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Gastrointest. Disord., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 8 articles

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18 pages, 742 KiB  
Review
Wheat Breeding, Fertilizers, and Pesticides: Do They Contribute to the Increasing Immunogenic Properties of Modern Wheat?
by Sayanti Mandal and Anil K. Verma
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 247-264; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040023 - 1 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4164
Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) is a small intestinal inflammatory condition where consumption of gluten induces a T-cell mediated immune response that damages the intestinal mucosa in susceptible individuals. CD affects at least 1% of the world’s population. The increasing prevalence of CD has been [...] Read more.
Celiac disease (CD) is a small intestinal inflammatory condition where consumption of gluten induces a T-cell mediated immune response that damages the intestinal mucosa in susceptible individuals. CD affects at least 1% of the world’s population. The increasing prevalence of CD has been reported over the last few decades. However, the reason for this increase is not known so far. Certain factors such as increase in awareness and the development of advanced and highly sensitive diagnostic screening markers are considered significant factors for this increase. Wheat breeding strategies, fertilizers, and pesticides, particularly herbicides, are also thought to have a role in the increasing prevalence. However, less is known about this issue. In this review, we investigated the role of these agronomic practices in depth. Our literature-based results showed that wheat breeding, use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, and herbicides cannot be solely responsible for the increase in celiac prevalence. However, applying nitrogen fertilizers is associated with an increase in gluten in wheat, which increases the risk of developing celiac-specific symptoms in gluten-sensitive individuals. Additionally, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) techniques can edit multiple gliadin genes, resulting in a low-immunogenic wheat variety that is safe for such individuals. Full article
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10 pages, 627 KiB  
Review
MicroRNAs as Diagnostic Tools in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Jessica Evangelista, Elisa Zaninotto, Annalisa Gaglio, Michele Ghidini and Lucrezia Raimondi
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 237-246; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040022 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
Liver cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounting for approximately 80% of all liver cancers. The serum concentration of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is the only validated biomarker for HCC diagnosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs [...] Read more.
Liver cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounting for approximately 80% of all liver cancers. The serum concentration of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is the only validated biomarker for HCC diagnosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs of 21–30 nucleotides playing a critical role in human carcinogenesis, with types of miRNAs with oncogenic (oncomiRs) or tumor suppressor features. The altered expression of miRNAs in HCC is associated with many pathological processes, such as cancer initiation, tumor growth, apoptosis escape, promotion of migration and invasion. Moreover, circulating miRNAs have been increasingly investigated as non-invasive biomarkers for HCC diagnosis. MiRNAs’ expression patterns are altered in HCC and several single miRNAs or miRNAs panels have been found significantly up or downregulated in HCC with respect to healthy controls or non-oncological patients (cirrhotic or with viral hepatitis). However, any of the investigated miRNAs or miRNAs panels has entered clinical practice so far. This has mostly to do with lack of protocols standardization, small sample size and discrepancies in the measurement techniques. This review summarizes the major findings regarding the diagnostic role of miRNAs in HCC and their possible use together with standard biomarkers in order to obtain an early diagnosis and easier differential diagnosis from non-cancerous liver disease. Full article
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19 pages, 2264 KiB  
Article
Tribbles Gene Expression Profiles in Colorectal Cancer
by Mónica T. Fernandes, Victor Yassuda, José Bragança, Wolfgang Link, Bibiana I. Ferreira and Ana Luísa De Sousa-Coelho
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 218-236; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040021 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3487
