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Life, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2023) – 251 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The intervention of biological agents such as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) coupled with proper plant nutrition can improve the agricultural importance of different plant species. Sustainable production of Brassicas plants has been compromised over the years due to several abiotic stresses and the unbalanced utilization of chemical fertilizers and uncertified chemicals that ultimately affect the environment and human health. This paper summarized the influence of PGPRs and nutrient management in the Brassicaceae family against abiotic stresses and proposed a possible strategy to cope with abiotic stresses by improving biochemical, physiological and growth attributes and the production of brassica in an eco-friendly environment. View this paper
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10 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
Rice Intake Is Associated with Longer Reaction Time and Interacts with Blood Lipids and Hypertension among Qatari Adults
by Arwa Elrahmani, Farah Youssef, Haidi Elsayed, Nada Mohamed, Tahra El-Obeid and Zumin Shi
Life 2023, 13(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010251 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
We aimed to assess the association between rice intake and cognitive function among Qatari adults and test the interactions with health conditions. Data from 1000 adults aged ≥18 years old who attended the Qatar Biobank (QBB) study were used. Rice dietary intake was [...] Read more.
We aimed to assess the association between rice intake and cognitive function among Qatari adults and test the interactions with health conditions. Data from 1000 adults aged ≥18 years old who attended the Qatar Biobank (QBB) study were used. Rice dietary intake was measured by a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and mean reaction time (MRT) was used as an indicator of cognitive function. Linear regression and structure equation models were used. The mean rice consumption was 7.6 times/week (SD 2.0). The sample had a mean MRT of 717 milliseconds (SD 205). Rice consumption was positively associated with MRT. Across the quartiles of rice intake, the regression coefficients (95% CI) for MRT were 0.0 (reference), 22.4 (−7.8, 52.6), 36.3 (5.1, 67.5), and 34.5 (2.6, 66.4). There was a significant interaction between rice intake and hypertension, BMI, and blood lipids in relation to MRT. The association between rice intake and MRT was only observed among those with hypertension, overweight/obesity, low LDL, and low total cholesterol levels. Serum magnesium did not mediate the association. High rice consumption was associated with a higher MRT, especially among those with hypertension, overweight/obesity, low LDL, and or low total cholesterol levels. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Physiology and Pathology)
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7 pages, 902 KiB  
Opinion
The Neurohormonal Overactivity Syndrome in Heart Failure
by Andrew Xanthopoulos, John Skoularigis and Filippos Triposkiadis
Life 2023, 13(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010250 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Heart failure (HF) is categorized arbitrarily based on the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in HF with reduced (HFrEF; LVEF < 40%), mildly reduced (HFmrEF; LVEF 40–49%), or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF; LVEF ≥ 50%). In this opinion paper, based on (patho)physiological considerations, [...] Read more.
Heart failure (HF) is categorized arbitrarily based on the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in HF with reduced (HFrEF; LVEF < 40%), mildly reduced (HFmrEF; LVEF 40–49%), or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF; LVEF ≥ 50%). In this opinion paper, based on (patho)physiological considerations, we contend that the neurohormonal overactivity syndrome (NOHS), which is present in all symptomatic HF patients irrespective of their LVEF, not only contributes to the development of signs and symptoms but it is also a major determinant of patients’ outcomes. In this regard, NHOS is the only currently available treatment target in HF and should be combatted in most patients with the combined use of diuretics and neurohormonal inhibitors (β-blockers, angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor/angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, mineralocorticoid antagonists, and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors). Unfortunately, despite the advances in therapeutics, HF mortality remains high. Probably machine learning approaches could better assess the multiple and higher-dimension interactions leading to the HF syndrome and define clusters of HF treatment efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure and Coexisting Morbidities)
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17 pages, 1056 KiB  
Review
Current Insights into Diagnosis, Prevention Strategies, Treatment, Therapeutic Targets, and Challenges of Monkeypox (Mpox) Infections in Human Populations
by Mitesh Patel, Mohd Adnan, Abdu Aldarhami, Abdulrahman S. Bazaid, Nizar H. Saeedi, Almohanad A. Alkayyal, Fayez M. Saleh, Ibrahim B. Awadh, Amir Saeed and Khalid Alshaghdali
Life 2023, 13(1), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010249 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3473
Abstract
In the wake of the emergence and worldwide respread of a viral infection called Monkeypox (Mpox), there is a serious threat to the health and safety of the global population. This viral infection was endemic to the western and central parts of Africa, [...] Read more.
In the wake of the emergence and worldwide respread of a viral infection called Monkeypox (Mpox), there is a serious threat to the health and safety of the global population. This viral infection was endemic to the western and central parts of Africa, but has recently spread out of this endemic area to various countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), Portugal, Spain, the United States of America (USA), Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, and Mexico. This is a timely review focusing on recent findings and developments in the epidemiology, clinical features, therapeutic targets, diagnosis, prevention mechanisms, research challenges and possible treatment for Mpox. To date (29 November 2022), there have been around 81,225 reported cases of Mpox. In most cases, this illness is mild; however, there is a fatality rate ranging from 1 to 10%, which might be increased due to associated complications and/or secondary infections. There is a real challenge in the diagnosis of Mpox, since its symptoms are very similar to those of other infections, including smallpox and chickenpox. Generally, to prevent/limit the risk and transmission of Mpox, the detection and isolation of infected individuals, as well as hand hygiene and cleanliness, are essential and effective approaches to control/combat this viral infection. Nevertheless, updated information about Mpox from different angles is lacking. Thus, this review provides updated and comprehensive information about the Mpox illness, which should highlight the global burden, pathogenicity, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention measures and possible treatment of this emerging disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology)
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11 pages, 427 KiB  
Article
Evaluation Soybean Cultivars for Reaction to Heterodera glycines Populations HG Types 7 and 1.3.4.7 in Northeast China
by Jingsheng Chen, Yuanyuan Zhou, Yanfeng Hu, Di Zhao, Changjun Zhou, Rujie Shi, Miao Sun, Li Zhang, Guowei Chen, Haiyan Li, Lijie Chen and Guosheng Xiao
Life 2023, 13(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010248 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
Soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines (SCN) is a major threat to global soybean production. Effective management of this disease is dependent on the development of resistant cultivars. Two SCN HG Types, 7 and 1.3.4.7. were previously identified as prevalent H. glycines populations in [...] Read more.
Soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines (SCN) is a major threat to global soybean production. Effective management of this disease is dependent on the development of resistant cultivars. Two SCN HG Types, 7 and 1.3.4.7. were previously identified as prevalent H. glycines populations in Northeast China. In order to evaluate soybean cultivars resistant to local SCN populations, 110 domestic commercial soybeans from different regions of Northeast China were assessed in the greenhouse to determine their potential as novel sources of resistance. The results suggested that cultivars responded differently to the two HG types. Of the 110 soybean cultivars evaluated, 24 accessions were classified as resistant or moderately resistant to HG Type 7, and five cultivars were classified as resistant or moderately resistant to HG Type 1.3.4.7. Among the tested cultivars, Kangxian 12 and Qingdou 13 had resistance response to both HG types 7 and 1.3.4.7. Thus, these broad-based SCN cultivars will be the valuable materials in the SCN resistance breeding program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Nematode Interaction)
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16 pages, 17431 KiB  
Article
Weakly Supervised Collaborative Learning for Airborne Pollen Segmentation and Classification from SEM Images
by Jianqiang Li, Qinlan Xu, Wenxiu Cheng, Linna Zhao, Suqin Liu, Zhengkai Gao, Xi Xu, Caihua Ye and Huanling You
Life 2023, 13(1), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010247 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
Existing pollen identification methods heavily rely on the scale and quality of pollen images. However, there are many impurities in real-world SEM images that should be considered. This paper proposes a collaborative learning method to jointly improve the performance of pollen segmentation and [...] Read more.
Existing pollen identification methods heavily rely on the scale and quality of pollen images. However, there are many impurities in real-world SEM images that should be considered. This paper proposes a collaborative learning method to jointly improve the performance of pollen segmentation and classification in a weakly supervised manner. It first locates pollen regions from the raw images based on the detection model. To improve the classification performance, we segmented the pollen grains through a pre-trained U-Net using unsupervised pollen contour features. The segmented pollen regions were fed into a deep convolutional neural network to obtain the activation maps, which were used to further refine the segmentation masks. In this way, both segmentation and classification models can be collaboratively trained, supervised by just pollen contour features and class-specific information. Extensive experiments on real-world datasets were conducted, and the results prove that our method effectively avoids impurity interference and improves pollen identification accuracy (86.6%) under the limited supervision (around 1000 images with image-level labels). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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10 pages, 2475 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Addition of the Fifth Amino Acid to [GADV]-Protein on the Three-Dimensional Structure
by Koichi Kato, Tomoki Nakayoshi, Ryota Oyaizu, Natsuko Noda, Eiji Kurimoto and Akifumi Oda
Life 2023, 13(1), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010246 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
The [GADV]-protein, consisting only of glycine (G), alanine (A), aspartic acid (D), and valine (V), is frequently studied as a candidate for a primitive protein that existed at the beginning of life on Earth. The number of proteogenic amino acids increased during evolution, [...] Read more.
The [GADV]-protein, consisting only of glycine (G), alanine (A), aspartic acid (D), and valine (V), is frequently studied as a candidate for a primitive protein that existed at the beginning of life on Earth. The number of proteogenic amino acids increased during evolution, and glutamic acid may have been added as the fifth amino acid. In this study, we used molecular dynamics simulations to estimate the conformation of random peptides when glutamate is added to G, A, D, and V ([GADVE]), when leucine is added ([GADVL]), and when the frequency of alanine is doubled ([GADVA]). The results showed that the secondary structure contents of the [GADVE]-peptide and [GADVL]-peptide were higher than that of the [GADVA]-peptide. Although the [GADVL]-peptide had a higher secondary structure formation ability than the [GADVE]-peptide, it was less water soluble, suggesting that it may not be a primitive protein. The [GA(D/E)V]-peptide with G:A:D:V:E = 2:2:1:2:1 according to the occurrence ratio in the codon table also increased the secondary structure contents compared to the [GADV]-peptide, indicating that the addition of glutamic acid increased the structure formation ability of the primitive protein candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Simulation of the Origin of Life)
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17 pages, 2685 KiB  
Review
Evaluation of Blood Levels of Omentin-1 and Orexin-A in Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Iman Mohammadi, Masoud Sadeghi, Golnaz Tajmiri, Annette Beatrix Brühl, Laleh Sadeghi Bahmani and Serge Brand
Life 2023, 13(1), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010245 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2232
Abstract
Background and objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be related to changes in the levels of adipokines and neuropeptides, which in turn may affect the energy balance components of neuronal cells. Herein, a systematic review and meta-analysis checked the changes in serum/plasma levels [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be related to changes in the levels of adipokines and neuropeptides, which in turn may affect the energy balance components of neuronal cells. Herein, a systematic review and meta-analysis checked the changes in serum/plasma levels of omentin-1 (OM-1: an adipokine) and orexin-A (OXA: a neuropeptide) in adults (age > 18 years old) with OSA (aOSA) compared to controls. Materials and methods: Four databases (Cochrane Library, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus) were systematically searched until 14 November 2022, without any restrictions. The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist adapted for case–control studies was used to assess the quality of the papers. The effect sizes were extracted using the Review Manager 5.3 software for the blood levels of OM-1 and OXA in aOSA compared with controls. Results: Thirteen articles, with six studies for OM-1 levels and eight for OXA levels, were included. The pooled standardized mean differences were −0.85 (95% confidence interval (CI): −2.19, 0.48; p = 0.21; I2 = 98%) and −0.20 (95%CI: −1.16, 0.76; p = 0.68; I2 = 96%) for OM-1 and OXA levels, respectively. Among the studies reporting OM-1, five were high and one was moderate quality. Among the studies reporting OXA, six were moderate, one was high, and one was low quality. Based on the trial sequential analysis, more participants are needed to confirm the pooled results of the analyses of blood levels of OM-1 and OXA. In addition, the radial plot showed outliers as significant factors for high heterogeneity. Conclusions: The main findings indicated a lack of association between the blood levels of OM-1 and OXA and OSA risk. Therefore, OM-1 and OXA did not appear to be suitable biomarkers for the diagnosis and development of OSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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15 pages, 348 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Bioactive Mycocompounds (Fungal Compounds) of Selected Medicinal Mushrooms and Their Potentials against HPV Infection and Associated Cancer in Humans
by Tomas Rokos, Terezia Pribulova, Erik Kozubik, Kamil Biringer, Veronika Holubekova and Erik Kudela
Life 2023, 13(1), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010244 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4686
Abstract
Medicinal mushrooms have been used as a medicinal tool for many centuries and, nowadays, are used in the prevention and therapy of various diseases, including as an adjunct to cancer treatment. It is estimated that 14–16% of global cancer cases are caused by [...] Read more.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used as a medicinal tool for many centuries and, nowadays, are used in the prevention and therapy of various diseases, including as an adjunct to cancer treatment. It is estimated that 14–16% of global cancer cases are caused by infectious events; one well-known infectious agent that leads to cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is responsible for more than 99.7% of cervical cancer cases and also may play a role in vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, rectal, and oropharyngeal carcinogenesis. Coriolus versicolor, a basidiomycetes class mushroom, consists of glycoproteins called polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which are mainly responsible for its effectiveness in the fight against a variety of cancers. Its beneficial effect lies in its ability to arrest different phases of the cell cycle, immunomodulation or induction of apoptosis. Coriolus versicolor extractcan reduces BCL-2 expression or increases the expression of p53 tumour suppressor genes in breast tumour cell lines. Inhibition of proliferation was also demonstrated with HeLa cells, while cervical cytology abnormalities improved in patients who locally applied Coriolus versicolor-based vaginal gel. Coriolus versicolor extract itself, and also its combination with another medicinal mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, leads to improved HPV clearance in HPV cervical or oral-positive patients. Medicinal mushrooms can also increase the effectiveness of vaccination. This review considers the use of medicinal mushrooms as a suitable adjunct to the treatment of many cancers or precanceroses, including those caused by the HPV virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy–Volume II)
15 pages, 1839 KiB  
Article
Trace Element Uptake by Willows Used for the Phytoremediation of Biosolids
by Angela Contangelo, Juergen Esperschuetz and Brett H. Robinson
Life 2023, 13(1), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010243 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1490
Abstract
The land application of biosolids can result in the unacceptable accumulation of Trace Elements (TEs) in agricultural soil and potentially introduce xenobiotics and pathogens into the food chain. Phytoremediation of biosolids aims to minimize this risk, while producing valuable biomass. Willows, well known [...] Read more.
