Publications by authors named "Zhen Qin"

196 Publications

A Novel GH Family 20 β-N-acetylhexosaminidase With Both Chitosanase and Chitinase Activity From .

Front Mol Biosci 2021 19;8:684086. Epub 2021 May 19.

School of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, R&D Center of Separation and Extraction Technology in Fermentation Industry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China.

Aminooligosaccharides possess various biological activities and can exploit wide applications in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Commercial aminooligosaccharides are often prepared by the hydrolysis of chitin and chitosan. In this study, a novel GH family 20 β-N-acetylhexosaminidases gene named AoNagase was cloned from and expressed in . The purified AoNagase had maximal activity at pH 5.5 and 65°C. It exhibited good pH stability in the range of pH 6.0-7.5 and at temperatures below 50°C. AoNagase was capable of hydrolyzing not only colloidal chitosan (508.26 U/mg) but also chitin (29.78 U/mg). The kinetic parameters ( and ) of AoNagase were 1.51 mM, 1106.02 U/mg for chitosan and 0.41 mM, 40.31 U/mg for colloidal chitin. To our knowledge, AoNagase is the first GH family 20 β-N-acetylhexosaminidase capable of hydrolyzing both chitosan and chitin. AoNagase is an endo-type β-N-acetylhexosaminidases and can potentially be used for the manufacturing of aminooligosaccharides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2021.684086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170477PMC
May 2021

Free-Standing rGO-CNT Nanocomposites with Excellent Rate Capability and Cycling Stability for NaSO Aqueous Electrolyte Supercapacitors.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 May 28;11(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

School of Physics & Electronic Engineering, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou 450002, China.

Facing the increasing demand for various renewable energy storage devices and wearable and portable energy storage systems, the research on electrode materials with low costs and high energy densities has attracted great attention. Herein, free-standing rGO-CNT nanocomposites have been successfully synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method, in which the hierarchical porous network nanostructure is synergistically assembled by rGO nanosheets and CNT with interlaced network distribution. The rGO-CNT composite electrodes with synergistic enhancement of rGO and CNT exhibit high specific capacitance, excellent rate capability, exceptional conductivity and outstanding long-term cycling stability, especially for the optimal rGO-CNT electrode. Applied to a symmetric supercapacitor systems (SSS) assembled with an rGO-CNT electrode and with 1 M NaSO aqueous solution as the electrolyte, the SSS possesses a high energy density of 12.29 W h kg and an outstanding cycling stability, with 91.42% of initial specific capacitance after 18,000 cycles. Results from these electrochemical properties suggest that the rGO-CNT nanocomposite electrode is a promising candidate for the development of flexible and lightweight high-performance supercapacitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11061420DOI Listing
May 2021

The Treatment with Complementary and Alternative Traditional Chinese Medicine for Menstrual Disorders with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 17;2021:6678398. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, China.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a frequent gynecological female endocrinopathy, characterized by chronic anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and insulin resistance (IR). Menstrual disorders are one of the main clinical manifestations of PCOS. Other symptoms include hirsutism and/acne. At present, the treatment of PCOS with irregular menstruation is mainly based on oral contraceptives, but there are some side effects and adverse reactions. In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which has been widely used in clinical practice. Modern Western medicine is called "conventional medicine" or "orthodox medicine," and the complementary and alternative medicine is called "unconventional medicine" or "unorthodox medicine." CAM includes traditional medicine and folk therapy around the world. Around 65-80% of world health management business is classified into traditional medicine by the World Health Organization, which is used as alternative medicine in Western countries. In our country, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and other therapies are commonly used due to their significant efficacy and higher safety. Therefore, this review aims to summarize and evaluate the mechanisms and the effect of current complementary replacement therapy in the treatment of menstrual disorders caused by PCOS, so as to provide guidance for the following basic and clinical research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6678398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149243PMC
May 2021

Personalised Variable vs Fixed Dose Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy in Hospitalized Patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Prospective, Multicentered, Randomised, Open-Label Clinical Trial.

Chest 2021 May 20. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing, China. Electronic address:

Background: Systemic corticosteroids for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations decrease treatment failure and shorten the length of hospitalization. However, the optimal dose is unclear.

Research Question: Is personalized-dose corticosteroid by a dosing scale more effective than fixed-dose in hospitalized COPD patients with exacerbations?

Study Design And Methods: This was a prospective, randomised, open-labeled trial. In-hospital COPD patients with exacerbations were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either fixed-dose group (40mg prednisolone equivalent) or personalised-dose group for 5 days. The primary endpoint was a composite measure of treatment failure that included in-hospital treatment failure and medium-term (post-discharge) failure. Secondary endpoints were length of stay and cost.

