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Med. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 2 (February 2019) – 23 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Transglutaminase type 2 (TG2) is the most ubiquitously expressed member of the transglutaminase family, which catalyzes specific Ca+2-dependent post-translational modifications of proteins. Since TG2 has been reported as both a potential tumor suppressor and a tumor-promoting factor, its role in cancer is still controversial. The extensive and rapidly growing field in relation to the role of TG2, in several stages of carcinogenesis, cancer stem cells survival, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and formation of metastatic phenotypes, has produced the conclusion that the physio-pathological effects of TG2 depend on its expression or activities and cellular localization. Indeed, the increased TG2 transamidation activity inhibits tumor cells plasticity and invasion, while its overexpression has been frequently associated with cancer stem cells survival, inflammation, metastatic diffusion, [...] Read more.
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Review
The Role of the Adenoids in Pediatric Chronic Rhinosinusitis
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020035 - 25 Feb 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1951
Abstract
There are several mechanisms by which the adenoids contribute to pediatric chronic rhinosinusitis (PCRS), particularly with children aged 12 years and younger. Understanding the role that the adenoids play in PCRS is crucial when attempting to treat these patients. A literature review was [...] Read more.
There are several mechanisms by which the adenoids contribute to pediatric chronic rhinosinusitis (PCRS), particularly with children aged 12 years and younger. Understanding the role that the adenoids play in PCRS is crucial when attempting to treat these patients. A literature review was performed to address this problem and provide information surrounding this topic. This review will provide a better understanding of how adenoids contribute to PCRS, and also of the medical and surgical treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Concomitant Medical Disorders)
Review
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adolescents: eHealth, Co-Creation, and Advocacy
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020034 - 24 Feb 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2792
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Early atherosclerotic changes can begin to occur early in life and though adolescence. The prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors, namely, smoking, poor diet quality, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and overweight and [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Early atherosclerotic changes can begin to occur early in life and though adolescence. The prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors, namely, smoking, poor diet quality, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity can exacerbate the early onset of atherosclerosis. There is a need to improve modifiable risk factors during adolescence to prevent progression to CVD in later life. Electronic health (eHealth) behaviour change interventions are a potential solution for adolescents to improve CVD risk factors, given adolescents are digital frontrunners and digital technology is wide-reaching. The process of co-creating eHealth behaviour change interventions with adolescents is a promising strategy to improve intervention effectiveness and engagement. Additionally, effective youth advocacy is an emerging strategy for CVD prevention in adolescents. This narrative review evaluates published eHealth behaviour change interventions targeting cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents, which utilize a co-creation process, describe the emerging role of advocacy in CVD prevention for adolescents and provide recommendations for future interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue e-Health in Cardiovascular Medicine)
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Review
The Use of Probiotic Therapy to Modulate the Gut Microbiota and Dendritic Cell Responses in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020033 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3131
Abstract
Recent investigations have shown that different conditions such as diet, the overuse of antibiotics or the colonization of pathogenic microorganisms can alter the population status of the intestinal microbiota. This modification can produce a change from homeostasis to a condition known as imbalance [...] Read more.
Recent investigations have shown that different conditions such as diet, the overuse of antibiotics or the colonization of pathogenic microorganisms can alter the population status of the intestinal microbiota. This modification can produce a change from homeostasis to a condition known as imbalance or dysbiosis; however, the role-played by dysbiosis and the development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has been poorly understood. It was actually not until a few years ago that studies started to develop regarding the role that dendritic cells (DC) of intestinal mucosa play in the sensing of the gut microbiota population. The latest studies have focused on describing the DC modulation, specifically on tolerance response involving T regulatory cells or on the inflammatory response involving reactive oxygen species and tissue damage. Furthermore, the latest studies have also focused on the protective and restorative effect of the population of the gut microbiota given by probiotic therapy, targeting IBD and other intestinal pathologies. In the present work, the authors propose and summarize a recently studied complex axis of interaction between the population of the gut microbiota, the sensing of the DC and its modulation towards tolerance and inflammation, the development of IBD and the protective and restorative effect of probiotics on other intestinal pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential of the Microbiome)
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Review
Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Cystic Fibrosis: Diagnosis and Medical Management
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020032 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1438
Abstract
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is nearly ubiquitous in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF CRS is a challenging entity to define, diagnose, and treat, as patients often have severe refractory sinus disease in addition to complex medical comorbidities. The purpose of this article is [...] Read more.
