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J. Clin. Med., Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In this study we present a comprehensive review of the use of liquid biopsy or test for circulating [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mechanisms of Regulatory B cell Function in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases beyond IL-10
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010012 - 23 Jan 2017
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2313
Abstract
In the past two decades it has become clear that in addition to antigen presentation and antibody production B cells play prominent roles in immune regulation. While B cell-derived IL-10 has garnered much attention, B cells also effectively regulate inflammation by a variety [...] Read more.
In the past two decades it has become clear that in addition to antigen presentation and antibody production B cells play prominent roles in immune regulation. While B cell-derived IL-10 has garnered much attention, B cells also effectively regulate inflammation by a variety of IL-10-independent mechanisms. B cell regulation has been studied in both autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. While collectively called regulatory B cells (Breg), no definitive phenotype has emerged for B cells with regulatory potential. This has made their study challenging and thus unique B cell regulatory mechanisms have emerged in a disease-dependent manner. Thus to harness the therapeutic potential of Breg, further studies are needed to understand how they emerge and are induced to evoke their regulatory activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B Cells in Autoimmunity)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
TGF-β Signaling in Gastrointestinal Cancers: Progress in Basic and Clinical Research
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010011 - 18 Jan 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily proteins have many important biological functions, including regulation of tissue differentiation, cell proliferation, and migration in both normal and cancer cells. Many studies have reported that TGF-β signaling is associated with disease progression and therapeutic resistance in several [...] Read more.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily proteins have many important biological functions, including regulation of tissue differentiation, cell proliferation, and migration in both normal and cancer cells. Many studies have reported that TGF-β signaling is associated with disease progression and therapeutic resistance in several cancers. Similarly, TGF-β-induced protein (TGFBI)—a downstream component of the TGF-β signaling pathway—has been shown to promote and/or inhibit cancer. Here, we review the state of basic and clinical research on the roles of TGF-β and TGFBI in gastrointestinal cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Clinical Aspects of TGF-beta in Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Integrated Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders: The Mediating Role of PTSD Improvement in the Reduction of Depression
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010009 - 13 Jan 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2851
Abstract
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents one of the most common mental health disorders, particularly among veterans, and is associated with significant distress and impairment. This highly debilitating disorder is further complicated by common comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD). Individuals [...] Read more.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents one of the most common mental health disorders, particularly among veterans, and is associated with significant distress and impairment. This highly debilitating disorder is further complicated by common comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD). Individuals with PTSD and co-occurring SUD also commonly present with secondary symptoms, such as elevated depression. Little is known, however, about how these secondary symptoms are related to treatment outcome. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to examine (1) the effects of treatment of comorbid PTSD/SUD on depressive symptoms; and (2) whether this effect was mediated by changes in PTSD severity or changes in SUD severity. Participants were 81 U.S. military veterans (90.1% male) with PTSD and SUD enrolled in a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of an integrated, exposure-based treatment (Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure; n = 54) versus relapse prevention (n = 27). Results revealed significantly lower depressive symptoms at post-treatment in the COPE group, as compared to the relapse prevention group. Examination of the mechanisms associated with change in depression revealed that reduction in PTSD severity, but not substance use severity, mediated the association between the treatment group and post-treatment depression. The findings underscore the importance of treating PTSD symptoms in order to help reduce co-occurring symptoms of depression in individuals with PTSD/SUD. Clinical implications and avenues for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
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Open AccessReview
Mammary Gland Involution Provides a Unique Model to Study the TGF-β Cancer Paradox
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010010 - 13 Jan 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2805
Abstract
Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in cancer has been termed the “TGF-β paradox”, acting as both a tumor suppresser and promoter. The complexity of TGF-β signaling within the tumor is context dependent, and greatly impacted by cellular crosstalk between TGF-β responsive cells in [...] Read more.
Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in cancer has been termed the “TGF-β paradox”, acting as both a tumor suppresser and promoter. The complexity of TGF-β signaling within the tumor is context dependent, and greatly impacted by cellular crosstalk between TGF-β responsive cells in the microenvironment including adjacent epithelial, endothelial, mesenchymal, and hematopoietic cells. Here we utilize normal, weaning-induced mammary gland involution as a tissue microenvironment model to study the complexity of TGF-β function. This article reviews facets of mammary gland involution that are TGF-β regulated, namely mammary epithelial cell death, immune activation, and extracellular matrix remodeling. We outline how distinct cellular responses and crosstalk between cell types during physiologically normal mammary gland involution contribute to simultaneous tumor suppressive and promotional microenvironments. We also highlight alternatives to direct TGF-β blocking anti-cancer therapies with an emphasis on eliciting concerted microenvironmental-mediated tumor suppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Clinical Aspects of TGF-beta in Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2016
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010008 - 11 Jan 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
The editors of Journal of Clinical Medicine would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Stromal Modulators of TGF-β in Cancer
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010007 - 06 Jan 2017
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 4925
Abstract
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an intriguing cytokine exhibiting dual activities in malignant disease. It is an important mediator of cancer invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis, on the one hand, while it exhibits anti-tumor functions on the other hand. Elucidating the precise role of [...] Read more.
