Publications by authors named "Xiaoqian Sun"

25 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Females and males respond differently to calls impaired by noise in a tree frog.

Ecol Evol 2021 Jul 6;11(13):9159-9167. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province Chengdu Institute of Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences Chengdu China.

Both human and nonhuman animals communicating acoustically face the problem of noise interference, especially anurans during mating activities. Previous studies concentrated on the effect of continuous noise on signal recognition, but it is still unknown whether different notes in advertisement calls impaired by noise affect female choice and male-male competition or not. In this study, we tested female preferences and male-evoked vocal responses in serrate-legged small tree frog (), by broadcasting the five-note advertisement call and the advertisement call with the second, third, or fourth note replaced by noise, respectively. In phonotaxis experiments, females significantly discriminated against the advertisement call with the fourth note impaired by noise, although they did not discriminate against other two calls impaired by noise, which indicates that the negative effect of noise on female preference is related to the order of impaired notes in the advertisement call. In playback experiments, males increased the total number of notes in response to noise-impaired calls compared with spontaneous calls. More interestingly, the vocal responses evoked by noise-impaired calls were generally similar to those evoked by complete advertisement calls, suggesting that males may recognize the noise-impaired calls as complete advertisement calls. Taken together, our study shows that different notes in advertisement calls replaced by noise have distinct effects on female choice and male-male competition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7761DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8258198PMC
July 2021

Baoyuan decoction (BYD) attenuates cardiac hypertrophy through ANKRD1-ERK/GATA4 pathway in heart failure after acute myocardial infarction.

Phytomedicine 2021 Jun 1;89:153617. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China; State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China. Electronic address:

Background: The pathological cardiac functions of ankyrin repeat domain 1 (ANKRD1) in left ventricle can directly aggravate cardiac hypertrophy (CH) and fibrosis through the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/ transcription factor GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) pathway, and subsequently contribute to heart failure (HF). Baoyuan Decoction (BYD), which is a famous classic Chinese medicinal formulation, has shown impressive cardioprotective effects clinically and experimentally. However, the knowledge is still limited in its underlying mechanisms against HF.

Purpose: To explore whether BYD plays a protective role against HF by attenuating CH via the ANKRD1-ERK/GATA4 pathway.

Methods: In vivo, HF rat models were prepared using left anterior descending coronary artery (LADCA) ligation. Rats in the BYD group were administered a dosage of 2.57 g/kg of BYD for 28 days, while in the positive control group rats were given 4.67 mg/kg of Fosinopril. In vitro, a hypertrophic model was constructed by stimulating H9C2 cells with 1 uM Ang II. An ANKRD1-overexpressing cell model was established through transient transfection of ANKRD1 plasmid into H9C2 cells. Subsequently, BYD intervention was performed on the cell models to further elucidate its effects and underlying mechanism.

Results: In vivo results showed that BYD significantly improved cardiac function and inhibited pathological hypertrophy and fibrosis in a rat model of HF post-acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Noticeably, label-free proteomic analysis demonstrated that BYD could reverse the CH-related biological turbulences, mainly through ANKRD1-ERK/GATA4 pathway. Further in vitro results validated that the hypertrophy was attenuated by BYD through suppression of AT1R, ANKRD1, Calpain1, p-ERK1/2 and p-GATA4. The results of in vitro model indicated that BYD could reverse the outcome of transfected over-expression of ANKRD1, including down-regulated expressions of ANKRD1, p-ERK1/2 and p-GATA4.

Conclusion: BYD ameliorates CH and improves HF through the ANKRD1-ERK/GATA4 pathway, providing a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2021.153617DOI Listing
June 2021

COVID-19 pandemic and air transportation: Successfully navigating the paper hurricane.

J Air Transp Manag 2021 Jul 14;94:102062. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This paper aims to analyze and understand the impact of the corona virus disease (COVID-19) on aviation and also the role aviation played in the spread of COVID-19, by reviewing the recent scientific literature. We have collected 110 papers on the subject published in the year 2020 and grouped them according to their major application domain, leading to the following categories: Analysis of the global air transportation system during COVID-19, the impacts on the passenger-centric flight experience, and the long-term impacts on broad aviation. Based on the aggregated reported findings in the literature, this paper concludes with a set of recommendations for future scientific directions; hopefully helping aviation to prepare for a post-COVID-19 world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2021.102062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045456PMC
July 2021

On the degree of synchronization between air transport connectivity and COVID-19 cases at worldwide level.

