Next Issue
Volume 10, June
Previous Issue
Volume 10, April

Biology, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 101 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the Earth’s most endangered biodiversity hotspots with high levels of diversity and endemism. Jurasaidae are small neotenic beetles that were only recently discovered in this highly under-investigated biome. They have a limited dispersal propensity due to their larviform wingless females. So far, only three species classified in two genera are known. Here, we report the discovery of two new species, one of which represents the first species collected within the relatively dry transitional zone between the Atlantic Forest and the Caatinga biomes. Considering our recent findings, as well as the minute body size and cryptic lifestyle of Jurasaidae, we expect many more species to be discovered in the future from the Atlantic Forest and possibly other surrounding ecoregions too. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Measured by B-Mode Ultrasound to Assess and Monitor Obesity and Cardio–Metabolic Risk in Children and Adolescents
Biology 2021, 10(5), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050449 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Monitoring of children at heightened risk of cardio–metabolic diseases raises the need for accurate assessment of obesity. A standardized approach for measuring subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) by bright-mode ultrasound was evaluated in relation to body indices and anthropometry in a cross-sectional sample of [...] Read more.
Monitoring of children at heightened risk of cardio–metabolic diseases raises the need for accurate assessment of obesity. A standardized approach for measuring subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) by bright-mode ultrasound was evaluated in relation to body indices and anthropometry in a cross-sectional sample of 76 South African children (7–10 years) and 86 adolescents (13–17 years) to assess cardio–metabolic risk. SAT was higher in girls as compared to boys (children: 50.0 ± 21.7 mm > 34.42 ± 15.8 mm, adolescents: 140.9 ± 59.4 mm > 79.5 ± 75.6 mm, p < 0.001) and up to four times higher in adolescents than in children. In children, measures of relative body weight showed only a poor correlation to SAT (BMI: r = 0.607, p < 0.001), while in adolescents, BMI correlated high with SAT (r = 0.906, p < 0.001) based on high rates of overweight and obesity (41.8%). Children with identical BMIs may have large differences (>2–3-fold) in their amount of SAT. The moderate association to systolic (r = 0.534, r = 0.550, p < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.402, r = 0.262, p < 0.001) further substantiates that SAT measured by ultrasound provides an accurate, safe and easy applicable approach for monitoring in children and adolescents at cardio–metabolic risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
All That Glitters Is Not Gold: The Other Insects That Fall into the Asian Yellow-Legged Hornet Vespa velutina ‘Specific’ Traps
Biology 2021, 10(5), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050448 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The introduction of invasive species is considered one of the major threats to the biodiversity conservation worldwide. In recent years, an Asian invasive species of wasp has set off alarms in Europe and elsewhere in the world, Vespa velutina. The Asian wasp [...] Read more.
The introduction of invasive species is considered one of the major threats to the biodiversity conservation worldwide. In recent years, an Asian invasive species of wasp has set off alarms in Europe and elsewhere in the world, Vespa velutina. The Asian wasp was accidentally introduced in France around 2004 and shortly thereafter it was able to colonise practically all of Europe, including the Iberian Peninsula. The ecological and economic implications of V. velutina invasion and its high colonisation ability have triggered widespread trapping campaigns, usually supported by beekeepers and local governments, with the aim of diminishing its population and its negative impacts. Among the most used control methods are the capture traps, which use a sugary attractant to catch the invasive wasps. However, the species-specific selectivity and efficiency of these traps has been little studied. In this paper, we have analysed the specific identity of the unintentionally trapped insect species from northern Spain (covering one-year period), as well as we have assessed the provided ecosystem services by them. A total of 74 non-target taxa of insects were caught by the V. velutina studied traps, most of them correspond to the orders Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera, the dipterans being the most abundant group. Surprisingly, the most abundant trapped species was the invasive fly, Drosophila suzukii that represented the 36.07% of the total catches. Furthermore, we reported the first record of ectoparasitic mites of the genus Varroa on V. velutina, constituting a newly recorded symbiotic association. Hopefully, the provided information helps to develop new protocols and management tools to control this invasive species in the Iberian Peninsula and other temperate areas of western Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Treating the Metabolic Syndrome by Fecal Transplantation—Current Status
Biology 2021, 10(5), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050447 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
The intestinal microbiome (IM) is important for normal gastrointestinal (GI) and other organ systems’ functioning. An alteration in the normal IM, dysbiosis, and changes in intestinal motility result in microorganisms’ overgrowth and an alteration in intestinal permeability. The gut–brain axis is also of [...] Read more.
The intestinal microbiome (IM) is important for normal gastrointestinal (GI) and other organ systems’ functioning. An alteration in the normal IM, dysbiosis, and changes in intestinal motility result in microorganisms’ overgrowth and an alteration in intestinal permeability. The gut–brain axis is also of importance in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and associated bowel overgrowth. Secondary to the epidemic of obesity, the metabolic syndrome has become a major health problem. Disturbances in the fecal microbiome are associated with the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is now the current terminology for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. IM alteration by fecal transplantation is an approved treatment method for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection. Initially performed by either duodenal infusion or colonoscopy, it is now easily performed by the administration of capsules containing stools. We discuss the intestinal microbiome—its composition, as well as the qualitative changes of microbiome composition leading to inflammation. In addition, we discuss the evidence of the effect of fecal transplantation on the metabolic syndrome and MAFLD, as well as its clinical indications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Alcoholic Liver Injury)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Survival Analysis after Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Single Center Cohort Study
Biology 2021, 10(5), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050446 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Background: Living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been used as a curative treatment option for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because of a shortage of deceased donors. This study aimed to investigate survival outcomes after LDLT for HCC. Method: This study included [...] Read more.
