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Life, Volume 13, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 129 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. The immune system plays a complex role in CAD, initiating an inflammatory response to damage or injury to arterial walls. This response can become chronic and lead to plaque formation and atherosclerosis. Neutrophiles, macrophages, B and T lymphocytes, and NKT cells are key in the immune response. Studies have revealed the new roles of endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. Research is ongoing to explore immunomodulatory therapies to reduce inflammation and atherosclerosis. This review explores the pathogenic relationship between immunity and atherosclerosis, potential therapeutic strategies, and immunomodulatory therapies targeting the immune system to reduce inflammation. View this paper
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20 pages, 4961 KiB  
Article
PM2.5 Exposure-Linked Mitochondrial Dysfunction Negates SB216763-Mediated Cardio-Protection against Myocardial Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury
Life 2023, 13(11), 2234; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112234 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
GSK3β is a promising target for treating various disease conditions, including myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury (IR). This study investigated the potential of GSK3β as a novel drug for managing IR in rats exposed to PM2.5 for 1 day and up to 21 days. [...] Read more.
GSK3β is a promising target for treating various disease conditions, including myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury (IR). This study investigated the potential of GSK3β as a novel drug for managing IR in rats exposed to PM2.5 for 1 day and up to 21 days. Female Wistar rats were exposed to PM2.5 at a concentration of 250 µg/m3 for 3 h daily for either a single day or 21 days. After exposure, the isolated rat hearts underwent 30 min of ischemia followed by 60 min of reperfusion. GSK3β inhibition effectively reduced IR injury in rat hearts from animals exposed to PM2.5 for 1 day but not in those exposed for 21 days. PM2.5 exposure disrupted the redox balance in mitochondria and reduced the gene expression of antioxidants (glutaredoxin and peroxiredoxin) and NRF2, which protects against oxidative stress. PM2.5 also impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics, membrane potential, and quality control, leading to mitochondrial stress. Importantly, PM2.5 increased the translocation of GSK3β into mitochondria and compromised the overall mitochondrial function, particularly in the 21-day-exposed rat myocardium. The results indicate that extended exposure to PM2.5 leads to oxidative stress that disrupts mitochondrial function and diminishes the effectiveness of GSK3β inhibitors in offering cardio-protection through mitochondria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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7 pages, 1536 KiB  
Brief Report
Advances in Aquaculture Hatchery Techniques of Sea Urchin Sphaerechinus granularis (Lamarck, 1816) (Echinoidea: Toxopneustidae): Broodstock Conditioning and Spawning Induction
Life 2023, 13(11), 2233; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112233 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 590
Abstract
In response to the growing demand for sea urchin gonads (roe or uni) in Asian and European markets and the concerns regarding the overexploitation of wild populations, this preliminary study addresses the need for cost-effective protocols in echinoculture. The primary focus of this [...] Read more.
In response to the growing demand for sea urchin gonads (roe or uni) in Asian and European markets and the concerns regarding the overexploitation of wild populations, this preliminary study addresses the need for cost-effective protocols in echinoculture. The primary focus of this research was to evaluate the gonadosomatic index (GI) in captive-conditioned Sphaerechinus granularis over a five-month period and compare it with that of their wild-caught conspecifics. Additionally, two different spawning induction methods were assessed: potassium chloride (KCl) injection and agitation. Results indicate that captive-conditioned sea urchins exhibit significantly higher GI values when compared to their wild-caught counterparts. Furthermore, it was observed that the agitation method is equally effective as the KCl injection in triggering a positive response, i.e., gamete ejection, while maintaining lower mortality rates among the subjected S. granularis. In conclusion, this preliminary study underscores the pivotal role of broodstock conditioning in supporting the sustainability of sea urchin aquaculture. Moreover, the spawning induction method through agitation emerges as a viable alternative to the traditional intracelomic KCl injection, offering comparable efficacy without compromising the survival of the broodstock. These findings have significant implications for the development of sustainable sea urchin farming practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Nutrition, Production, and Welfare)
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13 pages, 2078 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of High-Intensity versus Low-to-Moderate Intensity Statin Therapy in Patients Undergoing Rotational Atherectomy for Calcified Coronary Artery Disease
Life 2023, 13(11), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112232 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 645
Abstract
(1) Background: Moderate-intensity statin therapy, when compared to high-intensity statin therapy in Asian populations, has shown no significant difference in cardiovascular prognosis in small studies. The aim of this study was to compare the prognosis of patients based on statin intensity following rotational [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Moderate-intensity statin therapy, when compared to high-intensity statin therapy in Asian populations, has shown no significant difference in cardiovascular prognosis in small studies. The aim of this study was to compare the prognosis of patients based on statin intensity following rotational atherectomy (RA) during high-complexity percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). (2) Methods: The ROCK registry, a multicenter retrospective study, included patients who had undergone rotational atherectomy (RA) during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) at nine tertiary medical centers in South Korea between January 2010 and October 2019. The patients were divided into high-intensity statin (H-statin) and moderate/low-intensity statin (M/L-statin) therapy groups. The primary endpoint includes outcomes (cardiac death, target vessel myocardial infarction (MI), and target vessel revascularization (TVR)) within an 18-month follow-up period. (3) Results: In this registry, a total of 540 patients with 583 lesions were included. We excluded 39 lesions from the analysis due to the absence of statin usage. The H-statin group had 394 lesions and the M/L-statin group had 150 lesions. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics, procedural adverse events without heart failure history, triglycerides, or medications between the two groups. The procedural success rate showed a significant difference between the two groups. Multivariate analysis did not show a significant association between M/L-statin therapy and an increased risk of the primary endpoint. In propensity score matching analysis, no significant difference was observed in the primary endpoint either. (4) Conclusions: In high-complex RA PCI, moderate/low-intensity statin therapy is not inferior to high-intensity statin therapy in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Science)
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10 pages, 1838 KiB  
Article
Cryosurgery for Basal Cell Skin Cancer of the Head: 15 Years of Experience
Life 2023, 13(11), 2231; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112231 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
The clinical relevance of head and neck (H&N) tumors is related to the potential disfiguration of anatomical structures (by the tumor or surgical intervention), defining patients’ individual features and emotional expression, loss or restraint of vital structures functions, and untoward socio-economic sequelae. This [...] Read more.
