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Biomedicines, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 247 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The disease concept of “dysuricemia” includes hyperuricemia and hypouricemia. Both influence diseases in humans. Uric acid plays dual roles in oxidative stress: it has both an anti-oxidative protective effect and a pro-oxidative and/or a harmful crystal-forming effect. Extensive research on the relationship between the serum urate (SU) level and several common disease risks show characteristic patterns that are broadly classifiable into three patterns: the “gout pattern,” “neurodegenerative disease (ND) pattern,” and “chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) pattern”. In short, “the lower, the better” is incorrect; the ideal is to maintain normouricemia, or an optimal SU level, to reduce the risks of the common diseases associated with dysuricemia. View this paper
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15 pages, 9482 KiB  
Article
Regeneration of Panniculus Carnosus Muscle in Fetal Mice Is Characterized by the Presence of Actin Cables
by Mariko Hamada, Kento Takaya, Qi Wang, Marika Otaki, Yuka Imbe, Yukari Nakajima, Shigeki Sakai, Keisuke Okabe, Noriko Aramaki-Hattori and Kazuo Kishi
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3350; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123350 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 971
Abstract
Mammalian skin, including human and mouse skin, does not regenerate completely after injury; it is repaired, leaving a scar. However, it is known that skin wounds up to a certain stage of embryonic development can regenerate. The mechanism behind the transition from regeneration [...] Read more.
Mammalian skin, including human and mouse skin, does not regenerate completely after injury; it is repaired, leaving a scar. However, it is known that skin wounds up to a certain stage of embryonic development can regenerate. The mechanism behind the transition from regeneration to scar formation is not fully understood. Panniculus carnosus muscle (PCM) is present beneath the dermal fat layer and is a very important tissue for wound contraction. In rodents, PCM is present throughout the body. In humans, on the other hand, it disappears and becomes a shallow fascia on the trunk. Fetal cutaneous wounds, including PCM made until embryonic day 13 (E13), regenerate completely, but not beyond E14. We visualized the previously uncharacterized development of PCM in the fetus and investigated the temporal and spatial changes in PCM at different developmental stages, ranging from full regeneration to non-regeneration. Furthermore, we report that E13 epidermal closure occurs through actin cables, which are bundles of actomyosin formed at wound margins. The wound healing process of PCM suggests that actin cables may also be associated with PCM. Our findings reveal that PCM regenerates through a similar mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms and Novel Therapeutic Approaches for Scarring)
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16 pages, 1743 KiB  
Review
Type and Frequency in Use of Nutraceutical and Micronutrient Supplementation for the Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Scoping Review
by Nicole Scannell, Evangeline Mantzioris, Vibhuti Rao, Chhiti Pandey, Carolyn Ee, Aya Mousa, Lisa Moran and Anthony Villani
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123349 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Lifestyle strategies are considered first-line treatment for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, complementary therapies, including nutrient supplementation, have been identified as a potential adjunct therapy. Therefore, we systematically mapped the available literature to identify the type and frequency of the [...] Read more.
Lifestyle strategies are considered first-line treatment for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, complementary therapies, including nutrient supplementation, have been identified as a potential adjunct therapy. Therefore, we systematically mapped the available literature to identify the type and frequency of the use of nutraceutical and micronutrient supplementation for the management of PCOS features. A systematic search of the literature was conducted using CINAHL, Cochrane reviews, Medline, PsycINFO, Scopus and LILACS. All types of study designs were included if they reported on the use of nutraceuticals and/or micronutrient supplementation on features of PCOS in women aged ≥18 years. A total of 344 articles were included. Forty-one supplements were identified, with the most frequently investigated being inositols (n = 86), vitamin D (n = 53), N-acetylcysteine (n = 27) and omega-3 fatty acids (n = 25). Reproductive outcomes were the most commonly reported (n = 285; 83%), followed by metabolic (n = 229; 67%), anthropometric (n = 197; 57%) and psychological (n = 8; 2%). Our results identified that nutraceutical and micronutrient supplementation require further investigation of psychological outcomes in women with PCOS. Moreover, adequately powered primary studies are warranted to investigate therapeutic doses needed for clinical benefits. Full article
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23 pages, 3856 KiB  
Article
Toward a Platform for the Treatment of Burns: An Assessment of Nanoemulsions vs. Nanostructured Lipid Carriers Loaded with Curcumin
by Gabriela de Moraes Soares Araújo, Ana Isabel Sá Loureiro, Jamile Lima Rodrigues, Paula Alice Bezerra Barros, Priscila Cristina Bartolomeu Halicki, Daniela Fernandes Ramos, Marcelo Augusto Germani Marinho, Daniela Pastorim Vaiss, Gustavo Richter Vaz, Virginia Campello Yurgel, Juliana Bidone, Ana Luiza Muccillo-Baisch, Mariana Appel Hort, Artur Manuel Cavaco Paulo and Cristiana Lima Dora
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3348; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123348 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Curcumin is a highly promising substance for treating burns, owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties. However, its therapeutic use is restricted due to its hydrophobic nature and low bioavailability. This study was conducted to address these limitations; it developed and [...] Read more.
Curcumin is a highly promising substance for treating burns, owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties. However, its therapeutic use is restricted due to its hydrophobic nature and low bioavailability. This study was conducted to address these limitations; it developed and tested two types of lipid nanocarriers, namely nanoemulsions (NE-CUR) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC-CUR) loaded with curcumin, and aimed to identify the most suitable nanocarrier for skin burn treatment. The study evaluated various parameters, including physicochemical characteristics, stability, encapsulation efficiency, release, skin permeation, retention, cell viability, and antimicrobial activity. The results showed that both nanocarriers showed adequate size (~200 nm), polydispersity index (~0.25), and zeta potential (~>−20 mV). They also showed good encapsulation efficiency (>90%) and remained stable for 120 days at different temperatures. In the release test, NE-CUR and NCL-CUR released 57.14% and 51.64% of curcumin, respectively, in 72 h. NE-CUR demonstrated better cutaneous permeation/retention in intact or scalded skin epidermis and dermis than NLC-CUR. The cell viability test showed no toxicity after treatment with NE-CUR and NLC-CUR up to 125 μg/mL. Regarding microbial activity assays, free curcumin has activity against P. aeruginosa, reducing bacterial growth by 75% in 3 h. NE-CUR inhibited bacterial growth by 65% after 24 h, and the association with gentamicin had favorable results, while NLC-CUR showed a lower inhibition. The results demonstrated that NE-CUR is probably the most promising nanocarrier for treating burns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanomedicine and Nanobiology)
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33 pages, 1073 KiB  
Review
Recent Therapeutic Progress and Future Perspectives for the Treatment of Hearing Loss
by Joey Lye, Derek S. Delaney, Fiona K. Leith, Varda S. Sardesai, Samuel McLenachan, Fred K. Chen, Marcus D. Atlas and Elaine Y. M. Wong
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123347 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Up to 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from various forms of hearing loss, with an additional 1.1 billion people at risk from various insults such as increased consumption of recreational noise-emitting devices and ageing. The most common type of hearing impairment is sensorineural [...] Read more.