Background: Living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been used as a curative treatment option for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because of a shortage of deceased donors. This study aimed to investigate survival outcomes after LDLT for HCC. Method: This study included 359 patients undergoing LDLT for HCC. We analyzed overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) and the prognostic factors related to them. Results: The 5-year OS and RFS rates of patients within the Milan criteria (WM) were better than those of patients beyond the Milan criteria (BM) (87.3% vs. 64.1% and 87.6% vs. 57.8%, respectively, both p < 0.05). Alpha-fetoprotein level (AFP) > 400 ng/mL (hazard ratio (HR), 2.07; 95% CI, 1.28–3.36; p < 0.05) and HCC of BM (HR, 2.61; 95% CI, 1.60–4.26; p < 0.05) at immediate pretransplant were independent risk factors of OS. AFP > 400 ng/mL (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.34–3.49; p < 0.05) and HCC of BM (HR, 3.01; 95% CI, 1.81–5.01; p < 0.05) were also independent risk factors of RFS. In pathologic findings of explanted liver, tumor size, Edmondson–Steiner grade III–IV, and microvascular invasion were independent risk factors of both OS and RFS (p < 0.05). Conclusions: BM and AFP > 400 ng/mL at immediate pretransplant are unfavorable predictors of survival outcomes after LDLT for HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Color of Pan Trap Influences Sampling of Bees in Livestock Pasture Ecosystem
Biology 2021, 10(5), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050445 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 568
Abstract
The decline in insect pollinators has increased the importance of accurately monitoring pollinator diversity and abundance over time. Sampling techniques include the use of passive insect traps such as pan traps, yet there is still discussion over their utility and effectiveness in different [...] Read more.
The decline in insect pollinators has increased the importance of accurately monitoring pollinator diversity and abundance over time. Sampling techniques include the use of passive insect traps such as pan traps, yet there is still discussion over their utility and effectiveness in different ecosystems. The objective was to examine four different colors of pan traps (blue, green, yellow, and purple) for their utility in sampling bees in native forages rotationally grazed by sheep and to compare the relative abundance, richness, similarity, and community assemblage patterns among the four trap colors. Most bees were from the Halictidae family (89%). The most abundant species were Lasioglossum imitatum (42.2%), Augochlorella aurata (8.3%), L. subviridatum (6.8), Agapostemon texanus (6.4), and L. birkmani (4.1%). Blue color traps exhibited the highest rates of bee capture and species accumulation. Purple and yellow colored traps were moderately effective in capturing bees, while the green color pan traps were least effective. Similarly, observed and extrapolated species richness was highest in blue trap, followed by purple, yellow, and green. Notably, the blue trap captured the highest number of unique species, followed by purple, yellow and green traps. Considering the total number of insects collected (including bees and other insects), yellow and green traps captured a significantly higher number of insects than other colored traps. The light reflectance from blue, purple, green and yellow pan traps had peaks at ~450, 400, 550, and 600 nm, respectively. Since different insects respond to different light intensities, wavelengths, and reflectivity, these results could be used to guide future trapping protocols targeting certain insect groups in livestock pasture and similar ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Editorial
Plant-Pathogen Interaction
Biology 2021, 10(5), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050444 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Plant diseases result in severe losses to natural plant systems, and also cause problems for economics and production in agricultural systems [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Pathogen Interaction)
Article
Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC., a Traditional Herbal Tea, Exerts Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Properties in Different In Vitro and In Vivo Systems
Biology 2021, 10(5), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050443 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
In traditional medicine, Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC or rock tea (RT) has been mainly used to treat digestive and respiratory pathologies but also as an antimicrobial or an antidepressant herbal remedy. An ethanolic extract of RT has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and [...] Read more.
In traditional medicine, Jasonia glutinosa (L.) DC or rock tea (RT) has been mainly used to treat digestive and respiratory pathologies but also as an antimicrobial or an antidepressant herbal remedy. An ethanolic extract of RT has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may be explained by its phytochemical profile, rich in polyphenols and pigments. The aim of this study is to investigate the neuroprotective potential of RT. For this purpose, the ethanolic extract of RT is assayed in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as an in vivo model, and through in vitro assays using monoamine oxidase A, tyrosinase and acetylcholinesterase as enzymes. The RT extract reduces juglone-induced oxidative stress in worms and increases the lifespan and prevents paralysis of C. elegans CL4176, a model of Alzheimer’s disease; the extract is also able to inhibit enzymes such as acetylcholinesterase, monoamine oxidase A and tyrosinase in vitro. Together these results demonstrate that Jasonia glutinosa is a good candidate with antioxidant and neuroprotective potential for the development of new products with pharmaceutical interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Camel Milk Mitigates Cyclosporine-Induced Renal Damage in Rats: Targeting p38/ERK/JNK MAPKs, NF-κB, and Matrix Metalloproteinases
Biology 2021, 10(5), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050442 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Renal damage is a devastating adverse effect for cyclosporine; a widely used immunosuppressant drug. The present work examined the potential of camel milk, a natural agent with marked anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties, to attenuate cyclosporine-induced renal injury. The kidney tissue was examined with the aid [...] Read more.
Renal damage is a devastating adverse effect for cyclosporine; a widely used immunosuppressant drug. The present work examined the potential of camel milk, a natural agent with marked anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties, to attenuate cyclosporine-induced renal injury. The kidney tissue was examined with the aid of Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, biochemical assays, including colorimetric and ELISA kits. The present findings revealed that camel milk (10 mL/kg/day; for 3 weeks by gavage) significantly lowered serum creatinine, BUN, and KIM-1 renal dysfunction markers. Mechanistically, camel milk inhibited renal inflammation, as seen by significant decrease of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-18) and extracellular degradation signals (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and enhanced the generation of the anti-inflammatory IL-10. Moreover, it inhibited the upstream pro-inflammatory p38/ERK/JNK MAPK pathway by lowering the phosphorylation of the 3 subfamilies of MAPKs (p38 MAPK, JNK1/2, and ERK1/2). Furthermore, camel milk curbed the NF-κB pathway activation by downregulating the protein expression of activated NF-κBp65, p-NF-κBp65, and p-IκBα proteins. Additionally, camel milk inhibited renal oxidative stress by lowering the MPO activity and augmenting the reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio and total antioxidant capacity. These findings propose that camel milk may be a promising agent that inhibits cyclosporine-triggered renal inflammation via curtailing the p38/ERK/JNK MAPK and NF-κB pathways, matrix metalloproteinases, and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Tobacco Use and Periodontal Disease—The Role of Microvascular Dysfunction
Biology 2021, 10(5), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050441 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Periodontal disease consists in highly prevalent wide-ranging inflammatory conditions that affect the supporting apparatus of teeth. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for periodontal disease as it increases disease severity and periodontal surgery complications. Tobacco use is harmful for the vasculature [...] Read more.
