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Life, Volume 14, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 112 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The impact of SARS-CoV-2 extends beyond the respiratory system, notably affecting the vascular system with various adverse manifestations. The infection induces endothelial dysfunction and immune dysregulation, creating an inflammatory and hypercoagulable state. This affects both microvasculature and macrovasculature, leading to thromboembolic events, cardiovascular manifestations, impaired arterial stiffness, cerebrovascular complications, nephropathy, and retinopathy. The virus may lead to persistent vascular effects, characterized by prolonged inflammation, endotheliopathy, and an increased risk of vascular complications. This review aimed to comprehensively summarize the short and long-term vascular changes following COVID-19 infection, and provide an overview of preventive strategies to mitigate associated vascular complications. View this paper
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13 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cognitive Performance in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Case–Control Study
by Francisco G. Fernández-Palacios, Juan C. Pacho-Hernández, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Cristina Gómez-Calero and Margarita Cigarán-Méndez
Life 2024, 14(5), 649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050649 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome tend to report deficits in cognitive functions; however, there is no clear consensus on which cognitive domains are impaired. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in cognitive performance between a group of patients with fibromyalgia [...] Read more.
Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome tend to report deficits in cognitive functions; however, there is no clear consensus on which cognitive domains are impaired. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in cognitive performance between a group of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome and a group of pain-free subjects controlling for the covariables anxiety, depression, and sleep quality. In total, 130 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome and 111 pain-free subjects with an average age of 54.96 years completed the evaluation protocol consisting of sociodemographic data, psychological data, and neurocognitive tests. All data were collected from May 2022 to May 2023. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) were conducted to assess intergroup differences in all neurocognitive tests. MANCOVA analyses showed that the group of patients with fibromyalgia showed a worse cognitive performance than the group of pain-free subjects after controlling for anxiety, depression, and sleep quality. This study found that fibromyalgia patients exhibited worse cognitive performance and executive function than pain-free subjects. Thus, cognitive performance seems to not be related with anxiety, depression, or sleep quality in our sample of women with FMS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diagnosis and Management of Musculoskeletal Pain)
35 pages, 9355 KiB  
Review
Defense Pathways of Wheat Plants Inoculated with Zymoseptoria tritici under NaCl Stress Conditions: An Overview
by Behzat Baran, Fatih Ölmez, Beritan Çapa and Murat Dikilitas
Life 2024, 14(5), 648; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050648 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Due to being sessile, plants develop a broad range of defense pathways when they face abiotic or biotic stress factors. Although plants are subjected to more than one type of stress at a time in nature, the combined effects of either multiple stresses [...] Read more.
Due to being sessile, plants develop a broad range of defense pathways when they face abiotic or biotic stress factors. Although plants are subjected to more than one type of stress at a time in nature, the combined effects of either multiple stresses of one kind (abiotic or biotic) or more kinds (abiotic and biotic) have now been realized in agricultural lands due to increases in global warming and environmental pollution, along with population increases. Soil-borne pathogens, or pathogens infecting aerial parts, can have devastating effects on plants when combined with other stressors. Obtaining yields or crops from sensitive or moderately resistant plants could be impossible, and it could be very difficult from resistant plants. The mechanisms of combined stress in many plants have previously been studied and elucidated. Recent studies proposed new defense pathways and mechanisms through signaling cascades. In light of these mechanisms, it is now time to develop appropriate strategies for crop protection under multiple stress conditions. This may involve using disease-resistant or stress-tolerant plant varieties, implementing proper irrigation and drainage practices, and improving soil quality. However, generation of both stress-tolerant and disease-resistant crop plants is of crucial importance. The establishment of a database and understanding of the defense mechanisms under combined stress conditions would be meaningful for the development of resistant and tolerant plants. It is clear that leaf pathogens show great tolerance to salinity stress and result in pathogenicity in crop plants. We noticed that regulation of the stomata through biochemical applications and some effort with the upregulation of the minor gene expressions indirectly involved with the defense mechanisms could be a great way to increase the defense metabolites without interfering with quality parameters. In this review, we selected wheat as a model plant and Zymoseptoria tritici as a model leaf pathogen to evaluate the defense mechanisms under saline conditions through physiological, biochemical, and molecular pathways and suggested various ways to generate tolerant and resistant cereal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stresses 2024)
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16 pages, 4015 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Moisture Content in Immersion Vacuum-Cooled Sausages with Citrus Peel Extracts Using Hyperspectral Imaging
by Chao-Hui Feng, Hirofumi Arai and Francisco J. Rodríguez-Pulido
Life 2024, 14(5), 647; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050647 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 563
Abstract
The moisture content of immersion vacuum-cooled sausages with modified casings containing citrus fruit extracts under different storage conditions was studied using hyperspectral imaging (HSI) associated with chemometrics. Different pre-processing combinations were applied to improve the robustness of the model. The partial least squares [...] Read more.
The moisture content of immersion vacuum-cooled sausages with modified casings containing citrus fruit extracts under different storage conditions was studied using hyperspectral imaging (HSI) associated with chemometrics. Different pre-processing combinations were applied to improve the robustness of the model. The partial least squares regression model, employing the full reflectance spectrum with pre-treatment of the standard normal variate, showed calibration coefficients of determination (Rc2) of 0.6160 and a root mean square error of calibration (RMSEC) of 2.8130%. For the first time, prediction maps developed via HSI visualized the distribution of moisture content in the immersion vacuum-cooled sausages with unique modified casings in response to fluctuating storage conditions. The prediction maps showed exact parts with high water content, which will help us to monitor and prevent mold growth. The combination of HSI with multivariate analysis not only quantifies changes in moisture content but also visually represents them in response to various casing treatments under different storage conditions, illustrating the significant potential for real-time inspection and early mold detection in sausages within the processed meat industry. Full article
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10 pages, 913 KiB  
Article
Integrating AI in Lipedema Management: Assessing the Efficacy of GPT-4 as a Consultation Assistant
by Tim Leypold, Lara F. Lingens, Justus P. Beier and Anja M. Boos
Life 2024, 14(5), 646; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050646 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 656
Abstract
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is evolving, offering promising avenues for enhancing clinical decision making and patient management. Limited knowledge about lipedema often leads to patients being frequently misdiagnosed with conditions like lymphedema or obesity rather than correctly identifying lipedema. [...] Read more.
