This is the extended project by introducing the modified dynamic range histogram modification (MDRHM) and is presented in this paper. This technique is used to enhance the scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging system. By comparing with the conventional histogram modification compensators, this technique utilizes histogram profiling by extending the dynamic range of each tile of an image to the limit of 0-255 range while retains its histogram shape. The proposed technique yields better image compensation compared to conventional methods.
Suicide attempts are the most important known predictor of death by suicide. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence, distribution, and associated factors of suicide attempts among young adolescents in 40 low-income and middle-income countries. We used data from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (2009-2013) and a nationally representative study in China (2010), which are school-based surveys of students primarily aged 12-18 years that assess health behaviors using an anonymous, standardized, self-reported questionnaire. We calculated the prevalence of suicide attempts in young adolescents from 40 low-income and middle-income countries using the surveys. Multilevel logistic models were used to estimate the associations between suicide attempts and potential risk factors, adjusting for gender, age, school and survey year. Results show that the mean 12-month prevalence of suicide attempts was 17.2%, ranging from 6.7% in Malaysia to 61.2% in Samoa. The overall prevalence of suicide attempts was higher for girls than for boys (18.2% vs 16.2%, P<0.05). Among the suicide attempts, the proportion of suicide attempts with a plan was higher for girls than for boys (62.7% vs 53.2%, P<0.05). Both the prevalence of suicide attempts and the proportion of suicide attempts with a plan increased with age. Factors associated with suicide attempts included poor socioeconomic status, history of bullying, loneliness and anxiety, tobacco and alcohol use, and weak family and social relationships. In conclusion, suicide attempts are frequent among young adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries. Girls and older adolescents tend to make suicide attempts with a plan. The data demonstrate the need to strengthen suicide intervention and prevention programs for young adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries.
Study name: Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)
Vancomycin has been documented to cause various adverse cutaneous reactions. We present a case report of a man, who developed a large localized erythematous plaque in his forearm following parenteral vancomycin therapy. We believe this to be the first reported case of such cutaneous reaction associated with parenteral vancomycin therapy.
Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) refers to the local aggregate of adipose tissue surrounding the vascular tree, exhibiting phenotypes from white to brown and beige adipocytes. Although PVAT has long been regarded as simply a structural unit providing mechanical support to vasculature, it is now gaining reputation as an integral endocrine/paracrine component, in addition to the well-established modulator endothelium, in regulating vascular tone. Since the discovery of anti-contractile effect of PVAT in 1991, the use of multiple rodent models of reduced amounts of PVAT has revealed its regulatory role in vascular remodeling and cardiovascular implications, including atherosclerosis. PVAT does not only release PVAT-derived relaxing factors (PVRFs) to activate multiple subsets of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle potassium channels and anti-inflammatory signals in the vasculature, but it does also provide an interface for neuron-adipocyte interactions in the vascular wall to regulate arterial vascular tone. In this review, we outline our current understanding towards PVAT and attempt to provide hints about future studies that can sharpen the therapeutic potential of PVAT against cardiovascular diseases and their complications.
The effects of differences in smoke concentration and exposure duration in Sprague Dawley rats to determine variation in type and severity of the testis apoptosis were evaluated. The daily dosages were 10, 20 and 30 non-filter cigarettes for a period of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks. Mainstream smoke exposure suppressed body weight gain in all regimens. A dose-related increase in plasma nicotine concentration was observed in smoke-exposed groups for 4, 6, 8 and 12 week regimens. Histopathological examination of the exposed groups showed disturbances in the stages of spermatogenesis, tubules atrophying and these appeared to be dose-related. Cytoplasmic caspase-3 immunostaining was detected both in Sertoli cells and germ cells in smoke-exposure groups. An increase in TUNEL-positive cells of testicular cells was observed after 6 weeks of cigarette exposure. The results indicate that cigarette exposure concentration and duration have interaction effect to induce apoptosis in the rat testes.
OBJECTIVE: This randomized, double-blind study evaluates the efficacy and tolerability of agomelatine, using fluoxetine as an active comparator, in Asian patients suffering from moderate to severe major depressive disorder (MDD).