Up to 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from various forms of hearing loss, with an additional 1.1 billion people at risk from various insults such as increased consumption of recreational noise-emitting devices and ageing. The most common type of hearing impairment is sensorineural hearing loss caused by the degeneration or malfunction of cochlear hair cells or spiral ganglion nerves in the inner ear. There is currently no cure for hearing loss. However, emerging frontier technologies such as gene, drug or cell-based therapies offer hope for an effective cure. In this review, we discuss the current therapeutic progress for the treatment of hearing loss. We describe and evaluate the major therapeutic approaches being applied to hearing loss and summarize the key trials and studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Research on Hearing Loss 2.0)
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15 pages, 4790 KiB  
Article
Expression of Serpin Family E Member 1 (SERPINE1) Is Associated with Poor Prognosis of Gastric Adenocarcinoma
by Jie Lv, Chunyang Yu, Hanhan Tian, Tao Li and Changhua Yu
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3346; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123346 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 966
Abstract
Background: The aberrant expression of serpin family E member 1 (SERPINE1) is associated with carcinogenesis. This study assessed the alteration of SERPINE1 expression for an association with gastric adenocarcinoma prognosis. Methods: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset was applied to investigate the impact [...] Read more.
Background: The aberrant expression of serpin family E member 1 (SERPINE1) is associated with carcinogenesis. This study assessed the alteration of SERPINE1 expression for an association with gastric adenocarcinoma prognosis. Methods: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset was applied to investigate the impact of SERPINE1 expression on the survival of patients afflicted with gastric cancer. Subsequently, 136 samples from the Affiliated Huaian No. 1 People’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University were subjected to qRT-PCR and Western blot to validate the expression level of SERPINE1 between tumor and adjacent normal tissues. The correlation between the expression of SERPINE1 with the clinicopathological features in TCGA patients was analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank and logistic regression tests. The potential molecular mechanism associated with SERPINE1 expression in gastric cancer were confirmed using gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). Results: The TCGA data showed that SERPINE1 was overexpressed in tumor tissues compared to normal mucosae and associated with the tumor T stage and pathological grade. SERPINE1 overexpression was associated with the poor overall survival (OS) of patients. The findings were confirmed with 136 patients, that is, SERPINE1 expression was associated with poor OS (hazard ratio (HR): 1.82; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.84–1.83; p = 0.012)) as an independent predictor (HR: 2.11, 95% CI: 0.81–2.34; p = 0.009). The resulting data were further processed by GSEA showed that SERPINE1 overexpression was associated with the activation of EPITHELIAL_MESENCHYMAL_TRANSITION, TNFA_SIGNALING_VIA_NFKB, INFLAMMATORY_RESPONSE, ANGIOGENESIS, and HYPOXIA. Conclusions: SERPINE1 overexpression is associated with a poor gastric cancer prognosis. Full article
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14 pages, 3202 KiB  
Article
A Possible Role for Nerve Growth Factor and Its Receptors in Human Sperm Pathology
by Anna Maria Stabile, Alessandra Pistilli, Elena Moretti, Desirée Bartolini, Mariangela Ruggirello, Mario Rende, Cesare Castellini, Simona Mattioli, Rosetta Ponchia, Sergio Antonio Tripodi and Giulia Collodel
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3345; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123345 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
Nerve growth factor (NGF) signalling affects spermatogenesis and mature sperm traits. In this paper, we aimed to evaluate the distribution and the role of NGF and its receptors (p75NTR and TrKA) on the reproductive apparatus (testis and epididymis) and sperm of fertile [...] Read more.
Nerve growth factor (NGF) signalling affects spermatogenesis and mature sperm traits. In this paper, we aimed to evaluate the distribution and the role of NGF and its receptors (p75NTR and TrKA) on the reproductive apparatus (testis and epididymis) and sperm of fertile men (F) and men with different pathologies, namely varicocele (V) and urogenital infections (UGIs). We collected semen samples from 21 individuals (31–40 years old) subdivided as follows: V (n = 7), UGIs (n = 7), and F (n = 7). We submitted the semen samples to bacteriological analysis, leucocyte identification, and analysis of sperm parameters (concentration, motility, morphology, and viability). We determined the seminal plasma levels of NGF, interleukin 1β (IL-1β), and F2-isoprostanes (F2-IsoPs), and the gene and protein expression of NGF receptors on sperm. We also used immunofluorescence to examine NGF receptors on ejaculated sperm, testis, and epididymis. As expected, fertile men showed better sperm parameters as well as lower levels of NGF, F2-IsoPs, and IL-1β compared with men with infertility. Notably, in normal sperm, p75NTR and TrKA were localised throughout the entire tail. TrKA was also found in the post-acrosomal sheath. This localisation appeared different in patients with infertility: in particular, there was a strong p75NTR signal in the midpiece and the cytoplasmic residue or coiled tails of altered ejaculated sperm. In line with these findings, NGF receptors were intensely expressed in the epididymis and interstitial tissue of the testis. These data suggest the distinctive involvement of NGF and its receptors in the physiology of sperm from fertile men and men with infertility, indicating a possible role for new targeted treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Spermatozoa)
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28 pages, 5110 KiB  
Systematic Review
Mercury and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Exploring the Link through Comprehensive Review and Meta-Analysis
by Aleksandar Stojsavljević, Novak Lakićević and Slađan Pavlović
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3344; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123344 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a non-essential trace metal with unique neurochemical properties and harmful effects on the central nervous system. In this study, we present a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of peer-reviewed research encompassing five crucial clinical matrices: hair, whole blood, plasma, red blood [...] Read more.
Mercury (Hg) is a non-essential trace metal with unique neurochemical properties and harmful effects on the central nervous system. In this study, we present a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of peer-reviewed research encompassing five crucial clinical matrices: hair, whole blood, plasma, red blood cells (RBCs), and urine. We assess the disparities in Hg levels between gender- and age-matched neurotypical children (controls) and children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (cases). After applying rigorous selection criteria, we incorporated a total of 60 case-control studies into our meta-analysis. These studies comprised 25 investigations of Hg levels in hair (controls/cases: 1134/1361), 15 in whole blood (controls/cases: 1019/1345), 6 in plasma (controls/cases: 224/263), 5 in RBCs (controls/cases: 215/293), and 9 in urine (controls/cases: 399/623). This meta-analysis did not include the data of ASD children who received chelation therapy. Our meta-analysis revealed no statistically significant differences in Hg levels in hair and urine between ASD cases and controls. In whole blood, plasma, and RBCs, Hg levels were significantly higher in ASD cases compared to their neurotypical counterparts. This indicates that ASD children could exhibit reduced detoxification capacity for Hg and impaired mechanisms for Hg excretion from their bodies. This underscores the detrimental role of Hg in ASD and underscores the critical importance of monitoring Hg levels in ASD children, particularly in early childhood. These findings emphasize the pressing need for global initiatives aimed at minimizing Hg exposure, thus highlighting the critical intersection of human–environment interaction and neurodevelopment health. Full article
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11 pages, 499 KiB  
Article
CDKN2A Gene Mutations: Implications for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes
by Anastasiia Danishevich, Airat Bilyalov, Sergey Nikolaev, Nodirbec Khalikov, Daria Isaeva, Yuliya Levina, Maria Makarova, Marina Nemtsova, Denis Chernevskiy, Olesya Sagaydak, Elena Baranova, Maria Vorontsova, Mariya Byakhova, Anna Semenova, Vsevolod Galkin, Igor Khatkov, Saida Gadzhieva and Natalia Bodunova
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3343; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123343 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
Malignant neoplasms, including pancreatic cancer and melanoma, are major global health challenges. This study investigates melanoma pancreatic syndrome, a rare hereditary tumor syndrome associated with CDKN2A gene mutations. CDKN2A mutations contribute to a lifetime risk of melanoma ranging from 28% to 67%. This [...] Read more.
