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Biology, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the last decade, a new method of cell–cell communication mediated by membranous extracellular vesicles (EVs) has emerged. EVs, including exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies (ApoBDs), represent a new important topic, because EVs are a means of communication between cells and they can also be involved in removing cellular contents. EVs are characterized by differences in size, origin, and content and different types have different functions. They appear as membranous sacs released by a variety of cells, in different physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Intriguingly, exosomes and microvesicles are a potent source of genetic information carriers. Apoptotic bodies are new and relatively poorly known vesicles, on which numerous in-depth studies are needed in order to understand their role and possible function. View this paper.
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Review
Apoptotic Bodies: Particular Extracellular Vesicles Involved in Intercellular Communication
Biology 2020, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010021 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 73 | Viewed by 2994
Abstract
In the last decade, a new method of cell–cell communication mediated by membranous extracellular vesicles (EVs) has emerged. EVs, including exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies (ApoBDs), represent a new and important topic, because they are a means of communication between cells and they [...] Read more.
In the last decade, a new method of cell–cell communication mediated by membranous extracellular vesicles (EVs) has emerged. EVs, including exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies (ApoBDs), represent a new and important topic, because they are a means of communication between cells and they can also be involved in removing cellular contents. EVs are characterized by differences in size, origin, and content and different types have different functions. They appear as membranous sacs released by a variety of cells, in different physiological and patho-physiological conditions. Intringuingly, exosomes and microvesicles are a potent source of genetic information carriers between different cell types both within a species and even across a species barrier. New, and therefore still relatively poorly known vesicles are apoptotic bodies, on which numerous in-depth studies are needed in order to understand their role and possible function. In this review we would like to analyze their morpho-functional characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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Article
Autophagy Inhibition Induces the Secretion of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) with Autocrine and Paracrine Effects on the Promotion of Malignancy in Breast Cancer
Biology 2020, 9(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010020 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
Breast cancer is the main cause of cancer-related death in women in the world. Because autophagy is a known survival pathway for cancer cells, its inhibition is currently being explored in clinical trials for treating several types of malignancies. In breast cancer, autophagy [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the main cause of cancer-related death in women in the world. Because autophagy is a known survival pathway for cancer cells, its inhibition is currently being explored in clinical trials for treating several types of malignancies. In breast cancer, autophagy has been shown to be necessary for the survival of cancer cells from the triple negative subtype (TNBC), which has the worst prognosis among breast cancers and currently has limited therapeutic options. Autophagy has also been involved in the regulation of protein secretion and, of importance for this work, the inhibition of autophagy is known to promote the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines from distinct cell types. We found that the inhibition of autophagy in TNBC cell lines induced the secretion of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), a pro-tumorigenic cytokine involved in breast cancer invasion and immunomodulation. MIF secretion was dependent on an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by the inhibition of autophagy. Importantly, MIF secreted from autophagy-deficient cells increased the migration of cells not treated with autophagy inhibitors, indicating that autophagy inhibition in cancer cells promoted malignancy in neighboring cells through the release of secreted factors, and that a combinatorial approach should be evaluated for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy in Cancer)
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Article
Metabarcoding Reveals Temporal Patterns of Community Composition and Realized Thermal Niches of Thalassiosira Spp. (Bacillariophyceae) from the Narragansett Bay Long-Term Plankton Time Series
Biology 2020, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010019 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Diatoms generate nearly half of marine primary production and are comprised of a diverse array of species that are often morphologically cryptic or difficult to identify using light microscopy. Here, species composition and realized thermal niches of species in the diatom genus Thalassiosira [...] Read more.
