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Biology, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 127 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this article, Zieneldien et al. provided a thorough review of the technologies employed by currently utilized COVID-19 vaccines while also providing a comparison of the efficacy rates and side effects. SARS-CoV-2 was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since infected over 219 million individuals. Due to this, vaccine development was considered a priority by global health agencies. Even though the most popular COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be efficacious, it is still critical to assess which vaccines are the most effective, while also providing considerations for future vaccine strategies and development to properly address future infection and viral mutation. View this paper
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Article
Coexpression of Fungal Cell Wall-Modifying Enzymes Reveals Their Additive Impact on Arabidopsis Resistance to the Fungal Pathogen, Botrytis cinerea
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101070 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The plant cell wall (CW) is an outer cell skeleton that plays an important role in plant growth and protection against both biotic and abiotic stresses. Signals and molecules produced during host–pathogen interactions have been proven to be involved in plant stress responses [...] Read more.
The plant cell wall (CW) is an outer cell skeleton that plays an important role in plant growth and protection against both biotic and abiotic stresses. Signals and molecules produced during host–pathogen interactions have been proven to be involved in plant stress responses initiating signal pathways. Based on our previous research findings, the present study explored the possibility of additively or synergistically increasing plant stress resistance by stacking beneficial genes. In order to prove our hypothesis, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants constitutively overexpressing three different Aspergillus nidulans CW-modifying enzymes: a xylan acetylesterase, a rhamnogalacturonan acetylesterase and a feruloylesterase. The two acetylesterases were expressed either together or in combination with the feruloylesterase to study the effect of CW polysaccharide deacetylation and deferuloylation on Arabidopsis defense reactions against a fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. The transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing two acetylesterases together showed higher CW deacetylation and increased resistance to B. cinerea in comparison to wild-type (WT) Col-0 and plants expressing single acetylesterases. While the expression of feruloylesterase alone compromised plant resistance, coexpression of feruloylesterase together with either one of the two acetylesterases restored plant resistance to the pathogen. These CW modifications induced several defense-related genes in uninfected healthy plants, confirming their impact on plant resistance. These results demonstrated that coexpression of complementary CW-modifying enzymes in different combinations have an additive effect on plant stress response by constitutively priming the plant defense pathways. These findings might be useful for generating valuable crops with higher protections against biotic stresses. Full article
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Article
Efficacy and Safety of Filgrastim and Its Biosimilars to Prevent Febrile Neutropenia in Cancer Patients: A Prospective Study and Meta-Analysis
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101069 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Background: The aim of this review and meta-analysis was to identify, assess, meta-analyze and summarize the comparative effectiveness and safety of filgrastim in head-to-head trials with placebo/no treatment, pegfilgrastim (and biosimilar filgrastim to update advances in the field. Methods: The preferred [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this review and meta-analysis was to identify, assess, meta-analyze and summarize the comparative effectiveness and safety of filgrastim in head-to-head trials with placebo/no treatment, pegfilgrastim (and biosimilar filgrastim to update advances in the field. Methods: The preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses PRISMA statement were applied, and a random-effect model was used. Primary endpoints were the rate and duration of grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, and an incidence rate of febrile neutropenia. Secondary endpoints were time to absolute neutrophil count ANC recovery, depth of ANC nadir (lowest ANC), neutropenia-related hospitalization and other neutropenia-related complications. For filgrastim versus biosimilar filgrastim comparison, the primary efficacy endpoint was the mean difference in duration of severe neutropenia DSN. Results: A total of 56 studies were considered that included data from 13,058 cancer patients. The risk of febrile neutropenia in filgrastim versus placebo/no treatment was not statistically different. The risk ratio for febrile neutropenia was 0.58, a 42% reduction in favor of filgrastim. The most reported adverse event with FIL was bone pain. For pegfilgrastim versus filgrastim, no statistically significant difference was noted. The risk ratio was 0.90 (95% CI 0.67 to 1.12). The overall difference in duration of severe neutropenia between filgrastim and biosimilar filgrastim was not statistically significant. The risk ratio was 1.03 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.13). Conclusions: Filgrastim was effective and safe in reducing febrile neutropenia and related complications, compared to placebo/no treatment. No notable differences were found between pegfilgrastim and filgrastim in terms of efficacy and safety. However, a similar efficacy profile was observed with FIL and its biosimilars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential Drug Discovery and Development)
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Article
Haematological, Biochemical and Hormonal Biomarkers of Heat Intolerance in Military Personnel
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101068 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 239
Abstract
Heat intolerance is the inability to withstand heat stress and this may occur due to exertional heat stroke (EHS). However, it is unknown if heat intolerance is associated with immune and hormonal disturbances. This study investigates haematological, biochemical and hormonal biomarkers related to [...] Read more.
Heat intolerance is the inability to withstand heat stress and this may occur due to exertional heat stroke (EHS). However, it is unknown if heat intolerance is associated with immune and hormonal disturbances. This study investigates haematological, biochemical and hormonal biomarkers related to heat intolerance and EHS in military and civilian volunteers. A quasi-experimental pre-and post-test design was used, with participants drawn from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the general populace. Blood samples were collected and analysed for biomarkers. Inferential statistics compared the biomarkers between the groups. Changes in alanine amino transaminase (p = 0.034), creatine kinase (0.044), cortisol (p = 0.041) and creatinine (p < 0.001) differed between the heat-intolerant and heat-tolerant groups. Participants with a history of EHS showed significant changes in creatinine (p = 0.022) and urea (p = 0.0031) compared to those without EHS history. Predictors of heat intolerance were increasing post-HTT creatinine and cortisol (OR = 1.177, p = 0.011 and OR = 1.015, p = 0.003 respectively). Conclusively, EHS history is associated with changes in creatinine and urea concentrations, while the predictors of heat intolerance are creatinine and cortisol. However, further exploration of other biomarkers, such as genetic polymorphism, is needed. Full article
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Article
In Silico Prediction of the Phosphorylation of NS3 as an Essential Mechanism for Dengue Virus Replication and the Antiviral Activity of Quercetin
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101067 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Dengue virus infection is a global health problem for which there have been challenges to obtaining a cure. Current vaccines and anti-viral drugs can only be narrowly applied in ongoing clinical trials. We employed computational methods based on structure-function relationships between human host [...] Read more.
