Publications by authors named "Zhen Yu"

521 Publications

Inflammation Disturbed the Tryptophan Catabolites in Hippocampus of Post-operative Fatigue Syndrome Rats Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenas Enzyme and the Improvement Effect of Ginsenoside Rb1.

Front Neurosci 2021 26;15:652817. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Department of Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital Affiliated to Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Aim: Post-operative fatigue syndrome (POFS) is a common complication that prolongs the recovery to normal function and activity after surgery. The aim of the present study was to explore the mechanism of central fatigue in POFS and the anti-fatigue effect of ginsenoside Rb1.

Method: We investigated the association between inflammation, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme, and tryptophan metabolism in the hippocampus of POFS rats. A POFS rat model was induced by major small intestinal resection. Rats with major small intestinal resection were administered ginsenoside Rb1 (15 mg/kg) once a day from 3 days before surgery to the day of sacrifice, or with saline as corresponding controls. Fatigue was assessed with the open field test (OFT) and sucrose preference test (SPT). ELISA, RT-PCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used to test the inflammatory cytokines; p38MAPK, NF-κB/p65, and IDO enzyme expressions; and the concentrations of tryptophan, kynurenine, and serotonin, respectively.

Result: Our results showed that POFS was associated with increased expressions of inflammatory cytokines and p38MAPK and higher concentrations of kynurenine and tryptophan on post-operative days 1 and 3; a lower serotonin level on post-operative day 1; and an enhanced translocation of NF-κB/p65 and the IDO enzyme on post-operative days 1, 3, and 5. Ginsenoside Rb1 had an improvement effect on these.

Conclusion: Inflammatory cytokines induced by large abdominal surgery disturb tryptophan metabolism to cause POFS through the activation of the p38MAPK-NF-κB/p65-IDO pathway in the hippocampus. Ginsenoside Rb1 had an anti-fatigue effect on POFS by reducing inflammation and IDO enzyme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.652817DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8427665PMC
August 2021

Augmented safety guarantee-based area keeping control for an underactuated USV with environmental disturbances.

ISA Trans 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

School of Aerospace Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361000, China. Electronic address:

This paper proposes an accurate area keeping control method with augmented safety guarantee for an underactuated unmanned surface vessel (UUSV) with environmental disturbances. It can mediate the safety and the stability during the UUSV area keeping control. Firstly, inspired by the notion of control barrier function (CBF) in general manifolds, an augmented safety guarantee is constructed to deal with the nonlinear safety constraints of the area keeping control for the UUSV. Then, the stability constraints for the UUSV area keeping control are formed by involving a control Lyapunov functions (CLF) and a weather optimal control (WOC) method. Finally, by unifying the augmented safety guarantee and the stability constraints, an accurate area keeping controller is designed through a quadratic program (QP), which can consider the safety problem into the optimal area keeping control of the UUSV under environmental disturbances. Comparing the proposed method to the WOC, simulation results validate the feasibility and the superiority of the proposed method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isatra.2021.08.024DOI Listing
August 2021

Reply to "Rational implementation of proxy measures for the GLIM tool and evaluation of the phenotypic and etiologic criteria".

Nutrition 2021 Aug 2;93:111437. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2021.111437DOI Listing
August 2021

Melanin of Sporothrix globosa affects the function of THP-1 macrophages and modulates the expression of TLR2 and TLR4.

Microb Pathog 2021 Oct 25;159:105158. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Dermatology and Venerology, First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China. Electronic address:

Background: Melanin is an important virulence factor for Sporothrix globosa, the causative agent of sporotrichosis, a subcutaneous mycosis that occurs worldwide. Although previous research suggests that melanin is involved in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis, little is known about its influence on the macrophages that represent the frontline components of innate immunity.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of melanin on phagocytic activity and the expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and TLR4 during S. globosa infection of macrophages in vitro.

Methods: To compare phagocytic activity and survival rates, THP-1 macrophages and primary mouse peritoneal macrophages were co-cultured with a wild-type S. globosa strain (Mel+), an albino mutant strain (Mel-), a tricyclazole-treated Mel + strain (TCZ-Mel+), or melanin ghosts extracted from S. globosa conidia. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) generation, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 were assayed in THP-1 cells infected with S. globosa conidia. Quantitative PCR and western blotting were used to observe the effect of melanin on TLR2 and TLR4 expression. Knockdown of TLR2/4 expression with small interfering RNA was performed to further verify the role of these receptors during infection.

Results: Macrophages infected with Mel + conidia showed a lower phagocytosis index and a higher survival rate than TCZ-Mel+ and Mel- in vitro. After incubation with S. globosa, the release of ROS, NO, TNF-α and IL-6 by THP-1 were decreased in the presence of melanin. Increased mRNA and protein expression of TLR2 and TLR4 occurred upon S. globosa infection in THP-1, whereas the presence of melanin suppressed TLR2 and TLR4. Moreover, TLR2 or TLR4 knockdown showed a trend toward reducing the pernicious effect of S. globosa conidia on THP-1 cells in vitro.

Conclusions: Collectively, our results indicated that melanin inhibits the phagocytosis of S. globosa and guards against macrophage attack by providing protection from oxygen- and nitrogen-derived radicals, as well as suppressing the host pro-inflammatory cytokine response (TNF-α and IL-6). Melanin was also involved in modulating TLR2 and TLR4 receptor expression, weakening the killing efficiency of S. globosa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2021.105158DOI Listing
October 2021

Innate Immune System Orchestrates Metabolic Homeostasis and Dysfunction in Visceral Adipose Tissue During Obesity.

