Publications by authors named "Yong Gao"

629 Publications

Relationship of gene variations with NAFLD risk in Chinese men.

Open Life Sci 2020 30;15(1):860-867. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of chemotherapy, The Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, 530021, China.

Background: Fat mass and obesity-associated () gene is an obesity susceptibility gene and its relationship with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the relationships of gene variations with NAFLD risk in a Chinese male population.

Methods: A 1:2 matched case-control study was performed on 275 cases of NAFLD and 550 controls matched for age. Nine of the gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped.

Results: Logistic regression analysis found that rs1477196 was significantly associated with the susceptibility to NAFLD in recessive genetic models [unadjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.52, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22-5.19, = 0.012] and the relativity weakened after further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), uric acid, metabolic syndrome, smoking, and drinking (adjusted OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 0.96-4.99, = 0.06). In the obese group, the AA + AG genotypes of rs1121980 and rs9940128 were associated with a decreased risk of NAFLD, when compared with the GG genotype, respectively (rs1121980: adjusted OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.39-0.99, = 0.044; rs9940128: adjusted OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.38-0.97, = 0.038). Furthermore, rs1477196 was associated with the severity of NAFLD (OR = 2.95, 95% CI = 1.09-7.94, = 0.034).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that the gene was related to the presence and severity of NAFLD in a Chinese male population, and the relationships of the tested SNPs with NAFLD are most probably mediated by BMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/biol-2020-0081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7874577PMC
November 2020

Structural and Secondary Electron Yield Properties of Titanium-Palladium Films with Laser-Treated Copper Substrate for Application in Neutron Generators.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Mar 5;14(5). Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Shaanxi Engineering Research Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy & Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Advanced Nuclear Energy and Technology & School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China.

Secondary electron emission (SEE) of the oxygen-free high-conductivity copper (OFHC) target surface in neutron generators limits the stability and improvement of the neutron yield. A novel-type target of titanium-palladium films coated on laser-treated OFHC target substrate was proposed and explored in this work to obtain low secondary electron yield (SEY) without introducing any components. The combination of Ti-Pd films and laser-treated OFHC substrate can effectively suppress secondary electron emission and enhance the adsorption ability to hydrogen isotopes with the existence of Pd film. The surface morphologies, surface chemical states, and SEYs of Ti-Pd films with laser-treated OFHC substrate were studied systematically for the first time. The XPS results showed that the laser-treated OFHC substrate surface was basically covered by Pd film. However, the Pd film surface was partially oxidized, with percentages of 21.31 and 10.02% for PdO and PdO, respectively. The SEYs of Ti-Pd films with laser-treated OFHC substrate were all below 1 within the investigated primary energy range of 100-3000 eV, which would be sufficient for application in neutron generators. Specifically, the maximum SEY () of laser-treated OFHC substrate coated by Ti-Pd films was 0.87 with corresponding incident electron energy of 400 eV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14051222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961749PMC
March 2021

Effect of carrier particle size on enrichment and shift in nitrifiers community behaviors for treating increased-strength wastewater.

Water Environ Res 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Jiangsu University of Technology, Changzhou, 213001, China.

In activated sludge systems, adding carriers can improve nitrifiers enrichment. Different attachment area induced by different particle sizes of carriers may result in different nitrifiers community. This research investigated the effect of different particle sizes of coal ash on nitrifiers enrichment treating increased strength wastewater. Results indicated efficient nitrifying coal ash was obtained with smaller coal ash. The ammonia removal rates reached over 98%, which outclassed that in negative control (63.28%), and no nitrite accumulated in these systems under high nitrogen concentration of 1123.35 mg N/L. The high-throughput sequencing assays indicated carriers changed the microbial community structure significantly, thus facilitated the nitrification capacity. Increase abundance of nitrifiers has a negative correlation with particle size of carriers. Nitrosomonas became the biggest beneficiary, which maximum composed 50.29% in fillers system and only 13.69% in negative control. Whereas the number of Nitrobacter (less than 3.04%) became much lower than ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). However, the shift of microbial structures, large number of Dokdonella for instance, may guarantee the complete nitrification in systems with smaller carriers. Batch experiments showed a high dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration (4 mg/L) and slightly alkaline condition (pH 8.0) had a positive effect on nitrifying coal ash.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wer.1567DOI Listing
April 2021

Differentially expressed immune response genes in COVID-19 patients based on disease severity.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Mar 29;13. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Fuyang Infectious Disease Clinical College of Anhui Medical University, Fuyang 236015, Anhui Province, P.R. of China.

