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Life, Volume 12, Issue 3 (March 2022) – 140 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Pancreatic cancer has one of the highest mortality rates among cancers. The effective and safe treatment of pancreatic cancer represents a major challenge for medical research. Nab-paclitaxel with gemcitabine in combination with other therapeutic agents can be a new treatment strategy. Therapeutic agents currently being studied include ibrutinib, necuparanib, tarextumab, apatorsen, cisplatin, enzalutamide, and momelotinib. Only NP/G+necuparanib has achieved a greater variation in overall survival than the NP/G regimen, while the NP/G+cisplatin regimen is emerging as a candidate for an effective therapeutic strategy. More studies should be conducted to corroborate the benefits of adding other drugs to the NP/G formulation. View this paper
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Article
LC-MS/MS-Based Serum Protein Profiling for Identification of Candidate Biomarkers in Pakistani Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Life 2022, 12(3), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030464 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder of complex disease etiology. Currently available serological diagnostic markers lack in terms of sensitivity and specificity and thus additional biomarkers are warranted for early disease diagnosis and management. We aimed to screen and compare serum proteome profiles [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder of complex disease etiology. Currently available serological diagnostic markers lack in terms of sensitivity and specificity and thus additional biomarkers are warranted for early disease diagnosis and management. We aimed to screen and compare serum proteome profiles of rheumatoid arthritis serotypes with healthy controls in the Pakistani population for identification of potential disease biomarkers. Serum samples from rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy controls were enriched for low abundance proteins using ProteoMinerTM columns. Rheumatoid arthritis patients were assigned to one of the four serotypes based on anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies and rheumatoid factor. Serum protein profiles were analyzed via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The changes in the protein abundances were determined using label-free quantification software ProgenesisQITM followed by pathway analysis. Findings were validated in an independent cohort of patients and healthy controls using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A total of 213 proteins were identified. Comparative analysis of all groups (false discovery rate < 0.05, >2-fold change, and identified with ≥2 unique peptides) identified ten proteins that were differentially expressed between rheumatoid arthritis serotypes and healthy controls including pregnancy zone protein, selenoprotein P, C4b-binding protein beta chain, apolipoprotein M, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase, catalytic chain, oncoprotein-induced transcript 3 protein, Carboxypeptidase N subunit 2, Apolipoprotein C-I and Apolipoprotein C-III. Pathway analysis predicted inhibition of liver X receptor/retinoid X receptor activation pathway and production of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species pathway in macrophages in all serotypes. A catalogue of potential serum biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis were identified. These biomarkers can be further evaluated in larger cohorts from different populations for their diagnostic and prognostic potential. Full article
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Article
Changes in mGlu5 Receptor Signaling Are Associated with Associative Learning and Memory Extinction in Mice
Life 2022, 12(3), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030463 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Using an in vivo method for the assessment of polyphosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis, we examine whether spatial learning and memory extinction cause changes in mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. We use the following five groups of mice: (i) [...] Read more.
Using an in vivo method for the assessment of polyphosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis, we examine whether spatial learning and memory extinction cause changes in mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. We use the following five groups of mice: (i) naive mice; (ii) control mice exposed to the same environment as learner mice; (iii) leaner mice, trained for four days in a water maze; (iv) mice in which memory extinction was induced by six trials without the platform; (v) mice that spontaneously lost memory. The mGlu5 receptor-mediated PI hydrolysis was significantly reduced in the dorsal hippocampus of learner mice as compared to naive and control mice. The mGlu5 receptor signaling was also reduced in the ventral hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of learner mice, but only with respect to naive mice. Memory extinction was associated with a large up-regulation of mGlu5 receptor-mediated PI hydrolysis in the three brain regions and with increases in mGlu5 receptor and phospholipase-Cβ protein levels in the ventral and dorsal hippocampus, respectively. These findings support a role for mGlu5 receptors in mechanisms underlying spatial learning and suggest that mGlu5 receptors are candidate drug targets for disorders in which cognitive functions are impaired or aversive memories are inappropriately retained. Full article
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Article
The Role of Photo-Cycles in the Modulation of Growth and Biochemical Profile of Microalgae: Part I—Food Interest Compounds
Life 2022, 12(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030462 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1083
Abstract
The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of different photo-cycles on the growth and biochemical profile of Scenedesmus obliquus CPCC05, focusing on food interest compounds. The photo-cycle conditions were separated into three groups: long-term photo-cycles (24:0, 22:2, 20:4, 18:6, 12:12, [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of different photo-cycles on the growth and biochemical profile of Scenedesmus obliquus CPCC05, focusing on food interest compounds. The photo-cycle conditions were separated into three groups: long-term photo-cycles (24:0, 22:2, 20:4, 18:6, 12:12, and 10:14 (h:h)), frequency photo-cycles (2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 times per day (t/d)), and short photo-cycles (0.91:0.09, 0.83:0.17, 0.75:0.25, and 0.50:0.50 (s:s)) of light:dark, respectively. The results showed these microalgae can store enough energy to support cell growth for continuous periods of up to 2 h in the dark, without affecting the productivity of the process. This 2 h, when divided into 2 cycles per day (2 t/d), showed the best growth condition (3700 mg L−1), generation time (14.40 h), and maximum biomass productivity (21.43 mg L h−1). This photo-cycle of 2 t/d was also the best condition for the production of total sterols. However, the values of polyunsaturated fatty acids, lipid content, and amino acids obtained higher yields in the short photo-cycle of 0.75:0.25. Thus, the modulation of light cycles becomes an important tool for boosting and directing the production of target molecules in phototrophic cultures of microalgae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae Metabolites)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Leads to Significantly More Severe Olfactory Loss than Other Seasonal Cold Viruses
