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Biology, Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 126 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mitochondrial contents and their physiological properties can be heterogeneous within a single cell. The abundance of proteins in the mitochondria of a single cell depends on the position of the mitochondria within the cell. In epithelial cells, perinuclear mitochondria typically exhibit a higher protein content than peripheral mitochondria. This study analyzed the abundance gradient formed by the mitochondrial protein Tom20 in Vero cells and found that the gradient occurs immediately after cell division and depends on the distribution of individual mitochondria within a cell. The findings suggest an active distribution of mitochondria according to their protein contents. View this paper
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Opinion
Designing the Crops for the Future; The CropBooster Program
Biology 2021, 10(7), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070690 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3368
Abstract
The realization of the full objectives of international policies targeting global food security and climate change mitigation, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement COP21 and the European Green Deal, requires that we (i) sustainably increase the yield, nutritional [...] Read more.
The realization of the full objectives of international policies targeting global food security and climate change mitigation, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement COP21 and the European Green Deal, requires that we (i) sustainably increase the yield, nutritional quality and biodiversity of major crop species, (ii) select climate-ready crops that are adapted to future weather dynamic and (iii) increase the resource use efficiency of crops for sustainably preserving natural resources. Ultimately, the grand challenge to be met by agriculture is to sustainably provide access to sufficient, nutritious and diverse food to a worldwide growing population, and to support the circular bio-based economy. Future-proofing our crops is an urgent issue and a challenging goal, involving a diversity of crop species in differing agricultural regimes and under multiple environmental drivers, providing versatile crop-breeding solutions within wider socio-economic-ecological systems. This goal can only be realized by a large-scale, international research cooperation. We call for international action and propose a pan-European research initiative, the CropBooster Program, to mobilize the European plant research community and interconnect it with the interdisciplinary expertise necessary to face the challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement Now and Beyond)
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Article
Genomic Selection for End-Use Quality and Processing Traits in Soft White Winter Wheat Breeding Program with Machine and Deep Learning Models
Biology 2021, 10(7), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070689 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2052
Abstract
Breeding for grain yield, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and end-use quality are important goals of wheat breeding programs. Screening for end-use quality traits is usually secondary to grain yield due to high labor needs, cost of testing, and large seed requirements for [...] Read more.
Breeding for grain yield, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and end-use quality are important goals of wheat breeding programs. Screening for end-use quality traits is usually secondary to grain yield due to high labor needs, cost of testing, and large seed requirements for phenotyping. Genomic selection provides an alternative to predict performance using genome-wide markers under forward and across location predictions, where a previous year’s dataset can be used to build the models. Due to large datasets in breeding programs, we explored the potential of the machine and deep learning models to predict fourteen end-use quality traits in a winter wheat breeding program. The population used consisted of 666 wheat genotypes screened for five years (2015–19) at two locations (Pullman and Lind, WA, USA). Nine different models, including two machine learning (random forest and support vector machine) and two deep learning models (convolutional neural network and multilayer perceptron) were explored for cross-validation, forward, and across locations predictions. The prediction accuracies for different traits varied from 0.45–0.81, 0.29–0.55, and 0.27–0.50 under cross-validation, forward, and across location predictions. In general, forward prediction accuracies kept increasing over time due to increments in training data size and was more evident for machine and deep learning models. Deep learning models were superior over the traditional ridge regression best linear unbiased prediction (RRBLUP) and Bayesian models under all prediction scenarios. The high accuracy observed for end-use quality traits in this study support predicting them in early generations, leading to the advancement of superior genotypes to more extensive grain yield trails. Furthermore, the superior performance of machine and deep learning models strengthens the idea to include them in large scale breeding programs for predicting complex traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Improvement and Breeding of Wheat)
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Article
Comparison of Linear vs. Cyclic RGD Pentapeptide Interactions with Integrin αvβ3 by Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Biology 2021, 10(7), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070688 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 973
Abstract
Integrin αvβ3 interacting with the short Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif plays a critical role in the progression of several types of tumors. However, the effects of the RGD structure (cyclic or linear) with integrin αvβ3 at the atomic [...] Read more.
Integrin αvβ3 interacting with the short Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif plays a critical role in the progression of several types of tumors. However, the effects of the RGD structure (cyclic or linear) with integrin αvβ3 at the atomic level remain poorly understood. Here, we performed association and dissociation dynamic simulations for integrin αvβ3 in complex with a linear or cyclic pentapeptide by steered molecular dynamics simulations. Compared with cyclic RGD, the linear RGD peptide triggers instability of the configurational changes, mainly resting with the RGD domain due to its flexibility. The main interaction energy between Mg2+ and cyclic RGD is much stronger than that of the linear RGD system by the well shield to lessen attacks by free water molecules. The force-dependent dissociation results show that it is easier for linear RGD peptides to leave the active site and much quicker than the cyclic RGD ligand, whereas it is harder to enter the appropriate active binding site in linear RGD. The Ser123-AspRGD bond may play a critical role in the allosteric pathway. Our findings provide insights into the dynamics of αvβ3 interactions with linear and cyclic RGD ligands and contribute to the application of RGD-based strategies in preclinical therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanobiology)
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Article
The Effects of Temperature and Pressure on Protein-Ligand Binding in the Presence of Mars-Relevant Salts
Biology 2021, 10(7), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070687 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Protein–ligand interactions are fundamental to all biochemical processes. Generally, these processes are studied at ambient temperature and pressure conditions. We investigated the binding of the small ligand 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (ANS) to the multifunctional protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) at ambient and low temperatures [...] Read more.
