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Biology, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 91 articles

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15 pages, 13450 KiB  
Article
Immortalization of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lines from Sheep Umbilical Cord Tissue
by Jinwei Yang, Yitong Dong, Lixinyi Hu, Weihai Wang, Yajun Li, Shujie Wang and Chunsheng Wang
Biology 2024, 13(7), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070551 - 22 Jul 2024
Viewed by 100
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess significant differentiation potential, making them highly promising in medicine and immunotherapy due to their regenerative capabilities and exosome secretion. However, challenges such as limited cell divisions and complex testing hinder large-scale MSC production. In this study, we successfully [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess significant differentiation potential, making them highly promising in medicine and immunotherapy due to their regenerative capabilities and exosome secretion. However, challenges such as limited cell divisions and complex testing hinder large-scale MSC production. In this study, we successfully established an immortalized MSC line by transfecting the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene into MSCs isolated from pregnant sheep umbilical cords. This approach effectively inhibits cell senescence and promotes cell proliferation, enabling the generation of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSCs) on a larger scale. Our findings demonstrate that these transfected TERT-UCMSCs exhibit enhanced proliferative capacity and a reduced aging rate compared to regular UCMSCs while maintaining their stemness without tumorigenicity concerns. Consequently, they hold great potential for medical applications requiring large quantities of functional MSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesenchymal Stem Cells: What We Have Learned and How to Manage Them)
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18 pages, 3370 KiB  
Article
Phytoplankton Diversity, Spatial Patterns, and Photosynthetic Characteristics Under Environmental Gradients and Anthropogenic Influence in the Pearl River Estuary
by Jing Xia, Haojie Hu, Xiu Gao, Jinjun Kan, Yonghui Gao and Ji Li
Biology 2024, 13(7), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070550 - 22 Jul 2024
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The Pearl River Estuary (PRE) is one of the world’s most urbanized subtropical coastal systems. It presents a typical environmental gradient suitable for studying estuarine phytoplankton communities’ dynamics and photosynthetic physiology. In September 2018, the maximum photochemical quantum yield (Fv/Fm [...] Read more.
The Pearl River Estuary (PRE) is one of the world’s most urbanized subtropical coastal systems. It presents a typical environmental gradient suitable for studying estuarine phytoplankton communities’ dynamics and photosynthetic physiology. In September 2018, the maximum photochemical quantum yield (Fv/Fm) of phytoplankton in different salinity habitats of PRE (oceanic, estuarine, and freshwater zones) was studied, revealing a complex correlation with the environment. Fv/Fm of phytoplankton ranged from 0.16 to 0.45, with taxa in the upper Lingdingyang found to be more stressed. Community composition and structure were analyzed using 18S rRNA, accompanied by a pigment analysis utilized as a supplementary method. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated differences in the phytoplankton spatial distribution along the estuarine gradients. Specificity-occupancy plots identified different specialist taxa for each salinity habitat. Dinophyta and Haptophyta were the predominant taxa in oceanic areas, while Chlorophyta and Cryptophyta dominated freshwater. Bacillariophyta prevailed across all salinity gradients. Canonical correlation analysis and Mantel tests revealed that temperature, salinity, and elevated nutrient levels (i.e., NO3-N, PO43−-P, and SiO32−-Si) associated with anthropogenic activities significantly influenced the heterogeneity of community structure. The spatial distribution of phytoplankton, along with in situ photosynthetic characteristics, serves as a foundational basis to access estuarine primary productivity, as well as community function and ecosystem health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology, Ecology and Management of Aquatic Macrophytes)
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18 pages, 6753 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pond-Based Rice Floating Bed on the Microbial Community Structure and Quality of Water in Pond of Mandarin Fish Fed Using Artificial Diet
by Lijin Jiang, Mengmeng Yi, Zhiyong Jiang, Yuli Wu, Jianmeng Cao, Zhigang Liu, Zhang Wang, Maixin Lu, Xiaoli Ke and Miao Wang
Biology 2024, 13(7), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070549 - 21 Jul 2024
Viewed by 263
Abstract
The culture of mandarin fish using artificial feed has been gaining increasing attention in China. Ensuring good water quality in the ponds is crucial for successful aquaculture. Recently, the trial of pond-based rice floating beds (PRFBs) in aquaculture ponds has shown promising results. [...] Read more.
The culture of mandarin fish using artificial feed has been gaining increasing attention in China. Ensuring good water quality in the ponds is crucial for successful aquaculture. Recently, the trial of pond-based rice floating beds (PRFBs) in aquaculture ponds has shown promising results. This research assessed the impact of PRFBs on the microbial community structure and overall quality of the aquaculture pond, thereby enhancing our understanding of its functions. The results revealed that the PRFB group exhibited lower levels of NH4+-N, NO2-N, NO3-N, TN, TP, and Alk in pond water compared to the control group. The microbial diversity indices in the PRFB group showed a declining trend, while these indices were increasing in the control group. At the phylum level, there was a considerable increase in Proteobacteria abundance in the PRFB group throughout the culture period, suggesting that PRFBs may promote the proliferation of Proteobacteria. In the PRFB group, there was a remarkable decrease in bacterial populations related to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus metabolism, including genera Rhodobacter, Rhizorhapis, Dinghuibacter, Candidatus Aquiluna, and Chryseomicrobium as well as the CL500_29_marine_group. Overall, the research findings will provide a basis for the application of aquaculture of mandarin fish fed an artificial diet and rice floating beds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Water Quality and Aquatic Organisms)
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12 pages, 2269 KiB  
Article
Evidence of Potential Anammox Activities from Rice Paddy Soils in Microaerobic and Anaerobic Conditions
by Anamika Khanal, Hyung-Geun Song, Yu-Sung Cho, Seo-Yeon Yang, Won-Seok Kim, Alpana Joshi, Jiho Min and Ji-Hoon Lee
Biology 2024, 13(7), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070548 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Anammox, a reaction in which microorganisms oxidize ammonia under anaerobic conditions, is used in the industry to remove ammonium from wastewater in an environmentally friendly manner. This process does not produce intermediate products such as nitrite or nitrate, which can act as secondary [...] Read more.