METHOD: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either agomelatine (25-50mg/day, n=314) or fluoxetine (20-40mg/day, n=314) during an 8-week treatment period. The main outcome measure was the change in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17 items (HAM-D17) scores. Secondary efficacy criteria included scores on Clinical Global Impression Severity of illness (CGI-S) and Improvement of illness (CGI-I), patient sleeping improvement using the self-rating Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire (LSEQ) and anxiety using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) scores. Tolerability and safety evaluations were based on emergent adverse events.
RESULTS: Agomelatine and fluoxetine exert a comparable antidepressant efficacy in the Asian population. Mean changes over 8 weeks were clinically relevant and similar in both groups (-14.8±7.3 and -15.0±8.1 on HAM-D17 scale in agomelatine and fluoxetine groups, respectively). The between-group difference reached statistical significance on non-inferiority test (p=0.015). Clinically relevant decreases in CGI-S and CGI-I scores were observed over the treatment period in both groups. The two treatments were equally effective on the symptoms of both anxiety and sleep. The good tolerability profile and safety of both doses of agomelatine was confirmed in the Asian population.
CONCLUSIONS: Agomelatine and fluoxetine are equally effective in the treatment of MDD-associated symptoms in Asian depressed patients.
KEYWORDS: Agomelatine; Antidepressant; Asian population; Fluoxetine
Study site in Malaysia: Psychiatric clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nineteen pairs of gaseous and surface seawater samples were collected along the cruise from Malaysia to the south of Bay of Bengal passing by Sri Lanka between April 12 and May 4, 2011 on the Chinese research vessel Shiyan I to investigate the latest OCP pollution status over the equatorial Indian Ocean. Significant decrease of α-HCH and γ-HCH was found in the air and dissolved water phase owing to global restriction for decades. Substantially high levels of p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, trans-chlordane (TC), and cis-chlordane (CC) were observed in the water samples collected near Sri Lanka, indicating fresh continental riverine input of these compounds. Fugacity fractions suggest equilibrium of α-HCH at most sampling sites, while net volatilization for DDT isomers, TC and CC in most cases. Enantiomer fractions (EFs) of α-HCH and o,p'-DDT in the air and water samples were determined to trace the source of these compounds in the air. Racemic or close to racemic composition was found for atmospheric α-HCH and o,p'-DDT, while significant depletion of (+) enantiomer was found in the water phase, especially for o,p'-DDT (EFs = 0.310 ± 0.178). 24% of α-HCH in the lower air over the open sea of the equatorial Indian Ocean is estimated to be volatilized from local seawater, indicating that long-range transport is the main source.
Boldine is a potent natural antioxidant present in the leaves and bark of the Chilean boldo tree. Here we assessed the protective effects of boldine on endothelium in a range of models of diabetes, ex vivo and in vitro.
Increased oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of diabetes. Antioxidants are therapeutically beneficial for oxidative stress-associated diseases. Boldine ([s]-2,9-dihydroxy-1,10-dimethoxyaporphine) is a major alkaloid present in the leaves and bark of the boldo tree (Peumus boldus Molina), with known an antioxidant activity. This study examined the protective effects of boldine against high glucose-induced oxidative stress in rat aortic endothelial cells (RAEC) and its mechanisms of vasoprotection related to diabetic endothelial dysfunction. In RAEC exposed to high glucose (30 mM) for 48 h, pre-treatment with boldine reduced the elevated ROS and nitrotyrosine formation, and preserved nitric oxide (NO) production. Pre-incubation with β-NAPDH reduced the acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation; this attenuation was reversed by boldine. Compared with control, endothelium-dependent relaxation in the aortas of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated diabetic rats was significantly improved by both acute (1 μM, 30 min) and chronic (20mg/kg/daily, i.p., 7 days) treatment with boldine. Intracellular superoxide and peroxynitrite formation measured by DHE fluorescence or chemiluminescence assay were higher in sections of aortic rings from diabetic rats compared with control. Chronic boldine treatment normalized ROS over-production in the diabetic group and this correlated with reduction of NAD(P)H oxidase subunits, NOX2 and p47(phox). The present study shows that boldine reversed the increased ROS formation in high glucose-treated endothelial cells and restored endothelial function in STZ-induced diabetes by inhibiting oxidative stress and thus increasing NO bioavailability.
Angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7) counter-regulates the cardiovascular actions of angiotensin II (Ang II). The present study investigated the protective effect of Ang 1-7 against Ang II-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and endothelial dysfunction. Ex vivo treatment with Ang II (0.5 μM, 24 hours) impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in mouse aortas; this harmful effect of Ang II was reversed by co-treatment with ER stress inhibitors, l4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) and tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) as well as Ang 1-7. The Mas receptor antagonist, A779, antagonized the effect of Ang 1-7. The elevated mRNA expression of CHOP, Grp78 and ATF4 or protein expression of p-eIF2α and ATF6 (ER stress markers) in Ang II-treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mouse aortas were blunted by co-treatment with Ang 1-7 and the latter effect was reversed by A779. Furthermore, Ang II-induced reduction in both eNOS phosphorylation and NO production was inhibited by Ang 1-7. In addition, Ang 1-7 decreased the levels of ER stress markers and augmented NO production in HUVECs treated with ER stress inducer, tunicamycin. The present study provides new evidence for functional antagonism between the two arms of the renin-angiotensin system in endothelial cells by demonstrating that Ang 1-7 ameliorates Ang II-stimulated ER stress to raise NO bioavailability, and subsequently preserves endothelial function.
Taurine is indispensable in aquatic diets that are based solely on plant protein, and it promotes growth of many fish species. However, the physiological and metabolome effects of taurine on fish have not been well described. In this study, 1H NMR-based metabolomics approaches were applied to investigate the metabolite variations in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis nilotictus) muscle in order to visualize the metabolic trajectory and reveal the possible mechanisms of metabolic effects of dietary taurine supplementation on tilapia growth. After extraction using aqueous and organic solvents, 19 taurine-induced metabolic changes were evaluated in our study. The metabolic changes were characterized by differences in carbohydrate, amino acid, lipid, and nucleotide contents. The results indicate that taurine supplementation could significantly regulate the physiological state of fish and promote growth and development. These results provide a basis for understanding the mechanism of dietary taurine supplementation in fish feeding. 1H NMR spectroscopy, coupled with multivariate pattern recognition technologies, is an efficient and useful tool to map the fish metabolome and identify metabolic responses to different dietary nutrients in aquaculture.
Salvianolic acid B (Sal B) is one of the most abundant phenolic acids derived from the root of Danshen with potent anti-oxidative properties. The present study examined the vasoprotective effect of Sal B in hypertensive mice induced by angiotensin II (Ang II). Sal B (25mg/kg/day) was administered via oral gavage for 11days to Ang II (1.2mg/kg/day)-infused C57BL/6J mice (8-10weeks old). The vascular reactivity (both endothelium-dependent relaxations and contractions) in mouse arteries was examined by wire myography. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), protein level and localization of angiotensin AT1 receptors and the proteins involved in ROS formation were evaluated using dihydroethidium (DHE) fluorescence, lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence, immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, respectively. The changes of ROS generating proteins were also assessed in vitro in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exposed to Ang II with and without co-treatment with Sal B (0.1-10nM). Oral administration of Sal B reversed the Ang II-induced elevation of arterial systolic blood pressure in mice, augmented the impaired endothelium-dependent relaxations and attenuated the exaggerated endothelium-dependent contractions in both aortas and renal arteries of Ang II-infused mice. In addition, Sal B treatment normalized the elevated levels of AT1 receptors, NADPH oxidase subunits (NOx-2 and NOx-4) and nitrotyrosine in arteries of Ang II-infused mice or in Ang II-treated HUVECs. In summary, the present study provided additional evidence demonstrating that Sal B treatment for 11days reverses the impaired endothelial function and with a marked inhibition of AT1 receptor-dependent vascular oxidative stress. This vasoprotective and anti-oxidative action of Sal B most likely contributes to the anti-hypertensive action of the plant-derived compound.
