or ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gpsych-2020-100246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944967PMC
March 2021

The Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Anthropometric Growth and Gut Microbiota Composition in Patients With Prader-Willi Syndrome: A Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Front Nutr 2021 19;8:587974. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China.

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and neuropsychiatric comorbidities. subsp. has demonstrated anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects in previous studies. To evaluate the effects of subsp. probiotics supplementation on anthropometric growth, behavioral symptoms, and gut microbiome composition in patients with PWS. Ethical Approval was issued by the Internal Review Board (IRB) of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (Review-YJ-2016-06). We conducted a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 68 patients with Prader-Willi syndrome aged 11 months-16 years (mean = 4.2 years old) who were randomly assigned to receive daily -11 probiotics (6 × 10 CFUs) or a placebo sachet. Weight, height, ASQ-3, ABC, SRS-2, and CGI-I were compared between the two groups at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks into treatment. Gut microbiome data were analyzed with the QIIME 2 software package, and functional gene analysis was conducted with PICRUSt-2. We found a significant increase in height (mean difference = 2.68 cm, < 0.05) and improvement in CGI-I ( < 0.05) in the probiotics group compared to the placebo group. No significant change in weight or psychological measures were observed. Probiotic treatment altered the microbiome composition to favor weight loss and gut health and increased the abundance of antioxidant production-related genes. The findings suggest a novel therapeutic potential for subsp. probiotics in Prader-Willi syndrome patients, although further investigation is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.587974DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933553PMC
February 2021

Dysbiotic Gut Microbiota and Dysregulation of Cytokine Profile in Children and Teens With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Front Neurosci 2021 10;15:635925. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States.

Inflammation and the gut-brain axis have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To further understand the relationship between aberrant immune responses and dysbiotic features of the gut microbiome in ASD, we enrolled 45 ASD individuals and 41 healthy control subjects with ages ranging from 2 to 19 years. We found that ASD group subjects have significantly higher plasma levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, TNF-β, and IFN-γ when compared to healthy controls (FDR-adjusted < 0.05). The plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and IL-6 are found to be further associated with several largely pathogenic gut microbiota uniquely detected in subjects with ASD. Furthermore, the ASD gut microbiome is characterized by reduced levels of several beneficial microbiota, including (FDR-adjusted < 0.01) and Lachnospiraceae (FDR-adjusted < 0.001). Analysis of Lachnospiraceae family and genus level taxa suggested that relative abundances of such taxa are negatively correlated with pro-inflammatory signaling cytokines IFN-γ and IL-6, particularly in subjects with severe ASD as defined by CARS ( < 0.05). Several largely pathogenic genera are determined to be associated with the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and IL-6 (FDR-adjusted < 0.1). Additionally, IL-4 is significantly negatively correlated with CARS total score ( < 0.05). Based on such results, we propose that the association between the disturbances of specific cytokines and alterations in gut microbiota abundance observed in children and adolescents with ASD provides additional evidence on the induction of aberrant pro-inflammatory mechanisms in ASD and its early diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.635925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902875PMC
February 2021

Effects of fluorinated solvents on electrolyte solvation structures and electrode/electrolyte interphases for lithium metal batteries.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Mar;118(9)

Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354;

Electrolyte is very critical to the performance of the high-voltage lithium (Li) metal battery (LMB), which is one of the most attractive candidates for the next-generation high-density energy-storage systems. Electrolyte formulation and structure determine the physical properties of the electrolytes and their interfacial chemistries on the electrode surfaces. Localized high-concentration electrolytes (LHCEs) outperform state-of-the-art carbonate electrolytes in many aspects in LMBs due to their unique solvation structures. Types of fluorinated cosolvents used in LHCEs are investigated here in searching for the most suitable diluent for high-concentration electrolytes (HCEs). Nonsolvating solvents (including fluorinated ethers, fluorinated borate, and fluorinated orthoformate) added in HCEs enable the formation of LHCEs with high-concentration solvation structures. However, low-solvating fluorinated carbonate will coordinate with Li ions and form a second solvation shell or a pseudo-LHCE which diminishes the benefits of LHCE. In addition, it is evident that the diluent has significant influence on the electrode/electrolyte interphases (EEIs) beyond retaining the high-concentration solvation structures. Diluent molecules surrounding the high-concentration clusters could accelerate or decelerate the anion decomposition through coparticipation of diluent decomposition in the EEI formation. The varied interphase features lead to significantly different battery performance. This study points out the importance of diluents and their synergetic effects with the conductive salt and the solvating solvent in designing LHCEs. These systematic comparisons and fundamental insights into LHCEs using different types of fluorinated solvents can guide further development of advanced electrolytes for high-voltage LMBs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2020357118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936379PMC
March 2021