Transp Policy (Oxf) 2021 May 21;105:115-123. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

COVID-19 is one of the most impactful pandemics in recent history, not only in terms of direct casualties but also regarding socio-economic impact. The goal of our study is to investigate the degree of synchronization between the number of confirmed cases in specific countries, on one hand, and how/at which stage these countries adapted their air transportation operations, on the other hand. We investigate the global air transportation system as a network of countries whose edges represent the existence of direct flights. Aggregated analysis of this country network and its evolving dynamics leads to novel insights regarding the synchronization with the number of confirmed cases; finding that most country borders were likely closed too late. We believe and hope that our analysis leads to a more efficient/effective prevention and control of future epidemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7981194PMC
May 2021

Integrated microRNA and transcriptome profiling reveal key miRNA-mRNA interaction pairs associated with seed development in Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum).

BMC Plant Biol 2021 Mar 9;21(1):132. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Research Center of Buckwheat Industry Technology, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang, 550001, China.

Background: Tartary buckwheat seed development is an extremely complex process involving many gene regulatory pathways. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as the important negative regulators of gene expression and performed crucial regulatory roles in various plant biological processes. However, whether miRNAs participate in Tartary buckwheat seed development remains unexplored.

Results: In this study, we first identified 26 miRNA biosynthesis genes in the Tartary buckwheat genome and described their phylogeny and expression profiling. Then we performed small RNA (sRNA) sequencing for Tartary buckwheat seeds at three developmental stages to identify the miRNAs associated with seed development. In total, 230 miRNAs, including 101 conserved and 129 novel miRNAs, were first identified in Tartary buckwheat, and 3268 target genes were successfully predicted. Among these miRNAs, 76 exhibited differential expression during seed development, and 1534 target genes which correspond to 74 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) were identified. Based on integrated analysis of DEMs and their targets expression, 65 miRNA-mRNA interaction pairs (25 DEMs corresponding to 65 target genes) were identified that exhibited significantly opposite expression during Tartary buckwheat seed development, and 6 of the miRNA-mRNA pairs were further verified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and ligase-mediated rapid amplification of 5' cDNA ends (5'-RLM-RACE). Functional annotation of the 65 target mRNAs showed that 56 miRNA-mRNA interaction pairs major involved in cell differentiation and proliferation, cell elongation, hormones response, organogenesis, embryo and endosperm development, seed size, mineral elements transport, and flavonoid biosynthesis, which indicated that they are the key miRNA-mRNA pairs for Tartary buckwheat seed development.

Conclusions: Our findings provided insights for the first time into miRNA-mediated regulatory pathways in Tartary buckwheat seed development and suggested that miRNAs play important role in Tartary buckwheat seed development. These findings will be help to study the roles and regulatory mechanism of miRNAs in Tartary buckwheat seed development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-02914-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941931PMC
March 2021

How did COVID-19 impact air transportation? A first peek through the lens of complex networks.

J Air Transp Manag 2020 Oct 12;89:101928. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The current outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented event in air transportation. This is probably the first time that global aviation contributed to the planet-wide spread of a pandemic, with casualties in over two hundred countries. As of August 23rd, 2020, the number of infected cases has topped 23 million, reportedly relating to more than 800,000 deaths worldwide. However, there is also a second side of the pandemic: it has led to an unmatched singularity in the global air transportation system. In what could be considered a highly uncoordinated, almost chaotic manner, countries have closed their borders, and people are reluctant/unable to travel due to country-specific lock-down measures. Accordingly, aviation is one of the industries that has been suffering most due to the consequences of the pandemic outbreak, despite probably being one of its largest initial drivers. In this study, we investigate the impact of COVID-19 on global air transportation at different scales, ranging from worldwide airport networks where airports are nodes and links between airports exist when direct flights exist, to international country networks where countries are contracted as nodes, and to domestic airport networks for representative countries/regions. We focus on the spatial-temporal evolutionary dynamics of COVID-19 in air transportation networks. Our study provides a comprehensive empirical analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation from a complex system perspective using network science tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2020.101928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7486886PMC
October 2020

TFEB-NF-κB inflammatory signaling axis: a novel therapeutic pathway of Dihydrotanshinone I in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2020 May 24;39(1):93. Epub 2020 May 24.

School of Life Science, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China.

Background: Doxorubicin is effective in a variety of solid and hematological malignancies. Unfortunately, clinical application of doxorubicin is limited due to a cumulative dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. Dihydrotanshinone I (DHT) is a natural product from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge with multiple anti-tumor activity and anti-inflammation effects. However, its anti-doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity (DIC) effect, either in vivo or in vitro, has not been elucidated yet. This study aims to explore the anti-inflammation effects of DHT against DIC, and to elucidate the potential regulatory mechanism.

