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Life, Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2022) – 269 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Aquilaria sinensis (Malvales: Thymelaeaceae) is one of the most important resin-containing plants for producing agar (a resin from agarwood) in China, and agarwood is a certified resource listed in traditional herbal medicine. The term16S rRNA is a constituent of the small prokaryotic ribosomal subunit, and its sequence of conserved regions reflects an interspecies genetic association. Comprehensive 16S rRNA analyses were performed on healthy agarwood and other types of wounded agarwood. The abundance of the bacterial community and the quality of the agarwood are directly correlated because the higher the abundance, the better the quality. These findings help to elucidate the molecular mechanism of incense formation. View this paper
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8 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Association of Glycosylated Hemoglobin with Long-Term Adverse Cardiac Events after Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Non Diabetes and Controlled Diabetes Patients: An Observational Study from the Korean COACT Registry
by Ha-Wook Park, Sung-Ho Her, Jin Jung, Hyunji Chun and Wook-Sung Chung
Life 2022, 12(11), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111945 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is an established marker associated with cardiovascular risk, even if it is below the diagnostic threshold for diabetes mellitus (DM). However, whether or not prediabetic and controlled diabetic levels of HbA1c are associated with increased major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) [...] Read more.
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is an established marker associated with cardiovascular risk, even if it is below the diagnostic threshold for diabetes mellitus (DM). However, whether or not prediabetic and controlled diabetic levels of HbA1c are associated with increased major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remains unclear. This observational study included a total of 9128 patients who underwent PCI in the COACT registry from eight centers in Korea. A total of 2517 non-DM patients were divided into three groups (Groups I, II, III) according to their HbA1c levels and compared with 965 controlled DM patients (HbA1c < 7.0%, Group IV). During 22 months of median follow-up, there was no significant differences in MACE (p = 0.294) and cardiac death (p = 0.105) among the four groups. In addition, there were also no significant differences in MACE (p = 0.058) between Group III and Group IV. Although patients were diagnosed as DM, they had a similar prognosis in the same range of newly diagnosed DM patients in HbA1c, if they were treated well. The results of this study suggest that intensive treatment is required to reach the Hba1c target in diabetic patients with PCI in order to have a similar prognosis to patients not previously diagnosed with diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Coronary Heart Disease)
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16 pages, 5763 KiB  
Review
Novel Biomarkers Predictive of Diabetic Charcot Foot—An Overview of the Literature
by Anca Bobircă, Anca Emanuela Musetescu, Anca Bordianu, Anca Pantea Stoian, Teodor Salmen, Dan-Cristian Marinescu, Cristina Alexandru, Alesandra Florescu, Raluca Radu, Sebastian Isac, Traian Patrascu, Dragos Serban and Florin Bobircă
Life 2022, 12(11), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111944 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2253
Abstract
Background: Although Charcot diabetic foot (CDF) is a frequent complication of diabetic neuropathy, less is known about the possibility of its early prevention. Methods: A review of the original articles published in English, using the “biomarkers AND Charcot’s foot” criterion, resulted [...] Read more.
Background: Although Charcot diabetic foot (CDF) is a frequent complication of diabetic neuropathy, less is known about the possibility of its early prevention. Methods: A review of the original articles published in English, using the “biomarkers AND Charcot’s foot” criterion, resulted in 33 articles from the PubMed database and seven articles from the Web of Science database. The five duplicates were eliminated, and two independent reviewers selected the most relevant articles, leaving a total of 21 articles. Results: The biomarkers identified are exhaustively described, related to the system of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their soluble receptors (sRAGE), inflammatory cascade, osteoclastogenesis, and, respectively, osteoblastic activity. Conclusions: This article highlights the importance of potential early identifiable biomarkers that can lead to microstructural changes in the affected bones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peripheral Diabetic Neuropathy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment)
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22 pages, 1488 KiB  
Review
Extracellular Vesicles in Chronic Demyelinating Diseases: Prospects in Treatment and Diagnosis of Autoimmune Neurological Disorders
by Leyla A. Ovchinnikova, Arthur O. Zalevsky and Yakov A. Lomakin
Life 2022, 12(11), 1943; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111943 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent membrane-enclosed structures that are likely to be secreted by all living cell types in the animal organism, including cells of peripheral (PNS) and central nervous systems (CNS). The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides the possibility not [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent membrane-enclosed structures that are likely to be secreted by all living cell types in the animal organism, including cells of peripheral (PNS) and central nervous systems (CNS). The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides the possibility not only for various EV-loaded molecules to be delivered to the brain tissues but also for the CNS-to-periphery transmission of these molecules. Since neural EVs transfer proteins and RNAs are both responsible for functional intercellular communication and involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, they represent attractive diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss EVs’ role in maintaining the living organisms’ function and describe deviations in EVs’ structure and malfunctioning during various neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
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14 pages, 1984 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Different Isolation Methods for Plasma-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Patients with Hyperlipidemia
by Ke Zhen, Xiaojuan Wei, Zelun Zhi, Shuyan Zhang, Liujuan Cui, Yue Li, Xia Chen, Jing Yao and Hongchao Zhang
Life 2022, 12(11), 1942; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111942 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1985
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles are commonly found in human body fluids and can reflect current physiological conditions of human body and act as biomarkers of disease. The quality of isolated extracellular vesicles facilitates the early diagnosis of various diseases accompanied by hyperlipidemia. Nonetheless, there are [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles are commonly found in human body fluids and can reflect current physiological conditions of human body and act as biomarkers of disease. The quality of isolated extracellular vesicles facilitates the early diagnosis of various diseases accompanied by hyperlipidemia. Nonetheless, there are no reports on which special methods are suitable for isolating extracellular vesicles from the plasma of patients with hyperlipidemia. Thus, this study compared three different research-based extracellular vesicle isolation approaches, namely ultracentrifugation (UC), polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation, and size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and determined which of them was the most effective method. We selected blood samples from 12 patients with clinically diagnosed hyperlipidemia and isolated plasma-derived extracellular vesicles using three methods. The morphology of the isolated extracellular vesicles was observed using transmission electron microscopy, while the concentration was detected by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation and multi-angle light scattering. Marker proteins were identified by Western blotting, and protein composition was evaluated by silver staining. Both determined the contaminations in the extracellular vesicle samples. The results showed that the three methods can be successfully used for the isolation of extracellular vesicles. The extracellular vesicles isolated by UC were larger in size, and the yield was much lower. Although the yield of extracellular vesicles isolated by PEG precipitation was greatly improved, the contamination was increased. Of the three methods, only the SEC-isolated extracellular vesicles were characterized by high yield and low contamination. Therefore, our data suggested that the SEC was a more ideal method for isolating extracellular vesicles from the plasma of patients with hyperlipidemia. Full article
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12 pages, 1036 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Performance of Lateral Flow Tests in the Age of the Omicron: A Rapid Systematic Review
by Qin Xiang Ng, Yu Liang Lim, Ming Xuan Han, Seth En Teoh, Julian Thumboo and Ban Hock Tan
Life 2022, 12(11), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111941 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3728
Abstract
Prompt detection and isolation of COVID-19 cases is vital for preventing further viral transmission, and lateral flow or rapid antigen tests have been an important diagnostic tool in this pandemic. However, concerns have emerged regarding the sensitivity of these devices for the new [...] Read more.