Improvement of Oral Bioavailability and Anti-Tumor Effect of Zingerone Self-Microemulsion Drug Delivery System.

J Pharm Sci 2021 07 18;110(7):2718-2727. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Centre for Nano Drug/Gene Delivery and Tissue Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

This study sought to prepare a self-microemulsion drug delivery system containing zingerone (Z-SMEDDS) to improve the low oral bioavailability of zingerone and anti-tumor effect. Z-SMEDDS was characterized by particle size, zeta potential and encapsulation efficiency, while its pharmacokinetics and anti-tumor effects were also evaluated. Z-SMEDDS had stable physicochemical properties, including average particle size of 17.29 ± 0.07 nm, the zeta potential of -22.81 ± 0.29 mV, and the encapsulation efficiency of 97.96% ± 0.02%. In vitro release studies have shown the release of zingerone released by Z-SMEDDS was significantly higher than free zingerone in different release media. The relative oral bioavailability of Z-SMEDDS was 7.63 times compared with free drug. Meanwhile, the half inhibitory concentration (IC50)of Z-SMEDDS and free zingerone was 8.45 μg/mL and 13.30 μg/mL, respectively on HepG2. This study may provide a preliminary basis for further clinical research and application of Z-SMEDDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xphs.2021.01.037DOI Listing
July 2021

[Effect of acupuncture on pattern visual evoked potential of cerebral visual impairment in children aged 3-10 years].

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2021 Jan;41(1):37-40

Department of Pediatrics, Chongqing Hospital of TCM, Chongqing 40021, China.

Objective: To observe clinical effect of acupuncture combined with conventional visual stimulation on cerebral visual impairment (CVI) in children aged 3-10 years and influence on the pattern visual evoked potential (P-VEP).

Methods: A total of 60 cases of children aged 3-10 years with CVI were randomly divided into an observation group and a control group, 30 cases in each group. The children in the control group received conventional visual stimulation therapy, 1 month as a course of treatment. On the basis of the control group, the children in the observation group was treated with acupuncture at Baihui (GV 20), Jingming (BL 1), Taiyang (EX-HN 5), Sibai (ST 2), etc. 3 times a week, and the treatment was given 4 weeks continuously as a course. Both groups received 3 courses of treatment. The visual acuity and P-VEP improvement were compared between the two groups before and after treatment.

Results: After treatment, the incubation period (P100-L) of the two groups was shorter than before treatment, and the amplitude (P100-A) was higher than before treatment (<0.05); and the degree of above changes in the observation group was lager than the control group (<0.05). The percentage of best corrected visual acuity of 0.6-0.8 in the observation group after treatment and follow-up 1 year after treatment was higher than before treatment (<0.05), and was higher than the control group (<0.05).

Conclusion: Acupuncture combined with conventional visual stimulation can improve the incubation period (P100-L) and amplitude (P100-A) of P-VEP in children with CVI, and improve the best corrected visual acuity in children, the clinical effect is better than the conventional visual stimulation alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13703/j.0255-2930.20200103-0004DOI Listing
January 2021

Identification of LiH and nanocrystalline LiF in the solid-electrolyte interphase of lithium metal anodes.

Nat Nanotechnol 2021 May 28;16(5):549-554. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Chemistry Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA.

