Publications by authors named "Xie Zhang"

73 Publications

Identification of the tumor‑suppressive role of circular RNA‑FOXO3 in colorectal cancer via regulation of miR‑543/LATS1 axis.

Oncol Rep 2021 Nov 22;46(5). Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of General Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510630, P.R. China.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy with significant prevalence and mortality rates. Circular RNA FOXO3 (circ‑FOXO3; hsa_circ_0006404) has been reported to be involved in cancer regulation; however, its role in CRC is yet to be fully elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of circ‑FOXO3 on CRC progression and identify its underlying mechanism. In the present study, the expression of circ‑FOXO3 was investigated in CRC tissues and cells via reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. A Cell Counting Kit‑8 and colony formation assays were used to assess cell proliferation. The cell migratory and invasive abilities were detected using the Transwell migration and invasion assays. The luciferase assay and RNA pull‑down assay were conducted to verify the relationship of circ‑FOXO3, microRNA (miR)‑543 and Large tumor suppressor kinase 1 (LATS1). The results demonstrated that circ‑FOXO3 expression was downregulated in CRC tissues and cells, and was associated with poor overall survival of patients with CRC. Moreover, circ‑FOXO3 was associated with tumor size, distant metastasis, differentiation, lymph node metastasis and TMN stages of patients with CRC. circ‑FOXO3 overexpression suppressed CRC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Luciferase assay and RNA pull‑down assay results indicated that circ‑FOXO3 functioned as a sponge for miR‑543. In addition, circ‑FOXO3 increased the expression of LATS1 via sponging miR‑543, thus inhibiting CRC cell aggressive features. Collectively, the present results suggested that circ‑FOXO3 inhibited CRC metastasis and progression via elevated LATS1 expression by sponging miR‑543. Therefore, circ‑FOXO3 may be a promising target for CRC therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2021.8190DOI Listing
November 2021

Initial-position-driven opposite directional transport of a water droplet on a wedge-shaped groove.

Nanoscale 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Institute of Theoretical Physics, State Key Laboratory of Quantum Optics and Quantum Optics Devices, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China.

The transport direction of water droplets on a functionalized surface is of great significance due to its wide applications in microfluidics technology. The prevailing view is that a water droplet on a wedge-shaped groove always moves towards the wider end. In this paper, however, molecular dynamics simulations show that a water droplet can move towards the narrower end if placed at specific positions. It is found that the direction of water droplet transport on a grooved surface is related to its initial position. The water droplet moves towards the wider end only when it is placed near the wider end initially. If the water droplet is placed near the narrower end, it will move in the opposite direction. The novel phenomenon is attributed to the opposite interactions of the groove substrate and the groove upper layers with water droplets. Two effective models are proposed to exploit the physical origin of different transport directions of water droplets on a wedge-shaped groove surface. The study provides an insight into the design of nanostructured surfaces to effectively control the droplet motion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr03467gDOI Listing
September 2021

Established Beta Amyloid Pathology Is Unaffected by TREM2 Elevation in Reactive Microglia in an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model.

Molecules 2021 May 4;26(9). Epub 2021 May 4.

Faculty of Medicine, School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Several genetic studies have identified a rare variant of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, findings on the effects of TREM2 on Aβ deposition are quite inconsistent in animal studies, requiring further investigation. In this study, we investigated whether elevation of TREM2 mitigates Aβ pathology in TgCRND8 mice. We found that peripheral nerve injury resulted in a robust elevation of TREM2 exclusively in reactive microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord of aged TgCRND8 mice at the age of 20 months. TREM2 expression appeared on day 1 post-injury and the upregulation was maintained for at least 28 days. Compared to the contralateral side, neither amyloid beta plaque load nor soluble Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels were attenuated upon TREM2 induction. We further showed direct evidence that TREM2 elevation in reactive microglia did not affect amyloid-β pathology in plaque-bearing TgCRND8 mice by applying anti-TREM2 neutralizing antibody to selectively block TREM2. Our results question the ability of TREM2 to ameliorate established Aβ pathology, discouraging future development of disease-modifying pharmacological treatments targeting TREM2 in the late stage of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092685DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125360PMC
May 2021

Genome-wide characterization of bZIP transcription factors and their expression patterns in response to drought and salinity stress in Jatropha curcas.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Jun 8;181:1207-1223. Epub 2021 May 8.

Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China. Electronic address:

The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family is one of the largest families of transcription factors (TFs) in plants and is responsible for various functions, including regulating development and responses to abiotic/biotic stresses. However, the roles of bZIPs in the regulation of responses to drought stress and salinity stress remain poorly understood in Jatropha curcas L., a biodiesel crop. In the present study, 50 JcbZIP genes were identified and classified into ten groups. Cis-element analysis indicated that JcbZIP genes are associated with abiotic stress. Gene expression patterns and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) showed that four JcbZIP genes (JcbZIPs 34, 36, 49 and 50) are key resistance-related genes under both drought and salinity stress conditions. On the basis of the results of cis-element and phylogenetic analyses, JcbZIP49 and JcbZIP50 are likely involved in responses to drought and salinity stress; moreover, JcbZIP34 and JcbZIP36 might also play important roles in seed development and response to abiotic stress. These findings advance our understanding of the comprehensive characteristics of JcbZIP genes and provide new insights for functional validation in the further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.05.027DOI Listing
June 2021

Minimizing hydrogen vacancies to enable highly efficient hybrid perovskites.