Protein–ligand interactions are fundamental to all biochemical processes. Generally, these processes are studied at ambient temperature and pressure conditions. We investigated the binding of the small ligand 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (ANS) to the multifunctional protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) at ambient and low temperatures and at high pressure conditions, in the presence of ions associated with the surface and subsurface of Mars, including the chaotropic perchlorate ion. We found that salts such as magnesium chloride and sulfate only slightly affect the protein–ligand complex formation. In contrast, magnesium perchlorate strongly affects the interaction between ANS and BSA at the single site level, leading to a change in stoichiometry and strength of ligand binding. Interestingly, both a decrease in temperature and an increase in pressure favor the ligand binding process, resulting in a negative change in protein–ligand binding volume. This suggests that biochemical reactions that are fundamental for the regulation of biological processes are theoretically possible outside standard temperature and pressure conditions, such as in the harsh conditions of the Martian subsurface. Full article
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Article
MYOC Promotes the Differentiation of C2C12 Cells by Regulation of the TGF-β Signaling Pathways via CAV1
Biology 2021, 10(7), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070686 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
Myocilin (MYOC) is a glycoprotein encoded by a gene associated with glaucoma pathology. In addition to the eyes, it also expresses at high transcription levels in the heart and skeletal muscle. MYOC affects the formation of the murine gastrocnemius muscle and is associated [...] Read more.
Myocilin (MYOC) is a glycoprotein encoded by a gene associated with glaucoma pathology. In addition to the eyes, it also expresses at high transcription levels in the heart and skeletal muscle. MYOC affects the formation of the murine gastrocnemius muscle and is associated with the differentiation of mouse osteoblasts, but its role in the differentiation of C2C12 cells has not yet been reported. Here, MYOC expression was found to increase gradually during the differentiation of C2C12 cells. Overexpression of MYOC resulted in enhanced differentiation of C2C12 cells while its inhibition caused reduced differentiation. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation indicated that MYOC binds to Caveolin-1 (CAV1), a protein that influences the TGF-β pathway. Laser confocal microscopy also revealed the common sites of action of the two during the differentiation of C2C12 cells. Additionally, CAV1 was upregulated significantly as C2C12 cells differentiated, with CAV1 able to influence the differentiation of the cells. Furthermore, the Western blotting analysis demonstrated that the expression of MYOC affected the TGF-β pathway. Finally, MYOC was overexpressed while CAV1 was inhibited. The results indicate that reduced CAV1 expression blocked the promotion of C2C12 cell differentiation by MYOC. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that MYOC regulates TGF-β by influencing CAV1 to promote the differentiation of C2C12 cells. Full article
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Review
Doubled Haploids in Eggplant
Biology 2021, 10(7), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070685 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Eggplant is a solanaceous crop cultivated worldwide for its edible fruit. Eggplant breeding programs are mainly aimed to the generation of F1 hybrids by crossing two highly homozygous, pure lines, which are traditionally obtained upon several self crossing generations, which is an expensive [...] Read more.
Eggplant is a solanaceous crop cultivated worldwide for its edible fruit. Eggplant breeding programs are mainly aimed to the generation of F1 hybrids by crossing two highly homozygous, pure lines, which are traditionally obtained upon several self crossing generations, which is an expensive and time consuming process. Alternatively, fully homozygous, doubled haploid (DH) individuals can be induced from haploid cells of the germ line in a single generation. Several attempts have been made to develop protocols to produce eggplant DHs principally using anther culture and isolated microspore culture. Eggplant could be considered a moderately recalcitrant species in terms of ability for DH production. Anther culture stands nowadays as the most valuable technology to obtain eggplant DHs. However, the theoretical possibility of having plants regenerated from somatic tissues of the anther walls cannot be ruled out. For this reason, the use of isolated microspores is recommended when possible. This approach still has room for improvement, but it is largely genotype-dependent. In this review, we compile the most relevant advances made in DH production in eggplant, their application to breeding programs, and the future perspectives for the development of other, less genotype-dependent, DH technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement Now and Beyond)
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Article
Assessment of Various Toxicity Endpoints in Duckweed (Lemna minor) at the Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Levels as a Measure of Diuron Stress
Biology 2021, 10(7), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070684 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
The common, broad-spectrum herbicide diuron poses some risks to the environment due to its long persistence and high toxicity. Therefore, the effective monitoring of diuron residues will inform efforts to assess its impacts on ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity targets [...] Read more.
The common, broad-spectrum herbicide diuron poses some risks to the environment due to its long persistence and high toxicity. Therefore, the effective monitoring of diuron residues will inform efforts to assess its impacts on ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity targets of diuron in the model aquatic macrophyte Lemna minor at the physiological (growth and photosynthetic efficiency), biochemical (pigment biosynthesis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels), and molecular (rbcL transcript) levels. The toxicity of diuron was detectable after 48 h of exposure and the order of sensitivity of toxicity endpoints was gene transcription > maximum electron transport rate (ETRmax) > non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) > maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) > ROS > fresh weight > chlorophyll b > chlorophyll a > total frond area > carotenoids. Under diuron stress, pigment, ROS, and gene transcript levels increased while frond area, fresh weight, and photosynthesis (Fv/Fm and ETRmax) gradually decreased with the increasing duration of exposure. Notably, ROS levels, Fv/Fm, frond area, and fresh weight were highly correlated with diuron concentration. The growth endpoints (frond area and fresh weight) showed a strong negative correlation with ROS levels and a positive correlation with Fv/Fm and ETRmax. These findings shed light on the relative sensitivity of different endpoints for the assessment of diuron toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
The Role of Monk Parakeets as Nest-Site Facilitators in Their Native and Invaded Areas
Biology 2021, 10(7), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070683 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 14693
Abstract
While most of the knowledge on invasive species focuses on their impacts, little is known about their potential positive effects on other species. Invasive ecosystem engineers can disrupt recipient environments; however, they may also facilitate access to novel resources for native species. The [...] Read more.
