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Abstract

Objective

The present study was conducted to assess the effects of the GnRH agonist (alarelin) on the expression of GnRHR, FSHR and LHR mRNAs in the pituitary gland and uterine development in female mice.

Methods

Sixty pre-estrus female mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n = 15). The mice in experiment group 1 (EG-1), experiment group 2 (EG-2), and experiment group 3 (EG-3) were subcutaneously injected with 0.375 μg/kg, 0.75 μg/kg and 1.5 μg/kg alarelin antigen emulsion, respectively, once a day during 7 consecutive days to enhance immune response. Mice in the control group (CG) were injected with 0.l ml solvent once a day on 7 consecutive days. The samples of blood, pituitary and uterine horns were collected aseptically at day 21 from each mouse. Fluorescence quantitative RT-PCR was implemented to detect gene expression of GnRHR, FSHR and LHR in the pituitary glands. ELISA was used to measure the serum LH and FSH concentrations. The uterine slices were observed under an optical microscope; the images were measured using Motic software.

Results

(1) Compared to CG, the uterine weights in EG-1, EG-2 and EG-3 decreased by 34.43%, 54.10% and 55.74% (P < 0.05), respectively. (2) Uterine wall thickness in EG-1, EG-2 and EG-3 reduced by 8.64%, 8.04% and 14.03% (P < 0.05), respectively. Endometrial epithelium thickness in EG-1, EG-2 and EG-3 reduced by 29.43%, 28.55% and 38.49%, respectively, when compared with that of CG. (3) The 2−ΔΔCt values of GnRHR, FSHR and LHR mRNAs in the pituitary gland of EG-1 (P < 0.05), EG-2 (P < 0.01) and EG-3 (P < 0.01) were lower than that of CG. The uterine cavity in EG-1 slightly decreased. (4) Serum FSH concentrations in EG-1, EG-2 (P < 0.05) and EG-3 (P < 0.01) increased, with the highest increment in EG-3 (79.80%). Serum LH concentrations in the three EGs decreased (P < 0.05). (5) The uterine cavities and glandular lumen volumes in EG-2 and EG-3 narrowed, and the uterine wall became thinner obviously. The number of uterine glands in EG-3 decreased.

Conclusion

Alarelin antigen active immunization can suppress the expression of GnRHR, FSHR and LHR mRNAs in the pituitary gland, impact the secretion of FSH and LH, and obviously inhibit uterine growth and development, especially endometrial epithelial cells (EEC) and uterine gland. The effects were dose dependent.

Restricted access

Background and aims

Based on the foundations of Bandura’s social cognitive theory and theory of triadic influence (TTI) theoretical framework, this study was designed to examine the mediating role of positive outcome expectancy of Internet use in the relationship between social influence and Internet addiction (IA) in a large representative sample of senior high-school students in Taiwan.

Methods

Using a cross-sectional design, 1,922 participants were recruited from senior high schools throughout Taiwan using both stratified and cluster sampling, and a comprehensive survey was administered.

Results

Structural equation modeling and bootstrap analyses results showed that IA severity was significantly and positively predicted by social influence, and fully mediated through positive outcome expectancy of Internet use.

Discussion and conclusions

The results not only support Bandura’s social cognitive theory and TTI framework, but can also serve as a reference to help educational agencies and mental health organizations design programs and create policies that will help in the prevention of IA among adolescents.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Wei-Ran Zhou
,
Min Wang
,
Hao-Hao Dong
,
Zhaojie Zhang
,
Xiaoxia Du
,
Marc N. Potenza
, and
Guang-Heng Dong

Abstract

Background

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a type of behavioral addiction characterized by poorly controlled and interfering patterns of game playing. Studies have suggested that the IGD is usually accompanied by increased desire or craving for gaming, suggesting that secondary rewards related to gaming may become more salient than those for primary rewards like food. However, this hypothesis has not been formally tested and potential neural mechanisms remain unclear.

Methods

This is a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Twenty-one IGD subjects and 23 matched individuals with recreational game use (RGU) were scanned when exposed to gaming (secondary rewards), food (primary rewards) and neutral cues. Group-by-cue-type interaction analyses and subsequent within-group analyses for fMRI data were performed and seed-based functional connectivity (FC) analyses explored further potential neural features.

Results

IGD subjects’ subjective craving responses to gaming cues were higher than to food cues, while the opposite was observed in RGU subjects. Group-by-cue interaction effects implicated the precuneus and precuneus-caudate FC. Simple effect analysis showed that for IGD subjects, gaming-related cues elicited higher FC in precuneus-caudate relationships than did food-related cues. In the RGU subjects, the opposite was observed. Significant correlations were found between brain features and craving scores.

Conclusions

These results support the hypothesis regarding imbalances in sensitivities to different types of reward in IGD, and suggest neural mechanisms by which craving for gaming may make secondary rewards more salient than primary ones, thus promoting participation in addictive patterns of gaming.

Open access

Background and aims

This large-scale study aimed to test (a) associations of problematic Internet use (PIU) and sleep disturbance with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Chinese adolescents and (b) whether sleep disturbance mediates the association between PIU and suicidal behavior.

Methods

Data were drawn from the 2017 National School-based Chinese Adolescents Health Survey. A total of 20,895 students’ questionnaires were qualified for analysis. The Young’s Internet Addiction Test was used to assess PIU, and level of sleep disturbance was measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Multilevel logistic regression models and path models were utilized in analyses.