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is nearly ubiquitous in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF CRS is a challenging entity to define, diagnose, and treat, as patients often have severe refractory sinus disease in addition to complex medical comorbidities. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on the medical management of CF CRS and determine how to best identify, diagnose, and manage CF CRS. Ultimately, the treatment of these patients requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving the pulmonologist and otolaryngologist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Concomitant Medical Disorders)
Article
Assessment of Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Therapeutic Patterns among Urban Black Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020031 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2039
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have nearly twice the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to the general population. We aimed to assess, in a predominantly Black population, the prevalence of traditional and RA-specific CVD risk factors and therapeutic patterns. Utilizing ICD codes, we [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have nearly twice the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to the general population. We aimed to assess, in a predominantly Black population, the prevalence of traditional and RA-specific CVD risk factors and therapeutic patterns. Utilizing ICD codes, we identified 503 RA patients ≥18 years old who were seen from 2010 to 2017. Of them, 88.5% were Black, 87.9% were women and 29.4% were smokers. CVD risk factors (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia) were higher than in previously reported White RA cohorts. Eighty-seven percent of the patients had at least one traditional CVD risk factor, 37% had three or more traditional CVD risk factors and 58% had RA-specific risk factors (seropositive RA, >10 years of disease, joint erosions, elevated inflammatory markers, extra-articular disease, body mass index (BMI) < 20). CV outcomes (coronary artery disease/myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and stroke) were comparable to published reports. Higher steroid use, which increases CVD risk, and lesser utilization of biologics (decrease CV risk) were also observed. Our Black RA cohort had higher rates of traditional CVD risk factors, in addition to chronic inflammation from aggressive RA, which places our patients at a higher risk for CVD outcomes, calling for revised risk stratification strategies and effective interventions to address comorbidities in this vulnerable population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiometabolic Health: Current Developments)
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Review
Chronic Rhinosinusitis: Does Allergy Play a Role?
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020030 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1524
Abstract
A few chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) variants have demonstrated a strong association with environmental allergy, including allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) and central compartment atopic disease (CCAD). However, the overall relationship between CRS and allergy remains poorly defined. The goal of this review is to [...] Read more.
A few chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) variants have demonstrated a strong association with environmental allergy, including allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) and central compartment atopic disease (CCAD). However, the overall relationship between CRS and allergy remains poorly defined. The goal of this review is to evaluate the relationship between CRS and allergy with a focus on specific CRS variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Concomitant Medical Disorders)
Article
Association of Physicians’ Self-Compassion with Work Engagement, Exhaustion, and Professional Life Satisfaction
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020029 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3838
Abstract
Self-compassion has shown promise as an adaptive resource for coping with uncertainties and challenges. This study examined the relationship between self-compassion and professional wellbeing (work engagement, exhaustion, and professional life satisfaction) of physicians, who frequently face uncertainties and challenges in their clinical practice. [...] Read more.
Self-compassion has shown promise as an adaptive resource for coping with uncertainties and challenges. This study examined the relationship between self-compassion and professional wellbeing (work engagement, exhaustion, and professional life satisfaction) of physicians, who frequently face uncertainties and challenges in their clinical practice. Fifty-seven practicing physicians in Canada participated in the study. Overall, 65% of the participants were female; 47% were in the early-career stage; 49% were family medicine (FM) physicians, with the rest being non-FM specialists. It was hypothesized that (a) self-compassionate physicians would experience greater work engagement and less exhaustion from work than physicians reporting lower self-compassion and (b) self-compassionate physicians would experience greater professional life satisfaction through their greater work engagement and less exhaustion than physicians reporting lower self-compassion. Sequential regression analyses were performed. The results confirmed the hypothesized associations, indicating that self-compassionate physicians experienced more positive work engagement, felt less emotionally, physically, and cognitively exhausted due to work demands, and were more satisfied with their professional life than physicians who exhibited less compassion toward themselves in uncertain and challenging times. Future studies are needed to determine optimal ways to support practicing physicians and medical trainees in becoming more self-compassionate for their enhanced wellbeing and, ultimately, for the provision of effective patient care. Full article
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Review
Identification of Prognostic and Predictive Osteosarcoma Biomarkers
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020028 - 11 Feb 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Both adolescents and children suffer from osteosarcoma, localized in the metaphysis of the long bones. This is the most common primary high-grade bone tumor in this patient group. Early tumor detection is the key to ensuring effective treatment. Improved osteosarcoma outcomes in clinical [...] Read more.