Periodontal disease consists in highly prevalent wide-ranging inflammatory conditions that affect the supporting apparatus of teeth. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for periodontal disease as it increases disease severity and periodontal surgery complications. Tobacco use is harmful for the vasculature by causing microvascular dysfunction, which is known to negatively affect periodontal disease. To the author’s knowledge this paper is the first comprehensive review on the mechanisms by which tobacco use affects oral microcirculation and impacts the pathophysiology of periodontal disease. In healthy subjects, acute nicotine administration or tobacco use (smoking/smokeless forms) increases the blood flow in the oral mucosa due to local irritation and increased blood pressure, which overcome neural- and endocrine-mediated vasoconstriction. Chronic tobacco smokers display an increased gingival microvascular density, which is attributed to an increased capillary recruitment, however, these microcirculatory units show higher tortuosity and lower caliber. These morphological changes, together with the repetitive vasoconstrictive insults, contribute to lower gingival perfusion in chronic smokers and do not completely regress upon smoking cessation. In periodontal disease there is considerable gingival inflammation and angiogenesis in non-smokers which, in chronic smokers, are considerably suppressed, in part due to local immune suppression and oxidative stress. Tobacco exposure, irrespective of the form of use, causes long-term microvascular dysfunction that increases the risk of complications due to the natural disease course or secondary therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microcirculation in Health and Disease)
Article
Integrated Signals of Jasmonates, Sugars, Cytokinins and Auxin Influence the Initial Growth of the Second Buds of Chrysanthemum after Decapitation
Biology 2021, 10(5), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050440 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Decapitation is common in horticulture for altering plant architecture. The decapitation of chrysanthemum plants breaks apical dominance and leads to more flowers on lateral branches, resulting in landscape flowers with good coverage. We performed both third- and second-generation transcriptome sequencing of the second [...] Read more.
Decapitation is common in horticulture for altering plant architecture. The decapitation of chrysanthemum plants breaks apical dominance and leads to more flowers on lateral branches, resulting in landscape flowers with good coverage. We performed both third- and second-generation transcriptome sequencing of the second buds of chrysanthemum. This third-generation transcriptome is the first sequenced third-generation transcriptome of chrysanthemum, revealing alternative splicing events, lncRNAs, and transcription factors. Aside from the classic hormones, the expression of jasmonate-related genes changed because of this process. Sugars also played an important role in this process, with upregulated expression of sucrose transport-related and TPS genes. We constructed a model of the initial growth of the second buds after decapitation. Auxin export and sugar influx activated the growth of these buds, while the JA-Ile caused by wounding inhibited the expression of CycD genes from 0 h to 6 h. After wound recovery, cytokinins accumulated in the second buds and might have induced ARR12 expression to upregulate CycD gene expression from 6 h to 48 h, together with sugars. Therefore, jasmonates, cytokinins, sugars, and auxin work together to determine the fate of the buds of plants with short internodes, such as chrysanthemum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
HERV-K(HML7) Integrations in the Human Genome: Comprehensive Characterization and Comparative Analysis in Non-Human Primates
Biology 2021, 10(5), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050439 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) are ancient relics of infections that affected the primate germ line and constitute about 8% of our genome. Growing evidence indicates that ERVs had a major role in vertebrate evolution, being occasionally domesticated by the host physiology. In addition, human [...] Read more.
Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) are ancient relics of infections that affected the primate germ line and constitute about 8% of our genome. Growing evidence indicates that ERVs had a major role in vertebrate evolution, being occasionally domesticated by the host physiology. In addition, human ERV (HERV) expression is highly investigated for a possible pathological role, even if no clear associations have been reported yet. In fact, on the one side, the study of HERV expression in high-throughput data is a powerful and promising tool to assess their actual dysregulation in diseased conditions; but, on the other side, the poor knowledge about the various HERV group genomic diversity and individual members somehow prevented the association between specific HERV loci and a given molecular mechanism of pathogenesis. The present study is focused on the HERV-K(HML7) group that—differently from the other HERV-K members—still remains poorly characterized. Starting from an initial identification performed with the software RetroTector, we collected 23 HML7 proviral insertions and about 160 HML7 solitary LTRs that were analyzed in terms of genomic distribution, revealing a significant enrichment in chromosome X and the frequent localization within human gene introns as well as in pericentromeric and centromeric regions. Phylogenetic analyses showed that HML7 members form a monophyletic group, which based on age estimation and comparative localization in non-human primates had its major diffusion between 20 and 30 million years ago. Structural characterization revealed that besides 3 complete HML7 proviruses, the other group members shared a highly defective structure that, however, still presents recognizable functional domains, making it worth further investigation in the human population to assess the presence of residual coding potential. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Comparison of Craniofacial Characteristics between Two Different Adult Populations with Class II Malocclusion—A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study
Biology 2021, 10(5), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050438 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
The dental, skeletal, and soft-tissue characteristics of a particular malocclusion can differ based on ethnicity, race, age, sex and geographical location with Class II malocclusion being one of the most prevalent malocclusions encountered in orthodontic clinical practice. The broad understanding of the characteristics [...] Read more.
