Open AccessReview
CVD and Oxidative Stress
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcm6020022 -
Abstract
Nowadays, it is known that oxidative stress plays at least two roles within the cell, the generation of cellular damage and the involvement in several signaling pathways in its balanced normal state. So far, a substantial amount of time and effort has been
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Nowadays, it is known that oxidative stress plays at least two roles within the cell, the generation of cellular damage and the involvement in several signaling pathways in its balanced normal state. So far, a substantial amount of time and effort has been expended in the search for a clear link between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the effects of oxidative stress. Here, we present an overview of the different sources and types of reactive oxygen species in CVD, highlight the relationship between CVD and oxidative stress and discuss the most prominent molecules that play an important role in CVD pathophysiology. Details are given regarding common pharmacological treatments used for cardiovascular distress and how some of them are acting upon ROS-related pathways and molecules. Novel therapies, recently proposed ROS biomarkers, as well as future challenges in the field are addressed. It is apparent that the search for a better understanding of how ROS are contributing to the pathophysiology of CVD is far from over, and new approaches and more suitable biomarkers are needed for the latter to be accomplished. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Oxidative Stress in COPD: Sources, Markers, and Potential Mechanisms
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcm6020021 -
Abstract
Markers of oxidative stress are increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are able to alter biological molecules, signaling pathways and antioxidant molecule function, many of which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD. However, the involvement
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Markers of oxidative stress are increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are able to alter biological molecules, signaling pathways and antioxidant molecule function, many of which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD. However, the involvement of ROS in the development and progression of COPD is not proven. Here, we discuss the sources of ROS, and the defences that have evolved to protect against their harmful effects. We address the role that ROS may have in the development and progression of COPD, as well as current therapeutic attempts at limiting the damage they cause. Evidence has indicated that the function of several key cells appears altered in COPD patients, and expression levels of important oxidant and antioxidant molecules may be abnormal. Therapeutic trials attempting to restore equilibrium to these molecules have not impacted upon all facets of disease and whilst the theory behind ROS influence in COPD appears sound, current models testing relevant pathways to tissue damage are limited. The heterogeneity seen in COPD patients presents a challenge to our understanding, and further research is essential to identify potential targets and stratified COPD patient populations where ROS therapies may be maximally efficacious. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Mitochondrial Supplements on Mitochondrial Activity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/jcm6020018 -
Abstract
Treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction is typically guided by expert opinion with a paucity of empirical evidence of the effect of treatment on mitochondrial activity. We examined citrate synthase and Complex I and IV activities using a validated buccal swab method in 127 children
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Treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction is typically guided by expert opinion with a paucity of empirical evidence of the effect of treatment on mitochondrial activity. We examined citrate synthase and Complex I and IV activities using a validated buccal swab method in 127 children with autism spectrum disorder with and without mitochondrial disease, a portion of which were on common mitochondrial supplements. Mixed-model linear regression determined whether specific supplements altered the absolute mitochondrial activity as well as the relationship between the activities of mitochondrial components. Complex I activity was increased by fatty acid and folate supplementation, but folate only effected those with mitochondrial disease. Citrate synthase activity was increased by antioxidant supplementation but only for the mitochondrial disease subgroup. The relationship between Complex I and IV was modulated by folate while the relationship between Complex I and Citrate Synthase was modulated by both folate and B12. This study provides empirical support for common mitochondrial treatments and demonstrates that the relationship between activities of mitochondrial components might be a marker to follow in addition to absolute activities. Measurements of mitochondrial activity that can be practically repeated over time may be very useful to monitor the biochemical effects of treatments. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Barriers to Seeking Help for Skin Cancer Detection in Rural Australia
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcm6020019 -
Abstract
This study explores rural South Australians’ barriers to help-seeking for skin cancer detection. A total of 201 randomly selected rural adults (18–94 years, 66% female) were presented with a skin-cancer-related scenario via telephone and were asked the extent to which various barriers would