Both adolescents and children suffer from osteosarcoma, localized in the metaphysis of the long bones. This is the most common primary high-grade bone tumor in this patient group. Early tumor detection is the key to ensuring effective treatment. Improved osteosarcoma outcomes in clinical trials have been contingent on biomarker discovery and an evolving understanding of molecules and their complex interactions. In this review, we present a short overview of biomarkers for osteosarcoma, and highlight advances in osteosarcoma-related biomarker research. Many studies show that several biomarkers undergo critical changes with osteosarcoma progression. Growing knowledge about osteosarcoma-related markers is expected to positively impact the development of therapeutics for osteosarcoma, and ultimately of clinical care. It has also become important to develop new biomarkers, which can identify vulnerable patients who should be treated with more intensive and aggressive therapy after diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
Review
Regulation of Interaction Between the Upper and Lower Airways in United Airway Disease
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020027 - 11 Feb 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
The concept of united airway disease comprises allergic rhinitis (AR) with asthma, and eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis (ECRS) with asthma. It embodies a comprehensive approach to the treatment of upper and lower airway inflammation. The treatment of upper airway inflammation reduces asthma symptoms and [...] Read more.
The concept of united airway disease comprises allergic rhinitis (AR) with asthma, and eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis (ECRS) with asthma. It embodies a comprehensive approach to the treatment of upper and lower airway inflammation. The treatment of upper airway inflammation reduces asthma symptoms and decreases the dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) necessary to treat asthma. However, little is known about the mechanisms of interaction between upper and lower airway inflammation. Here we review these mechanisms, focusing on neural modulation and introduce a novel therapeutic approach to united airway disease using a fine-particle ICS. Our understanding of the relationship between the upper and lower airways and its contribution to T helper 2 (Th2)-skewed disease, such as AR and/or ECRS with asthma, has led us to this novel therapeutic strategy for a comprehensive approach to the treatment of upper airway inflammation with asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergic Rhinitis: Epidemiology, Prevention and Management)
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Brief Report
Digital Subtraction Pulmonary Angiography in Children with Pulmonary Hypertension due to Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020026 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common respiratory sequelae of prematurity and histopathologically features fewer, dysmorphic, pulmonary arteries. We present our experience with the digital subtraction pulmonary angiography (DSPA) findings of a segmental vascular filling abnormality in three children who were born at [...] Read more.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common respiratory sequelae of prematurity and histopathologically features fewer, dysmorphic, pulmonary arteries. We present our experience with the digital subtraction pulmonary angiography (DSPA) findings of a segmental vascular filling abnormality in three children who were born at extreme prematurity and have pulmonary hypertension due to severe BPD. Our preliminary data suggest that DSPA may be useful in evaluating the severity of pulmonary vascular disease in children with BPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pneumology and Respiratory Diseases)
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Review
Spiritual Care in Palliative Care: A Systematic Review of the Recent European Literature
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020025 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 8901
Abstract
Many studies on spiritual care in palliative care are performed in the US, leaving other continents unexplored. The objective of this systematic review is to map the recent studies on spiritual care in palliative care in Europe. PubMed, CINAHL, ATLA, PsycINFO, ERIC, IBSS, [...] Read more.