Front Immunol 2021 6;12:702835. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Department of Biobank, Division of Clinical Research, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Arising incidence of metabolic disorders and related diseases caused by obesity is a global health concern. Elucidating the role of the immune system in this process will help to understand the related mechanisms and develop treatment strategies. Here, we have focused on innate immune cells in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and summarized the roles of these cells in maintaining the homeostasis of VAT. Furthermore, this review reveals the importance of quantitative and functional changes of innate immune cells when the metabolic microenvironment changes due to obesity or excess lipids, and confirms that these changes eventually lead to the occurrence of chronic inflammation and metabolic diseases of VAT. Two perspectives are reviewed, which include sequential changes in various innate immune cells in the steady state of VAT and its imbalance during obesity. Cross-sectional interactions between various innate immune cells at the same time point are also reviewed. Through delineation of a comprehensive perspective of VAT homeostasis in obesity-induced chronic inflammation, and ultimately metabolic dysfunction and disease, we expect to clarify the complex interactive networks among distinct cell populations and propose that these interactions should be taken into account in the development of biotherapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.702835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8377368PMC
August 2021

Impact of sarcopenia on clinical outcomes of patients with stage I gastric cancer after radical gastrectomy: A prospective cohort study.

Eur J Surg Oncol 2021 Aug 17. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. Electronic address:

Background: The relationships between sarcopenia and postoperative outcomes in patients with early-stage gastric cancer who undergo radical gastrectomy is unclear. We aimed to investigate the predictive value of sarcopenia on adverse outcomes for stage I gastric cancer.

Methods: The clinical data of patients who underwent radical gastrectomy for stage I gastric cancer between July 2013 and May 2019 were prospectively collected. Basic sarcopenia components were measured preoperatively. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate the risk factors for short- and long-term outcomes.

Results: A total of 507 patients with early-stage gastric cancer were included in the study, and 73 (14.4%) patients were diagnosed as sarcopenia. Patients with sarcopenia had significantly higher incidence of postoperative complications (32.9% vs. 17.5%, P = 0.002), longer postoperative hospital stays (13 days vs. 12 days, P < 0.001), higher hospitalization costs (65210 yuan vs. 55197 yuan, P < 0.001) and one-year mortality (8.2% vs. 1.8%, P = 0.002). During the median follow-up time of 38.8 months, 12 (16.4%) patients dead in the sarcopenic group and 25 (5.8%) patients dead in the non-sarcopenic group. Sarcopenia was an independent risk factor for both short- and long-term clinical outcomes. Moreover, we found that low muscle quantity and low handgrip strength mediated the adverse impacts of sarcopenia on postoperative complications while low muscle quality mediated the adverse impacts of sarcopenia on overall survival.

Conclusion: Sarcopenia was strongly associated with worse short- and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with stage I gastric cancer who undergo radical gastrectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2021.08.021DOI Listing
August 2021

Rapamycin impairs bone accrual in young adult mice independent of Nrf2.

Exp Gerontol 2021 Oct 10;154:111516. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA; Department Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.

Advanced age is the strongest risk factor for osteoporosis. The immunomodulator drug rapamycin extends lifespan in numerous experimental model organisms and is being investigated as a potential therapeutic to slow human aging, but little is known about the effects of rapamycin on bone. We evaluated the impact of rapamycin treatment on bone mass, architecture, and indices of bone turnover in healthy adult (16-20 weeks old at treatment initiation) female wild-type (ICR) and Nrf2 mice, a mouse model of oxidative damage and aging-related disease vulnerability. Rapamycin (4 mg/kg bodyweight) was administered by intraperitoneal injection every other day for 12 weeks. Mice treated with rapamycin exhibited lower femur bone mineral content, bone mineral density, and bone volume compared to vehicle-treated mice. In midshaft femur diaphysis (cortical bone), rapamycin-treated mice had lower cortical volume and thickness, and in the distal femur metaphysis (cancellous bone), rapamycin-treated mice had higher trabecular spacing and lower connectivity density. Mice treated with rapamycin exhibited lower bone volume, bone volume fraction, and trabecular thickness in the 5th lumbar vertebra. Rapamycin-treated mice had lower levels of bone formation in the distal femur metaphysis compared to vehicle-treated mice which occurred co-incidentally with increased serum CTX-1, a marker of global bone resorption. Rapamycin had no impact on tibia inflammatory cytokine gene expression, and we found no independent effects of Nrf2 knockout on bone, nor did we find any interactions between genotype and treatment. These data show that rapamycin may have a negative impact on the skeleton of adult mice that should not be overlooked in the clinical context of its usage as a therapy to retard aging and reduce the incidence of age-related pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111516DOI Listing
October 2021

Low-pressure Pneumoperitoneum With Abdominal Wall Lifting Versus Standard Pressure Pneumoperitoneum in Laparoscopic Fundoplication for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Propensity Score-matched Analysis.

Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2021 Aug 9. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Departments of Thoracic Surgery General Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the treatment results of low-pressure pneumoperitoneum with abdominal wall lifting (AWL+LP, 6 mm Hg) versus standard pressure pneumoperitoneum (SP, 12 mm Hg) during laparoscopic fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), using propensity score matching (PSM).

Materials And Methods: A retrospective analysis was made of 362 patients, 123 in the AWL+LP group and 239 in the SP group, who underwent laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD from January 2010 to December 2017. Perioperative and prognostic outcomes were compared after PSM with 1:1 match.

Results: After PSM, 107 matched pairs were obtained. Compared with the SP group at 30 and 60 minutes after pneumoperitoneal initiation, the AWL+LP group showed significantly lower end-tidal carbon dioxide value (P<0.001, <0.001, respectively), lower partial pressure of carbon dioxide value (P<0.001, 0.016, respectively) and significantly higher pH value (P<0.001, <0.001, respectively). However, postoperative shoulder pain, abdominal pain, and arrhythmia in the AWL+LP group were less than those in SP group (P=0.01, 0.017, 0.005, respectively). There was no significant difference in operative time (106.54±27.80 vs. 107.38±24.78 min), blood loss [15 mL (interquartile range: 12.5 to 20 mL) vs.15 mL (interquartile range: 10 to 20 mL)], length of stay (4 vs. 4 d), the wound ecchymosis [2 (1.87%) vs. 3 (2.80%)] and rates of recurrence [8 (7.48%) vs. 5 (4.67%)] between AWL+LP group and SP group.

