Publications by authors named "Xiaohui Chen"

411 Publications

Agricultural bio-waste for removal of organic and inorganic contaminants from waste diesel engine oil.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jan 13;414:124906. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Fuzhou Savon Environmental Technology Co. Ltd, Fuzhou 350026, PR China.

Corncob, an agricultural bio-waste, was used as adsorbent to remove organic and inorganic contaminants in waste lubricating oil (WLO) from diesel engine. To improve its adsorption capacity, corncob was modified with mixed solution of nitric acid, Hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide and ethanol. Characterization results showed the crystallinity index of corncob enhanced 12%, which would be ascribed to the disruption of the dense lignin-carbohydrates structure in lignocellulose biomass by modification. The surface of modified corncob became smoother and porous. The adsorption results showed modified corncob had better removal rates to contaminants than raw corncob. For WLO with 80,000 km mileage, the removal rates to Fe, Al, Cu were enhanced from 19%, 6.4%, 48-27%, 27%, 53%, while that for oxide, sulphate, aromates, soot and insoluble resins were enhanced 1.7, 1.2, 3.0, 1.7 and 1.7 times. The reduction rate of total acid number to WLO with 40,000, 60,000, 80,000 km were enhanced 16%, 9%, 12% by modified corncob, respectively. The optimal adsorption condition was explored as adsorbing 60 min at 90 °C with 2% adsorbent. Corncob, with the advantages of low cost, good biodegradability and high adsorption capacity, could be used as alternative to conventional adsorbent for WLO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124906DOI Listing
January 2021

Dexmedetomidine Alleviates Hypoxia-Induced Synaptic Loss and Cognitive Impairment via Inhibition of Microglial NOX2 Activation in the Hippocampus of Neonatal Rats.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 12;2021:6643171. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Anesthesiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Perinatal hypoxia is a universal cause of death and neurological deficits in neonates worldwide. Activation of microglial NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) leads to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, which may contribute to hypoxic damage in the developing brain. Dexmedetomidine has been reported to exert potent neuroprotection in several neurological diseases, but the mechanism remains unclear. We investigated whether dexmedetomidine acts through microglial NOX2 to reduce neonatal hypoxic brain damage.

Methods: The potential role of microglial NOX2 in dexmedetomidine-mediated alleviation of hypoxic damage was evaluated in cultured BV2 microglia and neonatal rats subjected to hypoxia. , neonatal rats received dexmedetomidine (25 g/kg, i.p.) 30 min before or immediately after hypoxia (5% O, 2 h). Apocynin-mediated NOX inhibition and lentivirus-mediated NOX2 overexpression were applied to further assess the involvement of microglial NOX2 activation.

Results: Pre- or posttreatment with dexmedetomidine alleviated hypoxia-induced cognitive impairment, restored damaged synapses, and increased postsynaptic density-95 and synaptophysin protein expression following neonatal hypoxia. Importantly, dexmedetomidine treatment suppressed hypoxia-induced microglial NOX2 activation and subsequent oxidative stress and the neuroinflammatory response, as reflected by reduced 4-hydroxynonenal and ROS accumulation, and decreased nuclear NF-B p65 and proinflammatory cytokine levels in cultured BV2 microglia and the developing hippocampus. In addition, treating primary hippocampal neurons with conditioned medium (CM) from hypoxia-activated BV2 microglia resulted in neuronal damage, which was alleviated by CM from dexmedetomidine-treated microglia. Moreover, the neuroprotective effect of dexmedetomidine was reversed in NOX2-overexpressing BV2 microglia and diminished in apocynin-pretreated neonatal rats.

Conclusion: Dexmedetomidine targets microglial NOX2 to reduce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation and subsequently protects against hippocampal synaptic loss following neonatal hypoxia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6643171DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895593PMC
February 2021

RNA sequencing-based exploration of the effects of far-red light on lncRNAs involved in the shade-avoidance response of .

PeerJ 2021 12;9:e10769. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

College of Resources and Chemical Engineering, Sanming University, Sanming, China.

() is a valuable medicinal plant with a low natural survival rate, and its shade-avoidance response to far-red light is as an important strategy used by the plant to improve its production efficiency. However, the lncRNAs that play roles in the shade-avoidance response of have not yet been investigated. This study found that an appropriate proportion of far-red light can have several effects, including increasing the leaf area and accelerating stem elongation, in . The effects of different far-red light treatments on were analysed by RNA sequencing technology, and a total of 69 and 78 lncRNAs were differentially expressed in experimental group 1 (FR1) versus the control group (CK) (FR1-CK) and in experimental group 4 (FR4) versus the CK (FR4-CK), respectively. According to GO and KEGG analyses, most of the differentially expressed lncRNA targets are involved in the membrane, some metabolic pathways, hormone signal transduction, and O-methyltransferase activity, among other functions. Physiological and biochemical analyses showed that far-red light promoted the accumulation of flavonoids, alkaloids, carotenoids and polysaccharides in . The effect of far-red light on might be closely related to the cell membrane and Ca transduction. Based on a Cytoscape analysis and previous research, this study also found that MSTRG.38867.1, MSTRG.69319.1, and MSTRG.66273.1, among other components, might participate in the far-red light signalling network through their targets and thus regulate the shade-avoidance response of . These findings will provide new insights into the shade-avoidance response of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10769DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7883695PMC
February 2021

Neonatal Severe Hyperbilirubinemia Online Registry in Jiangsu Province: protocol for a multicentre, prospective, open, observational cohort study.

BMJ Open 2021 Feb 5;11(2):e040797. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Neonatology, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Nanjing, China

Introduction: Severe hyperbilirubinaemia in newborns can be easily complicated by acute bilirubin encephalopathy or even kernicterus, which could lead to neurological sequelae or death. However, there is no systematic study of the management of severe hyperbilirubinaemia in China. The Neonatal Severe Hyperbilirubinemia Online Registry study aims to investigate the management of jaundice before admission, risk factors and outcomes of severe hyperbilirubinaemia in a real-world setting in China.

