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Med. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid-bound nanoparticles generated by most cell types and can be isolated from many biological fluids. EVs are known to play a critical role in intercellular communication and inter-organ crosstalk through the delivery of their EV cargo, which is made up of a broad spectrum of molecules, including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. The composition of EV cargo is dependent on both the cell type and current pathophysiological status of the host cell. Although the mechanisms behind the production, secretion, and selective packaging of cargo in EVs remain somewhat misunderstood, recent evidence suggests that caveolin-1 regulates these processes in some EVs. In this article, we review the current understanding of this emerging and novel role of caveolin-1. View this paper.
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Review
Barocrinology: The Endocrinology of Obesity from Bench to Bedside
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040051 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Obesity has reached pandemic proportions. Hormonal and metabolic imbalances are the key factors that lead to obesity. South Asian populations have a unique phenotype, peculiar dietary practices, and a high prevalence of consanguinity. Moreover, many lower middle-income countries lack appropriate resources, super-specialists, and [...] Read more.
Obesity has reached pandemic proportions. Hormonal and metabolic imbalances are the key factors that lead to obesity. South Asian populations have a unique phenotype, peculiar dietary practices, and a high prevalence of consanguinity. Moreover, many lower middle-income countries lack appropriate resources, super-specialists, and affordability to manage this complex disorder. Of late, there has been a substantial increase in both obesity and diabesity in India. Thus, many more patients are being managed by different types of bariatric procedures today than ever before. These patients have many types of endocrine and metabolic disturbances before and after bariatric surgery. Therefore, these patients should be managed by experts who have knowledge of both bariatric surgery and endocrinology. The authors propose “Barocrinology”, a novel terminology in medical literature, to comprehensively describe the field of obesity medicine highlighting the role of knowing endocrine physiology for understating its evolution, insights into its complications and appreciating the changes in the hormonal milieu following weight loss therapies including bariatric surgery. Barocrinology, coined as a portmanteau of “baro” (weight) and endocrinology, focuses upon the endocrine and metabolic domains of weight physiology and pathology. This review summarizes the key pointers of bariatric management from an endocrine perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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Conference Report
Report from the Scientific Poster Session at the 15th Annual Cardiometabolic Health Congress Live Online, USA, 21–24 October 2020
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040050 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 552
Abstract
The 15th Annual CMHC Live Online concluded on Saturday, October 24th [...] Full article
Article
Association of Low Serum 25OHD Levels with Abnormal Bone Microarchitecture in Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040049 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The association of low levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is being studied, as to whether it is a risk factor or as a coincidental one. This study aimed to evaluate serum levels of deficiency, insufficiency, and sufficiency [...] Read more.
The association of low levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is being studied, as to whether it is a risk factor or as a coincidental one. This study aimed to evaluate serum levels of deficiency, insufficiency, and sufficiency of 25OHD in PTC and its relationship with the trabecular bone score (TBS) and bone mineral density (BMD). This study includes 134 postmenopausal women with PTC, followed for 10 years. BMD was measured with DXA Hologic QDR 4500, and TBS with Med-Imaps iNsight2.0 Software. Mean serum 25OHD was 23.09 ± 7.9 ng/mL and deficiency, insufficiency, and sufficiency levels were 15.64 ± 2.9, 25.27 ± 2.7, and 34.7 ng/mL, respectively. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) were higher in deficiency (57.65 ± 22.6 ng/mL; 29.5 ± 14 U/L) and in insufficiency (45.88 ± 19.8 ng/mL; 23.47 ± 8.8 U/L) compared with sufficiency of 25OHD (47.13 ± 16 and 22.14± 9.7 ng/mL) (p = 0.062 and p = 0.0440, respectively). TBS was lower in patients with 25OHD < 20 ng/mL (1.24 ± 0.13) compared with between 20–29 (1.27 ± 0.13, p < 0.05) and 30 ng/mL (1.31 ± 0.11, p < 0.01). We found low TBS in patients with PTC and long-term follow-up associated with low serum 25OHD levels, not associated with cancer stage, or accumulative iodine radioactive dose. Low 25OHD associated with deleterious bone quality in patients with PTC should be restored for the prevention of fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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Article
Reliability of the Soleus H-Reflex in Different Sitting Postures
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040048 - 25 Nov 2020
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The Soleus (SOL) Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) is commonly recorded in sitting position. However, the reliability of recording is unknown. We assessed the reliability of SOL H-reflex amplitude measurements across multiple traces and sessions during erect, slumped, and slouched sitting postures using the generalizability [...] Read more.
