BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Biophysical Mechanisms Mediating Fibrin Fiber Lysis Sun, 28 May 2017 10:43:04 +0000 The formation and dissolution of blood clots is both a biochemical and a biomechanical process. While much of the chemistry has been worked out for both processes, the influence of biophysical properties is less well understood. This review considers the impact of several structural and mechanical parameters on lytic rates of fibrin fibers. The influences of fiber and network architecture, fiber strain, FXIIIa cross-linking, and particle transport phenomena will be assessed. The importance of the mechanical aspects of fibrinolysis is emphasized, and future research avenues are discussed. Nathan E. Hudson Copyright © 2017 Nathan E. Hudson. All rights reserved. Influence of Deformation and Stress between Bone and Implant from Various Bite Forces by Numerical Simulation Analysis Sun, 28 May 2017 09:43:08 +0000 Endosseous oral implant is applied for orthodontic anchorage in subjects with multiple tooth agenesis. Its effectiveness under orthodontic loading has been demonstrated clinically and experimentally. This study investigates the deformation and stress on the bone and implant for different bite forces by three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) methods. A numerical simulation of deformation and stress distributions around implants was used to estimate the survival life for implants. The model was applied to determine the pattern and distribution of deformations and stresses within the endosseous implant and on supporting tissues when the endosseous implant is used for orthodontic anchorage. A threaded implant was placed in an edentulous segment of a human mandible with cortical and cancellous bone. Analytical results demonstrate that maximum stresses were always located around the implant neck in marginal bone. The results also reveal that the stress for oblique force has the maximum value followed by the horizontal force; the vertical force causes the stress to have the minimum value between implant and bone. Thus, this area should be preserved clinically to maintain the structure and function of a bone implant. Hsin-Chung Cheng, Boe-Yu Peng, May-Show Chen, Chiung-Fang Huang, Yi Lin, and Yung-Kang Shen Copyright © 2017 Hsin-Chung Cheng et al. All rights reserved. An Integrative Developmental Genomics and Systems Biology Approach to Identify an In Vivo Sox Trio-Mediated Gene Regulatory Network in Murine Embryos Sun, 28 May 2017 08:33:05 +0000 Embryogenesis is an intricate process involving multiple genes and pathways. Some of the key transcription factors controlling specific cell types are the Sox trio, namely, Sox5, Sox6, and Sox9, which play crucial roles in organogenesis working in a concerted manner. Much however still needs to be learned about their combinatorial roles during this process. A developmental genomics and systems biology approach offers to complement the reductionist methodology of current developmental biology and provide a more comprehensive and integrated view of the interrelationships of complex regulatory networks that occur during organogenesis. By combining cell type-specific transcriptome analysis and in vivo ChIP-Seq of the Sox trio using mouse embryos, we provide evidence for the direct control of Sox5 and Sox6 by the transcriptional trio in the murine model and by Morpholino knockdown in zebrafish and demonstrate the novel role of Tgfb2, Fbxl18, and Tle3 in formation of Sox5, Sox6, and Sox9 dependent tissues. Concurrently, a complete embryonic gene regulatory network has been generated, identifying a wide repertoire of genes involved and controlled by the Sox trio in the intricate process of normal embryogenesis. Wenqing Jean Lee, Sumantra Chatterjee, Sook Peng Yap, Siew Lan Lim, Xing Xing, Petra Kraus, Wenjie Sun, Xiaoming Hu, V. Sivakamasundari, Hsiao Yun Chan, Prasanna R. Kolatkar, Shyam Prabhakar, and Thomas Lufkin Copyright © 2017 Wenqing Jean Lee et al. All rights reserved. A Dosimetric Comparison of Dose Escalation with Simultaneous Integrated Boost for Locally Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Sun, 28 May 2017 07:56:50 +0000 Background. Many studies have demonstrated that a higher radiotherapy dose is associated with improved outcomes in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We performed a dosimetric planning study to assess the dosimetric feasibility of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) in locally advanced NSCLC. Methods. We enrolled twenty patients. Five different dose plans were generated for each patient. All plans were prescribed a dose of 60 Gy to the planning tumor volume (PTV). In the three SIB groups, the prescribed dose was 69 Gy, 75 Gy, and 81 Gy in 30 fractions to the internal gross tumor volume (iGTV). Results. The SIB-IMRT plans were associated with a significant increase in the iGTV dose (P < 0.05), without increased normal tissue exposure or prolonged overall treatment time. Significant differences were not observed in the dose to the normal lung in terms of the V5 and V20 among the four IMRT plans. The maximum dose (Dmax) in the esophagus moderately increased along with the prescribed dose (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Our results indicated that escalating the dose by SIB-IMRT is dosimetrically feasible; however, systematic evaluations via clinical trials are still warranted. We have designed a further clinical study (which is registered with, number NCT02841228). Wenjuan Yang, Biao Zeng, Yanfang Qiu, Jianfeng Tan, Shilei Xu, Yilong Cai, Yujuan Zhou, Zhigang Liu, Junming Luo, and Hui Wang Copyright © 2017 Wenjuan Yang et al. All rights reserved. Contribution of the Microenvironmental Niche to Glioblastoma Heterogeneity Sun, 28 May 2017 07:44:54 +0000 