2008 Vol. 21, No. 3

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Diesel Pollution Biodegradation: Synergetic Effect of Mycobacterium and Filamentous Fungi
2008, 21(3): 181-187.
Objective To biodegrade the diesel pollution in aqueous solution inoculated with Mycobacterium and filamentous fungi.Methods Bacteria sampled from petroleum hydrocarbons contaminated sites in Karamay Oilfield were isolated and identified as Mycobacterium hyalinum (MH) and cladosporium. Spectrophotometry and gas chromatography (GC) were used to analyze of the residual concentrations of diesel oil and its biodegradation products. Results From the GC data, the values of apparent biodegradation ratio of the bacterial strain MH to diesel oil were close to those obtained in the control experiments. Moreover, the number of MH did not increase with degradation time. However, by using n-octadecane instead of diesel oil, the real biotic degradation ratio increased to 20.9% over 5 days of degradation. Cladosporium strongly biodegraded diesel oil with a real degradation ratio of up to 34% after 5 days treatment. When the two strains were used simultaneously, a significant synergistic effect between them resulted in almost cornplete degradation of diesel off, achieving a total diesel removal of 99% over 5 days of treatment, in which one part of about 80% and another part of about 19% were attributed to biotic and abiotic processes, respectively. Conclusion The observed synergistic effect was closely related to the aromatics-degrading ability of Cladosporium, which favored the growth of MH and promoted the bioavailability of diesel oil.
Association of Gghrelin Polymorphisms with Metabolic Syndrome in Han Nationality Chinese
2008, 21(3): 188-192.
Objective To investigate the association of ghrelin gene polymorphisms with metabolic syndrome in Han Nationality Chinese. Methods A total of 240 patients with metabolic syndrome annd 427 adults aged above forty years were recruited. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment lengthpolymorphism analysis.Results The allelic frequency of the Leu72Met polymorphismwas 17.3% in the patient group and 11.9% in the control group(x2=7.36, P=0.007). Metabolic syndrome was more prevalent among carriers of the Met72 variant (43.8 vs 33.1%, age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio=1.57, P=0.01). No Arg51Gln variants were found in our study subjects. Conclusion Rather than being associated with its individual components, Leu72Met polymorphism is associated with metabolic syndrome in the Han Nationality Chinese. Arg51Gln polymorphism is rare in the Hart Nationality Chinese.
Prediction of Toxicity of Phenols and Anilines to Algae by Quantitative Structure-activity Relationship
2008, 21(3): 193-196.
Objective To measure the toxicity of phenol, aniline, and their derivatives to algae and to assess, model and predict the toxicity using quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) method. Methods Oxygen production was used as the response endpoint for assessing the toxic effects of chemicals on algal photosynthesis. The energy of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (ELUMO) and the energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (E<,HOMO>) Were obtained from the ChemOffice 2004 program using the quantum chemical method MOPAC, and the frontier orbital energy gap (ΔE) was obtained. Results The compounds exhibited a reasonably wide range of algal toxicity. The most toxic compound was α-naphthol, whereas the least toxic one was aniline. A two-descriptor model was derived from the algal toxicity and structural parameters:logl/EC50=0.268logKow-1.006ΔE+11.769 (n=20,r2=0.946). This model was stable and satisfactory for predicting toxicity. Conclusion Phenol aniline, and their derivatives axe polar narcotics. Their toxicity is greater than estimated by hydrophobicity only, and addition of the frontier orbital energy gap ΔE can significantly improve the prediction of logKow-dependont models.
Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity of Soybean Isoflavones to Immature SD Rats
2008, 21(3): 197-204.
Objective To investigate the dose-dependent toxic effect of soybean isoflavone extracts (SIE) on reproductive development in immature rats. Methods Growing male and female rats (n=50 each, 4 weeks) were divided into five groups fed with a standard cereal-based diet and gastrogavaged daily with 0, 30, 150, 300, and 600 mg SIE / kg body weight, respectively, for 12 weeks. Body weight, organ weights, and serum level of estrogen and testosterone were measured. Results Oral administration of SIE had no effect on food intake but decreased food efficiency ratio (P<0.01). Suppression on body weight gain by SIE was dose-dependent and the effect was greater on male than on female rats (P<0.01). SIE at high doses exhibited hepatotoxicity by increasing a relative liver weight, and also caused a smaller uterus but a greater relative ovary in female rats,while leading to larger relative testis and epididymis in male rats. SIE could decrease progesterone concentrations in female rats, whereas in male rats it reduced not only total testosterone level but also sperm count compared with the control group (P<0.05). Conclusion SIE at a range of 50-1000 times of human intake level affects not only growth but also development of reproductive system in growing rats.