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is evolving, offering promising avenues for enhancing clinical decision making and patient management. Limited knowledge about lipedema often leads to patients being frequently misdiagnosed with conditions like lymphedema or obesity rather than correctly identifying lipedema. Furthermore, patients with lipedema often present with intricate and extensive medical histories, resulting in significant time consumption during consultations. AI could, therefore, improve the management of these patients. This research investigates the utilization of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 4 (GPT-4), a sophisticated large language model (LLM), as an assistant in consultations for lipedema patients. Six simulated scenarios were designed to mirror typical patient consultations commonly encountered in a lipedema clinic. GPT-4 was tasked with conducting patient interviews to gather medical histories, presenting its findings, making preliminary diagnoses, and recommending further diagnostic and therapeutic actions. Advanced prompt engineering techniques were employed to refine the efficacy, relevance, and accuracy of GPT-4’s responses. A panel of experts in lipedema treatment, using a Likert Scale, evaluated GPT-4’s responses across six key criteria. Scoring ranged from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), with GPT-4 achieving an average score of 4.24, indicating good reliability and applicability in a clinical setting. This study is one of the initial forays into applying large language models like GPT-4 in specific clinical scenarios, such as lipedema consultations. It demonstrates the potential of AI in supporting clinical practices and emphasizes the continuing importance of human expertise in the medical field, despite ongoing technological advancements. Full article
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0 pages, 1279 KiB  
Article
Primary Hyperhidrosis in Children—A Retrospective Study and a Short Review
by Florentina Nastase, Madalina Codruta Verenca, Elena Niculet, Diana Sabina Radaschin, Camelia Busila, Claudiu Ionut Vasile and Alin Laurentiu Tatu
Life 2024, 14(5), 645; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050645 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Primary hyperhidrosis (PH) is a relatively common chronic disorder, characterized by significant and uncontrollable sweating. The predominant areas of occurrence are hands, feet, head and armpits, and it affects both men and women equally, with a false impression of increased prevalence in women. [...] Read more.
Primary hyperhidrosis (PH) is a relatively common chronic disorder, characterized by significant and uncontrollable sweating. The predominant areas of occurrence are hands, feet, head and armpits, and it affects both men and women equally, with a false impression of increased prevalence in women. This study aims to determine the incidence of cases of hyperhidrosis, the gender of the patients and the environment of origin and to identify the most affected age groups and the distribution of hyperhidrosis, as well as creating a curve of cases within the time interval studied and their comparison with those in the specialized literature. Full article
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12 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Cardiovascular Outcome in Patients with Major Depression: Role of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, Insomnia Disorder, and COMISA
by Matthieu Hein, Benjamin Wacquier, Matteo Conenna, Jean-Pol Lanquart and Camille Point
Life 2024, 14(5), 644; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050644 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
In this study, the 10-year cardiovascular risk associated with comorbid sleep disorders (insomnia disorder, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and COMISA [comorbid insomnia and sleep apnea]) was investigated for patients with major depression. To enable our analysis, 607 patients with major depression were selected [...] Read more.
In this study, the 10-year cardiovascular risk associated with comorbid sleep disorders (insomnia disorder, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and COMISA [comorbid insomnia and sleep apnea]) was investigated for patients with major depression. To enable our analysis, 607 patients with major depression were selected from the data register of the Sleep Unit. High 10-year cardiovascular risk was considered present when the Framingham Risk Score was ≥10%. The 10-year cardiovascular risk associated with comorbid sleep disorders has been assessed using logistic regression analyzes. High 10-year cardiovascular risk is significant (40.4%) in patients with major depression. After successive introduction of the different confounders, multivariate logistic regressions showed that for patients with major depression high 10-year cardiovascular risk was significantly associated with COMISA but was not significantly associated with insomnia disorder or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome alone. Thus, these results highlight the existence of a negative synergistic action between insomnia disorder and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome on the 10-year cardiovascular risk in patients with major depression, which demonstrates the importance of researching and treating COMISA to improve the prognosis of this specific population subgroup characterized by higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crosstalk between Cardiovascular Disease and Its Comorbidities)
18 pages, 3488 KiB  
Article
Epilactose as a Promising Butyrate-Promoter Prebiotic via Microbiota Modulation
by Beatriz B. Cardoso, Cláudia Amorim, Ricardo Franco-Duarte, Joana I. Alves, Sónia G. Barbosa, Sara C. Silvério and Lígia R. Rodrigues
Life 2024, 14(5), 643; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050643 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Epilactose is a disaccharide composed of galactose and mannose, and it is currently considered an “under development” prebiotic. In this study, we described the prebiotic potential of epilactose by in vitro fermentation using human fecal inocula from individuals following a Mediterranean diet (DM) [...] Read more.
Epilactose is a disaccharide composed of galactose and mannose, and it is currently considered an “under development” prebiotic. In this study, we described the prebiotic potential of epilactose by in vitro fermentation using human fecal inocula from individuals following a Mediterranean diet (DM) or a Vegan diet (DV). The prebiotic effect of epilactose was also compared with lactulose and raffinose, and interesting correlations were established between metabolites and microbiota modulation. The production of several metabolites (lactate, short-chain fatty acids, and gases) confirmed the prebiotic properties of epilactose. For both donors, the microbiota analysis showed that epilactose significantly stimulated the butyrate-producing bacteria, suggesting that its prebiotic effect could be independent of the donor diet. Butyrate is one of the current golden metabolites due to its benefits for the gut and systemic health. In the presence of epilactose, the production of butyrate was 70- and 63-fold higher for the DM donor, when compared to lactulose and raffinose, respectively. For the DV donor, an increase of 29- and 89-fold in the butyrate production was obtained when compared to lactulose and raffinose, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that epilactose holds potential functional properties for human health, especially towards the modulation of butyrate-producing strains. Full article
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9 pages, 1889 KiB  
Communication
Impact of Titanium Skull Plate on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Analysis of Induced Electric Fields
by Mai Lu and Shoogo Ueno
Life 2024, 14(5), 642; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050642 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Background: Implanted titanium skull plates (TSPs) in cranioplasty are used to replace or reconstruct areas of the skull that have been damaged or removed due to trauma, surgery, or other medical conditions. However, the presence of a TSP in the head may influence [...] Read more.