Glioblastoma is the most aggressive cancer of the brain. The dismal prognosis is largely attributed to the heterogeneous nature of the tumor, which in addition to intrinsic molecular and genetic changes is also influenced by the microenvironmental niche in which the glioma cells reside. The cancer stem cells (CSCs) hypothesis suggests that all cancers arise from CSCs that possess the ability to self-renew and initiate tumor formation. CSCs reside in specialized niches where interaction with the microenvironment regulates their stem cell behavior. The reciprocal interaction between glioma stem cells (GSCs) and cells from the microenvironment, such as endothelial cells, immune cells, and other parenchymal cells, may also promote angiogenesis, invasion, proliferation, and stemness of the GSCs and be likely to have an underappreciated role in their responsiveness to therapy. This crosstalk may also promote molecular transition of GSCs. Hence the inherent plasticity of GSCs can be seen as an adaptive response, changing according to the signaling cue from the niche. Given the association of GSCs with tumor recurrence and treatment sensitivity, understanding this bidirectional crosstalk between GSCs and its niche may provide a framework to identify more effective therapeutic targets and improve treatment outcome. Ivy A. W. Ho and Winston S. N. Shim Copyright © 2017 Ivy A. W. Ho and Winston S. N. Shim. All rights reserved. Potential Challenges of Controlling Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka at a Disease Outbreak Sun, 28 May 2017 06:47:05 +0000 The present works reviewed the existing information on leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka and in other countries, focusing on challenges of controlling leishmaniasis in the country, in an outbreak. Evidence from recent studies suggests that there is a possibility of a leishmaniasis outbreak in Sri Lanka in the near future. Difficulty of early diagnosis due to lack of awareness and unavailability or inadequacy of sensitive tests are two of the main challenges for effective case management. Furthermore, the absence of a proper drug for treatment and lack of knowledge about vector biology, distribution, taxonomy and bionomics, and reservoir hosts make the problem serious. The evident potential for visceralization in the cutaneous variant of L. donovani in Sri Lanka may also complicate the issue. Lack of knowledge among local communities also reduces the effectiveness of vector and reservoir host control programs. Immediate actions need to be taken in order to increase scientific knowledge about the disease and a higher effectiveness of the patient management and control programs must be achieved through increased awareness about the disease among general public and active participation of local community in control activities. Tharaka Wijerathna, Nayana Gunathilaka, Kithsiri Gunawardana, and Wasana Rodrigo Copyright © 2017 Tharaka Wijerathna et al. All rights reserved. CNNdel: Calling Structural Variations on Low Coverage Data Based on Convolutional Neural Networks Sun, 28 May 2017 06:34:07 +0000 Many structural variations (SVs) detection methods have been proposed due to the popularization of next-generation sequencing (NGS). These SV calling methods use different SV-property-dependent features; however, they all suffer from poor accuracy when running on low coverage sequences. The union of results from these tools achieves fairly high sensitivity but still produces low accuracy on low coverage sequence data. That is, these methods contain many false positives. In this paper, we present CNNdel, an approach for calling deletions from paired-end reads. CNNdel gathers SV candidates reported by multiple tools and then extracts features from aligned BAM files at the positions of candidates. With labeled feature-expressed candidates as a training set, CNNdel trains convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to distinguish true unlabeled candidates from false ones. Results show that CNNdel works well with NGS reads from 26 low coverage genomes of the 1000 Genomes Project. The paper demonstrates that convolutional neural networks can automatically assign the priority of SV features and reduce the false positives efficaciously. Jing Wang, Cheng Ling, and Jingyang Gao Copyright © 2017 Jing Wang et al. All rights reserved. Automated Image Analysis of HER2 Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization to Refine Definitions of Genetic Heterogeneity in Breast Cancer Tissue Sun, 28 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene- (HER2-) targeted therapy for breast cancer relies primarily on HER2 overexpression established by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with borderline cases being further tested for amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Manual interpretation of HER2 FISH is based on a limited number of cells and rather complex definitions of equivocal, polysomic, and genetically heterogeneous (GH) cases. Image analysis (IA) can extract high-capacity data and potentially improve HER2 testing in borderline cases. We investigated statistically derived indicators of HER2 heterogeneity in HER2 FISH data obtained by automated IA of 50 IHC borderline (2+) cases of invasive ductal breast carcinoma. Overall, IA significantly underestimated the conventional HER2, CEP17 counts, and HER2/CEP17 ratio; however, it collected more amplified cells in some cases below the lower limit of GH definition by manual procedure. Indicators for amplification, polysomy, and bimodality were extracted by factor analysis and allowed clustering of the tumors into amplified, nonamplified, and equivocal/polysomy categories. The bimodality indicator provided independent cell diversity characteristics for all clusters. Tumors classified