Results

Of the total sample, 2,864 (13.7%) reported having suicidal ideation, and 537 (2.6%) reported having suicide attempts. After adjusting for control variables and sleep disturbance, PIU was associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation (AOR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.03−1.04) and suicide attempts (AOR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.02−1.04). Findings of the path models showed that the standardized indirect effects of PIU on suicidal ideation (standardized β estimate = 0.092, 95% CI = 0.082−0.102) and on suicide attempts (standardized β estimate = 0.082, 95% CI = 0.068−0.096) through sleep disturbance were significant. Conversely, sleep disturbance significantly mediated the association of suicidal behavior on PIU.

Discussion and conclusions

There may be a complex transactional association between PIU, sleep disturbance, and suicidal behavior. The estimates of the mediator role of sleep disturbance provide evidence for the current understanding of the mechanism of the association between PIU and suicidal behavior. Possible concomitant treatment services for PIU, sleep disturbance, and suicidal behavior were recommended.

Open access
Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors:
Jin-Song Wei
,
Zhe-Bin Jin
,
Zhi-Qiang Yin
,
Qiang-Min Xie
,
Ji-Qiang Chen
,
Zi-Gang Li
, and
Hui-Fang Tang

In order to determine whether local anesthetics directly affect the propagation and strength of myometrial contractions, we compared the effects of bupivacaine, ropivacaine, lidocaine and tetracaine on the contractions of myometrium isolated from pregnant and non-pregnant rats. Full-thickness myometrial strips were obtained from 18- to 21-day pregnant and non-pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats and incubated in an organ bath. When spontaneous contractions became regular, strips were exposed to cumulative concentrations of the four local anesthetics ranging from 0.01 to 300 μmol/L and the amplitude and frequency of contraction were recorded. All four compounds caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of the contractility of pregnant and non-pregnant uterine muscle. In pregnant myometrium, the concentration that caused 50% inhibition (IC50) was 100 μmol/L for bupivacaine, 157 μmol/L for ropivacaine, > 1000 μmol/L for lidocaine, and 26.3 μmol/L for tetracaine. In non-pregnant myometrium, the IC50 was 26.9 μmol/L for bupivacaine, 40 μmol/L for ropivacaine, 384 μmol/L for lidocaine, and 7.4 μmol/L for tetracaine. These results suggested that local anesthetics do inhibit myometrial contractions in pregnant and non-pregnant rats in a concentration-dependent manner.

Restricted access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Qian Zhao
,
Yongjun Zhang
,
Min Wang
,
Jiecheng Ren
,
Yijun Chen
,
Xueli Chen
,
Zhengde Wei
,
Jingwu Sun
, and
Xiaochu Zhang

Abstract

Background and aims

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) leads to serious impairments in cognitive functions, and lacks of effective treatments. Cue-induced craving is a hallmark feature of this disease and is associated with addictive memory elements. Memory retrieval-extinction manipulations could interfere with addictive memories and attenuate addictive syndromes, which might be a promising intervention for IGD. The aims of this study were to explore the effect of a memory retrieval-extinction manipulation on gaming cue-induced craving and reward processing in individuals with IGD.

Methods

A total of 49 individuals (mean age: 20.52 ± 1.58) with IGD underwent a memory retrieval-extinction training (RET) with a 10-min interval (R-10min-E, n = 24) or a RET with a 6-h interval (R-6h-E, n = 25) for two consecutive days. We assessed cue-induced craving pre- and post-RET, and at the 1- and 3-month follow-ups. The neural activities during reward processing were also assessed pre- and post-RET.

Results

Compared with the R-6h-E group, gaming cravings in individuals with IGD were significantly reduced after R-10min-E training at the 3-month follow-up (P < 0.05). Moreover, neural activities in the individuals with IGD were also altered after R-10min-E training, which was corroborated by enhanced reward processing, such as faster responses (P < 0.05) and stronger frontoparietal functional connectivity to monetary reward cues, while the R-6h-E training had no effects.

Discussion and Conclusions

The two-day R-10min-E training reduced addicts’ craving for Internet games, restored monetary reward processing in IGD individuals, and maintained long-term efficacy.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Wei Hong
,
Peipeng Liang
,
Yu Pan
,
Jia Jin
,
Lijuan Luo
,
Ying Li
,
Chen Jin
,
Wanwan Lü
,
Min Wang
,
Yan Liu
,
Hui Chen
,
Huixing Gou
,
Wei Wei
,
Zhanyu Ma
,
Ran Tao
,
Rujing Zha
, and
Xiaochu Zhang

Abstract

Background and aims

Impaired value-based decision-making is a feature of substance and behavioral addictions. Loss aversion is a core of value-based decision-making and its alteration plays an important role in addiction. However, few studies explored it in internet gaming disorder patients (IGD).

Methods

In this study, IGD patients (PIGD) and healthy controls (Con-PIGD) performed the Iowa gambling task (IGT), under functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We investigated group differences in loss aversion, brain functional networks of node-centric functional connectivity (nFC) and the overlapping community features of edge-centric functional connectivity (eFC) in IGT.

Results

PIGD performed worse with lower average net score in IGT. The computational model results showed that PIGD significantly reduced loss aversion. There was no group difference in nFC. However, there were significant group differences in the overlapping community features of eFC1. Furthermore, in Con-PIGD, loss aversion was positively correlated with the edge community profile similarity of the edge2 between left IFG and right hippocampus at right caudate. This relationship was suppressed by response consistency3 in PIGD. In addition, reduced loss aversion was negatively correlated with the promoted bottom-to-up neuromodulation from the right hippocampus to the left IFG in PIGD.

Discussion and conclusions

The reduced loss aversion in value-based decision making and their related edge-centric functional connectivity support that the IGD showed the same value-based decision-making deficit as the substance use and other behavioral addictive disorders. These findings may have important significance for understanding the definition and mechanism of IGD in the future.

Open access