Publications by authors named "Xu Li"

4,326 Publications

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Recent advances in the synthesis of hierarchically mesoporous TiO materials for energy and environmental applications.

Natl Sci Rev 2020 Nov 14;7(11):1702-1725. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Department of Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, and iChEM, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.

Because of their low cost, natural abundance, environmental benignity, plentiful polymorphs, good chemical stability and excellent optical properties, TiO materials are of great importance in the areas of physics, chemistry and material science. Much effort has been devoted to the synthesis of TiO nanomaterials for various applications. Among them, mesoporous TiO materials, especially with hierarchically porous structures, show great potential owing to their extraordinarily high surface areas, large pore volumes, tunable pore structures and morphologies, and nanoscale effects. This review aims to provide an overview of the synthesis and applications of hierarchically mesoporous TiO materials. In the first section, the general synthetic strategies for hierarchically mesoporous TiO materials are reviewed. After that, we summarize the architectures of hierarchically mesoporous TiO materials, including nanofibers, nanosheets, microparticles, films, spheres, core-shell and multi-level structures. At the same time, the corresponding mechanisms and the key factors for the controllable synthesis are highlighted. Following this, the applications of hierarchically mesoporous TiO materials in terms of energy storage and environmental protection, including photocatalytic degradation of pollutants, photocatalytic fuel generation, photoelectrochemical water splitting, catalyst support, lithium-ion batteries and sodium-ion batteries, are discussed. Finally, we outline the challenges and future directions of research and development in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8288798PMC
November 2020

IgD promotes pannus formation by activating Wnt5A-Fzd5-CTHRC1-NF-κB signaling pathway in FLS of CIA rats and the regulation of IgD-Fc-Ig fusion protein.

Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Oct 20;101(Pt A):108261. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China; Key Laboratory of Anti-inflammatory and Immune Medicine, Ministry of Education, Hefei 230032, China; Anti-inflammatory Immune Drug Collaborative Innovation Center, Hefei 230032, Anhui Province, China; Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Center, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China. Electronic address:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation, synovial hyperplasia, cartilage degeneration, bone erosion, and pannus. Immunoglobulin D (IgD) plays an important role in autoimmune diseases although the content of it in vivo is low. Increased concentrations of anti-IgD autoantibodies have been detected in many RA patients. IgD-Fc-Ig fusion protein is constructed by connecting human IgD Fc domain and IgG1 Fc domain, which specifically block the IgD/ IgDR pathway and regulate the function of cells expressing IgDR to treat RA. The expression levels of Wnt5A and Frizzled 5 are higher in RA synovial tissue specimens. The complex of Wnt5A-Fzd5-LRP5/6-CTHRC1 promotes the expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α by activating nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB), leading to high expression of VEGF and participating in angiogenesis. VEGF is the strongest angiogenic factor found so far. Here, we aimed to explore whether IgD participates in synovitis by binding to IgDR and regulating the activation of Wnt5A-Fzd5-CTHRC1-NF-κB signaling pathway in fibroblast synovial cells (FLSs), whether IgD-Fc-Ig fusion protein inhibits VEGF production in FLS of CIA and explore mechanism. We found that IgDR is expressed on MH7A and FLS. IgD promotes VEGF expression by activating Wnt5A-Fzd5-CTHRC1-NF-κB signaling pathway in MH7A and FLS. After activation of Fzd5 with Wnt5A, IgD-Fc-Ig reduced VEGF-A level in the culture supernatant of MH7A stimulation by IgD. The expressions of CTHRC1, Fzd5, p-P65 and VEGF in MH7A and FLSs were down-regulated after IgD-Fc-Ig treatment. IgD-Fc-Ig suppressed the combination of CTHRC1 and Fzd5 as well. By using the animal model, we demonstrated that IgD-Fc-Ig suppress ankle CTHRC1 and Fzd5 production resulted in inhibition of index of joint inflammation of CIA rats, which were consistent with vitro results. Conclusively, IgD-Fc-Ig inhibits IgD and Wnt5A-induced angiogenesis and joint inflammation by suppressing the combination of CTHRC1 and Fzd5. Our results show that IgD-Fc-Ig exerts its suppressive effect on IgD and Wnt5A by Wnt5A-Fzd5-CTHRC1-NF-κB signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2021.108261DOI Listing
October 2021

Continuous Wave Laser Nanowelding Process of Ag Nanowires on Flexible Polymer Substrates.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Sep 27;11(10). Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.

In this paper we present the laser nanowelding process of silver nanowires (AgNWs) deposited on flexible polymer substrates by continuous wave (CW) lasers. CW lasers are cost-effective and can provide moderate power density, somewhere between nanosecond pulsed lasers and flash lamps, which is just enough to perform the nanowelding process efficiently and does not damage the nanowires on the polymer substrates. Here, an Nd:YAG CW laser (wavelength 532 nm) was used to perform the nanowelding of AgNWs on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates. Key process parameters such as laser power, scan speed, and number of scans were studied and optimized, and mechanisms of observed phenomena are discussed. Our best result demonstrates a sheet resistance of 12 ohm/squ with a transmittance at λ = 550 nm of 92% for AgNW films on PET substrates. A transparent resistive heater was made, and IR pictures were taken to show the high uniformity of the CW laser nanowelded AgNW film. Our findings show that highly effective and efficient nanowelding can be achieved without the need of expensive pulse lasers or light sources, which may contribute to lower the cost of mass producing AgNWs on flexible substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11102511DOI Listing
September 2021

Effect of High-Temperature Nitridation and Buffer Layer on Semi-Polar (10-13) AlN Grown on Sapphire by HVPE.

Micromachines (Basel) 2021 Sep 25;12(10). Epub 2021 Sep 25.

College of Mathematics and Physics, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.