as bimodal only partially coincided with the conventional GH heterogeneity category. We conclude that automated high-capacity nonselective tumor cell assay can generate evidence-based HER2 intratumor heterogeneity indicators to refine GH definitions. Gedmante Radziuviene, Allan Rasmusson, Renaldas Augulis, Daiva Lesciute-Krilaviciene, Aida Laurinaviciene, Eduard Clim, and Arvydas Laurinavicius Copyright © 2017 Gedmante Radziuviene et al. All rights reserved. Bioremediation of Mercury by Vibrio fluvialis Screened from Industrial Effluents Thu, 25 May 2017 06:38:37 +0000 Thirty-one mercury-resistant bacterial strains were isolated from the effluent discharge sites of the SIPCOT industrial area. Among them, only one strain (CASKS5) was selected for further investigation due to its high minimum inhibitory concentration of mercury and low antibiotic susceptibility. In accordance with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences, the strain CASKS5 was identified as Vibrio fluvialis. The mercury-removal capacity of V. fluvialis was analyzed at four different concentrations (100, 150, 200, and 250 μg/ml). Efficient bioremediation was observed at a level of 250 μg/ml with the removal of 60% of mercury ions. The interesting outcome of this study was that the strain V. fluvialis had a high bioremediation efficiency but had a low antibiotic resistance. Hence, V. fluvialis could be successfully used as a strain for the ecofriendly removal of mercury. Kailasam Saranya, Arumugam Sundaramanickam, Sudhanshu Shekhar, Sankaran Swaminathan, and Thangavel Balasubramanian Copyright © 2017 Kailasam Saranya et al. All rights reserved. Implant Stability in the Posterior Maxilla: A Controlled Clinical Trial Thu, 25 May 2017 06:28:40 +0000 Aim. To evaluate the primary and secondary stability of implants in the posterior maxilla. Methods. Patients were allocated into three groups: (A) native bone, (B) partially regenerated bone, and (C) nearly totally regenerated bone. Insertion torque (IT) and implant stability quotient (ISQ) were measured at placement, to evaluate whether satisfactory high primary stability (IT ≥ 45 N/cm; ISQ ≥ 60) was achieved; ISQ was measured 15, 30, 45, and 60 days after placement, to investigate the evolution to secondary stability. Results. 133 implants (Anyridge®, Megagen) were installed in 59 patients: 55 fixtures were placed in Group A, 57 in Group B, and 21 in Group C. Fifty-two implants had satisfactory high primary stability (IT ≥ 45 N/cm; ISQ ≥ 60). A positive correlation was found between all variables (IT, ISQ at t = 0, t = 60), and statistically higher IT and ISQ values were found for implants with satisfactory high primary stability. Significant differences were found for IT and ISQ between the groups (A, B, and C); however, no drops were reported in the median ISQ values during the healing period. Conclusions. The evaluation of the primary and secondary implant stability may contribute to higher implant survival/success rates in critical areas, such as the regenerated posterior maxilla. The present study is registered in the ISRCTN registry with ID ISRCTN33469250. Raquel Zita Gomes, Mario Ramalho de Vasconcelos, Isabel Maria Lopes Guerra, Rute Alexandra Borges de Almeida, and Antonio Cabral de Campos Felino Copyright © 2017 Raquel Zita Gomes et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of a Polyherbal Aqueous Extract Comprised of Nigella sativa (Seeds), Hemidesmus indicus (Roots), and Smilax glabra (Rhizome) on Bleomycin Induced Cytogenetic Damage in Human Lymphocytes Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This study was carried out to determine the chemoprotective potential of a polyherbal aqueous decoction comprised of Nigella sativa (seeds), Hemidesmus indicus (roots), and Smilax glabra (rhizome) against bleomycin induced cytogenetic damage in human lymphocytes. Isolated peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) were exposed to bleomycin at a dose of 40 µg/mL for 2 hrs in the presence or absence of different doses of the decoction (100, 300, and 600 µg/mL). Modulatory effect of the decoction on bleomycin induced cytogenetic damage was evaluated by (a) degree of chromosomal aberrations (CA), (b) formation of micronuclei (MN), and (c) induction of γH2AX foci in lymphocytes exposed to bleomycin. Lymphocytes pretreated with the decoction showed that a significant reduction () in bleomycin induced (a) stable and unstable chromosome aberrations (CA), (b) MN formation, and (c) formation of H2AX foci, when compared to lymphocytes treated only with bleomycin. The decoction by itself did not induce any significant cytogenetic damage in PBLs. Overall results of the present study confirm that the decoction can attenuate the cytogenetic damage mediated by bleomycin in human PBLs. Bandula Prasanna Galhena, S. S. R. Samarakoon, Myrtle Ira Thabrew, Solomon F. D. Paul, Venkatachalam Perumal, and Chinnadurai Mani Copyright © 2017 Bandula Prasanna Galhena et al. All rights reserved. Health Brokers: How Can They Help Deal with the Wickedness of Public Health Problems? Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. The role of health broker is a relatively new one in public health. Health brokers aim to create support for efforts to optimise health promotion in complex or even “wicked” public health contexts by facilitating intersectoral collaborations and by exchanging knowledge with different stakeholders. The current study aimed to explore the role of health brokers, by examining the motivational, contextual, and behaviour-related factors they have to deal with. Methods. Fifteen professionals from various backgrounds and from various policy and practice organisations were recruited for a semistructured interview. To structure the interviews, we developed the “Health Broker Wheel” (HBW), a framework we then specified with more details derived from the interviews. Results. We identified seven primary types of behaviour that health brokers need to engage in: recognizing opportunities, agenda setting, implementing, network formation, intersectoral collaboration, adaptive managing, and leadership. Determinants of health brokers’ behaviours were identified and categorised as capability, opportunities, motivation, and local or national contextual factors. Conclusion. The health brokers’ role can be seen as an operational approach and is visualised in the HBW. This framework can assist further research to monitor and evaluate this role, and health promotion practitioners can use it as a tool to implement the health brokers’ role and to facilitate intersectoral collaboration. Celeste E. van Rinsum, Sanne M. P. L. Gerards, Geert M. Rutten, Ien A. M. van de Goor, and Stef P. J. Kremers Copyright © 2017 Celeste E. van Rinsum et al. All rights reserved. Closer to a Uniform Language in Colposcopy: Study on the Potential Application of 2011 International Federation for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy Terminology in Clinical Practice Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 As the newest colposcopic terminology, the 2011 International Federation for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy (IFCPC) classification provides standardized interpretation of colposcopic findings. In this study, we analyzed the colposcopic accuracy and the significance of individual findings according to the 2011 IFCPC classification in 525 patients, reviewed by 13 trained colposcopists. Results show that colposcopic diagnoses are in 64.95% perfect agreement with cervical pathology, with 63.64% sensitivity and 96.01% specificity for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL+). And the accuracy is reproducible across different experienced examiners. Many individual findings, especially the two new signs, inner border sign and ridge sign, are proved to have good predictive accuracy, while iodine negativity demonstrates an inferior performance. However, the distribution of three cervical transformation zone (TZ) types is heterogeneous in examiners. A comparison was also made of the findings of another two colposcopists without nomenclature training according to the Reid Colposcopic Index (RCI), modified RCI, and Swede Score. Results show that colposcopic accuracies in them are lower than in those nomenclature trained colposcopists. The 2011 IFCPC nomenclature improves colposcopic accuracy in trained colposcopists, like speaking the same language. However, the reproducibility of TZ and the predictive value of a few signs remain to be discussed. Yanyun Li, Xiaoling Duan, Long Sui, Fengying Xu, Shuifang Xu, Hongwei Zhang, and Congjian Xu Copyright © 2017 Yanyun Li et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Pan-Flavivirus Detection and Identification Assay Based on RT-qPCR and Microarray Wed, 24 May 2017 09:53:53 +0000 The genus Flavivirus includes arthropod-borne viruses responsible for a large number of infections in humans and economically important animals. While RT-PCR protocols for specific detection of most Flavivirus species are available, there has been also a demand for a broad-range Flavivirus assay covering all members of the genus. It is particularly challenging to balance specificity at genus level with equal sensitivity towards each target species. In the present study, a novel assay combining a SYBR Green-based RT-qPCR with a low-density DNA microarray has been developed. Validation experiments confirmed that the RT-qPCR exhibited roughly equal sensitivity of detection and quantification for all flaviviruses tested. These PCR products are subjected to hybridization on a microarray carrying 84 different oligonucleotide probes that represent all known Flavivirus species. This assay has been used as a screening and confirmation tool for Flavivirus presence in laboratory and field samples, and it performed successfully in international External Quality Assessment of NAT studies. Twenty-six Flavivirus strains were tested with the assay, showing equivalent or superior characteristics compared with the original or even with species-specific RT-PCRs. As an example, test results on West Nile virus detection in a panel of 340 mosquito pool samples from Greece are presented. Ariel Vina-Rodriguez, Konrad Sachse, Ute Ziegler, Serafeim C. Chaintoutis, Markus Keller, Martin H. Groschup, and Martin Eiden Copyright © 2017 Ariel Vina-Rodriguez et al. All rights reserved. Sertraline Induces Toxicity and Behavioral Alterations in Planarians Wed, 24 May 2017 09:50:54 +0000 Toxicity attributed to sertraline has been demonstrated recently in different cell types and also in some organisms. We investigated the effect of sertraline on planarians, which are considered suitable for investigations in neurotoxicology and currently are widely used as an animal model in neuropharmacological studies. Planarians treated with 10 µM sertraline showed a rapid reduction in their spontaneous movement until they became completely motionless and then showed a series of asynchronous paroxysms (seizures) followed by progressive tissue damage, beginning 48 h after the sertraline treatment, and died approximately 72 h later. Our data showed that sertraline does not cause planarian death within the range of therapeutic concentrations; however, behavioral alterations were observed with concentrations that can be considered compatible with therapeutic ones, such as a significant reduction in planarian locomotory activity at 0.4 µM. Treatment with 4 µM sertraline had a significant effect, reducing planarian locomotory activity and increasing the number of asynchronous paroxysms; both effects were significantly maintained