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Biology, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 69 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Acetylcholine (ACh) was the first of its kind to be identified and plays a wide-ranging role in vivo. ACh receptors include the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), for which nicotine acts as an agonist. This receptor is composed of five different protein subunits, and there are many studies to elucidate the expression of each nAChR subunit in sperm and its effects. However, due to the diversity of receptors caused by various combinations of subunits, the functional relationship between sperm and each subunit is still unclear. In this study, we found that the epsilon subunit (AChRe) was significantly higher in mRNA expression in the mouse testis, suggesting that this subunit may play a role. We have revealed the expression of AChRe in mouse testis and sperm and its effect on acrosome reaction. Interestingly, in the testis, AChRe was only expressed in maturing spermatids at the end [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Response of Human Glioblastoma Cells to Vitamin B12 Deficiency: A Study Using the Non-Toxic Cobalamin Antagonist
Biology 2021, 10(1), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010069 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
The most important biological function of vitamin B12 is to accomplish DNA synthesis, which is necessary for cell division. Cobalamin deficiency may be especially acute for rapidly dividing cells, such as glioblastoma cells. Therefore, cobalamin antagonists offer a medicinal potential for developing anti-glioma [...] Read more.
The most important biological function of vitamin B12 is to accomplish DNA synthesis, which is necessary for cell division. Cobalamin deficiency may be especially acute for rapidly dividing cells, such as glioblastoma cells. Therefore, cobalamin antagonists offer a medicinal potential for developing anti-glioma agents. In the present study, we developed an in vitro model of cobalamin deficiency in glioblastoma cells. Long-term treatment of cells with the cobalamin analogue, hydroxycobalamin [c-lactam] (HCCL) was applied to induce an increase of hypocobalaminemia biomarker. Cytometric assays demonstrated that vitamin B12 promoted glioblastoma cells proliferation, whereas the treatment of cells with HCCL caused a dramatic inhibition of cell proliferation and an induction of cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. Vitamin B12 counteracted all the observed effects of HCCL. In the in silico study, we characterized the molecular interactions between HCCL and transcobalamin II (TCII). We have demonstrated that HCCL shares similar interactions with TCII as naturally occurring cobalamins and therefore may act as a competitive inhibitor of this key transporter protein. We assessed the impact of HCCL on the mortality or developmental malformations of zebrafish embryos. Collectively, our findings suggest that the use of cobalamin transport antagonists as potential anti-glioma agents would be worth exploring further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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Open AccessArticle
Delivery of the 5-HT2A Receptor Agonist, DOI, Enhances Activity of the Sphincter Muscle during the Micturition Reflex in Rats after Spinal Cord Injury
Biology 2021, 10(1), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010068 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts spinobulbospinal micturition reflex pathways and results in urinary dysfunction. Over time, an involuntary bladder reflex is established due to the reorganization of spinal circuitry. Previous studies show that manipulation of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors affects [...] Read more.
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts spinobulbospinal micturition reflex pathways and results in urinary dysfunction. Over time, an involuntary bladder reflex is established due to the reorganization of spinal circuitry. Previous studies show that manipulation of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors affects recovered bladder function, but it remains unclear if this receptor regulates the activity of the external urethral sphincter (EUS) following SCI. To elucidate how central and peripheral serotonergic machinery acts on the lower urinary tract (LUT) system, we employed bladder cystometry and EUS electromyography recordings combined with intravenous or intrathecal pharmacological interventions of 5-HT2A receptors in female SCI rats. Three to four weeks after a T10 spinal transection, systemic and central blockage of 5-HT2A receptors with MDL only slightly influenced the micturition reflex. However, delivery of the 5-HT2A receptor agonist, DOI, increased EUS tonic activity and elicited bursting during voiding. Additionally, subcutaneous administration of DOI verified the enhancement of continence and voiding capability during spontaneous micturition in metabolic cage assays. Although spinal 5HT2A receptors may not be actively involved in the recovered micturition reflex, stimulating this receptor subtype enhances EUS function and the synergistic activity between the detrusor and sphincter to improve the micturition reflex in rats with SCI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI))
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Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial Properties of Fucoidans from the Brown Algae Fucus vesiculosus L. of the Barents Sea
Biology 2021, 10(1), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010067 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Fucoidans, sulfated polysaccharides found in cell walls of brown algae, are considered as a promising antimicrobial component for various applications in medicine and the food industry. In this study, we compare the antibacterial properties of two fractions of fucoidan from the brown algae [...] Read more.
Fucoidans, sulfated polysaccharides found in cell walls of brown algae, are considered as a promising antimicrobial component for various applications in medicine and the food industry. In this study, we compare the antibacterial properties of two fractions of fucoidan from the brown algae Fucus vesiculosus gathered in the littoral of the Barents Sea and sampled at different stages of purification. The crude fraction of fucoidan was isolated from algae by extraction with aqueous ethanol and sonication. The purified fraction was obtained by additional treatment of the crude fraction with a solution of calcium chloride. The structural features of both fractions were characterized in detail and their antibacterial effects against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were compared by photometry, acridine orange staining assay, and atomic force microscopy. Fucoidan inhibited growth in all of the above microorganisms, showing a bacteriostatic effect with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) in the range between 4 and 6 mg/mL, with E. coli being the most sensitive to both fractions. Changes in the chemical composition after treatment of the crude fraction with a solution of calcium chloride led to a decrease in the content of sulfates and uronic acids and diminished antibacterial activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Tristetraprolin in the Resolution of Inflammation
Biology 2021, 10(1), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010066 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Inflammation is a crucial part of immune responses towards invading pathogens or tissue damage. While inflammatory reactions are aimed at removing the triggering stimulus, it is important that these processes are terminated in a coordinate manner to prevent excessive tissue damage due to [...] Read more.