Malignant neoplasms, including pancreatic cancer and melanoma, are major global health challenges. This study investigates melanoma pancreatic syndrome, a rare hereditary tumor syndrome associated with CDKN2A gene mutations. CDKN2A mutations contribute to a lifetime risk of melanoma ranging from 28% to 67%. This study reports the clinical features of six individuals with CDKN2A mutations and identifies recurrent alterations such as c.307_308del, c.159G>C and c.71G>C. It highlights the need for CDKN2A mutation testing in suspected cases of familial atypical multiple mole melanoma. Clinically significant variants show associations with melanoma and pancreatic cancer. The challenges of treating individuals with CDKN2A mutations are discussed, and the lack of specific targeted therapies is highlighted. Preclinical studies suggest a potential benefit of CDK4/6 inhibitors, although clinical trials show mixed results. This study underscores the importance of continued research into improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to address the complexities of hereditary cancer syndromes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Individualized Cancer Prevention and Management)
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15 pages, 2807 KiB  
Article
Natural Fatty Acid Guards against Brain Endothelial Cell Death and Microvascular Pathology following Ischemic Insult in the Presence of Acute Hyperglycemia
by Zaib Ali Shaheryar, Mahtab Ahmad Khan, Huma Hameed, Muhammad Naveed Mushtaq, Sajjad Muhammad, Gamal A. Shazly, Ali Irfan and Yousef A. Bin Jardan
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3342; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123342 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Ischemic stroke is worsened by the presence of sudden high blood sugar levels, even in individuals without pre-existing diabetes. This elevated glucose concentration hampers the ability of energy-starved brain cells to efficiently use it as a source of energy. Consequently, this leads to [...] Read more.
Ischemic stroke is worsened by the presence of sudden high blood sugar levels, even in individuals without pre-existing diabetes. This elevated glucose concentration hampers the ability of energy-starved brain cells to efficiently use it as a source of energy. Consequently, this leads to the production of abundant amounts of toxic glucose metabolites, which trigger oxidative stress in the brain milieu, particularly in the microvasculature of the brain. A prominent feature of this oxidative stress is the demise of endothelial cells, causing detrimental changes in blood vessels, including a reduction in their vascular diameter, a decreased efficiency of vessel proliferation, and the impaired integrity of tight junctions. These vascular pathologies contributed to an increase in the volume of damaged tissues (infarct), an exacerbation of brain swelling (edema), and a decline in cognitive and motor functions. In a mouse model of ischemic stroke with induced acute hyperglycemia, a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid provides protective cover to the microvasculature by preventing damage related to oxidative stress. Our current research revealed that lauric acid (LA) attenuated infarct volume and reduced brain edema by reducing endothelial cell death, enhancing vessels’ diameter, promoting vascular angiogenesis, and stabilizing barrier functions. Animals administered with this natural compound showed a significant reduction in 4-HNE-positive vessels. In conclusion, natural saturated fatty acids help to preserve brain microvascular functions following ischemic insults in the presence of acute hyperglycemia. Full article
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22 pages, 4126 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Apigenin Dissolution and Effectiveness Using Glycyrrhizin Spray-Dried Solid Dispersions Filled in 3D-Printed Tablets
by Asma B. Omer, Farhat Fatima, Mohammed Muqtader Ahmed, Mohammed F. Aldawsari, Ahmed Alalaiwe, Md. Khalid Anwer and Abdul Aleem Mohammed
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3341; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123341 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 782
Abstract
This study aimed to prepare glycyrrhizin–apigenin spray-dried solid dispersions and develop PVA filament-based 3D printlets to enhance the dissolution and therapeutic effects of apigenin (APN); three formulations (APN1–APN3) were proportioned from 1:1 to 1:3. A physicochemical analysis was conducted, which revealed process yields [...] Read more.
This study aimed to prepare glycyrrhizin–apigenin spray-dried solid dispersions and develop PVA filament-based 3D printlets to enhance the dissolution and therapeutic effects of apigenin (APN); three formulations (APN1–APN3) were proportioned from 1:1 to 1:3. A physicochemical analysis was conducted, which revealed process yields of 80.5–91% and APN content within 98.0–102.0%. FTIR spectroscopy confirmed the structural preservation of APN, while Powder-XRD analysis and Differential Scanning Calorimetry indicated its transformation from a crystalline to an amorphous form. APN2 exhibited improved flow properties, a lower Angle of Repose, and Carr’s Index, enhancing compressibility, with the Hausner Ratio confirming favorable flow properties for pharmaceutical applications. In vitro dissolution studies demonstrated superior performance with APN2, releasing up to 94.65% of the drug and revealing controlled release mechanisms with a lower mean dissolution time of 71.80 min and a higher dissolution efficiency of 19.2% compared to the marketed APN formulation. This signified enhanced dissolution and improved therapeutic onset. APN2 exhibited enhanced antioxidant activity; superior cytotoxicity against colon cancer cells (HCT-116), with a lower IC50 than APN pure; and increased antimicrobial activity. A stability study confirmed the consistency of APN2 after 90 days, as per ICH, with an f2 value of 70.59 for both test and reference formulations, ensuring reliable pharmaceutical development. This research underscores the potential of glycyrrhizin–apigenin solid dispersions for pharmaceutical and therapeutic applications, particularly highlighting the superior physicochemical properties, dissolution behavior, biological activities, and stability of APN2, while the development of a 3D printlet shell offers promise for enhanced drug delivery and therapeutic outcomes in colon cancer treatment, displaying advanced formulation and processing techniques. Full article
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12 pages, 729 KiB  
Article
A Prospective Study of Eplerenone in the Treatment of Patients with Glomerulonephritis
by Marios Papasotiriou, Georgia Andrianna Georgopoulou, Adamantia Mpratsiakou, Theodoros Ntrinias, Georgios Lyras, Dimitrios S. Goumenos and Evangelos Papachristou
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3340; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123340 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Background: High aldosterone levels contribute to kidney disease progression, while spironolactone in combination with ACEi or ARBs can potentially reduce proteinuria and ameliorate kidney function deterioration. However, evidence on the impact of eplerenone in patients with glomerulonephritis is scarce. Methods: In this prospective [...] Read more.
Background: High aldosterone levels contribute to kidney disease progression, while spironolactone in combination with ACEi or ARBs can potentially reduce proteinuria and ameliorate kidney function deterioration. However, evidence on the impact of eplerenone in patients with glomerulonephritis is scarce. Methods: In this prospective observational study, we assessed the effects of eplerenone in patients with biopsy-proven glomerulonephritis who were already treated with ACEi or ARBs. Patients received either eplerenone (25 mg daily) on top of ACEi or ARBs or standard treatment alone. Proteinuria (24 h total protein excretion), kidney function, blood pressure and serum K+ levels were assessed at 3, 6 and 12 months after the initiation of treatment. Results: Sixty-six patients were included in the study. Eplerenone was administered in 30 patients, while 36 received only ACEi or ARB. Proteinuria decreased from 1768 to 1152 mg/24 h after 1 year of eplerenone treatment, while it remained stable in controls. Eplerenone showed significant impact on proteinuria in those with baseline proteinuria of >1000 mg/24 h. Patients who received eplerenone showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure, while eGFR and serum K+ levels remained stable. Conclusions: Addition of eplerenone has a beneficial effect on proteinuria in patients with glomerulonephritis and significant baseline proteinuria. Full article
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18 pages, 2424 KiB  
Review
Oral Surgery and Osteoradionecrosis in Patients Undergoing Head and Neck Radiation Therapy: An Update of the Current Literature
by Giulia Corrao, Giovanni Carlo Mazzola, Niccolò Lombardi, Giulia Marvaso, Alberto Pispero, Elisa Baruzzi, Sem Decani, Marco Tarozzi, Luca Bergamaschi, Chiara Lorubbio, Ilaria Repetti, Anna Starzyńska, Daniela Alterio, Mohseen Ansarin, Roberto Orecchia, Fiorella D’Amore, Roberto Franchini, Andrea Nicali, Paolo Castellarin, Andrea Sardella, Giovanni Lodi, Elena Maria Varoni and Barbara Alicja Jereczek-Fossaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3339; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123339 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) is a serious long-term complication of head and neck radiotherapy (RT), which is often triggered by dental extractions. It results from avascular aseptic necrosis due to irradiated bone damage. ORN is challenging to treat and can lead to severe complications. Furthermore, [...] Read more.
Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) is a serious long-term complication of head and neck radiotherapy (RT), which is often triggered by dental extractions. It results from avascular aseptic necrosis due to irradiated bone damage. ORN is challenging to treat and can lead to severe complications. Furthermore, ORN causes pain and distress, significantly reducing the patient’s quality of life. There is currently no established preventive strategy. This narrative review aims to provide an update for the clinicians on the risk of ORN associated with oral surgery in head and neck RT patients, with a focus on the timing suitable for the oral surgery and possible ORN preventive treatments. An electronic search of articles was performed by consulting the PubMed database. Intervention and observational studies were included. A multidisciplinary approach to the patient is highly recommended to mitigate the risk of RT complications. A dental visit before commencing RT is highly advised to minimize the need for future dental extractions after irradiation, and thus the risk of ORN. Post-RT preventive strategies, in case of dento-alveolar surgery, have been proposed and include antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO), and the combined use of pentoxifylline and tocopherol (“PENTO protocol”), but currently there is a lack of established standards of care. Some limitations in the use of HBO involve the low availability of HBO facilities, its high costs, and specific clinical contraindications; the PENTO protocol, on the other hand, although promising, lacks clinical trials to support its efficacy. Due to the enduring risk of ORN, removable prostheses are preferable to dental implants in these patients, as there is no consensus on the appropriate timing for their safe placement. Overall, established standards of care and high-quality evidence are lacking concerning both preventive strategies for ORN as well as the timing of the dental surgery. There is an urgent need to improve research for more efficacious clinical decision making. Full article
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14 pages, 1384 KiB  
Article
BRAFV600E, BANCR, miR-203a-3p and miR-204-3p in Risk Stratification of PTC Patients
by Stefana Stojanović, Sonja Šelemetjev, Ilona Đorić, Jelena Janković Miljuš, Svetislav Tatić, Vladan Živaljević and Tijana Išić Denčić
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3338; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123338 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 732
Abstract
In order to enhance the risk stratification of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients, we assessed the presence of the most common mutation in PTC (BRAFV600E) with the expression profiles of long non-coding RNA activated by BRAFV600E (BANCR) and microRNAs, which share complementarity with [...] Read more.
In order to enhance the risk stratification of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients, we assessed the presence of the most common mutation in PTC (BRAFV600E) with the expression profiles of long non-coding RNA activated by BRAFV600E (BANCR) and microRNAs, which share complementarity with BANCR (miR-203a-3p and miR-204-3p), and thereafter correlated it with several clinicopathological features of PTC. BRAFV600E was detected by mutant allele-specific PCR amplification. BANCR and miRs levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Bioinformatic analysis was applied to determine the miRs’ targets. The expression profile of miR-203a-3p/204-3p in PTC was not affected by BRAFV600E. In the BRAFV600E-positive PTC, high expression of miR-203a-3p correlated with extrathyroidal invasion (Ei), but the patients with both high miR-203a-3p and upregulated BANCR were not at risk of Ei. In the BRAFV600E-negative PTC, low expression of miR-204-3p correlated with Ei, intraglandular dissemination and pT status (p < 0.05), and the mutual presence of low miR-204-3p and upregulated BANCR increased the occurrence of Ei. Bioinformatic analysis predicted complementary binding between miR-203a-3p/204-3p and BANCR. The co-occurrence of tested factors might influence the spreading of PTC. These findings partially describe the complicated network of interactions that may occur during the development of PTC aggressiveness, potentially providing a new approach for high-risk PTC patient selection. Full article
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22 pages, 8682 KiB  
Article
Engineering 3D-Printed Bioresorbable Scaffold to Improve Non-Vascularized Fat Grafting: A Proof-of-Concept Study
by Amélia Jordao, Damien Cléret, Mélanie Dhayer, Mégann Le Rest, Shengheng Cao, Alexandre Rech, Nathalie Azaroual, Anne-Sophie Drucbert, Patrice Maboudou, Salim Dekiouk, Nicolas Germain, Julien Payen, Pierre Guerreschi and Philippe Marchetti
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3337; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123337 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Autologous fat grafting is the gold standard for treatment in patients with soft-tissue defects. However, the technique has a major limitation of unpredictable fat resorption due to insufficient blood supply in the initial phase after transplantation. To overcome this problem, we investigated the [...] Read more.
Autologous fat grafting is the gold standard for treatment in patients with soft-tissue defects. However, the technique has a major limitation of unpredictable fat resorption due to insufficient blood supply in the initial phase after transplantation. To overcome this problem, we investigated the capability of a medical-grade poly L-lactide-co-poly ε-caprolactone (PLCL) scaffold to support adipose tissue and vascular regeneration. Deploying FDM 3D-printing, we produced a bioresorbable porous scaffold with interconnected pore networks to facilitate nutrient and oxygen diffusion. The compressive modulus of printed scaffold mimicked the mechanical properties of native adipose tissue. In vitro assays demonstrated that PLCL scaffolds or their degradation products supported differentiation of preadipocytes into viable mature adipocytes under appropriate induction. Interestingly, the chorioallantoic membrane assay revealed vascular invasion inside the porous scaffold, which represented a guiding structure for ingrowing blood vessels. Then, lipoaspirate-seeded scaffolds were transplanted subcutaneously into the dorsal region of immunocompetent rats (n = 16) for 1 or 2 months. The volume of adipose tissue was maintained inside the scaffold over time. Histomorphometric evaluation discovered small- and normal-sized perilipin+ adipocytes (no hypertrophy) classically organized into lobular structures inside the scaffold. Adipose tissue was surrounded by discrete layers of fibrous connective tissue associated with CD68+ macrophage patches around the scaffold filaments. Adipocyte viability, assessed via TUNEL staining, was sustained by the presence of a high number of CD31-positive vessels inside the scaffold, confirming the CAM results. Overall, our study provides proof that 3D-printed PLCL scaffolds can be used to improve fat graft volume preservation and vascularization, paving the way for new therapeutic options for soft-tissue defects. Full article
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14 pages, 1473 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing the Total Functional Capacity Score as a Critical Endpoint in Huntington’s Disease Research
by Jannis Achenbach, Benjamin Stodt and Carsten Saft
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3336; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123336 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 911
Abstract
Background: The Total Functional Capacity (TFC) score is commonly used in Huntington’s disease (HD) research. The classification separates each disease stage (1–5), e.g., as an inclusion criterion or endpoint in clinical trials accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition [...] Read more.