The Soleus (SOL) Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) is commonly recorded in sitting position. However, the reliability of recording is unknown. We assessed the reliability of SOL H-reflex amplitude measurements across multiple traces and sessions during erect, slumped, and slouched sitting postures using the generalizability theory. Five traces of the SOL H-reflex maximum amplitude (Hmax) were recorded from 10 healthy participants during erect, slumped, and slouched sitting postures in two sessions. A decision study analysis was then conducted to calculate the reliability coefficients of the Hmax for five traces and two sessions and to mathematically calculate the coefficients for seven and ten traces, and one and three sessions in the three sitting postures. For five traces and two sessions, the results showed reliability coefficients between 0.970 and 0.971, 0.980 and 0.979, and equal to 0.943 for erect, slumped, and slouched sitting, respectively. Averaging five traces of the Hmax in a single recording session was sufficient to obtain acceptable reliability in the three sitting postures (reliability range, 0.892–0.988). It was concluded that the SOL Hmax can be recorded during erect, slumped, and slouched sitting postures with adequate reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosciences)
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Article
Efficacy and Safety of SGLT-2 Inhibitors for Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus among Kidney Transplant Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040047 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Background: The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors for treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM) among kidney transplant patients. Methods: We conducted electronic searches in Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane databases [...] Read more.
Background: The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors for treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM) among kidney transplant patients. Methods: We conducted electronic searches in Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane databases from inception through April 2020 to identify studies that investigated the efficacy and safety of SGLT-2 inhibitors in kidney transplant patients with DM. Study results were pooled and analyzed utilizing random-effects model. Results: Eight studies with 132 patients (baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 64.5 ± 19.9 mL/min/1.73 m2) treated with SGLT-2 inhibitors were included in our meta-analysis. SGLT-2 inhibitors demonstrated significantly lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (WMD = −0.56% [95%CI: −0.97, −0.16]; p = 0.007) and body weight (WMD = −2.16 kg [95%CI: −3.08, −1.24]; p < 0.001) at end of study compared to baseline level. There were no significant changes in eGFR, serum creatinine, urine protein creatinine ratio, and blood pressure. By subgroup analysis, empagliflozin demonstrated a significant reduction in body mass index (BMI) and body weight. Canagliflozin revealed a significant decrease in HbA1C and systolic blood pressure. In terms of safety profiles, fourteen patients had urinary tract infection. Only one had genital mycosis, one had acute kidney injury, and one had cellulitis. There were no reported cases of euglycemic ketoacidosis or acute rejection during the treatment. Conclusion: Among kidney transplant patients with excellent kidney function, SGLT-2 inhibitors for treatment of DM are effective in lowering HbA1C, reducing body weight, and preserving kidney function without reporting of serious adverse events, including euglycemic ketoacidosis and acute rejection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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Review
The Evolving Role of Caveolin-1: A Critical Regulator of Extracellular Vesicles
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040046 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
Emerging evidence suggests that extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an essential role in mediating intercellular communication and inter-organ crosstalk both at normal physiological conditions and in the pathogenesis of human diseases. EV cargos are made up of a broad spectrum of molecules including lipids, [...] Read more.
Emerging evidence suggests that extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an essential role in mediating intercellular communication and inter-organ crosstalk both at normal physiological conditions and in the pathogenesis of human diseases. EV cargos are made up of a broad spectrum of molecules including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids such as DNA, RNA, and microRNAs. The complex EV cargo composition is cell type-specific. A dynamic change in EV cargos occurs along with extracellular stimuli and a change in the pathophysiological status of the host. Currently, the underlying mechanisms by which EVs are formed and EV cargos are selected in the absence and presence of noxious stimuli and pathogens remain incompletely explored. The term EVs refers to a heterogeneous group of vesicles generated via different mechanisms. Some EVs are formed via direct membrane budding, while the others are produced through multivesicular bodies (MVBs) or during apoptosis. Despite the complexity of EV formation and EV cargo selection, recent studies suggest that caveolin-1, a well-known structural protein of caveolae, regulates the formation and cargo selection of some EVs, such as microvesicles (MVs). In this article, we will review the current understanding of this emerging and novel role of cav-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond Lipid Rafts and Caveolae: Caveolins in Disease)
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Communication
Prevalence of Low Back Pain among Nursing Staff in Najran, Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040045 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 668
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the various demographic and work-related professional characteristics associated with low back pain among nursing professionals in Najran, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered modified questionnaire (electronic), which included information on general subject demographics and work conditions, was sent through various [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the various demographic and work-related professional characteristics associated with low back pain among nursing professionals in Najran, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered modified questionnaire (electronic), which included information on general subject demographics and work conditions, was sent through various electronic channels to which 187 nurses working across various health institutions in the Najran region responded. Among the included respondents, 35.3% were Saudis, 64.7% were Non-Saudis, and 88.8% were in the young to middle-age group (21–40 years). Similarly, 57.8% were females, while a majority (91%) had completed a bachelor’s degree. In total, 140 respondents (74.8%) reported experiencing low back pain. Among the various work-related factors, gender, place of work, nature of work, and direct contact hours with patients per week were found to be significantly associated with low back pain. Assessment of pain characteristics found that a majority (88.2%) had mild to moderate localized back pain. A significant number of nursing professionals included herein reported to have low back pain, which appeared to be moderated by work-related characteristics, including place and nature of work. Our findings can help to establish policies and interventions aimed at reducing the risk and onset of low back pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing Research)
Article
Treatment of C3 Glomerulopathy in Adult Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Systematic Review
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040044 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Background: C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), a rare glomerular disease mediated by alternative complement pathway dysregulation, is associated with a high rate of recurrence and graft loss after kidney transplantation (KTx). We aimed to assess the efficacy of different treatments for C3G recurrence after KTx. [...] Read more.