Inflammation is a crucial part of immune responses towards invading pathogens or tissue damage. While inflammatory reactions are aimed at removing the triggering stimulus, it is important that these processes are terminated in a coordinate manner to prevent excessive tissue damage due to the highly reactive inflammatory environment. Initiation of inflammatory responses was proposed to be regulated predominantly at a transcriptional level, whereas post-transcriptional modes of regulation appear to be crucial for resolution of inflammation. The RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin (TTP) interacts with AU-rich elements in the 3′ untranslated region of mRNAs, recruits deadenylase complexes and thereby facilitates degradation of its targets. As TTP regulates the mRNA stability of numerous inflammatory mediators, it was put forward as a crucial post-transcriptional regulator of inflammation. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the function of TTP with a specific focus on its role in adding to resolution of inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA-Binding Proteins: Function, Dysfunction and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
A Tangled Threesome: Circadian Rhythm, Body Temperature Variations, and the Immune System
Biology 2021, 10(1), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010065 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 615
Abstract
The circadian rhythm of the body temperature (CRBT) is a marker of the central biological clock that results from multiple complex biological processes. In mammals, including humans, the body temperature displays a strict circadian rhythm and has to be maintained within a narrow [...] Read more.
The circadian rhythm of the body temperature (CRBT) is a marker of the central biological clock that results from multiple complex biological processes. In mammals, including humans, the body temperature displays a strict circadian rhythm and has to be maintained within a narrow range to allow optimal physiological functions. There is nowadays growing evidence on the role of the temperature circadian rhythm on the expression of the molecular clock. The CRBT likely participates in the phase coordination of circadian timekeepers in peripheral tissues, thus guaranteeing the proper functioning of the immune system. The disruption of the CRBT, such as fever, has been repeatedly described in diseases and likely reflects a physiological process to activate the molecular clock and trigger the immune response. On the other hand, temperature circadian disruption has also been described as associated with disease severity and thus may mirror or contribute to immune dysfunction. The present review aims to characterize the potential implication of the temperature circadian rhythm on the immune response, from molecular pathways to diseases. The origin of CRBT and physiological changes in body temperature will be mentioned. We further review the immune biological effects of temperature rhythmicity in hosts, vectors, and pathogens. Finally, we discuss the relationship between circadian disruption of the body temperature and diseases and highlight the emerging evidence that CRBT monitoring would be an easy tool to predict outcomes and guide future studies in chronotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Disruption and Metabolic Disorders)
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Open AccessCommunication
A Universal Model for the Log-Normal Distribution of Elasticity in Polymeric Gels and Its Relevance to Mechanical Signature of Biological Tissues
Biology 2021, 10(1), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010064 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The mechanosensitivity of cells has recently been identified as a process that could greatly influence a cell’s fate. To understand the interaction between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix, the characterization of the mechanical properties of natural polymeric gels is needed. Atomic force [...] Read more.
The mechanosensitivity of cells has recently been identified as a process that could greatly influence a cell’s fate. To understand the interaction between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix, the characterization of the mechanical properties of natural polymeric gels is needed. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is one of the leading tools used to characterize mechanically biological tissues. It appears that the elasticity (elastic modulus) values obtained by AFM presents a log-normal distribution. Despite its ubiquity, the log-normal distribution concerning the elastic modulus of biological tissues does not have a clear explanation. In this paper, we propose a physical mechanism based on the weak universality of critical exponents in the percolation process leading to gelation. Following this, we discuss the relevance of this model for mechanical signatures of biological tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives of Theoretical Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Endemic Juniperus Montane Species Facing Extinction Risk under Climate Change in Southwest China: Integrative Approach for Conservation Assessment and Prioritization
Biology 2021, 10(1), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010063 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Climate change is an important driver of biodiversity loss and extinction of endemic montane species. In China, three endemic Juniperus spp. (Juniperuspingii var. pingii, J.tibetica, and J.komarovii) are threatened and subjected to the risk of extinction. This [...] Read more.
Climate change is an important driver of biodiversity loss and extinction of endemic montane species. In China, three endemic Juniperus spp. (Juniperuspingii var. pingii, J.tibetica, and J.komarovii) are threatened and subjected to the risk of extinction. This study aimed to predict the potential distribution of these three Juniperus species under climate change and dispersal scenarios, to identify critical drivers explaining their potential distributions, to assess the extinction risk by estimating the loss percentage in their area of occupancy (AOO), and to identify priority areas for their conservation in China. We used ensemble modeling to evaluate the impact of climate change and project AOO. Our results revealed that the projected AOOs followed a similar trend in the three Juniperus species, which predicted an entire loss of their suitable habitats under both climate and dispersal scenarios. Temperature annual range and isothermality were the most critical key variables explaining the potential distribution of these three Juniperus species; they contribute by 16–56.1% and 20.4–38.3%, respectively. Accounting for the use of different thresholds provides a balanced approach for species distribution models’ applications in conservation assessment when the goal is to assess potential climatic suitability in new geographical areas. Therefore, south Sichuan and north Yunnan could be considered important priority conservation areas for in situ conservation and search for unknown populations of these three Juniperus species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead Concentrations in Erythrocytes of Renal Transplant Recipients from Northwestern Poland