Methods: Effects of DHT on DIC were assessed in zebrafish, C57BL/6 mice and H9C2 cardiomyocytes. Echocardiography, histological examination, flow cytometry, immunochemistry and immunofluorescence were utilized to evaluate cardio-protective effects and anti-inflammation effects. mTOR agonist and lentivirus vector carrying GFP-TFEB were applied to explore the regulatory signaling pathway.

Results: DHT improved cardiac function via inhibiting the activation of M1 macrophages and the excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines both in vivo and in vitro. The activation and nuclear localization of NF-κB were suppressed by DHT, and the effect was abolished by mTOR agonist with concomitant reduced expression of nuclear TFEB. Furthermore, reduced expression of nuclear TFEB is accompanied by up-regulated phosphorylation of IKKα/β and NF-κB, while TFEB overexpression reversed these changes. Intriguingly, DHT could upregulate nuclear expression of TFEB and reduce expressions of p-IKKα/β and p-NF-κB.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that DHT can be applied as a novel cardioprotective compound in the anti-inflammation management of DIC via mTOR-TFEB-NF-κB signaling pathway. The current study implicates TFEB-IKK-NF-κB signaling axis as a previously undescribed, druggable pathway for DIC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-020-01595-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245789PMC
May 2020

Qishen Granule alleviates endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced myocardial apoptosis through IRE-1-CRYAB pathway in myocardial ischemia.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Apr 13;252:112573. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

College of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Qishen Granule (QSG) is a prevailing traditional Chinese medicine formula that displays impressive cardiovascular protection in clinical. However, underlying mechanisms by which QSG alleviates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptosis in myocardial ischemia still remain unknown.

Aim Of The Study: This study aims to elucidate whether QSG ameliorates ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis to protect against myocardial ischemia via inositol requiring enzyme 1 (IRE-1)-αBcrystallin (CRYAB) signaling pathway.

Materials And Methods: Left anterior descending (LAD) ligation induced-ischemic heart model and oxygen-glucose deprivation-reperfusion (OGD/R)-induced H9C2 cells injury model were established to clarify the effects and potential mechanism of QSG. Ethanol extracts of QSG (2.352 g/kg) were orally administered for four weeks and Ginaton Tablets (100 mg/kg) was selected as a positive group in vivo. In vitro, QSG (800 μg/ml) or STF080310 (an inhibitor of IRE-1, 10 μM) was co-cultured under OGD/R in H9C2 cells. Inhibition of IRE-1 was conducted in H9C2 cells to further confirm the exact mechanism. Finally, to define the active components of anti-cardiomyocyte apoptosis in QSG which absorbed into the blood, we furtherly used the OGD/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis model to evaluate the effects.

Results: QSG treatment improved cardiac function, ameliorated inflammatory cell infiltration and myocardial apoptosis. Similar effects were revalidated in OGD/R-induced H9C2 injury model. Western blots demonstrated QSG exerted anti-apoptotic effects by regulating apoptosis-related proteins, including increasing Bcl-2 and caspase 3/12, reducing the expressions of Bax and cleaved-caspase 3/12. Mechanistically, the IRE-1-CRYAB signaling pathway was significantly activated by QSG. Co-treatment with STF080310, the IRE-1 specific inhibitor significantly compromised the protective effects of QSG in vitro. Especially, the active components of QSG including Formononetin, Tanshinone IIA, Tanshinone I, Cryptotanshinon and Harpagoside showed significantly anti-apoptosis effects.

Conclusion: QSG protected against ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis via the IRE-1-CRYAB pathway, which is proposed as a promising therapeutic target for myocardial ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.112573DOI Listing
April 2020

Construction of a mitochondrial-associated protein DRP1 and a lung cancer-associated protein Erbb4 combined regulatory network.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2019 Dec 13;26(8):2102-2107. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Medical Engineering Technology and Data Mining Institute of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450000, China.

Objective: This research was to establish a mitochondrial-related Drp1 gene and a lung cancer-related Erbb4 gene to participate in the regulatory network of lung cancer cell apoptosis, and to provide theoretical support for mitochondria to participate in tumor regulation.

Method: The GO and KEGG methods were used to construct the regulatory networks of lung cancer related Drp1 and Erbb4 proteins that involved in the apoptosis of tumor cells, and to combine with the Bayesian network theory to screen out the largest possible action path acting on this network; The information about Drp1 in Oncomine database was collected, and the data in current database were analyzed twice. The role of Drp1 in lung cancer was meta-analyzed.