Yunnan in southwestern China is renowned for its high plant diversity. To understand how this modern botanical richness formed, it is critical to investigate the past biodiversity throughout the geological time. In this review, we present a summary on plant diversity, floristics and climates in the Cenozoic of Yunnan and document their changes, by compiling published palaeobotanical sources. Our review demonstrates that thus far a total of 386 fossil species of ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms belonging to 170 genera within 66 families have been reported from the Cenozoic, particularly the Neogene, of Yunnan. Angiosperms display the highest richness represented by 353 species grouped into 155 genera within 60 families, with Fagaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae and Juglandaceae being the most diversified. Most of the families and genera recorded as fossils still occur in Yunnan, but seven genera have disappeared, including Berryophyllum, Cedrelospermum, Cedrus, Palaeocarya, Podocarpium, Sequoia and Wataria. The regional extinction of these genera is commonly referred to an aridification of the dry season associated with Asian monsoon development. Floristic analyses indicate that in the late Miocene, Yunnan had three floristic regions: a northern subtropical floristic region in the northeast, a subtropical floristic region in the east, and a tropical floristic region in the southwest. In the late Pliocene, Yunnan saw two kinds of floristic regions: a subalpine floristic region in the northwest, and two subtropical floristic regions separately in the southwest and the eastern center. These floristic concepts are verified by results from our areal type analyses which suggest that in the Miocene southwestern Yunnan supported the most Pantropic elements, while in the Pliocene southwestern Yunnan had abundant Tropical Asia (Indo-Malaysia) type and East Asia and North America disjunct type that were absent from northwestern Yunnan. From the late Miocene to late Pliocene through to the present, floristic composition and vegetation types changed markedly, presumably in response to altitude changes and coeval global cooling. An integration of palaeoclimate data suggests that during the Neogene Yunnan was warmer and wetter than today. Moreover, northern Yunnan witnessed a pronounced temperature decline, while southern Yunnan experienced only moderate temperature changes. Summer precipitation was consistently higher than winter precipitation, suggesting a rainfall seasonality. This summary on palaeoclimates helps us to understand under what conditions plant diversity occurred and evolved in Yunnan throughout the Cenozoic.
The Rlm7 gene in Brassica napus is an important source of resistance for control of phoma stem canker on oilseed rape caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans. This study shows the first report of L. maculans isolates virulent against Rlm7 in the UK. Leptosphaeria maculans isolates virulent against Rlm7 represented 3% of the pathogen population when cultivars with the Rlm7 gene represented 5% of the UK oilseed rape area in 2012/13. However, the Rlm7 gene has been widely used since then, representing >15% of the UK oilseed rape area in 2015/16. Winter oilseed rape field experiments included cultivars with the Rlm7 gene, with the Rlm4 gene or without Rlm genes and took place at five sites in the UK over four cropping seasons. An increase in phoma leaf spotting severity on Rlm7 cultivars in successive seasons was observed. Major resistance genes played a role in preventing severe phoma leaf spotting at the beginning of the cropping season and, in addition, quantitative resistance (QR) in the cultivars examined made an important contribution to control of phoma stem canker development at the end of the cropping season. Deployment of the Rlm7 resistance gene against L. maculans in cultivars with QR in combination with sustainable disease management practices will prolong the use of this gene for effective control of phoma stem canker epidemics.
An advanced electrodialysis fermentation system was set up to remove ammonium during hydrogen fermentation. When the voltage was increased from 0 to 6 V, the average ammonium removal rate was improved from 8.7 to 31.1 mg/L/h at an initial ammonium concentration of 3000 mg/L. A model based on the Nernst-Plank equation and porous media properties of ion exchange membranes was successfully implemented to predict the ammonium removal performance. When such a system was fed with synthetic wastewater at an ammonium concentration of 3000 mg/L for hydrogen fermentation, a significant increase in specific hydrogen yield was observed in the experiment group at 4 V. Specific hydrogen yield was 225.0 mL/g glucose, this value is 47.9% higher than the control. Moreover, ammonium concentration in experiment group was reduced to 701.6 mg/L at 72 h when voltage was set at 4 V, which is 63.7% lower than that in 0 V experiment group.