Dengue virus infection is a global health problem for which there have been challenges to obtaining a cure. Current vaccines and anti-viral drugs can only be narrowly applied in ongoing clinical trials. We employed computational methods based on structure-function relationships between human host kinases and viral nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) to understand viral replication inhibitors’ therapeutic effect. Phosphorylation at each of the two most evolutionarily conserved sites of NS3, serine 137 and threonine 189, compared to the unphosphorylated state were studied with molecular dynamics and docking simulations. The simulations suggested that phosphorylation at serine 137 caused a more remarkable structural change than phosphorylation at threonine 189, specifically located at amino acid residues 49–95. Docking studies supported the idea that phosphorylation at serine 137 increased the binding affinity between NS3 and nonstructural Protein 5 (NS5), whereas phosphorylation at threonine 189 decreased it. The interaction between NS3 and NS5 is essential for viral replication. Docking studies with the antiviral plant flavonoid Quercetin with NS3 indicated that Quercetin physically occluded the serine 137 phosphorylation site. Taken together, these findings suggested a specific site and mechanism by which Quercetin inhibits dengue and possible other flaviviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential Drug Discovery and Development)
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Article
Quantifying Leaf Trait Covariations and Their Relationships with Plant Adaptation Strategies along an Aridity Gradient
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101066 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 138
Abstract
A trait-based approach is an effective way to quantify plant adaptation strategies in response to changing environments. Single trait variations have been well depicted before; however, multi-trait covariations and their roles in shaping plant adaptation strategies along aridity gradients remain unclear. The purpose [...] Read more.
A trait-based approach is an effective way to quantify plant adaptation strategies in response to changing environments. Single trait variations have been well depicted before; however, multi-trait covariations and their roles in shaping plant adaptation strategies along aridity gradients remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to reveal multi-trait covariation characteristics, their controls and their relevance to plant adaptation strategies. Using eight relevant plant functional traits and multivariate statistical approaches, we found the following: (1) the eight studied traits show evident covariation characteristics and could be grouped into four functional dimensions linked to plant strategies, namely energy balance, resource acquisition, resource investment and water use efficiency; (2) leaf area (LA) together with traits related to the leaf economic spectrum, including leaf nitrogen content per area (Narea), leaf nitrogen per mass (Nmass) and leaf dry mass per area (LMA), covaried along the aridity gradient (represented by the moisture index, MI) and dominated the trait–environmental change axis; (3) together, climate, soil and family can explain 50.4% of trait covariations; thus, vegetation succession along the aridity gradient cannot be neglected in trait covariations. Our findings provide novel perspectives toward a better understanding of plant adaptations to arid conditions and serve as a reference for vegetation restoration and management programs in arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology)
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Article
Enhancement of the Aroma Compound 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline in Thai Jasmine Rice (Oryza sativa) by Rhizobacteria under Salt Stress
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101065 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Thai jasmine rice (Oryza sativa L. KDML105), particularly from inland salt-affected areas in Thailand, is both domestically and globally valued for its unique aroma and high grain quality. The key aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), has undergone a gradual degradation due to anthropogenic [...] Read more.
Thai jasmine rice (Oryza sativa L. KDML105), particularly from inland salt-affected areas in Thailand, is both domestically and globally valued for its unique aroma and high grain quality. The key aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), has undergone a gradual degradation due to anthropogenic soil salinization driven by excessive chemical input and climate change. Here, we propose a cheaper and an ecofriendly solution to improve the 2AP levels, based on the application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). In the present study, nine PGPR isolates from rice rhizosphere were investigated for the 2AP production in liquid culture and the promotion potential for 2AP content in KDML105 rice seedlings under four NaCl concentrations (0, 50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl). The inoculation of 2AP-producing rhizobacteria resulted in an increase in 2AP content in rice seedling leaves with the maximum enhancement from Sinomonas sp. ORF15-23 at 50 mM NaCl (19.6 µg·kg−1), corresponding to a 90.2% increase as compared to the control. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the colonization of Sinomonas sp. ORF15-23 in the roots of salinity-stressed KDML105 seedlings. Our results provide evidence that Sinomonas sp. ORF15-23 could be a promising PGPR isolate in promoting aroma level of Thai jasmine rice KDML105 under salt stress. Full article
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Review
Human Drug Pollution in the Aquatic System: The Biochemical Responses of Danio rerio Adults
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101064 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 276
Abstract
To date, drug pollution in aquatic systems is an urgent issue, and Danio rerio is a model organism to study the toxicological effects of environmental pollutants. The scientific literature has analyzed the effect of human drug pollution on the biochemical responses in the [...] Read more.
To date, drug pollution in aquatic systems is an urgent issue, and Danio rerio is a model organism to study the toxicological effects of environmental pollutants. The scientific literature has analyzed the effect of human drug pollution on the biochemical responses in the tissues of D. rerio adults. However, the information is still scarce and conflicting, making it difficult to understand its real impact. The scientific studies are not consistent with each other and, until now, no one has grouped their results to create a baseline of knowledge of the possible impacts. In this review, the analysis of literature data highlights that the effects of drugs on adult zebrafishes depend on various factors, such as the tissue analyzed, the drug concentration and the sex of the individuals. Furthermore, the most influenced biochemical responses concern enzymes (e.g., antioxidants and hydrolase enzymes) and total protein and hormonal levels. Pinpointing the situation to date would improve the understanding of the chronic effects of human drug pollution, helping both to reduce it in the aquatic systems and then to draw up regulations to control this type of pollution. Full article
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Article
Sex Associated Effects of Noise Pollution in Stone Sculpin (Paracottus knerii) as a Model Object in the Context of Human-Induced Rapid Environmental Change
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101063 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
This work simulates the consequences of HIREC using stone sculpins as model organisms. Sex-dependent effects of long-term noise exposure at mean sound pressure levels of 160–179 dB re 1 μPa (SPLpk–pk) were measured. We applied a multilevel approach to testing the [...] Read more.