Life 2022, 12(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030461 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate whether COVID-associated olfactory impairment differs from olfactory disorders due to other upper respiratory tract infections. We investigated the frequency of a SARS-CoV-2 infection among subjects presenting with a subjective olfactory impairment to a corona outpatient [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether COVID-associated olfactory impairment differs from olfactory disorders due to other upper respiratory tract infections. We investigated the frequency of a SARS-CoV-2 infection among subjects presenting with a subjective olfactory impairment to a corona outpatient clinic between October 2020 and March 2021. Olfactory and gustatory loss were tested psychophysically, and the type of infection, SARS-CoV-2 versus 14 other common cold viruses, was assessed with nasopharyngeal swabs. Differences between the smell impairment caused by the pathogens were compared. Out of the 2120 patients, 314 reported sudden smell and/or taste loss (14%). In 68.9% of them, olfactory and in 25.6%, gustatory dysfunction could be confirmed by psychophysical testing. Of those with a psychophysically determined loss of smell, 61% were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 led to a significantly more severe loss of smell and more qualitative olfactory disorders than other pathogens. Apart from rhinorrhea, shortness of breath and sore throat accompanying cold symptoms do not differ significantly between the viruses indicating the particular importance of smell loss in the differential diagnosis of seasonal colds. Multiplex-PCR in non-COVID patients revealed that only 27% of them had rhinoviruses, whereas the remainder were no further identified pathogens. Olfactory screening significantly increases diagnostic accuracy in COVID-19 patients compared to subjective assessment of olfactory loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunctions in COVID‐19 Patients)
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Review
Personalized Management and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Life 2022, 12(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030460 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1981
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a priority health problem with a high cost to society and a large consumption of medical and social resources. The management of AD patients is complex and multidisciplinary. Over 90% of patients suffer from concomitant diseases and require personalized [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a priority health problem with a high cost to society and a large consumption of medical and social resources. The management of AD patients is complex and multidisciplinary. Over 90% of patients suffer from concomitant diseases and require personalized therapeutic regimens to reduce adverse drug reactions (ADRs), drug–drug interactions (DDIs), and unnecessary costs. Men and women show substantial differences in their AD-related phenotypes. Genomic, epigenetic, neuroimaging, and biochemical biomarkers are useful for predictive and differential diagnosis. The most frequent concomitant diseases include hypertension (>25%), obesity (>70%), diabetes mellitus type 2 (>25%), hypercholesterolemia (40%), hypertriglyceridemia (20%), metabolic syndrome (20%), hepatobiliary disorder (15%), endocrine/metabolic disorders (>20%), cardiovascular disorder (40%), cerebrovascular disorder (60–90%), neuropsychiatric disorders (60–90%), and cancer (10%). Over 90% of AD patients require multifactorial treatments with risk of ADRs and DDIs. The implementation of pharmacogenetics in clinical practice can help optimize the limited therapeutic resources available to treat AD and personalize the use of anti-dementia drugs, in combination with other medications, for the treatment of concomitant disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Pharmaceutical Science)
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Article
When Nothing Goes Right: Risk Factors and Biomarkers of Right Heart Failure after Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation
Life 2022, 12(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030459 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Right heart failure (RHF) is a severe complication after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence, risk factors, and biomarkers for late RHF including the possible superiority of the device and implantation method. This [...] Read more.
Right heart failure (RHF) is a severe complication after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence, risk factors, and biomarkers for late RHF including the possible superiority of the device and implantation method. This retrospective, single-center study included patients who underwent LVAD implantation between 2014 and 2018. Primary outcome was freedom from RHF over one-year after LVAD implantation; secondary outcomes included pre- and postoperative risk factors and biomarkers for RHF. Of the 145 consecutive patients (HeartMate 3/HVAD: n = 70/75; female: 13.8%), thirty-one patients (21.4%) suffered RHF after a mean LVAD support of median (IQR) 105 (118) days. LVAD implantation method (less invasive: 46.7% vs. 35.1%, p = 0.29) did not differ significantly in patients with or without RHF, whereas the incidence of RHF was lower in HeartMate 3 vs. HVAD patients (12.9% vs. 29.3%, p = 0.016). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis identified HVAD (HR 4.61, 95% CI 1.12–18.98; p = 0.03), early post-op heart rate (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–0.99; p = 0.02), and central venous pressure (CVP) (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.05–1.39; p = 0.01) as independent risk factors for RHF, but no association of RHF with increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.99–1.01; p = 0.50) was found. To conclude, HVAD use, lower heart rate, and higher CVP early post-op were independent risk factors for RHF following LVAD implantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Present and Future of Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS))
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Article
Comparison of Auxenochlorella protothecoides and Chlorella spp. Chloroplast Genomes: Evidence for Endosymbiosis and Horizontal Virus-like Gene Transfer
Life 2022, 12(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030458 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Resequencing of the chloroplast genome (cpDNA) of Auxenochlorella protothecoides UTEX 25 was completed (GenBank Accession no. KC631634.1), revealing a genome size of 84,576 base pairs and 30.8% GC content, consistent with features reported for the previously sequenced A. protothecoides 0710, (GenBank Accession no. [...] Read more.
Resequencing of the chloroplast genome (cpDNA) of Auxenochlorella protothecoides UTEX 25 was completed (GenBank Accession no. KC631634.1), revealing a genome size of 84,576 base pairs and 30.8% GC content, consistent with features reported for the previously sequenced A. protothecoides 0710, (GenBank Accession no. KC843975). The A. protothecoides UTEX 25 cpDNA encoded 78 predicted open reading frames, 32 tRNAs, and 4 rRNAs, making it smaller and more compact than the cpDNA genome of C. variabilis (124,579 bp) and C. vulgaris (150,613 bp). By comparison, the compact genome size of A. protothecoides was attributable primarily to a lower intergenic sequence content. The cpDNA coding regions of all known Chlorella species were found to be organized in conserved colinear blocks, with some rearrangements. The Auxenochlorella and Chlorella species genome structure and composition were similar, and of particular interest were genes influencing photosynthetic efficiency, i.e., chlorophyll synthesis and photosystem subunit I and II genes, consistent with other biofuel species of interest. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Prototheca cutis is the closest known A. protothecoides relative, followed by members of the genus Chlorella. The cpDNA of A. protothecoides encodes 37 genes that are highly homologous to representative cyanobacteria species, including rrn16, rrn23, and psbA, corroborating a well-recognized symbiosis. Several putative coding regions were identified that shared high nucleotide sequence identity with virus-like sequences, suggestive of horizontal gene transfer. Despite these predictions, no corresponding transcripts were obtained by RT-PCR amplification, indicating they are unlikely to be expressed in the extant lineage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Microbiome and Its Interactions)
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Systematic Review
Comparison of In Vivo Intradiscal Pressure between Sitting and Standing in Human Lumbar Spine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Life 2022, 12(3), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030457 - 20 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1966
Abstract
Background: Non-specific low back pain (LBP) is highly prevalent today. Disc degeneration could be one of the causes of non-specific LBP, and increased intradiscal pressure (IDP) can potentially induce disc degeneration. The differences in vivo IDP in sitting and standing postures have been [...] Read more.