Conclusion: AWL+LP resulted in comparable perioperative and prognostic outcomes with less impact on changes in cardiorespiratory function compared with SP approaches of laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLE.0000000000000990DOI Listing
August 2021

Stimulation of phenanthrene and biphenyl degradation by biochar-conducted long distance electron transfer in soil bioelectrochemical systems.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 19;797:149124. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.

The bioelectrochemical degradation of organic pollutants has attracted considerable attention owing to its remarkable sustainability and low cost. However, the application of bioelectrochemical system (BES) for the degradation of pollutants in soils is hindered by limitations in the effective distance in the soil matrix. In this study, a biochar-amended BES was constructed to evaluate the degradation of organic pollutants. This system was expected to extend the electron transfer distance via conductive biochar in soils. The results showed that biochar pyrolyzed at 900 °C facilitated the degradation of phenanthrene (PHE) and biphenyl (BP) in the soil BES (SBES), reaching 86.4%-95.1% and 88.8%-95.3% in 27 days, respectively. The effective distance of SBESs was estimated to be 154-271 cm away from the electrode, which increased 1.9-3 fold after the addition of biochar. Microbial community and functional gene analysis confirmed that biochar enriched functional degrading bacteria. These findings demonstrate that the promotion of long-distance electron transfer and the formation of soil conductive networks can be achieved by biochar amendment. Thus, this study provides a basis for the effective degradation of for persistent organic pollutants in petroleum-contaminated soils using bioelectrochemical strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149124DOI Listing
November 2021

Tissue Kallikrein Exacerbating Sepsis-Induced Endothelial Hyperpermeability is Highly Predictive of Severity and Mortality in Sepsis.

J Inflamm Res 2021 15;14:3321-3333. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Emergency, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, Hubei, People's Republic of China.

Aim: Sepsis, an acute, life-threatening dysregulated response to infection, affects practically all aspects of endothelial function. Tissue kallikrein (TK) is a key enzyme in the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) which has been implicated in endothelial permeability. Thus, we aimed to establish a potentially novel association among TK, endothelial permeability, and sepsis demonstrated by clinical investigation and in vitro studies.

Methods: We performed a clinical investigation with the participation of a total of 76 controls, 42 systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) patients, and 150 patients with sepsis, who were followed-up for 28 days. Circulating TK levels were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Then, the effect of TK on sepsis-induced endothelial hyperpermeability was evaluated by in vitro study.

Results: Data showed a gradual increase in TK level among controls and the patients with SIRS, sepsis, and septic shock (0.288±0.097 mg/l vs 0.335±0.149 vs 0.495±0.170 vs 0.531±0.188 mg/l, respectively, P <0.001). Further analysis revealed that plasma TK level was positively associated with the severity and mortality of sepsis and negatively associated with event-free survival during 28 days of follow-up (relative risk, 3.333; 95% CI, 2.255-4.925; p < 0.001). With a septic model of TK and kallistatin in vitro, we found that TK exacerbated sepsis-induced endothelial hyperpermeability by downregulating zonula occluden-1 (ZO-1) and vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, and these could be reversed by kallistatin, an inhibitor of TK.

Conclusion: TK can be used in the diagnosis of sepsis and assessment of severity and prognosis of disease. Inhibition of TK may be a novel therapeutic target for sepsis through increasing ZO-1 and VE-cadherin, as well as downregulating endothelial permeability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S317874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8289368PMC
July 2021

Percutaneous Poking Reduction and K-Wire Fixation Via Sinus Tarsi Approach Versus ORIF for Sanders Type III Calcaneal Fractures: A Prospective Case-Controlled Trial.

J Foot Ankle Surg 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Orthopedics, Suzhou TCM Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Electronic address:

We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial to compare the radiological and clinical outcomes of Sanders type III calcaneal fractures treated with percutaneous poking reduction and K-wire fixation via a sinus tarsi approach (PPRKF) versus open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Fifty-one patients with closed, unilateral, Sanders type III calcaneal fractures were randomly assigned to the PPRKF group (n = 26) or the ORIF group (n = 25). The clinical outcomes evaluated were time to surgery, blood loss, operative time, hospital stay, wound healing time, wound complications, and Maryland foot score. Radiological results were evaluated on lateral and axial X-rays and computed tomography images and included Böhler's angle, Gissane's angle, and calcaneal width. Compared with the ORIF group, the PPRKF group had shorter time to surgery, shorter operative time, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, shorter wound healing time, and fewer wound complications (p < .001). The postoperative Böhler's angle, Gissane's angle, and calcaneal width in both groups were significantly better than those measured preoperatively (p < .001) and did not differ between the PPRKF group and ORIF group (p> .05). Regarding clinical results, there was no significant difference in Maryland foot score between the two groups at 12 months after surgery (p > .05). Both PPRKF and ORIF can result in satisfactory clinical function. PPRKF is superior to ORIF in reducing the time to surgery, operative time, blood loss, hospital stay, wound healing time, and wound complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jfas.2021.06.005DOI Listing
June 2021

[Community Characteristics of Methanogens and Methanogenic Pathways in Salt-tolerant Rice Soil].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 Jul;42(7):3472-3481

Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China.