Nat Mater 2021 Jul 29;20(7):971-976. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

Defect-induced non-radiative losses are currently limiting the performance of hybrid perovskite devices. Experimental reports have indicated the existence of point defects that act as detrimental non-radiative recombination centres under iodine-poor synthesis conditions. However, the microscopic nature of these defects is still unknown. Here we demonstrate that hydrogen vacancies can be present in high densities under iodine-poor conditions in the prototypical hybrid perovskite MAPbI (MA = CHNH). They act as very efficient non-radiative recombination centres with an exceptionally high carrier capture coefficient of 10 cm s. By contrast, the hydrogen vacancies in FAPbI [FA = CH(NH)] are much more difficult to form and have a capture coefficient that is three orders of magnitude lower. Our study unveils the critical but overlooked role of hydrogen vacancies in hybrid perovskites and rationalizes why FA is essential for realizing high efficiency in hybrid perovskite solar cells. Minimizing the incorporation of hydrogen vacancies is key to enabling the best performance of hybrid perovskites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-021-00986-5DOI Listing
July 2021

Electric field-induced gas dissolving in aqueous solutions.

J Chem Phys 2021 Jan;154(2):024705

Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-4401, USA.

Gas dissolution or accumulation regulating in an aqueous environment is important but difficult in various fields. Here, we performed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to study the dissolution/accumulation of gas molecules in aqueous solutions. It was found that the distribution of gas molecules at the solid-water interface is regulated by the direction of the external electric field. Gas molecules attach and accumulate to the interface with an electric field parallel to the interface, while the gas molecules depart and dissolve into the aqueous solutions with a vertical electric field. The above phenomena can be attributed to the redistribution of water molecules as a result of the change of hydrogen bonds of water molecules at the interface as affected by the electric field. This finding reveals a new mechanism of regulating gas accumulation and dissolution in aqueous solutions and can have tremendous applications in the synthesis of drugs, the design of microfluidic device, and the extraction of natural gas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0037387DOI Listing
January 2021

Occupational Stress and Mental Health: A Comparison Between Frontline Medical Staff and Non-frontline Medical Staff During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease Outbreak.

Front Psychiatry 2020 23;11:555703. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

The Affiliated Kangning Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.

During an epidemic, both frontline and non-frontline medical staff endure stressful work circumstances that render their mental health a major public health concern. This study aims at investigating and comparing the prevalence and severity of mental health symptoms (i.e., anxiety, depression and insomnia) between frontline medical staff and non-frontline medical staff during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. It also seeks to evaluate the association of their mental health with occupational stress. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Wenzhou, China from 2020 February 16th to 2020 March 2th. A total of 524 medical staff responded to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Occupational stress Questionnaire, and a demographic data form. Data were principally analyzed with logistic regression. Of the 524 participants, 31.3% reported depression, 41.2% reported anxiety, and 39.3% reported insomnia. Compared with the citizens during the COVID-19 epidemic, medical staff experienced higher level of anxiety, depression and insomnia, especially the frontline medical staff. Furthermore, male, married medical staff with poorer physical health reported lower mental health. Frontline medical staff endorsed higher self-reported occupational stress, especially higher occupational hazards, than non-frontline medical staff. In addition, four indicators on occupational stress (working intensity, working time, working difficulty and working risk) were correlated positively with mental health symptoms. Regression analyses found a significant association between occupational stress and mental health symptoms in both frontline and non-frontline medical staff during COVID-19 outbreak. The results indicated that during the COVID-19 epidemic, medical staff experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression and insomnia than citizens, and their occupational stress had positive effects on their psychological distress. These findings emphasize the importance of occupational stress management interventions to decrease the risk of developing mental health problems among the medical staff during a biological disaster.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.555703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785830PMC
December 2020

Twelve out of 117 recovered COVID-19 patients retest positive in a single-center study of China.

EClinicalMedicine 2020 Sep 24;26:100492. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of Affiliated Yueqing Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325600, Zhejiang, China.

Background: It has been reported that a fraction of recovered coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) patients have retested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Clinical characteristics and risk factors for retesting positive have not been studied extensively.

Methods: In this retrospective, single-center cohort study, we included adult patients (≥ 18 years old) diagnosed as COVID-19 in Affiliated Yueqing Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang, China. All the patients were discharged before March 31, 2020, and were re-tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) after meeting the discharge criteria. We retrospectively analyzed this cohort of 117 discharged patients and analyzed the differences between retest positive and negative patients in terms of demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, chest computed tomography (CT) features and treatment procedures.

