BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Impairment of Neutrophil Migration to Remote Inflammatory Site during Lung Histoplasmosis Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:24:10 +0000 Histoplasma capsulatum (Hc) induces a pulmonary disease in which leukotrienes promote activation and recruitment of effectors cells. It is also well-recognized that leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and platelet-activating factor (PAF) induce leukocyte recruitment to inflammatory sites. We investigated the impact of pulmonary Hc infection on PMN migration to a remote inflammatory site. Our results show that pulmonary Hc infection impairs LTB4- or PAF-stimulated PMN recruitment to air pouch. Yet, remote inflammation did not modify PMN numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of Hc-infected mice. Interestingly, the concomitant administration of PAF and LTB4 receptor antagonists inhibited PMN recruitment to both BALF and the remote site, demonstrating cooperation between both mediators. Along that line, our results show that PAF-elicited PMN chemotaxis was abrogated in 5-lipoxygenase-deficient animals. These results suggest caution in the indiscriminate use of anti-inflammatory drugs during infectious diseases. Alexandra I. Medeiros, Adriana Secatto, Caroline Bélanger, Carlos A. Sorgi, Pierre Borgeat, Sylvie Marleau, and Lúcia H. Faccioli Copyright © 2015 Alexandra I. Medeiros et al. All rights reserved. Automatic Epileptic Seizure Detection Using Scalp EEG and Advanced Artificial Intelligence Techniques Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:14:48 +0000 The epilepsies are a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders and syndromes characterised by recurrent, involuntary, paroxysmal seizure activity, which is often associated with a clinicoelectrical correlate on the electroencephalogram. The diagnosis of epilepsy is usually made by a neurologist but can be difficult to be made in the early stages. Supporting paraclinical evidence obtained from magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography may enable clinicians to make a diagnosis of epilepsy and investigate treatment earlier. However, electroencephalogram capture and interpretation are time consuming and can be expensive due to the need for trained specialists to perform the interpretation. Automated detection of correlates of seizure activity may be a solution. In this paper, we present a supervised machine learning approach that classifies seizure and nonseizure records using an open dataset containing 342 records. Our results show an improvement on existing studies by as much as 10% in most cases with a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 94%, and area under the curve of 98% with a 6% global error using a k-class nearest neighbour classifier. We propose that such an approach could have clinical applications in the investigation of patients with suspected seizure disorders. Paul Fergus, David Hignett, Abir Hussain, Dhiya Al-Jumeily, and Khaled Abdel-Aziz Copyright © 2015 Paul Fergus et al. All rights reserved. High In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Pac-525 against Porphyromonas gingivalis Biofilms Cultured on Titanium Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:35:36 +0000 In order to investigate the potential of short antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as alternative antibacterial agents during the treatment of peri-implantitis, the cytotoxic activity of three short AMPs, that is, Pac-525, KSL-W, and KSL, was determined using the MTT assay. The antimicrobial activity of these AMPs, ranging in concentration from 0.0039 mg/mL to 0.5 mg/mL, against the predominant planktonic pathogens, including Streptococcus sanguis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, involved in peri-implantitis was investigated. Furthermore, 2-day-old P. gingivalis biofilms cultured on titanium surfaces were treated with Pac-525 and subsequently observed and analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The average cell proliferation curve indicated that there was no cytotoxicity due to the three short AMPs. The minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values of Pac-525 were 0.0625 mg/mL and 0.125 mg/mL, respectively, for P. gingivalis and 0.0078 mg/mL and 0.0156 mg/mL, respectively, for F. nucleatum. Using CLSM, we confirmed that compared to 0.1% chlorhexidine, 0.5 mg/mL of Pac-525 caused a significant decrease in biofilm thickness and a decline in the percentage of live bacteria. These data indicate that Pac-525 has unique properties that might make it suitable for the inhibition the growth of pathogenic bacteria around dental implants. Ji-yin Li, Xue-jin Wang, Li-na Wang, Xiao-xia Ying, Xiang Ren, Hui-ying Liu, Li Xu, and Guo-wu Ma Copyright © 2015 Ji-yin Li et al. All rights reserved. Immunodiagnosis of Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis Using Mimotope Peptides Selected from Phage Displayed Combinatorial Libraries Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:34:38 +0000 ELISA and RIFI are currently used for serodiagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL). The accuracy of these tests is controversial in endemic areas where canine infections by Trypanosoma cruzi may occur. We evaluated the usefulness of synthetic peptides that were selected through phage display technique in the serodiagnosis of CVL. Peptides were chosen