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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-04-07
    Description: Objective Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major public health burden in China, and its prevalence is increasing. This study aimed to determine the risk factors and biomarkers of NAFLD. Design An observational cross-sectional primary survey. Setting Central China. Participants The study included 1479 participants aged over 18 and below 80 years, not currently being treated for cancer or infectious disease or no surgery in the previous year, and no history of cancer or an infectious disease. Participants underwent clinical examination, metabolomic assay and anthropometric assessment. Univariate and logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate associations between covariates and NAFLD. Main outcome measures Risk factors and metabolic biomarkers including sex, body mass index, hypertension, body fat ratio, blood triglycerides, blood fasting glucose, liver enzyme elevation, uric acid and oleic acid-hydroxy oleic acid (OAHOA). Results Data from the 447 participants (mean age 44.3±11.9 years) were analysed, and the prevalence of NAFLD was 24.7%. Male sex (OR 3.484, 95% CI 2.028 to 5.988), body mass index ≥24 kg/m 2 (OR 8.494, 95% CI 5.581 to 12.928), body fat ratio (≥25 for women, ≥20 for men) (OR 1.833, 95% CI 1.286 to 2.756), triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L (OR 1.340, 95% CI 1.006 to 1.785), fasting glucose ≥6.1 mmol/L (OR 3.324, 95% CI 1.888 to 5.850), blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg or antihypertensive drug treatment (OR 1.451, 95% CI 1.069 to 1.970), uric acid (≥357 μmol/L for women, ≥416 μmol/L for men) (OR 2.755, 95% CI 2.009 to 3.778) and OAHOA (〈5 nmol/L) (OR 1.340, 95% CI 1.006 to 1.785) were independent predictors of NAFLD (all P〈0.05). These results were verified by all 1479 participants. Conclusions NAFLD was common among the study participants. In particular, NAFLD was correlated with uric acid. We identified OAHOA as a novel marker of NAFLD prevalence. It provides a reference on the prevention of NAFLD and related metabolic diseases with the rapid urbanisation, technological advancement and population ageing in China over the recent decades.
    Keywords: Open access, Public health, Epidemiology
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-08
    Description: A high concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although LDL-C levels vary among humans and are heritable, the genetic factors affecting LDL-C are not fully characterized. We identified a rare frameshift variant in the LIMA1 (also known as EPLIN or SREBP3 ) gene from a Chinese family of Kazakh ethnicity with inherited low LDL-C and reduced cholesterol absorption. In a mouse model, LIMA1 was mainly expressed in the small intestine and localized on the brush border membrane. LIMA1 bridged NPC1L1, an essential protein for cholesterol absorption, to a transportation complex containing myosin Vb and facilitated cholesterol uptake. Similar to the human phenotype, Lima1 -deficient mice displayed reduced cholesterol absorption and were resistant to diet-induced hypercholesterolemia. Through our study of both mice and humans, we identify LIMA1 as a key protein regulating intestinal cholesterol absorption.
    Keywords: Genetics, Medicine, Diseases
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Quinones, which are ubiquitous in nature, can act as sustainable and green electrode materials but face dissolution in organic electrolytes, resulting in fast fading of capacity and short cycle life. We report that quinone electrodes, especially calix[4]quinone (C4Q) in rechargeable metal zinc batteries coupled with a cation-selective membrane using an aqueous electrolyte, exhibit a high capacity of 335 mA h g –1 with an energy efficiency of 93% at 20 mA g –1 and a long life of 1000 cycles with a capacity retention of 87% at 500 mA g –1 . The pouch zinc batteries with a respective depth of discharge of 89% (C4Q) and 49% (zinc anode) can deliver an energy density of 220 Wh kg –1 by mass of both a C4Q cathode and a theoretical Zn anode. We also develop an electrostatic potential computing method to demonstrate that carbonyl groups are active centers of electrochemistry. Moreover, the structural evolution and dissolution behavior of active materials during discharge and charge processes are investigated by operando spectral techniques such as IR, Raman, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopies. Our results show that batteries using quinone cathodes and metal anodes in aqueous electrolyte are reliable approaches for mass energy storage.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 4