Results: A total of 248 patients were randomly assigned to the fixed-dose group (n = 124) or personalised-dose group (n = 124). One patient in each group was not included in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population because of incorrect initial COPD diagnosis. Failure of therapy occurred in 27.6% in the personalised-dose group, compared to 48.8% in the fixed-dose group (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.24-0.68, p = 0.001). The in-hospital failure of therapy was significantly lower in the personalised-dose group (10.6% vs 24.4%, p = 0.005), whilst the medium-term failure rate, adverse event rate, hospital length of stay and costs were similar between two groups. Following treatment failure, a lower additional dose of corticosteroids and a shorter duration of treatment was needed in the personalised-dose group to achieve control of the exacerbation. In the personalized cohort, those receiving 40 mg or less had an average failure rate of 44.4%, compared to 22.9% in those receiving higher than 40mg (p=0.027).

Interpretation: Personalised dosing of corticosteroids reduces the risk of failure because more patients were provided with a higher initial dose, especially >60mg, while 40mg or less was too low in either group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2021.05.024DOI Listing
May 2021

Phase separation of EML4-ALK in firing downstream signaling and promoting lung tumorigenesis.

Cell Discov 2021 May 11;7(1):33. Epub 2021 May 11.

State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

EML4-ALK fusion, observed in about 3%-7% of human lung adenocarcinoma, is one of the most important oncogenic drivers in initiating lung tumorigenesis. However, it still remains largely unknown about how EML4-ALK fusion exactly fires downstream signaling and drives lung cancer formation. We here find that EML4-ALK variant 1 (exon 1-13 of EML4 fused to exon 20-29 of ALK) forms condensates via phase separation in the cytoplasm of various human cancer cell lines. Using two genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), we find that EML4-ALK variant 1 can drive lung tumorigenesis and these murine tumors, as well as primary tumor-derived organoids, clearly show the condensates of EML4-ALK protein, further supporting the findings from in vitro study. Mutation of multiple aromatic residues in EML4 region significantly impairs the phase separation of EML4-ALK and dampens the activation of the downstream signaling pathways, especially the STAT3 phosphorylation. Importantly, it also significantly decreases cancer malignant transformation and tumor formation. These data together highlight an important role of phase separation in orchestrating EML4-ALK signaling and promoting tumorigenesis, which might provide new clues for the development of clinical therapeutic strategies in treating lung cancer patients with the EML4-ALK fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41421-021-00270-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113584PMC
May 2021

The Treatment of Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Premature Ovarian Failure.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 15;2021:6677767. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

First Affiliated Hospital, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, China.

It has been confirmed by growing evidence that common hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increasing risk of causing cardiovascular disease and cancer, while complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is gaining popularity and application in more and more patients with premature ovarian failure (POF). Although there is little data concerning the clinical safety and efficacy of CAM, the literature includes application studies on the phytoestrogen-rich herbal, acupuncture treatment and intervention therapy. This article reviews recent literature on CAM therapy for POF, aiming to provide theoretical support for clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6677767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062183PMC
April 2021

Perioperative, protective use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in complex thoracic surgery.

Perfusion 2021 Apr 28:2676591211011044. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.

Background: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasingly used in patients undergoing complex thoracic surgical procedures. However, studies reporting the clinical outcomes of these patients are limited to case reports, without real consensus. Our aim was to evaluate the perioperative use of ECMO as respiratory and/or circulatory support in thoracic surgery: indications, benefits, and perioperative management.

Methods: Between May 2013 and December 2018, we reviewed the clinical data of 15 patients (11 males and 4 females; mean age: 47 years old; range, 25-73 years) undergoing ECMO-assisted thoracic surgery in our hospital.

Results: Of the 15 patients, 10 cases received peripheral veno-arterial (VA) ECMO and five cases received veno-venous (VV) ECMO. Indications for ECMO were pulmonary transplantation with hard-to-maintain oxygenation (n = 5), traumatic main bronchial rupture (n = 2), traumatic lung injury (n = 1), airway tumor leading to severe airway stenosis (n = 2), huge thoracic mass infiltrated vena cava (n = 5). The ECMO duration was 1-51 hours. All patients were successfully extubated and weaned from ECMO postoperatively. The main complications were hemorrhage (26.7%), infection (33.3%), acute hepatic dysfunction (33.3%), and venous thrombosis (26.7%). There was only one hospital death and postoperative one-year survival rate was 86%.

Conclusion: Our experience indicates that ECMO is a feasible method for complex trachea-bronchial surgery, huge thoracic mass excision and lung transplantation, and the ECMO-related risks may be justified. With further accumulation of experience with ECMO, a more sophisticated protocol for management of critical airway or heart failure problems in thoracic surgeries can be derived.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02676591211011044DOI Listing
April 2021

Antifungal Mechanism of Volatile Organic Compounds Produced by CF-3 on Assessed Using Omics Technology.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 May 26;69(17):5267-5278. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China.

is commonly used as a biocontrol bacterium owing to its strong antifungal activity, broad-spectrum inhibition, and general safety. In this study, the inhibitory effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by CF-3 on , a major destructive phytopathogen of litchi anthracnose, were analyzed using proteomics and transcriptomics. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and proteins (DEPs) indicated that the inhibition of by CF-3 VOCs downregulated the expression of genes related to cell membrane fluidity, cell wall integrity, energy metabolism, and production of cell wall-degrading enzymes. Particularly, those important DEGs and DEPs related to the ergosterol biosynthetic and biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids are most significantly influenced. 2,4-di--butylphenol, a characteristic component of CF-3 VOCs, also showed a similar effect on . Our results provide a theoretical basis for the potential application of CF-3 in the postharvest protection of fruits and vegetables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c00640DOI Listing
May 2021

Transition metal oxide and chalcogenide-based nanomaterials for antibacterial activities: an overview.

