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Biomedicines, Volume 12, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 224 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bacterial discrimination at the ‘species’ and ‘strain’ levels using host responses remains elusive. This research aimed to investigate the proof of concept that bacterial ex vivo whole blood responses can provide sufficient data to discriminate bacteria. The pairwise analysis of immune responses allowed for the development of a scheme for bacterial discrimination at the strain level, with threshold values providing decisions to ‘turn left or right’ to identify bacteria. The accuracy of linear discriminant analysis increased in the following order: strain (40%) → species (90%) → genera (95%). Therefore, host responses in the ex vivo whole blood model can be used to discriminate bacteria, paving the way for biomarker development. View this paper
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16 pages, 910 KiB  
Review
Irisin and Its Role in Postmenopausal Osteoporosis and Sarcopenia
by Irene Falsetti, Gaia Palmini, Simone Donati, Cinzia Aurilia, Teresa Iantomasi and Maria Luisa Brandi
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040928 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Menopause, an extremely delicate phase in a woman’s life, is characterized by a drop in estrogen levels. This decrease has been associated with the onset of several diseases, including postmenopausal osteoporosis and sarcopenia, which often coexist in the same person, leading to an [...] Read more.
Menopause, an extremely delicate phase in a woman’s life, is characterized by a drop in estrogen levels. This decrease has been associated with the onset of several diseases, including postmenopausal osteoporosis and sarcopenia, which often coexist in the same person, leading to an increased risk of fractures, morbidity, and mortality. To date, there are no approved pharmacological treatments for sarcopenia, while not all of those approved for postmenopausal osteoporosis are beneficial to muscles. In recent years, research has focused on the field of myokines, cytokines, or peptides secreted by skeletal muscle fibers following exercise. Among these, irisin has attracted great interest as it possesses myogenic properties but at the same time exerts anabolic effects on bone and could therefore represent the link between muscle and bone. Therefore, irisin could represent a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of osteoporosis and also serve as a new biomarker of sarcopenia, thus facilitating diagnosis and pharmacological intervention. The purpose of this review is to provide an updated summary of what we know about the role of irisin in postmenopausal osteoporosis and sarcopenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hormones and Cytokines in Muscle and Bone Diseases)
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18 pages, 4058 KiB  
Article
Combined Metabolic Activators with Different NAD+ Precursors Improve Metabolic Functions in the Animal Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases
by Ozlem Altay, Hong Yang, Serkan Yildirim, Cemil Bayram, Ismail Bolat, Sena Oner, Ozlem Ozdemir Tozlu, Mehmet Enes Arslan, Ahmet Hacimuftuoglu, Saeed Shoaie, Cheng Zhang, Jan Borén, Mathias Uhlén, Hasan Turkez and Adil Mardinoglu
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040927 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic abnormalities are acknowledged as significant factors in the onset of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our research has demonstrated that the use of combined metabolic activators (CMA) may alleviate metabolic dysfunctions and [...] Read more.
Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic abnormalities are acknowledged as significant factors in the onset of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our research has demonstrated that the use of combined metabolic activators (CMA) may alleviate metabolic dysfunctions and stimulate mitochondrial metabolism. Therefore, the use of CMA could potentially be an effective therapeutic strategy to slow down or halt the progression of PD and AD. CMAs include substances such as the glutathione precursors (L-serine and N-acetyl cysteine), the NAD+ precursor (nicotinamide riboside), and L-carnitine tartrate. Methods: Here, we tested the effect of two different formulations, including CMA1 (nicotinamide riboside, L-serine, N-acetyl cysteine, L-carnitine tartrate), and CMA2 (nicotinamide, L-serine, N-acetyl cysteine, L-carnitine tartrate), as well as their individual components, on the animal models of AD and PD. We assessed the brain and liver tissues for pathological changes and immunohistochemical markers. Additionally, in the case of PD, we performed behavioral tests and measured responses to apomorphine-induced rotations. Findings: Histological analysis showed that the administration of both CMA1 and CMA2 formulations led to improvements in hyperemia, degeneration, and necrosis in neurons for both AD and PD models. Moreover, the administration of CMA2 showed a superior effect compared to CMA1. This was further corroborated by immunohistochemical data, which indicated a reduction in immunoreactivity in the neurons. Additionally, notable metabolic enhancements in liver tissues were observed using both formulations. In PD rat models, the administration of both formulations positively influenced the behavioral functions of the animals. Interpretation: Our findings suggest that the administration of both CMA1 and CMA2 markedly enhanced metabolic and behavioral outcomes, aligning with neuro-histological observations. These findings underscore the promise of CMA2 administration as an effective therapeutic strategy for enhancing metabolic parameters and cognitive function in AD and PD patients. Full article
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16 pages, 7242 KiB  
Article
The Roles of AGTRAP, ALKBH3, DIVERSIN, NEDD8 and RRM1 in Glioblastoma Pathophysiology and Prognosis
by Claudia Alexandra Dumitru, Nikolas Walter, Carl Ludwig Raven Siebert, Frederik Till Alexander Schäfer, Ali Rashidi, Belal Neyazi, Klaus-Peter Stein, Christian Mawrin and Ibrahim Erol Sandalcioglu
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040926 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
This study determined the expression of five novel biomarker candidates in IDH wild-type glioblastoma (GBM) tissues compared to non-malign brain parenchyma, as well as their prognostic relevance for the GBM patients’ outcomes. The markers were analysed by immunohistochemistry in tumour tissues (n = [...] Read more.
This study determined the expression of five novel biomarker candidates in IDH wild-type glioblastoma (GBM) tissues compared to non-malign brain parenchyma, as well as their prognostic relevance for the GBM patients’ outcomes. The markers were analysed by immunohistochemistry in tumour tissues (n = 186) and healthy brain tissues (n = 54). The association with the patients’ overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was assessed by Kaplan–Meier and log-rank test. The prognostic value of the markers was determined using multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. AGTRAP, DIVERSIN, cytoplasmic NEDD8 (NEDD8c) and RRM1 were significantly overexpressed in tumour tissues compared to the healthy brain, while the opposite was observed for ALKBH3. AGTRAP, ALKBH3, NEDD8c and RRM1 were significantly associated with OS in univariate analysis. AGTRAP and RRM1 were also independent prognostic factors for OS in multivariate analysis. For PFS, only AGTRAP and NEDD8c reached significance in univariate analysis. Additionally, AGTRAP was an independent prognostic factor for PFS in multivariate models. Finally, combined analysis of the markers enhanced their prognostic accuracy. The combination AGTRAP/ALKBH3 had the strongest prognostic value for the OS of GBM patients. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the GBM pathophysiology and may help identify novel therapeutic targets in this type of cancer. Full article
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24 pages, 2413 KiB  
Review
Pleiotropic Action of TGF-Beta in Physiological and Pathological Liver Conditions
by Michał Jakub Braczkowski, Klaudia Maria Kufel, Julia Kulińska, Daniel Łukasz Czyż, Aleksander Dittmann, Michał Wiertelak, Marcin Sławomir Młodzik, Ryszard Braczkowski and Dariusz Soszyński
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040925 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 559
Abstract
The aim of this study is to review and analyze the pleiotropic effects of TGF-β in physiological and pathological conditions of the liver, with particular emphasis on its role in immune suppression, wound healing, regulation of cell growth and differentiation, and liver cell [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to review and analyze the pleiotropic effects of TGF-β in physiological and pathological conditions of the liver, with particular emphasis on its role in immune suppression, wound healing, regulation of cell growth and differentiation, and liver cell apoptosis. A literature review was conducted, including 52 studies, comprising review articles, in vitro and in vivo studies, and meta-analyses. Only studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals were included in the analysis. TGF-β is a pleiotropic growth factor that is crucial for the liver, both in physiology and pathophysiology. Although its functions are complex and diverse, TGF-β plays a constant role in immune suppression, wound healing, and the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. In concentrations exceeding the norm, it can induce the apoptosis of liver cells. Increased TGF-β levels are observed in many liver diseases, such as fibrosis, inflammation, and steatosis. TGF-β has been shown to play a key role in many physiological and pathological processes of the liver, and its concentration may be a potential diagnostic and prognostic marker in liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Cytokines in Health and Disease: 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 10417 KiB  
Article
Chemerin in Participants with or without Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
by Lei Zhao, Jonathan Zhou, Fahim Abbasi, Mohsen Fathzadeh, Joshua W. Knowles, Lawrence L. K. Leung and John Morser
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040924 - 22 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
Chemerin is a chemokine/adipokine, regulating inflammation, adipogenesis and energy metabolism whose activity depends on successive proteolytic cleavages at its C-terminus. Chemerin levels and processing are correlated with insulin resistance. We hypothesized that chemerin processing would be higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes [...] Read more.
Chemerin is a chemokine/adipokine, regulating inflammation, adipogenesis and energy metabolism whose activity depends on successive proteolytic cleavages at its C-terminus. Chemerin levels and processing are correlated with insulin resistance. We hypothesized that chemerin processing would be higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and in those who are insulin resistant (IR). This hypothesis was tested by characterizing different chemerin forms by specific ELISA in the plasma of 18 participants with T2D and 116 without T2D who also had their insulin resistance measured by steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentration during an insulin suppression test. This approach enabled us to analyze the association of chemerin levels with a direct measure of insulin resistance (SSPG concentration). Participants were divided into groups based on their degree of insulin resistance using SSPG concentration tertiles: insulin sensitive (IS, SSPG ≤ 91 mg/dL), intermediate IR (IM, SSPG 92–199 mg/dL), and IR (SSPG ≥ 200 mg/dL). Levels of different chemerin forms were highest in patients with T2D, second highest in individuals without T2D who were IR, and lowest in persons without T2D who were IM or IS. In the whole group, chemerin levels positively correlated with both degree of insulin resistance (SSPG concentration) and adiposity (BMI). Participants with T2D and those without T2D who were IR had the most proteolytic processing of chemerin, resulting in higher levels of both cleaved and degraded chemerin. This suggests that increased inflammation in individuals who have T2D or are IR causes more chemerin processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Adipokines—2nd Edition)
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26 pages, 5045 KiB  
Review
Applications of Hydrogels in Osteoarthritis Treatment
by Xin Gan, Xiaohui Wang, Yiwan Huang, Guanghao Li and Hao Kang
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040923 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
This review critically evaluates advancements in multifunctional hydrogels, particularly focusing on their applications in osteoarthritis (OA) therapy. As research evolves from traditional natural materials, there is a significant shift towards synthetic and composite hydrogels, known for their superior mechanical properties and enhanced biodegradability. [...] Read more.
This review critically evaluates advancements in multifunctional hydrogels, particularly focusing on their applications in osteoarthritis (OA) therapy. As research evolves from traditional natural materials, there is a significant shift towards synthetic and composite hydrogels, known for their superior mechanical properties and enhanced biodegradability. This review spotlights novel applications such as injectable hydrogels, microneedle technology, and responsive hydrogels, which have revolutionized OA treatment through targeted and efficient therapeutic delivery. Moreover, it discusses innovative hydrogel materials, including protein-based and superlubricating hydrogels, for their potential to reduce joint friction and inflammation. The integration of bioactive compounds within hydrogels to augment therapeutic efficacy is also examined. Furthermore, the review anticipates continued technological advancements and a deeper understanding of hydrogel-based OA therapies. It emphasizes the potential of hydrogels to provide tailored, minimally invasive treatments, thus highlighting their critical role in advancing the dynamic field of biomaterial science for OA management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Diseases: From Molecular Basis to Therapy (Volume II))
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20 pages, 1820 KiB  
Article
Atorvastatin Treatment Significantly Increased the Concentration of Bone Marrow-Derived Mononuclear Cells and Transcutaneous Oxygen Pressure and Lowered the Pain Scale after Bone Marrow Cells Treatment in Patients with “No-Option” Critical Limb Ischaemia
by Jan Kyselovic, Adriana Adamičková, Andrea Gažová, Simona Valášková, Nikola Chomaničová, Zdenko Červenák and Juraj Madaric
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040922 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Background: The present study investigated the outcomes and possible predictive factors of autologous bone marrow cells (BMCs) therapy in patients with ”no-option“ critical limb ischaemia (CLI). It was focused on exploring the clinical background and prior statin and renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-acting agents pharmacotherapy [...] Read more.
Background: The present study investigated the outcomes and possible predictive factors of autologous bone marrow cells (BMCs) therapy in patients with ”no-option“ critical limb ischaemia (CLI). It was focused on exploring the clinical background and prior statin and renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-acting agents pharmacotherapy related to the therapeutic efficacy of BMCs treatment. Methods: In the present study, we reviewed thirty-three patients (mean age 64.9 ± 10 years; 31 males) with advanced CLI after failed or impossible revascularisation, who were treated with 40 mL of autologous BMCs by local intramuscular application. Patients with limb salvage and wound healing (N = 22) were considered as responders to BMCs therapy, and patients with limb salvage and complete ischemic wound healing (N = 13) were defined as super-responders. Logistic regression models were used to screen and identify the prognostic factors, and a receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve, a linear regression, and a survival curve were drawn to determine the predictive accuracy, the correlation between the candidate predictors, and the risk of major amputation. Results: Based on the univariate regression analysis, baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) and transcutaneous oxygen pressure (TcPO2) values were identified as prognostic factors of the responders, while CRP value, ankle-brachial index (ABI), and bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) concentration were identified as prognostic factors of the super-responders. An area under the ROC curve of 0.768 indicated good discrimination for CRP > 8.1 mg/L before transplantation as a predictive factor for negative clinical response. Linear regression analysis revealed a significant dependence between the levels of baseline CRP and the concentration of BM-MNCs in transplanted bone marrow. Patients taking atorvastatin before BMCs treatment (N = 22) had significantly improved TcPO2 and reduced pain scale after BMCs transplant, compared to the non-atorvastatin group. Statin treatment was associated with reduced risk for major amputation. However, the difference was not statistically significant. Statin use was also associated with a significantly higher concentration of BM-MNCs in the transplanted bone marrow compared to patients without statin treatment. Patients treated with RAS-acting agents (N = 20) had significantly reduced pain scale after BMCs transplant, compared to the non-RAS-acting agents group. Similar results, reduced pain scale and improved TcPO2, were achieved in patients treated with atorvastatin and RAS-acting agents (N = 17) before BMCs treatment. Results of the Spearman correlation showed a significant positive correlation between CLI regression, responders, and previous therapy before BMCs transplant with RAS-acting agents alone or with atorvastatin. Conclusions: CRP and TcPO2 were prognostic factors of the responders, while CRP value, ABI, and BM-MNCs concentration were identified as predictive factors of the super-responders. Atorvastatin treatment was associated with a significantly increased concentration of BM-MNCs in bone marrow concentrate and higher TcPO2 and lower pain scale after BMCs treatment in CLI patients. Similarly, reduced pain scales and improved TcPO2 were achieved in patients treated with atorvastatin and RAS-acting agents before BMCs treatment. Positive correlations between responders and previous treatment before BMCs transplant with RAS-acting agents alone or with atorvastatin were significant. Full article
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10 pages, 500 KiB  
Review
Circulating Tumour DNA and Its Prognostic Role in Management of Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Narrative Review of the Literature
by Konstantinos Kapriniotis, Lazaros Tzelves, Lazaros Lazarou, Maria Mitsogianni and Iraklis Mitsogiannis
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040921 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Current management of non-metastatic muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) includes radical cystectomy and cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), offers a 5-year survival rate of approximately 50% and is associated with significant toxicities. A growing body of evidence supports the role of liquid biopsies including [...] Read more.
Current management of non-metastatic muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) includes radical cystectomy and cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), offers a 5-year survival rate of approximately 50% and is associated with significant toxicities. A growing body of evidence supports the role of liquid biopsies including circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a prognostic and predictive marker that could stratify patients according to individualised risk of progression/recurrence. Detectable ctDNA levels prior to radical cystectomy have been shown to be correlated with higher risk of recurrence and worse overall prognosis after cystectomy. In addition, ctDNA status after NAC/neoadjuvant immunotherapy is predictive of the pathological response to these treatments, with persistently detectable ctDNA being associated with residual bladder tumour at cystectomy. Finally, detectable ctDNA levels post-cystectomy have been associated with disease relapse and worse disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) and might identify a population with survival benefit from adjuvant immunotherapy. Full article
15 pages, 3246 KiB  
Article
Stimulator of Interferon Genes Pathway Activation through the Controlled Release of STINGel Mediates Analgesia and Anti-Cancer Effects in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
by Minh Phuong Dong, Neeraja Dharmaraj, Estela Kaminagakura, Jianfei Xue, David G. Leach, Jeffrey D. Hartgerink, Michael Zhang, Hana-Joy Hanks, Yi Ye, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Kyle Vining, Carissa M. Thomas, Sinisa Dovat, Simon Young and Chi T. Viet
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040920 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 802
Abstract
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) presents significant treatment challenges due to its poor survival and intense pain at the primary cancer site. Cancer pain is debilitating, contributes to diminished quality of life, and causes opioid tolerance. The stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonism [...] Read more.
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) presents significant treatment challenges due to its poor survival and intense pain at the primary cancer site. Cancer pain is debilitating, contributes to diminished quality of life, and causes opioid tolerance. The stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonism has been investigated as an anti-cancer strategy. We have developed STINGel, an extended-release formulation that prolongs the availability of STING agonists, which has demonstrated an enhanced anti-tumor effect in OSCC compared to STING agonist injection. This study investigates the impact of intra-tumoral STINGel on OSCC-induced pain using two separate OSCC models and nociceptive behavioral assays. Intra-tumoral STINGel significantly reduced mechanical allodynia in the orofacial cancer model and alleviated thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in the hind paw model. To determine the cellular signaling cascade contributing to the antinociceptive effect, we performed an in-depth analysis of immune cell populations via single-cell RNA-seq. We demonstrated an increase in M1-like macrophages and N1-like neutrophils after STINGel treatment. The identified regulatory pathways controlled immune response activation, myeloid cell differentiation, and cytoplasmic translation. Functional pathway analysis demonstrated the suppression of translation at neuron synapses and the negative regulation of neuron projection development in M2-like macrophages after STINGel treatment. Importantly, STINGel treatment upregulated TGF-β pathway signaling between various cell populations and peripheral nervous system (PNS) macrophages and enhanced TGF-β signaling within the PNS itself. Overall, this study sheds light on the mechanisms underlying STINGel-mediated antinociception and anti-tumorigenic impact. Full article
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16 pages, 6155 KiB  
Article
Artificial Extracellular Vesicles Generated from T Cells Using Different Induction Techniques
by Ekaterina A. Zmievskaya, Sabir A. Mukhametshin, Irina A. Ganeeva, Elvina M. Gilyazova, Elvira T. Siraeva, Marianna P. Kutyreva, Artur A. Khannanov, Youyong Yuan and Emil R. Bulatov
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040919 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Cell therapy is at the forefront of biomedicine in oncology and regenerative medicine. However, there are still significant challenges to their wider clinical application such as limited efficacy, side effects, and logistical difficulties. One of the potential approaches that could overcome these problems [...] Read more.
Cell therapy is at the forefront of biomedicine in oncology and regenerative medicine. However, there are still significant challenges to their wider clinical application such as limited efficacy, side effects, and logistical difficulties. One of the potential approaches that could overcome these problems is based on extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a cell-free therapy modality. One of the major obstacles in the translation of EVs into practice is their low yield of production, which is insufficient to achieve therapeutic amounts. Here, we evaluated two primary approaches of artificial vesicle induction in primary T cells and the SupT1 cell line—cytochalasin B as a chemical inducer and ultrasonication as a physical inducer. We found that both methods are capable of producing artificial vesicles, but cytochalasin B induction leads to vesicle yield compared to natural secretion, while ultrasonication leads to a three-fold increase in particle yield. Cytochalasin B induces the formation of vesicles full of cytoplasmic compartments without nuclear fraction, while ultrasonication induces the formation of particles rich in membranes and membrane-related components such as CD3 or HLAII proteins. The most effective approach for T-cell induction in terms of the number of vesicles seems to be the combination of anti-CD3/CD28 antibody activation with ultrasonication, which leads to a seven-fold yield increase in particles with a high content of functionally important proteins (CD3, granzyme B, and HLA II). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles and Exosomes as Therapeutic Agents)
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15 pages, 2199 KiB  
Review
The Role of Cdo1 in Ferroptosis and Apoptosis in Cancer
by Xiaoyi Chen and Ansgar Poetsch
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040918 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Cysteine dioxygenase type 1 (Cdo1) is a tumor suppressor gene. It regulates the metabolism of cysteine, thereby influencing the cellular antioxidative capacity. This function puts Cdo1 in a prominent position to promote ferroptosis and apoptosis. Cdo1 promotes ferroptosis mainly by decreasing [...] Read more.
Cysteine dioxygenase type 1 (Cdo1) is a tumor suppressor gene. It regulates the metabolism of cysteine, thereby influencing the cellular antioxidative capacity. This function puts Cdo1 in a prominent position to promote ferroptosis and apoptosis. Cdo1 promotes ferroptosis mainly by decreasing the amounts of antioxidants, leading to autoperoxidation of the cell membrane through Fenton reaction. Cdo1 promotes apoptosis mainly through the product of cysteine metabolism, taurine, and low level of antioxidants. Many cancers exhibit altered function of Cdo1, underscoring its crucial role in cancer cell survival. Genetic and epigenetic alterations have been found, with methylation of Cdo1 promoter as the most common mutation. The fact that no cancer was found to be caused by altered Cdo1 function alone indicates that the tumor suppressor role of Cdo1 is mild. By compiling the current knowledge about apoptosis, ferroptosis, and the role of Cdo1, this review suggests possibilities for how the mild anticancer role of Cdo1 could be harnessed in new cancer therapies. Here, developing drugs targeting Cdo1 is considered meaningful in neoadjuvant therapies, for example, helping against the development of anti-cancer drug resistance in tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology and Oncology)
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13 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
Associations between the VDR Gene rs731236 (TaqI) Polymorphism and Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women from the RAC-OST-POL
by Sylwia Górczyńska-Kosiorz, Elżbieta Tabor, Paweł Niemiec, Wojciech Pluskiewicz and Janusz Gumprecht
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040917 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Background: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is not only related to hormonal factors but is also associated with environmental and genetic factors. One of the latter is the polymorphism of vitamin D receptor (VDR). The aim of the reported study was to comprehensively analyze [...] Read more.
Background: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is not only related to hormonal factors but is also associated with environmental and genetic factors. One of the latter is the polymorphism of vitamin D receptor (VDR). The aim of the reported study was to comprehensively analyze the VDR gene polymorphic variants rs731236 (TaqI), rs1544410 (BsmI) and rs7975232 (ApaI) in the Polish population of postmenopausal women. Methods: The study group consisted of 611 women after menopause (their median age was 65.82 ± 6.29 years). Each of them underwent bone densitometry (DXA) of the non-dominant femoral neck and total hip with a biochemical analysis of vitamin D3 serum concentration and genotyping of the above-mentioned single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); the obtained results were analyzed in the aspect of waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI) and past medical history. Results: The genotype prevalence rates of all SNPs were compatible with Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (p > 0.050). Out of the studied polymorphisms, only rs731236 genotype variants affected DXA, with AG heterozygotes showing the worst bone parameters. Neither patient age nor vitamin D3 concentration, BMI, WC or comorbidities was associated with rs731236 genotype. Conclusions: Out of the polymorphisms studied, only rs731236 genotypes differed among the DXA results, while the AG heterozygotes were characterized by the lowest median bone mineral density. Full article
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20 pages, 14984 KiB  
Article
New Regenerative and Anti-Aging Medicine Approach Based on Single-Stranded Alpha-1 Collagen for Neo-Collagenesis Induction: Clinical and Instrumental Experience of a New Injective Polycomponent Formulation for Dermal Regeneration
by Luigi Di Rosa, Antonino De Pasquale, Sara Baldassano, Noemi Marguglio, Patrik Drid, Patrizia Proia and Sonya Vasto
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040916 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 637
Abstract
This study explores the efficacy of a novel polycomponent formulation (KARISMA Rh Collagen® FACE, Taumedika Srl, Rome, Italy), containing 200 mg/mL of non-crosslinked high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA), 200 μg/mL of a human recombinant polypeptide of collagen-1 alpha chain, and 40 mg/mL of [...] Read more.
This study explores the efficacy of a novel polycomponent formulation (KARISMA Rh Collagen® FACE, Taumedika Srl, Rome, Italy), containing 200 mg/mL of non-crosslinked high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA), 200 μg/mL of a human recombinant polypeptide of collagen-1 alpha chain, and 40 mg/mL of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as a regenerative medicine for skin regeneration and rejuvenation. This formulation combines non-crosslinked high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, human recombinant polypeptide of collagen-1 alpha chain, and carboxymethyl cellulose to stimulate collagen type I production and enhance skin hydration. This study involved 100 subjects with varying skin conditions, divided into three groups based on skin aging, smoking history, and facial scarring, to evaluate the product’s effectiveness in skin regeneration and aesthetic improvement. The methodology included two injections of Karisma (2 mL for each injection) one month apart, with evaluations conducted using FACE-Q questionnaires, the SGAIS Questionnaire, and Antera 3D skin scanner measurements at baseline, 30 days, and 60 days post-treatment. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in skin roughness and an improvement in skin quality across all the groups, with no correlation between the outcomes and the patient’s age. The subjective assessments also indicated high satisfaction with the treatment’s aesthetic results. The analyzed data allow us to conclude that the single-stranded collagen with hyaluronic acid and carboxymethyl-cellulose formulation is able to stimulate the skin’s regenerative response, yielding significant results both in vitro and, through our study, also in vivo. This new polycomponent formulation effectively stimulates skin regeneration, improving skin quality and texture, with significant aesthetic benefits perceived by patients, and a low incidence of adverse events, marking a promising advancement in regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
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30 pages, 3991 KiB  
Review
The Phenomenon of Antiretroviral Drug Resistance in the Context of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Treatment: Dynamic and Ever Evolving Subject Matter
by Miruna-Maria Apetroaei, Bruno Ștefan Velescu, Marina Ionela (Ilie) Nedea, Cristina Elena Dinu-Pîrvu, Doina Drăgănescu, Anca Ionela Fâcă, Denisa Ioana Udeanu and Andreea Letiția Arsene
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040915 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 818
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a significant global health issue that affects a substantial number of individuals across the globe, with a total of 39 million individuals living with HIV/AIDS. ART has resulted in a reduction in HIV-related mortality. Nevertheless, the issue of [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a significant global health issue that affects a substantial number of individuals across the globe, with a total of 39 million individuals living with HIV/AIDS. ART has resulted in a reduction in HIV-related mortality. Nevertheless, the issue of medication resistance is a significant obstacle in the management of HIV/AIDS. The unique genetic composition of HIV enables it to undergo rapid mutations and adapt, leading to the emergence of drug-resistant forms. The development of drug resistance can be attributed to various circumstances, including noncompliance with treatment regimens, insufficient dosage, interactions between drugs, viral mutations, preexposure prophylactics, and transmission from mother to child. It is therefore essential to comprehend the molecular components of HIV and the mechanisms of antiretroviral medications to devise efficacious treatment options for HIV/AIDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Insights into HIV)
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11 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Global DNA Methylation Level in Tumour and Margin Samples in Relation to Human Papilloma Virus and Epstein–Barr Virus in Patients with Oropharyngeal and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas
by Jadwiga Gaździcka, Krzysztof Biernacki, Karolina Gołąbek, Katarzyna Miśkiewicz-Orczyk, Natalia Zięba, Maciej Misiołek and Joanna Katarzyna Strzelczyk
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040914 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Background: Aberrant DNA methylation is a common epigenetic modification in cancers, including oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, the analysis of methylation levels appears necessary to improve cancer therapy and prognosis. Methods: The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) [...] Read more.
Background: Aberrant DNA methylation is a common epigenetic modification in cancers, including oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, the analysis of methylation levels appears necessary to improve cancer therapy and prognosis. Methods: The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to analyse global DNA methylation levels in OPSCC and OSCC tumours and the margin samples after DNA isolation. HPV detection was conducted by hybridisation using GenoFlow HPV Array Test Kits (DiagCor Bioscience Inc., Hong Kong, China). EBV detection was performed using real-time PCR with an EBV PCR Kit (EBV/ISEX/100, GeneProof, Brno, Czech Republic). Results: OPSCC tumour samples obtained from women showed lower global DNA methylation levels than those from men (1.3% vs. 3.5%, p = 0.049). The margin samples from OPSCC patients with HPV and EBV coinfection showed global DNA methylation lower than those without coinfection (p = 0.042). G3 tumours from OSCC patients had significantly lower levels of global DNA methylation than G2 tumours (0.98% ± 0.74% vs. 3.77% ± 4.97%, p = 0.010). Additionally, tumours from HPV-positive OSCC patients had significantly lower global DNA methylation levels than those from HPV-negative patients (p = 0.013). In the margin samples, we observed a significant negative correlation between global DNA methylation and the N stage of OSCC patients (rS = −0.33, p = 0.039). HPV-positive OPSCC patients had higher global DNA methylation levels than HPV-positive OSCC patients (p = 0.015). Conclusion: We confirmed that methylation could be changed in relation to viral factors, such as HPV and EBV, as well as clinical and demographical parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Head and Neck Tumors, 3rd Edition)
21 pages, 1033 KiB  
Review
The Aftermath of COVID-19: Exploring the Long-Term Effects on Organ Systems
by Maryam Golzardi, Altijana Hromić-Jahjefendić, Jasmin Šutković, Orkun Aydin, Pinar Ünal-Aydın, Tea Bećirević, Elrashdy M. Redwan, Alberto Rubio-Casillas and Vladimir N. Uversky
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040913 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1997
Abstract
Background: Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) is a complicated disease that affects millions of people all over the world. Previous studies have shown that PASC impacts 10% of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients of which 50–70% are hospitalised. It has also been shown that [...] Read more.
Background: Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) is a complicated disease that affects millions of people all over the world. Previous studies have shown that PASC impacts 10% of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients of which 50–70% are hospitalised. It has also been shown that 10–12% of those vaccinated against COVID-19 were affected by PASC and its complications. The severity and the later development of PASC symptoms are positively associated with the early intensity of the infection. Results: The generated health complications caused by PASC involve a vast variety of organ systems. Patients affected by PASC have been diagnosed with neuropsychiatric and neurological symptoms. The cardiovascular system also has been involved and several diseases such as myocarditis, pericarditis, and coronary artery diseases were reported. Chronic hematological problems such as thrombotic endothelialitis and hypercoagulability were described as conditions that could increase the risk of clotting disorders and coagulopathy in PASC patients. Chest pain, breathlessness, and cough in PASC patients were associated with the respiratory system in long-COVID causing respiratory distress syndrome. The observed immune complications were notable, involving several diseases. The renal system also was impacted, which resulted in raising the risk of diseases such as thrombotic issues, fibrosis, and sepsis. Endocrine gland malfunction can lead to diabetes, thyroiditis, and male infertility. Symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, and taste were also among reported observations due to several gastrointestinal disorders. Skin abnormalities might be an indication of infection and long-term implications such as persistent cutaneous complaints linked to PASC. Conclusions: Long-COVID is a multidimensional syndrome with considerable public health implications, affecting several physiological systems and demanding thorough medical therapy, and more study to address its underlying causes and long-term effects is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology in Human Health and Disease)
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13 pages, 821 KiB  
Review
Casimersen (AMONDYS 45™): An Antisense Oligonucleotide for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
by Milyard Assefa, Addison Gepfert, Meesam Zaheer, Julia M. Hum and Brian W. Skinner
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040912 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Casimersen (AMONDYS 45TM) is an antisense oligonucleotide of the phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer subclass developed by Sarepta therapeutics. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2021 to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in patients whose DMD gene [...] Read more.
Casimersen (AMONDYS 45TM) is an antisense oligonucleotide of the phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer subclass developed by Sarepta therapeutics. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2021 to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in patients whose DMD gene mutation is amenable to exon 45 skipping. Administered intravenously, casimersen binds to the pre-mRNA of the DMD gene to skip a mutated region of an exon, thereby producing an internally truncated yet functional dystrophin protein in DMD patients. This is essential in maintaining the structure of a myocyte membrane. While casimersen is currently continuing in phase III of clinical trials in various countries, it was granted approval by the FDA under the accelerated approval program due to its observed increase in dystrophin production. This article discusses the pathophysiology of DMD, summarizes available treatments thus far, and provides a full drug review of casimersen (AMONDYS 45TM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Diseases: From Molecular Basis to Therapy (Volume II))
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26 pages, 1349 KiB  
Review
Role of Nutrients in Pediatric Non-Dialysis Chronic Kidney Disease: From Pathogenesis to Correct Supplementation
by Flavia Padoan, Matteo Guarnaroli, Milena Brugnara, Giorgio Piacentini, Angelo Pietrobelli and Luca Pecoraro
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040911 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Nutrition management is fundamental for children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fluid balance and low-protein and low-sodium diets are the more stressed fields from a nutritional point of view. At the same time, the role of micronutrients is often underestimated. Starting from the [...] Read more.
Nutrition management is fundamental for children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fluid balance and low-protein and low-sodium diets are the more stressed fields from a nutritional point of view. At the same time, the role of micronutrients is often underestimated. Starting from the causes that could lead to potential micronutrient deficiencies in these patients, this review considers all micronutrients that could be administered in CKD to improve the prognosis of this disease. Full article
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13 pages, 1594 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Volatile Anesthetics on Renal Sympathetic and Phrenic Nerve Activity during Acute Intermittent Hypoxia in Rats
by Josip Krnić, Katarina Madirazza, Renata Pecotić, Benjamin Benzon, Mladen Carev and Zoran Đogaš
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040910 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Coordinated activation of sympathetic and respiratory nervous systems is crucial in responses to noxious stimuli such as intermittent hypoxia. Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is a valuable model for studying obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) pathophysiology, and stimulation of breathing during AIH is known to [...] Read more.
Coordinated activation of sympathetic and respiratory nervous systems is crucial in responses to noxious stimuli such as intermittent hypoxia. Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is a valuable model for studying obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) pathophysiology, and stimulation of breathing during AIH is known to elicit long-term changes in respiratory and sympathetic functions. The aim of this study was to record the renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and phrenic nerve activity (PNA) during the AIH protocol in rats exposed to monoanesthesia with sevoflurane or isoflurane. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 24; weight: 280–360 g) were selected and randomly divided into three groups: two experimental groups (sevoflurane group, n = 6; isoflurane group, n = 6) and a control group (urethane group, n = 12). The AIH protocol was identical in all studied groups and consisted in delivering five 3 min-long hypoxic episodes (fraction of inspired oxygen, FiO2 = 0.09), separated by 3 min recovery intervals at FiO2 = 0.5. Volatile anesthetics, isoflurane and sevoflurane, blunted the RSNA response to AIH in comparison to urethane anesthesia. Additionally, the PNA response to acute intermittent hypoxia was preserved, indicating that the respiratory system might be more robust than the sympathetic system response during exposure to acute intermittent hypoxia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery)
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24 pages, 7974 KiB  
Article
Exploring MiR-484 Regulation by Polyalthia longifolia: A Promising Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in Cervical Cancer through Integrated Bioinformatics and an In Vitro Analysis
by Jiaojiao Niu, Yeng Chen, Hwa Chia Chai and Sreenivasan Sasidharan
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040909 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Background: MiR-484, implicated in various carcinomas, holds promise as a prognostic marker, yet its relevance to cervical cancer (CC) remains unclear. Our prior study demonstrated the Polyalthia longifolia downregulation of miR-484, inhibiting HeLa cells. This study investigates miR-484’s potential as a biomarker and [...] Read more.
Background: MiR-484, implicated in various carcinomas, holds promise as a prognostic marker, yet its relevance to cervical cancer (CC) remains unclear. Our prior study demonstrated the Polyalthia longifolia downregulation of miR-484, inhibiting HeLa cells. This study investigates miR-484’s potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target in CC through integrated bioinformatics and an in vitro analysis. Methods: MiR-484 levels were analyzed across cancers, including CC, from The Cancer Genome Atlas. The limma R package identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between high- and low-miR-484 CC cohorts. We assessed biological functions, tumor microenvironment (TME), immunotherapy, stemness, hypoxia, RNA methylation, and chemosensitivity differences. Prognostic genes relevant to miR-484 were identified through Cox regression and Kaplan–Meier analyses, and a prognostic model was captured via multivariate Cox regression. Single-cell RNA sequencing determined cell populations related to prognostic genes. qRT-PCR validated key genes, and the miR-484 effect on CC proliferation was assessed via an MTT assay. Results: MiR-484 was upregulated in most tumors, including CC, with DEGs enriched in skin development, PI3K signaling, and immune processes. High miR-484 expression correlated with specific immune cell infiltration, hypoxia, and drug sensitivity. Prognostic genes identified were predominantly epidermal and stratified patients with CC into risk groups, with the low-risk group showing enhanced survival and immunotherapeutic responses. qRT-PCR confirmed FGFR3 upregulation in CC cells, and an miR-484 mimic reversed the P. longifolia inhibitory effect on HeLa proliferation. Conclusion: MiR-484 plays a crucial role in the CC progression and prognosis, suggesting its potential as a biomarker for targeted therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology and Oncology)
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19 pages, 6156 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Gut Microbiota Changes on Methotrexate-Induced Neurotoxicity in Developing Young Rats
by Yu-Chieh Chen, Chih-Yao Hou, Mei-Hsin Hsu, Li-Tung Huang, Chih-Cheng Hsiao and Jiunn-Ming Sheen
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 908; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040908 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Methotrexate (MTX) is an essential part of therapy in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children, and inferior intellectual outcomes have been reported in children who are leukemia survivors. Although several studies have demonstrated that the interaction between gut microbiota changes [...] Read more.
Methotrexate (MTX) is an essential part of therapy in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children, and inferior intellectual outcomes have been reported in children who are leukemia survivors. Although several studies have demonstrated that the interaction between gut microbiota changes and the brain plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of chemotherapy-induced brain injury, preexisting studies on the effect of MTX on gut microbiota changes focused on gastrointestinal toxicity only. Based on our previous studies, which revealed that MTX treatment resulted in inferior neurocognitive function in developing young rats, we built a young rat model mimicking MTX treatment in a child ALL protocol, trying to investigate the interactions between the gut and brain in response to MTX treatment. We found an association between gut microbiota changes and neurogenesis/repair processes in response to MTX treatment, which suggest that MTX treatment results in gut dysbiosis, which is considered to be related to MTX neurotoxicity through an alteration in gut–brain axis communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurobiology and Clinical Neuroscience)
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13 pages, 5942 KiB  
Article
Antitumor Efficacy of Arylquin 1 through Dose-Dependent Cytotoxicity, Apoptosis Induction, and Synergy with Radiotherapy in Glioblastoma Models
by Ann-Shung Lieu, Yu-Chi Pan, Jia-Hau Lee, Yuan-Chin Hsieh, Chien-Ju Lin, Ya-Ling Hsu, Kung-Chao Chang, Shih-Hsun Kuo, Tzu-Ting Tseng and Hung-Pei Tsai
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040907 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer, is characterized by rapid growth and resistance to conventional therapies. Current treatments offer limited effectiveness, leading to poor survival rates and the need for novel therapeutic strategies. Arylquin 1 has emerged as a potential [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer, is characterized by rapid growth and resistance to conventional therapies. Current treatments offer limited effectiveness, leading to poor survival rates and the need for novel therapeutic strategies. Arylquin 1 has emerged as a potential therapeutic candidate because of its unique mechanism of inducing apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting normal cells. This study investigated the efficacy of Arylquin 1 against GBM using the GBM8401 and A172 cells by assessing its dose-dependent cytotoxicity, apoptosis induction, and synergy with radiotherapy. In vitro assays demonstrated a significant reduction in cell viability and increased apoptosis, particularly at high concentrations of Arylquin 1. Migration and invasion analyses revealed notable inhibition of cellular motility. In vivo experiments on NU/NU nude mice with intracranially implanted GBM cells revealed that Arylquin 1 substantially reduced tumor growth, an effect magnified by concurrent radiotherapy. These findings indicate that by promoting apoptosis and enhancing radiosensitivity, Arylquin 1 is a potent therapeutic option for GBM treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gliomas: Signaling Pathways, Molecular Mechanisms and Novel Therapies)
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8 pages, 5629 KiB  
Case Report
Management of Double-Seropositive Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane and Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies with 100% Crescentic Glomerulonephritis and Nephrotic Range Proteinuria in a Young Female
by Lalida Kunaprayoon, Emily T. C. Scheffel and Emaad M. Abdel-Rahman
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040906 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Nephrotic range proteinuria in the setting of dual-positive anti-glomerular basement membrane (AGBM) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) is rare. Furthermore, using rituximab as a primary immunosuppressant along with steroids and plasmapheresis has not been widely studied. We present a case of dual AGBM [...] Read more.
Nephrotic range proteinuria in the setting of dual-positive anti-glomerular basement membrane (AGBM) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) is rare. Furthermore, using rituximab as a primary immunosuppressant along with steroids and plasmapheresis has not been widely studied. We present a case of dual AGBM and ANCA with nephrotic range proteinuria in a young female, where rituximab was used as a primary immunosuppressant with partial recovery. Full article
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13 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Vitamin D Levels in COVID-19 and NonCOVID-19 Pediatric Patients and Its Relationship with Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics
by Maria Totan, Ioana-Octavia Matacuta-Bogdan, Adrian Hasegan and Ionela Maniu
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040905 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is a marker with an important role in regulating the inflammatory response. Low concentrations of this vitamin are often found among the population, correlated with increased risk of respiratory tract infections. The aim of the study is to evaluate the [...] Read more.
25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is a marker with an important role in regulating the inflammatory response. Low concentrations of this vitamin are often found among the population, correlated with increased risk of respiratory tract infections. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D levels and clinical and laboratory markers in children and adolescents hospitalized with and without COVID-19. A retrospective study, including all patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 and having vitamin D measured, was performed. All included hospitalized cases, 78 COVID-19 patients and 162 NonCOVID-19 patients, were divided into subgroups according to their 25(OH)D serum levels (<20 ng/mL—deficiency, 20–30 ng/mL—insufficiency, ≥30 ng/mL—normal or <30 ng/mL, ≥30 ng/mL) and age (≤2 years, >2 years). Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency increased with age, in both COVID-19 and NonCOVID-19 groups. All symptoms were encountered more frequently in cases of pediatric patients with COVID-19 in comparison with NonCOVID-19 cases. The most frequently encountered symptoms in the COVID-19 group were fever, loss of appetite, and nasal congestion. In the NonCOVID-19 group, serum 25(OH)D concentrations were positively correlated with leukocytes, lymphocytes, and LMR and negatively correlated with neutrophils, NLR, and PLR while no significant correlation was observed in the case of COVID-19 group. Differences between vitamin D status and clinical and laboratory parameters were observed, but their clinical significance should be interpreted with caution. The results of this study may offer further support for future studies exploring the mechanisms of the relationship between vitamin D and clinical and laboratory markers as well as for studies investigating the implications of vitamin D deficiency/supplementation on overall health/clinical outcomes of patients with/without COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Translational Medicine)
21 pages, 34472 KiB  
Article
Verapamil Attenuates the Severity of Tendinopathy by Mitigating Mitochondrial Dysfunction through the Activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway
by Zengguang Wang, Zhenglin Dong, Yiming Li, Xin Jiao, Yihao Liu, Hanwen Chang and Yaokai Gan
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040904 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Tendinopathy is a prevalent condition in orthopedics patients, exerting a profound impact on tendon functionality. However, its underlying mechanism remains elusive and the efficacy of pharmacological interventions continues to be suboptimal. Verapamil is a clinically used medicine with anti-inflammation and antioxidant functions. This [...] Read more.
Tendinopathy is a prevalent condition in orthopedics patients, exerting a profound impact on tendon functionality. However, its underlying mechanism remains elusive and the efficacy of pharmacological interventions continues to be suboptimal. Verapamil is a clinically used medicine with anti-inflammation and antioxidant functions. This investigation aimed to elucidate the impact of verapamil in tendinopathy and the underlying mechanisms through which verapamil ameliorates the severity of tendinopathy. In in vitro experiments, primary tenocytes were exposed to interleukin-1 beta (IL−1β) along with verapamil at a concentration of 5 μM. In addition, an in vivo rat tendinopathy model was induced through the localized injection of collagenase into the Achilles tendons of rats, and verapamil was injected into these tendons at a concentration of 5 μM. The in vitro findings highlighted the remarkable ability of verapamil to attenuate extracellular matrix degradation and apoptosis triggered by inflammation in tenocytes stimulated by IL−1β. Furthermore, verapamil was observed to significantly suppress the inflammation-related MAPK/NFκB pathway. Subsequent investigations revealed that verapamil exerts a remediating effect on mitochondrial dysfunction, which was achieved through activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. Nevertheless, the protective effect of verapamil was nullified with the utilization of the Nrf2 inhibitor ML385. In summary, the in vivo and in vitro results indicate that the administration of verapamil profoundly mitigates the severity of tendinopathy through suppression of inflammation and activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. These findings suggest that verapamil is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of tendinopathy, deserving further and expanded research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gene and Cell Therapy)
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12 pages, 1072 KiB  
Article
The Role of Pretreatment Serum Interleukin 6 in Predicting Short-Term Mortality in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
by Se Jun Park, Ju Yeon Park, Kabsoo Shin, Tae Ho Hong, Younghoon Kim, In-Ho Kim and MyungAh Lee
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040903 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 499
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is notorious for its aggressive progression and dismal survival rates, with this study highlighting elevated interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels in patients as a key marker of increased disease severity and a potential prognostic indicator. Analyzing pre-treatment serum from 77 [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is notorious for its aggressive progression and dismal survival rates, with this study highlighting elevated interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels in patients as a key marker of increased disease severity and a potential prognostic indicator. Analyzing pre-treatment serum from 77 advanced PDAC patients via ELISA, the research determined optimal cutoff values for IL-6 and the IL-6:sIL-6Rα ratio using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, which then facilitated the division of patients into low and high IL-6 groups, showing significantly different survival outcomes. Notably, high IL-6 levels correlated with adverse features such as poorly differentiated histology, higher tumor burden, and low albumin levels, indicating a stronger likelihood of poorer prognosis. With a median follow-up of 9.28 months, patients with lower IL-6 levels experienced markedly better median overall survival and progression-free survival than those with higher levels, underscoring IL-6’s role in predicting disease prognosis. Multivariate analysis further confirmed IL-6 levels, alongside older age, and elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, as predictors of worse outcomes, suggesting that IL-6 could be a critical biomarker for tailoring treatment strategies in advanced PDAC, warranting further investigation into its role in systemic inflammation and the tumor microenvironment. Full article
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16 pages, 14885 KiB  
Article
N-Acetylcysteine Attenuates Sepsis-Induced Muscle Atrophy by Downregulating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
by Renyu Chen, Yingfang Zheng, Chenchen Zhou, Hongkai Dai, Yurou Wang, Yun Chu and Jinlong Luo
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040902 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 511
Abstract
(1) Background: Sepsis-induced muscle atrophy is characterized by a loss of muscle mass and function which leads to decreased quality of life and worsens the long-term prognosis of patients. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it relieves muscle wasting caused [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Sepsis-induced muscle atrophy is characterized by a loss of muscle mass and function which leads to decreased quality of life and worsens the long-term prognosis of patients. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it relieves muscle wasting caused by several diseases, whereas its effect on sepsis-induced muscle atrophy has not been reported. The present study investigated the effect of NAC on sepsis-induced muscle atrophy and its possible mechanisms. (2) Methods: The effect of NAC on sepsis-induced muscle atrophy was assessed in vivo and in vitro using cecal ligation and puncture-operated (CLP) C57BL/6 mice and LPS-treated C2C12 myotubes. We used immunofluorescence staining to analyze changes in the cross-sectional area (CSA) of myofibers in mice and the myotube diameter of C2C12. Protein expressions were analyzed by Western blotting. (3) Results: In the septic mice, the atrophic response manifested as a reduction in skeletal muscle weight and myofiber cross-sectional area, which is mediated by muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases—muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx)/Atrogin-1 and muscle ring finger 1 (MuRF1). NAC alleviated sepsis-induced skeletal muscle wasting and LPS-induced C2C12 myotube atrophy. Meanwhile, NAC inhibited the sepsis-induced activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling pathway. Furthermore, using 4-Phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) to inhibit ER stress in LPS-treated C2C12 myotubes could partly abrogate the anti-muscle-atrophy effect of NAC. Finally, NAC alleviated myotube atrophy induced by the ER stress agonist Thapsigargin (Thap). (4) Conclusions: NAC can attenuate sepsis-induced muscle atrophy, which may be related to downregulating ER stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology and Immunotherapy)
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12 pages, 7271 KiB  
Article
Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1/2 Wildtype Adult Astrocytoma with WHO Grade 2/3 Histological Features: Molecular Re-Classification, Prognostic Factors, Clinical Outcomes
by Meetakshi Gupta, Mustafa Anjari, Sebastian Brandner, Naomi Fersht, Elena Wilson, Steffi Thust and Michael Kosmin
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040901 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Background: Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH 1/2)-wildtype (WT) astrocytomas constitute a heterogeneous group of tumors and have undergone a series of diagnostic reclassifications over time. This study aimed to investigate molecular markers, clinical, imaging, and treatment factors predictive of outcomes in WHO grade 2/3 [...] Read more.
Background: Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH 1/2)-wildtype (WT) astrocytomas constitute a heterogeneous group of tumors and have undergone a series of diagnostic reclassifications over time. This study aimed to investigate molecular markers, clinical, imaging, and treatment factors predictive of outcomes in WHO grade 2/3 IDH-WT astrocytomas (‘early glioblastoma’). Methodology: Patients with WHO grade 2/3 IDH-WT astrocytomas were identified from the hospital archives. They were cross-referenced with the electronic medical records systems, including neuroimaging. The expert neuro-pathology team retrieved data on molecular markers—MGMT, TERT, IDH, and EGFR. Tumors with a TERT mutation and/or EGFR amplification were reclassified as glioblastoma. Results: Fifty-four patients were identified. Sixty-three percent of the patients could be conclusively reclassified as glioblastoma based on either TERT mutation, EGFR amplification, or both. On imaging, 65% showed gadolinium enhancement on MRI. Thirty-nine patients (72%) received long-course radiotherapy, of whom 64% received concurrent chemotherapy. The median follow-up of the group was 16 months (range: 2–90), and the median overall survival (OS) was 17.3 months. The 2-year OS of the whole cohort was 31%. On univariate analysis, older age, worse performance status (PS), and presence versus absence of contrast enhancement on diagnostic MRI were statistically significant for poorer OS. Conclusion: IDH-WT WHO grade 2/3 astrocytomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors with poor clinical outcomes. The majority can be reclassified as glioblastoma, based on current WHO classification criteria, but further understanding of the underlying biology of these tumors and the discovery of novel targeted agents are needed for better outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioblastoma: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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16 pages, 1380 KiB  
Review
What Is the Role of Basal Weekly Insulin in Clinical Practice? The State of the Art
by Christiano Argano, Laura Priola, Francesco Manno and Salvatore Corrao
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040900 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Despite the advent of innovative therapies in the treatment of diabetes, ever-increasing awareness is still directed to the role of insulin since it has continued to be at the centre of diabetes therapy for decades, as a therapeutic integration of innovative agents in [...] Read more.
Despite the advent of innovative therapies in the treatment of diabetes, ever-increasing awareness is still directed to the role of insulin since it has continued to be at the centre of diabetes therapy for decades, as a therapeutic integration of innovative agents in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), as the only replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and also in gestational diabetes. In this context, the study of molecules such as weekly basal insulins, both for their technological and pharmacodynamic innovation and their manageability and undoubted benefits in compliance with drug therapy, can only be a turning point in diabetes and for all its phenotypes. This review aims to provide insight into the knowledge of basal weekly insulins and their use in type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus by examining their safety, efficacy, manageability and increased therapeutic compliance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Insulin—100 Years since Its Discovery)
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13 pages, 1902 KiB  
Article
Optimal Volume Assessment for Serous Fluid Cytology
by Konstantinos Christofidis, Maria Theochari, Stylianos Mavropoulos Papoudas, Lamprini Kiohou, Stylianos Sousouris, Areti Dimitriadou, Nikolaos Volakakis, Nicoletta Maounis and Panagiota Mikou
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040899 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the optimal volume of serous fluid needed for accurate diagnosis using The International System for Reporting Serous Fluid Cytopathology (TIS), as well as to provide information on the distribution of serous effusion cases in the TIS categories [...] Read more.
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the optimal volume of serous fluid needed for accurate diagnosis using The International System for Reporting Serous Fluid Cytopathology (TIS), as well as to provide information on the distribution of serous effusion cases in the TIS categories (ND: non-diagnostic, NFM: negative for malignancy, AUS: atypia of undetermined significance, SFM: suspicious for malignancy, MAL: malignant) and relevant epidemiological data. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 2340 serous effusion cases (pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial) from two hospitals between 2018 and 2020 was conducted. TIS categories were assigned to each case, and for 1181 cases, these were correlated with the volume of the analyzed fluid. Results: Our study found statistically significant differences in volume distributions between certain TIS categories. Statistically lower volumes were observed in NFM compared to MAL, in UNCERTAIN (ND, AUS, SFM) compared to both MAL and NFM, and in NOT MAL (ND, NFM, AUS, SFM) compared to MAL. However, these differences were not substantial enough to hold any clinical relevance. Conclusions: This study suggests that while fluid volume may slightly influence the TIS category, it does not impact the diagnostic accuracy of serous effusion cytology. Therefore, the ideal serous effusion specimen volume can be defined solely by practical parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Cytopathology: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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