While most of the knowledge on invasive species focuses on their impacts, little is known about their potential positive effects on other species. Invasive ecosystem engineers can disrupt recipient environments; however, they may also facilitate access to novel resources for native species. The monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is a worldwide invader and the only parrot that builds its own communal nests, which can be used by other species. However, the ecological effects of these interspecific interactions are barely known. We compared the role of the monk parakeet as a nest-site facilitator in different rural and urban areas, both invaded and native, across three continents and eight breeding seasons. A total of 2690 nests from 42 tenant species, mostly cavity-nesting birds, were recorded in 26% of 2595 monk parakeet nests. Rural and invaded areas showed the highest abundance and richness of tenant species. Multispecies communal nests triggered interspecific aggression between the monk parakeet host and its tenants, but also a cooperative defense against predators. Despite the positive effects for native species, monk parakeets also facilitate nesting opportunities to other non-native species and may also transmit diseases to tenants, highlighting the complexity of biotic interactions in biological invasions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
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Article
Neurotoxic Effect of Fipronil in Male Wistar Rats: Ameliorative Effect of L-Arginine and L-Carnitine
Biology 2021, 10(7), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070682 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
The ameliorative effect of L-arginine (LA) and L-carnitine (LC) against fipronil (FPN)-induced neurotoxicity was explored. In this case, 36 adult male rats were randomly divided into six groups: group I received distilled water, group II received 500 mg/kg LA, group III received 100 [...] Read more.
The ameliorative effect of L-arginine (LA) and L-carnitine (LC) against fipronil (FPN)-induced neurotoxicity was explored. In this case, 36 adult male rats were randomly divided into six groups: group I received distilled water, group II received 500 mg/kg LA, group III received 100 mg/kg LC, group IV received 4.85 mg/kg FPN, group V received 4.85 mg/kg FPN and 500 mg/kg LA and group VI received 4.85 mg/kg FPN and 100 mg/kg LC for 6 weeks. Cognitive performance was assessed using Barnes maze (BM). Serum corticosterone, brain total antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA) and dopamine were measured. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry of ionized calcium-binding adaptor (Iba-1), doublecortin (DCX) and serotonin (S-2A) receptors were performed. Fipronil induced noticeable deterioration in spatial learning and memory performance. In addition, FPN significantly (p < 0.05) diminished brain antioxidant defense system and dopamine coincide with elevated serum corticosterone level. Histopathological examination revealed degenerative and necrotic changes. Furthermore, Iba-1 and DCX were significantly expressed in cortex and hippocampus whereas S-2A receptors were significantly lowered in FPN group. However, administration of LA or LC alleviated FPN-induced deteriorations. In conclusion, LA and LC could be prospective candidates for mitigation of FPN-induced neurotoxicity via their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuropotentiating effects. Full article
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Article
Role of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Breast Cancer Progression and Identification of Estrogen Receptor Alpha Inhibitors Using In-Silico Mining and Drug-Drug Interaction Network Approaches
Biology 2021, 10(7), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070681 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
The strong association between POPs and breast cancer in humans has been suggested in various epidemiological studies. However, the interaction of POPs with the ERα protein of breast cancer, and identification of natural and synthetic compounds to inhibit this interaction, is mysterious yet. [...] Read more.
The strong association between POPs and breast cancer in humans has been suggested in various epidemiological studies. However, the interaction of POPs with the ERα protein of breast cancer, and identification of natural and synthetic compounds to inhibit this interaction, is mysterious yet. Consequently, the present study aimed to explore the interaction between POPs and ERα using the molecular operating environment (MOE) tool and to identify natural and synthetic compounds to inhibit this association through a cluster-based approach. To validate whether our approach could distinguish between active and inactive compounds, a virtual screen (VS) was performed using actives (627 compounds) as positive control and decoys (20,818 compounds) as a negative dataset obtained from DUD-E. Comparatively, short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and perfluorooctanesulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) depicted strong interactions with the ERα protein based on the lowest-scoring values of −31.946, −18.916, −17.581 kcal/mol, respectively. Out of 7856 retrieved natural and synthetic compounds, sixty were selected on modularity bases and subsequently docked with ERα. Based on the lowest-scoring values, ZINC08441573, ZINC00664754, ZINC00702695, ZINC00627464, and ZINC08440501 (synthetic compounds), and capsaicin, flavopiridol tectorgenin, and ellagic acid (natural compounds) showed incredible interactions with the active sites of ERα, even more convening and resilient than standard breast cancer drugs Tamoxifen, Arimidex and Letrozole. Our findings confirm the role of POPs in breast cancer progression and suggest that natural and synthetic compounds with high binding affinity could be more efficient and appropriate candidates to treat breast cancer after validation through in vitro and in vivo studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics and Machine Learning for Cancer Biology)
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Article
Knowledge Gaps in the Definition of Threats for the Red List Assessment of European Freshwater-Dependent Fish Species
Biology 2021, 10(7), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070680 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Freshwater ecosystems are disproportionally important for biodiversity conservation, as they support more than 9% of known animal species while representing less than 1% of the Earth’s surface. However, the vast majority of the threats (99%, or 826 out of 837) identified by the [...] Read more.
Freshwater ecosystems are disproportionally important for biodiversity conservation, as they support more than 9% of known animal species while representing less than 1% of the Earth’s surface. However, the vast majority of the threats (99%, or 826 out of 837) identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species known to affect the 434 known freshwater-dependent fish and lampreys of Europe are not supported by validated published scientific knowledge. This general lack of information about freshwater-dependent fish and lamprey species may have deleterious effects on species conservation, and additional funding is required to fill baseline knowledge gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
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Article
SWATH-MS Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Deer Antler from Two Regenerating and Mineralizing Sections
Biology 2021, 10(7), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070679 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Antlers are the only organ in the mammalian body that regenerates each year. They can reach growth rates of 1–3 cm/day in length and create more than 20 cm2/day of skin in the antler tips (their growth centers). Previous proteomic studies [...] Read more.