Methods And Analysis: This is a prospective, multicentre, open, observational cohort study. From May 2020 to April 2023, more than 2000 patients with neonatal severe hyperbilirubinaemia from 13 tertiary hospitals in Jiangsu Province will join the study. Demographic data and treatment information will be collected from their clinical data. Management measures for jaundice before admission will be collected by the WeChat applet (called 'Follow-up of jaundice') after being provided by the patient's guardian using a mobile phone. Follow-up data will include cranial MRI examination results, brainstem auditory-evoked potential or automatic auditory brainstem response, physical examination results and Griffiths Development Scales-Chinese at the corrected ages of 3-6 months and 1 and 2 years. Results and conclusions will be recorded using 'Follow-up of jaundice.' In-hospital outcomes, including severity of hyperbilirubinaemia (severe, extreme, hazardous), acute bilirubin encephalopathy (mild, moderate, severe) and survival status (death or survival), will be collected at discharge. Follow-up outcomes will include loss to follow-up, survival status and kernicterus (yes or no) at 2 years. The research will enhance our comprehensive knowledge of jaundice management before admission, risk factors and outcomes of severe hyperbilirubinaemia in China, which will ultimately help to reduce the incidence of neonatal severe hyperbilirubinaemia.

Ethics And Dissemination: Our protocol has been approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital. We will present our findings at national conferences and peer-reviewed paediatrics journals.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04251286.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040797DOI Listing
February 2021

[The interaction between soluble CD73 and 90-day mortality from patients with non-septic shock and sepsis shock: a secondary analysis from the prospective FINNAKI study].

Zhonghua Wei Zhong Bing Ji Jiu Yi Xue 2020 Dec;32(12):1434-1439

Department of Emergency, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510260, Guangdong, China. Corresponding author: Chen Xiaohui, Email:

Objective: Fundamental researches have shown that soluble CD73 (sCD73) can inhibit inflammatory response and limit excessive tissue damage caused by continuous immune cell activation. A Finnish prospective, observational study of acute kidney injury (FINNAKI) showed no association between sCD73 and 90-day mortality in sepsis patients. Clinical data of this study was used for secondary analysis to explore whether the relationship between sCD73 and 90-day mortality was consistent in septic shock and non-septic shock patients.

Methods: The FINNAKI study was a prospective, observational cohort study conducted in 17 intensive care units (ICUs) in Finland from September 1st, 2011 to February 1st, 2012. Sepsis/septic shock was defined according to Sepsis-1 definition. Demographic characteristics, treatment, comorbidities and 90-day mortality of the patients were analyzed. To evaluate the difference (interaction test) between the relationship of sCD73 and 90-day mortality in septic shock and non-septic shock patients, likelihood ratio test was used to integrate the product term (sCD73×septic shock or non-septic shock) into multivariable Logistic regression. Sensitivity analysis was performed with the definition of Sepsis-3. The interaction between sCD73 and 90-day mortality in patients with septic shock and non-septic shock were verified by generalized additive model (GAM).

Results: A total of 588 patients with severe sepsis/septic shock were enrolled. 164 patients died in 90 days, and the 90-day mortality was 27.89%. Based on the Sepsis-1 definition, there were 159 non-septic shock patients and 429 septic shock patients. Compared with the non-septic shock patients, lactate (Lac) level, sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score, fluid balance on the first day, and ratio of mechanical ventilation, 12-hour acute kidney injury (AKI), renal replacement therapy (RRT), and postoperative ICU transition in the septic shock patients were significantly increased and the proportion of emergency admission to ICU was significantly decreased. Based on the Sepsis-3 definition, there were 383 non-septic shock patients and 205 septic shock patients; the results of clinical data analysis between the two groups were similar to those based on Sepsis-1. Based on Sepsis-1, there was no significant difference in 90-day mortality between non-septic shock and septic shock patients [23.90% (38/159) vs. 29.37% (126/429), P > 0.05]. However, based on Sepsis-3, the 90-day mortality of patients with septic shock was significantly higher than that of patients with non-septic shock [37.56% (77/205) vs. 22.72% (87/383), P < 0.01]. Multivariate Logistic regression analysis and interaction test showed that after adjusting all confounding factors (except the number of complications) in non-sepsis shock and sepsis shock patients, sCD73 and 90-day mortality were significantly different in both Sepsis-1 and Sepsis-3. The P values for interaction tests were 0.046 and 0.027, respectively. In patients with non-septic shock, sCD73 tended to be positively associated with 90-day mortality [Sepsis-1: odds ratio (OR) = 1.46, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) was 0.99-2.13, P = 0.053; Sepsis-3: OR = 1.34, 95%CI was 1.02-1.74, P = 0.034]. In septic shock patients, sCD73 tended to be negatively associated with 90-day mortality (Sepsis-1: OR = 0.91, 95%CI was 0.69-1.20, P = 0.494; Sepsis-3: OR = 0.80, 95%CI was 0.55-1.17, P = 0.249). The results of GAM model validation were consistent with the results of Logistic regression equation cross validation.

Conclusions: The relationship between sCD73 and 90-day mortality is significantly different from patients with non-sepsis shock and sepsis shock. In patients with non-sepsis shock, sCD73 is trend to positively associated with 90-day mortality, and there is a negative trend between sCD73 and 90-day mortality in patients with septic shock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.cn121430-20200417-00307DOI Listing
December 2020

NLRP3 inflammasome is a key driver of Obesity-Induced atrial arrhythmias.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

Aims: Obesity, an established risk factor of atrial fibrillation (AF), is frequently associated with enhanced inflammatory response. However, whether inflammatory signaling is causally linked to AF pathogenesis in obesity remains elusive. We recently demonstrated that the constitutive activation of the 'NACHT, LRR & PYD Domains-containing Protein 3' (NLRP3) inflammasome promotes AF susceptibility. In this study, we hypothesized that the NLRP3 inflammasome is a key driver of obesity-induced AF.

Methods And Results: Western blotting was performed to determine the level of NLRP3 inflammasome activation in atrial tissues of obese patients, sheep, and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. The increased bodyweight in patients, sheep, and mice was associated with enhanced NLRP3-inflammasome activation. To determine whether NLRP3 contributes to the obesity-induced atrial arrhythmogenesis, wildtype (WT) and NLRP3 homozygous knockout (NLRP3-/-) mice were subjected to high-fat diet (HFD) or normal chow (NC) for 10 weeks. Relative to NC-fed WT mice, HFD-fed WT mice were more susceptible to pacing-induced AF with longer AF duration. In contrast, HFD-fed NLRP3-/- mice were resistant to pacing-induced AF. Optical mapping in DIO mice revealed an arrhythmogenic substrate characterized by abbreviated refractoriness and action potential duration (APD), two key determinants of reentry-promoting electrical remodeling. Upregulation of ultra-rapid delayed-rectifier K+-channel (Kv1.5) contributed to the shortening of atrial refractoriness. Increased profibrotic signaling and fibrosis along with abnormal Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) accompanied atrial arrhythmogenesis in DIO mice. Conversely, genetic ablation of Nlrp3 (NLRP3-/-) in HFD-fed mice prevented the increases in Kv1.5 and the evolution of electrical remodeling, the upregulation of profibrotic genes, and abnormal SR Ca2+ release in DIO mice.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the atrial NLRP3 inflammasome is a key driver of obesity-induced atrial arrhythmogenesis and establishes a mechanistic link between obesity-induced AF and NLRP3-inflammasome activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab024DOI Listing
February 2021

Molecular evolution and expression analysis of ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) from longan embryogenic callus.

