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Biology, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2023) – 194 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Viroids are unique infectious agents, since they exclusively consist of a small RNA molecule (246–430 nucleotides) that does not code for any protein. Despite this minimal complexity, viroids can replicate and systemically invade their hosts, successfully evading defenses. The more than 30 viroid species currently know infect higher plants; however, recent reports indicate that viroids and viroid-like RNAs may be more widespread in nature than expected. Viroids replicate through RNA-based rolling-circle mechanisms in which host factors and, sometimes, ribozymes are involved. Viroids are transmitted mechanically from plant to plant, frequently inducing disease. New biotechnological approaches try to take advantage of the remarkable properties of viroid RNAs. View this paper
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16 pages, 4816 KiB  
Article
Establishment of an Integrated CRISPR/Cas9 Plasmid System for Simple and Efficient Genome Editing in Medaka In Vitro and In Vivo
by Zeming Zhang, Jie Wang, Jianeng Li, Xiang Liu, Lei Liu, Changle Zhao, Wenjing Tao, Deshou Wang and Jing Wei
Biology 2023, 12(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020336 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
Although CRISPR/Cas9 has been used in gene manipulation of several fish species in vivo, its application in fish cultured cells is still challenged and limited. In this study, we established an integrated CRISPR/Cas9 plasmid system and evaluated its efficiency of gene knock-out or [...] Read more.
Although CRISPR/Cas9 has been used in gene manipulation of several fish species in vivo, its application in fish cultured cells is still challenged and limited. In this study, we established an integrated CRISPR/Cas9 plasmid system and evaluated its efficiency of gene knock-out or knock-in at a specific site in medaka (Oryzias latipes) in vitro and in vivo. By using the enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter plasmid pGNtsf1, we demonstrate that pCas9-U6sgRNA driven by endogenous U6 promoter (pCas9-mU6sgRNA) mediated very high gene editing efficiency in medaka cultured cells, but not by exogenous U6 promoters. After optimizing the conditions, the gene editing efficiencies of eight sites targeting for four endogenous genes were calculated, and the highest was up to 94% with no detectable off-target. By one-cell embryo microinjection, pCas9-mU6sgRNA also mediated efficient gene knock-out in vivo. Furthermore, pCas9-mU6sgRNA efficiently mediated gene knock-in at a specific site in medaka cultured cells as well as embryos. Collectively, our study demonstrates that the genetic relationship of U6 promoter is critical to gene editing efficiency in medaka cultured cells, and a simple and efficient system for medaka genome editing in vitro and in vivo has been established. This study provides an insight into other fish genome editing and promotes gene functional analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transgenic and Genome Editing in Fish)
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11 pages, 1038 KiB  
Article
Skeletal Markers of Physiological Stress as Indicators of Structural Violence: A Comparative Study between the Deceased Migrants of the Mediterranean Sea and the CAL Milano Cemetery Skeletal Collection
by Lucie Biehler-Gomez, Andrea Palamenghi, Marie Baudu, Giulia Caccia, Giuseppe Lanza Attisano, Daniele Gibelli, Debora Mazzarelli and Cristina Cattaneo
Biology 2023, 12(2), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020335 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Structural violence is an indirect form of violence that can lead to physiological consequences. Interestingly, these physiological disruptions may affect the skeletons and can therefore provide relevant information on violence and way of life in the analysis of skeletal remains. The aim of [...] Read more.
Structural violence is an indirect form of violence that can lead to physiological consequences. Interestingly, these physiological disruptions may affect the skeletons and can therefore provide relevant information on violence and way of life in the analysis of skeletal remains. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that migrants who died in the Mediterranean Sea would present physiological cranial stress markers such as cribra orbitalia (CO), porotic hyperostosis (PH), and linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) more frequently and more severely than Italians of the 20th century. With this intent, a total of 164 crania were examined: 139 from deceased migrants recovered from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, aged between 16 and 35 years old, and 25 of the same age from the CAL Milano Cemetery Skeletal Collection. Both presence and severity of CO, PH, and LEH were evaluated. The data obtained were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank and independence Chi-squared tests to compare the results between the two samples and to test whether there was an association between the sample of migrants and the occurrence of lesions. As a result, CO and PH appeared more frequently and more severely in the migrant sample. In addition, migrants were significantly associated with CO, PH, and LEH (p-values < 0.05). Although this does not imply in any way that CO, PH, and LEH are specific to migration, they should be regarded as indicators of structural violence. Full article
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12 pages, 5565 KiB  
Communication
Role of NADPH Oxidase-Derived ROS-Mediated IL-6/STAT3 and MAPK/NF-κB Signaling Pathways in Protective Effect of Corilagin against Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury in Mice
by Fu-Chao Liu, Hung-Chen Lee, Chia-Chih Liao, An-Hsun Chou and Huang-Ping Yu
Biology 2023, 12(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020334 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose causes acute liver injury via oxidative stress, uncontrolled inflammatory response, and subsequent hepatocyte death. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) is a potent source of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and may contribute to oxidative stress in many inflammatory processes. [...] Read more.
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose causes acute liver injury via oxidative stress, uncontrolled inflammatory response, and subsequent hepatocyte death. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) is a potent source of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and may contribute to oxidative stress in many inflammatory processes. Corilagin, a component of Phyllanthus urinaria, possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. We evaluated the mechanisms underlying the protective effect of corilagin against acetaminophen-induced liver injury. Mice were intraperitoneally administrated 300 mg/kg APAP or equal volume of saline (control), with or without various concentrations of corilagin (0, 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg) administered after 30 min. All animals were sacrificed 16 h after APAP administration, and serum and liver tissue assays including histology, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot assay were performed. Corilagin post-treatment significantly attenuated APAP-induced liver injury (p < 0.005), inflammatory cell infiltration, hepatic proinflammatory cytokine levels, and hepatic oxidative stress. Furthermore, corilagin attenuated the protein levels of NOX1, NOX2, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) in APAP-induced liver injury. These results indicated that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and protective effects of corilagin in APAP-induced liver injury might involve the regulation of interleukin (IL)-6/STAT3 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/NF-κB signaling pathways through NOX-derived ROS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
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19 pages, 2141 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Warm-Up on Physical Exercise: A Systematic Review
by Carolina Cirino, Anita B. Marostegan, Charlini S. Hartz, Marlene A. Moreno, Claudio A. Gobatto and Fúlvia B. Manchado-Gobatto
Biology 2023, 12(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020333 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2281
Abstract
This study aimed to systematically review the literature to examine the effects of inspiratory-muscle warm-up (IMW) on the inspiratory, metabolic, respiratory and performance parameters of a main exercise performed by athletes and healthy and active individuals. Methods: This systematic review included randomized studies [...] Read more.
This study aimed to systematically review the literature to examine the effects of inspiratory-muscle warm-up (IMW) on the inspiratory, metabolic, respiratory and performance parameters of a main exercise performed by athletes and healthy and active individuals. Methods: This systematic review included randomized studies in English based on the criteria of the PICOS model. The exclusion criteria adopted were studies that applied inspiratory exercise to: i. promote long-term adaptations through inspiratory training (chronic responses); ii. obtain acute responses to inspiratory load (overload) during and in breaks from physical effort and in an inspiratory-exercise session (acute training effect); iii. evaluate the effects of IMW on participants with cardiorespiratory and/or metabolic disease. Data Sources: PubMed, Embase, MedLine, Scopus, SPORTDiscus and Google Scholar (until 17 January 2023). Results: Thirty-one studies were selected. The performance and respiratory parameters were the most investigated (77% and 74%, respectively). Positive effects of IMW were reported by 88% of the studies that investigated inspiratory parameters and 45% of those that evaluated performance parameters. Conclusions: The analyzed protocols mainly had positive effects on the inspiratory and performance parameters of the physical exercises. These positive effects of IMW are possibly associated with the contractile and biochemical properties of inspiratory muscles. Full article
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19 pages, 1888 KiB  
Article
When Corticospinal Inhibition Favors an Efficient Motor Response
by Sonia Betti, Giovanni Zani, Silvia Guerra, Umberto Granziol, Umberto Castiello, Chiara Begliomini and Luisa Sartori
Biology 2023, 12(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020332 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
Many daily activities involve responding to the actions of other people. However, the functional relationship between the motor preparation and execution phases still needs to be clarified. With the combination of different and complementary experimental techniques (i.e., motor excitability measures, reaction times, electromyography, [...] Read more.
Many daily activities involve responding to the actions of other people. However, the functional relationship between the motor preparation and execution phases still needs to be clarified. With the combination of different and complementary experimental techniques (i.e., motor excitability measures, reaction times, electromyography, and dyadic 3-D kinematics), we investigated the behavioral and neurophysiological signatures characterizing different stages of a motor response in contexts calling for an interactive action. Participants were requested to perform an action (i.e., stirring coffee or lifting a coffee cup) following a co-experimenter’s request gesture. Another condition, in which a non-interactive gesture was used, was also included. Greater corticospinal inhibition was found when participants prepared their motor response after observing an interactive request, compared to a non-interactive gesture. This, in turn, was associated with faster and more efficient action execution in kinematic terms (i.e., a social motor priming effect). Our results provide new insights on the inhibitory and facilitatory drives guiding social motor response generation. Altogether, the integration of behavioral and neurophysiological indexes allowed us to demonstrate that a more efficient action execution followed a greater corticospinal inhibition. These indexes provide a full picture of motor activity at both planning and execution stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroscience)
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20 pages, 3734 KiB  
Article
DnFCA Isoforms Cooperatively Regulate Temperature-Related Flowering in Dendrobium nobile
by Ting Pan, Ning-Meng Deng, Wu-Xia Guo, Min-Zhen Wan, Yan-Tong Zheng, Song-Yi Chen, Chuan-Liang Liu, Hong-Bo Li and Shan Liang
Biology 2023, 12(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020331 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Timely flowering is a determinative trait for many economically valuable species in the Dendrobium genus of the Orchidaceae family, some of which are used for ornamental and medicinal purposes. D. nobile, a representative species of nobile-type Dendrobium, normally flowers in spring [...] Read more.
Timely flowering is a determinative trait for many economically valuable species in the Dendrobium genus of the Orchidaceae family, some of which are used for ornamental and medicinal purposes. D. nobile, a representative species of nobile-type Dendrobium, normally flowers in spring after exposure to sufficient low temperatures in winter. However, flowering can be stopped or disrupted by the untimely application of high temperatures. Little is known about the regulation and the mechanisms behind this switch. In this study, we report two isoforms from the KFK09_017173 locus of the D. nobile genome, named DnFCAγ and DnFCAβ, respectively, that cooperatively regulate flowering in D. nobile. These two isoforms are generated by alternative 3′ polyadenylation of DnFCA (FLOWERING CONTROL LOCUS C in D. nobile) pre-mRNA and contain a distinct 3′-terminus. Both can partially rescue late flowering in the Arabidopsis fca-1 mutant, while in wild-type Arabidopsis, they tend to delay the flowering time. When introduced into the detached axillary buds or young seedlings of D. nobile, both were able to induce the transcription of DnAGL19 (AGAMOUS LIKE 19 in D. nobile) in seedlings, whereas only DnFCAγ was able to suppress the transcription of DnAPL1 (AP1-LIKE 1 in D. nobile) in axillary buds. Furthermore, the time-course change of DnFCAγ accumulation was opposite to that of DnAPL1 in axillary buds, which was remarkable under low temperatures and within a short time after the application of high temperatures, supporting the suggestion that the expression of DnAPL1 can be inhibited by a high accumulation of DnFCAγ in floral buds. In leaves, the accumulation of DnFCAβ was in accordance with that of DnAGL19 and DnFT (FLOWERING LOCUS T in D. nobile) to a large extent, suggesting the activation of the DnAGL19–DnFT pathway by DnFCAβ. Taken together, these results suggest that the DnFCAγ–DnAPL1 pathway in axillary buds and the DnFCAβ–DnAGL19 pathway in the leaves cooperatively promote flowering under low temperatures. The long-term and constant, or untimely, application of high temperatures leads to the constitutive suppression of DnAPL1 by a high level of DnFCAγ in axillary buds, which consequently delays floral development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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20 pages, 7929 KiB  
Article
The Ecological Status and Change in High-Latitude Coral Assemblages at the Xuwen Coral Reef, Northern South China Sea: Insight into the Status and Causes in 2020
by Zhenxiong Yang, Wei Tao, Yue Liu, Wei Yu, Xiaojuan Peng, Chuqian Lu, Guangjia Jiang, Bin Chen, Wei Deng and Yihua Lv
Biology 2023, 12(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020330 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2111
Abstract
Taking the coral communities of the Xuwen coral reef in 2020 as the research object, we analyzed the species composition, diversity, and interspecific Spearman correlation of the scleractinian coral communities, investigated the features and spatial distribution of the scleractinian coral community, and discussed [...] Read more.
Taking the coral communities of the Xuwen coral reef in 2020 as the research object, we analyzed the species composition, diversity, and interspecific Spearman correlation of the scleractinian coral communities, investigated the features and spatial distribution of the scleractinian coral community, and discussed the correlation between the community composition and environmental factors to identify the affecting factors and their sources. These results showed that (1) compared with the survey in 2004, the coverage of corals in 2020 had significantly decreased, while the dominant genera were still Goniopora and Porites. The coral morphology was massive, and the diversity of the coral community (Shannon–Wiener index, H’) was 2.87. The distribution of coral was uneven. The competition among some dominant species of coral was intense. (2) The mass coral bleaching event in the NSCS in August 2020 did not cause severe coral death in the short term on the Xuwen coral reef. (3) The growth of the coral community in 2020 might be greatly affected by high suspended solids and nutrient levels, which were related to the current, mariculture, and coastal erosion. (4) Anthropogenic activities such as coastal aquaculture and fishing were the major factors leading to the reduction in coral coverage on Xuwen coral reef in the past 10 years. Full article
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15 pages, 3066 KiB  
Article
Alleviation of Hyperuricemia by Strictinin in AML12 Mouse Hepatocytes Treated with Xanthine and in Mice Treated with Potassium Oxonate
by Kuo-Ching Huang, Yu-Ting Chang, Rosita Pranata, Yung-Hsuan Cheng, Yu-Chi Chen, Ping-Chung Kuo, Yi-Hsuan Huang, Jason T. C. Tzen and Rong-Jane Chen
Biology 2023, 12(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020329 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
Hyperuricemia, an abnormally high level of blood uric acid, is a major risk factor for gout. Although xanthine oxidase inhibitors were clinically used to lower blood uric acid level, the concerned side effects restricted their utilization. In this study, strictinin, an abundant polyphenol [...] Read more.
Hyperuricemia, an abnormally high level of blood uric acid, is a major risk factor for gout. Although xanthine oxidase inhibitors were clinically used to lower blood uric acid level, the concerned side effects restricted their utilization. In this study, strictinin, an abundant polyphenol in Pu’er tea, was evaluated for its preventive effects on hyperuricemia. The results showed that the xanthine oxidase activity, uric acid production, and inflammation in AML12 mouse hepatocytes treated with xanthine were significantly reduced by the supplementation of strictinin. Detailed analyses revealed that strictinin inhibited xanthine-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Consistently, the elevated blood uric acid level and the enhanced xanthine oxidase activity in mice treated with potassium oxonate were effectively diminished by strictinin supplementation. Moreover, for the first time, strictinin was found to promote healthy gut microbiota. Overall, strictinin possesses a great potential to be utilized as a functional ingredient for the prevention of hyperuricemia. Full article
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17 pages, 7601 KiB  
Article
Two Decades of Coastal Dolphin Population Surveys in Israel, Eastern Mediterranean
by Ori Galili, Oz Goffman, Mia Roditi-Elasar, Yaly Mevorach, Eyal Bigal, Yotam Zuriel, Yaron Haitovich, Nir Hadar, Meytal Markovich, Dror Vardimon, Dana Reininger, Shlomi Marco, Danny Morick, Eliana Ratner, Dan Tchernov and Aviad Scheinin
Biology 2023, 12(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020328 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2221
Abstract
Along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, two near-shore dolphin species are prevalent; Tursiops truncatus (least concern, IUCN) and Delphinus delphis (endangered, IUCN). Ship-board surveys and sporadic sightings over the last two decades have shown that the two differ in distribution—T. truncatus is [...] Read more.
Along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, two near-shore dolphin species are prevalent; Tursiops truncatus (least concern, IUCN) and Delphinus delphis (endangered, IUCN). Ship-board surveys and sporadic sightings over the last two decades have shown that the two differ in distribution—T. truncatus is found along the entire coast and D. delphis only in the south. The environmental and anthropological factors affecting these species’ spatial distribution and determining their habitat preferences in this area are largely unknown. This work is a first attempt at summarizing 20 years of observations and studying habitat preferences for both species, by use of Generalized Additive Models. T. truncatus was found to be present in all areas of the continental shelf where survey effort coverage was sufficient, with a high affinity towards bottom trawlers. Model results showed D. delphis distribution to be associated to (shallow) water depths, though the factors driving their limited latitudinal distribution currently remain unknown. It is evident that T. truncatus and D. delphis are present in segregated areas of the Israeli continental shelf and T. truncatus currently sustains a delicate balance with continuously shifting human activities, while the drivers of D. delphis distribution are more specified, yet still not fully understood. Full article
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16 pages, 822 KiB  
Review
Renal Microcirculation Injury as the Main Cause of Ischemic Acute Kidney Injury Development
by Ewa Kwiatkowska, Sebastian Kwiatkowski, Violetta Dziedziejko, Izabela Tomasiewicz and Leszek Domański
Biology 2023, 12(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020327 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Acute kidney injury (AKI) can result from multiple factors. The main cause is reduced renal perfusion. Kidneys are susceptible to ischemia due to the anatomy of microcirculation that wraps around the renal tubules–peritubular capillary (PTC) network. Cortical and medullary superficial tubules have a [...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) can result from multiple factors. The main cause is reduced renal perfusion. Kidneys are susceptible to ischemia due to the anatomy of microcirculation that wraps around the renal tubules–peritubular capillary (PTC) network. Cortical and medullary superficial tubules have a large share in transport and require the supply of oxygen for ATP production, while it is the cortex that receives almost 100% of the blood flowing through the kidneys and the medulla only accounts for 5–10% of it. This difference makes the tubules present in the superficial layer of the medulla very susceptible to ischemia. Impaired blood flow causes damage to the endothelium, with an increase in its prothrombotic and pro-adhesive properties. This causes congestion in the microcirculation of the renal medulla. The next stage is the migration of pericytes with the disintegration of these vessels. The phenomenon of destruction of small vessels is called peritubular rarefaction, attributed as the main cause of further irreversible changes in the damaged kidney leading to the development of chronic kidney disease. In this article, we will present the characteristic structure of renal microcirculation, its regulation, and the mechanism of damage in acute ischemia, and we will try to find methods of prevention with particular emphasis on the inhibition of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system. Full article
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15 pages, 2651 KiB  
Article
Changes in Body Mass, Physical Activity, and Dietary Intake during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns in Canadian University Students
by Madison Bell, Markus J. Duncan, Karen A. Patte, Brian D. Roy, David S. Ditor and Panagiota Klentrou
Biology 2023, 12(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020326 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
This study examined changes in body mass and body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and dietary intake in Canadian university students during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two self-reported recall surveys were conducted: after the first lockdown in September 2020 (T1) [...] Read more.
This study examined changes in body mass and body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and dietary intake in Canadian university students during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two self-reported recall surveys were conducted: after the first lockdown in September 2020 (T1) and following the second lockdown in March 2021 (T2). Eligible participants were full-time undergraduate students attending a Canadian university and residing in Canada during the first year of the pandemic. At T1, 510 students (99 male, 411 female) completed the survey, and of those, 135 (32 males, 103 females) completed the survey at T2 (73% attrition). At both T1 and T2, most participants were 18–24 years of age (93% and 90%, respectively), Caucasian (73% and 78%, respectively), and resided in the province of Ontario (79% and 80%, respectively). Body mass increased from T1 to T2 (+0.91 ± 3.89 kg t(132) = −2.7, p = 0.008). BMI also increased from T1 to T2 (+0.30 ± 1.33 kg/m2 [t(130) = −2.5, p = 0.012), with a greater number of participants within the overweight range (19.8% versus 24.4%, respectively). At T1, 38% of the participants reported a decrease in physical activity, while the number of students reporting a decrease in activity increased to 56% at T2. Dietary energy intake decreased from 1678 ± 958 kcal/day at T1 to 1565 ± 842 kcal/day at T2 [c2(1) = 7.2, p = 0.007]. Diet quality also decreased, with participants not meeting the recommended daily allowance for essential macro and micronutrients. A decrease was observed in daily servings of fruits (−27%, p < 0.001), vegetables (−72%, p < 0.001), and grains (−68%, p < 0.001). In conclusion, despite a small decrease in dietary energy intake, a modest weight gain occurred during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in this cohort of Canadian university students, which was potentially related to decreased physical activity and diet quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Environmental Factors on Human Health and Performance)
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15 pages, 4382 KiB  
Article
Effect of Zbed6 Single-Allele Knockout on the Growth and Development of Skeletal Muscle in Mice
by Ling Liu, Shengnan Wang, Wenjie Tian, Cheng Xu, Chengjie Wei, Kai Cui, Lin Jiang and Dandan Wang
Biology 2023, 12(2), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020325 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
ZBED6, a key transcription factor, plays an important role in skeletal muscle and organ growth. ZBED6 knockout (ZBED6−/−) leads to the upregulation of IGF2 in pig and mice muscle, thereby increasing muscle mass. However, the effects and mechanism of Zbed6 [...] Read more.
ZBED6, a key transcription factor, plays an important role in skeletal muscle and organ growth. ZBED6 knockout (ZBED6−/−) leads to the upregulation of IGF2 in pig and mice muscle, thereby increasing muscle mass. However, the effects and mechanism of Zbed6 single-allele knockout (Zbed6+/−) on mice muscle remain unknown. Here, we reported that Zbed6+/− promotes muscle growth by a new potential target gene rather than Igf2 in mice muscle. Zbed6+/− mice showed markedly higher muscle mass (25%) and a markedly higher muscle weight ratio (18%) than wild-type (WT) mice, coinciding with a larger muscle fiber area (28%). Despite a significant increase in muscle growth, Zbed6+/− mice showed similar Igf2 expression with WT mice, indicating that a ZBED6–Igf2-independent regulatory pathway exists in Zbed6+/− mice muscle. RNA-seq of muscle between the Zbed6+/− and WT mice revealed two terms related to muscle growth. Overlapping the DEGs and C2C12 Chip-seq data of ZBED6 screened out a potential ZBED6 target gene Barx2, which may regulate muscle growth in Zbed6+/− mice. These results may open new research directions leading to a better understanding of the integral functions of ZBED6 and provide evidence of Zbed6+/− promoting muscle growth by regulating Barx2 in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Biology)
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26 pages, 3208 KiB  
Article
Carbon Sequestration in Resin-Tapped Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) Subtropical Plantations
by Kelly Cristine da Silva Rodrigues-Honda, Camila Fernanda de Oliveira Junkes, Júlio César de Lima, Vinicius de Abreu Waldow, Fernando Souza Rocha, Tanise Luisa Sausen, Cimélio Bayer, Edson Talamini and Arthur Germano Fett-Neto
Biology 2023, 12(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020324 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3329
Abstract
Every year more than 150,000 tons of resin used in a myriad of industrial applications are produced by Brazilian plantations of Pinus elliottii Engelm. (slash pine), which are also used for timber. A pine tree can be tapped for resin over a period [...] Read more.
Every year more than 150,000 tons of resin used in a myriad of industrial applications are produced by Brazilian plantations of Pinus elliottii Engelm. (slash pine), which are also used for timber. A pine tree can be tapped for resin over a period of several years. Resin is a complex mixture of terpenes, which are carbon-rich molecules, presumably influencing pine plantation carbon budgets. A total of 270 trees (overall mean DBH of 22.93 ± 0.11 cm) of 14-, 24-, and 26-year-old stands had their C content measured. Three different treatments (intact, wounded panels, and wounded + chemically stimulated panels, 30 trees each) were applied per site. Above- and belowground biomass, as well as resin yield, were quantified for two consecutive years. Data were statistically evaluated using normality distribution tests, analyses of variance, and mean comparison tests (p ≤ 0.05). The highest resin production per tree was recorded in the chemically stimulated 14-year-old stand. Tree dry wood biomass, a major stock of carbon retained in cell wall polysaccharides, ranged from 245.69 ± 11.73 to 349.99 ± 16.73 kg among the plantations. Variations in carbon concentration ranged from 43% to 50% with the lowest percentages in underground biomass. There was no significant difference in lignin concentrations. Soils were acidic (pH 4.3 ± 0.10–5.83 ± 0.06) with low C (from 0.05% to 1.4%). Significantly higher C stock values were recorded in pine biomass compared to those reported for temperate zones. Resin-tapping biomass yielded considerable annual increments in C stocks and should be included as a relevant component in C sequestration assessments of planted pine forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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15 pages, 5833 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Studies Reveal That Toll-like Receptor 2 Has a Role in Glucose-Related Metabolism in Unchallenged Zebrafish Larvae (Danio rerio)
by Wanbin Hu, Li Liu, Gabriel Forn-Cuní, Yi Ding, Alia Alia and Herman P. Spaink
Biology 2023, 12(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020323 - 16 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been implicated in the regulation of various metabolism pathways, in addition to their function in innate immunity. Here, we investigate the metabolic function of TLR2 in a larval zebrafish system. We studied larvae from a tlr2 mutant and the [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been implicated in the regulation of various metabolism pathways, in addition to their function in innate immunity. Here, we investigate the metabolic function of TLR2 in a larval zebrafish system. We studied larvae from a tlr2 mutant and the wild type sibling controls in an unchallenged normal developmental condition using transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses methods. RNAseq was used to evaluate transcriptomic differences between the tlr2 mutant and wild-type control zebrafish larvae and found a signature set of 149 genes to be significantly altered in gene expression. The expression level of several genes was confirmed by qPCR analyses. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed differential enrichment of genes between the two genotypes related to valine, leucine, and isoleucine degradation and glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics, we found that glucose and various metabolites related with glucose metabolism were present at higher levels in the tlr2 mutant. Furthermore, we confirmed that the glucose level is higher in tlr2 mutants by using a fluorometric assay. Therefore, we have shown that TLR2, in addition to its function in immunity, has a function in controlling metabolism during vertebrate development. The functions are associated with transcriptional regulation of various enzymes involved in glucose metabolism that could explain the different levels of glucose, lactate, succinate, and malate in larvae of a tlr2 mutant. Full article
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23 pages, 2507 KiB  
Review
Genomic Signature in Evolutionary Biology: A Review
by Rebeca de la Fuente, Wladimiro Díaz-Villanueva, Vicente Arnau and Andrés Moya
Biology 2023, 12(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020322 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Organisms are unique physical entities in which information is stored and continuously processed. The digital nature of DNA sequences enables the construction of a dynamic information reservoir. However, the distinction between the hardware and software components in the information flow is crucial to [...] Read more.
Organisms are unique physical entities in which information is stored and continuously processed. The digital nature of DNA sequences enables the construction of a dynamic information reservoir. However, the distinction between the hardware and software components in the information flow is crucial to identify the mechanisms generating specific genomic signatures. In this work, we perform a bibliometric analysis to identify the different purposes of looking for particular patterns in DNA sequences associated with a given phenotype. This study has enabled us to make a conceptual breakdown of the genomic signature and differentiate the leading applications. On the one hand, it refers to gene expression profiling associated with a biological function, which may be shared across taxa. This signature is the focus of study in precision medicine. On the other hand, it also refers to characteristic patterns in species-specific DNA sequences. This interpretation plays a key role in comparative genomics, identifying evolutionary relationships. Looking at the relevant studies in our bibliographic database, we highlight the main factors causing heterogeneities in genome composition and how they can be quantified. All these findings lead us to reformulate some questions relevant to evolutionary biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Evolutionary Biology)
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15 pages, 2593 KiB  
Review
Single-Cell Labeling Strategies to Dissect Neuronal Structures and Local Functions
by Keigo Kohara and Masayoshi Okada
Biology 2023, 12(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020321 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2503
Abstract
The brain network consists of ten billion neurons and is the most complex structure in the universe. Understanding the structure of complex brain networks and neuronal functions is one of the main goals of modern neuroscience. Since the seminal invention of Golgi staining, [...] Read more.
The brain network consists of ten billion neurons and is the most complex structure in the universe. Understanding the structure of complex brain networks and neuronal functions is one of the main goals of modern neuroscience. Since the seminal invention of Golgi staining, single-cell labeling methods have been among the most potent approaches for dissecting neuronal structures and neural circuits. Furthermore, the development of sparse single-cell transgenic methods has enabled single-cell gene knockout studies to examine the local functions of various genes in neural circuits and synapses. Here, we review non-transgenic single-cell labeling methods and recent advances in transgenic strategies for sparse single neuronal labeling. These methods and strategies will fundamentally contribute to the understanding of brain structure and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Era in Neuroscience)
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15 pages, 1998 KiB  
Article
Ingestion of Soybean Sprouts Containing a HASPIN Inhibitor Improves Condition in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
by Hiromitsu Tanaka, Hiroaki Matsushita, Keizo Tokuhiro, Atsushi Fukunari and Yukio Ando
Biology 2023, 12(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020320 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
The MATP/tau protein is hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer’s patients. Therefore, research into the regulation of tau protein phosphorylation is important for understanding Alzheimer’s disease. HASPIN is a serine/threonine kinase that is expressed in various cells. To examine whether HASPIN is involved in the onset [...] Read more.
The MATP/tau protein is hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer’s patients. Therefore, research into the regulation of tau protein phosphorylation is important for understanding Alzheimer’s disease. HASPIN is a serine/threonine kinase that is expressed in various cells. To examine whether HASPIN is involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease through tau protein phosphorylation, we investigated the effects of a diet including soybean sprouts rich in the HASPIN inhibitor coumestrol in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (5xFAD). The results showed that HASPIN was expressed in the hippocampus and phosphorylated tau protein, while the ingestion of soybean sprouts containing coumestrol suppressed the development of spatial cognitive dysfunction in 5xFAD. These results indicate that HASPIN may be one of the target molecules for the repression of tau phosphorylation in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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17 pages, 4108 KiB  
Article
Identification of Wnt/β-Catenin- and Autophagy-Related lncRNA Signature for Predicting Immune Efficacy in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
by Hao Lyu, Jiahui Zhang, Qian Wei, Yuan Huang, Rui Zhang, Shuai Xiao, Dong Guo, Xing-Zhen Chen, Cefan Zhou and Jingfeng Tang
Biology 2023, 12(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020319 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is one of the tumors with a poor prognosis. Therefore, it is significant and urgent to explore effective biomarkers for risk stratification and prognosis prediction to promote individualized treatment and prolong the survival of patients with PAAD. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the tumors with a poor prognosis. Therefore, it is significant and urgent to explore effective biomarkers for risk stratification and prognosis prediction to promote individualized treatment and prolong the survival of patients with PAAD. In this study, we identified Wnt/β-catenin- and autophagy-related long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and demonstrated their role in predicting immune efficacy for PAAD patients. The univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to construct a prognostic risk model based on six autophagy- and Wnt/β-catenin-related lncRNAs (warlncRNAs): LINC01347, CASC8, C8orf31, LINC00612, UCA1, and GUSBP11. The high-risk patients were significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to assess the predictive accuracy of the prognostic risk model. The prediction efficiency was supported by the results of an independent validation cohort. Subsequently, a prognostic nomogram combining warlncRNAs with clinical indicators was constructed and showed a good predictive efficiency for survival risk stratification. Furthermore, functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that the signature according to warlncRNAs is closely linked to malignancy-associated immunoregulatory pathways. Correlation analysis uncovered that warlncRNAs’ signature was considerably associated with immunocyte infiltration, immune efficacy, tumor microenvironment score, and drug resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology)
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19 pages, 16779 KiB  
Article
Reduced Renal CSE/CBS/H2S Contributes to the Progress of Lupus Nephritis
by Xuan Wang, Tao Lin, Yifei He, Yueyuan Zhou, Yi Peng, Weiru Zhang and Xin Ni
Biology 2023, 12(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020318 - 16 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1808
Abstract
The molecular mechanisms underlying lupus nephritis (LN) pathogenesis are not fully understood. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is involved in many pathological and physiological processes. We sought to investigate the roles of H2S in LN pathogenesis. H2S synthase cystathionine–lyase (CSE) and cystathionine–synthetase (CBS) expression was [...] Read more.
The molecular mechanisms underlying lupus nephritis (LN) pathogenesis are not fully understood. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is involved in many pathological and physiological processes. We sought to investigate the roles of H2S in LN pathogenesis. H2S synthase cystathionine–lyase (CSE) and cystathionine–synthetase (CBS) expression was downregulated in renal tissues of patients with LN and their levels were associated with LN’s prognosis using the Nephroseq database. Reduced CSE and CBS protein expression in kidney tissues of LN patients and MRL/lpr mice were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. CSE and CBS mRNA levels were reduced in MRL/lpr and pristine- and R848-induced lupus mice. Given that H2S exerts an anti-inflammatory role partly via regulating inflammatory transcription factors (TFs), we analyzed hub TFs by using a bioinformatics approach. It showed that STAT1, RELA, and T-cell-related signaling pathways were enriched in LN. Increased STAT1 and RELA expression were confirmed in renal tissues of LN patients. Treatment of MRL/lpr and pristine mice with H2S donors alleviated systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) phenotypes and renal injury. H2S donors inhibited RELA level and T-cell infiltration in the kidneys of MRL/lpr and pristine mice. Our data indicated that CSE/CBS/H2S contributes to LN pathogenesis. Supplementation of H2S would be a potential therapeutic strategy for LN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autoimmune Diseases: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms)
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16 pages, 3700 KiB  
Article
miR-34b/c-5p/CXCL10 Axis Induced by RSV Infection Mediates a Mechanism of Airway Hyperresponsive Diseases
by Dan Liu, Zhongxiang Tang, Ousman Bajinka, Pei Dai, Guojun Wu, Ling Qin and Yurong Tan
Biology 2023, 12(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020317 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1631
Abstract
Background: RSV is closely correlated with post-infection airway hyperresponsive diseases (AHD), but the mechanism remains unclear. Objective: Due to the pivotal role of miRNAs in AHD, we analyzed the differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRs) in RSV-infected patients, asthma patients, and COPD patients from public [...] Read more.
Background: RSV is closely correlated with post-infection airway hyperresponsive diseases (AHD), but the mechanism remains unclear. Objective: Due to the pivotal role of miRNAs in AHD, we analyzed the differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRs) in RSV-infected patients, asthma patients, and COPD patients from public datasets and explored the mechanisms of association between RSV and AHD. Methods: We obtained miRNA and mRNA databases of patients with RSV infection, as well as miRNA databases of asthma and COPD patients from the GEO database. Through integrated analysis, we screened DEmiRs and DEGs. Further analysis was carried out to obtain the hub genes through the analysis of biological pathways and enrichment pathways of DEGs targeted by DEmiRs and the construction of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Results: The five differential molecules (miR-34b/c-5p, Cd14, Cxcl10, and Rhoh) were verified through in vivo experiments that had the same expression trend in the acute and chronic phases of RSV infection. Following infection of BEAS-2B cells with RSV, we confirmed that RSV infection down-regulated miR-34b/c-5p, and up-regulated the expression levels of CXCL10 and CD14. Furthermore, the results of the dual-luciferase reporter assay showed that CXCL10 was the target of hsa-miR-34c-5p. Conclusions: miR-34b/c-5p/CXCL10 axis mediates a mechanism of AHD. Full article
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22 pages, 24917 KiB  
Article
Changes in Community Composition and Functional Traits of Bumblebees in an Alpine Ecosystem Relate to Climate Warming
by Victor Sebastian Scharnhorst, Katharina Thierolf, Johann Neumayer, Benedikt Becsi, Herbert Formayer, Julia Lanner, Esther Ockermüller, Alina Mirwald, Barbara König, Monika Kriechbaum, Harald Meimberg, Philipp Meyer, Christina Rupprecht and Bärbel Pachinger
Biology 2023, 12(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020316 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
Climate warming has been observed as the main cause of changes in diversity, community composition, and spatial distribution of different plant and invertebrate species. Due to even stronger warming compared to the global mean, bumblebees in alpine ecosystems are particularly exposed to these [...] Read more.
Climate warming has been observed as the main cause of changes in diversity, community composition, and spatial distribution of different plant and invertebrate species. Due to even stronger warming compared to the global mean, bumblebees in alpine ecosystems are particularly exposed to these changes. To investigate the effects of climate warming, we sampled bumblebees along an elevational gradient, compared the records with data from 1935 and 1936, and related our results to climate models. We found that bumblebee community composition differed significantly between sampling periods and that increasing temperatures in spring were the most plausible factor explaining these range shifts. In addition, species diversity estimates were significantly lower compared to historical records. The number of socio-parasitic species was significantly higher in the historical communities, while recent communities showed increases in climate generalists and forest species at lower elevations. Nevertheless, no significant changes in community-weighted means of a species temperature index (STI) or the number of cold-adapted species were detected, likely due to the historical data resolution. We conclude that the composition and functionality of bumblebee communities in the study area have been significantly affected by climate warming, with changes in land use and vegetation cover likely playing an additional important role. Full article
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17 pages, 11623 KiB  
Article
Effect of PACAP/PAC1R on Follicle Development of Djungarian Hamster (Phodopus sungorus) with the Variation of Ambient Temperatures
by Yan Qi, Huiliang Xue, Jinhui Xu, Ming Wu, Lei Chen and Laixiang Xu
Biology 2023, 12(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020315 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1240
Abstract
In Phodopus sungorus, the relationship between pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and its receptor (PAC1R), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and follicle development remains unclear. In this study, we found that the development of growing follicles and antral follicles were inhibited at low (8 [...] Read more.
In Phodopus sungorus, the relationship between pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and its receptor (PAC1R), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and follicle development remains unclear. In this study, we found that the development of growing follicles and antral follicles were inhibited at low (8 °C, 14 °C) and high (29 °C) temperatures. Meanwhile, PACAP/PAC1R expression and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) serum concentration significantly decreased during ambient temperatures of 8 °C, 14 °C and 29 °C compared to 21 °C. Thus, ambient temperature may influence the expression of PACAP/PAC1R and the synthesis of FSH for involvement in follicle development. Moreover, PACAP/PAC1R had major functional elements including PKA/PKG and PKC phosphorylation sites, which may involve in the pathway of FSH synthesis through cAMP-PKA and its downstream signal pathway. Moreover, there was a significant positive correlation between the expression levels of PACAP/PAC1R and the number of the growing and antral follicles, as well as the serum FSH concentration and the number of antral follicles. However, there was no significant correlation between the expression levels of PACAP/PAC1R and the serum FSH concentration, indicating a complicated pathway between PACAP/PAC1R and FSH. In conclusion, ambient temperature affects the expression of PACAP/PAC1R and the serum FSH concentration. The expression of PACAP/PAC1R and the serum FSH concentration are correlated with follicle development, which implies that they are involved in follicle development, which will ultimately influence the reproduction of Phodopus sungorus. This study can lay the foundation for future investigation on the regulation mechanism of reproduction in Phodopus sungorus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Reproductive Biology)
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20 pages, 625 KiB  
Review
Infections of Tumor Prostheses: An Updated Review on Risk Factors, Microbiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment Strategies
by Andreas G. Tsantes, Pavlos Altsitzioglou, Dimitrios V. Papadopoulos, Drago Lorenzo, Carlo Luca Romanò, Thami Benzakour, Shinji Tsukamoto, Costantino Errani, Andrea Angelini and Andreas F. Mavrogenis
Biology 2023, 12(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020314 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Several causes contribute to the high infection rate in tumor prostheses, including extensive tissue dissection and patients’ immunosuppression due to the neoplastic disease. Most of these infections develop within the first 2 years following surgery with 70% of them occurring during the first [...] Read more.
Several causes contribute to the high infection rate in tumor prostheses, including extensive tissue dissection and patients’ immunosuppression due to the neoplastic disease. Most of these infections develop within the first 2 years following surgery with 70% of them occurring during the first year, while they are often associated with a low pathogen burden. The pathogenesis of infections in tumor prostheses is linked to bacteria developing in biofilms. Approximately half of them are caused by Staphylococcus spp., followed by Streptococcus spp., Enterococcus spp., and Enterobacteriaceae spp., while multiple pathogens may be isolated in up to 25% of the cases, with coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CoNS) and Enterococccus spp. being the most frequent pair. Although early detection and timely management are essential for complete resolution of these challenging infections, prompt diagnosis is problematic due to the highly varying clinical symptoms and the lack of specific preoperative and intraoperative diagnostic tests. Surgical management with one- or two-stage revision surgery is the mainstay for successful eradication of these infections. The recent advances in laboratory diagnostics and the development of biofilm-resistant prostheses over the past years have been areas of great interest, as research is now focused on prevention strategies. The aim of this study is to review and consolidate the current knowledge regarding the epidemiology, risk factors, microbiology, and diagnosis of infections of tumor prostheses, and to review the current concepts for their treatment and outcomes. Full article
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13 pages, 7689 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic Diversity of the Red Swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii and Its Dispersal Pattern in Northern and Central Italy
by Melissa Scoparo, Irene Cardinali, Gianandrea La Porta, Barbara Caldaroni, Gabriele Magara, Ambrosius Josef Martin Dörr, Antonia Concetta Elia and Hovirag Lancioni
Biology 2023, 12(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020313 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
The red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii is one of the most threatening freshwater species in the world. The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the phylogeography and the invasion routes of P. clarkii populations in the Italian Peninsula [...] Read more.
The red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii is one of the most threatening freshwater species in the world. The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the phylogeography and the invasion routes of P. clarkii populations in the Italian Peninsula through the analysis of mitochondrial phylogeny. Mitochondrial control region and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences of 153 samples collected from six Italian basins were analyzed and compared to worldwide data. Except for the lakes Bolsena and Posta Fibreno, a high genetic variability was found in the other basins. The mitochondrial DNA pattern of P. clarkii from the lakes Candia and Massaciuccoli confirmed the hypothesis of double introduction events. Another entry point could be represented by Lake Trasimeno, which shows haplotypes originating from Louisiana and not shared with other Italian basins. Moreover, unique lineages were also found in the Stella River, thus enhancing the hypothesis that multiple introductions of P. clarkii occurred in northern and Central Italy and strengthening the idea that knowledge about the dispersion routes of this alien species can be useful to predict its invasiveness and elaborate control strategies to preserve biodiversity. Full article
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15 pages, 2313 KiB  
Article
Salmonella Phage CKT1 Effectively Controls the Vertical Transmission of Salmonella Pullorum in Adult Broiler Breeders
by Ketong Cui, Peiyong Li, Jiaqi Huang, Fang Lin, Ruibo Li, Dingguo Cao, Guijuan Hao and Shuhong Sun
Biology 2023, 12(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020312 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
Phage therapy is widely being reconsidered as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, including salmonellosis caused by Salmonella. As facultative intracellular parasites, Salmonella could spread by vertical transmission and pose a great threat to both human and [...] Read more.
Phage therapy is widely being reconsidered as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, including salmonellosis caused by Salmonella. As facultative intracellular parasites, Salmonella could spread by vertical transmission and pose a great threat to both human and animal health; however, whether phage treatment might provide an optional strategy for controlling bacterial vertical infection remains unknown. Herein, we explored the effect of phage therapy on controlling the vertical transmission of Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum biovar Pullorum (S. Pullorum), a poultry pathogen that causes economic losses worldwide due to high mortality and morbidity. A Salmonella phage CKT1 with lysis ability against several S. enterica serovars was isolated and showed that it could inhibit the proliferation of S. Pullorum in vitro efficiently. We then evaluated the effect of phage CKT1 on controlling the vertical transmission of S. Pullorum in an adult broiler breeder model. The results demonstrated that phage CKT1 significantly alleviated hepatic injury and decreased bacterial load in the liver, spleen, heart, ovary, and oviduct of hens, implying that phage CKT1 played an active role in the elimination of Salmonella colonization in adult chickens. Additionally, phage CKT1 enabled a reduction in the Salmonella-specific IgG level in the serum of infected chickens. More importantly, the decrease in the S. Pullorum load on eggshells and in liquid whole eggs revealed that phage CKT1 effectively controlled the vertical transmission of S. Pullorum from hens to laid eggs, indicating the potential ability of phages to control bacterial vertical transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Contamination and Food Safety)
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16 pages, 3055 KiB  
Article
Cortisol Rapidly Facilitates Glucocorticoid Receptor Translocation to the Plasma Membrane in Primary Trout Hepatocytes
by Chinmayee Das and Mathilakath M. Vijayan
Biology 2023, 12(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020311 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Glucocorticoids (GCs) stimulate rapid cell signalling by activating the membrane-anchored intracellular glucocorticoid receptor (GR). However, the recruitment of the GR to the plasma membrane to facilitate nongenomic signalling is far from clear. As cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) is involved in intracellular [...] Read more.
Glucocorticoids (GCs) stimulate rapid cell signalling by activating the membrane-anchored intracellular glucocorticoid receptor (GR). However, the recruitment of the GR to the plasma membrane to facilitate nongenomic signalling is far from clear. As cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) is involved in intracellular protein dynamics, we tested the hypothesis that acute elevation in cortisol levels rapidly stimulates GR translocation to the plasma membrane via a calcium-dependent process in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes. To test this, we monitored temporal changes in intracellular GR distribution in response to cortisol exposure. Immunofluorescence labelling showed that the GR was present in cytosolic and nuclear compartments in trout hepatocytes. However, upon cortisol exposure, the GR rapidly (within 5 min) formed punctate and colocalized with caveolin-1, suggesting plasma membrane localization of the receptor. This redistribution of the GR to the plasma membrane was transient and lasted for 30 min and was evident even upon exposure to cortisol-BSA, a membrane-impermeable analogue of the steroid. The rapid cortisol-mediated GR translocation to the plasma membrane involved F-actin polymerization and was completely abolished in the presence of either EGTA or Cpd5J-4, a calcium release–activated calcium (CRAC) channel blocker. Additionally, the modulation of the biophysical properties of the plasma membrane by cholesterol or methyl β-cyclodextrin, which led to changes in ([Ca2+]i) levels, modified GR translocation to the plasma membrane. Altogether, acute cortisol-mediated rise in ([Ca2+]i) levels rapidly stimulated the translocation of intracellular GR to the plasma membrane, and we propose this as a mechanism promoting the nongenomic action of the GR for hepatocyte stress resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology)
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0 pages, 4016 KiB  
Article
Effects of Intermediate Frequency (150 kHz) Electromagnetic Radiation on the Vital Organs of Female Sprague Dawley Rats
by Venkatesan Sundaram, Stephanie Mohammed, Brian N. Cockburn, M. R. Srinivasan, Chalapathi R. Adidam Venkata, Jenelle Johnson, Lester Gilkes, Kegan Romelle Jones and Nikolay Zyuzikov
Biology 2023, 12(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020310 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1854 | Correction
Abstract
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from intermediate frequency sources has increased exponentially in recent years. The consequences of this exposure on biological systems are prompting scientists to study the effects on human health. This current study aimed to determine the effects of intermediate [...] Read more.
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from intermediate frequency sources has increased exponentially in recent years. The consequences of this exposure on biological systems are prompting scientists to study the effects on human health. This current study aimed to determine the effects of intermediate frequency (150 kHz) EMR exposure on the vital organs of female Sprague Dawley rats. The EMR group (n = 10 animals) was exposed to a frequency of 150 kHz with an intensity of 65 ± 15 μW/cm2 for two months. The control group (n = 10 animals) was exposed to an intensity of 35 ± 15 nW/cm2. Haematological, histochemical, gross, and histopathological profiles of all major organs of all animals were then performed using standard procedures. All major organs generally showed no significant detectable effects in either the control or EMR groups. However, gross and histopathological examinations revealed the effects of EMR on the liver and lungs, which showed inflammatory changes without significant biochemical/haematological manifestations. In addition, a significant increase in serum sodium level and a decrease in serum urea level were also observed in the EMR group. It can be concluded that the current frequency and duration of exposure trigger the changes in the liver and lungs but are not sufficient to cause clinical and functional manifestations. Therefore, a long-term exposure study might be helpful to determine the effects of 150 kHz IF EMR on these organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection, Inflammation and Cancer)
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12 pages, 1198 KiB  
Article
Raised FGF23 Correlates to Increased Mortality in Critical Illness, Independent of Vitamin D
by Onn Shaun Thein, Naeman Akbar Ali, Rahul Y. Mahida, Rachel C. A. Dancer, Marlies Ostermann, Karin Amrein, Gennaro Martucci, Aaron Scott, David R. Thickett and Dhruv Parekh
Biology 2023, 12(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020309 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1558
Abstract
Background: Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF23) is an endocrine hormone classically associated with the homeostasis of vitamin D, phosphate, and calcium. Elevated serum FGF23 is a known independent risk factor for mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. We aimed to determine if there [...] Read more.
Background: Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF23) is an endocrine hormone classically associated with the homeostasis of vitamin D, phosphate, and calcium. Elevated serum FGF23 is a known independent risk factor for mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. We aimed to determine if there was a similar relationship between FGF23 levels and mortality in critically ill patients. Methods: Plasma FGF23 levels were measured by ELISA in two separate cohorts of patients receiving vitamin D supplementation: critical illness patients (VITdAL-ICU trial, n = 475) and elective oesophagectomy patients (VINDALOO trial, n = 76). Mortality data were recorded at 30 and 180 days or at two years, respectively. FGF23 levels in a healthy control cohort were also measured (n = 27). Results: Elevated FGF23 (quartile 4 vs. quartiles 1–3) was associated with increased short-term (30 and 180 day) mortality in critical illness patients (p < 0.001) and long-term (two-year) mortality in oesophagectomy patients (p = 0.0149). Patients who died had significantly higher FGF23 levels than those who survived: In the critical illness cohort, those who died had 1194.6 pg/mL (range 0–14,000), while those who survived had 120.4 pg/mL (range = 15–14,000) (p = 0.0462). In the oesophagectomy cohort, those who died had 1304 pg/mL (range = 154–77,800), while those who survived had 644 pg/mL (range = 179–54,894) (p < 0.001). This was found to be independent of vitamin D or CKD status (critical illness p = 0.3507; oesophagectomy p = 0.3800). FGF23 levels in healthy controls were similar to those seen in oesophagectomy patients (p = 0.4802). Conclusions: Elevated baseline serum FGF23 is correlated with increased mortality in both the post-oesophagectomy cohort and the cohort of patients with critical illness requiring intensive care admission. This was independent of vitamin D status, supplementation, or CKD status, which suggests the presence of vitamin D-independent mechanisms of FGF23 action during the acute and convalescent stages of critical illness, warranting further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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19 pages, 867 KiB  
Review
Pathways for Cardioprotection in Perspective: Focus on Remote Conditioning and Extracellular Vesicles
by Stefano Comità, Chiara Rubeo, Magalì Giordano, Claudia Penna and Pasquale Pagliaro
Biology 2023, 12(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020308 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1966
Abstract
Despite the development of cutting-edge treatments, coronary artery disease (CAD) morbidity and mortality rates remain present at high levels. Therefore, new cardioprotective approaches are crucial to improve the health of patients. To date, experimental investigations of acute ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) have generally demonstrated [...] Read more.
Despite the development of cutting-edge treatments, coronary artery disease (CAD) morbidity and mortality rates remain present at high levels. Therefore, new cardioprotective approaches are crucial to improve the health of patients. To date, experimental investigations of acute ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) have generally demonstrated the efficacy of local ischemic preconditioning and postconditioning cardioprotection techniques as well as of remote conditioning. However, application in clinical settings is still highly controversial and debated. Currently, remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) seems to be the most promising method for heart repair. Protective factors are released into the bloodstream, and protection can be transferred within and across species. For a long time, the cross-function and cross-transmission mechanisms of cardioprotection were largely unknown. Recently, it has been shown that small, anuclear, bilayered lipid membrane particles, known as extracellular vesicles (EVs), are the drivers of signal transduction in cardiac IRI and RIC. EVs are related to the pathophysiological processes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), according to compelling evidence. In this review, we will first review the current state of knowledge on myocardial IRI and cardioprotective strategies explored over the past 37 years. Second, we will briefly discuss the role of EVs in CVD and the most recent improvements on EVs as prognostic biomarkers, diagnostic, and therapeutic agents. We will discuss how EVs can be used as a new drug delivery mechanism and how they can be employed in cardiac treatment, also from a perspective of overcoming the impasse that results from neglecting confounding factors. Full article
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13 pages, 2814 KiB  
Article
Brassinin Induces Apoptosis, Autophagy, and Paraptosis via MAPK Signaling Pathway Activation in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Cells
by Min Hee Yang, In Jin Ha, Seok-Geun Lee, Junhee Lee, Jae-Young Um, Gautam Sethi and Kwang Seok Ahn
Biology 2023, 12(2), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020307 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Brassinin (BSN), a potent phytoalexin found in cruciferous vegetables, has been found to exhibit diverse anti-neoplastic effects on different cancers. However, the impact of BSN on chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells and the possible mode of its actions have not been described earlier. [...] Read more.
Brassinin (BSN), a potent phytoalexin found in cruciferous vegetables, has been found to exhibit diverse anti-neoplastic effects on different cancers. However, the impact of BSN on chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells and the possible mode of its actions have not been described earlier. We investigated the anti-cytotoxic effects of BSN on the KBM5, KCL22, K562, and LAMA84 CML cells and its underlying mechanisms of action in inducing programmed cell death. We noted that BSN could induce apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis in CML cells. BSN induced PARP cleavage, subG1 peak increase, and early apoptosis. The potential action of BSN on autophagy activation was confirmed by an LC3 expression and acridine orange assay. In addition, BSN induced paraptosis through increasing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondria damage, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Moreover, BSN promoted the activation of the MAPK signaling pathway, and pharmacological inhibitors of this signaling pathway could alleviate all three forms of cell death induced by BSN. Our data indicated that BSN could initiate the activation of apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis through modulating the MAPK signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Signaling Pathways, Crosstalk and Therapeutics)
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