Many studies on spiritual care in palliative care are performed in the US, leaving other continents unexplored. The objective of this systematic review is to map the recent studies on spiritual care in palliative care in Europe. PubMed, CINAHL, ATLA, PsycINFO, ERIC, IBSS, Web of Science, EMBASE, and other databases were searched. Included were European studies published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2015, 2016, or 2017. The characteristics of the included studies were analyzed and a narrative synthesis of the extracted data was performed. 53 articles were included. Spiritual care was seen as attention for spirituality, presence, empowerment, and bringing peace. It implied creative, narrative, and ritual work. Though several studies reported positive effects of spiritual care, like the easing of discomfort, the evidence for spiritual care is low. Requirements for implementation of spiritual care in (palliative) care were: Developing spiritual competency, including self-reflection, and visibility of spirituality and spiritual care, which are required from spiritual counselors that they participated in existing organizational structures. This study has provided insight into spiritual care in palliative care in Europe. Future studies are necessary to develop appropriate patient outcomes and to investigate the effects of spiritual care more fully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances in Palliative and Hospice Care)
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Review
Transglutaminase 2: The Maestro of the Oncogenic Mediators in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020024 - 06 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2001
Abstract
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a multifunctional crosslinking enzyme that displays transamidation, protein disulfide isomerase, protein kinase, as well as GTPase and ATPase activities. TG2 can also act as an adhesion molecule involved in the syndecan and integrin receptor signaling. In recent years, TG2 [...] Read more.
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a multifunctional crosslinking enzyme that displays transamidation, protein disulfide isomerase, protein kinase, as well as GTPase and ATPase activities. TG2 can also act as an adhesion molecule involved in the syndecan and integrin receptor signaling. In recent years, TG2 was implicated in cancer progression, survival, invasion, migration, and stemness of many cancer types, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Von Hippel-Lindau mutations leading to the subsequent activation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF)-1-mediated signaling pathways, survival signaling via the PI3K/Akt pathway resulting in Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) metastasis and angiogenesis are the main factors in RCC progression. A number of studies have shown that TG2 was important in HIF-1- and PI3K-mediated signaling, VHL and p53 stabilization, glycolytic metabolism and migratory phenotype in RCC. This review focuses on the role of TG2 in the regulation of molecular pathways nurturing not only the development and propagation of RCC, but also drug-resistance and metastatic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transglutaminases in Health and Disease)
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Meeting Report
24th International Symposium on Infections in the Critically Ill Patient
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020023 - 06 Feb 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1967
Abstract
This 24th International Symposium on Infections in the Critically Ill  [...] Full article
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Article
Eosinophilic Upper Airway Inflammation in a Murine Model Using an Adoptive Transfer System Induces Hyposmia and Epithelial Layer Injury with Convex Lesions
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020022 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a refractory upper airway disease, accompanied mainly by eosinophilia and/or asthma. In addition, the disease correlates with a high rate of hyposmia, following a marked infiltration of eosinophils into the inflamed site, the paranasal sinus. [...] Read more.
Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a refractory upper airway disease, accompanied mainly by eosinophilia and/or asthma. In addition, the disease correlates with a high rate of hyposmia, following a marked infiltration of eosinophils into the inflamed site, the paranasal sinus. Although eosinophils are known to contribute to the development of hyposmia and CRSwNP pathology, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether eosinophilic upper airway inflammation induces hyposmia and CRSwNP in a murine model using an adoptive transfer system. Methods: To induce eosinophilic rhinosinusitis, splenocytes, including a high proportion (over 50%) of activated eosinophils (SPLhEos), were collected from interleukin-5 transgenic mice following double intraperitoneal injections of antigens, such as ovalbumin, house dust mite, or fungus. Activated SPLhEos with corresponding antigens were then transferred into the nasal cavity of recipient mice, which were sensitized and challenged by the corresponding antigen four times per week. Olfactory function, histopathological, and computed tomography (CT) analyses were performed 2 days after the final transfer of eosinophils. Results: Hyposmia was induced significantly in mice that received SPLhEos transfer compared with healthy and allergic mice, but it did not promote morphological alteration of the paranasal sinus. Pathological analysis revealed that epithelial layer injury and metaplasia similar to polyps, with prominent eosinophil infiltration, was induced in recipient tissue. However, there was no nasal polyp development with interstitial edema that was similar to those recognized in human chronic rhinosinusitis. Conclusions: This study supports the previously unsuspected contribution of eosinophils to CRS development in the murine model and suggests that murine-activated eosinophilic splenocytes contribute to the development of hyposmia due to more mucosal inflammation than physical airway obstruction and epithelial layer injury with convex lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Concomitant Medical Disorders)
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Review
Therapeutic Potential of the Microbiome in the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020021 - 31 Jan 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2935
Abstract
The search for rational treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders began with the discovery of chlorpromazine in 1951 and continues to evolve. Day by day, new details of the intestinal microbiota–brain axis are coming to light. As the role of microbiota in the etiopathogenesis of [...] Read more.