based on their ability to bind to IgGs purified from infected dogs pooled sera. We selected three phage clones that reacted only with those IgGs. Peptides were synthesized, polymerized with glutaraldehyde, and used as antigens in ELISA assays. Each individual peptide or a mix of them was reactive with infected dogs serum. The assay was highly sensitive and specific when compared to soluble Leishmania antigen that showed cross-reactivity with anti-T. cruzi IgGs. Our results demonstrate that phage display technique is useful for selection of peptides that may represent valuable synthetic antigens for an improved serodiagnosis of CVL. Christina Monerat Toledo-Machado, Ricardo Andrez Machado de Avila, Christophe NGuyen, Claude Granier, Lilian Lacerda Bueno, Claudia Martins Carneiro, Daniel Menezes-Souza, Rubens Antonio Carneiro, Carlos Chávez-Olórtegui, and Ricardo Toshio Fujiwara Copyright © 2015 Christina Monerat Toledo-Machado et al. All rights reserved. Application of AMOR in Craniofacial Rabbit Bone Bioengineering Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:15:47 +0000 Endogenous molecular and cellular mediators modulate tissue repair and regeneration. We have recently described antibody mediated osseous regeneration (AMOR) as a novel strategy for bioengineering bone in rat calvarial defect. This entails application of anti-BMP-2 antibodies capable of in vivo capturing of endogenous osteogenic BMPs (BMP-2, BMP-4, and BMP-7). The present study sought to investigate the feasibility of AMOR in other animal models. To that end, we examined the efficacy of a panel of anti-BMP-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and a polyclonal Ab immobilized on absorbable collagen sponge (ACS) to mediate bone regeneration within rabbit calvarial critical size defects. After 6 weeks, de novo bone formation was demonstrated by micro-CT imaging, histology, and histomorphometric analysis. Only certain anti-BMP-2 mAb clones mediated significant in vivo bone regeneration, suggesting that the epitopes with which anti-BMP-2 mAbs react are critical to AMOR. Increased localization of BMP-2 protein and expression of osteocalcin were observed within defects, suggesting accumulation of endogenous BMP-2 and/or increased de novo expression of BMP-2 protein within sites undergoing bone repair by AMOR. Considering the ultimate objective of translation of this therapeutic strategy in humans, preclinical studies will be necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of AMOR in progressively larger animal models. Marcelo Freire, Jeong-Ho Choi, Anthony Nguyen, Young Deok Chee, Joong-Ki Kook, Hyung-Keun You, and Homayoun H. Zadeh Copyright © 2015 Marcelo Freire et al. All rights reserved. Biochemical Storage Lesions Occurring in Nonirradiated and Irradiated Red Blood Cells: A Brief Review Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:23:24 +0000 Red blood cells undergo a series of biochemical fluctuations during 35–42-day storage period at 1°C to 6°C. The sodium/potassium pump is immobilised causing a decrease in intracellular potassium with an increase in cytoplasmic sodium levels, glucose levels decline, and acidosis occurs as a result of low pH levels. The frailty of stored erythrocytes triggers the formation of haemoglobin-containing microparticles and the release of cell-free haemoglobin which may add to transfusion difficulties. Lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress to band 3 structures, and other morphological and structural molecular changes also occur leading to spheroechinocytes and osmotic fragility. These changes that transpire in the red cells during the storage period are referred to as “storage lesions.” It is well documented that gamma irradiation exacerbates storage lesions and the reports of increased potassium levels leading to adverse reactions observed in neonates and infants have been of particular concern. There are, however, remarkably few systematic studies comparing the in vitro storage lesions of irradiated and nonirradiated red cell concentrates and it has been suggested that the impact of storage lesions on leucocyte reduced red blood cell concentrate (RBCC) is incomplete. The review examines storage lesions in red blood cells and their adverse effects in reference to blood transfusion. F. Adams, G. Bellairs, A. R. Bird, and O. O. Oguntibeju Copyright © 2015 F. Adams et al. All rights reserved. New Approaches, Findings, and Diagnostics in Medical and Surgical Retina Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:21:07 +0000 Jerzy Nawrocki, Ron Adelman, and Didier Ducournau Copyright © 2015 Jerzy Nawrocki et al. All rights reserved. Is DBM Beneficial for the Enhancement of Bony Consolidation in Distraction Osteogenesis? A Randomized Controlled Trial Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:57:49 +0000 The aim of the present study was to compare the radiographic and clinical outcomes of DBM injection and conventional treatment during tibial lengthening over an intramedullary nail in adult patients with short stature. Twenty-nine patients were randomized to receive DBM injection () or conventional treatment without any injection () and evaluated. The outcome was measured on the basis of the pixel value ratio (PVR) in the digital radiographs during the consolidation period; healing index; clinical assessment; and the rate of complications. In the DBM group, the mean PVR of 1 (mineral density of the callus is comparable to the adjacent bone) was reached by 40 weeks in anterior and medial cortices which was significantly different than that in the control group ( for anterior cortex; for medial cortex). The average healing index in the DBM group was 39.8 ± 5.3 days/cm compared to 44.3 ± 5.8 days/cm in the control group (). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes () and functional status () including complications () between two groups. In this randomized clinical trial, injection of DBM at the time of initial operation enhanced consolidation of regenerate callus without interfering with clinical outcomes compared to that with conventional treatment. Sang-Heon Song, Sang-Gyun Kim, Sung-Eun Kim, and Hae-Ryong Song Copyright © 2015 Sang-Heon Song et al. All rights reserved. Red Blood Cell Destruction in Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Role of Complement and Potential New Targets for Therapy Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:49:00 +0000 Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is a collective term for several diseases characterized by autoantibody-initiated destruction of red blood cells (RBCs). Exact subclassification is essential. We provide a review of the respective types of AIHA with emphasis on mechanisms of RBC destruction, focusing in particular on complement involvement. Complement activation plays a definitive but limited role in warm-antibody AIHA (w-AIHA), whereas primary cold agglutinin disease (CAD), secondary cold agglutinin syndrome (CAS), and paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH) are entirely complement-dependent disorders. The details of complement involvement differ among these subtypes. The theoretical background for therapeutic complement inhibition in selected patients is very strong in CAD, CAS, and PCH but more limited in w-AIHA. The optimal target complement component for inhibition is assumed to be important and highly dependent on the type of AIHA. Complement modulation is currently not an evidence-based therapy modality in any AIHA, but a number of experimental and preclinical studies are in progress and a few clinical observations have been reported. Clinical studies of new complement inhibitors are probably not far ahead. Sigbjørn Berentsen and Tatjana Sundic Copyright © 2015 Sigbjørn Berentsen and Tatjana Sundic. All rights reserved. Musculotendinous Stiffness of Triceps Surae, Maximal Rate of Force Development, and Vertical Jump Performance Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:06:29 +0000 The relationships between ankle plantar flexor musculotendinous stiffness (MTS) and performance in a countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) and maximal rate of torque development (MRTD) were studied in 27 active men. MTS was studied by means of quick releases at 20 (S0.2), 40 (S0.4), 60 (S0.6), and 80% (S0.8) of maximal voluntary torque (TMVC). CMJ was not correlated with strength indices but was positively correlated with MRTD/BM, S0.4/BM. The slope α2 and intercept β2 of the torque-stiffness relationships from 40 to 80% TMVC were correlated negatively (α2) and positively (β2) with CMJ. The different stiffness indices were not correlated with MRTD. The prediction of CMJ was improved by the introduction of MRTD in multiple regressions between CMJ and stiffness. CMJ was also negatively correlated with indices of curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship. The subjects were subdivided in 3 groups in function of CMJ (groups H, M, and L for high, medium, and low performers, resp.). There was a downward curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship at high torques in group H or M and the torque-stiffness regression was linear in group L only. These results suggested that torque-stiffness relationships with a plateau at high torques are more frequent in the best jumpers. Tarak Driss, Daniel Lambertz, Majdi Rouis, Hamdi Jaafar, and Henry Vandewalle Copyright © 2015 Tarak Driss et al. All rights reserved. Irrigated Tip Catheters for Radiofrequency Ablation in Ventricular Tachycardia Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:04:45 +0000 Radiofrequency (RF) ablation with irrigated tip catheters decreases the likelihood of thrombus and char formation and enables the creation of larger lesions. Due to the potential dramatic consequences, the prevention of thromboembolic events is of particular importance for left-sided procedures. Although acute success rates of ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation are satisfactory, recurrence rate is high. Apart from the progress of the underlying disease, reconduction and the lack of effective transmural lesions play a major role for VT recurrences. This paper reviews principles of lesion formation with radiofrequency and the effect of tip irrigation as well as recent advances in new technology. Potential areas of further development of catheter technology might be the improvement of mapping by better substrate definition and resolution, the introduction of bipolar and multipolar ablation techniques into clinical routine, and the use of alternative sources of energy. Andreas Müssigbrodt, Matthias Grothoff, Borislav Dinov, Jedrzej Kosiuk, Sergio Richter, Philipp Sommer, Ole A. Breithardt, Sascha Rolf, Andreas Bollmann, Arash Arya, and Gerhard Hindricks Copyright © 2015 Andreas Müssigbrodt et al. All rights reserved. Circulating MicroRNAs as Clinical Biomarkers in the