The land application of biosolids can result in the unacceptable accumulation of Trace Elements (TEs) in agricultural soil and potentially introduce xenobiotics and pathogens into the food chain. Phytoremediation of biosolids aims to minimize this risk, while producing valuable biomass. Willows, well known to accumulate zinc (Zn), are used extensively in farming systems for soil conservation, shelter and as feed supplements with demonstrable health benefits. Potentially, biosolids phytoremediation could occur on marginal lands adjacent to farmlands where willows are grown for supplementary fodder. We aimed to determine the uptake and distribution of Zn and other TEs in willows grown on soils amended with biosolids and biosolids blended with biochar, with a view to their use as stock fodder. In the Canterbury Region, New Zealand, we grew Salix ‘tangaio’ (S. matsudana X S. alba) in a greenhouse trial and field study. The biomass production of the willows was unaffected by biosolids and increased by the biosolids+biochar mixture. The addition of 4% biosolids (w/w) to the soil resulted in a foliar Zn concentration of 600–1000 mg kg−1, some 25 times higher than the average New Zealand pasture. Zinc concentrations were highest in the bottom leaves and increased throughout the season. Biosolids addition doubled the copper (Cu) concentration to 10 mg kg−1. Adding biochar to the system reduced the plant uptake of Cu and to a lesser extent Zn, while cadmium (Cd) uptake was unaffected. For Cd, Cu, and Zn, plant uptake was a function of the Ca(NO3)2-extractable concentration, both in greenhouse experiments and the field trial. Future work should determine the changes in plant TE uptake over several growing seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Insights into Phytoremediation of Pollutants)
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17 pages, 4052 KiB  
Article
High Efficiency Regeneration System from Blueberry Leaves and Stems
by Yangyan Zhou, Qing Li, Zejia Wang and Yue Zhang
Life 2023, 13(1), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010242 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3596
Abstract
The main propagation approach is tissue culture in blueberries, and tissue culture is an effective and low-cost method with higher economic efficiency in blueberries. However, there is a lack of stable and efficient production systems of industrialization of tissue culture in blueberries. In [...] Read more.
The main propagation approach is tissue culture in blueberries, and tissue culture is an effective and low-cost method with higher economic efficiency in blueberries. However, there is a lack of stable and efficient production systems of industrialization of tissue culture in blueberries. In this study, the high-efficiency tissue culture and rapid propagation technology system were established based on blueberry leaves and stems. The optimal medium for callus induction was WPM (woody plant medium) containing 2.0 mg/L Forchlorfenuron (CPPU), 0.2 mg/L 2-isopentenyladenine (2-ip) with a 97% callus induction rate and a callus differentiation rate of 71% by using blueberry leaves as explants. The optimal secondary culture of the leaf callus medium was WPM containing 3.0 mg/L CPPU with an increment coefficient of 24%. The optimal bud growth medium was WPM containing 1.0 mg/L CPPU, 0.4 mg/L 2-ip, with which the growth of the bud was better, stronger and faster. The optimal rooting medium was 1/2 Murashige and Skoog (1/2MS) medium containing 2.0 mg/L naphthylacetic acid (NAA), with which the rooting rate was 90% with shorter rooting time and more adventitious root. In addition, we established a regeneration system based on blueberry stems. The optimal preculture medium in blueberry stem explants was MS medium containing 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid (MES) containing 0.2 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), 0.1 mg/L CPPU, 100 mg/L NaCl, with which the germination rate of the bud was 93%. The optimal medium for fast plant growth was MS medium containing MES containing 0.4 mg/L zeatin (ZT), 1 mg/L putrescine, 1 mg/L spermidine, 1 mg/L spermidine, which had a good growth state and growth rate. The optimal cultivation for plantlet growth was MS medium containing MES containing 0.5 mg/L isopentene adenine, with which the plantlet was strong. The optimal rooting medium for the stem was 1/2MS medium containing 2.0 mg/L NAA, with which the rooting rate was 93% with a short time and more adventitious root. In conclusion, we found that stem explants had higher regeneration efficiency for a stable and efficient production system of industrialization of tissue culture. This study provides theoretical guidance and technical support in precision breeding and standardization and industrialization in the blueberry industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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19 pages, 755 KiB  
Article
Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Cardiovascular Risk in Pregnant Women
by María Morales Suárez-Varela, Isabel Peraita-Costa, Alfredo Perales Marín, Beatriz Marcos Puig, Agustín Llopis-Morales and Jose M. Soriano
Life 2023, 13(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010241 - 14 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most important factors that determine the health of a mother and the proper development of her fetus. The main objective of this study was to analyze the association between adherence to a Mediterranean dietary (MedDiet) pattern [...] Read more.
Nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most important factors that determine the health of a mother and the proper development of her fetus. The main objective of this study was to analyze the association between adherence to a Mediterranean dietary (MedDiet) pattern and cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in pregnant women. Accordingly, we carried out an observational, population-based study using data from pregnant women present in a hospital during the entire course of their pregnancy. Adherence to the MedDiet was assessed using the MedDiet score questionnaire. Our study identified that 87.25% (95%CI: 83.48–90.27) of the women had a cardiovascular risk in relation to their dietary intake. Women with diet-related CV risk were more likely to smoke (p = 0.004), weighed more at the beginning of pregnancy, engaged in little physical activity, and had lower adherence to the MedDiet pattern than women without a diet-related CV risk. Dietary analysis showed low consumption of cereals, vegetables, and fish, which failed to satisfy the recommended portions in Spain. Adequate adherence to the MedDiet was found for 54.2% of women who were considered to be without CV risk and 45.8% of women with CV risk. Our data suggest that the MedDiet could be improved in relation to the consumption of cereals, vegetables, and fish during pregnancy in order to reduce CV risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Dietary Pattern Associated with Diseases)
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10 pages, 948 KiB  
Article
Diamine Oxidase Activity Deficit and Idiopathic Rhinitis: A New Subgroup of Non-Allergic Rhinitis?
by Miguel Mayo-Yáñez, Andrea Díaz-Díaz, Christian Calvo-Henríquez, Jerome R. Lechien, Luigi A. Vaira and Angélica Figueroa
Life 2023, 13(1), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010240 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2404
Abstract
Idiopathic rhinitis represents more than 50% of non-allergic rhinitis, a heterogeneous group that involves the symptomatic inflammation of the nasal mucosa. The TRPV1 receptor of unmyelinated C-type neurons appears to be involved in its pathophysiology. Histamine, whose main catabolic enzyme is DAO, is [...] Read more.