Background: Dysregulated immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are thought to underlie the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We sought to further characterize host antiviral and cytokine gene expression in COVID-19 patients based on illness severity.

Methods: In this case-control study, we retrospectively analyzed 46 recovered COVID-19 patients and 24 healthy subjects (no history of COVID-19) recruited from the Second People's Hospital of Fuyang City. Blood samples were collected from each study participant for RNA extraction and PCR. We assessed changes in antiviral gene expression between healthy controls and patients with mild/moderate (MM) and severe/critical (SC) disease.

Results: We found that type I interferon signaling (IFNA2, TLR8, IFNA1, IFNAR1, TLR9, IRF7, ISG15, APOBEC3G, and MX1) and genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines (IL12B, IL15, IL6, IL12A and IL1B) and chemokines (CXCL9, CXCL11 and CXCL10) were upregulated in patients with MM and SC disease. Moreover, we found that IFNA1, apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3G (APOBEC3G), and Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD) were significantly downregulated ( < 0.05) in the SC group compared to the MM group. We also observed that microRNA (miR)-155 and miR-130a levels were markedly higher in the MM group compared to the SC group.

Conclusion: COVID-19 is associated with the activation of host antiviral genes. Induction of the IFN system appears to be particularly important in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection, as decreased expression of IFNA1, APOBEC3G and FADD genes in SC patients, relative to MM patients, may be associated with disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202877DOI Listing
March 2021

Human Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells promote lymphocyte apoptosis and alleviate atherosclerosis via miR-125b-1-3p/BCL11B signal axis.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 Feb;10(2):2123-2133

Department of Vascular Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, China.

Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown great potential in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, with fat being a more accessible source of MSCs. This study investigated the effect of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs-Ad) exosomes on T lymphocytes and its role in atherosclerosis (AS).

Methods: The exosomes were preliminarily isolated hMSCs-Ad and co-cultured with human H9 T lymphocytes. The effects of hMSCs-Ad exosomes on the proliferation and apoptosis of H9 were examined by performing functional experiments. The serum lipid level and inflammatory factor level in tail vein of mice were measured by biochemical analyzer and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) respectively.

Results: The hMSCs-Ad-derived exosomes up-regulate the expression of micro (mi)R-125b-1-3p in H9 and AS arterial tissues. miR-125b-1-3p shared a targeted binding site with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/lymphoma 11B gene (BCL11B). miR-125b-1-3p negatively regulated the expression of BCL11B in H9, and that knocking down BCL11B in H9 promoted its apoptosis. Injection of hMSCs-Ad-derived exosomes via the tail vein effectively reduced blood lipid and inflammatory factors, and that relieved the symptoms of AS in AS model mice.

Conclusions: miR-125b-1-3p was expressed in hMSCs-Ad exosomes and can promote T lymphocyte apoptosis and alleviate AS by down-regulating BCL11B expression. It provides potential molecular targets for the clinical treatment of AS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-21-49DOI Listing
February 2021

Prenatal methadone exposure disrupts behavioral development and alters motor neuron intrinsic properties and local circuitry.

Elife 2021 Mar 16;10. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, United States.

Despite the rising prevalence of methadone treatment in pregnant women with opioid use disorder, the effects of methadone on neurobehavioral development remain unclear. We developed a translational mouse model of prenatal methadone exposure (PME) that resembles the typical pattern of opioid use by pregnant women who first use oxycodone then switch to methadone maintenance pharmacotherapy, and subsequently become pregnant while maintained on methadone. We investigated the effects of PME on physical development, sensorimotor behavior, and motor neuron properties using a multidisciplinary approach of physical, biochemical, and behavioral assessments along with brain slice electrophysiology and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. Methadone accumulated in the placenta and fetal brain, but methadone levels in offspring dropped rapidly at birth which was associated with symptoms and behaviors consistent with neonatal opioid withdrawal. PME produced substantial impairments in offspring physical growth, activity in an open field, and sensorimotor milestone acquisition. Furthermore, these behavioral alterations were associated with reduced neuronal density in the motor cortex and a disruption in motor neuron intrinsic properties and local circuit connectivity. The present study adds to the limited body of work examining PME by providing a comprehensive, translationally relevant characterization of how PME disrupts offspring physical and neurobehavioral development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.66230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993998PMC
March 2021

Preliminary investigation of the diagnostic value of shear wave elastography in evaluating the testicular spermatogenic function in patients with azoospermia.

