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Concept: Irritation


Formaldehyde (HCHO) is a major indoor pollutant and long-term exposure to HCHO may cause health problems such as nasal tumors and skin irritation. Photocatalytic oxidation is considered as the most promising strategy for the decomposition of HCHO. Herein, for the first time, a direct g-C3N4-TiO2 Z-scheme photocatalyst without an electron mediator was prepared by a facile calcination route utilizing affordable P25 and urea as the feedstocks. Photocatalytic activities of the as-prepared samples were evaluated by the photocatalytic oxidation decomposition of HCHO in air. It was shown that the photocatalytic activity of the prepared Z-scheme photocatalysts was highly dependent on the g-C3N4 content. At the optimal g-C3N4 content (sample U100 in this study), the apparent reaction rate constant was 7.36 × 10(-2) min(-1) for HCHO decomposition, which exceeded that of pure P25 (3.53 × 10(-2) min(-1)) by a factor of 2.1. The enhanced photocatalytic activity could be ascribed to the formation of a g-C3N4-TiO2 Z-scheme photocatalyst, which results in the efficient space separation of photo-induced charge carriers. Considering the ease of the preparation method, this work will provide new insights into the design of high-performance Z-scheme photocatalysts for indoor air purification.

Concepts: Nitrogen, Reaction rate constant, Photocatalysis, Chemical kinetics, Rate equation, Irritation, Photocatalytic water splitting, Reaction rate


Heart failure is a common, costly, and debilitating syndrome that is associated with a highly complex drug regimen, a large number of comorbidities, and a large and often disparate number of healthcare providers. All of these factors conspire to increase the risk of heart failure exacerbation by direct myocardial toxicity, drug-drug interactions, or both. This scientific statement is designed to serve as a comprehensive and accessible source of drugs that may cause or exacerbate heart failure to assist healthcare providers in improving the quality of care for these patients.

Concepts: Health care provider, Pharmacology, Mathematics, Drug, Illness, Irritation, Number names, American Heart Association


Hydroquinone (HQ) is frequently combined with retinoic acid (RA) to enhance lightening efficacy, which may also affect skin irritancy. Although skin irritation leads to postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, little research has been performed to compare skin irritancy between each component and the combination.

Concepts: Irritation


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a common prelude to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. Defining the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of NAFLD has been hampered by a lack of animal models that closely recapitulate the severe end of the disease spectrum in humans, including bridging hepatic fibrosis. Here we demonstrate that a novel experimental model employing thermoneutral housing, as opposed to standard housing, resulted in lower stress-driven production of corticosterone, augmented mouse proinflammatory immune responses and markedly exacerbated high-fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD pathogenesis. Disease exacerbation at thermoneutrality was conserved across multiple mouse strains and was associated with augmented intestinal permeability, an altered microbiome and activation of inflammatory pathways that are associated with the disease in humans. Depletion of Gram-negative microbiota, hematopoietic cell deletion of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and inactivation of the IL-17 axis resulted in altered immune responsiveness and protection from thermoneutral-housing-driven NAFLD amplification. Finally, female mice, typically resistant to HFD-induced obesity and NAFLD, develop full disease characteristics at thermoneutrality. Thus, thermoneutral housing provides a sex-independent model of exacerbated NAFLD in mice and represents a novel approach for interrogation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Cancer, Obesity, Cirrhosis, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver, Irritation


We discuss the tripartite pathophysiological circuit of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), involving the intestinal microbiota, barrier function, and immune system. Dysfunction in each of these physiological components (dysbiosis, leaky gut, and inflammation) contributes in a mutually interdependent manner to IBD onset and exacerbation. Genetic and environmental risk factors lead to disruption of gut homeostasis: genetic risks predominantly affect the immune system, environmental risks predominantly affect the microbiota, and both affect barrier function. Multiple genetic and environmental ‘hits’ are likely necessary to establish and exacerbate disease. Most conventional IBD therapies currently target only one component of the pathophysiological circuit, inflammation; however, many patients with IBD do not respond to immune-modulating therapies. Hope lies in new classes of therapies that target the microbiota and barrier function.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Medicine, Bacteria, Gut flora, Ulcerative colitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Irritation


Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple tics and sensorimotor abnormalities, the severity of which is typically increased by stress. The neurobiological underpinnings of this exacerbation, however, remain elusive. We recently reported that spatial confinement (SC), a moderate environmental stressor, increases tic-like responses and elicits TS-like sensorimotor gating deficits in the D1CT-7 mouse, one of the best-validated models of TS. Here, we hypothesized that these adverse effects may be mediated by neurosteroids, given their well-documented role in stress-response orchestration. Indeed, SC increased the levels of progesterone, as well as its derivatives 5α-dihydroprogesterone and allopregnanolone, in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of D1CT-7 mice. Among these steroids, however, only allopregnanolone (5-15 mg/kg, IP) dose-dependently exacerbated TS-like manifestations in D1CT-7, but not wild-type littermates; these effects were countered by the benchmark anti-tic therapy haloperidol (0.3 mg/kg, IP). Furthermore, the phenotypic effects of spatial confinement in D1CT-7 mice were suppressed by finasteride (25-50 mg/kg, IP), an inhibitor of the main rate-limiting enzyme in allopregnanolone synthesis. These findings collectively suggest that stress may exacerbate TS symptoms by promoting allopregnanolone synthesis in the PFC, and corroborate previous clinical results pointing to finasteride as a novel therapeutic avenue to curb symptom fluctuations in TS.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene, Progesterone, Tourette syndrome, Treatment of Tourette syndrome, Tic, Tic disorder, Irritation