even 24 h after the sertraline was withdrawn. These behavioral changes observed at low micromolar concentrations suggest that sertraline might have residual biological consequences for planarians, even after it is withdrawn. Isabela Salvador Thumé and Marcos Emílio Frizzo Copyright © 2017 Isabela Salvador Thumé and Marcos Emílio Frizzo. All rights reserved. ACTN3 Gene and Susceptibility to Sarcopenia and Osteoporotic Status in Older Korean Adults Wed, 24 May 2017 09:07:05 +0000 Background. Little information is available about molecular markers for sarcopenia and osteoporosis in Asian populations. Objective. This study investigated the association of the ACTN3 polymorphism with sarcopenia and osteoporotic status in older Korean adults. Methods. Older Korean 62 men and 270 women (mean age 73.7 ± 6.6 years) participated in this study. Body mass index, percent body fatness, appendicular skeletal muscle mass, and bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, femur, and total body were analyzed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. ACTN3 R/X genotyping was determined using TaqMan probes. Results. Determination of odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using binary logistic regression analyses showed that XX homozygotes were at a significantly higher risk of sarcopenia (, , ) and osteoporosis (, , ) than RR homozygotes (reference group, ). The OR of XX homozygotes for having sarcopenia remained significant (, , ) after adjustments for age, gender, body fatness, and serum vitamin D. The OR of XX homozygotes for having osteoporosis was no longer significant (, , ) after adjustments for the covariates. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that the ACTN3 R577X genotype may influence decline in muscle and bone health phenotypes in older Korean adults. Jinkyung Cho, Inhwan Lee, and Hyunsik Kang Copyright © 2017 Jinkyung Cho et al. All rights reserved. A Pilot Study on Bioactive Constituents and Analgesic Effects of MyrLiq®, a Commiphora myrrha Extract with a High Furanodiene Content Wed, 24 May 2017 08:39:33 +0000 The analgesic properties of myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) have been known since ancient times and depend on the presence of bioactive sesquiterpenes with furanodiene skeletons. MyrLiq is a C. myrrha extract with a standardized content of curzerene, furanoeudesma-1,3-diene, and lindestrene ( g kg−1,  g kg−1, and  g kg−1, resp.) and a high total furanodiene content ( g kg−1). A balanced sample of 95 female and 89 male volunteers (with ages ranging from 18 to older than 60 years) exhibiting different pain pathologies, including headache, fever-dependent pain, joint pain, muscle aches, lower back pain, and menstrual cramps, was divided into two groups. The experimental group received 1 capsule/day containing either 200 mg or 400 mg of MyrLiq (corresponding to 8 mg and 16 mg of bioactive furanodienes, resp.) for 20 days, and the placebo group was given the same number of capsules with no MyrLiq. A score was recorded for all volunteers based on their previous experience with prescribed analgesics. For the male volunteers, pain alleviation was obtained with 400 mg of MyrLiq/day for almost all pathologies, whereas, for female volunteers, alleviation of lower back pain and fever-dependent pain was observed with only 200 mg of MyrLiq/day. These results indicate that MyrLiq has significant analgesic properties. Antonio Germano, Andrea Occhipinti, Francesca Barbero, and Massimo E. Maffei Copyright © 2017 Antonio Germano et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Antibacterial Activity of Lactobacillus plantarum Strains Isolated from Two Different Kinds of Regional Cheeses from Poland: Oscypek and Korycinski Cheese Wed, 24 May 2017 07:16:56 +0000 Oscypek and korycinski are traditional Polish cheeses, exclusively produced in Tatra and in Podlasie region, respectively, produced from raw, unpasteurized milk. The 29 Lactobacillus plantarum strains were isolated on MRS agar from 12 cheese samples and used as a material for study. The main purpose of the work was to assess the antimicrobial properties and recognition of selected strains for the unique antagonistic activity and preservation role in food. It has been found that the highest antimicrobial activity was observed in the case of L. monocytogenes strains; however, the level of that activity was different depending on the Lb. plantarum strain. Strains from oscypek produced broad spectrum, and a few strains isolated from korycinski cheese produced a narrow spectrum of antimicrobial compounds, other than organic acids and hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, the antagonistic activity shown by Lb. plantarum strains is connected with the source from which a given strain was isolated. Strains isolated from oscypek cheese represented stronger activity against L. monocytogenes, whereas strains isolated from korycinski cheese were more active against E. coli. Strains Lb. plantarum Os13 and Kor14 could be considered as good candidates for protective cultures to extend durability of food products. Aleksandra Ołdak, Dorota Zielińska, Anna Rzepkowska, and Danuta Kołożyn-Krajewska Copyright © 2017 Aleksandra Ołdak et al. All rights reserved. Can Rehabilitation Influence the Efficiency of Control Signals in Complex Motion Strategies? Wed, 24 May 2017 06:43:05 +0000 The factor determining quality of life in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the worsening of a patient’s walking ability. The use of external stimuli can improve gait when performing complex motor patterns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of rehabilitation on the effectiveness of control signals in people with PD. The study was performed on 42 people with idiopathic PD in the third stage of disease. The