This work simulates the consequences of HIREC using stone sculpins as model organisms. Sex-dependent effects of long-term noise exposure at mean sound pressure levels of 160–179 dB re 1 μPa (SPLpk–pk) were measured. We applied a multilevel approach to testing the stress response: a comparative analysis of the macula sacculi and an assessment of hematological and molecular stress responses. Noise exposure resulted in hair cell loss, changes in some cytometric parameters in blood, and an increase in the number of functionally active mitochondria in the red blood cells of males and its decrease in females, demonstrating a mitochondrial allostatic load and depletion of functional reserve. Finally, a statistically significant decrease in the telomerase activity of the auditory epithelium and a shortening of telomere length in the brain as molecular markers of stress were observed after noise exposure only in females. No significant decrease in telomerase activity and shortening of telomere length in nerve target tissues were observed in stressed males. However, we recorded an increase in the telomerase activity in male gonads. This sex-dependent difference in load may be associated with accelerated cellular aging in females and lower stress-related long-term risk in males. In this article, we discuss possible reasons for these noise-induced stress effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Stress Ecology—From the Gene to Population)
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Article
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes with SCN5A R1623Q Mutation Associated with Severe Long QT Syndrome in Fetuses and Neonates Recapitulates Pathophysiological Phenotypes
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101062 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The SCN5A R1623Q mutation is one of the most common genetic variants associated with severe congenital long QT syndrome 3 (LQT3) in fetal and neonatal patients. To investigate the properties of the R1623Q mutation, we established an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cardiomyocyte [...] Read more.
The SCN5A R1623Q mutation is one of the most common genetic variants associated with severe congenital long QT syndrome 3 (LQT3) in fetal and neonatal patients. To investigate the properties of the R1623Q mutation, we established an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cardiomyocyte (CM) model from a patient with LQTS harboring a heterozygous R1623Q mutation. The properties and pharmacological responses of iPSC-CMs were characterized using a multi-electrode array system. The biophysical characteristic analysis revealed that R1623Q increased open probability and persistent currents of sodium channel, indicating a gain-of-function mutation. In the pharmacological study, mexiletine shortened FPDcF in R1623Q-iPSC-CMs, which exhibited prolonged field potential duration corrected by Fridericia’s formula (FPDcF, analogous to QTcF). Meanwhile, E4031, a specific inhibitor of human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) channel, significantly increased the frequency of arrhythmia-like early after depolarization (EAD) events. These characteristics partly reflect the patient phenotypes. To further analyze the effect of neonatal isoform, which is predominantly expressed in the fetal period, on the R1623Q mutant properties, we transfected adult form and neonatal isoform SCN5A of control and R1623Q mutant SCN5A genes to 293T cells. Whole-cell automated patch-clamp recordings revealed that R1623Q increased persistent Na+ currents, indicating a gain-of-function mutation. Our findings demonstrate the utility of LQT3-associated R1623Q mutation-harboring iPSC-CMs for assessing pharmacological responses to therapeutic drugs and improving treatment efficacy. Furthermore, developmental switching of neonatal/adult Nav1.5 isoforms may be involved in the pathological mechanisms underlying severe long QT syndrome in fetuses and neonates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine)
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Review
Bioactive Metabolites Produced by Cyanobacteria for Growth Adaptation and their Pharmacological Properties
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101061 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Cyanobacteria are the most abundant oxygenic photosynthetic organisms inhabiting various ecosystems on earth. As with all other photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria release oxygen as a byproduct during photosynthesis. In fact, some cyanobacterial species are involved in the global nitrogen cycles by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria are the most abundant oxygenic photosynthetic organisms inhabiting various ecosystems on earth. As with all other photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria release oxygen as a byproduct during photosynthesis. In fact, some cyanobacterial species are involved in the global nitrogen cycles by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Environmental factors influence the dynamic, physiological characteristics, and metabolic profiles of cyanobacteria, which results in their great adaptation ability to survive in diverse ecosystems. The evolution of these primitive bacteria resulted from the unique settings of photosynthetic machineries and the production of bioactive compounds. Specifically, bioactive compounds play roles as regulators to provide protection against extrinsic factors and act as intracellular signaling molecules to promote colonization. In addition to the roles of bioactive metabolites as indole alkaloids, terpenoids, mycosporine-like amino acids, non-ribosomal peptides, polyketides, ribosomal peptides, phenolic acid, flavonoids, vitamins, and antimetabolites for cyanobacterial survival in numerous habitats, which is the focus of this review, the bioactivities of these compounds for the treatment of various diseases are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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Review
Influence of Light Conditions on Microalgae Growth and Content of Lipids, Carotenoids, and Fatty Acid Composition
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101060 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Microalgae are a valuable natural resource for a variety of value-added products. The growth of microalgae is determined by the impact of many factors, but, from the point of view of the implementation of autotrophic growth, light is of primary importance. This work [...] Read more.