Anammox, a reaction in which microorganisms oxidize ammonia under anaerobic conditions, is used in the industry to remove ammonium from wastewater in an environmentally friendly manner. This process does not produce intermediate products such as nitrite or nitrate, which can act as secondary pollutants in soil and water environments. For industrial applications, anammox bacteria should be obtained from the environment and cultivated. Anammox bacteria generally exhibit a slow growth rate and may not produce a large number of cells due to their anaerobic metabolism. Additionally, their habitats appear to be limited to specific environments, such as oxidation-reduction transition zones. Consequently, most of the anammox bacteria that are used or studied originate from marine environments. In this study, anammox bacterial evidence was found in rice paddy soil and cultured under various conditions of aerobic, microaerobic, and anaerobic batch incubations to determine whether enrichment was possible. The anammox-specific gene (hzsA) and microbial community analyses were performed on the incubated soils. Although it was not easy to enrich anammox bacteria due to co-occurrence of denitrification and nitrification based on the chemistry data, potential existence of anammox bacteria was assumed in the terrestrial paddy soil environment. For potential industrial uses, anammox bacteria could be searched for in rice paddy soils by applying optimal enrichment conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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15 pages, 1438 KiB  
Article
Effects of Prenatal Dexamethasone Treatment and Post-Weaning Moderate Fructose Intake on Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior in Adult Male Wistar Rat Offspring
by Đurđica Ignjatović, Nataša Nestorović, Mirko Tomić, Nataša Ristić, Nataša Veličković, Milka Perović and Milica Manojlović-Stojanoski
Biology 2024, 13(7), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070547 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Early-life glucocorticoid overexposure induces diverse neurodevelopmental outcomes regarding stress reactivity and cognition. Increased fructose consumption has also been associated with alterations in cognitive capacity and behavior. The present study investigated the effects of prenatal dexamethasone exposure on synaptic plasticity, locomotion, anxiety, and recognition [...] Read more.
Early-life glucocorticoid overexposure induces diverse neurodevelopmental outcomes regarding stress reactivity and cognition. Increased fructose consumption has also been associated with alterations in cognitive capacity and behavior. The present study investigated the effects of prenatal dexamethasone exposure on synaptic plasticity, locomotion, anxiety, and recognition memory in adult male Wistar rat offspring, and whether these effects are potentiated by postnatal fructose consumption. Pregnant female rats were treated with dexamethasone during late gestation and male offspring were supplemented with a moderate dose of fructose. Recognition memory, locomotion, and anxiety-like behavior were assessed using a novel object recognition test, open-field test, and elevated plus maze, respectively. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity was estimated by the levels of growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43), synaptophysin, postsynaptic density protein 95, calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase IIα, and their activating phosphorylations. Additionally, protein levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and its transcriptionally active phosphorylated form were evaluated. Prenatal dexamethasone treatment induced an anxiolytic-like effect, stimulation of exploratory behavior, and novelty preference associated with an increase in GR and GAP-43 protein levels in the hippocampus. Fructose overconsumption after weaning did not modify the effects of prenatal glucocorticoid exposure. Applied prenatal dexamethasone treatment may induce changes in reactions to novel situations in male Wistar rats. Full article
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26 pages, 605 KiB  
Review
Multifaceted Roles of Nerve Growth Factor: A Comprehensive Review with a Special Insight into Pediatric Perspectives
by Lavinia Capossela, Antonio Gatto, Serena Ferretti, Lorenzo Di Sarno, Benedetta Graglia, Miriam Massese, Marzia Soligo and Antonio Chiaretti
Biology 2024, 13(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070546 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophic peptide largely revealed for its ability to regulate the growth and survival of peripheral sensory, sympathetic, and central cholinergic neurons. The pro-survival and regenerative properties of neurotrophic factors propose a therapeutic potential in a wide range [...] Read more.
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophic peptide largely revealed for its ability to regulate the growth and survival of peripheral sensory, sympathetic, and central cholinergic neurons. The pro-survival and regenerative properties of neurotrophic factors propose a therapeutic potential in a wide range of brain diseases, and NGF, in particular, has appeared as an encouraging potential treatment. In this review, a summary of clinical studies regarding NGF and its therapeutic effects published to date, with a specific interest in the pediatric context, will be attempted. NGF has been studied in neurological disorders such as hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury, neurobehavioral and neurodevelopmental diseases, congenital malformations, cerebral infections, and in oncological and ocular diseases. The potential of NGF to support neuronal survival, repair, and plasticity in these contexts is highlighted. Emerging therapeutic strategies for NGF delivery, including intranasal administration as well as advanced nanotechnology-based methods, are discussed. These techniques aim to enhance NGF bioavailability and target specificity, optimizing therapeutic outcomes while minimizing systemic side effects. By synthesizing current research, this review underscores the promise and challenges of NGF-based therapies in pediatric neurology, advocating for continued innovation in delivery methods to fully harness NGF’s therapeutic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles and Functions of Neurotrophins and Their Receptors in the Brain)
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14 pages, 20538 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis of Transiently Reversible Cell Vacuolization Caused by Excessive Serum Concentration in Scophthalmus maximus
by Yuting Song, Lijun Shao and Xiaoli Yu
Biology 2024, 13(7), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070545 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
As an important research tool, cell lines play a vital role in life science research, medical research, and drug development. During the culture of the Scophthalmus maximus head kidney (TK) cell line, we found a phenomenon of cell vacuolization caused by excessive serum [...] Read more.