Diatoms generate nearly half of marine primary production and are comprised of a diverse array of species that are often morphologically cryptic or difficult to identify using light microscopy. Here, species composition and realized thermal niches of species in the diatom genus Thalassiosira were examined at the site of the Narragansett Bay (NBay) Long-Term Plankton Time Series using a combination of light microscopy (LM), high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the 18S rDNA V4 region and historical records. Thalassiosira species were identified over 6 years using a combination of LM and DNA sequences. Sixteen Thalassiosira taxa were identified using HTS: nine were newly identified in NBay. Several newly identified species have small cell diameters and are difficult to identify using LM. However, they appeared frequently and thus may play a significant ecological role in NBay, particularly since their realized niches suggest they are eurythermal and able to tolerate the >25 °C temperature range of NBay. Four distinct species assemblages that grouped by season were best explained by surface water temperature. When compared to historical records, we found that the cold-water species Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii has decreased in persistence over time, suggesting that increasing surface water temperature has influenced the ecology of phytoplankton in NBay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular Life of Diatoms: From Genes to Ecosystems)
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Article
Provincial Differences and Dynamic Changes in Mariculture Efficiency in China: Based on Super-SBM Model and Global Malmquist Index
Biology 2020, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010018 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
The continued growth in mariculture efficiency in China is vital in ensuring that the country will continue to be the primary source of its own food in the 21st century. A large gap exists between the input and output of mariculture in China’s [...] Read more.
The continued growth in mariculture efficiency in China is vital in ensuring that the country will continue to be the primary source of its own food in the 21st century. A large gap exists between the input and output of mariculture in China’s coastal provinces. Hence, methods to improve mariculture efficiency can be developed by analyzing provincial differences and dynamic changes in mariculture efficiency. These methods are important in solving China’s food security problems. This study uses the super-slacks-based measure model and global Malmquist index to measure the mariculture efficiency scores and their changes in China’s nine coastal provinces from 2004 to 2016. Results suggest that the mariculture efficiencies in Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Shandong, and Guangdong are higher than those in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Liaoning, and Hebei. The mariculture efficiency in China increased by 6.45% from 2004 to 2016, and technological progress was the main driving force for this. The authors combine the results with the mariculture characteristics in each province and present the following findings: (1) mariculture scale affects mariculture efficiency; (2) efficient mariculture relies on a good marine ecosystem; (3) policy adjustments significantly affect the development of mariculture; (4) the key to improving mariculture efficiency is enhancing mariculture technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
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Editorial
We Do Not Eat Alone: Formation and Maturation of the Oral Microbiota
Biology 2020, 9(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010017 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1975
Abstract
From the earliest moments of life, contact with the outside world and with other individuals invalidates the sterility of the oral cavity. The oral cavity passes from a sterility condition, that is present only during intrauterine life, to a condition in which a [...] Read more.
From the earliest moments of life, contact with the outside world and with other individuals invalidates the sterility of the oral cavity. The oral cavity passes from a sterility condition, that is present only during intrauterine life, to a condition in which a microbiota organizes and evolves itself, accompanying the person throughout their life. Depending on a patient’s age, systemic conditions and/or oral conditions, different characteristics of the oral microbiome are shown. By verifying and analyzing this process it is possible to understand what is at the basis of the etiopathogenesis of some oral pathologies, and also the function of the oral microbiome. Full article
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Article
Glucose Favors Lipid Anabolic Metabolism in the Invasive Breast Cancer Cell Line MDA-MB-231
Biology 2020, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010016 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells is considered one of the hallmarks of cancer. Many studies have been carried out in order to elucidate the effects of tumor cell metabolism on invasion and tumor progression. However, little is known about the immediate substrate preference [...] Read more.
Metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells is considered one of the hallmarks of cancer. Many studies have been carried out in order to elucidate the effects of tumor cell metabolism on invasion and tumor progression. However, little is known about the immediate substrate preference in tumor cells. In this work, we wanted to study this short-time preference using the highly invasive, hormone independent breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. By means of Seahorse and uptake experiments, our results point to a preference for glucose. However, although both glucose and glutamine are required for tumor cell proliferation, MDA-MB-231 cells can survive two days in the absence of glucose, but not in the absence of glutamine. On the other hand, the presence of glucose increased palmitate uptake in this cell line, which accumulates in the cytosol instead of going to the plasma membrane. In order to exert this effect, glucose needs to be converted to glycerol-3 phosphate, leading to palmitate metabolism through lipid synthesis, most likely to the synthesis of triacylglycerides. The effect of glucose on the palmitate uptake was also found in other triple-negative, invasive breast cancer cell lines, but not in the non-invasive ones. The results presented in this work suggest an important and specific role of glucose in lipid biosynthesis in triple-negative breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Protein Deimination and Extracellular Vesicle Profiles in Antarctic Seabirds
Biology 2020, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010015 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Pelagic seabirds are amongst the most threatened of all avian groups. They face a range of immunological challenges which seem destined to increase due to environmental changes in their breeding and foraging habitats, affecting prey resources and exposure to pollution and pathogens. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Pelagic seabirds are amongst the most threatened of all avian groups. They face a range of immunological challenges which seem destined to increase due to environmental changes in their breeding and foraging habitats, affecting prey resources and exposure to pollution and pathogens. Therefore, the identification of biomarkers for the assessment of their health status is of considerable importance. Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) post-translationally convert arginine into citrulline in target proteins in an irreversible manner. PAD-mediated deimination can cause structural and functional changes in target proteins, allowing for protein moonlighting in physiological and pathophysiological processes. PADs furthermore contribute to the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which play important roles in cellular communication. In the present study, post-translationally deiminated protein and EV profiles of plasma were assessed in eight seabird species from the Antarctic, representing two avian orders: Procellariiformes (albatrosses and petrels) and Charadriiformes (waders, auks, gulls and skuas). We report some differences between the species assessed, with the narrowest EV profiles of 50–200 nm in the northern giant petrel Macronectes halli, and the highest abundance of larger 250–500 nm EVs in the brown skua Stercorarius antarcticus. The seabird EVs were positive for phylogenetically conserved EV markers and showed characteristic EV morphology. Post-translational deimination was identified in a range of key plasma proteins critical for immune response and metabolic pathways in three of the bird species under study; the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans, south polar skua Stercorarius maccormicki and northern giant petrel. Some differences in Gene Ontology (GO) biological and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways for deiminated proteins were observed between these three species. This indicates that target proteins for deimination may differ, potentially contributing to a range of physiological functions relating to metabolism and immune response, as well as to key defence mechanisms. PAD protein homologues were identified in the seabird plasma by Western blotting via cross-reaction with human PAD antibodies, at an expected 75 kDa size. This is the first study to profile EVs and to identify deiminated proteins as putative novel plasma biomarkers in Antarctic seabirds. These biomarkers may be further refined to become useful indicators of physiological and immunological status in seabirds—many of which are globally threatened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Communication
Optimizing the Design of Diatom Biosilica-Targeted Fusion Proteins in Biosensor Construction for Bacillus anthracis Detection
Biology 2020, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010014 - 07 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
In vivo functionalization of diatom biosilica frustules by genetic manipulation requires careful consideration of the overall structure and function of complex fusion proteins. Although we previously had transformed Thalassiosira pseudonana with constructs containing a single domain antibody (sdAb) raised against the Bacillus anthracis [...] Read more.
In vivo functionalization of diatom biosilica frustules by genetic manipulation requires careful consideration of the overall structure and function of complex fusion proteins. Although we previously had transformed Thalassiosira pseudonana with constructs containing a single domain antibody (sdAb) raised against the Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain, which detected an epitope of the surface layer protein EA1 accessible in lysed spores, we initially were unsuccessful with constructs encoding a similar sdAb that detected an epitope of EA1 accessible in intact spores and vegetative cells. This discrepancy limited the usefulness of the system as an environmental biosensor for B. anthracis. We surmised that to create functional biosilica-localized biosensors with certain constructs, the biosilica targeting and protein trafficking functions of the biosilica-targeting peptide Sil3T8 had to be uncoupled. We found that retaining the ER trafficking sequence at the N-terminus and relocating the Sil3T8 targeting peptide to the C-terminus of the fusion protein resulted in successful detection of EA1 with both sdAbs. Homology modeling of antigen binding by the two sdAbs supported the hypothesis that the rescue of antigen binding in the previously dysfunctional sdAb was due to removal of steric hindrances between the antigen binding loops and the diatom biosilica for that particular sdAb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular Life of Diatoms: From Genes to Ecosystems)
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Article
A Model In Vitro Study Using Hypericin: Tumor-Versus Necrosis-Targeting Property and Possible Mechanisms
Biology 2020, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010013 - 07 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1504
Abstract
Hypericin (Hyp) had been explored as a tumor-seeking agent for years; however, more recent studies showed its necrosis-avidity rather than cancer-seeking property. To further look into this discrepancy, we conducted an in vitro study on Hyp retention in vital and dead cancerous HepG2 [...] Read more.
