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Biomedicines, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 72 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Reverse cholesterol transport from peripheral tissues to the liver is a major atheroprotective event, with cholesterol efflux as a rate-limiting step. Nanoparticles mimicking natural HDL (rHDL) have been used in several clinical trials for cardiovascular disease therapy to remove cholesterol excess. Here, we show that rHDLs with lipid composition similar to nascent HDL are more efficient in promoting cholesterol efflux, and their physical characteristics should be taken into consideration to design more efficient rHDL to be used as cholesterol efflux promoting particles. View this paper
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Article
Nrf2 Lowers the Risk of Lung Injury via Modulating the Airway Innate Immune Response Induced by Diesel Exhaust in Mice
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100443 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
In the present study, we investigated the role of Nrf2 in airway immune responses induced by diesel exhaust (DE) inhalation in mice. C57BL/6J Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2−/− mice were exposed to DE or clean air for 8 h/day and 6 days/week for [...] Read more.
In the present study, we investigated the role of Nrf2 in airway immune responses induced by diesel exhaust (DE) inhalation in mice. C57BL/6J Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2−/− mice were exposed to DE or clean air for 8 h/day and 6 days/week for 4 weeks. After DE exposure, the number of neutrophils and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and interleukin (IL)-17 level in the lung tissue increased in Nrf2−/− mice compared with Nrf2+/+ mice; however, the lack of an increase in the level of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the lung tissue in Nrf2+/+ mice and mild suppression of the level of TNF-α in Nrf2−/− mice were observed; the level of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the lung tissue decreased in Nrf2−/− mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice; the number of DE particle-laden alveolar macrophages in BALF were larger in Nrf2−/− mice than in Nrf2+/+ mice. The results of electron microscope observations showed alveolar type II cell injury and degeneration of the lamellar body after DE exposure in Nrf2−/− mice. Antioxidant enzyme NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase (NQO)1 mRNA expression level was higher in Nrf2+/+ mice than in Nrf2−/− mice after DE exposure. Our results suggested that Nrf2 reduces the risk of pulmonary disease via modulating the airway innate immune response caused by DE in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Immunity Orchestration in Lung Health and Diseases)
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Article
Treatment with Luteolin Improves Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Periodontal Diseases in Rats
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100442 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
Periodontitis is a dental disease that produces the progressive destruction of the bone surrounding the tooth. Especially, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is involved in the deterioration of the alveolar bone, inducing the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, which cause periodontal tissue inflammation. Luteolin (Lut), a molecule [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is a dental disease that produces the progressive destruction of the bone surrounding the tooth. Especially, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is involved in the deterioration of the alveolar bone, inducing the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, which cause periodontal tissue inflammation. Luteolin (Lut), a molecule of natural origin present in a large variety of fruits and vegetables, possess beneficial properties for human health. On this basis, we investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of Lut in a model of periodontitis induced by LPS in rats. Animal model predicted a single intragingival injection of LPS (10 μg/μL) derived from Salmonella typhimurium. Lut administration, was performed daily at different doses (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg, orally), starting from 1 h after the injection of LPS. After 14 days, the animals were sacrificed, and their gums were processed for biochemical analysis and histological examinations. Results showed that Lut (30 and 100 mg/kg) was equally able to reduce alveolar bone loss, tissue damage, and neutrophilic infiltration. Moreover, Lut treatment reduced the concentration of collagen fibers, mast cells degranulation, and NF-κB activation, as well as the presence of pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines. Therefore, Lut implementation could represent valid support in the pharmacological strategy for periodontitis, thus improving the well-being of the oral cavity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Medicine in Therapy)
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Review
Application of 3D Bioprinting Technologies to the Management and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100441 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2034
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease with increasing prevalence worldwide. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a serious complication of DM. It is estimated that 15–25% of DM patients develop DFU at least once in their lifetime. The lack of effective wound [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease with increasing prevalence worldwide. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a serious complication of DM. It is estimated that 15–25% of DM patients develop DFU at least once in their lifetime. The lack of effective wound dressings and targeted therapy for DFUs often results in prolonged hospitalization and amputations. As the incidence of DM is projected to rise, the demand for specialized DFU wound management will continue to increase. Hence, it is of great interest to improve and develop effective DFU-specific wound dressings and therapies. In the last decade, 3D bioprinting technology has made a great contribution to the healthcare sector, with the development of personalized prosthetics, implants, and bioengineered tissues. In this review, we discuss the challenges faced in DFU wound management and how 3D bioprinting technology can be applied to advance current treatment methods, such as biomanufacturing of composite 3D human skin substitutes for skin grafting and the development of DFU-appropriate wound dressings. Future co-development of 3D bioprinting technologies with novel treatment approaches to mitigate DFU-specific pathophysiological challenges will be key to limiting the healthcare burden associated with the increasing prevalence of DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regenerative Medicine in Diabetes)
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Review
Modelling C9orf72-Related Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Zebrafish
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100440 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion within the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its discovery has revolutionized our understanding of this devastating disease. Model systems are a valuable tool for studying ALS pathobiology and potential therapies. [...] Read more.