As an important research tool, cell lines play a vital role in life science research, medical research, and drug development. During the culture of the Scophthalmus maximus head kidney (TK) cell line, we found a phenomenon of cell vacuolization caused by excessive serum concentration. Moreover, the vacuolization of the cells gradually disappeared after passage by trypsin digestion. In clarifying the formation mechanism of this reversible cellular vacuolation, transcriptomics was utilized to explore the mechanism of cell vacuolization caused by excessive serum concentration. Transcriptome analysis indicated that excessive serum concentration could cause the up-regulated expression of PORCN and other genes to promote cell proliferation. Compared with cells whose vacuolization disappeared after trypsin digestion and passage, the expression of mitosis-related genes (BUB1, ttk, Mad2, Cdc20, CDK1, CCNB1), nuclear stability-related genes LMNB1 and tissue stress and repair-related genes HMMR in vacuolated cells caused by excessive serum concentration was significantly up-regulated. There is a regulatory system related to adaptation and stress repair in the cells, which can maintain cell stability to a certain extent. This study provides a theoretical basis for the stable culture of fish cell lines and the solution to the problem of cell vacuolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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20 pages, 14503 KiB  
Article
The Therapeutic Potential of Dalbergia pinnata (Lour.) Prain Essential Oil in Alzheimer’s Disease: EEG Signal Analysis In Vivo, SH-SY5Y Cell Model In Vitro, and Network Pharmacology
by Sheng Qin, Jiayi Fang, Xin He, Genfa Yu, Fengping Yi and Guangyong Zhu
Biology 2024, 13(7), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070544 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is projected by the WHO to affect over 100 million people by 2050. Clinically, AD patients undergoing long-term antipsychotic treatment often experience severe anxiety or depression in later stages. Furthermore, early-stage AD manifests with weakened [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is projected by the WHO to affect over 100 million people by 2050. Clinically, AD patients undergoing long-term antipsychotic treatment often experience severe anxiety or depression in later stages. Furthermore, early-stage AD manifests with weakened α waves in the brain, progressing to diminished α and β waves in late-stage disease, reflecting changes in emotional states and disease progression. In this study, EEG signal analysis revealed that inhalation of Dalbergia pinnata (Lour.) Prain essential oil (DPEO) enhanced δ, θ, α and β wave powers in the frontal and parietal lobes, with a rising trend in the β/α ratio in the temporal lobe. These findings suggest an alleviation of anxiety and an enhancement of cognitive functions. Treatment of the AD SH-SY5Y (human neuroblastoma cells) cell model with DPEO resulted in decreased intracellular levels of Aβ, GSK-3β, P-Tau, IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2, OFR, and HFR, alongside reduced AchE and BchE activities and increased SOD activity. Network pharmacology analysis indicated a potential pharmacological mechanism involving the JAK-STAT pathway. Our study provides evidence supporting DPEO’s role in modulating anxiety and slowing AD pathological progression. Full article
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17 pages, 1517 KiB  
Review
The Emerging Role of Ferroptosis in EBV-Associated Cancer: Implications for Cancer Therapy
by Shan He, Cheng Luo, Feng Shi, Jianhua Zhou and Li Shang
Biology 2024, 13(7), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070543 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Ferroptosis is a novel and iron-dependent form of programmed cell death, which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various human cancers. EBV is a well-recognized oncogenic virus that controls multiple signaling pathways within the host cell, including ferroptosis signaling. Recent studies show [...] Read more.
Ferroptosis is a novel and iron-dependent form of programmed cell death, which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various human cancers. EBV is a well-recognized oncogenic virus that controls multiple signaling pathways within the host cell, including ferroptosis signaling. Recent studies show that inducing ferroptosis could be an efficient therapeutic strategy for EBV-associated tumors. This review will firstly describe the mechanism of ferroptosis, then summarize EBV infection and EBV-associated tumors, as well as the crosstalk between EBV infection and the ferroptosis signaling pathway, and finally discuss the role and potential application of ferroptosis-related reagents in EBV-associated tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer and Signalling: Targeting Cellular Pathways)
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20 pages, 2720 KiB  
Review
The Low Survivability of Transplanted Gonadal Grafts: The Impact of Cryopreservation and Transplantation Conditions on Mitochondrial Function
by Inês Moniz, Maria Soares, Ana Paula Sousa, João Ramalho-Santos and Ana Branco
Biology 2024, 13(7), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070542 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Advances in tissue preservation techniques have allowed reproductive medicine and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to flourish in recent years. Because radio- and chemotherapy procedures are often gonadotoxic, irreversible damage can preclude future gamete production and endocrine support. Accordingly, in recent years, the freezing [...] Read more.
Advances in tissue preservation techniques have allowed reproductive medicine and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to flourish in recent years. Because radio- and chemotherapy procedures are often gonadotoxic, irreversible damage can preclude future gamete production and endocrine support. Accordingly, in recent years, the freezing and storage of gonadal tissue fragments prior to the first oncological treatment appointment and autologous transplantation post-recovery have been considered improved solutions for fertility recovery in cancer survivors. Nevertheless, the cryopreservation and transplantation of thawed tissues is still very limited, and positive outcomes are relatively low. This review aims to discuss the limitations of oncofertility protocols with a focus on the impacts of mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and the loss of antioxidant defense in graft integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria: The Diseases' Cause and Cure)
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10 pages, 2600 KiB  
Article
Persistence of Correlations in Neurotransmitter Transport through the Synaptic Cleft
by Masroor Khonkhodzhaev, Shota Maglakelidze, Yonatan Dubi and Lev Mourokh
Biology 2024, 13(7), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070541 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The “quantum brain” proposal can revolutionize our understanding of cognition if proven valid. The core of the most common “quantum brain” mechanism is the appearance of correlated neuron triggering induced by quantum correlations between ions. In this work, we examine the preservation of [...] Read more.
The “quantum brain” proposal can revolutionize our understanding of cognition if proven valid. The core of the most common “quantum brain” mechanism is the appearance of correlated neuron triggering induced by quantum correlations between ions. In this work, we examine the preservation of the correlations created in the pre-synaptic neurons through the transfer of neurotransmitters across the synaptic cleft, a critical ingredient for the validity of the “quantum brain” hypothesis. We simulated the transport of two neurotransmitters at two different clefts, with the only assumption that they start simultaneously, and determined the difference in their first passage times. We show that in physiological conditions, the correlations are persistent even if the parameters of the two neurons are different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Rules of Life Rethought: Latest Progress in Quantum Biology)
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20 pages, 4107 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Foreign Body Response via Single-Cell Meta-Analysis
by Norah E. Liang, Jennifer B. Parker, John M. Lu, Michael Januszyk, Derrick C. Wan, Michelle Griffin and Michael T. Longaker
Biology 2024, 13(7), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070540 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Foreign body response (FBR) is a universal reaction to implanted biomaterial that can affect the function and longevity of the implant. A few studies have attempted to identify targets for treating FBR through the use of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), though the generalizability [...] Read more.