Nanoscale 2021 Apr 25;13(13):6373-6388. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Key Laboratory of Bionic Engineering (Ministry of Education), College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province 130022, PR China.

A new battle line is drawn where antibiotic misuse and mismanagement have made treatment of bacterial infection a thorny issue. It is highly desirable to develop active antibacterial materials for bacterial control and destruction without drug resistance. A large amount of effort has been devoted to transition metal oxide and chalcogenide (TMO&C) nanomaterials as possible candidates owing to their unconventional physiochemical, electronic and optical properties and feasibility of functional architecture assembly. This review expounds multiple TMO&C-based strategies to combat pathogens, opening up new possibilities for the design of simple, yet highly effective systems that are crucial for antimicrobial treatment. A special emphasis is placed on the multiple mechanisms of these nanoagents, including mechanical rupture, photocatalytic/photothermal activity, Fenton-type reaction, nanozyme-assisted effect, released metal ions and the synergistic action of TMO&C in combination with other antibacterial agents. The applications of TMO&C nanomaterials mostly in air/water purification and wound healing along with their bactericidal activities and mechanisms are also described. Finally, the contemporary challenges and trends in the development of TMO&C-based antibacterial strategies are proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr00664aDOI Listing
April 2021

Retrograde inferior vena caval perfusion for total aortic arch replacement surgery: a randomized pilot study.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 Apr 20;21(1):193. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37 Guo Xue Alley, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan, China.

Objectives: Antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP) under moderate hypothermic circulatory arrest is used during total aortic arch replacement surgery (TARS) in patients with acute type A aortic dissection, but it is associated with high mortality and morbidity. We hypothesized that combining ACP with retrograde inferior vena caval perfusion (RIVP) improves outcomes.

Methods: This pilot study was prospective, randomized, controlled and assessor-blinded. Patients scheduled for TARS were randomly treated with either ACP or RIVP + ACP. The primary outcome was a composite of mortality and major complications including paraplegia, postoperative renal failure, severe liver dysfunction, and gastrointestinal complications. Secondary outcomes included neurological complications, length of intubation and requirement of blood products.

Results: A total of 76 patients were recruited (n = 38 per group). Primary outcome occurred in 23 patients (61%) in the ACP group and 16 (42%) in the RIVP + ACP group (OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.21-1.62; p = 0.31). There was a lower incidence of transient neurological deficits in the RIVP + ACP group (26% vs. 58%, OR: 0.26; 95% CI: 0.10-0.67,p = 0.006;). The RIVP + ACP group underwent shorter intubation (25 vs 47 h, p = 0.022) and required fewer blood products (red cells, 3.8 units vs 6.5 units, p = 0.047; platelet: 2.0 units vs 2.0 units, p = 0.023) compared with the ACP group.

Conclusions: RIVP + ACP may be associated with lower incidence of transient neurological deficits, shorter intubation and less blood transfusion requirement than ACP alone during TARS. Multi-center, randomized trials with larger samples are required to determine whether RIVP + ACP is associated with lower rates of mortality and major complications.

Trial Registration: Pilot study of a RCT registered in clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03607786), Registered 30 July, 2018-Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03607786 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02002-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8056667PMC
April 2021

The adipokine orosomucoid alleviates adipose tissue fibrosis via the AMPK pathway.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University/Naval Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.

The excess deposition of underlying extracellular matrix (ECM) in adipose tissue is defined as adipose tissue fibrosis that is a major contributor to metabolic disorder such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Anti-fibrosis therapy has received much attention in the treatment of metabolic disorders. Orosomucoid (ORM) is an acute-phase protein mainly produced by liver, which is also an adipokine. In this study, we investigated the effects of ORM on adipose tissue fibrosis and the potential mechanisms. We showed that ORM1-deficient mice exhibited an obese phenotype, manifested by excessive collagen deposition in adipose tissues and elevated expression of ECM regulators such as metalloproteinases (MMP-2, MMP-13, MMP-14) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TIMP-3). Administration of exogenous ORM (50 mg· kg· d, ip) for 7 consecutive days in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice and leptin receptor (LepR)-deficient db/db mice attenuated these abnormal expressions. Meanwhile, ORM administration stimulated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and decreased transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) level in adipose tissues of the mice. In TGF-β1-treated 3T3-L1 fibroblasts, ORM (10 μg/mL) improved the impaired expression profiles of fibrosis-related genes, whereas a selective AMPK inhibitor dorsomorphin (1 μmol/mL) abolished these effects. Together, our results suggest that ORM exerts a direct anti-fibrosis effect in adipose tissue via AMPK activation. ORM is expected to become a novel target for the treatment of adipose tissue fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-021-00666-9DOI Listing
April 2021

Bioinspired Hydrophilic-Hydrophobic Janus Composites for Highly Efficient Solar Steam Generation.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Apr 16;13(16):19467-19475. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Key Laboratory of Bionic Engineering (Ministry of Education), College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130022, China.