Cancer Mortality and Asbestosis Among Workers in an Asbestos Plant in Chongqing, China
2008, 21(3): 205-211.
Objective To investigate whether asbestosis is a risk factor for mortality of lung cancer. Methods A fixed cohort study was established in an asbestos plant in Chongqing, China, and followed up for 30 years from the beginning of 1972. Basic personal information on life state, cause of death, and diagnosis of asbestosis was collected. Multiple logistic regressions were applied to analyze risk factors. Results During the 30-year follow-up, 584 male workers constituting a total of 14 664 person-years were monitored and data were analyzed. Among them, 203 (34.8%) died and the mortality rate was 13.8 per 1000 person-years, cancer accounting for 37.4%. Excess risks were observed for lung cancer (OR=3.72) and nonmalignant respiratory diseases (OR=2.73) among workers with asbestosis. High-exposure level was another risk factor for lung cancer (OR=3.20). Workers with category Ⅱ of asbestusis demonsatrated a higher OR of both lung cancer and nonmalignant respiratory diseases than those with category Ⅰ of asbestosis. Conclusion High asbestos exposure level and asbestosis were the risk factors for death of lung cancer and nonmalignant respiratory diseases. Asbestosis is an independent risk factor for lung cancer among Chinese workers exposed to chrysotile, the risk increases with the increasing profusion of opacities of lung.
Reversal of Apoptotic Resistance by Lycium barbarum Glycopeptide 3 in Aged T Cells
2008, 21(3): 212-217.
Objective To study whether Lycium barbarian glycopeptide 3 (LBGP3) affects T cell apeptosis in aged mice. Methods LBGP3 was purified with DEAE cellulose and Sephadex columns. Apoptotic "sub-Gl peak" was detected by flow cytometry and DNA ladder was resolved by agarose gel electrophoresis. Levels of IFN-γ, and IL-10 were measured with specific kits and mRNA expression was detected by RT-PCR. Apoptosis-related proteins of FLIP, FasL, and Bcl-2 were determined by Western blotting. Resdts LBGP3 was purified from Fructus Lycii water extracts and identified as a 41 kD glycopeptide.Treatment with 200 μg/mL LBGP3 increased the apoptotic rate of T cells from aged mice and showed a similar DNA ladder pattern to that in young T ceils. The reversal of apoptotic resistance was involved in down-regulating the expression of Bcl-2 and FLIP, and up-regulating the expression of FasL. Conclusion Lycium barbarum glycopeptide 3 reverses apoptotic resistance of aged T cells by modulating the expression of apoptosis-related molecules.
Effect of Electromagnetic Pulse Exposure on Permeability of Blood-testicle Barrier in Mice
2008, 21(3): 218-221.
Objective To study the effect of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) exposure on the permeability of blood-testicle barrier (BTB) in mice. Methods Adult male BALB/c mice were exposed to EMP at 200 kV/m for 200 pulses with 2 seconds interval. The mice were injected with 2% Evans Blue solution through caudal vein at different time points after exposure, and the permeability of BTB was monitored using a fluorescence microscope. The testis sample for the transmission electron microscopy was prepared at 2 h after EMP exposure. The permeability of BTB in mice was observed by using Evans Blue tracer and lanthanum nitrate tracer. Results After exposure, cloudy Evans Blue was found in the testicle convoluted seminiferous tubule of mice. Lanthanum nitrate was observed not only between testicle spermatogonia near seminiferous tubule wall and sertoli cells, but also between sertofi cells and primary spermatocyte or secondary spermatocyte. In contrast,lanthanum nitrate in control group was only found in the testicle sertoli cells between seminiferous tubule and near seminiferous tubule wall. Conclusion EMP exposure could increase the permeability of BTB in the mice.
Renal Protective Activity of Hsian-tsao Extracts in Diabetic Rats
2008, 21(3): 222-227.
Objective To investigate the renal protective activity of Hsian-tsao Mesona procumbens Hemsl. water extracts in diabetic rats. Methods Thirty Sprague-dawley female rats were randomly divided into three groups (n=10 each), "control group" with intraperitoneal saline injection, "diabetic group" with 60 mg of intraperitoneal streptozotocin injection per kg of body weight and "Hsian-tsao group" with intragastric administration of Hsian-tsao extraction everyday for 4 weeks after intraperitoneal streptozotocin injection. The body weight and blood sugar were measured before and after model induction in the three groups. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) expressions in the kidney were monitored by immunohistochemistry. Kidney ultrastructural changes were also analyzed by using transmission electron microscopy. Results Before diabetic model induction, there were no significant differences among the three groups in body weight and blood sugar. Four weeks after the induction of diabetes, the differences became statistically significant. Electron microscopy also revealed disruption of the foot processes of the podocytes and other damages in diabetic group. These damages were significantly less severe in Hsian-tsao group when compared with the diabetic group. TSP-1 expressions in the kidney were significantly increased in both the diabetic group and Hsian-tsao group, but it was relatively lower in Hsian-tsao group than in diabetic group. Conclusion Our results showed that Hsian-tsao treatment in the diabetic rats effectively prevented the pathological alterations in the kidney and decreased the TSP-1 expression. It was suggested that Hsian-tsao had protective effect on the kidneys of the diabetic rats.