Result: A regulatory network of Drp1 and Erbb4 involved in the apoptosis of tumor cells was successfully constructed; the optimal pathway was optimized using Bayesian theory; a total of 446 different types of research results were collected in the Oncomine database, of which there were 18 studies with statistical differences in Drp1 expression, 13 studies with increased Drp1's expression, and 5 studies with decreased expression. Compared with the control group, Drp1 was expressed in lung cancer tissues highly ( < 0.05).

Conclusion: Establishment and optimization of mitochondrial-related Drp1 and tumor-related Erbb4 genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis of cancer cells. It was proposed that Drp1 was expressed in lung cancer tissues highly through in-depth excavation of tumor-associated gene information in the Oncomine gene chip database.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2019.09.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6923493PMC
December 2019

Phenylethanol glycosides from Cistanche tubulosa improved reproductive dysfunction by regulating testicular steroids through CYP450-3β-HSD pathway.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Apr 24;251:112500. Epub 2019 Dec 24.

Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China; State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Cistanche tubulosa (Schenk) R. Wight has been used frequently in traditional folk medicine for treatment of male sexual dysfunction (MSD). Phenylethanol glycosides, the main components of C. tubulosa, possess a variety of pharmacological activities due to their multiple properties. However, the underlying mechanism by which phenylethanol glycosides from C. tubulosa (CPhGs) regulates testicular steroids has not been elucidated to date.

Aim Of The Study: This study is to determine whether CPhGs promotes the reproductive functions of mice through CYP450-3β-HSD pathway of testosterone synthesis.

Materials And Methods: The major compositions of C. tubulosa (CPhGs) were quantified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The model of reproductive injury in mice were induced by injection of hydrocortisone (HCT). Different doses of CPhGs (72, 145 and 289 mg/kg) and testosterone propionate (TP, positive control drug) were administrated intragastrically for 14 d. The reproductive functions (erectile incubation period, capture and ejaculation incubation period, number of captures and ejaculations) and organ weights (testicle, epididymis, seminal vesicle and penis) were then determined. The levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in serum were quantified by radioimmunoassay. The key enzymes in testosterone synthesis pathways such as steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cytochrome P450 cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc/CYP11A1) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) in the testis were assessed by immunofluorescence (IF) staining or/and Western blot (WB) analysis.

Results: The results illustrated that the low dose of CPhGs (72 mg/kg) had no significant protective effect against the reproductive injury caused by HCT, while the moderate dose of CPhGs (145 mg/kg) improved the damaged reproductive ability and the declined levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the model mice (P < 0.001, P < 0.05, respectively). In particular, high dose of CPhGs (289 mg/kg) was most effective in improving HCT-induced changes in body weight (P < 0.01), reducing the incubation period of the erectile (P < 0.001), capture (P < 0.05) and ejaculation (P < 0.01), and increasing the number of captures and ejaculations (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, respectively). The weights of testcle, epididymis, seminal vesicle and penis (P < 0.001, P < 0.01, P < 0.01, P < 0.001, respectively) were improved by high dose of CPhGs. The levels of testosterone and its upstream luteinizing hormone were up-regulated by high dose of CPhGs (P < 0.001). Meanwhile, the expressions of the key steroidogenic enzymes including CYP11A1 and 3β-HSD were significantly up-regulated after CPhGs treatment (P < 0.001), demonstrated that CPhGs exerted the effect through enhancing testosterone biosynthesis via CYP450-3β-HSD pathway.

Conclusions: CPhGs could significantly protect against HCT-induced deleterious reproductive dysfunction and testis injury. The protective effects were exerted by up-regulating synthesis of testosterone via the CYP450-3β-HSD pathway in Leydig cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112500DOI Listing
April 2020

Qishen Granule Improved Cardiac Remodeling Balancing M1 and M2 Macrophages.

Front Pharmacol 2019 25;10:1399. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.