Hypericin (Hyp) had been explored as a tumor-seeking agent for years; however, more recent studies showed its necrosis-avidity rather than cancer-seeking property. To further look into this discrepancy, we conducted an in vitro study on Hyp retention in vital and dead cancerous HepG2 and normal LO2 cell lines by measuring the fluorescence intensity and concentration of Hyp in cells. To question the DNA binding theory for its necrosis-avidity, the subcellular distribution of Hyp was also investigated to explore the possible mechanisms of the necrosis avidity. The fluorescence intensity and concentration are significantly higher in dead cells than those in vital cells, and this difference did not differ between HepG2 and LO2 cell lines. Hyp was taken up in vital cells in the early phase and excreted within hours, whereas it was retained in dead cells for more than two days. Confocal microscopy showed that Hyp selectively accumulated in lysosomes rather than cell membrane or nuclei. Hyp showed a necrosis-avid property rather than cancer-targetability. The long-lasting retention of Hyp in dead cells may be associated with halted energy metabolism and/or binding with certain degraded cellular substrates. Necrosis-avidity of Hyp was confirmed, which may be associated with halted energy metabolism in dead LO2 or HepG2 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Opinion
The Switch between Protective and Nonprotective Autophagy; Implications for Autophagy Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy in Cancer
Biology 2020, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010012 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Autophagy, a process of cellular self-degradation and cell survival whereby the cell generates energy and metabolic intermediates under conditions of stress (i.e., nutrient deprivation), is also commonly induced in tumor cells in response to chemotherapy and radiation. While chemotherapy-induced autophagy and radiation-induced autophagy [...] Read more.
Autophagy, a process of cellular self-degradation and cell survival whereby the cell generates energy and metabolic intermediates under conditions of stress (i.e., nutrient deprivation), is also commonly induced in tumor cells in response to chemotherapy and radiation. While chemotherapy-induced autophagy and radiation-induced autophagy are generally considered to have cytoprotective functions, thereby reducing tumor cell sensitivity (and potentially conferring resistance) to various treatment modalities, autophagy can also be nonprotective; furthermore, the nature of the autophagy can be altered via the “autophagic switch” depending on such factors as the p53 status of the tumor cells. Defective or compromised autophagy has also been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, raising concerns as to the impact of autophagy inhibition on normal tissue function. Furthermore, the impact of autophagy inhibition on the immune system response to therapy as well as the influence of autophagy inhibition in combination with chemotherapy or radiation on critical tissue sites such as the bone marrow remain uncertain. These are factors requiring serious consideration within the context of current clinical efforts to exploit autophagy inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy in Cancer)
Conference Report
New Frontiers in Stem Cell Research and Translational Approaches
Biology 2020, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010011 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
Stem cell biology represents a challenging research area with a huge potential translational approach. This review focuses on the most recent findings on stem cell basics and clinics in several fields of research, as final outcome of the 10th conference held by Stem [...] Read more.
Stem cell biology represents a challenging research area with a huge potential translational approach. This review focuses on the most recent findings on stem cell basics and clinics in several fields of research, as final outcome of the 10th conference held by Stem Cell Research Italy (SCR Italy) in Naples, Italy in June 2019. Current state-of-the-art and novel findings on stem cell research are discussed, bringing together basic and applied research with the newest insights in stem cell therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Meeting—Stem Cell Research Italy)
Article
Mechanisms and Drivers for the Establishment of Life Cycle Complexity in Myxozoan Parasites
Biology 2020, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010010 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1765
Abstract
It is assumed that complex life cycles in cnidarian parasites belonging to the Myxozoa result from incorporation of vertebrates into simple life cycles exploiting aquatic invertebrates. However, nothing is known about the driving forces and implementation of this event, though it fostered massive [...] Read more.