Background: Implanted titanium skull plates (TSPs) in cranioplasty are used to replace or reconstruct areas of the skull that have been damaged or removed due to trauma, surgery, or other medical conditions. However, the presence of a TSP in the head may influence the distribution of the electric field induced during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedures. The purpose of this study was to determine how the presence of TSP would interfere with TMS-induced cortical electric fields. Methods: The TMS with a figure-of-eight coil was applied to a realistic head model with TSPs. The distribution of the induced electric field in head tissues was calculated by employing the impedance method, and the results were compared with that of a normal head without TSP. Results: Simulation results show that the distribution of the induced electric field has changed greatly for the head model with TSP. The maximum value of the induced electric field in head tissues was present under one of the circular coil wings rather than in the tissues beneath the junction of the two wings of the Fo8 coil. Conclusions: The induced electric field in deep brain regions was increased for the head model with TSP, which could potentially lead to deep brain stimulation. Since the presence of metallic TSP can greatly influence the distribution of the induced electric field in TMS applications, it is important to adjust the treatment scheme when considering TMS for individuals with cranial titanium plates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art in Non-invasive Brain Stimulation)
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20 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Molecular Diversity and Combining Ability in Newly Developed Maize Inbred Lines under Low-Nitrogen Conditions
by Mohamed M. Kamara, Elsayed Mansour, Ahmed E. A. Khalaf, Mohamed A. M. Eid, Abdallah A. Hassanin, Ahmed M. Abdelghany, Ahmed M. S. Kheir, Ahmed A. Galal, Said I. Behiry, Cristina Silvar and Salah El-Hendawy
Life 2024, 14(5), 641; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050641 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Nitrogen is an essential element for maize growth, but excessive application can lead to various environmental and ecological issues, including water pollution, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss. Hence, developing maize hybrids resilient to low-N conditions is vital for sustainable agriculture, [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is an essential element for maize growth, but excessive application can lead to various environmental and ecological issues, including water pollution, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss. Hence, developing maize hybrids resilient to low-N conditions is vital for sustainable agriculture, particularly in nitrogen-deficient soils. Combining ability and genetic relationships among parental lines is crucial for breeding superior hybrids under diverse nitrogen levels. This study aimed to assess the genetic diversity of maize inbred lines using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and evaluate their combining ability to identify superior hybrids under low-N and recommended conditions. Local and exotic inbred lines were genotyped using SSR markers, revealing substantial genetic variation with high gene diversity (He = 0.60), moderate polymorphism information content (PIC = 0.54), and an average of 3.64 alleles per locus. Twenty-one F1 hybrids were generated through a diallel mating design using these diverse lines. These hybrids and a high yielding commercial check (SC-131) were field-tested under low-N and recommended N conditions. Significant variations (p < 0.01) were observed among nitrogen levels, hybrids, and their interaction for all recorded traits. Additive genetic variances predominated over non-additive genetic variances for grain yield and most traits. Inbred IL3 emerged as an effective combiner for developing early maturing genotypes with lower ear placement. Additionally, inbreds IL1, IL2, and IL3 showed promise as superior combiners for enhancing grain yield and related traits under both low-N and recommended conditions. Notably, hybrids IL1×IL4, IL2×IL5, IL2×IL6, and IL5×IL7 exhibited specific combining abilities for increasing grain yield and associated traits under low-N stress conditions. Furthermore, strong positive associations were identified between grain yield and specific traits like plant height, ear length, number of rows per ear, and number of kernels per row. Due to their straightforward measurability, these relationships underscore the potential of using these traits as proxies for indirect selection in early breeding generations, particularly under low-N stress. This research contributes to breeding nitrogen-efficient maize hybrids and advances our understanding of the genetic foundations for tolerance to nitrogen limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Environmental Factors on Challenges of Plant Breeding)
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34 pages, 4905 KiB  
Review
Neurotoxicity of Some Environmental Pollutants to Zebrafish
by Teodora Maria Buzenchi Proca, Carmen Solcan and Gheorghe Solcan
Life 2024, 14(5), 640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050640 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The aquatic environment encompasses a wide variety of pollutants, from plastics to drug residues, pesticides, food compounds, and other food by-products, and improper disposal of waste is the main cause of the accumulation of toxic substances in water. Monitoring, assessing, and attempting to [...] Read more.
The aquatic environment encompasses a wide variety of pollutants, from plastics to drug residues, pesticides, food compounds, and other food by-products, and improper disposal of waste is the main cause of the accumulation of toxic substances in water. Monitoring, assessing, and attempting to control the effects of contaminants in the aquatic environment are necessary and essential to protect the environment and thus human and animal health, and the study of aquatic ecotoxicology has become topical. In this respect, zebrafish are used as model organisms to study the bioaccumulation, toxicity, and influence of environmental pollutants due to their structural, functional, and material advantages. There are many similarities between the metabolism and physiological structures of zebrafish and humans, and the nervous system structure, blood–brain barrier function, and social behavior of zebrafish are characteristics that make them an ideal animal model for studying neurotoxicity. The aim of the study was to highlight the neurotoxicity of nanoplastics, microplastics, fipronil, deltamethrin, and rotenone and to highlight the main behavioral, histological, and oxidative status changes produced in zebrafish exposed to them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Anatomy)
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11 pages, 2232 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Ginkgo biloba Leaf Powder as a Substrate in King Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) Cultivation
by Haikang Li, Peng Liu, Zihao Li, Congtao Xu, Jinlong Pan, Yi Zhou, Qingxiu Hu, Suyue Zheng and Yajie Zou
Life 2024, 14(5), 639; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050639 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Ginkgo biloba is widely planted as a colorful foliage tree, and its leaf can be used as a biomass energy source, but it has been underutilized for a long time. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of garden waste [...] Read more.
Ginkgo biloba is widely planted as a colorful foliage tree, and its leaf can be used as a biomass energy source, but it has been underutilized for a long time. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of garden waste as a substrate component in the cultivation process of the king oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii), with the goal of enhancing both the yield of P. eryngii and the efficiency of energy use. The percentages of G. biloba leaf powder in the substrate were 10.5% and 21% to replace sawdust or sugarcane bagasse in a typical substrate. A substrate formulation that could completely replace sawdust and sugarcane bagasse was selected by analyzing mycelial growth rate, days of production, fruiting body length, biological efficiency, yield, stipe thickness, pileus diameter and laccase activity. The results showed that Y1 (treatment with 21% G. biloba leaf powder and sugarcane bagasse) had the highest yield (303.1 ± 31.9 g), which was higher than that of CK (control) (259.3 ± 37.4 g). The crude fiber content of the samples grown on substrate Y1 (as 7.43%) was higher than CK (7.37%). In addition, P. eryngii grown on substrate Y1 had the highest laccase activity for the complete colonization of the mycelium. Thus, these findings suggest that G. biloba leaf powder represents a viable and economical supplement for enhancing both the yield and quality of P. eryngii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress of Cultivation of Edible Fungi)
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17 pages, 3231 KiB  
Article
Interaction Studies of Hexameric and Pentameric IgMs with Serum-Derived C1q and Recombinant C1q Mimetics
by Maria Magdalena John, Monika Hunjadi, Vanessa Hawlin, Jean-Baptiste Reiser and Renate Kunert
Life 2024, 14(5), 638; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050638 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 522
Abstract
The interaction between IgM and C1q represents the first step of the classical pathway of the complement system in higher vertebrates. To identify the significance of particular IgM/C1q interactions, recombinant IgMs were used in both hexameric and pentameric configurations and with two different [...] Read more.