Microalgae are a valuable natural resource for a variety of value-added products. The growth of microalgae is determined by the impact of many factors, but, from the point of view of the implementation of autotrophic growth, light is of primary importance. This work presents an overview of the influence of light conditions on the growth of microalgae, the content of lipids, carotenoids, and the composition of fatty acids in their biomass, taking into account parameters such as the intensity, duration of lighting, and use of rays of different spectral composition. The optimal light intensity for the growth of microalgae lies in the following range: 26−400 µmol photons m−2 s−1. An increase in light intensity leads to an activation of lipid synthesis. For maximum lipid productivity, various microalgae species and strains need lighting of different intensities: from 60 to 700 µmol photons m−2 s−1. Strong light preferentially increases the triacylglyceride content. The intensity of lighting has a regulating effect on the synthesis of fatty acids, carotenoids, including β-carotene, lutein and astaxanthin. In intense lighting conditions, saturated fatty acids usually accumulate, as well as monounsaturated ones, and the number of polyunsaturated fatty acids decreases. Red as well as blue LED lighting improves the biomass productivity of microalgae of various taxonomic groups. Changing the duration of the photoperiod, the use of pulsed light can stimulate microalgae growth, the production of lipids, and carotenoids. The simultaneous use of light and other stresses contributes to a stronger effect on the productivity of algae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biotechnology)
Article
Population Ecology and Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Alien Species Procambarus clarkii in Lake Trasimeno (Italy)
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101059 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 322
Abstract
The deliberate or accidental introduction of invasive alien species (IAS) causes negative ecological and economic impacts altering ecosystem processes, imperiling native species and causing damage to human endeavors. A monthly monitoring program was performed in Lake Trasimeno (Central Italy) from July 2018 to [...] Read more.
The deliberate or accidental introduction of invasive alien species (IAS) causes negative ecological and economic impacts altering ecosystem processes, imperiling native species and causing damage to human endeavors. A monthly monitoring program was performed in Lake Trasimeno (Central Italy) from July 2018 to July 2019 in order to provide an upgrade of the population ecology of Procambarus clarkii and to assess the genetic diversity by analyzing the relationships among mitochondrial DNA diversity. Our results confirmed that P. clarkii is well acclimatized in the lake, revealing a stable population structure favored by the resources and conditions typical of this ecosystem, which seem to be optimal for the maintenance of the species. Four distinct mitochondrial haplotypes were detected, but one of them was clearly overrepresented (76%), suggesting that a single predominant introduction event may have occurred in this area, likely followed by secondary events. The identification of the typical genetic variants provides a better understanding of the evolutionary scenarios of P. clarkii in this biotope and it can be helpful in management plans concerning the expanding populations of this invasive alien species. Full article
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Article
Comparison of the Mineral and Nutraceutical Profiles of Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum L.) Grown in Organic and Conventional Fields of Valdichiana, a Traditional Cultivation Area of Tuscany, Italy
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101058 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
In the Valdichiana area (Tuscany, Italy) an ancient native landrace of elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum L.), locally known as “Aglione della Valdichiana”, has long been cultivated. The aim of this study was to check whether there are differences in the mineral and [...] Read more.
In the Valdichiana area (Tuscany, Italy) an ancient native landrace of elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum L.), locally known as “Aglione della Valdichiana”, has long been cultivated. The aim of this study was to check whether there are differences in the mineral and nutraceutical profiles of the Aglione della Valdichiana cultivated conventionally and organically. Based on the analysis by ICP-MS of a wide array of major, minor, essential, and non-essential trace elements as well as rare earth elements, and the evaluation of the content of polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidants, soluble proteins, soluble sugars, and starch, as well as the weight and water content, it was concluded that differences in the mineral and nutraceutical profiles of organically and conventionally grown bulbs were very limited. Only a statistically (p < 0.05) higher concentration of Cd (+2620%), Co (+113%), Mn (+55%), Rb (+180%), and Sb (+180%), as well as glucose (+37%) in conventionally cultivated bulbs emerged. Cadmium was the only element slightly higher than in the “reference plant,” but with a negligible risk (three orders of magnitude lower) for human health based on consumption. It is concluded that we failed to find evidence of healthier food or a higher nutraceutical quality for organically cultivated elephant garlic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
Article
Predicting the Potential Global Distribution of Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) under Near Current and Future Climatic Conditions, Using the Maximum Entropy Model
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101057 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 156
Abstract
Amblyomma americanum (the lone star tick) is a pathogen vector, mainly from eastern North America, that bites humans. With global integration and climate change, some ticks that are currently confined to a certain place may begin to spread out; some reports have shown [...] Read more.
Amblyomma americanum (the lone star tick) is a pathogen vector, mainly from eastern North America, that bites humans. With global integration and climate change, some ticks that are currently confined to a certain place may begin to spread out; some reports have shown that they are undergoing rapid range expansion. The difference in the potential geographic distribution of A. americanum under current and future climatic conditions is dependent on environment variables such as temperature and precipitation, which can affect their survival. In this study, we used a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to predict the potential geographic distribution of A. americanum. The MaxEnt model was calibrated at the native range of A. americanum using occurrence data and the current climatic conditions. Seven WorldClim climatic variables were selected by the jackknife method and tested in MaxEnt using different combinations of model feature class functions and regularization multiplier values. The best model was chosen based on the omission rate and the lowest Akaike information criterion. The resulting model was then projected onto the global scale using the current and future climate conditions modeled under four greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Climate Change on Ecosystems and Human Health)
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Review
The Role of Satellite Cells in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration—The Effect of Exercise and Age
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101056 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 219
Abstract
The population of satellite cells (mSCs) is highly diversified. The cells comprising it differ in their ability to regenerate their own population and differentiate, as well as in the properties they exhibit. The heterogeneity of this group of cells is evidenced by multiple [...] Read more.