Findings: Compared with the negative group, the positive group had a higher proportion of patients with comorbidities (Odds Ratio(OR) =2·12, 95% Confidence Interval(CI) 0·48-9·46;  = 0·029), longer hospital stay (OR=1·21, 95% CI 1·07-1·36;  = 0·008), a higher proportion of patients with lymphocytopenia ( = 0·036), a higher proportion of antibiotics treatment ( = 0·008) and glucocorticoids treatment ( = 0·003). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of positive SARS-CoV-2 retest after discharge associated with longer hospital stay (OR=1·22, 95% CI 1·08-1·38;  = 0·001), and lymphocytopenia (OR=7·74, 95% CI 1·70-35·21;  = 0·008) on admission.

Interpretation: Patients with COVID-19 who met discharge criteria could still test positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Longer hospital stay and lymphopenia could be potential risk factors for positive SARS-CoV-2 retest in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge.

Funding: Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, Medical Scientific Research Fund of Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou science and technology project.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444491PMC
September 2020

Anomalous Auger Recombination in PbSe.

Phys Rev Lett 2020 Jul;125(3):037401

Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-5050, USA.

Using first-principles approaches we find that the Auger recombination in PbSe is anomalous in three distinct ways. First, the direct Auger coefficient is 4 orders of magnitude lower than that of other semiconductors with similar band gaps, a result that can be attributed to the lack of involvement of a heavy-hole band. Second, phonon-assisted indirect Auger recombination prevails, contrary to the common belief that direct Auger is dominant in narrow-gap semiconductors. Third, an unexpectedly weak temperature dependence of the Auger coefficient is observed, which we can now attribute to the indirect nature of the Auger process. The widely accepted explanation of this behavior in terms of an unusual temperature dependence of the band gap is only a secondary effect. Our results elucidate the mechanisms underlying the anomalous Auger recombination in IV-VI semiconductors in general, which is critical for understanding and engineering carrier transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.037401DOI Listing
July 2020

In-flight transmission cluster of COVID-19: a retrospective case series.

Infect Dis (Lond) 2020 Nov - Dec;52(12):891-901. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of General Internal Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, China.

Background: No data is available about in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we report an in-flight transmission cluster of COVID-19 and describe the clinical characteristics of these patients.

Methods: After a flight, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was reported in 12 patients. Ten patients were admitted to the designated hospital. Data was collected from 25th January to 28th February 2020. Clinical information was retrospectively collected.

Results: All patients were passengers, and none were flight attendants. The median age was 33 years, and 70% were females. None was admitted to intensive care unit, and no patients died up to 28th February. The median incubation period was 3.0 days and time from onset of illness to hospital admission was 2 days. The most common symptom was fever. Two patients were asymptomatic and had normal chest CT scan during hospital stay. On admission, initial RT-PCR was positive in 9 patients, and initial chest CT was positive in half of the patients. The median lung 'total severity score' of chest CT was 6. 'Crazy-paving' pattern, pleural effusion, and ground-glass nodules were seen.

Conclusion: There is potential for COVID-19 transmission in aeroplanes, but the symptoms were mild in our patients. Passengers and attendants must be protected during flights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23744235.2020.1800814DOI Listing
October 2020

Photodynamic treatment with purpurin 18 effectively inhibits triple negative breast cancer by inducing cell apoptosis.

Lasers Med Sci 2021 Mar 5;36(2):339-347. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong.

This study aims to evaluate the photodynamic efficacy of purpurin 18 (pu-18) on triple negative breast cancer both in vitro and in vivo. Two states of 4T1 cells, 2D culture and 3D spheroids, were used to evaluate the photodynamic action of pu-18 in vitro. The in vitro study results indicated that for the 4T1 2D cell culture, the photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment showed significant photocytotoxicity at low pu-18 concentrations following light irradiation. Pu-18 was found to distribute on the lysosomes, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, and endoplasmic reticulum. After irradiation, pu-18 can generate ROS to destroy the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and eventually induce apoptosis in the 2D 4T1 cells. Light-activated pu-18 could also induce the destruction of the 3D 4T1 cell spheroids. The in vivo study was conducted by using a subcutaneous 4T1 breast cancer animal model. The results demonstrated that pu-18 could remain in the tumor for more than 4 days by direct intra-tumoral injection. The PDT treatment was performed every 2 days for a total of 3 times. The results showed that PDT treatment could significantly inhibit tumor growth in vivo, indicating a good photodynamic efficacy of pu-18 in the mouse breast cancer model, without influencing weight and major organ function. The survival pattern results showed that PDT treatment could largely extend the survival time of mice with breast cancer. The preliminary conclusion is that photodynamic treatment using pu-18 is effective at preventing the growth of triple negative breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. A combination of light irradiation and pu-18 could therefore be a worthwhile approach for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10103-020-03035-wDOI Listing
March 2021

Safety and Efficacy of Through-the-Scope Placement of Colonic Self-expandable Metal Stents Without Fluoroscopic Guidance: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2020 Oct;30(5):430-434

Departments of Gastroenterology.

Background: Colonic self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) are usually placed through an endoscope under fluoroscopic guidance. In this retrospective study, we measured the safety and efficacy of through-the-scope colonic stent placement without fluoroscopic guidance.

Materials And Methods: We included consecutive patients with malignant colonic obstruction who underwent SEMS placement through the endoscope without fluoroscopic guidance (NF group) from 2016 to June 2019 in a single tertiary medical center. Technical and clinical success rates and complication rates were compared with those of a historical control group consisting of consecutive patients who underwent stent placement through the endoscope under fluoroscopic guidance (F group) from 2012 to 2015.