Andrologia 2021 Mar 7:e14039. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Department of Medical Ultrasonics, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Ultrasound, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

To assess the diagnostic value of shear wave elastography (SWE) for evaluating the histological spermatogenic function of azoospermic males, 91 patients with azoospermia who underwent standardised greyscale ultrasound and SWE examinations followed by testicular biopsy were retrospectively recruited. Spermatogenic function was classified by biopsy as normal testicular spermatogenesis (n = 61), hypospermatogenesis (n = 18), spermatogenesis arrest (n = 6) and Sertoli cell-only syndrome (n = 6). Significant differences in testicular size and SWE values were observed between these 4 groups (p < .01). The mean SWE value had good discrimination power (AUC = 0.79) with a cut-off value of 1.55 KPa, a sensitivity of 0.58, specificity of 0.85, positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.36 and negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.93. Testicular volume had an AUC of 0.75. With a cut-off value of 8.41 ml, the testicular volume had a sensitivity of 0.58, specificity of 0.92, PPV of 0.54 and NPV of 0.93. The mean SWE value and testicular volume efficiently discriminated patients with normal spermatogenesis and hypospermatogenesis from patients with Sertoli cell-only syndrome and spermatogenesis arrest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/and.14039DOI Listing
March 2021

ZFX promotes tumorigenesis and confers chemotherapy resistance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol 2021 Mar 1;45(5):101586. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Oncology, The Affiliated Huaian No.1 People's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Huai'an 223300, China. Electronic address:

Introduction: Zinc finger X-chromosomal protein (ZFX) has been shown to be essential for the development and progression of multiple types of human cancers. However, its potential roles in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) have not yet been elucidated.

Materials And Methods: Eighty-three pairs of frozen ESCC samples and their para-cancer samples and 24 fresh ESCC samples were collected. In vitro chemosensitivity was tested using the histoculture drug response assay. Quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting were used to measure the expression of functional genes. The effects of ZFX on cell growth, cell apoptosis, and chemosensitivity of the esophageal cancer cells were assessed.

Results: We found that ZFX was more upregulated in ESCC tissues than in the para-cancer tissues, and its high expression was correlated with inferior clinicopathological characteristics and overall survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that ZFX was an independent prognostic factor in ESCC patients. In ESCC cell lines, ZFX silencing suppressed cell growth and induced cell apoptosis. In addition, ZFX expression was negatively correlated with the sensitivity of fresh ESCC tissues to chemotherapeutic drugs, including cisplatin, docetaxel, fluorouracil, and irinotecan. Furthermore, the depletion of ZFX sensitized ESCC cells to cisplatin, and docetaxel treatment. Mechanistically, ZFX silencing resulted in the inactivation of the MEK/ERK pathway, which mediated the downregulation of P-glycoprotein expression.

Conclusion: Our study therefore indicates that ZFX possibly plays a critical role in ESCC tumorigenesis and chemotherapy resistance and could be a significant prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for ESCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinre.2020.101586DOI Listing
March 2021

Separation and extraction of non-thermal effects of strong microwave electric field on dielectric properties of materials based on time modulation and cavity perturbation method.

Rev Sci Instrum 2021 Feb;92(2):024712

School of Electronic Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China.

The influence of strong microwave electric field (SMEF) on the dielectric properties of materials is the result of the joint action of microwave thermal effect and microwave non-thermal effect. Generally, the thermal effect of SMEF is stronger than the non-thermal effect, which makes the non-thermal effect of SMEF difficult to detect. Moreover, it is difficult to distinguish the influence of these two factors from each other. Therefore, the formation mechanism and characteristics of the non-thermal effect of SMEF have not been elucidated so far. In this paper, a separation and extraction model of the non-thermal effect of SMEF on the dielectric property of material is proposed based on the time modulation method and cavity perturbation method. By adjusting the interaction time between SMEF and materials, reducing the influence of microwave thermal effect, and strengthening the proportion of microwave non-thermal effect, the separation and extraction of the non-thermal effect of SMEF is realized. Through the designed re-entrant coaxial cavity, the corresponding test system is constructed and the typical materials are tested. Experimental results show that the proposed research method is feasible. The research method proposed in this paper provides an effective way for the follow-up study on the formation mechanism and characteristics of the non-thermal effect of SMEF on the dielectric properties of materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0037363DOI Listing
February 2021