We have investigated the effect of high-temperature nitridation and buffer layer on the semi-polar aluminum nitride (AlN) films grown on sapphire by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). It is found the high-temperature nitridation and buffer layer at 1300 °C are favorable for the formation of single (10-13) AlN film. Furthermore, the compressive stress of the (10-13) single-oriented AlN film is smaller than polycrystalline samples which have the low-temperature nitridation layer and buffer layer. On the one hand, the improvement of (10-13) AlN crystalline quality is possibly due to the high-temperature nitridation that promotes the coalescence of crystal grains. On the other hand, as the temperature of nitridation and buffer layer increases, the contents of N-Al-O and Al-O bonds in the AlN film are significantly reduced, resulting in an increase in the proportion of Al-N bonds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi12101153DOI Listing
September 2021

Effects of Shenfu injection on inflammatory factors and immune function in children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae: A protocol for a double-blind, randomized controlled trial.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Oct;100(42):e27585

Department of Clinical Lab, Weinan Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Shaanxi, Weinan Province, China.

Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) is a common infectious respiratory disease in pediatrics, and macrolide antibiotics are the optimal treatment option. In recent years, there is a significant increase in the resistance of this pathogen to macrolide antibiotics, which makes the clinical treatment of this disease increasingly complex. Shenfu injection (SFI), a herbal extract injection, has advantages of improving immune function, reducing inflammatory reaction, improving curative effect and shortening the course of disease in the treatment of pediatric MP. However, there is a lack of rigorous clinical studies to evaluate the effects of SFI on inflammatory factors and immune function in children with MP.

Methods: This study is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial protocol. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of SFI on inflammatory factors and immune function in children with MP. Patients meeting the inclusion criteria were randomized in a ratio of 1:1 to either the treatment group (azithromycin + 100 mL 5% glucose injection + 50 mL SFI) or the control group (azithromycin + 150 mL 5% glucose injection). Patients in both groups received the standard treatment for 7 days. The levels of inflammatory factor indexes (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-α) and immune function indexes (immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin M) in both groups were measured at the beginning of treatment, on the 3rd day of treatment and at the end of treatment. Besides, the time of improvement in clinical symptoms (duration of cough, time of disappearance of lung rales, time of fever reduction, and time of disappearance of lung X-ray infiltrative shadow) and adverse effects in both groups were recorded. Finally, the data were statistically analyzed by SPSS 20.0 software.

Discussion: In this study, an evaluation was conducted on the effects of SFI on inflammatory factors and immune function in pediatric MP. The results of this experiment will provide a clinical basis for the adjuvant treatment of pediatric MP with SFI.

Trial Registration: OSF Registration number.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000027585DOI Listing
October 2021

Role of miR-145-5p/ CD40 in the inflammation and apoptosis of HUVECs induced by PM.

Toxicology 2021 Oct 19:152993. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Jilin University, Changchun, China. Electronic address:

Fine particulate matter (PM) exposure can cause the injury of vascular endothelial cells by inflammatory response. CD40 works in inflammation of endothelial cells and it may be regulated by the miRNAs. This study aimed to clarify the role and mechanism of CD40 and miR-145-5p in PM-induced injury of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HUVECs were treated with different concentrations of PM exposure (0, 100, 200, 400 μg/mL) for 24 h. The si-RNA was used for CD40 gene silencing ( 0, 200 μg/mL PM, siRNA-CD40 and siRNA-CD40 + 200 μg/mL PM ). Mimics was used for overexpression of miR-145-5p (0, 200 μg/mL PM, mimics and mimics+200 μg/mL PM ). The cell viability of HUVECs was detected with Cell Counting Kit8 (CCK8) kit. The level of cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry. The inflammation-related factor including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-18 (IL-18), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and C1q complement/tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-associated proteins9 (CTRP9) were tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. The mRNA and protein expression levels of CD40, CD40L, caspase1, NLRP3 (Nod-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3) and IKKB were detected with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), Western blot and Immunofluorescence. Compared with the control group, the cell viability of HUVECs exposed to PM was significantly decreased (p < 0.05); the levels of IL-Iβ and TNF-α were significantly increased, while the level of CTRP9 was significantly decreased (p < 0.05). The proportion of apoptotic cells was increased after being treated with PM (p < 0.05). Besides, the mRNA and protein levels of CD40, CD40L, IKKB, NLRP3 and caspase1 were increased comparing with the control group (p < 0.05). After CD40 silencing, the condition of inflammation and apoptosis in HUVECs exposed to PM was alleviated, and the expression levels of CD40 L, IKKB, NLRP3 and caspase1 were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Furthermore, miR-145-5p was significantly down-regulated after exposure to 200μg/mL PM (p < 0.05). After over-expression of miR-145-5p, the expression level of CD40 was decreased (p < 0.05). Taken together, PM can cause inflammation and apoptosis of HUVECs via the activation of CD40, which can be regulated by miR-145-5p. Over-expression of miR-145-5p can down-regulate CD40, further inhibiting the inflammation and apoptosis of HUVECs induced by PM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2021.152993DOI Listing
October 2021

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and thyroid: biological mechanisms of interference and possible clinical implications.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 22. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Jilin University, 1163 Xin Min Street, Changchun, 130021, China.

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a ubiquitous environmental endocrine disruptor. DEHP can be absorbed into the human body through the air, food, water, and skin. After entering the human body, DEHP is rapidly converted to mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) with greater toxicity than DEHP. An increasing number of studies indicates that DEHP or MEHP can damage the thyroid tissue and disrupt the function, but the mechanisms remain unclear. This article reviews the toxicity of DEHP on thyroid structures and functions and summarizes the potential mechanisms to provide evidence for preventing the thyroid-related diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-17027-yDOI Listing
October 2021

Antithrombotic strategy and its relationship with outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation and chronic coronary syndrome.

J Thromb Thrombolysis 2021 Oct 22. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, Capital Medical University, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100029, People's Republic of China.