The clinical relevance of head and neck (H&N) tumors is related to the potential disfiguration of anatomical structures (by the tumor or surgical intervention), defining patients’ individual features and emotional expression, loss or restraint of vital structures functions, and untoward socio-economic sequelae. This study is aimed to improve clinical outcomes of cryosurgery in patients with H&N basal cell skin cancer by refining the indications for cryosurgical treatment. In this study, cryosurgery was used in 234 patients with different stages of cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the head, including 101 patients with T1 tumors, 86—with T2, 5—T3, and 42 patients with tumors relapsing after failure of preceding various treatment modalities. Post-cryosurgery recurrence rate in patients with stage I BCC was 2.7%, with stage II tumors—5.6% and 34.9%—in patients with recurred tumors. Re-recurrence after cryoablation of recurrent tumors correlated with the tumor baseline size. The best aesthetic and long-term clinical results were documented in patients with lesions <1 cm in size with clear boundaries. Thus, cryosurgery is the method of choice for the majority of stage I basal cell carcinomas of the head. For patients with advanced and recurrent skin cancer, cryosurgery is relevant in rare cases selected according to refined indications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Primitive and Metastatic Tumors of the Skin)
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0 pages, 3237 KiB  
Article
Cardiac Autonomic Balance Is Altered during the Acute Stress Response in Adolescent Major Depression—Effect of Sex
Life 2023, 13(11), 2230; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112230 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Autonomic nervous system (ANS) abnormalities are associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) already at adolescent age. The majority of studies so far evaluated parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of ANS individually, although composite indices including cardiac autonomic balance (CAB) and cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR) [...] Read more.
Autonomic nervous system (ANS) abnormalities are associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) already at adolescent age. The majority of studies so far evaluated parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of ANS individually, although composite indices including cardiac autonomic balance (CAB) and cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR) seem to measure ANS functioning more comprehensively and thus could provide better psychopathologies’ predictors. We aimed to study CAB and CAR derived from high-frequency bands of heart rate variability and left ventricular ejection time during complex stress response (rest–Go/NoGo task–recovery) in MDD adolescents with respect to sex. We examined 85 MDD adolescents (52 girls, age: 15.7 ± 0.14 yrs.) and 80 age- and sex-matched controls. The MDD group showed significantly reduced CAB compared to controls at rest, in response to the Go/NoGo task, and in the recovery phase. Moreover, while depressed boys showed significantly lower CAB at rest and in response to the Go/NoGo task compared to control boys, depressed girls showed no significant differences in evaluated parameters compared to control girls. This study for the first time evaluated CAB and CAR indices in drug-naïve first-episode diagnosed MDD adolescents during complex stress responses, indicating an altered cardiac autonomic pattern (i.e., reciprocal sympathetic dominance associated with parasympathetic underactivity), which was predominant for depressed boys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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15 pages, 888 KiB  
Review
IMiD-Free Interval and IMiDs Sequence: Which Strategy Is Better Suited for Lenalidomide-Refractory Myeloma?
Life 2023, 13(11), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112229 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 863
Abstract
This review discusses immunomodulatory drug (IMiDs) sequencing and IMiD-free interval strategies for lenalidomide-refractory myeloma. IMiDs and proteasome inhibitors (PIs) improve clinical outcomes in patients with myeloma; however, refractoriness to lenalidomide, a category of IMiD, predicts poor outcomes. Next-generation IMiDs, such as pomalidomide, are [...] Read more.
This review discusses immunomodulatory drug (IMiDs) sequencing and IMiD-free interval strategies for lenalidomide-refractory myeloma. IMiDs and proteasome inhibitors (PIs) improve clinical outcomes in patients with myeloma; however, refractoriness to lenalidomide, a category of IMiD, predicts poor outcomes. Next-generation IMiDs, such as pomalidomide, are effective even for lenalidomide-refractory myeloma. Therefore, an IMiD-sequencing strategy from lenalidomide to pomalidomide would be desirable. PIs are an antimyeloma therapeutic agent with another mode of action that might restore cereblon, a target of IMiDs; therefore, an IMiD-free interval via class switching from lenalidomide to PIs may be a promising alternative for lenalidomide-refractory myeloma. Additionally, the anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody is a key drug for salvage therapy in anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody-naïve patients. In clinical practice, safety profiles and social convenience can play important roles in the choice of combination therapy. In the future, the selection of optimal treatments should be based on the status of the immunological environment and genetic alterations. This review aims to discuss IMiDs sequencing and IMiD-free interval strategies for lenalidomide- refractory myeloma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Myeloma: Innovations in Diagnosis and Treatment)
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10 pages, 1162 KiB  
Article
Mathematical Modeling of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Biology through the Experimental Data on Cell Composition and Growth of Patient-Derived Organoids
Life 2023, 13(11), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112228 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
Mathematical models of non-small-cell lung cancer are powerful tools that use clinical and experimental data to describe various aspects of tumorigenesis. The developed algorithms capture phenotypic changes in the tumor and predict changes in tumor behavior, drug resistance, and clinical outcomes of anti-cancer [...] Read more.
Mathematical models of non-small-cell lung cancer are powerful tools that use clinical and experimental data to describe various aspects of tumorigenesis. The developed algorithms capture phenotypic changes in the tumor and predict changes in tumor behavior, drug resistance, and clinical outcomes of anti-cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to propose a mathematical model that predicts the changes in the cellular composition of patient-derived tumor organoids over time with a perspective of translation of these results to the parental tumor, and therefore to possible clinical course and outcomes for the patient. Using the data on specific biomarkers of cancer cells (PD-L1), tumor-associated macrophages (CD206), natural killer cells (CD8), and fibroblasts (αSMA) as input, we proposed a model that accurately predicts the cellular composition of patient-derived tumor organoids at a desired time point. Combining the obtained results with “omics” approaches will improve our understanding of the nature of non-small-cell lung cancer. Moreover, their implementation into clinical practice will facilitate a decision-making process on treatment strategy and develop a new personalized approach in anti-cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Research of Bioinformatics in Human Diseases)
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14 pages, 5822 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Comparative Profiles of Triterpenoid Biosynthesis Genes in Ginseng and Pseudo Ginseng Medicinal Plants
by
Life 2023, 13(11), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112227 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 874
Abstract
Saponin-rich medicinal plants, particularly ginseng and Pseudo ginseng, are valuable in traditional medical practice due to the presence of different saponins. These plants benefit from natural saponins/triterpenoids drugs, such as Ginsenosides, Gypenosides, Platycodins, and Lancemasides. Ginsenosides are highly required for research and functional [...] Read more.