Prompt detection and isolation of COVID-19 cases is vital for preventing further viral transmission, and lateral flow or rapid antigen tests have been an important diagnostic tool in this pandemic. However, concerns have emerged regarding the sensitivity of these devices for the new BA.1, BA.2, and BA.4/5 omicron variants, which have greater transmissibility and extensive mutations in its spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. N protein is an important target protein for existing lateral flow devices. This paper therefore aimed to provide a rapid review of available literature on the performance of the lateral flow tests for detecting the omicron coronavirus variant. A systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, OVID Medline, and Google Scholar found six published studies and four preprints investigating the performance of existing lateral flow devices for the omicron variant, as compared to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. Overall, it appears that the devices have poorer performance for the omicron variant and when testing samples with cycle threshold (Ct) values greater than 25 and in asymptomatic individuals. As most available data were preliminary and had small sample sizes, it is recommended that these data be further studied to better inform and adapt our public health responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 and Life)
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16 pages, 3622 KiB  
Review
Effects of Photobiomodulation on Oral Mucositis: Visualization and Analysis of Knowledge
by Wallacy Watson Pereira Melo, Walessa Alana Bragança Aragão, Daiane Claydes Baia-da-Silva, Priscila Cunha Nascimento, Rafael Rodrigues Lima and Renata Duarte de Souza-Rodrigues
Life 2022, 12(11), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111940 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
This review article mapped and analyzed the most cited articles on the association of photobiomodulation (PBM) with oral mucositis (OM) and the evolution of clinical protocols in the area. A comprehensive search was performed on the Web of Science Core Collection (WoS-CC) database, [...] Read more.
This review article mapped and analyzed the most cited articles on the association of photobiomodulation (PBM) with oral mucositis (OM) and the evolution of clinical protocols in the area. A comprehensive search was performed on the Web of Science Core Collection (WoS-CC) database, leading to the extraction of information such as title, authors, abstract, journal name, number, average of citations, study design, year of publication, institutions, continents, countries, type of laser used, irradiated anatomical points, primary anti-cancer therapy, and laser parameters. Among those, clinical trials and literature reviews were the most common study designs. The main type of laser used was the InGaAlP diode, with a wavelength ranging from 630–660 nm, power going in 40–100 mW, and energy density ranging from 0.375–22 J/cm2. As for the anatomical sites irradiated by PBM, the cheek mucosa, upper and lower lips, lateral tongue, and bottom of the mouth stood out. This analysis highlights an increasing interest in PBM as a supportive treatment in cases of OM, as well as the evolution of the technique, types of laser devices, and protocols used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Applications & Fundamental Researches in Dentistry)
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33 pages, 1822 KiB  
Review
From Samples to Germline and Somatic Sequence Variation: A Focus on Next-Generation Sequencing in Melanoma Research
by Adrián Muñoz-Barrera, Luis A. Rubio-Rodríguez, Ana Díaz-de Usera, David Jáspez, José M. Lorenzo-Salazar, Rafaela González-Montelongo, Víctor García-Olivares and Carlos Flores
Life 2022, 12(11), 1939; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111939 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4738
Abstract
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications have flourished in the last decade, permitting the identification of cancer driver genes and profoundly expanding the possibilities of genomic studies of cancer, including melanoma. Here we aimed to present a technical review across many of the methodological approaches [...] Read more.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications have flourished in the last decade, permitting the identification of cancer driver genes and profoundly expanding the possibilities of genomic studies of cancer, including melanoma. Here we aimed to present a technical review across many of the methodological approaches brought by the use of NGS applications with a focus on assessing germline and somatic sequence variation. We provide cautionary notes and discuss key technical details involved in library preparation, the most common problems with the samples, and guidance to circumvent them. We also provide an overview of the sequence-based methods for cancer genomics, exposing the pros and cons of targeted sequencing vs. exome or whole-genome sequencing (WGS), the fundamentals of the most common commercial platforms, and a comparison of throughputs and key applications. Details of the steps and the main software involved in the bioinformatics processing of the sequencing results, from preprocessing to variant prioritization and filtering, are also provided in the context of the full spectrum of genetic variation (SNVs, indels, CNVs, structural variation, and gene fusions). Finally, we put the emphasis on selected bioinformatic pipelines behind (a) short-read WGS identification of small germline and somatic variants, (b) detection of gene fusions from transcriptomes, and (c) de novo assembly of genomes from long-read WGS data. Overall, we provide comprehensive guidance across the main methodological procedures involved in obtaining sequencing results for the most common short- and long-read NGS platforms, highlighting key applications in melanoma research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanoma Next Generation)
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15 pages, 5698 KiB  
Article
Collagenase-Induced Mouse Model of Osteoarthritis—A Thorough Flow Cytometry Analysis
by Blagovesta Boneva, Nikola Ralchev, Petya Ganova, Andrey Tchorbanov and Nikolina Mihaylova
Life 2022, 12(11), 1938; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111938 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
Objectives: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disorder of the joint characterized by cartilage breakdown and synovial inflammation. A number of different cells of innate and adaptive immunity contribute to joint pathology during OA inflammation. The interaction between the local synovial and systemic [...] Read more.