Macrophages play a pivotal role in myocardial remodeling (MR) process which could eventually lead to heart failure. Splenic monocytes could be mobilized and recruited under inflammatory conditions and differentiated into different types of macrophages in heart tissues. Inflammatory M1 macrophages could aggravate tissue damage whereas M2 macrophages could promote angiogenesis and tissue repair process. Unbalanced ratio of M1/M2 macrophages may eventually lead to adverse remodeling. Therefore, regulating differentiation and activities of macrophages are potential strategies for the management of myocardial remodeling. Qishen Granule (QSG) is an effective Chinese medicine for treating heart failure. Our previous studies demonstrated that QSG could inhibit myocardial fibrosis through regulating secretion of cytokines and activation of macrophages. However, the detailed effects of QSG on had not been elucidated yet. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of QSG on the release of splenic monocytes, the recruitment of monocytes into heart tissues and the differentiation of macrophages under ischemic conditions. Our results showed that QSG could suppress the release of monocytes from the spleen and recruitment of monocytes to heart tissues inhibiting splenic angiotensin (Ang) II/AT1-cardiac monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1/CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) pathway. The anti-fibrotic effect of QSG was exerted by inhibiting M1 macrophage-activated transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1/Smad3 pathway. Meanwhile, QSG could promote angiogenesis by promoting differentiation of M1 macrophages into M2 macrophages. Our results suggest that compounds of Chinese medicine have synergistic effects on cardiac and splenic organs through regulating differentiation of monocytes/macrophages in inhibiting myocardial remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.01399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886583PMC
November 2019

Nicotinic Mitigation of Neuroinflammation and Oxidative Stress After Chronic Sleep Deprivation.

Front Immunol 2019 29;10:2546. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Department of Neurology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.

Sleep deprivation negatively influences all aspects of health. Oxidative stress and inflammatory responses induced by sleep deprivation participate in its adverse effects but the regulatory mechanisms to counteract them remain poorly understood. In mice subjected to sleep deprivation for 7 days, we found activation of microglia and astrocyte accompanied by down-regulation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) and reduced activation of downstream PI3K/AKT/GSK-3β. These changes occurred with an increase of pro-inflammatory factors, together with reduced levels of anti-inflammatory factors, transcriptor Nrf-2, and anti-oxidant enzyme HO-1. Administration of an α7-nAChR agonist PHA-543613 induced activation of PI3K/AKT/GSK-3β, and reversed changes in pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors, Nrf-2 and HO-1. These results suggest that stimulation of α7-nAChR reduce neuroinflammation and oxidative stress after chronic sleep deprivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6828928PMC
October 2020

Group Prenatal Care Attendance and Women's Characteristics Associated with Low Attendance: Results from Centering and Racial Disparities (CRADLE Study).

Matern Child Health J 2019 Oct;23(10):1371-1381

Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, CHS 76-800, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.

Objectives: Group prenatal care (GPC), an alternative to individual prenatal care (IPC), is becoming more prevalent. This study aimed to describe the attendance and reasons of low attendance among pregnant women who were randomly assigned to receive GPC or IPC and explore the maternal characteristics associated with low-attendance.

Methods: This study was a descriptive study among Medically low risk pregnant women (N = 992) who were enrolled in an ongoing prospective study. Women were randomly assigned to receive CenteringPregnany GPC (N = 498) or IPC (N = 994) in a single clinical site The attendance frequency and reason for low-attendance (i.e. ≤ 5/10 sessions in GPC or ≤ 5 visits in IPC) were described separately in GPC and IPC. Multivariable logistic regressions were performed to explore the associations between maternal characteristics and low-attendance.

Results: On average, women in GPC attended 5.32 (3.50) sessions, with only 6.67% attending all 10 sessions. Low-attendance rate was 34.25% in GPC and 10.09% in IPC. The primary reasons for low-attendance were scheduling barriers (23.19%) and not liking GPC (16.43%) in GPC but leaving the practice (34.04%) in IPC. In multivariable analysis, lower perceived family support (P = 0.01) was positively associated with low-attendance in GPC, while smoking in early pregnancy was negatively associated low-attendance (P = 0.02) in IPC.

Conclusions For Practice: Scheduling challenges and preference for non-group settings were the top reasons for low-attendance in GPC. Changes may need to be made to the current GPC model in order to add flexibility to accommodate women's schedules and ensure adequate participation.

Trial Registration: NCT02640638 Date Registered: 12/20/2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-019-02784-7DOI Listing
October 2019

Males increase call frequency, not intensity, in response to noise, revealing no Lombard effect in the little torrent frog.

Ecol Evol 2018 Dec 31;8(23):11733-11741. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Chengdu Institute of Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences Chengdu China.

Noise is one of the main factors that can influence the processes of sound communication across a wide range of animal groups. Although the effects of ambient noise on animal communication, including anthropogenic noise, have received increasing attention, few studies have examined changes in the fine structure of acoustic signals produced by vocalizing species in constantly noisy environments. Here, we used natural recordings to determine the associations between stream noise and call parameters in the little torrent frog (). We also used playbacks of stream noise recorded in natural habitats and playbacks of white noise to examine how male vocal signals change with increasing noise levels. The results show that noise intensity has a significant effect on male call frequency, but not on call amplitude or other call characteristics. Based on this evidence, we suggest that in streamside species stream noise drives males to alter call frequency and call as loudly as possible in order to improve discriminability. These findings provide insights into the role played by ecological selection in the evolution of noise-dependent anuran vocal plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303699PMC
December 2018

Fe-sensing by 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine-functionalized upconversion nanoparticles.