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an intriguing cytokine exhibiting dual activities in malignant disease. It is an important mediator of cancer invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis, on the one hand, while it exhibits anti-tumor functions on the other hand. Elucidating the precise role of TGF-β in malignant development and progression requires a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in its tumor suppressor to tumor promoter switch. One important aspect of TGF-β function is its interaction with proteins within the tumor microenvironment. Several stromal proteins have the natural ability to interact and modulate TGF-β function. Understanding the complex interplay between the TGF-β signaling network and these stromal proteins may provide greater insight into the development of novel therapeutic strategies that target the TGF-β axis. The present review highlights our present understanding of how stroma modulates TGF-β activity in human cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Clinical Aspects of TGF-beta in Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy and Long-Term Pulmonary Outcomes
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010004 - 06 Jan 2017
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 6847
Abstract
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most commonly seen in premature infants who required mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for acute respiratory distress. While advances in neonatal care have resulted in improved survival rates of premature infants, limited progress has been [...] Read more.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most commonly seen in premature infants who required mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for acute respiratory distress. While advances in neonatal care have resulted in improved survival rates of premature infants, limited progress has been made in reducing rates of BPD. Lack of progress may in part be attributed to the limited therapeutic options available for prevention and treatment of BPD. Several lung-protective strategies have been shown to reduce risks, including use of non-invasive support, as well as early extubation and volume ventilation when intubation is required. These approaches, along with optimal nutrition and medical therapy, decrease risk of BPD; however, impacts on long-term outcomes are poorly defined. Characterization of late outcomes remain a challenge as rapid advances in medical management result in current adult BPD survivors representing outdated neonatal care. While pulmonary disease improves with growth, long-term follow-up studies raise concerns for persistent pulmonary dysfunction; asthma-like symptoms and exercise intolerance in young adults after BPD. Abnormal ventilatory responses and pulmonary hypertension can further complicate disease. These pulmonary morbidities, combined with environmental and infectious exposures, may result in significant long-term pulmonary sequalae and represent a growing burden on health systems. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to determine outcomes beyond the second decade, and define risk factors and optimal treatment for late sequalae of disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Effects of Androgen and Growth Hormone on Osteoblast Marker Expression in Mouse C2C12 and MC3T3-E1 Cells Induced by Bone Morphogenetic Protein
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010006 - 05 Jan 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2869
Abstract
Osteoblasts undergo differentiation in response to various factors, including growth factors and steroids. Bone mass is diminished in androgen- and/or growth hormone (GH)-deficient patients. However the functional relationship between androgen and GH, and their combined effects on bone metabolism, remains unclear. Here we [...] Read more.
Osteoblasts undergo differentiation in response to various factors, including growth factors and steroids. Bone mass is diminished in androgen- and/or growth hormone (GH)-deficient patients. However the functional relationship between androgen and GH, and their combined effects on bone metabolism, remains unclear. Here we investigated the mutual effects of androgen and GH on osteoblastic marker expression using mouse myoblastic C2C12 and osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells. Combined treatment with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and GH enhanced BMP-2-induced expression of Runx2, ALP, and osteocalcin mRNA, compared with the individual treatments in C2C12 cells. Co-treatment with DHT and GH activated Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation, Id-1 transcription, and ALP activity induced by BMP-2 in C2C12 cells but not in MC3T3-E1 cells. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) mRNA level was amplified by GH and BMP-2 treatment and was restored by co-treatment with DHT in C2C12 cells. The mRNA level of the IGF-I receptor was not significantly altered by GH or DHT, while it was increased by IGF-I. In addition, IGF-I treatment increased collagen-1 mRNA expression, whereas blockage of endogenous IGF-I activity using an anti-IGF-I antibody failed to suppress the effect of GH and DHT on BMP-2-induced Runx2 expression in C2C12 cells, suggesting that endogenous IGF-I was not substantially involved in the underlying GH actions. On the other hand, androgen receptor and GH receptor mRNA expression was suppressed by BMP-2 in both cell lines, implying the existence of a feedback action. Collectively the results showed that the combined effects of androgen and GH facilitated BMP-2-induced osteoblast differentiation at an early stage by upregulating BMP receptor signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Cell Biology and Transcriptional Regulation)
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Open AccessReview
The TGF-β/Smad4 Signaling Pathway in Pancreatic Carcinogenesis and Its Clinical Significance
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010005 - 05 Jan 2017
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3155
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal human cancers due to its complicated genomic instability. PDAC frequently presents at an advanced stage with extensive metastasis, which portends a poor prognosis. The known risk factors associated with PDAC include advanced age, [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal human cancers due to its complicated genomic instability. PDAC frequently presents at an advanced stage with extensive metastasis, which portends a poor prognosis. The known risk factors associated with PDAC include advanced age, smoking, long-standing chronic pancreatitis, obesity, and diabetes. Its association with genomic and somatic mutations is the most important factor for its aggressiveness. The most common gene mutations associated with PDAC include KRas2, p16, TP53, and Smad4. Among these, Smad4 mutation is relatively specific and its inactivation is found in more than 50% of invasive pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Smad4 is a member of the Smad family of signal transducers and acts as a central mediator of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathways. The TGF-β signaling pathway promotes many physiological processes, including cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, fibrosis, and scar formation. It also plays a major role in the development of tumors through induction of angiogenesis and immune suppression. In this review, we will discuss the molecular mechanism of TGF-β/Smad4 signaling in the pathogenesis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and its clinical implication, particularly potential as a prognostic factor and a therapeutic target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Clinical Aspects of TGF-beta in Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessReview
Liquid Biopsies for Cancer: Coming to a Patient near You
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010003 - 04 Jan 2017
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4600
Abstract
The use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a novel and non-invasive test for the diagnosis and surveillance of cancer is a rapidly growing area of interest, with sequencing of ctDNA acting as a potential surrogate for tissue biopsy. Circulating tumor DNA has [...] Read more.