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion within the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its discovery has revolutionized our understanding of this devastating disease. Model systems are a valuable tool for studying ALS pathobiology and potential therapies. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has particularly become a useful model organism to study neurological diseases, including ALS, due to high genetic and physiological homology to mammals, and sensitivity to various genetic and pharmacological manipulations. In this review we summarize the zebrafish models that have been used to study the pathology of C9orf72-related ALS. We discuss their value in providing mechanistic insights and their potential use for drug discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease)
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Article
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of M-MSCs in DNCB-Induced Atopic Dermatitis Mice
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100439 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1732
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease caused by an imbalance between Th1 and Th2 cells. AD patients suffer from pruritus, excessive dryness, red or inflamed skin, and complications such as sleep disturbances and depression. Although there are currently many AD treatments [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease caused by an imbalance between Th1 and Th2 cells. AD patients suffer from pruritus, excessive dryness, red or inflamed skin, and complications such as sleep disturbances and depression. Although there are currently many AD treatments available there are insufficient data on their long-term stability and comparative effects. Moreover, they have limitations due to various side effects. Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (M-MSCs) might have potential for next-generation AD therapies. MSCs are capable of immune function regulation and local inflammatory response inhibition. M-MSCs, derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC), additionally have a stable supply. In L507 antibody array, M-MSCs generally showed similar tendencies to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs), although the immunoregulatory function of M-MSCs seemed to be superior to BM-MSCs. Based on the characteristics of M-MSCs on immunoregulatory functions, we tested a M-MSC conditioned media concentrate (MCMC) in mice with AD lesions on their dorsal skin. MCMC significantly decreased RNA expression levels of inflammatory cytokines in the mouse dorsal skin. It also suppressed serum IgE levels. In addition, significant histopathologic alleviation was identified. In conclusion, secretions of M-MSCs have the potential to effectively improve AD-related inflammatory lesions. M-MSCs showed potential for use in next-generation AD treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease-Focused Research Using Stem Cells)
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Article
Combined Treatment with Polynucleotides and Hyaluronic Acid Improves Tissue Repair in Experimental Colitis
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100438 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1378
Abstract
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic conditions that can benefit from the combined treatment of adenosine receptor agonists and hyaluronic acid (HA), which, binding the CD44, has pro-survival effects. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of a mixture of polynucleotides and HA in [...] Read more.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic conditions that can benefit from the combined treatment of adenosine receptor agonists and hyaluronic acid (HA), which, binding the CD44, has pro-survival effects. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of a mixture of polynucleotides and HA in an experimental model of dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (DNBS)-induced colitis. A group of 40 rats received a single intra-colonic instillation of DNBS, and after 6 h, animals were randomized to receive daily: (i) saline solution; (ii) polynucleotides (Poly; 8 mg/kg); (iii) polynucleotides (8 mg/kg) plus hyaluronic acid (HA; 15 mg/kg); and (iv) hyaluronic acid (HA; 15 mg/kg). Rats in the control group (n = 10) received saline solution only. Seven days after induction, animals receiving Poly plus HA showed reduced clinical signs, weight loss and colon shortening, ameliorated macroscopic and histological damage, and apoptosis. Moreover, the combined treatment reduced the positivity in the colonic infiltrate of CD3 positive T cells, CD20 positive B cells and CD44. Furthermore, Poly plus HA reduced colonic myeloperoxidase activity and malondialdehyde, indicating a dampening of the inflammatory infiltrate and oxidation products. Our research demonstrated that a combined treatment of polynucleotides with hyaluronic acid had a protective effect in a model of ulcerative colitis, suggesting that this association deserves further attention for the treatment of IBDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Therapeutic Approaches in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases)
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Article
Isoproterenol-Induced Permeability Transition Pore-Related Dysfunction of Heart Mitochondria Is Attenuated by Astaxanthin
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100437 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Mitochondria are key organelles of the cell because their main function is the capture of energy-rich substrates from the cytoplasm and oxidative cleavage with the generation of carbon dioxide and water, processes that are coupled with the synthesis of ATP. Mitochondria are subject [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are key organelles of the cell because their main function is the capture of energy-rich substrates from the cytoplasm and oxidative cleavage with the generation of carbon dioxide and water, processes that are coupled with the synthesis of ATP. Mitochondria are subject to oxidative stress through the formation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Various antioxidants are used to reduce damage caused by oxidative stress and to improve the protection of the antioxidant system. Astaxanthin (AST) is considered to be a dietary antioxidant, which is able to reduce oxidative stress and enhance the antioxidant defense system. In the present investigation, the effect of AST on the functional state of rat heart mitochondria impaired by isoproterenol (ISO) under mPTP functioning was examined. It was found that AST raised mitochondrial respiration, the Ca2+ retention capacity (CRC), and the rate of TPP+ influx in rat heart mitochondria (RHM) isolated from ISO-injected rats. However, the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production increased. In addition, the concentrations of cardiolipin (CL), Mn-SOD2, and the proteins regulating mPTP rose after the injection of ISO in RHM pretreated with AST. Based on the data obtained, we suggest that AST has a protective effect in rat heart mitochondria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedicine from the Sea)
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Review
Angiogenic Potential in Biological Hydrogels
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100436 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Hydrogels are three-dimensional (3D) materials able to absorb and retain water in large amounts while maintaining their structural stability. Due to their considerable biocompatibility and similarity with the body’s tissues, hydrogels are one of the most promising groups of biomaterials. The main application [...] Read more.