Nanotechnology 2019 Mar 20;30(13):135502. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, 2 Linggong Road, Dalian 116024, People's Republic of China.

Detection of Fe ion is essential for human health because it is an important element of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to cells in the body. Here, a 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) functionalized NaYF: Yb, [email protected] composite upconversion probe was developed, and demonstrated Fe sensing ability with high sensitivity and selectivity. The red emission of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) has a higher penetration depth in tissue than green light and works within the biological window. The obtained hydrophobic NaYF: Yb, [email protected] nanoparticles were treated with HCl to achieve hydrophilic ligand-free nanoparticles with non-saturated metal ions on their surface. Then, a Fe responsive TMB-UNCPs composite luminescence probe was formed through linking TMB onto the ligand-free UCNPs by a coordination bond between the NH groups in TMB and the metal ions on the UCNPs. Due to the efficient fluorescence resonance energy transfer from UCNPs to Fe-TMB, the obtained probe shows high sensitivity for detecting Fe in the range of 0-100 μM with a detection limit of 0.217 μM. And the color change of the detection system can also be easily recognized by the naked eye. The 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) experiments and the bioimaging experiments show promising prospects in tissue imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aafa34DOI Listing
March 2019

Associations of the PON1 rs662 polymorphism with circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein and lipid levels: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lipids Health Dis 2018 Dec 13;17(1):281. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Department of Cardiology, Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, 637000, People's Republic of China.

Background: Several meta-analyses have demonstrated that the rs662 polymorphism in Paraoxonase 1 gene (PON1) gene is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). However, it is still uncertain whether this polymorphism is associated with the plasma levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) and lipids. This meta-analysis is aimed to clarify the relationships between the rs662 polymorphism and plasma levels of Ox-LDL and lipids.

Methods: By searching in PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Wanfang, VIP and CNKI databases, 5 studies (1369 subjects) and 85 studies (46,740 subjects) were respectively identified for Ox-LDL association analysis and lipid association analysis. Standardized mean difference (SMD) was used to estimate the effects of the rs662 polymorphism on plasma Ox-LDL and lipid levels.

Results: The carriers of the variant R allele had higher levels of Ox-LDL (SMD = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.10-0.36, P <  0.01), triglyceride (TG) (SMD = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.01-0.11, P = 0.02), total cholesterol (TC) (SMD = 0.04, 95% CI = 0.00-0.07, P = 0.05) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (SMD = 0.04, 95% CI = 0.00-0.08, P = 0.04) than the non-carriers.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that the association between the PON1 rs662 polymorphism and CHD may partly be mediated by abnormal Ox-LDL and lipid levels caused by the R allele.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0937-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293622PMC
December 2018

Manipulating Luminescence of Light Emitters by Photonic Crystals.

Adv Mater 2018 Nov 24;30(47):e1803362. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore, 117543, Singapore.

The modulation of luminescence is essential because unwanted spontaneous-emission modes have a negative effect on the performance of luminescence-based photonic devices. Photonic crystals are promising materials for the control of light emission because of the variation in the local density of optical modes within them. They have been widely investigated for the manipulation of the emission intensity and lifetime of light emitters. Several groups have achieved greatly enhanced emission by depositing emitters on the surface of photonic crystals. Herein, the different modulating effects of photonic crystal dimensions, light-emitter positions, photonic crystal structure type, and the refractive index of photonic crystal building blocks are highlighted, with the aim of evaluating the fundamental principles that determine light propagation. The applications of using photonic crystals to manipulate spontaneous emission in light-emitting diodes and sensors are also reviewed. In addition, potential future challenges and improvements in this field are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.201803362DOI Listing
November 2018

A comparative analysis of approaches to network-dismantling.

Sci Rep 2018 09 10;8(1):13513. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel.