The interaction between IgM and C1q represents the first step of the classical pathway of the complement system in higher vertebrates. To identify the significance of particular IgM/C1q interactions, recombinant IgMs were used in both hexameric and pentameric configurations and with two different specificities, along with C1q derived from human serum (sC1q) and two recombinant single-chain variants of the trimeric globular region of C1q. Interaction and complement activation assays were performed using the ELISA format, and bio-layer interferometry measurements to study kinetic behavior. The differences between hexameric and pentameric IgM conformations were only slightly visible in the interaction assay, but significant in the complement activation assay. Hexameric IgM requires a lower concentration of sC1q to activate the complement compared to pentameric IgM, leading to an increased release of C4 compared to pentameric IgM. The recombinant C1q mimetics competed with sC1q in interaction assays and were able to inhibit complement activation. The bio-layer interferometry measurements revealed KD values in the nanomolar range for the IgM/C1q interaction, while the C1q mimetics exhibited rapid on and off binding rates with the IgMs. Our results make C1q mimetics valuable tools for developing recombinant C1q, specifically its variants, for further scientific studies and clinical applications. Full article
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12 pages, 473 KiB  
Case Report
Myelodysplastic Syndrome: Clinical Characteristics and Significance of Preclinically Detecting Biallelic Mutations in the TET2 Gene
by Anastasiia Danishevich, Anzhelika Chegodar, Natalia Bodunova, Fedor Konovalov, Maria Nefedova, Natalya Kremneva, Nizhat Kurbanov, Airat Bilyalov, Sergey Nikolaev, Igor Khatkov and Galina Dudina
Life 2024, 14(5), 637; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050637 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal disease derived from hematopoietic stem cells, characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis (resulting in peripheral blood cytopenia) and an increased risk of transformation into acute myeloid leukemia. MDS is caused by a complex combination of genetic mutations resulting in [...] Read more.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal disease derived from hematopoietic stem cells, characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis (resulting in peripheral blood cytopenia) and an increased risk of transformation into acute myeloid leukemia. MDS is caused by a complex combination of genetic mutations resulting in a heterogeneous genotype. Genetic studies have identified a set of aberrations that play a central role in the pathogenesis of MDS. In this article, we present a clinical case of MDS transformation into acute myeloid leukemia in the context of two cell lines exhibiting morphological, immunophenotypic, and dysmyelopoiesis markers and the presence of two heterozygous mutations in the TET2 gene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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13 pages, 3501 KiB  
Article
Alterations in Blood–Brain Barrier Integrity and Lateral Ventricle Differ in Rats Exposed to Space Radiation and Social Isolation
by Austin M. Adkins, Zachary N. M. Luyo, Alayna J. Gibbs, Alea F. Boden, Riley S. Heerbrandt, Justin D. Gotthold, Richard A. Britten, Laurie L. Wellman and Larry D. Sanford
Life 2024, 14(5), 636; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050636 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The proposed Mars missions will expose astronauts to long durations of social isolation (SI) and space radiation (SR). These stressors have been shown to alter the brain’s macrostructure and microenvironment, including the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Breakdown of the BBB is linked to impaired [...] Read more.
The proposed Mars missions will expose astronauts to long durations of social isolation (SI) and space radiation (SR). These stressors have been shown to alter the brain’s macrostructure and microenvironment, including the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Breakdown of the BBB is linked to impaired executive functions and physical deficits, including sensorimotor and neurocognitive impairments. However, the precise mechanisms mediating these effects remain unknown. Additionally, the synergistic effects of combined exposure to SI and SR on the structural integrity of the BBB and brain remain unknown. We assessed the BBB integrity and morphology in the brains of male rats exposed to ground-based analogs of SI and SR. The rats exposed to SR had enlarged lateral ventricles and increased BBB damage associated with a loss of astrocytes and an increased number of leaky vessels. Many deficits observed in SR-treated animals were attenuated by dual exposure to SI (DFS). SI alone did not show BBB damage but did show differences in astrocyte morphology compared to the Controls. Thus, determining how single and combined inflight stressors modulate CNS structural integrity is crucial to fully understand the multiple pathways that could impact astronaut performance and health, including the alterations to the CNS structures and cell viability observed in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Physiology and Pathology)
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12 pages, 4568 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Effects of Pilates and Yoga Exercise on the Dynamic Balancing Ability and Functional Movement of Fencers
by So-Jung Lim, Hyun-Jin Kim, Yong-Soo Kim, Eunkuk Kim, Inyoung Hwang and Ju-Seop Kang
Life 2024, 14(5), 635; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050635 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
This study was conducted to compare and analyze whether Pilates exercise and yoga exercise help improve the performance of female fencers and prevent injury, and the dynamic balance test (LQ-YBT) and functional movement screening (FMS) test score of the elite adult female fencers [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to compare and analyze whether Pilates exercise and yoga exercise help improve the performance of female fencers and prevent injury, and the dynamic balance test (LQ-YBT) and functional movement screening (FMS) test score of the elite adult female fencers were compared and analyzed as evaluation indicators. Participants were randomly classified into Pilates (n = 10) and yoga groups (n = 10), members of which took part in 50 min of exercise (5 min of warm-up, 40 min of main exercise, and 5 min of cool-down) twice weekly for eight weeks. The results obtained from this study were analyzed via independent t-test and 2-way ANOVA. The results were as follows: LQ-YBT measures (reaching distance) increased significantly for both groups, as did FMS scores (deep squat, hurdle step, inline lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight-leg raise, trunk-stability push-up, and rotary stability). These results suggest that Pilates exercise and yoga exercise might be likely effective in improving the performance of adult female fencers and injury prevention by increasing their dynamic balance ability and functional movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exercise Training on Muscle Function)
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24 pages, 2021 KiB  
Article
Association of Metallic and Nonmetallic Elements with Fibrin Clot Properties and Ischemic Stroke
by Hieronim Jakubowski, Marta Sikora, Ewa Bretes, Joanna Perła-Kaján, Olga Utyro, Izabela Wojtasz, Radosław Kaźmierski, Marcin Frankowski and Anetta Zioła-Frankowska
Life 2024, 14(5), 634; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050634 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Objectives—Metallic elements and fibrin clot properties have been linked to stroke. We examined metallic and nonmetallic elements, fibrin clot lysis time (CLT), and maximum absorbance (Absmax) in relation to ischemic stroke. Design—A case–control study of ischemic stroke patients vs. healthy individuals. [...] Read more.