Background: The Total Functional Capacity (TFC) score is commonly used in Huntington’s disease (HD) research. The classification separates each disease stage (1–5), e.g., as an inclusion criterion or endpoint in clinical trials accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to the quantification of age- and CAG-repeat-dependent effects as well as interacting effects of both on the TFC, we aimed to investigate factors influencing the TFC, such as neuropsychiatric, educational, and cognitive disease burden using data from the largest HD observational study to date. In addition, we analyzed data from pre-manifest stages to investigate the influence of the above-mentioned factors on the TFC in that stage. Methods: A moderated regression analysis was conducted to analyze the interaction effects of age and CAG-repeat length on the TFC in HD patients. A simple slope analysis was calculated to illustrate the effects. Depending on TFC results, motor-manifest patients were grouped into five stages. Data from pre-manifest participants were analyzed with regard to years to onset and CAP scores. Results: We identified N = 10,314 participants as manifest HD. A significant part of variance on the TFC was explained by age (R2 = 0.029, F (1;10,281) = 308.02, p < 0.001), CAG-repeat length (∆R2 = 0.132, ∆F (1;10,280) = 1611.22, p < 0.001), and their interaction (∆R2 = 0.049, ∆F (1;10,279) = 634.12, p < 0.001). The model explained altogether 20.9% of the TFC score’s variance (F = 907.60, p < 0.001). Variance of psychiatric and cognitive symptoms significantly differed between stages. Exploratory analysis of median data in pre-manifest participants revealed the highest scores for neuropsychiatric changes between 5 to <20 years from the disease onset. Conclusions: TFC is mainly explained by the neurobiological factors, CAG-repeat length, and age, with subjects having more CAG-repeats showing a faster decline in function. Our study confirms TFC as a robust measure of progression in manifest HD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodegenerative Diseases: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives)
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17 pages, 1905 KiB  
Article
Association between Food-Specific Immunoglobulin G4 Antibodies in Adults with Self-Reported Signs and Symptoms Attributed to Adverse Reactions to Foodstuffs
by Lisset Pantoja-Arévalo, Eva Gesteiro, Torsten Matthias, Rafael Urrialde and Marcela González-Gross
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123335 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 958
Abstract
Signs and symptoms attributed to adverse reactions to foodstuffs (ARFS) need tools for research and evaluation in clinical practice. The objectives of this study were (a) to evaluate the most frequent self-reported signs and symptoms attributed to ARFS in Spanish adults, (b) to [...] Read more.
Signs and symptoms attributed to adverse reactions to foodstuffs (ARFS) need tools for research and evaluation in clinical practice. The objectives of this study were (a) to evaluate the most frequent self-reported signs and symptoms attributed to ARFS in Spanish adults, (b) to determine the prevalence of food-specific IgG4 antibody reactions (AbRs), and (c) to investigate the association between self-reported ARFS symptomatology and food-specific IgG4 AbRs. Food-specific IgG4 AbRs against 57 common food and beverages (AESKUCARE-T2FA® in vitro point-of-care test kit, Aesku.Diagnostics GmbH, Germany) were determined in capillary blood samples of 205 volunteers living in the Region of Madrid (Spain). The most frequent self-reported signs and symptoms were related to skin (43%), digestive (41%), and nervous system (NS, 33%) problems. The prevalence of food-specific IgG4 AbRs was cow’s milk (73%), sheep’s milk (70%), casein (66%), and goat’s milk (56.10%). Positive IgG4 AbRs against tomato had a profile consisting of 3/4 of skin problems, more than half of digestive, and 2/5 of NS self-reported signs and symptoms. In conclusion, at least 1/3 of the studied sample reported skin, digestive, and NS signs and symptoms. The most frequent food-specific IgG4 AbRs were related to dairy. Skin problems were more frequent in positive tomato IgG4 AbRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease Biomarkers in Immunomediated Diseases)
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20 pages, 9721 KiB  
Article
Preclinical Efficacy of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration by Schwann Cell-like Cells Differentiated from Human Tonsil-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in C22 Mice
by Yu Hwa Nam, Saeyoung Park, Yoonji Yum, Soyeon Jeong, Hyo Eun Park, Ho Jin Kim, Jaeseung Lim, Byung-Ok Choi and Sung-Chul Jung
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3334; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123334 - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT) is a hereditary disease with heterogeneous phenotypes and genetic causes. CMT type 1A (CMT1A) is a type of disease affecting the peripheral nerves and is caused by the duplication of the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) gene. Human [...] Read more.
Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT) is a hereditary disease with heterogeneous phenotypes and genetic causes. CMT type 1A (CMT1A) is a type of disease affecting the peripheral nerves and is caused by the duplication of the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) gene. Human tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells (TMSCs) are useful for stem cell therapy in various diseases and can be differentiated into Schwann cell-like cells (TMSC-SCs). We investigated the potential of TMSC-SCs called neuronal regeneration-promoting cells (NRPCs) for peripheral nerve and muscle regeneration in C22 mice, a model for CMT1A. We transplanted NRPCs manufactured in a good manufacturing practice facility into the bilateral thigh muscles of C22 mice and performed behavior and nerve conduction tests and histological and ultrastructural analyses. Significantly, the motor function was much improved, the ratio of myelinated axons was increased, and the G-ratio was reduced by the transplantation of NRPCs. The sciatic nerve and gastrocnemius muscle regeneration of C22 mice following the transplantation of NRPCs downregulated PMP22 overexpression, which was observed in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that NRPCs are feasible for clinical research for the treatment of CMT1A patients. Research applying NRPCs to other peripheral nerve diseases is also needed. Full article
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24 pages, 846 KiB  
Review
Advances of Genome Editing with CRISPR/Cas9 in Neurodegeneration: The Right Path towards Therapy
by Aleksandr Klinkovskij, Mikhail Shepelev, Yuri Isaakyan, Denis Aniskin and Ilya Ulasov
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3333; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123333 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1200
Abstract
The rate of neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) is rising rapidly as the world’s population ages. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and dementia are becoming more prevalent and are now the fourth leading cause of death, following heart disease, cancer, and [...] Read more.