It is known that methanogens play a critical role in the carbon cycle in soil, while methanogen community characteristics and their environmental influencing factors in the soil planted with salt-tolerant rice remain unclear. In this study, methanogen abundance, community composition, and relationships with environmental factors in soils planted with the salt-tolerant rice (YC1703) and ordinary rice (Lindao 10) were evaluated in the rice improvement demonstration base of Qingdao Wisdom Agricultural Industry using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR and Illumina high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the abundance and community richness of methanogens in Lindao 10 soil were significantly higher than those in YC1703 soil, and methanogens in YC1703 soil exhibited higher diversity. The combined effects of rice varieties, rice growth period, and environmental factors had impacts on the methanogen community. The hydrogenotrophic methanogens were dominant in the YC1703 and Lindao 10 soils; thus, we speculated that the dominant pathway of methane production in these soils was hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202011138DOI Listing
July 2021

G-quadruplex targeting chemical nucleases as a nonperturbative tool for analysis of cellular G-quadruplex DNA.

iScience 2021 Jun 29;24(6):102661. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

G-quadruplex structures are associated with various biological activities, while evidence is essential to confirm the formation of G-quadruplexes inside cells. Most conventional agents that recognize G-quadruplex, including antibodies and small-molecule G-quadruplex ligands, either stabilize the G-quadruplex or prevent G-quadruplex unfolding by helicase, thereby artificially increasing the G-quadruplex levels in cells. Unambiguous study of G-quadruplexes at natural cellular levels requires agents that do not enhance the stability of G-quadruplex. Herein, we report the first example of nonperturbative chemical nucleases that do not influence the stability of G-quadruplex telomeric DNA but can selectively cleave G-quadruplex DNA over duplex DNA. These chemical nucleases can be readily taken up by cells and promote selective cleavage of telomeric DNA with low levels of nonselective DNA cleavage of other regions of the genome. The cleavage of G-quadruplex telomeric DNA by nonperturbative chemical nucleases confirms the formation of G-quadruplex telomeric DNA in live cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102661DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8215219PMC
June 2021

[Survival Analysis of 76 Cases of Head and Neck Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
with Lung Metastasis].

Zhongguo Fei Ai Za Zhi 2021 Jun;24(6):412-419

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, 
Capital Medical University, Beijing 100730, China.

Background: Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the head and neck often develops lung metastasis. At present, there are not many research reports on ACC lung metastasis, little is known about its exact clinical features and treatment results, and there is no consensus on the best treatment strategy. This study explored the effective treatment strategies, clinical outcomes and long-term prognosis of head and neck ACC lung metastases.

Methods: The clinical and follow-up data of 76 patients with head and neck ACC lung metastases were retrospectively analyzed. According to the initial treatment of patients, they are divided into 4 groups: surgery, surgery+chemotherapy or radiotherapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy and supportive treatment. The patients were staged according to the International Registry of Lung Metastases Staging System (IRLM). Kaplan-Meier method and Log-rank test were used to compare the statistical differences of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients with different treatment methods and different IRLM stages.

Results: The OS and PFS of patients undergoing surgery are better than those of supportive therapy or radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy (OS: P<0.000,1; PFS: P<0.000,1). The OS and PFS of patients with low stage IRLM are better than those with high stage (OS: P<0.000,1; PFS: P<0.000,1). Patients with single lung metastasis and without pleural effusion have better OS and PFS.

Conclusions: The long-term prognosis of patients with lung metastasis of head and neck ACC who undergo surgery is better than other treatments, which is related to higher OS and PFS. For patients with ACC lung metastases who are operationally eligible, the significance of complete surgical resection should be higher than other treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3779/j.issn.1009-3419.2021.102.21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246395PMC
June 2021

[Analysis of Influencing Factors for Postoperative Venous Thromboembolism 
of Thymic Malignancies].

Zhongguo Fei Ai Za Zhi 2021 Jul 17;24(7):497-502. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100730, China.

Background: The previous study has indicated that the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after thoracic surgery is high. The purpose of this study was to analyze the incidence and risk factors of postoperative VTE in thymic malignancy patients.

Methods: This was a single-center study. Patients undergoing resection for thymic malignancy between December 2017 and February 2021 in Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University were enrolled in this study. In addition to the routine examination, all patients were screened for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) by using noninvasive duplex lower extremity ultrasound before and after surgery. Patients did not receive any prophylactic anticoagulant therapy before and after surgery. All patients received modified caprini risk assessment. According to whether VTE occurred after operation, patients were divided into VTE group and control group. The clinical data of the two groups were compared. The occurrence time and possible high risk factors of VTE after operation were analyzed.

Results: A total of 169 patients with thymic malignant tumor were enrolled, including 94 males and 75 females, aging from 22 to 76 years. A total of 95 patients underwent thoracoscopic surgery and 74 patients underwent median sternotomy. The total incidence of VTE was 12.4%. The median time for diagnosis of VTE was 4 days (2 days-15 days) after operation. According to the modified caprini score, the incidence of VTE in low risk patients (Caprini score≤4 points), moderate risk patients (Caprini score 5 to 8 points) and high risk patients (Caprini score≥9 points) were 0% (0/7), 7.0% (8/115) and 27.7% (13/47), respectively (Z=1.670, P=0.008). Univariate analysis showed that there were significant differences between VTE group and control group in age, operation method, operation time, indwelling central venous catheter, postoperative bed rest time more than 72 hours (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that over 60 years old, operation method and operation time were independent risk factors for VTE after resection for thymic malignancies.

Conclusions: Over 60 years old, operation method and operation time are independent risk factors for VTE. Modified caprini assessment can effectively screen high-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3779/j.issn.1009-3419.2021.101.22DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8317096PMC
July 2021

Enhancing stability and resilience of electromethanogenesis system by acclimating biocathode with intermittent step-up voltage.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Oct 4;337:125376. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy, Department of Energy Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, PR China.

