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Open access

Jia Li, Yan Zhao, Caoxin Huang, Zheng Chen, Xiulin Shi, Long Li, Zhong Chen, and Xuejun Li

Objective

Exercise benefits people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of this study was to identify a panel of biomarkers and to provide the possible mechanism for the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients via an untargeted mass spectrometry-based serum metabolomics study.

Methods

NAFLD patients were classified randomly into a control group (n = 74) and a 6-month vigorous exercise (n = 68) group. Differences in serum metabolic profiles were analyzed using untargeted ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF/MS) technology. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) were used to validate the differences between these two groups, and altered metabolites were obtained by ANOVA (fold change >2, P < 0.05) and identified with the online database Metlin and an in-house database.

Results

Metabolic profiling and multiple statistical analyses of the serum samples indicated significant differences between the NAFLD patients in the control and the 6-month vigorous exercise groups. Finally, 36 metabolites were identified between the control vs exercise groups. These metabolites were mainly associated with glycerophospholipid- and sphingolipid-related pathways.

Conclusion

Our study demonstrates that glycerophospholipid and sphingolipid alterations may contribute to the mechanism underlying the effect of exercise on NAFLD patients. A LC-MS-based metabolomics approach has a potential value for screening exercise-induced biomarkers.

Open access

Changjiao Yan, Meiling Huang, Xin Li, Ting Wang, and Rui Ling

Objective

To investigate the mutant status of BRAF gene and analyze its relationship to epidemiological risk factors and clinical outcomes among patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) in the largest, single-institution Chinese cohort to date.

Methods

The medical records of 2048 PTC patients were reviewed in this retrospective study. Single-factor and multiple logistic regression analyses were applied to identify risk factors for BRAF V600E mutation. Survival outcomes including distant metastatic and persistent or recurrent PTC were examined, with a mean follow-up time of 23.4 (5–47) months.

Results

The BRAF V600E mutation was present in 83.7% of patients (1715 of 2048). Correlation was found between BRAF V600E mutation and several epidemiological features, including age, concomitant hypertension and Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT). For the clinicopathological features, BRAF V600E was significantly associated with bilateral multifocality (odds ratio (OR) 1.233, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.063–1.431, P < 0.01) and less lateral lymph node metastases (OR 0.496, 95% CI 0.357–0.689, P < 0.01). Smaller tumor size and advanced disease stage were significant in single-factor analyses but became insignificant after multivariate adjustment. No association was found between BRAF V600E mutation and extrathyroidal invasion, distant metastatic and disease persistence or recurrence.

Conclusion

Part of epidemiological features are independent risk or protective factors for BRAF V600E mutation. The presence of BRAF V600E mutation is not an aggressive prognosis on poor clinical outcomes in PTC. However, the high prevalence of BRAF V600E may provide guidance for surgery strategy and opportunity for targeted treatment in recurrent and advanced stage disease.

Open access

Chao Xu, Xiang-Fei Li, Hong-Yan Tian, Hua-Juan Shi, Ding-Dong Zhang, Kenneth Prudence Abasubong, and Wen-Bin Liu

After a 12-week feeding trial, the glucose tolerance test was performed in Megalobrama amblycephala to evaluate the effects of metformin on the metabolic responses of glycolipids. Plasma insulin peaked at 2 h, then decreased to the basal value at 8–12 h post-injection. Plasma triglyceride levels and liver glycogen contents of the control group was decreased significantly during the first 2 and 1 h, respectively. Then, they returned to basal values at 12 h. During the whole sampling period, the high-carbohydrate groups had significantly higher levels of plasma metabolites and liver glycogen than those of the control group, and metformin supplementation enhanced these changes (except insulin levels). Glucose administration lowered the transcriptions of ampk α1, ampk α2, pepck, g6pase, fbpase, cpt IA and aco, the phosphorylation of Ampk α and the activities of the gluconeogenic enzymes during the first 2–4 h, while the opposite was true of glut 2, gs, gk, pk, accα and fas. High-carbohydrate diets significantly increased the transcriptions of ampk α1, ampk α2, glut 2, gs, gk, pk, accα and fas, the phosphorylation of Ampk α and the activities of the glycolytic enzymes during the whole sampling period, while the opposite was true for the remaining indicators. Furthermore, metformin significantly upregulated the aforementioned indicators (except accα and fas) and the transcriptions of cpt IA and aco. Overall, metformin benefits the glucose homeostasis of Megalobrama amblycephala fed high-carbohydrate diets through the activation of Ampk and the stimulation of glycolysis, glycogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, while depressing gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis.