Hydrogels are three-dimensional (3D) materials able to absorb and retain water in large amounts while maintaining their structural stability. Due to their considerable biocompatibility and similarity with the body’s tissues, hydrogels are one of the most promising groups of biomaterials. The main application of these hydrogels is in regenerative medicine, in which they allow the formation of an environment suitable for cell differentiation and growth. Deriving from these hydrogels, it is, therefore, possible to obtain bioactive materials that can regenerate tissues. Because vessels guarantee the right amount of oxygen and nutrients but also assure the elimination of waste products, angiogenesis is one of the processes at the base of the regeneration of a tissue. On the other hand, it is a very complex mechanism and the parameters to consider are several. Indeed, the factors and the cells involved in this process are numerous and, for this reason, it has been a challenge to recreate a biomaterial able to adequately sustain the angiogenic process. However, in this review the focal point is the application of natural hydrogels in angiogenesis enhancing and their potential to guide this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels for Biomedical Application)
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Article
CRP Is Transported by Monocytes and Monocyte-Derived Exosomes in the Blood of Patients with Coronary Artery Disease
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100435 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
The objective of this work was to study the ability of blood cells and their microparticles to transport monomeric and pentameric forms of C-reactive protein (mCRP and pCRP) in the blood of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Blood was obtained from 14 [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to study the ability of blood cells and their microparticles to transport monomeric and pentameric forms of C-reactive protein (mCRP and pCRP) in the blood of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Blood was obtained from 14 patients with CAD 46 ± 13 years old and 8 healthy volunteers 49 ± 13.6 years old. Blood cells and microparticles with mCRP and pCRP on their surface were detected by flow cytometry. Messenger RNA (mRNA) of CRP was extracted from peripheral blood monocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). mRNA of CRP in monocytes was detected with PCR. Monocytes were predominantly pCRP-positive (92.9 ± 6.8%). mCRP was present on 22.0 ± 9.6% of monocyte-derived exosomes. mCRP-positive leukocyte-derived microparticle counts were significantly higher (8764 ± 2876/µL) in the blood of patients with CAD than in healthy volunteers (1472 ± 307/µL). LPS and GM-CSF stimulated monocytes expressed CRP mRNA transcripts levels (0.79 ± 0.73-fold), slightly lower relative to unstimulated hepatocytes of the HepG2 cell line (1.0 ± 0.6-fold), but still detectable. The ability of monocytes to transport pCRP in blood flow, and monocyte-derived exosomes to transmit mCRP, may contribute to the maintenance of chronic inflammation in CAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophages in Health and Non-infectious Disease)
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Article
Low Dose Astaxanthin Treatments Trigger the Hormesis of Human Astroglioma Cells by Up-Regulating the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase and Down-Regulated the Tumor Suppressor Protein P53
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100434 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Astaxanthin (AXT) is a xanthophyll carotenoid known to have potent anti-cancer effects via upregulation of the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, which triggers apoptosis of cancer cells. While several studies have shown that AXT has potential as an anti-cancer drug, its effects [...] Read more.
Astaxanthin (AXT) is a xanthophyll carotenoid known to have potent anti-cancer effects via upregulation of the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, which triggers apoptosis of cancer cells. While several studies have shown that AXT has potential as an anti-cancer drug, its effects in glioblastoma multiforme cells remain relatively unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of AXT in the astroglioma cell lines U251-MG, T98G, and CRT-MG. We found that the response to AXT varied between cell lines. Moreover, U251-MG cells showed a specific hormetic response to AXT. At high concentrations (20–40 μM), AXT triggered apoptosis in U251-MG cells, as it has been previously shown in other cancer cell lines. However, low concentrations (4–8 μM) of AXT were found to upregulate the proliferative cell cycle. Furthermore, at low concentrations, AXT did not affect the intracellular ROS levels, while the superoxide dismutase activity increased moderately. Western blot analysis showed that treatment with a low concentration of AXT upregulated cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 2 and p-Cdk2/3 levels and downregulated the expression of tumor protein p53. Thus, our results showed that AXT has a hormetic effect in the astroglioma cell line U251-MG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Responses to Low-Intensity Exposures)
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Review
PPARα Agonist Oral Therapy in Diabetic Retinopathy
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100433 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an eye condition that develops after chronically poorly-managed diabetes, and is presently the main cause for blindness on a global scale. Current treatments for DR such as laser photocoagulation, topical injection of corticosteroids, intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth [...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an eye condition that develops after chronically poorly-managed diabetes, and is presently the main cause for blindness on a global scale. Current treatments for DR such as laser photocoagulation, topical injection of corticosteroids, intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents and vitreoretinal surgery are only applicable at the late stages of DR and there are possibilities of significant adverse effects. Moreover, the forms of treatment available for DR are highly invasive to the eyes. Safer and more effective pharmacological treatments are required for DR treatment, in particular at an early stage. In this review, we cover recently investigated promising oral pharmacotherapies, the methods of which are safer, easier to use, patient-friendly and pain-free, in clinical studies. We especially focus on peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor alpha (PPARα) agonists in which experimental evidence suggests PPARα activation may be closely related to the attenuation of vascular damages, including lipid-induced toxicity, inflammation, an excess of free radical generation, endothelial dysfunction and angiogenesis. Furthermore, oral administration of selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha modulator (SPPARMα) agonists may induce hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 expression, indirectly resulting in retinal protection in animal studies. Our review will enable more comprehensive approaches for understanding protective roles of PPARα for the prevention of DR development. Full article
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Article
Effect of Gosha-Jinki-Gan on Levels of Specific mRNA Transcripts in Mouse Testes after Busulfan Treatment
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100432 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
With the increase in survival rates of cancer patients in recent years, infertility caused by anticancer treatments has become a significant concern for cancer survivors. Some studies have suggested that Sertoli cells play a key role in mediating testicular immunology in busulfan-induced aspermatogenesis. [...] Read more.
With the increase in survival rates of cancer patients in recent years, infertility caused by anticancer treatments has become a significant concern for cancer survivors. Some studies have suggested that Sertoli cells play a key role in mediating testicular immunology in busulfan-induced aspermatogenesis. We recently demonstrated that Gosha-jinki-gan (TJ107), a traditional Japanese medicine, can completely recover injured spermatogenesis in mice 60 days after busulfan injection. In the present study, we sought to examine the levels of mRNA transcripts encoding markers of 25 Sertoli cell-specific products and 10 markers of germ cell differentiation. Our results demonstrated that only supplementation of TJ107 at day 60 after busulfan injection could significantly recover the increase in five mRNA species (Amh, Clu, Shbg, Testin, and Il1a) and the decrease in four mRNA species (Aqp8, CST9, Wnt5a, and Tjp1) in response to Busulfan (BSF) at day 120, with the increase of all examined spermatogenic markers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drug Discovery and Development)
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Article
Inhibition of Renal Stellate Cell Activation Reduces Renal Fibrosis
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100431 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Interstitial fibrosis is a common feature of chronic kidney disease, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β)-positive mesenchymal cells are reportedly the major source of scar-producing myofibroblasts. We had previously demonstrated that albumin and its derivative R-III (a retinol-binding protein-albumin domain III fusion protein) [...] Read more.