Antlers are the only organ in the mammalian body that regenerates each year. They can reach growth rates of 1–3 cm/day in length and create more than 20 cm2/day of skin in the antler tips (their growth centers). Previous proteomic studies regarding antlers have focused on antler growth centers (tips) compared to the standard bone to detect the proteins involved in tissue growth. However, proteins of cell differentiation and regeneration will be more accurately detected considering more growing tissues. Thus, we set out to compare proteins expressed in antler tips (the highest metabolism rate and cell differentiation) vs. middle sections (moderate cell growth involving bone calcification), using ribs as controls. Samples were obtained in mid-June with antlers’ phenology corresponding to the middle of their growth period. Quantitative proteomic analysis identified 259 differentially abundant proteins mainly associated with antioxidant metabolic mechanisms, protein formation and Wnt signalling pathway, meanwhile, the mid antler section was linked to blood proteins. The high metabolic rate and subsequent risk of oxidative stress also seem to have resulted in strong antioxidant mechanisms. These results suggest that redox regulation of proteins is a key factor in the model of deer antler regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Proteomics)
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Article
Origin and Potential Expansion of the Invasive Longan Lanternfly, Pyrops candelaria (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) in Taiwan
Biology 2021, 10(7), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070678 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
The longan lanternfly Pyrops candelaria is a new invasive species on the main island of Taiwan. The introduction of an invasive species may negatively influence the native fauna, flora and environment. Thus, this study aimed to infer the invasion history, predict habitat suitability [...] Read more.
The longan lanternfly Pyrops candelaria is a new invasive species on the main island of Taiwan. The introduction of an invasive species may negatively influence the native fauna, flora and environment. Thus, this study aimed to infer the invasion history, predict habitat suitability and potential expansion and assess the risk to crop cultivation areas in Taiwan. Genetic structures of P. candelaria from the main island of Taiwan and related regions were analyzed based on partial COI and ND2 sequences. Additionally, machine learning MaxEnt was utilized to study habitat suitability. The results suggested that the Taiwanese populations may originate from the Kinmen Islands and the plain areas of Taiwan are considered to have high habitat suitability. Furthermore, most of the cultivation areas of longan and pomelo crops showed high habitat suitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
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Article
Efficacy of Immunohistochemistry for SDHB in the Screening of Hereditary Pheochromocytoma–Paraganglioma
Biology 2021, 10(7), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070677 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
The most common genetic backgrounds of hereditary paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma (PPGL) are SDHx germline mutations. Given the fact that the immunohistochemistry (IHC) result for SDHB is always negative regardless of the type of SDHx mutation, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of using [...] Read more.
The most common genetic backgrounds of hereditary paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma (PPGL) are SDHx germline mutations. Given the fact that the immunohistochemistry (IHC) result for SDHB is always negative regardless of the type of SDHx mutation, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of using SDHB IHC for screening SDHx mutations in PPGL cases. In total, 52 patients who underwent surgery for PPGL treatment between 2006 and 2020 and underwent genetic analysis at diagnosis were included. Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed with PPGL tissues and IHC for SDHB was performed on TMA sections. All 10 patients with SDHB-negative IHC contained SDHB or SDHD mutations. The genetic test results of patients with SDHB-weakly positive IHC varied (one SDHB, two RET, one VHL, and three unknown gene mutations). There were no SDHx mutations in the SDHB-positive IHC group. Six patients with weakly positive SDHB IHC with primarily unknown genetic status were re-called and underwent next-generation sequencing. None of them had SDHx mutations. In conclusion, SDHB-negative IHC is a cost-effective and reliable method to predict SDHx mutations. However, in the case of weakly positive SDHB staining, an additional gene study should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Biology)
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Article
Biological Knowledge of Thornback Ray (Raja clavata) from the Azores: Improving Scientific Information for the Effectiveness of Species-Specific Management Measures
Biology 2021, 10(7), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070676 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Elasmobranchs are globally recognized as vulnerable due to their life-history characteristics, fishing pressure, and habitat degradation. Among the skates and rays caught by commercial fisheries, the thornback ray Raja clavata is one of the most economically important in Northwest European seas. However, the [...] Read more.
Elasmobranchs are globally recognized as vulnerable due to their life-history characteristics, fishing pressure, and habitat degradation. Among the skates and rays caught by commercial fisheries, the thornback ray Raja clavata is one of the most economically important in Northwest European seas. However, the scarcity of biological knowledge about this species in Azorean waters has limited the stock assessment types that can be conducted. To improve information on its habitat preferences, spatial distribution and movement pattern, growth, sex ratio, mortality, and reproduction, as well as to investigate long-term changes in abundance and size, this study analyzed approximately 25 years of fishery-dependent and independent data from the Azores. Raja clavata was mainly caught at depths up to 250 m. Most of the tagged fish were recaptured near the release point. A larger–deeper trend was found, and females were larger and more abundant than males. Life-history parameters showed that R. clavata has a long lifespan, large size, slow growth, and low natural mortality. The sustainability of its population is of concern to fisheries management and, while our findings suggested a relatively healthy stock in the Azores, a thorough increase in data quality is required to better understand the stock condition and prevent overexploitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
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Article
Suspension of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles Impact Commitment of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells In Vitro
Biology 2021, 10(7), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070675 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Amorphous calcium phosphate (aCaP) nanoparticles may trigger the osteogenic commitment of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) in vitro. The ASCs of three human donors are investigated using basal culture medium DMEM to either 5 or 50 µg/mL aCaP nanoparticles suspension (control: no nanoparticles). After [...] Read more.