The rate of neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) is rising rapidly as the world’s population ages. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and dementia are becoming more prevalent and are now the fourth leading cause of death, following heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Although modern diagnostic techniques for detecting NDDs are varied, scientists are continuously seeking new and improved methods to enable early and precise detection. In addition to that, the present treatment options are limited to symptomatic therapy, which is effective in reducing the progression of neurodegeneration but lacks the ability to target the root cause—progressive loss of neuronal functioning. As a result, medical researchers continue to explore new treatments for these conditions. Here, we present a comprehensive summary of the key features of NDDs and an overview of the underlying mechanisms of neuroimmune dysfunction. Additionally, we dive into the cutting-edge treatment options that gene therapy provides in the quest to treat these disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurobiology and Clinical Neuroscience)
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11 pages, 1235 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Pupillary Response in Multiple Sclerosis Patients with and without Optic Neuritis
by Amparo Gil-Casas, David P. Piñero and Ainhoa Molina-Martín
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3332; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123332 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system which produces abnormalities in visual function, as disturbed pupillary responses, even after an episode of optic neuritis (ON). The aim was to assess different parameters of the pupillary response in [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system which produces abnormalities in visual function, as disturbed pupillary responses, even after an episode of optic neuritis (ON). The aim was to assess different parameters of the pupillary response in MS subjects with and without ON. Therefore, 24 eyes of healthy age-matched subjects were included, 22 eyes of subjects with MS (MS group), and 13 subjects with MS with previous ON (MSON group). Pupillary parameters (ratio pupil max/min; latency; velocity and duration; contraction and dilation; and amplitude of contraction) were recorded with the MYAH topographer. Statistical analysis was performed by IBM SPSS Statistics, and parametrical or non-parametrical tests were used according to the normality of the data. MS patients did not significantly differ from healthy patients in any of the parameters analyzed (p > 0.05). Only patients with previous ON were different from healthy patients in the amplitude (40.71 ± 6.73% vs. 45.22 ± 3.29%, respectively) and latency of contraction (0.35 ± 0.13 s vs. 0.26 ± 0.05 s, respectively). The time to recover 75% of the initial diameter was abnormal in 9% of the MS subjects and 12% of MSON subjects. Based on the results of this study, the contraction process, especially latency and amplitude, was found to be affected in subjects with MS and previous ON. The degree of disability and the relation of the decrease in pupil response with other indicators of MS disease should be further investigated considering other comorbidities such as ON in the affection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodegenerative Diseases: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives)
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23 pages, 1237 KiB  
Review
Rodent Models of Huntington’s Disease: An Overview
by Giulio Nittari, Proshanta Roy, Ilenia Martinelli, Vincenzo Bellitto, Daniele Tomassoni, Enea Traini, Seyed Khosrow Tayebati and Francesco Amenta
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3331; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123331 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant inherited neurological disorder caused by a genetic mutation in the IT15 gene. This neurodegenerative disorder is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion mutation in the widely expressed huntingtin (HTT) protein. HD is characterized by the degeneration of [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant inherited neurological disorder caused by a genetic mutation in the IT15 gene. This neurodegenerative disorder is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion mutation in the widely expressed huntingtin (HTT) protein. HD is characterized by the degeneration of basal ganglia neurons and progressive cell death in intrinsic neurons of the striatum, accompanied by dementia and involuntary abnormal choreiform movements. Animal models have been extensively studied and have proven to be extremely valuable for therapeutic target evaluations. They reveal the hallmark of the age-dependent formation of aggregates or inclusions consisting of misfolded proteins. Animal models of HD have provided a therapeutic strategy to treat HD by suppressing mutant HTT (mHTT). Transgenic animal models have significantly increased our understanding of the molecular processes and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the HD behavioral phenotype. Since effective therapies to cure or interrupt the course of the disease are not yet available, clinical research will have to make use of reliable animal models. This paper reviews the main studies of rodents as HD animal models, highlighting the neurological and behavioral differences between them. The choice of an animal model depends on the specific aspect of the disease to be investigated. Toxin-based models can still be useful, but most experimental hypotheses depend on success in a genetic model, whose choice is determined by the experimental question. There are many animal models showing similar HD symptoms or pathologies. They include chemical-induced HDs and genetic HDs, where cell-free and cell culture, lower organisms (such as yeast, Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish), rodents (mice, rats), and non-human primates are involved. These models provide accessible systems to study molecular pathogenesis and test potential treatments. For developing more effective pharmacological treatments, better animal models must be available and used to evaluate the efficacy of drugs. Full article
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17 pages, 1293 KiB  
Article
Clinical and Microbiological Impact of Implementing a Decision Support Algorithm through Microbiologic Rapid Diagnosis in Critically Ill Patients: An Epidemiological Retrospective Pre-/Post-Intervention Study
by Alejandro Rodríguez, Frederic Gómez, Carolina Sarvisé, Cristina Gutiérrez, Montserrat Galofre Giralt, María Dolores Guerrero-Torres, Sergio Pardo-Granell, Ester Picó-Plana, Clara Benavent-Bofill, Sandra Trefler, Julen Berrueta, Laura Canadell, Laura Claverias, Erika Esteve Pitarch, Montserrat Olona, Graciano García Pardo, Xavier Teixidó, Laura Bordonado, María Teresa Sans and María Bodí
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3330; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123330 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 906
Abstract
Background: Data on the benefits of rapid microbiological testing on antimicrobial consumption (AC) and antimicrobial resistance patterns (ARPs) are scarce. We evaluated the impact of a protocol based on rapid techniques on AC and ARP in intensive care (ICU) patients. Methods: A retrospective [...] Read more.
Background: Data on the benefits of rapid microbiological testing on antimicrobial consumption (AC) and antimicrobial resistance patterns (ARPs) are scarce. We evaluated the impact of a protocol based on rapid techniques on AC and ARP in intensive care (ICU) patients. Methods: A retrospective pre- (2018) and post-intervention (2019–2021) study was conducted in ICU patients. A rapid diagnostic algorithm was applied starting in 2019 in patients with a lower respiratory tract infection. The incidence of nosocomial infections, ARPs, and AC as DDDs (defined daily doses) were monitored. Results: A total of 3635 patients were included: 987 in the pre-intervention group and 2648 in the post-intervention group. The median age was 60 years, the sample was 64% male, and the average APACHE II and SOFA scores were 19 points and 3 points. The overall ICU mortality was 17.2% without any differences between the groups. An increase in the number of infections was observed in the post-intervention group (44.5% vs. 17.9%, p < 0.01), especially due to an increase in the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (44.6% vs. 25%, p < 0.001). AC decreased from 128.7 DDD in 2018 to 66.0 DDD in 2021 (rate ratio = 0.51). An increase in Pseudomonas aeruginosa susceptibility of 23% for Piperacillin/tazobactam and 31% for Meropenem was observed. Conclusion: The implementation of an algorithm based on rapid microbiological diagnostic techniques allowed for a significant reduction in AC and ARPs without affecting the prognosis of critically ill patients. Full article
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0 pages, 878 KiB  
Article
Determining Thrombogenicity: Using a Modified Thrombin Generation Assay to Detect the Level of Thrombotic Event Risk in Lupus Anticoagulant-Positive Patients
by Pavla Bradáčová, Luděk Slavík, Jana Úlehlová, Eva Kriegová, Eliška Jará, Lenka Bultasová, David Friedecký, Jana Ullrychová, Jana Procházková, Antonín Hluší, Gayane Manukyan and Lenka Štefaničková
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3329; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123329 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the thrombogenicity of lupus anticoagulant (LA) antibodies using a modified thrombin generation assay (TGA) with the addition of activated protein C (APC) in a group of 85 patients with LA-positive samples. Of these, 58 patients [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the thrombogenicity of lupus anticoagulant (LA) antibodies using a modified thrombin generation assay (TGA) with the addition of activated protein C (APC) in a group of 85 patients with LA-positive samples. Of these, 58 patients had clinical manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) according to the Sydney criteria classification, i.e., each patient had thrombosis or foetal loss, and 27 patients did not show any clinical manifestations of APS. A comparison of the two groups’ TGA results revealed statistically significant differences (Fisher’s test p = 0.0016). The group of patients exhibiting clinical manifestations of APS showed higher thrombogenicity in 56.9% of patients, while the group of patients not yet exhibiting clinical manifestations of APS showed higher thrombogenicity in 25.9% of patients. There were no significant differences in the specificity of the TGA test between the groups of patients exhibiting similar clinical manifestations. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed a more significant relationship (p = 0.0060) for TGA than for LA titre (p = 0.3387). These data suggest that the determination of LA thrombogenicity with the TGA assay leads to an increased prediction of the manifestation of a thromboembolic event. Our findings appear to be particularly relevant for the prediction of thrombotic events in patients with laboratory-expressed APS and no clinical manifestations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Basic and Clinical Researches of Antiphospholipid Syndrome)
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32 pages, 405 KiB  
Review
Neuromodulation for Craniofacial Pain and Headaches
by Ray J. Pak, Jun B. Ku and Alaa Abd-Elsayed
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123328 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 967
Abstract
Headaches and facial pain are highly prevalent diseases but are often difficult to treat. Though there have been significant advances in medical management, many continue to suffer from refractory pain. Neuromodulation has been gaining interest for its therapeutic purposes in many chronic pain [...] Read more.