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This study explores rural South Australians’ barriers to help-seeking for skin cancer detection. A total of 201 randomly selected rural adults (18–94 years, 66% female) were presented with a skin-cancer-related scenario via telephone and were asked the extent to which various barriers would impede their help-seeking, based on an amended version of the Barriers to Help-Seeking Scale. Older (≥63 years) and less educated participants endorsed barriers more strongly than their younger, more educated counterparts in the following domains; “Concrete barriers and distrust of caregivers”, “Emotional control”, “Minimising problem and Normalisation”, “Need for control and self-reliance” (every domain other than “Privacy”). Socioeconomic disadvantage, gender, and farmer status did not predict stronger overall barriers, but some gender and occupation-related differences were detected at the item level. Farmers were also more likely to endorse the “Minimising problem and normalization” domain than their non-farmer working rural counterparts. Widely endorsed barriers included the tendency to minimise the problem, a desire to remain in control/not be influenced by others, reluctance to show emotion or complain, and having concerns about privacy or waiting times. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Telehealth: Increasing Access to High Quality Care by Expanding the Role of Technology in Correctional Medicine
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcm6020020 -
Abstract
The United States (US) has a large correctional population. However, many incarcerated persons lack access to evidence-based, up-to-date medical care, particularly by subspecialty providers, due to limitations of geography, travel, cost and other resources. The use of telehealth technologies can remove these barriers,
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The United States (US) has a large correctional population. However, many incarcerated persons lack access to evidence-based, up-to-date medical care, particularly by subspecialty providers, due to limitations of geography, travel, cost and other resources. The use of telehealth technologies can remove these barriers, increasing access to high quality, multidisciplinary care. Studies have shown that, with telemedicine, timely triage and medical management can be provided across many disciplines, which may lead to improved clinical outcomes and significant cost savings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Help-Seeking in Suicidal Situations: Paramount and yet Challenging. Interactions between Significant Others of Suicidal Persons and Health Care Providers
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 17; doi:10.3390/jcm6020017 -
Abstract
Significant others are often crucial for suicidal persons or suicide attempters’ access to care, yet little is known about their efforts to seek help. This article presents the findings of a qualitative pilot study carried out in Switzerland on the help-seeking process of
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Significant others are often crucial for suicidal persons or suicide attempters’ access to care, yet little is known about their efforts to seek help. This article presents the findings of a qualitative pilot study carried out in Switzerland on the help-seeking process of 18 significant others, their perception of the care received by their loved one, and the interactions and collaboration they experienced with professionals. Most significant others repeatedly sought out support for their loved one and themselves. The help-seeking process seemed mostly difficult, was seldom successful on the first attempt, and was filled with multiple difficulties, such as availability and continuity of care and cooperation issues with professionals. Two-thirds of participants were not satisfied with the care provided to their loved ones and half of them faced challenges in their cooperation with professionals, i.e., poor sharing of information or not being acknowledged as partners or supported by professionals. Based on their experience, providing education about suicidal crises and care programs to significant others might lighten their burden and improve their cooperation with professionals, who in turn may benefit from training in communication issues and specific methods of cooperation with significant others in suicidal situations. Full article
Open AccessReview
Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Mechanisms in  Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 16; doi:10.3390/jcm6020016 -
Abstract Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by low  platelet counts. The pathogenesis of ITP remains unclear although both antibody‐mediated and/or  T cell‐mediated platelet destruction are key processes. In addition, impairment of T cells, cytokine  imbalances, and the contribution of the bone marrow niche have now been recognized to be  important. Treatment strategies are aimed at the restoration of platelet counts compatible with  adequate hemostasis rather than achieving physiological platelet counts. The first line treatments  focus on the inhibition of autoantibody production and platelet degradation, whereas second‐line  treatments include immunosuppressive drugs, such as Rituximab, and splenectomy. Finally, thirdline treatments aim to stimulate platelet production by megakaryocytes. This review discusses the  pathophysiology  of  ITP  and  how  the  different  treatment  modalities  affect  the  pathogenic  mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impact of Cannabis Use on Treatment Outcomes among Adults Receiving Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for PTSD and Substance Use Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 14; doi:10.3390/jcm6020014 -