Foreign body response (FBR) is a universal reaction to implanted biomaterial that can affect the function and longevity of the implant. A few studies have attempted to identify targets for treating FBR through the use of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), though the generalizability of these findings from an individual study may be limited. In our study, we perform a meta-analysis of scRNA-seq data from all available FBR mouse studies and integrate these data to identify gene signatures specific to FBR across different models and anatomic locations. We identify subclusters of fibroblasts and macrophages that emerge in response to foreign bodies and characterize their signaling pathways, gene ontology terms, and downstream mediators. The fibroblast subpopulations enriched in the setting of FBR demonstrated significant signaling interactions in the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway, with known pro-fibrotic mediators identified as top expressed genes in these FBR-derived fibroblasts. In contrast, FBR-enriched macrophage subclusters highly expressed pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory mediators downstream of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling. Cell–cell interactions were additionally interrogated using CellChat, with identification of key signaling interactions enriched between fibroblasts and macrophages in FBR. By combining multiple FBR datasets, our meta-analysis study identifies common cell-specific gene signatures enriched in foreign body reactions, providing potential therapeutic targets for patients requiring medical implants across a myriad of devices and indications. Full article
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23 pages, 882 KiB  
Review
The Assessment of Sperm DNA Integrity: Implications for Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Outcomes across Livestock Species
by Maya J. Robertson, Caitlin Chambers, Eloise A. Spanner, Simon P. de Graaf and Jessica P. Rickard
Biology 2024, 13(7), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070539 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Sperm DNA integrity is increasingly considered a useful measure of semen quality in mammalian reproduction. However, the definition of DNA integrity, the ideal means by which it should be measured, and its predictive value for fertility remain a topic of much discussion. With [...] Read more.
Sperm DNA integrity is increasingly considered a useful measure of semen quality in mammalian reproduction. However, the definition of DNA integrity, the ideal means by which it should be measured, and its predictive value for fertility remain a topic of much discussion. With an emphasis on livestock species, this review discusses the assays that have been developed to measure DNA integrity as well as their correlation with in vitro and in vivo fertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoology)
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15 pages, 5516 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Distribution Pattern of Phenacoccus manihoti in China under Climate Change Based on the Biomod2 Model
by Yumeng Huang, Tong Li, Weijia Chen, Yuan Zhang, Yanling Xu, Tengda Guo, Shuping Wang, Jingyuan Liu and Yujia Qin
Biology 2024, 13(7), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070538 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 336
Abstract
The changing global climate has significantly impacted the spread of plant pests. The cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti) is among the most dangerous quarantine pests affecting cassavas worldwide, causing substantial losses in agricultural production and food security across several regions. Although China [...] Read more.
The changing global climate has significantly impacted the spread of plant pests. The cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti) is among the most dangerous quarantine pests affecting cassavas worldwide, causing substantial losses in agricultural production and food security across several regions. Although China is currently free of the cassava mealybug, its proximity to affected countries and extensive trade with these regions necessitate a detailed understanding of the pest’s distribution pattern and dynamic ecological niche changes. Using the Biomod2 model, we selected two historical climate scenarios and two future climate scenarios (SSP1-2.6 and SSP5-8.5) to investigate the distribution patterns, potential habitats, distribution centers, and dynamic ecological niches of cassava mealybugs in China. Key environmental variables influencing the distribution were identified, including bio4, bio8, bio12, bio18, and bio19. The potential habitat of cassava mealybugs is mainly located in several provinces in southern China. In the future, the suitable habitat is projected to expand slightly under the influence of climate change, maintaining the overall trend, but the distribution center of suitable areas will shift northward. Dynamic ecological niche prediction results indicate the potential for further expansion; however, the ecological niches may be unequal and dissimilar in the invaded areas. The predictions could serve as a valuable reference for early warning systems and management strategies to control the introduction of cassava mealybugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment for Biological Invasions)
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17 pages, 1044 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Starfish Outbreaks and Their Prevention and Utilization: Lessons from Northern China
by Liang Qu, Yongxin Sun, Chong Zhao, Maurice R. Elphick and Qingzhi Wang
Biology 2024, 13(7), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070537 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Starfish are keystone species as predators in benthic ecosystems, but when population outbreaks occur, this can have devastating consequences ecologically. Furthermore, starfish outbreaks and invasions can have adverse impact economically by impacting shellfish aquaculture. For example, an infestation of starfish in Qingdao led [...] Read more.
Starfish are keystone species as predators in benthic ecosystems, but when population outbreaks occur, this can have devastating consequences ecologically. Furthermore, starfish outbreaks and invasions can have adverse impact economically by impacting shellfish aquaculture. For example, an infestation of starfish in Qingdao led to a 50% reduction in sea cucumber production and an 80% reduction in scallop production, resulting in an economic loss of approximately RMB 100 million to oyster and other shellfish industries. Addressing the imperative need to proactively mitigate starfish invasions requires comprehensive research on their behavior and the underlying mechanisms of outbreaks. This review scrutinizes the historical patterns of outbreaks among diverse starfish species across various regions, delineates the factors contributing to the proliferation of Asterias amurensis in Chinese waters, articulates preventive and remedial strategies, and outlines the potential for the sustainable utilization of starfish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances in Echinoderm Research)
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15 pages, 4268 KiB  
Article
Impact of Iron Oxide on Anaerobic Digestion of Frass in Biogas and Methanogenic Archaeal Communities’ Analysis
by Xiaoying Dong, Aoqi Dong, Juhao Liu, Kamran Qadir, Tianping Xu, Xiya Fan, Haiyan Liu, Fengyun Ji and Weiping Xu
Biology 2024, 13(7), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070536 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 429
Abstract
With the increasing prominence of the global energy problem, socioeconomic activities have been seriously affected. Biofuels, as a renewable source of energy, are of great significance in promoting sustainable development. In this study, batch anaerobic digestion (AD) of frass (swine manure after bioconversion [...] Read more.
With the increasing prominence of the global energy problem, socioeconomic activities have been seriously affected. Biofuels, as a renewable source of energy, are of great significance in promoting sustainable development. In this study, batch anaerobic digestion (AD) of frass (swine manure after bioconversion by black soldier fly larvae) and co-digestion with corn straw after the addition of iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles is investigated, as well as the start-up period without inoculation. The biochemical methane potential of pure frass was obtained using blank 1 group and after the addition of various sizes of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for 30 days period, and similarly, the digestion of frass with straw (blank 2) and after the addition of various sizes of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for 61 days period. The results showed that the average gas production was 209.43 mL/gVS, 197.68 mL/gVS, 151.85 mL/gVS, and 238.15 mL/gVS for the blank, ~176 nm, ~164 nm, and ~184 nm, respectively. The average gas production of frass with straw (blank 2) was 261.64 mL/gVS, 259.62 mL/gVS, 241.51 mL/gVS, and 285.98 mL/gVS for blank 2, ~176 nm, ~164 nm, and ~184 nm, respectively. Meanwhile, the accumulated methane production of the ~184 nm group was 2312.98 mL and 10,952.96 mL, respectively, which significantly increased the biogas production compared to the other groups. The methanogenic results of the frass (30 days) indicated that Methanocorpusculum, Methanosarcina, and Methanomassiliicoccus are the important methanogenic species in the AD reactor, while the microbial diversity of the ~184 nm group was optimal, which may be the reason for the high gas production of ~184 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biotechnology)
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21 pages, 2324 KiB  
Article
Effect of Liposomal Protium heptaphyllum (Alb.) March Extract in the Treatment of Obesity Induced by High-Calorie Diet
by Naiéle Sartori Patias, Eveline Aparecida Isquierdo Fonseca de Queiroz, Stela Regina Ferrarini, Gisele Facholi Bomfim, Danilo Henrique Aguiar, Adilson Paulo Sinhorin, Alexandre Aymberé Bello, Geovana Vicentini Fazolo da Silva, Larissa Cavalheiro and Valéria Dornelles Gindri Sinhorin
Biology 2024, 13(7), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070535 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Obesity, a chronic disease, resulted from excessive consumption of high-calorie foods, leading to an energy imbalance. Protium heptaphyllum (P. heptaphyllum) was used in folk medicine for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. The association of the extract from P. heptaphyllum with [...] Read more.