The dental, skeletal, and soft-tissue characteristics of a particular malocclusion can differ based on ethnicity, race, age, sex and geographical location with Class II malocclusion being one of the most prevalent malocclusions encountered in orthodontic clinical practice. The broad understanding of the characteristics of vertical skeletal and dental parameters in patients with Class II malocclusion can help clinicians to identify patterns and variations in the expression of this phenotype for better treatment outcomes. Hence, we compared the craniofacial characteristics of skeletal and dental Class II malocclusion traits from Indian and Vietnamese individuals to analyze the vertical skeletal and dental patterns in both population groups. The sample comprised of lateral cephalograms from 100 young adults with Class II malocclusion, of which fifty (25 males and 25 females) were from South India and the other 50 age- and sex-matched adults from Vietnam. The lateral cephalometric radiographs were digitized into anonymous image files and were traced and assessed for 16 vertical skeletal and dental parameters. The ANB angle was greater in males (+1.4 deg; p < 0.001) and females (+1.9 deg; p < 0.001) in the South Indian population. The Vietnamese males had a larger mandibular plane angle, articular angle, anterior facial height and lower anterior facial height compared to the Indian males. The Vietnamese females had larger mandibular plane and articular angles compared to the Indian females. The skeletal class II malocclusion was more severe in the South Indian compared to the Vietnamese adults. The Vietnamese sample showed a generalized tendency towards a more vertical skeletal growth pattern and in males this pattern seemed to be due to the dentoalveolar component. The Vietnamese females showed a tendency towards a vertical growth pattern, but without apparent contribution by the dentoalveolar component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Precision Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Heterozygous Genotype-Dependent Branched-Spike Wheat and the Potential Genetic Mechanism Revealed by Transcriptome Sequencing
Biology 2021, 10(5), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050437 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) spike architecture is an important trait associated with spike development and grain yield. Here, we report a naturally occurring wheat mutant with branched spikelets (BSL) from its wild-type YD-16, which has a normal spike trait and confers a [...] Read more.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) spike architecture is an important trait associated with spike development and grain yield. Here, we report a naturally occurring wheat mutant with branched spikelets (BSL) from its wild-type YD-16, which has a normal spike trait and confers a moderate level of resistance to wheat Fusarium head blight (FHB). The lateral meristems positioned at the basal parts of the rachis node of the BSL mutant develop into ramified spikelets characterized as multiple spikelets. The BSL mutant shows three to four-day longer growth period but less 1000-grain weight than the wild type, and it becomes highly susceptible to FHB infection, indicating that the locus controlling the BSL trait may have undergone an intensively artificial and/or natural selection in modern breeding process. The self-pollinated descendants of the lines with the BSL trait consistently segregated with an equal ratio of branched and normal spikelets (NSL) wheat, and homozygotes with the BSL trait could not be achieved even after nine cycles of self-pollination. Distinct segregation patterns both from the self-pollinated progenies of the BSL plants and from the reciprocal crosses between the BSL plants with their sister NSL plants suggested that gametophytic male sterility was probably associated with the heterozygosity for the BSL trait. Transcriptome sequencing of the RNA bulks contrasting in the two types of spike trait at the heading stage indicated that the genes on chromosome 2DS may be critical for the BSL trait formation since 329 out of 2540 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were located on that chromosome, and most of them were down-regulated. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that carbohydrate metabolism may be involved in the BSL trait expression. This work provides valuable clues into understanding development and domestication of wheat spike as well as the association of the BSL trait with FHB susceptibility. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Virulence Determinants of Colistin-Resistant K. pneumoniae High-Risk Clones
Biology 2021, 10(5), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050436 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
We proposed the hypothesis that high-risk clones of colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae (ColR-Kp) possesses a high number of virulence factors and has enhanced survival capacity against the neutrophil activity. We studied virulence genes of ColR-Kp isolates and neutrophil response in 142 patients with invasive [...] Read more.
We proposed the hypothesis that high-risk clones of colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae (ColR-Kp) possesses a high number of virulence factors and has enhanced survival capacity against the neutrophil activity. We studied virulence genes of ColR-Kp isolates and neutrophil response in 142 patients with invasive ColR-Kp infections. The ST101 and ST395 ColR-Kp infections had higher 30-day mortality (58%, p = 0.005 and 75%, p = 0.003). The presence of yersiniabactin biosynthesis gene (ybtS) and ferric uptake operon associated gene (kfu) were significantly higher in ST101 (99%, p ≤ 0.001) and ST395 (94%, p < 0.012). Being in ICU (OR: 7.9; CI: 1.43–55.98; p = 0.024), kfu (OR:27.0; CI: 5.67–179.65; p < 0.001) and ST101 (OR: 17.2; CI: 2.45–350.40; p = 0.01) were found to be predictors of 30-day mortality. Even the neutrophil uptake of kfu+-ybtS+ ColR-Kp was significantly higher than kfu--ybtS- ColR-Kp (phagocytosis rate: 78% vs. 65%, p < 0.001), and the kfu+-ybtS+ ColR-Kp survived more than kfu--ybtS- ColR-Kp (median survival index: 7.90 vs. 4.22; p = 0.001). The kfu+-ybtS+ ColR-Kp stimulated excessive NET formation. Iron uptake systems in high-risk clones of colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae enhance the success of survival against the neutrophil phagocytic defense and stimulate excessive NET formation. The drugs targeted to iron uptake systems would be a promising approach for the treatment of colistin-resistant high-risk clones of K. pneumoniae infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity and Microbial Resistance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
In Pursuit of the Perfect Dancer’s Ballet Foot. The Footprint, Stabilometric, Pedobarographic Parameters of Professional Ballet Dancers
Biology 2021, 10(5), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050435 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 520
Abstract
This work aims to assess footprint parameters in a group of professional ballet dancers and to determine the correlation between the aforementioned parameters and lateralization, stabilometric parameters, pedobarographic parameters and work environment conditions. A group subjected to tests consisted of 44 elite professional [...] Read more.
This work aims to assess footprint parameters in a group of professional ballet dancers and to determine the correlation between the aforementioned parameters and lateralization, stabilometric parameters, pedobarographic parameters and work environment conditions. A group subjected to tests consisted of 44 elite professional ballet dancers and the reference group was composed of 44 students. The test of balance and thrust under feet involved 30 s-long free standing with open eyes on a podographic platform. The research-related analysis was concerned with footprint parameters (foot length and width, Clarke angle, and Weissflog index), stabilometric parameters (path length and ellipse field, mean value of the velocity and deflection of the displacement of the center of the foot pressure on the ground) and pedobarographic parameters (percentage thrust on the right, left foot as well as the front and rear part the foot). Statistically significant differences between the groups were observed in relation to the stabilometric parameters, the percentage pressure of the left forefoot and the right heel, as well as the value of the Clarke angle (p ≤ 0.05). The longitudinal arch of the foot and the width of the foot in ballet dancers are not dependent on the total and professional career duration and weekly training volume Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparative Assessment of Medicinal Plant Utilization among Balti and Shina Communities in the Periphery of Deosai National Park, Pakistan
Biology 2021, 10(5), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050434 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Traditional ecological knowledge, linguistic, and sociocultural perspectives are key contributors to environmental sustainability. Therefore, it is essential to identify and preserve this biocultural heritage, especially that of indigenous communities and minorities. We conducted an ethnobotanical survey to document the plant species used by [...] Read more.