Background: Non-specific low back pain (LBP) is highly prevalent today. Disc degeneration could be one of the causes of non-specific LBP, and increased intradiscal pressure (IDP) can potentially induce disc degeneration. The differences in vivo IDP in sitting and standing postures have been studied, but inconsistent results have been reported. The primary objective of this systematic review is to compare the differences in vivo IDP between sitting and standing postures. The secondary objective of this review is to compare effect size estimates between (1) dated and more recent studies and (2) healthy and degenerated intervertebral discs. Methods: An exhaustive search of six electronic databases for studies published before November 2021 was conducted. Articles measuring in vivo IDP in sitting and standing postures were included. Two independent researchers conducted the screening and data extraction. Results: Ten studies that met the inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review, and seven studies with nine independent groups were included in meta-analyses. The sitting posture induces a significantly higher IDP on the lumbar spine (SMD: 0.87; 95% CI = [0.33, 1.41]) than the standing posture. In studies published after 1990 and subjects with degenerated discs, there are no differences in vivo IDP between both postures. Conclusions: Sitting causes higher loads on the lumbar spine than standing in the normal discs, but recent studies do not support this conclusion. Furthermore, the degenerated discs showed no difference in IDP in both postures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biomechanics of Injury and Rehabilitation)
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Review
Environmental and Human Microbiome for Health
Life 2022, 12(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030456 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
Microorganisms are an essential part of life on the earth and can exist in association with virtually any living thing. The environmental microbiome is much more diverse than the human microbiome. It is reported that most microbes existing in the environment are difficult [...] Read more.
Microorganisms are an essential part of life on the earth and can exist in association with virtually any living thing. The environmental microbiome is much more diverse than the human microbiome. It is reported that most microbes existing in the environment are difficult to culture in the laboratory. Whereas both pathogenic and beneficial microbes may be prevailing in the environment, the human body can have three categories of microbes- beneficial, pathogenic, and opportunistic pathogenic. With at least 10-fold more cells than human cells, microbes as normal flora are critical for human survival. The microbes present in the human body play a crucial role in maintaining human health, and the environmental microbiome influences the human microbiome makeup. The interaction between the environmental and human microbiome highly influences human health, however it is poorly understood. In addition, as an established infection is associated with health-seeking behavior, a large number of studies have focused on the transmission and dynamics of infectious microorganisms than the noninfectious or beneficial ones. This review will summarize how the interaction between the environmental and human microbiome affects human health and identify approaches that might be beneficial for humans to improve health by being exposed to the natural environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of Host-Microbe Relationship)
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Article
The Anti-Genotoxic Activity of Wastewaters Produced after Water-Steam Distillation of Bulgarian Rosa damascena Mill. and Rosa alba L. Essential Oils
Life 2022, 12(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030455 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
The steam distillation of valuable rose essential oil from R. damascena Mill. and R. alba L. generates large volumes of wastewaters. Although such wastewaters are bio-pollutants, they contain valuable bioactive compounds. In this study we investigated the cytotoxic/genotoxic and anti-cytotoxic/anti-genotoxic potential of these [...] Read more.
The steam distillation of valuable rose essential oil from R. damascena Mill. and R. alba L. generates large volumes of wastewaters. Although such wastewaters are bio-pollutants, they contain valuable bioactive compounds. In this study we investigated the cytotoxic/genotoxic and anti-cytotoxic/anti-genotoxic potential of these products. We used cytogenetic methods for induction of chromosome aberrations and micronuclei in two different experimental test-systems: ahigher plant and human lymphocyte cultures. Different experimental schemes of treatment with the waste products showed that the genotoxic activity of wastewater from the distillation of oils from R. alba and R. damascena was low in both test–systems. Human lymphocytes showed a higher sensitivity to the products than plant cells. Both types of waste products manifested anti-genotoxic effect against N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, a direct mutagen. The wastewaters obtained from steam distillation of rose essential oil have cytoprotective/genoprotective effect and could decrease DNA damage. Data are promising for further use of these products in pharmacy and other areas of human life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Renewable Resources for Ecology and Human Health)
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Review
SD-OCT Biomarkers and the Current Status of Artificial Intelligence in Predicting Progression from Intermediate to Advanced AMD
Life 2022, 12(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030454 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the Western World. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized the diagnosis and follow-up of AMD patients. This review focuses on SD-OCT imaging biomarkers which were identified as predictors for progression [...] Read more.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the Western World. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized the diagnosis and follow-up of AMD patients. This review focuses on SD-OCT imaging biomarkers which were identified as predictors for progression in intermediate AMD to late AMD, either geographic atrophy (GA) or choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Structural OCT remains the most compelling modality to study AMD features related to the progression such as drusen characteristics, hyperreflective foci (HRF), reticular pseudo-drusen (RPD), sub-RPE hyper-reflective columns and their impact on retinal layers. Further on, we reviewed articles that attempted to integrate biomarkers that have already proven their involvement in intermediate AMD progression, in their models of artificial intelligence (AI). By combining structural biomarkers with genetic risk and lifestyle the predictive ability becomes more accurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Retinal Disease and Metabolism)
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Article
Pharmacologic Ascorbic Acid as Early Therapy for Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Life 2022, 12(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030453 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4385 | Correction
Abstract
Despite the widespread availability of effective vaccines, new cases of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), remain a concern in the settings of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine breakthrough. In this randomized, controlled, phase 2 trial, [...] Read more.