Obesity, a chronic disease, resulted from excessive consumption of high-calorie foods, leading to an energy imbalance. Protium heptaphyllum (P. heptaphyllum) was used in folk medicine for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. The association of the extract from P. heptaphyllum with nanotechnology was innovative for combining high technology with active ingredients that are easily accessible in the Amazon region. This study evaluated the effect of liposomes containing the ethyl acetate fraction of the crude extract of P. heptaphyllum leaves on obesity. Male Wistar rats treated with a high-calorie diet for 8 weeks to induce obesity received treatment with the liposome formulation containing P. heptaphyllum extract (1 mg/kg/day, via gavage) for 14 days. Morphological, metabolic, redox status, immunological, and histological parameters were evaluated in the adipose and liver tissue of the animals. The groups were divided as follows: C: control; P: liposomes containing extract; O: obese, and OP: obese + liposomes containing extract. The obesity model resulted in increases in body weight, caloric intake, body fat weight, and in the lipid profile. In adipose tissue, P decreased SOD (superoxide dismutase) activity in obese animals. In the liver, a positive modulation of the extract was observed in relation to glucose, amino acids, lactate, hepatoprotective action, and anti-inflammatory activity, with a decrease in interleukin 1β (IL-1β) in obese animals. The results showed an improvement in the functional and inflammatory aspects, but the treatment was not effective in alleviating general changes related to obesity, such as weight gain, fat, glucose, triglycerides, and inflammation in adipose tissue, highlighting the complexity of responses in different organs during obesity and treatment with P. heptaphyllum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Pathophysiology of Obesity)
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21 pages, 5230 KiB  
Article
Soil Microbial Community Structure and Carbon Stocks Following Fertilization with Organic Fertilizers and Biological Inputs
by Diana Sivojienė, Aistė Masevičienė, Lina Žičkienė, Almantas Ražukas and Audrius Kačergius
Biology 2024, 13(7), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070534 - 17 Jul 2024
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Abstract
The application of organic fertilizers and biological inputs to soil inevitably affects its quality, agrochemical indicators, and microbiota. Sustainable agriculture is based on continuously learning about how to properly manage available soil, water, and biological resources. The aim of the study was to [...] Read more.
The application of organic fertilizers and biological inputs to soil inevitably affects its quality, agrochemical indicators, and microbiota. Sustainable agriculture is based on continuously learning about how to properly manage available soil, water, and biological resources. The aim of the study was to determine changes in microorganism communities and carbon stocks in infertile soils for fertilization using different organic fertilizers and their combinations with bio-inputs. Genetic analysis of microorganism populations was performed using the NGS approach. Our study showed that the application of organic fertilizers affects the soil microbiota and the taxonomic structure of its communities. Specific groups of bacteria, such as Bacillota, were promoted by organic fertilization, meanwhile the abundance of Pseudomonadota and Ascomycota decreased in most treatments after the application of poultry manure. Metagenomic analysis confirmed that the use of bio-inputs increased the relative abundance of Trichoderma spp. fungi; meanwhile, a significant change was not found in the representatives of Azotobacter compared to the treatments where the bio-inputs were not used. The positive influence of fertilization appeared on all the studied agrochemical indicators. Higher concentrations of Corg and Nmin accumulated in the soil when we used granulated poultry manure, and pHKCl when we used cattle manure. Full article
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17 pages, 8456 KiB  
Article
Early Peri-Implant Bone Healing on Laser-Modified Surfaces with and without Hydroxyapatite Coating: An In Vivo Study
by Ana Flávia Piquera Santos, Rodrigo Capalbo da Silva, Henrique Hadad, Laís Kawamata de Jesus, Maísa Pereira-Silva, Heloisa Helena Nímia, Sandra Helena Penha Oliveira, Antônio Carlos Guastaldi, Thallita Pereira Queiroz, Pier Paolo Poli, Debora de Barros Barbosa, André Luis da Silva Fabris, Idelmo Rangel Garcia Júnior, Reinhard Gruber and Francisley Ávila Souza
Biology 2024, 13(7), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070533 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 313
Abstract
(1) Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the biological behavior of bone tissue on a machined surface (MS) and modifications made by a laser beam (LS) and by a laser beam incorporated with hydroxyapatite (HA) using a biomimetic method without [...] Read more.
(1) Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the biological behavior of bone tissue on a machined surface (MS) and modifications made by a laser beam (LS) and by a laser beam incorporated with hydroxyapatite (HA) using a biomimetic method without thermic treatment (LHS). (2) Methods: Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM/EDX) was performed before and after installation in the rabbit tibiae. A total of 20 Albinus rabbits randomly received 30 implants of 3.75 × 10 mm in the right and left tibias, with two implants on each surface in each tibia. In the animals belonging to the 4-week euthanasia period group, intramuscular application of the fluorochromes calcein and alizarin was performed. In implants placed mesially in the tibiofemoral joint, biomechanical analysis was performed by means of a removal torque (N/cm). The tibias with the implants located distally to the joint were submitted for analysis by confocal laser microscopy (mineral apposition rate) and for histometric analysis by bone contact implant (%BIC) and newly formed bone area (%NBA). (3) Results: The SEM showed differences between the surfaces. The biomechanical analysis revealed significant differences in removal torque values between the MSs and LHSs over a 2-week period. Over a 4-week period, both the LSs and LHSs demonstrated removal torque values statistically higher than the MSs. BIC of the LHS implants were statistically superior to MS at the 2-week period and LHS and LS surfaces were statistically superior to MS at the 4-week period. Statistical analysis of the NBA of the implants showed difference between the LHS and MS in the period of 2 weeks. (4) Conclusions: The modifications of the LSs and LHSs provided important physicochemical modifications that favored the deposition of bone tissue on the surface of the implants. Full article
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17 pages, 6609 KiB  
Article
Prolonged Sleep Deprivation Induces a Reprogramming of Circadian Rhythmicity with the Hepatic Metabolic Transcriptomic Profile
by Shiyan Liu, Kailin Zhuo, Yiming Wang, Xiaomei Wang and Yingying Zhao
Biology 2024, 13(7), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070532 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 271
Abstract
Sleep disturbances can disrupt the overall circadian rhythm. However, the impact of sleep deprivation on the circadian rhythm of the liver and its underlying mechanisms still requires further exploration. In this study, we subjected male mice to 5 days of sleep deprivation and [...] Read more.