Biology 2021, 10(1), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010062 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) exhibit highly nephrotoxic properties, and their high concentrations can lead to renal failure. Much research has been conducted on the concentrations of heavy metals, microelements, and macroelements in the blood, but little is known about the [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) exhibit highly nephrotoxic properties, and their high concentrations can lead to renal failure. Much research has been conducted on the concentrations of heavy metals, microelements, and macroelements in the blood, but little is known about the concentration of Cd, Pb, and Hg in erythrocytes of renal recipients. The aim of this study is to determine the blood erythrocyte concentrations of toxic metals (Cd, Pb, and Hg) in renal transplant recipients (RTRs). Additionally, we analyzed the effect of selected biological and environmental factors, including the intake of various immunosuppressive drug regimens and smoking, on these xenobiotic concentrations. The material consisted of erythrocyte samples from 115 patients of the Department of Nephrology, Transplantology, and Internal Medicine at Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 2, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, in northwestern Poland. Cd, Hg, and Pb levels in the erythrocytes were quantified by inductively coupled mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Equal concentrations of Cd were found in erythrocytes of both female and male transplant recipients. The highest level of Hg was seen in women, and women overall had statistically higher concentrations of Pb than men. Comparison of metal concentrations between those over 50 years and those under it showed that Pb concentration was also significantly higher in renal transplant recipients over 50. Pb concentration was almost twice as high in RTRs who used tacrolimus with mycophenolate mofetil than in RTRs who used cyclosporine A with mycophenolate mofetil. The highest level of Cd was seen in smokers, who had 3.25 µg/L. This value was significantly higher than in ex-smokers (p = 0.001) and with RTRs who had never smoked. There were significantly higher levels of Pb in the erythrocytes of RTRs who were ex-smokers than in those who had never smoked. A statistically significant correlation was found between Cd and Pb concentrations. Additionally, we have noticed significant positive correlation between Pb and age (R = 0.37), gender (R = 0.24) and significant negative correlation of Pb with GFR (R = −0.33). We have also found significant positive correlation between Hg and age (R = 0.21). In summary, our data suggest that, smoking is associated with Pb and Cd concentrations, and gender, age change depending on Pb concentration in erythrocytes of RTRs. Additionally, this is the first research that suggests that immunosuppressive regimen, depending on type of immunosuppressive drugs combination affects Pb concentration in erythrocytes of RTRs. It seems to be crucial information for patients who use immunosuppressive drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Biology)
Open AccessReview
Physiology: An Important Tool to Assess the Welfare of Aquatic Animals
Biology 2021, 10(1), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010061 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The assessment of welfare in aquatic animals is currently under debate, especially concerning those kept by humans. The classic concept of animal welfare includes three elements: The emotional state of the organism (including the absence of negative experiences), the possibility of expressing normal [...] Read more.
The assessment of welfare in aquatic animals is currently under debate, especially concerning those kept by humans. The classic concept of animal welfare includes three elements: The emotional state of the organism (including the absence of negative experiences), the possibility of expressing normal behaviors, and the proper functioning of the organism. While methods for evaluating their emotions (such as fear, pain, and anguish) are currently being developed for aquatic species and understanding the natural behavior of all aquatic taxa that interact with humans is a task that requires more time, the evaluation of internal responses in the organisms can be carried out using analytical tools. This review aims to show the potential of the physiology of crustaceans, cephalopods, elasmobranchs, teleosts, and dipnoans to serve as indicators of their wellbeing. Since the classical methods of assessing welfare are laborious and time-consuming by evaluation of fear, pain, and anguish, the assessment may be complemented by physiological approaches. This involves the study of stress responses, including the release of hormones and their effects. Therefore, physiology may be of help in improving animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Signatures of Cryptosporidium parvum-Infected HCT-8 Cells and Impact of Selected Metabolic Inhibitors on C. parvum Infection under Physioxia and Hyperoxia
Biology 2021, 10(1), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010060 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Cryptosporidium parvum is an apicomplexan zoonotic parasite recognized as the second leading-cause of diarrhoea-induced mortality in children. In contrast to other apicomplexans, C.parvum has minimalistic metabolic capacities which are almost exclusively based on glycolysis. Consequently, C. parvum is highly dependent on its [...] Read more.
Cryptosporidium parvum is an apicomplexan zoonotic parasite recognized as the second leading-cause of diarrhoea-induced mortality in children. In contrast to other apicomplexans, C.parvum has minimalistic metabolic capacities which are almost exclusively based on glycolysis. Consequently, C. parvum is highly dependent on its host cell metabolism. In vivo (within the intestine) infected epithelial host cells are typically exposed to low oxygen pressure (1–11% O2, termed physioxia). Here, we comparatively analyzed the metabolic signatures of C. parvum-infected HCT-8 cells cultured under both, hyperoxia (21% O2), representing the standard oxygen condition used in most experimental settings, and physioxia (5% O2), to be closer to the in vivo situation. The most pronounced effect of C. parvum infection on host cell metabolism was, on one side, an increase in glucose and glutamine uptake, and on the other side, an increase in lactate release. When cultured in a glutamine-deficient medium, C. parvum infection led to a massive increase in glucose consumption and lactate production. Together, these results point to the important role of both glycolysis and glutaminolysis during C. parvum intracellular replication. Referring to obtained metabolic signatures, we targeted glycolysis as well as glutaminolysis in C. parvum-infected host cells by using the inhibitors lonidamine [inhibitor of hexokinase, mitochondrial carrier protein (MCP) and monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) 1, 2, 4], galloflavin (lactate dehydrogenase inhibitor), syrosingopine (MCT1- and MCT4 inhibitor) and compound 968 (glutaminase inhibitor) under hyperoxic and physioxic conditions. In line with metabolic signatures, all inhibitors significantly reduced parasite replication under both oxygen conditions, thereby proving both energy-related metabolic pathways, glycolysis and glutaminolysis, but also lactate export mechanisms via MCTs as pivotal for C. parvum under in vivo physioxic conditions of mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Connexins and the Epithelial Tissue Barrier: A Focus on Connexin 26
Biology 2021, 10(1), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010059 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Epithelial tissue responds rapidly to environmental triggers and is constantly renewed. This tissue is also highly accessible for therapeutic targeting. This review highlights the role of connexin mediated communication in avascular epithelial tissue. These proteins form communication conduits with the extracellular space (hemichannels) [...] Read more.
