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Tang L.,China University of Geosciences | Tang L.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Santosh M.,China University of Geosciences | Santosh M.,University of Adelaide | And 3 more authors.
Precambrian Research | Year: 2016

The Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO) represents one of the major Paleoproterozoic collisional orogens across the central part of the North China Craton. Here we investigate the meta-carbonates (marbles and calc-silicate rocks) from the Fuping and Zanhuang Complexes in the TNCO through a combination of detrital zircon U–Pb geochronology, geochemistry and stable isotopes (carbon and oxygen). The U–Pb ages obtained from detrital zircons in both sequences show age populations of 2.50–2.57 Ga, 2.2–2.4 Ga, 2.0–2.1 Ga and 1.85–1.90 Ga. The depositional age for the Wanzi Group in the Fuping Complex is further constrained as 1.95–1.93 Ga and the Central Zanhuang Domain (Zanhuang Complex) as 2.03–1.90 Ga. All samples show nearly flat REE patterns below the concentration level of 1 in the shale-normalized REE distribution diagram. The dolomite–calcite marbles from the Fuping Complex have δ13C values ranging from −0.31‰ to 3.65‰ and δ18O values vary from −9.12‰ to −2.96‰. The calc-silicate rocks from the Fuping Complex show wide variation of δ13C (−1.56‰ to 3.30‰) and δ18O (−12.89‰ to −5.84‰). Dolomite marbles from the Zanhuang Complex show low δ13C and δ18O values ranging from −3.31‰ to −3.69‰ and −12.98‰ to −13.59‰. The dolomite–calcite marbles from the Zanhuang Complex display δ13C and δ18O compositions of −2.68‰ to 1.44‰ and −11.77‰ to −7.76‰, respectively. The correlations between the isotopic results (δ13C and δ18O) and geochemical compositions (Mn, Sr, Mn/Sr, Mg/Ca, Ca/Sr and Fe/Sr) suggest that the dolomite marbles from the Zanhuang Complex are strongly disturbed and the calc-silicate rocks are moderately affected by the post-depositional processes. The salient lithological, geochemical and isotopic features imply that the protoliths of the meta-carbonates were formed in a proximal and shallow marine environment. The Wanzi Group was deposited in a forearc basin and the Central Zanhuang Domain was formed in a back-arc basin. The geochemical imprints and biospheres of the oceanic basin in the Fuping area were possibly affected by the Lomagundi or Jatulian Event, resulting in the positive excursion of δ13C values in the dolomite–calcite marbles. However, the back-arc basin in the Zanhuang area was formed after the 2.1–2.0 Ga rifting event, thus it was generated after the Jatulian Event, thus preserving normal δ13C values of marine carbonates. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Chen W.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Tanaka E.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Watanabe K.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Tomisaki E.,Sophia University | And 3 more authors.
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2016

Reduction of children's behavioral problems has the potential to ameliorate parental stress, mental health problems, and family dysfunction. The current study was designed as a 3-year longitudinal study with secondary data. A total of 99 caregivers with preschool aged children were required to complete two self-reported questionnaires: the Index of Child Care Environment and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. It demonstrated that a positive home-rearing environment had a positive influence on children's behavioral problem 3 years’ later. Our study suggests that we may reduce behavioral problems in children's later development by providing a positive home rearing environment. © 2016


Inoue K.,RIKEN | Inoue K.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Ogura A.,RIKEN | Ogura A.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Ogura A.,University of Tokyo
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2015

It should be emphasized that “129” is not simply a number but is also the designation of a mouse strain that has made a great contribution to modern biological science and technology. Embryonic stem cells derived from 129 mice were essential components of gene-targeting strategies in early research. More recently, 129 mice have provided superior donor genomes for cloning by nuclear transfer. Some factor or factors conferring genomic plasticity must exist in the 129 genome, but these remain unidentified. © 2015 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.


Mogami J.,University of Tokyo | Fujita Y.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science | Fujita Y.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Yoshida T.,University of Tokyo | And 13 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2015

Protein phosphorylation events play key roles in maintaining cellular ion homeostasis in higher plants, and the regulatory roles of these events in Na+ and K+ transport have been studied extensively. However, the regulatory mechanisms governing Mg2+ transport and homeostasis in higher plants remain poorly understood, despite the vital roles of Mg2+ in cellular function. A member of subclass III sucrose nonfermenting-1-related protein kinase2 (SnRK2), SRK2D/SnRK2.2, functions as a key positive regulator of abscisic acid (ABA)-mediated signaling in response to water deficit stresses in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Here, we used immunoprecipitation coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses to identify Calcineurin B-like-interacting protein kinase26 (CIPK26) as a novel protein that physically interacts with SRK2D. In addition to CIPK26, three additional CIPKs (CIPK3, CIPK9, and CIPK23) can physically interact with SRK2D in planta. The srk2d/e/i triple mutant lacking all three members of subclass III SnRK2 and the cipk26/3/9/23quadruple mutant lacking CIPK26, CIPK3, CIPK9, and CIPK23 showed reduced shoot growth under high external Mg2+ concentrations. Similarly, several ABAbiosynthesis-deficient mutants, including aba2-1, were susceptible to high external Mg2+ concentrations. Taken together, our findings provided genetic evidence that SRK2D/E/I and CIPK26/3/9/23 are required for plant growth under high external Mg2+ concentrations in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, we showed thatABA, a key molecule in water deficit stress signaling, also serves as a signaling molecule in plant growth under high external Mg2+ concentrations. These results suggested that SRK2D/E/I- and CIPK26/3/9/23-mediated phosphorylation signaling pathways maintain cellular Mg2+ homeostasis. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Naka I.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Patarapotikul J.,Mahidol University | Hananantachai H.,Mahidol University | Ohashi J.,University of TsukubaIbaraki
Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