The population of satellite cells (mSCs) is highly diversified. The cells comprising it differ in their ability to regenerate their own population and differentiate, as well as in the properties they exhibit. The heterogeneity of this group of cells is evidenced by multiple differentiating markers that enable their recognition, classification, labeling, and characterization. One of the main tasks of satellite cells is skeletal muscle regeneration. Myofibers are often damaged during vigorous exercise in people who participate in sports activities. The number of satellite cells and the speed of the regeneration processes that depend on them affect the time structure of an athlete’s training. This process depends on inflammatory cells. The multitude of reactions and pathways that occur during the regeneration process results in the participation and control of many factors that are activated and secreted during muscle fiber damage and at different stages of its regeneration. However, not all of them are well understood yet. This paper presents the current state of knowledge on satellite cell-dependent skeletal muscle regeneration. Studies describing the effects of various forms of exercise and age on this process were reviewed. Full article
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Article
Identification of Bioactive Phytochemicals from Six Plants: Mechanistic Insights into the Inhibition of Rumen Protozoa, Ammoniagenesis, and α-Glucosidase
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101055 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Rumen protozoa prey on feed-degrading bacteria synthesizing microbial protein, lowering nitrogen utilization efficiency in ruminants. In this in vitro study, we evaluated six plants (Adansonia digitata, Flemingia macrophylla, Kalimeris indica,Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis, Portulaca oleracea, and Calotropis gigantea [...] Read more.
Rumen protozoa prey on feed-degrading bacteria synthesizing microbial protein, lowering nitrogen utilization efficiency in ruminants. In this in vitro study, we evaluated six plants (Adansonia digitata, Flemingia macrophylla, Kalimeris indica,Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis, Portulaca oleracea, and Calotropis gigantea) for their potential to inhibit rumen protozoa and identified the phytochemicals potentially responsible for protozoa inhibition. Rumen protozoa were anaerobically cultured in vitro in the presence of each plant at four doses. All of the tested plants reduced total rumen protozoa (p ≤ 0.05), but C. gigantea and B. rapa were the most inhibitory, inhibiting rumen protozoa by 45.6 and 65.7%, respectively, at the dose of 1.1 mg/mL. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a disruption of the extracellular structure of protozoa cells. Only C. gigantea also decreased the wasteful ammoniagenesis (p ≤ 0.05). Moreover, the A. digitata extract inhibited α-glucosidase activity by about 70% at 100 µg/mL. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis detected quercetin, anthraquinone, 3-hydroxybenzoic acid, astragaloside, and myricetin in the tested plant leaves. These plants may hold potential as feed additives to reduce rumen protozoa and α- glucosidase activity. Future research is needed to identify the specific anti-protozoal compound(s), the effects on the rumen microbiome, and its fermentation characteristics. Full article
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Article
Relationship between Plasma Concentrations of Afatinib and the Onset of Diarrhea in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101054 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 197
Abstract
We evaluated the area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC) of afatinib required to avoid the onset of grade 2 or higher diarrhea. The C0 and AUC0–24 of afatinib were significant higher in patients with grade 2 diarrhea than in those [...] Read more.
We evaluated the area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC) of afatinib required to avoid the onset of grade 2 or higher diarrhea. The C0 and AUC0–24 of afatinib were significant higher in patients with grade 2 diarrhea than in those with grade 0–1 diarrhea. The areas under the receiver operator curves were 0.795 with the highest sensitivity (89%) and specificity (74%) at an AUC0–24 threshold of 823.5 ng·h/mL, and 0.754 with the highest sensitivity (89%) and specificity (74%) at a C0 threshold of 28.5 ng/mL. In Kaplan–Meier analysis based on these cut-off AUC0–24 and C0 values, the median time to the incidence of grade 2 diarrhea was 16 days. The predicted AUC0–24 of afatinib from the single point of C6 showed the highest correlation with the measured AUC0–24 (r2 = 0.840); however, a significant correlation between the AUC0–24 and C0 was also observed (r2 = 0.761). C0 could be used as a marker of therapeutic drug monitoring because afatinib C0 was related to AUC0–24. Therefore, afatinib C0 should be monitored on day 8 after beginning therapy, and the daily dose of afatinib should be adjusted as an index with a cut-off value of 28.5 ng/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology)
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Review
Calcium-Dependent Pulmonary Inflammation and Pharmacological Interventions and Mediators
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101053 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Pulmonary diseases present a significant burden worldwide and lead to severe morbidity and mortality. Lung inflammation caused by interactions with either viruses, bacteria or fungi is a prominent characteristic of many pulmonary diseases. Tobacco smoke and E-cig use (“vaping”) are considered major risk [...] Read more.
Pulmonary diseases present a significant burden worldwide and lead to severe morbidity and mortality. Lung inflammation caused by interactions with either viruses, bacteria or fungi is a prominent characteristic of many pulmonary diseases. Tobacco smoke and E-cig use (“vaping”) are considered major risk factors in the development of pulmonary disease as well as worsening disease prognosis. However, at present, relatively little is known about the mechanistic actions by which smoking and vaping may worsen the disease. One theory suggests that long-term vaping leads to Ca2+ signaling dysregulation. Ca2+ is an important secondary messenger in signal transduction. Cellular Ca2+ concentrations are mediated by a complex series of pumps, channels, transporters and exchangers that are responsible for triggering various intracellular processes such as cell death, proliferation and secretion. In this review, we provide a detailed understating of the complex series of components that mediate Ca2+ signaling and how their dysfunction may result in pulmonary disease. Furthermore, we summarize the recent literature investigating the negative effects of smoking and vaping on pulmonary disease, cell toxicity and Ca2+ signaling. Finally, we summarize Ca2+-mediated pharmacological interventions that could potentially lead to novel treatments for pulmonary diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calcium Signaling Derangement and Disease Development and Progression)
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Review
Sugarcane Ratooning Ability: Research Status, Shortcomings, and Prospects
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101052 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 108
Abstract
Sugarcane is an important sugar crop and it can be subjected to ratooning for several years. The advantages of ratooning include quality improvement, efficiency enhancement, and reduced costs and energy use. The genotype, environment, cultivation management, and harvesting technology affect the productivity and [...] Read more.