Objectives—Metallic elements and fibrin clot properties have been linked to stroke. We examined metallic and nonmetallic elements, fibrin clot lysis time (CLT), and maximum absorbance (Absmax) in relation to ischemic stroke. Design—A case–control study of ischemic stroke patients vs. healthy individuals. Subjects and Methods—Plasma and serum were collected from 260 ischemic stroke patients (45.0% women; age, 68 ± 12 years) and 291 healthy controls (59.7% women; age, 50 ± 17 years). Fibrin CLT and Absmax were measured using a validated turbidimetric assay. Serum elements were quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Data were analyzed by bivariate correlations and multiple or logistic regression. Results—In female stroke patients, copper, lithium, and aluminum were significantly lower compared with controls; in male stroke patients, potassium was lower, and beryllium was elevated. In female and male stroke patients, iron, zinc, nickel, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and silicon were significantly lower, while strontium was elevated. Positive correlations between fibrin clot properties and metals, observed in healthy controls, were lost in ischemic stroke patients. In multivariate regression analysis, fibrin CLT and/or Absmax was associated with zinc, calcium, potassium, beryllium, and silicon in stroke patients and with sodium, potassium, beryllium, and aluminum in controls. In logistic regression analysis, stroke was independently associated with lithium, nickel, beryllium, strontium, boron, and silicon and with sodium, potassium, calcium, and aluminum but not with fibrin CLT/Absmax. Conclusions—Various elements were associated with fibrin clot properties and the risk of ischemic stroke. Lithium, sodium, calcium, and aluminum abrogated the association of fibrin clot properties with ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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11 pages, 570 KiB  
Article
B–NHL Cases in a Tertiary Pediatric Hematology—Oncology Department: A 20-Year Retrospective Cohort Study
by Ioannis Kyriakidis, Iordanis Pelagiadis, Maria Stratigaki, Nikolaos Katzilakis and Eftichia Stiakaki
Life 2024, 14(5), 633; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050633 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is among the five most common pediatric cancer diagnoses in children and adolescents and consists of a heterogeneous group of lymphoid tissue malignancies –with B-cell-derived NHL accounting for nearly 80% of cases. Novel and high-throughput diagnostic tools have significantly increased [...] Read more.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is among the five most common pediatric cancer diagnoses in children and adolescents and consists of a heterogeneous group of lymphoid tissue malignancies –with B-cell-derived NHL accounting for nearly 80% of cases. Novel and high-throughput diagnostic tools have significantly increased our understanding of B-NHL biology and molecular pathogenesis, leading to new NHL classifications and treatment options. This retrospective cohort study investigated 17 cases of both mature B-cell NHL (Burkitt lymphoma or BL; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or DLBCL; Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma or PMBCL; Follicular lymphoma or FL) and immature B-cell progenitor NHL (B-lymphoblastic lymphoma or BLL) that were treated in a tertiary Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Department during the last 20 years. Modern NHL protocols for children, adolescents, and young adults, along with the addition of rituximab, are safe and efficient (100% overall survival; one relapse). Elevated ESR was more prevalent than elevated LDH. Analyses have focused on immune reconstitution (grade ≥3 infections, lymphocyte and immunoglobulin levels recovery) and body-mass-index changes post-treatment, late effects (in 53% of patients), and the presence of histology markers BCL2, BCL6, CD30, cMYC, and Ki-67%. One patient was diagnosed with a second malignant neoplasm (papillary thyroid cancer). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B-cell Lymphoma)
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29 pages, 14770 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Phytomass and Carbon Stock in the Ecosystems of the Central Forest Steppe of the East European Plain: Integrated Approach of Terrestrial Environmental Monitoring and Remote Sensing with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
by Vasiliy Slavskiy, Sergey Matveev, Sergey Sheshnitsan, Daria Litovchenko, Maxim Viktorovich Larionov, Anton Shokurov, Pavel Litovchenko and Nikolay Durmanov
Life 2024, 14(5), 632; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050632 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The rapid and accurate estimation of aboveground forest phytomass remains a challenging research task. In general, methods for estimating phytomass fall mainly into the category of field measurements performed by ground-based methods, but approaches based on remote sensing and ecological modelling have been [...] Read more.
The rapid and accurate estimation of aboveground forest phytomass remains a challenging research task. In general, methods for estimating phytomass fall mainly into the category of field measurements performed by ground-based methods, but approaches based on remote sensing and ecological modelling have been increasingly applied. The aim is to develop the scientific and methodological framework for the remote sensing estimation of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of forest stands, using the combination of surveys and machine learning models to determine phytomass of forest stands and calculate the carbon balance. Even-aged stands of different tree species growing in the forest steppe zone of the East European Plain were chosen as test objects. We have applied the modernized methodological approaches to compare and integrate forest and tree stand characteristics obtained by ground-based and UAV-based comprehensive surveys; additionally, we developed computer vision models and methods for determining the same characteristics by remote sensing methods. The key advantage of the proposed methodology for remote monitoring and carbon balance control over existing analogues is the minimization of the amount of groundwork and, consequently, the reduction inlabor costs without loss of information quality. Reliable data on phytomass volumes will allow for operational control of the forest carbon storage, which is essential for decision-making processes. This is important for the environmental monitoring of forests and green spaces of various economic categories. The proposed methodology is necessary for the monitoring and control of ecological–climatic and anthropogenic–technogenic transformations in various landscapes. The development is useful for organizing the management of ecosystems, environmental protection, and managing the recreational and economic resources of landscapes with natural forests and forest plantations. Full article
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15 pages, 4006 KiB  
Article
What Is New about the Semimembranosus Distal Tendon? Ultrasound, Anatomical, and Histological Study with Clinical and Therapeutic Application
by Pere Iglesias-Chamorro, Albert Pérez-Bellmunt, Sara Ortiz-Miguel, Ingrid Möller, Juan Blasi, Juan Ortiz-Sagristà, Carlo Martinoli, Xavier Sanjuan and Maribel Miguel-Pérez
Life 2024, 14(5), 631; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050631 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 521
Abstract
The semimembranosus muscle inserts into several tendons that are associated with some pathologies. Although ultrasound is useful for studying, diagnosing, and managing these pathologies, the correct interpretation of any images requires a clear knowledge of the related anatomical structures and the inter-related functions. [...] Read more.
