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Open AccessArticle
Betaine Attenuates Monocrotaline-Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Rats via Inhibiting Inflammatory Response
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061274 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by increased pulmonary vascular resistance, leading to right ventricular failure and death. Recent studies have suggested that chronic inflammatory processes are involved in the pathogenesis of PAH. Several studies have demonstrated that betaine possesses outstanding anti-inflammatory
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Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by increased pulmonary vascular resistance, leading to right ventricular failure and death. Recent studies have suggested that chronic inflammatory processes are involved in the pathogenesis of PAH. Several studies have demonstrated that betaine possesses outstanding anti-inflammatory effects. However, whether betaine exerts protective effects on PAH by inhibiting inflammatory responses in the lungs needs to be explored. To test our hypothesis, we aimed to investigate the effects of betaine on monocrotaline-induced PAH in rats and attempted to further clarify the possible mechanisms. Methods: PAH was induced by monocrotaline (50 mg/kg) and oral administration of betaine (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day). The mean pulmonary arterial pressure, right ventricular systolic pressure, and right ventricle hypertrophy index were used to evaluate the development of PAH. Hematoxylin and eosin staining and Masson staining were performed to measure the extents of vascular remodeling and proliferation in fibrous tissue. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were also detected by immunohistochemical staining. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were assessed by Western blot. Results: This study showed that betaine improved the abnormalities in right ventricular systolic pressure, mean pulmonary arterial pressure, right ventricle hypertrophy index, and pulmonary arterial remodeling induced by monocrotaline compared with the PAH group. The levels of MCP-1 and ET-1 also decreased. Western blot indicated that the protein expression levels of NF-κB, TNF-α, and IL-1β significantly decreased (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that betaine attenuated PAH through its anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, the present data may offer novel targets and promising pharmacological perspectives for treating monocrotaline-induced PAH. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Exposure Protection in Mice against Sudan Virus by a Two Antibody Cocktail
Viruses 2018, 10(6), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10060286 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sudan virus (SUDV) and Ebola viruses (EBOV) are both members of the Ebolavirus genus and have been sources of epidemics and outbreaks for several decades. We present here the generation and characterization of cross-reactive antibodies to both SUDV and EBOV, which were produced
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Sudan virus (SUDV) and Ebola viruses (EBOV) are both members of the Ebolavirus genus and have been sources of epidemics and outbreaks for several decades. We present here the generation and characterization of cross-reactive antibodies to both SUDV and EBOV, which were produced in a cell-free system and protective against SUDV in mice. A non-human primate, cynomolgus macaque, was immunized with viral-replicon particles expressing the glycoprotein of SUDV-Boniface (8A). Two separate antibody fragment phage display libraries were constructed after four immunogen injections. Both libraries were screened first against the SUDV and a second library was cross-selected against EBOV-Kikwit. Sequencing of 288 selected clones from the two distinct libraries identified 58 clones with distinct VH and VL sequences. Many of these clones were cross-reactive to EBOV and SUDV and able to neutralize SUDV. Three of these recombinant antibodies (X10B1, X10F3, and X10H2) were produced in the scFv-Fc format utilizing a cell-free production system. Mice that were challenged with SUDV-Boniface receiving 100µg of the X10B1/X10H2 scFv-Fc combination 6 and 48-h post-exposure demonstrated partial protection individually and complete protection as a combination. The data herein suggests these antibodies may be promising candidates for further therapeutic development. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Antibodies towards Tyrosine Amyloid-Like Fibrils Allow Toxicity Modulation and Cellular Imaging of the Assemblies
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061273 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The amino acid tyrosine forms cytotoxic amyloid-like fibrils by molecular self-assembly. However, the production of antibodies towards tyrosine assemblies, reflecting their presentation to the immune system, was not demonstrated yet. Here, we describe the production of antibodies that specifically recognize tyrosine in its
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The amino acid tyrosine forms cytotoxic amyloid-like fibrils by molecular self-assembly. However, the production of antibodies towards tyrosine assemblies, reflecting their presentation to the immune system, was not demonstrated yet. Here, we describe the production of antibodies that specifically recognize tyrosine in its fibrillated form. The antibodies were demonstrated to specifically bind self-assembled tyrosine, in contrast to its non-aggregated form or disintegrated fibrils. The antibodies could be used for immunostaining of tyrosine fibrils in cultured cells. Furthermore, confocal microscopy allowed a demonstration of the intracellular presence of the metabolite amyloids in a neuroblastoma cell model. Finally, pre-incubation of tyrosine fibrils with the antibodies resulted in significant reduction in their cytotoxicity. Taken together, we provide an experimental proof for the immunogenicity of tyrosine amyloid fibrillary assemblies. These specific antibodies against tyrosine structures could be further used as a research tool to study the dynamics, toxicity and cellular localization of the assemblies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is Ocean Reflectance Acquired by Citizen Scientists Robust for Science Applications?