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of death due to cancer in the world. Therefore, the identification of novel druggable targets is urgently needed. Tribbles proteins belong to a pseudokinase family, previously recognized in CRC [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of death due to cancer in the world. Therefore, the identification of novel druggable targets is urgently needed. Tribbles proteins belong to a pseudokinase family, previously recognized in CRC as oncogenes and potential therapeutic targets. Here, we analyzed the expression of TRIB1, TRIB2, and TRIB3 simultaneously in 33 data sets from CRC based on available GEO profiles. We show that all three Tribbles genes are overrepresented in CRC cell lines and primary tumors, though depending on specific features of the CRC samples. Higher expression of TRIB2 in the tumor microenvironment and TRIB3 overexpression in an early stage of CRC development, unveil a potential and unexplored role for these proteins in the context of CRC. Differential Tribbles expression was also explored in diverse cellular experimental conditions where either genetic or pharmacological approaches were used, providing novel hints for future research. This comprehensive bioinformatic analysis provides new insights into Tribbles gene expression and transcript regulation in CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Targets for the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer)
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11 pages, 16838 KiB  
Article
M1 Polarized Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAMs) as Promising Prognostic Signature in Stage I–II Gastric Adenocarcinomas
by Antonio Ieni, Rosario Alberto Caruso, Cristina Pizzimenti, Giuseppe Giuffrè, Eleonora Irato, Luciana Rigoli, Giuseppe Navarra, Guido Fadda and Giovanni Tuccari
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 207-217; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040020 - 30 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) may be noticed in gastric carcinomas (GC), but their clinicopathological significance has not been yet explored. From a histological review of 400 cases of tubular/papillary adenocarcinomas, 24 cases of stage I–II gastric adenocarcinomas with intraglandular and stromal TAMs were identified. [...] Read more.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) may be noticed in gastric carcinomas (GC), but their clinicopathological significance has not been yet explored. From a histological review of 400 cases of tubular/papillary adenocarcinomas, 24 cases of stage I–II gastric adenocarcinomas with intraglandular and stromal TAMs were identified. Their clinicopathological features were compared with 72 pT-matched as well as stage-matched control cases of adenocarcinomas without TAMs. TAMs present in GC cases were present either in glands or in neoplastic stroma, showing an immunoreactivity for CD68 and CD80; sometimes, they were organized in mature granulomas with occasional giant cells. Therefore, the stained TAMs were reminiscent of a specific polarized macrophage M1 phenotype; however, in any case of our cohort, no M2 phenotype macrophages were documented by CD 163 and CD 204 immunostainings. Statistically, no significant differences in age, gender, tumor location, size, and lymphovascular and perineural invasion between the case group with TAMs and pT- as well as stage-matched controls were reported; furthermore, the case group showed lower frequency of lymph node metastasis (p = 0.02). In addition, a significantly different clinical course and overall survival rate were also observed in gastric adenocarcinomas with M1 TAMs (p = 0.02) in comparison to controls. These results suggest that tumor-associated M1 macrophages are related to a quite indolent growth and a better prognosis of patients with this peculiar variant of gastric adenocarcinomas. Full article
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3 pages, 194 KiB  
Editorial
New Tools for Precision and Personalized Treatment in Gastrointestinal Cancers
by Michele Ghidini
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 204-206; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040019 - 28 Oct 2021
Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Precision medicine aims at treating patients with the most tailored treatments based on individual biological and molecular features [...] Full article
31 pages, 3900 KiB  
Review
Colorectal Cancer Screening: Have We Addressed Concerns and Needs of the Target Population?
by Thuy Ngan Tran, Allegra Ferrari, Sarah Hoeck, Marc Peeters and Guido Van Hal
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 173-203; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040018 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4135
Abstract
Despite the recognized benefits of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, uptake is still suboptimal in many countries. In addressing this issue, one important element that has not received sufficient attention is population preference. Our review provides a comprehensive summary of the up-to-date evidence relative [...] Read more.
