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Life, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 191 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Radiation therapy plays an important role in local tumor control of high-grade glioma and glioblastoma. However, given their infiltrative nature, the hypothalamus, pituitary, and hippocampus are inevitably irradiated. Endocrine dysfunction and cognitive impairment after radiotherapy have long been discussed, even though, after the novel radiation therapy technique, volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) has been adopted. There is a pressing need to identify a better arc configuration of VMAT, which gives the optimal radiation dose to the target, but minimal dose to the organs at risk to improve the patient’s quality of life after radiation therapy. We described different beam configurations and reviewed their dose volumetric parameters, as well as their clinical benefits when the treatment site is located near to the abovementioned organs. View this paper
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Review
(De)Activation (Ir)Reversibly or Degradation: Dynamics of Post-Translational Protein Modifications in Plants
Life 2022, 12(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020324 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 502
Abstract
The increasing dynamic functions of post-translational modifications (PTMs) within protein molecules present outstanding challenges for plant biology even at this present day. Protein PTMs are among the first and fastest plant responses to changes in the environment, indicating that the mechanisms and dynamics [...] Read more.
The increasing dynamic functions of post-translational modifications (PTMs) within protein molecules present outstanding challenges for plant biology even at this present day. Protein PTMs are among the first and fastest plant responses to changes in the environment, indicating that the mechanisms and dynamics of PTMs are an essential area of plant biology. Besides being key players in signaling, PTMs play vital roles in gene expression, gene, and protein localization, protein stability and interactions, as well as enzyme kinetics. In this review, we take a broader but concise approach to capture the current state of events in the field of plant PTMs. We discuss protein modifications including citrullination, glycosylation, phosphorylation, oxidation and disulfide bridges, N-terminal, SUMOylation, and ubiquitination. Further, we outline the complexity of studying PTMs in relation to compartmentalization and function. We conclude by challenging the proteomics community to engage in holistic approaches towards identification and characterizing multiple PTMs on the same protein, their interaction, and mechanism of regulation to bring a deeper understanding of protein function and regulation in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Proteomics)
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Review
An Immunological Perspective of Circulating Tumor Cells as Diagnostic Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets
Life 2022, 12(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020323 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Immune modulation is a hallmark of cancer. Cancer–immune interaction shapes the course of disease progression at every step of tumorigenesis, including metastasis, of which circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are regarded as an indicator. These CTCs are a heterogeneous population of tumor cells that [...] Read more.
Immune modulation is a hallmark of cancer. Cancer–immune interaction shapes the course of disease progression at every step of tumorigenesis, including metastasis, of which circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are regarded as an indicator. These CTCs are a heterogeneous population of tumor cells that have disseminated from the tumor into circulation. They have been increasingly studied in recent years due to their importance in diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of treatment response. Ample evidence demonstrates that CTCs interact with immune cells in circulation, where they must evade immune surveillance or modulate immune response. The interaction between CTCs and the immune system is emerging as a critical point by which CTCs facilitate metastatic progression. Understanding the complex crosstalk between the two may provide a basis for devising new diagnostic and treatment strategies. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of CTCs and the complex immune-CTC interactions. We also present novel options in clinical interventions, targeting the immune-CTC interfaces, and provide some suggestions on future research directions. Full article
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Concept Paper
The Case for Clinical Trials with Novel GABAergic Drugs in Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity
Life 2022, 12(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020322 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Obesity and diabetes mellitus have become the surprising menaces of relative economic well-being worldwide. Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) has a prominent role in the control of blood glucose, energy homeostasis as well as food intake at several levels of regulation. The effects [...] Read more.
Obesity and diabetes mellitus have become the surprising menaces of relative economic well-being worldwide. Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) has a prominent role in the control of blood glucose, energy homeostasis as well as food intake at several levels of regulation. The effects of GABA in the body are exerted through ionotropic GABAA and metabotropic GABAB receptors. This treatise will focus on the pharmacologic targeting of GABAA receptors to reap beneficial therapeutic effects in diabetes mellitus and obesity. A new crop of drugs selectively targeting GABAA receptors has been under investigation for efficacy in stroke recovery and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Although these trials have produced mixed outcomes the compounds are safe to use in humans. Preclinical evidence is summarized here to support the rationale of testing some of these compounds in diabetic patients receiving insulin in order to achieve better control of blood glucose levels and to combat the decline of cognitive performance. Potential therapeutic benefits could be achieved (i) By resetting the hypoglycemic counter-regulatory response; (ii) Through trophic actions on pancreatic islets, (iii) By the mobilization of antioxidant defence mechanisms in the brain. Furthermore, preclinical proof-of-concept work, as well as clinical trials that apply the novel GABAA compounds in eating disorders, e.g., olanzapine-induced weight-gain, also appear warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Pharmaceutical Science)
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Article
Investigation of Euphorbia nivulia-HAM for Enzyme Inhibition Potential in Relation to the Phenolic and Flavonoid Contents and Radical Scavenging Activity
Life 2022, 12(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020321 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Euphorbia nivulia-Ham (EN) is a neglected medicinal plant traditionally used for a number of pathologies, but it has not been explored scientifically. In the current study, its various fractions were assessed for their phenolic and flavonoid content, radical scavenging, as well as [...] Read more.