This study aimed to explore antithrombotic strategy and its relationship with outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at high risk for stroke and chronic coronary syndrome (CCS) in real-world clinical practice. Patients with AF at high risk for stroke complicated with CCS from China Atrial Fibrillation Registry (CAFR) were enrolled. The patients were divided into non-antithrombotic (Non-AT) group, oral anticoagulants (OAC) group, antiplatelet therapy (APT) group (aspirin or clopidogrel), and dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) group (aspirin + clopidogrel) according to their antithrombotic strategies at baseline. The patients with OAC + single antiplatelet drug (14 cases) and OAC + dual antiplatelet therapy (7 cases) were excluded for the small sample size. The primary effectiveness outcome was the composite outcome of coronary events, thromboembolism, and all-cause mortality. The primary safety outcome was major bleeding events. From 2011 to 2018, 25,512 patients were included in the CARF study, 769 patients with AF at high risk for stroke and CCS were enrolled in this study. After a follow-up of 47.4 ± 25.3 months, the incidences of primary effectiveness outcome were 44.6%, 25.7%, 43.6%, and 29.1% in the four groups, respectively (P < 0.001). The incidences of primary effectiveness and all-cause mortality were both significantly lower in the OAC group than in the Non-AT group, (25.7% vs. 44.6%, HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.39-0.73, P < 0.001) and (14.6% vs. 38.5%, HR 0.36, 95%CI 0.25-0.52, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, age (HR 1.03, 95%CI 1.01-1.05, P = 0.015), heart failure (HR 1.67, 95%CI 1.20-2.33, P = 0.002) and OAC (HR 0.66, 95%CI 0.47-0.91, P = 0.012) were independent factors for the composite outcome. There was no significant difference in major bleeding events between the four groups. OAC monotherapy significantly reduced the primary effectiveness composite outcome and all-cause mortality in the patients with AF at high risk for stroke complicated with CCS. However, there was no significant difference in major bleeding among the different antithrombotic strategies.Trial Registration www.chictr.org.cn (No. ChiCTR-OCH-13003729).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11239-021-02588-zDOI Listing
October 2021

Protective Effects of Hif2 Inhibitor PT-2385 on a Neurological Disorder Induced by Deficiency of Irp2.

Front Neurosci 2021 5;15:715222. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.

Iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2) deficiency in mice and humans causes microcytic anemia and neurodegeneration due to functional cellular iron depletion. Our previous data have demonstrated that Irp2 depletion upregulates hypoxia-inducible factor subunits Hif1α and Hif2α expression; inhibition of Hif2α rescues Irp2 ablation-induced mitochondrial dysfunction; and inhibition of Hif1α suppresses the overdose production of lactic acid derived from actively aerobic glycolysis. We wonder whether Hif1α and Hif2α are also elevated and play a similar role in neurological disorder of mice. In this study, we confirmed the upregulation of Hif2α, not Hif1α, in tissues, particularly in the central nervous system including the mainly affected cerebellum and spinal cord of mice. Consistent with this observation, inhibition of Hif2α by PT-2385, not Hif1α by PX-478, prevented neurodegenerative symptoms, which were proved by Purkinje cell arrangement from the shrunken and irregular to the full and regular array. PT-2385 treatment did not only modulate mitochondrial morphology and quality but also suppressed glycolysis. Consequently, the shift of energy metabolism from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) was reversed. Our results indicate that Irp2 depletion-induced Hif2α is, , in charge of the switch between OXPHOS and glycolysis, suggesting that, for the first time to our knowledge, Hif2α is a clinically potential target in the treatment of IRP2 deficiency-induced neurodegenerative syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.715222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8525628PMC
October 2021

Meta-analysis of COVID-19 single-cell studies confirms eight key immune responses.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 21;11(1):20833. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

Several single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) studies analyzing immune response to COVID-19 infection have been recently published. Most of these studies have small sample sizes, which limits the conclusions that can be made with high confidence. By re-analyzing these data in a standardized manner, we validated 8 of the 20 published results across multiple datasets. In particular, we found a consistent decrease in T-cells with increasing COVID-19 infection severity, upregulation of type I Interferon signal pathways, presence of expanded B-cell clones in COVID-19 patients but no consistent trend in T-cell clonal expansion. Overall, our results show that the conclusions drawn from scRNA-seq data analysis of small cohorts of COVID-19 patients need to be treated with some caution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00121-zDOI Listing
October 2021

Association of atrial arrhythmias with thrombospondin-1 in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 Oct 20;21(1):507. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Heart Center and Beijing Key Laboratory of Hypertension, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100020, China.

Objectives: Atrial remodeling is the main developmental cause of atrial arrhythmias (AA), which may induce atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia, and frequent premature atrial beats in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) has been shown to play an important role in inflammatory and fibrotic processes, but its role in atrial arrhythmias is not well described. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of TSP-1 in AMI patients with atrial arrhythmias.

Methods: A total of 219 patients with AMI who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention and with no previous arrhythmias were included. TSP-1 were analyzed in plasma samples. Patients were classified into 2 groups, namely, with and without AA during the acute phase of MI. Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring was used for AA diagnosis in hospital.

Results: Twenty-four patients developed AA. Patients with AA had higher TSP-1 levels (29.01 ± 25.87 μg/mL vs 18.36 ± 10.89 μg/mL, p < 0.001) than those without AA. AA patients also tended to be elderly (65.25 ± 9.98 years vs 57.47 ± 10.78 years, p < 0.001), had higher Hs-CRP (39.74 ± 43.50 mg/L vs 12.22 ± 19.25 mg/L, p < 0.001) and worse heart function. TSP-1 (OR 1.033; 95% CI 1.003-1.065, p = 0.034), Hs-CRP (OR 1.023; 95% CI 1.006-1.041, p = 0.008), age (OR 1.067; 95% CI 1.004-1.135, p = 0.038) and LVDd (OR 1.142; 95% CI 1.018-1.282, p = 0.024) emerged as independent risk factors for AA in AMI patients.

Conclusion: TSP-1 is a potential novel indicator of atrial arrhythmias during AMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02322-wDOI Listing
October 2021

Complete loss of miR-200 family induces EMT associated cellular senescence in gastric cancer.