Objectives: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disorder of the joint characterized by cartilage breakdown and synovial inflammation. A number of different cells of innate and adaptive immunity contribute to joint pathology during OA inflammation. The interaction between the local synovial and systemic inflammatory cellular response and the structural changes in the joint is still unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the different types of immune cells in the development of OA. Methods: Collagenase-induced osteoarthritis was induced in Balb/c mice; flow cytometry analysis; and histopathological damages were assessed in histological sections stained with H&E, Toluidine blue, and Safranin O. Results: Flow cytometry analysis showed B lymphocyte infiltration in the active phase of inflammation and an increase in the effector T cell population into the synovium. An increased activation state of cytotoxic T cells and of NK cell populations in the spleen and synovium was also found. The differentiation of NK cells from a cytotoxic phenotype in early OA to cells with an effector phenotype in the chronic phase of the disease followed. Conclusions: A number of different cells contribute to inflammatory processes in OA. The correlation between their phenotype and the inflammatory pathophysiology could result in the development of novel approaches to suppress destructive changes in the joint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Views on Knee Osteoarthritis: 2nd Edition)
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36 pages, 2475 KiB  
Review
Aptamer-Based Probes for Cancer Diagnostics and Treatment
by Xueqi Hu, Dongdong Zhang, Zheng Zeng, Linjie Huang, Xiahui Lin and Shanni Hong
Life 2022, 12(11), 1937; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111937 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2766
Abstract
Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligomers that have the ability to generate unique and diverse tertiary structures that bind to cognate molecules with high specificity. In recent years, aptamer researches have witnessed a huge surge, owing to its unique properties, such as [...] Read more.
Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligomers that have the ability to generate unique and diverse tertiary structures that bind to cognate molecules with high specificity. In recent years, aptamer researches have witnessed a huge surge, owing to its unique properties, such as high specificity and binding affinity, low immunogenicity and toxicity, and simplicity of synthesis with negligible batch-to-batch variation. Aptamers may bind to targets, such as various cancer biomarkers, making them applicable for a wide range of cancer diagnosis and treatment. In cancer diagnostic applications, aptamers are used as molecular probes instead of antibodies. They have the potential to detect various cancer-associated biomarkers. For cancer therapeutic purposes, aptamers can serve as therapeutic or delivery agents. The chemical stabilization and modification strategies for aptamers may expand their serum half-life and shelf life. However, aptamer-based probes for cancer diagnosis and therapy still face several challenges for successful clinical translation. A deeper understanding of nucleic acid chemistry, tissue distribution, and pharmacokinetics is required in the development of aptamer-based probes. This review summarizes their application in cancer diagnostics and treatments based on different localization of target biomarkers, as well as current challenges and future prospects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamers-Based Biosensing, Diagnostics and Treatment)
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17 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
A Polymorphism in the Gene Encoding Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) Increases the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study Supports a Role for Impaired Protein Folding in Disease Pathogenesis
by Elena Klyosova, Iuliia Azarova and Alexey Polonikov
Life 2022, 12(11), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111936 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1740
Abstract
The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether polymorphisms in the gene encoding heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), a transcriptional activator of molecular chaperones, play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). A total of 3229 [...] Read more.
The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether polymorphisms in the gene encoding heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), a transcriptional activator of molecular chaperones, play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). A total of 3229 unrelated individuals of Slavic origin, including 1569 T2D patients and 1660 age- and sex-matched healthy controls, were enrolled for the study. Five common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the HSF1 gene were genotyped using the MassArray-4 system. SNPs rs7838717 (p = 0.002) and rs3757971 (p = 0.005) showed an association with an increased risk of T2D in females with a body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2. The rs7838717T-rs4279640T-rs3757971C and rs7838717T-rs4279640T-rs3757971T haplotypes were associated with increased and decreased disease risk in overweight or obese females, respectively. The associations were replicated as disease susceptibility genes in large cohorts from the UK Biobank (p = 0.008), DIAMANTE (p = 2.7 × 10−13), and DIAGRAM (p = 0.0004) consortiums. The functional annotation of the SNPs revealed that the rs7838717-T and rs3757971C alleles correlated with increased expression of the genes involved in unfolded protein response. The present study showed, for the first time, that genetic variation of HSF1 is associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes, supporting a role for impaired protein folding in disease pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Physiology and Pathology)
12 pages, 1676 KiB  
Article
Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Pulmonary Nodules in Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Anca Emanuela Mușetescu, Florin Liviu Gherghina, Lucian-Mihai Florescu, Liliana Streba, Paulina Lucia Ciurea, Alesandra Florescu and Ioana Andreea Gheonea
Life 2022, 12(11), 1935; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111935 - 20 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2023
Abstract
(1) Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered a systemic inflammatory pathology characterized by symmetric polyarthritis associated with extra-articular manifestations, such as lung disease. The purpose of the present study is to use CAD in the detection of rheumatoid pulmonary nodules. In addition, we [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered a systemic inflammatory pathology characterized by symmetric polyarthritis associated with extra-articular manifestations, such as lung disease. The purpose of the present study is to use CAD in the detection of rheumatoid pulmonary nodules. In addition, we aim to identify the characteristics and associations between clinical, laboratory and imaging data in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lung nodules. (2) Methods: The study included a number of 42 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis according to the 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria, examined from January 2017 to November 2022 in the Departments of Rheumatology and Radiology and Medical Imaging of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova. Medical records were reviewed. A retrospective blinded review of CT for biopsy-proven pulmonary nodules in RA using Veolity LungCAD software was performed (MeVis Medical Solutions AG, Bremen, Germany). Imaging was also reviewed by a senior radiologist. (3) Results: The interobserver agreement proved to be moderate (κ = 0.478) for the overall examined cases. CAD interpretation resulted in false positive results in the case of 12 lung nodules, whereas false negative results were reported in the case of 8 lung nodules. The mean time it took for the detection of lung nodules using CAD was 4.2 min per patient, whereas the detection of lung nodules by the radiologist was 8.1 min per patient. This resulted in a faster interpretation of lung CT scans, almost reducing the detection time by half (p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: The CAD software is useful in identifying lung nodules, in shortening the interpretation time of the CT examination and also in aiding the radiologist in better assessing all the pulmonary lung nodules. However, the CAD software cannot replace the human eye yet due to the relative high rate of false positive and false negative results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
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19 pages, 3456 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Human Clinical Mutations of Mitochondrial ND1 in a Bacterial Model System for Complex I
by Hind A. Alkhaldi, Duong H. Phan and Steven B. Vik
Life 2022, 12(11), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111934 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The most common causes of mitochondrial dysfunction and disease include mutations in subunits and assembly factors of Complex I. Numerous mutations in the mitochondrial gene ND1 have been identified in humans. Currently, a bacterial model system provides the only method for rapid construction [...] Read more.