Euphorbia nivulia-Ham (EN) is a neglected medicinal plant traditionally used for a number of pathologies, but it has not been explored scientifically. In the current study, its various fractions were assessed for their phenolic and flavonoid content, radical scavenging, as well as its enzyme inhibitory potential. The hydro-alcoholic crude extract (ENCr) was subjected to a fractionation scheme to obtain different fractions, namely n-hexane (ENHF), chloroform (ENCF), n-butanol (ENBF), and aqueous fraction (ENAF). The obtained results revealed that the highest phenolic and flavonoid content, maximum radical scavenging potential (91 ± 0.55%), urease inhibition (54.36 ± 1.47%), and α-glucosidase inhibition (97.84 ± 1.87%) were exhibited by ENCr, while the ENBF fraction exhibited the highest acetylcholinestrase inhibition (57.32 ± 0.43%). Contrary to these, hydro-alcoholic crude as well as the other fractions showed no significant butyrylcholinestrases (BChE) and carbonic anhydrase inhibition activity. Conclusively, it was found that EN possesses a significant radical scavenging and enzyme inhibitory potential. Thus, the study may be regarded a step forward towards evidence-based phyto-medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultivation and Regulation of Abiotic Stress for Field Crops)
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Article
Semi-Scavenging Poultry as Carriers of Avian Influenza Genes
Life 2022, 12(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020320 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Ducks are the natural reservoir of influenza A virus and the central host for the avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H5N1, which is highly pathogenic. Semi-scavenging domestic ducks allow for the reemergence of new influenza subtypes which could be transmitted to humans. We [...] Read more.
Ducks are the natural reservoir of influenza A virus and the central host for the avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H5N1, which is highly pathogenic. Semi-scavenging domestic ducks allow for the reemergence of new influenza subtypes which could be transmitted to humans. We collected 844 cloacal swabs from semi-scavenging ducks inhabiting seven migratory bird sanctuaries of Bangladesh for the molecular detection of avian influenza genes. We detected the matrix gene (M gene) using real-time RT–PCR (RT–qPCR). Subtyping of the AIV-positive samples was performed by RT–qPCR specific for H5, H7, and H9 genes. Out of 844 samples, 21 (2.488%) were positive for AIV. Subtyping of AIV positive samples (n = 21) revealed that nine samples (42.85%) were positive for the H9 subtype, five (23.80%) were positive for H5, and seven (33.33%) were negative for the three genes (H5, H7, and H9). We detected the same genes after propagating the virus in embryonated chicken eggs from positive samples. Semi-scavenging ducks could act as carriers of pathogenic AIV, including the less pathogenic H9 subtype. This can enhance the pathogenicity of the virus in ducks by reassortment. The large dataset presented in our study from seven areas should trigger further studies on AIV prevalence and ecology. Full article
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Article
SmileGNN: Drug–Drug Interaction Prediction Based on the SMILES and Graph Neural Network
Life 2022, 12(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020319 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Concurrent use of multiple drugs can lead to unexpected adverse drug reactions. The interaction between drugs can be confirmed by routine in vitro and clinical trials. However, it is difficult to test the drug–drug interactions widely and effectively before the drugs enter the [...] Read more.
Concurrent use of multiple drugs can lead to unexpected adverse drug reactions. The interaction between drugs can be confirmed by routine in vitro and clinical trials. However, it is difficult to test the drug–drug interactions widely and effectively before the drugs enter the market. Therefore, the prediction of drug–drug interactions has become one of the research priorities in the biomedical field. In recent years, researchers have been using deep learning to predict drug–drug interactions by exploiting drug structural features and graph theory, and have achieved a series of achievements. A drug–drug interaction prediction model SmileGNN is proposed in this paper, which can be characterized by aggregating the structural features of drugs constructed by SMILES data and the topological features of drugs in knowledge graphs obtained by graph neural networks. The experimental results show that the model proposed in this paper combines a variety of data sources and has a better prediction performance compared with existing prediction models of drug–drug interactions. Five out of the top ten predicted new drug–drug interactions are verified from the latest database, which proves the credibility of SmileGNN. Full article
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Review
SIRT1: A Key Player in Male Reproduction
Life 2022, 12(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020318 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 639
Abstract
Reproduction is the way to immortality for an individual, and it is essential to the continuation of the species. Sirtuins are involved in cellular homeostasis, energy metabolism, apoptosis, age-related problems, and sexual reproduction. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) belongs to the sirtuin family of deacetylases, [...] Read more.
Reproduction is the way to immortality for an individual, and it is essential to the continuation of the species. Sirtuins are involved in cellular homeostasis, energy metabolism, apoptosis, age-related problems, and sexual reproduction. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) belongs to the sirtuin family of deacetylases, and it is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase. It removes the acetyl group from a variety of substrates. SIRT1 regulates endocrine/metabolic, reproductive, and placental development by deacetylating histone, different transcription factors, and signal transduction molecules in a variety of cellular processes. It also plays a very important role in the synthesis and secretion of sex hormones via regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Moreover, SIRT1 participates in several key stages of spermatogenesis and sperm maturation. The current review will give a thorough overview of SIRT1’s functions in male reproductive processes, thus paving the way for more research on restorative techniques and their uses in reproductive medicine. Full article
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Review
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps in ANCA-Associated Vasculitis and Interstitial Lung Disease: A Scoping Review
Life 2022, 12(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020317 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
Background: Deregulated neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation is implicated in various diseases, including ANCA-associated vasculitis and pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Lung involvement is frequent in AAV, and interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) are strongly related to MPO-ANCA positivity and mainly reported in microscopic polyangiitis. The [...] Read more.