    Abstract: Reduced cardiac vagal control reflected in low heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with greater risks for cardiac morbidity and mortality. In two-stage meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies for three HRV traits in up to 53,174 individuals of European ancestry, we detect 17 genome-wide significant SNPs in eight loci. HRV SNPs tag non-synonymous SNPs (in NDUFA11 and KIAA1755), expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) (influencing GNG11, RGS6 and NEO1), or are located in genes preferentially expressed in the sinoatrial node (GNG11, RGS6 and HCN4). Genetic risk scores account for 0.9 to 2.6% of the HRV variance. Significant genetic correlation is found for HRV with heart rate (-0.74〈rg〈-0.55) and blood pressure (-0.35〈rg〈-0.20). These findings provide clinically relevant biological insight into heritable variation in vagal heart rhythm regulation, with a key role for genetic variants (GNG11, RGS6) that influence G-protein heterotrimer action in GIRK-channel induced pacemaker membrane hyperpolarization.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28613276
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-10-10
    Description: The alarmin cytokines IL-25, IL-33, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) play a critical role in asthma pathogenesis by inducing mucosal Th2-type cytokine production. Although environmental exposure to aeroallergens has been proposed as an alarmin trigger in asthma, there has been no systematic parallel study of the effects of allergen exposure on the expression of these cytokines in the airways of human asthmatics. Using single and sequential double immunohistochemistry, we evaluated the numbers and phenotypes of IL-25–, IL-33–, and TSLP-immunoreactive cells in sections of bronchial biopsies from mild atopic asthmatics ( n = 16) before and 24 h after allergen inhalational challenge. Allergen challenge highly increased expression of baseline immunoreactivity for IL-25, IL-33, and TSLP, both in the bronchial epithelium and submucosa ( p 〈 0.001), to a degree that correlated with the extent of the late phase of airway obstruction. Aside from epithelial cells, the principal source of immunoreactivity for all three alarmins, TSLP, and IL-33 immunoreactivity colocalized principally with endothelial cells and mast cells, neutrophils, and fibroblasts, whereas IL-25 immunoreactivity colocalized principally with eosinophils as well as endothelial cells, mast cells, and fibroblasts. The data implicate that allergen challenge directly increases airway alarmin expression in atopic asthmatics to a degree correlating with increase late-phase airway obstruction, affirming these molecules as potential molecular targets for the inhibition of allergen-induced airway inflammation and obstruction.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 6
    Abstract: Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have likely uncovered all common variants at the GWAS significance level. Additional variants within the suggestive range (0.0001〉 P 〉 5x10(-8)) are, however, still of interest for identifying causal associations. This analysis aimed to apply novel variant prioritization approaches to identify additional lung cancer variants that may not reach the GWAS level. Effects were combined across studies with a total of 33456 controls and 6756 adenocarcinoma (AC; 13 studies), 5061 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC; 12 studies) and 2216 small cell lung cancer cases (9 studies). Based on prior information such as variant physical properties and functional significance, we applied stratified false discovery rates, hierarchical modeling and Bayesian false discovery probabilities for variant prioritization. We conducted a fine mapping analysis as validation of our methods by examining top-ranking novel variants in six independent populations with a total of 3128 cases and 2966 controls. Three novel loci in the suggestive range were identified based on our Bayesian framework analyses: KCNIP4 at 4p15.2 (rs6448050, P = 4.6x10(-7)) and MTMR2 at 11q21 (rs10501831, P = 3.1x10(-6)) with SCC, as well as GAREM at 18q12.1 (rs11662168, P = 3.4x10(-7)) with AC. Use of our prioritization methods validated two of the top three loci associated with SCC (P = 1.05x10(-4) for KCNIP4, represented by rs9799795) and AC (P = 2.16x10(-4) for GAREM, represented by rs3786309) in the independent fine mapping populations. This study highlights the utility of using prior functional data for sequence variants in prioritization analyses to search for robust signals in the suggestive range.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26363033
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  • 7
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; COMBINATION ; LUNG ; MODEL ; MODELS ; TOXICITY ; CLASSIFICATION ; liver ; GENE ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; microarray ; validation ; QUALITY ; BREAST ; breast cancer ; BREAST-CANCER ; PERFORMANCE ; gene expression ; MICROARRAY DATA ; HUMANS ; microarrays ; PREDICTION ; PROJECT ; FOLLICULAR LYMPHOMA ; MULTIPLE-MYELOMA ; rodent ; neuroblastoma ; development ; methods ; GENE-EXPRESSION DATA ; DNA MICROARRAYS ; rodents ; RECOMMENDATIONS ; EXPRESSION DATA ; CONTROL MAQC PROJECT ; PUBLISHED MICROARRAY ; RISK-STRATIFICATION