The semimembranosus muscle inserts into several tendons that are associated with some pathologies. Although ultrasound is useful for studying, diagnosing, and managing these pathologies, the correct interpretation of any images requires a clear knowledge of the related anatomical structures and the inter-related functions. We studied 38 cryopreserved non-paired knees from adult anatomical specimens and 4 non-paired knees from 29 to 38-week-old fetuses. The semimembranosus muscle and its tendons were located, observed, and injected under ultrasound guidance. The macroscopic anatomy was studied using dissection and anatomical cuts and the tendons were analyzed histologically. Measurements of muscle were taken 10 cm from the medial epicondyle and just before the tendon divided. The ultrasound facilitated the identification of the different divisions of the tendon of semimembranosus muscle and the rotation of the muscle and tendon from medial to posterior. An anatomical study confirmed this rotation and revealed an average width, thickness, and diameter of 38.29 mm, 14.36 mm, and 112.64 mm, respectively. Important relationships were observed between the divisions of the main tendons and the medial collateral ligament, the posterior side of the knee and popliteus muscle. This information can help to explain knee pathologies and facilitate rehabilitation after surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Topographic and Functional Anatomy of Musculoskeletal System)
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32 pages, 4170 KiB  
Article
Role of Natural Binding Proteins in Therapy and Diagnostics
by Marco Eigenfeld, Kilian F. M. Lupp and Sebastian P. Schwaminger
Life 2024, 14(5), 630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050630 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 717
Abstract
This review systematically investigates the critical role of natural binding proteins (NBPs), encompassing DNA-, RNA-, carbohydrate-, fatty acid-, and chitin-binding proteins, in the realms of oncology and diagnostics. In an era where cancer continues to pose significant challenges to healthcare systems worldwide, the [...] Read more.
This review systematically investigates the critical role of natural binding proteins (NBPs), encompassing DNA-, RNA-, carbohydrate-, fatty acid-, and chitin-binding proteins, in the realms of oncology and diagnostics. In an era where cancer continues to pose significant challenges to healthcare systems worldwide, the innovative exploration of NBPs offers a promising frontier for advancing both the diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic efficacy of cancer management strategies. This manuscript provides an in-depth examination of the unique mechanisms by which NBPs interact with specific molecular targets, highlighting their potential to revolutionize cancer diagnostics and therapy. Furthermore, it discusses the burgeoning research on aptamers, demonstrating their utility as ‘nucleic acid antibodies’ for targeted therapy and precision diagnostics. Despite the promising applications of NBPs and aptamers in enhancing early cancer detection and developing personalized treatment protocols, this review identifies a critical knowledge gap: the need for comprehensive studies to understand the diverse functionalities and therapeutic potentials of NBPs across different cancer types and diagnostic scenarios. By bridging this gap, this manuscript underscores the importance of NBPs and aptamers in paving the way for next-generation diagnostics and targeted cancer treatments. Full article
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20 pages, 2268 KiB  
Article
A Clinical Study of Urine Amino Acids in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Cătălina Mihaela Anastasescu, Veronica Gheorman, Florica Popescu, Mioara Desdemona Stepan, Eugen Cristi Stoicănescu, Victor Gheorman and Ion Udriștoiu
Life 2024, 14(5), 629; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050629 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Amino acids are organic compounds that enter the protein structure, being involved in the proper functioning of the body. The role of amino acids in the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is yet to be established. Our aim was to identify correlations [...] Read more.
Amino acids are organic compounds that enter the protein structure, being involved in the proper functioning of the body. The role of amino acids in the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is yet to be established. Our aim was to identify correlations between urine amino acids and their derivatives and ASD. Methods: We designed a case–control study that consisted of 75 boys and girls, aged between 2 and 12 years. For amino acid profile, we used urine samples that were analyzed using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Results: Descriptive analysis showed higher values for glutamine, hydroxyproline, tyrosine, aspartic acid, and tryptophan and lower values for serine in the autism group than in the control group. Also, we found that boys with autism had higher values than the boys in the control group for serine, threonine, and aspartic acid. For girls from both groups, we did not find statistically significant values. In terms of age groups, we found significantly higher values for histidine, threonine, valine, methionine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alpha amino-adipic acid, sarcosine, alanine, and beta-alanine and significantly lower values for proline for both the autism and control groups under 5 years. Conclusions: The findings of this study support the assumption that amino acids may have a role in the expression of ASD. Full article
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11 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
Prenatal Diagnosis of Fryns Syndrome through Identification of Two Novel Splice Variants in the PIGN Gene—A Case Series
by Aruna Marchetto, Susanne Leidescher, Theresia van Hoi, Niklas Hirschberger, Florian Vogel, Siegmund Köhler, Ivonne Alexandra Bedei, Roland Axt-Fliedner, Moneef Shoukier and Corinna Keil
Life 2024, 14(5), 628; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050628 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Fryns syndrome (FS) is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome with different multisystemic malformations. These include congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary hypoplasia, and craniofacial dysmorphic features in combination with malformations of the central nervous system such as agenesis of the corpus callosum, cerebellar hypoplasia, and [...] Read more.