Gene 2021 Apr 28;777:145461. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Institute of Horticultural Biotechnology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, PR China. Electronic address:

ADP-ribosylation modification considered as a model to study histone post-translational modification in chromatin modification. Despite it was reported in many plants, the study of ARFs gene family in longan was still unclear. In this study, 14 longan ARFs genes were identified using the longan genome (the third-generation genome) and further divided into two major groups, including the DlARF in the I-II group and the ARF-like (DlARL) in the III-V group, according to their structure and evolutionary characteristics. Whole-genome duplication (WGD) and segmental duplication events played a major role in the expansion of the DlARFs gene family, the synteny and phylogenetic analyses provided a deeper insight into the evolutionary characteristics of the DlARFs. Protein-protein interactions suggested that some DlARFs proteins may interact to participate in biological processes. Promoter analysis showed more stress response elements in DlARF5, DlGB1, DlARL1, DlARL2, and DlARL8a, suggesting that they may participate in abiotic stress. Expression profiles of DlARFs by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) showed that they were abundant accumulation during early somatic embryogenesis (SE). Expression pattern analysis of RNA-seq and qRT-PCR revealed that some ARFs members regulated early SE, and respond to exogenous hormones and abiotic stress such as abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellin A3 (GA3), salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), cold, and heat. Our study provides new insights for further research on the potential function of DlARFs, which may be useful for the improvement of longan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2021.145461DOI Listing
April 2021

The crosstalk between cardiomyocyte calcium and inflammasome signaling pathways in atrial fibrillation.

Pflugers Arch 2021 Jan 28. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Medicine (Section of Cardiovascular Research), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent arrhythmia in adults. The prevalence and incidence of AF is going to increase substantially over the next few decades. Because AF increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, dementia, and others, it severely impacts the quality of life, morbidity, and mortality. Although the pathogenesis of AF is multifaceted and complex, focal ectopic activity and reentry are considered as the fundamental proarrhythmic mechanisms underlying AF development. Over the past 2 decades, large amount of evidence points to the key role of intracellular Ca dysregulation in both initiation and maintenance of AF. More recently, emerging evidence reveal that NLRP3 (NACHT, LRR, PYD domain-containing 3) inflammasome pathway contributes to the substrate of both triggered activity and reentry, ultimately promoting AF. In this article, we review the current state of knowledge on Ca signaling and NLRP3 inflammasome activity in AF. We also discuss the potential crosstalk between these two quintessential contributors to AF promotion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-021-02515-4DOI Listing
January 2021

Genome-wide identification and characterization of DEAD-box helicase family associated with early somatic embryogenesis in Dimocarpus longan Lour.

J Plant Physiol 2021 Jan 10;258-259:153364. Epub 2021 Jan 10.

Institute of Horticultural Biotechnology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002, China. Electronic address:

DEAD-box (DDX) proteins belong to the largest subfamily of RNA helicase SF2, which contributes to all biological processes of RNA metabolism in the plant kingdom. Till now, no significant data are available regarding studies on DDX in Somatic Embryogenesis (SE) of woody plants. It is important to investigate the biological function of the DlDDX family in longan SE. Thus, a comprehensive analysis of 58 longan DEAD-box (DlDDX) genes characterization was performed by genome-wide identification and transcript abundance validation analysis. Homologous evolution has revealed that some DlDDXs in longan had high sequence similarity with Mus musculus, Citrus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, indicating that DlDDXs were highly conservative in the animal, plant, and microorganism. Remarkably, gene duplication, purifying selection, and alternative splicing events, and new auxiliary domains have likely contributed to the functional evolution of DlDDX, indicating that DlDDX appeared neofunctionalization in longan. Besides, DlDDX3, 15, 28, 36 might interact with protein complex (MAC3A, MAC3B, CDC5, CBP20) of miRNA biosynthesis. Notably, DlDDX28 contained a novel auxiliary domain (CAF-1 p150), which might contribute to DNA demethylation in longan early SE. 4 DlDDX genes significantly expressed not only in early SE and zygotic embryogenesis (ZE) but also up-regulated at high levels in 'Honghezi' and 'Quanlongbaihe' with abortive seeds, which are of great significance. Moreover, some DlDDXs presented abiotic stress-response dynamic expression patterns by ABA, SA, JA, and NaCl treatments during early SE. Hence, DEAD-box is essential to SE development and seed abortive in longan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2021.153364DOI Listing
January 2021

Temporal microRNA expression profile of pig peripheral blood during postnatal development.

Anim Biotechnol 2021 Jan 18:1-10. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Animal Breeding and Genetics Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Animal Science Academy, Chengdu, China.

Gene expression profiles of blood can reflect the physiopathologic status of the immune system. The dynamic microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles of peripheral blood from pigs at different developmental stages, and how differential expression of miRNAs might relate to immune system development, are unknown. In this study, peripheral blood samples taken at five developmental stages were used to construct 15 miRNA libraries (three biological replicates/stage): 0 days (newborn), 30 days (weaning), 60 days (weaned), and 180 and 360 days (puberty). We identified 295 known mature miRNAs. Hierarchical clustering of the miRNA expression profile showed significant differences between individuals at the neonatal and postnatal stages. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that miRNAs differentially expressed between pairwise comparisons of the developmental stages were over-represented in immune-related pathways such as toll-like receptor signaling. The time-course of expression of the over-representated miRNAs exhibited a pattern of steady decline over time, for both the complete miRNA compendium and immune-related miRNAs. We identified six marker miRNAs that were highly negatively correlated with chronologic age and enriched for genes involved in immune-related pathways. This study of a peripheral blood miRNA transcriptome offers insight into immune system development in swine and provides a resource for pig genome annotation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10495398.2020.1824920DOI Listing
January 2021

DNA Methylation Silences Exogenous Gene Expression in Transgenic Birch Progeny.

Front Plant Sci 2020 22;11:523748. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Key Laboratory of Saline-Alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration (Northeast Forestry University), Ministry of Education, Harbin, China.