Epithelial tissue responds rapidly to environmental triggers and is constantly renewed. This tissue is also highly accessible for therapeutic targeting. This review highlights the role of connexin mediated communication in avascular epithelial tissue. These proteins form communication conduits with the extracellular space (hemichannels) and between neighboring cells (gap junctions). Regulated exchange of small metabolites less than 1kDa aide the co-ordination of cellular activities and in spatial communication compartments segregating tissue networks. Dysregulation of connexin expression and function has profound impact on physiological processes in epithelial tissue including wound healing. Connexin 26, one of the smallest connexins, is expressed in diverse epithelial tissue and mutations in this protein are associated with hearing loss, skin and eye conditions of differing severity. The functional consequences of dysregulated connexin activity is discussed and the development of connexin targeted therapeutic strategies highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessCommunication
Does KRAS Play a Role in the Regulation of Colon Cancer Cells-Derived Exosomes?
Biology 2021, 10(1), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010058 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Exosomes are cell-derived nanovesicles, and lately, cancer-derived exosomes have been reported to carry KRAS protein, which contributes to the malignancy of many cancers. In this study, farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) was used to inhibit the activities of mutated KRAS in colon cancer SW480 cells [...] Read more.
Exosomes are cell-derived nanovesicles, and lately, cancer-derived exosomes have been reported to carry KRAS protein, which contributes to the malignancy of many cancers. In this study, farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) was used to inhibit the activities of mutated KRAS in colon cancer SW480 cells to discover the potential link between KRAS activities and cancer-derived exosomes. We observed that FTS inhibits KRAS activity in SW480 cells, but promotes their exosome production. When the exosomal proteins of SW480 cells were profiled, a total of 435 proteins were identified with 16 of them showing significant changes (greater than or equal to two-fold) in response to FTS treatment. Protein network analysis suggests KRAS inhibition may trigger stress in the cells. In addition, a high level of acetyl-coA synthetase family member 4 protein which plays an important role in colon cancer survival was identified in the exosomes secreted by FTS-treated SW480 cells. The uptake of these exosomes suppresses the growth of some cell types, but in general exosomes from FTS-treated cells enhance the recipient cell survival when compared to that of untreated cells. Together our findings suggest that FTS may trigger stress in SW480 cells, and induce more exosomes secretion as the survival messenger to mitigate the impact of KRAS inhibition in colon cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles: From Biomarkers to Therapeutic Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Alterations in Glucose Metabolism Due to Decreased Expression of Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein M in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Biology 2021, 10(1), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010057 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 465
Abstract
The prognosis of pancreatic cancer is considerably worse than that of other cancers, as early detection of pancreatic cancer is difficult and due to its hypovascular environment, which involves low blood flow and a low supply of oxygen and nutrients. Moreover, pancreatic cancer [...] Read more.
The prognosis of pancreatic cancer is considerably worse than that of other cancers, as early detection of pancreatic cancer is difficult and due to its hypovascular environment, which involves low blood flow and a low supply of oxygen and nutrients. Moreover, pancreatic cancer demonstrates a mechanism that allows it to survive in a hypovascular environment. However, the detailed mechanism remains elusive. Recently, it has been reported that heterogeneous ribonuclear protein M (HNRNPM) is a splicing factor associated with malignant tumors. Thus, in this study, we investigated the expression and effects of HNRNPM in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). We observed that HNRNPM expression, which is highly expressed in pancreatic tissues, was reduced in PDA tissues. Additionally, knockdown of HNRNPM under low-glucose conditions that mimic a hypovascular environment was shown to alter glucose metabolism and prolong cell survival by suppressing glucose consumption. These results suggest that the decreased expression of HNRNPM in PDA may be involved in its adaptation to a hypovascular environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Agro-Physiologic Responses and Stress-Related Gene Expression of Four Doubled Haploid Wheat Lines under Salinity Stress Conditions
Biology 2021, 10(1), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010056 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Salinity majorly hinders horizontal and vertical expansion in worldwide wheat production. Productivity can be enhanced using salt-tolerant wheat genotypes. However, the assessment of salt tolerance potential in bread wheat doubled haploid lines (DHL) through agro-physiological traits and stress-related gene expression analysis could potentially [...] Read more.
Salinity majorly hinders horizontal and vertical expansion in worldwide wheat production. Productivity can be enhanced using salt-tolerant wheat genotypes. However, the assessment of salt tolerance potential in bread wheat doubled haploid lines (DHL) through agro-physiological traits and stress-related gene expression analysis could potentially minimize the cost of breeding programs and be a powerful way for the selection of the most salt-tolerant genotype. We used an extensive set of agro-physiologic parameters and salt-stress-related gene expressions. Multivariate analysis was used to detect phenotypic and genetic variations of wheat genotypes more closely under salinity stress, and we analyzed how these strategies effectively balance each other. Four doubled haploid lines (DHLs) and the check cultivar (Sakha93) were evaluated in two salinity levels (without and 150 mM NaCl) until harvest. The five genotypes showed reduced growth under 150 mM NaCl; however, the check cultivar (Sakha93) died at the beginning of the flowering stage. Salt stress induced reduction traits, except the canopy temperature and initial electrical conductivity, which was found in each of the five genotypes, with the greatest decline occurring in the check cultivar (Sakha-93) and the least decline in DHL2. The genotypes DHL21 and DHL5 exhibited increased expression rate of salt-stress-related genes (TaNHX1, TaHKT1, and TaCAT1) compared with DHL2 and Sakha93 under salt stress conditions. Principle component analysis detection of the first two components explains 70.78% of the overall variation of all traits (28 out of 32 traits). A multiple linear regression model and path coefficient analysis showed a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.93. The models identified two interpretive variables, number of spikelets, and/or number of kernels, which can be unbiased traits for assessing wheat DHLs under salinity stress conditions, given their contribution and direct impact on the grain yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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Open AccessReview
Changes of Gut-Microbiota-Liver Axis in Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Biology 2021, 10(1), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010055 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
The gut–liver-axis is a bidirectional coordination between the gut, including microbial residents, the gut microbiota, from one side and the liver on the other side. Any disturbance in this crosstalk may lead to a disease status that impacts the functionality of both the [...] Read more.