Background: C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), a rare glomerular disease mediated by alternative complement pathway dysregulation, is associated with a high rate of recurrence and graft loss after kidney transplantation (KTx). We aimed to assess the efficacy of different treatments for C3G recurrence after KTx. Methods: Databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database) were searched from inception through 3 May, 2019. Studies were included that reported outcomes of adult KTx recipients with C3G. Effect estimates from individual studies were combined using the random-effects, generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird., The protocol for this meta-analysis is registered with PROSPERO (no. CRD42019125718). Results: Twelve studies (7 cohort studies and 5 case series) consisting of 122 KTx patients with C3G (73 C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN) and 49 dense deposit disease (DDD)) were included. The pooled estimated rates of allograft loss among KTx patients with C3G were 33% (95% CI: 12–57%) after eculizumab, 42% (95% CI: 2–89%) after therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), and 81% (95% CI: 50–100%) after rituximab. Subgroup analysis based on type of C3G was performed. Pooled estimated rates of allograft loss in C3GN KTx patients were 22% (95% CI: 5–46%) after eculizumab, 56% (95% CI: 6–100%) after TPE, and 70% (95% CI: 24–100%) after rituximab. Pooled estimated rates of allograft loss in DDD KTx patients were 53% (95% CI: 0–100%) after eculizumab. Data on allograft loss in DDD after TPE (1 case series, 0/2 (0%) allograft loss at 6 months) and rituximab (1 cohort, 3/3 (100%) allograft loss) were limited. Among 66 patients (38 C3GN, 28 DDD) who received no treatment (due to stable allograft function at presentation and/or clinical judgment of physicians), pooled estimated rates of allograft loss were 32% (95% CI: 7–64%) and 53% (95% CI: 28–77%) for C3GN and DDD, respectively. Among treated C3G patients, data on soluble membrane attack complex of complement (sMAC) were limited to patients treated with eculizumab (N = 7). 80% of patients with elevated sMAC before eculizumab responded to treatment. In addition, all patients who responded to eculizumab had normal sMAC levels after post-eculizumab. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the lowest incidence of allograft loss (33%) among KTX patients with C3G are those treated with eculizumab. Among those who received no treatment for C3G due to stable allograft function, there is a high incidence of allograft loss of 32% in C3GN and 53% in DDD. sMAC level may help to select good responders to eculizumab. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nephrology and Urology)
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Article
Mechanisms Underlying the Inhibition of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor-Induced Anorexia and Fatigue by Royal Jelly in Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients and the Correlation between Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor and Inflammatory Mediators
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040043 - 09 Oct 2020
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Inflammation is a common adverse event of anti-cancer therapy. Royal jelly (RJ) modulates inflammation by regulating the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and interleukin (IL)-6 produced by macrophages. Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) is a crucial regulator of [...] Read more.
Inflammation is a common adverse event of anti-cancer therapy. Royal jelly (RJ) modulates inflammation by regulating the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and interleukin (IL)-6 produced by macrophages. Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) is a crucial regulator of macrophage activities, and we hypothesized that RJ alters M-CSF levels. In this randomized controlled trial, we investigated the association between M-CSF and adverse events in renal cell carcinoma patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) after an oral intake of RJ (n = 16) or placebo (n = 17). The serum levels of M-CSF, TNF-α, TGF-β, and IL-6 were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and their temporal changes and correlation between such changes were analyzed. The post-/pretreatment ratio of M-CSF levels was associated with anorexia after 2 weeks and fatigue after 2, 4, and 12 weeks. The M-CSF level in the RJ group was higher than that in the placebo group at the same timepoints. The TNF-α level in the RJ group was lower than that in the placebo group between 6 and 12 weeks, and the TGF-β level in the RJ group was higher than that in the placebo group; however, contrasting findings were detected after 12 weeks. Additionally, the M-CSF level was significantly correlated with the TGF-β level after 4 weeks and IL-6 level after 8 and 10 weeks. Among TNF-α, TGF-β, and IL-6, the post-/pretreatment ratio of TGF-β after 12 weeks was associated with TKI-induced anorexia, and the ratios after 10 and 12 weeks were associated with fatigue. Our results demonstrated that an oral intake of RJ suppressed anorexia and fatigue via complex mechanisms associated with inflammation-related factors, such as M-CSF and TGF-β in renal cell carcinoma patients treated with TKIs. In addition, we newly found that such RJ-related effects were dependent on the treatment duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
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Article
Artificial Neural Network as a Tool to Predict Facial Nerve Palsy in Parotid Gland Surgery for Benign Tumors
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040042 - 07 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1153
Abstract
(1) Background: Despite the increasing use of intraoperative facial nerve monitoring during parotid gland surgery or the improvement in the preoperative radiological assessment, facial nerve injury (FNI) continues to be the most feared complication; (2) Methods: patients who underwent parotid gland surgery for [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Despite the increasing use of intraoperative facial nerve monitoring during parotid gland surgery or the improvement in the preoperative radiological assessment, facial nerve injury (FNI) continues to be the most feared complication; (2) Methods: patients who underwent parotid gland surgery for benign tumors between June 2010 and June 2019 were included in this study aiming to make a proof of concept about the reliability of an artificial neural networks (AAN) algorithm for prediction of FNI and compared with a multivariate linear regression (MLR); (3) Results: Concerning prediction accuracy and performance, the ANN achieved the highest sensitivity (86.53% vs 46.23%), specificity (95.67% vs 92.59%), PPV (87.28% vs 66.94%), NPV (95.68% vs 83.37%), ROC–AUC (0.960 vs 0.769) and accuracy (93.42 vs 80.42) than MLR; and (4) Conclusions: ANN prediction models can be useful for otolaryngologists—head and neck surgeons—and patients to provide evidence-based predictions about the risk of FNI. As an advantage, the possibility to develop a calculator using clinical, radiological and histological or cytological information can improve our ability to generate patients counselling before surgery. Full article
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Article
Treatment of Swine Closed Head Injury with Perfluorocarbon NVX-428
Med. Sci. 2020, 8(4), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medsci8040041 - 27 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Pre-hospital treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with co-existing polytrauma is complicated by requirements for intravenous fluid volume vs. hypotensive resuscitation. A low volume, small particle-size-oxygen-carrier perfluorocarbon emulsion NVX-428 (dodecafluoropentane emulsion; 2% w/v) could improve brain tissue with minimal additional fluid [...] Read more.
Pre-hospital treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with co-existing polytrauma is complicated by requirements for intravenous fluid volume vs. hypotensive resuscitation. A low volume, small particle-size-oxygen-carrier perfluorocarbon emulsion NVX-428 (dodecafluoropentane emulsion; 2% w/v) could improve brain tissue with minimal additional fluid volume. This study examined whether the oxygen-carrier NVX-428 shows safety and efficacy for pre-hospital treatment of TBI. Anesthetized swine underwent fluid percussion injury TBI and received 1 mL/kg IV NVX-428 (TBI-NVX) at 15 min (T15) or normal saline (no-treatment) (TBI-NON). Similarly, uninjured swine received NVX-428 (SHAM-NVX) or normal saline (SHAM-NON). Animals were monitored and measurements were taken for physiological and neurological parameters before euthanasia at the six-hour mark (T360). Histopathological analysis was performed on paraffin embedded tissues. Physiological, biochemical and blood gas parameters were not different, with the exception of a significant but transient increase in mean pulmonary artery pressure observed in the TBI-experimental group immediately after drug administration. There were no initial differences in brain oxygenation at baseline, but over time oxygen decreased ~50% in both TBI groups. Histological brain injury scores were similar between TBI-NVX and TBI-NON, although a number of subcategories (spongiosis-ischemic/dead neurons-hemorrhage-edema) in TBI-NVX had a tendency for lower scores. The cerebellum showed significantly lower spongiosis and ischemic/dead neuron injury scores and a lower number of Fluoro-Jade-B-positive cerebellar-Purkinje-cells after NVX-428 treatment compared to controls. NVX-428 may assist in mitigating secondary cellular brain damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosciences)
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