Results: Of 136 patients analyzed, 67 were in the NF group and 69 were in the F group. For the NF and F groups, technical success rates were 97.0% and 95.7%, respectively (P=0.763); clinical success rates were 92.5% and 89.9%, respectively (P=0.581). Major complications included perforation (NF group, 1.5%; F group, 1.4%), stent migration (NF group, 0; F group, 1.4%), and stent occlusion (NF group, 1.5%; F group, 2.9%) (P=0.425). The median procedure time was significantly lower in the NF group (25.90±18.68 min) than in the F group (44.23±20.40 min) (P<0.001).

Conclusions: Colonic SEMS placement without fluoroscopy is as safe and effective as the conventional fluoroscopically guided approach. This new method significantly reduced the procedure time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLE.0000000000000805DOI Listing
October 2020

Mechanism of collective interstitial ordering in Fe-C alloys.

Nat Mater 2020 Aug 4;19(8):849-854. Epub 2020 May 4.

Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Collective interstitial ordering is at the core of martensite formation in Fe-C-based alloys, laying the foundation for high-strength steels. Even though this ordering has been studied extensively for more than a century, some fundamental mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we show the unexpected effects of two correlated phenomena on the ordering mechanism: anharmonicity and segregation. The local anharmonicity in the strain fields induced by interstitials substantially reduces the critical concentration for interstitial ordering, up to a factor of three. Further, the competition between interstitial ordering and segregation results in an effective decrease of interstitial segregation into extended defects for high interstitial concentrations. The mechanism and corresponding impact on interstitial ordering identified here enrich the theory of phase transitions in materials and constitute a crucial step in the design of ultra-high-performance alloys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-020-0677-9DOI Listing
August 2020

Satellite glia activation in dorsal root ganglion contributes to mechanical allodynia after selective motor fiber injury in adult rats.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Jul 30;127:110187. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China; Brain Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Increasing evidence suggests that activation of satellite glia cells (SGCs) in sensory ganglia play important roles in the development of neuropathic pain. The present study aimed to investigate the involvement of SGC activation in a novel model of motor nerve injury induced pain hypersensitivity. The neuropathic pain model was established by cervical 8 ventral root avulsion (C8VA). Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was used as a marker of SGC activation. Unilateral C8VA resulted in mechanical allodynia, but not thermal hyperalgesia in bilateral paws. Expectedly, SGCs were robustly activated on as early as 1 day and persisted for at least 7 days in the ipsilateral and contralateral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of C6, C7 and C8 after C8VA. Double immunofluorescence showed that almost all the activated SGCs enveloped neurofilament 200 (NF200) positive myelinated neurons in DRG. Local application of fluorocitrate (FC), a glial metabolism inhibitor, significantly decreased the number of activated SGCs and alleviated bilateral mechanical allodynia. These results suggest that SGC activation contributed to ipsilateral and mirror-image pain hypersensitivity after C8VA. Inhibition of SGC activation represented a promising therapeutic strategy for the management of neuropathic pain following brachial plexus root avulsion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110187DOI Listing
July 2020

Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 Ameliorates Diabetes-Induced Liver Injury by Reducing Cellular Stress and Restoring Autophagy.

Front Pharmacol 2020 3;11:52. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.

Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic dysfunction disease that causes several complications. Liver injury is one of these that severely affects patients with diabetes. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) has glucose-lowering activity and plays a role in modulation of several liver injuries. Nevertheless, the effects and potential mechanisms of FGF1 against diabetes-induced liver injury are unknown.

Methods: To further investigate the effect of FGF1 on diabetic liver injury, we divided db/db mice into two groups and intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected either with FGF1 at 0.5 mg/kg body weight or saline every other day for 4 weeks. Then body weights were measured. Serum and liver tissues were collected for biochemical and molecular analyses.

Results: FGF1 significantly reduced blood glucose and ameliorated diabetes-induced liver steatosis, fibrosis, and apoptosis. FGF1 also restored defective hepatic autophagy in db/db mice. Mechanistic investigations showed that diabetes markedly induced oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress and that FGF1 treatment significantly attenuated these effects.

Conclusions: FGF1-associated glucose level reduction and amelioration of cellular stress are potential protective effects of FGF1 against diabetes-induced liver injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7062965PMC
March 2020

Is Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy a Potential Therapy for Esophageal Absent Contractility?

Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2020 Apr;30(2):129-133

Pharmacy, Ningbo Medical Center Li Huili Hospital, Zhejiang, China.

Aim: Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is recommended for the endoscopic treatment of achalasia and esophageal junction outflow obstruction (EGJOO); however, absent contractility, a subtype of peristalsis disorders classified by the Chicago Classification of esophageal motility v3.0, has no effective treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of POEM in absent contractility, in the part of the patients presents with dysphagia.

Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective study at a tertiary referral center. We included 30 patients who mainly complain with dysphagia, and they underwent POEM from January 2013 to December 2018. The data of high-resolution esophageal manometry was collected before and after POEM. They were divided into 3 groups: EGJOO, Achalasia, and Absent contractility according to the Chicago Classification of esophageal motility v3.0 before POEM. Telephone follow-up was made in February 2019 to obtain Eckardt scores and weight changes.

Results: We found that both Eckardt scores and integrated relaxation pressure decreased post-POEM in the 3 groups (P<0.05). Eckardt score was significantly lower in the EGJOO group than in the Absent contractility group (P=0.004) post-POEM. The difference of Eckardt Score was higher in the EGJOO group (P=0.010) and the Achalasia group (P=0.007) than in the Absent contractility group, as was weight gain (P=0.023; P=0.002).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that POEM is an effective endoscopic procedure for patients with EGJOO and achalasia. Furthermore, POEM can significantly improve symptoms in patients with absent contractility, although less so than for the other 2 groups. POEM is a potential therapy for absent contractility patients presenting with dysphagia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLE.0000000000000770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147407PMC
April 2020

Bright magnetic dipole radiation from two-dimensional lead-halide perovskites.

Sci Adv 2020 Feb 7;6(6):eaay4900. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.

Light-matter interactions in semiconductors are uniformly treated within the electric dipole approximation; multipolar interactions are considered "forbidden." We experimentally demonstrate that this approximation inadequately describes light emission in two-dimensional (2D) hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs), solution processable semiconductors with promising optoelectronic properties. By exploiting the highly oriented crystal structure, we use energy-momentum spectroscopies to demonstrate that an exciton-like sideband in 2D HOIPs exhibits a multipolar radiation pattern with highly directed emission. Electromagnetic and quantum-mechanical analyses indicate that this emission originates from an out-of-plane magnetic dipole transition arising from the 2D character of electronic states. Symmetry arguments and temperature-dependent measurements suggest a dynamic symmetry-breaking mechanism that is active over a broad temperature range. These results challenge the paradigm of electric dipole-dominated light-matter interactions in optoelectronic materials, provide new perspectives on the origins of unexpected sideband emission in HOIPs, and tease the possibility of metamaterial-like scattering phenomena at the quantum-mechanical level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aay4900DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007269PMC
February 2020

Steering polyoxometalate transformation from octahedral to tetrahedral coordination by counter-cations.

Dalton Trans 2020 Jan;49(3):583-587

College of Materials Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.

Polyoxometalates (POMs) are intriguing catalysts for various reactions. However, the function of their counter-cations is overlooked. Here, we show that flexible counter-cations of methyltrioctylammonium can trigger polyoxovanadates to transform from octahedrally coordinated H2V10O284- to tetrahedrally coordinated V10O262-. This structural transformation enhances the performance tunability of POM chemistry and improves catalyst design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9dt03608cDOI Listing
January 2020

Using morphological attributes for the fast assessment of nutritional responses of Buddhist pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus [Thunb.] D. Don) seedlings to exponential fertilization.

PLoS One 2019 9;14(12):e0225708. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Chengbang Ecological Environment Limited Liability Company, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Culturing slowly growing tree seedlings is a potential approach for managing the conflict between the increasing demand for ornamental stock and the decreasing area of farmlands due to urbanization. In this study, Buddhist pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus [Thunb.] D. Don) seedlings were raised in multishelves with light-emitting diode lighting in the spectrum of 17:75:8 (red:green:blue) at 190-320 μmol m-2 s-1 with controlled temperature and relative humidity at 19.5°C and 60%, respectively. Seedlings were fed by exponential fertilization (EF) (nitrogen [N]-phosphorus [P]2O5-K2O, 10-7-9) at eight rates of 0 (control), 20 (E20), 40 (E40), 60 (E60), 80 (E80), 100 (E100), 120 (E120), and 140 (E140) mg N seedling-1 for four months through 16 fertilizer applications. The nutritional responses of Buddhist pine seedlings can be identified and classified into various stages in response to increasing doses, up to and over 120 N seedling-1. Morphological traits, i.e., the green color index and leaf area (LA) obtained by digital analysis and the fine root growth, all remained constant in response to doses that induced steady nutrient loading. LA had a positive relationship with most of the nutritional parameters. A dose range between 60 and 120 mg N seedling-1 was recommended for the culture of Buddhist pine seedlings. At this range of fertilizer doses, measuring the leaf area through digital scanning can easily and rapidly indicate the inherent nutrient status of the seedlings.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225708PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901222PMC
April 2020

Berberine enhances survival and axonal regeneration of motoneurons following spinal root avulsion and re-implantation in rats.