Interstitial fibrosis is a common feature of chronic kidney disease, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β)-positive mesenchymal cells are reportedly the major source of scar-producing myofibroblasts. We had previously demonstrated that albumin and its derivative R-III (a retinol-binding protein-albumin domain III fusion protein) inhibited the transdifferentiation/activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to myofibroblasts and that R-III administration reduced liver fibrosis. In this study, we isolated cells (referred to as renal stellate cells, RSCs) from rat kidney tissues using the HSC isolation protocol and compared their morphological and biochemical characteristics with those of HSCs. RSCs shared many characteristics with HSCs, such as storage of vitamin A-containing lipid droplets and expression of HSC markers as well as pericyte markers. RSCs underwent spontaneous transdifferentiation into myofibroblasts in in vitro culture, which was inhibited by albumin expression or R-III treatment. We also evaluated the therapeutic effects of R-III in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis in mice. Injected R-III localized predominantly in cytoglobin/stellate cell activation-associated protein (Cygb/STAP)-positive cells in the kidney and reduced renal fibrosis. These findings suggest that RSCs can be recognized as the renal counterparts of HSCs and that RSCs represent an attractive therapeutic target for anti-fibrotic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
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Article
Sex-Dependent Changes in Right Ventricular Gene Expression in Response to Pressure Overload in a Rat Model of Pulmonary Trunk Banding
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100430 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) and subsequent failure are consequences of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). While females are four times more likely to develop PAH, male patients have poorer survival even with treatment, suggesting a sex-dependent dimorphism in right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy/compensation. This may [...] Read more.
Right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) and subsequent failure are consequences of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). While females are four times more likely to develop PAH, male patients have poorer survival even with treatment, suggesting a sex-dependent dimorphism in right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy/compensation. This may result from differential gene expression in the RV in male vs. female. To date, the sex dependent effect of pressure overload on RV function and changes in gene expression is still unclear. We hypothesize that pressure overload promotes gene expression changes in the RV that may contribute to a poorer outcome in males vs. females. To test this hypothesis, male and female Wistar rats underwent either a sham procedure (sham controls) or moderate pulmonary trunk banding (PTB) (a model of pressure overload induced compensated RV hypertrophy) surgery. Seven weeks post-surgery, RV function was assessed in vivo, and tissue samples were collected for gene expression using qPCR. Compared to sham controls, PTB induced significant increases in the right ventricular systolic pressure, the filling pressure and contractility, which were similar between male and female rats. PTB resulted in an increase in RVH indexes (RV weight, RV weight/tibia length and Fulton index) in both male and female groups. However, RVH indexes were significantly higher in male-PTB when compared to female-PTB rats. Whilst end of procedure body weight was greater in male rats, end of procedure pulmonary artery (PA) diameters were the same in both males and females. RV gene expression analysis revealed that the following genes were increased in PTB-male rats compared with the sham-operated controls: natriuretic peptide A (ANP) and B (BNP), as well as the markers of fibrosis; collagen type I and III. In females, only BNP was significantly increased in the RV when compared to the sham-operated female rats. Furthermore, ANP, BNP and collagen III were significantly higher in the RV from PTB-males when compared to RV from PTB-female rats. Our data suggest that pressure overload-mediated changes in gene expression in the RV from male rats may worsen RVH and increase the susceptibility of males to a poorer outcome when compared to females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pneumonia Basic Science)
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Article
Rheological Properties and Growth Factors Content of Platelet-Rich Plasma: Relevance in Veterinary Biomedical Treatments
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100429 - 18 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1131
Abstract
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a nontransfusional hemocomponent, considered as a powerful concentrate of growth factors (GFs) therapeutically used to stimulate tissue regeneration. The use of autologous PRP, as the patient’s own biological material, for therapeutic purposes represents a safe and effective alternative to [...] Read more.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a nontransfusional hemocomponent, considered as a powerful concentrate of growth factors (GFs) therapeutically used to stimulate tissue regeneration. The use of autologous PRP, as the patient’s own biological material, for therapeutic purposes represents a safe and effective alternative to conventional treatments in both human and veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was the characterization of canine PRP from rheological and biological points of view. Thus, a characterization of the viscoelastic properties of the PRP systems was performed in order to clarify the influence of different calcium concentrations, in the presence of autologous thrombin-rich solution, on the PRP gels’ mechanical properties, from which the applicability of these systems in biomedical treatments is strongly dependent. Then, an evaluation of the content of GFs in PRP, activated or not with thrombin, and stored at different temperatures (37 °C and −20 °C) was performed over time, outlining, for the first time, the importance of the effect of physiological temperature (37 °C) on the production of GFs. A clinical case study conducted in a dog with a complete rupture of the common calcaneal tendon (Achilles tendon) confirmed the relevance of this hemocomponent in the daily veterinary clinical activity and the potential translational value for human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
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Review
Differences in Tolerance to Hypoxia: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular-Biological Characteristics
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100428 - 18 Oct 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Hypoxia plays an important role in the development of many infectious, inflammatory, and tumor diseases. The predisposition to such disorders is mostly provided by differences in basic tolerance to oxygen deficiency, which we discuss in this review. Except the direct exposure of different-severity [...] Read more.