Despite the widespread availability of effective vaccines, new cases of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), remain a concern in the settings of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine breakthrough. In this randomized, controlled, phase 2 trial, we hypothesized that high-dose ascorbic acid delivered intravenously to achieve pharmacologic concentrations may target the high viral phase of COVID-19 and thus improve early clinical outcomes. Sixty-six patients admitted with COVID-19 and requiring supplemental oxygen were randomized to receive either escalating doses of intravenous ascorbic acid plus standard of care or standard of care alone. The demographic and clinical characteristics were well-balanced between the two study arms. The primary outcome evaluated in this study was clinical improvement at 72 h after randomization. While the primary outcome was not achieved, point estimates for the composite outcome and its individual components of decreased use of supplemental oxygen, decreased use of bronchodilators, and the time to discharge were all favorable for the treatment arm. Possible favorable effects of ascorbic acid were most apparent during the first 72 h of hospitalization, although these effects disappeared over the course of the entire hospitalization. Future larger trials of intravenous ascorbic acid should be based on our current understanding of COVID-19 with a focus on the potential early benefits of ascorbic in hospitalized patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Mechanisms of Vitamin C)
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Article
Cardiac Events in Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated with Anthracyclines: The Value of Previous Myocardial Strain Measurement
Life 2022, 12(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030452 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1137
Abstract
In echocardiographic surveillance of anthracycline-treated childhood cancer survivors (CCS), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has insufficient prognostic value for future cardiac events, whereas longitudinal strain may be more sensitive. We describe the long-term incidence of cardiac events in CCS after previous measurement of [...] Read more.
In echocardiographic surveillance of anthracycline-treated childhood cancer survivors (CCS), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has insufficient prognostic value for future cardiac events, whereas longitudinal strain may be more sensitive. We describe the long-term incidence of cardiac events in CCS after previous measurement of LVEF and myocardial strain. Echocardiography, including four-chamber view longitudinal strain (4CH-LS), of 116 anthracycline-treated CCS was obtained between 2005–2009 (index echocardiography). Follow-up was obtained at the late-effects clinic. Primary outcome was occurrence of cardiac events, defined as either symptomatic heart failure, life-threatening arrhythmias, LVEF < 40% or cardiac death, in CCS with normal versus abnormal index 4CH-LS. LVEF from subsequent echocardiograms was obtained to evaluate its natural course as a secondary outcome. After index echocardiography (median 13.1 years since childhood cancer diagnosis), our study added a median follow-up of 11.3 years (median last clinical contact 23.6 years since diagnosis). Only three CCS developed a cardiac event (6.2, 6.4 and 6.7 years after index echocardiography), resulting in a ten-year cumulative incidence of 2.7% (95%CI 0.9–8.2). All three CCS had a clearly reduced index 4CH-LS and relevant cardiovascular risk factors, whereas their index LVEFs were around the lower limit of normal. Index LVEF correlated with index 4CH-LS but mean long-term natural course of LVEF was comparable for CCS with abnormal versus normal index 4CH-LS. Absolute 10-year cumulative incidence of cardiac events in anthracycline-treated CCS during long-term follow-up was low. Sensitive echocardiographic measurements, such as 4CH-LS may be useful to tailor surveillance frequency in a selected group of CCS without cardiovascular disease. Full article
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Article
Robust Profiling of Cytochrome P450s (P450ome) in Notable Aspergillus spp.
Life 2022, 12(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030451 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Cytochrome P450s (P450ome) constitute an extended superfamily group of heme-thiolate enzymes identified in all biological domains. P450omes play a critical role in the oxidation of steroids and fatty acids, xenobiotic degradation of hydrophobic compounds, biosynthesis of hormones, and primary and secondary metabolism in [...] Read more.
Cytochrome P450s (P450ome) constitute an extended superfamily group of heme-thiolate enzymes identified in all biological domains. P450omes play a critical role in the oxidation of steroids and fatty acids, xenobiotic degradation of hydrophobic compounds, biosynthesis of hormones, and primary and secondary metabolism in organisms. Aspergillus species are among the most economically important fungal organisms in human medicine, industry, and agriculture worldwide. Exploring insight on the genome-wide annotations of cytochrome P450s in Aspergillus species is necessary for their biosynthetic applications. In this present study, we report the identification of 306 cytochrome P450s and their robust profiling in eight notable Aspergillus species (A. carbonarius, A. clavatus, A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, A. niger, A. oryzae, and A. terreus). Based on the evolutionary relationship, the Aspergillus P450s families clustered into 15 clades, with clades V, I, and XIII recording higher percentages (17.3%, 15.00%, and 14.71%, respectively) of Cyp families. Cyps were classified into 120 families 64 clans, and their putative functions were also elucidated. P450s were predicted to be located in 13 subcellular components, but the endoplasm reticulum was the dominant location across the eight Aspergillus species. Cyps genes of Aspergillus species were associated with seven secondary metabolism-related gene clusters. Elucidating the genome-wide annotations of P450s enzymes in Aspergillus species will form vital potential biotechnological tools that could be harnessed for industrial, pharmaceutical, and agricultural use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
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Article
Study on “Atypical” Migraine Auras in the Pediatric Age: The Role of Cortical Spreading Depression and the Physiopathogenetic Hypothesis Arising from Our Clinical Cases
Life 2022, 12(3), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030450 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
Migraine is a complex neurologic disorder by which several systems of the central nervous system (autonomous system, affective, cognitive, sensory and motor system) may be affected on different levels. About a fourth of migraine patients have migraine auras. The most common aura is [...] Read more.
