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Open AccessReview
Cancer Prevention and Therapy with Polyphenols: Sphingolipid-Mediated Mechanisms
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070940 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Polyphenols, chemically characterized by a polyhydroxylated phenolic structure, are well known for their widespread pharmacological properties: anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiseptic, antitumor, antiallergic, cardioprotective and others. Their distribution in food products is also extensive especially in plant foods such as vegetables, cereals, legumes, fruits, nuts
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Polyphenols, chemically characterized by a polyhydroxylated phenolic structure, are well known for their widespread pharmacological properties: anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiseptic, antitumor, antiallergic, cardioprotective and others. Their distribution in food products is also extensive especially in plant foods such as vegetables, cereals, legumes, fruits, nuts and certain beverages. The latest scientific literature outlines a resilient interconnection between cancer modulation and dietary polyphenols by sphingolipid-mediated mechanisms, usually correlated with a modification of their metabolism. We aim to extensively survey this relationship to show how it could be advantageous in cancer treatment or prevention by nutrients. From this analysis it emerges that a combination of classical chemotherapy with nutrients and especially with polyphenols dietary sources may improve efficacy and decreases negative side effects of the antineoplastic drug. In this multifaceted scenario, sphingolipids play a pivotal role as bioactive molecules, emerging as the mediators of cell proliferation in cancer and modulator of chemotherapeutics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Land Sharing and Land Sparing Relationship with Rural Population in the Cerrado
Land 2018, 7(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030088 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first
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Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first aims to integrate agricultural activities with biodiversity conservation by means of enhancing the quality of the agricultural matrix in the landscape towards a wildlife friendly matrix. The other model aims to spare natural habitats from agriculture for conservation. This work aimed to explore spatial evidences of land sharing/sparing and its relationship with rural population in the Brazilian Cerrado. A Land Sharing/Sparing Index based on TerraClass Cerrado map was proposed. Spatial analysis based on Global and Local Moran statistics and Geographically Weighted Regression were made in order to explore the influence of local rural population on the probability of spatial land sharing/sparing clusters occurrence. Spatial patterns of land sharing were found in the Cerrado and a positive association with rural population was found in some regions, such as in its northern portion. Land use policies should consider regional infrastructural and participative governance potentialities. The results suggests possible areas where joint agricultural activities and human presence may be favourable for biodiversity conservation. Full article
Open AccessReview
Understanding the Impact of Dietary Cholesterol on Chronic Metabolic Diseases through Studies in Rodent Models
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070939 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The development of certain chronic metabolic diseases has been attributed to elevated levels of dietary cholesterol. However, decades of research in animal models and humans have demonstrated a high complexity with respect to the impact of dietary cholesterol on the progression of these
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The development of certain chronic metabolic diseases has been attributed to elevated levels of dietary cholesterol. However, decades of research in animal models and humans have demonstrated a high complexity with respect to the impact of dietary cholesterol on the progression of these diseases. Thus, recent investigations in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) point to dietary cholesterol as a key factor for the activation of inflammatory pathways underlying the transition from NAFLD to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and to hepatic carcinoma. Dietary cholesterol was initially thought to be the key factor for cardiovascular disease development, but its impact on the disease depends partly on the capacity to modulate plasmatic circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. These studies evidence a complex relationship between these chronic metabolic diseases and dietary cholesterol, which, in certain conditions, might promote metabolic complications. In this review, we summarize rodent studies that evaluate the impact of dietary cholesterol on these two prevalent chronic diseases and their relevance to human pathology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gene Expression of Sirtuin-1 and Endogenous Secretory Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products in Healthy and Slightly Overweight Subjects after Caloric Restriction and Resveratrol Administration
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070937 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sirtuin-1 (Sirt-1) and an endogenous secretory receptor for an advanced glycation end product (esRAGE) are associated with vascular protection. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of resveratrol (RSV) and caloric restriction (CR) on gene expression of Sirt-1 and esRAGE
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Sirtuin-1 (Sirt-1) and an endogenous secretory receptor for an advanced glycation end product (esRAGE) are associated with vascular protection. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of resveratrol (RSV) and caloric restriction (CR) on gene expression of Sirt-1 and esRAGE on serum levels of Sirt1 and esRAGE in healthy and slightly overweight subjects. The study included 48 healthy subjects randomized to 30 days of RSV (500 mg/day) or CR (1000 cal/day). Waist circumference (p = 0.011), TC (p = 0.007), HDL (p = 0.031), non-HDL (p = 0.025), ApoA1 (p = 0.011), and ApoB (p = 0.037) decreased in the CR group. However, TC (p = 0.030), non-HDL (p = 0.010), ApoB (p = 0.034), and HOMA-IR (p = 0.038) increased in the RSV group. RSV and CR increased serum levels of Sirt-1, respectively, from 1.06 ± 0.71 ng/mL to 5.75 ± 2.98 ng/mL (p < 0.0001) and from 1.65 ± 1.81 ng/mL to 5.80 ± 2.23 ng/mL (p < 0.0001). esRAGE serum levels were similar in RSV (p = NS) and CR (p = NS) groups. Significant positive correlation was observed between gene expression changes of Sirt-1 and esRAGE in RSV (r = 0.86; p < 0.0001) and in CR (r = 0.71; p < 0.0001) groups, but not for the changes in serum concentrations. CR promoted increases in the gene expression of esRAGE (post/pre). Future long-term studies are needed to evaluate the impact of these outcomes on vascular health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heart Development, Coronary Vascularization and Ventricular Maturation in a Giant Danio (Devario malabaricus)