The most common causes of mitochondrial dysfunction and disease include mutations in subunits and assembly factors of Complex I. Numerous mutations in the mitochondrial gene ND1 have been identified in humans. Currently, a bacterial model system provides the only method for rapid construction and analysis of mutations in homologs of human ND1. In this report, we have identified nine mutations in human ND1 that are reported to be pathogenic and are located at subunit interfaces. Our hypothesis was that these mutations would disrupt Complex I assembly. Seventeen mutations were constructed in the homologous nuoH gene in an E. coli model system. In addition to the clinical mutations, alanine substitutions were constructed in order to distinguish between a deleterious effect from the introduction of the mutant residue and the loss of the original residue. The mutations were moved to an expression vector containing all thirteen genes of the E. coli nuo operon coding for Complex I. Membrane vesicles were prepared and rates of deamino-NADH oxidase activity and proton translocation were measured. Samples were also tested for assembly by native gel electrophoresis and for expression of NuoH by immunoblotting. A range of outcomes was observed: Mutations at four of the sites allow normal assembly with moderate activity (50–76% of wild type). Mutations at the other sites disrupt assembly and/or activity, and in some cases the outcomes depend upon the amino acid introduced. In general, the outcomes are consistent with the proposed pathogenicity in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mitochondrial Biology)
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10 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
A Machine Learning Model for Detection of Coronary Artery Disease Using Noninvasive Clinical Parameters
by Mohammadjavad Sayadi, Vijayakumar Varadarajan, Farahnaz Sadoughi, Sara Chopannejad and Mostafa Langarizadeh
Life 2022, 12(11), 1933; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111933 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
Background and Objective: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most prevalent causes of death worldwide. The early diagnosis and timely medical care of cardiovascular patients can greatly prevent death and reduce the cost of treatments associated with CAD. In this study, [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most prevalent causes of death worldwide. The early diagnosis and timely medical care of cardiovascular patients can greatly prevent death and reduce the cost of treatments associated with CAD. In this study, we attempt to prepare a new model for early CAD diagnosis. The proposed model can diagnose CAD based on clinical data and without the use of an invasive procedure. Methods: In this paper, machine-learning (ML) techniques were used for the early detection of CAD, which were applied to a CAD dataset known as Z-Alizadeh Sani. Since this dataset has 54 features, the Pearson correlation feature selection method was conducted to identify the most effective features. Then, six machine learning techniques including decision tree, deep learning, logistic regression, random forest, support vector machine (SVM), and Xgboost were employed based on a semi-random-partitioning framework. Result: Applying Pearson feature selection to the dataset demonstrated that only eight features were the most effective for CAD diagnosis. The results of running the six machine-learning models on the selected features showed that logistic regression and SVM had the same performance with 95.45% accuracy, 95.91% sensitivity, 91.66% specificity, and a 96.90% F1 score. In addition, the ROC curve indicates a similar result regarding the AUC (0.98). Conclusions: Prediction is an important component of medical decision support systems. The results of the present study showed that feature selection has a high impact on machine-learning performance and, regardless of the evaluation metrics of the machine-learning models, determining the effective features is very important. However, SVM and Logistic Regression were designated as the best models according to our selected features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Coronary Heart Disease)
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11 pages, 1268 KiB  
Systematic Review
Efficacy of Topical Administration of Corticosteroids for the Management of Dry Eye Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Julia Prinz, Nicola Maffulli, Matthias Fuest, Peter Walter, Andreas Bell and Filippo Migliorini
Life 2022, 12(11), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111932 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
The efficacy of corticosteroids (CS) for dry eye disease (DED) has been investigated in the clinical setting. The present study investigated whether topical CS application improves the clinical outcome at last follow-up compared to the baseline. The present study was conducted according to [...] Read more.
The efficacy of corticosteroids (CS) for dry eye disease (DED) has been investigated in the clinical setting. The present study investigated whether topical CS application improves the clinical outcome at last follow-up compared to the baseline. The present study was conducted according to the PRISMA 2020. All the randomized clinical trials (RCTs), which investigated the efficacy of corticosteroids in the management of DED, were accessed. In September 2022, the following databases were accessed: Pubmed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Embase. The following data were extracted at baseline and at last follow-up: Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), tear breakup time test (TBUT), Schirmer I test (SIT), and corneal staining. Data from 425 patients were retrieved. A total of 69.4% (295 of 425 patients) were women. CS were effective to improve SIT (p = 0.02) and corneal staining (p = 0.003) at the last follow-up of 10.0 ± 15.3 weeks. TBUT was greater in the CS than in the control group at the last follow-up (p = 0.002). Concluding, topical CS administration led to an increase of SIT and a reduction of corneal staining at a mean of 10 weeks follow-up in patients with DED. Compared to a control group, topical CS administration evidenced greater values of TBUT. Altogether, a good safety profile was witnessed in DED patients receiving CS. However, different safety profiles of different CS formulations were not investigated due to a lack of quantitative data. The exact dosing frequency, duration of therapy, and favorable potency of the CS are still under investigation. Future randomized, controlled trials with larger sample sizes are warranted to provide higher-quality evidence to establish the role of CS in DED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
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13 pages, 1315 KiB  
Article
Improving Survival in Cardiogenic Shock—A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis of the Impact of an Institutional Allocation Protocol to Short-Term Mechanical Circulatory Support
by Sascha Ott, Daniel Lewin, Gaik Nersesian, Julia Stein, Isabell A. Just, Matthias Hommel, Felix Schoenrath, Christoph T. Starck, Benjamin O’Brien, Volkmar Falk, Evgenij Potapov and Pia Lanmueller
Life 2022, 12(11), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111931 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3836
Abstract
Temporary mechanical circulatory support (tMCS) is a life-saving treatment option for patients in cardiogenic shock (CS), but many aspects such as patient selection, initiation threshold and optimal modality selection remain unclear. This study describes a standard operating procedure (SOP) for tMCS allocation for [...] Read more.
Temporary mechanical circulatory support (tMCS) is a life-saving treatment option for patients in cardiogenic shock (CS), but many aspects such as patient selection, initiation threshold and optimal modality selection remain unclear. This study describes a standard operating procedure (SOP) for tMCS allocation for CS patients and presents outcome data before and after implementation. Data from 421 patients treated for CS with tMCS between 2018 and 2021 were analyzed. In 2019, we implemented a new SOP for allocating CS patients to tMCS modalities. The association between the time of SOP implementation and the 30-day and 1-year survival as well as hospital discharge was evaluated. Of the 421 patients included, 189 were treated before (pre-SOP group) and 232 after implementation of the new SOP (SOP group). Causes of CS included acute myocardial infarction (n = 80, 19.0%), acute-on-chronic heart failure in patients with dilated or chronic ischemic heart failure (n = 139, 33.0%), valvular cardiomyopathy (n = 14, 3.3%) and myocarditis (n = 5, 1.2%); 102 patients suffered from postcardiotomy CS (24.2%). The SOP group was further divided into an SOP-adherent (SOP-A) and a non-SOP-adherent group (SOP-NA). The hospital discharge rate was higher in the SOP group (41.7% vs. 29.7%), and treating patients according to the SOP was associated with an improved 30-day survival (56.9% vs. 38.9%, OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.01–4.80, p = 0.044). Patient allocation according to the presented SOP significantly improved 30-day survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Heart Failure Therapy and Mechanical Circulatory Support)
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10 pages, 603 KiB  
Article
Role of Stress in the Origin of Life
by Vladimir Kompanichenko and Oleg Kotsyurbenko
Life 2022, 12(11), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111930 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
The article shows the compatibility of the concept of thermodynamic inversion (TI) of the origin of life with the theory of stress in (micro)biology. According to the proposed TI concept, the first microorganisms on Earth were formed through an effective (intensified and purposeful) [...] Read more.