Idiopathic rhinitis represents more than 50% of non-allergic rhinitis, a heterogeneous group that involves the symptomatic inflammation of the nasal mucosa. The TRPV1 receptor of unmyelinated C-type neurons appears to be involved in its pathophysiology. Histamine, whose main catabolic enzyme is DAO, is one of the mediators that can activate this receptor. The failure of DAO causes an increase in the level of histamine in the body and, consequently, the activation of TRPV1. The objective was to investigate the existence of a DAO enzyme activity deficit in idiopathic rhinitis and its correlation with symptoms. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 116 idiopathic rhinitis patients, and DAO activity, nasal peak inspiratory flow, and rhinitis severity were recorded. The prevalence of a DAO activity deficit was 41.38% (95%CI 0.33–0.50; p = 0.05). The DAO activity in patients with mild rhinitis was 52.93 ± 8.72 HDU/mL, in those with moderate rhinitis it was 120.33 ± 71.63 HDU/mL, and in those with severe rhinitis it was 92.58 ± 27.75 HDU/mL (p = 0.006). The NPIF in patients with a DAO activity deficit was 107.92 ± 34.05 L/min, compared to 72.35 ± 27.16 L/min in patients with normal enzymatic activity (p < 0.001), demonstrating a linear correlation between activity levels and nasal obstruction (−0.45; p < 0.001). Therefore, patients with a DAO deficiency and idiopathic rhinitis could present a milder disease course, because the repeated and continuous activation of TRPV1 led to a partial or total decrease in their response (desensitization). This new theory represents a different perspective for the study of idiopathic rhinitis and its relationship with TRPV1, with the regulation or modulation of the desensitization of TRPV1 being an important therapeutic target for patients with idiopathic rhinitis in the future. Full article
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17 pages, 3619 KiB  
Article
Potential of the Ethyl Acetate Fraction of Padina boergesenii as a Natural UV Filter in Sunscreen Cream Formulation
by Soolmaz Soleimani, Morteza Yousefzadi, Sepideh Babaei Mahani Nezhad, Olga N. Pozharitskaya and Alexander N. Shikov
Life 2023, 13(1), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010239 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
Brown seaweeds, due to their wide range of bioactive compounds, have a high ability to inhibit free radicals and protect against ultraviolet rays. In the present study, the ethyl acetate fraction (EF) was isolated from the Padina boergesenii brown seaweed. Antioxidant activity (by [...] Read more.
Brown seaweeds, due to their wide range of bioactive compounds, have a high ability to inhibit free radicals and protect against ultraviolet rays. In the present study, the ethyl acetate fraction (EF) was isolated from the Padina boergesenii brown seaweed. Antioxidant activity (by the DPPH scavenging activity method) and cytotoxicity against UVB-induced cytotoxicity in HaCaT human keratinocytes were evaluated. Then, this fraction was used as a bio-filter in the formulation of sunscreen, and the physical properties and stability were investigated. The results showed that the EF could inhibit DPPH radical scavenging (54 ± 1%) and cell viability of HaCaT keratinocytes exposed to UVB irradiation (81.2 ± 0.1%). The results of the stability study of the cream formulated with EF showed that at temperatures 4 °C and 25 °C it has high stability; and at 40 °C on the 28th day, a slight decrease in its stability was observed. The pH and Sun Protection Factor of the cream formulated with EF were reported at 5.8 and 20.55, respectively. Also, the DPPH scavenging activity of the cream was not altered for 28 days of storage at temperatures of 4–40 °C. According to our results, it was proved that the sunscreen formulated with EF of P. boergesenii brown seaweed has promising properties and characteristics that can create a new opportunity for the development of cosmetics and skin care products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Marine Drugs Discovery)
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13 pages, 1454 KiB  
Article
Differential Accumulation of sHSPs Isoforms during Desiccation of the Resurrection Plant Haberlea rhodopensis Friv. under Optimal and High Temperature
by Gergana Mihailova, Magdalena Tchorbadjieva, Goritsa Rakleova and Katya Georgieva
Life 2023, 13(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010238 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
Haberlea rhodopensis belongs to the small group of angiosperms that can survive desiccation to air-dry state and quickly restore their metabolism upon rehydration. In the present study, we investigated the accumulation of sHSPs and the extent of non-photochemical quenching during the downregulation of [...] Read more.
Haberlea rhodopensis belongs to the small group of angiosperms that can survive desiccation to air-dry state and quickly restore their metabolism upon rehydration. In the present study, we investigated the accumulation of sHSPs and the extent of non-photochemical quenching during the downregulation of photosynthesis in H. rhodopensis leaves under desiccation at optimum (23 °C) and high temperature (38 °C). Desiccation of plants at 38 °C caused a stronger reduction in photosynthetic activity and corresponding enhancement in thermal energy dissipation. The accumulation of sHSPs was investigated by Western blot. While no expression of sHPSs was detected in the unstressed control sample, exposure of well-hydrated plants to high temperature induced an accumulation of sHSPs. Only a faint signal was observed at 50% RWC when dehydration was applied at 23 °C. Several cross-reacting polypeptide bands in the range of 16.5–19 kDa were observed in plants desiccated at high temperature. Two-dimensional electrophoresis and immunoblotting revealed the presence of several sHSPs with close molecular masses and pIs in the range of 5–8.0 that differed for each stage of treatment. At the latest stages of desiccation, fourteen different sHSPs could be distinguished, indicating that sHSPs might play a crucial role in H. rhodopensis under dehydration at high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Signaling and Responses in Plants)
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17 pages, 658 KiB  
Review
Radiographic Biomarkers for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Narrative Review
by Ahmad Almhdie-Imjabbar, Hechmi Toumi and Eric Lespessailles
Life 2023, 13(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010237 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1833
Abstract
Conventional radiography remains the most widely available imaging modality in clinical practice in knee osteoarthritis. Recent research has been carried out to develop novel radiographic biomarkers to establish the diagnosis and to monitor the progression of the disease. The growing number of publications [...] Read more.