The use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a novel and non-invasive test for the diagnosis and surveillance of cancer is a rapidly growing area of interest, with sequencing of ctDNA acting as a potential surrogate for tissue biopsy. Circulating tumor DNA has been detected incidentally during noninvasive prenatal testing and additionally in more than 75% of known cancer patients participating in ctDNA studies evaluating its sensitivity. In the setting of mutation-based targeted tumor therapy, it shows a concordance rate >80% when compared with gold-standard tissue biopsies. Through ctDNA detection and sequencing, a simple blood test becomes a liquid biopsy for cancer, surveying a patient’s entire circulation with the goal of early detection, prognostic information, personalized therapy options, and tracking for recurrence or resistance, all with fewer or no tissue biopsies. Given the recent first-ever FDA approval of a liquid biopsy, it is important for clinicians to be aware of the rapid advancements likely to bring these tests into our practices soon. Here we review the biology, clinical implications, and recent advances in circulating tumor DNA analysis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of the Role of Dysfunctional Wound Healing in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010002 - 26 Dec 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2939
Abstract
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive interstitial lung disorder showcasing an interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental risks. This usually involves the coaction of a mixture of cell types associated with abnormal wound healing, leading to structural distortion and loss of [...] Read more.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive interstitial lung disorder showcasing an interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental risks. This usually involves the coaction of a mixture of cell types associated with abnormal wound healing, leading to structural distortion and loss of gas exchange function. IPF bears fatal prognosis due to respiratory failure, revealing a median survival of approximately 2 to 3 years. This review showcases the ongoing progress in understanding the complex pathophysiology of IPF and it highlights the latest potential clinical treatments. In IPF, various components of the immune system, particularly clotting cascade and shortened telomeres, are highly involved in disease pathobiology and progression. This review also illustrates two US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, nintedanib (OFEV, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany) and pirfenidone (Esbriet, Roche, Basel, Switzerland), that slow IPF progression, but unfortunately neither drug can reverse the course of the disease. Although the mechanisms underlying IPF remain poorly understood, this review unveils the past and current advances that encourage the detection of new IPF pathogenic pathways and the development of effective treatment methods for the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Ascorbate, N-Acetylcysteine, and Resveratrol on Fibroblasts from Patients with Mitochondrial Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6010001 - 22 Dec 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are assumed to be implicated in the pathogenesis of inborn mitochondrial diseases affecting oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In the current study, we characterized the effects of three small molecules with antioxidant properties (N-acetylcysteine, ascorbate, and resveratrol) on ROS [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are assumed to be implicated in the pathogenesis of inborn mitochondrial diseases affecting oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In the current study, we characterized the effects of three small molecules with antioxidant properties (N-acetylcysteine, ascorbate, and resveratrol) on ROS production and several OXPHOS parameters (growth in glucose free medium, ATP production, mitochondrial content and membrane potential (MMP)), in primary fibroblasts derived from seven patients with different molecularly defined and undefined mitochondrial diseases. N-acetylcysteine appeared to be the most beneficial compound, reducing ROS while increasing growth and ATP production in some patients’ cells. Ascorbate showed a variable positive or negative effect on ROS, ATP production, and mitochondrial content, while incubation with resveratrol disclosed either no effect or detrimental effect on ATP production and MMP in some cells. The individual responses highlight the importance of investigating multiple parameters in addition to ROS to obtain a more balanced view of the overall effect on OXPHOS when evaluating antioxidant treatment options for mitochondrial diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Oxidant Stress in Disease)
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