The genetic stability of exogenous genes in the progeny of transgenic trees is extremely important in forest breeding; however, it remains largely unclear. We selected transgenic birch () and its hybrid F1 progeny to investigate the expression stability and silencing mechanism of exogenous genes. We found that the exogenous genes of transgenic birch could be transmitted to their offspring through sexual reproduction. The exogenous genes were segregated during genetic transmission. The hybrid progeny of transgenic birch WT1×TP22 (184) and WT1×TP23 (212) showed higher expression and greater insect resistance than their parents. However, the hybrid progeny of transgenic birch TP23×TP49 (196) showed much lower expression, which was only 13.5% of the expression in its parents. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the variation in gene expression between the parents and progeny, we analyzed the methylation rates of in its promoter and coding regions. The hybrid progeny with normally expressed exogenous genes showed much lower methylation rates (0-29%) than the hybrid progeny with silenced exogenous genes (32.35-45.95%). These results suggest that transgene silencing in the progeny is mainly due to DNA methylation at cytosine residues. We further demonstrated that methylation in the promoter region, rather than in the coding region, leads to gene silencing. We also investigated the relative expression levels of three methyltransferase genes: , and . The transgenic birch line 196 with a silenced gene showed, respectively, 2.54, 9.92, and 4.54 times higher expression levels of , and than its parents. These trends are consistent with and corroborate the high methylation levels of exogenous genes in the transgenic birch line 196. Therefore, our study suggests that DNA methylation in the promoter region leads to silencing of exogenous genes in transgenic progeny of birch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.523748DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783445PMC
December 2020

Ultrasound guided lateral quadratus lumborum block enhanced recovery in patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

Adv Med Sci 2020 Dec 20;66(1):41-45. Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Department of Anesthesiology, Fujian Provincial Medical College, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China; Division of Anesthesia, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou, China. Electronic address:

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of lateral quadratus lumborum block (QLB) on postoperative pain and recovery in patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

Materials And Methods: Patients between 18 and 70 years old, diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status I or II, and scheduled for laparoscopic colorectal surgery were recruited. Patients were excluded if they were allergic to local anesthetics and unable to complete the procedure of puncture or follow-up evaluation. All included patients were randomly allocated to either QLB or Sham group. The primary outcome was perioperative cumulative sufentanil consumption.

Results: There were no significant differences between the groups in anesthetic time, operation time, dosage of propofol, and remifentanil (P ​> ​0.05). Patients in the QLB group had significantly less sufentanil consumption both intraoperatively and postoperatively, compared with the Sham group (P ​< ​0.05). Postoperative VAS pain scores on coughing in the QLB group at 2 ​h, 6 ​h, 12 ​h, 24 ​h time points and VAS pain score at rest 2 ​h, 6 ​h after surgery were significantly lower than in the Sham group (P ​< ​0.05). Compared with the Sham group, time to first ambulation and anal flatus after surgery in the QLB group were significantly shorter (P ​< ​0.05). Significant differences of postoperative rescue analgesic usage and QoR-15 score at 48 ​h were found between the two groups (P ​< ​0.05).

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided lateral QLB significantly reduced perioperative opioid consumption, alleviated postoperative pain, shortened the time to first ambulation and anal flatus, and enhanced postoperative recovery of the patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advms.2020.12.002DOI Listing
December 2020

High phosphate content in bioactive glasses promotes osteogenesis in vitro and in vivo.

Dent Mater 2021 Feb 16;37(2):272-283. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Hunan Key Laboratory of Oral Health Research & Hunan 3D Printing Engineering Research Center of Oral Care & Hunan Clinical Research Center of Oral Major Diseases and Oral Health & Academician Workstation for Oral-maxillofacial and Regenerative Medicine & Xiangya Stomatological Hospital & Xiangya School of Stomatology, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, Hunan, China; Institute of Dentistry, Dental Physical Sciences Unit, Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Electronic address:

Objectives: High phosphate content was found to significantly increase apatite formation of bioactive glasses (BGs) in vitro. However, there is very limited understanding of the effect of phosphate contents on osteogenesis which is important for clinical applications. The aims of this study were to investigate how phosphate content influences apatite formation ability of bioactive glasses in α-MEM culture medium and whether high phosphate content in bioactive glasses promotes osteogenesis in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: Four phosphate containing bioactive glasses were synthesized via a melt-quench method and characterized using X-ray powder Diffraction (XRD), TGA-DSC and Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR). The apatite formation ability in α-MEM culture medium and the in vitro and in vivo osteogenic potential of these bioactive glass were explored.

Results: FTIR spectra confirmed faster apatite formation with an increase in phosphate content. The culture media containing ions released from the BGs showed enhanced cell viability and alkaline phosphatase activity of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts cultured with extracted BGs culture media generally showed increased proliferation, mineralized nodule formation, osteogenic and angiogenic genes expression with an increase in phosphate content in the glass compositions. An in vivo study demonstrated a larger amount of new bone formation in the calvarial defects implanted with high phosphate containing BG granules compared with that of BG without the presence of phosphate at 8 weeks post-surgery.

Significant: The presence of higher phosphate content accelerates apatite formation and promotes osteogenesis, indicating that both apatite formation and osteogenesis of bioactive glasses can be tailored by varying phosphate content for specific clinical needs and personalized treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dental.2020.11.017DOI Listing
February 2021

MicroRNA-361-3p Inhibit the Progression of Lymphoma by the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway.

Cancer Manag Res 2020 2;12:12375-12384. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Hematology Department, Tongde Hospital, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, People's Republic of China.

Background: MicroRNA is involved in the development of lymphoma. It is reported that miR-361-3p has a tumor inhibitory effect, but its role in lymphoma is still unclear. The purpose of this study is to examine whether miR-361-3p can inhibit the development of lymphoma and further explore the related potential mechanism.

Methods: In this study, we first analyzed the biological function of miR-361-3p in transfected Raji that mimicked miRNA. We also analyzed the biological function of the whole population in stably expressed miR-361-3p transgenic cells. Next, we conducted a complete micro-gene network to test the genetic profile of differential expression of stable gene-modified cells.

Results: We found that miR-361-3p expression was often reduced in lymphoma cell lines. Cellular assays have shown a significant role in inhibiting the growth of miR-361-3p by inhibiting lymphoma proliferation and migration, and severely inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin series protein signal. Bioinformatics analysis shows that Wnt10A is a new target of miR-361-3p, which is confirmed by our mechanism research. It is confirmed that restoring Wnt10A can reduce the tumor inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin during lymphoma progression and restore the normal signal of Wnt/β-catenin series proteins.