Free Radic Biol Med 2019 11 28;143:454-470. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, 999077, China; Brain Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, 999077, China. Electronic address:

Brachial plexus avulsion (BPA) occurs when the spinal nerve roots are pulled away from the surface of the spinal cord and disconnects neuronal cell body from its distal downstream axon, which induces massive motoneuron death, motor axon degeneration and de-innervation of targeted muscles, thereby resulting in permanent paralysis of motor functions in the upper limb. Avulsion injury triggers oxidative stress and intense local neuroinflammation at the lesioned site, leading to the death of most motoneurons. Berberine (BBR), a natural isoquinoline alkaloid derived from medicinal herbs of Berberis and Coptis species, has been reported to possess neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects in various animal models of central nervous system (CNS)-related disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of BBR on motoneuron survival and axonal regeneration following spinal root avulsion plus re-implantation in rats. Our results indicated BBR significantly accelerated motor function recovery in the forelimb as revealed by the increased Terzis grooming test score, facilitated motor axon regeneration as evidenced by the elevated number of Fluoro-Gold-labeled and P75-positive regenerative motoneurons. The survival of motoneurons was notably promoted by BBR administration presented with boosted ChAT-immunopositive and neutral red-stained neurons. BBR treatment efficiently alleviated muscle atrophy, attenuated functional motor endplates loss in biceps and prevented the reduction of motor axons in the musculocutaneous nerve. Additionally, BBR treatment markedly mitigated the avulsion-induced neuroinflammation via inhibiting microglial and astroglial reactivity, up-regulated the expression of antioxidative indicator Cu/Zn SOD, and down-regulated the levels of nNOS, 3-NT, lipid peroxidation and NF-κB, as well as promoted SIRT1, PI3K and Akt activation. Collectively, BBR might be a promising therapy to assist re-implantation surgery for the treatment of BPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.08.029DOI Listing
November 2019

Origins of Beta Amyloid Differ Between Vascular Amyloid Deposition and Parenchymal Amyloid Plaques in the Spinal Cord of a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

Mol Neurobiol 2020 Jan 19;57(1):278-289. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) refers to pathological changes occurring in cerebral blood vessels caused by deposition of beta amyloid (Aβ) protein. However, the mechanisms involved in the origin of Aβ for the formation of CAA and its link to parenchymal amyloid depositions remained to be unraveled. Here, we found CAA and parenchymal plaques distributed separately instead of mingling with each other in the spinal cord of TgCRND8 mice. Parenchymal plaques predominantly located in the dorsal horn whereas CAA distributed in the ventral horn. We further found that the ratio of Aβ40/Aβ42 was significantly higher in the ventral than that in the dorsal by ELISA assay, suggesting that origin of Aβ forming parenchymal plaques may be different from that of CAA in the spinal cord. This hypothesis was further demonstrated by the surgical methods which indicated eliminating parenchymal plaques did not alter CAA in the affected spinal cord. We also examined the ratio of Aβ40/Aβ42 in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in order to identify the origin of the CAA formation, and found the Aβ40/Aβ42 ratio was similar to that of CAA formation in the ventral horn. We further demonstrated that CSF tracer distributed along ventral horn vessels, in exactly the same pattern as Aβ deposition in CAA in ventral part of spinal cord. These findings verified the concept that CSF influx may act as a constant source for delivering Aβ, and contribute to the growth of paraarterial deposits in CAA. Taken together, the results of the present study highlight the important role of the Aβ40/Aβ42 ratio in determining vascular versus parenchymal amyloid deposition. Unlike parenchymal plaques, Aβ of CAA comes from CSF; thus, manipulation of CSF Aβ could represent a novel strategy to treat CAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-01697-4DOI Listing
January 2020

Association Between Axonopathy and Amyloid Plaques in the Spinal Cord of the Transgenic Mice of Alzheimer's Disease.

Neuroscience 2019 06 26;409:152-161. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Brain Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Electronic address:

Axonopathy manifested by axon swellings might constitute one of the earliest pathological features of Alzheimer's disease. It has been proposed that axonopathy might be associated with the origin of Aβ plaques. However, how axonopathy leads to Aβ plaque pathogenesis remains elusive. Our previous studies have shown that Aβ neuropathology (mainly diffuse plaques) selectively occurred in the regions of corticospinal tract (CST) pathway and its innervated region in the spinal cord of TgCRND8 mice. In this study, we investigated the occurrence and progression of axonopathy and the possible implication in Aβ plaque pathogenesis in the spinal cord of TgCRND8 mice. By anterograde labeling of CST system with a neuroanatomical tracer, we found that dilated corticospinal axons started to appear at 7 months, then exhibited an age-dependent increase. These abnormal structures appear before any plaque deposits are visible in the spinal cord of the mice. Importantly, they colocalized with Aβ plaques in either the white matter or gray matter of the spinal cord at later stages, suggesting that these axonal swellings might represent the initial stages of Aβ plaque formation, and could play a role in Aβ plaque pathogenesis. Furthermore, using ultrastructural analysis we demonstrated that intracellular contents in the axonal dystrophies such as various dense vesicles leaked out into the extracellular matrix under a condition of axon swelling rupture in CST pathways of spinal cord. This provided precise structural evidence that how the Aβ leaks out from the axonal dystrophies into extracellular matrix and how an axonal swelling might serve as a nidus of amyloid plaque formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.04.037DOI Listing
June 2019

FGF1 protects against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity via suppression of oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress.