Background: Deregulated neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation is implicated in various diseases, including ANCA-associated vasculitis and pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Lung involvement is frequent in AAV, and interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) are strongly related to MPO-ANCA positivity and mainly reported in microscopic polyangiitis. The association between AAV and ILD is a strong indicator of poor prognosis and limited survival. Neutrophils, ANCA and NET interplay in PF development in AAV. This study aimed to review the literature concerning the implications of NET in lung fibrogenesis specifically focused on AAV associated with ILD, and the potential of NET as a theranostic marker. Methods: Through scoping review methodology, we used a descriptive thematic analysis to understand the pathogenic role of NETs in patients with AAV and pulmonary fibrosis and their further role as a theranostic marker of this disease. Results: The implications of NET in the pathogenesis of AAV and ILD, as well as an association between these two diseases, have been identified, but the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are still unknown. The pharmacological or genetic inhibition of NET release reduces disease severity in multiple inflammatory disease models, indicating that NETs are potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, despite the lack of clinical data, we may hypothesise that an optimal management of AAV-ILD patients would require not only B-cells targeted therapy, but also NETs inhibition. Conclusion: Preliminary findings seem to display a lack of efficacy of traditional immunosuppressants, such as Rituximab, in this subset of patients, while to date no patients suffering from a definite ILD have been enrolled in clinical trials. Further insights would be provided by their employment, as a combination treatment, in common clinical practice. Although we can imagine that the inhibition of NETs in patients with AAV-ILD could reduce severity and mortality, we still lack the scientific basis that could improve our understanding of the disease from a molecular point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Theranostic Biomarkers in Lung Diseases)
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Article
Association between Serum Adipocyte Fatty Acid Binding Protein Level and Endothelial Dysfunction in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients
Life 2022, 12(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020316 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) is associated with atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction is one of the reasons for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). This study investigated the correlation between serum A-FABP levels and endothelial function in HD patients. Fasting [...] Read more.
Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) is associated with atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction is one of the reasons for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). This study investigated the correlation between serum A-FABP levels and endothelial function in HD patients. Fasting blood samples were collected from 90 HD patients. A-FABP levels were measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay kit. Endothelial function was evaluated by a digital thermal monitoring test to measure vascular reactivity index (VRI). VRI < 1.0, 1.0 ≤ VRI < 2.0, and VRI ≥ 2.0 indicated poor, intermediate, and good vascular reactivity, respectively. In total, 14 (15.6%), 38 (42.2%), and 38 (42.2%) HD patients had poor, intermediate, and good VRI, respectively. Patients with poor VRI had lower pre-HD and post-HD body weight, body mass index, and serum creatinine level but higher serum A-FABP level (p = 0.001) than those with intermediate and good VRI. Log-transformed VRI (log-VRI) positively correlated with serum creatinine and negatively correlated with A-FABP by multivariate linear regression analysis. We concluded that A-FABP correlated with endothelial dysfunction in chronic HD patients. Full article
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Article
Computer Aided Drug Design Approach to Screen Phytoconstituents of Adhatoda vasica as Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Enzyme
Life 2022, 12(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020315 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 584
Abstract
A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as one of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2) and emerged as a pandemic in 2020. Thus, there is an urgent need to screen and develop an agent to suppress the proliferation of viral particles of [...] Read more.
A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as one of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2) and emerged as a pandemic in 2020. Thus, there is an urgent need to screen and develop an agent to suppress the proliferation of viral particles of SARS-CoV-2, and several drugs have entered clinical trial phases to assess their therapeutic potential. The objective of the present study is to screen phytochemicals against the main viral protease using molecular docking studies. The phytochemicals vasicine, vasicinone, vasicinolone, vasicol, vasicolinone, adhatodine, adhavasicinone, aniflorine, anisotine, vasnetine, and orientin from Adhatoda vasica were selected, and the compounds were docked with various viral protein targets, including specific SARS-CoV-2 main protease (PDBID:6Y84), using AutoDock, Schrodinger, Biovia discovery studio, and virtual screening tools. Adhatodine and vasnetine showed a better binding affinity of −9.60 KJ/mol and −8.78 KJ/mol, respectively. In molecular docking simulations for 10 ns, these compounds illustrated strong hydrogen-bonding interactions with the protein active site and induced a potential conformational change in the ligand-binding site. The results were compared with the antiviral drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. These results suggest that these phytochemicals can be studied as potential inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 protease and may have an antiviral effect on coronavirus. However, further in vitro and in vivo efficacy activity needs to be investigated for these phytochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Bioactive Natural Compounds in the Treatment of Diseases)
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Review
Postoperative Delirium and Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Elective Hip or Knee Arthroplasty: A Narrative Review of the Literature
Life 2022, 12(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020314 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Postoperative delirium (POD) and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) are common complications following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA), affecting the length of hospital stay and increasing medical complications. Although many papers have been published on both conditions in this setting, [...] Read more.
Postoperative delirium (POD) and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) are common complications following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA), affecting the length of hospital stay and increasing medical complications. Although many papers have been published on both conditions in this setting, no reviews have currently been written. Thus, the purpose of our study is to summarize the current literature and provide information about POD and POCD following elective THA or TKA. Our literature search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed and the Cochrane library. We found that POD is a common complication following elective THA or TKA, with a median incidence of 14.8%. Major risk factors include older age, cognitive impairment, dementia, preoperative (pre-op) comorbidities, substance abuse, and surgery for fracture. Diagnosis can be achieved using tools such as the confusion assessment method (CAM), which is sensitive, specific, reliable, and easy to use, for the identification of POD. Treatment consists of risk stratification and the implementation of a multiple component prevention protocol. POCD has a median incidence of 19.3% at 1 week, and 10% at 3 months. Risk factors include older age, high BMI, and cognitive impairment. Treatment consists of reversing risk factors and implementing protocols in order to preserve physiological stability. POD and POCD are common and preventable complications following TKA and THA. Risk stratification and specific interventions can lower the incidence of both syndromes. Every physician involved in the care of such patients should be informed on every aspect of these conditions in order to provide the best care for their patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Orthopaedic Trauma and Reconstruction)
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Article
Design of an Articulated Neck to Assess Impact Head-Neck Injuries
Life 2022, 12(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020313 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 481
Abstract
This paper describes a new solution for an articulated low-cost artificial neck with sensors to assess the effects of head impacts. This prototype is designed as a new solution to evaluate the neck’s response after suffering the head impact. An overview of existing [...] Read more.
