Open AccessReview
Nanoparticle-Mediated Drug Delivery System for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(5), 48; doi:10.3390/jcm6050048 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nanoparticles have been used as a novel drug delivery system. Drug-incorporated nanoparticles for local delivery might optimize the efficacy and minimize the side effects of drugs. The efficacy and safety of intratracheal administration of prostacyclin analog (beraprost) -incorporated nanoparticles and imatinib (a PDGF-receptor
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Nanoparticles have been used as a novel drug delivery system. Drug-incorporated nanoparticles for local delivery might optimize the efficacy and minimize the side effects of drugs. The efficacy and safety of intratracheal administration of prostacyclin analog (beraprost) -incorporated nanoparticles and imatinib (a PDGF-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor) -incorporated nanoparticles in Sugen-hypoxia-normoxia or monocrotaline rat models of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and in human PAH-pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells have been reported. The use of inhaled drug-incorporated nanoparticles might be a novel approach for the treatment of PAH. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Predictors of Active Extravasation and Complications after Conventional Angiography for Acute Intraabdominal Bleeding
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 47; doi:10.3390/jcm6040047 -
Abstract
Conventional angiography is used to evaluate and treat possible sources of intraabdominal bleeding, though it may cause complications such as contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). The study’s purpose was to identify factors predicting active extravasation and complications during angiography for acute intraabdominal bleeding. All conventional
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Conventional angiography is used to evaluate and treat possible sources of intraabdominal bleeding, though it may cause complications such as contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). The study’s purpose was to identify factors predicting active extravasation and complications during angiography for acute intraabdominal bleeding. All conventional angiograms for acute bleeding (January 2013–June 2015) were reviewed retrospectively, including 75 angiograms for intraabdominal bleeding in 70 patients. Demographics, comorbidities, vital signs, complications within one month, and change in hematocrit (ΔHct) and fluids and blood products administered over the 24 h prior to angiography were recorded. Of 75 exams, 20 (27%) demonstrated extravasation. ΔHct was the only independent predictor of extravasation (p = 0.017), with larger ΔHct (−17%) in patients with versus those without extravasation (–1%) (p = 0.01). CIN was the most common complication, occurring in 10 of 66 angiograms (15%). Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was the only independent predictor (p = 0.03); 67% of patients with GFR < 30, 29% of patients with GFR 30–60, and 8% of patients with GFR > 60 developed CIN. For patients with intraabdominal bleeding, greater ΔHct decrease over 24 h before angiography predicts active extravasation. Pre-existing renal impairment predicts CIN. Patients with large hematocrit declines should be triaged for rapid angiography, though benefits can be weighed with the risk of renal impairment. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Treatment and Prevention of Bleeds in Haemophilia Patients with Inhibitors to Factor VIII/IX
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 46; doi:10.3390/jcm6040046 -
Abstract
The development of alloantibodies neutralising therapeutically administered factor (F) VIII/IX (inhibitors) is currently the most severe complication of the treatment of haemophilia. When persistent and at a high titre, inhibitors preclude the standard replacement treatment with FVIII/FIX concentrates, making patients’ management challenging. Indeed,
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The development of alloantibodies neutralising therapeutically administered factor (F) VIII/IX (inhibitors) is currently the most severe complication of the treatment of haemophilia. When persistent and at a high titre, inhibitors preclude the standard replacement treatment with FVIII/FIX concentrates, making patients’ management challenging. Indeed, the efficacy of bypassing agents, i.e., activated prothrombin complex concentrates (aPCC) and recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa), needed to overcome the haemostatic interference of the inhibitor, is not comparable to that of factor concentrates. In addition, the therapeutical response is unpredictable, with a relevant inter-individual and even intra-individual variability, and no laboratory assay is validated to monitor the efficacy and safety of the treatment. As a result, inhibitor patients have a worse joint status and quality of life compared to inhibitor-free subjects and the eradication of the inhibitor by immune tolerance induction is the preeminent therapeutic goal, particularly in children. However, over the last decades, treatment with bypassing agents has been optimised, allowing home treatment and the individualisation of regimens aimed at improving clinical outcomes. In this respect, a growing body of evidence supports the efficacy of prophylaxis with both bypassing agents in reducing bleeding rates and improving the quality of life, although the impact on long-term outcomes (in particular on preventing/reducing joint deterioration) is still unknown. This review offers an update on the current knowledge and practice of the use of bypassing agents in haemophiliacs with inhibitors, as well as on debated issues and unmet needs in this challenging setting. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Diagnosis and Treatment of von Willebrand Disease and Rare Bleeding Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 45; doi:10.3390/jcm6040045 -