Abstract
Background: Background: Research has demonstrated a strong link between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in general and cannabis use disorders in particular. Yet, few studies have examined the impact of cannabis use on treatment outcomes for individuals with
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Background: Background: Research has demonstrated a strong link between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in general and cannabis use disorders in particular. Yet, few studies have examined the impact of cannabis use on treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring PTSD and SUDs. Methods: Participants were 136 individuals who received cognitive-behavioral therapies for co-occurring PTSD and SUD. Multivariate regressions were utilized to examine the associations between baseline cannabis use and end-of-treatment outcomes. Multilevel linear growth models were fit to the data to examine the cross-lagged associations between weekly cannabis use and weekly PTSD symptom severity and primary substance use during treatment. Results: There were no significant positive nor negative associations between baseline cannabis use and end-of-treatment PTSD symptom severity and days of primary substance use. Cross-lagged models revealed that as cannabis use increased, subsequent primary substance use decreased and vice versa. Moreover, results revealed a crossover lagged effect, whereby higher cannabis use was associated with greater PTSD symptom severity early in treatment, but lower weekly PTSD symptom severity later in treatment. Conclusion: Cannabis use was not associated with adverse outcomes in end-of-treatment PTSD and primary substance use, suggesting independent pathways of change. The theoretical and clinical implications of the reciprocal associations between weekly cannabis use and subsequent PTSD and primary substance use symptoms during treatment are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Effector Mechanisms of Neutrophils within the Innate Immune System in Response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 15; doi:10.3390/jcm6020015 -
Abstract
Neutrophils have a significant yet controversial role in the innate immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection, which is not yet fully understood. In addition to neutrophils’ well-known effector mechanisms, they may also help control infection of M. tb through
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Neutrophils have a significant yet controversial role in the innate immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection, which is not yet fully understood. In addition to neutrophils’ well-known effector mechanisms, they may also help control infection of M. tb through the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are thought to further promote the killing of M. tb by resident alveolar macrophages. Cytokines such as IFN-γ have now been shown to serve an immunomodulatory role in neutrophil functioning in conjunction to its pro-inflammatory function. Additionally, the unique transcriptional changes of neutrophils may be used to differentiate between infection with M. tb and other bacterial and chronic rheumatological diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Adversely, during the innate immune response to M. tb, inappropriate phagocytosis of spent neutrophils can result in nonspecific damage to host cells due to necrotic lysis. Furthermore, some individuals have been shown to be more genetically susceptible to tuberculosis (TB) due to a “Trojan Horse” phenomenon whereby neutrophils block the ability of resident macrophages to kill M. tb. Despite these aforementioned negative consequences, through the scope of this review we will provide evidence to support the idea that neutrophils, while sometimes damaging, can also be an important component in warding off M. tb infection. This is exemplified in immunocompromised individuals, such as those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or Type 2 diabetes mellitus. These individuals are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) due to a diminished innate immune response associated with decreased levels of glutathione. Consequently, there has been a worldwide effort to limit and contain M. tb infection through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations. However, due to several significant limitations, the current bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine (BCG, vaccine against TB) does not meet the criteria for universal utilization for all ages and populations across the globe. New research involving neutrophils has yielded a new vaccine called M. smegmatis-Ag85C-MPT51-HspX (mc2-CMX) that has been shown to elicit a humoral and cellular response against M. tb in mice that is superior to the BCG vaccine. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms by Which B Cells and Regulatory T Cells Influence Development of Murine Organ-Specific Autoimmune Diseases
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jcm6020013 -
Abstract
Experiments with B cell-deficient (B−/−) mice indicate that a number of autoimmune diseases require B cells in addition to T cells for their development. Using B−/− Non-obese diabetic (NOD) and NOD.H-2h4 mice, we demonstrated that development of spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT), Sjogren’s syndrome
