BackgroundNuciferine is a major active aporphine alkaloid from the leaves of N. nucifera Gaertn that possesses anti-hyperlipidemia, anti-hypotensive, anti-arrhythmic, and insulin secretagogue activities. However, it is currently unknown whether nuciferine can benefit hepatic lipid metabolism.Methodology/Principal FindingsIn the current study, male golden hamsters were randomly divided into four groups fed a normal diet, a high-fat diet (HFD), or a HFD supplemented with nuciferine (10 and 15 mg/kg·BW/day). After 8 weeks of intervention, HFD-induced increases in liver and visceral adipose tissue weight, dyslipidemia, liver steatosis, and mild necroinflammation in hamsters were analyzed. Nuciferine supplementation protected against HFD-induced changes, alleviated necroinflammation, and reversed serum markers of metabolic syndrome in hamsters fed a HFD. RT-PCR and western blot analyses revealed that hamsters fed a HFD had up-regulated levels of genes related to lipogenesis, increased free fatty acid infiltration, and down-regulated genes involved in lipolysis and very low density lipoprotein secretion. In addition, gene expression of cytochrome P4502E1 and tumor necrosis factor-α were also increased in the HFD group. Nuciferine supplementation clearly suppressed HFD-induced alterations in the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism.Conclusions/SignificanceNuciferine supplementation ameliorated HFD-induced dyslipidemia as well as liver steatosis and injury. The beneficial effects of nuciferine were associated with altered expression of hepatic genes involved in lipid metabolism.
Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a pandemic worldwide. Old age and underlying illnesses are associated with poor prognosis among COVID-19 patients. However, whether frailty, a common geriatric syndrome of reduced reserve to stressors, is associated with poor prognosis among older COVID-19 patients is unknown. The aim of our study is to investigate the association between frailty and severe disease among COVID-19 patients aged ≥ 60 years. Methods A prospective cohort study of 114 hospitalized older patients (≥ 60 years) with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia was conducted between 7 February 2020 and 6 April 2020. Epidemiological, demographic, clinical, laboratory, and outcome data on admission were extracted from electronic medical records. All patients were assessed for frailty on admission using the FRAIL scale, in which five components are included: fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illnesses, and loss of weight. The outcome was the development of the severe disease within 60 days. We used the Cox proportional hazards models to identify the unadjusted and adjusted associations between frailty and severe illness. The significant variables in univariable analysis were included in the adjusted model. Results Of 114 patients, (median age, 67 years; interquartile range = 64–75 years; 57 [50%] men), 39 (34.2%), 39 (34.2%), and 36 (31.6%) were non-frail, pre-frail, and frail, respectively. During the 60 days of follow-up, 43 severe diseases occurred including eight deaths. Four of 39 (10.3%) non-frail patients, 15 of 39 (38.5%) pre-frail patients, and 24 of 36 (66.7%) frail patients progressed to severe disease. After adjustment of age, sex, body mass index, haemoglobin, white blood count, lymphocyte count, albumin, CD8+ count, D-dimer, and C-reactive protein, frailty (HR = 7.47, 95% CI 1.73–32.34, P = 0.007) and pre-frailty (HR = 5.01, 95% CI 1.16–21.61, P = 0.03) were associated with a higher hazard of severe disease than the non-frail. Conclusions Frailty, assessed by the FRAIL scale, was associated with a higher risk of developing severe disease among older COVID-19 patients. Our findings suggested that the use of a clinician friendly assessment of frailty could help in early warning of older patients at high-risk with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.
In leukemia, oral manifestations indicate aberrations in oral microbiota. Microbiota structure is determined by both host and environmental factors. In human hosts, how health status shapes the composition of oral microbiota is largely unknown. Taking advantage of advances in high-throughput sequencing, we compared the composition of supragingival plaque microbiota of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) pediatric patients with healthy controls. The oral microbiota of leukemia patients had lower richness and less diversity compared to healthy controls. Microbial samples clustered into two major groups, one of ALL patients and another of healthy children, with different structure and composition. Abundance changes of certain taxa including the Phylum Firmicutes, the Class Bacilli, the Order Lactobacillales, the Family Aerococcaceae and Carnobacteriaceae, as well as the Genus Abiotrophia and Granulicatella were associated with leukemia status. ALL patients demonstrated a structural imbalance of the oral microbiota, characterized by reduced diversity and abundance alterations, possibly involved in systemic infections, indicating the importance of immune status in shaping the structure of oral microbiota.