This paper describes a new solution for an articulated low-cost artificial neck with sensors to assess the effects of head impacts. This prototype is designed as a new solution to evaluate the neck’s response after suffering the head impact. An overview of existing solutions is reported to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each one briefly. Problems and requirements for prototype design are outlined to guide to a solution with commercial components. A prototype is developed, and its operating performance is evaluated through a lab test. Several tests are worked out considering the biomechanics involved in the most common accidents of head-neck impacts. Results show a response on the prototype similar to an actual human neck. Future improvements are also outlined for better accurate responses considering the results from the lab test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biomechanics of Injury and Rehabilitation)
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Article
Production of a Bacillus anthracis Secretome with Suitable Characteristics as Antigen in a Complement Fixation Test
Life 2022, 12(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020312 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1811
Abstract
In this study, we cultured the Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain Sterne 34F2 in a medium containing EDTA, and we assessed the best conditions to inhibit the activity of zinc-dependent metalloproteases to obtain a secretome containing a high concentration of non-degraded PA (PA83 [...] Read more.
In this study, we cultured the Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain Sterne 34F2 in a medium containing EDTA, and we assessed the best conditions to inhibit the activity of zinc-dependent metalloproteases to obtain a secretome containing a high concentration of non-degraded PA (PA83), as evaluated by the SDS-PAGE analysis. Then, we used this secretome as the antigen in a Complement Fixation Test (CFT) to monitor the production of antibodies against PA83 in the sera of rabbits vaccinated with Sterne 34F2 and then infected with a B. anthracis virulent strain to evaluate the potency of the vaccine. The PAS-based CFT results were compared with those obtained by using a commercial ELISA kit. The two serological tests gave similar results in terms of specificity and sensitivity, as the kinetics of the antibodies production was very similar. The Sterne 34F2 vaccine induced an antibody response to PA83, whose titer was not inferior to 1:8 in PAS-based CFT and 42 kU/mL in PA83-based ELISA, respectively, in all vaccinated rabbits. Our opinion is that the PAS-based CFT can be successfully employed in humans and in animals for epidemiological retrospective studies or post-vaccination monitoring. We also suggest the use of our method to test the efficacy of veterinary anthrax vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Themes in Anthrax)
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Systematic Review
PHILOS Synthesis for Proximal Humerus Fractures Has High Complications and Reintervention Rates: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Life 2022, 12(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020311 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to quantify the rate of complications and reinterventions in patients treated with PHILOS plate for proximal humerus fractures (PHFs) synthesis. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed on the PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to quantify the rate of complications and reinterventions in patients treated with PHILOS plate for proximal humerus fractures (PHFs) synthesis. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed on the PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane databases up to 7 October 2021. Studies describing medium and long-term complications in PHF synthesis using the PHILOS plate were included. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed on complications and causes of reinterventions. Assessment of risk of bias and quality of evidence was performed with the Downs and Black’s “Checklist for Measuring Quality”. Results: Seventy-six studies including 4200 patients met the inclusion criteria. The complication rate was 23.8%, and the main cause was screw cut-out (4.1%), followed by avascular necrosis (AVN) (3.1%) and subacromial impingement (1.5%). In patients over 55 years, the complication rate was 29.5%. In the deltopectoral (DP) approach the complication rate was 23.8%, and in the delto-split (DS) it was 17.5%, but no difference between the two approaches was seen when considering the type of fracture. The overall reintervention rate was 10.5% in the overall population and 19.0% in older patients. Conclusions: Proximal humerus synthesis with a PHILOS plate has high complications and reintervention rates. The most frequent complication was screw cut-out, followed by humeral head AVN and subacromial impingement. These results need to be further investigated to better understand both the type of patient and fracture that is more at risk of complications and reintervention and to compare pros and cons of the PHILOS plate with respect to the other solutions to manage PHFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healing after Trauma)
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Review
Vitamin E: Where Are We Now in Vascular Diseases?
Life 2022, 12(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020310 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Vitamin E is one of the most popular fat-soluble vitamins in pathological research and has been under scrutiny since the 1980s as a vital dietary component of food. The antioxidant effect of vitamin E has been widely studied due to its benefits in [...] Read more.
Vitamin E is one of the most popular fat-soluble vitamins in pathological research and has been under scrutiny since the 1980s as a vital dietary component of food. The antioxidant effect of vitamin E has been widely studied due to its benefits in the prevention of various cardiovascular diseases. In recent years, alternative effects of vitamin E, in terms of anti-inflammatory pathways and gene regulation, have also been of interest to researchers. This review examines the role of dietary vitamin E (α-tocopherol) as an antioxidant and bioactive molecule in promoting vascular health. While the antioxidant effect of vitamin E is well established, knowledge about its capacity as a promising regulatory molecule in the control of the vascular system is limited. The aim of this review is to discuss some of these mechanisms and summarize their role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Here, we also briefly discuss foods rich in vitamin E, and deliberate some potential toxicological effects of excessive supplemental vitamin E in the body. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Serum Metabolome and Proteome Profiles Identifies SNX5 Specific for Pregnancy Failure in Holstein Heifers
Life 2022, 12(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020309 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Pregnancy loss predominantly occurs during the first 3–4 weeks due to fertilization failure or early embryonic losses in cattle. Insufficient biochemical communication between conceptus (embryo plus extraembryonic membranes) and endometrium has been suspected as the primary cause for early embryonic losses. If molecules [...] Read more.