    Abstract: Gene expression data from microarrays are being applied to predict preclinical and clinical endpoints, but the reliability of these predictions has not been established. In the MAQC-II project, 36 independent teams analyzed six microarray data sets to generate predictive models for classifying a sample with respect to one of 13 endpoints indicative of lung or liver toxicity in rodents, or of breast cancer, multiple myeloma or neuroblastoma in humans. In total, 〉30,000 models were built using many combinations of analytical methods. The teams generated predictive models without knowing the biological meaning of some of the endpoints and, to mimic clinical reality, tested the models on data that had not been used for training. We found that model performance depended largely on the endpoint and team proficiency and that different approaches generated models of similar performance. The conclusions and recommendations from MAQC-II should be useful for regulatory agencies, study committees and independent investigators that evaluate methods for global gene expression analysis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-10-18
    Description: In recent years, many scholars have carried out studies on c-C 4 F 8 and its gas mixture and found it has potential to be used as an environment-friendly insulating medium to replace SF 6 in medium-voltage equipment. In this paper, the c-C 4 F 8 and c-C 4 F 8 /N 2 gas mixture models were built to study its decomposition process by the combination of reactive molecular dynamics method and density functional theory. The yield of the main decomposition products, the reaction pathways and enthalpy under different temperatures were explored. It was found that the decomposition of c-C 4 F 8 /N 2 mainly produces CF 2 , F, CF 3 , CF, C, CF 4 and C 2 F 4 . c-C 4 F 8 can decompose to C 2 F 4 by absorbing 43.28 kcal/mol, which is the main decomposition path and this process easily occurs under high temperature. There is a dynamic equilibrium process among the various produced radicals, which ensures the insulation performance of system to a certain extent. The decomposition performance of c-C 4 F 8 /N 2 mixture is better than that of pure c-C 4 F 8 at the same temperature. Relevant results provide guidance for engineering application of the c-C 4 F 8 /N 2 gas mixture.
    Keywords: chemical physics, electrical engineering
    Electronic ISSN: 2054-5703
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Published by Royal Society
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-10-23
    Description: Genome-wide association studies have recently illuminated that WDFY4 is genetically associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility in various ethnic groups. Despite strong genetic evidence suggesting a role of WDFY4 in SLE pathogenesis, its functional relevance is largely unknown. In this study, we generated Wdfy4 B lymphocyte conditional knockout ( Wdfy4 -CKO) mice and found that loss of Wdfy4 led to a decrease in number of total B cells and several subpopulations of B cells in the periphery and a defect in the transition from the pro– to pre–B cell stage in bone marrow. Also, Wdfy4 -CKO mice showed impaired Ab responses as compared with controls when challenged with Ag. SLE phenotypes were effectively alleviated in Wdfy4 -CKO mice, with significantly diminished pristane-elicited production of autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis. Genetic silencing of WDFY4 in B cells increased lipidation of LC3 independent of p62 and Beclin1, which are essential proteins of canonical autophagy. Our in vivo and in vitro data suggest that WDFY4 facilitates noncanonical autophagic activity. Our findings provide a novel functional link underlying the mechanism of SLE in which WDFY4 influences B cell fate via noncanonical autophagy.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-11-03
    Description: Quantum oscillations are usually the manifestation of the underlying physical nature in condensed matter systems. Here, we report a new type of log-periodic quantum oscillations in ultraquantum three-dimensional topological materials. Beyond the quantum limit (QL), we observe the log-periodic oscillations involving up to five oscillating cycles (five peaks and five dips) on the magnetoresistance of high-quality single-crystal ZrTe 5 , virtually showing the clearest feature of discrete scale invariance (DSI). Further, theoretical analyses show that the two-body quasi-bound states can be responsible for the DSI feature. Our work provides a new perspective on the ground state of topological materials beyond the QL.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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