Despite the recognized benefits of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, uptake is still suboptimal in many countries. In addressing this issue, one important element that has not received sufficient attention is population preference. Our review provides a comprehensive summary of the up-to-date evidence relative to this topic. Four OVID databases were searched: Ovid MEDLINE® ALL, Biological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, and Global Health. Among the 742 articles generated, 154 full texts were selected for a more thorough evaluation based on predefined inclusion criteria. Finally, 83 studies were included in our review. The general population preferred either colonoscopy as the most accurate test, or fecal occult blood test (FOBT) as the least invasive for CRC screening. The emerging blood test (SEPT9) and capsule colonoscopy (nanopill), with the potential to overcome the pitfalls of the available techniques, were also favored. Gender, age, race, screening experience, education and beliefs, the perceived risk of CRC, insurance, and health status influence one’s test preference. To improve uptake, CRC screening programs should consider offering test alternatives and tailoring the content and delivery of screening information to the public’s preferences. Other logistical measures in terms of the types of bowel preparation, gender of endoscopist, stool collection device, and reward for participants can also be useful. Full article
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17 pages, 895 KiB  
Hypothesis
Microbiome–Gut Dissociation: Investigating the Origins of Obesity
by David Smith and Sohan Jheeta
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 156-172; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040017 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3580
Abstract
The reduction of excessive weight remains a major public health challenge, with control currently limited to a calorie reduction strategy. Currently, attempts are being made at revisiting the fibre hypothesis based on the African studies of Denis Burkitt, that the lack of dietary [...] Read more.
The reduction of excessive weight remains a major public health challenge, with control currently limited to a calorie reduction strategy. Currently, attempts are being made at revisiting the fibre hypothesis based on the African studies of Denis Burkitt, that the lack of dietary fibre in the modern diet was responsible for the occurrence of obesity and many of the other non-communicable diseases of what he called “Western civilization”. However, the dilemma is that Burkitt himself stressed that other peoples of his day, such as the Maasai, remained healthy without consuming such high fibre diets. Equally, the present obesity epidemic is accompanied by diseases of a malfunctioning immune system and of poor mental health that do not seem to be adequately explained simply by a deficiency of dietary fibre. Though unknown in Burkitt’s day, an increasing degradation of a mutualistic intestinal microbiome would offer a better fit to the observed epidemiology, especially if the microbiome is not effectively passed on from mother to child at birth. Taking the broader view, in this article we posit a view of the microbiome as a cofactor of mammalian evolution, in which a maternal microbial inheritance complements the parental genetic inheritance of the animal, both engaging epigenetic processes. As this would require the microbiome to be fully integrated with the animal as it develops into an adult, so we have a meaningful evolutionary role for the microbiome–gut–brain axis. By a failure to correctly establish a microbiome–gut interface, the inhibition of maternal microbial inheritance sets the scene for the future development of non-communicable disease: compromised immune system function on the one hand and dysfunctional gut–brain communication on the other. The basic principle is that the fully functioning, diverse, microbiome achieves interkingdom communication by the generation of messenger chemicals, semiochemicals. It is envisaged that the in situ detection of these as yet ill-defined chemical entities by means of an ingestible sensor would indicate the severity of disease and provide a guide as to its amelioration. Full article
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14 pages, 3718 KiB  
Review
A Survey of Methodologies for Assessing Mast Cell Density and Activation in Patients with Functional Abdominal Pain Disorders
by Hunter Friesen, Meenal Singh, Vivekanand Singh, Jennifer V. Schurman and Craig A. Friesen
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 142-155; https://doi.org/10.3390/gidisord3040016 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3132
Abstract
The aim was to assess methods utilized in assessing mast cell involvement in functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs), specifically to describe variability in methods utilized to assess both mast cell density and activation and determine if a consensus exists. After a literature search [...] Read more.
The aim was to assess methods utilized in assessing mast cell involvement in functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs), specifically to describe variability in methods utilized to assess both mast cell density and activation and determine if a consensus exists. After a literature search identified 70 manuscripts assessing mast cell density, data were extracted including FAPD diagnosis, site of biopsy, selection of microscopic fields analyzed, selection of mucosal region analyzed, method of mast cell identification, method to assess mast cell density, and if performed, method to assess mast cell activation. There appears to be some consensus favoring inmmunohistochemical stains over histochemical stains for identifying mast cells. Otherwise, considerable variability exists in methodology for assessing mast cell density and activation. Regardless of method, approximately 80% of studies found increased mast cell density and/or activation in comparison to controls with no method being superior. A wide variety of methods have been employed to assess mast cell density and activation with no well-established consensus and inadequate data to recommend specific approaches. The current methodology providing physiologic information needs to be translated to a standard methodology providing clinical information with the development of criteria establishing abnormal density and/or activation, and more importantly, predicting treatment response. Full article
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