Pregnancy loss predominantly occurs during the first 3–4 weeks due to fertilization failure or early embryonic losses in cattle. Insufficient biochemical communication between conceptus (embryo plus extraembryonic membranes) and endometrium has been suspected as the primary cause for early embryonic losses. If molecules regulating this communication were identified, molecular mechanisms associated with early pregnancy losses could be better understood. To identify candidate molecules as detection markers of non-pregnant or females undergoing embryonic loss, peripheral blood from embryo-transferred heifers on day 7 (day 0 = day of estrus) were collected on days 17 (pre-attachment), 20 (during attachment), and 22 (post-attachment), which were subjected to metabolome and global proteome iTRAQ analyses. The metabolome analysis partly divided serum components into pregnant or not. In the iTRAQ analysis, heatmap analysis with top 25 proteins was separated into pregnant or not on day 20 or 22. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis identified five candidate proteins detecting non-pregnant heifers, of which SNX5 in day 22 serum had the highest area under the curve (AUC): 0.983. We also detected SNX5 in day 22 serum from non-pregnant heifers using western blotting. These results suggest that high SNX5 in day 22 serum could predict early pregnancy loss in heifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Pathogenesis of Pregnancy-Related Complications)
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Systematic Review
Effectiveness of Lifestyle Modification in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Patients with Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Life 2022, 12(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020308 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
(1) Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility and endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age. Previous studies have employed lifestyle interventions to manage anovulatory infertility and endocrine disorders. However, the effect of lifestyle interventions on the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility and endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age. Previous studies have employed lifestyle interventions to manage anovulatory infertility and endocrine disorders. However, the effect of lifestyle interventions on the metabolic index remains ambiguous; (2) Methods: Data were obtained through a systematic search of the Ovid-Medline, Ovid-EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases. Two reviewers independently reviewed the literature in two stages. A consensus was achieved through discussions regarding the final selection of the literature; (3) Results: This study observed that the group that underwent lifestyle modifications displayed significant improvement in reproductive function compared to the control group. Combination therapy with diet and exercise resulted in improved fasting insulin levels, compared to monotherapy with diet or exercise. Moreover, moderate weight loss (a minimum of 5%) resulted in an improved metabolic index. The subgroup analysis revealed that the group that underwent lifestyle modifications had a significantly higher number of patients with improved menstrual cycles, compared to the control groups; (4) Conclusions: Lifestyle modification using combination therapy is a promising therapeutic approach that can be employed in the management of PCOS patients with obesity. This scenario warrants further studies with larger sample sizes to develop ideal treatment protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulin Resistance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
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Article
PRIP: A Protein-RNA Interface Predictor Based on Semantics of Sequences
Life 2022, 12(2), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020307 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
RNA–protein interactions play an indispensable role in many biological processes. Growing evidence has indicated that aberration of the RNA–protein interaction is associated with many serious human diseases. The precise and quick detection of RNA–protein interactions is crucial to finding new functions and to [...] Read more.
RNA–protein interactions play an indispensable role in many biological processes. Growing evidence has indicated that aberration of the RNA–protein interaction is associated with many serious human diseases. The precise and quick detection of RNA–protein interactions is crucial to finding new functions and to uncovering the mechanism of interactions. Although many methods have been presented to recognize RNA-binding sites, there is much room left for the improvement of predictive accuracy. We present a sequence semantics-based method (called PRIP) for predicting RNA-binding interfaces. The PRIP extracted semantic embedding by pre-training the Word2vec with the corpus. Extreme gradient boosting was employed to train a classifier. The PRIP obtained a SN of 0.73 over the five-fold cross validation and a SN of 0.67 over the independent test, outperforming the state-of-the-art methods. Compared with other methods, this PRIP learned the hidden relations between words in the context. The analysis of the semantics relationship implied that the semantics of some words were specific to RNA-binding interfaces. This method is helpful to explore the mechanism of RNA–protein interactions from a semantics point of view. Full article
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Article
Expiratory Peak Flow and Minute Ventilation Are Significantly Increased at High Altitude versus Simulated Altitude in Normobaria
Life 2022, 12(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020306 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Simulated altitude (normobaric hypoxia, NH) is used to study physiologic hypoxia responses of altitude. However, several publications show differences in physiological responses between NH and hypobaric conditions at altitude (hypobaric hypoxia, HH). The causality for these differences is controversially discussed. One theory is [...] Read more.
Simulated altitude (normobaric hypoxia, NH) is used to study physiologic hypoxia responses of altitude. However, several publications show differences in physiological responses between NH and hypobaric conditions at altitude (hypobaric hypoxia, HH). The causality for these differences is controversially discussed. One theory is that the lower air density and environmental pressure in HH compared to NH lead to lower alveolar pressure and therefore lower oxygen diffusion in the lung. We hypothesized that, if this theory is correct, due to physical laws (Hagen-Poiseuille, Boyle), resistance respectively air compression (Boyle) at expiration should be lower, expiratory flow higher, and therefore peak flow and maximum expiratory flow (MEF) 75–50 increased in hypobaric hypoxia (HH) vs. normobaric hypoxia (NH). To prove the hypothesis of differences in respiratory flow as a result of lower alveolar pressure between HH and NH, we performed spirography in NH at different simulated altitudes and the corresponding altitudes in HH. In a cross over study, 6 healthy subjects (2 f/4 m, 28.3 ± 8.2 years, BMI: 23.2 ± 1.9) performed spirography as part of spiroergometry in a normobaric hypoxic room at a simulated altitude of 2800 m and after a seven-hour hike on a treadmill (average incline 14%, average walking speed 1.6 km/h) to the simulated summit of Mauna Kea at 4200 m. After a two-month washout, we repeated the spirometry in HH on the start and top of the Mauna Kea hiking trail, HI/USA. Comparison of NH (simulated 4200 m) and HH at 4200 m resulted in increased pulmonary ventilation during exercise (VE) (11.5%, p < 0.01), breathing-frequency (7.8%, p < 0.01), peak expiratory flow PEF (13.4%, p = 0.028), and MEF50 (15.9%, p = 0.028) in HH compared to NH, whereas VO2max decreased by 2%. At 2800 m, differences were only trendy, and at no altitude were differences in volume parameters. Spirography expresses higher mid expiratory flows and peak flows in HH vs. NH. This supports the theory of lower alveolar and small airway pressure due to a lower air density resulting in a lower resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular and Functional Response to Hypoxia)
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Article
Nasal Symptoms in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Their Association with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Usage
Life 2022, 12(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020305 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The role of nasal symptoms in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) tolerance is not completely clear. This study aimed to investigate the association between CPAP usage and nasal symptoms, either prior to, or developing during, CPAP use in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea [...] Read more.
