Music is a powerful medium capable of eliciting a broad range of emotions. Although the relationship between language and music is well documented, relatively little is known about the effects of lyrics and the voice on the emotional processing of music and on listeners' preferences. In the present study, we investigated the effects of vocals in music on participants' perceived valence and arousal in songs. Participants (N = 50) made valence and arousal ratings for familiar songs that were presented with and without the voice. We observed robust effects of vocal content on perceived arousal. Furthermore, we found that the effect of the voice on enhancing arousal ratings is independent of familiarity of the song and differs across genders and age: females were more influenced by vocals than males; furthermore these gender effects were enhanced among older adults. Results highlight the effects of gender and aging in emotion perception and are discussed in terms of the social roles of music.
emotion; music; arousal; perception; gender; aging
Paracentesis for malignant ascites is usually performed as an in-patient procedure, with a median length of stay (LoS) of 3–5 days, with intermittent clamping of the drain due to a perceived risk of hypotension. In this study, we assessed the safety of free drainage and the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of daycase paracentesis.
Ovarian cancer admissions at Hammersmith Hospital between July and October 2009 were audited (Stage 1). A total of 21 patients (Stage 2) subsequently underwent paracentesis with free drainage of ascites without intermittent clamping (October 2010–January 2011). Finally, 13 patients (19 paracenteses, Stage 3), were drained as a daycase (May–December 2011).
Of 67 patients (Stage 1), 22% of admissions and 18% of bed-days were for paracentesis, with a median LoS of 4 days. In all, 81% of patients (Stage 2) drained completely without hypotension. Of four patients with hypotension, none was tachycardic or symptomatic. Daycase paracentesis achieved complete ascites drainage without complications, or the need for in-patient admission in 94.7% of cases (Stage 3), and cost £954 compared with £1473 for in-patient drainage.
Free drainage of malignant ascites is safe. Daycase paracentesis is feasible, cost-effective and reduces hospital admissions, and potentially represents the standard of care for patients with malignant ascites.
paracentesis; ovarian cancer; PleureX
The quantitative parameters in the contrast-enhanced ultrasonography time–intensity
curve of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were studied to explore
their possible implication for histological grading of HCC.
A total of 130 HCC patients (115 males and 15 females; age: 48.13±11.00
years) were studied using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography time–intensity
curve and histological pathology. The quantification software Sonoliver® (TomTec
Imaging Systems, Unterschleissheim, Germany) was applied to derive time–intensity
curves of regions of interest in the interior of HCCs and in reference. Quantitative
parameters of 115 patients were successfully obtained, including maximum of
intensity (IMAX), rise time (RT), time to peak (TTP),
rise slope (RS) and washout time (WT). Histological grading
of HCC was performed using haematoxylin–eosin staining, and monoclonal
antibodies specific for smooth muscle actin were used to observe unpaired
There were significant differences among WTs in the three differentiated
HCC groups (p<0.05). However, there were no
significant differences among RT, TTP, RS and IMAX in the differentiated HCC
groups. Moreover, the number of UAs in the differentiated HCC groups showed
no statistical significance.
WT plays an important role in predicting well, moderately and poorly differentiated
Phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) is a key factor in apoptosis and autophagy of vascular endothelial cells (VECs), and involved in atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E−/− (apoE−/−) mice. But the endogenous regulators of PC-PLC are not known. We recently found a small chemical molecule (6-amino-2, 3-dihydro-3-hydroxymethyl-1, 4-benzoxazine, ABO) that could inhibit oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-induced apoptosis and promote autophagy in VECs, and further identified ABO as an inhibitor of annexin A7 (ANXA7) GTPase. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that ANXA7 is an endogenous regulator of PC-PLC, and targeting ANXA7 by ABO may inhibit atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice. In this study, we tested our hypothesis. The results showed that ABO suppressed oxLDL-induced increase of PC-PLC level and activity and promoted the co-localization of ANXA7 and PC-PLC in VECs. The experiments of ANXA7 knockdown and overexpression demonstrated that the action of ABO was ANXA7-dependent in cultured VECs. To investigate the relation of ANXA7 with PC-PLC in atherosclerosis, apoE−/− mice fed with a western diet were treated with 50 or 100 mg/kg/day ABO. The results showed that ABO decreased PC-PLC levels in the mouse aortic endothelium and PC-PLC activity in serum, and enhanced the protein levels of ANXA7 in the mouse aortic endothelium. Furthermore, both dosages of ABO significantly enhanced autophagy and reduced apoptosis in the mouse aortic endothelium. As a result, ABO significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque area and effectively preserved a stable plaques phenotype, including reduced lipid deposition and pro-inflammatory macrophages, increased anti-inflammatory macrophages, collagen content and smooth muscle cells, and less cell death in the plaques. In conclusion, ANXA7 was an endogenous regulator of PC-PLC, and targeting ANXA7 by ABO inhibited atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice.