Saponin-rich medicinal plants, particularly ginseng and Pseudo ginseng, are valuable in traditional medical practice due to the presence of different saponins. These plants benefit from natural saponins/triterpenoids drugs, such as Ginsenosides, Gypenosides, Platycodins, and Lancemasides. Ginsenosides are highly required for research and functional materials preparation in industrial practices, and some compounds, like Compound-K, have been taken to human trials for various therapeutic applications. To elucidate the genes/transcripts profiles responsible for secondary metabolites and ginsenoside biosynthesis in Ginseng and Pseudo ginseng plant genomes, a comparative analysis was conducted in this study. Nine plant genomes with a 99% BUSCO completeness score were used, resulting in 49 KEGG secondary metabolite pathways, 571 cytochromes genes with 42 families, and 3529 carbohydrate genes with 103 superfamilies. The comparative analysis revealed 24 genes/transcripts belonging to the CYP716 family, which is involved in the ginsenoside biosynthesis pathway. Additionally, it found that various ginsenosides demonstrated strong binding affinity with twelve targets, with ginsenoside Rg3, Rg2, Rh1, Rh5, F3, Rh9, Panaxadione, Protopanaxatriol, Floral ginsenoside C, and Floral ginsenoside E exhibiting the highest binding affinities with the tested enzymes. Since these groups of enzymes are not yet fully characterized for Pseudo ginseng plants in the interconversion of triterpenoids, this comparative bioinformatics analysis could aid experimentalists in selecting and conducting characterization with practical knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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19 pages, 1789 KiB  
Review
Diabetes Mellitus in Acute Coronary Syndrome
Life 2023, 13(11), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112226 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1339
Abstract
The global prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) has led to a pandemic, with significant microvascular and macrovascular complications including coronary artery disease (CAD), which worsen clinical outcomes and cardiovascular prognosis. Patients with both acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and DM have worse prognosis and [...] Read more.
The global prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) has led to a pandemic, with significant microvascular and macrovascular complications including coronary artery disease (CAD), which worsen clinical outcomes and cardiovascular prognosis. Patients with both acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and DM have worse prognosis and several pathophysiologic mechanisms have been implicated including, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation and aggregations as well as plaque characteristics and extent of coronary lesions. Therefore, regarding reperfusion strategies in the more complex anatomies coronary artery bypass surgery may be the preferred therapeutic strategy over percutaneous coronary intervention while both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia should be avoided with closed monitoring of glycemic status during the acute phase of myocardial infraction. However, the best treatment strategy remains undefined. Non-insulin therapies, due to the low risk of hypoglycemia concurrently with the multifactorial CV protective effects, may be proved to be the best treatment option in the future. Nevertheless, evidence for the beneficial effects of glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists, dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors and sodium glycose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, despite accumulating, is not robust and future randomized control trials may provide more definitive data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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13 pages, 2243 KiB  
Article
Temporal Trends in Diagnostic Hemodynamics and Survival of Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension: A Single-Center Study
Life 2023, 13(11), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112225 - 19 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) have gradually improved the disease course. This retrospective cohort study aims to explore the diagnostic hemodynamic profile and survival of PH patients and their temporal changes, as well as investigate potential prognostic factors. [...] Read more.
Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) have gradually improved the disease course. This retrospective cohort study aims to explore the diagnostic hemodynamic profile and survival of PH patients and their temporal changes, as well as investigate potential prognostic factors. Overall, 257 adult patients were diagnosed with PH following right heart catheterization (RHC) from January 2008 to June 2023 according to the hemodynamic cut-off values proposed by the corresponding ESC/ERS guidelines at the time RHC was performed. Of these patients, 46.3% were Group 1, 17.8% Group 2, 14.0% Group 3, 18.0% Group 4, and 3.0% Group 5 PH. Temporal improvement in both diagnostic hemodynamic profile and survival of patients with PH and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was identified after 2013. Survival analysis demonstrated 5-year survival rates of 65% in Group 1 PH (90.3% in idiopathic PAH) and 77% in Group 4 PH. PAH patients being at low risk at diagnosis presented a similar 1-year all-cause mortality rate (12.4%) with high-risk ones (12.8%), primarily due to non-PH-related causes of death (62%), while high-risk patients died mostly due to PH (67%). The observed improvements in diagnostic hemodynamic profiles and overall survival highlight the importance of timely diagnosis and successful treatment strategies in PH. Full article
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20 pages, 6247 KiB  
Review
The 3 31 Nucleotide Minihelix tRNA Evolution Theorem and the Origin of Life
Life 2023, 13(11), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112224 - 19 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3259
Abstract
There are no theorems (proven theories) in the biological sciences. We propose that the 3 31 nt minihelix tRNA evolution theorem be universally accepted as one. The 3 31 nt minihelix theorem completely describes the evolution of type I and type II tRNAs [...] Read more.
There are no theorems (proven theories) in the biological sciences. We propose that the 3 31 nt minihelix tRNA evolution theorem be universally accepted as one. The 3 31 nt minihelix theorem completely describes the evolution of type I and type II tRNAs from ordered precursors (RNA repeats and inverted repeats). Despite the diversification of tRNAome sequences, statistical tests overwhelmingly support the theorem. Furthermore, the theorem relates the dominant pathway for the origin of life on Earth, specifically, how tRNAomes and the genetic code may have coevolved. Alternate models for tRNA evolution (i.e., 2 minihelix, convergent and accretion models) are falsified. In the context of the pre-life world, tRNA was a molecule that, via mutation, could modify anticodon sequences and teach itself to code. Based on the tRNA sequence, we relate the clearest history to date of the chemical evolution of life. From analysis of tRNA evolution, ribozyme-mediated RNA ligation was a primary driving force in the evolution of complexity during the pre-life-to-life transition. TRNA formed the core for the evolution of living systems on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Origins of Life)
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15 pages, 2042 KiB  
Article
Anterior Scleral Thickness Profile in Keratoconus
Life 2023, 13(11), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112223 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Purpose: Considering that peripheral corneal thinning occurs in keratoconus (KC), the anterior scleral thickness (AST) profile was measured to compare thickness variations in healthy and KC eyes across several meridians. Methods: This cross-sectional case–control study comprised 111 eyes of 111 patients: 61 KC [...] Read more.