Sleep disturbances can disrupt the overall circadian rhythm. However, the impact of sleep deprivation on the circadian rhythm of the liver and its underlying mechanisms still requires further exploration. In this study, we subjected male mice to 5 days of sleep deprivation and performed liver transcriptome sequencing analysis at various time points within a 24-h period. Subsequently, we monitored the autonomic activity and food intake in these male mice for six days post-sleep deprivation. We observed alterations in sleep-wake and feeding rhythms in the first two days following sleep deprivation. Additionally, we also observed a decrease in 24-h serum-glucose levels. Liver transcriptome sequencing has shown that sleep deprivation induces the rhythmic transcription of a large number of genes, or alters the rhythmic properties of genes, which were then significantly enriched in the carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism pathways. Our findings suggest that under conditions of prolonged sleep deprivation, the expression of metabolic-related genes in the liver was reset, leading to changes in the organism’s metabolic state to ensure energy supply to sustain prolonged wakefulness. Full article
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20 pages, 2727 KiB  
Article
Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Organic Silicon on the Growth Performance, Blood Biochemistry, Digestive Enzymes, Morphohistology, Intestinal Microbiota and Stress Resistance in Juvenile Hybrid Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus × Oreochromis niloticus)
by Yuniel Méndez-Martínez, Helen A. Valensuela-Barros, Yanis Cruz-Quintana, Aroldo Botello-León, Roberto D. Muñoz-Mestanza, Grace L. Orellana-Castro and Carlos Angulo
Biology 2024, 13(7), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070531 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 432
Abstract
In recent decades, interest has been aroused worldwide in the use of silicon in nutrition; however, information on its effect on nutrition and metabolism of fish is limited. The objective of the research was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with organic [...] Read more.
In recent decades, interest has been aroused worldwide in the use of silicon in nutrition; however, information on its effect on nutrition and metabolism of fish is limited. The objective of the research was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with organic silicon on the growth performance, blood biochemistry, digestive enzymes, morphohistology and intestinal microbiota and stress resistance in hybrid Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus × Oreochromis niloticus). Methodologically, six levels of organic silicon (DOS) [control (0), 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 mg·kg−1] were used to feed juvenile fish (initial weight 7.51 ± 0.25 g) grown for eight weeks in 18 aquariums (15 fish/aquarium). The results indicated that growth performance showed differences (p < 0.05) for specific growth rate, feed conversion and survival. Triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose, transaminases and digestive enzymes were significantly influenced by DOS levels. The histological study confirmed that the administered diets did not cause damage and induced significant morphological changes in the proximal intestine. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis of the gut microbiota showed a high diversity and richness of OTU/Chao-1, with Fusobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Acidobacteria predominating in the DOS treatments compared to the control (p < 0.05). Induction of hypoxia stress after the feeding period showed a significant relative survival rate of 83.33% in fish fed 50 mg·kg−1. It is concluded that the DOS treatments performed better than the control treatment in most of the variables analysed. DOS had no negative effects on the fish. The results showed that up to 50 mg·kg−1 DOS improved digestive, metabolic and growth performance in hybrid Tilapia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic and Stress Responses in Aquatic Animals)
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20 pages, 12201 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Salinity Stress on the Transcriptomic Responses of Freshwater Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii, Girard, 1852)
by Lei Luo, Li-Shi Yang, Jian-Hua Huang, Shi-Gui Jiang, Fa-Lin Zhou, Yun-Dong Li, Song Jiang and Qi-Bin Yang
Biology 2024, 13(7), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070530 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Salinization of freshwater ecosystems is a pressing global issue. Changes in salinity can exert severe pressure on aquatic animals and jeopardize their survival. Procambarus clarkii is a valuable freshwater aquaculture species that exhibits some degree of salinity tolerance, making it an excellent research [...] Read more.