Electromethanogenesis (EMG) system could efficiently convert CO to CH by using excess renewable electricity. However, the fluctuation and interruption of renewable electricity will adversely affect the biocathode and therefore the CH production of the EMG system. In this work, a novel biocathode acclimation strategy with intermittent step-up voltage (ISUV) was proposed to improve the stability and resilience of the EMG system against the unstable input of renewable power. Compared with the intermittent application of constant voltage (IACV), the ISUV increased the rate of CH production by 11.7 times with the improvement of the stability and resilience by 56% and 500%, respectively. Morphology and microflora structure analysis revealed that the biofilm enriched with ISUV exhibited a compact microflora structure with high-density cells and nanowires interconnected. This study provided a novel effective strategy to regulate the biofilm structure and enhance the performance of the EMG system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125376DOI Listing
October 2021

Interactive Effects of Glucocorticoids and Cytochrome P450 Polymorphisms on the Plasma Trough Concentrations of Voriconazole.

Front Pharmacol 2021 25;12:666296. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Pharmacy, The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China.

To explore the interactive influence of glucocorticoids and cytochrome P450 (CYP450) polymorphisms on voriconazole (VRC) plasma trough concentrations (C) and provide a reliable basis for reasonable application of VRC. A total of 918 VRC C from 231 patients was collected and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography in this study. The genotypes of , , and were detected by DNA sequencing assay. The effects of different genotypes and the coadministration of glucocorticoids on VRC C were investigated. Furthermore, the interactive effects of glucocorticoids with CYP450s on VRC C were also analyzed. The median C of oral administration was lower than that of intravenous administration (1.51 vs. 4.0 mg l). Coadministration of glucocorticoids (including dexamethasone, prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone) reduced the VRC C/dose, respectively, among which dexamethasone make the median of the VRC C/dose ratio lower. As a result, when VRC was coadministrated with glucocorticoids, the proportion of VRC C/dose in the subtherapeutic window was increased. Different CYP450 genotypes have different effects on the C/dose of VRC. Mutations of and increased C/dose of VRC, while and rs4646437 polymorphisms decreased C/dose of VRC. The mutation of has no significant effect. Furthermore, mutants could strengthen the effects of glucocorticoids and decrease VRC C/dose to a larger extent. Our study revealed that glucocorticoids reduced the C/dose levels of VRC and different SNPs of CYP450 have different effects on the C/dose ratio of VRC. Glucocorticoids and mutants had a synergistic effect on reducing VRC C/dose. The present results suggested that when VRC is combined with glucocorticoids, we should pay more attention to the clinical efficacy of VRC, especially when mutants exist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.666296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185288PMC
May 2021

Effects of high-fat diet on the formation of depressive-like behavior in mice.

Food Funct 2021 Jul 1;12(14):6416-6431. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

College of Pharmaceutical Science, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China.

Depression is an important global health issue that is associated with serious physical and mental health consequences. The field of nutritional psychiatry has generated observational and efficacy data supporting a role for healthy dietary patterns in depression. Here, we aim to evaluate the effects of high-fat diet (HFD) consumption on depressive-like behaviors. BALB/c mice were grouped randomly: control, chronic restraint stress (CRS), HFD and CRS + HFD groups. The depressive-like behavior was evaluated using behavioral tests. The serotonin content in murine brain tissue and blood lipid concentrations were detected by ELISA. The fatty acid content in the liver, adipose tissue of epididymis, brain tissue, and serum of mice was determined by gas chromatography (GC). Expression of the fatty acid synthesis pathway-related enzymes at the mRNA level was analyzed by qRT-PCR. The results indicated that a high-fat diet could promote depressive-like behavior. In comparison with regular feeding, concentrations of blood lipids were significantly changed in the HFD group. Correlation analysis implied that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) were closely related to depressive-like behavior. Based on fatty acid analysis, the palmitoleic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and arachidonic acid content was remarkably changed in mice with depressive-like behavior. In addition, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), and fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) expression, which are involved in de novo fatty acid synthesis, desaturation of fatty acids, and arachidonic acid synthesis, were strengthened in HFD mice with depressive-like behavior. Therefore, we postulated that the disorder of lipid metabolism induced by HFD consumption accelerated the development of depressive-like behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1fo00044fDOI Listing
July 2021

Case Report: Amplified in a Thymoma Patient With Autoimmune Enteropathy and Myocarditis.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 13;12:661316. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Introduction: Thymoma is a type of mediastinal malignant tumors which always associated with autoimmune diseases. Although surgery is the predominant treatment method for thymoma, the pathogenesis of thymoma and thymoma-associated autoimmune diseases is still unknown. However, the case study here provided a possible pathogenesis and treatment to cure the thymoma with autoimmune enteropathy and myocarditis.

Case Presentation: A thymoma case with autoimmune enteropathy and myocarditis undergoing surgery was reported. The symptoms and laboratory results of the patient had dramatically fluctuated after tumor resection and gradually alleviated. The whole exome sequencing found amplified in tumor cells. Immunohistochemistry indicated that thymoma cells were positive for MDM4. The result of drug sensitivity tests showed thymoma cells were highly sensitive to Nutlin-3a.

Conclusion: could play an important role in the pathogenesis of this thymoma case with autoimmune enteropathy and myocarditis. This discovery may provide a novel idea of pathogenesis and treatment for thymoma and autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.661316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155580PMC
May 2021

Intermittent fasting ameliorates di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate-induced precocious puberty in female rats: A study of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

Reprod Biol 2021 Sep 18;21(3):100513. Epub 2021 May 18.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Analysis, Fujian Academy of Medical Sciences, Fuzhou, 350001, China; Shengli Clinical Medical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, 350001, China; Department of Endocrinology, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou, 350001, China. Electronic address:

Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate has been reported to interfere with the development and function of animal reproductive systems. However, hardly any studies provide methods to minimize or prevent the adverse effects of DEHP on reproduction. The energy balance state of mammals is closely related to reproductive activities, and the reproductive axis can regulate reproductive activities according to changes in the body's energy balance state. In this study, the effects of every other day fasting (EODF), as a way of intermittent fasting, on preventing the precocious puberty induced by DEHP in female rats was studied. EODF significantly improved the advancement of vaginal opening age (as the markers of puberty onset) and elevated serum levels of luteinizing hormone and estradiol (detected by ELISA) induced by 5 mg kg DEHP exposure (D5). The mRNA and western blot results showed that the EODF could minimized the increase of gonadotropin-releasing hormone expression induced by DEHP exposure. The administration of DEHP could elevate the levels of kisspeptin protein and the number of kisspeptin-immunoreactive neurons in anteroventral periventricular nucleu, and this increase was diminished considerably by EODF treatment. In contrast, the D5 and D0 groups showed no remarkable difference in the level of Kiss1 expression in arcuate nucleus, whereas the D5 + EODF group had a remarkable decrease in kisspeptin expression as compared with the other two groups. Our results indicated that EODF might inhibit the acceleration of puberty onset induced by DEHP exposure via HPG axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2021.100513DOI Listing
September 2021

Supraphysiological estradiol promotes human T follicular helper cell differentiation and favours humoural immunity during in vitro fertilization.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 Jul 24;25(14):6524-6534. Epub 2021 May 24.

Central Laboratory, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

During pregnancy, humoural immunity is essential for protection against many extracellular pathogens; however, autoimmune diseases may be induced or aggravated. T follicular helper (Tfh) cells contribute to humoural immunity. The aim of this study was to test whether Tfh cell function can be manipulated via hormones. Seventy-four women who underwent in vitro fertilization were recruited and divided into four groups: menstrual period (MP), controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), embryo transfer (ET) and pregnant after embryo transfer (P). A flow cytometry analysis was performed to identify Tfh cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Bioinformatics analysis revealed a possible pathway between Tfh and B cells. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to detect interleukin (IL)-21 and IL-6. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to quantify BCL-6, BACH2, XBP-1, IRF-4 and G protein-coupled (GP)ER-1 mRNA expression. Compared with the MP group, the COH, ET and P groups showed more Tfh and B cells, as well as higher IL-21, IL-6, BCL-6 and BACH2 expression. Furthermore, Tfh cell frequency in PBMCs, as well as serum IL-21 and IL-6 levels, were all positively correlated with serum estradiol (E ) levels; the B cell percentage also correlated positively with Tfh cells in PBMCs. Combined with the bioinformatics analysis, XBP-1, IRF-4 and GPER-1 expression was related to E levels, both in vivo and in vitro. We speculate that E augments Tfh cells and favours humoural immunity. This study indicates that Tfh cell regulation may be a novel target in maintaining the maternal-foetal immune balance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278094PMC
July 2021

Islet β-cells physiological difference study of old and young mice based on single-cell transcriptomics.

J Diabetes Investig 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Provincial Clinical College, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China.

Aims/introduction: Body aging is a universal biological process. With aging, cells undergo a series of physiological changes. The main feature is cell proliferation decline, although the cells still have normal functions. Pancreatic β-cells are no exception. However, the physiological senescence of β-cells, and the resulting function and transcriptome changes have rarely attracted attention. The specific senescence phenotype of β-cells remains unknown.

Materials And Methods: Pancreatic samples from three female C57BL/6 mice with aged 2.5 months (young) mice and 20 months (old) were digested to a single-cell suspension and analyzed, with 10× Genomics single-cell ribonucleic acid sequencing, β-cells were determined by biosynthesis analysis, and differences between old and young mice were identified.

Results: A total of 47 differential genes with significant and statistical significance were screened in β-cells (fold change >1.5, P < 0.05). In old mice, 27 genes were upregulated and 20 genes were downregulated. Genes Mt1, Mt2, Pyy, Gcg and Pnlip, and mitochondrial genes mt-Nd1, mt-Nd3, mt-Co1, mt-Co2 and mt-Co3 were found to be involved in cellular senescence. Transcription factors Jund and Fos were important regulators of senescence.

Conclusions: An overall difference was found between the pancreatic β-cells of old and young mice. Transcription factors facilitate transitions between pancreatic β-cells. These findings are worthy of deep exploration, and provide new resources and directions for the research of pancreatic aging in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jdi.13579DOI Listing
May 2021

Melatonin ameliorates ovarian dysfunction by regulating autophagy in PCOS via the PI3K-Akt pathway.

Reproduction 2021 06 7;162(1):73-82. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Medicine Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.

Emerging evidence has demonstrated that melatonin (MT) plays a crucial role in regulating mammalian reproductive functions. It has been reported that MT has a protective effect on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, the protective mechanisms of MT remain poorly understood. This study aims to explore the effect of MT on ovarian function in PCOS and to elucidate the relevant molecular mechanisms in vivo and in vitro. We first analysed MT expression levels in the follicular fluid of PCOS patients. A significant reduction in MT expression levels was noted in PCOS patients. Intriguingly, reduced MT levels correlated with serum testosterone and inflammatory cytokine levels in follicular fluid. Moreover, we confirmed the protective function of MT through regulating autophagy in a DHEA-induced PCOS rat model. Autophagy was activated in the ovarian tissue of the PCOS rat model, whereas additional MT inhibited autophagy by increasing PI3K--Akt pathway expression. In addition, serum-free testosterone, inflammatory and apoptosis indexes were reduced after MT supplementation. Furthermore, we also found that MT suppressed autophagy and apoptosis by activating the PI3K-Akt pathway in the DHEA-exposed human granulosa cell line KGN. Our study showed that MT ameliorated ovarian dysfunction by regulating autophagy in DHEA-induced PCOS via the PI3K-Akt pathway, revealing a potential therapeutic drug target for PCOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-20-0643DOI Listing
June 2021

Analysis of carbon emission performance and regional differences in China's eight economic regions: Based on the super-efficiency SBM model and the Theil index.

PLoS One 2021 5;16(5):e0250994. Epub 2021 May 5.

College of Architectural Engineering, Qingdao Binhai University, Qingdao, China.