Estimating, understanding, and improving the robustness of networks has many application areas such as bioinformatics, transportation, or computational linguistics. Accordingly, with the rise of network science for modeling complex systems, many methods for robustness estimation and network dismantling have been developed and applied to real-world problems. The state-of-the-art in this field is quite fuzzy, as results are published in various domain-specific venues and using different datasets. In this study, we report, to the best of our knowledge, on the analysis of the largest benchmark regarding network dismantling. We reimplemented and compared 13 competitors on 12 types of random networks, including ER, BA, and WS, with different network generation parameters. We find that network metrics, proposed more than 20 years ago, are often non-dominating competitors, while many recently proposed techniques perform well only on specific network types. Besides the solution quality, we also investigate the execution time. Moreover, we analyze the similarity of competitors, as induced by their node rankings. We compare and validate our results on real-world networks. Our study is aimed to be a reference for selecting a network dismantling method for a given network, considering accuracy requirements and run time constraints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31902-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131543PMC
September 2018

Fabrication of tough photonic crystal patterns with vivid structural colors by direct handwriting.

Nanoscale 2017 Nov;9(45):17877-17883

State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, 2 Linggong Road, Dalian 116024, P.R. China.

Patterned photonic crystals (PCs) have attracted considerable attention due to their great potential in practical applications. Direct writing is an important and convenient method to fabricate patterned PCs. However, due to the limited interaction among spheres and the evaporation of ink, the obtained patterns usually suffer from poor structure strength, and non-uniform and unstable structural colors. In this work, an in situ embedding and locking strategy for fabricating tough PC patterns in one step was demonstrated. With properly dried polymer films as "paper" and dispersions of CdS spheres as "inks" to write on the "paper", the self-assembly of CdS spheres and locking of the PC structure can be achieved simultaneously, which gives rise to tough composite patterned PCs with uniform, stable and permanent structural colors. Based on this simple method, tough PC patterns can be easily and quickly created by direct hand writing or drawing without special treatment, equipment, masks or templates. The vivid structural colors of the tough PC patterns and this simple method show great potential for practical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7nr06570aDOI Listing
November 2017

Manipulating the emission intensity and lifetime of NaYF:Yb,Er simultaneously by embedding it into CdS photonic crystals.

Nanoscale 2017 Jun;9(22):7666-7673

State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, 2 Linggong Road, Dalian 116024, P.R. China.

Photonic crystals (PCs) have long been considered effective for tuning upconversion luminescence due to their photonic band gap (PBG) and the redistribution of density of optical states (DOS). Although the emission intensity can be changed obviously by the PC effect, rarely an obvious lifetime change consistent with theory is observed due to the low refractive index of PS or SiO spheres in the commonly used PCs. Herein, CdS/NaYF:Yb,Er composite PCs with a high refractive index contrast are fabricated in one step with upconversion nanoparticles filled inside CdS PCs. When the upconversion emission peak lies at the edge of the PBGs of the composite PCs, a dramatic decrease in lifetime by 28% and 41% is observed for the green and red emissions, respectively. At the same time, obvious emission intensity enhancements are also observed. In contrast, PS PCs with a low refractive index contrast show a slight effect on the lifetime of upconversion luminescence with their emission peak at the edge of the PBGs. Our results agree well with theory and prove that a sufficiently large refractive index contrast is necessary for PCs to dramatically tune the luminescence lifetime and intensity simultaneously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7nr01172eDOI Listing
June 2017

Centering and Racial Disparities (CRADLE study): rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial of centeringpregnancy and birth outcomes.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2017 04 13;17(1):118. Epub 2017 Apr 13.

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29634, USA.

Background: In the United States, preterm birth (PTB) before 37 weeks gestational age occurs at an unacceptably high rate, and large racial disparities persist. To date, medical and public health interventions have achieved limited success in reducing rates of PTB. Innovative changes in healthcare delivery are needed to improve pregnancy outcomes. One such model is CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care (GPNC), in which individual physical assessments are combined with facilitated group education and social support. Most existing studies in the literature on GPNC are observational. Although the results are promising, they are not powered to detect differences in PTB, do not address the racial disparity in PTB, and do not include measures of hypothesized mediators that are theoretically based and validated. The aims of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) are to compare birth outcomes as well as maternal behavioral and psychosocial outcomes by race among pregnant women who participate in GPNC to their counterparts in individual prenatal care (IPNC) and to investigate whether improving women's behavioral and psychosocial outcomes will explain the potential benefits of GPNC on birth outcomes and racial disparities.

Methods/design: This is a single site RCT study at Greenville Health System in South Carolina. Women are eligible if they are between 14-45 years old and enter prenatal care before 20 6/7 weeks of gestational age. Eligible, consenting women will be randomized 1:1 into GPNC group or IPNC group, stratified by race. Women allocated to GPNC will attend 2-h group prenatal care sessions according to the standard curriculum provided by the Centering Healthcare Institute, with other women due to deliver in the same month. Women allocated to IPNC will attend standard, traditional individual prenatal care according to standard clinical guidelines. Patients in both groups will be followed up until 12 weeks postpartum.