Predictions of Pregnancy Complications Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:03:39 +0000 Predicting pregnancy complications is a major topic for clinicians and biologists for maternal and fetal monitoring. Noninvasive biomarkers in maternal blood such as circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are promising molecules to predict pregnancy disorders. miRNAs are noncoding short RNAs that regulate mRNA expression by repressing the translation or cleaving the transcript. miRNAs are released to the extracellular systemic circulation via exosomes. The discovery of plasma- or serum-derived miRNAs and of free-circulating exosomes that contain miRNAs provides useful information about the physiological or pathophysiological roles of the miRNAs. Specific placental miRNAs are present in maternal plasma in different ways depending on whether the pregnancy is normal or pathological or if there is no pregnancy. This paper focuses on placental miRNAs and extracellular miRNAs to the placenta whose misregulation could lead to pregnancy complications. Marthe Tsochandaridis, Laurent Nasca, Caroline Toga, and Annie Levy-Mozziconacci Copyright © 2015 Marthe Tsochandaridis et al. All rights reserved. An Expedient Synthesis, Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activity, and Molecular Modeling Study of Highly Functionalized Hexahydro-1,6-naphthyridines Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:33:10 +0000 A series of hexahydro-1,6-naphthyridines were synthesized in good yields by the reaction of 3,5-bis[(E)-arylmethylidene]tetrahydro-4(1H)-pyridinones with cyanoacetamide in the presence of sodium ethoxide under simple mixing at ambient temperature for 6–10 minutes and were assayed for their acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity using colorimetric Ellman’s method. Compound 4e with methoxy substituent at ortho-position of the phenyl rings displayed the maximum inhibitory activity with IC50 value of 2.12 μM. Molecular modeling simulation of 4e was performed using three-dimensional structure of Torpedo californica AChE (TcAChE) enzyme to disclose binding interaction and orientation of this molecule into the active site gorge of the receptor. Abdulrahman I. Almansour, Raju Suresh Kumar, Natarajan Arumugam, Alireza Basiri, Yalda Kia, and Mohamed Ashraf Ali Copyright © 2015 Abdulrahman I. Almansour et al. All rights reserved. Relaxation Measurement of Ex-Vivo Breast Cancer Tissues at Ultralow Magnetic Fields Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:27:11 +0000 We investigated relaxations of ex-vivo cancer tissues at low magnetic fields in order to check the possibility of achieving a contrast higher than those obtained at high fields. The relaxations of fifteen pairs (normal and cancerous) of breast tissue samples were measured at three magnetic fields, 37, 62, and 122 μT, using our superconducting quantum interference device-based ultralow field nuclear magnetic resonance setup, optimally developed for ex-vivo tissue studies. A signal reconstruction based on Bayesian statistics for noise reduction was exploited to overcome the low signal-to-noise ratio. The ductal and lobular-type tissues did not exhibit meaningful contrast values between normal and cancerous tissues at the three different fields. On the other hand, an enhanced contrast was obtained for the mucinous cancer tissue. Seong-Joo Lee, Jeong Hyun Shim, Kiwoong Kim, Seong-min Hwang, Kwon Kyu Yu, Sanghyun Lim, Jae Ho Han, Hyunee Yim, Jang-Hee Kim, Yong Sik Jung, and Ku Sang Kim Copyright © 2015 Seong-Joo Lee et al. All rights reserved. Body Composition Indices and Predicted Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profile among Urban Dwellers in Malaysia Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:15:35 +0000 Objectives. This study aims to compare various body composition indices and their association with a predicted cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profile in an urban population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in metropolitan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2012. Households were selected using a simple random-sampling method, and adult members were invited for medical screening. The Framingham Risk Scoring algorithm was used to predict CVD risk, which was then analyzed in association with body composition measurements, including waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, waist-height ratio, body fat percentage, and body mass index. Results. Altogether, 882 individuals were included in our analyses. Indices that included waist-related measurements had the strongest association with CVD risk in both genders. After adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic variables, waist-related measurements retained the strongest correlations with predicted CVD risk in males. However, body mass index, waist-height ratio, and waist circumference had the strongest correlation with CVD risk in females. Conclusions. The waist-related indicators of abdominal obesity are important components of CVD risk profiles. As waist-related parameters can quickly and easily be measured, they should be routinely obtained in primary care settings and population health screens in order to assess future CVD risk profiles and design appropriate interventions. Tin Tin Su, Mohammadreza Amiri, Farizah Mohd Hairi, Nithiah Thangiah, Maznah Dahlui, and Hazreen Abdul Majid Copyright © 2015 Tin Tin Su et al. All rights reserved. Strategy for the Management of Macular Edema in Retinal Vein Occlusion: The European VitreoRetinal Society Macular Edema Study Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:12:54 +0000 Objective. To compare the efficacy of different therapies in the treatment of macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Design. This is a nonrandomized, multicenter collaborative study. Participants. 