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Experiments with B cell-deficient (B−/−) mice indicate that a number of autoimmune diseases require B cells in addition to T cells for their development. Using B−/− Non-obese diabetic (NOD) and NOD.H-2h4 mice, we demonstrated that development of spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT), Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes do not develop in B−/− mice, whereas all three diseases develop in B cell-positive wild-type (WT) mice. B cells are required early in life, since reconstitution of adult mice with B cells or autoantibodies did not restore their ability to develop disease. B cells function as important antigen presenting cells (APC) to initiate activation of autoreactive CD4+ effector T cells. If B cells are absent or greatly reduced in number, other APC will present the antigen, such that Treg are preferentially activated and effector T cells are not activated. In these situations, B−/− or B cell-depleted mice develop the autoimmune disease when T regulatory cells (Treg) are transiently depleted. This review focuses on how B cells influence Treg activation and function, and briefly considers factors that influence the effectiveness of B cell depletion for treatment of autoimmune diseases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mechanisms of Regulatory B cell Function in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases beyond IL-10
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/jcm6010012 -
Abstract
In the past two decades it has become clear that in addition to antigen presentation and antibody production B cells play prominent roles in immune regulation. While B cell-derived IL-10 has garnered much attention, B cells also effectively regulate inflammation by a variety
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In the past two decades it has become clear that in addition to antigen presentation and antibody production B cells play prominent roles in immune regulation. While B cell-derived IL-10 has garnered much attention, B cells also effectively regulate inflammation by a variety of IL-10-independent mechanisms. B cell regulation has been studied in both autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. While collectively called regulatory B cells (Breg), no definitive phenotype has emerged for B cells with regulatory potential. This has made their study challenging and thus unique B cell regulatory mechanisms have emerged in a disease-dependent manner. Thus to harness the therapeutic potential of Breg, further studies are needed to understand how they emerge and are induced to evoke their regulatory activities. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
TGF-β Signaling in Gastrointestinal Cancers: Progress in Basic and Clinical Research
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/jcm6010011 -
Abstract
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily proteins have many important biological functions, including regulation of tissue differentiation, cell proliferation, and migration in both normal and cancer cells. Many studies have reported that TGF-β signaling is associated with disease progression and therapeutic resistance in several
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Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily proteins have many important biological functions, including regulation of tissue differentiation, cell proliferation, and migration in both normal and cancer cells. Many studies have reported that TGF-β signaling is associated with disease progression and therapeutic resistance in several cancers. Similarly, TGF-β-induced protein (TGFBI)—a downstream component of the TGF-β signaling pathway—has been shown to promote and/or inhibit cancer. Here, we review the state of basic and clinical research on the roles of TGF-β and TGFBI in gastrointestinal cancers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Integrated Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders: The Mediating Role of PTSD Improvement in the Reduction of Depression
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/jcm6010009 -
Abstract
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents one of the most common mental health disorders, particularly among veterans, and is associated with significant distress and impairment. This highly debilitating disorder is further complicated by common comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD). Individuals
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents one of the most common mental health disorders, particularly among veterans, and is associated with significant distress and impairment. This highly debilitating disorder is further complicated by common comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD). Individuals with PTSD and co-occurring SUD also commonly present with secondary symptoms, such as elevated depression. Little is known, however, about how these secondary symptoms are related to treatment outcome. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to examine (1) the effects of treatment of comorbid PTSD/SUD on depressive symptoms; and (2) whether this effect was mediated by changes in PTSD severity or changes in SUD severity. Participants were 81 U.S. military veterans (90.1% male) with PTSD and SUD enrolled in a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of an integrated, exposure-based treatment (Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure; n = 54) versus relapse prevention (n = 27). Results revealed significantly lower depressive symptoms at post-treatment in the COPE group, as compared to the relapse prevention group. Examination of the mechanisms associated with change in depression revealed that reduction in PTSD severity, but not substance use severity, mediated the association between the treatment group and post-treatment depression. The findings underscore the importance of treating PTSD symptoms in order to help reduce co-occurring symptoms of depression in individuals with PTSD/SUD. Clinical implications and avenues for future research are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mammary Gland Involution Provides a Unique Model to Study the TGF-β Cancer Paradox