The article shows the compatibility of the concept of thermodynamic inversion (TI) of the origin of life with the theory of stress in (micro)biology. According to the proposed TI concept, the first microorganisms on Earth were formed through an effective (intensified and purposeful) response of organic microsystems to incessant oscillations of physicochemical parameters (i.e., to periodic stress) in a hydrothermal environment. This approach allows us to explain the ability of contemporary microorganisms to respond to stress at the individual and population levels. The ability of microorganisms to effectively react to environmental stress factors is corroborated by a number of molecular and other mechanisms that are described in the article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Life in Chemically Complex Messy Environments)
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18 pages, 3645 KiB  
Article
Effects of Salt Stress on the Antioxidant Activity and Malondialdehyde, Solution Protein, Proline, and Chlorophyll Contents of Three Malus Species
by Dajiang Wang, Yuan Gao, Simiao Sun, Xiang Lu, Qingshan Li, Lianwen Li, Kun Wang and Jihong Liu
Life 2022, 12(11), 1929; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111929 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Understanding the different physiological responses of Malus species under salt stress in the seedling stages will be useful in breeding salt-tolerant dwarfing apple rootstocks. Seedlings of Malus Zumi (Mats.) Rehd. (M. zumi), Malus sieversii (Led.) Roem. (M. sieversii), and [...] Read more.
Understanding the different physiological responses of Malus species under salt stress in the seedling stages will be useful in breeding salt-tolerant dwarfing apple rootstocks. Seedlings of Malus Zumi (Mats.) Rehd. (M. zumi), Malus sieversii (Led.) Roem. (M. sieversii), and Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. (M. baccata) were treated with solution of 0, 0.20%, 0.40%, and 0.60% salinity. Physiological parameters of their leaves and roots were measured at 0 d, 4 d, 8 d and 12 d after salinity treatments. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), malondialdehyde (MDA), solution protein (SP), and proline (PRO) initially increased and then decreased. The activities and contents of these parameters were higher in the 0.40% and 0.60% NaCl treatments than in the 0.20% treatment and in the 0% control. M. zumi was the most resistant to salt stress, showing the lowest content of MDA in the leaves and roots, which increased slightly under salt stress. M. baccata had the highest increase in both the content and proportion of MDA. High enzyme activity was shown to play an important role in the salt resistance of M. zumi. Moreover, it can be speculated that there are other substances that also play a major role. We found that osmotic regulation played a key role in response to salt stress for M. baccata even though it was sensitive to salt stress. For M. sieversii, both the osmotic regulation and enzymatic antioxidants were observed to play a major role in mitigating salt stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stresses)
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10 pages, 855 KiB  
Article
Clampless In-Situ Immobilized Branching (CLIMB) to Reconstruct the Internal Iliac Artery
by Takuro Shirasu, Atsushi Akai, Manabu Motoki and Masaaki Kato
Life 2022, 12(11), 1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111928 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1083
Abstract
Background: Surgical reconstruction of the internal iliac artery (IIA) or its branches is sometimes demanding because of difficulty in distal clamping and suturing in the narrow pelvic space. Here we present a hybrid technique of ClampLess In-situ imMobilized Branching (CLIMB) to reconstruct IIA. [...] Read more.
Background: Surgical reconstruction of the internal iliac artery (IIA) or its branches is sometimes demanding because of difficulty in distal clamping and suturing in the narrow pelvic space. Here we present a hybrid technique of ClampLess In-situ imMobilized Branching (CLIMB) to reconstruct IIA. Methods: in the CLIMB technique, an 8 mm artificial graft is sutured onto the surface of the common iliac artery (CIA) without clamping. Following puncture of the CIA wall, stent grafts are bridged from IIA to the graft. Finally, the graft is sutured to the ipsilateral external iliac artery (EIA). Concomitant endovascular aneurysm repair or IIA branch embolization can also be performed. We applied this technique to the patients unsuited for other IIA reconstruction. Results: eleven patients underwent the current technique. All but one patient underwent contralateral IIA interruption. Seven patients had a history of aorto-iliac repair before the index surgery. Iliac extender, internal iliac component, Viabahn VBX or Fluency covered stent were used for bridging the graft. Simultaneous IIA branch embolization was performed in 2 patients. Distal landing zones were IIA in 7 grafts, superior gluteal artery in 4 grafts and inferior gluteal artery (IGA) in 1 graft. Technical success was achieved in all cases. No patient complained of buttock claudication or other ischemic symptoms on the treatment side. During a mean follow-up period of 38 months, 11 out of 12 grafts were patent without any related endoleak. One IGA graft occluded at 56 months after surgery. Conclusions: the CLIMB technique is a viable alternative to preserve IIA with an acceptable mid-term durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Aortic Diseases)
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9 pages, 1322 KiB  
Article
New PAM Improves the Single-Base Specificity of crRNA-Guided LbCas12a Nuclease
by Mariia A. Misiurina, Angelina V. Chirinskaite, Aleksandra S. Fotina, Andrey A. Zelinsky, Julia V. Sopova and Elena I. Leonova
Life 2022, 12(11), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111927 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
The RNA-guided Cas12a nuclease forms a complex with a CRISPR RNA (crRNA) to cleave the double-stranded DNA target. Among others, Cas12a protein from Lachnospiraceae bacterium (LbCas12a) is widely used for biomedical research. For target recognition, LbCas12a requires a specific nucleotide sequence, named a [...] Read more.