Solar energy has received extensive attention as a renewable and sufficient energy source. Herein, inspired by the Janus wettability of lotus leaves, we have constructed a bioinspired hydrophilic-hydrophobic Janus hybrid system of carbonized carrot powder (CC powder)-modified cotton cloth with Nafion coating on one side (cotton cloth-NCC) for highly efficient solar steam generation. In cotton cloth-NCC, CC powder functions as a light absorber to achieve high light absorption, whereas the hydrophilic cotton cloth ensures efficient water transport. Meanwhile, the coating of Nafion establishes a hydrophobic-hydrophilic Janus structure, which can not only modulate water supply but also prevent salt deposition even with the high-concentration salt solution. The cotton cloth-NCC has been further shaped into a waved structure (w-cotton cloth-NCC) to increase the water evaporation area and achieve high light absorption (95%). Under 1 sun irradiation, w-cotton cloth-NCC yields a pure water steam generation rate of 1.88 kg m h and a seawater evaporation rate of 1.52 kg m h. Furthermore, the w-cotton cloth-NCC also has a good purification effect on sewage: can be completely removed, and the removal rate of Rhodamine B reaches 98.3%. The simple approach presented here for the construction of a high-efficient, low-cost, environmentally sustainable, long-term stable hydrophobic-hydrophilic Janus solar steam evaporator holds great promise for application in both environmental purification and photothermal conversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02026DOI Listing
April 2021

Effects of polyethylene microplastics on the microbiome and metabolism in larval zebrafish.

Environ Pollut 2021 Aug 31;282:117039. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

College of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, 310032, China. Electronic address:

Various microplastics (MPs) are found in the environment and organisms. MP residues in organisms can affect health; however, their impacts on metabolism in aquatic organisms remain unclear. In this study, zebrafish embryos were exposed to polyethylene MPs with sizes ranging from 1 to 4 μm at concentrations of 0, 10, 100, and 1000 μg/L for 7 days. Through qPCR technology, the results indicated that zebrafish exposed to polyethylene MPs exhibited significant change in microbes of the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia, etc. Moreover, 16S RNA gene sequencing revealed that there was a significant difference in alpha diversity between the control and 1000 μg/L MP-treated groups. At the genus level, the abundance of Aeromonas, Shewanella, Microbacterium, Nevskia and Methyloversatilis have increased remarkably. Conversely, the abundance of Pseudomonas, Ralstonia and Stenotrophomonas were significant reduction after MPs exposure. In addition, the levels of TG (triglyceride), TCHO (total cholesterol), NEFA (nonesterified fatty acid), TBA (total bile acid), GLU (glucose) and pyruvic acid significantly changed in MP-treated larval zebrafish, indicating that their metabolism was disturbed by MPs. Transcriptional levels of glucose and lipid metabolism-related genes showed a decreasing trend. Furthermore, LC/MS-based nontargeted metabolomics analysis demonstrated that a total of 59 phospholipid-related substances exhibited significant changes in larval fish treated with 1000 μg/L MPs. The mRNA levels of phospholipid metabolism-related genes were also obviously changed. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that the abundance of Aeromonas, Shewanella and Chitinibacter bacteria showed a negative correlation with most phospholipids, while Nevskia, Parvibacter and Lysobacter showed a positive correlation with most phospholipids. Based on these results, it is suggested that 1-4 μm PE-MPs could impact the microbiome and metabolism of larval zebrafish. All of these results indicated that the health risk of MPs cannot be ignored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117039DOI Listing
August 2021

Human factor, a critical weak point in the information security of an organization's Internet of things.

Heliyon 2021 Mar 16;7(3):e06522. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

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

Internet of Things (IoT) presents opportunities for designing new technologies for organizations. Many organizations are beginning to accept these technologies for their daily work, where employees can be connected, both on the organization's premises and the "outside", for business continuity. However, organizations continue to experience data breach incidents. Even though there is a plethora of researches in Information Security, there "seems" to be little or lack of interest from the research community, when it comes to human factors and its relationship to data breach incidents. The focus is usually on the technological component of Information Technology systems. Regardless of any technological solutions introduced, human factors continue to be an area that lacks the required attention. Making the assumption that people will follow expected secure behavioral patterns and therefore system security expectations will be satisfied, may not necessarily be true. Security is not something that can simply be purchased; human factors will always prove to be an important space to explore. Hence, human factors are without a doubt a critical point in Information Security. In this study, we propose an Organizational Information Security Framework For Human Factors applicable to the Internet of Things, which includes countermeasures that can help prevent or reduce data breach incidents as a result of human factors. Using linear regression on data breach incidents reported in the United States of America from 2009 to 2017, the study validates human factors as a weak-point in information security that can be extended to Internet of Things by predicting the relationship between human factors and data breach incidents, and the strength of these relationships. Our results show that five breach incidents out of the seven typified human factors to statistically and significantly predict data breach incidents. Furthermore, the results also show a positive correlation between human factors and these data breach incidents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06522DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980069PMC
March 2021

A systematic review of the correlation between serum asymmetric dimethylarginine, carotid atherosclerosis and ischaemic stroke.