Traditional ecological knowledge, linguistic, and sociocultural perspectives are key contributors to environmental sustainability. Therefore, it is essential to identify and preserve this biocultural heritage, especially that of indigenous communities and minorities. We conducted an ethnobotanical survey to document the plant species used by the Balti and Shina communities living in the buffer zone of Deosai National Park (DNP), western Himalayas, Pakistan. A combination of random and purposive sampling techniques was adapted, targeting middle- and old-aged informants. A total of 46 semi-structured interviews were conducted and the gathered data were evaluated using relative frequency of citation (RFC) and through comparison with the ethnomedicinal literature. In total, 47 medicinal plant species belonging to 42 genera and 23 families were recorded. Baltis and Shinas cited 42 and 38 plant species, respectively, that were used to treat various diseases. About 60% of species were common among both communities, but 27.7% and 12.8% were exclusive to Baltis and Shinas, respectively. Considerable heterogeneity was noted in vernacular names, plant part(s) used, preparation, and administration. Ribes alpestre, Aconitum violaceum, Delphinium brunonianum, Thymus linearis, and Swertia petiolata were highly utilized species having RFCs > 50. In addition, 46% of medicinal uses, specifically that of Allardia tomentosa, A. tridactylites, Jurinea dolomiaea, and Gallium boreale, were reported for the first time from the region. Cross-cultural analysis revealed sociocultural gaps between both groups. Relatively, Baltis retained more ethnomedicinal knowledge and their traditional medicinal system is more closely associated with traditional Tibetan medicine. Generally, Balti and Shina communities retain substantial biocultural and ethnological diversity, which has been reflected in the present study. Our findings underline the importance and need for sustainable utilization of natural resources, specifically the plant species of this region. However, an in-depth ethnobotanical investigation may underpin the holistic comparative medical ethnobotany of the entire region. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
An “Omic” Overview of Fragile X Syndrome
Biology 2021, 10(5), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050433 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a wide range of cognitive, behavioral and medical problems. It arises from the silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene and, consequently, in the absence of its encoded protein, FMRP [...] Read more.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a wide range of cognitive, behavioral and medical problems. It arises from the silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene and, consequently, in the absence of its encoded protein, FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein). FMRP is a ubiquitously expressed and multifunctional RNA-binding protein, primarily considered as a translational regulator. Pre-clinical studies of the past two decades have therefore focused on this function to relate FMRP’s absence to the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS physiopathology. Based on these data, successful pharmacological strategies were developed to rescue fragile X phenotype in animal models. Unfortunately, these results did not translate into humans as clinical trials using same therapeutic approaches did not reach the expected outcomes. These failures highlight the need to put into perspective the different functions of FMRP in order to get a more comprehensive understanding of FXS pathophysiology. This work presents a review of FMRP’s involvement on noteworthy molecular mechanisms that may ultimately contribute to various biochemical alterations composing the fragile X phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA-Binding Proteins: Function, Dysfunction and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Identifying an lncRNA-Related ceRNA Network to Reveal Novel Targets for a Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Biology 2021, 10(5), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050432 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
A cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) derived from keratinocytes is the second most common cause of non-melanoma skin cancer. The accumulation of the mutational burden of genes and cellular DNA damage caused by the risk factors (e.g., exposure to ultraviolet radiation) contribute to [...] Read more.
A cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) derived from keratinocytes is the second most common cause of non-melanoma skin cancer. The accumulation of the mutational burden of genes and cellular DNA damage caused by the risk factors (e.g., exposure to ultraviolet radiation) contribute to the aberrant proliferation of keratinocytes and the formation of a cSCC. A cSCC encompasses a spectrum of diseases that range from recursor actinic keratosis (AK) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in situ (SCCIS) to invasive cSCCs and further metastatic SCCs. Emerging evidence has revealed that lncRNAs are involved in the biological process of a cSCC. According to the ceRNA regulatory theory, lncRNAs act as natural miRNA sponges and interact with miRNA response elements, thereby regulating the mRNA expression of their down-stream targets. This study was designed to search for the potential lncRNAs that may become potential therapeutic targets or biomarkers of a cSCC. Considering the spirit of the study to be adequately justified, we collected microarray-based datasets of 19 cSCC tissues and 12 normal skin samples from the GEO database (GSE42677 and GSE45164). After screening the differentially expressed genes via a limma package, we identified 24 differentially expressed lncRNAs (DElncRNAs) and 3221 differentially expressed mRNAs (DEmRNAs). The miRcode, miRTarBase, miRDB and TargetScan databases were used to predict miRNAs that could interact with DElncRNAs and DEmRNAs. A total of 137 miRNA-lncRNA and 221 miRNA-mRNA pairs were retained in the ceRNA network, consisting of 31 miRNAs, 11 DElncRNAs and 155 DEmRNAs. For the functional analysis, the top enriched biological process was enhancer sequence-specific DNA binding in Gene Ontology (GO) terms. The FoxO signaling pathway, autophagy and cellular senescence were the top enrichment terms based on a Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis. The combination of a STRING tool and Cytoscape software (plug-in MCODE) identified five core mRNAs and built a core mRNA-associated ceRNA network. The expression for five identified core mRNAs and their related nine lncRNAs was validated using the external dataset GSE7553. Finally, one lncRNA HLA-F-AS1 and three mRNAs named AGO4, E2F1 and CCND1 were validated with the same expression patterns. We speculate that lncRNA HLA-F-AS1 may sponge miR-17-5p or miR-20b-5p to regulate the expression of CCND1 and E2F1 in the cSCC. The present study may provide potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets for cSCC patients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effect of Artificial Media and Temperature on the Growth and Development of the Honey Bee Brood Pathogen Ascosphaera apis
Biology 2021, 10(5), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050431 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Ascosphaera apis is a causative agent of chalkbrood, which is one of the most widespread honey bee diseases. In our experiments, the influence of several artificial media and cultivation under different temperatures was evaluated. Concretely, the radial growth of separated mating types was [...] Read more.