Open access

Yuerong Yan, Lili You, Xiaoyi Wang, Zhuo Zhang, Feng Li, Hongshi Wu, Muchao Wu, Jin Zhang, Jiayun Wu, Caixia Chen, Xiaohui Li, Biwen Xia, Mingtong Xu, and Li Yan

Objectives

A variety of factors differed between rural and urban areas may further influence iodine status and thyroid structure. Hence, this study compared iodine nutrition, the prevalence of thyroid goiter, and nodules between rural and urban residents in Guangzhou, a southern coastal city of China.

Methods

A total of 1211 rural residents and 1305 urban residents were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. A questionnaire regarding personal characteristics was administered. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was examined. Ultrasonography of the thyroid was performed to evaluate thyroid goiter and nodules. Multiple logistic analysis was used to identify the potential associated factors.

Results

The median UIC was significantly lower in rural residents than in urban residents (120.80 μg/L vs 136.00 μg/L, P < 0.001). Although the coverage rate of iodized salt was much higher in rural residents than in urban residents (99.59% vs 97.29%, P < 0.001), the percentages of seafood intake (8.60% vs 29.29%, P < 0.001), iodine-containing drug consumption (0.33% vs 1.24%, P = 0.011), and iodine contrast medium injection (0.58% vs 1.87%, P = 0.004) were lower in rural residents than in urban residents. Both the prevalence of thyroid goiters and nodules was significantly higher in rural residents than in urban residents (goiter: 8.06% vs 1.20%, P < 0.001; nodules: 61.89% vs 55.04%, P = 0.023). Living in rural areas was associated with thyroid goiter (OR 5.114, 95% CI 2.893–9.040, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

There were differences in iodine nutrition and the prevalence of thyroid goiter and nodules in rural and urban residents in Guangzhou. Differentiated and specialized monitoring is recommended in our area.

Open access

Xun Gong, Lili You, Feng Li, Qingyu Chen, Chaogang Chen, Xiaoyun Zhang, Xiuwei Zhang, Wenting Xuan, Kan Sun, Guojuan Lao, Chuan Wang, Yan Li, Mingtong Xu, Meng Ren, and Li Yan

Objective

Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived hormone with an important role in glucose metabolism. The present study explored the effect of adiponectin in diverse population groups on pre-diabetes and newly diagnosed diabetes.

Methods

A total of 3300 individuals were enrolled and their data were collected in the analyses dataset from December 2018 to October 2019. Cluster analysis was conducted based on age, BMI, waistline, body fat, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin 1c. Cluster analysis divided the participants into four groups: a young-healthy group, an elderly-hypertension group, a high glucose–lipid group, and an obese group. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% CIs were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results

Compared with the first quartile of adiponectin, the risk of pre-diabetes of fourth quartile was decreased 61% (aOR = 0.39, 95% CI (0.20–0.73)) in the young-healthy group; and the risk of diabetes of fourth quartile was decreased 85% (aOR = 0.15, 95% CI (0.02–0.67)) in the obese group. There were no significant correlations between the adiponectin level and diabetes/pre-diabetes in the other two groups. Additionally, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis indicated that adiponectin could significantly improve the diagnosis based on models in the young-healthy group (from 0.640 to 0.675) and the obese group (from 0.714 to 0.761).

Conclusions

Increased adiponectin levels were associated with decreased risk of pre-diabetes in the young-healthy population, and with a decreased the risk of diabetes in the obese population. An increased adiponectin level is an independent protective factor for pre-diabetes and diabetes in a specific population in south China.