control group consisted of 19 patients who did not participate in rehabilitation activities. The experimental group was systematically participating in rehabilitation activities twice a week (60 minutes) for 9 months. Gait speed, mean step length, and step frequency were calculated on the basis of the obtained results. These parameters were compared in both groups by single factor variance analyses. The best results were obtained using rhythmic external auditory signals. The group with patients actively participating in rehabilitation showed statistically significant improvement in gait speed (12.35%), mean step length (18.00%), and frequency step (2.40%) compared to the control group. The presented research showed the positive effect of rehabilitation and was based on the performance of complex motion patterns, using external control signals for their effectiveness in new motion tasks. Joanna Cholewa, Jaroslaw Cholewa, Agnieszka Gorzkowska, Andrzej Malecki, and Arkadiusz Stanula Copyright © 2017 Joanna Cholewa et al. All rights reserved. Txndc9 Is Required for Meiotic Maturation of Mouse Oocytes Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Txndc9 (thioredoxin domain containing protein 9) has been shown to be involved in mammalian mitosis; however, its function in mammalian oocyte meiosis remains unclear. In this study, we initially found that Txndc9 is expressed during meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes and higher expression of Txndc9 mRNA and protein occurred in germinal vesicle (GV) stage. By using confocal scanning, we observed that Txndc9 localized at both nucleus and cytoplasm, especially at spindle microtubules. Specific depletion of Txndc9 by siRNA in mouse oocyte resulted in decreasing the rate of first polar body extrusion and increasing abnormal spindle assemble. Moreover, knockdown of Txndc9 in germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes led to higher level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lower level of antioxidant glutathione (GSH) as compared with control oocytes, which indicated that Txndc9 may be involved in mediating the redox balance. In summary, our results demonstrated that Txndc9 is crucial for mouse oocyte maturation by regulating spindle assembly, polar body extrusion, and redox status. Fanhua Ma, Liming Hou, and Liguo Yang Copyright © 2017 Fanhua Ma et al. All rights reserved. Serum Metabolomics Profiling to Identify Biomarkers for Unstable Angina Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Although statistical evidence is clear regarding the dangerousness of unstable angina (UA), a form of coronary heart disease (CHD) characterised by high mortality and morbidity globally, it is important to recognise that diagnostic precision for the condition is unfavourable. In the present research, to gain insight into candidate biomarkers, the author draws on 1H NMR-based serum metabolic profiling to analyze the unstable angina pectoris (UAP) metabolic signatures; this constitutes an effective way to produce medical diagnosis. 101 unstable angina pectoris patients and 132 healthy controls were enrolled and 22 serum samples from each group were analyzed. Effective separation was noted regarding the UAP and control groups, and, for the former group considered in relation to their counterpart, the serum concentrations of Lac, m-I, lipid, VLDL, 3-HB, and LDL were higher whereas the concentrations of Thr, Cr, Cho, PC/GPC, Glu, Gln, Lys, HDL, Ile, Leu, and Val were lower. The conclusion drawn in view of the results is that the plasma metabolomics examined by 1H NMR displayed promise for biomarker identification for UA. In addition to this, the analysis illuminated the metabolic processes of UA. Wei Yao, Yuxia Gao, and Zheng Wan Copyright © 2017 Wei Yao et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Amplatz Sheath on Cystolithotripsy for Women with Large Bladder Stone Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. This study compared the effect of endourological procedures with or without the Amplatz sheath (AS) on cystolithotripsy. Methods. We retrospectively analysed 18 patients who underwent treatment for bladder stone over 30 mm. This study consisted of two groups, namely, patients who underwent cystolithotripsy with an AS (AS group) and those who underwent standard procedure without an AS (SP group). The stone-free rate, total energy used for operation, operation time, days of admission after operation, and complication of both groups were compared. Results. The number of patients in the AS and SP groups was 10 and 8, respectively. Significant differences were not found between these two groups with regard to age, stone burden, stone volume, number of stones, and history of neurogenic bladder. All patients in both groups achieved a stone-free state. Total energy was significantly increased and operation time was shorter in the AS group. No significant difference was observed in terms of days of admission after operation. Any complications were not increased by the use of AS. Struvite was the most common stone component in both groups. Conclusion. Use of an AS can shorten the operation time of cystolithotripsy without increasing perioperative complication. Tadashi Tabei, Takashi Kawahara, Shinnosuke Kuroda, Hiroki Ito, Kazuki Kobayashi, Hiroji Uemura, and Junichi Matsuzaki Copyright © 2017 Tadashi Tabei et al. All rights reserved. Infections Caused by HRSV A ON1 Are Predominant among Hospitalized Infants with Bronchiolitis in São Paulo City Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Human respiratory syncytial virus is the main cause of respiratory infections in infants. Several HRSV genotypes have been described. Goals. To describe the main genotypes that caused infections in São Paulo (2013–2015) and to analyze their clinical/epidemiological features. Methods. 