Discussion: Our data indicate that miR-361-3p inhibits the Wnt/β-catenin protein signal by locking Wnt10A, which is an important factor in inhibiting the tumor in the pathogenesis of lymphoma. The miR-361-3p/Wnt10A axis may be a promising target for the treatment of lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S270374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721010PMC
December 2020

Estimation of Dynamic Networks for High-Dimensional Nonstationary Time Series.

Entropy (Basel) 2019 Dec 31;22(1). Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Department of Statistics, University of Chicago, 5747 S. Ellis Avenue, Jones 311, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

This paper is concerned with the estimation of time-varying networks for high-dimensional nonstationary time series. Two types of dynamic behaviors are considered: structural breaks (i.e., abrupt change points) and smooth changes. To simultaneously handle these two types of time-varying features, a two-step approach is proposed: multiple change point locations are first identified on the basis of comparing the difference between the localized averages on sample covariance matrices, and then graph supports are recovered on the basis of a kernelized time-varying constrained L 1 -minimization for inverse matrix estimation (CLIME) estimator on each segment. We derive the rates of convergence for estimating the change points and precision matrices under mild moment and dependence conditions. In particular, we show that this two-step approach is consistent in estimating the change points and the piecewise smooth precision matrix function, under a certain high-dimensional scaling limit. The method is applied to the analysis of network structure of the S&P 500 index between 2003 and 2008.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e22010055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7516486PMC
December 2019

Optimization of novel oxidative DIMs as Nur77 modulators of the Nur77-Bcl-2 apoptotic pathway.

Eur J Med Chem 2021 Feb 13;211:113020. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

School of Pharmaceutical Science, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Target Research, Xiamen University, Fujian, 361002, China; NucMito Pharmaceuticals, Xiamen 361000, China. Electronic address:

Nur77, an orphan nuclear receptor, is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Nur77 plays important roles in various biological processes. Previously we reported that BI1071(DIM-C-pPhCFMeSO), an oxidized form and methanesulfonate salt of (4-CF-Ph-C-DIM), can modulate Nur77's non-genomic apoptotic pathway through that Nur77 translocated from the nucleus to mitochondria to induce cytochrome c releasing and promote apoptosis of cancer cell. Here we report our efforts to further optimize BI1071. A series of BI1071 analogs were designed, synthesized and their apoptosis potency was systematically evaluated. Our preliminary structure-activity relationship study identified compound 10b as a better modulator with strong binding to Nur77 and enhanced apoptotic activity. Binding studies demonstrated that 10b could bind to its target Nur77 with an affinity value of 33 nM. Furthermore, mechanism studies reveal that 10b acts as an anticancer agent by utilizing the Nur77-Bcl-2 apoptotic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2020.113020DOI Listing
February 2021

Machine learning-based models to support decision-making in emergency department triage for patients with suspected cardiovascular disease.

Int J Med Inform 2021 01 3;145:104326. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Emergency Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Background: Accurate differentiation and prioritization in emergency department (ED) triage is important to identify high-risk patients and to efficiently allocate of finite resources. Using data available from patients with suspected cardiovascular disease presenting at ED triage, this study aimed to train and compare the performance of four common machine learning models to assist in decision making of triage levels.

Methods: This cross-sectional study in the second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University was conducted from August 2015 to December 2018 inclusive. Demographic information, vital signs, blood glucose, and other available triage scores were collected. Four machine learning models - multinomial logistic regression (multinomial LR), eXtreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), random forest (RF) and gradient-boosted decision tree (GBDT) - were compared. For each model, 80 % of the data set was used for training and 20 % was used to test the models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), accuracy and macro- F were calculated for each model.

Results: In 17,661 patients presenting with suspected cardiovascular disease, the distribution of triage of level 1, level 2, level 3 and level 4 were 1.3 %, 18.6 %, 76.5 %, and 3.6 % respectively. The AUCs were: XGBoost (0.937), GBDT (0.921), RF (0.919) and multinomial LR (0.908). Based on feature importance generated by XGBoost, blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and age were the most significant variables for making decisions at triage.

Conclusion: Four machine learning models had good discriminative ability of triage. XGBoost demonstrated a slight advantage over other models. These models could be used for differential triage of low-risk patients and high-risk patients as a strategy to improve efficiency and allocation of finite resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2020.104326DOI Listing
January 2021

Amitriptyline Protects Against Lidocaine-induced Neurotoxicity in SH-SY5Y Cells via Inhibition of BDNF-mediated Autophagy.

Neurotox Res 2020 Nov 6. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Anesthesiology, Shengli Clinical Medical College of Fujian Medical University, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou, People's Republic of China.

Amitriptyline (AMI) is a traditional tricyclic antidepressant that has been proven to exhibit neuroprotective effects in various neurological disorders. However, the underlying mechanism by which AMI attenuates lidocaine-induced neurotoxicity remains poorly understood. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an essential neurotrophin to neuronal development and survival in the brain, and recent studies have suggested that BDNF plays an important role in mediating lidocaine-induced neurotoxicity. The present study was performed to evaluate the protective effect of AMI against the neurotoxicity induced by lidocaine and to explore the role of BDNF-dependent autophagy in this process. The data showed that AMI pretreatment alleviated lidocaine-induced neurotoxicity, as evidenced by the restoration of cell viability, normalization of cell morphology, and reduction in the cell apoptosis index. In addition, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) had a protective effect similar to that of AMI, but autophagy activator rapamycin eliminated the protective effect of AMI by suppressing mTOR activation. Moreover, at the molecular level, we found that AMI-mediated autophagy was involved in the expression of BDNF. The overexpression of BDNF or application of exogenous recombinant BDNF significantly suppressed autophagy and protected SH-SY5Y cells from apoptosis induced by Lido, whereas the neuroprotection of AMI was abolished by either knockdown of BDNF or use of a tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) inhibitor ANA-12 in SH-SY5Y cells. Overall, our findings demonstrated that the protective effect of AMI against lidocaine-induced neurotoxicity correlated with inhibition of autophagy activity through upregulation of BDNF expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12640-020-00299-6DOI Listing
November 2020

Lack of access to an open water source for bathing inhibited the development of the preen gland and preening behavior in Sanshui White ducks.