The search for rational treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders began with the discovery of chlorpromazine in 1951 and continues to evolve. Day by day, new details of the intestinal microbiota–brain axis are coming to light. As the role of microbiota in the etiopathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders is more clearly understood, microbiota-based (or as we propose, “fecomodulation”) treatment options are increasingly discussed in the context of treatment. Although their history dates back to ancient times, the importance of psychobiotics and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has only recently been recognized. Despite there being few preclinical and clinical studies, the evidence gathered to this point suggests that consideration of the microbiome in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders represents an area of significant therapeutic potential. It is increasingly hoped that such treatment options will be more reliable in terms of their side effects, cost, and ease of implementation. However, there remains much to be researched. Questions will be answered through germ-free animal experiments and randomized controlled trials. In this article, the therapeutic potential of microbiota-based options in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders is discussed in light of recent research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential of the Microbiome)
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Article
Double Burden of Malnutrition (DBM) and Anaemia under the Same Roof: A Bangladesh Perspective
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020020 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) and anaemia is a growing concern in developing countries. Using the cross-sectional Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey, 2011, 5763 mother–child pairs were examined. In households where the mother was overweight, 24.5% of children were stunted, 19.8% underweight, 9.3% [...] Read more.
The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) and anaemia is a growing concern in developing countries. Using the cross-sectional Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey, 2011, 5763 mother–child pairs were examined. In households where the mother was overweight, 24.5% of children were stunted, 19.8% underweight, 9.3% wasted, and 51.7% anaemic. Significant regional differences were found in DBM and anaemia as well as drinking water source, while DBM alone was more common in more well-off households (based on wealth index) and where the father was employed in skilled or service occupations. More policy and awareness programmes are needed to address the coexistence of child undernutrition and maternal overweight/obesity and anaemia in the same household. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies)
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Review
The Role of Tissue Transglutaminase in Cancer Cell Initiation, Survival and Progression
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020019 - 25 Jan 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
Tissue transglutaminase (transglutaminase type 2; TG2) is the most ubiquitously expressed member of the transglutaminase family (EC 2.3.2.13) that catalyzes specific post-translational modifications of proteins through a calcium-dependent acyl-transfer reaction (transamidation). In addition, this enzyme displays multiple additional enzymatic activities, such as guanine [...] Read more.
Tissue transglutaminase (transglutaminase type 2; TG2) is the most ubiquitously expressed member of the transglutaminase family (EC 2.3.2.13) that catalyzes specific post-translational modifications of proteins through a calcium-dependent acyl-transfer reaction (transamidation). In addition, this enzyme displays multiple additional enzymatic activities, such as guanine nucleotide binding and hydrolysis, protein kinase, disulfide isomerase activities, and is involved in cell adhesion. Transglutaminase 2 has been reported as one of key enzymes that is involved in all stages of carcinogenesis; the molecular mechanisms of action and physiopathological effects depend on its expression or activities, cellular localization, and specific cancer model. Since it has been reported as both a potential tumor suppressor and a tumor-promoting factor, the role of this enzyme in cancer is still controversial. Indeed, TG2 overexpression has been frequently associated with cancer stem cells’ survival, inflammation, metastatic spread, and drug resistance. On the other hand, the use of inducers of TG2 transamidating activity seems to inhibit tumor cell plasticity and invasion. This review covers the extensive and rapidly growing field of the role of TG2 in cancer stem cells survival and epithelial–mesenchymal transition, apoptosis and differentiation, and formation of aggressive metastatic phenotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transglutaminases in Health and Disease)
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Article
An Exploratory Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Psychosocial Factors Affecting Health-Related Quality of Life