Conventional radiography remains the most widely available imaging modality in clinical practice in knee osteoarthritis. Recent research has been carried out to develop novel radiographic biomarkers to establish the diagnosis and to monitor the progression of the disease. The growing number of publications on this topic over time highlights the necessity of a renewed review. Herein, we propose a narrative review of a selection of original full-text articles describing human studies on radiographic imaging biomarkers used for the prediction of knee osteoarthritis-related outcomes. To achieve this, a PubMed database search was used. A total of 24 studies were obtained and then classified based on three outcomes: (1) prediction of radiographic knee osteoarthritis incidence, (2) knee osteoarthritis progression and (3) knee arthroplasty risk. Results showed that numerous studies have reported the relevance of joint space narrowing score, Kellgren–Lawrence score and trabecular bone texture features as potential bioimaging markers in the prediction of the three outcomes. Performance results of reviewed prediction models were presented in terms of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves. However, fair and valid comparisons of the models’ performance were not possible due to the lack of a unique definition of each of the three outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers for Osteoarthritis Diseases)
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15 pages, 2414 KiB  
Article
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Irradiation of Surgical Cavity of Brain Metastases: Factor Analysis and Gene Mutations
by Yi-Han Huang, Huai-Che Yang, Chi-Lu Chiang, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Yung-Hung Luo, Yong-Sin Hu, Chung-Jung Lin, Wen-Yuh Chung, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wan-Yuo Guo and Cheng-Chia Lee
Life 2023, 13(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010236 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1812
Abstract
(1) Background: Surgical resection for the removal of brain metastases often fails to prevent tumor recurrence within the surgical cavity; hence, researchers are divided as to the benefits of radiation treatment following surgical resection. This retrospective study assessed the effects of post-operative stereotactic [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Surgical resection for the removal of brain metastases often fails to prevent tumor recurrence within the surgical cavity; hence, researchers are divided as to the benefits of radiation treatment following surgical resection. This retrospective study assessed the effects of post-operative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on local tumor control and overall survival. (2) Methods: This study examined the demographics, original tumor characteristics, and surgical outcomes of 97 patients who underwent Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKRS) treatment (103 brain metastases). Kaplan–Meier plots and Cox regression were used to correlate clinical features to tumor control and overall survival. (3) Results: The overall tumor control rate was 75.0% and overall 12-month survival was 89.6%. Tumor control rates in the radiation group versus the non-radiation group were as follows: 12 months (83.1% vs. 57.7%) and 24 months (66.1% vs. 50.5%). During the 2-year follow-up period after SRS, the intracranial response rate was higher in the post-craniotomy radiation group than in the non-radiation group (p = 0.027). Cox regression multivariate analysis determined that post-craniotomy irradiation of the surgical cavity is predictive of tumor control (p = 0.035). However, EGFR mutation was not predictive of overall survival or tumor control. (4) Conclusions: Irradiating the surgical cavity after surgery can enhance local tumor control; however, it does not have a significant effect on overall survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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14 pages, 2397 KiB  
Review
Sample Size Calculation in Genetic Association Studies: A Practical Approach
by Cristina Politi, Stefanos Roumeliotis, Giovanni Tripepi and Belinda Spoto
Life 2023, 13(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010235 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7269
Abstract
Genetic association studies, testing the relationship between genetic variants and disease status, are useful tools for identifying genes that grant susceptibility to complex disorders. In such studies, an inadequate sample size may provide unreliable results: a small sample is unable to accurately describe [...] Read more.
Genetic association studies, testing the relationship between genetic variants and disease status, are useful tools for identifying genes that grant susceptibility to complex disorders. In such studies, an inadequate sample size may provide unreliable results: a small sample is unable to accurately describe the population, whereas a large sample makes the study expensive and complex to run. However, in genetic association studies, the sample size calculation is often overlooked or inadequately assessed for the small number of parameters included. In light of this, herein we list and discuss the role of the statistical and genetic parameters to be considered in the sample size calculation, show examples reporting incorrect estimation and, by using a genetic software program, we provide a practical approach for the assessment of the adequate sample size in a hypothetical study aimed at analyzing a gene–disease association. Full article
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13 pages, 2062 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Aflatoxin B1 Degradation by Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila and It’s Combination with Black Soldier Fly Larvae
by Jianghua Suo, Tingting Liang, Haixu Zhang, Kun Liu, Xinfeng Li, Kun Xu, Jianlai Guo, Qiujiang Luo and Sen Yang
Life 2023, 13(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010234 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a common mycotoxin contaminant in cereals that causes severe economic losses and serious risks to the health of humans and animals. In this paper, we investigated the characteristics of AFB1 degradation by black soldier fly [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a common mycotoxin contaminant in cereals that causes severe economic losses and serious risks to the health of humans and animals. In this paper, we investigated the characteristics of AFB1 degradation by black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) combined with commensal intestinal microorganisms. Germ-free BSFL and non-sterile BSFL were reared on peanut meal spiked with AFB1 for 10 days. The result showed that germ-free BSFL and non-sterile BSFL could achieve 31.71% and 88.72% AFB1 degradation, respectively, which indicated the important role of larvae gut microbiota in AFB1 degradation. Furthermore, twenty-five AFB1-degrading bacteria were isolated from BSFL gut, and S. acidaminiphila A2 achieved the highest AFB1 degradation, by 94%. When S. acidaminiphila A2 was re-inoculated to BSFL, the detrimental effect of AFB1 on the growth performance of BSFL was alleviated, and complete AFB1 degradation in peanut meal was obtained. In conclusion, the present study may provide a strategy to degrade AFB1 in feedstuff through bioconversion with BSFL in combination with gut-originated AFB1-degrading bacteria, while providing a sustainable insect protein and fat source to animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects and Their Biocomposting Technology)
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14 pages, 1174 KiB  
Article
The Role of Heat Acclimation in Thermotolerance of Chickpea Cultivars: Changes in Photochemical and Biochemical Responses
by Özlem Arslan
Life 2023, 13(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010233 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