Sugarcane is an important sugar crop and it can be subjected to ratooning for several years. The advantages of ratooning include quality improvement, efficiency enhancement, and reduced costs and energy use. The genotype, environment, cultivation management, and harvesting technology affect the productivity and longevity of ratoon cane, with the genetic basis being the most critical factor. However, the majority of research has been focused on only limited genotypes, and a few studies have evaluated up to 100 sugarcane germplasm resources. They mainly focus on the comparison among different genotypes or among plant cane, different selection strategies for the first and second ratoon crops, together with screening indicators for the selection of stronger ratooning ability. In this paper, previous studies are reviewed in order to analyze the importance of sugarcane ratooning, the indicative traits used to evaluate ratooning ability, the major factors influencing the productivity and longevity of ratooning, the genetic basis of variation in ratooning ability, and the underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, the shortcomings of the existing research on sugarcane ratooning are highlighted. We then discuss the focus of future ratoon sugarcane research and the technical methods that will shorten the selection cycle and increase the genetic gain of ratooning ability, particularly the development of linked markers. This review is expected to provide a reference for understanding the mechanisms underlying the formation of ratooning ability and for breeding sugarcane varieties with a strong ratooning ability. Full article
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Article
Fungal Interactions Matter: Tricholoma matsutake Domination Affect Fungal Diversity and Function in Mountain Forest Soils
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101051 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 89
Abstract
Tricholoma matsutake forms a symbiotic association with coniferous trees, developing mycelial aggregations, called ‘shiro’, which are characterized by distinct chemical and physical properties from nearby forest bulk soil. The fungal diversity living in shiro soil play key roles in nutrient cycles for this [...] Read more.
Tricholoma matsutake forms a symbiotic association with coniferous trees, developing mycelial aggregations, called ‘shiro’, which are characterized by distinct chemical and physical properties from nearby forest bulk soil. The fungal diversity living in shiro soil play key roles in nutrient cycles for this economically important mushroom, but have not been profiled across large spatial and environmental gradients. Samples of shiro and non-shiro (nearby bulk soil) were taken from five field sites where sporocarps naturally formed. Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and Illumina MiSeq sequencing were combined to identify fungal biomass and community structure. Matsutake dominated in the shiro, which had a significantly reduced saprotrophic fungi biomass compared to non-shiro soil. Fungal diversity was negatively correlated with the relative abundance of T. matsutake in the shiro soil. The fungal community in the shiro was characterized by similar fungal species composition in most samples regardless of forest types. Matsutake coexisted with a specific fungal community due to competition or nutrient interactions. Oidiodendron was positively correlated with the abundance of T. matsutake, commonly cohabitant in the shiro. In contrast, Helotiales and Mortierella were negatively correlated with T. matsutake, both of which commonly inhabit the non-shiro soil but do not occur in shiro soils. We conclude that T. matsutake generate a dominance effect to shape the fungal community and diversity in shiro soil across distinctive forest types. Full article
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Article
Mitochondrial Translation Occurs Preferentially in the Peri-Nuclear Mitochondrial Network of Cultured Human Cells
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101050 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 84
Abstract
Human mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, fusing and budding to maintain reticular networks throughout many cell types. Although extending to the extremities of the cell, the majority of the network is concentrated around the nucleus in most of the commonly cultured cell lines. [...] Read more.
Human mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, fusing and budding to maintain reticular networks throughout many cell types. Although extending to the extremities of the cell, the majority of the network is concentrated around the nucleus in most of the commonly cultured cell lines. This organelle harbours its own genome, mtDNA, with a different gene content to the nucleus, but the expression of which is critical for maintaining oxidative phosphorylation. Recent advances in click chemistry have allowed us to visualise sites of mitochondrial protein synthesis in intact cultured cells. We show that the majority of translation occurs in the peri-nuclear region of the network. Further analysis reveals that whilst there is a slight peri-nuclear enrichment in the levels of mitoribosomal protein and mitochondrial rRNA, it is not sufficient to explain this substantial heterogeneity in the distribution of translation. Finally, we also show that in contrast, a mitochondrial mRNA does not show such a distinct gradient in distribution. These data suggest that the relative lack of translation in the peripheral mitochondrial network is not due to an absence of mitoribosomes or an insufficient supply of the mt-mRNA transcripts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Heterogeneity)
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Article
Pomacea canaliculata Ampullar Proteome: A Nematode-Based Bio-Pesticide Induces Changes in Metabolic and Stress-Related Pathways
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101049 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 84
Abstract
Pomacea canaliculata is a freshwater gastropod known for being both a highly invasive species and one of the possible intermediate hosts of the mammalian parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis. With the aim of providing new information concerning P. canaliculata biology and adaptability, the first [...] Read more.
Pomacea canaliculata is a freshwater gastropod known for being both a highly invasive species and one of the possible intermediate hosts of the mammalian parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis. With the aim of providing new information concerning P. canaliculata biology and adaptability, the first proteome of the ampulla, i.e., a small organ associated with the circulatory system and known as a reservoir of nitrogen-containing compounds, was obtained. The ampullar proteome was derived from ampullae of control snails or after exposure to a nematode-based molluscicide, known for killing snails in a dose- and temperature-dependent fashion. Proteome analysis revealed that the composition of connective ampulla walls, cell metabolism and oxidative stress response were affected by the bio-pesticide. Ultrastructural investigations have highlighted the presence of rhogocytes within the ampullar walls, as it has been reported for other organs containing nitrogen storage tissue. Collected data suggested that the ampulla may belong to a network of organs involved in controlling and facing oxidative stress in different situations. The response against the nematode-based molluscicide recalled the response set up during early arousal after aestivation and hibernation, thus encouraging the hypothesis that metabolic pathways and antioxidant defences promoting amphibiousness could also prove useful in facing other challenges stimulating an oxidative stress response, e.g., immune challenges or biocide exposure. Targeting the oxidative stress resistance of P. canaliculata may prove helpful for increasing its susceptibility to bio-pesticides and may help the sustainable control of this pest’s diffusion. Full article
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Article
Phylogeographic and SNPs Analyses of Bemisia tabaci B Mitotype Populations Reveal Only Two of Eight Haplotypes Are Invasive
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101048 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 105
Abstract
The Bemisia tabaci cryptic species contains 39 known mitotypes of which the B and Q are best recognized for having established outside their extant endemic range. In the 1980s, previously uncharacterized haplotype(s) of the B mitotype rapidly established in tropical and subtropical locales [...] Read more.