Ascosphaera apis is a causative agent of chalkbrood, which is one of the most widespread honey bee diseases. In our experiments, the influence of several artificial media and cultivation under different temperatures was evaluated. Concretely, the radial growth of separated mating types was measured, reproductive structures in a Neubauer hemocytometer chamber were counted simultaneously, and the morphometry of spore cysts and spore balls was assessed. The complex set of experiments determined suitable cultivation conditions. A specific pattern between reproductive structure size and temperature was found. The optimal temperature for both mating types was 30 °C. SDA and YGPSA media are suitable for fast mycelial growth. Moreover, the effect of bee brood on fungus growth and development in vitro was investigated by modification of culture medium. The newly modified medium PDA-BB4 was most effective for the production of the reproductive structures. The result suggests that honey bee brood provides necessary nutrients for proper fungus development during in vitro cultivation. As there is no registered therapeutic agent against chalkbrood in most countries, including the European Union, the assessment of A. apis growth and development in different conditions could help to understand fungus pathogenesis and thus control chalkbrood disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavior Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sperm Selection by Magnetic-Activated Cell Sorting before Microinjection of Autologous Oocytes Increases Cumulative Live Birth Rates with Limited Clinical Impact: A Retrospective Study in Unselected Males
Biology 2021, 10(5), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050430 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The application of MACS non-apoptotic sperm selection in infertility clinics is controversial since the published literature does not agree on its effect on reproductive outcomes. Therefore, it is not part of the routine clinical practice. Classical measures of reproductive success (pregnancy or live [...] Read more.
The application of MACS non-apoptotic sperm selection in infertility clinics is controversial since the published literature does not agree on its effect on reproductive outcomes. Therefore, it is not part of the routine clinical practice. Classical measures of reproductive success (pregnancy or live birth rates per ovarian stimulation) introduce a bias in the evaluation of a technique’s effect, since only the best embryo is transferred. This retrospective, multicenter, observational study evaluated the impact of MACS on reproductive outcomes, measuring results in classical parameters and cumulative live birth rates (CLBR). Data from ICSI cycles using autologous oocyte in Spanish IVIRMA fertility clinics from January 2008 to February 2020 were divided into two groups according to their semen processing: standard practice (reference: 46,807 patients) versus an added MACS sperm selection (1779 patients). Only when measured as CLBR per embryo transferred and per MII oocyte used was the difference between groups statistically significant. There were no significant differences between MACS and reference groups on pregnancy and live birth rates. In conclusion, results suggest that non-apoptotic sperm selection by MACS on unselected males prior to ICSI with autologous oocytes has limited clinical impact, showing a subtle increase in CLBR per embryo transferred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sperm Quality: Past, Present and the Future Knowledge We Need)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Luteogenesis and Embryo Implantation Are Enhanced by Exogenous hCG in Goats Subjected to an Out-of-Season Fixed-Time Artificial Insemination Protocol
Biology 2021, 10(5), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050429 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of two doses of hCG (100 and 300 IU) applied at two different times (7 and 14 d) after a fixed-time artificial insemination protocol (FTAI) upon some variables involved in the embryonic [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of two doses of hCG (100 and 300 IU) applied at two different times (7 and 14 d) after a fixed-time artificial insemination protocol (FTAI) upon some variables involved in the embryonic implantation rate in goats during the natural deep anestrous season (April, 25° north). The experimental units considered crossbred, multiparous, anovulatory goats (n = 69, Alpine, Saanen, Nubian x Criollo), with average body weight (43.6 ± 5.7 kg) and body condition score (1.86 ± 0.28 units) located in northern–semiarid Mexico (25° N, 103° W). Once the goat’s anestrus status was confirmed, goats were subjected to an estrus induction protocol. Upon estrus induction confirmation, goats (n = 61) were subjected to a FTAI procedure. Immediately after the FTAI, the goats were randomly distributed to five experimental groups: (1). G100-7 (n = 13) 100 IU, hCG 7 d post-FTAI, (2). G100-14 (n = 12) 100 IU hCG, 14 d post-FTAI, (3). G300-7 (n = 12) 300 IU, hCG, 7 d post-FTAI, (4). G300-14 (n = 12) 300 IU hCG 14 d post-FTAI, and (5). Control group, CONT (n = 12) 0.5 mL saline, 7 and 14 d post-FTAI. The response variables conception rate (39.36 ± 0.23), fertility rate (27.96%), prolificacy rate (1.1 ± 0.29 kids), ovulation rate (0.74 ± 0.20 corpus luteum) corpus luteum diameter (10.15 ± 0.59 mm), embryo number (1.58 ± 0.20), and embryo implantation rate (48.96%), did not differ between treatments. However, while the variables fecundity rate (67%), embryo efficiency index-1 (33.99 ± 0.20%), and embryo efficiency index-2 (27.94 ± 0.30%) were favored by the G300-14 treatment, the corpus luteum area was favored (p < 0.05) by both G300-7 (113.30 ± 0.19 mm2) and G300-14 (103.04 ± 0.17 mm2). Such reproductive strategy emerges as an interesting approach, not only to enhance the out-of-season reproductive outcomes, but also to boost one of the main rulers defining the global reproductive efficiency of a heard, namely, the embryo implantation efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Reproductive Physiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Effects of Propolis on Infectious Diseases of Medical Relevance
Biology 2021, 10(5), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050428 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Infectious diseases are a significant problem affecting the public health and economic stability of societies all over the world. Treatment is available for most of these diseases; however, many pathogens have developed resistance to drugs, necessitating the development of new therapies with chemical [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases are a significant problem affecting the public health and economic stability of societies all over the world. Treatment is available for most of these diseases; however, many pathogens have developed resistance to drugs, necessitating the development of new therapies with chemical agents, which can have serious side effects and high toxicity. In addition, the severity and aggressiveness of emerging and re-emerging diseases, such as pandemics caused by viral agents, have led to the priority of investigating new therapies to complement the treatment of different infectious diseases. Alternative and complementary medicine is widely used throughout the world due to its low cost and easy access and has been shown to provide a wide repertoire of options for the treatment of various conditions. In this work, we address the relevance of the effects of propolis on the causal pathogens of the main infectious diseases with medical relevance; the existing compiled information shows that propolis has effects on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, protozoan parasites and helminths, and viruses; however, challenges remain, such as the assessment of their effects in clinical studies for adequate and safe use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Medicinal Plants and Extracts)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Canine Angiostrongylus vasorum-Induced Early Innate Immune Reactions Based on NETs Formation and Canine Vascular Endothelial Cell Activation In Vitro
Biology 2021, 10(5), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050427 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Due to its localization in the canine blood stream, Angiostrongylus vasorum is exposed to circulating polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and the endothelial cells of vessels. NETs release of canine PMN exposed to A. vasorum infective stages (third stage larvae, L3) and early pro-inflammatory immune [...] Read more.