Abstract
Along with haemophilia A and B, von Willebrand disease (VWD) and rare bleeding disorders (RBDs) cover all inherited bleeding disorders of coagulation. Bleeding tendency, which can range from extremely severe to mild, is the common symptom. VWD, due to a deficiency and/or abnormality
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Along with haemophilia A and B, von Willebrand disease (VWD) and rare bleeding disorders (RBDs) cover all inherited bleeding disorders of coagulation. Bleeding tendency, which can range from extremely severe to mild, is the common symptom. VWD, due to a deficiency and/or abnormality of von Willebrand factor (VWF), represents the most frequent bleeding disorder, mostly inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. The diagnosis may be difficult, based on a bleeding history and different diagnostic assays, which evaluate the pleiotropic functions of VWF. Different treatment options are available for optimal management of bleeding and their prevention, and long-term outcomes are generally good. RBDs are autosomal recessive disorders caused by a deficiency of any other clotting factor, apart from factor XII, and cover roughly 5% of all bleeding disorders. The prevalence of the severe forms can range from 1 case in 500,000 up to 1 in 2–3 million, according to the defect. Diagnosis is based on bleeding history, coagulation screening tests and specific factor assays. A crucial problem in RBDs diagnosis is represented by the non-linear relationship between clinical bleeding severity and residual clotting levels; genetic diagnosis may help in understanding the phenotype. Replacement therapies are differently available for patients with RBDs, allowing the successful treatment of the vast majority of bleeding symptoms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hip Arthropathy in Haemophilia
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 44; doi:10.3390/jcm6040044 -
Abstract
Hip arthropathy in haemophilic patients is disabling for hip and other common target joints. Even if bleedings in the hip are not frequent, femoroacetabular alterations may affect the functional ability of patients at a very young age. A haematologic prophylaxis combined with an
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Hip arthropathy in haemophilic patients is disabling for hip and other common target joints. Even if bleedings in the hip are not frequent, femoroacetabular alterations may affect the functional ability of patients at a very young age. A haematologic prophylaxis combined with an adequate lifestyle and regular and low-traumatic physical activity are the keys to preventing such arthropathy. In the early stages of arthropathy, anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be sufficient to limit its progression. In cases of recurrent symptoms, viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid, and chemical synoviorthesis are useful options. In more advanced stages, hip arthroscopy may be treated by synovectomy or loose body removal. For late stages, total hip arthroplasty (THA) is mandatory. Until a few decades ago, the clinical outcomes after hip arthroplasty were variable, due to the different management of patients and the use of old generation implants and couplings. In the last decade, the introduction of the multidisciplinary management and the use of modern cementless implants with high performing materials and less invasive surgical techniques have dramatically improved the functional results. Nowadays, as is the case for other target joints, the purpose of the management in haemophilia centers is the early detection of any hip alterations—by clinical and ultrasound (US) evaluations of patients in childhood—to reveal any early articular damage and to provide adequate treatment in case of symptoms. The present paper represents an updated review of the several approaches to hip arthropathy in haemophilia. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Severe Adenoviral Pneumonia in an Immunocompetent Host with Persistent Fevers Treated with Multiple Empiric Antibiotics for Presumed Bacterial Co-Infection: An Antibiotic Stewardship Perspective on De-Escalation Derailed
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 42; doi:10.3390/jcm6040042 -
Abstract
We present a case of severe adenoviral pneumonia in a 20-year-old immunocompetent host with persistently high fevers. The patient was needlessly given multiple empiric antibiotics for non-existent bacterial co-infection. This case has important antibiotic stewardship lessons for practitioners in approaching fevers in the
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We present a case of severe adenoviral pneumonia in a 20-year-old immunocompetent host with persistently high fevers. The patient was needlessly given multiple empiric antibiotics for non-existent bacterial co-infection. This case has important antibiotic stewardship lessons for practitioners in approaching fevers in the ICU. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Emerging Metabolic Therapies in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 43; doi:10.3390/jcm6040043 -
Abstract
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an enigmatic vascular disorder characterized by pulmonary vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary vascular resistance, ultimately resulting in pressure overload, dysfunction, and failure of the right ventricle. Current medications for PH do not reverse or prevent disease progression, and current
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Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an enigmatic vascular disorder characterized by pulmonary vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary vascular resistance, ultimately resulting in pressure overload, dysfunction, and failure of the right ventricle. Current medications for PH do not reverse or prevent disease progression, and current diagnostic strategies are suboptimal for detecting early-stage disease. Thus, there is a substantial need to develop new diagnostics and therapies that target the molecular origins of PH. Emerging investigations have defined metabolic aberrations as fundamental and early components of disease manifestation in both pulmonary vasculature and the right ventricle. As such, the elucidation of metabolic dysregulation in pulmonary hypertension allows for greater therapeutic insight into preventing, halting, or even reversing disease progression. This review will aim to discuss (1) the reprogramming and dysregulation of metabolic pathways in pulmonary hypertension; (2) the emerging therapeutic interventions targeting these metabolic pathways; and (3) further innovation needed to overcome barriers in the treatment of this devastating disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Natural Killer T Cells in Liver Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/jcm6040041 -
Abstract
Restoration of blood flow to an ischemic organ results in significant tissue injury. In the field of liver transplantation, ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) has proven to be a formidable clinical obstacle. In addition to metabolic stress and inflammation, IRI results in profound graft dysfunction
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Restoration of blood flow to an ischemic organ results in significant tissue injury. In the field of liver transplantation, ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) has proven to be a formidable clinical obstacle. In addition to metabolic stress and inflammation, IRI results in profound graft dysfunction and loss. The severity of IRI further limits the ability to expand the donor pool by using partial grafts and marginal organs. As such, the inflammatory response to reperfusion of the liver continues to be an area of intense investigation. Among the various leukocytes involved in IRI, new insights suggest that natural killer T (NKT) cells may be a central driver of hepatocellular injury. Herein, we examine recent experimental observations that provide a mechanistic link between NKT cell recruitment to liver and post-perfusion tissue injury. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Changing Landscape of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in the Adult with Congenital Heart Disease
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 40; doi:10.3390/jcm6040040 -
Abstract
Pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with congenital heart disease (PAH-CHD) is a common type of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and a frequent complication of congenital heart disease (CHD). PAH-CHD represents a heterogeneous patient population and it is important to distinguish between the underlying cardiac
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Pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with congenital heart disease (PAH-CHD) is a common type of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and a frequent complication of congenital heart disease (CHD). PAH-CHD represents a heterogeneous patient population and it is important to distinguish between the underlying cardiac defects considering the prognostic and therapeutic implications. Improved interventional techniques have enabled repair or palliation of most cardiac defects, though a substantial number of patients remain at high risk for PAH after closure. Traditionally, the treatment and management of PAH-CHD patients has been limited to palliative and supportive care, and based on expert opinion rather than clinical trials. Recently, however, the availability of advanced PAH-specific treatment has opened up a new field for the clinical management of this condition. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence on the optimal therapeutic approach for PAH-CHD. Herein, we discuss the current and novel therapeutic options for PAH-CHD as well as highlight several challenges in the clinical management at present. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Factor VII Deficiency: Clinical Phenotype, Genotype and Therapy
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 38; doi:10.3390/jcm6040038 -
Abstract
Factor VII deficiency is the most common among rare inherited autosomal recessive bleeding disorders, and is a chameleon disease due to the lack of a direct correlation between plasma levels of coagulation Factor VII and bleeding manifestations. Clinical phenotypes range from asymptomatic condition—even
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Factor VII deficiency is the most common among rare inherited autosomal recessive bleeding disorders, and is a chameleon disease due to the lack of a direct correlation between plasma levels of coagulation Factor VII and bleeding manifestations. Clinical phenotypes range from asymptomatic condition—even in homozygous subjects—to severe life-threatening bleedings (central nervous system, gastrointestinal bleeding). Prediction of bleeding risk is thus based on multiple parameters that challenge disease management. Spontaneous or surgical bleedings require accurate treatment schedules, and patients at high risk of severe hemorrhages may need prophylaxis from childhood onwards. The aim of the current review is to depict an updated summary of clinical phenotype, laboratory diagnosis, and treatment of inherited Factor VII deficiency. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Outcome of Clinical Trials with New Extended Half-Life FVIII/IX Concentrates
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 39; doi:10.3390/jcm6040039 -
Abstract
The development of a new generation of coagulation factors with improved pharmacokinetic profile will change the paradigm of treatment of persons with hemophilia (PWH). The standard treatment in PWH is represented by regular long-term prophylaxis that, given intravenously twice or thrice weekly, is
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The development of a new generation of coagulation factors with improved pharmacokinetic profile will change the paradigm of treatment of persons with hemophilia (PWH). The standard treatment in PWH is represented by regular long-term prophylaxis that, given intravenously twice or thrice weekly, is associated with a not-negligible burden on patients’ quality of life. The availability of drugs with improved pharmacokinetic profile may improve prophylaxis feasibility and protection against bleeding episodes. This article summarizes the main results obtained from clinical trials with modified factor VIII (FVIII) and factor IX (FIX) molecules. Published literature on new molecules for replacement treatment in hemophilia A and B was retrieved using PubMed search, and all ongoing clinical trials have been researched via www.clinicaltrials.gov. Such new molecules are usually engineered to have a longer plasma half-life than that which has been obtained by chemical modification (i.e., conjugation with polyethylene glycol, PEG) or by creating recombinant fusion proteins. Results from phase I/III studies in previously treated adults and children are now available for the vast majority of new products, including the results of their use in a surgical setting. On the contrary, trials involving previously untreated patients are still ongoing for all and results not yet available. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Value of Coenzyme Q10 Determination in Mitochondrial Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 37; doi:10.3390/jcm6040037 -
Abstract
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is a lipid that is ubiquitously synthesized in tissues and has a key role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Its biochemical determination provides insight into the CoQ status of tissues and may detect CoQ deficiency that can result from either
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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is a lipid that is ubiquitously synthesized in tissues and has a key role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Its biochemical determination provides insight into the CoQ status of tissues and may detect CoQ deficiency that can result from either an inherited primary deficiency of CoQ metabolism or may be secondary to different genetic and environmental conditions. Rapid identification of CoQ deficiency can also allow potentially beneficial treatment to be initiated as early as possible. CoQ may be measured in different specimens, including plasma, blood mononuclear cells, platelets, urine, muscle, and cultured skin fibroblasts. Blood and urinary CoQ also have good utility for CoQ treatment monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Telemedicine Applications in Pediatric Retinal Disease
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(4), 36; doi:10.3390/jcm6040036 -
Abstract
Teleophthalmology is a developing field that presents diverse opportunities. One of its most successful applications to date has been in pediatric retinal disease, particularly in screening for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Many studies have shown that using telemedicine for ROP screening allows a
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Teleophthalmology is a developing field that presents diverse opportunities. One of its most successful applications to date has been in pediatric retinal disease, particularly in screening for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Many studies have shown that using telemedicine for ROP screening allows a remote ophthalmologist to identify abnormal findings and implement early interventions. Here, we review the literature on uses of telemedicine in pediatric retinal disease and consider future applications. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The History of Clotting Factor Concentrates Pharmacokinetics
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/jcm6030035 -
Abstract
Clotting factor concentrates (CFCs) underwent tremendous modifications during the last forty years. Plasma-derived concentrates made the replacement therapy feasible not only in the hospital but also at patients’ home by on-demand or prophylactic regimen. Virucidal methods, implemented soon after hepatitis and AIDS outbreak,
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Clotting factor concentrates (CFCs) underwent tremendous modifications during the last forty years. Plasma-derived concentrates made the replacement therapy feasible not only in the hospital but also at patients’ home by on-demand or prophylactic regimen. Virucidal methods, implemented soon after hepatitis and AIDS outbreak, and purification by Mabs made the plasma-derived concentrates safer and purer. CFCs were considered equivalent to the other drugs and general rules and methods of pharmacokinetics (PK) were applied to their study. After the first attempts by graphical methods and calculation of In Vivo Recovery, compartment and non-compartment methods were applied also to the study of PK of CFCs. The bioequivalence of the new concentrates produced by means of recombinant DNA biotechnology was evaluated in head-to-head PK studies. Since the beginning, the large inter-patient variability of dose/response of replacement therapy was realized. PK allowed tailoring haemophilia therapy and PK driven prophylaxis resulted more cost effective. Unfortunately, the need of several blood samples and logistic difficulties made the PK studies very demanding. Recently, population PK (PopPK) has been applied to the prediction of CFCs dosing by Bayesian methodology. By PopPK also sparse data may allow evaluating the appropriateness of replacement therapy. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Italian Registry of Congenital Bleeding Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 0034; doi:10.3390/jcm6030034 -
Abstract
In Italy, the surveillance of people with bleeding disorders is based on the National Registry of Congenital Coagulopathies (NRCC) managed by the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità). The NRCC collects epidemiological and therapeutic data from the 54 Hemophilia Treatment
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In Italy, the surveillance of people with bleeding disorders is based on the National Registry of Congenital Coagulopathies (NRCC) managed by the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità). The NRCC collects epidemiological and therapeutic data from the 54 Hemophilia Treatment Centers, members of the Italian Association of Hemophilia Centres (AICE). The number of people identified with bleeding disorders has increased over the years, with the number rising from approx. 7000 in 2000 to over 11,000 in 2015. The NRCC includes 4020 patients with hemophilia A and 859 patients with hemophilia B. The prevalence of the rare type 3 vWD is 0.20/100,000 inhabitants. Less common congenital bleeding disorders include the following deficiencies: Factor I (fibrinogen), Factor II (prothrombin), Factor V, Factor VII, Factor X, Factor XI and Factor XIII, which affect 1953 patients. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection affects 1561 patients, more than 200 of whom have two infections (HCV + HIV). Estimated hemophilia-related drug consumption in 2015 was approx. 550 million IU of FVIII for hemophilia A patients and approx. 70 million IU of FIX for hemophilia B patients. The NRCC, with its bleeding disorder data set, is a tool that can provide answers to fundamental questions in public health, monitoring care provision and drug treatment, as well as facilitating clinical and epidemiological research.
Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Improving Communication between Physicians and Their Patients through Mindfulness and Compassion-Based Strategies: A Narrative Review
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 33; doi:10.3390/jcm6030033 -
Abstract
Communication between physicians and patients is a key pillar of psychosocial support for enhancing the healing process of patients and for increasing their well-being and quality of life. Physicians and other health professionals might benefit from interventions that increase their self-care, awareness, compassion,
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Communication between physicians and patients is a key pillar of psychosocial support for enhancing the healing process of patients and for increasing their well-being and quality of life. Physicians and other health professionals might benefit from interventions that increase their self-care, awareness, compassion, and other-focused concern, and reduce the chances of distress and burnout. There is substantial evidence for the contribution of different management strategies to achieve these aims. The goal of this article is to review the potential effect of mindfulness and compassion-based strategies for the improvement of physician-patient interactions. The acquisition of the necessary skills by physicians requires continuous education. Future research will be useful for identifying more evidence on the cost-effectiveness of this type of intervention. Full article
Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of Gracilaria verrucosa Extracts on Osteoclast Differentiation
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 32; doi:10.3390/jcm6030032 -
Abstract
Bone remodeling, a physiological process characterized by bone formation by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts, is important for the maintenance of healthy bone in adult humans. Osteoclasts play a critical role in bone erosion and osteoporosis and are bone-specific multinucleated cells generated
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Bone remodeling, a physiological process characterized by bone formation by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts, is important for the maintenance of healthy bone in adult humans. Osteoclasts play a critical role in bone erosion and osteoporosis and are bone-specific multinucleated cells generated through differentiation of monocyte/macrophage lineage precursors. Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) has been reported to induce osteoclast differentiation. In this study, we explored whether Gracilaria verrucosa extracts (GE) could affect RANKL-mediated osteoclast differentiation. GE significantly inhibited RANKL-activated osteoclast differentiation by inhibiting protein expression of c-fos and nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), vital factors in RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis. In addition, GE attenuated ovariectomy-induced bone loss in mice. In summary, GE can prevent osteoclastogenesis and hormone-related bone loss via blockage of c-fos-NFATc1 signaling. Our results suggest that GE may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Pharmacological Activity of Artesunate and Artemisinin: Their Potential as Anti-Tubercular Agents
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 30; doi:10.3390/jcm6030030 -
Abstract
Tuberculosis is a major infectious disease that globally causes the highest human mortality. From this aspect, this study was carried out to evaluate novel pharmacological activities/effects of artesunate and artemisinin causing anti-tubercular activity/effects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The anti-Mtb activities/effects of artesunate and
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Tuberculosis is a major infectious disease that globally causes the highest human mortality. From this aspect, this study was carried out to evaluate novel pharmacological activities/effects of artesunate and artemisinin causing anti-tubercular activity/effects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The anti-Mtb activities/effects of artesunate and artemisinin were evaluated using different anti-Mtb indicator assays, such as the resazurin microtiter assay, the Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 system assay, and the Ogawa slant medium assay, as well as in vivo tests. Artesunate showed selective anti-Mtb effects by strongly inhibiting the growth of Mtb compared to artemisinin, and consistently induced anti-Mtb activity/effects by effectively inhibiting Mtb in the MGIT 960 system and in Ogawa slant medium for 21 days with a single dose; its minimum inhibitory concentration was 300 µg/mL in in vitro testing. Furthermore, artesunate demonstrated an anti-tubercular effect/action with a daily dose of 3.5 mg/kg in an in vivo test for four weeks, which did not indicate or induce toxicity and side effects. These results demonstrate that artesunate effectively inhibits the growth and/or proliferation of Mtb through novel pharmacological activities/actions, as well as induces anti-Mtb activity. This study shows its potential as a potent candidate agent for developing new anti-tuberculosis drugs of an effective/safe next generation, and suggests novel insights into its effective use by repurposing existing drugs through new pharmacological activity/effects as one of the substantive alternatives for inhibiting tuberculosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Activities in Muscle and Metabolites in Plasma and Urine: A Retrospective Study
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 31; doi:10.3390/jcm6030031 -
Abstract
The relationship between 114 cases with decreased enzymatic activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes I-V (C I-V) in muscle and metabolites in urine and plasma was retrospectively examined. Less than 35% disclosed abnormal plasma amino acids and acylcarnitines, with elevated alanine and
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The relationship between 114 cases with decreased enzymatic activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes I-V (C I-V) in muscle and metabolites in urine and plasma was retrospectively examined. Less than 35% disclosed abnormal plasma amino acids and acylcarnitines, with elevated alanine and low free carnitine or elevated C4-OH-carnitine as the most common findings, respectively. Abnormal urine organic acids (OA) were detected in 82% of all cases. In CI and CII defects, lactic acid (LA) in combination with other metabolites was the most common finding. 3-Methylglutaconic (3MGA) acid was more frequent in CIV and CV, while Tyrosine metabolites, mainly 4-hydroxyphenyllactate, were common in CI and IV defects. Ketones were present in all groups but more prominent in combined deficiencies. There was a significant strong correlation between elevated urinary LA and plasma lactate but none between urine Tyrosine metabolites and plasma Tyrosine or urinary LA and plasma Alanine. All except one of 14 cases showed elevated FGF21, but correlation with urine OA was weak. Although this study is limited, we conclude that urine organic acid test in combination with plasma FGF21 determination are valuable tools in the diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Oxidative Stress: A New Target for Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis and Treatment
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 29; doi:10.3390/jcm6030029 -
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal types of tumors, and its incidence is rising worldwide. Survival can be improved when tumors are detected at an early stage; however, this cancer is usually asymptomatic, and the disease only becomes apparent
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal types of tumors, and its incidence is rising worldwide. Survival can be improved when tumors are detected at an early stage; however, this cancer is usually asymptomatic, and the disease only becomes apparent after metastasis. Several risk factors are associated to this disease. Chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and some infectious disease are the most relevant risk factors. Incidence of PDAC has increased in the last decades. It is hypothesized it could be due to other acquired risk habits, like smoking, high alcohol intake, and obesity. Indeed, adipose tissue is a dynamic endocrine organ that secretes different pro-inflammatory cytokines, enzymes, and other factors that activate oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species caused by oxidative stress, damage DNA, proteins, and lipids, and produce several toxic and high mutagenic metabolites that could modify tumor behavior, turning it into a malignant phenotype. Anti-oxidant compounds, like vitamins, are considered protective factors against cancer. Here, we review the literature on oxidative stress, the molecular pathways that activate or counteract oxidative stress, and potential treatment strategies that target reactive oxygen species suitable for this kind of cancer. Full article
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