Eur J Clin Invest 2021 Mar 23:e13558. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Neurology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Objective: To investigate the correlation between serum asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and the risk of ischaemic stroke and carotid atherosclerosis in adults.

Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and other databases for relevant studies on serum ADMA and ischaemic stroke or carotid atherosclerosis, which were published from December 1980 to December 2019. The quality of the included studies was evaluated according to the Cochrane system evaluation standard. The difference in serum ADMA level between ischaemic stroke and control group was selected as the effect size (standardized mean difference, SMD). The pooled analysis was performed using Review Manager (V.5.3).

Results: According to the selection criteria, thirteen studies were included in the meta-analysis after screening. Nine studies compared ADMA levels between the ischaemic stroke group and healthy control group, involving a total of 1315 and 880 subjects in the two groups, respectively. Pooled effect sizes were calculated using the random-effects model due to the high heterogeneity (I  = 93%, P < .00001). The level of serum ADMA in patients with ischaemic stroke was significantly higher than that in healthy people (SDM = 0.69, 95% CI [0.32, 1.06], P = .0002). Seven of the thirteen articles compared ADMA levels between the carotid arteriosclerosis group and the healthy control group, with 559 and 330 subjects in the two groups, respectively. The random-effects model was applied due to the high heterogeneity (I  = 91%, P < .00001). The level of serum ADMA in patients with carotid arteriosclerosis was significantly higher than that in healthy people (SDM = 1.03, 95% CI [0.49, 1.57], P = .0002).

Conclusion: The serum ADMA may be related to ischaemic stroke, and it is a risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.13558DOI Listing
March 2021

DeepKeyGen: A Deep Learning-Based Stream Cipher Generator for Medical Image Encryption and Decryption.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Mar 17;PP. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

The need for medical image encryption is increasingly pronounced, for example, to safeguard the privacy of the patients' medical imaging data. In this article, a novel deep learning-based key generation network (DeepKeyGen) is proposed as a stream cipher generator to generate the private key, which can then be used for encrypting and decrypting of medical images. In DeepKeyGen, the generative adversarial network (GAN) is adopted as the learning network to generate the private key. Furthermore, the transformation domain (that represents the ``style'' of the private key to be generated) is designed to guide the learning network to realize the private key generation process. The goal of DeepKeyGen is to learn the mapping relationship of how to transfer the initial image to the private key. We evaluate DeepKeyGen using three data sets, namely, the Montgomery County chest X-ray data set, the Ultrasonic Brachial Plexus data set, and the BraTS18 data set. The evaluation findings and security analysis show that the proposed key generation network can achieve a high-level security in generating the private key.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3062754DOI Listing
March 2021

The mRNA-LNP platform's lipid nanoparticle component used in preclinical vaccine studies is highly inflammatory.

bioRxiv 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Vaccines based on mRNA-containing lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a promising new platform used by two leading vaccines against coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). Clinical trials and ongoing vaccinations present with very high protection levels and varying degrees of side effects. However, the nature of the reported side effects remains poorly defined. Here we present evidence that LNPs used in many preclinical studies are highly inflammatory in mice. Intradermal injection of these LNPs led to rapid and robust inflammatory responses, characterized by massive neutrophil infiltration, activation of diverse inflammatory pathways, and production of various inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. The same dose of LNP delivered intranasally led to similar inflammatory responses in the lung and resulted in a high mortality rate. In summary, here we show that the LNPs used for many preclinical studies are highly inflammatory. Thus, their potent adjuvant activity and reported superiority comparing to other adjuvants in supporting the induction of adaptive immune responses could stem from their inflammatory nature. Furthermore, the preclinical LNPs are similar to the ones used for human vaccines, which could also explain the observed side effects in humans using this platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.04.430128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941620PMC
March 2021

Genome-wide in silico identification and expression analysis of beta-galactosidase family members in sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam].

BMC Genomics 2021 Feb 27;22(1):140. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Key laboratory of phylogeny and comparative genomics of the Jiangsu province, School of Life Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, 221116, China.

Background: Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) serves as an important food source for human beings. β-galactosidase (bgal) is a glycosyl hydrolase involved in cell wall modification, which plays essential roles in plant development and environmental stress adaptation. However, the function of bgal genes in sweetpotato remains unclear.

Results: In this study, 17 β-galactosidase genes (Ibbgal) were identified in sweetpotato, which were classified into seven subfamilies using interspecific phylogenetic and comparative analysis. The promoter regions of Ibbgals harbored several stress, hormone and light responsive cis-acting elements. Quantitative real-time PCR results displayed that Ibbgal genes had the distinct expression patterns across different tissues and varieties. Moreover, the expression profiles under various hormonal treatments, abiotic and biotic stresses were highly divergent in leaves and root.