Fryns syndrome (FS) is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome with different multisystemic malformations. These include congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary hypoplasia, and craniofacial dysmorphic features in combination with malformations of the central nervous system such as agenesis of the corpus callosum, cerebellar hypoplasia, and enlarged ventricles. We present a non-consanguineous northern European family with two recurrent cases of FS: a boy with multiple congenital malformations who died at the age of 2.5 months and a female fetus with a complex developmental disorder with similar features in a following pregnancy. Quad whole exome analysis revealed two likely splicing-affecting disease-causing mutations in the PIGN gene: a synonymous mutation c.2619G>A, p.(Leu873=) in the last nucleotide of exon 29 and a 30 bp-deletion c.996_1023+2del (NM_176787.5) protruding into intron 12, with both mutations in trans configuration in the affected patients. Exon skipping resulting from these two variants was confirmed via RNA sequencing. Our molecular and clinical findings identified compound heterozygosity for two novel splice-affecting variants as the underlying pathomechanism for the development of FS in two patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Therapy)
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12 pages, 4736 KiB  
Review
Ocular Manifestation in Systemic Sclerosis—A Literature Review
by Katarzyna Paczwa, Magdalena Rerych, Katarzyna Romanowska-Próchnicka, Radosław Różycki and Joanna Gołębiewska
Life 2024, 14(5), 627; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050627 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that affects more than 2 million people worldwide. It manifests through vasculopathy, an abnormal immunological response, and fibrosis leading to dysfunction of the multiple organs. The disease is categorized into two subtypes: limited [...] Read more.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that affects more than 2 million people worldwide. It manifests through vasculopathy, an abnormal immunological response, and fibrosis leading to dysfunction of the multiple organs. The disease is categorized into two subtypes: limited cutaneous SSc and diffuse cutaneous SSc. Scleroderma can affect vital organs with respiratory, cardiac, renal, ocular, and dermatological complications. The ocular manifestations of the disease can occur in the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. Changes in the anterior segment related to the disease include eyelid skin remodeling, dry eye syndrome, and conjunctival abnormalities. The disease’s impact on the posterior segment of the eye mostly causes pathologies in the retinal microcirculatory system and abnormalities in the optic nerve. This review provides detailed insights into ocular complications associated with scleroderma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Manifestations of Systemic Disease, 2nd Edition)
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3 pages, 132 KiB  
Editorial
Advancing Microbiology through the Discovery of New Microbial Species and Strains
by Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto
Life 2024, 14(5), 626; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050626 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
In our pursuit of understanding the intricacies of microbial life, the isolation and characterization of new microbial species and strains play a pivotal role [...] Full article
31 pages, 5504 KiB  
Article
Familial Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons Bearing Mutations in PSEN1 Display Increased Calcium Responses to AMPA as an Early Calcium Dysregulation Phenotype
by Helena Targa Dias Anastacio, Natalie Matosin and Lezanne Ooi
Life 2024, 14(5), 625; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050625 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) can be caused by mutations in PSEN1 that encode presenilin-1, a component of the gamma-secretase complex that cleaves amyloid precursor protein. Alterations in calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis and glutamate signaling are implicated in the pathogenesis of FAD; however, [...] Read more.
Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) can be caused by mutations in PSEN1 that encode presenilin-1, a component of the gamma-secretase complex that cleaves amyloid precursor protein. Alterations in calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis and glutamate signaling are implicated in the pathogenesis of FAD; however, it has been difficult to assess in humans whether or not these phenotypes are the result of amyloid or tau pathology. This study aimed to assess the early calcium and glutamate phenotypes of FAD by measuring the Ca2+ response of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons bearing PSEN1 mutations to glutamate and the ionotropic glutamate receptor agonists NMDA, AMPA, and kainate compared to isogenic control and healthy lines. The data show that in early neurons, even in the absence of amyloid and tau phenotypes, FAD neurons exhibit increased Ca2+ responses to glutamate and AMPA, but not NMDA or kainate. Together, this suggests that PSEN1 mutations alter Ca2+ and glutamate signaling as an early phenotype of FAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channels and Neurological Disease)
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14 pages, 3162 KiB  
Article
Oxidative Stress, Persistent Inflammation and Blood Coagulation Alterations in Serum Proteome of Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration
by Mateusz Winiarczyk, Bernd Thiede, Tor Paaske Utheim, Kai Kaarniranta, Dagmara Winiarczyk, Katarzyna Michalak and Jerzy Mackiewicz
Life 2024, 14(5), 624; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050624 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible blindness in elderly populations in developed countries. AMD’s etiopathology is multifactorial, with strong environmental and genetic components, but the exact molecular pathomechanisms underlying the disease are still unknown. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible blindness in elderly populations in developed countries. AMD’s etiopathology is multifactorial, with strong environmental and genetic components, but the exact molecular pathomechanisms underlying the disease are still unknown. In this study, we analyzed blood serum collected from 74 neovascular AMD patients and 58 healthy controls to identify proteins that may serve as potential biomarkers and expand our knowledge about the etiopathogenesis of the disease. The study revealed 17 differentially expressed proteins—11 up-regulated and 6 down-regulated—in neovascular AMD, which are involved in the biological processes previously linked with the disease—oxidative stress and persistent inflammation, impaired cellular transport, lipid metabolism and blood coagulation. In conclusion, the differences in the expressions of the proteins identified in this study may contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying AMD and possibly serve in future as promising biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Diseases: Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 488 KiB  
Article
Impact of Replacement Therapy on Pregnancy Outcomes in Hemophilia Carriers: A Historical Cohort Study in Saudi Arabia
by Ebtisam Bakhsh
Life 2024, 14(5), 623; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050623 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 643
Abstract
This retrospective cohort study evaluates the safety and efficacy of replacement therapy with regard to pregnancy outcomes in hemophilia carriers. Hemophilia carriers face elevated bleeding risks during pregnancy, necessitating meticulous management, including replacement therapy with clotting factors. This research examines the records of [...] Read more.