A comprehensive understanding of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) composition is crucial to developing high-energy batteries based on lithium metal anodes. A particularly contentious issue concerns the presence of LiH in the SEI. Here we report on the use of synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function analysis to identify and differentiate two elusive components, LiH and LiF, in the SEI of lithium metal anodes. LiH is identified as a component of the SEI in high abundance, and the possibility of its misidentification as LiF in the literature is discussed. LiF in the SEI is found to have different structural features from LiF in the bulk phase, including a larger lattice parameter and a smaller grain size (<3 nm). These characteristics favour Li transport and explain why an ionic insulator, like LiF, has been found to be a favoured component for the SEI. Finally, pair distribution function analysis reveals key amorphous components in the SEI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-020-00845-5DOI Listing
May 2021

Cohesin promotes HSV-1 lytic transcription by facilitating the binding of RNA Pol II on viral genes.

Virol J 2021 01 23;18(1):26. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanisms of Chinese Academy of Sciences/Key Laboratory of Healthy Aging Research of Yunnan Province, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Kunming, 650223, Yunnan, China.

Background: Herpes Simplex Virus type I (HSV-1) is a large double-stranded DNA virus that enters productive infection in epithelial cells and reorganizes the host nucleus. Cohesin, a major constituent of interphase and mitotic chromosomes comprised of SMC1, SMC3, and SCC1 (Mcd1/Rad21), SCC3 (SA1/SA2), have diverse functions, including sister chromatid cohesion, DNA double-stranded breaks repair, and transcriptional control. Little is known about the role of cohesin in HSV-1 lytic infection.

Methods: We measured the effect on HSV-1 transcription, genome copy number, and viral titer by depleting cohesin components SMC1 or Rad21 using RNAi, followed by immunofluorescence, qPCR, and ChIP experiments to gain insight into cohesin's function in HSV-1 transcription and replication.

Results: Here, we report that cohesion subunits SMC1 and Rad21 are recruited to the lytic HSV-1 replication compartment. The knockdown results in decreased viral transcription, protein expression, and maturation of viral replication compartments. SMC1 and Rad21 knockdown leads to the reduced overall RNA pol II occupancy level but increased RNA pol II ser5 phosphorylation binding on viral genes. Consistent with this, the knockdown increased H3K27me3 modification on these genes.

Conclusions: These results suggest that cohesin facilitates HSV-1 lytic transcription by promoting RNA Pol II transcription activity and preventing chromatin's silencing on the viral genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-021-01495-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825184PMC
January 2021

Relationship between dietary patterns and sleep disorders among health screening population in Changsha.

Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2020 Oct;45(10):1204-1214

National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders; Institute of Mental Health, Central South University, Changsha 410011, China.

Objectives: Sleep disorders directly affect health-related quality of life, so it is of great significance to investigate the risk factors of sleep disorders and to actively intervene. This study aims to investigate the relationship between dietary patterns and associated factors and sleep disorders among the health screening populations in Changsha.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 86 073 subjects aged 18-70 years old who underwent the health screening. The association between dietary patterns and sleep disorders was analyzed. The associated factors for sleep disorders were identified via by principal component analysis and classification tree model.

Results: The overall prevalence of reporting sleep disorders was 18.64%. Four major dietary patterns (healthy, snacks, whole-grain, and fried food patterns) were identified. In logistic regression, snacks and fried food patterns had higher risk of sleep disorders. The whole-grain pattern was a protective factor for sleep disorders. Nine associated factors including age, susceptibility to anxiety, snacking parterns, feelings of depression, chronic pain, physical activity, educational level, gender, and weight, and 9 groups at high risk for sleep disorders were identified by classification tree model.

Conclusions: Sleep disorders are prevalent in the health screening population of Changsha. There is a close association between snacks dietary patterns and sleep disorders. It is necessary to promote healthy and reasonable diet, and keep good lifestyle for the prevention and control of sleep disorders. Health management after physical examination should take different health interventions for high-risk groups with different characteristics of sleep disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2020.190318DOI Listing
October 2020

Co-occurrence of chronic pain, depressive symptoms, and poor sleep quality in a health check-up population in China:A multicenter survey.

J Affect Disord 2021 02 13;281:792-798. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Health Management Center, Health Management Research Center of Central South University, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Province, China 410013; National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, and Department of Psychaitry, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Hunan Province, China 410011. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the cooccurrence of chronic pain (CP), depressive symptoms, and poor sleep quality in terms of prevalence and associated factors in a nationwide health check-up population in China.