Migraine is a complex neurologic disorder by which several systems of the central nervous system (autonomous system, affective, cognitive, sensory and motor system) may be affected on different levels. About a fourth of migraine patients have migraine auras. The most common aura is the visual aura followed by the sensorial aura but motor deficits, as well as deficits of higher cortical centers (disorders of thinking, orientation, coherence, or concentration), may occur as well. In analogy with a headache diary, an aura diary can deliver important help in the diagnostic process of rare migraine manifestations and prevent the under-diagnosis of unusual migraine manifestations. Complex migraine manifestations are a diagnosis of exclusion, and a broad diagnostic work-up is necessary in order to exclude dangerous neurologic pathologies. In addition, here, we discuss the atypical clinical presentation and possible physio-pathogenetic related aspects of these atypical migraine aura features in the developmental age. In addition, we wanted to stress and analyze the clinical aspects of our children/adolescents with atypical auras, which seem to be more difficult to frame with the mechanisms originally proposed to explain the physio-pathogenetic relationship between CSD and aura. Finally, we discuss in detail the complex aspects of this topic on the basis of available data and propose new terminology: “Multiple, Synchronous and Asynchronous, Cortical and Subcortical Spreading Depression”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migraine and Headache in Children and Adolescents)
Review
Medicinal Plants as an Alternative to Control Poultry Parasitic Diseases
Life 2022, 12(3), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030449 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
Parasitic infections are a major public health concern affecting millions of people universally. This review elaborates on the potential impacts of plants and their bioactive components that have been widely used in the cure of several parasitic infections of poultry. The medicinal importance [...] Read more.
Parasitic infections are a major public health concern affecting millions of people universally. This review elaborates on the potential impacts of plants and their bioactive components that have been widely used in the cure of several parasitic infections of poultry. The medicinal importance of natural herbs depends upon their bioactive ingredients, which are originated from crude plants, consequently leading to the specific action on the body. Due to the limited availability of effective drugs and high cost, the development of drug resistance in several harmful parasites and microbes leads to huge economic losses in the poultry industry. This will impose the development of innovative sources for drugs to overwhelm the therapeutic failure. Moreover, the environment-friendly feed additives which can be applied as a substitute to antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) for broilers were proven. The application of natural products with therapeutic characteristics is an ancient practice that is appropriately gaining more acceptance. Globally, it is assessed that some 20,000 species of higher plants are used medicinally, although traditional medicine has a scarcity of knowledge on its efficiency and wellbeing. This review explores the usage of medicinal herbs for parasitic infections, emphasizing the recent knowledge available while detecting the research gaps which may be explored to find the usage of herbal medicines for parasitic infections in poultry. In conclusion, herbal medicines are the effective source of prime components for drug detection and the formation of phytopharmaceuticals in the control of devastating parasitic infections. There is a prerequisite to applying the traditional medicine information in clinical applications via value addition. Full article
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Article
The Possible Role of the Type I Chaperonins in Human Insulin Self-Association
Life 2022, 12(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030448 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Insulin is a hormone that attends to energy metabolism by regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream. It is synthesised within pancreas beta-cells where, before being released into the serum, it is stored in granules as hexamers coordinated by Zn2+ and further packaged [...] Read more.
Insulin is a hormone that attends to energy metabolism by regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream. It is synthesised within pancreas beta-cells where, before being released into the serum, it is stored in granules as hexamers coordinated by Zn2+ and further packaged in microcrystalline structures. The group I chaperonin cpn60, known for its assembly-assisting function, is present, together with its cochaperonin cpn10, at each step of the insulin secretory pathway. However, the exact function of the heat shock protein in insulin biosynthesis and processing is still far from being understood. Here we explore the possibility that the molecular machine cpn60/cpn10 could have a role in insulin hexameric assembly and its further crystallization. Moreover, we also evaluate their potential protective effect in pathological insulin aggregation. The experiments performed with the cpn60 bacterial homologue, GroEL, in complex with its cochaperonin GroES, by using spectroscopic methods, microscopy and hydrodynamic techniques, reveal that the chaperonins in vitro favour insulin hexameric organisation and inhibit its aberrant aggregation. These results provide new details in the field of insulin assembly and its related disorders. Full article
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Case Report
Abdominopelvic Actinomycosis—The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenge of the Most Misdiagnosed Disease
Life 2022, 12(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030447 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Abdominopelvic actinomycosis is a rare chronic or subacute bacterial infection caused by Actinomyces israelii, a Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium that normally colonizes the digestive and genital tracts, clinically presented as an inflammatory mass or abscess formation. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of [...] Read more.