This study was conducted to determine the effects of heat stress on the physiological and biochemical responses of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.; Diyar and Küsmen-99) cultivars that are both heat acclimated and non-acclimated. The seedlings were grown in soil for 15 days [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to determine the effects of heat stress on the physiological and biochemical responses of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.; Diyar and Küsmen-99) cultivars that are both heat acclimated and non-acclimated. The seedlings were grown in soil for 15 days and then exposed to heat stress (35 °C, 5 days) after heat acclimation (30 °C, 2 days) or non-acclimation (25 °C, 2 days). Chlorophyll a fluorescence (ChlF) measurements were analyzed using the JIP test. Heat acclimation had no significant effect on ChlF parameters. Seedlings exposed to higher temperatures by acclimation were more tolerant in terms of ChlF parameters and Diyar had a better photochemical activity of photosystem II (PSII). Heat stress resulted in a decrease in electron transport efficiency, quantum yield, photosynthetic performance, and driving force in both chickpea cultivars, while K-band, L-band, and quantum yield of dissipation increased, especially in the non-acclimated cultivars. Additionally, ion leakage (RLR), malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and H2O2 synthesis increased in the cultivars, while water content (RWC), chlorophyll (a + b) content, and carotenoid content of the cultivars decreased. On the other hand, the cultivars attempted to eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS) by increasing the content of anthocyanins and flavonoids and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (SOD and POD) under heat stress. Heat acclimation alleviated the negative effects of heat stress on each cultivar’s water content, chlorophyll and carotenoid content, membrane damage, photosynthetic activity, and antioxidant defense systems. The results of this study showed that, by providing heat acclimation more effectively, Diyar was better able to cope with the biochemical and physiological alterations that could be resulted from heat stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stresses)
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17 pages, 2449 KiB  
Article
Effects of Home-Based Exercise Training on Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy and Metabolic Profile in Diabetic Hemodialysis Patients
by Vassiliki Michou, Vassilios Liakopoulos, Stefanos Roumeliotis, Athanasios Roumeliotis, Maria Anifanti, Georgios Tsamos, Aikaterini Papagianni, Pantelis Zempekakis, Asterios Deligiannis and Evangelia Kouidi
Life 2023, 13(1), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010232 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2184
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a home-based exercise training program on Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) and metabolic profile in Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD). Method: Twenty-eight DKD patients undergoing hemodialysis were randomly assigned into two [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a home-based exercise training program on Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) and metabolic profile in Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD). Method: Twenty-eight DKD patients undergoing hemodialysis were randomly assigned into two groups. The exercise (EX) group followed a 6-month combined exercise training program at home, while the control (CO) group remained untrained. All participants at baseline and the end of the study underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), biochemical tests for glucose and lipid profile, and 24-h electrocardiographic monitoring for heart rate variability (HRV) analysis and heart rate turbulence (HRT). Results: At the end of the study, compared to the CO, the EX group showed a significant increase in serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) by 27.7% (p = 0.01), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) by 9.3% (p < 0.05), the standard deviation of R-R intervals (SDNN) by 34.3% (p = 0.03), percentage of successive RR intervals higher than 50ms (pNN50) by 51.1% (p = 0.02), turbulence slope (TS) index by 18.4% (p = 0.01), and decrease in (glycated hemoglobin) HbA1c by 12.5% (p = 0.04) and low-frequency power LF (ms2) by 29.7% (p = 0.01). Linear regression analysis after training showed that VO2peak was correlated with SDNN (r = 0.55, p = 0.03) and HF (r = 0.72, p = 0.02). Multiple regression analysis indicated that the improvement of sympathovagal balance and aerobic capacity depended on patients’ participation in exercise training. Conclusion: In conclusion, a 6-month home-based mixed-type exercise program can improve cardiac autonomic function and metabolic profile in DKD patients on HD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Cardiovascular and Exercise Physiology)
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35 pages, 5285 KiB  
Article
Lipidomic Characterization and Antioxidant Activity of Macro- and Microalgae Blend
by Francisca Marques, Diana Lopes, Tiago Conde, Tânia Melo, Joana Silva, Maria Helena Abreu, Pedro Domingues and Maria Rosário Domingues
Life 2023, 13(1), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010231 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Macro- and microalgae are currently recognized sources of lipids with great nutritional quality and attractive bioactivities for human health promotion and disease prevention. Due to the lipidomic diversity observed among algae species, giving rise to different nutritional and functional characteristics, the mixture of [...] Read more.
Macro- and microalgae are currently recognized sources of lipids with great nutritional quality and attractive bioactivities for human health promotion and disease prevention. Due to the lipidomic diversity observed among algae species, giving rise to different nutritional and functional characteristics, the mixture of macro- and microalgae has the potential to present important synergistic effects resulting from the complementarity among algae. The aim of this work was to characterize for the first time the lipidome of a blend of macro- and microalgae and evaluate the antioxidant capacity of its lipid fraction. Fatty acids were profiled by GC-MS, the polar lipidome was identified by high resolution LC-MS, and ABTS+• and DPPH assays were used to assess the antioxidant potential. The most abundant fatty acids were oleic (18:1 n-9), α-linolenic (18:3 n-3), and linoleic (18:2 n-6) acids. The lipid extract presented a beneficial n-6/n-3 ratio (0.98) and low values of atherogenic (0.41) and thrombogenic indices (0.27). The polar lipidome revealed 462 lipid species distributed by glycolipids, phospholipids, and betaine lipids, including some species bearing PUFA and a few with reported bioactivities. The lipid extract also showed antioxidant activity. Overall, the results are promising for the valorization of this blend for food, nutraceutical, and biotechnological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae Metabolites)
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33 pages, 491 KiB  
Review
Emerging Biomarkers for Predicting Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Heart Disease
by Krisztina Pál, Ion-Bogdan Mănescu, Silvia Lupu and Minodora Dobreanu
Life 2023, 13(1), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010230 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2432
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease is most frequently caused by the development and progression of atherosclerosis. When coronary arteries are afflicted, and the stenoses caused by atherosclerotic plaques are severe enough, the metabolic supply-and-offer balance is disturbed, leading to myocardial ischemia. If atherosclerotic plaques become unstable [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease is most frequently caused by the development and progression of atherosclerosis. When coronary arteries are afflicted, and the stenoses caused by atherosclerotic plaques are severe enough, the metabolic supply-and-offer balance is disturbed, leading to myocardial ischemia. If atherosclerotic plaques become unstable and local thrombosis develops, a myocardial infarction occurs. Sometimes, myocardial ischemia and infarction may result in significant and irreversible heart failure. To prevent severe complications, such as acute coronary syndromes and ischemia-related heart failure, extensive efforts have been made for developing biomarkers that would help identify patients at increased risk for cardiovascular events. In this two-part study, we attempted to provide a review of existing knowledge of blood biomarkers that may be used in this setting. The first part of this work was dedicated to conventional biomarkers, which are already used in clinical practice. In the second part, here presented, we discuss emerging biomarkers which have not yet become mainstream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Ischemia and Heart Failure)
13 pages, 1325 KiB  
Article
Differences between Maximum Tongue Force in Women Suffering from Chronic and Asymptomatic Temporomandibular Disorders—An Observational Study
by Marta Carlota Diaz-Saez, Hector Beltran-Alacreu, Javier Gil-Castillo and Alfonso Gil-Martínez
Life 2023, 13(1), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010229 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Background: Temporomandibular disorders are craniofacial disorders characterized by the presence of chronic pain in masticatory muscles, with higher incidence in the women population. There is little research that has studied tongue force related to temporomandibular disorders, but there are a lot of studies [...] Read more.