Poult Sci 2020 Nov 26;99(11):5214-5221. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

College of Animal Science, National Engineering Research Center for Breeding swine Industry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China; Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Tropical Agricultural Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding and Key Lab of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, China. Electronic address:

As a species of waterfowl, ducks rely on access to water to facilitate feeding behaviors. Further, wet preening behavior in ducks relies on access to water and is a key behavior for duck welfare. Traditionally, Chinese duck farms provide not only free access to drinking water in the duck house but also an open water pool outside of the house. However, recent restrictions prohibit the use of an open water pool for raising ducks in some areas of China. Little is known about the effects of not providing an open water pool on duck welfare, in particular, the development of the preen gland and wet preening behaviors. The preen gland secretes oil which is crucial for maintaining plumage conditions. A total of one hundred twenty 1-day-old Sanshui White ducks (SSWD) were randomly divided into 2 groups and fed for 6 wk with access to a water pool (WP) or without access to a water pool and provided drinking water only (LWP). The live body weights of ducks from the WP group were significantly increased compared with those of ducks in the LWP group starting from 3 wks of age (P < 0.05). Feed intake was increased in the WP group at 2 wk of age and from 4 to 6 wk of age (P < 0.05). The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly different only at 4 and 5 wks of age, when the FCR was increased by 5.7% and 9.5%, respectively, in the LWP group compared with the WP group (P < 0.05). Lack of access to an open water pool significantly inhibited the growth of the preen gland based on its weight, size, and quantity of oil secretions (P < 0.05). In addition, the proportion of ducks exhibiting wet preening behavior was significantly reduced in the LWP group compared with the WP group (5.5 ± 0.2% vs. 24.8 ± 2.1%, P < 0.05). This study indicated that a lack of access to an open water source had negative impacts on the development of the preen gland and on the preening behavior of SSWD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.08.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647854PMC
November 2020

Genome-wide identification and comprehensive analyses of NAC transcription factor gene family and expression patterns during somatic embryogenesis in Dimocarpus longan Lour.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Dec 13;157:169-184. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Institute of Horticultural Biotechnology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002, China. Electronic address:

The NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2 form a huge plant-specific gene family of NAC TFs that are involved in the growth, development, and regulation of biotic and abiotic stress responses. Although the draft genome of longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) has been published, however the comprehensive data regarding the functions, evolution, and expression patterns of the NAC family are still unavailable. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of the NAC transcription factor family in longan was performed, and a total of 114 NAC genes were found. We investigated the NAC gene family exploring the phylogeny, domain conservation, intron/exon, motifs, cis-regulatory elements, protein-protein interaction, and expression profiles of RNA-seq samples in different tissues and early somatic embryogenesis of longan. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the genes with similar gene structure and motif distribution were clustered in the same group. Cis-element identification indicates the possible role of NAC genes in biological and physiological processes. Protein-protein interaction identified the DlNACs homologous with Arabidopsis proteins. We further investigated the expression pattern of DlNAC genes in different tissues (pulp, stem, large fruit, young fruit, and flower) during somatic embryogenesis at embryogenic callus (EC), incomplete compact pro-embryogenic cultures (ICpEC), and globular embryos (GE) stages. The qRT-PCR results showed that the DlNAC genes were expressed higher at EC and GE stage compared with ICpEC stage. In conclusion, our results provide insight into the evolution, diversity, and characterization of NAC genes in the longan and provide a base for understanding their biological roles and molecular mechanisms in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.10.009DOI Listing
December 2020

Soil Phosphorus Pools, Bioavailability and Environmental Risk in Response to the Phosphorus Supply in the Red Soil of Southern China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 10 10;17(20). Epub 2020 Oct 10.

International Magnesium Institute, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.

Excess phosphorus (P) accumulation in the soil can change the bioavailability of P and increase the leaching risks, but the quantitative evaluation of these responses in acidic red soil is lacking. This study aimed to investigate the composition of soil P fractions under different phosphorus apparent balances (PAB) in acidic red soil and the bioavailability and the leaching change-points of different P fractions. Five phosphorus (P) fertilization rates were applied (0, 16.38, 32.75, 65.50, 131.00 kg P·ha) in every sweet corn cultivation from the field experiment, and the treatments were marked as P0, P1, P2, P3, and P4, respectively. The PAB showed negative values in P0 and P1 which were -49.0 and -15.0 kg P·ha in two years, respectively. In contrast, PAB in P2 as well as in P3 and P4 were positive, the content ranging from 40.2 to 424.3 kg P·ha in two years. Per 100 kg ha P accumulate in the soil, the total P increased by 44.36 and 10.41 mg kg in the surface (0-20 cm) and subsurface (20-40 cm) soil, respectively. The content of inorganic P fractions, including solution phosphate (Sol-P), aluminum phosphate (Al-P), iron phosphate (Fe-P), reduction phosphate (Red-P), and calcium phosphate (Ca-P), significantly increased by 0.25, 16.22, 22.08, 2.04, and 5.08 mg kg, respectively, in surface soil per 100 kg ha P accumulated in the soil. Path analysis showed that the most important soil P fractions contributing to Olsen-P were Sol-P and Al-P, which can directly affect Olsen-P, and their coefficients were 0.24 and 0.73, respectively. Furthermore, the incubation experiments were conducted in the laboratory to investigate the leaching risk of different P fractions, and they showed Sol-P was a potential source of leaching, and the leaching change-points of Al-P and Fe-P were 74.70 and 78.34 mg·kg, respectively. Continuous P that accumulated in soil changed the composition of P fractions, and the bioavailability as well as the leaching risks increased. This is important in optimizing soil P fertilization management in agricultural ecosystems based on the bioavailability and critical levels for leaching of P fractions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7599965PMC
October 2020

Integration of PET/CT Radiomics and Semantic Features for Differentiation between Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Lung Cancer.

Mol Imaging Biol 2021 Apr 8;23(2):287-298. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

School of Biomedical Engineering and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Image Processing, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, Guangdong, China.

Purpose: We aim to accurately differentiate between active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer (LC) based on radiomics and semantic features as extracted from pre-treatment positron emission tomography/X-ray computed tomography (PET/CT) images.

Procedures: A total of 174 patients (77/97 pulmonary TB/LC as confirmed by pathology) were retrospectively selected, with 122 in the training cohort and 52 in the validation cohort. Four hundred eighty-seven radiomics features were initially extracted to quantify phenotypic characteristics of the lesion region in both PET and CT images. Eleven semantic features were additionally defined by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians. Feature selection was performed in 5 steps to enable derivation of robust and effective signatures. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was subsequently used to develop a radiomics nomogram. The calibration, discrimination, and clinical usefulness of the nomogram were evaluated in both the training and independent validation cohorts.

Results: The individualized radiomics nomogram, which combined PET/CT radiomics signature with semantic features, demonstrated good calibration and significantly improved the diagnostic performance with respect to the semantic model alone or PET/CT signature alone in training cohort (AUC 0.97 vs. 0.94 or 0.91, p = 0.0392 or 0.0056), whereas did not significantly improve the performance in validation cohort (AUC 0.93 vs. 0.89 or 0.91, p = 0.3098 or 0.3323).