Hypoxia plays an important role in the development of many infectious, inflammatory, and tumor diseases. The predisposition to such disorders is mostly provided by differences in basic tolerance to oxygen deficiency, which we discuss in this review. Except the direct exposure of different-severity hypoxia in decompression chambers or in highland conditions, there are no alternative methods for determining organism tolerance. Due to the variability of the detection methods, differences in many parameters between tolerant and susceptible organisms are still not well-characterized, but some of them can serve as biomarkers of susceptibility to hypoxia. At the moment, several potential biomarkers in conditions after hypoxic exposure have been identified both in experimental animals and humans. The main potential biomarkers are Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF)-1, Heat-Shock Protein 70 (HSP70), and NO. Due to the different mechanisms of various high-altitude diseases, biomarkers may not be highly specific and universal. Therefore, it is extremely important to conduct research on hypoxia susceptibility biomarkers. Moreover, it is important to develop a method for the evaluation of organisms’ basic hypoxia tolerance without the necessity of any oxygen deficiency exposure. This can contribute to new personalized medicine approaches’ development for diagnostics and the treatment of inflammatory and tumor diseases, taking into account hypoxia tolerance differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
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Article
A Facile Approach for Rapid Prototyping of Microneedle Molds, Microwells and Micro-Through-Holes in Various Substrate Materials Using CO2 Laser Drilling
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100427 - 18 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
CO2 laser manufacturing has served as an enabling and reliable tool for rapid and cost-effective microfabrication over the past few decades. While a wide range of industrial and biological applications have been studied, the choice of materials fabricated across various laser parameters [...] Read more.
CO2 laser manufacturing has served as an enabling and reliable tool for rapid and cost-effective microfabrication over the past few decades. While a wide range of industrial and biological applications have been studied, the choice of materials fabricated across various laser parameters and systems is often confounded by their complex combinations. We herein presented a unified procedure performed using percussion CO2 laser drilling with a range of laser parameters, substrate materials and various generated microstructures, enabling a variety of downstream tissue/cellular-based applications. Emphasis is placed on delineating the laser drilling effect on different biocompatible materials and proof-of-concept utilities. First, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microneedle (MN) array mold is fabricated to generate dissolvable polyvinylpyrrolidone/polyvinyl alcohol (PVP/PVA) MNs for transdermal drug delivery. Second, polystyrene (PS) microwells are optimized in a compact array for the formation of size-controlled multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTSs). Third, coverglass is perforated to form a microaperture that can be used to trap/position cells/spheroids. Fourth, the creation of through-holes in PS is validated as an accessible method to create channels that facilitate medium exchange in hanging drop arrays and as a conducive tool for the growth and drug screenings of MCTSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomedical Materials and Nanomedicine)
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Article
Engineering and Preclinical Evaluation of Western Reserve Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus Expressing A167Y Mutant Herpes Simplex Virus Thymidine Kinase
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100426 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
Viral replication of thymidine kinase deleted (tk) vaccinia virus (VV) is attenuated in resting normal cells, enabling cancer selectivity, however, replication potency of VV-tk appears to be diminished in cancer cells. Previously, we found that wild-type herpes simplex [...] Read more.
Viral replication of thymidine kinase deleted (tk) vaccinia virus (VV) is attenuated in resting normal cells, enabling cancer selectivity, however, replication potency of VV-tk appears to be diminished in cancer cells. Previously, we found that wild-type herpes simplex virus (HSV)-tk (HSV-tk) disappeared in most of the recombinant VV after multiple screenings, and only a few recombinant VV containing naturally mutated HSV-tk remained stable. In this study, VV-tk of western reserve (WR) VV was replaced by A167Y mutated HSV-tk (HSV-tk418m), to alter nucleoside selectivity from broad spectrum to purine exclusive selectivity. WOTS-418 remained stable after numerous passages. WOTS-418 replication was significantly attenuated in normal cells, but cytotoxicity was almost similar to that of wild type WR VV in cancer cells. WOTS-418 showed no lethality following a 5 × 108 PFU intranasal injection, contrasting WR VV, which showed 100% lethality at 1 × 105 PFU. Additionally, ganciclovir (GCV) but not BvdU inhibited WOTS-418 replication, confirming specificity to purine nucleoside analogs. The potency of WOTS-418 replication inhibition by GCV was > 10-fold higher than that of our previous truncated HSV-tk recombinant OTS-412. Overall, WOTS-418 demonstrated robust oncolytic efficacy and pharmacological safety which may delegate it as a candidate for future clinical use in OV therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses as a Novel Form of Immunotherapy for Cancer II)
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Article
Development of a Multifunctional Bioerodible Nanocomposite Containing Metronidazole and Curcumin to Apply on L-PRF Clot to Promote Tissue Regeneration in Dentistry
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100425 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Teeth extractions are often followed by alveolar bone reabsorption, although an adequate level of bone is required for reliable rehabilitations by dental implants. Leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF) has been widely applied in regenerative procedures and with antibiotic and antioxidant agents could play [...] Read more.
Teeth extractions are often followed by alveolar bone reabsorption, although an adequate level of bone is required for reliable rehabilitations by dental implants. Leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF) has been widely applied in regenerative procedures and with antibiotic and antioxidant agents could play an essential role in hard and soft tissue healing. In this work, a nanocomposite (Sponge-C-MTR) consisting of a hyaluronate-based sponge loaded with metronidazole (MTR) and nanostructured lipid carriers containing curcumin (CUR-NLC) was designed to be wrapped in the L-PRF™ membrane in the post-extraction sockets and characterized. CUR-NLCs, obtained by homogenization followed by high-frequency sonication of the lipid mixture, showed loading capacity (5% w/w), drug recovery (95% w/w), spherical shape with an average particle size of 112.0 nm, and Zeta potential of −24 mV. Sponge-C-MTR was obtained by entrapping CUR-NLC in a hydrophilic matrix by a freeze-drying process, and physico-chemical and cytocompatibility properties were evaluated. Moreover, the aptitude of CUR and MTR to the penetrate and/or permeate both L-PRF™ and porcine buccal tissue was assessed, highlighting MTR penetration and CUR accumulation promoted by the system. The results positively support the action of nanocomposite in dental tissues regeneration when applied together with the L-PRF™. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft and Hard Tissue Regeneration)
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Article
Fetal Undernutrition Induces Resistance Artery Remodeling and Stiffness in Male and Female Rats Independent of Hypertension
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100424 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Fetal undernutrition programs hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and resistance artery remodeling may be a contributing factor. We aimed to assess if fetal undernutrition induces resistance artery remodeling and the relationship with hypertension. Sprague–Dawley dams were fed ad libitum (Control) or with 50% of [...] Read more.