Amorphous calcium phosphate (aCaP) nanoparticles may trigger the osteogenic commitment of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) in vitro. The ASCs of three human donors are investigated using basal culture medium DMEM to either 5 or 50 µg/mL aCaP nanoparticles suspension (control: no nanoparticles). After 7 or 14 days, stem cell marker genes, as well as endothelial, osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic genes, are analyzed by qPCR. Free calcium and phosphate ion concentrations are assessed in the cell culture supernatant. After one week and 5 µg/mL aCaP, downregulation of osteogenic markers ALP and Runx2 is found, and averaged across the three donors. Our results show that after two weeks, ALP is further downregulated, but Runx2 is upregulated. Endothelial cell marker genes, such as CD31 and CD34, are upregulated with 50 µg/mL aCaP and a 2-week exposure. Inter-donor variability is high: Two out of three donors show a significant upregulation of ALP and Runx2 at day 14 with 50 µg/mL aCaP compared to 5 µg/mL aCaP. Notably, all changes in stem cell commitment are obtained in the absence of an osteogenic medium. While the chemical composition of the culture medium and the saturation status towards calcium phosphate phases remain approximately the same for all conditions, gene expression of ASCs changes considerably. Hence, aCaP nanoparticles show the potential to trigger osteogenic and endothelial commitment in ASCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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Article
Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 Expression in Circulating Tumor Cells as a Predictor of Treatment Response in Patients with Urothelial Carcinoma
Biology 2021, 10(7), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070674 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors are commonly used in treating advanced-stage urothelial carcinoma (UC). Therefore, this study evaluated the relationship between PD-L1 expression in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and treatment response to PD-L1 inhibitors using blood samples collected from patients with [...] Read more.
Programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors are commonly used in treating advanced-stage urothelial carcinoma (UC). Therefore, this study evaluated the relationship between PD-L1 expression in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and treatment response to PD-L1 inhibitors using blood samples collected from patients with UC (n = 23). Subsequently, PD-L1 expression and its clinical correlation were analyzed. All patients had CTCs before PD-L1 inhibitory treatment, of which 15 had PD-L1-positive CTCs. However, PD-L1-positive expression in CTCs was not correlated with PD-L1 expression in tumor biopsy samples. Patients with PD-L1-positive CTCs had better disease control (DC) rates than those without PD-L1-positive CTCs. Moreover, changes in the proportion of PD-L1-positive CTCs were associated with disease outcomes. Furthermore, the PD-L1-positive CTC count in 9 of 11 patients who achieved DC had significantly decreased (p = 0.01). In four patients with progressive disease, this was higher or did not change. PD-L1-positive CTCs at baseline could be used as a biomarker to identify patients suitable for PD-L1 blockade therapy. Dynamic changes in PD-L1-positive CTCs during the course of treatment are predictive factors of immunotherapy response and prognostic factors of disease control. Hence, PD-L1-positive CTCs could be employed as a real-time molecular biomarker for individualized immunotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis of Pathologies of the Lower Urinary Tract)
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Article
Knowledge about Fibromyalgia in Fibromyalgia Patients and Its Relation to HRQoL and Physical Activity
Biology 2021, 10(7), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070673 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 880
Abstract
Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) affects 2.40% of the Spanish population. The most widespread treatment has been the combination of patient education, pain coping strategies and exercise. With regard to patient education, there are few previous studies on the efficacy of relating FM education [...] Read more.
Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) affects 2.40% of the Spanish population. The most widespread treatment has been the combination of patient education, pain coping strategies and exercise. With regard to patient education, there are few previous studies on the efficacy of relating FM education in isolation with an improvement in FM, although there are some studies that report that health education programs could modify the perception of quality of life and improve pain. Objectives: the aim was to find out the level of knowledge about FM among patients in Extremadura, to explore the relationship between knowledge of FM and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and to analyze the relationship between knowledge of physical activity in FM and the practice of physical activity. Methods: A single-measure cross-sectional study was carried out with 121 women with a mean age of 55.06 (±9.93) years. The following questionnaires were used: Fibromyalgia Knowledge Questionnaire (FKQ); SF12v2 (Short-Form Health Survey); and EURO-QOL-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L). Results: regarding the level of knowledge of the participants about FM, it was found that 10% had a low knowledge, 49% medium and 41% high. In relation to the associations between the level of knowledge and HRQoL, a weak correlation between EQ-5D-5L and the FKQ in the domain of physical activity (r = 0.243) were found. Conclusions: it can be concluded that the level of knowledge about FM of the patients from Extremadura was medium-high and that there is a direct weak relationship between knowledge about physical activity in FM and HRQoL. However, no association was found between knowledge of physical activity in FM and the practice of physical activity. Full article
Article
Slithering CSF: Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics in the Stationary and Moving Viper Boa, Candoia aspera
Biology 2021, 10(7), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070672 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 755
Abstract
In the viper boa (Candoia aspera), the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shows two stable overlapping patterns of pulsations: low-frequency (0.08 Hz) pulses with a mean amplitude of 4.1 mmHg that correspond to the ventilatory cycle, and higher-frequency (0.66 Hz) pulses with a [...] Read more.
In the viper boa (Candoia aspera), the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shows two stable overlapping patterns of pulsations: low-frequency (0.08 Hz) pulses with a mean amplitude of 4.1 mmHg that correspond to the ventilatory cycle, and higher-frequency (0.66 Hz) pulses with a mean amplitude of 1.2 mmHg that correspond to the cardiac cycle. Manual oscillations of anesthetized C. aspera induced propagating sinusoidal body waves. These waves resulted in a different pattern of CSF pulsations with frequencies corresponding to the displacement frequency of the body and with amplitudes greater than those of the cardiac or ventilatory cycles. After recovery from anesthesia, the snakes moved independently using lateral undulation and concertina locomotion. The episodes of lateral undulation produced similar influences on the CSF pressure as were observed during the manual oscillations, though the induced CSF pulsations were of lower amplitude during lateral undulation. No impact on the CSF was found while C. aspera was performing concertina locomotion. The relationship between the propagation of the body and the CSF pulsations suggests that the body movements produce an impulse on the spinal CSF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroscience)
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Article
Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction for 28 Days in Rats Is Not Associated with Changes in Cardiac Function or Alterations in Mitochondrial Function
Biology 2021, 10(7), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070671 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
Our work evaluated cardiac function and mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters in hearts from male Wistar rats subjected to the UUO model during 28 days of progression. We measured markers of kidney damage and inflammation in plasma and renal fibrosis by histological analysis and Western [...] Read more.