apoptosis; autophagy; PC-PLC; ANXA7; ABO; atherosclerosis
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age. The risk of pregnancy and neonatal complications in women with PCOS is debatable. In order to determine the risk of pregnancy and neonatal complications, evidence regarding these risks was examined.
Literature searches were performed in the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL based on the established strategy and eligible tries were included according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. A systematic literature review looking at rates of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), preeclampsia, premature delivery, neonatal birth weight, caesarean section and admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was conducted in women with PCOS. Pregnancy outcomes between women with PCOS versus controls were included. Sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the reliability of the available evidence and to validate the results. The study was performed with the approval of the ethics committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University.
A total of 27studies, involving 4982 women with PCOS and 119692 controls were eligible for the meta-analysis. Women with PCOS demonstrated a significantly higher risk of developing GDM (OR3.43; 95% CI: 2.49–4.74), PIH (OR3.43; 95% CI: 2.49–4.74), preeclampsia (OR2.17; 95% CI: 1.91–2.46), preterm birth (OR1.93; 95%CI: 1.45–2.57), caesarean section (OR 1.74; 95% CI: 1.38–2.11) compared to controls. Their babies had a marginally significant lower birth weight (WMD −0.11g; 95%CI: -0.19 – -0.03), and higher risk of admission to NICU (OR 2.32; 95% CI: 1.40–3.85) compared to controls.
Women with PCOS have increased risk of adverse pregnancy and neonatal complications. It is necessary to establish guidelines for supervision during pregnancy and parturition to prevent these complications.
Polycystic ovary syndrome; Pregnancy and neonatal complications; Meta-analysis
The glass-forming ability (GFA) of alloys with a high-solvent content such as soft magnetic Fe-based and Al-based alloys is usually limited due to strong formation of the solvent-based solid solution phase. Herein, we report that the GFA of soft magnetic Fe-based alloys (with >70 at.% Fe to ensure large saturation magnetization) could be dramatically improved by doping with only 0.3 at.% Cu which has a positive enthalpy of mixing with Fe. It was found that an appropriate Cu addition could enhance the liquid phase stability and crystallization resistance by destabilizing the α-Fe nano-clusters due to the necessity to redistribute the Cu atoms. However, excessive Cu doping would stimulate nucleation of the α-Fe nano-clusters due to the repulsive nature between the Fe and Cu atoms, thus deteriorating the GFA. Our findings provide new insights into understanding of glass formation in general.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious progressive and irreversible lung disease with unknown etiology and few treatment options. This disease was once thought to be a chronic inflammatory-driven process, but it is increasingly recognized that the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to the cellular origin of fibroblast accumulation in response to injury. During the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrotic diseases, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling is considered a pivotal inducer of EMT and fibroblast activation, and a number of therapeutic interventions that interfere with TGF-β signaling have been developed to reverse established fibrosis. However, efficient and well-tolerated antifibrotic agents are not currently available. Previously, we reported the identification of sorafenib to antagonize TGF-β signaling in mouse hepatocytes in vitro. In this manuscript, we continued to evaluate the antifibrotic effects of sorafenib on bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. We further demonstrated that sorafenib not only profoundly inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT in alveolar epithelial cells, but also simultaneously reduced the proliferation and collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. Additionally, we presented in vivo evidence that sorafenib inhibited the symptoms of BLM-mediated EMT and fibroblast activation in mice, warranting the therapeutic potential of this drug for patients with IPF.
sorafenib; TGF-β signaling; pulmonary fibrosis; EMT; fibroblast activation
Most genetic variants identified for type 2 diabetes have been discovered in European populations. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Chinese population with the aim of identifying novel variants for type 2 diabetes in Asians.