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/jcm6010010 -
Abstract
Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in cancer has been termed the “TGF-β paradox”, acting as both a tumor suppresser and promoter. The complexity of TGF-β signaling within the tumor is context dependent, and greatly impacted by cellular crosstalk between TGF-β responsive cells in
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Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in cancer has been termed the “TGF-β paradox”, acting as both a tumor suppresser and promoter. The complexity of TGF-β signaling within the tumor is context dependent, and greatly impacted by cellular crosstalk between TGF-β responsive cells in the microenvironment including adjacent epithelial, endothelial, mesenchymal, and hematopoietic cells. Here we utilize normal, weaning-induced mammary gland involution as a tissue microenvironment model to study the complexity of TGF-β function. This article reviews facets of mammary gland involution that are TGF-β regulated, namely mammary epithelial cell death, immune activation, and extracellular matrix remodeling. We outline how distinct cellular responses and crosstalk between cell types during physiologically normal mammary gland involution contribute to simultaneous tumor suppressive and promotional microenvironments. We also highlight alternatives to direct TGF-β blocking anti-cancer therapies with an emphasis on eliciting concerted microenvironmental-mediated tumor suppression. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2016
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/jcm6010008 -
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy and Long-Term Pulmonary Outcomes
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/jcm6010004 -
Abstract
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most commonly seen in premature infants who required mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for acute respiratory distress. While advances in neonatal care have resulted in improved survival rates of premature infants, limited progress has been
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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most commonly seen in premature infants who required mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for acute respiratory distress. While advances in neonatal care have resulted in improved survival rates of premature infants, limited progress has been made in reducing rates of BPD. Lack of progress may in part be attributed to the limited therapeutic options available for prevention and treatment of BPD. Several lung-protective strategies have been shown to reduce risks, including use of non-invasive support, as well as early extubation and volume ventilation when intubation is required. These approaches, along with optimal nutrition and medical therapy, decrease risk of BPD; however, impacts on long-term outcomes are poorly defined. Characterization of late outcomes remain a challenge as rapid advances in medical management result in current adult BPD survivors representing outdated neonatal care. While pulmonary disease improves with growth, long-term follow-up studies raise concerns for persistent pulmonary dysfunction; asthma-like symptoms and exercise intolerance in young adults after BPD. Abnormal ventilatory responses and pulmonary hypertension can further complicate disease. These pulmonary morbidities, combined with environmental and infectious exposures, may result in significant long-term pulmonary sequalae and represent a growing burden on health systems. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to determine outcomes beyond the second decade, and define risk factors and optimal treatment for late sequalae of disease. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Stromal Modulators of TGF-β in Cancer
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/jcm6010007 -
Abstract
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an intriguing cytokine exhibiting dual activities in malignant disease. It is an important mediator of cancer invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis, on the one hand, while it exhibits anti-tumor functions on the other hand. Elucidating the precise role of
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Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an intriguing cytokine exhibiting dual activities in malignant disease. It is an important mediator of cancer invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis, on the one hand, while it exhibits anti-tumor functions on the other hand. Elucidating the precise role of TGF-β in malignant development and progression requires a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in its tumor suppressor to tumor promoter switch. One important aspect of TGF-β function is its interaction with proteins within the tumor microenvironment. Several stromal proteins have the natural ability to interact and modulate TGF-β function. Understanding the complex interplay between the TGF-β signaling network and these stromal proteins may provide greater insight into the development of novel therapeutic strategies that target the TGF-β axis. The present review highlights our present understanding of how stroma modulates TGF-β activity in human cancers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The TGF-β/Smad4 Signaling Pathway in Pancreatic Carcinogenesis and Its Clinical Significance
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/jcm6010005 -