It is assumed that complex life cycles in cnidarian parasites belonging to the Myxozoa result from incorporation of vertebrates into simple life cycles exploiting aquatic invertebrates. However, nothing is known about the driving forces and implementation of this event, though it fostered massive diversification. We performed a comprehensive search for myxozoans in evolutionary ancient fishes (Chondrichthyes), and more than doubled existing 18S rDNA sequence data, discovering seven independent phylogenetic lineages. We performed cophylogenetic and character mapping methods in the largest monophyletic dataset and demonstrate that host and parasite phylogenies are strongly correlated, and that tectonic changes may explain phylogeographic clustering in recent skates and softnose skates, in the Atlantic. The most basal lineages of myxozoans inhabit the bile of chondrichthyans, an immunologically privileged site and protective niche, easily accessible from the gut via the bile duct. We hypothesize that feed-integration is a likely mechanism of host acquisition, an idea supported by feeding habits of chimaeras and ancient sharks and by multiple entries of different parasite lineages from invertebrates into the new host group. We provide exciting first insights into the early evolutionary history of ancient metazoan parasites in a host group that embodies more evolutionary distinctiveness than most other vertebrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Evolutionary Biology)
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Identification of Vietnamese Paphiopedilum Species Using DNA Sequences
Biology 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010009 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2409
Abstract
Paphiopedilum is among the most popular ornamental orchid genera due to its unique slipper flowers and attractive leaf coloration. Most of the Paphiopedilum species are in critical danger due to over-exploitation. They were listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade [...] Read more.
Paphiopedilum is among the most popular ornamental orchid genera due to its unique slipper flowers and attractive leaf coloration. Most of the Paphiopedilum species are in critical danger due to over-exploitation. They were listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which prevents their being traded across borders. While most Paphiopedilum species are distinctive, owing to their respective flowers, their vegetative features are more similar and undistinguished. Hence, the conservation of these species is challenging, as most traded specimins are immature and non-flowered. An urgent need exists for effective identification methods to prevent further illegal trading of Paphiopedilum species. DNA barcoding is a rapid and sensitive method for species identification, at any developmental stage, using short DNA sequences. In this study, eight loci, i.e., ITS, LEAFY, ACO, matK, trnL, rpoB, rpoC1, and trnH-psbA, were screened for potential barcode sequences on the Vietnamese Paphiopedilum species. In total, 17 out of 22 Paphiopedilum species were well identified. The studied DNA sequences were deposited to GenBank, in which Paphiopedilum dalatense accessions were introduced for the first time. ACO, LEAFY, and trnH-psbA were limited in amplification rate for Paphiopedilum. ITS was the best single barcode. Single ITS could be used along with nucleotide polymorphism characteristics for species discrimination. The combination of ITS + matK was the most efficient identification barcode for Vietnamese Paphiopedilum species. This barcode also succeeded in recognizing misidentified or wrongly-named traded samples. Different bioinformatics programs and algorithms for establishing phylogenetic trees were also compared in the study to propose quick, simple, and effective tools for practical use. It was proved that both the Bayesian Inference method in the MRBAYES program and the neighbor-joining method in the MEGA software met the criteria. Our study provides a barcoding database of Vietnamese Paphiopedilum which may significantly contribute to the control and conservation of these valuable species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Conservation Biology and Biodiversity)
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Article
Dawn to Dusk: Diurnal Rhythm of the Immune Response in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss)
Biology 2020, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010008 - 30 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
The daily change of light and dark periods influences different physiological processes including feeding, resting and locomotor activity. Previously, several studies on mammalian models revealed a strong link between day-night rhythms and key immunological parameters. Since teleost fishes possess innate and adaptive immune [...] Read more.