The gut–liver-axis is a bidirectional coordination between the gut, including microbial residents, the gut microbiota, from one side and the liver on the other side. Any disturbance in this crosstalk may lead to a disease status that impacts the functionality of both the gut and the liver. A major cause of liver disorders is hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection that has been illustrated to be associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis at different stages of the disease progression. This dysbiosis may start a cycle of inflammation and metabolic disturbance that impacts the gut and liver health and contributes to the disease progression. This review discusses the latest literature addressing this interplay between the gut microbiota and the liver in HCV infection from both directions. Additionally, we highlight the contribution of gut microbiota to the metabolism of antivirals used in HCV treatment regimens and the impact of these medications on the microbiota composition. This review sheds light on the potential of the gut microbiota manipulation as an alternative therapeutic approach to control the liver complications post HCV infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cutaneous Manifestations in COVID-19: Report on 31 Cases from Five Countries
Biology 2021, 10(1), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010054 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 683
Abstract
The increasingly frequent cutaneous manifestations of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remain to pose a problem to clinicians. Herein, we aimed to describe the clinical and pathological findings of skin lesions in patients with COVID-19. The case series, which was based on the International Dermatological [...] Read more.
The increasingly frequent cutaneous manifestations of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remain to pose a problem to clinicians. Herein, we aimed to describe the clinical and pathological findings of skin lesions in patients with COVID-19. The case series, which was based on the International Dermatological Registry circulated to dermatologists worldwide, was conducted across organizations and societies belonging to five different countries. We documented 31 patients with dermatologic manifestations associated with COVID-19, including maculopapular rashes (16.10%), urticarial lesions (26.80%), pseudochilblains (22.60%), petechiae/purpura (6.50%), distal ischaemia and necrosis (6.50%), livedo racemosa (12.90%), and others (9.70%). Twenty-six cases (83.90%) were qRT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases, two (6.50%) were serologically confirmed, while two others (9.7%) were suspected cases owing to previous contact with COVID-19-positive patients. Therefore, our findings indicate that a febrile rash or even a rash in an afebrile state in the early stages of the disease may be the only clinical manifestation of COVID-19. In the future, we recommend close monitoring of all patients with skin lesions not attributable to other causal factors; in the diagnostic perspective, clinicians should aim to confirm if the skin lesions are associated with COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19))
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Open AccessArticle
Predictive Model of Nail Consistency Using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-Ray
Biology 2021, 10(1), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010053 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The nail plate is made up of tightly packed keratin-rich cells. Factors such as the special distribution of the intermediate filaments in each layer (dorsal, intermediate, and ventral), the relative thickness of the layers, and their chemical composition define the characteristics of each [...] Read more.
The nail plate is made up of tightly packed keratin-rich cells. Factors such as the special distribution of the intermediate filaments in each layer (dorsal, intermediate, and ventral), the relative thickness of the layers, and their chemical composition define the characteristics of each nail. The main objective of this study is to determine nail consistency by calculating a predictive model based on elemental composition analysis using scanning electron microscopy. Nail consistency was determined in 57 participants (29 women and 28 men) in two age groups (young people and adults). Elemental composition was analysed in each layer using scanning SEM-EDS, and nail plate thickness was measured by image analysis. A total of 12 elements were detected in nail plates, of which carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, and calcium showed significant differences between layers (p-values ≤ 0.01). The level of calcium in the dorsal layer was the main predictive variable in calculating the predictive model of consistency, with 75.4% correctly classified cases. Elemental analysis in each layer of the nail plate by SEM-EDS can be used to develop a predictive model of nail consistency that will help health professionals to objectively determine nail consistency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessCommunication
The Long-Term Evolutionary History of Gradual Reduction of CpG Dinucleotides in the SARS-CoV-2 Lineage
Biology 2021, 10(1), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010052 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Recent studies suggested that the fraction of CG dinucleotides (CpG) is severely reduced in the genome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The CpG deficiency was predicted to be the adaptive response of the virus to evade degradation of the viral [...] Read more.
Recent studies suggested that the fraction of CG dinucleotides (CpG) is severely reduced in the genome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The CpG deficiency was predicted to be the adaptive response of the virus to evade degradation of the viral RNA by the antiviral zinc finger protein that specifically binds to CpG nucleotides. By comparing all representative genomes belonging to the genus Betacoronavirus, this study examined the potential time of origin of CpG depletion. The results of this investigation revealed a highly significant correlation between the proportions of CpG nucleotide (CpG content) of the betacoronavirus species and their times of divergence from SARS-CoV-2. Species that are distantly related to SARS-CoV-2 had much higher CpG contents than that of SARS-CoV-2. Conversely, closely related species had low CpG contents that are similar to or slightly higher than that of SARS-CoV-2. These results suggest a systematic and continuous reduction in the CpG content in the SARS-CoV-2 lineage that might have started since the Sarbecovirus + Hibecovirus clade separated from Nobecovirus, which was estimated to be 1213 years ago. This depletion was not found to be mediated by the GC contents of the genomes. Our results also showed that the depletion of CpG occurred at neutral positions of the genome as well as those under selection. The latter is evident from the progressive reduction in the proportion of arginine amino acid (coded by CpG dinucleotides) in the SARS-CoV-2 lineage over time. The results of this study suggest that shedding CpG nucleotides from their genome is a continuing process in this viral lineage, potentially to escape from their host defense mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Evolutionary Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Microscopy Methods for Biofilm Imaging: Focus on SEM and VP-SEM Pros and Cons
Biology 2021, 10(1), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010051 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Several imaging methodologies have been used in biofilm studies, contributing to deepening the knowledge on their structure. This review illustrates the most widely used microscopy techniques in biofilm investigations, focusing on traditional and innovative scanning electron microscopy techniques such as scanning electron microscopy [...] Read more.