We performed a meta-analysis of three GWAS comprising 684 patients with type 2 diabetes and 955 controls of Southern Han Chinese descent. We followed up the top signals in two independent Southern Han Chinese cohorts (totalling 10,383 cases and 6,974 controls), and performed in silico replication in multiple populations.
We identified CDKN2A/B and four novel type 2 diabetes association signals with p < 1 × 10−5 from the meta-analysis. Thirteen variants within these four loci were followed up in two independent Chinese cohorts, and rs10229583 at 7q32 was found to be associated with type 2 diabetes in a combined analysis of 11,067 cases and 7,929 controls (pmeta = 2.6 × 10−8; OR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.25]). In silico replication revealed consistent associations across multiethnic groups, including five East Asian populations (pmeta = 2.3 × 10−10) and a population of European descent (p = 8.6 × 10−3). The rs10229583 risk variant was associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose, impaired beta cell function in controls, and an earlier age at diagnosis for the cases. The novel variant lies within an islet-selective cluster of open regulatory elements. There was significant heterogeneity of effect between Han Chinese and individuals of European descent, Malaysians and Indians.
Our study identifies rs10229583 near PAX4 as a novel locus for type 2 diabetes in Chinese and other populations and provides new insights into the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2874-4) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Chinese; Diabetes; East Asians; Genetics; Genome-wide association study
The predicted spectral phase of a fiber continuum pulsed source rigorously quantified by the scalar generalized nonlinear Schrödinger equation is found to be in excellent agreement with that measured by multiphoton intra-pulse interference phase scan (MIIPS) with background subtraction. This cross-validation confirms the absolute pulse measurement by MIIPS and the transform-limited compression of the fiber continuum pulses by the pulse shaper performing the MIIPS measurement, and permits the subsequent coherent control on the fiber continuum pulses by this pulse shaper. The combination of the fiber continuum source with the MIIPS-integrated pulse shaper produces compressed transform-limited 9.6 fs (FWHM) pulses or arbitrarily shaped pulses at a central wavelength of 1020 nm, an average power over 100 mW, and a repetition rate of 76 MHz. In comparison to the 229-fs pump laser pulses that generate the fiber continuum, the compressed pulses reflect a compression ratio of 24.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is one of the most common sensory defects in humans. Hair cells are vulnerable to various ototoxic insults. Effective prevention of hair cell loss remains an unmet medical need. Apoptotic hair cell death, which involves active regulation of transcription, accounts for the majority of aminoglycoside-induced hair cells loss. As one of the important epigenetic covalent modifications, histone methylation is involved in the regulation of gene expression, development and reaction to injury. In particular, H3K9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) is critical for euchromatin gene silencing. In the present study, we examined the roles of two highly homologous histone methyltransfereases responsible for this modification, G9a/G9a-like protein (GLP), in the reaction to aminoglycoside-induced hair cell damage. We observed a rapid increase of H3K9me2 upon hair cell damage in organotypic cochlear cultures. Treatment with the G9a/GLP-specific inhibitors, BIX01294 or UNC0638, reduced the level of H3K9me2 and prevented hair cells from death. Local delivery of BIX01294 also prevented neomycin-induced in vivo auditory hair cell loss in the organ of Corti in a mouse damage model. It is unlikely that BIX01294 functions through blocking aminoglycoside absorption as it does not interfere with aminoglycoside uptaking by hair cells in the organotypic cochlear cultures. Our data revealed a novel role of histone methylation in otoprotection, which is of potential therapeutic value for SNHL management.
organ of Corti; ototoxicity; susceptibility; apoptosis; epigenetic regulation
Recent data suggest a link between blood leukocyte DNA methylation, and cancer risk. However, reports on DNA methylation from a prospective study are unavailable for gastric cancer.