Fetal undernutrition programs hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and resistance artery remodeling may be a contributing factor. We aimed to assess if fetal undernutrition induces resistance artery remodeling and the relationship with hypertension. Sprague–Dawley dams were fed ad libitum (Control) or with 50% of control intake between days 11 and 21 of gestation (maternal undernutrition, MUN). In six-month-old male and female offspring we assessed blood pressure (anesthetized and tail-cuff); mesenteric resistance artery (MRA) structure and mechanics (pressure myography), cellular and internal elastic lamina (IEL) organization (confocal microscopy) and plasma MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity (zymography). Systolic blood pressure (SBP, tail-cuff) and plasma MMP activity were assessed in 18-month-old rats. At the age of six months MUN males exhibited significantly higher blood pressure (anesthetized or tail-cuff) and plasma MMP-9 activity, while MUN females did not exhibit significant differences, compared to sex-matched controls. MRA from 6-month-old MUN males and females showed a smaller diameter, reduced adventitial, smooth muscle cell density and IEL fenestra area, and a leftward shift of stress-strain curves. At the age of eighteen months SBP and MMP-9 activity were higher in both MUN males and females, compared to sex-matched controls. These data suggest that fetal undernutrition induces MRA inward eutrophic remodeling and stiffness in both sexes, independent of blood pressure level. Resistance artery structural and mechanical alterations can participate in the development of hypertension in aged females and may contribute to adverse cardiovascular events associated with low birth weight in both sexes. Full article
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Article
S-Methylcysteine (SMC) Ameliorates Intestinal, Hepatic, and Splenic Damage Induced by Cryptosporidium parvum Infection Via Targeting Inflammatory Modulators and Oxidative Stress in Swiss Albino Mice
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100423 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Cryptosporidiosis has been proposed to be one of the major causes of diarrhoeal disease in humans worldwide that possesses zoonotic concern. Thereby, this study investigated the potential effects of s-Methylcysteine (SMC) on the parasite in vivo followed by the measurement of cytokines, oxidative [...] Read more.
Cryptosporidiosis has been proposed to be one of the major causes of diarrhoeal disease in humans worldwide that possesses zoonotic concern. Thereby, this study investigated the potential effects of s-Methylcysteine (SMC) on the parasite in vivo followed by the measurement of cytokines, oxidative stress parameters, and an investigation of the major histopathological changes. Sixty male Swiss albino mice weighing 20–25 g were allocated equally into five groups and orally administered saline only (control), SMC only (SMC50) (50 mg/kg b.w.), and 104Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts per mouse via an esophageal tube (C + ve untreated). The fourth and fifth groups (C + SMC25, C + SMC50) administrated 104C. parvum oocysts combined with SMC25 (low dose) and 50 (high dose) mg/kg b.w., respectively. At days 7 and 14 post-infection (PI), the feces was collected from each group in order to count C. parvum oocysts. After two weeks of treatment, the animals were euthanized and the serum was collected for biochemical analysis. Next, the intestinal, spleen, and liver sections were dissected for histopathological examination. The results revealed lower oocyst numbers in the C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 groups compared to the infected untreated group. Moreover, higher doses of SMC treatment significantly reduced the enteritis induced by C. parvum in a dose-dependent manner. The hepatic lesions were also mitigated as demonstrated in C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 groups unlike the infected group via lowering the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzymes and increasing albumin and globulin serum levels. SMC administration also reduced cytokines production (SAP, TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-γ) mediated by Cryptosporidium infection in contrast to the infected untreated group. There were marked lymphoid depletion and amyloidosis observed in the infected untreated group, while the treated groups showed obvious increase in the lymphoid elements. Moreover, the scoring of intestinal parasites, hepatic, and splenic lesions in the SMC-treated groups exhibited significantly lower pathological lesions in different organs in a dose-dependent manner, compared to the infected untreated group. Our results also revealed a significant change in the malondialdehyde content with an elevation of glutathione and superoxide dismutase in the intestines collected from C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 mice relative to the untreated group. Taken together, our results indicated that SMC could be a promising effective compound for treating and declining C. parvum infestation via restoring structural alterations in different tissues, enhancing antioxidant enzymes, and suppressing the cytokines liberation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Infection and Immunity)
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Review
The Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cancer: Effect of Structure, Ligands and Spliced Variants on Therapy
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100422 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2741
Abstract
The androgen receptor (AR) plays a predominant role in prostate cancer (PCa) pathology. It consists of an N-terminal domain (NTD), a DNA-binding domain (DBD), a hinge region (HR), and a ligand-binding domain (LBD) that binds androgens, including testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Ligand [...] Read more.
The androgen receptor (AR) plays a predominant role in prostate cancer (PCa) pathology. It consists of an N-terminal domain (NTD), a DNA-binding domain (DBD), a hinge region (HR), and a ligand-binding domain (LBD) that binds androgens, including testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Ligand binding at the LBD promotes AR dimerization and translocation to the nucleus where the DBD binds target DNA. In PCa, AR signaling is perturbed by excessive androgen synthesis, AR amplification, mutation, or the formation of AR alternatively spliced variants (AR-V) that lack the LBD. Current therapies for advanced PCa include androgen synthesis inhibitors that suppress T and/or DHT synthesis, and AR inhibitors that prevent ligand binding at the LBD. However, AR mutations and AR-Vs render LBD-specific therapeutics ineffective. The DBD and NTD are novel targets for inhibition as both perform necessary roles in AR transcriptional activity and are less susceptible to AR alternative splicing compared to the LBD. DBD and NTD inhibition can potentially extend patient survival, improve quality of life, and overcome predominant mechanisms of resistance to current therapies. This review discusses various small molecule and other inhibitors developed against the DBD and NTD—and the current state of the available compounds in clinical development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Prostate Cancer)
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Review
Body Fluid Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease—An Up-To-Date Overview
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100421 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
Neurodegeneration is a highly complex process which is associated with a variety of molecular mechanisms related to ageing. Among neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common, affecting more than 45 million individuals. The underlying mechanisms involve amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles [...] Read more.