Our work evaluated cardiac function and mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters in hearts from male Wistar rats subjected to the UUO model during 28 days of progression. We measured markers of kidney damage and inflammation in plasma and renal fibrosis by histological analysis and Western blot. Cardiac function was evaluated by echocardiography and proteins involved in cardiac damage by Western blot. Oxygen consumption and transmembrane potential were monitored in cardiac mitochondria using high-resolution respirometry. We also determined the activity of ATP synthase and antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and catalase. Our results show that, although renal dysfunction is established in animals subjected to ureteral obstruction, cardiac function is maintained along with mitochondrial function and antioxidant enzymes activity after 28 days of injury evolution. Our results suggest that renocardiac syndrome might develop but belatedly in obstruction-induced renal damage, opening the opportunity for treatment to prevent this condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Mitochondria and Stress Responses)
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Article
PI3K as Mediator of Apoptosis and Contractile Dysfunction in TGFβ1-Stimulated Cardiomyocytes
Biology 2021, 10(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070670 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Background: TGFβ1 is a growth factor that plays a major role in the remodeling process of the heart by inducing cardiomyocyte dysfunction and apoptosis, as well as fibrosis thereby restricting heart function. TGFβ1 mediates its effect via the TGFβ receptor I [...] Read more.
Background: TGFβ1 is a growth factor that plays a major role in the remodeling process of the heart by inducing cardiomyocyte dysfunction and apoptosis, as well as fibrosis thereby restricting heart function. TGFβ1 mediates its effect via the TGFβ receptor I (ALK5) and the activation of SMAD transcription factors, but TGFβ1 is also known as activator of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) via the non-SMAD signaling pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate whether PI3K is also involved in TGFβ1–induced cardiomyocytes apoptosis and contractile dysfunction. Methods and Results: Incubation of isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes with TGFβ1 resulted in impaired contractile function. Pre-incubation of cells with the PI3K inhibitor Ly294002 or the ALK5 inhibitor SB431542 attenuated the decreased cell shortening in TGFβ1–stimulated cells. Additionally, TGFβ-induced apoptosis was significantly reduced by the PI3K inhibitor Ly294002. Administration of a PI3Kγ-specific inhibitor AS605240 abolished the TGFβ effect on apoptosis and cell shortening. This was also confirmed in cardiomyocytes from PI3Kγ KO mice. Induction of SMAD binding activity and the TGFβ target gene collagen 1 could be blocked by the PI3K inhibitor Ly294002, but not by the specific PI3Kγ inhibitor AS605240. Conclusions: TGFβ1-induced SMAD activation, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and impaired cell shortening are mediated via both, the ALK5 receptor and PI3K, in adult cardiomyocytes. PI3Kγ specifically contributes to apoptosis induction and impairment of contractile function independent of SMAD signaling. Full article
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Article
Epidemiological and Molecular Characterization of Blastocystis Infection in Children Attending Daycare Centers in Medellín, Colombia
Biology 2021, 10(7), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070669 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Background: The present study aims to perform an epidemiological and molecular characterization of Blastocystis infection in a child population attending daycare centers of Medellín, Colombia. Methods: A total of 265 children aged 0–5 years were enrolled in five children’s centers in urban sectors [...] Read more.
Background: The present study aims to perform an epidemiological and molecular characterization of Blastocystis infection in a child population attending daycare centers of Medellín, Colombia. Methods: A total of 265 children aged 0–5 years were enrolled in five children’s centers in urban sectors of Medellín, northwestern Colombia. Stool samples were taken to identify intestinal parasites by direct examination, Ritchie–Frick concentration, and molecular identification of Blastocystis by conventional PCR and subtype (ST) identification by PCR barcoding with subsequent phylogenetic reconstruction. Kappa index was calculated to evaluate the agreement between microscopy and PCR for the diagnosis of Blastocystis. Results: The prevalence of intestinal protozoa was 36.6% (97/265), with Blastocystis as the most frequent parasitic protozoan at 15.8% (42/265), followed by Giardia intestinalis at 15.5% (41/265) and Endolimax nana at 15.1% (40/265). The prevalence of Blastocystis by PCR was 53.2% (141/265), the subtypes identified were ST3 at 30.5% (18/59), ST2 at 23.7% (14/59), ST1 at 20.3% (12/59), and with less frequency, ST4 at 5.1% (3/59), ST6 at 1.7% (1/59) and ST16 at 15.3% (9/59) allele 162. Conclusion: This study provides the first genetic characterization of Blastocystis subtypes circulating in a population of Medellín, Colombia, and also updates the epidemiology of Blastocystis subtypes in the world with the first identification of ST16 in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blastocystis in Health and Disease)
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Article
Alterations in microRNA Expression during Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization
Biology 2021, 10(7), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070668 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
microRNAs play an important role in the regulation of gene expression, cell fate, hematopoiesis, and may influence the efficacy of CD34+ cell mobilization. The present study examines the role of hsa-miR-15a-5p, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-34a-5p, hsa-miR-126-3p, hsa-miR-146a-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p, and hsa-miR-223-3p in the course of hematopoietic [...] Read more.
