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Special Issue "Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Barbara Predieri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the Mother, Children and Adults - Pediatric Unit, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
Interests: diabetes; obesity; cardiovascular disease; dyslipidemia; bone diseases; endocrine systems; endocrine disruptors; endocrine-related tumor and cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Communication within the human body involves the transmission of signals to control and coordinate actions in an effort to maintain homeostasis. One of the major organ systems responsible for providing these communication pathways is the endocrine system. In addition to the major endocrine glands, other organs of the body show endocrine function including the hypothalamus, heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and liver. Moreover, adipose tissue has long been known to produce hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines while bone-derived hormones play an important role in metabolism. Disruption of the gut microbiota and both inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers affect neuroendocrine homeostasis and promote several peripheral endocrine system diseases.

In this Special Issue of IJMS, we wish to offer a platform for high-quality research and current review articles on the relationship between the endocrine system and body regulation. Moreover, we will highlight recent research and review the role of gut microbiota and metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers in the mechanisms underlying the development of endocrine diseases and their related complications.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Predieri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • appetite regulation
  • bone metabolism
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • endocrine system
  • endocrine-related diseases
  • growth and development
  • inflammatory cytokines
  • microbiota
  • obesity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Architecture of the Pancreatic Islets and Endocrine Cell Arrangement in the Embryonic Pancreas of the Grass Snake (Natrix natrix L.). Immunocytochemical Studies and 3D Reconstructions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7601; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22147601 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 696
Abstract
During the early developmental stages of grass snakes, within the differentiating pancreas, cords of endocrine cells are formed. They differentiate into agglomerates of large islets flanked throughout subsequent developmental stages by small groups of endocrine cells forming islets. The islets are located within [...] Read more.
During the early developmental stages of grass snakes, within the differentiating pancreas, cords of endocrine cells are formed. They differentiate into agglomerates of large islets flanked throughout subsequent developmental stages by small groups of endocrine cells forming islets. The islets are located within the cephalic part of the dorsal pancreas. At the end of the embryonic period, the pancreatic islet agglomerates branch off, and as a result of their remodeling, surround the splenic “bulb”. The stage of pancreatic endocrine ring formation is the first step in formation of intrasplenic islets characteristics for the adult specimens of the grass snake. The arrangement of endocrine cells within islets changes during pancreas differentiation. Initially, the core of islets formed from B and D cells is surrounded by a cluster of A cells. Subsequently, A, B, and D endocrine cells are mixed throughout the islets. Before grass snake hatching, A and B endocrine cells are intermingled within the islets, but D cells are arranged centrally. Moreover, the pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cells are not found within the embryonic pancreas of the grass snake. Variation in the proportions of different cell types, depending on the part of the pancreas, may affect the islet function—a higher proportion of glucagon cells is beneficial for insulin secretion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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Article
Placental Glucose Transporters and Response to Bisphenol A in Pregnancies from of Normal and Overweight Mothers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(12), 6625; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22126625 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 612
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic phenol extensively used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and a component of liquid and food storages. Among health disorders potentially attributed to BPA, the effects on metabolism have been especially studied. BPA represents [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic phenol extensively used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and a component of liquid and food storages. Among health disorders potentially attributed to BPA, the effects on metabolism have been especially studied. BPA represents a hazard in prenatal life because of its presence in tissues and fluids during pregnancy. Our recent study in rats fed with BPA showed a placental increase in glucose type 1 transporter (GLUT-1), suggesting a higher uptake of glucose. However, the role of BPA on GLUT transporters in pregnant women with metabolic dysfunction has not yet been investigated. In this study, placental tissue from 26 overweight (OW) women and 32 age-matched normal weight (NW) pregnant women were examined for expression of GLUT1 and GLUT4. Placental explants from OW and NW mothers were exposed to BPA 1 nM and 1 μM and tested for GLUTs expression. The data showed a different response of placental explants to BPA in GLUT1 expression with an increase in NW mothers and a decrease in OW ones. GLUT4 expression was lower in the explants from OW than NW mothers, while no difference was showed between OW and NW in placental biopsies for any of the transporters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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Article
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Therapy Modulates the miRNA Profile in Human Primary OA Chondrocytes and Antagonizes Inflammation in Tc28/2a Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5959; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22115959 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Nuclear magnetic resonance therapy (NMRT) is discussed as a participant in repair processes regarding cartilage and as an influence in pain signaling. To substantiate the application of NMRT, the underlying mechanisms at the cellular level were studied. In this study microRNA (miR) was [...] Read more.
Nuclear magnetic resonance therapy (NMRT) is discussed as a participant in repair processes regarding cartilage and as an influence in pain signaling. To substantiate the application of NMRT, the underlying mechanisms at the cellular level were studied. In this study microRNA (miR) was extracted from human primary healthy and osteoarthritis (OA) chondrocytes after NMR treatment and was sequenced by the Ion PI Hi-Q™ Sequencing 200 system. In addition, T/C-28a2 chondrocytes grown under hypoxic conditions were studied for IL-1β induced changes in expression on RNA and protein level. HDAC activity an NAD(+)/NADH was measured by luminescence detection. In OA chondrocytes miR-106a, miR-27a, miR-34b, miR-365a and miR-424 were downregulated. This downregulation was reversed by NMRT. miR-365a-5p is known to directly target HDAC and NF-ĸB, and a decrease in HDAC activity by NMRT was detected. NAD+/NADH was reduced by NMR treatment in OA chondrocytes. Under hypoxic conditions NMRT changed the expression profile of HIF1, HIF2, IGF2, MMP3, MMP13, and RUNX1. We conclude that NMRT changes the miR profile and modulates the HDAC and the NAD(+)/NADH signaling in human chondrocytes. These findings underline once more that NMRT counteracts IL-1β induced changes by reducing catabolic effects, thereby decreasing inflammatory mechanisms under OA by changing NF-ĸB signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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Article
Maternal Heat Stress Alters Expression of Genes Associated with Nutrient Transport Activity and Metabolism in Female Placentae from Mid-Gestating Pigs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 4147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22084147 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Placental insufficiency is a known consequence of maternal heat stress during gestation in farm animals. The molecular regulation of placentae during the stress response is little known in pigs. This study aims to identify differential gene expression in pig placentae caused by maternal [...] Read more.
Placental insufficiency is a known consequence of maternal heat stress during gestation in farm animals. The molecular regulation of placentae during the stress response is little known in pigs. This study aims to identify differential gene expression in pig placentae caused by maternal heat exposure during early to mid-gestation. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on female placental samples from pregnant pigs exposed to thermoneutral control (CON; constant 20 °C; n = 5) or cyclic heat stress (HS; cyclic 28 to 33 °C; n = 5) conditions between d40 and d60 of gestation. On d60 of gestation, placental efficiency (fetal/placental weight) was decreased (p = 0.023) by maternal HS. A total of 169 genes were differentially expressed (FDR ≤ 0.1) between CON and HS placentae of female fetuses, of which 35 genes were upregulated and 134 genes were downregulated by maternal HS. The current data revealed transport activity (FDR = 0.027), glycoprotein biosynthetic process (FDR = 0.044), and carbohydrate metabolic process (FDR = 0.049) among the terms enriched by the downregulated genes (HS vs. CON). In addition, solute carrier (SLC)-mediated transmembrane transport (FDR = 0.008) and glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis (FDR = 0.027), which modulates placental stroma synthesis, were identified among the pathways enriched by the downregulated genes. These findings provide evidence that heat-stress induced placental inefficiency may be underpinned by altered expression of genes associated with placental nutrient transport capacity and metabolism. A further understanding of the molecular mechanism contributes to the identification of placental gene signatures of summer infertility in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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Review