The RNA-guided Cas12a nuclease forms a complex with a CRISPR RNA (crRNA) to cleave the double-stranded DNA target. Among others, Cas12a protein from Lachnospiraceae bacterium (LbCas12a) is widely used for biomedical research. For target recognition, LbCas12a requires a specific nucleotide sequence, named a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). Besides the canonical TTTV PAM, LbCas12a can recognize other suboptimal PAMs. We examined a novel TTAA PAM for the LbCas12a nuclease and found that the specificity of cleavage was increased. We found that single nucleotide substitutions at all positions of the guide RNA except the 20th position blocked the cleavage of the target DNA. The type of nucleotide substitutions (U-A, U-C or U-G) did not affect the efficiency of cleavage in the 20th position. When we used the canonical PAM under the same conditions, we observed the cleavage of target DNA by LbCas12a in many positions, showing less specificity in given conditions. The efficiency and specificity of the LbCas12a nuclease were evaluated both by gel-electrophoresis and using FAM-labeled single-stranded probes. We were able to assess the change in fluorescence intensity only for several variants of guide RNAs. High specificity allows us to type single nucleotide substitutions and small deletions/insertions (1–2 nucleotides) and look for target mutations when knocking out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Protein and Proteomics)
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29 pages, 5936 KiB  
Article
Application of Machine Learning to Ranking Predictors of Anti-VEGF Response
by Janan Arslan and Kurt K. Benke
Life 2022, 12(11), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111926 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a heterogeneous disease affecting the macula of individuals and is a cause of irreversible vision loss. Patients with neovascular AMD (nAMD) are candidates for the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment, designed to regress the growth of abnormal [...] Read more.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a heterogeneous disease affecting the macula of individuals and is a cause of irreversible vision loss. Patients with neovascular AMD (nAMD) are candidates for the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment, designed to regress the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Some patients fail to maintain vision despite treatment. This study aimed to develop a prediction model based on features weighted in order of importance with respect to their impact on visual acuity (VA). Evaluations included an assessment of clinical, lifestyle, and demographic factors from patients that were treated over a period of two years. The methods included mixed-effects and relative importance modelling, and models were tested against model selection criteria, diagnostic and assumption checks, and forecasting errors. The most important predictors of an anti-VEGF response were the baseline VA of the treated eye, the time (in weeks), treatment quantity, and the treated eye. The model also ranked the impact of other variables, such as intra-retinal fluid, haemorrhage, pigment epithelium detachment, treatment drug, baseline VA of the untreated eye, and various lifestyle and demographic factors. The results identified variables that could be targeted for further investigation in support of personalised treatments based on patient data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Diagnosis and Therapeutics Approaches in Retina Diseases)
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20 pages, 3717 KiB  
Article
Network Pharmacology and Experimental Validation to Investigate the Antidepressant Potential of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.
by Ly Thi Huong Nguyen, Nhi Phuc Khanh Nguyen, Khoa Nguyen Tran, Heung-Mook Shin and In-Jun Yang
Life 2022, 12(11), 1925; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111925 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2185
Abstract
Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. (AL) has been indicated in traditional prescriptions for the treatment of depression. However, the mechanism of action of AL in the treatment of depression is still unclear. This study aimed to investigate the antidepressant potential of AL using network [...] Read more.
Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. (AL) has been indicated in traditional prescriptions for the treatment of depression. However, the mechanism of action of AL in the treatment of depression is still unclear. This study aimed to investigate the antidepressant potential of AL using network pharmacology, molecular docking, and animal experiments. The active components of AL were retrieved from the traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP), and the depression-related targets were screened through the DisGeNET database. Overlapping targets of AL and depression were selected and analyzed. Ten active compounds of AL showed anti-depressant potential, including stigmasterol, 3β-acetoxyatractylone, wogonin, β-sitosterol, selina-4(14),7(11)-dien-8-one, atractylenolide I, atractylenolide II, atractylenolide III, patchoulene, and cyperene. These compounds target 28 potential antidepressant genes/proteins. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that the potential targets might directly influence neural cells and regulate neuroinflammation and neurotransmitter-related processes. The potential Kyoto Encyclopedia Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways for the antidepressant effects of AL include neuroactive ligand–receptor interactions, calcium signaling pathways, dopaminergic synapse, interleukin (IL)-17 signaling pathways, and the pathways of neurodegeneration. IL-6, nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS), solute carrier family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4), estrogen receptor (ESR1), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were the most important proteins in the protein–protein interaction network and these proteins showed high binding affinities with the corresponding AL compounds. AL showed an antidepressant effect in mice by decreasing immobility time in the tail suspension test and increasing the total contact number in the social interaction test. This study demonstrated the antidepressant potential of AL, which provides evidence for pursuing further studies to develop a novel antidepressant. Full article
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10 pages, 437 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Corticosteroid Doses in Elderly Unvaccinated Patients with Severe to Critical COVID-19
by Filippo Scialò, Domenica Francesca Mariniello, Ersilia Nigro, Klara Komici, Valentino Allocca, Andrea Bianco, Fabio Perrotta and Vito D’Agnano
Life 2022, 12(11), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111924 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infection can induce a broad range of clinical symptoms, and the most severe cases are characterized by an uncontrolled inflammatory response with the overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-1B, and interleukin-6 have become key signatures of severe COVID-19. [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infection can induce a broad range of clinical symptoms, and the most severe cases are characterized by an uncontrolled inflammatory response with the overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-1B, and interleukin-6 have become key signatures of severe COVID-19. For this reason, the use of 6 mg of dexamethasone has become a standard of care, although this regime may not be optimal. Even though various glucocorticoid doses have been proposed, it is still unclear which dose should be used to prevent adverse effects while at the same time reducing the inflammatory response. Here, we compared two different doses of corticosteroids in 52 elderly hospitalized patients with severe to critical COVID-19 to assess efficacy and safety. We showed that in patients receiving a higher dose of prednisone, the time to negative swab was significantly longer. Furthermore, although neither dose was correlated with the risk of death, patients receiving the high dose were more likely to have adverse events such as hyperglycemia, leukocytosis, an increase in systemic blood pressure, and others. Finally, the BMI, WBC number, and NLR value were directly related to death. In conclusion, although the optimal glucocorticoid dose is still undefined, our retrospective study supports the absence of beneficial effects in the utilization of higher doses of corticosteroids in elderly patients with severe to critical COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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12 pages, 2355 KiB  
Article
Clinical Efficacy of an Electronic Portal Imaging Device versus a Physical Phantom Tool for Patient-Specific Quality Assurance
by Seung-Hyeop Baek, Sang-Hyoun Choi, Moo-Jae Han, Gyu-Seok Cho, Wonil Jang, Jin-Sung Kim and Kum-Bae Kim
Life 2022, 12(11), 1923; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111923 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Pre-treatment patient-specific quality assurance (QA) is critical to prevent radiation accidents. The electronic portal imaging device (EPID) is a dose measurement tool with good resolution and a low volume-averaging effect. EPIbeam—an EPID-based portal dosimetry software—has been newly installed in three institutions in Korea. [...] Read more.