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020018 - 25 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimensional concept that assesses an individual’s personal satisfaction with his/her daily life while coping with a medical condition and/or its consequent therapy. This study aims to determine the psychosocial needs most commonly affected among inflammatory bowel [...] Read more.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimensional concept that assesses an individual’s personal satisfaction with his/her daily life while coping with a medical condition and/or its consequent therapy. This study aims to determine the psychosocial needs most commonly affected among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Psychosocial needs which were pertinent to the IBD community were assessed using a questionnaire designed by the gastrointestinal team at the Port of Spain General Hospital, Trinidad after getting ethical approval. The chi-squared test was used to assess for statistically significant associations. Of the total 115 participants who completed the survey, a majority of 73 (63%) were females and 70 (61%) were in the 18 to 40-year age group. A majority of 66 (57%) were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and 66 (57%) were on non-biologic drug therapy. Diet was the need most prevailingly affected, with 87% of participants indicating such. Ability to maintain good hygiene was the need least affected, with 32% of participants identifying concern. We found a significant association between participant’s illness perception (IP) and each of the ten psychosocial variables. The participants’ IP was in turn strongly associated with the ability to cope with the illness while not being associated with the demographic or clinical details of the participants. The results can be used to improve the quality of care delivered to patients living with IBD. Full article
Article
Oxidative Profile of Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020017 - 25 Jan 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Oxidative stress plays a very significant role in the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease (SCD) and associated complications. Oxidative stress, which is often experienced by SCD patients as a result of continuous production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), may lead to endothelial dysfunction [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress plays a very significant role in the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease (SCD) and associated complications. Oxidative stress, which is often experienced by SCD patients as a result of continuous production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), may lead to endothelial dysfunction and acute inflammation. Antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), often play a protective role. The current study aimed at determining the oxidative profile of persons with SCD at a tertiary hospital in Ghana. This was a case-control study involving 90 patients with SCD (34 HbSS patients at steady state, 30 HbSC at steady state, 15 HbSS with vaso-occlusive crisis, 11 HbSC with vaso-occlusive crisis), and 50 HbAA control group. Whole blood samples were collected from the study participants and analyzed for full blood counts. The blood samples were assayed for SOD and CAT as a measure of antioxidant defense, while lipid peroxidation was quantified as malondialdehyde (MDA). The results showed that the levels of SOD and CAT were significantly lower in SCD patients as compared to the control group. Patients with HbSS vaso-occlusive crisis had the lowest levels of SOD and CAT. The difference in SOD levels between HbSS at steady state and HbSC with vaso-occlusive crisis was, however, not significant (p = 0.228). The MDA level was significantly higher in SCD patients compared to the control group. This study concludes that the levels of various antioxidant enzymes (erythrocyte SOD and erythrocyte CAT) and oxidative marker (MDA) and are altered in SCD patients. Full article
Article
Integrated FISH, Karyotyping and aCGH Analyses for Effective Prenatal Diagnosis of Common Aneuploidies and Other Cytogenomic Abnormalities
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020016 - 23 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1905
Abstract
Current prenatal genetic evaluation showed a significantly increase in non-invasive screening and the reduction of invasive diagnostic procedures. To evaluate the diagnostic efficacy on detecting common aneuploidies, structural chromosomal rearrangements, and pathogenic copy number variants (pCNV), we performed a retrospective analysis on a [...] Read more.
Current prenatal genetic evaluation showed a significantly increase in non-invasive screening and the reduction of invasive diagnostic procedures. To evaluate the diagnostic efficacy on detecting common aneuploidies, structural chromosomal rearrangements, and pathogenic copy number variants (pCNV), we performed a retrospective analysis on a case series initially analyzed by aneuvysion fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and karyotyping then followed by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Of the 386 cases retrieved from the past decade, common aneuploidies were detected in 137 cases (35.5%), other chromosomal structural rearrangements were detected in four cases (1%), and pCNV were detected in five cases (1.3%). The relative frequencies for common aneuploidies suggested an under detection of sex chromosome aneuploidies. Approximately 9.5% of cases with common aneuploidies showed a mosaic pattern. Inconsistent results between FISH and karyotyping were noted in cases with pseudo-mosaicism introduced by culture artifact or variable cellular proliferation from cells with mosaic karyotypic complements under in vitro cell culture. Based on findings from this case series, cell-based FISH and karyotyping should be performed to detect common aneuploidies, structural chromosomal abnormalities, and mosaic pattern. DNA-based aCGH and reflex FISH should be performed to detect and confirm genomic imbalances and pCNV. Practice points to ensure the diagnostic accuracy and efficacy were summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Diagnosis: The State of the Art)
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Review
Cytomorphology of Noninvasive Follicular Thyroid Neoplasm with Papillary-Like Nuclear Features and the Impact of New Nomenclature on Molecular Testing
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020015 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
The re-naming of noninvasive follicular variant papillary thyroid cancer to the apparently non-malignant, noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) impacts the prevalence of malignancy rates, thereby affecting mutation frequency in papillary thyroid cancer. Preoperative assessment of such nodules could affect [...] Read more.