Oncogene 2021 Oct 19. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Department of General Surgery, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200080, China.

The EMT (epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition) subtype of gastric cancer (GC) is associated with poor treatment responses and unfavorable clinical outcomes. Despite the broad physiological roles of the micro-RNA (miR)-200 family, they largely serve to maintain the overall epithelial phenotype. However, during late-stage gastric tumorigenesis, members of the miR-200 family are markedly suppressed, resulting in the transition to the mesenchymal state and the acquisition of invasive properties. As such, the miR-200 family represents a robust molecular marker of EMT, and subsequently, disease severity and prognosis. Most reports have studied the effect of single miR-200 family member knockdown. Here, we employ a multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate a complete miR-200 family knockout (FKO) to investigate their collective and summative role in regulating key cellular processes during GC pathogenesis. Genetic deletion of all miR-200s in the human GC cell lines induced potent morphological alterations, G1/S cell cycle arrest, increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) activity, and aberrant metabolism, collectively resembling the senescent phenotype. Coupling RNA-seq data with publicly available datasets, we revealed a clear separation of senescent and non-senescent states amongst FKO cells and control cells, respectively. Further analysis identified key senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) components in FKO cells and a positive feedback loop for maintenance of the senescent state controlled by activation of TGF-β and TNF-α pathways. Finally, we showed that miR-200 FKO associated senescence in cancer epithelial cells significantly recruited stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. Our work has identified a new role of miR-200 family members which function as an integrated unit serving to link senescence with EMT, two major conserved biological processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-02067-yDOI Listing
October 2021

Peroxisome proliferator‑activated receptor β/δ regulates cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage via modulating vascular smooth muscle cells phenotypic conversion.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Dec 19;24(6). Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215026, P.R. China.

Cerebral vasospasm (CVS) is a common complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with high deformity rates and cerebral vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) phenotypic switch is considered to be involved in the regulation of CVS. However, to the best of the authors' knowledge, its underlying molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated. Peroxisome proliferator‑activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) has been demonstrated to be involved in the modulation of vascular cells proliferation and maintains the autoregulation function of blood vessels. The present study investigated the potential effect of PPARβ/δ on CVS following SAH. A model of SAH was established by endovascular perforation on male adult Sprague‑Dawley rats, and the adenovirus PPARβ/δ (Ad‑PPARβ/δ) was injected via intracerebroventricular administration prior to SAH. The expression levels of phenotypic markers α‑smooth muscle actin and embryonic smooth muscle myosin heavy chain were measured via western blotting or immunofluorescence staining. The basilar artery diameter and vessel wall thickness were evaluated under fluorescence microscopy. SAH grade, neurological scores, brain water content and brain swelling were measured to study the mechanisms of PPARβ/δ on vascular smooth muscle phenotypic transformation. It was revealed that the expression levels of synthetic proteins were upregulated in rats with SAH and this was accompanied by CVS. Activation of PPARβ/δ using Ad‑PPARβ/δ markedly upregulated the contractile proteins elevation, restrained the synthetic proteins expression and attenuated SAH‑induced CVS by regulating the phenotypic switch in VSMCs at 72 h following SAH. Furthermore, the preliminary study demonstrated that PPARβ/δ downregulated ERK activity and decreased the expression of phosphorylated (p‑)ETS domain‑containing protein Elk‑1 and p‑p90 ribosomal S6 kinase, which have been demonstrated to serve an important role in VSMC phenotypic change. Additionally, it was revealed that Ad‑PPARβ/δ could positively improve CVS by ameliorating the diameter of the basilar artery and mitigating the thickness of the vascular wall. Furthermore, subsequent experiments demonstrated that Ad‑PPARβ/δ markedly reduced the brain water content and brain swelling and improved the neurological outcome. Taken together, the present study identified PPARβ/δ as a useful regulator for the VSMCs phenotypic switch and attenuating CVS following SAH, thereby providing novel insights into the therapeutic strategies of delayed cerebral ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12500DOI Listing
December 2021

Characteristics, distribution, and children exposure assessment of 13 metals in household dust in China: A big data pilot study.

Indoor Air 2021 Oct 18. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

China CDC Key Laboratory of Environment and Population Health, National Institute of Environmental Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.

To explore the pollution characteristics of metals in household dust in China and their exposure to children, this study searched peer-reviewed papers published during 1980-2020 and analyzed 30 eligible papers screened under the per-decided strategy. We evaluated the sample-weighted concentration (SWC) of each metal, explored the sources of metals, and presented the quantitative description of spatial-temporary characteristics and children exposure to 13 metals with multi-route under a general living scenario. The results showed the concentrations of 13 metals with a range of 0.89-29 090.19 mg/kg. The SWC of Cd in household dust from rural areas was 3.29 times of that from urban areas, while the SWC of Ni from urban areas was 3.71 times of that from rural areas. The results showed that four principal components were extracted, and the cumulative contribution rate reached 79.127%. The exposure dose of 13 metals to children aged 2-3 years was presented with the highest by ingestion. Metals such as Fe, Zn, and Mn posed inevitable health risk to children with high exposure. Countermeasures should be carried out to minimize the children exposure to metals in household dust urgently, such as the establishment of environmental health standard for household dust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12943DOI Listing
October 2021

Modified minimally invasive technique for decompression and reduction of thoracolumbar burst fracture with neurological symptoms: Technical Note.

J Orthop Surg Res 2021 Oct 18;16(1):626. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Spine Center, Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230001, Anhui, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: There are few reports about minimally invasive decompression and fixation for patients with thoracolumbar fracture and neurological symptoms. The previously reported method requires complete laminectomy, and removal of the medial part of the pedicle to expose the spinal canal for reduction. Thus, some approach-related damage to the bony structure and soft tissue still occurs. This study was performed to describe a modified minimally invasive tube technique for decompression and reduction of thoracolumbar fracture with neurological symptoms. This modified technique preserves most of the posterior structures of the spine as well as the muscle.