Purpose: Considering that peripheral corneal thinning occurs in keratoconus (KC), the anterior scleral thickness (AST) profile was measured to compare thickness variations in healthy and KC eyes across several meridians. Methods: This cross-sectional case–control study comprised 111 eyes of 111 patients: 61 KC eyes and 50 age- and axial-length-matched healthy eyes. The AST was explored at three scleral eccentricities (1, 2, and 3 mm from the scleral spur) across four scleral zones (nasal, temporal, superior, and inferior) by using swept-source optical coherence tomography. The AST variations among eccentricities and scleral regions within and between groups were investigated. Results: The AST significantly varied with scleral eccentricity in healthy eyes over the temporal meridian (p = 0.009), whereas in KC eyes, this variation was observed over the nasal (p = 0.001), temporal (p = 0.029) and inferior (p = 0.006) meridians. The thinnest point in both groups was 2 mm posterior to the scleral spur (p < 0.001). The sclera was thickest over the inferior region (control 581 ± 52 μm, KC 577 ± 67 μm) and thinnest over the superior region (control 448 ± 48 μm, KC 468 ± 58 μm) in both populations (p < 0.001 for all eccentricities). The AST profiles were not significantly different between groups (p > 0.05). The inferior–superior thickness asymmetry was statistically different 2 mm posterior to the scleral spur between groups (p = 0.009), specifically with subclinical KC (p = 0.03). There is a trend where the asymmetry increases, although not significantly, with the KC degree (p > 0.05). Conclusions: KC eyes presented significant thickness variations among eccentricities over the paracentral sclera. Although AST profiles did not differ between groups, the inferior–superior asymmetry differences demonstrated scleral changes over the vertical meridian in KC that need further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cornea and Anterior Eye Diseases)
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14 pages, 1496 KiB  
Article
The Fastest and Most Reliable Identification of True Hybrids in the Genus Pisum L.
Life 2023, 13(11), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112222 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 714
Abstract
After crosses, the identification of true hybrids is not only the most important step in the initiation of a breeding program but also plays a crucial role in the improvement of hybrid varieties. However, current morphological or molecular-based hybrid identification methods are time-consuming [...] Read more.
After crosses, the identification of true hybrids is not only the most important step in the initiation of a breeding program but also plays a crucial role in the improvement of hybrid varieties. However, current morphological or molecular-based hybrid identification methods are time-consuming and costly approaches that require knowledge and skill, as well as specific lab equipment. In the current study, xenia, direct or immediate effect of pollen on seeds was used to identify true hybrids in the genus Pisum L. for the first time without growing F1 plants. The current study was therefore aimed to (i) elucidate the xenia effect on seeds in intra- and interspecific crosses between P. sativum L. subsp. sativum var. sativum or var. arvense L. Poir. and its wild relatives, including P. sativum subsp. elatius (M. Bieb.) Aschers & Graebn. and P. fulvum Sibth. & Sm., and (ii) illuminate the beneficialness of the xenia effect in a practical improvement of the genus Pisum L. The pea cultivars, including P. sativum subsp. sativum var. sativum and P. sativum subsp. sativum var. arvense, were therefore crossed with P. sativum subsp. elatius and P. fulvum, and the occurrence of the xenia effect was studied on the seeds of fertilized female plants immediately after the crosses. It was concluded that using the xenia effect for the early detection of true hybrid immediately after crossing was not only the fastest, most reliable, and least expensive option as early selection criteria, but that xenia also provided information about dominant seed and pod traits after double fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Associated Plant Breeding)
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14 pages, 566 KiB  
Review
Atherosclerosis in Patients with Congenital Hemophilia: A Focus on Peripheral Artery Disease
Life 2023, 13(11), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112221 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Advances in the treatment of hemophilia have increased the life expectancy of this population and we are currently facing diseases associated with aging, including cardiovascular ones. Coronary atherosclerosis, with acute myocardial infarction as the most severe form of manifestation, has been recognized as [...] Read more.
Advances in the treatment of hemophilia have increased the life expectancy of this population and we are currently facing diseases associated with aging, including cardiovascular ones. Coronary atherosclerosis, with acute myocardial infarction as the most severe form of manifestation, has been recognized as part of the comorbidities of hemophiliacs. However, little is known about peripheral artery disease. Available data show that hemophiliacs have cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis similar to the general population. Impaired thrombus formation and phenotype of atheroma plaque rather than the burden of atherosclerosis explains their lower cardiovascular mortality. Since the effect of traditional cardiovascular risk factors overpowers that of decreased coagulability and promotes the onset and progression of atherosclerotic lesions, screening for traditional cardiovascular risk factors and peripheral artery disease should be integrated into standard hemophilia care. There is evidence that invasive treatments and long-term antithrombotic therapy are generally safe, provided that coagulation factor levels are taken into account and replacement therapy is given when necessary. Full article
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11 pages, 482 KiB  
Article
History of Pica, Obesity, and Their Associations with Anemia in Pregnancy: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Life 2023, 13(11), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112220 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
Anemia in pregnancy represents a major global health problem, and progress is insufficient to meet the World Health Assembly’s global nutrition target of halving anemia prevalence by 2030. We assessed the prevalence and factors associated with anemia among pregnant women in northern Sudan. [...] Read more.
Anemia in pregnancy represents a major global health problem, and progress is insufficient to meet the World Health Assembly’s global nutrition target of halving anemia prevalence by 2030. We assessed the prevalence and factors associated with anemia among pregnant women in northern Sudan. This community-based cross-sectional study was conducted at Almatamah, River Nile State, Sudan. Sociodemographic and obstetric data were collected using a questionnaire. Hemoglobin (Hb) was measured using an automated hematology analyzer. Multivariate and simple linear regression analyses were performed. A total of 586 pregnant women were enrolled. Their median (interquartile range, IQR) age was 25 (21–30) years. The median (IQR) of body mass index (BMI) was 26.67 (24.34–30.04) kg/m2. The median (IQR) for Hb was 11.0 (10.0–11.9) g/dL. Of the 586 women, 271 (46.2%) had anemia (Hb: <11 gm/dL). In multivariate analysis, increasing BMI and obesity were significantly associated with decreased odds ratios (ORs) of anemia, while pica was associated with increased ORs of anemia. In conclusion, anemia in pregnant women is a major public health problem, as approximately half of pregnant women in northern Sudan have anemia. Increasing BMI and obesity were associated with a lower risk for anemia. More efforts are needed to improve the maternal nutritional status for good pregnancy outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology)
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10 pages, 934 KiB  
Article
Geographical Variation in Body Size in the Asian Common Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus)
Life 2023, 13(11), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112219 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The geographic variation in life-history traits of organisms and the mechanisms underlying adaptation are interesting ideas in evolutionary biology. This study investigated age and body size of the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) among five populations along a geographical gradient. We [...] Read more.