Due to its localization in the canine blood stream, Angiostrongylus vasorum is exposed to circulating polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and the endothelial cells of vessels. NETs release of canine PMN exposed to A. vasorum infective stages (third stage larvae, L3) and early pro-inflammatory immune reactions of primary canine aortic endothelial cells (CAEC) stimulated with A. vasorum L3-derived soluble antigens (AvAg) were analyzed. Expression profiles of the pro-inflammatory adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, P-selectin and E-selectin were analyzed in AvAg-stimulated CAEC. Immunofluorescence analyses demonstrated that motile A. vasorum L3 triggered different NETs phenotypes, with spread NETs (sprNETs) as the most abundant. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the co-culture of canine PMN with A. vasorum L3 resulted in significant larval entanglement. Distinct inter-donor variations of P-selectin, E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 gene transcription and protein expression were observed in CAEC isolates which might contribute to the high individual variability of pathological findings in severe canine angiostrongylosis. Even though canine NETs did not result in larval killing, the entanglement of L3 might facilitate further leukocyte attraction to their surface. Since NETs have already been documented as involved in both thrombosis and endothelium damage events, we speculate that A. vasorum-triggered NETs might play a critical role in disease outcome in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Nutrient Deficiency Promotes the Entry of Helicobacter pylori Cells into Candida Yeast Cells
Biology 2021, 10(5), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050426 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori, a Gram-negative bacterium, has as a natural niche the human gastric epithelium. This pathogen has been reported to enter into Candida yeast cells; however, factors triggering this endosymbiotic relationship remain unknown. The aim of this work was to evaluate in [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori, a Gram-negative bacterium, has as a natural niche the human gastric epithelium. This pathogen has been reported to enter into Candida yeast cells; however, factors triggering this endosymbiotic relationship remain unknown. The aim of this work was to evaluate in vitro if variations in nutrient concentration in the cultured medium trigger the internalization of H. pylori within Candida cells. We used H. pyloriCandida co-cultures in Brucella broth supplemented with 1%, 5% or 20% fetal bovine serum or in saline solution. Intra-yeast bacteria-like bodies (BLBs) were observed using optical microscopy, while intra-yeast BLBs were identified as H. pylori using FISH and PCR techniques. Intra-yeast H. pylori (BLBs) viability was confirmed using the LIVE/DEAD BacLight Bacterial Viability kit. Intra-yeast H. pylori was present in all combinations of bacteria–yeast strains co-cultured. However, the percentages of yeast cells harboring bacteria (Y-BLBs) varied according to nutrient concentrations and also were strain-dependent. In conclusion, reduced nutrients stresses H. pylori, promoting its entry into Candida cells. The starvation of both H. pylori and Candida strains reduced the percentages of Y-BLBs, suggesting that starving yeast cells may be less capable of harboring stressed H. pylori cells. Moreover, the endosymbiotic relationship between H. pylori and Candida is dependent on the strains co-cultured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Characterization of Immune Cell Subsets of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Brain Metastases
Biology 2021, 10(5), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050425 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
The heterogeneity of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is not well characterized in brain metastasis. To address this, we performed a targeted analysis of immune-cell subsets in brain metastasis tissues to test immunosuppressive routes involved in brain metastasis. We performed multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF), using [...] Read more.
The heterogeneity of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is not well characterized in brain metastasis. To address this, we performed a targeted analysis of immune-cell subsets in brain metastasis tissues to test immunosuppressive routes involved in brain metastasis. We performed multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF), using commercially available validated antibodies on formalin-fixed paraffin embedded whole sections. We quantitated the subsets of immune-cells utilizing a targeted panel of proteins including PanCK, CD8, CD4, VISTA and IBA-1, and analyzed an average of 15,000 cells per sample. Classifying tumors as either high (>30%) or low (<30%) TILs, we found that increased TILs density correlated with survival. Phenotyping these TILs we found tumors with low TILs had significantly higher expression of the immune-checkpoint molecule VISTA in tumor cells (p < 0.01) as well as in their microenvironment (p < 0.001). Contrastingly, the tumors with high TILs displayed higher levels of microglia, as measured by IBA-1 expression. Low TILs-tumors displayed CD8+ T-cells that co-express VISTA (p < 0.01) significantly more compared to high TILs group, where CD8+cells significantly co-express IBA-11 (p < 0.05). These results were supported by RNA analysis of a publicly available, independent cohort. Our work contributes to a growing understanding of the immune surveillance escape routes active in brain metastasis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Metabolic Reprogramming: Strategy for Ischemic Stroke Treatment by Ischemic Preconditioning
Biology 2021, 10(5), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050424 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability worldwide. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is an endogenous protective strategy, which has been reported to exhibit a significant neuroprotective effect in reducing the incidence of ischemic stroke. However, the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms [...] Read more.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability worldwide. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is an endogenous protective strategy, which has been reported to exhibit a significant neuroprotective effect in reducing the incidence of ischemic stroke. However, the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms of IPC remain elusive. An increased understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of stroke and IPC serves to highlight the importance of metabolic reprogramming. In this review, we summarize the metabolic disorder and metabolic plasticity in the incidence and progression of ischemic stroke. We also elaborate how IPC fully mobilizes the metabolic reprogramming to maintain brain metabolic homeostasis, especially for energy and redox homeostasis, and finally protects brain function in the event of an ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Expression Analysis of FGF/FGFR and FOX Family Proteins in Mucosal Tissue Obtained from Orofacial Cleft-Affected Children
Biology 2021, 10(5), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050423 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Orofacial clefts affect hundreds of thousands of children worldwide annually and are usually corrected by a series of surgeries extending to childhood. The underlying mechanisms that lead to clefts are still unknown, mainly because of the multifactorial etiology and the myriad of interactions [...] Read more.