Abdominopelvic actinomycosis is a rare chronic or subacute bacterial infection caused by Actinomyces israelii, a Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium that normally colonizes the digestive and genital tracts, clinically presented as an inflammatory mass or abscess formation. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of the patients from our clinic with abdominopelvic actinomycosis who underwent surgery between 2002 and 2022. In this period, 28 cases (9 men and 19 women) were treated. The mean age was 43.36 years and they were hospitalized for abdominopelvic tumors or inflammatory tumors in 15 cases and inflammatory disease in 13 cases. Results: Causes of actinomycosis in the studied group were an intra-uterine contraceptive device in 17 cases, foreign bodies in 2 cases, diabetes in 4 cases, stenting of the bile duct in 1 case, and immunodepression. For 6 patients, we performed surgery by open approach and for 21 patients by a laparoscopic approach. For nine patients, abdominopelvic actinomycosis had been mimicking a colon malignancy (cecum and ascending colon, four cases; transverse colon, two cases; and on the greater omentum, three cases) and for six patients, a pelvic tumor (advanced ovarian cancer). After surgery the patients underwent specific treatment with antibiotics, with good results. In two cases we discovered and treated hepatic actinomycosis, one case by a laparoscopic approach and one case by a percutaneous approach. In our lot we noticed three recurrences that required reintervention in patients who had had short-term antibiotics due to non-compliance with treatment out of four such cases. Conclusions: For abdominopelvic malignancies, actinomycosis should be included in the differential diagnosis, as well as for inflammatory bowel diseases and bowel obstructions. We have a wide range of patients considering the rarity of this condition. Long-term antibiotics are necessary to prevent recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Rare Diseases are not Rare)
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Systematic Review
Near-Infrared Fluorescence Tumor-Targeted Imaging in Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review
Life 2022, 12(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030446 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Lung cancer is the most common cancer type worldwide, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) being the most common subtype. Non-disseminated NSCLC is mainly treated with surgical resection. The intraoperative detection of lung cancer can be challenging, since small and deeply located pulmonary [...] Read more.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer type worldwide, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) being the most common subtype. Non-disseminated NSCLC is mainly treated with surgical resection. The intraoperative detection of lung cancer can be challenging, since small and deeply located pulmonary nodules can be invisible under white light. Due to the increasing use of minimally invasive surgical techniques, tactile information is often reduced. Therefore, several intraoperative imaging techniques have been tested to localize pulmonary nodules, of which near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence is an emerging modality. In this systematic review, the available literature on fluorescence imaging of lung cancers is presented, which shows that NIR fluorescence-guided lung surgery has the potential to identify the tumor during surgery, detect additional lesions and prevent tumor-positive resection margins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Applications of Image-Guided Surgery)
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Article
Alkanes as Membrane Regulators of the Response of Early Membranes to Extreme Temperatures
Life 2022, 12(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030445 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
One of the first steps in the origin of life was the formation of a membrane, a physical boundary that allowed the retention of molecules in concentrated solutions. The proto-membrane was likely formed by self-assembly of simple readily available amphiphiles, such as short-chain [...] Read more.
One of the first steps in the origin of life was the formation of a membrane, a physical boundary that allowed the retention of molecules in concentrated solutions. The proto-membrane was likely formed by self-assembly of simple readily available amphiphiles, such as short-chain fatty acids and alcohols. In the commonly accepted scenario that life originated near hydrothermal systems, how these very simple membrane bilayers could be stable enough in time remains a debated issue. We used various complementary techniques such as dynamic light scattering, small angle neutron scattering, neutron spin-echo spectroscopy, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy to explore the stability of a novel protomembrane system in which the insertion of alkanes in the midplane is proposed to shift membrane stability to higher temperatures, pH, and hydrostatic pressures. We show that, in absence of alkanes, protomembranes transition into lipid droplets when temperature increases; while in presence of alkanes, membranes persist for longer times in a concentration-dependent manner. Proto-membranes containing alkanes are stable at higher temperatures and for longer times, have a higher bending rigidity, and can revert more easily to their initial state upon temperature variations. Hence, the presence of membrane intercalating alkanes could explain how the first membranes could resist the harsh and changing environment of the hydrothermal systems. Furthermore, modulating the quantity of alkanes in the first membranes appears as a possible strategy to adapt the proto-membrane behavior according to temperature fluctuations, and it offers a first glimpse into the evolution of the first membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomolecular Dynamics Explored by Incoherent Neutron Spectroscopy)
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Article
Determination of the Respiratory Compensation Point by Detecting Changes in Intercostal Muscles Oxygenation by Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
Life 2022, 12(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030444 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate if the changes in oxygen saturation levels at intercostal muscles (SmO2-m.intercostales) assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) using a wearable device could determine the respiratory compensation point (RCP) during exercise. Fifteen healthy competitive triathletes (eight [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate if the changes in oxygen saturation levels at intercostal muscles (SmO2-m.intercostales) assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) using a wearable device could determine the respiratory compensation point (RCP) during exercise. Fifteen healthy competitive triathletes (eight males; 29 ± 6 years; height 167.6 ± 25.6 cm; weight 69.2 ± 9.4 kg; V˙O2-máx 58.4 ± 8.1 mL·kg−1·min−1) were evaluated in a cycle ergometer during the maximal oxygen-uptake test (V˙O2-máx), while lung ventilation (V˙E), power output (watts, W) and SmO2-m.intercostales were measured. RCP was determined by visual method (RCPvisual: changes at ventilatory equivalents (V˙V˙CO2−1, V˙V˙O2−1) and end-tidal respiratory pressure (PetO2, PetCO2) and NIRS method (RCPNIRS: breakpoint of fall in SmO2-m.intercostales). During exercise, SmO2-m.intercostales decreased continuously showing a higher decrease when V˙E increased abruptly. A good agreement between methods used to determine RCP was found (visual vs NIRS) at %V˙O2-máx, V˙O2, V˙E, and W (Bland-Altman test). Correlations were found to each parameters analyzed (r = 0.854; r = 0.865; r = 0.981; and r = 0,968; respectively. p < 0.001 in all variables, Pearson test), with no differences (p < 0.001 in all variables, Student’s t-test) between methods used (RCPvisual and RCPNIRS). We concluded that changes at SmO2-m.intercostales measured by NIRS could adequately determine RCP in triathletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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Article
Tree Reconciliation Methods for Host-Symbiont Cophylogenetic Analyses
Life 2022, 12(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030443 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Phylogenetic reconciliation is a fundamental method in the study of pairs of coevolving species. This paper provides an overview of the underlying theory of reconciliation in the context of host-symbiont cophylogenetics, identifying some of the major challenges to users of these methods, such [...] Read more.
Phylogenetic reconciliation is a fundamental method in the study of pairs of coevolving species. This paper provides an overview of the underlying theory of reconciliation in the context of host-symbiont cophylogenetics, identifying some of the major challenges to users of these methods, such as selecting event costs and selecting representative reconciliations. Next, recent advances to address these challenges are discussed followed by a discussion of several established and recent software tools. Full article
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Article
Trehalose Activates Hepatic and Myocardial Autophagy and Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects in db/db Diabetic Mice
Life 2022, 12(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030442 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1560
Abstract
Db/db mice (carrying a mutation in the gene encoding leptin receptor) show autophagy suppression. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of autophagy inducer trehalose on liver and heart autophagy in db/db mice and to study inflammation dysregulation and the suitability of chitinases’ [...] Read more.