The re-naming of noninvasive follicular variant papillary thyroid cancer to the apparently non-malignant, noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) impacts the prevalence of malignancy rates, thereby affecting mutation frequency in papillary thyroid cancer. Preoperative assessment of such nodules could affect management in the future. The original publications following the designation of the new nomenclature have been extensively reviewed. With the adoption of NIFTP terminology, a reduction in the follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer (FVPTC) prevalence is anticipated, as is a modest reduction of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) prevalence that would be distributed mainly across indeterminate thyroid nodules. Identifying NIFTP preoperatively remains challenging. RAS mutations are predominant but the presence of BRAF V600E mutation has been observed and could indicate inclusion of the classical PTC. The histological diagnosis of NIFTP to designate low-risk encapsulated follicular variant papillary thyroid cancers (EFVPTCs) would impact malignancy rates, thereby altering the mutation prevalence. The histopathologic criteria have recently been refined with an exclusion of well-formed papillae. The preoperative identification of NIFTP using cytomorphology and gene testing remains challenging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thyroid Cytopathology)
Review
Mechanisms of Primary and Secondary Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Cancer
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020014 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2400
Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPis) have revolutionized cancer therapy with broad activities against a wide range of malignancies. However, in many malignancies their efficacy remains limited due to the primary resistance. Furthermore, a high percentage of patients develop progression due to the secondary resistance [...] Read more.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPis) have revolutionized cancer therapy with broad activities against a wide range of malignancies. However, in many malignancies their efficacy remains limited due to the primary resistance. Furthermore, a high percentage of patients develop progression due to the secondary resistance even after obtaining a response or achieving a stable disease. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms that underlie the primary and secondary resistance to ICPis in cancer immunotherapy and provide an overview to impart a broad understanding of the critical issues that are encountered in clinical oncology practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
Article
Gestational Geophagia Affects Nephrocardiac Integrity, ATP-Driven Proton Pumps, the Renin–Angiotensin–Aldosterone System, and F2-Isoprostane Status
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7020013 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Pregnancy brings about strong cravings for nonfood materials, the gestational toxicities of which are not yet ascertained. In this study, we used rat models to investigate the effect of clay beverage consumption during early and late gestation on p-Type ATPases, nephrocardiac integrity, the [...] Read more.
Pregnancy brings about strong cravings for nonfood materials, the gestational toxicities of which are not yet ascertained. In this study, we used rat models to investigate the effect of clay beverage consumption during early and late gestation on p-Type ATPases, nephrocardiac integrity, the antioxidant system, and on the activities of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS). The rats at early (7th day) and late gestation (20th) were administered single doses (500 mg/kg body weight) of clay beverage and examined using ELISA and spectrophotometry. The gestational clay beverage intake significantly elevated the renal hemodynamics, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), anion gap, urinary output, and blood urea nitrogen–creatinine ratio (BUN/Crt). At early and late gestation, clay beverage consumption elevated the heartbeat, atherogenic index of plasma, cardiac risk ratio, and atherogenic coefficients. Creatinine kinase and troponin levels after clay beverage consumption significantly increased with gestation age, while lactate dehydrogenase elevation was independent of gestation age. Mg2+-ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase significantly decreased during gestation and were further altered with clay beverage intake. The rats showed higher RAAS activities during early and late gestation stages but greatly decreased activities after clay beverage administration. When F2-isoprostane and malondialdehyde levels were measured, slight elevations were found during pregnancy and were greatly elevated with clay beverage intake, while the glutathione reductase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase levels were decreased. We thus discourage clay beverage consumption throughout the entire pregnancy period because of these profound homeostatic imbalances and organ toxicities associated with its consumption. Full article
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