Mobile isolation wards in a fever clinic: a novel operation model during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Epidemiol Infect 2021 02 24;149:e61. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Hematology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

A fever clinic within a hospital plays a vital role in pandemic control because it serves as an outpost for pandemic discovery, monitoring and handling. As the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan was gradually brought under control, the fever clinic in the West Campus of Wuhan Union Hospital introduced a new model for construction and management of temporary mobile isolation wards. A traditional battlefield hospital model was combined with pandemic control regulations, to build a complex of mobile isolation wards that used adaptive design and construction for medical operational, medical waste management and water drainage systems. The mobile isolation wards allowed for the sharing of medical resources with the fever clinic. This increased the capacity and efficiency of receiving, screening, triaging and isolation and observation of patients with fever. The innovative mobile isolation wards also controlled new sudden outbreaks of COVID-19. We document the adaptive design and construction model of the novel complex of mobile isolation wards and explain its characteristics, functions and use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268821000467DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985658PMC
February 2021

Origins and chromosome differentiation of revealed by , genes and ND-FISH.

Genome 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Yangzhou University, 38043, Jiangsu Key Laboratories of Crop Genetics and Physiology and Plant Functional Genomics of the Ministry of Education, Co-Innovation Center for Modern Production Technology of Grain Crops of Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China;

is an important gene pool for wheat genetic improvement. However, the origins of the genomes and the nature of the genus' intraspecific relationships are still controversial. In this study, we used single-copy nuclear genes and non-denaturing fluorescence hybridization (ND-FISH) to characterize genome constitution and chromosome differentiation in . According to phylogenetic analyses based on and genes, there was an E genome with three versions (E, E, E) and St genomes in the polyploid . The ND-FISH results of pSc119.2 and pAs1 revealed that the karyotypes of diploid and were different and the chromosome differentiation occurred among accessions of the diploid . In addition, the tetraploid has two groups of ND-FISH karyotype, indicating that the tetraploid might be a segmental allotetraploid. In summary, our results suggested that the diploid , and were the donors of the E, E and St genome to polyploid species, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/gen-2019-0176DOI Listing
February 2021

The influence of sample geometry and size on porcine aortic material properties from uniaxial tensile tests using custom-designed tissue cutters, clamps and molds.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(2):e0244390. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

West China School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

The aim of this study was to identify the influence of specimen geometry and size on the results of aortic uniaxial tensile tests using custom-designed tissue cutters, clamps and molds. Six descending thoracic aortas from pigs were used for rectangular sample tests, in which the circumferential and axial specimens had widths of 6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm. The other six aortas were used for the dog-bone-shaped sample tests and were punched into circumferential, axial and oblique specimens with widths of 2 mm, 4 mm and 6 mm. We performed uniaxial tensile tests on the specimens and compared the test results. The results showed that mid-sample failure occurred in 85.2% of the dog-bone-shaped specimens and in 11.1% of the rectangular samples, which could be caused by Saint-Venant's principle. Therefore, rectangular specimens were not suitable for aortic uniaxial tensile testing performed until rupture. The results also showed that the size effect of the aorta conformed to Weibull theory, and dog-bone-shaped specimens with a width of 4 mm were the optimal choice for aortic uniaxial tensile testing performed until rupture.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244390PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869995PMC
February 2021

Amphiphilic Double-Brush Copolymers with a Polyurethane Backbone: A Bespoke Macromolecular Emulsifier for Ionic Liquid-in-Oil Emulsion.

Langmuir 2021 Feb 7;37(7):2376-2385. Epub 2021 Feb 7.

Key Laboratory of Alternative Technologies for Fine Chemicals Process of Zhejiang Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, Zhejiang 312000, China.