94 infants (0–6 months) with bronchiolitis were studied. Clinical/epidemiological information was collected; a search for 16 viruses in nasopharyngeal secretion (PCR-real-time and conventional, sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses) was performed. Results. The mean age was 2.4 m; 48% were male. The mean length of hospital stay was 4.4 d (14% in the Intensive Care Unit). The positive rate of respiratory virus was 98.9%; 73 cases (77.6%) were HRSV (76,7% HRSVA). HRSVA formed three clusters: ON1 (), NA1 (), and NA2 (). All HRSVB were found to cluster in the BA genotype (BA9-; BA10-). Clinical analyses showed no significant differences between the genotype AON1 and other genotypes. Conclusion. This study showed a high rate of HRSV detection in bronchiolitis. HRSVA ON1, which has recently been described in other countries and has not been identified in previous studies in the southeast region of Brazil, was predominant. The clinical characteristics of the infants that were infected with AON1 were similar to infants with infections by other genotypes. Sandra E. Vieira, Luciano M. Thomazelli, Milena de Paulis, Angela E. Ferronato, Daniele B. Oliveira, Marina Baquerizo Martinez, and Edison L. Durigon Copyright © 2017 Sandra E. Vieira et al. All rights reserved. Does Chemotherapy for Gynecological Malignancies during Pregnancy Cause Fetal Growth Restriction? Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Cancer and pregnancy rarely coincide. Gynecological cancers are among the most common malignancies to occur during pregnancy, and chemotherapy with or without surgery is the primary treatment option. The main concern of administering chemotherapy during pregnancy is congenital malformation, although it can be avoided by delaying treatment until after organogenesis. The dose, frequency, choice of chemotherapeutic agents, time of treatment commencement, and method of administration can be adjusted to obtain the best maternal treatment outcomes while simultaneously minimizing fetal toxicity. Use of chemotherapy after the first trimester, while seemingly safe, can cause fetal growth restriction. However, the exact effect of chemotherapy on such fetal growth restriction has not been fully established; information is scarce owing to the rarity of malignancy occurring during pregnancy, the lack of uniform treatment protocols, different terminologies for defining certain fetal growth abnormalities, the influence of mothers’ preferred options, and ethical issues. Herein, we present up-to-date findings from the literature regarding the impact of chemotherapy on fetal growth. Nabil Abdalla, Magdalena Bizoń, Robert Piórkowski, Paweł Stanirowski, Krzysztof Cendrowski, and Włodzimierz Sawicki Copyright © 2017 Nabil Abdalla et al. All rights reserved. Involvement of the Toll-Like Receptor/Nitric Oxide Signaling Pathway in the Pathogenesis of Cervical Cancer Caused by High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Human papillomavirus (HPV) can activate Toll-like receptor (TLR)/nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathways; however, whether the TLR/NO pathway is involved in cervical cancer caused by high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) remains unclear. In this study, 43 HR-HPV-positive patients with cervical cancer (CC group), 39 HR-HPV-positive patients with a healthy cervix (HR-HPV group), and 33 HR-HPV-negative controls were recruited. NO concentration in cervical canal and expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in cervical tissues were detected. Expressions of key TLR/NO pathway genes (TLR3/4/7/8, NF-κB p65, and iNOS) in cervical epithelial cells were detected by quantitative reverse transcription PCR. Expressions of TLR4, NF-κB p65, and iNOS in CaSki, HeLa, and C33a cells were determined by Western blot. NO concentration in cervical canal of CC group was significantly higher than in other groups (). Positive rates of iNOS in cervical tissues were 72.1%, 28.2%, and 3.1% in the CC group, HR-HPV group, and controls, respectively (). Levels of TLR3, TLR4, TLR7, TLR8, NF-κB p65, and iNOS in cervical epithelial cells were higher in CC group than in other groups (). Both mRNA and protein levels of TLR4, NF-κB p65, and iNOS were higher in HPV-positive HeLa and CaSki cells than in HPV-negative C33a cells (). Together, these results suggest that TLR/NO signaling pathway may be involved in pathogenesis of cervical cancer caused by HR-HPV. Jie Li, Heping Rao, Chang’e Jin, and Jinrong Liu Copyright © 2017 Jie Li et al. All rights reserved. Feeder Cell Type Affects the Growth of In Vitro Cultured Bovine Trophoblast Cells Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Trophectoderm cells are the foremost embryonic cells to differentiate with prospective stem-cell properties. In the current study, we aimed at improving the current approach for trophoblast culture by using granulosa cells as feeders. Porcine granulosa cells (PGCs) compared to the conventional mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were used to grow trophectoderm cells from hatched bovine blastocysts. Isolated trophectoderm cells were monitored and displayed characteristic epithelial/cuboidal morphology. The isolated trophectoderm cells expressed mRNA of homeobox protein (CDX2), cytokeratin-8 (KRT8), and interferon tau (IFNT). The expression level was higher on PGCs compared to MEFs throughout the study. In addition, primary trophectoderm cell colonies grew faster on PGCs, with a doubling time of approximately 48 hrs, compared to MEFs. PGCs feeders produced a fair amount of 17β-estradiol and progesterone. We speculated that the supplementation of sex steroids and still-unknown factors during the trophoblasts coculture on PGCs have helped to have better