Neurodegeneration is a highly complex process which is associated with a variety of molecular mechanisms related to ageing. Among neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common, affecting more than 45 million individuals. The underlying mechanisms involve amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) deposition, which will subsequently lead to oxidative stress, chronic neuroinflammation, neuron dysfunction, and neurodegeneration. The current diagnosis methods are still limited in regard to the possibility of the accurate and early detection of the diseases. Therefore, research has shifted towards the identification of novel biomarkers and matrices as biomarker sources, beyond amyloid-β and tau protein levels within the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), that could improve AD diagnosis. In this context, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of both conventional and novel biomarkers for AD found within body fluids, including CSF, blood, saliva, urine, tears, and olfactory fluids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Article
Obesity Augments Glucocorticoid-Dependent Muscle Atrophy in Male C57BL/6J Mice
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100420 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Glucocorticoids promote muscle atrophy by inducing a class of proteins called atrogenes, resulting in reductions in muscle size and strength. In this work, we evaluated whether a mouse model with pre-existing diet-induced obesity had altered glucocorticoid responsiveness. We observed that all animals treated [...] Read more.
Glucocorticoids promote muscle atrophy by inducing a class of proteins called atrogenes, resulting in reductions in muscle size and strength. In this work, we evaluated whether a mouse model with pre-existing diet-induced obesity had altered glucocorticoid responsiveness. We observed that all animals treated with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone had reduced strength, but that obesity exacerbated this effect. These changes were concordant with more pronounced reductions in muscle size, particularly in Type II muscle fibers, and potentiated induction of atrogene expression in the obese mice relative to lean mice. Furthermore, we show that the reductions in lean mass do not fully account for the dexamethasone-induced insulin resistance observed in these mice. Together, these data suggest that obesity potentiates glucocorticoid-induced muscle atrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glucocorticoid Receptor Function in Metabolic Diseases)
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Article
Distinct Features of Autoimmune Gastritis in Patients with Open-Type Chronic Gastritis in Japan
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100419 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
In Asia, the incidences of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer are high, but their association with autoimmune gastritis (AIG) is unclear. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients endoscopically diagnosed with chronic gastritis between 2005 and 2017. AIG was diagnosed according [...] Read more.
In Asia, the incidences of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer are high, but their association with autoimmune gastritis (AIG) is unclear. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients endoscopically diagnosed with chronic gastritis between 2005 and 2017. AIG was diagnosed according to anti-parietal cell antibody positivity. Laboratory, histological findings, and gastric cancer incidence were compared between AIG and non-AIG patients. The AIG group had more females and a higher rate of thyroid disease. Serum levels of gastrin were significantly higher in AIG patients (mean 1412 and 353 pg/mL, p < 0.001). The endoscopic findings included a significantly higher percentage of corpus-dominant atrophy in AIG (31.67%) than in non-AIG (7.04%) patients (p < 0.001). Clusters of ECL cells were observed in 28% of AIG patients and 7% of non-AIG patients (p = 0.032). The cumulative incidence of gastric cancer at 5 and 10 years was 0% and 0.03% in the AIG group and 0.03% and 0.05% in the non-AIG group, and no significant difference in gastric cancer incidence was observed. Despite significant differences in gastrin levels between AIG and non-AIG patients, there was no evidence of an impact of AIG on the incidence of gastric cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Cancer Research: From Basic Science to the Clinic)
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Article
The Acute Phase Reaction and Its Prognostic Impact in Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Single Biomarkers Including C-Reactive Protein Versus Biomarker Profiles
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100418 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
C-reactive protein (CRP) has a prognostic impact in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the acute phase reaction involves many other proteins depending on its inducing events, including various cytokines that can function as reaction inducers. In the present study, we [...] Read more.
C-reactive protein (CRP) has a prognostic impact in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the acute phase reaction involves many other proteins depending on its inducing events, including various cytokines that can function as reaction inducers. In the present study, we compared the pretreatment acute phase cytokine profile for 144 patients with potentially curative HNSCC. We investigated the systemic levels of interleukin (IL)6 family mediators (glycoprotein (gp130), IL6 receptor (R)α, IL6, IL27, IL31, oncostatin M (OSM), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF)), IL1 subfamily members (IL1R antagonist (A), IL33Rα), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α. Patient subsets identified from this 10-mediator profile did not differ with regard to disease stage, human papilloma virus (HPV) status, CRP levels, or death cause. Increased CRP, IL6, and IL1RA levels were independent markers for HNSCC-related death in the whole patient population. Furthermore, gp130, IL6Rα, and IL31 were suggested to predict prognosis among tumor HPV-negative patients. Only IL6 predicted survival in HPV-positive patients. Finally, we did a clustering analysis of HPV-negative patients based on six acute phase mediators that showed significant or borderline association with prognosis in Kaplan–Meier analyses; three subsets could then be identified, and they differed in survival (p < 0.001). To conclude, (i) HPV-negative and HPV-positive HNSCC patients show similar variations of their systemic acute phase profiles; (ii) the prognostic impact of single mediators differs between these two patient subsets; and (iii) for HPV-negative patients, acute phase profiling identifies three patient subsets that differ significantly in survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
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Article
T1-Positive Mn2+-Doped Multi-Stimuli Responsive poly(L-DOPA) Nanoparticles for Photothermal and Photodynamic Combination Cancer Therapy
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100417 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
In this study, we designed near-infrared (NIR)-responsive Mn2+-doped melanin-like poly(L-DOPA) nanoparticles (MNPs), which act as multifunctional nano-platforms for cancer therapy. MNPs, exhibited favorable π-π stacking, drug loading, dual stimuli (NIR and glutathione) responsive drug release, photothermal and photodynamic therapeutic activities, and [...] Read more.