86 retina specialists from 29 countries provided clinical information, including choice of treatment and outcome, on 2,603 patients with macular edema including 738 cases of RVO. Methods. Reported data included the type and number of treatments performed, visual acuities, and other clinical and diagnostic findings. Main Outcome Measures. The mean increase in visual acuity and mean number of treatments performed. Results. 358 cases of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and 380 cases of branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) were included in this investigation. Taking all RVO cases together, pars plana vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling alone resulted in an improvement in vision greater than other therapies. Those treated with intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection alone showed the second greatest improvement in vision. Dexamethasone intravitreal implant alone and intravitreal triamcinolone alone both resulted in modest visual gains. Conclusions. In the treatment of macular edema in RVO, vitrectomy with ILM peeling may achieve visual improvement and may be a good option for certain cases. Anti-VEGF injection is the most effective of the nonsurgical treatments. Ron A. Adelman, Aaron J. Parnes, Silvia Bopp, Ihab Saad Othman, and Didier Ducournau Copyright © 2015 Ron A. Adelman et al. All rights reserved. Novel Insights on Nutrient Management of Sarcopenia in Elderly Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:06:54 +0000 Sarcopenia is defined as a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength. The more rationale approach to delay the progression of sarcopenia is based on the combination of proper nutrition, possibly associated with the use of dietary supplements and a regular exercise program. We performed a narrative literature review to evaluate the till-now evidence regarding (1) the metabolic and nutritional correlates of sarcopenia; (2) the optimum diet therapy for the treatment of these abnormalities. This review included 67 eligible studies. In addition to the well recognized link between adequate intake of proteins/amino acids and sarcopenia, the recent literature underlines that in sarcopenic elderly subjects there is an unbalance in vitamin D synthesis and in omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio. Given the detrimental effect of these metabolic abnormalities, a change in the lifestyle must be the cornerstone in the treatment of sarcopenia. The optimum diet therapy for the sarcopenia treatment must aim at achieving specific metabolic goals, which must be reached through accession of the elderly to specific personalized dietary program aimed at achieving and/or maintaining muscle mass; increasing their intake of fish (4 times/week) or taking omega-3 PUFA supplements; taking vitamin D supplementation, if there are low serum levels. Mariangela Rondanelli, Milena Faliva, Francesca Monteferrario, Gabriella Peroni, Erica Repaci, Francesca Allieri, and Simone Perna Copyright © 2015 Mariangela Rondanelli et al. All rights reserved. Angiogenesis in the Placenta: The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:04:05 +0000 Proper placental development and function are central to the health of both the mother and the fetus during pregnancy. A critical component of healthy placental function is the proper development of its vascular network. Poor vascularization of the placenta can lead to fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia, and in some cases fetal death. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms by which uterine stressors influence the development of the placental vasculature and contribute to placental dysfunction is of central importance to ensuring a healthy pregnancy. In this review we discuss how oxidative stress observed in maternal smoking, maternal obesity, and preeclampsia has been associated with aberrant angiogenesis and placental dysfunction resulting in adverse pregnancy outcomes. We also highlight that oxidative stress can influence the expression of a number of transcription factors important in mediating angiogenesis. Therefore, understanding how oxidative stress affects redox-sensitive transcription factors within the placenta may elucidate potential therapeutic targets for correcting abnormal placental angiogenesis and function. Robyn D. Pereira, Nicole E. De Long, Ruijun C. Wang, Fereshteh T. Yazdi, Alison C. Holloway, and Sandeep Raha Copyright © 2015 Robyn D. Pereira et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptional and Biochemical Effects of Cadmium and Manganese on the Defense System of Octopus vulgaris Paralarvae Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:59:50 +0000 Due to anthropogenic activities the relative concentrations of cadmium and manganese have increased in the marine environment. Cephalopods are able to accumulate such metals and, as inhabitant of coastal waters, Octopus vulgaris is continuously exposed to anthropogenic