We explored the association between methylation in pre-diagnostic blood leukocyte DNA and gastric cancer risk in a case–control study nested in the prospective Shanghai Women's Health Study cohort. Incident gastric cancer cases (n=192) and matched controls (n=384) were included in the study. Methylation of Alu and long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE)-1 were evaluated using bisulphite pyrosequencing. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated from logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
Alu methylation was inversely associated with gastric cancer risk, mainly among cases diagnosed one or more years after blood collection. After excluding cases diagnosed during the first year of follow-up, the ORs for the third, second, and first quartiles of Alu methylation compared with the highest quartile were 2.43 (1.43–4.13), 1.47(0.85–2.57), and 2.22 (1.28–3.84), respectively. This association appeared to be modified by dietary intake, particularly isoflavone. In contrast, LINE-1 methylation levels were not associated with gastric cancer risk.
Evidence from this prospective study is consistent with the hypothesis that DNA hypomethylation in blood leukocytes may be related to cancer risk, including risk of gastric cancer.
gastric cancer; DNA methylation; leukocyte
This work investigates the effects of oxidative stress due to exhaustive training on uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and Bcl-2/Bax in rat skeletal muscles. A total of 18 Sprague-Dawley female rats were randomly divided into three groups: the control group (CON), the trained control group (TC), and the exhaustive trained group (ET). Malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), xanthine oxidase (XOD), ATPase, UCP2, and Bcl-2/Bax ratio in red gastrocnemius muscles were measured. Exhaustive training induced ROS increase in red gastrocnemius muscles, which led to a decrease in the cell antiapoptotic ability (Bcl-2/Bax ratio). An increase in UCP2 expression can reduce ROS production and affect mitochondrial energy production. Thus, oxidative stress plays a significant role in overtraining.
The tumor-suppressor p53 can induce various biological responses. Yet, it is not clear whether it is p53 in vivo promoter selectivity that triggers different transcription programs leading to different outcomes. Our analysis of genome-wide chromatin occupancy by p53 using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-seq revealed ‘p53 default program', that is, the pattern of major p53-bound sites that is similar upon p53 activation by nutlin3a, reactivation of p53 and induction of tumor cell apoptosis (RITA) or 5-fluorouracil in breast cancer cells, despite different biological outcomes. Parallel analysis of gene expression allowed identification of 280 novel p53 target genes, including p53-repressed AURKA. We identified Sp1 as one of the p53 modulators, which confer specificity to p53-mediated transcriptional response upon RITA. Further, we found that STAT3 antagonizes p53-mediated repression of a subset of genes, including AURKA.
p53; ChIP-seq; repression; Sp1; STAT3; microarray
Inactivation of the p53 tumour suppressor, either by mutation or by overexpression of its inhibitors Hdm2 and HdmX is the most frequent event in cancer. Reactivation of p53 by targeting Hdm2 and HdmX is therefore a promising strategy for therapy. However, Hdm2 inhibitors do not prevent inhibition of p53 by HdmX, which impedes p53-mediated apoptosis. Here, we show that p53 reactivation by the small molecule RITA leads to efficient HdmX degradation in tumour cell lines of different origin and in xenograft tumours in vivo. Notably, HdmX degradation occurs selectively in cancer cells, but not in non-transformed cells. We identified the inhibition of the wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1 (Wip1) as the major mechanism important for full engagement of p53 activity accomplished by restoration of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase-signalling cascade, which leads to HdmX degradation. In contrast to previously reported transactivation of Wip1 by p53, we observed p53-dependent repression of Wip1 expression, which disrupts the negative feedback loop conferred by Wip1. Our study reveals that the depletion of both HdmX and Wip1 potentiates cell death due to sustained activation of p53. Thus, RITA is an example of a p53-reactivating drug that not only blocks Hdm2, but also inhibits two important negative regulators of p53 – HdmX and Wip1, leading to efficient elimination of tumour cells.
p53; HdmX; RITA; Wip1; cancer
The influence of different types and intensities of physical activity on risk for breast cancer is unclear.
In a prospective cohort of 73 049 Chinese women (40–70 years), who had worked outside the home, we studied breast cancer risk in relation to specific types of self-reported and work history-related physical activity, including adolescent and adult exercise and household activity and walking and cycling for transportation. Occupational sitting time and physical activity energy expenditure were assigned based on lifetime occupational histories.