Discussion: Findings from this project will provide rigorous scientific evidence on the role of GPNC in reducing the rate of PTB, and specifically in reducing racial disparities in PTB. Establishing the improved effect of GPNC on pregnancy and birth outcomes can change the way healthcare is delivered, particularly with populations with higher rates of PTB.

Trial Registration: NCT02640638 Date Registered: 12/20/2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1295-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5390374PMC
April 2017

Increasing electrical conductivity of upconversion materials by in situ binding with graphene.

Nanotechnology 2016 Aug 15;27(34):345703. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116023, People's Republic of China.

Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) hold promise as near-infrared light converters to enhance the efficiency of solar cells. However, the prevalent use of UCNPs in solar cells is restricted by their poor electrical conductivity and low emission efficiency. Here reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-NaYF4:Yb(3+)/Er(3+) composites are proposed to achieve good electrical conductivity due to the high charge carrier mobility of rGO. Composites of rGO and UCNPs combined by a chemical bond are in situ synthesized by the hydrothermal method, followed by a reduction process. The contact of UCNPs with rGO is proved by SEM, and the binding between the rGO-UCNP composites is confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The composites are doped into the photoanode of a solar cell. As anticipated, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy confirms the good electrical conductivity of the in situ synthesized rGO-UCNPs. Furthermore, the use of rGO-UCNPs in solar cells enables an enhancement in short-circuit current density and overall efficiency by about 10%. These findings reveal that the combination of UCNPs with rGO opens up new opportunities of extending the use of UCNPs in the area of solar energy harvesting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/27/34/345703DOI Listing
August 2016

Formation of functionalized 2H-azirines through PhIO-mediated trifluoroethoxylation and azirination of enamines.

Org Lett 2013 Dec 14;15(24):6222-5. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Tianjin Key Laboratory for Modern Drug Delivery & High-Efficiency, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University , Tianjin 300072, China, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin) , Tianjin 300072, China.

A variety of enaminones and enamine carboxylic esters were converted to trifluoroethoxylated 2H-azirines through reactions with PhIO in trifluoroethanol (TFE). The cascade reaction is postulated to proceed via a PhIO-mediated oxidative trifluoroethoxylation and a subsequent azirination of the α-trifluoroethoxylated enamine intermediates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ol4030716DOI Listing
December 2013

NEDD9 is a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes invasion in aggressive breast cancer.

PLoS One 2011 28;6(7):e22666. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

The Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, People's Republic of China.

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in many biological processes. The latest studies revealed that aggressive breast cancer, especially the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype was frequently associated with apparent EMT, but the mechanisms are still unclear. NEDD9/HEF1/Cas-L is a member of the Cas protein family and was identified as a metastasis marker in multiple cancer types. In this study, we wished to discern the role of NEDD9 in breast cancer progression and to investigate the molecular mechanism by which NEDD9 regulates EMT and promotes invasion in triple-negative breast cancer. We showed that expression of NEDD9 was frequently upregulated in TNBC cell lines, and in aggressive breast tumors, especially in TNBC subtype. Knockdown of endogenous NEDD9 reduced the migration, invasion and proliferation of TNBC cells. Moreover, ectopic overexpression of NEDD9 in mammary epithelial cells led to a string of events including the trigger of EMT, activation of ERK signaling, increase of several EMT-inducing transcription factors and promotion of their interactions with the E-cadherin promoter. Data presented in this report contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms by which NEDD9 promotes EMT, and provide useful clues to the evaluation of the potential of NEDD9 as a responsive molecular target for TNBC chemotherapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0022666PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145662PMC
December 2011

Identifying differentially expressed genes in cancer patients using a non-parameter Ising model.

Proteomics 2011 Oct 23;11(19):3845-52. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

School of Computing, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA.

Identification of genes and pathways involved in diseases and physiological conditions is a major task in systems biology. In this study, we developed a novel non-parameter Ising model to integrate protein-protein interaction network and microarray data for identifying differentially expressed (DE) genes. We also proposed a simulated annealing algorithm to find the optimal configuration of the Ising model. The Ising model was applied to two breast cancer microarray data sets. The results showed that more cancer-related DE sub-networks and genes were identified by the Ising model than those by the Markov random field model. Furthermore, cross-validation experiments showed that DE genes identified by Ising model can improve classification performance compared with DE genes identified by Markov random field model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.201100180DOI Listing
October 2011
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