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol 2019 11 24;43(6):707-714. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, 325035, PR China. Electronic address:

Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose/abuse is the leading cause of acute liver failure in many countries. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF 1) is a metabolic regulator with several physiological functions. Previous studies suggested that FGF1 promotes differentiation and maturation of liver-derived stem cells. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of FGF1 against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. APAP markedly increased circulating levels of ALT and AST, while FGF1 significantly inhibited increases in the serum levels of ALT and AST, as compared to littermates. In addition, histopathological evaluation of the livers revealed that FGF1 prevented APAP-induced centrilobular necrosis. Livers exhibited severe inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress in response to APAP toxicity, whereas these changes were reversed by a single injection of FGF1. In conclusion, our findings suggest that FGF1 protects mice from APAP-induced hepatotoxicity through suppression of inflammation, apoptosis, and oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Therefore, FGF1 may represent a promising therapeutic agent for APAP-induced acute liver injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinre.2019.03.006DOI Listing
November 2019

Ameliorative effect of supercritical fluid extract of Chrysanthemum indicum Linnén against D-galactose induced brain and liver injury in senescent mice via suppression of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Apr 2;234:44-56. Epub 2019 Jan 2.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Development and Research of Chinese Medicine, Mathematical Engineering Academy of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Chrysanthemum indicum Linne (C. indicum), a healthy food and folk medicine in China for thousands of years, has been reported to exert heat-clearing and detoxifying effects and extensively applied to treat various symptoms such as inflammation diseases, hepatitis and headache.

Aim Of This Study: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of the supercritical carbon dioxide fluid extract from flowers and buds of C. indicum (CI) on D-galactose-induced brain and liver damage during aging process and to illuminate the underlying mechanisms.

Materials And Methods: Mice were orally administrated with CI (100, 150 and 300 mg/kg) after injection with D-galactose. 24 h after the last administration, the blood samples, whole brain and liver tissues were collected for biochemical analysis, histological examination and western blot analysis. The body weight, spleen and thymus indexes, alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), malondialdehyde (MDA) in brain and liver, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were detected. Besides, the expressions of Bax, Bcl-2 and cleaved caspase-3 were determined by western blot assay.

Results: The results indicated that CI effectively increased the suppressed body weight, attenuated the decline of thymus and spleen indexes, and reduced the elevated levels of ALT and AST induced by D-gal. Furthermore, CI might notably alleviate D-gal-induced abnormal alterations in structure and function of brain and liver dose-dependently via renewing normal antioxidant enzymes activities (SOD, CAT, GSH-Px), reducing MDA accumulation, decreasing inflammatory cytokines productions (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α), as well as attenuating the increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and cleaved caspase-3 activation in the liver and brain.

Conclusions: Taken together, our present results suggested that CI treatment could effectively mitigate the D-gal-induced hepatic and cerebral injury, and the underlying mechanism might be tightly related to the decreased oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis, indicating CI might be an alternative and promising agent for the treatment of aging and age-associated brain and liver diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2018.12.050DOI Listing
April 2019

Interface dominated cooperative nanoprecipitation in interstitial alloys.

Nat Commun 2018 10 1;9(1):4017. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Institut für Werkstoffe, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44801, Bochum, Germany.

Steels belong to one of the best established materials, however, the mechanisms of various phase transformations down to the nano length scale are still not fully clear. In this work, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy is combined with atomistic simulations to study the nanoscale carbide precipitation in a Fe-Cr-C alloy. We identify a cooperative growth mechanism that connects host lattice reconstruction and interstitial segregation at the growing interface front, which leads to a preferential growth of cementite (FeC) nanoprecipitates along a particular direction. This insight significantly improves our understanding of the mechanisms of nanoscale precipitation in interstitial alloys, and paves the way for engineering nanostructures to enhance the mechanical performance of alloys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06474-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6167330PMC
October 2018

High expression of fibroblast growth factor-21 in liposarcoma patients indicated better prognosis and less recurrence.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2018 09 28;503(2):1130-1133. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Pharmacy, Zhejiang Jinhua Guangfu Hospital, Jinhua 321001, China. Electronic address:

Liposarcoma is the most common soft tissue malignancy. We investigated the relationship between the expression of fibroblast growth factor -21 protein and recurrence in the liposarcoma tissues from 40 patients. The patients were divided into two groups (low/no- and high-expressing) for further survival analysis according to fibroblast growth factor -21 expression in their tumor tissue. Immunohistochemical staining showed that fibroblast growth factor -21 protein was located in the cytoplasm. The fibroblast growth factor -21 protein was significantly less expressed in liposarcoma than in normal tissue (p < 0.05). Fibroblast growth factor -21 protein expression was related to gender, but not age, cell differentiation or tumor size. The patients in the low/no fibroblast growth factor 21 expression group were more likely to relapse and die in a shorter period of time. The patients in the high-expression group had a better prognosis and less recurrence. fibroblast growth factor -21 has the potential to act both as a biomarker for liposarcoma prognosis as well as a marker for the response to therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.06.130DOI Listing
September 2018

Three-Dimensional Spin Texture in Hybrid Perovskites and Its Impact on Optical Transitions.

J Phys Chem Lett 2018 Jun 18;9(11):2903-2908. Epub 2018 May 18.

Materials Department , University of California , Santa Barbara , California 93106-5050 , United States.