The daily change of light and dark periods influences different physiological processes including feeding, resting and locomotor activity. Previously, several studies on mammalian models revealed a strong link between day-night rhythms and key immunological parameters. Since teleost fishes possess innate and adaptive immune responses like those observed in higher vertebrates, we aimed to elucidate how changes in light-dark cycles shape the immune system of fish. Using the rainbow trout laboratory model, we investigated the link between diurnal rhythms and immune competence of fish. Initially, the cell composition and phagocytic activity of leukocytes was analyzed in the circulation as well as in the head kidney, the functional ortholog of mammalian bone marrow. Once the baseline was established, we evaluated the ability of fish to respond to a bacterial stimulus, as well as the changes in antimicrobial activity of the serum. Our results suggest increased immune competence during the day, manifested by the higher presence of myeloid cells in the circulation; increased overall phagocytic activity; and higher capacity of the sera to inhibit the growth of Aeromonas salmonicida. Notably, our flow cytometric analysis identified the myeloid cells as the major population influenced by the time of day, whereas IgM+ B cells and thrombocytes did not vary in a significant manner. Interestingly, the presence of myeloid cells in blood and head kidney followed complementary trends. Thus, while we observed the highest number of myeloid cells in the blood during early morning, we witnessed a reverse trend in the head kidney, suggesting a homing of myeloid cells to reservoir niches with the onset of the dark phase. Further, the presence of myeloid cells was mirrored in the expression of the proinflammatory marker tnfa as well as in the number of leukocytes recruited to the peritoneal cavity in the peritonitis model of inflammation. Overall, the data suggest a connection between diurnal rhythms and the immune response of rainbow trout and highlight the relevance of rhythmicity and its influence on experimental work in the field of fish chronoimmunology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology)
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Review
The Role of Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer—Recent Advances
Biology 2020, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010007 - 28 Dec 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the deadliest cancers with a 5-year survival rate of only 9%, despite ongoing efforts to improve treatment. This dismal prognosis is due to the difficulty of early stage diagnosis, drug resistance, and likelihood of metastasis development. [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the deadliest cancers with a 5-year survival rate of only 9%, despite ongoing efforts to improve treatment. This dismal prognosis is due to the difficulty of early stage diagnosis, drug resistance, and likelihood of metastasis development. It is therefore of great importance to identify appropriate therapeutic targets and gain a greater understanding of PDAC biology. Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation and recycling mechanism, which is crucial for cell homeostasis. There is evidence for both a tumor-suppressive and a tumor-promoting role of autophagy in cancer, and this is likely context dependent. Within PDAC, a large body of evidence points towards autophagy being required for tumor survival and metabolism. In this review, we describe the recent advances in the understanding of the role and regulation of autophagy in PDAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy in Cancer)
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Article
The Biological Impacts of Sitagliptin on the Pancreas of a Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Drug Interactions with Metformin
Biology 2020, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010006 - 25 Dec 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, is a beneficial class of antidiabetic drugs. However, a major debate about the risk of developing pancreatitis is still existing. The aim of the work was to study the histological and immunohistochemical effects of sitagliptin on both [...] Read more.
Sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, is a beneficial class of antidiabetic drugs. However, a major debate about the risk of developing pancreatitis is still existing. The aim of the work was to study the histological and immunohistochemical effects of sitagliptin on both endocrine and exocrine pancreases in a rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus and to correlate these effects with the biochemical findings. Moreover, a possible synergistic effect of sitagliptin, in combination with metformin, was also evaluated. Fifty adult male rats were used and assigned into five equal groups. Group 1 served as control. Group 2 comprised of untreated diabetic rats. Group 3 diabetic rats received sitagliptin. Group 4 diabetic rats received metformin. Group 5 diabetic rats received both combined. Treatments were given for 4 weeks after the induction of diabetes. Blood samples were collected for biochemical assay before the sacrification of rats. Pancreases were removed, weighed, and were processed for histological and immunohistochemical examination. In the untreated diabetic group, the islets appeared shrunken with disturbed architecture and abnormal immunohistochemical reactions for insulin, caspase-3, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The biochemical findings were also disturbed. Morphometrically, there was a significant decrease in the islet size and islet number. Treatment with sitagliptin, metformin, and their combination showed an improvement, with the best response in the combined approach. No evidence of pancreatic injury was identified in the sitagliptin-treated groups. In conclusion, sitagliptin had a cytoprotective effect on beta-cell damage. Furthermore, the data didn’t indicate any detrimental effects of sitagliptin on the exocrine pancreas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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Article
Storage Compound Accumulation in Diatoms as Response to Elevated CO2 Concentration
Biology 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010005 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Accumulation of reserve compounds (i.e., lipids and chrysolaminarin) in diatoms depends on the environmental conditions, and is often triggered by stress conditions, such as nutrient limitation. Manipulation of CO2 supply can also be used to improve both lipids and carbohydrates accumulation. Given [...] Read more.