The study on ionic liquid (IL)-based emulsions is very interesting due to the "green" quality and potential wide applications of ILs, whereas the emulsifiers for the formation of IL-based emulsions are extremely limited and mainly centered on low molecular weight surfactants. In this work, synthesis of amphiphilic double-brush copolymers (DBCs) and their application as bespoke macromolecular emulsifiers for the formation of IL-containing non-aqueous emulsions are described. DBCs consisted of a polyurethane (PU) backbone and poly(-dimethyl acrylamide) (PDMA) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) chains that were grafted simultaneously at the same reactive site along the PU backbone (PU--PDMA/PMMA), which were synthesized through the combination of polyaddition and the reversible-deactivation radical polymerization reactions. Highly stable [Bmim][PF]-in-benzene emulsions could be gained by adopting PU--PDMA/PMMA DBCs as macromolecular emulsifiers at a low content, such as 0.025 wt %. On the basis of the stability and the size of emulsion droplets, PU--PDMA/PMMA DBCs exhibited much better emulsifying performances than their analogues, including PU--PDMA, PU--PMMA, and PDMA--PMMA copolymers. Such excellent emulsifying performances of PU--PDMA/PMMA DBCs were due to high interfacial activities. PU--PDMA/PMMA DBCs exhibited higher capabilities in lowering the interfacial tension of the [Bmim][PF]-benzene interface than their analogues. A large energy barrier to desorption of adsorbed PU--PDMA/PMMA DBCs from the interface contributed to high stability of the [Bmim][PF]-in-benzene emulsion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c03322DOI Listing
February 2021

Overexpression of NELFE contributes to gastric cancer progression via Wnt/β-catenin signaling-mediated activation of CSNK2B expression.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2021 Feb 1;40(1):54. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Oncology, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200120, China.

Background: Accumulating evidence has highlighted the importance of negative elongation factor complex member E (NELFE) in tumorigenesis. However, the relationship between NELFE and gastric cancer (GC) remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the expression pattern and specific function of NELFE in GC.

Methods: NELFE expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR in GC tissues, respectively. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion were measured by CCK-8, colony formation, transwell assays, and nude mice model. Bioinformatics analysis was performed to search potential target genes of NELFE, and a Cignal Finder 10-Pathway Reporter Array was used to explore potential signaling pathways regulated by NELFE. Dual-luciferase reporter assays, qRT-PCR and western blotting were conducted to verify their regulatory relationship. The expression correlations among NELFE, β-catenin and CSNK2B were further explored by immunohistochemistry on consecutive resections.

Results: NELFE was significantly overexpressed in GC tissues both in protein and mRNA level and negatively correlated with the prognosis of GC patients. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments showed that NELFE potentiated GC cell proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. CSNK2B was identified as a downstream effector of NELFE. Wnt/β-catenin signaling may mediate the regulation of CSNK2B by NELFE. In addition, NELFE, β-catenin and CSNK2B were all remarkably upregulated in tumor tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues, and their expression levels in GC were positively correlated with each other.

Conclusion: Our findings reveal a new NELFE-Wnt/β-catenin-CSNK2B axis to promote GC progression and provide new candidate targets against this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-021-01848-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7851912PMC
February 2021

Characterization of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in COVID-19 patients reveals highly potent neutralizing IgA.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2021 01 29;6(1):35. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00478-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844101PMC
January 2021

Sub-adventitial divestment technique for resecting artery-involved pancreatic cancer: a retrospective cohort study.

Langenbecks Arch Surg 2021 Jan 28. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Pancreas Centre, The First Affiliated Hospital Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: To introduce sub-adventitial divestment technique (SDT), a procedure to remove the tumor while preserving the artery during curative pancreatectomy. Peri-operative safety profile was also evaluated.

Methods: In a single center consecutive series of pancreatectomy for pancreatic cancer, the outcome of patients who had pancreatectomy with SDT was compared to standard pancreatic surgery.

Results: From June 2014 to June 2016, 72 patients had pancreatectomy with SDT and 235 had standard surgery. Tumor stage was T4 in all 72 (100%) tumors removed using SDT compared to four (2%) with standard pancreatectomy (p < 0.001). All 72 (100%) tumors in the SDT group were stage III compared to 24 (10%) in the standard surgery group (p < 0.001). Both groups had a high proportion of poorly differentiated tumors (52 (72%) and 163 (69%) respectively) and perineural tumor invasion (62 (86%) and 186 (79%) respectively). R1 (< 1 mm) was found in 24 (86%) of 28 tumors in the SDT group, and in 72 (60%) out of 120 standard pancreatectomy tumors (p = 0.01). Complications occurred in 29 (40%) of the SDT group and in 88 (37%) of the standard group. The in-hospital mortality was four (6%) in the SDT group and one (0.4%) in the standard group (p = 0.01), with a 90-day mortality of 5 (8%)/60 and 6 (3%)/209 (p = 0.07) respectively.