activities. Since no study is available on the effects of heavy metals at molecular level in developing octopuses, herein we exposed 1-day-old paralarvae for 24 h to 10, 100, and 1000 μg/L of CdCl2 or MnCl2. Cd exerted a concentration-dependent inhibition of survival and a reduction in growth rate was shown while Mn exposure did not affect the survival rate even at the highest concentrations. Gene expression profiles of hsp70, sod, cat, and gst genes were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and defined patterns of transcription were observed. Moreover posttranscriptional analyses were also performed suggesting the impairment of metabolic functions, under strong oxidative conditions (as occurred in paralarvae exposed to Cd) or the complete detoxification events (as occurred in paralarvae exposed to Mn). Aldo Nicosia, Monica Salamone, Salvatore Mazzola, and Angela Cuttitta Copyright © 2015 Aldo Nicosia et al. All rights reserved. Pan-Genome Analysis of Human Gastric Pathogen H. pylori: Comparative Genomics and Pathogenomics Approaches to Identify Regions Associated with Pathogenicity and Prediction of Potential Core Therapeutic Targets Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:54:04 +0000 Helicobacter pylori is a human gastric pathogen implicated as the major cause of peptic ulcer and second leading cause of gastric cancer (~70%) around the world. Conversely, an increased resistance to antibiotics and hindrances in the development of vaccines against H. pylori are observed. Pan-genome analyses of the global representative H. pylori isolates consisting of 39 complete genomes are presented in this paper. Phylogenetic analyses have revealed close relationships among geographically diverse strains of H. pylori. The conservation among these genomes was further analyzed by pan-genome approach; the predicted conserved gene families (1,193) constitute ~77% of the average H. pylori genome and 45% of the global gene repertoire of the species. Reverse vaccinology strategies have been adopted to identify and narrow down the potential core-immunogenic candidates. Total of 28 nonhost homolog proteins were characterized as universal therapeutic targets against H. pylori based on their functional annotation and protein-protein interaction. Finally, pathogenomics and genome plasticity analysis revealed 3 highly conserved and 2 highly variable putative pathogenicity islands in all of the H. pylori genomes been analyzed. Amjad Ali, Anam Naz, Siomar C Soares, Marriam Bakhtiar, Sandeep Tiwari, Syed S Hassan, Fazal Hanan, Rommel Ramos, Ulisses Pereira, Debmalya Barh, Henrique César Pereira Figueiredo, David W. Ussery, Anderson Miyoshi, Artur Silva, and Vasco Azevedo Copyright © 2015 Amjad Ali et al. All rights reserved. Conformational B-Cell Epitope Prediction Method Based on Antigen Preprocessing and Mimotopes Analysis Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:48:20 +0000 Identification of epitopes which invokes strong humoral responses is an essential issue in the field of immunology. Various computational methods that have been developed based on the antigen structures and the mimotopes these years narrow the search for experimental validation. These methods can be divided into two categories: antigen structure-based methods and mimotope-based methods. Though new methods of the two kinds have been proposed in these years, they cannot maintain a high degree of satisfaction in various circumstances. In this paper, we proposed a new conformational B-cell epitope prediction method based on antigen preprocessing and mimotopes analysis. The method classifies the antigen surface residues into “epitopes” and “nonepitopes” by six epitope propensity scales, removing the “nonepitopes” and using the preprocessed antigen for epitope prediction based on mimotope sequences. The proposed method gives out the mean F score of 0.42 on the testing dataset. When compared with other publicly available servers by using the testing dataset, the new method yields better performance. The results demonstrate the proposed method is competent for the conformational B-cell epitope prediction. Pingping Sun, Haixu Ju, Baowen Zhang, Yu Gu, Bo Liu, Yanxin Huang, Huijie Zhang, and Yuxin Li Copyright © 2015 Pingping Sun et al. All rights reserved. Insufflation with Humidified and Heated Carbon Dioxide in Short-Term Laparoscopy: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:36:35 +0000 Background. We tested the hypothesis that warm-humidified carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation would reduce postoperative pain and morphine requirement compared to cold-dry CO2 insufflation. Methods. A double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial was conducted to compare warm, humidified CO2 and cold-dry CO2. Patients with benign uterine diseases were randomized to either treatment () or control () group during laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. Primary endpoints of the study were rest pain, movement pain, shoulder-tip pain, and cough pain at 2, 4, 6, 24, and 48 hours postoperatively, measured by visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes were morphine consumption, rejected boli, temperature change, recovery room stay, and length of hospital stay. Results. There were no significant differences in all baseline characteristics. Shoulder-tip pain at 6 h postoperatively was significantly reduced in the intervention group. Pain at rest, movement pain, and cough pain did not differ. Total morphine consumption and rejected boli at 24 h postoperatively were significantly higher in the control group. Temperature change, recovery room stay, and length of hospital were similar. Conclusions. Warm, humidified insufflation gas significantly reduces postoperative shoulder-tip pain as well as morphine demand. This trial is registered with Clinical Trial Registration Number  DRKS00003853 (German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS)). Anja Herrmann and Rudy Leon De Wilde Copyright © 2015 Anja Herrmann and Rudy Leon De Wilde. All rights reserved. Helicase and Its Interacting Factors: Regulation Mechanism, Characterization, Structure, and Application for Drug Design Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:39:55 +0000 Cheng-Yang Huang, Yoshito Abe, Huangen Ding, and I-Fang Chung Copyright © 2015 Cheng-Yang Huang et al. All rights reserved. Clearance Rate and BP-ANN Model in Paraquat Poisoned Patients Treated with Hemoperfusion Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:37:53 +0000 In order to investigate the effect of hemoperfusion (HP) on the clearance rate of paraquat (PQ) and develop a clearance model, 41 PQ-poisoned patients who acquired acute PQ intoxication received HP treatment. PQ concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). According to initial PQ concentration, study subjects were divided into two groups: Low-PQ group (0.05–1.0 μg/mL) and High-PQ group (1.0–10 μg/mL). After initial HP treatment, PQ concentrations decreased in both groups. However, in the High-PQ group, PQ levels remained in excess of 0.05 μg/mL and increased when the second HP treatment was initiated. Based on the PQ concentrations before and after HP treatment, the mean clearance rate of PQ calculated was 73 ± 15%. We also established a backpropagation artificial neural network (BP-ANN) model, which set PQ concentrations before HP treatment as input data and after HP treatment as output data. When it is used to predict PQ concentration after HP treatment, high prediction accuracy () can be obtained in this model. In conclusion, HP is an effective way to clear PQ from the blood, and the PQ concentration after HP treatment can be predicted by BP-ANN model. Lufeng Hu, Guangliang Hong, Jianshe Ma, Xianqin Wang, Guanyang Lin, Xiuhua Zhang, and Zhongqiu Lu Copyright © 2015 Lufeng Hu et al. All rights reserved. Strategy for the Management of Diabetic Macular Edema: The European Vitreo-Retinal Society Macular Edema Study Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:17:07 +0000 Objective. To compare the efficacy of different therapies in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). Design. Nonrandomized, multicenter clinical study. Participants. 86 retina specialists from 29 countries provided clinical information on 2,603 patients with macular edema including 870 patients with DME. Methods. Reported data included the type and number of treatment(s) performed, the pre- and posttreatment visual acuities, and other clinical findings. The results were analyzed by the French INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies). Main Outcome Measures. Mean change of visual acuity and mean number of treatments performed. Results. The change in visual acuity over time in response to each treatment was plotted in second order polynomial regression trend lines. Intravitreal triamcinolone monotherapy resulted in some improvement in vision. Treatment with threshold or subthreshold grid laser also resulted in minimal vision gain. Anti-VEGF therapy resulted in more significant visual improvement. Treatment with pars plana vitrectomy and internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling alone resulted in an improvement in vision greater than that observed with anti-VEGF injection alone. In our DME study, treatment with vitrectomy and ILM peeling alone resulted in the better visual improvement compared to other therapies. Ron Adelman, Aaron Parnes, Zofia Michalewska, Barbara Parolini, Claude Boscher, and Didier Ducournau Copyright © 2015 Ron Adelman et al. All rights reserved. Insight into Bone-Derived Biological Apatite: Ultrastructure and Effect of Thermal Treatment Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:07:01 +0000 Objectives. This study aims at examining the ultrastructure of bone-derived biological apatite (BAp) from a series of small vertebrates and the effect of thermal treatment on its physiochemical properties. Materials and Methods. Femurs/fin rays and vertebral bodies of 5 kinds of small vertebrates were firstly analyzed with X-ray microtomography. Subsequently, BAp was obtained with thermal treatment and low power plasma ashing, respectively. The properties of BAp, including morphology, functional groups, and crystal characteristics were then analyzed. Results. The bones of grouper and hairtail were mainly composed of condensed bone. Spongy bone showed different distribution in the bones from frog, rat, and pigeon. No significant difference was found in bone mineral density of condensed bone and trabecular thickness of spongy bone. Only platelet-like crystals were observed for BAp obtained by plasma ashing, while rod-like and irregular crystals were both harvested from the bones treated by sintering. A much higher degree of crystallinity and larger crystal size but a lower content of carbonate were detected in the latter. Conclusion. Platelet-like BAp is