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This study was designed to test the hypothesis that a medium-term simulated microgravity by tail-suspension (SUS) induces hypertrophic and atrophic changes in the common carotid artery and abdominal aorta with their innermost smooth muscle (SM) layers being most profoundly affected. The second purpose was to elucidate whether vascular local renin-angiotensin system (L-RAS) plays an important role in the differential remodeling of the two kinds of large arteries by examining the gene and protein expression of angiotensinogen (A O ) and angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) and their localization in the vessel wall. The results showed that SUS induced an increase in the media thickness of the common carotid artery due to hypertrophy of the four SM layers and a decrease in the total cross-sectional area of the nine SM layers of the abdominal aorta without significant change in its media thickness. Irrespective of the nature of remodeling, the most prominent changes were in the innermost layers. Immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, Western blot, and real time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that SUS induced an up- and down-regulation in A O and AT1R expression in the common carotid artery and abdominal aorta, respectively. In conclusion, our findings have demonstrated some special features in the structural adaptation of large elastic arteries due to a medium-term simulated microgravity.

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Summary  

Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are one of most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. The nuclear analytical methods (ENAA, SRXRF and XRF) were employed to study the effect of iodine deficiency on the metal ion changes during the stage of brain development, combined with biochemical methods. The results show that the distributions of iron, copper and zinc varied to different extent in different brain regions and subcellular fractions of the ID rat brains. These distributional changes of trace elements might be associated with the brain damage caused by the iodine deficiency.

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Abstract  

The damage in the pup rat brain with low-level mercury exposure, and the concentration variation of trace elements in the rat hippocampus was determined by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence technique (SRXRF). Meanwhile, the levels and activities of glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the hippocampus were also measured. The results showed that the low dose of inorganic mercury prenatal and postnatal exposure could lead to the significant increase of both copper and zinc contents and remarkable decrease of iron content in pup rat brain. Compared to the control group, the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as GSH-Px, SOD, the contents of GSH and MDA in the pup rat hippocampus of mercury-exposed group fell down obviously.

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Abstract

This study was to investigate whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and saffron aqueous extract (SAE) would provide a synergistic effect to improve tumor volume reduction and also modulate pro- and anti-apoptotic protein expression in tumor tissue of 4T1 breast cancer-bearing mice. Female mice following induction of breast cancer through injection of 4T1 cell lines were randomly divided into four groups: (1) HIIT, (2) SAE, (3) HIIT+ SAE, and (4) control. The tumor volume was significantly lower in the HIIT, SAE, and HIIT+SAE groups than in the controls. The protein level of caspase-3 in the HIIT and the SAE groups was higher than in the control and the HIIT+SAE groups. The Bax protein level in the SAE group was higher than in the control. The HIIT+SAE group showed a lower level of Bax than the HIIT and the SAE groups. The protein level of Bcl-2 was higher in the HIIT+SAE vs. both the HIIT and the SAE groups. Finally, the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 was significantly higher in the HIIT and the SAE groups than in the HIIT+SAE and control groups. These findings indicate that a combination of HIIT and SAE interventions does not improve the apoptotic induction in tumor tissue, while both HIIT and SAE treatments may mediate apoptotic pathway as evinced by the elevated ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and caspase-3 levels during tumor progression in breast cancer-bearing mice.

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The thermal mechanical properties and degradation behaviors were studied on fibers prepared from two high-performance, heterocyclic polymers, poly(p-phenylenebenzobisthiazole) (PBZT) and poly(p-phenylenebenzobisoxazole) (PBZO). Our research demonstrated that these two fibers exhibited excellent mechanical properties and outstanding thermal and thermo-oxidative stability. Their long-term mechanical tensile performance at high temperatures was found to be critically associated with the stability of the C—O or C—S linkage at the heterocyclic rings on these polymers' backbones. PBZO fibers with the C—O linkages displayed substantially higher thermal stability compared to PBZT containing C—S linkages. High resolution pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry provided the information of the pyrolyzates' compositions and distributions as well as their relationships with the structures of PBZT and PBZO. Based on the analysis of the compositions and distributions of all pyrolyzates at different temperatures, it was found that the thermal degradation mechanisms for both of these heterocyclic polymers were identical. Kevlar®-49 fibers were also studied under the same experimental conditions in order to make a comparison of thermo-oxidative stability and long-term mechanical performance at high temperatures with PBZO and PBZT fibers. The data of two high-performance aromatic polyimide fibers were also included as references.

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A rapid and sensitive method for the identification and quantification of phillyrin (POG) in Forsythia suspense is described. The phillyrin standard solution was directly infused into the ion trap mass spectrometers (IT-MS) for collecting the MSn spectra. The electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectral fragmentation pathway of phillyrin was proposed, and the ESI-MSn fragmentation behavior of phillyrin was deduced in detail. The major product ion at m/z 355 belongs to furofuran, which was formed by loss the glucopyranoside (180 Da), and the characteristic fragment ions m/z 473, 395, 337, 309, and 249 were observed. The loss of 18 Da could arise from two different fragmentation pathways, and the observed ion was composed of a mixture of two different structural ions. Quantification of phillyrin was assigned in positive-ion mode at a product ion at m/z 557 → 355 by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The LC-MS method was validated for linearity, sensitivity, accuracy, and precision and then used to determine the content of the phillyrin. Lastly, the LC-MS method was successfully applied to determine phillyrin in real sample F. suspense and three of its medicinal preparations in the positive mode at the first time.