Db/db mice (carrying a mutation in the gene encoding leptin receptor) show autophagy suppression. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of autophagy inducer trehalose on liver and heart autophagy in db/db mice and to study inflammation dysregulation and the suitability of chitinases’ expression levels as diabetes markers. Thirty-eight male db/db mice and C57/BL mice (control) were used. The db/db model manifested inflammation symptoms: overexpression of TNF in the spleen and underexpression of IL-10 in the liver and spleen (cytokine imbalance). Simultaneously, we revealed decreased expression of chitotriosidase (CHIT1) and acid mammalian chitinase (CHIA) in the liver of db/db mice. CHIA expression in db/db mice is significantly lower only in the spleen. Trehalose treatment significantly reduced blood glucose concentration and glycated hemoglobin. Treatment of db/db mice by trehalose was followed by increased autophagy induction in the heart and liver (increased autolysosomes volume density studied by morphometric electron-microscopic method). Trehalose exerted beneficial cardiac effects possibly via increased lipophagy (uptake of lipid droplets). The autophagy activation by trehalose had several positive effects on the heart and liver of db/db mice; therefore, lipophagy activation seems to be a promising therapy for diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes Metabolism: Molecular and Integrative Approaches)
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Article
The Advantages of Inorganic Fertilization for the Mass Production of Copepods as Food for Fish Larvae in Aquaculture
Life 2022, 12(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030441 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Copepods are commonly used as live feed for cultured fish larvae, but the current mass production method using organic fertilizers cannot meet the market demand for copepods. We evaluated the feasibility of applying an inorganic fertilization method, which is currently in use in [...] Read more.
Copepods are commonly used as live feed for cultured fish larvae, but the current mass production method using organic fertilizers cannot meet the market demand for copepods. We evaluated the feasibility of applying an inorganic fertilization method, which is currently in use in freshwater and marine larviculture, to the mass production of copepods. For 30 days, and with five replicates of each treatment, we made comparative daily measurements of various parameters of (1) copepod cultures fertilized with commercially available condensed fish solubles (organic fertilization) and (2) other cultures in which the concentration of inorganic phosphorus was maintained at 100 μg P L−1 and that of inorganic nitrogen at 700 μg N L−1 (inorganic fertilization). With inorganic fertilization, pH fluctuated over a smaller range and much less filamentous algae grew in the tanks. The mean production of copepod nauplii over the course of the study was similar between the two treatments, but the combined density of copepodites and adult copepods was significantly higher with inorganic fertilization. Compared to commercial zooplankton products, copepods cultured with inorganic fertilization were smaller, were mixed with fewer (almost none) non-copepod contaminants, were also pathogen-free, and could be produced at the cheapest cost per unit output. Based on these results, we conclude that the inorganic fertilization method can profitably be adopted by commercial copepod producers to meet the demand from fish farmers, especially for small-sized copepods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Approaches for Improvement of Aquaculture)
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Review
Distinguishing Evolutionary Conservation from Derivedness
Life 2022, 12(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030440 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1175
Abstract
While the concept of “evolutionary conservation” has enabled biologists to explain many ancestral features and traits, it has also frequently been misused to evaluate the degree of changes from a common ancestor, or “derivedness”. We propose that the distinction of these two concepts [...] Read more.
While the concept of “evolutionary conservation” has enabled biologists to explain many ancestral features and traits, it has also frequently been misused to evaluate the degree of changes from a common ancestor, or “derivedness”. We propose that the distinction of these two concepts allows us to properly understand phenotypic and organismal evolution. From a methodological aspect, “conservation” mainly considers genes or traits which species have in common, while “derivedness” additionally covers those that are not commonly shared, such as novel or lost traits and genes to evaluate changes from the time of divergence from a common ancestor. Due to these differences, while conservation-oriented methods are effective in identifying ancestral features, they may be prone to underestimating the overall changes accumulated during the evolution of certain lineages. Herein, we describe our recently developed method, “transcriptomic derivedness index”, for estimating the phenotypic derivedness of embryos with a molecular approach using the whole-embryonic transcriptome as a phenotype. Although echinoderms are often considered as highly derived species, our analyses with this method showed that their embryos, at least at the transcriptomic level, may not be much more derived than those of chordates. We anticipate that the future development of derivedness-oriented methods could provide quantitative indicators for finding highly/lowly evolvable traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 2nd AsiaEvo Conference)
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Review
Management Strategies to Mitigate N2O Emissions in Agriculture
Life 2022, 12(3), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030439 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has been increasing since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the mightiest GHGs, and agriculture is one of the main sources of N2O emissions. [...] Read more.
The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has been increasing since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the mightiest GHGs, and agriculture is one of the main sources of N2O emissions. In this paper, we reviewed the mechanisms triggering N2O emissions and the role of agricultural practices in their mitigation. The amount of N2O produced from the soil through the combined processes of nitrification and denitrification is profoundly influenced by temperature, moisture, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen contents. These factors can be manipulated to a significant extent through field management practices, influencing N2O emission. The relationships between N2O occurrence and factors regulating it are an important premise for devising mitigation strategies. Here, we evaluated various options in the literature and found that N2O emissions can be effectively reduced by intervening on time and through the method of N supply (30–40%, with peaks up to 80%), tillage and irrigation practices (both in non-univocal way), use of amendments, such as biochar and lime (up to 80%), use of slow-release fertilizers and/or nitrification inhibitors (up to 50%), plant treatment with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (up to 75%), appropriate crop rotations and schemes (up to 50%), and integrated nutrient management (in a non-univocal way). In conclusion, acting on N supply (fertilizer type, dose, time, method, etc.) is the most straightforward way to achieve significant N2O reductions without compromising crop yields. However, tuning the rest of crop management (tillage, irrigation, rotation, etc.) to principles of good agricultural practices is also advisable, as it can fetch significant N2O abatement vs. the risk of unexpected rise, which can be incurred by unwary management. Full article
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Article
Single-Cell Image-Based Analysis Reveals Chromatin Changes during the Acquisition of Tamoxifen Drug Resistance
Life 2022, 12(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030438 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1120
Abstract
Cancer drug resistance is the leading cause of cancer related deaths. The development of drug resistance can be partially contributed to tumor heterogeneity and epigenetic plasticity. However, the detailed molecular mechanism underlying epigenetic modulated drug resistance remains elusive. In this work, we systematically [...] Read more.