The Oka blood group antigen basigin (BSG or CD147) is an erythrocyte receptor for the PfRh5 protein from Plasmodium falciparum. A recent study has shown that the PfRh5-BSG interaction is essential for erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum. In this study, 6 SNPs in the BSG gene were investigated in 312 adult patients with P. falciparum malaria (109 cerebral malaria and 203 mild malaria patients) living in northwest Thailand. To examine the association between BSG SNPs and cerebral malaria, the allele and haplotype frequencies were compared in cerebral and mild malaria patients. Non-synonymous SNPs were not assessed in the association analysis. The results showed that common BSG polymorphisms and haplotypes were not significantly associated with cerebral malaria. In conclusion, common SNPs in BSG do not influence the risk of cerebral malaria in the Thai population. © National Institute of Health. All Rights Reserved.


Kakutani Y.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Kamiya S.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Omi N.,University of TsukubaIbaraki
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology | Year: 2015

“Shushoku,” “Shusai,” and “Hukusai” are staple food, main dish, and side dish, respectively. The recommended meal in Japan is a combination of “Shushoku,” “Shusai,” and “Hukusai”; however, it remains unclear whether there is an association between the frequency of these meals and intake of nutrients and food groups. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the frequency of meals combining “Shushoku, Shusai, and Hukusai” and intake of nutrients and food groups among 664 Japanese young adults aged 18–24 y. The dietary habits of the subjects during the preceding month were assessed using a validated brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire. The frequency of meals combining “Shushoku, Shusai, and Hukusai” was self-reported according to four categories: “less than 1 d or 1 d/wk,” “2 or 3 d/wk,” “4 or 5 d/wk,” and “every day.” In both women and men, there was an association between the higher frequency of these meals and higher intake of the following food groups: pulses, green and yellow vegetables, other vegetables, mushrooms, seaweeds, fish and shellfish, and eggs. Moreover, there was an association with higher intake of protein, polyunsaturated fat, n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fat, total dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, β-carotene, a-tocopherol, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper, and lower intake of carbohydrate in both women and men. Our findings support the hypothesis that the meals combining “Shushoku, Shusai, and Hukusai” may be associated with intake of many food groups and nutrients among Japanese young adults. © 2015, Center for Academic Publications Japan. All rights reserved.


Hizawa N.,University of TsukubaIbaraki
International Journal of COPD | Year: 2015

In the combined use of bronchodilators of different classes, ie, long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), bronchodilation is obtained both directly, through LABA-mediated stimulation of β2-adrenergic receptors, and indirectly, through LAMA-mediated inhibition of acetylcholine action at muscarinic receptors. The clinical trial data for LABAs/LAMAs in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continue to be promising, and these combinations will provide the convenience of delivering the two major bronchodilator classes, recommended as first-line maintenance options in COPD treatment guidelines. COPD is a complex condition that has pulmonary and extrapulmonary manifestations. These clinical manifestations are highly variable, and several are associated with different responses to currently available therapies. The concept of a COPD phenotype is rapidly evolving from one focusing on the clinical characteristics to one linking the underlying biology to the phenotype of the disease. Identification of the peculiarities of the different COPD phenotypes will permit us to implement a more personalized treatment in which the patient’s characteristics, together with his or her genotype, will be key to choosing the best treatment option. At present in Japan, fixed combinations of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) and LABAs are frequently prescribed in the earlier stages of COPD. However, ICSs increase the risk of pneumonia. Notably, 10%–30% of patients with COPD with or without a history of asthma have persistent circulating and airway eosinophilia associated with an increased risk of exacerbations and sensitivity to steroids. Thus, sputum or blood eosinophil counts might identify a subpopulation in which ICSs could have potentially deleterious effects as well as a subpopulation that benefits from ICSs. In this review, I propose one plausible approach to position ICSs and LABAs/LAMAs in clinical practice, based on both the extent of airflow obstruction and the presence of an asthma component or airway eosinophilic inflammation. This approach is a tentative move toward personalized treatment for COPD patients, and with progress in knowledge and developments in physiology, lung imaging, medical biology, and genetics, identification of COPD phenotypes that provide prognostic and therapeutic information that can affect clinically meaningful outcomes is an urgent medical need. © 2015 Hizawa.