Methods: Percutaneous pedicle screws were placed on the vertebrae superior and inferior to the fracture and at the fracture segment on the side with less severe symptoms. After retraction, the tube for decompression was placed on the facet joint where the decompression was needed. Under microscopic vision, part of the lamina and ligamentum flavum were removed to expose the spinal canal, and an L-shaped probe was used to reduce the bone fragment.

Results: The modified method was successfully used in eight patients. Complete decompression was achieved and the bone fragment was safely reduced through the tube under microscopy in all cases. Fluoroscopy confirmed that the positioning of the percutaneous pedicle screw was good and the bone fragment was reduced. The neurological status was improved in all patients at last follow up.

Conclusion: The modified method of minimally invasive decompression and fusion is effective in treating thoracolumbar fractures with neurological symptoms and preserves most of the ligaments and bone structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-021-02783-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8525019PMC
October 2021

UBTF facilitates melanoma progression via modulating MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling pathways by promoting GIT1 transcription.

Cancer Cell Int 2021 Oct 18;21(1):543. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Center for Translational Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710061, China.

Background: UBTF is an HMGB-box DNA binding protein and a necessary Pol I/Pol II basal transcription factor. It has been found that UBTF involves in carcinogenesis and progression of a few cancers. Nevertheless, the the biological function and potential molecular mechanism of UBTF in melanoma are still not clear and need to be clarified.

Methods: UBTF and GIT1 expressions in melanoma specimens and cell lines were examined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. MTT and colony formation assays were used to investigate the effects of UBTF and GIT1 on melanoma cell proliferation. Cell cycle and apoptosis assays were detected by flow cytometry. Tumor formation assay was used to analyze the effect of UBTF on melanoma growth. Bioinformatics predicting, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-qRT-PCR and reporter gene assay were fulfilled for verifing GIT1 as UBTF targeting gene.

Results: Here we reported that UBTF mRNA and protein expressions were upregulated in primary melanoma specimens and cell lines. UBTF overexpression facilitated melanoma cell proliferation and cell cycle progression and restrained. Silencing UBTF suppressed cell multiplication, cell cycle progression and tumor growth, and promoted apoptosis. UBTF expression was positively related with GIT1 expression in human melanoma tissues. It was verified that UBTF promoted GIT1 transcription in melanoma cells through binding to the promoter region of GIT1. Furthermore, GIT1 overexpression promoted melanoma cell growth and suppressed apoptosis. Knockdown of GIT1 inhibited cell multiplication and induced apoptosis. Overexpression of GIT1 eliminated the effects of silencing UBTF on melanoma cells. Importantly, UBTF activated MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling pathways by upregulating GIT1 expression.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that UBTF promotes melanoma cell proliferation and cell cycle progression by promoting GIT1 transcription, thereby activating MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling pathways. The findings indicate that UBTF plays a crucial function in melanoma and may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12935-021-02237-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8522148PMC
October 2021

The Psychological Effect of Internet-Based Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on the Survivors of Breast Cancer During the COVID-19.

Front Psychiatry 2021 30;12:738579. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Department of Psychiatry, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China.

To examine the efficacy and the role of engagement of an internet-based Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (iMBSR) for survivors of breast cancer (BC) during the COVID-19 period from January to March in 2020 in China. 48 survivors of BC were divided into the absentees group and the iMBSR groups according to their attending to the standardized, group-based, 8-week iMBSR. Based on practice time, survivors of BC in the iMBSR were categorized into three subgroups: group 1 (<30 min/day), group 2 (30-60 min/day), and group 3 (>60 min/day). In addition, participants were classified as partial attendees (<4 sessions) and completers (more than 4 sessions) of the iMBSR groups. All participants were evaluated for symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia at baseline, mid-intervention, and post-intervention. After an 8-week iMBSR practice, at mid-intervention and post-intervention, participants in iMBSR group had significant improvement in scores and reduction rates of depression, anxiety, and insomnia compared to absentees. Scores of depression and insomnia, reduction rates of depression at post-intervention, scores of anxiety, reduction rates of anxiety and insomnia at mid-intervention and post-intervention, had significant differences among subgroups of practice time. Daily practice time was positively related to reduction rates of depression, anxiety and insomnia at post-intervention in the iMBSR group. Internet-based MBSR showed efficacy in reducing psychological symptoms among survivors of BC. For survivors of BC, iMBSR practice has a potential dose-response efficacy, with a threshold of >30 min daily practice for most optimal symptoms reduction. Registration number is [ChiCTR2100044309].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.738579DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8514713PMC
September 2021

Unfractionated Heparin Attenuated Histone-Induced Pulmonary Syndecan-1 Degradation in Mice: a Preliminary Study on the Roles of Heparinase Pathway.

Inflammation 2021 Oct 16. Epub 2021 Oct 16.

Department of Critical Care Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, North Nanjing Street 155, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning Province, People's Republic of China.

Endothelial glycocalyx degradation is thought to facilitate the development of sepsis. Histone is a significant mediator in sepsis. Unfractionated heparin (UFH) possessed beneficial effects on sepsis. Thereby, this study aims to figure out whether histone can disrupt glycocalyx and to investigate the protective effect and mechanism of UFH. Male mice (C57BL/6, 8-10 weeks old, weighing 20-25 g) were randomly divided into five groups including control group, histone group, histone + UFH group, histone + heparinase (HPA) inhibitor group, and histone + UFH + HPA inhibitor group. The mice were treated with histone (50 mg/kg) via tail vein immediately after HPA (20 mg/kg) injection. UFH (400 U/kg) was injected 1h after histone administration. The other groups were injected with equal volume of sterile saline accordingly. UFH alleviated histone-induced lung injury and pulmonary edema. UFH inhibited histone-induced lung coagulation activation and inflammatory response. UFH treatment markedly inhibited pulmonary glycocalyx degradation by reducing the histone-induced decrease in the levels of lung syndecan-1 mRNA and protein. UFH downregulated histone-induced expression of HPA mRNA and protein, and thus alleviated glycocalyx degradation. UFH protects against histone-induced pulmonary glycocalyx injury partly by heparinase pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10753-021-01578-wDOI Listing
October 2021

Soluble programmed death molecule 1 (sPD-1) as a predictor of interstitial lung disease in rheumatoid arthritis.