Pre-treatment patient-specific quality assurance (QA) is critical to prevent radiation accidents. The electronic portal imaging device (EPID) is a dose measurement tool with good resolution and a low volume-averaging effect. EPIbeam—an EPID-based portal dosimetry software—has been newly installed in three institutions in Korea. This study evaluated the efficacy of the EPID-based patient-specific QA tool versus the PTW729 detector (a previously used QA tool) based on gamma criteria and planning target volume (PTV). A significant difference was confirmed through the R statistical analysis software. The average gamma passing rates of PTW729 and EPIbeam were 98.73% and 99.60% on 3 mm/3% (local), 96.66% and 97.91% on 2 mm/2% (local), and 88.41% and 74.87% on 1 mm/1% (local), respectively. The p-values between them were 0.015 (3 mm/3%, local), 0.084 (2 mm/2%, local), and less than 0.01 (1 mm/1%, local). Further, the average gamma passing rates of PTW 729 and EPIbeam according to PTV size were 99.55% and 99.91% (PTV < 150 cm3) and 97.91% and 99.28% (PTV > 150 cm3), respectively. The p-values between them were 0.087 (PTV < 150 cm3) and 0.036 (PTV > 150 cm3). These results confirm that EPIbeam can be an effective patient-specific QA tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Radiobiology and Nuclear Medicine)
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23 pages, 10934 KiB  
Article
Melatonin in Micro-Tom Tomato: Improved Drought Tolerance via the Regulation of the Photosynthetic Apparatus, Membrane Stability, Osmoprotectants, and Root System
by Naveed Mushtaq, Shahid Iqbal, Faisal Hayat, Abdul Raziq, Asma Ayaz and Wajid Zaman
Life 2022, 12(11), 1922; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111922 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
Environmental variations caused by global climate change significantly affect plant yield and productivity. Because water scarcity is one of the most significant risks to agriculture’s future, improving the performance of plants to cope with water stress is critical. Our research scrutinized the impact [...] Read more.
Environmental variations caused by global climate change significantly affect plant yield and productivity. Because water scarcity is one of the most significant risks to agriculture’s future, improving the performance of plants to cope with water stress is critical. Our research scrutinized the impact of melatonin application on the photosynthetic machinery, photosynthetic physiology, root system, osmoprotectant accumulation, and oxidative stress in tomato plants during drought. The results showed that melatonin-treated tomato plants had remarkably higher water levels, gas exchange activities, root system morphological parameters (average diameter, root activity, root forks, projected area, root crossings, root volume, root surface area, root length, root tips, and root numbers), osmoprotectant (proline, trehalose, fructose, sucrose, and GB) accumulation, and transcript levels of the photosynthetic genes SlPsb28, SlPetF, SlPsbP, SlPsbQ, SlPetE, and SlPsbW. In addition, melatonin effectively maintained the plants’ photosynthetic physiology. Moreover, melatonin treatment maintained the soluble protein content and antioxidant capacity during drought. Melatonin application also resulted in membrane stability, evidenced by less electrolyte leakage and lower H2O2, MDA, and O2 levels in the drought-stress environment. Additionally, melatonin application enhanced the antioxidant defense enzymes and antioxidant-stress-resistance-related gene (SlCAT1, SlAPX, SlGR, SlDHAR, SlPOD, and SOD) transcript levels in plants. These outcomes imply that the impacts of melatonin treatment on improving drought resistance could be ascribed to the mitigation of photosynthetic function inhibition, the enhancement of the water status, and the alleviation of oxidative stress in tomato plants. Our study findings reveal new and incredible aspects of the response of melatonin-treated tomato plants to drought stress and provide a list of candidate targets for increasing plant tolerance to the drought-stress environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stresses)
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17 pages, 4244 KiB  
Article
Foliar Application of Spermidine Alleviates Waterlogging-Induced Damages to Maize Seedlings by Enhancing Antioxidative Capacity, Modulating Polyamines and Ethylene Biosynthesis
by Xiuling Wang, Qun Wang, Moubiao Zhang, Yulong Zhao, Pengfei Dong, Yali Zhao, Hongping Li, Xucun Jia, Panpan An, Yulou Tang and Chaohai Li
Life 2022, 12(11), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111921 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1373
Abstract
Waterlogging is a major threat to maize production worldwide. The exogenous application of spermidine is well known to enhance plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. The role of exogenous spermidine application in waterlogging tolerance in maize was investigated in this study. Two maize varieties [...] Read more.
Waterlogging is a major threat to maize production worldwide. The exogenous application of spermidine is well known to enhance plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. The role of exogenous spermidine application in waterlogging tolerance in maize was investigated in this study. Two maize varieties (a waterlogging-tolerant variety: Xundan 20 (XD20) and a waterlogging-sensitive variety: Denghai 662 (DH662)) were subjected to waterlogging stress at the seedling stage, and then foliar spraying of 0.75 mM spermidine or purified water. Findings demonstrated lower chlorophyll content, reduced growth indices, considerable increase in superoxide anion (O2) generation rate, and H2O2/malondialdehyde accumulation in the two maize varieties under waterlogging stress compared to the control treatment. However, the tolerance variety performed better than the sensitive one. Foliar application of spermidine significantly increased antioxidant enzyme activities under waterlogging stress. In addition, the application of spermidine increased polyamine levels and led to the reduction of ethylene levels under waterlogging. Consequences of spermidine application were most apparent for the waterlogging-sensitive cultivar DH662 under waterlogging than the waterlogging-tolerant variety XD20. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Abiotic Stress Resistance in Crops)
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9 pages, 550 KiB  
Article
Influence of Lingual Tonsillar Volume in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
by Yung Jee Kang, Byung Kil Kim, Sang Duk Hong, Yong Gi Jung, Gwanghui Ryu and Hyo Yeol Kim
Life 2022, 12(11), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111920 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lingual tonsil (LT) volume measured using a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction volume rendering program on clinical parameters and polysomnography (PSG) results. A total of 100 patients who underwent PSG, computed tomography (CT), and allergy test from [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lingual tonsil (LT) volume measured using a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction volume rendering program on clinical parameters and polysomnography (PSG) results. A total of 100 patients who underwent PSG, computed tomography (CT), and allergy test from April 2016 to April 2020 were randomly selected. LT volume was measured using an imaging software program that enables 3D reconstruction of CT images. PSG parameters were analyzed by dividing the subjects into two groups according to LT volume (each 50 people). Based on the medial volume of 0.863 cm3, the upper half LT volume group and the lower half LT volume group were analyzed. Clinical factors such as body weight, neck circumference, body mass index (BMI), and age showed no difference between the two groups. Among PSG parameters, supine arousal index and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) arousal index were significantly higher in the upper half LT volume group (p = 0.012, 0.037). However, there was no significant difference in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) between the upper and lower half LT volume groups (p = 0.749). Arousal snoring index and REM arousal index also showed no difference between the two groups. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis was not different in the two groups. High LT volume is associated with NREM arousal and arousal in the supine position, but it is not related to AHI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives)
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13 pages, 761 KiB  