Accumulation of reserve compounds (i.e., lipids and chrysolaminarin) in diatoms depends on the environmental conditions, and is often triggered by stress conditions, such as nutrient limitation. Manipulation of CO2 supply can also be used to improve both lipids and carbohydrates accumulation. Given the high diversity among diatoms, we studied the two marine model diatoms—Thalassiosira pseudonana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum, a freshwater diatom, Asterionella formosa, and Navicula pelliculosa—found in fresh- and sea-water environments. We measured the accumulation of reserve compounds and the activity of enzymes involved in carbon metabolism in these diatoms grown at high and atmospheric CO2. We observed that biomass and lipid accumulation in cells grown at high CO2 differ among the diatoms. Lipid accumulation increased only in P. tricornutum and N. pelliculosa grown in seawater in response to elevated CO2. Moreover, accumulation of lipids was also accompanied by an increased activity of the enzymes tested. However, lipid accumulation and enzyme activity decreased in N. pelliculosa cultured in fresh water. Chrysolaminarin accumulation was also affected by CO2 concentration; however, there was no clear relation with lipids accumulation. Our results are relevant to understand better the ecological role of the environment in the diatom adaptation to CO2 and the mechanisms underpinning the production of storage compounds considering diatom diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular Life of Diatoms: From Genes to Ecosystems)
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Review
The Role of Beclin 1-Dependent Autophagy in Cancer
Biology 2020, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010004 - 22 Dec 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Autophagy (self-eating) is an intracellular degradation process used by cells to keep a “clean house”; as it degrades abnormal or damaged proteins and organelles, it helps to fight infections and also provides energy in times of fasting or exercising. Autophagy also [...] Read more.
Autophagy (self-eating) is an intracellular degradation process used by cells to keep a “clean house”; as it degrades abnormal or damaged proteins and organelles, it helps to fight infections and also provides energy in times of fasting or exercising. Autophagy also plays a role in cancer, although its precise function in each cancer type is still obscure, and whether autophagy plays a protecting (through the clearing of damaged organelles and protein aggregates and preventing DNA damage) or a promoting (by fueling the already stablished tumor) role in cancer remains to be fully characterized. Beclin 1, the mammalian ortholog of yeast Atg6/Vps30, is an essential autophagy protein and has been shown to play a role in tumor suppression. Here, an update of the tumorigenesis regulation by Beclin 1-dependent autophagy is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy in Cancer)
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Article
Modification of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α and C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 18 Secretion by Monocytes Derived from Patients with Diabetic Foot Syndrome
Biology 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010003 - 22 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Background: This study involves the investigation of spontaneous and induced secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and the anti-inflammatory chemokine C-C motif chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18) by monocytes isolated from blood of patients with long-term type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), [...] Read more.