Stroke induces a multiphasic systemic immune response, but the consequences of this response on atherosclerosis-a major source of recurrent vascular events-have not been thoroughly investigated. We show that stroke exacerbates atheroprogression via alarmin-mediated propagation of vascular inflammation. The prototypic brain-released alarmin high-mobility group box 1 protein induced monocyte and endothelial activation via the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)-signaling cascade and increased plaque load and vulnerability. Recruitment of activated monocytes via the CC-chemokine ligand 2-CC-chemokine receptor type 2 pathway was critical in stroke-induced vascular inflammation. Neutralization of circulating alarmins or knockdown of RAGE attenuated atheroprogression. Blockage of β3-adrenoreceptors attenuated the egress of myeloid monocytes after stroke, whereas neutralization of circulating alarmins was required to reduce systemic monocyte activation and aortic invasion. Our findings identify a synergistic effect of the sympathetic stress response and alarmin-driven inflammation via RAGE as a critical mechanism of exacerbated atheroprogression after stroke.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Monocyte, Atherosclerosis, Macrophage, Endothelium, Synergy, Irritation


Asthma is a common debilitating inflammatory lung disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Here, we investigated neurogenic components involved in asthmatic-like attacks using the ovalbumin-sensitized murine model of the disease, and identified a specific population of neurons that are required for airway hyperreactivity. We show that ablating or genetically silencing these neurons abolished the hyperreactive broncho-constrictions, even in the presence of a fully developed lung inflammatory immune response. These neurons are found in the vagal ganglia and are characterized by the expression of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel. However, the TRPV1 channel itself is not required for the asthmatic-like hyperreactive airway response. We also demonstrate that optogenetic stimulation of this population of TRP-expressing cells with channelrhodopsin dramatically exacerbates airway hyperreactivity of inflamed airways. Notably, these cells express the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (S1PR3), and stimulation with a S1PR3 agonist efficiently induced broncho-constrictions, even in the absence of ovalbumin sensitization and inflammation. Our results show that the airway hyperreactivity phenotype can be physiologically dissociated from the immune component, and provide a platform for devising therapeutic approaches to asthma that target these pathways separately.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Nervous system, Asthma, Infection, Immunology, Action potential, Irritation


Retinoids are structurally related derivatives of vitamin A and are required for normal vision as well as cell proliferation and differentiation. Clinically, retinoids are effective in treating many skin disorders and cancers. Application of retinoids evokes substantial irritating side effects, including pain and inflammation; however, the precise mechanisms accounting for the sensory hypersensitivity are not understood. Here we show that both naturally occurring and synthetic retinoids activate recombinant or native transient receptor potential channel vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1), an irritant receptor for capsaicin, the pungent ingredient of chili peppers. In vivo, retinoids produced pain-related behaviors that were either eliminated or significantly reduced by genetic or pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 function. These findings identify TRPV1 as an ionotropic receptor for retinoids and provide cellular and molecular insights into retinoid-evoked hypersensitivity. These findings also suggest that selective TRPV1 antagonists are potential therapeutic drugs for treating retinoid-induced sensory hypersensitivity.

Concepts: Immune system, Signal transduction, Ligand-gated ion channel, Vitamin A, Irritation, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Black pepper


The purpose of this study was to examine whether exercise training reduced inflammation and symptomology in a mouse model of colitis. We hypothesized that moderate forced treadmill running (FTR) or voluntary wheel running (VWR) would reduce colitis symptoms and colon inflammation in response to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Male C57Bl/6J mice were randomized to sedentary, moderate intensity FTR (8-12 m/min, 40 min, 6 weeks, 5x/week), or VWR (30 days access to wheels). DSS was given at 2% (w/v) in drinking water over 5 days. Mice discontinued exercise 24 h prior to and during DSS treatment. Colons were harvested on Days 6, 8 and 12 in FTR and Day 8 post-DSS in VWR experiments. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that moderate FTR exacerbated colitis symptomology and inflammation as measured by significant (p⩽0.05) increases in diarrhea and IL-6, IL-1β, IL-17 colon gene expression. We also observed higher mortality (3/10 died vs. 0/10, p = 0.07) in the FTR/DSS group. In contrast, VWR alleviated colitis symptoms and reduced inflammatory gene expression in the colons of DSS-treated mice (p⩽0.05). While DSS treatment reduced food/fluid intake and body weight, there was a tendency for FTR to exacerbate, and for VWR to attenuate, this effect. FTR (in the absence of DSS) increased gene expression of the chemokine and antibacterial protein CCL6 suggesting that FTR altered gut homeostasis that may be related to the exaggerated response to DSS. In conclusion, we found that FTR exacerbated, whereas VWR attenuated, symptoms and inflammation in response to DSS.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Gene, Gene expression, Bacteria, Obesity, Ulcerative colitis, Irritation