Conclusions: Taken together, these findings suggested that Ibbgals might play an important role in plant development and stress responses, which provided evidences for further study of bgal function and sweetpotato breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-021-07436-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912918PMC
February 2021

Activation of the Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for COVID-19.

Front Immunol 2020 8;11:595342. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) underlined the urgent need for alleviating cytokine storm. We propose here that activating the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CAP) is a potential therapeutic strategy. However, there is currently no approved drugs targeting the regulatory pathway. It is evident that nicotine, anisodamine and some herb medicine, activate the CAP and exert anti-inflammation action and . As the vagus nerve affects both inflammation and specific immune response, we propose that vagus nerve stimulation by invasive or non-invasive devices and acupuncture at ST36, PC6, or GV20, are also feasible approaches to activate the CAP and control COVID-19. It is worth to investigate the efficacy and safety of the strategy in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.595342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901247PMC
March 2021

The effect of Mandarin listeners' musical and pitch aptitude on perceptual learning of Cantonese level-tones.

J Acoust Soc Am 2021 01;149(1):435

Research Centre for Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Yuk Choi Road, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.

Contrary to studies on speech learning of consonants and vowels, the issue of individual variability is less well understood in the learning of lexical tones. Whereas existing studies have focused on contour-tone learning (Mandarin) by listeners without experience of a tonal language, this study addressed a research gap by investigating the perceptual learning of level-tone contrasts (Cantonese) by learners with experience of a contour-tone system (Mandarin). Critically, we sought to answer the question of how Mandarin listeners' initial perception and learning of Cantonese level-tones are affected by their musical and pitch aptitude. Mandarin-speaking participants completed a pretest, training, and a posttest in the level-tone discrimination and identification (ID) tasks. They were assessed in musical aptitude and speech and nonspeech pitch thresholds before training. The results revealed a significant training effect in the ID task but not in the discrimination task. Importantly, the regression analyses showed an advantage of higher musical and pitch aptitude in perceiving Cantonese level-tone categories. The results explained part of the level-tone learning variability in speakers of a contour-tone system. The finding implies that prior experience of a tonal language does not necessarily override the advantage of listeners' musical and pitch aptitude.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/10.0003330DOI Listing
January 2021

Enhancing the performance of paper-based electrochemical impedance spectroscopy nanobiosensors: An experimental approach.

Biosens Bioelectron 2021 Apr 12;177:112672. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Accurate, rapid, and low-cost molecular diagnostics is essential in managing outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Accordingly, microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) have emerged as promising diagnostic tools. Among the extensive efforts to improve the performance and usability of diagnostic tools, biosensing mechanisms based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have shown great promise because of their label-free operation and high sensitivity. However, the method to improve EIS biosensing on μPADs is less explored. Here, we present an experimental approach to enhancing the performance of paper-based EIS biosensors featuring zinc oxide nanowires (ZnO NWs) directly grown on working electrodes (WEs). Through a comparison of different EIS settings and an examination of ZnO-NW effects on EIS measurements, we show that ZnO-NW-enhanced WEs function reliably with Faradaic processes utilizing iron-based electron mediators. We calibrate paper-based EIS biosensors with different morphologies of ZnO NWs and achieve a low limit of detection (0.4 pg ml) in detecting p24 antigen as a marker for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Through microscopic imaging and electrochemical characterization, we reveal that the morphological and the electrochemical surface areas of ZnO-NW-enhanced WEs indicate the sensitivities and sensing ranges of the EIS nanobiosensors. Finally, we report that the EIS nanobiosensors are capable of differentiating the concentrations (blank, 10 ng ml, 100 ng ml, and 1 μg ml) of IgG antibody (CR3022) to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum samples, demonstrating the efficacy of these devices for COVID-19 diagnosis. This work provides a methodology for the rational design of high-performance EIS μPADs and has the potential to facilitate diagnosis in pandemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2020.112672DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7550100PMC
April 2021

Tuning the configuration of the flexible metal-alkene-framework affords pure cycloisomers in solid state photodimerization.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jan 7;57(9):1129-1132. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Guangxi Key Laboratory of Chemistry and Engineering of Forest Products, Guangxi University for Nationalities, Nanning, 530006, People's Republic of China.

The photochemical [2+2] cycloaddition of 3,5-bis-(2-(pyridin-4-yl)vinyl)pyridine (bpvp) in the flexible Cd-based metal-alkene frameworks produced different isomeric photoproducts depending on the auxiliary and guest molecules. The bulkiness of the guest molecules influenced the conformation of the ligand, and thus the outcome of the cycloaddition reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc06939fDOI Listing
January 2021

Intravenous injection of the oncolytic virus M1 awakens antitumor T cells and overcomes resistance to checkpoint blockade.

Cell Death Dis 2020 12 12;11(12):1062. Epub 2020 Dec 12.

Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510080, China.