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High-yield common buckwheat ‘cv. Fengtian 1’ (FT1) and tartary buckwheat ‘cv. Jingqiao 2’ (JQ2) were selected to investigate the characteristics of the grain-filling process and starch accumulation of high-yield buckwheat. FT1 had an average yield that was 43.0% higher than that of the control ‘cv. Tongliaobendixiaoli’ (TLBDXL) in two growing seasons, while JQ2 had an average yield that was 27.3% higher than that of the control ‘cv. Chuanqiao 2’ (CQ2). The Richards equation was utilized to evaluate the grain-filling process of buckwheat. Both FT1 and JQ2 showed higher values of initial growth power and final grain weight and longer linear increase phase, compared with respective control. These values suggest that the higher initial increasing rate and the longer active growth period during grain filling play important roles to increase buckwheat yield. Similar patterns of starch, amylose and amylopectin accumulation were detected in common buckwheat, leading to similar concentration of each constituent at maturity in FT1 and TLBDXL. Tartary buckwheat showed an increasing accumulation pattern of amylose in developing seeds, which differed from that of starch and amylopectin. This pattern led to a significant difference of the concentrations of amylose and amylopectin at maturity between JQ2 and CQ2, the mechanisms of which remained unclear. Nevertheless, both FT1 and JQ2 showed increased starch, amylose, and amylopectin accumulation during the physiological maturity of grains. The results suggest that prolonging the active grain-filling period to increase carbohydrate partitioning from source to seed sink can be an effective strategy to improve buckwheat yield.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: D. Huang, H. Zhang, M. Tar, Y. Zhang, F. Ni, J. Ren, D. Fu, L. Purnhauser, and J. Wu

Stripe or yellow rust (Yr), caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. (Pst), is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide. New aggressive Pst races can spread quickly, even between countries and continents. To identify and exploit stripe rust resistance genes, breeders must characterize first the Pst resistance and genotypes of their cultivars. To find new sources of resistances it is important to study how wheat varieties respond to Pst races that predominate in other continents. In this study we evaluated stripe rust resistance in 53 Hungarian winter wheat cultivars in China. Twenty-four cultivars (45.3%) had all stage resistance (ASR) and 1 (1.9%) had adult-plant resistance (APR), based on seedling tests in growth chambers and adult-plant tests in fields. We molecularly genotyped six Yr resistance genes: Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, Yr17, Yr18, and Yr36. Yr18, an APR gene, was present alone in five cultivars, and in ‘GK Kapos’, that also had seedling resistance. The other five Yr genes were absent in all cultivars tested.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: F. Xu, L. Sun, J. Zhang, Y. Qi, L. Yang, H. Ru, C. Wang, X. Meng, X. Lan, Q. Jiao, and F. Huang

Abstract  

Heat capacities of the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with different sizes have been measured by modulated temperature differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and reported for the first time. The results indicated the values of C p increased with shortening length of CNTs when the diameters of CNTs were between 60 and 100 nm. However, the values of C p of CNTs were not affected by their diameter when the lengths of CNTs were 1–2 um, or not affected by the length of CNTs when their diameters were below 10 nm. The thermal stabilities of the CNTs have been studied by TG-DTG-DSC. The results of TG-DTG showed that thermal stabilities of CNTs were enhanced with their diameters increase. With lengths increase, the thermal stabilities of CNTs increased when their diameters were between 60 and 100 nm, but there is a slight decrease when their diameters were less than 60 nm. The further DSC analyses showed both released heat and T onset increased with the increase of CNTs diameters, which confirms the consistency of the results from both TG-DTG and DSC on CNTs thermal stability.

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Bee pollen is a health food with a wide range of nutritional and therapeutic properties. However, the bioactive compounds of bee pollen have not been extensively revealed due to low efficacy in separation. High-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) and solvent extraction were applied to separate tyrosinase inhibitors from camellia pollen in this study. The camellia pollen extracts prepared with petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, and n-BuOH have tyrosinase inhibitory activity. Acidic hydrolysis could promote the tyrosinase inhibitory activity of crude sample. Three fractions with tyrosinase inhibitory activity were separated from the hydrolysate by a one-step HSCCC procedure. Among the fractions, two chemicals were sufficiently purified and identified to be levulinic acid (LA) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF). The recovery was 0.80 g kg−1 pollen for LA and 1.75 g kg−1 pollen for 5-HMF; and their purity was all over 98%. The study demonstrates that HSCCC method is powerful for preparative separation of tyrosinase inhibitors from camellia pollen.

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