Parental Anxiety and Quality of Life of Epileptic Children
2008, 21(3): 228-232.
Objective To investigate the prevalence of parental anxiety associated with epileptic children, and to explore whether and how this specific condition affects children's quality of life (QOL), and what are the significant determinants for parental anxiety. Methods Three hundred and forty parents whose children were affected with known epilepsy were enrolled in the study. Questionnaires for quality of life in childhood epilepsy (QOLCE), and hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) of parents were used to collect demographic data of both children and their parents, as well as clinical manifestations of epilepsy and family status. Results Parental anxiety (of any severity) was observed in 191 subjects at interview, giving a prevalence rate of 56.2%. Of the 191 subjects, 18.5% reported mild anxiety, 24.4% moderate anxiety, and 13.2% severe anxiety. Factors associated with parental anxiety included frequency of seizure in children, average monthly income per person and parents' knowledge about epilepsy (P<0.05). Parental anxiety significantly (P=0.000) correlated with quality of life of children with epilepsy. Conclusion Parents of children with epilepsy are at high risk of having anxiety. Factors associated with parental anxiety originate both from children and from parents. Parental anxiety is significantly related with children's QOL. It is important for experts concerned to recognize such a relationship to improve the QOL of children and their parents.
Catalytic Metalloporphyrin Protects Against Paraquat Neurotoxicity in vivo
2008, 21(3): 233-238.
Objective To examine the neuroprotective effects of a novel manganese porphyrin, manganese (Ⅲ) meso-tetrakis(N,N'-diethylimidazolium-2-yl) porphyrin (MnTDM), in the mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD) induced by paraquat (PQ). Methods Male C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously injected with either saline or PQ at 2-day intervals for a total of 10 doses, MnTDM was subcutaneously injected with the PQ 2 h before treatment. Performance on the pole and swim test were measured 7 days after the last injection and animals were sacrificed one day later. Levels of dopamine (DA) and its metabolites in the striatum were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with an electrochemical detector (HPLC-ECD).Thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method was used to assay the lipid peroxidation product, malondialdehyde (MDA), and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons was estimated using immunohistochemistry. Results Pretreatment with MnTDM significantly attenuated PQ-impaired behavioral performance, depleted dopamine content in striata, increased MDA, and dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra. Conclusions Oxidative stress plays an important role in PQ-induced neurotoxicity which can be potentially prevented by manganese porphyrin. These findings also propose a possible therapeutical strategy for neurodegenerative disorders associated with oxidative stress such as PD.
Job Stress, Gene Polymorphism of β2-AR, and Prevalence of Hypertension
2008, 21(3): 239-246.
Objective To study the interactive effect of job stress and genetic susceptibility (or gene polymorphism) on hypertension. Methods A cross-sectional epidemioiogical study was conducted in 452 workers from a thermal power plant in China. Extrinsic effort, occupational reward, and over-commitment were measured. Hypertensive patients were defined by three phases of screening, reexamination, and final diagnosis. β2-AR genotypes and allele frequencies at amino acid positions 16 (β2-AR-16:Arg→Gly) and 27(β2-AR-27:Gln→Glu) were identified by PCR-RFLP. Results Job stress was related with the prevalence of hypertension in males (P<0.05), whereas no significant relationship was found in females (P>0.05). Differences in genotypes and allele frequencies of the β2-AR-16 were statistically significant between the hypertension and control groups (P<0.05), whereas those of β2-AR-27 were not (P>0.05). The prevalence of hypertension was higher in individuals carrying Gly16 allele than in those carrying Arg16 allele of the high job stress group (P<0.01 or 0.05). Conclusion High job stress and polymorphism of β2-AR-16 have an interactive effect on the prevalence of hypertension in male workers.
Validity of Diagnostic Evidence for Deceased Cases in Hospitals
2008, 21(3): 247-252.