Reversing the highly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) is essential to achieve long-term efficacy with cancer immunotherapy. Despite the impressive clinical response to checkpoint blockade in multiple types of cancer, only a minority of patients benefit from this approach. Here, we report that the oncolytic virus M1 induces immunogenic tumor cell death and subsequently restores the ability of dendritic cells to prime antitumor T cells. Intravenous injection of M1 disrupts immune tolerance in the privileged TME, reprogramming immune-silent (cold) tumors into immune-inflamed (hot) tumors. M1 elicits potent CD8 T cell-dependent therapeutic effects and establishes long-term antitumor immune memory in poorly immunogenic tumor models. Pretreatment with M1 sensitizes refractory tumors to subsequent checkpoint blockade by boosting T-cell recruitment and upregulating the expression of PD-L1. These findings reveal the antitumor immunological mechanism of the M1 virus and indicated that oncolytic viruses are ideal cotreatments for checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03285-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7733593PMC
December 2020

Discovery of Pamiparib (BGB-290), a Potent and Selective Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase (PARP) Inhibitor in Clinical Development.

J Med Chem 2020 12 2;63(24):15541-15563. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) plays a significant role in DNA repair responses; therefore, this enzyme is targeted by PARP inhibitors in cancer therapy. Here we have developed a number of fused tetra- or pentacyclic dihydrodiazepinoindolone derivatives with excellent PARP enzymatic and cellular PARylation inhibition activities. These efforts led to the identification of pamiparib (BGB-290, ), which displays excellent PARP-1 and PARP-2 inhibition with IC of 1.3 and 0.9 nM, respectively. In a cellular PARylation assay, this compound inhibits PARP activity with IC = 0.2 nM. Cocrystal of pamiparib shows similar binding sites with PARP with other PARP inhibitors, but pamiparib is not a P-gp substrate and shows excellent drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) properties with significant brain penetration (17-19%, mice). The compound is currently being investigated in phase III clinical trials as a maintenance therapy in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer and gastric cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01346DOI Listing
December 2020

Publisher Correction: Reservoir characteristics and logging evaluation of gas - bearing mudstone in the south of North China Plain.

Sci Rep 2020 Nov 5;10(1):19572. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Institute of Geophysics and Geomatics, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan, 430074, China.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76387-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7645749PMC
November 2020

Sparse direct adaptive equalization based on proportionate recursive least squares algorithm for multiple-input multiple-output underwater acoustic communications.

J Acoust Soc Am 2020 Oct;148(4):2280

Acoustic Science and Technology Laboratory, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, 150001, China.

In this paper, the sparse direct adaptive equalization based on the recently developed proportionate recursive least squares (PRLS) adaptive filtering algorithm is investigated for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) underwater acoustic (UWA) communications. First, performance analysis is made for the PRLS, and simulation results show its gain over a standard recursive least squares algorithm under sparse systems. The fast implementation of the PRLS, named the proportionate stable fast transversal filters (PSFTF), is revisited to implement a direct adaptive decision-feedback equalizer which outperforms the existing PSFTF direct adaptive linear equalizer. The PSFTF direct adaptive equalizers (DAEs) are then compared with the selective zero-attracting stable fast transversal filter DAEs (SZA-SFTF-DAEs) enabled by the SZA-SFTF adaptive filtering algorithm. The SZA-SFTF algorithm is designed with the zero-attracting sparsity-promoting principle, which is in parallel to the proportionate updating principle used to design the PSFTF algorithm. Experimental results of an at-sea MIMO UWA communication trial show that PSFTF-DAEs outperform the SZA-SFTF-DAEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/10.0002276DOI Listing
October 2020

Structure-function analysis of Gynuella sunshinyii chitosanase uncovers the mechanism of substrate binding in GH family 46 members.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Dec 17;165(Pt B):2038-2048. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

School of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, R&D Center of Separation and Extraction Technology in Fermentation Industry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China; Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center for Biomanufacturing Technology (SCICBT), Shanghai 200237, China. Electronic address:

Chitooligosaccharides (COS) is a kind of functional carbohydrates with great application potential as its various biological functions in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical fields. Exploring the relationship between structure and function of chitosanase is essential for the controllable preparation of chitooligosaccharides with the specific degree of polymerization (DP). GsCsn46A is a cold-adapted glycosyl hydrolase (GH) family 46 chitosanase with application potential for the controllable preparation of chitooligosaccharides. Here, we present two complex structures with substrate chitopentaose and chitotetraose of GsCsn46A, respectively. The overall structure of GsCsn46A contains nine α-helices and two β-strands that folds into two globular domains with the substrate between them. The unique binding positions of both chitopentaose and chitotetraose revealed two novel sugar residues in the negatively-numbered subsites of GH family 46 chitosanases. The structure-function analysis of GsCsn46A uncovers the substrate binding and catalysis mechanism of GH family 46 chitosanases. Structural basis mutagenesis in GsCsn46A indicated that altering interactions near +3 subsite would help produce hydrolysis products with higher DP. Specifically, the mutant N21W of GsCsn46A nearly eliminated the ability of hydrolyzing chitotetraose after long-time degradation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.10.066DOI Listing
December 2020

IL-38: A novel cytokine in systemic lupus erythematosus pathogenesis.