microRNAs play an important role in the regulation of gene expression, cell fate, hematopoiesis, and may influence the efficacy of CD34+ cell mobilization. The present study examines the role of hsa-miR-15a-5p, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-34a-5p, hsa-miR-126-3p, hsa-miR-146a-5p, hsa-miR-155-5p, and hsa-miR-223-3p in the course of hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. The numbers of CD34+ cells collected in patients with hematological malignancies (39 multiple myelomas, 11 lymphomas) were determined during mobilization for an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The miRNA level was evaluated by RT-PCR. Compared to baseline, a significant decline in hsa-miR-15a-5p, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-126-3p, hsa-miR-146a-5p, and hsa-miR-155-5p was observed on the day of the first apheresis (day A). An increase was observed only in the expression of hsa-miR-34a-5p. On day A, a negative correlation was found between hsa-miR-15a-5p and hsa-miR-146a-5p levels and the number of CD34+ cells in peripheral blood. A negative correlation was observed between hsa-miR-146a-5p and the number of collected CD34+ cells after the first apheresis. Good mobilizers, defined according to GITMO criteria, demonstrated a lower hsa-miR-146a-5p level on day A than poor mobilizers. Patients from the hsa-miR-146a-5p “low expressors” collected more CD34+ cells than “high expressors”. Our results suggest that the investigated miRNAs, especially hsa-miR-146a-5p, may influence the efficacy of HSC mobilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Biology)
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Article
Protection Strategy against an Epidemic Disease on Edge-Weighted Graphs Applied to a COVID-19 Case
Biology 2021, 10(7), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070667 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Among the diverse and important applications that networks currently have is the modeling of infectious diseases. Immunization, or the process of protecting nodes in the network, plays a key role in stopping diseases from spreading. Hence the importance of having tools or strategies [...] Read more.
Among the diverse and important applications that networks currently have is the modeling of infectious diseases. Immunization, or the process of protecting nodes in the network, plays a key role in stopping diseases from spreading. Hence the importance of having tools or strategies that allow the solving of this challenge. In this paper, we evaluate the effectiveness of the DIL-Wα ranking in immunizing nodes in an edge-weighted network with 3866 nodes and 6,841,470 edges. The network is obtained from a real database and the spread of COVID-19 was modeled with the classic SIR model. We apply the protection to the network, according to the importance ranking list produced by DIL-Wα, considering different protection budgets. Furthermore, we consider three different values for α; in this way, we compare how the protection performs according to the value of α. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19))
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Article
Effect of Foliar Fertigation of Chitosan Nanoparticles on Cadmium Accumulation and Toxicity in Solanum lycopersicum
Biology 2021, 10(7), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070666 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) stress is increasing at a high pace and is polluting the agricultural land. As a result, it affects animals and the human population via entering into the food chain. The aim of this work is to evaluate the possibility of amelioration [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) stress is increasing at a high pace and is polluting the agricultural land. As a result, it affects animals and the human population via entering into the food chain. The aim of this work is to evaluate the possibility of amelioration of Cd stress through chitosan nanoparticles (CTS-NPs). After 15 days of sowing (DAS), Solanum lycopersicum seedlings were transplanted into maintained pots (20 in number). Cadmium (0.8 mM) was providing in the soil as CdCl2·2.5H2O at the time of transplanting; however, CTS-NPs (100 µg/mL) were given through foliar spray at 25 DAS. Data procured from the present experiment suggests that Cd toxicity considerably reduces the plant morphology, chlorophyll fluorescence, in addition to photosynthetic efficiency, antioxidant enzyme activity and protein content. However, foliar application of CTS-NPs was effective in increasing the shoot dry weight (38%), net photosynthetic rate (45%) and SPAD index (40%), while a decrease in malondialdehyde (24%) and hydrogen peroxide (20%) was observed at the 30 DAS stage as compared to control plants. On behalf of the current results, it is demonstrated that foliar treatment of CTS-NPs might be an efficient approach to ameliorate the toxic effects of Cd. Full article
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Article
FLAME: A Web Tool for Functional and Literature Enrichment Analysis of Multiple Gene Lists
Biology 2021, 10(7), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070665 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Functional enrichment is a widely used method for interpreting experimental results by identifying classes of proteins/genes associated with certain biological functions, pathways, diseases, or phenotypes. Despite the variety of existing tools, most of them can process a single list per time, thus making [...] Read more.
Functional enrichment is a widely used method for interpreting experimental results by identifying classes of proteins/genes associated with certain biological functions, pathways, diseases, or phenotypes. Despite the variety of existing tools, most of them can process a single list per time, thus making a more combinatorial analysis more complicated and prone to errors. In this article, we present FLAME, a web tool for combining multiple lists prior to enrichment analysis. Users can upload several lists and use interactive UpSet plots, as an alternative to Venn diagrams, to handle unions or intersections among the given input files. Functional and literature enrichment, along with gene conversions, are offered by g:Profiler and aGOtool applications for 197 organisms. FLAME can analyze genes/proteins for related articles, Gene Ontologies, pathways, annotations, regulatory motifs, domains, diseases, and phenotypes, and can also generate protein–protein interactions derived from STRING. We have validated FLAME by interrogating gene expression data associated with the sensitivity of the distal part of the large intestine to experimental colitis-propelled colon cancer. FLAME comes with an interactive user-friendly interface for easy list manipulation and exploration, while results can be visualized as interactive and parameterizable heatmaps, barcharts, Manhattan plots, networks, and tables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Differential Gene Expression and Coexpression)
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Article
Downregulation of Ribosomal Contents and Kinase Activities Is Associated with the Inhibitive Effect on the Growth of Group B Streptococcus Induced by Placental Extracellular Vesicles
Biology 2021, 10(7), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070664 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Background: Like many other cell types, the human placenta produces large amounts of extracellular vesicles (EVs). Increasing evidence has shown that placental EVs contribute to the regulation of maternal immune and vascular systems during pregnancy via the transfer of their cargos. In this [...] Read more.