the common inorganic component of vertebrate bones. BAp distributing in condensed and spongy bone may exhibit differing thermal reactivity. Thermal treatment may alter BAp’s in vivo structure and composition. Quan Liu, Haobo Pan, Zhuofan Chen, and Jukka Pekka Matinlinna Copyright © 2015 Quan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Frequency of Migraine as a Chief Complaint in Otolaryngology Outpatient Practice Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:03:49 +0000 Objective. To identify the frequency of typical (headache and dizziness) and common atypical (ear fullness, pressure, pain, tinnitus, facial fullness, and nasal congestion) migraine symptoms as chief complaints among patients presenting to otolaryngology clinic. Methods. This is a descriptive study of prospectively collected data from a general otolaryngology practice. Typical migraine presentations were diagnosed by applying international headache society (IHS) criteria for migraine headache and Neuhauser’s criteria for migrainous vertigo. Atypical otologic and rhinologic migraine symptoms were diagnosed using individualized criteria. Charts were reviewed at 6-month interval from the first presentation. Results. Out of 1002 consecutive patients, 10.8% presented with “migrainous chief complaint.” All migrainous chief complaint patients had a history of headache but not all of them presented with headache. Corrected female to male ratio in the migraine group was 3 to 1; age distributions were significantly different between the migraine and nonmigraine groups by applying -test. Out of the atypical complaints, 86% of the patients had a history of concomitant typical presentation. Conclusion. Actual diagnostic criteria for migraine do not satisfy the diversity of its presentation. Investigating the history of migraine is enough to diagnose most atypical presentations. Sound knowledge about migraine seems essential for any ENT practitioner. Omar Sabra, Maria Muhammad Ali, Maha Al Zayer, and Saleh Altuwaijri Copyright © 2015 Omar Sabra et al. All rights reserved. Modeling the Responses to Resistance Training in an Animal Experiment Study Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:03:17 +0000 The aim of the present study was to test whether systems models of training effects on performance in athletes can be used to explore the responses to resistance training in rats. 11 Wistar Han rats (277 ± 15 g) underwent 4 weeks of resistance training consisting in climbing a ladder with progressive loads. Training amount and performance were computed from total work and mean power during each training session. Three systems models relating performance to cumulated training bouts have been tested: (i) with a single component for adaptation to training, (ii) with two components to distinguish the adaptation and fatigue produced by exercise bouts, and (iii) with an additional component to account for training-related changes in exercise-induced fatigue. Model parameters were fitted using a mixed-effects modeling approach. The model with two components was found to be the most suitable to analyze the training responses (; ). In conclusion, the accuracy in quantifying training loads and performance in a rodent experiment makes it possible to model the responses to resistance training. This modeling in rodents could be used in future studies in combination with biological tools for enhancing our understanding of the adaptive processes that occur during physical training. Antony G. Philippe, Guillaume Py, François B. Favier, Anthony M. J. Sanchez, Anne Bonnieu, Thierry Busso, and Robin Candau Copyright © 2015 Antony G. Philippe et al. All rights reserved. New Insights into Malignant B-Cell Disorders Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:56:56 +0000 Marie-Christine Kyrtsonis, Kazuyuki Shimizu, Panayiotis Panayiotidis, and Gerassimos A. Pangalis Copyright © 2015 Marie-Christine Kyrtsonis et al. All rights reserved. Health Safety of Soft Drinks: Contents, Containers, and Microorganisms Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:51:37 +0000 Soft drinks consumption is still a controversial issue for public health and public policy. Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted into the possible links between soft drink intake and medical problems, the results of which, however, remain highly contested. Nevertheless, as a result, increasing emphasis is being placed on the health properties of soft drinks, by both the industry and the consumers, for example, in the expanding area of functional drinks. Extensive legislation has been put in place to ensure that soft drinks manufacturers conform to established national and international standards. Consumers trust that the soft drinks they buy are safe and their quality is guaranteed. They also expect to be provided with information that can help them to make informed decisions about the purchase of products and that the information on product labels is not false or misleading. This paper provides a broad overview of available scientific knowledge and cites numerous studies on various aspects of soft drinks and their implications for health safety. Particular attention is given to ingredients, including artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives and to the lesser known risks of microbiological and chemical contamination during processing and storage. Dorota Kregiel Copyright © 2015 Dorota Kregiel. All rights reserved.