Hamada J.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Hamada J.,University of Tsukuba | Baasanjav A.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Ono N.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology | Year: 2015

Apelin peptide is an endogenous ligand of APJ (a putative receptor protein related to the angiotensin II type 1 receptor), which is a member of a G protein-coupled receptor superfamily with seven transmembrane domains. Recent findings have suggested that the apelin-APJ system plays a potential role in cardiac contraction and cardioprotection. In the present study, we show that the apelin-APJ system is disrupted in doxorubicin (Dox)-induced cardiotoxicity. We found downregulation of apelin and APJ mRNA expression in C57Bl/6J mouse hearts on days 1 and 5 after Dox administration (20 mg/kg ip). Plasma apelin levels and cardiac APJ protein expression were significantly decreased on day 5 after Dox injection. Cardiac apelin contents were reduced on day 1 but increased to basal levels on day 5 after Dox injection. We also examined the effects of APJ gene deletion on Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Compared with wild-type mice, APJ knockout mice showed a significant depression in cardiac contractility on day 5 after Dox (15 mg/kg ip) treatment followed by a decrease in 14-day survival rates. Moreover, Dox-induced myocardial damage, cardiac protein carbonylation, and autophagic dysfunction were accelerated in APJ knockout mice. Rat cardiac H9c2 cells showed Dox-induced decreases in viability, which were prevented by APJ overexpression and the combination with apelin treatment. These results suggest that the suppression of APJ expression after Dox administration can exacerbate Dox-induced cardiotoxicity, which may be responsible for depressed protective function of the endogenous apelin-APJ system. Modulation of the apelin-APJ system may hold promise for the treatment of Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. © 2015 the American Physiological Society.


Sugiura Y.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Okamoto F.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Okamoto Y.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Hiraoka T.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Oshika T.,University of TsukubaIbaraki
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2014

Purpose. To evaluate contrast sensitivity (CS) in patients with epiretinal membrane (ERM) following vitrectomy and to investigate the relationship between CS and foveal microstruc-tures with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).Methods. Thirty-one eyes of 31 patients with ERM were included. We examined CS with a CSV-1000E chart, a logMAR best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and foveal microstructure by using SD-OCT before and at 6 months after surgery. From the CS data, the area under the log contrast sensitivity function (AULCSF) was calculated. Based on the OCT images, we quantified the mean thickness of the ganglion cell layer (GCL), the inner nuclear layer (INL), and the outer retinal layer (outer nuclear layer and outer plexiform layer [ONL+OPL]). The status of the photoreceptor inner and outer segment junction (IS/OS) and external limiting membrane (ELM) was also evaluated.Results. Vitrectomy significantly improved logMAR BCVA and AULCSF. Even in patients with poor improvement of visual acuity (changes in logMAR BCVA by surgery was ≤0.2), postoperative AULCSF significantly increased by treatment (P < 0.05). Postoperative AULCSF showed a significant correlation with preoperative (P < 0.05) and postoperative (P < 0.05) ONL+OPL thickness, whereas other parameters were not relevant. Postoperative logMAR BCVA significantly correlated with postoperative status of IS/OS (P < 0.05) and preoperative ONL+OPL thickness (P < 0.05).Conclusions. In patients with ERM, CS improved even though their visual acuity did not recover significantly by vitrectomy. CS was associated with the thickness of outer retinal layer. © 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.


Matsuda M.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Kurosaki K.,University of TsukubaIbaraki | Okamura N.,University of TsukubaIbaraki
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2014

Exposure of mice to a high dose of estrogens including diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the neonatal period modifies the developmental plan of the genital tract, which leads to various permanent changes in physiology, morphology and gene expression. These changes include development of an abnormal vaginal epithelium lined with hyperplastic mucinous cells accompanied by Tff1 gene expression in mice. Here, the influence of vitamin D on the direct effect of estrogen on the developing mouse vagina was examined. The mid-vagina of neonatal mice was cultured in a serum-free medium containing estradiol-17β (E2) and various concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D) ex vivo and then was transplanted under the renal capsule of ovariectomized host mice for 35 days. Exposure to E2 alone caused the vaginal tissue to develop estrogenindependent epithelial hyperplasia and to express TFF1 mRNA, while addition of a low nanomolar amount of 1,25(OH)2D added at the same time as E2 to the culture medium attenuated the effects of estrogen. Expression of vitamin D receptor was also evident in the neonatal mouse vagina. Interestingly, addition of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, a pro-activated form of vitamin D, at the micromolar level was found to be potent in disrupting the developmental effects of E2, while cholecalciferol was not at least at the dose examined. Correspondingly, expression of Cyp27B1, a kidney-specific 25-hydroxyvitamin D hydroxylase, was evident in the neonatal mouse vagina when examined by RT-PCR. In addition, simultaneous administration of 1,25(OH)2D successfully attenuated DES-induced ovary-independent hyperplasia in the vagina in neonatal mice in vivo. Thus, manipulation of vitamin D influenced the harmful effects of estrogens on mouse vaginal development. ©2014 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.

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