Salinization of freshwater ecosystems is a pressing global issue. Changes in salinity can exert severe pressure on aquatic animals and jeopardize their survival. Procambarus clarkii is a valuable freshwater aquaculture species that exhibits some degree of salinity tolerance, making it an excellent research model for freshwater aquaculture species facing salinity stress. In the present study, crayfish were exposed to acute low salt (6 ppt) and high salt (18 ppt) conditions. The organisms were continuously monitored at 6, 24, and 72 h using RNA-Seq to investigate the mechanisms of salt stress resistance. Transcriptome analysis revealed that the crayfish responded to salinity stress with numerous differentially expressed genes, and most of different expression genes was observed in high salinity group for 24h. GO and KEGG enrichment analyses indicated that metabolic pathways were the primary response pathways in crayfish under salinity stress. This suggests that crayfish may use metabolic pathways to compensate for energy loss caused by osmotic stress. Furthermore, gene expression analysis revealed the differential expression of immune and antioxidant-related pathway genes under salinity stress, implying that salinity stress induces immune disorders in crayfish. More genes related to cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, such as the Foxo, Wnt, Hippo, and Notch signaling pathways, responded to high-salinity stress. This suggests that regulating the cellular replication cycle and accelerating apoptosis may be necessary for crayfish to cope with high-salinity stress. Additionally, we identified 36 solute carrier family (SLC) genes related to ion transport, depicting possible ion exchange mechanisms in crayfish under salinity stress. These findings aimed to establish a foundation for understanding crustacean responses to salinity stress and their osmoregulatory mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biological Research into Shrimps, Crabs and Lobsters)
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12 pages, 2945 KiB  
Article
Retrospective Single-Center Case Study of Clinical Variables and the Degree of Actinic Elastosis Associated with Rare Skin Cancers
by Konstantin Drexler, Lara Bollmann, Sigrid Karrer, Mark Berneburg, Sebastian Haferkamp and Dennis Niebel
Biology 2024, 13(7), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070529 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 285
Abstract
(1) Background: Rare skin cancers include epithelial, neuroendocrine, and hematopoietic neoplasias as well as cutaneous sarcomas. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and sunburns are important drivers for the incidence of certain cutaneous sarcomas; however, the pathogenetic role of UV light is less clear in rare [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Rare skin cancers include epithelial, neuroendocrine, and hematopoietic neoplasias as well as cutaneous sarcomas. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and sunburns are important drivers for the incidence of certain cutaneous sarcomas; however, the pathogenetic role of UV light is less clear in rare skin cancers compared to keratinocyte cancer and melanoma. In this study, we compared the degree of actinic elastosis (AE) as a surrogate for lifetime UV exposure among selected rare skin cancers (atypical fibroxanthoma [AFX], pleomorphic dermal sarcoma [PDS], dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans [DFSP], Kaposi sarcoma [KS], Merkel cell carcinoma [MCC], and leiomyosarcoma [LMS]) while taking into account relevant clinical variables (age, sex, and body site). (2) Methods: We newly established a semi-quantitative score for the degree of AE ranging from 0 = none to 3 = total loss of elastic fibers (basophilic degeneration) and multiplied it by the perilesional vertical extent (depth), measured histometrically (tumor-associated elastosis grade (TEG)). We matched the TEG of n = 210 rare skin cancers from 210 patients with their clinical variables. (3) Results: TEG values were correlated with age and whether tumors arose on UV-exposed body sites. TEG values were significantly higher in AFX and PDS cases compared to all other analyzed rare skin cancer types. As expected, TEG values were low in DFSP and KS, while MCC cases exhibited intermediate TEG values. (4) Conclusions: High cumulative UV exposure is more strongly associated with AFX/PDS and MCC than with other rare skin cancers. These important results expand the available data associated with rare skin cancers while also offering insight into the value of differentiating among these tumor types based on their relationship with sun exposure, potentially informing preventative, diagnostic and/or therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Pathophysiology of Skin)
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14 pages, 3667 KiB  
Article
Yadanziolide A Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma via JAK-STAT Pathway: A Preclinical Study
by Lili Lin and Qi Chen
Biology 2024, 13(7), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070528 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Liver cancer is a significant global health concern, prompting the search for innovative therapeutic solutions. Yadanziolide A (Y-A), a natural derivative of Brucea javanica, has emerged as a promising candidate for cancer treatment; however, its efficacy and underlying mechanisms in liver [...] Read more.
Liver cancer is a significant global health concern, prompting the search for innovative therapeutic solutions. Yadanziolide A (Y-A), a natural derivative of Brucea javanica, has emerged as a promising candidate for cancer treatment; however, its efficacy and underlying mechanisms in liver cancer remain incompletely understood. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Y-A’s effects on liver cancer cells using a range of in vitro assays and an orthotopic liver cancer mouse model. Our findings reveal that Y-A exerts dose-dependent cytotoxic effects on liver cancer cells, significantly inhibiting proliferation, migration, and invasion at concentrations ≥ 0.1 μM. Furthermore, Y-A induces apoptosis, as evidenced by increased apoptotic cell populations and apoptosome formation. In vivo studies confirm that Y-A inhibits tumor growth and reduces liver damage in mouse models. Mechanistically, Y-A targets the TNF-α/STAT3 pathway, inhibiting STAT3 and JAK2 phosphorylation, thereby activating apoptotic pathways and suppressing tumor cell growth. These results suggest that Y-A has promising anticancer activity and potential utility in liver cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer and Signalling: Targeting Cellular Pathways)
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1 pages, 556 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Shawky et al. The Biological Impacts of Sitagliptin on the Pancreas of a Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Drug Interactions with Metformin. Biology 2020, 9, 6
by Lamiaa M. Shawky, Ahmed A. Morsi, Eman El Bana and Safaa Masoud Hanafy
Biology 2024, 13(7), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070527 - 16 Jul 2024
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Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
12 pages, 4160 KiB  
Article
Jaboticaba Peel Extract Attenuates Ovariectomy-Induced Bone Loss by Preserving Osteoblast Activity
by Letícia Faustino Adolpho, Maria Paula Oliveira Gomes, Gileade Pereira Freitas, Rayana Longo Bighetti-Trevisan, Jaqueline Isadora Reis Ramos, Gabriela Hernandes Campeoti, Guilherme Crepi Zatta, Adriana Luisa Gonçalves Almeida, Adriana Gadioli Tarone, Mario Roberto Marostica-Junior, Adalberto Luiz Rosa and Marcio Mateus Beloti
Biology 2024, 13(7), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070526 - 16 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Therapies to prevent osteoporosis are relevant since it is one of the most common non-communicable human diseases in the world and the most prevalent bone disorder in adults. Since jaboticaba peel extract (JPE) added to the culture medium enhanced the osteogenic potential of [...] Read more.
Therapies to prevent osteoporosis are relevant since it is one of the most common non-communicable human diseases in the world and the most prevalent bone disorder in adults. Since jaboticaba peel extract (JPE) added to the culture medium enhanced the osteogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from osteoporotic rats, we hypothesized that JPE prevents the development of ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis. Ovariectomized rats were treated with either JPE (30 mg/kg of body weight) or its vehicle for 90 days, starting 7 days after the ovariectomy. Then, the femurs were subjected to microcomputed tomography and histological analyses, and the osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation of MSCs was evaluated. JPE attenuated ovariectomy-induced bone loss, as evidenced by higher bone volume/total volume and trabecular number, along with lower trabecular separation and bone marrow adiposity. These protective effects of JPE on bone tissue are due to its ability to prevent the imbalance between osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation of MSCs, since, compared with MSCs derived from ovariectomized rats treated with vehicle, MSCs treated with JPE exhibited higher gene and protein expression of osteogenic markers and extracellular matrix mineralization, as well as lower gene expression of adipogenic markers. These data highlight the potential therapeutic use of JPE to prevent osteoporosis. Full article
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14 pages, 2642 KiB  
Article
The Cytotoxic Effects of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Induced by Uranium
by Yi Quan and Xiaofang Yu
Biology 2024, 13(7), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070525 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Bone is a major tissue for uranium deposition in human body. Considering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a vital role in bone formation and injury recovery, studying the mechanism of MSCs responding to uranium poisoning can benefit the understanding of bone damage and [...] Read more.