China's carbon emission performance has significant regional heterogeneity. Identified the sources of carbon emission performance differences and the influence of various driving factors in China's eight economic regions accurately is the premise for realizing China's carbon emission reduction goals. Based on the provincial panel data from 2005 to 2017, the super-efficiency SBM model and Malmquist model are constructed in this paper to measure regional carbon emission performance's static and dynamic changes. After that, the Theil index is used to distinguish the impact of inter-regional and intra-regional differences on different regions' carbon emissions performance. Finally, by introducing the Tobit model, the effect of various driving factors on carbon emission performance differences is analyzed quantitatively. The results show that: (1) There are significant differences in different regions' carbon emission performance, but the overall carbon emission performance presents an upward fluctuation trend. Malmquist index decomposition results show substantial differences in technology progress index and technology efficiency index in different regions, leading to significant carbon emission performance differences. (2) Overall, inter-regional differences contribute the most to the overall carbon emission performance, up to more than 80%. Among them, the inter-regional and intra-regional differences in ERMRYR contributed significantly. (3) Through Tobit regression analysis, it is found that residents' living standards, urbanization level, ecological development degree, and industrial structure positively affect carbon emission performance. On the contrary, energy intensity presents an apparent negative correlation on carbon emission performance. Therefore, to improve the carbon emission performance, we should put forward targeted suggestions according to the characteristics of different regional development stages, regional carbon emission differences, and influencing driving factors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0250994PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099138PMC
May 2021

Decreased Serum 25-(OH)-D Level Associated With Muscle Enzyme and Myositis Specific Autoantibodies in Patients With Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathy.

Front Immunol 2021 15;12:642070. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Rheumatology, Shanxi Medical University Second Affiliated Hospital, Taiyuan, China.

Objectives: To determine whether there is serum vitamin D deficiency and the low levels of serum vitamin D are correlated with serological and immunological indexes in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM).

Methods: A total of 63 newly diagnosed patients with IIM, and 55 age- and sex- matched healthy controls were enrolled. Serum levels of 25-(OH)-D were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The correlations of 25-(OH)-D levels with disease indicators and T cell subsets were analyzed.

Result: The levels of serum 25-(OH)-D in IIM were significantly lower than those in healthy controls (9.36 ± 5.56 vs 26.56 ± 5.37 ng/ml, p<0.001). The levels of serum liver enzyme ALT and AST and muscle enzyme CK, CKMB, LDH and HBDH were elevated as deficiency of vitamin D. In addition, the serum 25-(OH)-D levels were negatively correlated to ALT (r = -0.408, p = 0.001) and AST (r = -0.338, p = 0.007). The 25-(OH)-D levels in IIM patients in presence of anti-Jo-1 were significantly lower than those in patients without anti-Jo-1 (5.24 ± 3.17 vs 9.32 ± 5.60 ng/ml; p = 0.037). Similar results were found in patients with or without anti-Mi-2 antibody. The serum 25-(OH)-D levels were positively associated with total T (r = 0.203, p = 0.012) and Treg cells (r = 0.331, p = 0.013). The patients with deficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to have heliotrope, gastrointestinal and liver involvement.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency existed in IIM patients, which was significantly correlated with muscle enzyme, presence of anti-Jo-1 and anti-Mi-2 antibody, and the absolute numbers of total T and Treg cells in IIM. It is suggested that vitamin D may play an important role in the immunological pathogenesis of IIM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.642070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082096PMC
September 2021

Protein-derived structures determines the redox capacity of humic acids formed during hyperthermophilic composting.

Waste Manag 2021 May 23;126:810-820. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

National-Regional Joint Engineering Research Center for Soil Pollution Control and Remediation in South China, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Control and Management, Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.

Humic acid (HA) in compost has received widespread attention for its high redox activity, which can mediate the degradation of organic pollution and the passivation of heavy metals in the environment. Hyperthermophilic composting (HTC) can accelerate HA formation. However, few studies have examined whether and how the structures of different organics affect the formation of the HA and HA redox structure at the molecular level in HTC. Detailed molecular information and the redox capacity (electron transfer capacity, ETC) of HA in HTC and thermophilic composting (TC) were characterized using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and the electrochemical method, respectively. HTC promoted the formation of redox structure, leading to the improvement of the ETC of HA. Aromatics and N-containing compounds were mainly derived from protein components, and the rate at which they were transferred into HA was accelerated in HTC, while the relative abundance of lipids decreased. Partial least squares regression and correlation analysis demonstrated that protein-derived compounds were the key factor determining the HA redox capacity. Finally, partial least squares path modeling suggested that the influence mechanism of protein-derived structures on HA redox capacity might differ in HTC and TC. HTC may promote the relative abundance of N-containing components into the C-skeleton and accelerate the accumulation of the aromatic products, thereby improve the HA redox capacity. These findings provided new insight into how the redox capacity of the HA in compost could be improved and how compost products could be prepared for use in environmental remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2021.04.016DOI Listing
May 2021

Hyperthermophilic composting significantly decreases methane emissions: Insights into the microbial mechanism.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 18;784:147179. Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and Regulation, College of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China; National-Regional Joint Engineering Research Center for Soil Pollution Control and Remediation in South China, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Control and Management, Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China.

Methane (CH) emissions from thermophilic composting (TC) are a substantial contributor to climate change. Hyperthermophilic composting (HTC) can influence CH-related microbial communities at temperatures up to 80 °C, and thus impact the CH emissions during composting. This work investigated CH emissions in sludge-derived HTC, and explored microbial community succession with quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing. Results demonstrated that HTC decreased CH emissions by 52.5% compared with TC. In HTC, the CH production potential and CH oxidation potential were nearly 40% and 64.1% lower than that of TC, respectively. There was a reduction in the quantity of mcrA (3.7 × 10 to 0 g TS) in HTC, which was more significant than the reduction in pmoA (2.0 × 10 to 2.1 × 10 g TS), and thus lead to reduce CH emissions. It was found that the abundance of most methanogens and methanotrophs was inhibited in the hyperthermal environment, with a decline in Methanosarcina, Methanosaeta and Methanobrevibacter potentially being responsible for reducing the CH emissions in HTC. This work provides important insight into mitigating CH emissions in composting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147179DOI Listing
August 2021

Placing covered self-expanding metal stents by suspension laryngoscope in benign tracheal stenosis.