Background: Temporomandibular disorders are craniofacial disorders characterized by the presence of chronic pain in masticatory muscles, with higher incidence in the women population. There is little research that has studied tongue force related to temporomandibular disorders, but there are a lot of studies that have demonstrated the impact of tongue force in vital functions, such as chewing, swallowing, phonation, or breathing. According to this, the aim of this study was to compare the maximum force of the tongue between females with chronic temporomandibular disorders and asymptomatic females. We also wanted to establish whether any relationship existed between the pain and fatigue versus the maximum force developed in females with chronic temporomandibular disorders. Material and methods: A cross-sectional study of 67 women between the ages of 18 and 65 years old was performed. The included women were assigned to one of two groups, according to whether they had chronic temporomandibular disorders or not. The procedure was the same for both groups. Outcome measures included the maximum tongue force, intensity of perceived orofacial pain, and intensity of perceived orofacial fatigue. Results: The results showed significant statistical differences for the maximum tongue force measurement between the chronic temporomandibular disorders group and the control group (p < 0.05) for all the movements, except the lip pressure measurement. Furthermore, the analysis revealed significant statistical differences between the intensity of perceived orofacial fatigue between the groups (p < 0.05). Moreover, the data showed no significant correlations between variables. Conclusion: The study found significant differences in maximum tongue force when comparing women with chronic temporomandibular disorders and asymptomatic women (being superior in these). Likewise, we found that the intensity of perceived orofacial fatigue after tongue exercises showed significant differences between groups. However, this study reveals no correlations between the intensity of perceived orofacial pain and fatigue and the maximum tongue force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temporomandibular Joint Imaging)
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21 pages, 10171 KiB  
Article
Diets Differently Regulate Pulmonary Pathogenesis and Immune Signaling in Mice during Acute and Chronic Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection
by Neelam Oswal, Hariprasad Thangavel, Kezia Lizardo, Dhanya Dhanyalayam, Tabinda Sidrat, Padmini Salgame and Jyothi F. Nagajyothi
Life 2023, 13(1), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010228 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection persists as a leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. The prevalence of TB-DM (diabetes mellitus) is higher in low- and middle-income countries where TB and DM are most [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection persists as a leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. The prevalence of TB-DM (diabetes mellitus) is higher in low- and middle-income countries where TB and DM are most prevalent. Epidemiological data suggest that slight obesity reduces the risk of TB, whereas DM increases the risk of pulmonary TB. Diets can alter the levels of body fat mass and body mass index by regulating systemic adiposity. Earlier, using a transgenic Mtb-infected murine model, we demonstrated that loss of body fat increased the risk of pulmonary bacterial load and pathology. In the present study, we investigated whether increased adiposity alters pulmonary pathology and bacterial load using C57BL/6 mice infected with HN878 Mtb strain and fed a medium-fat diet (MFD). We analyzed the effects of MFD on the lung during acute and chronic infections by comparing the results to those obtained with infected mice fed a regular diet (RD). Histological and biochemical analyses demonstrated that MFD reduces bacterial burden by increasing the activation of immune cells in the lungs during acute infection and reduces necrosis in the lungs during chronic infection by decreasing lipid accumulation. Our data suggest that slight adiposity likely protects the host during active TB infection by regulating immune and metabolic conditions in the lungs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering)
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13 pages, 2092 KiB  
Article
Distribution of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Intravenous Infusion in Hypoxic–Ischemic Encephalopathy
by Su Hyun Lee, Jin Seung Choung, Jong Moon Kim, Hyunjin Kim and MinYoung Kim
Life 2023, 13(1), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010227 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1836
Abstract
Systemic administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been reported to improve neurological function in brain damage, including hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), though the action mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, the cells were tracked live using a Pearl Trilogy Small [...] Read more.
Systemic administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been reported to improve neurological function in brain damage, including hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), though the action mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, the cells were tracked live using a Pearl Trilogy Small Animal fluorescence imaging system after human embryonic stem Cell-Derived MSCs (ES-MSCs) infusion for an HIE mouse model. ES-MSC–treated HIE mice showed neurobehavioral improvement. In vivo imaging showed similar sequential migration of ES-MSCs from lungs, liver, and spleen within 7 days in both HIE and normal mice with the exception of lungs, where there was higher entrapment in the HIE 1 h after infusion. In addition, ex vivo experiments confirmed time-dependent infiltration of ES-MSCs into the organs, with similar findings in vivo, although lungs and brain revealed small differences. ES-MSCs seemed to remain in the brain only in the case of HIE on day 14 after the cell infusion. The homing effect in the host brain was confirmed with immunofluorescence staining, which showed that grafted cells remained in the brain tissue at the lesion area with neurorestorative findings. Further research should be carried out to elucidate the role of each host organ’s therapeutic effects when stem cells are systemically introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Mesenchymal (hMSC) and Induced Pluripotent (hiPSC) Stem Cells)
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13 pages, 1531 KiB  
Article
Targeting Neuroinflammation to Alleviate Chronic Olfactory Dysfunction in Long COVID: A Role for Investigating Disease-Modifying Therapy (DMT)?
by Arianna Di Stadio, Evanthia Bernitsas, Ignazio La Mantia, Michael J. Brenner, Massimo Ralli, Luigi Angelo Vaira, Andrea Colizza, Carlo Cavaliere, Matteo Laudani, Teresa C. Frohman, Marco De Vincentiis, Elliot M. Frohman and Marta Altieri
Life 2023, 13(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010226 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Chronic olfactory dysfunction after SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs in approximately 10% of patients with COVID-19-induced anosmia, and it is a growing public health concern. A regimen of olfactory training and anti-neuroinflammatory therapy with co-ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide with luteolin (um-PEA-LUT) has shown promising results in clinical [...] Read more.
Chronic olfactory dysfunction after SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs in approximately 10% of patients with COVID-19-induced anosmia, and it is a growing public health concern. A regimen of olfactory training and anti-neuroinflammatory therapy with co-ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide with luteolin (um-PEA-LUT) has shown promising results in clinical trials; however, approximately 15% of treated patients do not achieve full recovery of a normal olfactory threshold, and almost 5% have no recovery. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), which are used to treat autoimmune neuroinflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS), have not been studied for treating persistent inflammation in refractory post-COVID-19 smell disorder. This study evaluated COVID-19-related smell loss and MS-related smell loss, comparing the responses to different therapies. Forty patients with MS and 45 reporting post-COVID-19 olfactory disorders were included in the study. All patients underwent nasal endoscopy and were evaluated by using validated Sniffin’ Sticks testing. The patients with long COVID were treated for three months with um-PEA-LUT plus olfactory training. The patients with MS were treated with DMTs. Olfactory functions before and after treatment were analyzed in both groups. At the experimental endpoint, 13 patients in the COVID-19 group treated with um-PEA-LUT had residual olfactory impairment versus 10 patients in the MS group treated with DMTs. The severity of the persistent olfactory loss was lower in the MS group, and the patients with MS treated with IFN-beta and glatiramer acetate had the preservation of olfactory function. These data provide a rationale for considering prospective trials investigating the efficacy of DMTs for post-COVID-19 olfactory disorders that are refractory to um-PEA-LUT with olfactory training. This study is the first to consider the role of DMT in treating refractory post-viral olfactory loss in patients with long COVID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunctions in COVID‐19 Patients)
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9 pages, 3454 KiB  
Case Report
Metastasis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the Pouch of Douglas Successfully Treated by Radiation Therapy: A Case Report
by Hirayuki Enomoto, Masayuki Fujiwara, Hiroshi Kono, Yasukazu Kako, Motonori Takahagi, Junichi Taniguchi, Eri Ishikawa, Naoto Ikeda, Tomoyuki Takashima, Yukihisa Yuri, Nobuhiro Aizawa, Mamiko Okamoto, Kohei Yoshihara, Ryota Yoshioka, Shoki Kawata, Shogo Ota, Ryota Nakano, Hideyuki Shiomi, Takashi Nishimura, Seiichi Hirota, Koichiro Yamakado and Hiroko Iijimaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Life 2023, 13(1), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010225 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
Metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the pouch of Douglas is relatively rare. A 65-year-old man with liver cirrhosis was admitted for detailed examination of a pelvic tumor. He had a previous history of ruptured HCC, and received emergent hemostasis with transcatheter arterial [...] Read more.
Metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the pouch of Douglas is relatively rare. A 65-year-old man with liver cirrhosis was admitted for detailed examination of a pelvic tumor. He had a previous history of ruptured HCC, and received emergent hemostasis with transcatheter arterial embolization followed by curative ablation. His blood tests showed an increase in des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP). Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) revealed a heterogeneously enhanced large pelvic tumor, but no additional tumorous lesions were detected in other organs, including the lungs, liver and abdominal lymph nodes. The colonoscopy showed compression by an extra-luminal/submucosal tumor, and computed tomography-guided percutaneous needle biopsy revealed that the pelvic tumor was metastasis of HCC. Because of the poor liver function, the solitary pelvic tumor was treated with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT). The tumor size and the DCP value were markedly decreased after radiation therapy. Nine months later, occasional mild bloody stool due to radiation proctitis was observed; however, no serious side effects occurred. Our case suggests that radiation therapy may be a therapeutic option for a solitary metastatic lesion of HCC in the pouch of Douglas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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16 pages, 2871 KiB  
Review
Seroprevalence Trends and Molecular Epidemiology of Viral Hepatitis in Croatia
by Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek, Snjezana Zidovec-Lepej, Thomas Ferenc, Vladimir Savic, Tatjana Nemeth-Blazic, Mateja Vujica Ferenc, Maja Bogdanic, Maja Vilibic, Bojana Simunov, Natasa Janev-Holcer, Pavle Jelicic, Dominik Ljubas, Tian Kosar, Maja Ilic, Jasmina Kucinar, Ljubo Barbic, Vladimir Stevanovic and Anna Mrzljak
Life 2023, 13(1), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010224 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2258
Abstract
Viral hepatitis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Croatia, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are widely distributed, especially in some high-risk groups such as people who inject drugs (PWID), prisoners, and highly promiscuous groups. The [...] Read more.
Viral hepatitis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Croatia, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are widely distributed, especially in some high-risk groups such as people who inject drugs (PWID), prisoners, and highly promiscuous groups. The seroprevalence of HBV ranges from 7.0% in the general population to 38.8% in PWID, depending on the region. The seroprevalence of HCV is highest among PWID (29–75.5%) as compared to 0.9% in the general population. Analyzing the distribution of HCV genotypes, no substantial changes in the molecular epidemiology of the two most frequent HCV genotypes (1 and 3) in the past 20 years were observed. However, the predominance of subtype 1b compared to subtype 1a as detected in 1996–2005 was not confirmed in 2008–2015. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) incidence was high in the past with a decreasing trend since the 2000s, except for an outbreak in 2017–2018 as part of the large European outbreak, which was mainly among men who have sex with men. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging virus detected for the first time in Croatia in 2012. The seroprevalence of HEV is high among hemodialysis patients (27.9%) and liver transplant recipients (19.3–24.4%). In addition, higher seroprevalence rates were observed in animal-related professions (e.g., veterinarians, 15.2%; hunters, 14.9%). All detected HEV strains belonged to genotype 3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver and Infection)
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12 pages, 8694 KiB  
Article
A Prospective Approach to Integration of AI Fracture Detection Software in Radiographs into Clinical Workflow
by Jonas Oppenheimer, Sophia Lüken, Bernd Hamm and Stefan Markus Niehues
Life 2023, 13(1), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010223 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3696
Abstract
Gleamer BoneView© is a commercially available AI algorithm for fracture detection in radiographs. We aim to test if the algorithm can assist in better sensitivity and specificity for fracture detection by residents with prospective integration into clinical workflow. Radiographs with inquiry for [...] Read more.
Gleamer BoneView© is a commercially available AI algorithm for fracture detection in radiographs. We aim to test if the algorithm can assist in better sensitivity and specificity for fracture detection by residents with prospective integration into clinical workflow. Radiographs with inquiry for fracture initially reviewed by two residents were randomly assigned and included. A preliminary diagnosis of a possible fracture was made. Thereafter, the AI decision on presence and location of possible fractures was shown and changes to diagnosis could be made. Final diagnosis of fracture was made by a board-certified radiologist with over eight years of experience, or if available, cross-sectional imaging. Sensitivity and specificity of the human report, AI diagnosis, and assisted report were calculated in comparison to the final expert diagnosis. 1163 exams in 735 patients were included, with a total of 367 fractures (31.56%). Pure human sensitivity was 84.74%, and AI sensitivity was 86.92%. Thirty-five changes were made after showing AI results, 33 of which resulted in the correct diagnosis, resulting in 25 additionally found fractures. This resulted in a sensitivity of 91.28% for the assisted report. Specificity was 97.11, 84.67, and 97.36%, respectively. AI assistance showed an increase in sensitivity for both residents, without a loss of specificity. Full article
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13 pages, 4786 KiB  
Article
Protoporphyrin IX Binds to Iron(II)-Loaded and to Zinc-Loaded Human Frataxin
by Ganeko Bernardo-Seisdedos, Andreas Schedlbauer, Tania Pereira-Ortuzar, José M. Mato and Oscar Millet
Life 2023, 13(1), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010222 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
(1) Background: Human frataxin is an iron binding protein that participates in the biogenesis of iron sulfur clusters and enhances ferrochelatase activity. While frataxin association to other proteins has been extensively characterized up to the structural level, much less is known about the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Human frataxin is an iron binding protein that participates in the biogenesis of iron sulfur clusters and enhances ferrochelatase activity. While frataxin association to other proteins has been extensively characterized up to the structural level, much less is known about the putative capacity of frataxin to interact with functionally related metabolites. In turn, current knowledge about frataxin’s capacity to coordinate metal ions is limited to iron (II and III); (2) Methods: here, we used NMR spectroscopy, Molecular Dynamics, and Docking approaches to demonstrate new roles of frataxin; (3) Results: We demonstrate that frataxin also binds Zn2+ in a structurally similar way to Fe2+, but with lower affinity. In turn, both Fe2+-loaded and Zn2+-loaded frataxins specifically associate to protoporphyrin IX with micromolar affinity, while apo-frataxin does not bind to the porphyrin. Protoporphyrin IX association to metal-loaded frataxin shares the binding epitope with ferrochelatase; and (4) Conclusions: these findings expand the plethora of relevant molecular targets for frataxin and may help to elucidate the yet unknown different roles that this protein exerts in iron regulation and metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heme Metabolism and Porphyria)
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