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060835 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Monitoring the dynamics of the productivity of ocean water and how it affects fisheries is essential for management. It requires data on proper spatial and temporal scales, which can be provided by operational ocean colour satellites. However, accurate productivity data from ocean colour
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Monitoring the dynamics of the productivity of ocean water and how it affects fisheries is essential for management. It requires data on proper spatial and temporal scales, which can be provided by operational ocean colour satellites. However, accurate productivity data from ocean colour imagery is only possible with proper validation of, for instance, the atmospheric correction applied to the images. In situ water reflectance data are of great value due to the requirements for validation and reflectance is traditionally measured with the Surface Acquisition System (SAS) solar tracker system. Recently, an application for mobile devices, “HydroColor”, was developed to acquire water reflectance data. We examined the accuracy of the water reflectance measures acquired by HydroColor with the help of both trained and untrained citizens, under different environmental conditions. We used water reflectance data acquired by SAS solar tracker and by HydroColor onboard the BC ferry Queen of Oak Bay from July to September 2016. Monte Carlo permutation F tests were used to assess whether the differences between measurements collected by SAS solar tracker and HydroColor with citizens were significant. Results showed that citizen HydroColor measurements were accurate in red, green, and blue bands, as well as red/green and red/blue ratios under different environmental conditions. In addition, we found that a trained citizen obtained higher quality HydroColor data especially under clear skies at noon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determining the Stability of Sugarcane Filtercake Biochar in Soils with Contrasting Levels of Organic Matter
Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060071 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sugarcane filtercake is a nutrient-rich residue produced prior to sugarcane distillation and is commonly disposed of by applying directly to agricultural fields, often causing high decomposition and leaching rates. Transforming this material into biochar could improve its stability in the soil. In this
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Sugarcane filtercake is a nutrient-rich residue produced prior to sugarcane distillation and is commonly disposed of by applying directly to agricultural fields, often causing high decomposition and leaching rates. Transforming this material into biochar could improve its stability in the soil. In this 92-day incubation study, filtercake biochar produced at 400 °C (BC400) and 600 °C (BC600) was used to trace biochar stability when mixed with two soils with different organic matter levels: an agricultural field (1.2% carbon (C)) and a forest (2.8% C) soil. Based on δ13C isotope analysis, biochar decreases in the field soil mostly occurred in the coarse silt fraction. In contrast, biochar decreases in forest soil appeared to be more equally distributed in all particle size fractions. A negative priming effect in biochar-amended soils was noticeable, mainly in the forest soil. Cumulative CO2 emissions were greater in soils with BC400 than in those with BC600 for both field and forest soils, while adding biochar increased CO2 emissions only in field soils. This increase did not appear to affect native soil organic matter pools. High-temperature filtercake biochar could thus be a more stable alternative to the current practice of raw filtercake applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Capacitively Coupled Plasma Discharge of Ionic Liquid Solutions to Synthesize Carbon Dots as Fluorescent Sensors
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(6), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8060372 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Oxygen and nitrogen capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) was used to irradiate mixtures of aliphatic acids in high boiling point solvents to synthesize fluorescent carbon dots (C-dots). With a high fluorescence intensity, the C-dots obtained from the O2/CCP radiation of a 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium
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Oxygen and nitrogen capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) was used to irradiate mixtures of aliphatic acids in high boiling point solvents to synthesize fluorescent carbon dots (C-dots). With a high fluorescence intensity, the C-dots obtained from the O2/CCP radiation of a 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ionic liquid solution of citric acid were characterized with an average diameter of 8.6 nm (σ = 1.1 nm), nitrogen and oxygen bonding functionalities, excitation-independent emissions, and upconversion fluorescence. Through dialysis of the CCP-treated C-dots, two emissive surface states corresponding to their respective functionalities and emissions were identified. The fluorescence spectrum of the CCP-treated C-dots was different from that of the microwave irradiation and possessed higher intensity than that of hydrothermal pyrolysis. By evaluation of the fluorescence quenching effect on flavonoids and metal ions, the CCP-treated C-dots showed a high selectivity for quercetin and sensitivity to Hg2+. Based on the Perrin model, a calibration curve (R2 = 0.9992) was established for quercetin ranging from 2.4 μM to 119 μM with an LOD (limit of detection) = 0.5 μM. The quercetin in the ethanol extract of the sun-dried peel of Citrus reticulata cv. Chachiensis was determined by a standard addition method to be 4.20 ± 0.15 mg/g with a matrix effect of 8.16%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Induced Oxidative DNA Damage, Inflammation and Apoptosis in Rat’s Brain after Oral Exposure
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics6020029 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Growing evidences demonstrated that zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) could reach the brain after oral ingestion; however, the “neurotoxicity of” ZnONPs after oral exposure has not been fully investigated. This study aimed to explore the “neurotoxicity of” ZnONPs (<100 nm) after oral exposure to
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Growing evidences demonstrated that zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) could reach the brain after oral ingestion; however, the “neurotoxicity of” ZnONPs after oral exposure has not been fully investigated. This study aimed to explore the “neurotoxicity of” ZnONPs (<100 nm) after oral exposure to two doses; 40 and 100 mg/kg for 24 h and 7 days. The exposure to 40 and 100 mg/kg of ZnONPs for 24 h did not elicit “neurotoxicity” compared to normal control. However, the daily exposure to both doses for 7 days caused oxidative stress in brain tissue as detected by the elevation of the levels of malondialdehyde, the main product of lipid peroxidation and nitrite as an index of nitric oxide with concomitant decline in the concentrations of antioxidants. In addition, both doses resulted in DNA fragmentation which was confirmed by increased percentage of tailed DNA, DNA tail intensity and length and tail moment particularly with the dose 100 mg/kg. Moreover, both doses led to the elevation of the inflammatory cytokines along with increased apoptotic markers including caspase-3 and Fas. Heat shock protein-70 levels were also elevated possibly as a compensatory mechanism to counteract the ZnONPs-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. The present results indicate the “neurotoxicity of” ZnONPs after recurrent oral exposure via oxidative stress, genotoxicity, inflammatory response and apoptosis. Full article
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