Abstract: The mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine kinase which is a member of the PI3K related kinase (PIKK) family. mTOR emerged as a central node in cellular metabolism, cell growth, and differentiation, as well as cancer metabolism. mTOR senses the nutrients, energy, insulin, growth factors, and environmental cues and transmits signals to downstream targets to effectuate the cellular and metabolic response. Recently, mTOR was also implicated in the regulation of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. This paper will summarize the current knowledge of mTOR, as related to the immune microenvironment and immune responses.
Abstract: Iron (Fe) sequestration is described in overweight and in its associated metabolic complications, i.e., metabolic syndrome (MetS) and non-alcoholic liver fatty disease (NAFLD); however, the interactions between Fe, obesity and inflammation make it difficult to recognize the specific role of each of them in the risk of obesity-induced metabolic diseases. Even the usual surrogate marker of Fe stores, ferritin, is influenced by inflammation; therefore, in obese subjects inflammation parameters must be measured together with those of Fe metabolism. This cross-sectional study in obese youth (502 patients; 57% girls): 11.4 ± 3.0 years old (x ± SD); BMI z score 5.5 ± 2.3), multivariate regression analysis showed associations between Fe storage assessed by serum ferritin with risk factors for MetS and NAFLD, assessed by transaminase levels, which were independent of overweight and the acute phase protein fibrinogen. Further studies incorporating the measurement of complementary parameters of Fe metabolism could improve the comprehension of mechanisms involved.
Abstract: Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with a broad range of biological effects ranging from the classical role as a mediator of calcium and phosphate balance to cellular differentiation and immune modulation. These effects impact normal and dysfunctional hematopoietic and immune function, which may allow an avenue for improved treatment and support of patients suffering from hematologic disorders. In this review, we will summarize the role of vitamin D in normal hematopoiesis, discuss ways in which vitamin D may improve outcomes, and discuss a potential role of vitamin D for treating hematologic disorders and modulating the immune system to improve the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplant.
Abstract: White matter lesions have detrimental effects upon older adults, while serum calcium levels have been associated with elevated vascular risk and may be associated with these lesions. Depression, a serious mental disorder characterized by disturbances in calcium metabolism, may be an important contributor to any calcium-lesion relationship. This cross-sectional pilot study examined the association between serum ionized calcium (the physiologically active form of calcium) and white matter lesion volumes in a sample of depressed and non-depressed older adults (N = 42; 60 years and older). Serum ionized calcium was determined using an ion-selective electrode technique, while lesion volumes were estimated from magnetic resonance imaging using an automated expectation-maximization segmentation. A linear regression model, controlling for age and group (depression vs. comparison), showed a trend for a positive relationship between serum ionized calcium and white matter lesion volume (β = 4.34, SE = 2.27, t = 1.91, p = 0.063). Subsample analyses with depressed participants showed a significant positive relationship between higher ionic calcium and greater lesion volume (β = 6.41, SE = 2.53, t = 2.53, p = 0.018), but no association was found for non-depressed participants. Sex-specific subsample analyses showed a significant positive relationship between higher calcium and greater lesion volume in men only (β = 7.49, SE = 3.42, t = 2.19, p = 0.041). These preliminary results indicate that serum ionized calcium may be associated with white matter lesions in older adults, particularly among men and individuals with depression. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Abstract: Oral cancer represents a health burden worldwide with approximate 275,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Its poor prognosis is due to local tumor invasion and frequent lymph node metastasis. Better understanding and development of novel treatments and chemo-preventive approaches for the preventive and therapeutic intervention of this type of cancer are necessary. Recent development of dietary polyphenols as cancer preventives and therapeutic agents is of great interest due to their antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activities. Polyphenols may inhibit carcinogenesis in the stage of initiation, promotion, or progression. In particular, dietary polyphenols decrease incidence of carcinomas and exert protection against oral cancer by induction of cell death and inhibition of tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. In this review, we discuss current progress of dietary polyphenols against oral cancers in vitro, in vivo, and at population levels.
Abstract: This study investigated if additional non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) or resistant starch (RS), above that currently recommended, leads to better improvement in insulin sensitivity (IS) than observed with modest weight loss (WL). Obese male volunteers (n = 14) were given an energy-maintenance (M) diet containing 27 g NSPand 5 g RS daily for one week. They then received, in a cross-over design, energy-maintenance intakes of either an NSP-enriched diet (42 g NSP, 2.5 g RS) or an RS-enriched diet (16 g NSP, 25 g RS), each for three weeks. Finally, a high protein (30% calories) WL diet was provided at 8 MJ/day for three weeks. During each dietary intervention, endogenous glucose production (EGP) and IS were assessed. Fasting glycaemia was unaltered by diet, but plasma insulin and C-peptide both decreased with the WL diet (p < 0.001), as did EGP(−11%, p = 0.006). Homeostatis model assessment of insulin resistance improved following both WL (p < 0.001) and RS (p < 0.05) diets. Peripheral tissue IS improved only with WL (57%–83%, p < 0.005). Inclusion of additional RS or NSPabove amounts currently recommended resulted in little or no improvement in glycaemic control, whereas moderate WL (approximately 3 kg fat) improved IS.