In all, 717 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed. Breast cancer risk was lower for women in the lowest quartile of average occupational sitting time and in the highest quartile of average occupational energy expenditure (adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 0.81 and 0.73, respectively, P⩽0.05). Adult exercise at or above the recommended level (8 metabolic equivalent (MET) h per week per year) was associated with lower risk (adjusted HR: 0.73, P<0.05) in post-menopausal women. Analysis of joint effects showed that having both an active job and exercise participation did not confer an additional benefit. Other common daily activities were not associated with lower risk.
These findings suggest that both exercise and occupational activity are associated with lower breast cancer risk, which supports current health promotion campaigns promoting exercise.
breast cancer; physical activity; exercise; occupational; critical period
For over thirty years it has been known that enteroendocrine cells derive from common precursor cells in the intestinal crypts. Until recently relatively little was understood about the events that result in commitment to endocrine differentiation or the eventual segregation of over 10 different hormone expressing cell types in the gastrointestinal tract. Enteroendocrine cells arise from pluripotent intestinal stem cells. Differentiation of enteroendocrine cells is controlled by the sequential expression of three basic helix loop helix transcription factors, Math1, Neurogenin 3, and NeuroD. Math1 expression is required for specification and segregation of the intestinal secretory lineage (Paneth, goblet, and enteroendocrine cells) from the absorptive enterocyte lineage. Neurogenin 3 represents the earliest stage of enteroendocrine differentiation and in its absence enteroendocrine cells fail to develop. Subsequent expression of NeuroD appears to represent a later stage of differentiation for maturing enteroendocrine cells. Enteroendocrine cell fate is inhibited by the Notch signaling pathway, which appears to inhibit both Math1 and Neurogenin 3. Understanding enteroendocrine cell differentiation will become increasingly important for identifying potential future targets for common diseases like diabetes and obesity.
enteroendocrine cells; basic helix loop helix proteins; MATH1; neurogenin3; neuroD1; intestinal stem cells
The strategy of clinically targeting cancerous cells at their most vulnerable state during mitosis has instigated numerous studies into the mitotic cell death (MCD) pathway. As the hallmark of cancer revolves around cell-cycle deregulation, it is not surprising that antimitotic therapies are effective against the abnormal proliferation of transformed cells. Moreover, these antimitotic drugs are also highly selective and sensitive. Despite the robust rate of discovery and the development of mitosis-selective inhibitors, the unpredictable complexities of the human body's response to these drugs still herald the biggest challenge towards clinical success. Undoubtedly, the need to bridge the gap between promising preclinical trials and effective translational bedside treatment prompts further investigations towards mapping out the mechanistic pathways of MCD, understanding how these drugs work as medicine in the body and more comprehensive target validations. In this review, current antimitotic agents are summarized with particular emphasis on the evaluation of their clinical efficacy as well as their limitations. In addition, we discuss the basis behind the lack of activity of these inhibitors in human trials and the potential and future directions of mitotic anticancer strategies.
cancer; antimitotic; chemotherapy; tumor growth; mitotic slippage
To investigate the interrelations of serum vitamin B12 markers with brain volumes, cerebral infarcts, and performance in different cognitive domains in a biracial population sample cross-sectionally.
In 121 community-dwelling participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project, serum markers of vitamin B12 status were related to summary measures of neuropsychological tests of 5 cognitive domains and brain MRI measures obtained on average 4.6 years later among 121 older adults.
Concentrations of all vitamin B12–related markers, but not serum vitamin B12 itself, were associated with global cognitive function and with total brain volume. Methylmalonate levels were associated with poorer episodic memory and perceptual speed, and cystathionine and 2-methylcitrate with poorer episodic and semantic memory. Homocysteine concentrations were associated with decreased total brain volume. The homocysteine-global cognition effect was modified and no longer statistically significant with adjustment for white matter volume or cerebral infarcts. The methylmalonate-global cognition effect was modified and no longer significant with adjustment for total brain volume.
Methylmalonate, a specific marker of B12 deficiency, may affect cognition by reducing total brain volume whereas the effect of homocysteine (nonspecific to vitamin B12 deficiency) on cognitive performance may be mediated through increased white matter hyperintensity and cerebral infarcts. Vitamin B12 status may affect the brain through multiple mechanisms.