Cancer drug resistance is the leading cause of cancer related deaths. The development of drug resistance can be partially contributed to tumor heterogeneity and epigenetic plasticity. However, the detailed molecular mechanism underlying epigenetic modulated drug resistance remains elusive. In this work, we systematically analyzed epigenetic changes in tamoxifen (Tam) responsive and resistant breast cancer cell line MCF7, and adopted a data-driven approach to identify key epigenetic features distinguishing between these two cell types. Significantly, we revealed that DNA methylation and H3K9me3 marks that constitute the heterochromatin are distinctively different between Tam-resistant and -responsive cells. We then performed time-lapse imaging of 5mC and H3K9me3 features using engineered probes. After Tam treatment, we observed a slow transition of MCF7 cells from a drug-responsive to -resistant population based on DNA methylation features. A similar trend was not observed using H3K9me3 probes. Collectively, our results suggest that DNA methylation changes partake in the establishment of Tam-resistant breast cancer cell lines. Instead of global changes in the DNA methylation level, the distribution of DNA methylation features inside the nucleus can be one of the drivers that facilitates the establishment of a drug resistant phenotype in MCF7. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Nuclear Architecture)
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Review
Notch Signaling and Cross-Talk in Hypoxia: A Candidate Pathway for High-Altitude Adaptation
Life 2022, 12(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030437 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
Hypoxia triggers complex inter- and intracellular signals that regulate tissue oxygen (O2) homeostasis, adjusting convective O2 delivery and utilization (i.e., metabolism). Human populations have been exposed to high-altitude hypoxia for thousands of years and, in doing so, have undergone natural [...] Read more.
Hypoxia triggers complex inter- and intracellular signals that regulate tissue oxygen (O2) homeostasis, adjusting convective O2 delivery and utilization (i.e., metabolism). Human populations have been exposed to high-altitude hypoxia for thousands of years and, in doing so, have undergone natural selection of multiple gene regions supporting adaptive traits. Some of the strongest selection signals identified in highland populations emanate from hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway genes. The HIF pathway is a master regulator of the cellular hypoxic response, but it is not the only regulatory pathway under positive selection. For instance, regions linked to the highly conserved Notch signaling pathway are also top targets, and this pathway is likely to play essential roles that confer hypoxia tolerance. Here, we explored the importance of the Notch pathway in mediating the cellular hypoxic response. We assessed transcriptional regulation of the Notch pathway, including close cross-talk with HIF signaling, and its involvement in the mediation of angiogenesis, cellular metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress, relating these functions to generational hypoxia adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular and Functional Response to Hypoxia)
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Review
Effect of Dietary Polyphenols on Osteoarthritis—Molecular Mechanisms
Life 2022, 12(3), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030436 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Osteoarthritis is a common crippling and degenerative disease resulting in irreversible functional changes due to damage of the cartilage and other tissues of the joint. With limited safe and effective pharmaceutical treatments, the demand and use for alternative therapeutic approaches with symptomatic relief [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis is a common crippling and degenerative disease resulting in irreversible functional changes due to damage of the cartilage and other tissues of the joint. With limited safe and effective pharmaceutical treatments, the demand and use for alternative therapeutic approaches with symptomatic relief for OA patients have increased. Clinical, pre-clinical, and in vitro studies have demonstrated that polyphenols can exert pain-relieving symptoms coupled with increased functional capacity in OA models. This review will highlight studies carried out in the last five years to define the efficacies and underlying mechanisms in polyphenols such as quercetin, resveratrol, curcumin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, rosmarinic acid, genistein, ginger, berries, silver fir, pine bark, and Boswellia. Most of these studies indicate that polyphenols exhibit their beneficial roles through regulating changes at the biochemical and molecular levels, inducing or inhibiting various signaling pathways related to inflammation and oxidative stress. Polyphenols have also been implicated in modulating microRNA at the posttranscriptional level to counteract OA pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Osteoarthritis: How to Manage Joint Degeneration)
Review
Can Biological Drugs Diminish the Risk of Sarcopenia in Psoriatic Patients? A Systematic Review
Life 2022, 12(3), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12030435 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Sarcopenia and psoriasis are different inflammatory diseases that share common comorbidities (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity, autoimmune diseases, depression). Psoriasis is a dermatosis involving the skin, joints, and nails. Its estimated prevalence is 2–4%, and the possibility of progression to psoriatic arthritis [...] Read more.
Sarcopenia and psoriasis are different inflammatory diseases that share common comorbidities (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity, autoimmune diseases, depression). Psoriasis is a dermatosis involving the skin, joints, and nails. Its estimated prevalence is 2–4%, and the possibility of progression to psoriatic arthritis reaches 6–42%. Sarcopenia is defined as reduced muscle strength, muscle quantity, and physical performance due to non-ageing related causes. It affects up to 10% of the general population. We conducted a review of the literature to provide up-to-date information about the risk of sarcopenia in psoriasis and to identify risk factors that increase this risk. The search of the literature allowed us to include 51 publications, but only five cross-sectional studies provided quantitative results on the rates of sarcopenia in psoriasis. The prevalence of sarcopenia in psoriasis varied from 9.1% to 61.7%. This wide range was caused by different definitions of sarcopenia and different cut-off values across studies. Prognostic factors include lean mass and fat mass. Further research based on the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People guidelines is required. Such studies should include not only muscle mass and strength but also other factors that may influence the occurrence of sarcopenia and inflammatory markers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Drugs Used in a Psoriasis)
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