Open access

Hui Long, Yanhong Nie, Li Wang, Yong Lu, Yan Wang, Yijun Cai, Zhen Liu, Miaomiao Jia, Qifeng Lyu, Yanping Kuang, and Qiang Sun

AMH as a promising predictor of ovarian response has been studied extensively in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology treatment, but little is known about its prediction value in monkeys undergoing ovarian stimulation. In the current study, a total of 380 cynomolgus monkeys ranging from 5 to 12 years received 699 ovarian stimulation cycles. Serum samples were collected for AMH measure with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It was found that serum AMH levels were positive correlated with the number of retrieved oocytes (P < 0.01) in the first, second and third stimulation cycles. In the first cycles, area under the curve (ROCAUC) of AMH is 0.688 for low response and 0.612 for high response respectively, indicating the significant prediction values (P = 0.000 and P = 0.005). The optimal AMH cutoff value was 9.68 ng/mL for low ovarian response and 15.88 ng/mL for high ovarian response prediction. In the second stimulation cycles, the significance of ROCAUC of AMH for high response rather than the low response was observed (P = 0.001 and P = 0.468). The optimal AMH cutoff value for high ovarian response was 15.61 ng/mL. In the third stimulation cycles, AMH lost the prediction value with no significant ROCAUC. Our data demonstrated that AMH, not age, is a cycle-dependent predictor for ovarian response in form of oocyte yields, which would promote the application of AMH in assisted reproductive treatment (ART) of female cynomolgus monkeys. AMH evaluation would optimize candidate selection for ART and individualize the ovarian stimulation strategies, and consequentially improve the efficiency in monkeys.

Open access

Jun-Xin Yan, Bin-Jing Pan, Ping-Ping Zhao, Li-Ting Wang, Jing-Fang Liu, and Song-Bo Fu

Objective

Previous studies have shown the correlations between serum ferritin and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or diabetes. However, this relationship remains unclear in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with NAFLD. Therefore, this study aimed to elaborate the relationship between serum ferritin levels and NAFLD in middle-aged and older patients with T2DM and further explored the biomarkers for NAFLD in T2DM.

Methods

A total of 805 middle-aged and older patients with T2DM were divided into NAFLD and non-NAFLD groups, and their serum ferritin levels were compared. Next, NAFLD group were divided into five subgroups according to the quintile levels of serum ferritin, and the differences in the constituent ratios of NAFLD were analyzed. A logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the risk factors for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.

Results

The serum ferritin levels were significantly higher in T2DM patients with NAFLD (168.47 (103.78, 248.00) ng/mL) than in the non-NAFLD patients (121.19 (76.97, 208.39) ng/mL). The constituent ratios of NAFLD were significantly higher in the F5 and F4 groups than in the F2 or F1 groups (22.70 and 22.70% vs. 15.90 and 16.90%, respectively; P < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that serum ferritin (P = 0.001) was an independent risk factor for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.

Conclusions

Serum ferritin levels were significantly increased in T2DM with NAFLD, and the constituent ratios of NAFLD increased gradually along with the increased levels of serum ferritin. Thus, serum ferritin is an independent risk factor for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.

Open access

Lang Qin, Xiaoming Zhu, Xiaoxia Liu, Meifang Zeng, Ran Tao, Yan Zhuang, Yiting Zhou, Zhaoyun Zhang, Yehong Yang, Yiming Li, Yongfei Wang, and Hongying Ye

Introduction

The purpose of the study was to describe lipid profile and explore pathogenetic role of LDL-c on hypertension in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD). Hypertension is a common feature in patients with CD. Previous study found low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) uptake in vascular cells might be involved in vascular remodeling in patients with CD. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between lipid profile and the blood pressure in patients with CD.

Methods

This retrospective study included 84 patients referred to Huashan Hospital for the evaluation and diagnosis of CD from January 2012 to December 2013. All subjects had detailed clinical evaluation by the same group of endocrinology specialists to avoid subjective influences.