Am J Otolaryngol 2021 Sep-Oct;42(5):103040. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Background: Tracheobronchial stent placement for malignant airway strictures has been proved to improve respiratory function, but experience for benign tracheobronchial stenoses is limited. The purpose of our study is to investigate the efficacy of covered expandable metallic stents, inserted through a suspension laryngoscope, treating tracheal stenosis following intubation or tracheostomy.

Methods: From 2010 to 2018, 67 adult patients with the benign tracheal stenosis, underwent stent placement, using a suspension laryngoscope. According to the date of stent placement and stent caliber, these patients have been subdivided into two groups: Group 1 (from 2010 to 2013, stent caliber ranging from 16 to 20 mm) and Group 2 (from 2014 to 2018, stent caliber ranging from 18 to 22 mm). Complications, related reinterventions, and long-term prognosis were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: Primary successful stent placement was achieved and symptoms were improved in all patients. Complications occurred in 27 (40.3%) cases. Among these, there were 14 (20.9%) cases with stent migration, 10 (14.93%) with granulation tissue formation and 3 (4.48%) with pneumonia. Stent migration in Group 1 was nearly 30% higher than that in Group 2 (P = 0.002). Five of the 8 patients who had placement of 16 mm stents had stent migration, more often than with 20 mm stents (P = 0.002). Ten patients' trachea had slight narrowing but without any symptoms. Six patients still had granulation tissue but without any growth at least two-year follow-up (2 patients whose stents were removed more than 1 year after placement). Even without tracheal narrowing and granulation tissue, 5 patients felt persistent shortness of breath. 92.5% of the patients reported to be satisfied with significant improvement in symptoms.

Conclusions: Patients with tracheal obstruction secondary to intubation or tracheostomy can benefit from tracheal stents. Placing 16 mm stents might lead to stent migration more easily than 20 mm stents. Tracheal stents placed by a suspension laryngoscope provide a reasonable alternative to open surgery for patients with benign tracheal stenosis or obstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjoto.2021.103040DOI Listing
April 2021

Health Equity of Rural Residents in Southwest China.

Front Public Health 2021 23;9:611583. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

School of Public Health, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China.

The Chinese government stresses healthcare reform to improve the health of all residents in urban and rural areas. However, much research showed that inequities still existed in health status and health services utilization in China, especially in economically disadvantaged areas. Southwest China's Yunnan Province is an ethnic frontier region with lagging economic development. This study analyzed health equity among rural residents with various socio-economic and demographic statuses in Yunnan Province. Research on this area concerns rural residents. Our study was based on a household study sample consisting of 27,395 participants from six counties in Yunnan. For all participants, data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and health status were collected. The chi-square test and logistic regression were used to analyze factors influencing health. The concentration index was used to evaluate health equity. For all respondents, the 2-week prevalence, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and the required hospitalization rate were 7.3, 12.8, and 9.2%, respectively. After adjusting the age proportion of the sixth population census of Yunnan Province, the 2-week prevalence was 7.1%, the prevalence of chronic disease was 10.7%, and the hospitalization rate was 8.4%. The concentration indexes (CIs) reflecting health equity among the respondents with different incomes and educational levels were negative. There was health inequity among respondents with different incomes and educational levels. The respondents with lower incomes and educational levels had worse health. The common influencing factors included gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, marriage status, and the number of family members. Females, the aged, ethnic minorities, farmers, and the divorced or widowed had worse health status than the control groups. Larger numbers of family members correlated with better health. The respondents with lower incomes or educational levels had higher chronic disease prevalences. The associations between the 2-week prevalence, required hospitalization rate, and age were U-shaped; the lowest age group and the highest age group had higher rates. In conclusion, more attention should be paid to females, the aged, ethnic minorities, farmers, the divorced or widowed, residents with low income and low educational level, and those with chronic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.611583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8021781PMC
May 2021

Multivalent binding of the partially disordered SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid phosphoprotein dimer to RNA.

Biophys J 2021 07 29;120(14):2890-2901. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics Corvallis, Oregon. Electronic address:

The nucleocapsid phosphoprotein N plays critical roles in multiple processes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection cycle: it protects and packages viral RNA in N assembly, interacts with the inner domain of spike protein, binds to structural membrane (M) protein during virion packaging and maturation, and to proteases causing replication of infective virus particle. Even with its importance, very limited biophysical studies are available on the N protein because of its high level of disorder, high propensity for aggregation, and high susceptibility for autoproteolysis. Here, we successfully prepare the N protein and a 1000-nucleotide fragment of viral RNA in large quantities and purity suitable for biophysical studies. A combination of biophysical and biochemical techniques demonstrates that the N protein is partially disordered and consists of an independently folded RNA-binding domain and a dimerization domain, flanked by disordered linkers. The protein assembles as a tight dimer with a dimerization constant of sub-micromolar but can also form transient interactions with other N proteins, facilitating larger oligomers. NMR studies on the ∼100-kDa dimeric protein identify a specific domain that binds 1-1000-nt RNA and show that the N-RNA complex remains highly disordered. Analytical ultracentrifugation, isothermal titration calorimetry, multiangle light scattering, and cross-linking experiments identify a heterogeneous mixture of complexes with a core corresponding to at least 70 dimers of N bound to 1-1000 RNA. In contrast, very weak binding is detected with a smaller construct corresponding to the RNA-binding domain using similar experiments. A model that explains the importance of the bivalent structure of N to its binding on multivalent sites of the viral RNA is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2021.03.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007181PMC
July 2021
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