The geographic variation in life-history traits of organisms and the mechanisms underlying adaptation are interesting ideas in evolutionary biology. This study investigated age and body size of the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) among five populations along a geographical gradient. We found that geographical variation in age was non-significant among populations but there was a significant and positive correlation between mean age and body size. Although the body size values at 1043 m are quite different from other sites, after controlling for age effects, there was a significant positive correlation between altitude and body size. Our findings followed the predictions of Bergmann’s rule, suggesting that the body size of D. melanostictus is potentially influenced by the low air temperatures at higher altitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ecology, Management and Conservation of Vertebrates)
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15 pages, 1830 KiB  
Article
Management of Upper-Limb Spasticity Using Modern Rehabilitation Techniques versus Botulinum Toxin Injections Following Stroke
Life 2023, 13(11), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112218 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Our purpose is to emphasize the role of botulinum toxin in spasticity therapy and functional recovery in patients following strokes. Our retrospective study compared two groups, namely ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients. The study group (BT group) comprised 80 patients who received focal [...] Read more.
Our purpose is to emphasize the role of botulinum toxin in spasticity therapy and functional recovery in patients following strokes. Our retrospective study compared two groups, namely ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients. The study group (BT group) comprised 80 patients who received focal botulinum toxin as therapy for an upper limb with spastic muscle three times every three months. The control group (ES group) comprised 80 patients who received only medical rehabilitation consisting of electrostimulation and radial shockwave therapy for the upper limb, which was applied three times every three months. Both groups received the same stretching program for spastic muscles as a home training program. We evaluated the evolution of the patients using muscle strength, Ashworth, Tardieu, Frenchay, and Barthel scales. The analysis indicated a statistically significant difference between the two groups for all scales, with better results for the BT group (p < 0.0001 for all scales). In our study, the age at disease onset was an important prediction factor for better recovery in both groups but not in all scales. Better recovery was obtained for younger patients (in the BT group, MRC scale: rho = −0.609, p-value < 0.0001; Tardieu scale: rho = −0.365, p-value = 0.001; in the ES group, MRC scale: rho = −0.445, p-value < 0.0001; Barthel scale: rho = −0.239, p-value = 0.033). Our results demonstrated the effectiveness of botulinum toxin therapy compared with the rehabilitation method, showing a reduction of the recovery time of the upper limb, as well as an improvement of functionality and a reduction of disability. Although all patients followed a specific kinetic program, important improvements were evident in the botulinum toxin group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exercise Training on Muscle Function)
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10 pages, 1744 KiB  
Article
Agrobacterial Transformation Enhancement by Improved Competent Cell Preparation and Optimized Electroporation
Life 2023, 13(11), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112217 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 792
Abstract
The introduction of plasmids into Agrobacterium cells is one of the key steps in the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of plants for gene editing applications. Depending on chromosomal background, some Agrobacterium strains exhibit a very low transformation efficiency, which results in a low number [...] Read more.
The introduction of plasmids into Agrobacterium cells is one of the key steps in the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of plants for gene editing applications. Depending on chromosomal background, some Agrobacterium strains exhibit a very low transformation efficiency, which results in a low number of colonies for subsequent screening and thus limits the potential for automated high-throughput transformation processes, especially with low copy or large plasmids. This study demonstrates improvements of transformation frequency by modifying the competent cell preparation process and optimizing electroporation parameters for two Agrobacterium strains. The competent cell preparation process was modified by prolonging bacterial growth in the log phase and optimizing the endpoint cell density for cell harvest which resulted in a significant cell yield increase and transformation frequency improvement. Optimization of electroporation by fine-tuning the parameters not only resulted in a 30-fold transformation frequency increase but also revealed a strain-dependent requirement for field strength and electric pulse length. To further improve transformation of a recalcitrant strain, different concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in recovery medium were examined. The study revealed an important role of DMSO in transformed cell recovery, with 5% DMSO resulting in the highest transformation frequency. The significant improvements in Agrobacterium transformation frequency addressed a critical bottleneck towards establishing a high throughput process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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10 pages, 1003 KiB  
Article
Primed Tactile Stimulus Processing during Sleep
Life 2023, 13(11), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112216 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
The aim was to investigate how the primed and unprimed non-painful tactile stimuli during sleep would be processed. A total of 22 healthy subjects (19.55 ± 1.10 years) were randomly divided into two groups. The same stimuli were applied to both groups, but [...] Read more.
The aim was to investigate how the primed and unprimed non-painful tactile stimuli during sleep would be processed. A total of 22 healthy subjects (19.55 ± 1.10 years) were randomly divided into two groups. The same stimuli were applied to both groups, but the study group (SG) received them twice (daytime and sleep), whereas the control group (CG) received them only during sleep. A 40-channel PSG and a pneumatic tactile stimulator unit were used. Evoked potential components of the CZ electrode were examined in four sleep stages (N1, N2, N3, and REM). The Mann–Whitney U test was used for group comparison, and the Wilcoxon test was used for in-group evaluations. The P50 and N300 response components were observed in all sleep stages in both groups. P50 decreased as sleep deepened in the SG. The N300 increased as sleep deepened and started to decrease again in the REM stage. Moreover, in N1, the amplitudes of P200-N300 and N300-P450 in the SG were significantly greater than those in the CG. The fact that P50 was observed even in N3 indicates that bottom-up sensory processing continues during sleep. Moreover, the central processing of primed and unprimed stimuli exhibited dynamic differences. Furthermore, an increase in N300 amplitude suggests suppressive processes to facilitate and maintain sleep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Life Sciences)
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15 pages, 49394 KiB  
Article
What Links Chronic Kidney Disease and Ischemic Cardiomyopathy? A Comprehensive Bioinformatic Analysis Utilizing Bulk and Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Data with Machine Learning
Life 2023, 13(11), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112215 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) emerges as a substantial contributor to various cardiovascular disorders, including ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms linking CKD and ICM remain elusive. Our study aims to unravel these connections by integrating publicly available bulk and single-cell RNA [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) emerges as a substantial contributor to various cardiovascular disorders, including ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms linking CKD and ICM remain elusive. Our study aims to unravel these connections by integrating publicly available bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. Expression profiles from two ICM datasets obtained from heart tissue and one CKD with Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell (CKD-PBMC) dataset were collected. We initiated by identifying shared differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ICM and CKD. Subsequent functional enrichment analysis shed light on the mechanisms connecting CKD to ICM. Machine learning algorithms enabled the identification of 13 candidate genes, including AGRN, COL16A1, COL1A2, FAP, FRZB, GPX3, ITIH5, NFASC, PTN, SLC38A1, STARD7, THBS2, and VPS35. Their expression patterns in ICM were investigated via scRNA-seq data analysis. Notably, most of them were enriched in fibroblasts. COL16A1, COL1A2, PTN, and FAP were enriched in scar-formation fibroblasts, while GPX3 and THBS2 showed enrichment in angiogenesis fibroblasts. A Gaussian naïve Bayes model was developed for diagnosing CKD-related ICM, bolstered by SHapley Additive exPlanations interpretability and validated internally and externally. In conclusion, our investigation unveils the extracellular matrix’s role in CKD and ICM interplay, identifies 13 candidate genes, and showcases their expression patterns in ICM. We also constructed a diagnostic model using 13 gene features and presented an innovative approach for managing CKD-related ICM through serum-based diagnostic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Heart Disease)
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20 pages, 12374 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Silica-Scaled Chrysophytes in the Steppe Zone of the Southern Urals with a Description of a New Species from the Genus Mallomonas
Life 2023, 13(11), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112214 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 538
Abstract
This paper is devoted to the study of the flora of silica-scaled chrysophytes in water bodies of the steppe zone of the Southern Urals (Russia). Twenty-four taxa were identified via scanning and transmission electron microscopy, twenty of which are representatives of the genus [...] Read more.
This paper is devoted to the study of the flora of silica-scaled chrysophytes in water bodies of the steppe zone of the Southern Urals (Russia). Twenty-four taxa were identified via scanning and transmission electron microscopy, twenty of which are representatives of the genus Mallomonas Perty, while four are species of the genus Synura Ehrenberg. In the course of the study, a species new to science from the genus Mallomonas, M. baturinae sp. nov., was described. This species belongs to the section Papillosae. The stomatocyst of M. doignonii was described. For the first time in Russia and for the third time since description, M. phasma and M. solea-ferrea var. irregularis were reported in the studied area. Here, their extended description is provided with illustrations of their scales in detail. Some rare taxa for the flora of Russia have been identified: M. doignonii, M. pillula f. exannulata, and M. pillula f. valdiviana. One taxon of the genus Mallomonas has not been identified to a species level and is probably a taxon new to science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Algae and Cyanobacteria)
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16 pages, 3736 KiB  
Review
Adiponectin: A Promising Target for the Treatment of Diabetes and Its Complications
Life 2023, 13(11), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112213 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1846
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia, presents a formidable global health challenge with its associated complications. Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, has emerged as a significant player in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Beyond its metabolic effects, adiponectin exerts anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia, presents a formidable global health challenge with its associated complications. Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, has emerged as a significant player in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Beyond its metabolic effects, adiponectin exerts anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and vasoprotective properties, making it an appealing therapeutic target for mitigating diabetic complications. The molecular mechanisms by which adiponectin impacts critical pathways implicated in diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, and cardiovascular problems are thoroughly examined in this study. In addition, we explore possible treatment options for increasing adiponectin levels or improving its downstream signaling. The multifaceted protective roles of adiponectin in diabetic complications suggest its potential as a novel therapeutic avenue. However, further translational studies and clinical trials are warranted to fully harness the therapeutic potential of adiponectin in the management of diabetic complications. This review highlights adiponectin as a promising target for the treatment of diverse diabetic complications and encourages continued research in this pivotal area of diabetes therapeutics. Full article
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14 pages, 5580 KiB  
Article
Penile Microdissection: A Live Donor Feasibility Study in Feminizing Gender-Affirming Surgery
Life 2023, 13(11), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112212 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Femininizing gender affirmation surgery includes the creation of external female genitalia such as a new clitoris, labia, and vagina with removal of the glans and urethral remnants and full corpora cavernosa. We evaluated the possibility of using preserved cavernosal bodies with glans and [...] Read more.
Femininizing gender affirmation surgery includes the creation of external female genitalia such as a new clitoris, labia, and vagina with removal of the glans and urethral remnants and full corpora cavernosa. We evaluated the possibility of using preserved cavernosal bodies with glans and urethral remnants for potential live-donor penile transplantation. Between March 2021 and February 2023, penile microvascular dissection followed by gender-affirming vaginoplasty was performed in 41 patients aged 18 to 57 years (mean 30.5 years). The mean follow-up was 15 months (ranging from 6 to 26 months). The removed penile entities were properly measured. The corpora cavernosa were completely preserved in all cases; the length of remaining anterior urethra ranged from 12.70 cm to 16.40 cm, while the mean glans remnant volume was 85.37% of the total volume. All patients reported satisfactory results after gender-affirming vaginoplasty. Microvascular penile dissection in gender-affirming vaginoplasty is simple and safe, suggesting a good possibility of using the full corpora cavernosa, glans, and anterior urethra remnants for live-donor penile transplantation. Full article
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18 pages, 1596 KiB  
Review
Traditional Meat Products—A Mycotoxicological Review
Life 2023, 13(11), 2211; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112211 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 780
Abstract
Traditional meat products are commonly produced in small family businesses. However, big industries are also involved in the production of this kind of product, especially since a growing number of consumers crave the traditional taste and aromas. The popularization of original and organic [...] Read more.
Traditional meat products are commonly produced in small family businesses. However, big industries are also involved in the production of this kind of product, especially since a growing number of consumers crave the traditional taste and aromas. The popularization of original and organic products has resulted in a return to traditional production methods. Traditional meat products are produced worldwide. However, in such (domesticated) conditions there is a potential danger for mycotoxin contamination. This review aims to present the sources of mycotoxins in traditional meat products, the most common mycotoxins related to such meat products, and future prospects regarding the suppression of their occurrence. Special attention should be paid to reducing the transfer of mycotoxins via the food chain from animal feed to animals to humans (stable-to-table principle), which is also described in this review. Other sources of mycotoxins (spices, environment, etc.) should also be monitored for mycotoxins in traditional production. The importance of monitoring and regulating mycotoxins in meat products, especially in traditional meat products, is slowly being recognized by the institutions and hopefully, in the future, can deliver legally regulated limits for such products. This is especially important since meat products are available to the general population and can seriously affect human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiological Contamination)
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17 pages, 9306 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Feeds on the Fungi Microbiome of Suffolk Crossed with Tibetan Sheep
Life 2023, 13(11), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112210 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The gut microbiome plays an important role in the metabolism, nutrient absorption and immunocompetency of animals. The dynamics of the microbiota can be influenced by modulatory factors that involve nutrition, environment, health, diseases, etc. Few reports have been documented regarding the effects of [...] Read more.
The gut microbiome plays an important role in the metabolism, nutrient absorption and immunocompetency of animals. The dynamics of the microbiota can be influenced by modulatory factors that involve nutrition, environment, health, diseases, etc. Few reports have been documented regarding the effects of different feeds on the fungi microbiome of Suffolk crossed with Tibetan sheep. A total of 30 Suffolk crossed with Tibetan sheep (ST sheep) were selected for the study and randomly divided into five equal groups (n = 6): AZ, BZ, CZ, DZ and EZ. Group AZ was fed with alfalfa and oat grass, whereas group BZ was fed with mixture of concentrated feed, alfalfa and oat grass. Groups CZ, DZ and EZ were fed with concentrated feed #1, #2 and #3, respectively. All experimental animals were fed twice a day for four months, and rectum samples were collected for microbiota analysis. Results revealed that 2,781,461 raw reads and 2,333,239 clean reads were achieved in the ST sheep. When compared with the sheep of groups AZ and BZ (164), the shared amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) between AZ and CZ (109), AZ (113) and DZ (118) as well as AZ along with EZ were fewer. Conspicuous different phyla (8) and genera (56) were examined and compared with free-range sheep in AZ. Genera including Xeromyces, Kazachstania, Cordyceps, Rhodotorula, Pichia, Spor, etc. were found higher in animals in the CZ, DZ and EZ groups. The results of this study provide new insights regarding the effects of different feeds on the fungi microbiome of sheep farmed on the plateau. We concluded that the differences in feed in Suffolk crossed with Tibetan sheep altered their gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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12 pages, 4692 KiB  
Article
Conservation Priorities and Demographic History of Saussurea involucrata in the Tianshan Mountains and Altai Mountains
Life 2023, 13(11), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112209 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Rare and vulnerable endemic plants represent different evolutionary units that occur at different times, and protecting these species is a key issue in biological protection. Understanding the impact of the history of endangered plant populations on their genetic diversity helps to reveal evolutionary [...] Read more.
Rare and vulnerable endemic plants represent different evolutionary units that occur at different times, and protecting these species is a key issue in biological protection. Understanding the impact of the history of endangered plant populations on their genetic diversity helps to reveal evolutionary history and is crucial for guiding conservation efforts. Saussurea involucrata, a perennial alpine species mainly distributed in the Tianshan Mountains, is famous for its medicinal value but has become endangered due to over-exploitation. In the present study, we employed both nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences to investigate the genetic distribution pattern and evolutionary history of S. involucrata. A total of 270 individuals covering nine S. involucrata populations were sampled for the amplification and sequencing of nrDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and chloroplast trnL-trnF, matK and ndhF-rpl32 sequences. Via calculation, we identified 7 nuclear and 12 plastid haplotypes. Among the nine populations, GL and BA were characterized by high haplotype diversity, whereas BG revealed the lowest haplotype diversity. Molecular dating estimations suggest that divergence among S. involucrata populations occurred around 0.75 Ma, coinciding with the uplift of Tianshan Mountains. Our results reveal that both isolation-by-distance (IBD) and isolation-by-resistance (IBR) have promoted genetic differentiation among populations of S. involucrata. The results from the ecological niche modeling analyses show a more suitable habitat for S. involucrata in the past than at present, indicating a historical distribution contraction of the species. This study provides new insight into understanding the genetic differentiation of S. involucrata, as well as the theoretical basis for conserving this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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15 pages, 2737 KiB  
Article
Infrared Spectral Signatures of Nucleobases in Interstellar Ices I: Purines
Life 2023, 13(11), 2208; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112208 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 874
Abstract
The purine nucleobases adenine and guanine are complex organic molecules that are essential for life. Despite their ubiquitous presence on Earth, purines have yet to be detected in observations of astronomical environments. This work therefore proposes to study the infrared spectra of purines [...] Read more.
The purine nucleobases adenine and guanine are complex organic molecules that are essential for life. Despite their ubiquitous presence on Earth, purines have yet to be detected in observations of astronomical environments. This work therefore proposes to study the infrared spectra of purines linked to terrestrial biochemical processes under conditions analogous to those found in the interstellar medium. The infrared spectra of adenine and guanine, both in neat form and embedded within an ice made of H2O:NH3:CH4:CO:CH3OH (10:1:1:1:1), were analysed with the aim of determining which bands attributable to adenine and/or guanine can be observed in the infrared spectrum of an astrophysical ice analogue rich in other volatile species known to be abundant in dense molecular clouds. The spectrum of adenine and guanine mixed together was also analysed. This study has identified three purine nucleobase infrared absorption bands that do not overlap with bands attributable to the volatiles that are ubiquitous in the dense interstellar medium. Therefore, these three bands, which are located at 1255, 940, and 878 cm−1, are proposed as an infrared spectral signature for adenine, guanine, or a mixture of these molecules in astrophysical ices. All three bands have integrated molar absorptivity values (ψ) greater than 4 km mol−1, meaning that they should be readily observable in astronomical targets. Therefore, if these three bands were to be observed together in the same target, then it is possible to propose the presence of a purine molecule (i.e., adenine or guanine) there. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Life?)
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13 pages, 1754 KiB  
Article
Integrating Full-Length and Second-Generation Transcriptomics to Reveal Differentially Expressed Genes Associated with the Development of Corydalis yanhusuo Tuber
Life 2023, 13(11), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112207 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Corydalis yanhusuo is a medicinal herb in China that has been widely used to treat various kinds of pain. The tuber is the main organ of C. yanhusuo used for medicinal purposes, but changes in related genes during the development of the tuber [...] Read more.
Corydalis yanhusuo is a medicinal herb in China that has been widely used to treat various kinds of pain. The tuber is the main organ of C. yanhusuo used for medicinal purposes, but changes in related genes during the development of the tuber have rarely been reported. To identify the differentially expressed genes during tuber development, C. yanhusuo full-length transcriptomic sequencing was performed using single-molecule real-time technology, and tubers at three development stages were selected for comparative transcriptome analysis. A total of 90,496 full-length non-chimeric transcripts were obtained, and 19,341 transcripts were annotated in at least one public database. A total of 9221 differentially expressed genes were identified during the swelling process of C. yanhusuo tuber. A Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis revealed that differentially expressed genes associated with a “starch and sucrose metabolism pathway”, “phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway”, “isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis pathway”, “zeatin biosynthesis pathway”, and “brassinosteroid biosynthesis pathway” were predominantly enriched. In addition, the genes involved in cell wall metabolism were potentially associated with tuber swelling. These processes regulated and were involved in C. yanhusuo tuber development. The results provide a foundation for further research on tuber formation in medicinal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Genomics of Medicinal Plants)
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16 pages, 1265 KiB  
Article
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Infection-Associated Dyslipidemia in the Asir Region of Saudi Arabia
Life 2023, 13(11), 2206; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112206 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Objectives: H. pylori-associated dyslipidemia has been reported to be a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases. We aimed to investigate the association of the H. pylori infection with dyslipidemia. Methods: A retrospective case–control study was undertaken to evaluate H. [...] Read more.
Objectives: H. pylori-associated dyslipidemia has been reported to be a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases. We aimed to investigate the association of the H. pylori infection with dyslipidemia. Methods: A retrospective case–control study was undertaken to evaluate H. pylori-associated dyslipidemia, where H. pylori-positive individuals were treated as the case group (n = 260) while H. pylori-negative individuals were considered as the control group (n = 250). The mean ± SD of the age of the patients included (n = 510) was 44.01 ± 13.58 years. Study subjects with a total cholesterol level of >5.17 mmol/L and/or a triglyceride level of >1.69 mmol/L and/or an LDL-C level of >2.59 mmol/L and/or an HDL-C level of <1 mmol/L in males and/or an HDL-C level of <1.3 mmol/L in females were defined as dyslipidemia. Descriptive (mean, standard deviation, median, and IQR) and inferential (t-test, chi-square test, and logistic regression) statistical analyses were undertaken using the R-base/R-studio (v-4.0.2)/tidyverse package. Univariate and bivariate logistic regressions were executed to calculate the crude and adjusted odds ratio along with the p-value. A p-value of <0.05 was the cut-off for statistical significance. We used ggplot2 for data visualization. Results: The differences in overall mean ± SD (H. pylori positive vs. negative) of the cholesterol (5.22 ± 1.0 vs. 5.49 ± 0.85, p < 0.01), triglyceride (1.66 ± 0.75 vs. 1.29 ± 0.71, p < 0.001), LDL-C (3.43 ± 0.74 vs. 3.26 ± 0.81, p < 0.05), and HDL-C (1.15 ± 0.30 vs. 1.30 ± 0.25, p < 0.001) levels were statistically significant. The cholesterol and LDL-C levels in ages >60, age = 30–60, in females, and LDL-C levels in males were not significantly different for the H. pylori-positive and -negative groups. The proportion (H. pylori positive vs. negative) of hypercholesterolemia (190/59.9% vs. 127/40% p < 0.01), hypertriglyceridemia (136/68% vs. 64/32% p < 0.001), high LDL-cholesterolemia levels (234/53% vs. 201/46% p < 0.01), and low HDL-cholesterolemia levels (149/71% vs. 60/28.7% p < 0.01) were statistically significant. The odds of having hypercholesterolemia (AOR: 2.64, 95%CI: 1.824–3.848, p < 0.001), hypertriglyceridemia (AOR: 3.24, 95%CI: 2.227–4.757, p < 0.001), an increased LDL-C level (AOR: 2.174, 95%CI: 1.309–3.684, p < 0.01), and a decreased HDL-C level (AOR: 4.2, 95%CI: 2.937–6.321, p < 0.001) were 2.64, 3.24, 2.17, and 4.2 times higher in the H. pylori-infected individuals as compared with the H. pylori-uninfected group. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that an enhanced risk of dyslipidemia is associated with the H. pylori infection, which can aggrandize the atherosclerosis process. The evaluation of temporal variation in the lipid profile in H. pylori-infected individuals is recommended for the effective management of H. pylori-infected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Risk Factors Associated with Public Health)
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15 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Antibiotic Resistance in Acute Cholangitis Patients with Stent Placement and Sphincterotomy Interventions
Life 2023, 13(11), 2205; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112205 - 13 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
In response to rising concerns over multidrug resistance patterns in acute cholangitis patients, this retrospective study was conducted at the Emergency County Hospital Timisoara, Romania, encompassing patients treated between August 2020 and August 2023. The study aimed to investigate the influence of prior [...] Read more.
In response to rising concerns over multidrug resistance patterns in acute cholangitis patients, this retrospective study was conducted at the Emergency County Hospital Timisoara, Romania, encompassing patients treated between August 2020 and August 2023. The study aimed to investigate the influence of prior interventions, specifically sphincterotomy (with or without stent placement), on the current clinical and microbiological profiles of acute cholangitis patients. By differentiating between patients with a history of sphincterotomy and the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)-naïve, we assessed the resistance of bacterial strains to antibiotics by the Tokyo Guidelines 2018, using bile cultures from 488 patients. The study identified various multidrug-resistant organisms, with a total multidrug resistance incidence of 19.9%. Significant variations were observed in the distribution of specific microorganisms and resistance patterns across different intervention groups. Patients with previous interventions, particularly those with both sphincterotomy and stent, exhibited elevated white blood cells (WBC) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in comparison to their ERCP-naïve counterparts. This group also presented a striking prevalence of two bacteria in their bile cultures at 50.0%, compared to 16.1% in ERCP-naïve individuals. Regarding multidrug resistance, the prior sphincterotomy with stent placement had a prevalence of 50.0%. The presence of ESBL bacteria was also significantly higher in the same group at 28.7%, contrasting with the 8.9% in ERCP-naïve patients. Additionally, the same group had a higher burden of Klebsiella spp. infections, at 37.2%, and Enterococcus spp. at 43.6%. On the antibiotic resistance front, disparities persisted. Piperacillin/Tazobactam resistance was notably more rampant in patients with a previous sphincterotomy and stent, registering at 25.5% against 11.1% in the ERCP-naïve group. This study underscores a substantial discrepancy in multidrug resistance patterns and antibiotic resistance among acute cholangitis patients with previous manipulation of the bile ducts, without expressing significant differences by the type of stent used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disease)
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