The role of nasal symptoms in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) tolerance is not completely clear. This study aimed to investigate the association between CPAP usage and nasal symptoms, either prior to, or developing during, CPAP use in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Two hundred thirty patients were studied and divided into high-, low-, and non-CPAP users. Nasal symptoms and related quality of life parameters were evaluated prior to CPAP initiation and after three months. We also investigated predictive factors for CPAP usage. Non-CPAP users had significantly worse baseline scores for runny nose compared with high and low users (1.34 vs. 0.68 and 0.75, respectively, p = 0.006). There were no other significant differences between the groups. Runny nose was an independent predictive factor for lower CPAP usage (p = 0.036). An evaluation after three months showed worsening in runny nose score in high-CPAP users (p = 0.025) but not in low- and non-users. There were no significant changes in other nasal symptoms. Our study demonstrates that nasal symptoms were very common in this population but rhinorrhoea was the only symptom associated with poorer CPAP adherence. Moreover, rhinorrhoea worsened after a three-month trial of high-CPAP usage. Full article
Article
The Blood of the HIV-Infected Patients Contains κ-IgG, λ-IgG, and Bispecific κλ-IgG, Which Possess DNase and Amylolytic Activity
Life 2022, 12(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020304 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Though hundreds of thousands of papers are currently being published on HIV/AIDS, only tens of hundreds of them are devoted to the antibodies generated during the disease. Most of these papers discuss antibodies in HIV/AIDS as a diagnostic tool, and some articles describe [...] Read more.
Though hundreds of thousands of papers are currently being published on HIV/AIDS, only tens of hundreds of them are devoted to the antibodies generated during the disease. Most of these papers discuss antibodies in HIV/AIDS as a diagnostic tool, and some articles describe neutralizing antibodies as a promising treatment. In this paper, we used affinity chromatography and ELISA to isolate natural IgG from the blood of 26 HIV-infected patients. IgG preparations were separated into the subfractions containing different types of light chains, and catalytic activities of subfractions were analyzed. Here, we show for the first time that the blood of HIV patients contains ~20% of bispecific κλ-IgG, presented with all IgG subclasses. Analysis of DNA-hydrolyzing and amylolytic activity show that most IgG preparations and subfractions are catalytically active. Our results expand the possible biological functions of natural IgG in HIV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bispecific Antibodies: Design, Isolation, Perspectives of Use)
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Article
The p53-Driven Anticancer Effect of Ribes fasciculatum Extract on AGS Gastric Cancer Cells
Life 2022, 12(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020303 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Cancer metastasis is directly related to the survival rate of cancer patients. Although cancer metastasis proceeds by the movement of cancer cells, it is fundamentally caused by its resistance to anoikis, a mechanism of apoptosis caused by the loss of adhesion of cancer [...] Read more.
Cancer metastasis is directly related to the survival rate of cancer patients. Although cancer metastasis proceeds by the movement of cancer cells, it is fundamentally caused by its resistance to anoikis, a mechanism of apoptosis caused by the loss of adhesion of cancer cells. Therefore, it was found that inhibiting cancer migration and reducing anoikis resistance are important for cancer suppression, and natural compounds can effectively control it. Among them, Ribes fasciculatum, which has been used as a medicinal plant, was confirmed to have anticancer potential, and experiments were conducted to prove various anticancer effects by extracting Ribes fasciculatum (RFE). Through various experiments, it was observed that RFE induces apoptosis of AGS gastric cancer cells, arrests the cell cycle, induces oxidative stress, and reduces mobility. It was also demonstrated that anoikis resistance was attenuated through the downregulation of proteins, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Moreover, the anticancer effect of RFE depends upon the increase in p53 expression, suggesting that RFE is suitable for the development of p53-targeted anticancer materials. Moreover, through xenotransplantation, it was found that the anticancer effect of RFE confirmed in vitro was continued in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Signaling of Natural Compounds in Oncology)
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Review
MR Imaging in Real Time Guiding of Therapies in Prostate Cancer
Life 2022, 12(2), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020302 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided therapy for prostate cancer (PCa) aims to reduce the treatment-associated comorbidity of existing radical treatment, including radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. Although active surveillance has been used as a conservative method to reduce overtreatment, there is a growing demand for [...] Read more.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided therapy for prostate cancer (PCa) aims to reduce the treatment-associated comorbidity of existing radical treatment, including radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. Although active surveillance has been used as a conservative method to reduce overtreatment, there is a growing demand for less morbidity and personalized (focal) treatment. The development of multiparametric MRI was of real importance in improving the detection, localization and staging of PCa. Moreover, MRI has been useful for lesion targeting within the prostate, as it is used in the guidance of prostate biopsies, by means of cognitive registration, MRI-ultrasound fusion guidance or direct in-bore MRI-guidance. With regard to PCa therapies, MRI is used for precise probe placement into the lesion and to accurately monitor the treatment in real-time. Moreover, advances in MR-compatible thermal ablation allow for noninvasive real-time temperature mapping during treatment. In this review, we present an overview of the current status of MRI-guided therapies in PCa, focusing on cryoablation, focal laser ablation, high intensity focused ultrasound and transurethral ultrasound ablation. We explain the important role of MRI in the evaluation of the completeness of the ablation and during follow-up. Finally, we will discuss the challenges and future development inherent to these new technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MRI in Cancer: Ongoing Developments and Controversies)
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Hypothesis
Potassium at the Origins of Life: Did Biology Emerge from Biotite in Micaceous Clay?