Conclusions: The sub-adventitial divestment technique appeared to be an effective surgical technique to remove the tumor while preserving the artery. This approach warrants further validation in prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00423-021-02080-5DOI Listing
January 2021

[Retracted] Norcantharidin reverses cisplatin resistance and inhibits the epithelial mesenchymal transition of human non‑small lung cancer cells by regulating the YAP pathway.

Oncol Rep 2021 Jan 2;45(1):408. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Cancer Research Institute, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou, Shandong 256603, P.R. China.

An interested reader drew to our attention that the western blots featured in Figs. 1B and 6C contained strikingly similar protein bands, and repeating patterns of bands, comparing across the lanes of the gels. Furthermore, an image representing the Myc‑YAP colony‑formation assay experiment in Fig. 2C was strikingly similar to the data shown for the Control colony‑formation assay experiment in Fig. 5B. The Editorial office subsequently investigated this matter further, and noted that the western blots shown in Fig. 6A and B likewise contained strikingly similar bands that were purportedly showing the results from different experiments. After having considered the various issues that have been brought to light with this paper, together with an appeal from the authors that a Corrigendum be published, the Editor of Oncology Reports has ruled that the article should be retracted from the publication on account of a lack of overall confidence in the presented data. Note that the authors were not in agreement that the errors reported and identified were sufficient to merit the retraction of the article. The Editor apologizes to the readership for any inconvenience caused. [the original article was published in Oncology Reports 40: 609-620, 2018; DOI: 10.3892/or.2018.6486].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2020.7830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7716715PMC
January 2021

Analysis and validation of a highly sensitive one-step nested quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for specific detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Virol J 2020 12 28;17(1):197. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230031, China.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is posing a serious threat to global public health. Reverse transcriptase real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is widely used as the gold standard for clinical detection of SARS-CoV-2. Due to technical limitations, the reported positive rates of qRT-PCR assay of throat swab samples vary from 30 to 60%. Therefore, the evaluation of alternative strategies to overcome the limitations of qRT-PCR is required. A previous study reported that one-step nested (OSN)-qRT-PCR revealed better suitability for detecting SARS-CoV-2. However, information on the analytical performance of OSN-qRT-PCR is insufficient.

Method: In this study, we aimed to analyze OSN-qRT-PCR by comparing it with droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and qRT-PCR by using a dilution series of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviral RNA and a quality assessment panel. The clinical performance of OSN-qRT-PCR was also validated and compared with ddPCR and qRT-PCR using specimens from COVID-19 patients.

Result: The limit of detection (copies/ml) of qRT-PCR, ddPCR, and OSN-qRT-PCR were 520.1 (95% CI: 363.23-1145.69) for ORF1ab and 528.1 (95% CI: 347.7-1248.7) for N, 401.8 (95% CI: 284.8-938.3) for ORF1ab and 336.8 (95% CI: 244.6-792.5) for N, and 194.74 (95% CI: 139.7-430.9) for ORF1ab and 189.1 (95% CI: 130.9-433.9) for N, respectively. Of the 34 clinical samples from COVID-19 patients, the positive rates of OSN-qRT-PCR, ddPCR, and qRT-PCR were 82.35% (28/34), 67.65% (23/34), and 58.82% (20/34), respectively.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the highly sensitive and specific OSN-qRT-PCR assay is superior to ddPCR and qRT-PCR assays, showing great potential as a technique for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in patients with low viral loads.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-020-01467-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768088PMC
December 2020

Windbreak and airflow performance of different synthetic shrub designs based on wind tunnel experiments.