Methods: This multicenter cross-sectional survey was performed in 2017. All the participants aged ≥18 years from eight health check-up institutions in 6 provinces and cities were invited to complete a self-report health questionnaire through online resources.

Results: 132,444 participants completed the online survey and the overall prevalence of CP and that of the three symptoms were 11.0% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 10.8-11.1) and 2.7% (95% CI: 2.6-2.8), respectively. The cooccurrence of all three symptoms increased with age, being higher in the female, widowed, unemployed, and lower education level groups. The respondents with multiple symptoms reported poorer self-rated health. Binary logistic regression analyses identified female sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.51; 95% CI: 1.42-1.62), a widowed status (aOR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.04-1.84), a lower education level (aORs ranging from 1.46 to 2.47), and having one or more chronic diseases (aORs ranging from 1.43 to 2.02) to be significantly associated with reporting all three symptoms (all P ˂0.05). While long-term medication and regular exercise were the protective factors.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the cooccurrence of the three symptoms accounts for a certain proportion of the Chinese health check-up population. Integrated interventions that address CP and mental health cooccurrence may be an essential target for heath management in this population to tackle this considerable burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.11.060DOI Listing
February 2021

Lithium Metal Anodes with Nonaqueous Electrolytes.

Chem Rev 2020 Dec 11;120(24):13312-13348. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354 United States.

High-energy rechargeable lithium (Li) metal batteries (LMBs) with Li metal anode (LMA) were first developed in the 1970s, but their practical applications have been hindered by the safety and low-efficiency concerns related to LMA. Recently, a worldwide effort on LMA-based rechargeable LMBs has been revived to replace graphite-based, Li-ion batteries because of the much higher energy density that can be achieved with LMBs. This review focuses on the recent progress on the stabilization of LMA with nonaqueous electrolytes and reveals the fundamental mechanisms behind this improved stability. Various strategies that can enhance the stability of LMA in practical conditions and perspectives on the future development of LMA are also discussed. These strategies include the use of novel electrolytes such as superconcentrated electrolytes, localized high-concentration electrolytes, and highly fluorinated electrolytes, surface coatings that can form a solid electrolyte interphase with a high interfacial energy and self-healing capabilities, development of "anode-free" Li batteries to minimize the interaction between LMA and electrolyte, approaches to enable operation of LMA in practical conditions, etc. Combination of these strategies ultimately will lead us closer to the large-scale application of LMBs which often is called the "Holy Grail" of energy storage systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrev.0c00275DOI Listing
December 2020

Designing Advanced In Situ Electrode/Electrolyte Interphases for Wide Temperature Operation of 4.5 V Li||LiCoO Batteries.

Adv Mater 2020 Dec 4;32(49):e2004898. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99354, USA.

High-energy-density batteries with a LiCoO (LCO) cathode are of significant importance to the energy-storage market, especially for portable electronics. However, their development is greatly limited by the inferior performance under high voltages and challenging temperatures. Here, highly stable lithium (Li) metal batteries with LCO cathode, through the design of in situ formed, stable electrode/electrolyte interphases on both the Li anode and the LCO cathode, with an advanced electrolyte, are reported. The LCO cathode can deliver a high specific capacity of ≈190 mAh g and show greatly improved cell performances under a high charge voltage of 4.5 V (even up to 4.55 V) and a wide temperature range from -30 to 55 °C. This work points out a promising approach for developing Li||LCO batteries for practical applications. This approach can also be used to improve the high-voltage performance of other batteries in a broad temperature range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202004898DOI Listing
December 2020

Role of inner solvation sheath within salt-solvent complexes in tailoring electrode/electrolyte interphases for lithium metal batteries.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 Nov 3;117(46):28603-28613. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354;