Life 2022, 12(2), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020301 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510 | Correction
Abstract
Intracellular potassium concentrations, [K+], are high in all types of living cells, but the origins of this K+ are unknown. The simplest hypothesis is that life emerged in an environment that was high in K+. One such environment [...] Read more.
Intracellular potassium concentrations, [K+], are high in all types of living cells, but the origins of this K+ are unknown. The simplest hypothesis is that life emerged in an environment that was high in K+. One such environment is the spaces between the sheets of the clay mineral mica. The best mica for life’s origins is the black mica, biotite, because it has a high content of Mg++ and because it has iron in various oxidation states. Life also has many of the characteristics of the environment between mica sheets, giving further support for the possibility that mica was the substrate on and within which life emerged. Here, a scenario for life’s origins is presented, in which the necessary processes and components for life arise in niches between mica sheets; vesicle membranes encapsulate these processes and components; the resulting vesicles fuse, forming protocells; and eventually, all of the necessary components and processes are encapsulated within individual cells, some of which survive to seed the early Earth with life. This paper presents three new foci for the hypothesis of life’s origins between mica sheets: (1) that potassium is essential for life’s origins on Earth; (2) that biotite mica has advantages over muscovite mica; and (3) that micaceous clay is a better environment than isolated mica for life’s origins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Review Papers for Life)
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Article
Generation of Peptides for Highly Efficient Proximity Utilizing Site-Specific Biotinylation in Cells
Life 2022, 12(2), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020300 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 747
Abstract
Protein tags are peptide sequences genetically embedded into a recombinant protein for various purposes, such as affinity purification, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence. Another recent application of peptide tags is in vivo labeling and analysis of protein–protein interactions (PPI) by proteomics methods. One of [...] Read more.
Protein tags are peptide sequences genetically embedded into a recombinant protein for various purposes, such as affinity purification, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence. Another recent application of peptide tags is in vivo labeling and analysis of protein–protein interactions (PPI) by proteomics methods. One of the common workflows involves site-specific in vivo biotinylation of an AviTag-fused protein in the presence of the biotin ligase BirA. However, due to the rapid kinetics of labeling, this tag is not ideal for analysis of PPI. Here we describe the rationale, design, and protocol for the new biotin acceptor peptides BAP1070 and BAP1108 using modular assembling of biotin acceptor fragments, DNA sequencing, transient expression of proteins in cells, and Western blotting methods. These tags were used in the Proximity Utilizing Biotinylation (PUB) method, which is based on coexpression of BAP-X and BirA-Y in mammalian cells, where X or Y are candidate interacting proteins of interest. By changing the sequence of these peptides, a low level of background biotinylation is achieved, which occurs due to random collisions of proteins in cells. Over 100 plasmid constructs, containing genes of transcription factors, histones, gene repressors, and other nuclear proteins were obtained during implementation of projects related to this method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein–Protein Interactions in Health and Disease)
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Brief Report
Study of Hypersensitivity to Malassezia furfur in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis with Head and Neck Pattern: Is It Useful as a Biomarker and Therapeutic Indicator in These Patients?
Life 2022, 12(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020299 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 799
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases. Head and neck (H&N) involvement, also known as the picture-frame pattern, can be a diagnostic and even therapeutic challenge. Sensitization to the fungus Malassezia furfur seems to be implicated in this [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases. Head and neck (H&N) involvement, also known as the picture-frame pattern, can be a diagnostic and even therapeutic challenge. Sensitization to the fungus Malassezia furfur seems to be implicated in this clinical presentation. To investigate the role of Malassezia furfur in H&N dermatitis, we performed an observational single-centre study. Serum-specific IgE levels for Malassezia furfur were determined in a total of 25 patients with AD (15 receiving dupilumab treatment, 10 not receiving dupilumab), 14 patients with seborrheic dermatitis, and 19 healthy controls. Reactivity to Malasseziafurfur, in terms of serum-specific IgE levels (>0.35 Ku.arb./L), was found in 80% of patients with AD. Risk factors to consider include high total IgE levels, sensitization to multiple pneumoallergens, and elevated LDH and CRP levels. Prescription of topical antifungals, oral antifungals, or a combination of both showed good response in 100% of cases in the H&N AD group treated with dupilumab. The most appropriate treatment seems to be the use of oral itraconazole and/or ketoconazole cream. The median treatment time was 3 weeks. Localized dermatitis in H&N significantly affects the patient’s life. We present a study of sensitization to Malassezia furfur in patients with H&N AD. It is important to know the differential diagnosis and to approach the study correctly. Sensitization to Malassezia furfur may be one of the main reasons, especially in patients being treated with dupilumab. The use of antifungals allows for adequate control, avoiding treatment changes and improving the patient’s quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atopic Dermatitis: New Perspectives)
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Review
Palliative Sedation—The Last Resort in Case of Difficult Symptom Control: A Narrative Review and Experiences from Palliative Care in Switzerland
Life 2022, 12(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020298 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Palliative sedation can be considered as “the last resort” in order to treat unbearable, refractory symptoms or suffering in end-of-life patients. The aim is symptom relief and not to induce death as in the case of euthanasia. The treatment might be one of [...] Read more.