PLoS One 2020 28;15(12):e0244213. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

College of Desert Control Science and Engineering, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

Wind erosion has gained increasing attention as one of the most serious global ecological and environmental threats. Windbreaks are effective at decreasing wind erosion by reducing wind speed to protect crops, livestock, and farmsteads, while providing wildlife habitats. Synthetic shrubs can act as novel windbreaks; however, there is limited knowledge on how their design affects wind speed. This study determined the protective effects (airflow field and sheltering efficiency) based on the design of synthetic shrubs in a wind tunnel. Broom-shaped synthetic shrubs weakened the wind speeds mainly at the middle and upper parts of the shrubs (5-14 cm), while for hemisphere-shaped shrubs this effect was greatest near their bases (below 4 cm) and least in the middle and upper parts (7-14 cm). Spindle-shaped synthetic shrubs provided the best reduction effect in wind range and strength. Moreover, the wind speed reduction ratio decreased with improved wind speeds and ranged from 26.25 cm (between the second and third rows) to 52.5 cm (after the third row). These results provide strong evidence that synthetic shrubs should be considered to decrease wind speed and prevent wind erosion.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244213PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7769432PMC
March 2021

Self-Administration of Cotinine in Wistar Rats: Comparisons to Nicotine.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2021 03 23;376(3):338-347. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, and Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania (Z.-M.D., X.T.) and Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana (Y.G., A.S.).

Nicotine is the major addictive component in tobacco. Cotinine is the major metabolite of nicotine and a weak agonist for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents. However, it remains undetermined whether cotinine can be self-administered. This study aimed to characterize cotinine self-administration in rats, to compare effects of cotinine to those of nicotine, and to determine potential involvement of nAChRs in cotinine's effects. Adult Wistar rats were trained to self-administer cotinine or nicotine (0.0075, 0.015, 0.03, or 0.06 mg/kg per infusion) under fixed-ratio (FR) and progressive-ratio (PR) schedules. Blood nicotine and cotinine levels were determined after the last FR session. Effects of mecamylamine, a nonselective nAChR antagonist, and varenicline, a partial agonist for 42* nAChRs, on cotinine and nicotine self-administration were determined. Rats readily acquired cotinine self-administration, responded more on active lever, and increased motivation to self-administer cotinine when the reinforcement requirement increased. Blood cotinine levels ranged from 77 to 792 ng/ml. Nicotine induced more infusions at lower doses during FR schedules and greater breakpoints at higher doses during the PR schedule than cotinine. There was no difference in cotinine self-administration between male and female rats. Mecamylamine and varenicline attenuated nicotine but not cotinine self-administration. These results indicate that cotinine was self-administered by rats. These effects of cotinine were less robust than nicotine and exhibited no sex difference. nAChRs appeared to be differentially involved in self-administration of nicotine and cotinine. These results suggest cotinine may play a role in the development of nicotine use and misuse. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Nicotine addiction is a serious public health problem. Cotinine is the major metabolite of nicotine, but its involvement in nicotine reinforcement remains elusive. Our findings indicate that cotinine, at doses producing clinically relevant blood cotinine levels, supported intravenous self-administration in rats. Cotinine self-administration was less robust than nicotine. Mecamylamine and varenicline attenuated nicotine but not cotinine self-administration. These results suggest cotinine may play a role in the development of nicotine use and misuse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.120.000367DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7883011PMC
March 2021

Testicular quantitative ultrasound: A noninvasive monitoring method for evaluating spermatogenic function in busulfan-induced testicular injury mouse models.

Andrologia 2021 Mar 23;53(2):e13927. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Medical Ultrasonics, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Ultrasound, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Busulfan-induced testicular injury mouse models are commonly used for experiments on spermatogonial stem cell transplantation, treatments for azoospermia due to spermatogenic failure and preserving male fertility after chemotherapy. Here, we investigated the value of testicular quantitative ultrasound for evaluating spermatogenic function in this model. In this study, testicular ultrasound was performed on mice from day 0 to 126 after busulfan treatment (n = 48), and quantitative data, including the testicular volume, mean pixel intensity and pixel uniformity, were analysed. The results revealed that from day 0 to 36, the testicular volume was positively associated with the testicle-to-body weight ratio (r = .92). On day 63, the pixel uniformity, which remained stable from day 0 to 36, declined significantly compared with that on day 36 (p < .01). On day 126, when the whole progression of spermatogenesis could be observed in most tubules, the mean pixel intensity also returned to normal (p > .05). In conclusion, testicular quantitative ultrasound could be used as a noninvasive and accurate monitoring method for evaluating spermatogenic function in busulfan-induced testicular injury mouse models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/and.13927DOI Listing
March 2021

CD63 negatively regulates hepatocellular carcinoma development through suppression of inflammatory cytokine-induced STAT3 activation.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 Jan 4;25(2):1024-1034. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