The Bemisia tabaci cryptic species contains 39 known mitotypes of which the B and Q are best recognized for having established outside their extant endemic range. In the 1980s, previously uncharacterized haplotype(s) of the B mitotype rapidly established in tropical and subtropical locales distant from their presumed center of origin, leading to displacement of several native mitotypes and extreme damage to crops and other vegetation particularly in irrigated agroecosystems. To trace the natural and evolutionary history of the invasive B haplotypes, a phylo-biogeographic study was undertaken. Patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and signatures potentially indicative of geographic isolation were investigated using a globally representative mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (mtCOI) sequence database. Eight haplotype groups within the North Africa-Middle East (NAFME) region were differentiated, NAFME 1–8. The NAFME 1–3 haplotypes were members of the same population that is associated with warm desert climate niches of the Arabian Peninsula and east coastal Africa-Ethiopia. The NAFME 4 and 5 haplotypes are endemic to warm and cold semi-arid niches delimited by the Irano-Turanian floristic region, itself harboring extensive biodiversity. Haplotypes 6 and 7 co-occurred in the Middle East along eastern Mediterranean Sea landmasses, while NAFME 8 was found to be endemic to Cyprus, Turkey, and desert micro-niches throughout Egypt and Israel. Contrary to claims that collectively, the B mitotype is invasive, NAFME 6 and 8 are the only haplotypes to have established in geographical locations outside of their zone of endemism. Full article
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Review
Tau Post-Translational Modifications: Potentiators of Selective Vulnerability in Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101047 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, and its severity is characterized by the progressive formation of tau neurofibrillary tangles along a well-described path through the brain. This spatial progression provides the basis for Braak staging of the pathological [...] Read more.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, and its severity is characterized by the progressive formation of tau neurofibrillary tangles along a well-described path through the brain. This spatial progression provides the basis for Braak staging of the pathological progression for AD. Tau protein is a necessary component of AD pathology, and recent studies have found that soluble tau species with selectively, but not extensively, modified epitopes accumulate along the path of disease progression before AD-associated insoluble aggregates form. As such, modified tau may represent a key cellular stressing agent that potentiates selective vulnerability in susceptible neurons during AD progression. Specifically, studies have found that tau phosphorylated at sites such as T181, T231, and S396 may initiate early pathological changes in tau by disrupting proper tau localization, initiating tau oligomerization, and facilitating tau accumulation and extracellular export. Thus, this review elucidates potential mechanisms through which tau post-translational modifications (PTMs) may simultaneously serve as key modulators of the spatial progression observed in AD development and as key instigators of early pathology related to neurodegeneration-relevant cellular dysfunctions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selective Vulnerability in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Review
Exotic Pet Trade as a Cause of Biological Invasions: The Case of Tree Squirrels of the Genus Callosciurus
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101046 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 161
Abstract
The trade of non-native pets, especially of non-domesticated and exotic animals, and their subsequent release and establishment of populations is one of the major pathways of introduction for invasive alien reptiles, amphibia, birds and mammals. Here, we use a group of arboreal mammals, [...] Read more.
The trade of non-native pets, especially of non-domesticated and exotic animals, and their subsequent release and establishment of populations is one of the major pathways of introduction for invasive alien reptiles, amphibia, birds and mammals. Here, we use a group of arboreal mammals, tree squirrels of the genus Callosciurus, as a well-documented case study, reviewing the pathways of introduction, the current areas of non-native distribution, the rate of establishment success and the challenge and legal importance of species identification. We further illustrate the importance of early detection and effective monitoring methods and plans. Next, we document how they interfere with native species, their risk of acting as vectors for emerging infectious diseases and their potential role in maintaining parasitic infections that can affect human health. We conclude by reviewing the current management, or the lack of it, and highlight the diverse biological, social, political and economic reasons that make control/eradication of these charismatic species difficult or even impractical in most countries. However, reviewing the only two successful eradications of the IAS, we highlight the need to acknowledge the public opinion and the importance of communication, transparency and the engagement of a diversity of stakeholders to create a consensus about the actions to undertake. Full article
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Article
Antiviral Function of NKEF against VHSV in Rainbow Trout
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101045 (registering DOI) - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 126
Abstract
Natural killer enhancing factor (NKEF) belongs to the peroxiredoxin family of proteins, a group of antioxidants that has been extensively studied in mammals. Recently, we identified NKEF in the immunoprecipitated proteome of rainbow trout red blood cells (RBCs) exposed to viral hemorrhagic septicemia [...] Read more.
Natural killer enhancing factor (NKEF) belongs to the peroxiredoxin family of proteins, a group of antioxidants that has been extensively studied in mammals. Recently, we identified NKEF in the immunoprecipitated proteome of rainbow trout red blood cells (RBCs) exposed to viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV). In the present study, we evaluated the role of NKEF in the antiviral response of rainbow trout against VHSV by examining the expression profile of NKEF in VHSV-exposed RBCs and rainbow trout gonad-2 (RTG-2) cell line. We found an in vitro correlation between decreased VHSV replication and increased NKEF expression after RBCs were exposed to VHSV, however this was not found in RTG-2 cells where the infection highly increased and nkef transcripts remained almost unchanged. In addition, siRNA silencing of the nkef gene in rainbow trout RBCs and RTG-2 cells resulted in increased VHSV replication. We also found a correlation between nkef gene silencing and a decrease in the expression of genes related to type 1 interferon (IFN1) pathway. These findings indicated that NKEF is involved in the antiviral mechanisms of rainbow trout RBCs against VHSV and thus support its antiviral role and implication in the modulation of their immune response. Finally, overexpression of NKEF in an EPC cell line significantly reduced VHSV infectivity and was coupled to an increment in IFN1-related genes. In conclusion, NKEF may be a potential target for new therapeutic strategies against viral infections. Full article
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Review
Regulation of Milk Protein Synthesis by Free and Peptide-Bound Amino Acids in Dairy Cows
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101044 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Milk protein (MP) synthesis in the mammary gland of dairy cows is a complex biological process. As the substrates for protein synthesis, amino acids (AAs) are the most important nutrients for milk synthesis. Free AAs (FAAs) are the main precursors of MP synthesis, [...] Read more.