BMC Immunol 2021 Oct 15;22(1):69. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

Department of Rheumatology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310009, China.

Background: Previous studies have indicated that the programmed death molecule 1 (PD-1) signaling pathway may play a key role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis-related interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD) is not clear. We examined the serum levels of soluble PD-1 in patients with RA and its relationship with RA-ILD.

Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 87 patients with RA (58 with ILD and 29 without ILD) and 45 healthy controls. Serum sPD-1 was measured by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay. The pulmonary interstitial disease score was completed by a pulmonary physician and a radiologist through chest high-resolution computed tomography. Patients with RA-ILD were tested for lung function [e.g., forced vital capacity (FVC%), diffusing capacity of lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO%)]. Associations between ILD and various markers, including sPD-1 and confounding factors, were investigated by logistic regression analysis. Diagnostic values of sPD-1 for the presence of ILD were investigated using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Results: Serum sPD-1 levels were higher in RA patients with ILD than in RA patients without ILD and healthy controls (185.1 ± 109.0 pg/ml vs. 119.1 ± 77.5 pg/ml vs. 52.1 ± 21.7 pg/ml, P < 0.05). Serum sPD-1 levels were positively correlated with RF titer (P = 0.02, r = 0.249), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody status (P = 0.02, r = 0.243), and serum IgG levels (P < 0.001, r = 0.368), negatively associated with FVC% (P = 0.02, r = - 0.344), forced expiratory volume (FEV1%) (P  = 0.01, r = - 0.354), total lung capacity (TLC%) (P = 0.046, r = - 0.302), and was independently associated with the presence of ILD in RA patients by multivariate logistic regression analysis. The sensitivity and specificity of sPD-1 levels for the detection of ILD in RA patients were 58.6% and 75.9%, respectively. The area under the curve was 0.689.

Conclusion: Serum sPD-1 levels were increased in RA patients with ILD. Increased sPD-1 may be a valuable biomarker to predict the presence of ILD in patients with RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12865-021-00460-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8518160PMC
October 2021

Sensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) determination of nitrofurazone by β-cyclodextrin-protected AuNPs/γ-AlO nanoparticles.

Food Chem 2021 Sep 6;370:131059. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

College of Chemistry, Changchun Normal University, Changchun 130032, China.

A novel surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) method for the determination of nitrofurazone was developed using AuNPs/γ-AlO nanoparticles protected by β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) as substrate prepared in our lab. The optimum experimental conditions were obtained from single factor procedure and response surface modeling. A linear relationship (I = 508.96c + 31987.87, c: nmol L, R = 0.996) between SERS intensity and the concentration of nitrofurazone in the range of 3.3 - 667.0 nmol L was established, the limit of detection (LOD) was found at nmol L level (0.37 nmol L by 3S/S). The selectivity for the method was studied by the influences of foreign substances on the determination. The recoveries and RSD (n = 5) for the six meat samples were 95.1 % - 104.5% and 2.4 % - 4.8% respectively, which suggesting that the new SERS method was successfully to detecting nitrofurazone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.131059DOI Listing
September 2021

Hepatic Arterial Infusion of Oxaliplatin, Fluorouracil, and Leucovorin Versus Transarterial Chemoembolization for Large Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Randomized Phase III Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Oct 14:JCO2100608. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

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

Purpose: In a previous phase II trial, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) with infusional fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) yielded higher treatment responses than transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in large unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. We aimed to compare the overall survival of patients treated with FOLFOX-HAIC versus TACE as first-line treatment in this population.

Methods: In this randomized, multicenter, open-label trial, adults with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (largest diameter ≥ 7 cm) without macrovascular invasion or extrahepatic spread were randomly assigned 1:1 to FOLFOX-HAIC (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m, leucovorin 400 mg/m, fluorouracil bolus 400 mg/m on day 1, and fluorouracil infusion 2,400 mg/m for 24 hours, once every 3 weeks) or TACE (epirubicin 50 mg, lobaplatin 50 mg, and lipiodol and polyvinyl alcohol particles). The primary end point was overall survival by intention-to-treat analysis. Safety was assessed in patients who received ≥ 1 cycle of study treatment.

Results: Between October 1, 2016, and November 23, 2018, 315 patients were randomly assigned to FOLFOX-HAIC (n = 159) or TACE (n = 156). The median overall survival in the FOLFOX-HAIC group was 23.1 months (95% CI, 18.5 to 27.7) versus 16.1 months (95% CI, 14.3 to 17.9) in the TACE group (hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.75; < .001). The FOLFOX-HAIC group showed a higher response rate than the TACE group (73 [46%] 28 [18%]; < .001) and a longer median progression-free survival (9.6 [95% CI, 7.4 to 11.9] 5.4 months [95% CI, 3.8 to 7.0], < .001). The incidence of serious adverse events was higher in the TACE group than in the FOLFOX-HAIC group (30% 19%, = .03). Two deaths in the FOLFOX-HAIC group and two in the TACE group were deemed to be treatment-related.

Conclusion: FOLFOX-HAIC significantly improved overall survival over TACE in patients with unresectable large hepatocellular carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00608DOI Listing
October 2021

WTD Attenuating Rheumatoid Arthritis Suppressing Angiogenesis and Modulating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR/HIF-1α Pathway.