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

Tetraspanin CD63 has been widely implicated in tumour progression of human malignancies. However, its role in the tumorigenesis and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear yet. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the specific function and underlying mechanisms of CD63 in HCC progression. CD63 expression in HCC tissues was detected using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR analyses; effects of CD63 on HCC cell proliferation and migration were investigated by CCK-8 assay, colony formation assay, transwell assay and a xenograft model of nude mice. RNA-sequencing, bioinformatics analysis, dual-luciferase reporter assay and Western blot analysis were performed to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. Results of our experiments showed that CD63 expression was frequently reduced in HCC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues, and decreased CD63 expression was significantly associated with larger tumour size, distant site metastasis and higher tumour stages of HCC. Overexpression of CD63 inhibited HCC cell proliferation and migration, whereas knockdown of CD63 promoted these phenotypes. IL-6, IL-27 and STAT3 activity was regulated by CD63, and blockade of STAT3 activation impaired the promotive effects of CD63 knockdown on HCC cell growth and migration. Our findings identified a novel CD63-IL-6/IL-27-STAT3 axis in the development of HCC and provided a potential target for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7812266PMC
January 2021

Expression of CD147 and Cyclophilin A in Kidneys of Patients with COVID-19.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 04 2;16(4):618-619. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Nephrology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.09440620DOI Listing
April 2021

Hepatic Krüppel-like factor 16 (KLF16) targets PPARα to improve steatohepatitis and insulin resistance.

Gut 2020 Nov 30. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Science and Technology Innovation Center, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China

Objective: Impaired hepatic fatty acids oxidation results in lipid accumulation and redox imbalance, promoting the development of fatty liver diseases and insulin resistance. However, the underlying pathogenic mechanism is poorly understood. Krüppel-like factor 16 (KLF16) is a transcription factor that abounds in liver. We explored whether and by what mechanisms KLF16 affects hepatic lipid catabolism to improve hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance.

Design: KLF16 expression was determined in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and mice models. The role of KLF16 in the regulation of lipid metabolism was investigated using hepatocyte-specific KLF16-deficient mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or using an adenovirus/adeno-associated virus to alter KLF16 expression in mouse primary hepatocytes (MPHs) and in vivo livers. RNA-seq, luciferase reporter gene assay and ChIP analysis served to explore the molecular mechanisms involved.

Results: KLF16 expression was decreased in patients with NAFLD, mice models and oleic acid and palmitic acid (OA and PA) cochallenged hepatocytes. Hepatic KLF16 knockout impaired fatty acid oxidation, aggravated mitochondrial stress, ROS burden, advancing hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. Conversely, KLF16 overexpression reduced lipid deposition and improved insulin resistance via directly binding the promoter of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) to accelerate fatty acids oxidation and attenuate mitochondrial stress, oxidative stress in and HFD mice. PPARα deficiency diminished the KLF16-evoked protective effects against lipid deposition in MPHs. Hepatic-specific PPARα overexpression effectively rescued KLF16 deficiency-induced hepatic steatosis, altered redox balance and insulin resistance.

Conclusions: These findings prove that a direct KLF16-PPARα pathway closely links hepatic lipid homeostasis and redox balance, whose dysfunction promotes insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321774DOI Listing
November 2020

Spinal surgery and related management on patients with COVID-19: experience of a regional medical centre in Wuhan.

Bone Jt Open 2020 May 1;1(5):88-92. Epub 2020 May 1.

Department of Orthopaedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.

During the pandemic of COVID-19, some patients with COVID-19 may need emergency surgeries. As spine surgeons, it is our responsibility to ensure appropriate treatment to the patients with COVID-19 and spinal diseases. A protocol for spinal surgery and related management on patients with COVID-19 has been reviewed. Patient preparation for emergency surgeries, indications, and contraindications of emergency surgeries, operating room preparation, infection control precautions and personal protective equipments (PPE), anesthesia management, intraoperative procedures, postoperative management, medical waste disposal, and surveillance of healthcare workers were reviewed. It should be safe for surgeons with PPE of protection level 2 to perform spinal surgeries on patients with COVID-19. Standardized and careful surgical procedures should be necessary to reduce the exposure to COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1302/2633-1462.15.BJO-2020-0020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677093PMC
May 2020