Milk protein (MP) synthesis in the mammary gland of dairy cows is a complex biological process. As the substrates for protein synthesis, amino acids (AAs) are the most important nutrients for milk synthesis. Free AAs (FAAs) are the main precursors of MP synthesis, and their supplies are supplemented by peptide-bound AAs (PBAAs) in the blood. Utilization of AAs in the mammary gland of dairy cows has attracted the great interest of researchers because of the goal of increasing MP yield. Supplying sufficient and balanced AAs is critical to improve MP concentration and yield in dairy cows. Great progress has been made in understanding limiting AAs and their requirements for MP synthesis in dairy cows. This review focuses on the effects of FAA and PBAA supply on MP synthesis and their underlying mechanisms. Advances in our knowledge in the field can help us to develop more accurate models to predict dietary protein requirements for dairy cows MP synthesis, which will ultimately improve the nitrogen utilization efficiency and lactation performance of dairy cows. Full article
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Perspective
The Curious Case of Earthworms and COVID-19
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101043 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Earthworms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and are used globally as an ecotoxicological standard test species. Studies of the earthworm Eisenia fetida have shown that exposure to nanomaterials activates a primary corona-response, which is covering the nanomaterial with native proteins, [...] Read more.
Earthworms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and are used globally as an ecotoxicological standard test species. Studies of the earthworm Eisenia fetida have shown that exposure to nanomaterials activates a primary corona-response, which is covering the nanomaterial with native proteins, the same response as to biological invaders such as a virus. We outline that the earthworm Eisenia fetida is possibly immune to COVID-19 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2), and we describe the likely mechanisms of highly receptor-specific pore-forming proteins (PFPs). A non-toxic version of this protein is available, and we hypothesize that it is possible to use the earthworm’s PFPs based anti-viral mechanism as a therapeutic model for human SARS-CoV-2 and other corona viruses. The proteins can be used as a drug, for example, delivered with a nanoparticle in a similar way to the current COVID-19 vaccines. Obviously, careful consideration should be given to the potential risk of toxicity elicited by lysenin for in vivo usage. We aim to share this view to activate its exploration by the wider scientific community while promoting a potential therapeutic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invertebrates as Models in Human Pandemics: Facts and Opinion)
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Article
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Protects the Testis and Blood from the Toxicity of Paracetamol (Overdose) in Adult Male Rats
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101042 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 191
Abstract
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is important in people’s daily diets. Paracetamol is a widely used analgesic and antipyretic drug. The aim of this study is to investigate the protective effect of EVOO against hematotoxicity and testicular toxicity induced by paracetamol overdose in [...] Read more.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is important in people’s daily diets. Paracetamol is a widely used analgesic and antipyretic drug. The aim of this study is to investigate the protective effect of EVOO against hematotoxicity and testicular toxicity induced by paracetamol overdose in rats. Forty rats were divided into four groups. Group 1 rats were given water (control), Group 2 rats were given oral EVOO daily (2 mL/kg b.wt.), Group 3 rats were given oral paracetamol daily (650 mg/kg b.wt.), and Group 4 rats were given paracetamol and EVOO daily. After 15 days, blood and testis samples were collected for biochemical, histological, and ultrastructural studies. The results show that paracetamol decreased the PCV, Hb, and RBC counts relative to the control, and significantly increased the WBC counts and stab cells in Group 3. A significant decrease in blood testosterone was found in Group 3 compared to the control, while a significant increase in testosterone levels was observed in Group 4 compared to Group 3. Light and electron microscopy showed disorganized seminiferous tubules in Group 3. The testis in Group 4 appeared in normal shape. In conclusion, the results indicate that EVOO protects the testis and blood from paracetamol toxicity and may also increase fertility in male rats. Full article
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Review
Nitric Oxide as a Central Molecule in Hypertension: Focus on the Vasorelaxant Activity of New Nitric Oxide Donors
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101041 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases include all types of disorders related to the heart or blood vessels. High blood pressure is an important risk factor for cardiac complications and pathological disorders. An increase in circulating angiotensin-II is a potent stimulus for the expression of reactive oxygen [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases include all types of disorders related to the heart or blood vessels. High blood pressure is an important risk factor for cardiac complications and pathological disorders. An increase in circulating angiotensin-II is a potent stimulus for the expression of reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines that activate oxidative stress, perpetuating a deleterious effect in hypertension. Studies demonstrate the capacity of NO to prevent platelet or leukocyte activation and adhesion and inhibition of proliferation, as well as to modulate inflammatory or anti-inflammatory reactions and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells. However, in conditions of low availability of NO, such as during hypertension, these processes are impaired. Currently, there is great interest in the development of compounds capable of releasing NO in a modulated and stable way. Accordingly, compounds containing metal ions coupled to NO are being investigated and are widely recognized as having great relevance in the treatment of different diseases. Therefore, the exogenous administration of NO is an attractive and pharmacological alternative in the study and treatment of hypertension. The present review summarizes the role of nitric oxide in hypertension, focusing on the role of new NO donors, particularly the metal-based drugs and their protagonist activity in vascular function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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