Objective To determine the validity of the diagnostic evidence for deceased cases in hospitals. Methods All information collected from medical records of the deceased cases in tertiary care health facilities was input into our database. Four diagnosis levels were determined based on level of diagnostic evidence: level I was based on autopsy, pathology or operative exploration, level Ⅱ on physical and laboratory tests plus expert clinical judgment, level Ⅲ on expert clinical judgment, level Ⅳ on postmortem assumptions. After the diagnostic evidence of each deceased case was reviewed by a panel of three experts, the diagnostic level of each diagnosis was determined. Results Among the 2102 medical cases for verbal autopsy study, only 26 (1.24%) afforded diagnostic evidence for level Ⅲ. Among the level Ⅲ evidence-based cases of death, the major causes of death were cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and gastroenterological diseases. According to some special symptoms and medical histories, these cases could be diagnosed by comprehensive clinical judgment. Only one case met the criteria for level Ⅳ. Conclusion Level Ⅰ diagnostic evidence is hard to attain in China because of the traditional concept and economic restriction. The causes for 2101 deaths can be validated by level Ⅱ or Ⅲ diagnostic evidence.
Trends in Suicide by Poisoning in China 2000-2006: Age, Gender,Method, and Geography
2008, 21(3): 253-256.
Objective This study analyzed patterns of suicide and suicide attempts by poisoning as reported through a national poison control system for the purpose of improving intervention and prevention. Methods During the period of 2000 to 2006, 6440 cases of poisoning suicide were reported to the telephone consultation service system of The National Center for Poisoning Control (Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Among these records, 4728 cases had completed data for this analysis in terms of age, sex, trend of time and location, and type of poisons. Results There were 60.6% female cases with the age from 10 to 90 years old. The age of cases from 20 to 39 years accounted for 54.5% of all age groups. Both the numbers and percentage in record related to poisoning consultation of oral poisoning suicide showed an increasing tendency during the 7 years. In particular, there was a drastic increase from 2004 to 2006. In addition, the high frequency of cases occurred from May to October. Hebei, Shandong, Henan, and Anhui Provinces had the highest number of cases. Pesticide poisonings were the most cormmon method in these cases of consultation for suicide and suicide attempts. Conclusion This study describes epidemiological characteristics in the oral poisoning suicide cases and provides scientific basis for suicide prevention interventions.
Exploring Barriers to Implementation of Smoking Policies:A Qualitative Study on Health Professionals from Three County-Level Hospitals
2008, 21(3): 257-263.
Objective This study was to identify factors limiting the implementation of smoking policies in county-level hospitals. Methods We conducted qualitative interviews (17 focus groups discussions and 6 one-to-one in depth interviews)involving 103 health professionals from three target county-level hospitals. A combination of purposive and convenience sampling was used to recruit subjects and gain a broad range of perspectives on issues emerging from ongoing data-analysis until data saturation occurred. The transcripts were analyzed for themes and key points. Results The main themes that emerged suggested that both smokers and non-smokers viewed smoking very negatively. However, it was clear that, underlying this acceptance of the health risks of smoking, there was a wide range of beliefs. Most of the health professionals pointed out that, as smoking was legal, addictive, and influenced by social norms, currently it was almost unrealistic to expect all smokers to give up smoking or not to smoke in the hospitals. Furthermore, they were concerned about the potentially detrimental effects of providing counseling advice to all smokers on the interpersonal relationship among colleagues or between doctors and patients. In addition, low level of employee participation influenced the sustainable implementation of smoking policies. Conclusions Simply being aware of the health risks about smoking did not necessarily result in successful implementation of the smoking policies. Application of comprehensive intervention strategies such as implementing smoking policies in public places at the county level, creating supportive environments, promoting community participation,and conducting health education, may be more effective.
Complementary Feeding and Growth of Infant and Young Child in China
2008, 21(3): 264-268.
Objective To understand the status and problems of complementary feeding and to explore the strategy of improving complementary feeding for infants and young children in China. Method Data of urban and rural children were selected from the China Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (CFNSS) dataset to describe the status of complementary feeding and growth of children. Logistic Regression was used to analyze the relationship between child growth and the complementary feeding pattern. Results Applications of foods that come from animals, vegetable/fruit and dairy product in complementary feeding were negatively correlated to the prevalence of stunting and underweight. Attributable risk (AR) of no application of vegetable/fruit in complementary feeding to stunting was 30.2%, to underweight 35.4%; AR of no application of foods from animal products in complementary feeding to stunting was 2g.2%, to underweight 11.7%; and the AR of no application of diary products in complementary feeding to stunting was 27.4%, to underweight was 15.9%. Conclusion Complementary feeding contributed to the improvement of infants and young children growth in China. There is an urgent need to develop health education in the public on infants and young children complementary feeding, in the mean time, it is pressing to pay attention and take actions to develop and promote affordable, acceptable, and accessible fortified complementary food in rural areas of China.
Biomedical And Environmental Sciences INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS
2008, 21(3): 封3-封4.