trophectoderm cell’s growth than on MEFs. This is the first time to use PGCs as feeders to culture trophectoderm cells and it proved superior to MEFs. We propose PGCs as alternative feeders for long-term culture of bovine trophectoderm cells. This model will potentially benefit studies on the early trophoblast and embryonic development in bovines. Islam M. Saadeldin, Ahmed Abdelfattah-Hassan, and Ayman Abdel-Aziz Swelum Copyright © 2017 Islam M. Saadeldin et al. All rights reserved. Detection of MicroRNA in Hepatic Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Genotype-4 in Egyptian Patients Tue, 23 May 2017 10:23:18 +0000 Background. In Egypt, the prevalence of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection is 13.8% of whole population and about 80% of the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma have underling hepatitis C. Aim. This study was designed to assess the diagnostic value of plasma miR-122 and miR-21 in patients with CHC, genotype-4, to detect fibrosis progression versus noninvasive indices and their diagnostic value in detection of early stages of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methodology. A prospective study that included 180 patients, divided into 3 groups: healthy controls (group I), CHC patients (group II), and hepatitis C patients with HCC (group III); all cases were subjected to thorough clinical, radiological, and laboratory investigations. Selected biomarkers were evaluated and correlated with degree of liver damage. Results revealed that miR-122 followed by miR-21 had the highest efficiency in prediction of liver cell damage. Also, miR-21 was strongly correlated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and alpha fetoprotein (α-FP) in HCC patients. Conclusions. Plasma miR-122 and miR-21 had strong correlation with degree fibrosis in HCV genotype-4 patients; consequently they can be considered as potential biomarker for early detection of hepatic fibrosis. Moreover, miR-21 can be used as a potential biomarker, for early detection of HCC combined with VEGF and α-FP. Hala M. Demerdash, Hend M. Hussein, Ehab Hassouna, and Emad A. Arida Copyright © 2017 Hala M. Demerdash et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Combining a Low-Tube Voltage Acquisition with Iterative Reconstruction on Total Iodine Dose in Coronary CT Angiography Tue, 23 May 2017 09:38:56 +0000 Objectives. To assess the impact of combining low-tube voltage acquisition with iterative reconstruction (IR) techniques on the iodine dose in coronary CTA. Methods. Three minipigs underwent CCTA to compare a standard of care protocol with two alternative study protocols combining low-tube voltage and low iodine dose with IR. Image quality was evaluated objectively by the CT value, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in the main coronary arteries and aorta and subjectively by expert reading. Statistics were performed by Mann–Whitney test and Chi-square analysis. Results. Despite reduced iodine dose, both study protocols maintained CT values, SNR, and CNR compared to the standard of care protocol. Expert readings confirmed these findings; all scans were perceived to be of at least diagnostically acceptable quality on all evaluated parameters allowing image interpretation. No statistical differences were observed (all values > 0.11), except for streak artifacts () which were considered to be more severe, although acceptable, with the 80 kVp protocol. Conclusions. Reduced tube voltage in combination with IR allows a total iodine dose reduction between 37 and 50%, by using contrast media with low iodine concentrations of 200 and 160 mg I/mL, while maintaining image quality. Toon Van Cauteren, Gert Van Gompel, Kaoru Tanaka, Douwe E. Verdries, Dries Belsack, Koenraad H. Nieboer, Inneke Willekens, Paul Evans, Sven Macholl, Guy Verfaillie, Steven Droogmans, Johan de Mey, and Nico Buls Copyright © 2017 Toon Van Cauteren et al. All rights reserved. Application of Biotechnology for the Production of Biomass-Based Fuels Tue, 23 May 2017 08:40:32 +0000 Liandong Zhu, Ningbo Gao, and Rong-Gang Cong Copyright © 2017 Liandong Zhu et al. All rights reserved. Component Release and Mechanical Properties of Endodontic Sealers following Incorporation of Antimicrobial Agents Tue, 23 May 2017 07:53:29 +0000 Root canal sealers with antimicrobial activity are highly beneficial; therefore, their antimicrobial properties could be improved by incorporation of antimicrobial agents. In the present study, the release of the quaternary ammonium compounds from endodontic sealers admixed with either benzalkonium chloride (BC) or cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) at loadings of 2% wt was monitored. The effect of these additives on the compressive strengths and their release from the sealers was determined after 1 and 4 weeks. All of the materials studied were found to be capable of releasing antimicrobial additive in useful quantities. The release of CPC occurred to a statistically significant greater extent than BC for all materials. The addition of both BC and CPC generally decreased the compressive strength of all the endodontic sealers, with the exception of CPC in AH Plus, where the compressive strength was significantly increased. This suggests that, for these endodontic sealers, the antimicrobial additives alter the setting chemistry. AH Plus is an epoxy-based material cured with an amine, and in this case the increase in compressive strength with CPC is attributed to an enhanced cure reaction with this system. In all other cases, the additive inhibited the cure reaction to a greater or lesser extent. Elizabeta S. Gjorgievska, John W. Nicholson, Nichola J. Coleman, Samantha Booth, Aleksandar Dimkov, and Andrew Hurt Copyright © 2017 Elizabeta S. Gjorgievska et al. All rights reserved.