Front Pharmacol 2021 27;12:696802. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Wutou Decoction (WTD), as a classic prescription, has been generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for two thousand years in China. However, the potential protective effects of WTD on rheumatoid arthritis and its possible mechanism have rarely been reported. The aim of this study was to explore the possible mechanism of WTD against RA and a promising alternative candidate for RA therapy. A model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was constructed in rats to assess the therapeutic effects of WTD. Histopathological staining, immunofluorescence, and western blotting of synovial sections were conducted to detect the antiangiogenic effects of WTD. Then, cell viability assays, flow cytometry, scratch healing assays, and invasion assays were conducted to explore the effects of WTD on MH7A human fibroblast-like synoviocyte (FLS) cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion . The ability of WTD to induce blood vessel formation after MH7A cell and human umbilical vein endothelial cell line (HUVEC) coculture with WTD intervention was detected by a tube formation assay. The mechanisms of WTD were screened by network pharmacology and confirmed by and experiments. WTD ameliorated the symptoms and synovial pannus hyperplasia of CIA rats. Treatment with WTD inhibited MH7A cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and promoted MH7A apoptosis. WTD could inhibit MH7A cell expression of proangiogenic factors, including VEGF and ANGI, to induce HUVEC tube formation. Furthermore, the PI3K-AKT-mTOR-HIF-1α pathway was enriched as a potential target of WTD for the treatment of RA through network pharmacology enrichment analysis. Finally, it was confirmed and that WTD inhibits angiogenesis in RA by interrupting the PI3K-AKT-mTOR-HIF-1α pathway. WTD can inhibit synovial hyperplasia and angiogenesis, presumably by inhibiting the migration and invasion of MH7A cells and blocking the production of proangiogenic effectors in MH7A cells. The possible underlying mechanism by which WTD ameliorates angiogenesis in RA is the PI3K-AKT-mTOR-HIF-1α pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.696802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8502817PMC
September 2021

Targeting adipocytic discoidin domain receptor 2 impedes fat gain while increasing bone mass.

Cell Death Differ 2021 Oct 13. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

Center for Translational Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

Obesity is closely associated with low-bone-mass disorder. Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) plays essential roles in skeletal metabolism, and is probably involved in fat metabolism. To test the potential role of DDR2 in fat and fat-bone crosstalk, Ddr2 conditional knockout mice (Ddr2) were generated in which Ddr2 gene is exclusively deleted in adipocytes by Adipoq Cre. We found that Ddr2 mice are protected from fat gain on high-fat diet, with significantly decreased adipocyte size. Ddr2 mice exhibit significantly increased bone mass and mechanical properties, with enhanced osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. Marrow adipocyte is diminished in the bone marrow of Ddr2 mice, due to activation of lipolysis. Fatty acid in the bone marrow was reduced in Ddr2 mice. RNA-Seq analysis identified adenylate cyclase 5 (Adcy5) as downstream molecule of Ddr2. Mechanically, adipocytic Ddr2 modulates Adcy5-cAMP-PKA signaling, and Ddr2 deficiency stimulates lipolysis and supplies fatty acid for oxidation in osteoblasts, leading to the enhanced osteoblast differentiation and bone mass. Treatment of Adcy5 specific inhibitor abolishes the increased bone mass gain in Ddr2 mice. These observations establish, for the first time, that Ddr2 plays an essential role in the crosstalk between fat and bone. Targeting adipocytic Ddr2 may be a potential strategy for treating obesity and pathological bone loss simultaneously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-021-00887-9DOI Listing
October 2021

Hippocampus-Prefrontal Coupling Regulates Recognition Memory for Novelty Discrimination.

J Neurosci 2021 Oct 11. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, 4072, Queensland, Australia

Recognition memory provides the ability to distinguish familiar from novel objects and places and is important for recording and updating events to guide appropriate behaviour. The hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have both been implicated in recognition memory, but the nature of HPC-mPFC interactions, and its impact on local circuits in mediating this process is not known. Here we show that novelty discrimination is accompanied with higher theta (4-10 Hz) activity and increased c-Fos expression in both these regions. Moreover, theta oscillations were highly coupled between the HPC and mPFC during recognition memory retrieval for novelty discrimination, with the HPC leading the mPFC, but not during initial learning. Principal neurons and interneurons in the mPFC responded more strongly during recognition memory retrieval compared to learning. Optogenetic silencing of HPC input to the mPFC disrupted coupled theta activity between these two structures, as well as the animals' (male Sprague-Dawley rats) ability to differentiate novel from familiar objects. These results reveal a key role of monosynaptic connections between the HPC and mPFC in novelty discrimination via theta coupling and identify neural populations that underlie this recognition memory-guided behaviour.Many memory processes are highly dependent on the inter-regional communication between the HPC and mPFC via neural oscillations. However, how these two brain regions coordinate their oscillatory activity to engage local neural populations to mediate recognition memory for novelty discrimination is poorly understood. This study revealed that the HPC and mPFC theta oscillations and their temporal coupling is correlated with recognition memory-guided behaviour. During novel object recognition, the HPC drives mPFC interneurons to effectively reduce the activity of principal neurons. This study provides the first evidence for the requirement of the HPC-mPFC pathway to mediate recognition memory for novelty discrimination and describes a mechanism for how this memory is regulated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1202-21.2021DOI Listing
October 2021

Correction to: Online MR evaluation of inter- and intra-fraction uterus motions and bladder volume changes during cervical cancer external beam radiotherapy.

Radiat Oncol 2021 Oct 12;16(1):200. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Radiation Oncology Physics and Technology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong First Medical University and Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, No.440 Jiyan road, Huaiyin district, Jinan City, 250117, Shandong Province, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-021-01922-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8513248PMC
October 2021

The Characteristics of Mercury Flux at the Interfaces between Two Typical Plants and the Air in Grasslands.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 09 26;18(19). Epub 2021 Sep 26.

Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China.