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Review
Insulin Signal Transduction Perturbations in Insulin Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8590; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168590 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 547
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a widespread medical condition, characterized by high blood glucose and inadequate insulin action, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in insulin-responsive tissues precedes the onset of pancreatic β-cell dysfunction. Multiple molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms are involved in [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a widespread medical condition, characterized by high blood glucose and inadequate insulin action, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in insulin-responsive tissues precedes the onset of pancreatic β-cell dysfunction. Multiple molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms are involved in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a consequence of a complex combination of metabolic disorders, lipotoxicity, glucotoxicity, and inflammation. There is ample evidence linking different mechanistic approaches as the cause of insulin resistance, but no central mechanism is yet described as an underlying reason behind this condition. This review combines and interlinks the defects in the insulin signal transduction pathway of the insulin resistance state with special emphasis on the AGE-RAGE-NF-κB axis. Here, we describe important factors that play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance to provide directionality for the events. The interplay of inflammation and oxidative stress that leads to β-cell decline through the IAPP-RAGE induced β-cell toxicity is also addressed. Overall, by generating a comprehensive overview of the plethora of mechanisms involved in insulin resistance, we focus on the establishment of unifying mechanisms to provide new insights for the future interventions of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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Other

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Systematic Review
The Role of the Noradrenergic System in Eating Disorders: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11086; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms222011086 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 181
Abstract
Noradrenaline (NE) is a catecholamine acting as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, with relevant effects in modulating feeding behavior and satiety. Several studies have assessed the relationship between the noradrenergic system and Eating Disorders (EDs). This systematic review aims to report the [...] Read more.
Noradrenaline (NE) is a catecholamine acting as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, with relevant effects in modulating feeding behavior and satiety. Several studies have assessed the relationship between the noradrenergic system and Eating Disorders (EDs). This systematic review aims to report the existing literature on the role of the noradrenergic system in the development and treatment of EDs. A total of 35 studies were included. Preclinical studies demonstrated an involvement of the noradrenergic pathways in binge-like behaviors. Genetic studies on polymorphisms in genes coding for NE transporters and regulating enzymes have shown conflicting evidence. Clinical studies have reported non-unanimous evidence for the existence of absolute alterations in plasma NE values in patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN). Pharmacological studies have documented the efficacy of noradrenaline-modulating therapies in the treatment of BN and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Insufficient evidence was found concerning the noradrenergic-mediated genetics of BED and BN, and psychopharmacological treatments targeting the noradrenergic system in AN. According to these data, further studies are required to expand the existing knowledge on the noradrenergic system as a potential target for treatments of EDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Connection between the Endocrine System and Body Regulation)
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