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6030019 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Giant danios (genus Devario), like zebrafish, are teleosts belonging to the danioninae subfamily of cyprinids. Adult giant danios are used in a variety of investigations aimed at understanding cellular and physiological processes, including heart regeneration. Despite their importance, little is known about
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Giant danios (genus Devario), like zebrafish, are teleosts belonging to the danioninae subfamily of cyprinids. Adult giant danios are used in a variety of investigations aimed at understanding cellular and physiological processes, including heart regeneration. Despite their importance, little is known about development and growth in giant danios, or their cardiac and coronary vessels development. To address this scarcity of knowledge, we performed a systematic study of a giant danio (Devario malabaricus), focusing on its cardiac development, from the segmentation period to ten months post-fertilization. Using light and scanning electron microscopy, we documented that its cardiovascular development and maturation proceed along well defined dynamic and conserved morphogenic patterns. The overall size and cardiovascular expansion of this species was significantly impacted by environmental parameters such as rearing densities. The coronary vasculature began to emerge in the late larval stage. More importantly, we documented two possible loci of initiation of the coronary vasculature in this species, and compared the emergence of the coronaries to that of zebrafish and gourami. This is the first comprehensive study of the cardiac growth in a Devario species, and our findings serve as an important reference for further investigations of cardiac biology using this species. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Preliminary Research on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Alternative Lightweight Aggregates Produced by Alkali-Activation of Waste Powders
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071255 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There is growing interest in construction field issues related to environmental protection, energy saving and raw materials. Therefore, the interest in recycling waste materials to produce new construction ones is constantly increasing. This study proposes a new methodology to produce lightweight aggregates (LWAs)
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There is growing interest in construction field issues related to environmental protection, energy saving and raw materials. Therefore, the interest in recycling waste materials to produce new construction ones is constantly increasing. This study proposes a new methodology to produce lightweight aggregates (LWAs) by alkali-activation of two different waste powders: a digested spent bentonite clay and a basalt powder. Metakaolin, as secondary precursor, was added to the mixtures according to mix-design proportions, to improve the mechanical properties of the final materials, while a specific activators mix of Sodium Silicate and Sodium Hydroxide enabled the alkali-activation. The expansion process, on the other hand, was obtained using Peroxide within the liquid mix. The experimental LWAs were analyzed and tested in compliance with the EN 13055-1 standard. A more in-depth analysis on LWAs’ air voids content and porosity was also carried out by the means of Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. The results were compared with those obtained from commercial Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate, which represents one of the most common LWAs in the construction field. According to the presented preliminary results, the use of alkali-activated waste powders seems to be a suitable solution for the production of eco-friendly LWAs by allowing the recycling of waste materials and energy saving for their production. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sentinel-1 InSAR Measurements of Elevation Changes over Yedoma Uplands on Sobo-Sise Island, Lena Delta
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071152 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Yedoma—extremely ice-rich permafrost with massive ice wedges formed during the Late Pleistocene—is vulnerable to thawing and degradation under climate warming. Thawing of ice-rich Yedoma results in lowering of surface elevations. Quantitative knowledge about surface elevation changes helps us to understand the freeze-thaw processes
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Yedoma—extremely ice-rich permafrost with massive ice wedges formed during the Late Pleistocene—is vulnerable to thawing and degradation under climate warming. Thawing of ice-rich Yedoma results in lowering of surface elevations. Quantitative knowledge about surface elevation changes helps us to understand the freeze-thaw processes of the active layer and the potential degradation of Yedoma deposits. In this study, we use C-band Sentinel-1 InSAR measurements to map the elevation changes over ice-rich Yedoma uplands on Sobo-Sise Island, Lena Delta with frequent revisit observations (as short as six or 12 days). We observe significant seasonal thaw subsidence during summer months and heterogeneous inter-annual elevation changes from 2016–17. We also observe interesting patterns of stronger seasonal thaw subsidence on elevated flat Yedoma uplands by comparing to the surrounding Yedoma slopes. Inter-annual analyses from 2016–17 suggest that our observed positive surface elevation changes are likely caused by the delayed progression of the thaw season in 2017, associated with mean annual air temperature fluctuations. Full article
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