Bone is a major tissue for uranium deposition in human body. Considering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a vital role in bone formation and injury recovery, studying the mechanism of MSCs responding to uranium poisoning can benefit the understanding of bone damage and repair after uranium exposure. Cellular structural alterations were analyzed via transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Changes in cellular behaviors were assessed through cellular viability, apoptosis, and the production of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In addition, the influence of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) on uranium toxicity was assessed. The disruption of MSCs was elevated with the increase in uranyl nitrate concentration, as shown by TEM micrograph. This was verified by the results of cellular viability and DSB production. Interestingly, the results of apoptosis assay indicated significant apoptosis occurred, which was accompanied with an obvious disruption of cellular membranes. Furthermore, closely contacted cell confluence groups exhibited resistant to uranium poisoning in contrast to sparse growth groups, which can be eliminated with the pretreatment of a GJIC inhibitor in the close connection group. To verify the association between GJIC and cytotoxic effects of uranyl nitrate, GJIC function was evaluated by wound healing and cellular migration. The results showed an inhibition of the healing ratio and migration ability induced by the exposure of uranyl nitrate. The low transfer efficiency of the dye coupling experiment and depressed expression of gap functional protein connexins confirmed the impairment of GJIC function. These results suggest that uranium toxicity is involved with GJIC dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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24 pages, 7055 KiB  
Article
Arbovirus Transmission in Australia from 2002 to 2017
by Elvina Viennet, Francesca D. Frentiu, Emilie McKenna, Flavia Torres Vasconcelos, Robert L. P. Flower and Helen M. Faddy
Biology 2024, 13(7), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070524 - 15 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Arboviruses pose a significant global public health threat, with Ross River virus (RRV), Barmah Forest virus (BFV), and dengue virus (DENV) being among the most common and clinically significant in Australia. Some arboviruses, including those prevalent in Australia, have been reported to cause [...] Read more.
Arboviruses pose a significant global public health threat, with Ross River virus (RRV), Barmah Forest virus (BFV), and dengue virus (DENV) being among the most common and clinically significant in Australia. Some arboviruses, including those prevalent in Australia, have been reported to cause transfusion-transmitted infections. This study examined the spatiotemporal variation of these arboviruses and their potential impact on blood donation numbers across Australia. Using data from the Australian Department of Health on eight arboviruses from 2002 to 2017, we retrospectively assessed the distribution and clustering of incidence rates in space and time using Geographic Information System mapping and space–time scan statistics. Regression models were used to investigate how weather variables, their lag months, space, and time affect case and blood donation counts. The predictors’ importance varied with the spatial scale of analysis. Key predictors were average rainfall, minimum temperature, daily temperature variation, and relative humidity. Blood donation number was significantly associated with the incidence rate of all viruses and its interaction with local transmission of DENV, overall. This study, the first to cover eight clinically relevant arboviruses at a fine geographical level in Australia, identifies regions at risk for transmission and provides valuable insights for public health intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Biology)
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14 pages, 1152 KiB  
Review
The Utility of the Koala Scat: A Scoping Review
by Stephen D. Johnston, Lyndal Hulse, Tamara Keeley, Albano Mucci, Jennifer Seddon and Sam Maynard
Biology 2024, 13(7), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070523 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The use of samples or scats to provide important ecological, genetic, disease and physiology details on free-range populations is gaining popularity as an alternative non-invasive methodology. Koala populations in SE Queensland and NSW have recently been listed as endangered and continue to face [...] Read more.
The use of samples or scats to provide important ecological, genetic, disease and physiology details on free-range populations is gaining popularity as an alternative non-invasive methodology. Koala populations in SE Queensland and NSW have recently been listed as endangered and continue to face anthropomorphic and stochastic environmental impacts that could potentially lead to their extinction. This scoping review examines the current and potential utility of the koala scat to contribute data relevant to the assessment of koala conservation status and decision making. Although we demonstrate that there is great potential for this methodology in providing details for both individual wild animal and population biology (distribution, abundance, sex ratio, immigration/emigration, genetic diversity, evolutionary significant unit, disease epidemiology, nutrition, reproductive status and stress physiology), the calibre of this information is likely to be a function of the quality of the scat that is sampled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in 'Conservation Biology and Biodiversity')
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25 pages, 5303 KiB  
Article
Status of Cassava Witches’ Broom Disease in the Philippines and Identification of Potential Pathogens by Metagenomic Analysis
by Darwin Magsino Landicho, Ray Jerome Mojica Montañez, Maurizio Camagna, Sokty Neang, Abriel Salaria Bulasag, Peter Magan Magdaraog, Ikuo Sato, Daigo Takemoto, Kensaku Maejima, Marita Sanfuego Pinili and Sotaro Chiba
Biology 2024, 13(7), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13070522 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Cassava witches’ broom disease (CWBD) is one of the most devastating diseases of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), and it threatens global production of the crop. In 2017, a phytoplasma, Candidatus Phytoplasma luffae (Ca. P. luffae), was reported in the Philippines, and [...] Read more.
Cassava witches’ broom disease (CWBD) is one of the most devastating diseases of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), and it threatens global production of the crop. In 2017, a phytoplasma, Candidatus Phytoplasma luffae (Ca. P. luffae), was reported in the Philippines, and it has been considered as the causal agent, despite unknown etiology and transmission of CWBD. In this study, the nationwide occurrence of CWBD was assessed, and detection of CWBD’s pathogen was attempted using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques. The results showed that CWBD has spread and become severe, exhibiting symptoms such as small leaf proliferation, shortened internodes, and vascular necrosis. PCR analysis revealed a low phytoplasma detection rate, possibly due to low titer, uneven distribution, or absence in the CWBD-symptomatic cassava. In addition, NGS techniques confirm the PCR results, revealing the absence or extremely low phytoplasma read counts, but a surprisingly high abundance of fastidious and xylem-limited fungus, Ceratobasidium sp. in CWBD-symptomatic plants. These findings cast doubt over the involvement of phytoplasma in CWBD and instead highlight the potential association of Ceratobasidium sp., strongly supporting the recent findings in mainland Southeast Asia. Further investigations are needed to verify the etiology of CWBD and identify infection mechanisms of Ceratobasidium sp. to develop effective diagnostic and control methods for disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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