Results

We found that high LDL-c patients had significant higher body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), cholesterol (CHO), triglyceride (TG), and apolipoproteinB (apoB) (P < 0.05). An association was detected between SBP values and lipids profile including CHO, TG, LDL-c, apolipoproteinA (apoA), apoB and lipoprotein(a) (LP(a)). After adjustment for all covariates, the LDL-c remained positively associated with SBP. In patients with or without taking statins, patients with LDL-c ≥3.37 mmol/L had higher SBP than patients with LDL-c <3.37 mmol/L. Then, LDL-c was coded using restricted cubic splines (RCS) function with three knots located at the 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of the distribution of LDL-c. Compared to individuals with 3.215 mmol/L of LDL-c, individuals with 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 mmol/L of LDL-c had differences of 3.86, 8.53 and 14.11 mmHg in SBP, respectively.

Conclusions

An independent association between LDL-c and SBP was found in patients with CD. We speculate that LDL-c may be a pathogenic factor for hypertension in those patients.

Open access

Yao Su, Li Chen, Dong-Yao Zhang, Xu-Pei Gan, Yan-Nan Cao, De-Cui Cheng, Wen-Yu Liu, Fei-Fei Li, Xian-Ming Xu, and Hong-Kun Wang

Objective

To investigate the characteristics of intestinal flora in overweight pregnant women and the correlation with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods

A total of 122 women were enrolled and divided into four groups according to their pre-pregnancy BMI and the presence of GDM: group 1 (n = 71) with a BMI <24 kg/m2, without GDM; group 2 (n = 27) with a BMI <24 kg/m2, with GDM; group 3 (n = 17) with a BMI ≥24 kg/m2, without GDM; and group 4 (n = 7) with a BMI ≥24 kg/m2 with GDM. Feces were collected on the day that the oral glucose tolerance test was conducted. The V3–V4 variable region of 16S rRNA was sequenced using the Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, and a bioinformatics analysis was conducted.

Results

There were differences between the four groups in the composition of intestinal flora, and it was significantly different in group 4 than in the other three groups. Firmicutes accounted for 36.4% of the intestinal flora in this group, the lowest among the four groups, while Bacteroidetes accounted for 50.1%, the highest among the four groups, making ratio of these two bacteria approximately 3:5, while in the other three groups, this ratio was reversed. In women with a BMI <24 kg/m2, the insulin resistance index (homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) in pregnant women with GDM was higher than in those without (P3 = 0.026).

Conclusion

The composition of the intestinal flora of pregnant women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy and suffered from GDM was significantly different than women who were not overweight or did not suffer from GDM.

Open access

Chenghao Piao, Xiaojie Wang, Shiqiao Peng, Xinyu Guo, Hui Zhao, Li He, Yan Zeng, Fan Zhang, Kewen Zhu, and Yiwei Wang

Objective

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is characterized by glucose intolerance during gestation. It is associated with a series of maternal and foetal complications. Interleukin (IL)-34 is a recently discovered pro-inflammatory cytokine that functions as a ligand for colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R). The contribution of IL-34 in the development of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases has been recently discovered. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether IL-34 participates in the pathogenesis of GDM.

Method

A total of 120 women were enrolled in this study, which included 60 GDM patients and age- and sex-matched healthy pregnant women. The expression of IL-34 in serum, cord blood and placental tissues was analysed by ELISA and Western blot assays. The association between IL-34 levels and clinical features was also studied. We additionally evaluated the effect of recombinant mouse IL-34 (rmIL-34) on apoptosis and pancreatic β cell function.

Results

We found that IL-34 expression is highly increased in serum, cord blood and placental tissues in patients with GDM. In addition, there was a positive association between serum IL-34 and insulin resistance and glucose concentrations. Our data also revealed that IL-34 contributes to the apoptosis of pancreatic β cells in GDM caused by CSF-1R. Furthermore, functional studies found that IL-34 inhibited pancreatic β cell function and cell viability, while CSF-1R inhibitor blocked this effect.

Conclusion

IL-34 plays a crucial role in the development of GDM by targeting CSF-1R, insulin production and β cell function.