Orofacial clefts affect hundreds of thousands of children worldwide annually and are usually corrected by a series of surgeries extending to childhood. The underlying mechanisms that lead to clefts are still unknown, mainly because of the multifactorial etiology and the myriad of interactions between genes and environmental factors. In the present study, we investigated the role and expression of candidate genes belonging to the FGF/FGFR signaling pathway and FOX family in tissue material obtained from 12 pediatric patients undergoing cleft correction surgery. The expression was investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH) in three cell/tissue types—epithelial cells, connective tissue, and endothelial cells. We found elevated expression of FGFR1 in epithelial cells while no expression was observed in endothelial cells. Further, our results elucidate the potential pathogenetic role of FGFR1 in cellular proliferation, local site inflammation, and fibrosis in cleft patients. Along with bFGF (also called FGF2), FGFR1 could play a pro-inflammatory role in clefts. Over-amplification of FGFR2 in some patients, along with bFGF, could potentially suggest roles for these genes in angiogenesis. Additionally, increased expression of FOXE1 (also called TTF2) contributes to local site inflammation. Finally, zero to low amplification of FOXO1 could suggest its potential role in inducing oxidative stress in the endothelium along with reduced epithelial apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Survival, Growth, and Reproduction: Comparison of Marbled Crayfish with Four Prominent Crayfish Invaders
Biology 2021, 10(5), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050422 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Biological invasions are increasingly recognized ecological and economic threats to biodiversity and are projected to increase in the future. Introduced freshwater crayfish in particular are protruding invaders, exerting tremendous impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, as exemplified by the North American spiny-cheek, [...] Read more.
Biological invasions are increasingly recognized ecological and economic threats to biodiversity and are projected to increase in the future. Introduced freshwater crayfish in particular are protruding invaders, exerting tremendous impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, as exemplified by the North American spiny-cheek, signal and red swamp crayfish as well as the Australian common yabby. The marbled crayfish is among the most outstanding freshwater crayfish invaders due to its parthenogenetic reproduction combined with early maturation and high fecundity. As their introduced ranges expand, their sympatric populations become more frequent. The question of which species and under what circumstances will dominate in their introduced communities is of great interest to biodiversity conservation as it can offer valuable insights for understanding and prioritization of management efforts. In order to examine which of the aforementioned species may be more successful as an invader, we conducted a set of independent trials evaluating survival, growth, claw injury, and reproduction using single-species stocks (intraspecific interactions) and mixed stocks (interspecific interactions) of marbled crayfish vs. other crayfish invaders since the onset of exogenous feeding. In both single and mixed stocks, red swamp crayfish and yabby grew faster than marbled crayfish, while marbled crayfish were superior to both spiny-cheek and signal crayfish in terms of growth. With the exception of signal crayfish, the faster-growing species consistently reached a higher survival rate. The faster-growing species tended to negatively impair smaller counterparts by greater claw injury, delayed maturation, and reduced fecundity. Only marbled crayfish laid eggs as early as 14 weeks in this study, which is earlier than previously reported in the literature. Thus, the success of marbled crayfish among invasive crayfish is significantly driven by relatively fast growth as well as an early and frequent reproduction. These results shed light on how interactions between invasive populations can unfold when their expansion ranges overlap in the wild, thereby contributing to the knowledge base on the complex population dynamics between existing and emerging invasive species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Editorial
Crop Improvement: Now and Beyond
Biology 2021, 10(5), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050421 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
There is an urgent need to increase and improve the production of most agronomic species to meet the current food security challenge [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement Now and Beyond)
Article
Hide-and-Seek with Tiny Neotenic Beetles in One of the Hottest Biodiversity Hotspots: Towards an Understanding of the Real Diversity of Jurasaidae (Coleoptera: Elateroidea) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
Biology 2021, 10(5), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050420 - 09 May 2021
Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Jurasaidae are a family of neotenic elateroid beetles which was described recently from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot based on three species in two genera. All life stages live in the soil, including the larviform females, and only adult males are able [...] Read more.
Jurasaidae are a family of neotenic elateroid beetles which was described recently from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot based on three species in two genera. All life stages live in the soil, including the larviform females, and only adult males are able to fly. Here, we report the discovery of two new species, Jurasai miraculum sp. nov. and J. vanini sp. nov., and a new, morphologically remarkable population of J. digitusdei Rosa et al., 2020. Our discovery sheds further light on the diversity and biogeography of the group. Most species of Jurasaidae are known from the rainforest remnants of the Atlantic Forest, but here for the first time we report a jurasaid species from the relatively drier Atlantic Forest/Caatinga transitional zone. Considering our recent findings, minute body size and cryptic lifestyle of all jurasaids, together with potentially high numbers of yet undescribed species of this family from the Atlantic Forest and possibly also other surrounding ecoregions, we call for both field research in potentially suitable localities as well as for a detailed investigation of a massive amount of already collected but still unprocessed materials deposited in a number of Brazilian institutes, laboratories and collections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop