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Life, Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2023) – 195 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Advances in reproductive medicine and cryobiology have culminated in an increased interest in fertility preservation (FP) methods. In vitro oocyte maturation (IVM) is a possible fertility preservation strategy for women in need of urgent oncological treatment. IVM consists of the retrieval of immature oocytes from small antral follicles, with no or minimal ovarian stimulation via gonadotropins, and is, therefore, a pertinent option for fertility preservation, notably when ovarian stimulation is unfeasible or contra-indicated. The mature oocytes are then vitrified until the patients return after complete remission. Live birth supports the fact that IVM might be a relevant and safe FP option for cancer patients when oocyte preservation is required, but ovarian stimulation is contra-indicated. View this paper
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14 pages, 2492 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Atrial Fibrillation on All Heart Chambers Remodeling and Function in Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy—A Two- and Three-Dimensional Echocardiography Study
by Maria L. Iovănescu, Diana R. Hădăreanu, Despina M. Toader, Cristina Florescu, Octavian Istrătoaie, Ionuţ Donoiu and Constantin Militaru
Life 2023, 13(6), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061421 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1239
Abstract
Atrial fibrillation is frequently seen in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and its presence impacts the function of the heart, with clinical and prognostic consequences. In this prospective single-center study, we aimed to assess the impact of atrial fibrillation on cardiac structure and [...] Read more.
Atrial fibrillation is frequently seen in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and its presence impacts the function of the heart, with clinical and prognostic consequences. In this prospective single-center study, we aimed to assess the impact of atrial fibrillation on cardiac structure and function, using comprehensive two- and three-dimensional echocardiography. We included 41 patients with DCM and persistent or permanent atrial fibrillation (38 male, age 58.8 ± 11 years), as well as 47 patients with DCM and in sinus rhythm (35 male, age 58 ± 12.5 years). Cardiac chambers and mitral and tricuspid valves’ structure and function were assessed via standard two-dimensional, speckle-tracking, and three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE). Patients with DCM and atrial fibrillation had a more impaired left ventricular global longitudinal strain, higher 3DE left atrial volumes, and reduced function compared to patients in sinus rhythm in the presence of similar left ventricle volumes. Mitral annulus configuration was altered in atrial fibrillation DCM patients. Also, right heart volumes were larger, with more severe atrial and ventricular dysfunction, despite similar estimated pulmonary artery pressures and severity of tricuspid regurgitation. Using advanced echocardiography techniques, we demonstrated that atrial fibrillation induces significant remodeling in all heart chambers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure)
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19 pages, 1548 KiB  
Review
Inflammatory Mediators of Endothelial Dysfunction
by Eirini Dri, Evangelos Lampas, George Lazaros, Emilia Lazarou, Panagiotis Theofilis, Costas Tsioufis and Dimitris Tousoulis
Life 2023, 13(6), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061420 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is characterized by imbalanced vasodilation and vasoconstriction, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inflammatory factors, as well as deficiency of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. It has been reported that the maintenance of endothelial cell integrity serves a significant role in [...] Read more.
Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is characterized by imbalanced vasodilation and vasoconstriction, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inflammatory factors, as well as deficiency of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. It has been reported that the maintenance of endothelial cell integrity serves a significant role in human health and disease due to the involvement of the endothelium in several processes, such as regulation of vascular tone, regulation of hemostasis and thrombosis, cell adhesion, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and vascular inflammation. Inflammatory modulators/biomarkers, such as IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-15, IL-18, and tumor necrosis factor α, or alternative anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1), involved in atherosclerosis progression have been shown to predict cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, several signaling pathways, such as NLRP3 inflammasome, that are associated with the inflammatory response and the disrupted H2S bioavailability are postulated to be new indicators for endothelial cell inflammation and its associated endothelial dysfunction. In this review, we summarize the knowledge of a plethora of reviews, research articles, and clinical trials concerning the key inflammatory modulators and signaling pathways in atherosclerosis due to endothelial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into the Endothelial Dysfunction)
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21 pages, 2278 KiB  
Review
Atopic Dermatitis: Disease Features, Therapeutic Options, and a Multidisciplinary Approach
by Liborija Lugović-Mihić, Jelena Meštrović-Štefekov, Ines Potočnjak, Tea Cindrić, Ivana Ilić, Ivan Lovrić, Lucija Skalicki, Iva Bešlić and Nives Pondeljak
Life 2023, 13(6), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061419 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2662
Abstract
The latest findings regarding AD pathogenesis point to an impaired function of the epidermal barrier, changed immune response, colonization of the skin by microorganisms, and certain psychological factors among other causes/triggers. The inflammatory response of AD patients is mainly associated with the activation [...] Read more.
The latest findings regarding AD pathogenesis point to an impaired function of the epidermal barrier, changed immune response, colonization of the skin by microorganisms, and certain psychological factors among other causes/triggers. The inflammatory response of AD patients is mainly associated with the activation of T cells (Th2 cells predominate), dendritic cells, macrophages, keratinocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils. Therapy usually involves medical evaluations and adequate management including treatment of concomitant diseases (e.g., allergies and infections), patient education and nursing care, psychological support, and nutritional consultations, which are organized through specific programs and structured educational groups. Systemic AD therapy includes conventional systemic treatment (cyclosporine, methotrexate, azathioprine) and new, specific drugs, interleukin inhibitors (e.g., dupilumab) and JAK inhibitors (baricitinib, abrocitinib, upadacitinib, etc.). Since many AD patients are affected by various psychological factors and comorbidities, they should be assessed and managed through a multidisciplinary approach, involving different professions (psychologists, ear–nose–throat specialists, pulmonologists, allergologists, immunologists, nutritionists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists (when necessary), and others). A multidisciplinary approach provides better coping strategies and improves control over the disease, patient adherence to therapy, and quality of life. It also has a positive influence on family quality of life while at the same time making more efficient use of dermatology healthcare resources, reducing the economic burden on both patients and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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13 pages, 11823 KiB  
Article
Neonicotinoid Imidacloprid Affects the Social Behavior of Adult Zebrafish by Damaging Telencephalon Neurons through Oxidation Stress, Inflammation, and Apoptosis
by Kou-Toung Chung, Li-Wen Chen, Hung-Wei Tseng and Chung-Hsin Wu
Life 2023, 13(6), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061418 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
The neonicotinoid imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide worldwide. We assessed the effects of acute and chronic imidacloprid exposure on the social behavior of adult zebrafish. We assembled simple apparatus to detect 2D locomotion: a single camera capture system and two specially designed [...] Read more.
The neonicotinoid imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide worldwide. We assessed the effects of acute and chronic imidacloprid exposure on the social behavior of adult zebrafish. We assembled simple apparatus to detect 2D locomotion: a single camera capture system and two specially designed water tanks. We then used the tracking and heat maps of the behavior trajectories of zebrafish subjected to sham and imidacloprid exposure and compared their social behavior. Furthermore, histomorphology and immunohistochemistry of their brain tissue sections were performed to clarify possible neurotoxicity due to imidacloprid exposure in our adult zebrafish. Our results showed that imidacloprid exposure significantly reduced the zebrafish’s swimming speed, distance traveled, acceleration, and deceleration. The longer the imidacloprid exposure, the more severe the locomotor behavior disability. Furthermore, imidacloprid exposure significantly reduced heterosexual attractive behavior between the different sexes, as well as defensive alert behavior among males. Our histomorphology and immunohistochemistry evidence showed imidacloprid exposure may lead to neuronal oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, and damage in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish. Thus, we suggested that neonicotinoid imidacloprid exposure can damage the telencephalon neurons of adult zebrafish through oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis and then affect the social behavior of adult zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Physiology and Pathology)
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25 pages, 1193 KiB  
Review
Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Interventions: A Triumph for Transcatheter Procedures?
by Kyriakos Dimitriadis, Nikolaos Pyrpyris, Konstantinos Aznaouridis, Panagiotis Iliakis, Aggeliki Valatsou, Panagiotis Tsioufis, Eirini Beneki, Emmanouil Mantzouranis, Konstantina Aggeli, Eleftherios Tsiamis and Konstantinos Tsioufis
Life 2023, 13(6), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061417 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is a common valvular pathology, estimated to affect 1.6 million people in the United States alone. Even though guidelines recommend either medical therapy or surgical treatment for TR, the misconception of TR as a benign disease along with the high [...] Read more.
Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is a common valvular pathology, estimated to affect 1.6 million people in the United States alone. Even though guidelines recommend either medical therapy or surgical treatment for TR, the misconception of TR as a benign disease along with the high mortality rates of surgical intervention led to undertreating this disease and commonly describing it as a “forgotten” valve. Recently, the development of transcatheter interventions for TR show promising potential for use in the clinical setting. There are currently few approved and numerous tested percutaneously delivered devices, which can be categorized, based on their mechanism of action, to either valve repair or valve replacement procedures. Both procedures were tested in clinical trials and show an echocardiographic reduction in TR sustained for at least 1 year after the procedure, as well as symptom relief and functional improvement of the patients. Device selection should be personalized, taking into consideration the anatomy of each valve and the available options at each heart center. Moreover, appropriate patient selection and timing of the procedure are also crucial for the success of the procedure. In this review, we analyze the clinical trials available for all devices currently approved or tested, aiming to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent evidence in the field of transcatheter TR interventions. Full article
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17 pages, 356 KiB  
Article
Artemisia arborescens and Artemisia inculta from Crete; Secondary Metabolites, Trace Metals and In Vitro Antioxidant Activities
by Dimitra Z. Lantzouraki, Charalampia Amerikanou, Sotirios Karavoltsos, Vasiliki Kafourou, Aikaterini Sakellari, Dimitra Tagkouli, Panagiotis Zoumpoulakis, Dimitris P. Makris, Nick Kalogeropoulos and Andriana C. Kaliora
Life 2023, 13(6), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061416 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Background: Currently, the use of medicinal plants has increased. Artemisia species have been used in several applications, including medicinal use and uses in cosmetics, foods and beverages. Artemisia arborescens L. and Artemisia inculta are part of the Mediterranean diet in the form of aqueous [...] Read more.
Background: Currently, the use of medicinal plants has increased. Artemisia species have been used in several applications, including medicinal use and uses in cosmetics, foods and beverages. Artemisia arborescens L. and Artemisia inculta are part of the Mediterranean diet in the form of aqueous infusions. Herein, we aimed to compare the secondary metabolites of the decoctions and two different extracts (methanolic and aqueous-glycerolic) of these two species, as well as their antioxidant capacity and trace metal levels. Methods: Total phenolic, total flavonoid, total terpenes, total hydroxycinnamate, total flavonol, total anthocyanin contents and antioxidant/antiradical activity were determined, and GC/MS analysis was applied to identify and quantify phenolics and terpenoids. Trace metals were quantified with ICP-MS. Results: Aqueous-glycerolic extracts demonstrated higher levels of total secondary metabolites, greater antioxidant potential and higher terpenoid levels than decoctions and methanolic extracts. Subsequently, the aqueous-glycerolic extract of a particularly high phenolic content was further analyzed applying targeted LC-MS/MS as the most appropriate analytic tool for the determination of the phenolic profile. Overall, twenty-two metabolites were identified. The potential contribution of infusions consumption to metal intake was additionally evaluated, and did not exceed the recommended daily intake. Conclusions: Our results support the use of these two species in several food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Biomedical Properties)
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22 pages, 2082 KiB  
Review
Possible Mechanisms Linking Obesity, Steroidogenesis, and Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction
by Anna F. Sheptulina, Karina Yu Antyukh, Anton R. Kiselev, Natalia P. Mitkovskaya and Oxana M. Drapkina
Life 2023, 13(6), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061415 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3120
Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests that skeletal muscles may play a role in the pathogenesis of obesity and associated conditions due to their impact on insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. Skeletal muscles, as well as adipose tissue, are largely recognized as endocrine organs, producing biologically [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests that skeletal muscles may play a role in the pathogenesis of obesity and associated conditions due to their impact on insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. Skeletal muscles, as well as adipose tissue, are largely recognized as endocrine organs, producing biologically active substances, such as myokines and adipokines. They may have either beneficial or harmful effects on the organism and its functions, acting through the endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine pathways. Moreover, the collocation of adipose tissue and skeletal muscles, i.e., the amount of intramuscular, intermuscular, and visceral adipose depots, may be of major importance for metabolic health. Traditionally, the generalized and progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength or physical function, named sarcopenia, has been thought to be associated with age. That is why most recently published papers are focused on the investigation of the effect of obesity on skeletal muscle function in older adults. However, accumulated data indicate that sarcopenia may arise in individuals with obesity at any age, so it seems important to clarify the possible mechanisms linking obesity and skeletal muscle dysfunction regardless of age. Since steroids, namely, glucocorticoids (GCs) and sex steroids, have a major impact on the amount and function of both adipose tissue and skeletal muscles, and are involved in the pathogenesis of obesity, in this review, we will also discuss the role of steroids in the interaction of these two metabolically active tissues in the course of obesity. Full article
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11 pages, 958 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Napping on Wakefulness and Endurance Performance in Athletes: A Randomized Crossover Study
by Felix Willmer, Claire Reuter, Stephan Pramsohler, Martin Faulhaber, Anja Burkhardt and Nikolaus Netzer
Life 2023, 13(6), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061414 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2134
Abstract
Background: Athletes often experience poor sleep quality due to stress, altitude exposure, travel across different time zones, and pre-competition nervousness. Coaches use daytime naps to counteract the negative effects of fragmented nighttime sleep. Napping before competitions has also been used to enhance performance [...] Read more.
Background: Athletes often experience poor sleep quality due to stress, altitude exposure, travel across different time zones, and pre-competition nervousness. Coaches use daytime naps to counteract the negative effects of fragmented nighttime sleep. Napping before competitions has also been used to enhance performance in athletes without sleep problems, with mixed results in previous studies, particularly for endurance performance. Thus, we investigated the effects of napping after partial sleep deprivation (PSD) on endurance performance and wakefulness in athletes. Methods: We recruited 12 healthy and trained participants (seven female and five male) for a randomized crossover study design. The participants underwent two test sessions: a five-hour night of sleep without a nap (noNap) and a five-hour night of sleep with a 30-min nap opportunity (Nap30). Participants recorded their sleep-wake rhythm one week before and during the study using the Consensus Sleep Diary-Core and the Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire to examine their circadian rhythm type. We quantified PSD and the nap with pupillography (pupil unrest index, PUI), a subjective level of sleepiness questionnaire (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, KSS), and polysomnography. After each night, participants performed a maximal cycling ergometry test to determine time to exhaustion (TTE) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO 2max). Results: Participants had an average sleep duration of 7.2 ± 0.7 h and were identified as moderately morning types (n = 5), neither type (n = 5), and moderately evening types (n = 2). There was a significant difference in both sleepiness parameters between the two conditions, with the PUI (p = 0.015) and KSS (p ≤ 0.01) significantly decreased at 5 h and nap compared with only 5 h of sleep. The PUI (p ≤ 0.01) and KSS (p ≤ 0.01) decreased significantly from before to after the nap. However, there was no significant difference in physical exercise test results between the conditions for TTE (p = 0.367) or VO 2max (p = 0.308). Conclusions: Our results suggest that napping after light PSD does not significantly influence endurance performance. We conclude that aerobic performance is a multidimensional construct, and napping after PSD may not enhance it. However, napping is an effective method to increase wakefulness and vigilance, which can be beneficial for sports competitions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Sports and Advanced Physical Exercise)
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18 pages, 566 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Home-Based Physical Activity Program on Blood Biomarkers and Health-Related Quality of Life Indices in Saudi Arabian Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Jonathan Sinclair, Hussein Ageely, Mohamed Salih Mahfouz, Abdulrahman Ahmed Hummadi, Hussain Darraj, Yahia Solan, Robert Allan, Fatma Bahsan, Hassan AL Hafaf, Ali Abohadash, Mohammed Badedi and Lindsay Bottoms
Life 2023, 13(6), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061413 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to undertake a randomized control trial examining the effects of a 12-week home-based physical activity program on Saudi Arabian adults with type 2 diabetes. Sixty-four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were recruited from the Jazan Diabetes [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to undertake a randomized control trial examining the effects of a 12-week home-based physical activity program on Saudi Arabian adults with type 2 diabetes. Sixty-four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were recruited from the Jazan Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, located in the Jazan region of southwestern Saudi Arabia. Patients were randomly assigned to either control, i.e., usual care (males = 46.9% and females = 53.1%, age  =  45.88 ± 8.51 years, mass  =  76.30 ± 15.16 kg, stature  =  160.59 ± 8.94 cm, body mass index (BMI)  =  29.73 ± 6.24 kg/m2, years since diagnosis  =  8.12 ± 6.22 years) or a home-based physical activity (males = 50% and females = 50%, age  =  42.07 ± 9.72 years, mass  =  74.58 ± 13.67 kg, stature  =  158.94 ± 9.38 cm, BMI  =  29.44 ± 4.38 kg/m2, years since diagnosis  =  12.17 ± 8.38 years) trial arms. The home-based physical activity group was required to undertake aerobic training by increasing their habitual step count by 2000 steps per day and performing resistance training 3 times per week for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and secondary measures of anthropometrics, blood biomarkers, physical fitness, and patient-reported quality of life outcomes pertinent to type 2 diabetes were measured at timepoints, i.e., baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks (follow-up). Intention-to-treat analyses revealed no significant alterations in the primary outcome (control: baseline = 8.71%, 12-weeks = 8.35%, and follow-up = 8.72%; home-based physical activity: baseline = 8.32%, 12-weeks = 8.06%, and follow-up = 8.39%) between trial arms. However, improvements in psychological wellbeing at follow-up measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 were significantly greater in the home-based physical activity group (baseline = 6.84, 12-weeks = 5.96, and follow-up = 5.00) compared to the control (baseline = 6.81, 12-weeks = 5.73, and follow-up = 8.53). No other statistically significant observations were observed. Home-based physical activity is not effective in mediating improvements in HbA1c levels or secondary hematological, blood pressure, anthropometric, or fitness indices. However, given the link between psychological wellbeing and the etiology/progression of disease activity in type 2 diabetes, home-based physical activity may be effective for tertiary disease management. Future trials should examine the efficacy of relative exercise intensities greater than those in the current study. Full article
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15 pages, 3606 KiB  
Review
Endoscopic Vacuum Therapy of Upper Gastrointestinal Anastomotic Leaks: How to Deal with the Challenges (with Video)
by Laurent Monino and Tom G. Moreels
Life 2023, 13(6), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061412 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
Anastomotic leaks after gastrointestinal surgery have an important impact on surgical outcomes because of the high morbidity and mortality rates. Multiple treatment options exist requiring an individualized patient-tailored treatment plan after multidisciplinary discussion. Endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT) is a novel treatment option that [...] Read more.
Anastomotic leaks after gastrointestinal surgery have an important impact on surgical outcomes because of the high morbidity and mortality rates. Multiple treatment options exist requiring an individualized patient-tailored treatment plan after multidisciplinary discussion. Endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT) is a novel treatment option that is nowadays recognized as an effective and useful endoscopic approach to treat leaks or perforations in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. EVT has a very good safety profile. However, it is a time-consuming endeavour requiring engagement from the endoscopist and understanding from the patient. To the unexperienced, the EVT technique may be prone to several hurdles which may deter endoscopists from using it and depriving patients from a potentially life-saving therapeutic option. The current review highlights the possible difficulties of the EVT procedure and aims to provide some practical solutions to facilitate its use in daily clinical practice. Personal tips and tricks are shared to overcome the pre-, intra- and post-procedural hurdles. An instructive video of the procedure helps to illustrate the technique of EVT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Endoscopic Therapy for Gastrointestinal Disease)
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17 pages, 1152 KiB  
Review
Recent Reports on Bioactive Compounds from Marine Cyanobacteria in Relation to Human Health Applications
by R. M. T. D. Perera, K. H. I. N. M. Herath, K. K. Asanka Sanjeewa and Thilina U. Jayawardena
Life 2023, 13(6), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061411 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
The ocean is a valuable natural resource that contains numerous biologically active compounds with various bioactivities. The marine environment comprises unexplored sources that can be utilized to isolate novel compounds with bioactive properties. Marine cyanobacteria are an excellent source of bioactive compounds that [...] Read more.
The ocean is a valuable natural resource that contains numerous biologically active compounds with various bioactivities. The marine environment comprises unexplored sources that can be utilized to isolate novel compounds with bioactive properties. Marine cyanobacteria are an excellent source of bioactive compounds that have applications in human health, biofuel, cosmetics, and bioremediation. These cyanobacteria exhibit bioactive properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-diabetic, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-obesity effects, making them promising candidates for drug development. In recent decades, researchers have focused on isolating novel bioactive compounds from different marine cyanobacteria species for the development of therapeutics for various diseases that affect human health. This review provides an update on recent studies that explore the bioactive properties of marine cyanobacteria, with a particular focus on their potential use in human health applications. Full article
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12 pages, 723 KiB  
Article
The Relation between Post-Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Pancreatitis and Different Cannulation Techniques: The Experience of a High-Volume Center from North-Eastern Romania
by Stefan Chiriac, Catalin Victor Sfarti, Carol Stanciu, Camelia Cojocariu, Sebastian Zenovia, Robert Nastasa and Anca Trifan
Life 2023, 13(6), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061410 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Background: Despite numerous advances that have aimed to increase the safety of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) still remains a major issue. We aimed to assess the rate of PEP as well as the relation to the cannulation techniques in our [...] Read more.
Background: Despite numerous advances that have aimed to increase the safety of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) still remains a major issue. We aimed to assess the rate of PEP as well as the relation to the cannulation techniques in our unit, a high-volume center in north-eastern Romania. Methods: ERCPs performed in our unit from March to August 2022 were retrospectively included. Data concerning demographic information, presence of difficult cannulation, the technique used for cannulation, as well as immediate complications, were gathered from the electronic database. Results: 233 ERCPs were included. PEP was diagnosed in 23 (9.9%) of cases. Precut sphincterotomy (PS), transpancreatic sphincterotomy (TPBS), and a combination of TPBS and PS were performed in 6.4%, 10.3%, and 1.7% of cases, respectively, while an Erlangen precut papillotomy was performed in one case. Both in patients with PS and TPBS the rate of PEP was 20%. When the two techniques were associated, the rate of PEP was 25%. TPBS and PS represented risk factors for PEP (OR 1.211 for a CI of 0.946–1.551, p = 0.041, and OR 1.124 for a CI of 0.928–1.361, p = 0.088, respectively). No PEP-associated deaths were found. Conclusions: Both PS and TPBS presented a similar risk of PEP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatectomy and Pancreatic Surgery)
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20 pages, 9254 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Antioxidant and Fibroblast Migration Activities of Fractions Eluded from Dichloromethane Leaf Extract of Marantodes pumilum
by Abbirami Balachandran, Stepfanie N. Siyumbwa, Gabriele R. A. Froemming, Morak-Młodawska Beata, Jeleń Małgorzata, Charlie A. Lavilla, Jr., Merell P. Billacura and Patrick N. Okechukwu
Life 2023, 13(6), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061409 - 17 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1365
Abstract
(1) The complexity of diabetes and diabetic wound healing remains a therapeutic challenge because proper and systematic wound care and management are essential to prevent chronic microbial infection and mechanical damage to the skin. Marantodes pumilum, locally known as ‘Kacip Fatimah’, is [...] Read more.
(1) The complexity of diabetes and diabetic wound healing remains a therapeutic challenge because proper and systematic wound care and management are essential to prevent chronic microbial infection and mechanical damage to the skin. Marantodes pumilum, locally known as ‘Kacip Fatimah’, is an herb that has been previously reported to possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antinociceptive and antipyretic properties. The current study aims to assess the antioxidant and fibroblast cell migration activities of the fractions eluded from the dichloromethane extract of M. pumilum leaves. (2) The total antioxidant capacity of M. pumilum was assessed using the total proanthocyanidins and phosphomolybdenum assays, while DPPH, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide and superoxide free radical scavenging assays were tested to determine the antioxidant potential of M. pumilum. An in vitro scratch wound assay was performed to measure the fibroblast cell migration rate using normal and insulin-resistant human dermal fibroblast cells. (3) All M. pumilum fractions exhibited good antioxidant and fibroblast cell migration activity, among which fractions A and E displayed the greatest effect. (4) M. pumilum’s fibroblast migration activity could be attributed to its strong antioxidant properties along with its previously reported properties. Full article
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12 pages, 997 KiB  
Review
The Dark Side of Nosocomial Infections in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients
by Carmelo Biondo, Elena Ponzo, Angelina Midiri, Giuseppe Bernardo Ostone and Giuseppe Mancuso
Life 2023, 13(6), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061408 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious acute respiratory infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries with more than [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious acute respiratory infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries with more than 500 million cases and more than 6 million deaths reported globally. It has long been known that viral respiratory tract infections predispose patients to bacterial infections and that these co-infections often have an unfavourable clinical outcome. Moreover, nosocomial infections, also known as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), are those infections that are absent at the time of admission and acquired after hospitalization. However, the impact of coinfections or secondary infections on the progression of COVID-19 disease and its lethal outcome is still debated. The aim of this review was to assess the literature on the incidence of bacterial co-infections and superinfections in patients with COVID-19. The review also highlights the importance of the rational use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19 and the need to implement antimicrobial stewardship principles to prevent the transmission of drug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings. Finally, alternative antimicrobial agents to counter the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections in COVID-19 patients will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 and Life)
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14 pages, 2848 KiB  
Article
Central Serous Chorioretinopathy by Autofluorescence, Enface and SLO–Retromode Imaging
by Maria Cristina Savastano, Claudia Fossataro, Riccardo Sadun, Andrea Scupola, Maria Grazia Sammarco, Clara Rizzo, Pia Clara Pafundi and Stanislao Rizzo
Life 2023, 13(6), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061407 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
The aim of our study was to investigate the clinical features of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) with autofluorescence (AF), retromode (RM), and enface imaging. This retrospective study was conducted at Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS, Rome (Italy), between September and December 2022. [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to investigate the clinical features of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) with autofluorescence (AF), retromode (RM), and enface imaging. This retrospective study was conducted at Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS, Rome (Italy), between September and December 2022. Each patient underwent a complete ophthalmological examination, which included optical coherence tomography (OCT), enface image analysis, AF, and RM imaging. We further evaluated the presence and area of extension of serous retinal detachment and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) atrophy through AF, RM, and enface imaging. We included 32 eyes from 27 patients (mean age: 52.7 ± 13.3 years). The median AF area was 19.5 mm2 (IQR 6.1–29.3), while the median RM area was 12.3 mm2 (IQR 8.1–30.8), and the median enface area was 9.3 mm2 (IQR 4.8–18.6). RPE atrophy was diagnosed in 26 cases (81.3%) with RM imaging and in 75% of cases with AF. No difference emerged between AF and RM analysis in the detection of central serous detachment in CSC. However, RM imaging showed a high specificity (91.7%) and negative predictive value (84.6%) to detect RPE changes when compared to the AF standard-of-care technique. Thus, RM imaging could be considered an adjunctive imaging method in CSC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection New Diagnostic and Therapeutic Developments in Eye Diseases)
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13 pages, 1942 KiB  
Article
Basal Cell Carcinoma Perineural Invasion and Suggestive Signs of Perineural Invasion—Findings and Perspectives
by Elena Niculet, Carmen Bobeica, Cristian Onisor, Gabriela Gurau, Aurel Nechita, Diana Sabina Radaschin, Dana Tutunaru, Laura Bujoreanu-Bezman and Alin Laurentiu Tatu
Life 2023, 13(6), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061406 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a malignant tumor with a rising incidence and is the beneficiary of several innovative evaluation techniques. Histopathology remains the gold standard for assessment, having the possibility of addressing multiple high-risk factors such as perineural invasion (PNI). The current [...] Read more.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a malignant tumor with a rising incidence and is the beneficiary of several innovative evaluation techniques. Histopathology remains the gold standard for assessment, having the possibility of addressing multiple high-risk factors such as perineural invasion (PNI). The current study included a number of 244 BCC patients and targeted the identification of positive PNI and its suggestive signs, and whether they correlated or not with other high-risk tumor signs. PNI was found in 20.1% of patients, with 30.7% of patients having perineural chronic inflammation (PCI), which is a suggestive sign of PNI. PNI was also found in larger tumors, with deeper Clark levels, in high-risk BCCs and high-grade tumors. PNI and PCI are both important for pathology reporting, aiding in treatment choice and further patient management, with possibly positive outcomes concerning morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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18 pages, 2822 KiB  
Article
Screening and Selection of Drought-Tolerant High-Yielding Chickpea Genotypes Based on Physio-Biochemical Selection Indices and Yield Trials
by Prakash N. Tiwari, Sharad Tiwari, Swapnil Sapre, Anita Babbar, Niraj Tripathi, Sushma Tiwari and Manoj Kumar Tripathi
Life 2023, 13(6), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061405 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
Chickpea production is seriously hampered by drought stress, which could be a great threat in the future for food security in developing countries. The present investigation aimed to screen the drought-tolerant response of forty desi chickpea genotypes against drought stress through various physio-biochemical [...] Read more.
Chickpea production is seriously hampered by drought stress, which could be a great threat in the future for food security in developing countries. The present investigation aimed to screen the drought-tolerant response of forty desi chickpea genotypes against drought stress through various physio-biochemical selection indices and yield-attributing traits. Principle component-based biplot analysis recognized PG205, JG2016-44, JG63, and JG24 as tolerant genotypes based on physiological selection indices. These genotypes retained higher relative water content, stomatal conductance, internal CO2 concentration, and photosynthetic rate. ICC4958, JG11, JAKI9218, JG16, JG63, and PG205 were selected as tolerant genotypes based on biochemical selection indices. These genotypes sustained higher chlorophyll, sugar and proline content with enhanced antioxidant enzyme activities. With respect to yield trials, JAKI9218, JG11, JG16, and ICC4958 had higher seed yield per plant, numbers of pods, and biological yield per plant. Finally, JG11, JAKI9218, ICC4958, JG16, JG63, and PG205 were selected as tolerant genotypes based on cumulative physio-biochemical selection indices and yield response. These identified drought-tolerant genotypes may be further employed in climate-smart chickpea breeding programs for sustainable production under a changing climate scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stresses)
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17 pages, 5785 KiB  
Article
Scrophularia peyronii Post. from Jordan: Chemical Composition of Essential Oil and Phytochemical Profiling of Crude Extracts and Their In Vitro Antioxidant Activity
by Yousef Al-Dalahmeh, Sondos Abdullah J. Almahmoud, Nezar Al-Bataineh, Taqwa A. Alghzawi, Abdulrahman G. Alhamzani, Aamal A. Al-Mutairi, Hala I. Al-Jaber, Sultan T. Abu Orabi, Tareq T. Bataineh, Mohammed S. Al-Sheraideh and Mahmoud A. Al-Qudah
Life 2023, 13(6), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061404 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 940
Abstract
The genus Scrophularia is one of the largest genera belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family. Different members of the genus exhibit an interesting, wide spectrum of bioactivities. Accordingly, the current study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the chemical composition of the essential [...] Read more.
The genus Scrophularia is one of the largest genera belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family. Different members of the genus exhibit an interesting, wide spectrum of bioactivities. Accordingly, the current study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the chemical composition of the essential oil of Scrophularia peyronii Post. from Jordan. Additionally, extracts obtained from the aerial parts with solvents of different polarities were assayed for their phytochemical constituents and in vitro antioxidant activities. The major constituents detected in the essential oil, as revealed by GC/MS analysis, contained mainly Z,Z-farnesyl acetone (11.04%), β-elemene (6.36%), n-octanal (5.98%), and spathulenol (4.58%). Each of the aqueous methanol (Sp-M) and butanol (Sp-B) extracts contained flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinone, and glycosides. Both extracts were evaluated for their total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and their in vitro antioxidant activity, which were assayed using the DPPH radical scavenging activity and ABTS radical scavenging methods. Additionally, the two extracts were then subjected to LC-ESI-MS/MS for the qualitative determination of their secondary metabolite content, especially in flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The results showed that the Sp-B extract of S. peyronii had the highest contents of both phenolic compounds and flavonoids and showed high radical scavenging activity, as determined by the two assay methods, when compared with the Sp-M extract. The LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis resulted in the detection of 21 compounds, including 8 flavonoids, 6 phenolic acids, 6 iridoids, and 2 acids. Although the majority of compounds were detected in both extracts, it was noticed that scropolioside B, 6′-O-cinnamoylharpagide, isoferulic acid, and 6-O-methylcatapol were only detected in the Sp-M fraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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17 pages, 771 KiB  
Review
Shedding Light on the Cell Biology of Platelet-Derived Extracellular Vesicles and Their Biomedical Applications
by Preeti Kumari Chaudhary, Sanggu Kim and Soochong Kim
Life 2023, 13(6), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061403 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1523
Abstract
EVs are membranous subcellular structures originating from various cells, including platelets which consist of biomolecules that can modify the target cell’s pathophysiological functions including inflammation, cell communication, coagulation, and metastasis. EVs, which are known to allow the transmission of a wide range of [...] Read more.
EVs are membranous subcellular structures originating from various cells, including platelets which consist of biomolecules that can modify the target cell’s pathophysiological functions including inflammation, cell communication, coagulation, and metastasis. EVs, which are known to allow the transmission of a wide range of molecules between cells, are gaining popularity in the fields of subcellular treatment, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery. PEVs are the most abundant EVs in circulation, being produced by platelet activation, and are considered to have a significant role in coagulation. PEV cargo is extremely diverse, containing lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and organelles depending on the condition that induced their release and can regulate a wide range of biological activities. PEVs, unlike platelets, can overcome tissue barriers, allowing platelet-derived contents to be transferred to target cells and organs that platelets cannot reach. Their isolation, characterization, and therapeutic efficacy, on the other hand, are poorly understood. This review summarizes the technical elements of PEV isolation and characterization methods as well as the pathophysiological role of PEVs, including therapeutic potential and translational possibility in diverse disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Physiology and Pathology)
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7 pages, 830 KiB  
Brief Report
Emergence of Echinococcus multilocularis in Central Continental Croatia: A Human Case Series and Update on Prevalence in Foxes
by Mirjana Balen Topić, Neven Papić, Klaudija Višković, Mario Sviben, Tajana Filipec Kanižaj, Stipislav Jadrijević, Daria Jurković and Relja Beck
Life 2023, 13(6), 1402; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061402 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Human alveolar echinococcosis (HAE), caused by the metacestode stage of Echinococcus multilocularis, has emerged in many European countries over the last two decades. Here, we report the first data on the new HAE focus with increasing incidence in central Croatia, describe its [...] Read more.
Human alveolar echinococcosis (HAE), caused by the metacestode stage of Echinococcus multilocularis, has emerged in many European countries over the last two decades. Here, we report the first data on the new HAE focus with increasing incidence in central Croatia, describe its clinical presentation and outcomes in diagnosed patients, and provide an update on the prevalence and geographic distribution of Echinococcus multilocuaris in red foxes. After the initial case in 2017 from the eastern state border, from 2019 to 2022, five new autochthonous HAE cases were diagnosed, all concentrated in the Bjelovar-Bilogora County (the county incidence in 2019 and 2021: 0.98/105, in 2022: 2.94/105/year; prevalence for 2019–2022: 4.91/105). The age range among four female and two male patients was 37–67 years. The patients’ liver lesions varied in size from 3.1 to 15.5 cm (classification range: P2N0M0–P4N1M0), and one patient had dissemination to the lungs. While there were no fatalities, postoperative complications in one patient resulted in liver transplantation. In 2018, the overall prevalence of red foxes was 11.24% (28/249). A new focus on HAE has emerged in central continental Croatia, with the highest regional incidence in Europe. Screening projects among residents and the implementation of veterinary preventive measures following the One Health approach are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Re-emerging Zoonotic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1458 KiB  
Article
Is Advanced Age a Factor That Influences the Clinical Outcome of Single- or Double-Level MIS-TLIF? A Single-Center Study with a Minimum Two-Year Follow-Up on 103 Consecutive Cases
by Daniele Bongetta, Camilla de Laurentis, Raffaele Bruno, Alessandro Versace, Elena Virginia Colombo, Carlo Giorgio Giussani and Roberto Assietti
Life 2023, 13(6), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061401 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 732
Abstract
As life expectancy rises, more elderly people undergo spinal fusion surgery to treat lumbar degenerative diseases. The MIS-TLIF technique, which minimizes soft tissue manipulation, is a promising fusion technique for frailer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate if older age [...] Read more.
As life expectancy rises, more elderly people undergo spinal fusion surgery to treat lumbar degenerative diseases. The MIS-TLIF technique, which minimizes soft tissue manipulation, is a promising fusion technique for frailer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate if older age is a significant factor in the clinical outcome of single- or double-level MIS-TLIF. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 103 consecutive patients. Data were compared between younger (<65 y.o.) and older (≥65 y.o.) patients. We observed no significant differences between baseline characteristics of the two groups apart from the frequency of disk space treated, with a relative predominance of L3-L4 space treated in the elderly (10% vs. 28%, p = 0.01) and L5-S1 space in younger patients (36% vs. 5%, p = 0.006). There was no significant difference in complication rate, surgical satisfaction, EQ 5D-5L, or Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) global or specific scores, with the exception of the EQ 5D-5L “mobility” score, where older patients fared worse (1.8 ± 1.1 vs. 2.3 ± 1.4; p = 0.05). The minimal invasiveness of the surgical technique, age-related specific outcome expectations, and biomechanical issues are all potential factors influencing the lack of age group differences in outcome scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Spine Surgery)
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6 pages, 230 KiB  
Editorial
Pancreatectomy and Pancreatic Surgery
by Beata Jabłońska and Sławomir Mrowiec
Life 2023, 13(6), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061400 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Pancreatectomy, including pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), as well as central pancreatectomy (CP), distal pancreatectomy (DP) and total/subtotal pancreatectomy, is a major, complex and difficult surgical procedure performed for various benign and malignant pancreatic diseases: from chronic pancreatitis, through benign cystic tumors and neuroendocrine neoplasms to [...] Read more.
Pancreatectomy, including pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), as well as central pancreatectomy (CP), distal pancreatectomy (DP) and total/subtotal pancreatectomy, is a major, complex and difficult surgical procedure performed for various benign and malignant pancreatic diseases: from chronic pancreatitis, through benign cystic tumors and neuroendocrine neoplasms to malignant neoplasms, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatectomy and Pancreatic Surgery)
17 pages, 7750 KiB  
Article
iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomics Unveils Protein Dynamics in the Root of Solanum melongena L. under Waterlogging Stress Conditions
by Xu Yang, Zheng Jiang, Jie He and Lei Shen
Life 2023, 13(6), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061399 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 971
Abstract
Waterlogging poses significant abiotic stress that endangers the survival of plants, including crops. In response, plants dramatically change their physiology to enhance their tolerance to waterlogging, such as proteome reconfiguration. Here, we utilized isobaric tags for the relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based protein [...] Read more.
Waterlogging poses significant abiotic stress that endangers the survival of plants, including crops. In response, plants dramatically change their physiology to enhance their tolerance to waterlogging, such as proteome reconfiguration. Here, we utilized isobaric tags for the relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based protein labeling technique to examine the proteomic changes induced by waterlogging in the roots of Solanum melongena L., a solanaceous plant. The plants were subjected to 6, 12, and 24 h of waterlogging stress at the flowering stage. Of the 4074 identified proteins, compared to the control, the abundance of the proteins increased and decreased in 165 and 78 proteins, respectively, in 6 h of treatments; 219 and 89 proteins, respectively, in 12 h of treatments; and 126 and 127 proteins, respectively, in 24 h of treatments. The majority of these differentially regulated proteins participated in processes such as energy metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, signal transduction, and nitrogen metabolism. Fructose–bisphosphate aldolase and three alcohol dehydrogenase genes, in particular, were up- or down-regulated in waterlogging-treated Solanum melongena roots, suggesting that some proteins related to anaerobic metabolism (glycolysis and fermentation) may play vital roles in protecting its roots from waterlogging stress to enable long-term survival. Overall, this research not only offers a comprehensive dataset of protein alterations in waterlogged Solanum melongena roots but also insights into the mechanisms by which solanaceous plants adapt to waterlogging stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Evolution Mechanism of Plant Polyploids)
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20 pages, 7624 KiB  
Article
Effects of Trophic Acclimation on Growth and Expression Profiles of Genes Encoding Enzymes of Primary Metabolism and Plastid Transporters of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
by Roman K. Puzanskiy, Daria A. Romanyuk, Anastasia A. Kirpichnikova and Maria F. Shishova
Life 2023, 13(6), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061398 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 856
Abstract
In this paper, the effect of prolonged trophic acclimation on the subsequent growth of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii batch cultures was studied. The mixotrophic (light + acetate) acclimation stimulated subsequent growth at both mixotrophy and autotrophy conditions and altered the expression profile of genes encoding [...] Read more.
In this paper, the effect of prolonged trophic acclimation on the subsequent growth of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii batch cultures was studied. The mixotrophic (light + acetate) acclimation stimulated subsequent growth at both mixotrophy and autotrophy conditions and altered the expression profile of genes encoding enzymes of primary metabolism and plastid transporters. Besides the trophic effect, the influence of Chlamydomonas culture growth stage on gene expression was determined. Under mixotrophic conditions, this effect was most pronounced in the first half of the exponential growth with partial retention of the previous acclimation period traits. The autotrophy acclimation effect was more complex and its significance was enhanced at the end of the growth and in the stationary phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae Genetics and Breeding)
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13 pages, 2705 KiB  
Article
Anti-Proliferative Effect of Radiotherapy and Implication of Immunotherapy in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Cells
by Sabine Wächter, Silvia Roth, Norman Gercke, Ulrike Schötz, Ekkehard Dikomey, Rita Engenhart-Cabillic, Elisabeth Maurer, Detlef K. Bartsch and Pietro Di Fazio
Life 2023, 13(6), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061397 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Radiotherapy and immunotherapy have shown promising efficacy for the treatment of solid malignancies. Here, we aim to clarify the potential of a combined application of radiotherapy and programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) monoclonal antibody atezolizumab in primary anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) cells. The [...] Read more.
Radiotherapy and immunotherapy have shown promising efficacy for the treatment of solid malignancies. Here, we aim to clarify the potential of a combined application of radiotherapy and programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) monoclonal antibody atezolizumab in primary anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) cells. The radiation caused a significant reduction in cell proliferation, measured by luminescence, and of the number of colonies. The addition of atezolizumab caused a further reduction in cell proliferation of the irradiated ATC cells. However, the combined treatment did not cause either the exposure of the phosphatidylserine or the necrosis, assessed by luminescence/fluorescence. Additionally, a reduction in both uncleaved and cleaved forms of caspases 8 and 3 proteins was detectable in radiated cells. The DNA damage evidenced the over-expression of TP53, CDKN1A and CDKN1B transcripts detected by RT-qPCR and the increase in the protein level of P-γH2AX and the DNA repair deputed kinases. PD-L1 protein level increased in ATC cells after radiation. Radiotherapy caused the reduction in cell viability and an increase of PD-L1-expression, but not apoptotic cell death in ATC cells. The further combination with the immunotherapeutic atezolizumab could increase the efficacy of radiotherapy in terms of reduction in cell proliferation. Further analysis of the involvement of alternative cell death mechanisms is necessary to clarify their cell demise mechanism of action. Their efficacy represents a promising therapy for patients affected by ATC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering)
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16 pages, 5239 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of the Fascial Manipulation Approach Associated with a Physiotherapy Program in Recurrent Shoulder Disease
by Silvia Bellotti, Massimo Busato, Carla Cattaneo and Mirco Branchini
Life 2023, 13(6), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061396 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Shoulder pain is a serious clinical disease frequently related to absence from work. It is characterized by pain and stiffness, probably connected to the presence of an inflammatory substrate involving gleno-humeral capsule and collagen tissues. A physiotherapy program has shown to be effective [...] Read more.
Shoulder pain is a serious clinical disease frequently related to absence from work. It is characterized by pain and stiffness, probably connected to the presence of an inflammatory substrate involving gleno-humeral capsule and collagen tissues. A physiotherapy program has shown to be effective for the conservative treatment of this disorder. Our aim is to assess if a manual treatment directed to fascial tissues could obtain better improvement regarding pain, strength, mobility, and function. A total of 94 healthcare workers with recurrent shoulder pain were recruited and then randomized in two groups: the control group (CG) underwent a five-session physiotherapy program; the study group (SG) underwent three sessions of physiotherapy and two sessions of fascial manipulation (FM) technique. At the end of the treatment phase, both groups improved every outcome. Despite few statistical differences between groups, at the follow-up visit, a greater percentage of subjects in SG overcame the minimal clinical important difference (MCID) in every outcome. We conclude that FM is effective for treatment of shoulder pain and further studies should better assess how to manage this treatment to obtain better results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Implications of the Fascial System)
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13 pages, 634 KiB  
Article
The Role of «Novel» Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation in the Development of Early Hospital Events after Aortic Valve Replacement in Patients with Aortic Stenosis
by Vladimir Shvartz, Maria Sokolskaya, Artak Ispiryan, Madina Basieva, Polina Kazanova, Elena Shvartz, Sayali Talibova, Andrey Petrosyan, Teymuraz Kanametov, Sergey Donakanyan, Leo Bockeria and Elena Golukhova
Life 2023, 13(6), 1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061395 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Introduction. The pathogenesis of aortic stenosis includes the processes of chronic inflammation, calcification, lipid metabolism disorders, and congenital structural changes. The goal of our study was to determine the predictive value of novel biomarkers of systemic inflammation and some hematological indices based on [...] Read more.
Introduction. The pathogenesis of aortic stenosis includes the processes of chronic inflammation, calcification, lipid metabolism disorders, and congenital structural changes. The goal of our study was to determine the predictive value of novel biomarkers of systemic inflammation and some hematological indices based on the numbers of leukocytes and their subtypes in the development of early hospital medical conditions after mechanical aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic stenosis. Materials and methods. This was a cohort study involving 363 patients who underwent surgical intervention for aortic valve pathology between 2014 and 2020. The following markers of systemic inflammation and hematological indices were studied: SIRI (Systemic Inflammation Response Index), SII (Systemic Inflammation Index), AISI (Aggregate Index of Systemic Inflammation), NLR (Neutrophil/Lymphocyte Ratio), PLR (Platelet/Lymphocyte Ratio), and MLR (Monocyte/Lymphocyte Ratio). Associations of the levels of these biomarkers and indices with the development of in-hospital death, acute kidney injury, postoperative atrial fibrillation, stroke/acute cerebrovascular accident, and bleeding were calculated. Results. According to an ROC analysis, an SIRI > 1.5 (p < 0.001), an SII > 718 (p = 0.002), an AISI > 593 (p < 0.001), an NLR > 2.48 (p < 0.001), a PLR > 132 (p = 0.004), and an MLR > 0.332 (p < 0.001) were statistically significantly associated with in-hospital death. Additionally, an SIRI > 1.5 (p < 0.001), an NLR > 2.8 (p < 0.001), and an MLR > 0.392 (p < 0.001) were associated with bleeding in the postoperative period. In a univariate logistic regression, SIRI, SII, AISI, and NLR were statistically significant independent factors associated with in-hospital death. In a multivariate logistic regression model, SIRI was the most powerful marker of systemic inflammation. Conclusion. SIRI, SII, AISI, and NLR as novel biomarkers of systemic inflammation were associated with in-hospital mortality. Of all markers and indices of systemic inflammation in our study, SIRI was the strongest predictor of a poor outcome in the multivariate regression model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Applications of Cardiac Surgery)
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19 pages, 919 KiB  
Article
Home-Based Exercise Training and Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Type-II Diabetes Mellitus
by Vassiliki Michou, Maria Nikodimopoulou, Vassilios Liakopoulos, Maria Anifanti, Aikaterini Papagianni, Pantelis Zembekakis, Asterios Deligiannis and Evangelia Kouidi
Life 2023, 13(6), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061394 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
This randomized clinical trial aimed to examine the effects of a 6-month home-based, combined exercise training program on Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) with diabetes. Twenty-five KTRs (19 men (76.0%), with a mean age of 54.4 ± 11.3 years [...] Read more.
This randomized clinical trial aimed to examine the effects of a 6-month home-based, combined exercise training program on Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) with diabetes. Twenty-five KTRs (19 men (76.0%), with a mean age of 54.4 ± 11.3 years old, CAN and type II Diabetes Mellitus (DM-II)), were randomly assigned into two groups: A (n1 = 13 KTRs), who underwent a home-based exercise training program for 6 months, and B (n2 = 12 KTRs), who were assessed at the end of the study. A cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), sit-to-stand test in 30 s (30-s STS), isokinetic muscle strength dynamometry, and 24-h electrocardiographic monitoring were applied to all participants, both at the baseline and at the end of the clinical trial. At first, there were no statistically significant differences between groups. After 6 months, group A showed higher values in exercise time by 8.7% (p = 0.02), VO2peak by 7.3% (p < 0.05), 30-s STS by 12.0% (p < 0.05), upper limb strength by 46.1% (p < 0.05), and lower limb strength by 24.6% (p = 0.02), respectively, compared to the B group. Furthermore, inter-group changes at the end of the 6-month study indicated that group A statistically increased the standard deviation of R-R intervals (SDNN) by 30.3% (p = 0.01), root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats (rMSSD) by 32.0% (p = 0.03), number of pairs of successive NN (R-R) intervals that differ by more than 50 ms (pNN50) by 29.0% (p = 0.04), high frequency (HF (ms2)) by 21.6% (p < 0.05), HF (n.u.) by 48.5% (p = 0.01), and turbulence slope (TS) by 22.5% (p = 0.02), and decreased the low frequency (LF (ms2)) by 13.2% (p = 0.01), LF (n.u.) by 24.9% (p = 0.04), and LF/HF ratio by 24% (p = 0.01), compared to group B. Linear regression analysis after the 6-month study showed that there was a strong positive correlation between VO2peak and SDNN (r = 0.701, p < 0.05) in group A. Moreover, multiple regression analysis showed that KTRs’ participation in the exercise program showed favorable modifications to sympathovagal balance and aerobic capacity, as measured with SDNN and VO2peak, respectively. To summarize, diabetic KTRs’ cardiac autonomic function and functional capacity can be improved after a home-based long-term exercise training program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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23 pages, 2737 KiB  
Article
Pharmacological Properties of Chemically Characterized Extracts from Mastic Tree: In Vitro and In Silico Assays
by Safae Ouahabi, El Hassania Loukili, Amine Elbouzidi, Mohamed Taibi, Mohammed Bouslamti, Hiba-Allah Nafidi, Ahmad Mohammad Salamatullah, Nezha Saidi, Reda Bellaouchi, Mohamed Addi, Mohamed Ramdani, Mohammed Bourhia and Belkheir Hammouti
Life 2023, 13(6), 1393; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061393 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The mastic tree, scientifically known as Pistacia lentiscus, which belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, was used in this study. The aim of this research was to analyze the chemical composition of this plant and assess its antioxidant and antibacterial properties using both [...] Read more.
The mastic tree, scientifically known as Pistacia lentiscus, which belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, was used in this study. The aim of this research was to analyze the chemical composition of this plant and assess its antioxidant and antibacterial properties using both laboratory experiments and computer simulations through molecular docking, a method that predicts the binding strength of a small molecule to a protein. The soxhlet method (SE) was employed to extract substances from the leaves of P. lentiscus found in the eastern region of Morocco. Hexane and methanol were the solvents used for the extraction process. The n-hexane extract was subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify its fatty acid content. The methanolic extract underwent high-performance liquid chromatography with a diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD) to determine the presence of phenolic compounds. Antioxidant activity was assessed using the DPPH spectrophotometric test. The findings revealed that the main components in the n-hexane extract were linoleic acid (40.97 ± 0.33%), oleic acid (23.69 ± 0.12%), and palmitic acid (22.83 ± 0.10%). Catechin (37.05 ± 0.15%) was identified as the predominant compound in the methanolic extract through HPLC analysis. The methanolic extract exhibited significant DPPH radical scavenging, with an IC50 value of 0.26 ± 0.14 mg/mL. The antibacterial activity was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria innocua, and Escherichia coli, while the antifungal activity was evaluated against Geotrichum candidum and Rhodotorula glutinis. The P. lentiscus extract demonstrated notable antimicrobial effects. Additionally, apart from molecular docking, other important factors, such as drug similarity, drug metabolism and distribution within the body, potential adverse effects, and impact on bodily systems, were considered for the substances derived from P. lentiscus. Scientific algorithms, such as Prediction of Activity Spectra for Substances (PASS), Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (ADME), and Pro-Tox II, were utilized for this assessment. The results obtained from this research support the traditional medicinal usage of P. lentiscus and suggest its potential for drug development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Biomedical Properties)
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16 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Creation and Evaluation of a Severity Classification of Hyperkyphosis and Hypolordosis for Exercise Therapy
by David Kaps, Hannah L. Siebers, Ulrich Betz, Daniel Pfirrmann, Jörg Eschweiler, Frank Hildebrand, Marcel Betsch, Janine Huthwelker, Claudia Wolf, Philipp Drees and Jürgen Konradi
Life 2023, 13(6), 1392; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061392 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1124
Abstract
The rise in the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders, such as thoracic hyperkyphosis (THK) or lumbar hypolordosis (LHL), is a result of demographic changes. Exercise therapy is an effective approach that can reduce related disabilities and costs. To ensure successful therapy, an individualized exercise [...] Read more.
The rise in the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders, such as thoracic hyperkyphosis (THK) or lumbar hypolordosis (LHL), is a result of demographic changes. Exercise therapy is an effective approach that can reduce related disabilities and costs. To ensure successful therapy, an individualized exercise program adapted to the severity of the disorder is expedient. Nevertheless, appropriate classification systems are scarce. This project aimed to develop and evaluate a severity classification focused on exercise therapy for patients with THK or LHL. A multilevel severity classification was developed and evaluated by means of an online survey. Reference limits of spinal shape angles were established by data from video rasterstereography of 201 healthy participants. A mean kyphosis angle of 50.03° and an average lordosis angle of 40.72° were calculated as healthy references. The strength of the multilevel classification consisting of the combination of subjective pain and objective spinal shape factors was confirmed by the survey (70% agreement). In particular, the included pain parameters were considered relevant by 78% of the experts. Even though the results of the survey provide important evidence for further analyses and optimization options of the classification system, the current version is still acceptable as therapeutic support. Full article
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