In this study, we designed near-infrared (NIR)-responsive Mn2+-doped melanin-like poly(L-DOPA) nanoparticles (MNPs), which act as multifunctional nano-platforms for cancer therapy. MNPs, exhibited favorable π-π stacking, drug loading, dual stimuli (NIR and glutathione) responsive drug release, photothermal and photodynamic therapeutic activities, and T1-positive contrast for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). First, MNPs were fabricated via KMnO4 oxidation, where the embedded Mn2+ acted as a T1-weighted contrast agent. MNPs were then modified using a photosensitizer, Pheophorbide A, via a reducible disulfide linker for glutathione-responsive intracellular release, and then loaded with doxorubicin through π-π stacking and hydrogen bonding. The therapeutic potential of MNPs was further explored via targeted design. MNPs were conjugated with folic acid (FA) and loaded with SN38, thereby demonstrating their ability to bind to different anti-cancer drugs and their potential as a versatile platform, integrating targeted cancer therapy and MRI-guided photothermal and chemotherapeutic therapy. The multimodal therapeutic functions of MNPs were investigated in terms of T1-MR contrast phantom study, photothermal and photodynamic activity, stimuli-responsive drug release, enhanced cellular uptake, and in vivo tumor ablation studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanomedicines for Optical Imaging and Phototherapy)
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Review
The Links between Parkinson’s Disease and Cancer
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100416 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
Epidemiologic studies indicate a decreased incidence of most cancer types in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. However, some neoplasms are associated with a higher risk of occurrence in PD patients. Both pathologies share some common biological pathways. Although the etiologies of PD and cancer [...] Read more.
Epidemiologic studies indicate a decreased incidence of most cancer types in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. However, some neoplasms are associated with a higher risk of occurrence in PD patients. Both pathologies share some common biological pathways. Although the etiologies of PD and cancer are multifactorial, some factors associated with PD, such as α-synuclein aggregation; mutations of PINK1, PARKIN, and DJ-1; mitochondrial dysfunction; and oxidative stress can also be involved in cancer proliferation or cancer suppression. The main protein associated with PD, i.e., α-synuclein, can be involved in some types of neoplastic formations. On the other hand, however, its downregulation has been found in the other cancers. PINK1 can act as oncogenic or a tumor suppressor. PARKIN dysfunction may lead to some cancers’ growth, and its expression may be associated with some tumors’ suppression. DJ-1 mutation is involved in PD pathogenesis, but its increased expression was found in some neoplasms, such as melanoma or breast, lung, colorectal, uterine, hepatocellular, and nasopharyngeal cancers. Both mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are involved in PD and cancer development. The aim of this review is to summarize the possible associations between PD and carcinogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dopamine in Health and Disease)
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Article
Exploring the Use of Helicogenic Amino Acids for Optimising Single Chain Relaxin-3 Peptide Agonists
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100415 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Relaxin-3 is a highly conserved two-chain neuropeptide that acts through its endogenous receptor the Relaxin Family Peptide-3 (RXFP3) receptor. The ligand/receptor system is known to modulate several physiological processes, with changes in food intake and anxiety-levels the most well studied in rodent models. [...] Read more.
Relaxin-3 is a highly conserved two-chain neuropeptide that acts through its endogenous receptor the Relaxin Family Peptide-3 (RXFP3) receptor. The ligand/receptor system is known to modulate several physiological processes, with changes in food intake and anxiety-levels the most well studied in rodent models. Agonist and antagonist analogues based on the native two-chain peptide are costly to synthesise and not ideal drug leads. Since RXFP3 interacting residues are found in the relaxin B-chain only, this has been the focus of analogue development. The B-chain is unstructured without the A-chain support, but in single-chain variants structure can be induced by dicarba-based helical stapling strategies. Here we investigated whether alternative helical inducing strategies also can enhance structure and activity at RXFP3. Combinations of the helix inducing α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) were incorporated into the sequence of the relaxin-3 B-chain. Aib residues at positions 13, 17 and 18 partially reintroduce helicity and activity of the relaxin-3 B-chain, but other positions are generally not suited for modifications. We identify Thr21 as a putative new receptor contact residue important for RXFP3 binding. Cysteine residues were also incorporated into the sequence and cross-linked with dichloroacetone or α, α’-dibromo-m-xylene. However, in contrast to previously reported dicarba variants, neither were found to promote structure and RXFP3 activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptide-Based Drug Development)
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Review
Genetic Alterations of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Biomedicines 2020, 8(10), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100414 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
Genome sequencing studies have characterized the genetic alterations of different tumor types, highlighting the diversity of the molecular processes driving tumor development. Comprehensive sequencing studies have defined molecular subtypes of colorectal cancers (CRCs) through the identification of genetic events associated with microsatellite stability [...] Read more.
Genome sequencing studies have characterized the genetic alterations of different tumor types, highlighting the diversity of the molecular processes driving tumor development. Comprehensive sequencing studies have defined molecular subtypes of colorectal cancers (CRCs) through the identification of genetic events associated with microsatellite stability (MSS), microsatellite-instability-high (MSI-H), and hypermutation. Most of these studies characterized primary tumors. Only recent studies have addressed the characterization of the genetic and clinical heterogeneity of metastatic CRC. Metastatic CRC genomes were found to be not fundamentally different from primary CRCs in terms of the mutational landscape or of genes that drive tumorigenesis, and a genomic heterogeneity associated with tumor location of primary tumors helps to define different clinical behaviors of metastatic CRCs. Although CRC metastatic spreading was traditionally seen as a late-occurring event, growing evidence suggests that this process can begin early during tumor development and the clonal architecture of these tumors is consistently influenced by cancer treatment. Although the survival rate of patients with metastatic CRC patients improved in the last years, the response to current treatments and prognosis of many of these patients remain still poor, indicating the need to discover new improvements for therapeutic vulnerabilities and to formulate a rational prospective of personalized therapies. Full article
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