Several imaging methodologies have been used in biofilm studies, contributing to deepening the knowledge on their structure. This review illustrates the most widely used microscopy techniques in biofilm investigations, focusing on traditional and innovative scanning electron microscopy techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), variable pressure SEM (VP-SEM), environmental SEM (ESEM), and the more recent ambiental SEM (ASEM), ending with the cutting edge Cryo-SEM and focused ion beam SEM (FIB SEM), highlighting the pros and cons of several methods with particular emphasis on conventional SEM and VP-SEM. As each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, the choice of the most appropriate method must be done carefully, based on the specific aim of the study. The evaluation of the drug effects on biofilm requires imaging methods that show the most detailed ultrastructural features of the biofilm. In this kind of research, the use of scanning electron microscopy with customized protocols such as osmium tetroxide (OsO4), ruthenium red (RR), tannic acid (TA) staining, and ionic liquid (IL) treatment is unrivalled for its image quality, magnification, resolution, minimal sample loss, and actual sample structure preservation. The combined use of innovative SEM protocols and 3-D image analysis software will allow for quantitative data from SEM images to be extracted; in this way, data from images of samples that have undergone different antibiofilm treatments can be compared. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Venoms of Non-Polydnavirus Carrying Ichneumonoid Wasps
Biology 2021, 10(1), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010050 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Parasitoids are predominantly insects that develop as larvae on or inside their host, also usually another insect, ultimately killing it after various periods of parasitism when both parasitoid larva and host are alive. The very large wasp superfamily Ichneumonoidea is composed of parasitoids [...] Read more.
Parasitoids are predominantly insects that develop as larvae on or inside their host, also usually another insect, ultimately killing it after various periods of parasitism when both parasitoid larva and host are alive. The very large wasp superfamily Ichneumonoidea is composed of parasitoids of other insects and comprises a minimum of 100,000 species. The superfamily is dominated by two similarly sized families, Braconidae and Ichneumonidae, which are collectively divided into approximately 80 subfamilies. Of these, six have been shown to release DNA-containing virus-like particles, encoded within the wasp genome, classified in the virus family Polydnaviridae. Polydnaviruses infect and have profound effects on host physiology in conjunction with various venom and ovarial secretions, and have attracted an immense amount of research interest. Physiological interactions between the remaining ichneumonoids and their hosts result from adult venom gland secretions and in some cases, ovarian or larval secretions. Here we review the literature on the relatively few studies on the effects and chemistry of these ichneumonoid venoms and make suggestions for interesting future research areas. In particular, we highlight relatively or potentially easily culturable systems with features largely lacking in currently studied systems and whose study may lead to new insights into the roles of venom chemistry in host-parasitoid relationships as well as their evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Parasite Interactions: Trends in Molecular Ecology)
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Open AccessReview
The Vascular Effects of Isolated Isoflavones—A Focus on the Determinants of Blood Pressure Regulation
Biology 2021, 10(1), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010049 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Isoflavones are phytoestrogen compounds with important biological activities, including improvement of cardiovascular health. This activity is most evident in populations with a high isoflavone dietary intake, essentially from soybean-based products. The major isoflavones known to display the most important cardiovascular effects are genistein, [...] Read more.
Isoflavones are phytoestrogen compounds with important biological activities, including improvement of cardiovascular health. This activity is most evident in populations with a high isoflavone dietary intake, essentially from soybean-based products. The major isoflavones known to display the most important cardiovascular effects are genistein, daidzein, glycitein, formononetin, and biochanin A, although the closely related metabolite equol is also relevant. Most clinical studies have been focused on the impact of dietary intake or supplementation with mixtures of compounds, with only a few addressing the effect of isolated compounds. This paper reviews the main actions of isolated isoflavones on the vasculature, with particular focus given to their effect on the determinants of blood pressure regulation. Isoflavones exert vasorelaxation due to a multitude of pathways in different vascular beds. They can act in the endothelium to potentiate the release of NO and endothelium-derived hyperpolarization factors. In the vascular smooth muscle, isoflavones modulate calcium and potassium channels, leading to hyperpolarization and relaxation. Some of these effects are influenced by the binding of isoflavones to estrogen receptors and to the inhibition of specific kinase enzymes. The vasorelaxation effects of isoflavones are mostly obtained with plasma concentrations in the micromolar range, which are only attained through supplementation. This paper highlights isolated isoflavones as potentially suitable alternatives to soy-based foodstuffs and supplements and which could enlarge the current therapeutic arsenal. Nonetheless, more studies are needed to better establish their safety profile and elect the most useful applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microcirculation in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Force Generation on the Hallux Is More Affected by the Ankle Joint Angle than the Lesser Toes: An In Vivo Human Study
Biology 2021, 10(1), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010048 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The structure of the first toe is independent of that of the other toes, while the functional difference remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference in the force generation characteristics between the plantar-flexion of the first and second–fifth [...] Read more.
The structure of the first toe is independent of that of the other toes, while the functional difference remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference in the force generation characteristics between the plantar-flexion of the first and second–fifth metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJs) by comparing the maximal voluntary plantar-flexion torques (MVC torque) at different MTPJs and ankle positions. The MVC torques of the first and second–fifth MTPJs were measured at 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45° dorsiflexed positions of the MTPJs, and at 20° plantar-flexed, neutral, and 20° dorsiflexed positions of the ankle. Two-way repeated measures analyses of variance with Holm’s multiple comparison test (MTPJ position × ankle position) were performed. When the MTPJ was dorsiflexed at 0°, 15°, and 30°, the MVC torque of the first MTPJ when the ankle was dorsiflexed at 20° was higher than that when the ankle was plantar-flexed at 20°. However, the ankle position had no significant effect on the MVC torque of the second–fifth MTPJ. Thus, the MVC torque of the first MTPJ was more affected by the ankle position than the second–fifth MTPJs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Sub-Fractions of Red Blood Cells Respond Differently to Shear Exposure Following Superoxide Treatment
Biology 2021, 10(1), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010047 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Red blood cell (RBC) deformability is an essential component of microcirculatory function that appears to be enhanced by physiological shear stress, while being negatively affected by supraphysiological shears and/or free radical exposure. Given that blood contains RBCs with non-uniform physical properties, whether all [...] Read more.