Conclusion: The radiomics nomogram showed potential for individualized differential diagnosis between solid active pulmonary TB and solid LC, although the improvement of performance was not significant relative to semantic model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-020-01550-4DOI Listing
April 2021

The hepatoprotective effect and mechanism of lotus leaf on liver injury induced by Genkwa Flos.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2020 Dec 26;72(12):1909-1920. Epub 2020 Sep 26.

Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, China.

Objectives: As a traditional Chinese medicine, lotus leaf was reported to have significant hepatoprotective effect. To explore the hepatoprotective mechanism of lotus leaf, a rapid and reliable UPLC-MS/MS method was conducted to simultaneously determine six specific endogenous substances including 5-oxoproline, phenylalanine, tryptophan, C -phytosphingosine, lysophosphatidylcholine (16 : 0) and lysophosphatidylcholine (18 : 1).

Methods: With the help of HPLC-FT-ICR-MS, the chemical constituents of louts leaf extract were elucidated. By observing histopathological changes and determining hepatotoxicity-related biochemical indicators, rat model of liver injury was developed and the hepatoprotective effect of lotus leaf was verified. With the developed UPLC-MS/MS method, six endogenous metabolites related to hepatotoxicity were monitored to investigate the hepatoprotective mechanism of lotus leaf.

Key Findings: In the qualitative analysis, a total of twenty compounds including ten flavonoids, nine alkaloids and one proanthocyanidin were identified. Based on the results of determining six endogenous metabolites related to hepatotoxicity, it was predicted that the hepatoprotective mechanism of lotus leaf might be related to glutathione metabolism, phenylalanine metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, sphingolipid metabolism and phospholipid metabolism.

Conclusions: This study could be a meaningful investigation to provide mechanistic insights into the hepatoprotective effect of lotus leaf and further lay a theoretical basis for the clinical application of lotus leaf.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jphp.13355DOI Listing
December 2020

extract alleviates ‑chlorophenylalanine‑induced insomnia in rats through modification of the hypothalamic-related neurotransmitters, melatonin and homeostasis of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Pharm Biol 2020 Dec;58(1):915-924

Department of Pharmacy, Henan University of Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, China.

Context: var. Cotton ( genus, Liliaceae) is an edible plant and a herb used in China to alleviate insomnia.

Objective: To investigate the alleviating insomnia mechanism of (LD).

Materials And Methods: Wistar rats were intraperitoneally injected with -chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) to establish an insomnia model. Rats were divided into six groups ( = 8): Control, PCPA, Estazolam (0.5 mg/kg), LD extract in low, medium and high doses (185.22, 370.44, 740.88 mg/kg). Serum hormone levels of the HPA axis, levels of 5-HT, NE and MT, and the expression of GABA and 5-HT1A receptors in hypothalamus were determined. Moreover, behavioural and pathological changes in the hypothalamus were evaluated.

Results: After LD administration, body weight and brain coefficient increased by 2.74% and 8.22%, respectively, and the adrenal coefficient decreased by 25%, compared with PCPA group. Elevation of the serum hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hormone CRH (11.24 ± 3.16 ng/mL), ACTH (565.87 ± 103.44 pg/mL) and CORT (44.28 ± 8.73 ng/mL) in the PCPA group was reversed after LD treatment. Furthermore, abnormal excitatory behaviour [5 min movement distance (2096.34 ± 259.51 cm), central exercise time (5.28 ± 1.08 s)] of insomnia rats in the PCPA group was also relieved. LD extract increased 5-HT and MT levels, reduced NE level in the hypothalamus, and upregulated the expression of GABA R and 5-HT1A. Moreover, LD extract may improve the pathology of neurons in the hypothalamus.

Conclusions: LD can be considered to develop health-care food or novel drugs to cope with the increasing number of insomniacs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2020.1812674DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534321PMC
December 2020

Dual stresses of flooding and agricultural land use reduce earthworm populations more than the individual stressors.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 1;754:142102. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5NG, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Global climate change is leading to a significant increase in flooding events in many countries. Current practices to prevent damage to downstream urban areas include allowing the flooding of upstream agricultural land. Earthworms are ecosystem engineers, but their abundances in arable land are already reduced due to pressure from farming practices. If flooding increases on agricultural land, it is important to understand how earthworms will respond to the dual stresses of flooding and agricultural land use. The earthworm populations under three land uses (pasture, field margin, and crops), across two UK fields, were sampled seasonally over an 18-month period in areas of the fields which flood frequently and areas which flood only rarely. Earthworm abundance in the crop and pasture soils and total earthworm biomass in the crop soils was significantly lower in the frequently flooded areas than in the rarely flooded areas. The relative percentage difference in the populations between the rarely and frequently flooded areas was greater in the crop soils (-59.18% abundance, -63.49% biomass) than the pasture soils (-13.39% abundance, -9.66% biomass). In the margin soils, earthworm abundance was significantly greater in the frequently flooded areas (+140.56%), likely due to higher soil organic matter content and lower bulk density resulting in soil conditions more amenable to earthworms. The findings of this study show that earthworm populations already stressed by the activities associated with arable land use are more susceptible to flooding than populations in pasture fields, suggesting that arable earthworm populations are likely to be increasingly at risk with increased flooding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142102DOI Listing
February 2021

High-Fidelity Determination and Tracing of Small Extracellular Vesicle Cargoes.

Small 2020 10 2;16(40):e2002800. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Center of Smart Laboratory and Molecular Medicine, Medical College, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, P. R. China.

Direct tracing of small extracellular vesicle (sEV) cargoes holds unprecedented importance for elucidating the mechanisms involved in intercellular communication. However, high-fidelity determination of sEVs' molecular cargoes in situ has yet to be achieved due to the difficulty in transporting molecular probes into intact sEVs. Herein, a fLuorescent Intracellular-Guided Hairpin-Tetrahedron (fLIGHT) nanoprobe is described for direct visualization of sEV microRNAs in situ. Integrating the advantages of nondestructive sEV penetration via DNA origami and single-nucleotide discrimination as well as wash-free fluorescence readout using a hairpin probe, the proposed approach enables high-fidelity fluorescence visualization of sEVs' microRNA without RNA extraction or leakage, demonstrating the potential of on-site tracing of sEV cargoes. This strategy opens an avenue to establishing universal molecular detection and labeling platforms that can facilitate both sEV-derived fundamental biological studies and molecular diagnostics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.202002800DOI Listing
October 2020

Focal construct geometry for high-intensity x-ray diffraction from laser-shocked polycrystalline.