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal human cancers due to its complicated genomic instability. PDAC frequently presents at an advanced stage with extensive metastasis, which portends a poor prognosis. The known risk factors associated with PDAC include advanced age,
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal human cancers due to its complicated genomic instability. PDAC frequently presents at an advanced stage with extensive metastasis, which portends a poor prognosis. The known risk factors associated with PDAC include advanced age, smoking, long-standing chronic pancreatitis, obesity, and diabetes. Its association with genomic and somatic mutations is the most important factor for its aggressiveness. The most common gene mutations associated with PDAC include KRas2, p16, TP53, and Smad4. Among these, Smad4 mutation is relatively specific and its inactivation is found in more than 50% of invasive pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Smad4 is a member of the Smad family of signal transducers and acts as a central mediator of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathways. The TGF-β signaling pathway promotes many physiological processes, including cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, fibrosis, and scar formation. It also plays a major role in the development of tumors through induction of angiogenesis and immune suppression. In this review, we will discuss the molecular mechanism of TGF-β/Smad4 signaling in the pathogenesis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and its clinical implication, particularly potential as a prognostic factor and a therapeutic target. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Effects of Androgen and Growth Hormone on Osteoblast Marker Expression in Mouse C2C12 and MC3T3-E1 Cells Induced by Bone Morphogenetic Protein
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/jcm6010006 -
Abstract
Osteoblasts undergo differentiation in response to various factors, including growth factors and steroids. Bone mass is diminished in androgen- and/or growth hormone (GH)-deficient patients. However the functional relationship between androgen and GH, and their combined effects on bone metabolism, remains unclear. Here we
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Osteoblasts undergo differentiation in response to various factors, including growth factors and steroids. Bone mass is diminished in androgen- and/or growth hormone (GH)-deficient patients. However the functional relationship between androgen and GH, and their combined effects on bone metabolism, remains unclear. Here we investigated the mutual effects of androgen and GH on osteoblastic marker expression using mouse myoblastic C2C12 and osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells. Combined treatment with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and GH enhanced BMP-2-induced expression of Runx2, ALP, and osteocalcin mRNA, compared with the individual treatments in C2C12 cells. Co-treatment with DHT and GH activated Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation, Id-1 transcription, and ALP activity induced by BMP-2 in C2C12 cells but not in MC3T3-E1 cells. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) mRNA level was amplified by GH and BMP-2 treatment and was restored by co-treatment with DHT in C2C12 cells. The mRNA level of the IGF-I receptor was not significantly altered by GH or DHT, while it was increased by IGF-I. In addition, IGF-I treatment increased collagen-1 mRNA expression, whereas blockage of endogenous IGF-I activity using an anti-IGF-I antibody failed to suppress the effect of GH and DHT on BMP-2-induced Runx2 expression in C2C12 cells, suggesting that endogenous IGF-I was not substantially involved in the underlying GH actions. On the other hand, androgen receptor and GH receptor mRNA expression was suppressed by BMP-2 in both cell lines, implying the existence of a feedback action. Collectively the results showed that the combined effects of androgen and GH facilitated BMP-2-induced osteoblast differentiation at an early stage by upregulating BMP receptor signaling. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Liquid Biopsies for Cancer: Coming to a Patient near You
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/jcm6010003 -
Abstract
The use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a novel and non-invasive test for the diagnosis and surveillance of cancer is a rapidly growing area of interest, with sequencing of ctDNA acting as a potential surrogate for tissue biopsy. Circulating tumor DNA has
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The use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a novel and non-invasive test for the diagnosis and surveillance of cancer is a rapidly growing area of interest, with sequencing of ctDNA acting as a potential surrogate for tissue biopsy. Circulating tumor DNA has been detected incidentally during noninvasive prenatal testing and additionally in more than 75% of known cancer patients participating in ctDNA studies evaluating its sensitivity. In the setting of mutation-based targeted tumor therapy, it shows a concordance rate >80% when compared with gold-standard tissue biopsies. Through ctDNA detection and sequencing, a simple blood test becomes a liquid biopsy for cancer, surveying a patient’s entire circulation with the goal of early detection, prognostic information, personalized therapy options, and tracking for recurrence or resistance, all with fewer or no tissue biopsies. Given the recent first-ever FDA approval of a liquid biopsy, it is important for clinicians to be aware of the rapid advancements likely to bring these tests into our practices soon. Here we review the biology, clinical implications, and recent advances in circulating tumor DNA analysis. Full article
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