Palliative sedation can be considered as “the last resort” in order to treat unbearable, refractory symptoms or suffering in end-of-life patients. The aim is symptom relief and not to induce death as in the case of euthanasia. The treatment might be one of the most challenging therapeutic options in the field of palliative care, involving both ethical and practical issues. Still, studies have shown that it is a safe and valuable treatment and in general does not shorten the life of the patient. Since patients in Switzerland have the legal option of assisted suicide, palliative sedation is an alternative that has become increasingly important. The use of palliative sedation was reported in 17.5% of all patients admitted to palliative care in Switzerland, making the country of those with the highest use of this treatment. The aim of this narrative review is to discuss ethical and practical issues in palliative sedation, with specific focus on experiences from Switzerland. Indications, ethical considerations, drugs of choice and duration are discussed. Decision making should be based on solid guidelines. When used correctly, palliative sedation is an important and useful tool in palliative care in order to provide good symptom relief. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Sight to Palliative Medicine: Updates and Future Directions)
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Article
Comparison of Clinical Efficacy and Safety between 70–150 µm and 100–300 µm Doxorubicin Drug-Eluting Bead Transarterial Chemoembolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Life 2022, 12(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020297 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 684
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of 70–150 μm doxorubicin drug-eluting bead (DEB) transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) with those of 100–300 μm DEB-TACE as first-line treatment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: We retrospectively investigated 72 patients who underwent [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of 70–150 μm doxorubicin drug-eluting bead (DEB) transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) with those of 100–300 μm DEB-TACE as first-line treatment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: We retrospectively investigated 72 patients who underwent TACE with 70–150 μm DEBs (n = 40) or 100–300 μm DEBs (n = 32) for HCC in a tertiary center between March 2013 and May 2019. Initial treatment response and adverse events were assessed using the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors and the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 5.0, respectively. Results: At the 2-month post-treatment assessment, the complete and objective response rates were 47.5% and 85.0%, respectively, for the 70–150 μm group and 34.4% and 81.3%, respectively, for the 100–300 μm group; however, the difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). In total, 65% patients in the 70–150 μm group and 59.4 % patients in the 100-300 μm group experienced at least one symptom of post-embolization syndrome after TACE; all symptoms were classified as grade 1 or 2. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of post-procedural laboratory changes such as changes in liver enzymes and bilirubin levels (p > 0.05). Laboratory toxicity of grade 3 occurred in three patients, all of which were transient elevation of liver enzyme levels. Hepatobiliary adverse events, such as bile duct injury, biloma, liver abscess, and hepatic infarction, were not observed in either treatment group. Conclusion: This study found no significant difference in tumor response between 70–150 μm and 100–300 μm DEB-TACE. Both groups showed favorable safety profiles, and the difference was not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Radiobiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging)
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Review
Quantitative Assessment of Asbestos Fibers in Normal and Pathological Pleural Tissue—A Scoping Review
Life 2022, 12(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020296 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Background: pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer in the general population, but it is more common in subjects occupationally exposed to asbestos. Studies with asbestos fiber quantification in pleural tissue are scarce: for this reason, we aimed at undertaking a scoping review to [...] Read more.
Background: pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer in the general population, but it is more common in subjects occupationally exposed to asbestos. Studies with asbestos fiber quantification in pleural tissue are scarce: for this reason, we aimed at undertaking a scoping review to summarize the evidence provided by studies in which asbestos fibers were determined by electron microscopy (SEM or TEM) in human pleural tissues, whether normal or pathologic. Materials and methods: A scoping review of articles that quantified asbestos fibers in human pleural tissue (normal or pathologic) by electron microscopy (SEM or TEM), in subjects with asbestos exposure (if any) was performed. Results: The 12 studies selected comprised 137 cases, out of which 142 samples were analyzed. Asbestos fibers were detected in 111 samples (78%) and were below the detectable limit in 31 samples (22%). The concentration of asbestos fibers detected in the positive samples was distributed from as low as 0.01 mfgdt (millions of fibers per gram of dry tissue) up to 240 mfgdt. However, the minimum concentration of fibers overlaps in the three types of tissues (normal pleura, pleural plaque, mesothelioma) in terms of magnitude; therefore, it is not possible to distinguish a definite pattern which differentiates one tissue from the other. Conclusions: The studies included were heterogeneous as to the representativeness of the samples and analytical techniques; the possibility of false negatives must be considered. It would be desirable to systematically search for asbestos fibers to fill the knowledge gap about the presence of asbestos fibers in normal or pathological pleural tissue in order to better understand the development of the different pleural diseases induced by this mineral. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
Article
Predator-Prey Interactions between Nonnative Juvenile Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) and Local Candidate Prey Species in the Pearl River Delta: Predation Capacity, Preference and Growth Performance
Life 2022, 12(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020295 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
An ontogenetic dietary shift is crucial for the survival and growth of piscivorous largemouth bass (LB). However, there is much to learn about the predator-prey interaction during the switching process. We carried out a series of indoor experiments to examine the predation capacity, [...] Read more.
An ontogenetic dietary shift is crucial for the survival and growth of piscivorous largemouth bass (LB). However, there is much to learn about the predator-prey interaction during the switching process. We carried out a series of indoor experiments to examine the predation capacity, predation preference, and growth performance of exotic juvenile LB feeding on candidate prey species in the Pearl River Delta. The widely distributed oriental river prawn (Macrobranchium nipponense), barcheek goby (Ctenogobius giurinus), western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), and mud carp (Cirrhinus molitorella), with relatively similar total lengths, were selected as potential prey based on their availability and habitat use. Our results show that predation capacity and preference varied quantitatively and qualitatively among prey species. The number of oriental river prawns killed was significantly less than that of fish species, comparing the 1st hour with the 24th hour (p < 0.01). The feeding rhythm of LB varied significantly from crayfish to fish. Numerically, Jacobs’ selection index reinforced LB’s special preference for predating G. affinis. Although there were obvious variations in predation capacity and feed selection, no statistically significant growth differences were detected among LB groups feeding on live M. nipponense, G. affinis, H. molitrix, and C. molitorella (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that the successful ontogenetic dietary shift of juvenile LB may depend on the availability and vulnerability of local fish species. Further study on the reproductive phenology of potential fish prey may help to predict LB’s establishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Science)
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