Rev Sci Instrum 2020 Aug;91(8):083908

National Key Laboratory of Shock Wave and Detonation Physics, Mianyang, 621900 Sichuan, China.

An increasing number of dynamic experiments, especially those involving laser drive, are employing in situ x-ray diffraction as a probe to interrogate structure evolution between states of matter under extreme pressure and temperature. We present an alternative configuration, focal construct geometry, for in situ x-ray diffraction to measure the structure and evolution of dynamically compressed polycrystalline materials on a laser platform. This configuration makes full use of the isotropically emitted He-α x rays by employing an annular (or semi-annular) collimator rather than a regular pinhole collimator and thus increases the flux of incident x rays reaching the sample as well as the intensity of the diffracted x rays, enabling the detection of a diffraction pattern with less laser energy. Its effectiveness and applicability are validated against the conventional Debye-Scherrer geometry through direct molecular dynamics simulations and x-ray diffraction simulations for two representative shock-induced phase transition events, solid-solid and solid-liquid (or melting). This configuration reproduces all the Debye-Scherrer diffraction profiles in good accuracy and demonstrates superior efficiency in utilizing the isotropic x-ray source and harvesting diffracted x rays while preserving the angular resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5131857DOI Listing
August 2020

Fraxinus mandshurica 4-coumarate-CoA ligase 2 enhances drought and osmotic stress tolerance of tobacco by increasing coniferyl alcohol content.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Oct 15;155:697-708. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Key Laboratory of Saline-alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration (Northeast Forestry University), Ministry of Education, Harbin, 150040, China; College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, 150040, China. Electronic address:

4-Coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL) is an important branch point in the phenylpropane pathway and plays important roles in plant growth and development. In this study, the 4CL2 gene from Fraxinus mandshurica (designated Fm4CL2) was identified and isolated. Sequence analysis revealed that Fm4CL2 is a type I 4CL gene involved in lignin biosynthesis. Analysis of cell wall components revealed that Fm4CL2-overexpressing (OE-Fm4CL2) tobacco showed increased lignin content (by 58.9%) and decreased hemicellulose content (by 41.2%). Detection of small-molecule metabolites in the lignin pathway revealed that coumaric acid content decreased by 48% and coniferyl alcohol content increased by 250% compared with the control values. Compared with wild type, OE-Fm4CL2 tobacco showed increased xylem cell layer number (by 120%) and cell wall thickness (by 54.5%). Under osmotic stress, transgenic tobacco showed higher growth than wild-type tobacco. The germination rate of transgenic tobacco was higher than that of wild type. Reactive oxygen species accumulation and malondialdehyde content were significantly lower in transgenic tobacco than in wild type. Under drought, the expression of stress-related genes was higher in 35S-Fm4CL2-infected Fraxinus mandshurica plants than in control plants. These results indicate that Fm4CL2 overexpression can enhance drought and osmotic stress tolerance of plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.08.031DOI Listing
October 2020

Screening of Worldwide Barley Collection for Drought Tolerance: The Assessment of Various Physiological Measures as the Selection Criteria.

Front Plant Sci 2020 29;11:1159. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Institute of Crop Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Drought is a devastating environmental constraint affecting the agronomic production of barley. To facilitate the breeding process, abundant germplasm resources and reliable evaluation systems to identify the true drought-tolerant barley genotypes are needed. In this study, 237 cultivated and 190 wild barley genotypes, originating from 28 countries, were screened for drought tolerance under the conditions of both water deficit and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-simulated drought at seedling stage. Drought stress significantly reduced the plant growth of all barley genotypes, but no significant difference in drought-induced reduction in the performance of barley seedlings was observed under these two drought conditions. Both cultivated and wild barley subspecies displayed considerable genotypic variability in drought tolerance, which underpinned the identification of 18 genotypes contrasting in drought tolerance. A comparative analysis of drought effects on biomass, water relation, photosynthesis, and osmotic adjustment was undertaken using these contrasting barley genotypes, in order to verify the reliability of the screening and to obtain the credible traits as screening criteria of drought tolerance in barley. As expected, the selected drought-tolerant genotypes showed much less reduction in shoot biomass than drought-sensitive ones under water deficit, which was significantly positively correlated with the results of large-scale screening, confirming the reliability of the screening for drought tolerance under two drought conditions in this study. Likewise, the traits of water relation, photosynthetic activity, and osmotic adjustment differed greatly between the contrasting genotypes under water deficit stress, and they were highly correlated to the growth of barley seedlings, suggesting the potential of them to be the selection criteria for drought tolerance. The analysis of the variable importance of these traits in drought tolerance indicated that sap osmolality and relative water content in the youngest fully-expanded leaf are the suitable selection criteria of screening for drought tolerance in barley at seedling stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.01159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403471PMC
July 2020

3-Bromopyruvate-Conjugated Nanoplatform-Induced Pro-Death Autophagy for Enhanced Photodynamic Therapy against Hypoxic Tumor.

ACS Nano 2020 08 31;14(8):9711-9727. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

MOE Key Laboratory of Macromolecule Synthesis and Functionalization of Ministry of Education, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, People's Republic of China.

Autophagy triggered by reactive oxygen species (ROS) in photodynamic therapy (PDT) generally exhibits an anti-apoptotic effect to promote cell survival. Herein, an innovative supramolecular nanoplatform was fabricated for enhanced PDT by converting the role of autophagy from pro-survival to pro-death. The respiration inhibitor 3-bromopyruvate (3BP), which can act as an autophagy promoter and hypoxia ameliorator, was integrated into photosensitizer chlorin e6 (Ce6)-encapsulated nanoparticles to combat hypoxic tumor. 3BP could inhibit respiration by down-regulating HK-II and GAPDH expression to significantly reduce intracellular oxygen consumption rate, which could relieve tumor hypoxia for enhanced photodynamic cancer therapy. More importantly, the autophagy level was significantly elevated by the combination of 3BP and PDT determined by Western blot, immunofluorescent imaging, and transmission electron microscopy. It was very surprising that excessively activated autophagy promoted cell apoptosis, leading to the changeover of autophagy from pro-survival to pro-death. Therefore, PDT combined with 3BP could achieve efficient cell proliferation inhibition and tumor regression. Furthermore, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) could be down-regulated after tumor hypoxia was relieved by 3BP. Tumor metastasis could then be effectively inhibited by eliminating primary tumors and down-regulating HIF-1α expression. These results provide an inspiration for future innovative approaches of cancer therapy by triggering pro-death autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c01350DOI Listing
August 2020