Red blood cell (RBC) deformability is an essential component of microcirculatory function that appears to be enhanced by physiological shear stress, while being negatively affected by supraphysiological shears and/or free radical exposure. Given that blood contains RBCs with non-uniform physical properties, whether all cells equivalently tolerate mechanical and oxidative stresses remains poorly understood. We thus partitioned blood into old and young RBCs which were exposed to phenazine methosulfate (PMS) that generates intracellular superoxide and/or specific mechanical stress. Measured RBC deformability was lower in old compared to young RBCs. PMS increased total free radicals in both sub-populations, and RBC deformability decreased accordingly. Shear exposure did not affect reactive species in the sub-populations but reduced RBC nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activation and intriguingly increased RBC deformability in old RBCs. The co-application of PMS and shear exposure also improved cellular deformability in older cells previously exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS), but not in younger cells. Outputs of NO generation appeared dependent on cell age; in general, stressors applied to younger RBCs tended to induce S-nitrosylation of RBC cytoskeletal proteins, while older RBCs tended to reflect markers of nitrosative stress. We thus present novel findings pertaining to the interplay of mechanical stress and redox metabolism in circulating RBC sub-populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expression and Possible Role of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor ε Subunit (AChRe) in Mouse Sperm
Biology 2021, 10(1), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010046 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 648
Abstract
The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is one of the receptors of acetylcholine (ACh), and nicotine (NIC) acts as an agonist of this receptor. Among the nAChR subunits, we found that the ε subunit (AChRe) had approximately 10 to 1000 times higher level of [...] Read more.
The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is one of the receptors of acetylcholine (ACh), and nicotine (NIC) acts as an agonist of this receptor. Among the nAChR subunits, we found that the ε subunit (AChRe) had approximately 10 to 1000 times higher level of mRNA expression in mouse testes than the other subunits. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the expression and localization of AChRe in the testes and spermatozoa of mice and clarify the effect of AChRe on sperm function. Immunocytochemistry showed that AChRe was expressed in the murine testes and spermatozoa. We found that AChRe was localized only in elongated spermatids from step 12 onwards in the testes. In spermatozoa, AChRe was localized in the head, especially in the anterior region of the acrosome, but only approximately 50% of spermatozoa showed this immunoreactivity. Additionally, we analyzed the effects of ACh and NIC on sperm acrosome reaction (AR) and found that both ACh and NIC suppressed the AR rate, which was restored by an AChRe-specific antagonist. These results suggest that AChRe may be a regulator of mammalian sperm AR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Interconversion of Plasma Free Thyroxine Values from Assay Platforms with Different Reference Intervals Using Linear Transformation Methods
Biology 2021, 10(1), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010045 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Clinicians often encounter thyroid function tests (TFT) comprising serum/plasma free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) measured using different assay platforms during the course of follow-up evaluations which complicates reliable comparison and interpretation of TFT changes. Although interconversion between concentration units is [...] Read more.
Clinicians often encounter thyroid function tests (TFT) comprising serum/plasma free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) measured using different assay platforms during the course of follow-up evaluations which complicates reliable comparison and interpretation of TFT changes. Although interconversion between concentration units is straightforward, the validity of interconversion of FT4/TSH values from one assay platform to another with different reference intervals remains questionable. This study aims to establish an accurate and reliable methodology of interconverting FT4 by any laboratory to an equivalent FT4 value scaled to a reference range of interest via linear transformation methods. As a proof-of-concept, FT4 was simultaneously assayed by direct analog immunoassay, tandem mass spectrometry and equilibrium dialysis. Both linear and piecewise linear transformations proved relatively accurate for FT4 inter-scale conversion. Linear transformation performs better when FT4 are converted from a more accurate to a less accurate assay platform. The converse is true, whereby piecewise linear transformation is superior to linear transformation when converting values from a less accurate method to a more robust assay platform. Such transformations can potentially apply to other biochemical analytes scale conversions, including TSH. This aids interpretation of TFT trends while monitoring the treatment of patients with thyroid disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Smallholder Farmers’ Practices and African Indigenous Vegetables Affect Soil Microbial Biodiversity and Enzyme Activities in Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya
Biology 2021, 10(1), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010044 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Loss of soil biodiversity and fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may put the food security of smallholder farmers in peril. Food systems in SSA are seeing the rise of African indigenous vegetables (AIVs) that are underexploited but locally consumed without being considered a [...] Read more.
Loss of soil biodiversity and fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may put the food security of smallholder farmers in peril. Food systems in SSA are seeing the rise of African indigenous vegetables (AIVs) that are underexploited but locally consumed without being considered a primary source of food and income. Here we present a field study, a first of its kind, in which we investigated the effects of different cropping systems and inclusion of AIVs in the farming approach on bacterial and fungal biodiversity and community structures, enzymatic activity, and the alteration status of soils of the smallholder farmers in Kenya. When compared to mainstream farming approaches, the composition and biodiversity of bacteria and fungi under AIV cultivations was significantly different. Tillage had a significant impact only on the fungal communities. Fertilization and soil amendments caused shifts in microbial communities towards specialized degraders and revealed the introduction of specific microorganisms from amendments. Traditional homemade plant protection products did not cause any disturbance to either of soil bacteria or fungi. The soil alteration index based on enzyme activity successfully differentiated the alteration status for the first time in SSA. These findings could be useful for farmers to integrate AIVs with correct sustainable practices for a sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Linking Soil Biology to Agro-Ecosystems Functional Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Flaxseed Lignans and Polyphenols Enhanced Activity in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Biology 2021, 10(1), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010043 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Flaxseeds play an important role in human health due to their chemical composition and recognized beneficial outcomes. This study investigated the antidiabetic effects of present lignans and polyphenols found in the flaxseed extract on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The flaxseed administration produced favorable [...] Read more.