Headaches and facial pain are highly prevalent diseases but are often difficult to treat. Though there have been significant advances in medical management, many continue to suffer from refractory pain. Neuromodulation has been gaining interest for its therapeutic purposes in many chronic pain conditions, including headaches and facial pain. There are many potential targets of neuromodulation for headache and facial pain, and some have more robust evidence in favor of their use than others. Despite the need for more high-quality research, the available evidence for the use of neuromodulation in treating headaches and facial pain is promising. Considering the suffering that afflicts patients with intractable headache, neuromodulation may be an appropriate tool to improve not only pain but also disability and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Craniofacial Pain and Headaches)
13 pages, 3278 KiB  
Article
Studying Erythromelalgia Using Doppler Flowmetry Perfusion Signals and Wavelet Analysis—An Exploratory Study
by Luis Monteiro Rodrigues, Joana Caetano, Sergio Faloni Andrade, Clemente Rocha, José Delgado Alves and Hugo Alexandre Ferreira
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123327 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare disease, which is still poorly characterized. In the present paper, we compared the hand perfusion of one female EM patient, under challenges, with a healthy control group. Using a laser Doppler flowmeter (LDF) with an integrated thermal probe, [...] Read more.
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare disease, which is still poorly characterized. In the present paper, we compared the hand perfusion of one female EM patient, under challenges, with a healthy control group. Using a laser Doppler flowmeter (LDF) with an integrated thermal probe, measurements were taken in both hands at rest (Phase I) and after two separate challenges—post-occlusive hyperemia (PORH) in one arm (A) and reduction of skin temperature (cooling) with ice in one hand (B) (Phase II). The final measurement periods corresponded to recovery (Phases III and IV). The control group involved ten healthy women (27.3 ± 7.9 years old). A second set of measurements was taken in the EM patient one month after beginning a new therapeutic approach with beta-blockers (6.25 mg carvedilol twice daily). Z-scores of the patient’s LDF and temperature fluctuations compared to the control group were assessed using the Wavelet transform (WT) analysis. Here, fluctuations with |Z| > 1.96 were considered significantly different from healthy values, whereas positive or negative Z values indicated higher or lower deviations from the control mean values. Cooling elicited more measurable changes in LDF and temperature fluctuations, especially in higher frequency components (cardiac, respiratory, and myogenic), whereas PORH notably evoked changes in lower frequency components (myogenic, autonomic, and endothelial). No significant Z-score deviations were observed in the second measurement, which might signify a stabilization of the patient’s distal perfusion following the new therapeutic approach. This analysis involving one EM patient, while clearly exploratory, has shown significant deviations in WT-derived physiological components’ values in comparison with the healthy group, confirming the interest in using cold temperature as a challenger. The apparent agreement achieved with the clinical evaluation opens the possibility of expanding this approach to other patients and pathologies in vascular medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Function in Chronic Non-communicable Diseases 2.0)
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19 pages, 1454 KiB  
Review
CD200/CD200R: Bidirectional Role in Cancer Progression and Immunotherapy
by Christopher Nip, Leyi Wang and Chengfei Liu
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123326 - 16 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
As an immune checkpoint molecule, CD200 serves a foundational role in regulating immune homeostasis and promoting self-tolerance. While CD200 expression occurs in various immune cell subsets and normal tissues, its aberrant expression patterns in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors have been linked to [...] Read more.
As an immune checkpoint molecule, CD200 serves a foundational role in regulating immune homeostasis and promoting self-tolerance. While CD200 expression occurs in various immune cell subsets and normal tissues, its aberrant expression patterns in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors have been linked to immune evasion and cancer progression under pathological conditions, particularly through interactions with its cognate receptor, CD200R. Through this CD200/CD200R signaling pathway, CD200 exerts its immunosuppressive effects by inhibiting natural killer (NK) cell activation, cytotoxic T cell functions, and M1-polarized macrophage activity, while also facilitating expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and Tregs. Moreover, CD200/CD200R expression has been linked to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and distant metastasis, further illustrating its role in cancer progression. Conversely, CD200 has also been shown to exert anti-tumor effects in certain cancer types, such as breast carcinoma and melanoma, indicating that CD200 may exert bidirectional effects on cancer progression depending on the specific tumor microenvironment (TME). Regardless, modulating the CD200/CD200R axis has garnered clinical interest as a potential immunotherapeutic strategy for cancer therapy, as demonstrated by early-phase clinical trials. However, further research is necessary to fully understand the complex interactions of CD200 in the tumor microenvironment and to optimize its therapeutic potential in cancer immunotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Immunotherapy: The Multiple Impacts of Tumor Microenvironment)
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18 pages, 8531 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Interaction of Indole-3-Acetonitrile with Neuroblastoma Cells: Understanding the Connection with the Serotonin and Dopamine Pathways
by Catarina Moura, Ana Salomé Correia and Nuno Vale
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3325; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123325 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Indole-3-acetonitrile, a compound produced by bacteria and plants as a defense and survival signal in response to attacks, has been recently discovered as a metabolite produced by human cancer cells. This discovery suggests a potential association between IAN and cancer progression in patients. [...] Read more.
Indole-3-acetonitrile, a compound produced by bacteria and plants as a defense and survival signal in response to attacks, has been recently discovered as a metabolite produced by human cancer cells. This discovery suggests a potential association between IAN and cancer progression in patients. Consequently, the aim of this work was to study the effects of IAN on a specific cancer cell line, SH-SY5Y, and elucidate its connection to the serotonin and dopamine pathways by examining the precursors of these neurotransmitters. To achieve this, a cellular viability assay was conducted, along with a morphological evaluation of the cells under both normal and stress conditions. Our results demonstrated that for the highest concentrations in our study, IAN was able to reduce the cellular viability of the cells. Furthermore, when IAN was combined with the amino acids that originate the neurotransmitters, it was possible to observe that in both combinations there was a decrease in the viability of the cells. Thus, IAN may in fact have some influence on both the serotonin and dopamine pathways since changes in cell viability were observed when it was added together with the amino acids. This preliminary study indicates the presence of an interaction between IAN and neuroblastoma cells that justifies further exploration and study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuropeptides, Dopamine and Their Interactions in Neuroscience)
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12 pages, 15766 KiB  
Article
Dapagliflozin Ameliorates Neural Damage in the Heart and Kidney of Diabetic Mice
by Ionuț Donoiu, Georgică Târtea, Veronica Sfredel, Victor Raicea, Anca Maria Țucă, Alexandra Nicoleta Preda, Dragoş Cozma and Radu Vătășescu
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3324; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123324 - 16 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
(1) Background: Measures for the control of diabetes mellitus (DM) and, especially, for the control of its complications represent a main objective of the research carried out on this disease, since both mortality and morbidity relating to DM represent real problems for the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Measures for the control of diabetes mellitus (DM) and, especially, for the control of its complications represent a main objective of the research carried out on this disease, since both mortality and morbidity relating to DM represent real problems for the health system worldwide. The aim of our study was to evaluate nervous tissue from the heart and kidneys of mice with diabetes induced by streptozotocin (STZ) in the presence or absence of dapagliflozin (DAPA) treatment. (2) Methods: For this purpose, we used 24 C 57Bl/6 male mice, aged between 8 and 10 weeks. The mice were divided into three groups: sham (DM−), control (DM+), and treated (DM+). Diabetes mellitus was induced by injecting a single intraperitoneal dose of STZ. The duration of diabetes in the mice included in our study was 12 weeks after STZ administration; then, the heart and kidneys were sampled, and nervous tissue (using the primary antibody PGP 9.5) from the whole heart, from the atrioventricular node, and from the kidneys was analyzed. (3) Results: The density of nerve tissue registered a significant decrease in animals from the control group (DM+), to a value of 0.0122 ± 0.005 mm2 nerve tissue/mm2 cardiac tissue, compared with the sham group (DM−), wherein the value was 0.022 ± 0.006 mm2 nervous tissue/mm2 cardiac tissue (p = 0.004). Treatment with dapagliflozin reduced the nerve tissue damage in the treated (DM+DAPA) group of animals, resulting in a nerve tissue density of 0.019 ± 0.004 mm2 nerve tissue/mm2 cardiac tissue; a statistically significant difference was noted between the control (DM+) and treated (DM+DAPA) groups (p = 0.046). The same trends of improvement in nerve fiber damage in DM after treatment with DAPA were observed both in the atrioventricular node and in the kidneys. (4) Conclusions. These data suggest that dapagliflozin, when used in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice, reduces the alteration of the nervous system in the kidneys and in the heart, thus highlighting better preservation of cardiac and renal homeostasis, independent of any reduction in the effects of hyperglycemia produced in this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolism Research)
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13 pages, 1276 KiB  
Article
Enalapril Is Superior to Lisinopril in Improving Endothelial Function without a Difference in Blood–Pressure–Lowering Effects in Newly Diagnosed Hypertensives
by Attila Nagy, Réka Májer, Judit Boczán, Sándor Sipka, Jr., Attila Szabó, Enikő Edit Enyedi, Ottó Tatai, Miklós Fagyas, Zoltán Papp, László Csiba and Attila Tóth
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3323; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123323 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Angiotensin–converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are the primarily chosen drugs to treat various cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension. Although the most recent guidelines do not differentiate among the various ACE inhibitory drugs, there are substantial pharmacological differences. Goal: Here, we tested if lipophilicity affects [...] Read more.