This retrospective cohort study evaluates the safety and efficacy of replacement therapy with regard to pregnancy outcomes in hemophilia carriers. Hemophilia carriers face elevated bleeding risks during pregnancy, necessitating meticulous management, including replacement therapy with clotting factors. This research examines the records of 64 pregnant hemophilia carriers at King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, from January 2010 to December 2023, analyzing their demographic details, hemophilia type and severity, replacement therapy specifics, and pregnancy outcomes. The study found that 62.5% of the participants had hemophilia A, with 43.8% categorized as severe. Most subjects (87.5%) received recombinant factor VIII at a median dosage of 30 IU/kg weekly. Adverse pregnancy outcomes included gestational hypertension (15.6%), preterm labor (18.8%), and postpartum hemorrhage (12.5%). The cesarean section rate was 28.1%. Neonatal outcomes were generally favorable, with median birth weights at 3100 g and mean Apgar scores of 8.2 and 9.1 at 1 and 5 min, respectively. Logistic regression analysis revealed no significant association between adverse events and therapy type or dosage, though a trend towards significance was noted with once-weekly administration (p = 0.082). The study concludes that replacement therapy is a viable method for managing hemophilia in pregnant carriers, leading to generally favorable maternal and neonatal outcomes. However, it underscores the importance of individualized treatment plans and close monitoring to effectively manage the risks associated with hemophilia during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hemophilia)
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28 pages, 5954 KiB  
Article
Endophenotypes of Primary Osteoarthritis of the Hip Joint in the Bulgarian Population over 60 Years Old
by Lyubomir Sapundzhiev, Tanya Sapundzhieva, Kamen Klinkanov, Martin Mitev, Kiril Simitchiev and Anastas Batalov
Life 2024, 14(5), 622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050622 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Aim. To identify subgroups of patients with primary osteoarthritis of the hip joint (pHOA) with similar imaging and laboratory findings, disease evolution, and response to conventional therapies. Methods. We performed further statistical analyses on patient data from two published, double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled [...] Read more.
Aim. To identify subgroups of patients with primary osteoarthritis of the hip joint (pHOA) with similar imaging and laboratory findings, disease evolution, and response to conventional therapies. Methods. We performed further statistical analyses on patient data from two published, double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled studies (DB-RCTs), which examined the effects of intra-articular corticosteroids (ia-CSs), hyaluronic acid (ia-HA)—KИ-109-3-0008/14.01.2014, and intravenous bisphosphonates (iv-BPs) -KИ- 109-3-0009/14.01.2014 compared to the country’s standard pHOA therapy. The data span an 8-year follow-up of 700 patients with pHOA, including: 1. Clinical parameters (WOMAC-A, B, C, and T; PtGA). 2. Laboratory markers (serum calcium and phosphate levels; 25-OH-D and PTH, markers for bone sCTX-I and cartilage uCTX-II turnover). 3. Radiological indicators: X-ray stage (Kellgren-Lawrence (K/L) and model (Bombelli/OOARSI), width (mJSW), speed (JSN mm/year), and zone of maximum narrowing of the joint space (max-JSN)—determining the type of femoral head migration (FHM). 4. DXA indicators: bone geometry (HAL; NSA; and MNW); changes in regional and total bone mineral density (TH-BMD, LS-BMD, and TB-BMD). 5. Therapeutic responses (OARSI/MCII; mJSW; JSNmm/yearly) to different drug regimens (iv-BP -zoledronic acid (ZA/-5 mg/yearly for 3 years)); ia-CS 40 mg methylprednisolone acetate, twice every 6 months; and ia-HA with intermediate molecular weight (20 mg/2 mL × 3 weekly applications, two courses every 6 months) were compared to standard of care therapy (Standard of Care/SC/), namely D3-supplementation according to serum levels (20–120 ng/mL; target level of 60 ng/mL), simple analgesics (paracetamol, up to 2.0 g/24 h), and physical exercises. The abovementioned data were integrated into a non-supervised hierarchical agglomerative clustering analysis (NHACA) using Ward’s linkage method and the squared Euclidean distance to identify different endophenotypes (EFs). Univariate and multivariate multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the impact of sex and FHM on clinical and radiographic regression of pHOA. Results. A baseline cluster analysis using incoming (M0) patient data identified three EFs: hypertrophic H-HOA, atrophic A-HOA, and intermediate I-HOA. These EFs had characteristics that were similar to those of patients grouped by radiographic stage and pattern (‘H’-RPs, ‘I’-RPs, and ‘A’-RPs), p < 0.05). The repeated cluster analysis of M36 data identified four EF pHOAs: 1. Hypertrophic (slow progressors, the influence of the type of femoral head migration (FHM) outweighing the influence of sex on progression), progressing to planned total hip replacement (THR) within 5 (K/LIII) to 10 (K/LII) years. 2. Intermediate (sex is more important than the FHM type for progression) with two subgroups: 2#: male-associated (slow progressors), THR within 4 (K/LIII) to 8 years. (K/LII). 2* Female-associated (rapid progressors), THR within 3 (K/LIII) to 5 (K/LII) years. 3. Atrophic (rapid progressors; the influence of FHM type outweighs that of sex), THR within 2 (K/LIII) to 4 (K/LII) years. Each EF, in addition to the patient’s individual progression rate, was also associated with a different response to the aforementioned therapies. Conclusions. Clinical endophenotyping provides guidance for a personalized approach in patients with pHOA, simultaneously assisting the creation of homogeneous patient groups necessary for conducting modern genetic and therapeutic scientific studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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13 pages, 5642 KiB  
Article
Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Different Cancer Types in Taiwan
by Kuang-Ming Liao, Chia-Hung Yu, Yu-Cih Wu, Jhi-Joung Wang, Fu-Wen Liang and Chung-Han Ho
Life 2024, 14(5), 621; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050621 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly occurs in approximately 2% of cancer patients, and the incidence of AF among cancer patients is greater than in the general population. This observational study presented the incidence risk of AF among cancer patients, including specific cancer types, using [...] Read more.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly occurs in approximately 2% of cancer patients, and the incidence of AF among cancer patients is greater than in the general population. This observational study presented the incidence risk of AF among cancer patients, including specific cancer types, using a population database. The Taiwan Cancer Registry was used to identify cancer patients between 2008 and 2017. The diagnosis of AF was based on the International Classification of Diseases codes (ICD-9-CM: 427.31 or ICD-10-CM: I48.0, I48.1, I48.2, and I48.91) in Taiwan national health insurance research datasets. The incidence of developing AF in the cancer population was calculated as the number of new-onset AF cases per person-year of follow-up during the study period. The overall incidence of AF among cancer patients was 50.99 per 100,000 person-years. Patients aged older than 65 years and males had higher AF incidence rates. Lung cancer males and esophageal cancer females showed the highest AF incidence risk (185.02 and 150.30 per 100,000 person-years, respectively). Our findings identified esophageal, lung, and gallbladder cancers as the top three cancers associated with a higher incidence of AF. Careful monitoring and management of patients with these cancers are crucial for early detection and intervention of AF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology)
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2 pages, 130 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Pruvost, M.; Moyon, S. Oligodendroglial Epigenetics, from Lineage Specification to Activity-Dependent Myelination. Life 2021, 11, 62
by Mathilde Pruvost and Sarah Moyon
Life 2024, 14(5), 620; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/life14050620 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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