Functional electrolyte is the key to stabilize the highly reductive lithium (Li) metal anode and the high-voltage cathode for long-life, high-energy-density rechargeable Li metal batteries (LMBs). However, fundamental mechanisms on the interactions between reactive electrodes and electrolytes are still not well understood. Recently localized high-concentration electrolytes (LHCEs) are emerging as a promising electrolyte design strategy for LMBs. Here, we use LHCEs as an ideal platform to investigate the fundamental correlation between the reactive characteristics of the inner solvation sheath on electrode surfaces due to their unique solvation structures. The effects of a series of LHCEs with model electrolyte solvents (carbonate, sulfone, phosphate, and ether) on the stability of high-voltage LMBs are systematically studied. The stabilities of electrodes in different LHCEs indicate the intrinsic synergistic effects between the salt and the solvent when they coexist on electrode surfaces. Experimental and theoretical analyses reveal an intriguing general rule that the strong interactions between the salt and the solvent in the inner solvation sheath promote their intermolecular proton/charge transfer reactions, which dictates the properties of the electrode/electrolyte interphases and thus the battery performances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010852117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682554PMC
November 2020

Novel mechanisms underlying anti-polycystic ovary like syndrome effects of electroacupuncture in rats: suppressing SREBP1 to mitigate insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress.

Biol Res 2020 Oct 27;53(1):50. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Gynecological Oncology, Cancer Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150081, People's Republic of China.

Background: Acupuncture, a therapy of traditional Chinese medicine, is confirmed to exert the therapeutic action on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, the detailed therapeutic mechanisms of acupuncture in PCOS remain ambiguous. In this study, we further investigated whether electroacupuncture (EA) alleviated PCOS-like symptoms in rats via regulating a metabolic regulator, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP1).

Methods: The PCOS-like rat model was built by hypodermic injection with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The rats were subjected to EA intervention (ST29 and SP6 acupuncture points) for 5 weeks. Primary granulosa cells were isolated from control and PCOS-like rats for evaluating insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in vitro.

Results: The expression of SREBP1 was increased in PCOS-like rats, which was suppressed by EA treatment. In addition, lentivirus-mediated overexpression of SREBP1 restrained EA treatment-induced improvement in pathological changes, serum hormone levels and insulin resistance in rats. In addition, overexpression of SREBP1 repressed insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of insulin receptor β (IR) and AKT in primary granulosa cells. Moreover, upregulation of SREBP1 further exacerbated mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in granulosa cells isolated from PCOS-like rats. Mechanically, EA treatment suppressed SREBP1 expression through inducing the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in PCOS-like rats.

Conclusion: EA intervention alleviated PCOS-like symptoms in rats via improving IR, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress through regulating SREBP1, a lipid metabolism regulator. Our findings illuminate the novel protective mechanisms of EA in the treatment of PCOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40659-020-00317-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7590702PMC
October 2020

3D printable Sodium alginate-Matrigel (SA-MA) hydrogel facilitated ectomesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) neuron differentiation.

J Biomater Appl 2021 01 15;35(6):709-719. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

School of Pharmacy, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China.

Ectomesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) are typical adult stem cells obtained from the cranial neural crest. They have the potential to differentiate into various cell types, such as osseous cells, neurons and glial cells. Three-dimensional (3 D) printing is a novel method to construct biological structures by rapid prototyping. Previously, our group reported on the stemness and multi-lineage differentiation potential of EMSCs on gels. However, the exploration of EMSCs in 3 D printing and then evaluation of the growth and neuronal differentiation of EMSCs on extruded 3 D printable hybrid hydrogels has not been reported. Therefore, the current study explored the novel hybrid Sodium alginate-Matrigel (SA-MA) hydrogel extruded 3 D printing to design an scaffold to promote the differentiation and growth of EMSCs. In addition, the physical properties of the hydrogel were characterized and its drug-releasing property determined. Notably, the results showed that the construct exhibited a sustain-released effect of growth factor BDNF in accordance with the Higuchi equation. Moreover, the cell survival rate on the 3 D printed scaffold was 88.22 ± 1.13% with higher neuronal differentiation efficiency compared with 2 D culture. Thus, SA-MA's ability to enhanced EMSCs neuronal differentiation offers a new biomaterial for neurons regeneration in the treatment of spinal cord injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0885328220961261DOI Listing
January 2021
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