Angiotensin–converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are the primarily chosen drugs to treat various cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension. Although the most recent guidelines do not differentiate among the various ACE inhibitory drugs, there are substantial pharmacological differences. Goal: Here, we tested if lipophilicity affects the efficacy of ACE inhibitory drugs when used as the first therapy in newly identified hypertensives in a prospective study. Methods: We tested the differences in the cardiovascular efficacy of the hydrophilic lisinopril (8.3 ± 3.0 mg/day) and the lipophilic enalapril (5.5 ± 2.3 mg/day) (n = 59 patients). The cardiovascular parameters were determined using sonography (flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the brachial artery, intima-media thickness of the carotid artery), 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (peripheral arterial blood pressure), and arteriography (aortic blood pressure, augmentation index, and pulse wave velocity) before and after the initiation of ACE inhibitor therapy. Results: Both enalapril and lisinopril decreased blood pressure. However, lisinopril failed to improve arterial endothelial function (lack of effects on FMD) when compared to enalapril. Enalapril-mediated improved arterial endothelial function (FMD) positively correlated with its blood–pressure–lowering effect. In contrast, there was no correlation between the decrease in systolic blood pressure and FMD in the case of lisinopril treatment. Conclusion: The blood–pressure–lowering effects of ACE inhibitor drugs are independent of their lipophilicity. In contrast, the effects of ACE inhibition on arterial endothelial function are associated with lipophilicity: the hydrophilic lisinopril was unable to improve, while the lipophilic enalapril significantly improved endothelial function. Moreover, the effects on blood pressure and endothelial function did not correlate in lisinopril-treated patients, suggesting divergent mechanisms in the regulation of blood pressure and endothelial function upon ACE inhibitory treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renin-Angiotensin System in Cardiovascular Biology)
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14 pages, 2738 KiB  
Article
Farnesol Inhibits PI3 Kinase Signaling and Inflammatory Gene Expression in Primary Human Renal Epithelial Cells
by Aline Müller, Maria Lozoya, Xiaoying Chen, Volkmar Weissig and Mahtab Nourbakhsh
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123322 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Chronic inflammation and elevated cytokine levels are closely associated with the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is responsible for the manifestation of numerous complications and mortality. In addition to conventional CKD therapies, the possibility of using natural compounds with anti-inflammatory potential [...] Read more.
Chronic inflammation and elevated cytokine levels are closely associated with the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is responsible for the manifestation of numerous complications and mortality. In addition to conventional CKD therapies, the possibility of using natural compounds with anti-inflammatory potential has attracted widespread attention in scientific research. This study aimed to study the potential anti-inflammatory effects of a natural oil compound, farnesol, in primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cell (RPTEC) culture. Farnesol was encapsulated in lipid-based small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) to overcome its insolubility in cell culture medium. The cell attachment of empty vesicles (SUVs) and farnesol-loaded vesicles (farnesol-SUVs) was examined using BODIPY, a fluorescent dye with hydrophobic properties. Next, we used multiple protein, RNA, and protein phosphorylation arrays to investigate the impact of farnesol on inflammatory signaling in RPTECs. The results indicated that farnesol inhibits TNF-α/IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of the PI3 kinase p85 subunit and subsequent transcriptional activation of the inflammatory genes TNFRSF9, CD27, TNFRSF8, DR6, FAS, IL-7, and CCL2. Therefore, farnesol may be a promising natural compound for treating CKD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signaling of Protein Kinases in Development and Disease)
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13 pages, 1282 KiB  
Article
Skin Bioimpedance Analysis to Determine Cellular Integrity by Phase Angle in Women with Fibromyalgia: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Davinia Vicente-Campos, Sandra Sánchez-Jorge, Luis Martí, Jorge Buffet, Nuria Mendoza-Laiz, David Rodriguez-Sanz, Ricardo Becerro-de-Bengoa-Vallejo, J. L. Chicarro and César Calvo-Lobo
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3321; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123321 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Oxidative stress has been proposed as a significant part of the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia, and the phase angle in bioelectrical impedance analysis has been explored as a potential technique to screen oxidative abnormalities. This study recruited 35 women with fibromyalgia and 35 healthy [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress has been proposed as a significant part of the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia, and the phase angle in bioelectrical impedance analysis has been explored as a potential technique to screen oxidative abnormalities. This study recruited 35 women with fibromyalgia and 35 healthy women, who underwent bioelectrical impedance analysis and maximum isometric handgrip strength tests. Women with fibromyalgia showed lower bilateral handgrip strength (right hand: 16.39 ± 5.87 vs. 27.53 ± 4.09, p < 0.001; left hand: 16.31 ± 5.51 vs. 27.61 ± 4.14, p < 0.001), as well as higher body fat mass (27.14 ± 10.21 vs. 19.94 ± 7.25, p = 0.002), body fat percentage (37.80 ± 8.32 vs. 30.63 ± 7.77, p < 0.001), and visceral fat area (136.76 ± 55.31 vs. 91.65 ± 42.04, p < 0.01) compared with healthy women. There was no statistically significant difference in muscle mass between groups, but women with fibromyalgia showed lower phase angles in all body regions when compared with healthy control women (right arm: 4.42 ± 0.51 vs. 4.97 ± 0.48, p < 0.01; left arm: 4.23 ± 0.48 vs. 4.78 ± 0.50, p < 0.001; trunk: 5.62 ± 0.77 vs. 6.78 ± 0.84, p < 0.001; right leg: 5.28 ± 0.56 vs. 5.81 ± 0.60, p < 0.001; left leg: 5.07 ± 0.51 vs. 5.69 ± 0.58, p < 0.001; whole body: 4.81 ± 0.47 vs. 5.39 ± 0.49, p < 0.001). Moreover, whole-body phase-angle reduction was only predicted by the presence of fibromyalgia (R2 = 0.264; β = 0.639; F(1,68) = 24.411; p < 0.001). Our study revealed significantly lower phase angle values, lower handgrip strength, and higher fat levels in women with fibromyalgia compared to healthy controls, which are data of clinical relevance when dealing with such patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedicines: 10th Anniversary)
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