Nineteen pairs of air and seawater samples collected from the equatorial Indian Ocean onboard the Shiyan I from 4/2011 to 5/2011 were analyzed for PCBs and HCB. Gaseous concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs (ICES: International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) and HCB were lower than previous data over the study area. Air samples collected near the coast had higher levels of PCBs relative to those collected in the open ocean, which may be influenced by proximity to source regions and air mass origins. Dissolved concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs and HCB were 1.4-14 pg L⁻¹ and 0.94-13 pg L⁻¹, with the highest concentrations in the sample collected from Strait of Malacca. Fugacity fractions suggest volatilization of PCBs and HCB from the seawater to air during the cruise, with fluxes of 0.45-34 ng m⁻² d⁻¹ and 0.36-18 ng m⁻² d⁻¹, respectively.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in endothelial cells often leads to endothelial dysfunction which underlies the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. Paeonol, a major phenolic component extracted from Moutan Cortex, possesses various medicinal benefits which have been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine. The present study investigated the protective mechanism of paeonol against tunicamycin-induced ER stress in isolated mouse aortas and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Vascular reactivity in aorta was measured using a wire myograph. The effects of paeonol on protein expression of ER stress markers, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ) activity in the vascular wall were assessed by Western blot, dihydroethidium fluorescence (DHE) or lucigenin enhanced-chemiluminescence, 4-amino-5-methylamino-2',7'-difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM DA) and dual luciferase reporter assay, respectively. Ex vivo treatment with paeonol (0.1μM) for 16h reversed the impaired endothelium-dependent relaxations in C57BJ/6J and PPARδ wild type (WT) mouse aortas following incubation with tunicamycin (0.5μg/mL). Elevated ER stress markers, oxidative stress and reduction of NO bioavailability induced by tunicamycin in HUVECs, C57BJ/6J and PPARδ WT mouse aortas were reversed by paeonol treatment. These beneficial effects of paeonol were diminished in PPARδ knockout (KO) mouse aortas. Paeonol increased the expression of 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and PPARδ expression and activity while restoring the decreased phosphorylation of eNOS. The present study delineates that paeonol protects against tunicamycin-induced vascular endothelial dysfunction by inhibition of ER stress and oxidative stress, thus elevating NO bioavailability via the AMPK/PPARδ signaling pathway.
Human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus was first reported on March, 2013 in the Yangtze River Delta region of China. The majority of human cases were detected in mainland China; other regions out of mainland China reported imported human cases, including Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan (the Republic of China) and Malaysia, due to human transportation. Here, we report the first human case of H7N9 infection imported into Guizhou Province during the Spring Festival travel season in January 2014.
Human risk allele carriers of Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1) and LSD1 deficient mice have salt sensitive hypertension for unclear reasons. We hypothesized that LSD1 deficiency causes dysregulation of aldosterone's response to salt intake resulting in increased cardiovascular risk factors [blood pressure and microalbumin]. Furthermore, we determined the effect of biological sex on these potential abnormalities. To test our hypotheses, LSD1 male and female heterozygote knockout (LSD1+/-) and wild type (WT) mice were assigned to two age groups: 18 weeks and 36 weeks. Plasma aldosterone levels and aldosterone production from zona glomerulosa cells studied ex vivo were greater in both male and female LSD1+/- mice consuming a liberal salt diet as compared to WT mice consuming the same diet. However, salt sensitive blood pressure elevation and increased microalbuminuria were only observed in male LSD1+/- mice. These data suggest that LSD1 interacts with aldosterone's secretory response to salt intake. Lack of LSD1 causes inappropriate aldosterone production on a liberal salt diet; males appear to be more sensitive to this aldosterone increase as males, but not females, develop salt sensitivity of blood pressure and increased microalbuminuria. The mechanism responsible for the cardiovascular protective effect in females is uncertain but may be related to estrogen modulating the effect of mineralocorticoid receptor activation.