Flaxseeds play an important role in human health due to their chemical composition and recognized beneficial outcomes. This study investigated the antidiabetic effects of present lignans and polyphenols found in the flaxseed extract on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The flaxseed administration produced favorable changes in body weight, food and water intake, and glycosylated hemoglobin and blood glucose quantities in the treated diabetic rats. Additionally, significant positive results were observed in the biochemical parameters, namely reduced plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, plasma creatinine, and urea and uric acid levels, highlighting the seeds’ use in traditional medicine. The results were sustained by histopathological observations that showed better tissue preservation following the flaxseed diet. Overall, the consumption of flaxseeds produced moderate reduction in glucose levels and hyperlipidemia, together with improvement in the impaired organs’ function in diabetic rats. The daily administration of polyphenols and lignans compounds could impact therapeutic potential in diabetes management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Adaptive, Rotary, and Manual Root Canal Instrumentation in Primary Molars: A Triple-Armed, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Biology 2021, 10(1), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010042 - 10 Jan 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
This clinical trial focused on collating the instrumentation time and quality of root canal obturation in primary molars treated with three instrumentation techniques: adaptive, rotary, and manual. A triple-armed, randomized controlled clinical trial was performed on 75 primary molars requiring pulpectomy treatment, divided [...] Read more.
This clinical trial focused on collating the instrumentation time and quality of root canal obturation in primary molars treated with three instrumentation techniques: adaptive, rotary, and manual. A triple-armed, randomized controlled clinical trial was performed on 75 primary molars requiring pulpectomy treatment, divided into three groups (n = 25 per group). The teeth in Group 1 were instrumented with an adaptive technique (XP-endo Shaper, FKG Dentaire, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland), Group 2 with pediatric rotary files (Kedo-S; D1 and E1), and Group 3 with a manual technique (hand K-files). The apical size of the final instrumentation was maintained at #30 for all groups. Instrumentation time and the grade of the root canal obturation were evaluated. Instrumentation duration was recorded, employing a digital stopwatch from the insertion of the first file until the completion of final irrigation. Obturation quality was assessed using radiographs. The criteria taken as a reference for obturation were: optimal (1 mm short of the apex), underfilled (2 mm short of the apex), or overfilled (beyond the apex). The use of an adaptive technique was associated with the lowest instrumentation time (p < 0.0001) when used for instrumenting primary molars and with the highest root canal filling quality of the three groups. The application of the new concept of adaptive instrumentation for pulpectomy of primary molars was a favorable technique, considering the significant reduction in instrumentation time and better obturation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Precision Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Cold Atmospheric Plasma, a Novel Approach against Bladder Cancer, with Higher Sensitivity for the High-Grade Cell Line
Biology 2021, 10(1), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010041 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Antitumor therapies based on Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) are an emerging medical field. In this work, we evaluated CAP effects on bladder cancer. Two bladder cancer cell lines were used, HT-1376 (stage III) and TCCSUP (stage IV). Cell proliferation assays were performed evaluating [...] Read more.
Antitumor therapies based on Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) are an emerging medical field. In this work, we evaluated CAP effects on bladder cancer. Two bladder cancer cell lines were used, HT-1376 (stage III) and TCCSUP (stage IV). Cell proliferation assays were performed evaluating metabolic activity (MTT assay) and protein content (SRB assay). Cell viability, cell cycle, and mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) were assessed using flow cytometry. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were evaluated by fluorescence. The assays were carried out with different CAP exposure times. For both cell lines, we obtained a significant reduction in metabolic activity and protein content. There was a decrease in cell viability, as well as a cell cycle arrest in S phase. The Δψm was significantly reduced. There was an increase in superoxide and nitric oxide and a decrease in peroxide contents, while GSH content did not change. These results were dependent on the exposure time, with small differences for both cell lines, but overall, they were more pronounced in the TCCSUP cell line. CAP showed to have a promising antitumor effect on bladder cancer, with higher sensitivity for the high-grade cell line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Physics in Cancer Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of Burn Damage Progression in a Human Composite Tissue Model
Biology 2021, 10(1), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10010040 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Comparative studies of human tissue damage caused by burns are challenging because precise information regarding the temperature, time, and duration of the exposure is often missing. Animal models cannot be fully translated to the human system due to interspecies differences in cutaneous tissues. [...] Read more.
Comparative studies of human tissue damage caused by burns are challenging because precise information regarding the temperature, time, and duration of the exposure is often missing. Animal models cannot be fully translated to the human system due to interspecies differences in cutaneous tissues. We used a human composite tissue model to compare tissue damage caused by thermal burns with different dynamics. Equal subcutaneous/cutaneous composite tissue samples from six donors were first exposed to either preheated steel (100 °C) or a precision flame burner (300 °C) and were then maintained in vitro for seven days. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that flame burns instantly caused deep and stable damage to the subcutaneous tissue, which stayed constant for seven days. By contrast, contact burns inflicted tissue damage that was initially superficial but then expanded deeper into the adipose tissue. This spatiotemporal expansion of tissue damage was essentially accompanied by macrophage and fibroblast activation, which points towards inflammation resolution and wound healing. Our study suggests that thermal differences in burns directly influence the course of tissue damage, the cellular response and, consequently, the likely dynamics of repair processes days after burn injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology)
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