Mercury is a global pollutant. The mercury exchanges between vegetation and the atmosphere are important for the global mercury cycle. Grassland ecosystems occupy more than 25% of the global land area and have different succession processes and ecological functions. The current research regarding mercury exchanges between forests and the atmosphere have attracted much attention, but the research regarding grasslands tends to be rare. To reveal the characteristics of mercury exchanges in grasslands, this study conducted field in-situ monitoring experiments in a meadow grassland regions of the Songnen Plains in northeastern China. The exchange flux values of the GEM (gaseous element mercury) between the plants and the atmosphere were measured using a dynamic flux bag method (DFB). The experiments were conducted for the purpose of assessing the mercury flux levels between the vegetation and the atmosphere in a typical meadow. The goal was to further the understanding of the change characteristics and influential factors and to describe the source and sink actions and dynamics between the grassland vegetation and the atmosphere. The diurnal variation characteristics were as follows: High during the day and low at night, with peaks generally appearing at noon. The growing period was characterized by absorption peaks of atmospheric mercury by the plants. The breeding period was characterized by the peak release of atmospheric mercury by the plants. The change characteristics were as follows: During the growing period, the duration of the plants in a mercury absorption state exceeded 96.5%, which was represented as the net sink of the atmospheric mercury. During the breeding period, the time of mercury release ranged between 46.4% and 66.8%, making the breeding period the net source of atmospheric mercury. The results of this study's analysis indicated that each environmental factor was correlated with the mercury flux, and the environmental factors had different effects on the mercury flux during the different stages of plant growth. The atmospheric mercury concentration levels were the main factor during the growing period. Atmospheric humidity was the main factor during the breeding period. Solar radiation was the decisive factor during the entire experimental period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507851PMC
September 2021

A Novel Cre/-Based Genetic Tool for Repeated, Targeted and Markerless Gene Integration in .

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Oct 4;22(19). Epub 2021 Oct 4.

Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China.

The unconventional yeast is extensively applied in bioproduction fields owing to its excellent metabolite and protein production ability. Nonetheless, utilization of this promising host is still restricted by the limited availability of precise and effective gene integration tools. In this study, a novel and efficient genetic tool was developed for targeted, repeated, and markerless gene integration based on Cre/ site-specific recombination system. The developed tool required only a single selection marker and could completely excise the unnecessary sequences. A total of three plasmids were created and seven rounds of marker-free gene integration were examined in . All the integration efficiencies remained above 90%, and analysis of the protein production and growth characteristics of the engineered strains confirmed that genome modification via the novel genetic tool was feasible. Further work also confirmed that the genetic tool was effective for the integration of other genes, loci, and strains. Thus, this study significantly promotes the application of the Cre/ system and presents a powerful tool for genome engineering in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8509416PMC
October 2021

Comparison Between Portal Vein Perfusion Chemotherapy and Neoadjuvant Hepatic Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy for Resectable Intermediate to Advanced Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Liver Surgery, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.

Background: Patients with intermediate to advanced stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] stage B/C) have few choices of curable treatments and thus suffer from dismal outcomes. Although surgical resection could prolong survival in certain selected patients with BCLC stage B/C HCC, the frequent postoperative recurrence and poor survival of these patients need to be improved by combining other therapies perioperatively.

Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the survival associations of adjuvant portal vein perfusion chemotherapy (PVC) and neoadjuvant hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) in patients with resectable BCLC stage B/C HCC.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in consecutive patients who underwent R0 resection for intermediate to advanced stage HCC, combined with either PVC or HAIC perioperatively between January 2017 and December 2018. Patients treated with PVC or HAIC were analyzed according to intention-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) principles, respectively. The chemotherapy regimen of adjuvant PVC and neoadjuvant HAIC included 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin/oxaliplatin. Survival analysis and Cox regression for overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were used to compare the outcomes.

Results: Among all 64 patients enrolled in this study, 28 received perioperative PVC and 36 received HAIC for ITT analysis. Age (median 44.00 vs. 46.50 years; p = 0.364), sex (male: 25/28 vs. 35/36; p = 0.435), and tumor size (median 9.55 vs. 8.10 cm; p = 0.178) were comparable between the two groups. In the ITT analysis, the median OS was significantly longer in patients in the HAIC group compared with the PVC group (median OS not reached vs. 19.47 months; p = 0.004); in the PP analysis, patients who received neoadjuvant HAIC followed by hepatectomy presented with much better EFS than patients in the PVC group (modified EFS 16.90 vs. 3.17 months; p = 0.022); and in the multivariate analysis, neoadjuvant HAIC presented as a significant predictor for enhanced EFS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.296; p = 0.007) and OS (HR 0.095; p = 0.007) for BCLC stage B/C HCC patients who received hepatectomy.

Conclusions: Compared with adjuvant PVC, neoadjuvant HAIC treatment was associated with better survival and fewer recurrences in HCC patients who received R0 resection at the intermediate to advanced stage. These results need to be further validated prospectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10903-4DOI Listing
October 2021

Measurement of visceral fat and abdominal obesity by single-frequency bioelectrical impedance and CT: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open 2021 Oct 11;11(10):e048221. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Durham University, Durham, UK.

Objectives: The measurement of visceral fat (VF) is clinically important for the identification of individuals at high risk of visceral obesity-related health conditions. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a widely available and frequently used body composition assessment method, but there have been few validation studies for the measurement of VF. This validation study investigated agreement between BIA and CT for the assessment of VF in adults.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Between 2015 and 2016 in China.

Participants: A total of 414 adults (119 men and 295 women) aged 40-82 years.

Primary And Secondary Outcome Measures: CT-visceral fat area (VFA) was derived at the L2-3 and umbilicus level and VFA cut-offs for visceral obesity applied. BIA measurements of visceral fat level were compared with CT VFA findings using scatter plots and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves.

Results: Scatter plots showed poor agreement between BIA and CT-derived visceral fat measurements in both sexes (R=0.387-0.636). ROC curves gave optimum figures for sensitivity and specificity of 65% and 69% in women and 76% and 70% in men, respectively, for BIA to discriminate between adults with normal levels of VF and those with visceral obesity determined by CT.

Conclusion: BIA has limited accuracy for the assessment of VF in adults in practice when compared with the criterion method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8506854PMC
October 2021
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