Background: This study involves the investigation of spontaneous and induced secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and the anti-inflammatory chemokine C-C motif chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18) by monocytes isolated from blood of patients with long-term type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), both with or without foot ulcers. Methods: A total of 121 patients with T2DM (79 without diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) and 42 patients with DFS) were included. Cluster of Differentiation 14 (CD14+) monocytes were isolated from patients’ blood and stimulated by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) for induction of pro- and anti-inflammatory monocyte activation, respectively. The concentrations of TNF-α and CCL18 in the culture medium were measured using ELISA on day 1 and day 6 after cell stimulation. Results: We found a correlation between glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and stimulated secretion levels of TNF-α (r = 0.726, p = 0.027) and CCL18 (r = –0.949, p = 0.051) in patients with DFS. There was an increase of pro- and anti-inflammatory activation of monocytes in all patients with different durations of DFS (p < 0.05). However, no stimulation of anti-inflammatory activation was detected in patients with DFS lasting more than 6 months (p = 0.033). Conclusions: Our study showed an increase in pro-inflammatory secretion and a decrease in anti-inflammatory secretion by monocytes isolated from blood of patients with T2DM depending on HbA1c levels and duration of the inflammatory process. These findings allow us to assume that monocytes isolated from T2DM patients are characterized by a biased ability to respond towards pro-inflammatory stimulation, contributing to the chronic wound process. Full article
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Article
Impact Effect of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether “Twelve Months Vapor Inhalation Study in Rats”
Biology 2020, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010002 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
We investigated the early risk of developing cancer by inhalation of low doses (60 µL/day) of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) vapors using protein SDS-PAGE and LC-MS/MS analysis of rat sera. Furthermore, histological alterations were assessed in the trachea and lungs of 60 [...] Read more.
We investigated the early risk of developing cancer by inhalation of low doses (60 µL/day) of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) vapors using protein SDS-PAGE and LC-MS/MS analysis of rat sera. Furthermore, histological alterations were assessed in the trachea and lungs of 60 adult male Wistar rats. SDS-PAGE of blood sera showed three protein bands corresponding to 29, 28, and 21 kDa. Mass spectroscopy was used to identify these three bands. The upper and middle protein bands showed homology to carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA II), whereas the lower protein band showed homology with peroxiredoxin 2. We found that exposure to MTBE resulted in histopathological alterations in the trachea and the lungs. The histological anomalies of trachea and lung showed that the lumen of trachea, bronchi, and air alveoli packed with free and necrotic epithelial cells (epithelialization). The tracheal lamina propria of lung demonstrated aggregation of lymphoid cells, lymphoid hyperplasia, hemorrhage, adenomas, fibroid degeneration, steatosis, foam cells, severe inflammatory cells with monocytic infiltration, edema, hemorrhage. Occluded, congested, and hypertrophied lung arteries in addition, degenerated thyroid follicles, were observed. The hyaline cartilage displayed degeneration, deformation, and abnormal protrusion. In conclusion, our results suggest that inhalation of very low concentrations of the gasoline additive MTBE could induce an increase in protein levels and resulted in histopathological alterations of the trachea and the lungs. Full article
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Article
Consequences of Haemorrhagic Smolt Syndrome (HSS) for the Immune Status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) (Case Study)
Biology 2020, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9010001 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1418
Abstract
Haemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS) is a disorder of unknown aetiology causing losses in the fresh water phase of Atlantic salmon farming. Normally, the mortality is limited and symptoms disappear upon seawater exposure. In this case study, classical HSS pathology with internal organ haemorrhages [...] Read more.
Haemorrhagic smolt syndrome (HSS) is a disorder of unknown aetiology causing losses in the fresh water phase of Atlantic salmon farming. Normally, the mortality is limited and symptoms disappear upon seawater exposure. In this case study, classical HSS pathology with internal organ haemorrhages and nephrocalcinosis was diagnosed, and the losses were substantial. Microarray analyses of head kidney revealed association between HSS and enhanced expression of stress genes and proteins reducing bioavailability of iron, heme, and retinol. In parallel, suppression of multiple metabolic pathways was observed. Up-regulation of genes encoding acute phase proteins, complement, and lectins indicated mild inflammation but without characteristic features of viral or bacterial infections. Microarray analyses highlighted several members of tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily that may control development of B-cell immunity. Examination of IgM at the mRNA and protein levels showed the impact of HSS on vaccine responses. In fish without HSS symptoms (non-HSS), titres of vaccine specific antibodies to A-layer of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida and Moritella viscosa and antibodies binding to DNP-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (DNP-KLH), which are presumably polyreactive, were respectively four- and 14-fold higher than in HSS-diseased fish. Parallel sequencing of variable regions of immunoglobulin Mrevealed a larger size of most abundant clonotypes shared by multiple individuals in the non-HSS group. The results of the current case study indicated that, in addition to direct damage, HSS suppresses humoral immune responses including the production of specific and polyreactive antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology)
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