J Cell Mol Med 2020 11 20;24(21):12379-12389. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, China.

IL-38 is a newly identified cytokine that belongs to the IL-1 family. In our previous study, we found elevated plasma levels of IL-38 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the clear relationship of IL-38 expression in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and clinical and laboratory features needs elucidation. Additionally, we evaluated the possible role of IL-38 in regulating production of inflammatory cytokines in PBMCs in vitro. A pristane-induced murine lupus model was used to further demonstrate the effects of IL-38 on cytokines in vivo and discuss the significance of IL-38 in lupus development. The results showed that mRNA expression of IL-38 in PBMCs of patients with SLE was elevated compared with volunteers, and expression of IL-38 in both plasma and PBMCs was strongly related to clinical features, such as haematuria and proteinuria, and correlated with a SLEDAI score. Plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-23 were elevated in patients with SLE and were related to plasma levels of IL-38. In vitro, PBMCs of patients with SLE stimulated with IL-38 showed a decreased expression of the four inflammatory cytokines compared with PBMCs of patients without treatment. Interestingly, IL-38 administration in lupus mice significantly reduced the development of lupus, such as reduced proteinuria, improved histological examinations of the kidneys and down-regulated inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, IL-38 may suppress synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and therefore regulate lupus pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.15737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686966PMC
November 2020

Changes in Alternative Splicing in Response to Domestication and Polyploidization in Wheat.

Plant Physiol 2020 12 13;184(4):1955-1968. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis Utilization, State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China

Alternative splicing (AS) occurs extensively in eukaryotes as an important mechanism for regulating transcriptome complexity and proteome diversity, but variation in the AS landscape in response to domestication and polyploidization in crops is unclear. Hexaploid wheat (AABBDD, ) has undergone two separate allopolyploidization events, providing an ideal model for studying AS changes during domestication and polyploidization events. In this study, we performed high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of roots and leaves from wheat species with varied ploidies, including wild diploids (AA, ) and tetraploids (AABB, ), domesticated diploids (AA, ) and tetraploids (AABB, ), hexaploid wheat (AABBDD, ), as well as newly synthesized hexaploids together with their parents. Approximately 22.1% of genes exhibited AS, with the major AS type being intron retention. The number of AS events decreased after domestication in both diploids and tetraploids. Moreover, the frequency of AS occurrence tended to decrease after polyploidization, consistent with the functional sharing model that proposes AS and duplicated genes are complementary in regulating transcriptome plasticity in polyploid crops. In addition, the subgenomes exhibited biased AS responses to polyploidization, and ∼87.1% of homeologs showed AS partitioning in hexaploid wheat. Interestingly, substitution of the D-subgenome modified 42.8% of AS patterns of the A- and B-subgenomes, indicating subgenome interplay reprograms AS profiles at a genome-wide level, although the causal-consequence relationship requires further study. Conclusively, our study shows that AS variation occurs extensively after polyploidization and domestication in wheat species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.20.00773DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723095PMC
December 2020

Association of the Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Fibrosis Score with subclinical myocardial remodeling in patients with type 2 diabetes: A cross-sectional study in China.

J Diabetes Investig 2021 Jun 8;12(6):1035-1041. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Aims/introduction: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, especially with liver fibrosis, is associated with cardiovascular diseases. The Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Fibrosis Score (NFS), a non-invasive marker of advanced fibrosis, was found to be associated with cardiovascular diseases in different populations. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the NFS is associated with subclinical myocardial remodeling in type 2 diabetes patients.

Materials And Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in type 2 diabetes patients. The NFS derived from available parameters was calculated, and the participants were divided according to the quartiles of the NFS and grades of the NFS (low, intermediate and high). Fibrosis-4 and Aspartate Aminotransferase to Platelet Ratio Index, another two liver fibrosis scores, were also calculated. Subclinical myocardial remodeling was examined by echocardiography, and its associations with NFS, Fibrosis-4 and Aspartate Aminotransferase to Platelet Ratio Index were analyzed.

Results: A total of 1,878 type 2 diabetes patients were enrolled in the present study. The NFS was independently associated with sex, age, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin in type 2 diabetes patients. Parameters of subclinical myocardial remodeling including left atrial dimension, interventricular septum thickness, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, left ventricular posterior wall thickness (LVPWT) and left ventricular mass index were all gradually increased with the increment of the NFS. Linear regression analysis further showed that the NFS was positively associated with left atrial dimension, interventricular septum thickness, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, LVPWT and left ventricular mass index after adjustment for the confounding factors. Similarly, Fibrosis-4 was associated with left atrial dimension, interventricular septum thickness, LVPWT and left ventricular mass index. In contrast, the Aspartate Aminotransferase to Platelet Ratio Index was only associated with LVPWT.

Conclusions: Non-invasive liver fibrosis scores, especially the NFS, are independently associated with subclinical myocardial remodeling in type 2 diabetes patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jdi.13430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169360PMC
June 2021