Biomolecules2016, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/biom6010011 - published 15 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Alcohol use disorder is a significant health problem being a cause of increased morbidity and mortality worldwide. Alcohol-related illness has a relevant economic impact on the society and a negative influence on the life of patients and their family members. Psychosocial support might be useful in the management of people affected by alcohol use disorder since psychiatric and pharmaceutical approaches show some limits. In fact, many drugs are accessible for the treatment of alcohol disorder, but only Baclofen is functional as an anti-craving drug in patients with advanced liver disease. The alcohol-related liver damage represents the most frequent cause of advanced liver disease in Europe, and it is the main cause of death among adults with high alcohol consumption. The multidisciplinary action of clinical-psychologists, psychiatrics and hepatologists, is essential in the management of patients with alcohol liver disease especially in the case of liver transplantation. In general, the multidisciplinary approach is necessary in prevention, in framing patients and in the treatment. More resources should be used in prevention and research with the main aim of decreasing the harmful alcohol consumption.
Biomolecules2016, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/biom6010012 - published 15 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Skeletal muscle possesses a robust capacity to regenerate functional architectures with a unidirectional orientation. In this study, we successfully arranged skeletal myoblast (C2C12) cells along micropatterned gold strips on which chitohexaose was deposited via a vectorial chain immobilization approach. Hexa-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc6) was site-selectively modified at its reducing end with thiosemicarbazide, then immobilized on a gold substrate in striped micropatterns via S–Au chemisorption. Gold micropatterns ranged from 100 to 1000 µm in width. Effects of patterning geometries on C2C12 cell alignment, morphology, and gene expression were investigated. Unidirectional alignment of C2C12 cells having GlcNAc6 receptors was clearly observed along the micropatterns. Decreasing striped pattern width increased cell attachment and proliferation, suggesting that the fixed GlcNAc6 and micropatterns impacted cell function. Possibly, interactions between nonreducing end groups of fixed GlcNAc6 and cell surface receptors initiated cellular alignment. Our technique for mimicking native tissue organization should advance applications in tissue engineering.
Biomolecules2016, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/biom6010010 - published 13 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Glutamate is a neurotransmitter used at both the peripheral and central terminals of nociceptive primary sensory neurons, yet little is known concerning regulation of glutamate metabolism during peripheral inflammation. Glutaminase (GLS) is an enzyme of the glutamate-glutamine cycle that converts glutamine into glutamate for neurotransmission and is implicated in producing elevated levels of glutamate in central and peripheral terminals. A potential mechanism for increased levels of glutamate is an elevation in GLS expression. We assessed GLS expression after unilateral hind paw inflammation by measuring GLS immunoreactivity (ir) with quantitative image analysis of L4 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons after one, two, four, and eight days of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) compared to saline injected controls. No significant elevation in GLS-ir occurred in the DRG ipsilateral to the inflamed hind paw after one or two days of AIA. After four days AIA, GLS-ir was elevated significantly in all sizes of DRG neurons. After eight days AIA, GLS-ir remained elevated in small (<400 µm2), presumably nociceptive neurons. Western blot analysis of the L4 DRG at day four AIA confirmed the elevated GLS-ir. The present study indicates that GLS expression is increased in the chronic stage of inflammation and may be a target for chronic pain therapy.
Biomolecules2016, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/biom6010009 - published 7 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tau protein, found in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells, forms aggregates in neurons that constitutes one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). For nearly four decades, research efforts have focused more on tau’s role in physiology and pathology in the context of the microtubules, even though, for over three decades, tau has been localised in the nucleus and the nucleolus. Its nuclear and nucleolar localisation had stimulated many questions regarding its role in these compartments. Data from cell culture, mouse brain, and the human brain suggests that nuclear tau could be essential for genome defense against cellular distress. However, its nature of translocation to the nucleus, its nuclear conformation and interaction with the DNA and other nuclear proteins highly suggest it could play multiple roles in the nucleus. To find efficient tau-based therapies, there is a need to understand more about the functional relevance of the varied cellular distribution of tau, identify whether specific tau transcripts or isoforms could predict tau’s localisation and function and how they are altered in diseases like AD. Here, we explore the cellular distribution of tau, its nuclear localisation and function and its possible involvement in neurodegeneration.
Biomolecules2016, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/biom6010001 - published 6 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) spans a spectrum of liver pathology, including fatty liver, alcoholic steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that dietary factors, including dietary fat, as well as alcohol, play critical roles in the pathogenesis of ALD. The protective effects of dietary saturated fat (SF) and deleterious effects of dietary unsaturated fat (USF) on alcohol-induced liver pathology are well recognized and documented in experimental animal models of ALD. Moreover, it has been demonstrated in an epidemiological study of alcoholic cirrhosis that dietary intake of SF was associated with a lower mortality rates, whereas dietary intake of USF was associated with a higher mortality. In addition, oxidized lipids (dietary and in vivo generated) may play a role in liver pathology. The understanding of how dietary fat contributes to the ALD pathogenesis will enhance our knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms of ALD development and progression, and may result in the development of novel diet-based therapeutic strategies for ALD management. This review explores the relevant scientific literature and provides a current understanding of recent advances regarding the role of dietary lipids in ALD pathogenesis.