Hybrid perovskites such as MAPbI (MA = CHNH) exhibit a unique spin texture. The spin texture (as calculated within the Rashba model) has been suggested to be responsible for a suppression of radiative recombination due to a mismatch of spins at the band edges. Here we compute the spin texture from first principles and demonstrate that it does not suppress recombination. The exact spin texture is dominated by the inversion asymmetry of the local electrostatic potential, which is determined by the structural distortion induced by the MA molecule. In addition, the rotation of the MA molecule at room temperature leads to a dynamic spin texture in MAPbI. These insights call for a reconsideration of the scenario that radiative recombination is suppressed and provide an in-depth understanding of the origin of the spin texture in hybrid perovskites, which is crucial for designing spintronic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b01004DOI Listing
June 2018

Dl-3-n-butylphthalide prevents the disruption of blood-spinal cord barrier via inhibiting endoplasmic reticulum stress following spinal cord injury.

Int J Biol Sci 2017 27;13(12):1520-1531. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

Molecular Pharmacology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, 325035 PR China.

After spinal cord injury (SCI), the destruction of blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) is shown to accelerate gathering of noxious blood-derived components in the nervous system, leading to secondary neurodegenerative damages. SCI activates endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress), which is considered to evoke secondary damages of neurons and glia. Recent evidence indicates that Dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) has the neuroprotective effect in ischaemic brain injury, but whether it has protective effects on SCI or not is largely unclear. Here, we show that NBP prevented BSCB disruption after SCI via inhibition of ER stress. Following a moderate contusion injury of the T9 level of spinal cord, NBP was administered by oral gavage and further treated once a day. NBP significantly attenuated BSCB permeability and breakdown of adherens junction (AJ) and tight junction (TJ) proteins, then improved locomotion recovery following SCI. The protective role of NBP on BSCB disruption is associated with the restrain of ER stress caused by SCI. Furthermore, NBP considerably constrained the expression of ER stress-associated proteins and degradation of TJ and AJ in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) treated with TG. In conclusion, our results indicate that ER stress is associated with the disruption of BSCB integrity after injury, NBP attenuates BSCB disruption via inhibiting ER stress and improve functional recovery following SCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/ijbs.21107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5723918PMC
July 2018

Magnetic resonance imaging analysis of brain function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

BMC Gastroenterol 2017 Dec 8;17(1):148. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Department of Gastroenterology, Lihuili Hospital of Ningbo Medical Center, 57# Xingning Road, Ningbo, 315000, China.

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The current study aimed to examine the association between visceral hypersensitivity in IBS and cortical activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and to elucidate the role of psychological factors in the pathogenesis of IBS.

Methods: The present study included 31 patients with IBS and 20 healthy controls. Cerebral function was assessed using fMRI. During imaging, a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube was placed within the rectum approximately 10 cm from the anus, following which gas was rapidly injected into the airbag using a 150-ml syringe. Images were obtained at 40 ml, 80 ml, and 120 ml of expansion. Psychological status was evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Results: Anxiety and depression scores were higher among patients with IBSthan among controls (both P < 0.05), although scores in both groups were below the level of clinical diagnosis. Brain activation in regions of interest (parietal areas, prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, anterior cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and thalamus) increased along with increases in rectal balloon dilation, except in women with IBS and patients with disease duration less than 5 years. Furthermore, region of interest (ROI) activation (such as the parietal region, prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, anterior cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and thalamus) differed significantly between the 40-ml and 120-ml conditions, and between the 80-ml and 120-ml conditions (P < 0.05), among patients with IBS with anxiety or depression scores less than 9 points.

Conclusions: Overall, our findings indicate that changes in brain activation due to changes in rectal balloon distension can be objectively and accurately measured using fMRI. Although our results indicated that visceral hypersensitivity during IBS is associated with changes in cortical activation, further studies utilizing larger sample sizes are required to more fully elucidate the association between psychological factors and visceral hypersensitivity in IBS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12876-017-0673-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721622PMC
December 2017

Dl-3-n-butylphthalide attenuates acute inflammatory activation in rats with spinal cord injury by inhibiting microglial TLR4/NF-κB signalling.

J Cell Mol Med 2017 Nov 25;21(11):3010-3022. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Department of Orthopaedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China.

In this study, we examined the neuroprotective effects and anti-inflammatory properties of Dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats following traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) as well as microglia activation and inflammatory response both in vivo and in vitro. Our results showed that NBP improved the locomotor recovery of SD rats after SCI an significantly diminished the lesion cavity area of the spinal cord, apoptotic activity in neurons, and the number of TUNEL-positive cells at 7 days post-injury. NBP inhibited activation of microglia, diminished the release of inflammatory mediators, and reduced the upregulation of microglial TLR4/NF-κB expression at 1 day post-injury. In a co-culture system with BV-2 cells and PC12 cells, NBP significantly reduced the cytotoxicity of BV-2 cells following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. In addition, NBP reduced the activation of BV-2 cells, diminished the release of inflammatory mediators, and inhibited microglial TLR4/NF-κB expression in BV-2 cells. Our findings demonstrate that NBP may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of SCI by inhibiting the activation of microglia via TLR4/NF-κB signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.13212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5661102PMC
November 2017
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