BACKGROUND: Isolated postchallenge diabetes (IPD), a subtype of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) defined as 2-h postprandial plasma glucose Ն200 mg/dL (Ն11.1 mmol/L) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) Ͻ108 mg/dL (Ͻ6.0 mmol/L), is often overlooked during screening for diabetes on the basis of FPG concentrations. A key challenge is early identification of IPD by the use of fasting serum, which is critical for large-scale diabetes screening.
BackgroundCalcium deficiency is a global public-health problem. Although the initial stage of calcium deficiency can lead to metabolic alterations or potential pathological changes, calcium deficiency is difficult to diagnose accurately. Moreover, the details of the molecular mechanism of calcium deficiency remain somewhat elusive. To accurately assess and provide appropriate nutritional intervention, we carried out a global analysis of metabolic alterations in response to calcium deficiency.MethodsThe metabolic alterations associated with calcium deficiency were first investigated in a rat model, using urinary metabonomics based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry and multivariate statistical analysis. Correlations between dietary calcium intake and the biomarkers identified from the rat model were further analyzed to confirm the potential application of these biomarkers in humans.ResultsUrinary metabolic-profiling analysis could preliminarily distinguish between calcium-deficient and non-deficient rats after a 2-week low-calcium diet. We established an integrated metabonomics strategy for identifying reliable biomarkers of calcium deficiency using a time-course analysis of discriminating metabolites in a low-calcium diet experiment, repeating the low-calcium diet experiment and performing a calcium-supplement experiment. In total, 27 biomarkers were identified, including glycine, oxoglutaric acid, pyrophosphoric acid, sebacic acid, pseudouridine, indoxyl sulfate, taurine, and phenylacetylglycine. The integrated urinary metabonomics analysis, which combined biomarkers with regular trends of change (types A, B, and C), could accurately assess calcium-deficient rats at different stages and clarify the dynamic pathophysiological changes and molecular mechanism of calcium deficiency in detail. Significant correlations between calcium intake and two biomarkers, pseudouridine (Pearson correlation, r = 0.53, P = 0.0001) and citrate (Pearson correlation, r = -0.43, P = 0.001), were further confirmed in 70 women.ConclusionsTo our knowledge, this is the first report of reliable biomarkers of calcium deficiency, which were identified using an integrated strategy. The identified biomarkers give new insights into the pathophysiological changes and molecular mechanisms of calcium deficiency. The correlations between calcium intake and two of the biomarkers provide a rationale or potential for further assessment and elucidation of the metabolic responses of calcium deficiency in humans.
Objective We aimed to examine prospective associations between circulating fatty acids in early pregnancy and incident gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) among Chinese pregnant women. Methods Analyses were based on two prospective nested case-control studies conducted in western China (336 GDM cases and 672 matched controls) and central China (305 cases and 305 matched controls). Fasting plasma fatty acids in early pregnancy (gestational age at enrollment: 10.4 weeks [standard deviation, 2.0]) and 13.2 weeks [1.0], respectively) were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and GDM was diagnosed based on the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Groups criteria during 24-28 weeks of gestation. Multiple metabolic biomarkers (HOMA-IR [homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance], HbA1c, c-peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, adiponectin, leptin, and blood lipids) were additionally measured among 672 non-GDM controls at enrollment. Results Higher levels of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) 14:0 (pooled odds ratio, 1.41 for each 1-standard deviation increase; 95% confidence interval, 1.25, 1.59) and 16:0 (1.19; 1.05, 1.35) were associated with higher odds of GDM. Higher levels of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) 18:2n-6 was strongly associated with lower odds of GDM (0.69; 0.60, 0.80). In non-GDM pregnant women, higher SFAs 14:0 and 16:0 but lower n-6 PUFA 18:2n-6 were generally correlated with unfavorable metabolic profiles. Conclusions We documented adverse associations of 14:0 and 16:0 but a protective association of 18:2n-6 with GDM among Chinese pregnant women. Our findings highlight the distinct roles of specific fatty acids in the onset of GDM.
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