Article
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection and Its Impact on Male Infertility
by Giuseppina Capra, Tiziana Notari, Michela Buttà, Nicola Serra, Giovanni Rizzo and Liana Bosco
Life 2022, 12(11), 1919; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111919 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3247
Abstract
Nowadays, the striking numbers of infertile couples that turn to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) drive the research toward a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying causes. Male factors contribute to the inability to conceive in half of the cases, and it has been [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the striking numbers of infertile couples that turn to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) drive the research toward a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying causes. Male factors contribute to the inability to conceive in half of the cases, and it has been suggested that sexually transmitted infections could have a role in the onset of spermatozoa impairments. Since the impact of HPV infection on sperm quality and sperm DNA integrity is debated, we wanted to analyze its impact on conventional seminal parameters and the sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI). Therefore, 117 semen samples of patients undergoing IVF were evaluated for the following characteristics: HPV DNA detection and sperm DNA fragmentation, concentration, motility, and morphology. The results showed a higher rate of HPV-negative patients (59.8% vs. 40.2%) and no HPV-related effect on DFI, sperm concentration, total sperm number, and total motility. Only progressive motility and morphology were found as significantly influenced by HPV positivity. Moreover, we observed a statistically significant difference in DFI when comparing high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) and low-risk HPV (LR-HPV) genotypes. Our data suggest that the presence of any HPV type, whatever the exact localization of the virions, can impair some sperm parameters, while HR-HPVs specifically affect the integrity of spermatozoa DNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Male Infertility: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives)
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19 pages, 702 KiB  
Review
A Review Pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 and Autoimmune Diseases: What Is the Connection?
by Nina Kocivnik and Tomaz Velnar
Life 2022, 12(11), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111918 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6581
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is known that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to various autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. There are few reports in the literature on the association [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is known that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to various autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. There are few reports in the literature on the association between SARS-CoV-2 and autoimmune diseases, and the number of reports has been increasing since 2020. Autoimmune diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infections are intertwined in several ways. Both conditions lead to immune-mediated tissue damage, the immune response is accompanied by the increased secretion of inflammatory cytokines and both conditions can be treated using immunomodulatory drugs. Patients with certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, cardiac sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, autoimmune hepatitis, multiple sclerosis and others, are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, either because of the active autoimmune disease or because of the medications used to treat it. Conversely, SARS-CoV-2 infection can also cause certain autoimmune diseases. In this paper, we describe the development of autoimmune diseases after COVID-19 and the recovery from COVID-19 in people with autoimmune diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Vaccine)
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14 pages, 3032 KiB  
Article
Trans-Sclera Electrical Stimulation Improves Retinal Function in a Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa
by Feng Liu, Mengrong Zhang, Guoyin Xiong, Xiu Han, Vincent Wing Hong Lee, Kwok-Fai So, Kin Chiu and Ying Xu
Life 2022, 12(11), 1917; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111917 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a photoreceptor-degenerating disease with no effective treatment. Trans-corneal electrical stimulation has neuroprotective effects in degenerating retinas, but repeated applications cause corneal injury. To avoid the risk of corneal damage, here we tested whether repetitive trans-sclera electrical stimulation (TsES) protects [...] Read more.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a photoreceptor-degenerating disease with no effective treatment. Trans-corneal electrical stimulation has neuroprotective effects in degenerating retinas, but repeated applications cause corneal injury. To avoid the risk of corneal damage, here we tested whether repetitive trans-sclera electrical stimulation (TsES) protects degenerating retinas in rd10 mice, a model of RP. At postnatal day 20 (P20), the right eyes of rd10 mice were exposed to 30 min of TsES daily or every other day till P25, at the amplitude of 50 or 100 μA, with zero current as the sham. Immunostaining, multi-electrode-array (MEA) recording, and a black-and-white transition box were applied to examine the morphological and functional changes of the treated retina. Functionally, TsES modified the retinal light responses. It also reduced the high spontaneous firing of retinal ganglion cells. TsES at 100 μA but not 50 μA increased the light sensitivities of ganglion cells as well as their signal-to-noise ratios. TsES at 100 μA increased the survival of photoreceptors without improving the visual behavior of rd10 mice. Our data suggest that repetitive TsES improves the retinal function of rd10 mice at the early degenerating stage, therefore, it might be an effective long-term strategy to delay retinal degeneration in RP patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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17 pages, 1542 KiB  
Review
Exploiting Plant–Phytonematode Interactions to Upgrade Safe and Effective Nematode Control
by Mahfouz M. M. Abd-Elgawad
Life 2022, 12(11), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111916 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) bring about substantial losses of economic crops globally. With the environmental and health issues facing the use of chemical nematicides, research efforts should focus on providing economically effective and safe control methods. The sound exploitation of plant-PPN interactions is fundamental [...] Read more.
Plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) bring about substantial losses of economic crops globally. With the environmental and health issues facing the use of chemical nematicides, research efforts should focus on providing economically effective and safe control methods. The sound exploitation of plant-PPN interactions is fundamental to such efforts. Initially, proper sampling and extraction techniques should be followed to avoid misleading nematode data. Recent evolutions in plant-PPN interactions can make use of diverse non-molecular and molecular approaches to boost plant defenses. Therefore, PPN control and increasing crop yields through single, sequential, dual-purpose, and simultaneous applications of agricultural inputs, including biocontrol agents, should be seriously attempted, especially within IPM schemes. The use of biologicals would ideally be facilitated by production practices to solve related issues. The full investment of such interactions should employ new views of interdisciplinary specialties in the relevant modern disciplines to optimize the PPN management. Having an accurate grasp of the related molecular events will help in developing tools for PPN control. Nonetheless, the currently investigated molecular plant-PPN interactions favoring plant responses, e.g., resistance genes, RNA interference, marker-assisted selection, proteinase inhibitors, chemo-disruptive peptides, and plant-incorporated protectants, are key factors to expanding reliable management. They may be applied on broader scales for a substantial improvement in crop yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Nematode Interaction)
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