Background: Like many other cell types, the human placenta produces large amounts of extracellular vesicles (EVs). Increasing evidence has shown that placental EVs contribute to the regulation of maternal immune and vascular systems during pregnancy via the transfer of their cargos. In this study, we investigated the effect of placental EVs on the growth of opportunistic pathogens that commonly colonise the female reproductive tract. Methods: Gram-positive bacterium Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) were treated with placental EVs that were collected from placental explant cultures, and the growth, susceptibility, and resistance to antibiotics of the bacteria were measured. In addition, comparative proteomics analysis was also performed for the GBS with or without exposure to placental EVs. Results: When treated with placental micro-EVs or nano-EVs, the GBS growth curve entered the stationary phase earlier, compared to untreated GBS. Treatment with placental EVs also inhibited the growth of GBS on solid medium, compared to untreated GBS. However, these biological activities were not seen in E. coli. This attenuative effect required interaction of placental EVs with GBS but not phagocytosis. In addition, the susceptibility or resistance to antibiotics of GBS or E. coli was not directly affected by treatment with placental EVs. The proteomic and Western blotting analysis of GBS that had been treated with placental EVs suggested that the downregulation of cellular components and proteins associated with phosphorylation and cell energy in GBS may contribute to these attenuative effects. Conclusion: We demonstrated the attenuative effect of the growth of GBS treated with placental EVs. Downregulation of cellular components and proteins associated with phosphorylation and cell energy may contribute to the physiological changes in GBS treated with placental EVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Reproductive Biology)
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Article
Modeling Post-Scratching Locomotion with Two Rhythm Generators and a Shared Pattern Formation
Biology 2021, 10(7), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070663 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 931
Abstract
This study aimed to present a model of post-scratching locomotion with two intermixed central pattern generator (CPG) networks, one for scratching and another for locomotion. We hypothesized that the rhythm generator layers for each CPG are different, with the condition that both CPGs [...] Read more.
This study aimed to present a model of post-scratching locomotion with two intermixed central pattern generator (CPG) networks, one for scratching and another for locomotion. We hypothesized that the rhythm generator layers for each CPG are different, with the condition that both CPGs share their supraspinal circuits and their motor outputs at the level of their pattern formation networks. We show that the model reproduces the post-scratching locomotion latency of 6.2 ± 3.5 s, and the mean cycle durations for scratching and post-scratching locomotion of 0.3 ± 0.09 s and 1.7 ± 0.6 s, respectively, which were observed in a previous experimental study. Our findings show how the transition of two rhythmic movements could be mediated by information exchanged between their CPG circuits through routes converging in a common pattern formation layer. This integrated organization may provide flexible and effective connectivity despite the rigidity of the anatomical connections in the spinal cord circuitry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Processing in Neuronal Circuits and Systems)
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Article
Descriptive Study about Bodyweight Status of Extremadura Adolescents. Are We Applying the Best Indicator as the Reference Parameter?
Biology 2021, 10(7), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070662 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1214
Abstract
Background: There is no agreed criteria that establishes childhood obesity thresholds based on BMI, which may be used to assess adolescent overweight/obesity. This tool has been determined at the most practical and least costly in classifying bodyweight status in adolescents. However, it is [...] Read more.
Background: There is no agreed criteria that establishes childhood obesity thresholds based on BMI, which may be used to assess adolescent overweight/obesity. This tool has been determined at the most practical and least costly in classifying bodyweight status in adolescents. However, it is an indicator of bodyweight and not adiposity. Aims: To assess bodyweight status of Extremadura adolescents by sex and age using international, national, and regional reference criteria and comparing the different diagnoses criteria. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with 4130 adolescents (12–17 years). Bodyweight and height were assessed. Results: Pairwise comparisons indicates that the World Health Organization (WHO) classified 542 individuals in a different category compared to Faustino Obergozo (FO), and 1028 individuals with respect to the Extremadura adolescents’ percentiles (EX). Moreover, FO classified 684 adolescents in a different category than EX. Despite the concordance in diagnostic criteria (by Cohen’s kappa test) reported between the WHO, FO, and EX for all bodyweight categories in both sexes and all age ranges, significant differences were found (assessed by Cochran Q test and McNemar test as post-hoc) between the WHO and FO for all bodyweight proportion except in the thinness category in girls (15–17 years) and boys (12–14 years). Meaningful differences were also obtained comparing WHO and EX for each bodyweight category in all ages and sexes. Comparisons between FO and EX revealed significant differences for all bodyweight categories in all participants except for overweight in girls (12–14 years) and boys (15–17 years) and normal weight and obesity in girls (15–17 years). Conclusions: the WHO, FO, and EX criteria present different outcomes estimating overweight and/or obesity prevalence in adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years. The change from Extremadura criteria to the WHO reference will result in more adolescents being diagnosed as overweight or obese. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
Article
TLR7 Activation of Macrophages by Imiquimod Inhibits HIV Infection through Modulation of Viral Entry Cellular Factors
Biology 2021, 10(7), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070661 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
The Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 is a viral sensor for detecting single-stranded ribonucleic acid (ssRNA), the activation of which can induce intracellular innate immunity against viral infections. Imiquimod, a synthetic ligand for TLR7, has been successfully used for the topical treatment of genital/perianal [...] Read more.
The Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 is a viral sensor for detecting single-stranded ribonucleic acid (ssRNA), the activation of which can induce intracellular innate immunity against viral infections. Imiquimod, a synthetic ligand for TLR7, has been successfully used for the topical treatment of genital/perianal warts in immunocompetent individuals. We studied the effect of imiquimod on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of primary human macrophages and demonstrated that the treatment of cells with imiquimod effectively inhibited infection with multiple strains (Bal, YU2, and Jago) of HIV. This anti-HIV activity of imiquimod was the most potent when macrophages were treated prior to infection. Infection of macrophages with pseudotyped HIV NL4-3-ΔEnv-eGFP-Bal showed that imiquimod could block the viral entry. Further mechanistic studies revealed that while imiquimod had little effect on the interferons (IFNs) expression, its treatment of macrophages resulted in the increased production of the CC chemokines (human macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1α), MIP-1β, and upon activation regulated normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES)), the natural ligands of HIV entry co-receptor CCR5, and decreased the expression of CD4 and CCR5. The addition of the antibodies against the CC chemokines to macrophage cultures could block imiquimod-mediated HIV inhibition. These findings provide experimental evidence to support the notion that TLR7 participates in the intracellular immunity against HIV in macrophages, suggesting the further clinical evaluation of imiquimod for its additional benefit of treating genital/perianal warts in people infected with HIV. Full article
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