Abstract: The potential involvement of host microRNAs (miRNAs) in HIV infection is well documented, and evidence suggests that HIV modulates and also dysregulates host miRNAs involved in maintaining the host innate immune system. Moreover, the dysregulation of host miRNAs by HIV also effectively interferes directly with the host gene expression. In this study, we have simultaneously evaluated the expression of host miRNAs in both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells derived from HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals (viremic and aviremic individuals while receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), therapy-naïve long-term non-progressors (LTNP), and HIV-negative (HIV–) healthy controls. miRNAs were run on Affymetrix V2 chips, and the differential expression between HIV+ and HIV− samples, along with intergroup comparisons, was derived using PARTEK software, using an FDR of 5% and an adjusted p-value < 0.05. The miR-199a-5p was found to be HIV-specific and expressed in all HIV+ groups as opposed to HIV– controls. Moreover, these are the first studies to reveal clearly the highly discriminatory miRNAs at the level of the disease state, cell type, and HIV-specific miRNAs.
Abstract: Background: Gongronema latifolium Benth. (GL) possesses considerable glucose lowering effects able to be utilized on a large-scale. This paper investigates the effects of a Soxhlet extract on hyperglycemia, Langerhans islets and glucose uptake by abdominal muscles. Methods: Ethanol and a Soxhlet apparatus were used to obtain GL ethanolic Soxhlet extract (GLES). It was then administered to randomly-segregated male Sprague-Dawley, normal and STZ-induced diabetic rats, using oral gavage to evaluate blood glucose levels (BGLs), serum lipid profile, insulin levels and the pancreas post-treatment. Results: GLES significantly (p < 0.05) decreased BGLs of normal rats in glucose tolerance testing at a dose of 2 g/kg b.w. but failed to do so in diabetic rats undergoing acute 7-h treatment. Given twice-daily, 1 g/kg b.w. of GLES moderately controlled diabetic BGLs starting from day 10. After 14 days of treatment, 1 g/kg and 0.5 g/kg b.w. of GLES caused 44% and 50% respective increases in the average area of Langerhans islets compared to DC. Using isolated rat abdominal muscle, GLES was found to be a mild insulin-sensitizer. GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of the known glucose-lowering phytosterol, Sitostenone. Conclusion: Despite retaining moderate antidiabetic activity, Soxhlet extraction of Gongronema latifolium probably leads to the destruction of active heat-liable compounds.
Abstract: Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment option for advanced gastric cancer when the tumor is inoperable. Despite recent advances in chemotherapeutic agents, the prognosis of unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer remains extremely poor. In Japan, combination therapy including S-1 and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer; however, the five-year survival rate remains very low. Lentinan, the backbone of beta-(1,3)-glucan with beta-(1,6) branches, an active ingredient purified from Shiitake mushrooms, has been approved as a biological response modifier for the treatment of gastric cancer. This agent has been used in combination with oral fluoropyrimidines to improve the overall survival of gastric cancer patients. A retrospective chart review on 138 metastatic gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was performed in Nagoya Memorial Hospital from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2015. 12 patients with liver metastases were treated by lentinan in combination with S-1-based chemotherapy. The rate of objective response was 42% (5/12) and the disease control rate was 83% (10/12) in response to chemo-immunotherapy using lentinan, with a median overall survival of 407 days (95% CI: 207–700 days).
Abstract: Electrolytes and Lipids have always played significant roles, and changes in their concentrations gives good indications of disease progression in a number of non-communicable diseases. Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder in the community. Diabetics may suffer from electrolyte disorders due to complications of diabetes mellitus and the medication they receive. Serum glucose, electrolytes (Na+, K+, Cl− and Ca++), and lipid profiles (total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL-c) were determined in 100 diabetics and in non-diabetic subjects. All the diabetic patients had a significant (p < 0.001) increase in glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, chloride and calcium levels. There was significant (p < 0.001) decrease in the serum levels of Na+ and K+ in all diabetics. It was concluded that differences in lipids and electrolytes found in diabetics may have great potential as a diagnostic tool in clinical practice and have a significant effect upon the risk of contracting many diseases.
Abstract: Prompt and accurate laboratory testing of women before or during antenatal days is necessary for detecting humoral immunological responses against cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and assessing risk of congenital transmission. CMV is the most common viral etiology with the greatest propensity to induce neonatal pathologies. Most healthcare facilities in developing countries rely solely on anti-CMV IgM and IgG assays in diagnosing CMV infections. However, these parameters have some worrisome limitations. This study reviewed the significance of IgG avidity testing as a highly sensitive and specific tool that improves decisions regarding diagnosis of maternal and congenital CMV infections. We conducted this review from relevant published articles using an extensive literature search made through PubMed, Scopus and Google scholar on the concepts of congenital CMV (CCMV) transmission and clinical significance of IgG avidity testing in diagnosis of CCMV infections. Findings from our review revealed that IgG avidity testing in some developed societies was frequently utilized to resolve dilemmas associated with serodiagnosis of CMV infections, however, there is paucity of information in regards to its use in developing countries. The non-inclusion of IgG avidity testing during serological investigations of CMV could be a reason why congenital CMV infections and associated pathologies often go underdiagnosed in developing countries.
Abstract: Alstonia scholaris has been used by traditional medicine practitioners since the medieval ages for the treatment of diseases. The aim of this research was to evaluate the acute and sub-acute oral toxicity of its methanolic extract. The acute toxicity test was conducted using Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. The methanolic extract of Alstonia scholaris stem bark (ASME) was administrated in a single dose of 2000 mg/kg via oral gavage; and the animals were observed for any behavioral changes or mortality. In the sub-acute toxicity study, SD rats received three doses of ASME (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) for 28 days via oral gavage. During these 28 days of treatment, the rats were observed weekly for toxicity symptoms. Following the 28-day treatment, the rats were sacrificed for hematological, biochemical and histopathology studies. In the acute toxicity study, Alstonia scholaris was found to be non-toxic at a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w. In the sub-acute toxicity study, significant variations in body weight, hematological and biochemical parameters were observed in the experimental groups at the dose of 500 and 1000 mg/kg with the death of two female rats being recorded at the highest dose (1000 mg/kg b.w.). Histopathological studies revealed slight degeneration (lesion) and centrilobular necrosis in the liver, which was most expressed in the highest-dose group. These results demonstrate that, while a single dose and short term oral intake of Alstonia scholaris bark extract caused no toxicity up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w., toxic effects manifested in the long term treatment at the highest dose (500 and 1000 mg/kg). The long-term toxic effect was found to be associated with alterations in hematological compositions and end-organ damage to the liver. Thus, prolonged use of high doses of ASME orally should be discouraged and lower doses encouraged.