BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Postmenopausal Iron Overload Exacerbated Bone Loss by Promoting the Degradation of Type I Collagen Tue, 23 May 2017 06:52:01 +0000 117 postmenopausal women were divided into Normal, Bone loss (BL), and Osteoporosis group. Compared with Normal group (120.96 ± 43.18 μg/L), the serum ferritin (Fer) in BL (223.37 ± 130.27 μg/L) and Osteoporosis group (307.50 ± 161.48 μg/L) was significantly increased (p < 0.05). Fer level was negatively correlated with BMD (p < 0.01). TRACP levels in Osteoporosis group (4.37 ± 1.69 U/L) were significantly higher than Normal group (4.10 ± 1.60 U/L, p < 0.05). ALP levels in Osteoporosis group (112.06 ± 62.05 U/L) were significantly upregulated compared with Normal group (80.22 ± 14.94 U/L, p < 0.05). β-CTX and PINP were the degradation products of type I collagen. β-CTX levels in Osteoporosis group (667.90 ± 316.55 ng/L) were significantly increased compared with Normal group (406.06 ± 112.12 ng/L, p < 0.05). PINP levels in Osteoporosis group (78.03 ± 37.31 μg/L) were significantly higher than Normal group (37.60 ± 13.17 μg/L, p < 0.01). More importantly, there was a positive correlation between serum Fer and PINP (p < 0.01). Serum Fer showed a positive correlation of serum β-CTX (p < 0.01). The overloaded iron improved the degradation of type I collagen. Qian Cheng, Xiaofei Zhang, Jun Jiang, Guoyang Zhao, Yin Wang, Youjia Xu, Ximing Xu, and Haile Ma Copyright © 2017 Qian Cheng et al. All rights reserved. Effects of (1E,4E)-2-Methyl-1,5-bis(4-nitrophenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one on Trypanosoma cruzi and Its Combinational Effect with Benznidazole, Ketoconazole, or Fluconazole Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This study reports the activity induced by (1E,4E)-2-methyl-1,5-bis(4-nitrophenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one (A3K2A3) against Trypanosoma cruzi. This compound showed trypanocidal activity against the multiplicative epimastigote and amastigote forms of this protozoan, with IC50 values of and  μM, respectively, and EC50 value of  μM against trypomastigotes. The combination of A3K2A3 with benznidazole or ketoconazole demonstrated strong synergism, increasing effectiveness against trypomastigotes or epimastigotes of T. cruzi. In addition, the drug combination of A3K2A3 with benznidazole or ketoconazole on LLCMK2 cells demonstrated an antagonist effect, which resulted in greater protection of the cells from drug damage. The combination of the compound with fluconazole was not effective. Transmission and scanning electron micrographs showed changes on parasites, mainly in the cytoplasmatic membrane, nucleus, mitochondrion, and Golgi complex, and a large increase in the number of autophagosome-like structures and lipid-storage bodies, accompanied by volume reduction and rounding of the parasite. A3K2A3 might be a promising compound against T. cruzi. Francieli Peron, Danielle Lazarin-Bidóia, Zia Ud Din, Edson Rodrigues-Filho, Tânia Ueda-Nakamura, Sueli de Oliveira Silva, and Celso Vataru Nakamura Copyright © 2017 Francieli Peron et al. All rights reserved. Histopathological and Reproductive Evaluation in Male Rats Fed Jatropha curcas Seed Cake with or without Alkaline Hydrolysis and Subjected to Heat Treatment Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Jatropha curcas cake, a by-product of biodiesel production, is rich in protein and has potential to be used in livestock feed; however, the presence of antinutritional factors and phorbol esters limits its use. Thus, this study investigated toxicological and reproductive effects in male Wistar rats after subchronic exposure to J. curcas cake subjected to detoxification procedures. Rats were divided into seven groups () and treated for 60 days. The control group received commercial feed, while experimental groups received a diet containing 5% J. curcas cake nonhydrolyzed or hydrolyzed with 5 M NaOH. The cakes were unwashed or washed with ethanol or water and were autoclaved at 121°C for 30 minutes. Alkaline hydrolysis combined with ethanol washing decreased the phorbol ester concentration in the cake by 98%. Histopathological findings included diffuse degeneration of the liver and edema around the pulmonary vessels in the nonhydrolyzed groups. In addition, nontreated females mated with males of nonhydrolyzed unwashed group showed a decreased number of live fetuses and an increased placental weight. There were no signs of toxicity in rats given hydrolyzed cakes washed and unwashed, indicating that alkaline hydrolysis associated with heat treatment is an efficient method for detoxification of the J. curcas cake. Laiane Teixeira Sousa Moura, Domenica Palomaris Mariano Souza, Simone Mendonça, José Antônio de Aquino Ribeiro, Luciano Fernandes Sousa, Adriano Tony Ramos, Paulo César Maiorka, Vera Lúcia de Araújo, and Viviane Mayumi Maruo Copyright © 2017 Laiane Teixeira Sousa Moura et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Gamma Rays on Sophora davidii and Detection of DNA Polymorphism through ISSR Marker Mon, 22 May 2017 09:01:48 +0000 Sophora davidii (Franch.) Kom. ex Pavol is an important medicinal plant and a feeding scrub with ecological value. The effects of different gamma irradiation doses (20–140 Kr) on seed germination and seedling morphology were investigated in S. davidii, and intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to identify the DNA polymorphism among mutants. Significant variations were observed for seed germination, stem diameter, and number of branches per plant. The improved agronomic traits, such as stem diameter and number of branches per plant, were recorded at 80 Kr dose and 20 Kr dose for seed germination. ISSR analysis generated in total 183 scorable fragments, of which 94 (51.37%) were polymorphic. The percentage of polymorphism ranged from 14.29 to 93.33 with an average of 45.69%. Jaccard’s coefficients of dissimilarity varied from 0.6885 to 1.000, indicative of the level of genetic variation among the mutants. The constructed dendrogram grouped the entities into five clusters. Consequently, it was concluded that gamma rays irradiation of seeds generates a sufficient number of induced mutations and that ISSR analysis offered a useful molecular marker for the identification of mutants. Puchang Wang, Yu Zhang, Lili Zhao, Bentian Mo, and Tianqiong Luo Copyright © 2017 Puchang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Perception of Community Pharmacists towards Dispensing Errors in Community Pharmacy Setting in Gondar Town, Northwest Ethiopia Mon, 22 May 2017 08:07:57 +0000 Background. Dispensing errors are inevitable occurrences in community pharmacies across the world. Objective. This study aimed to identify the community pharmacists’ perception towards dispensing errors in the community pharmacies in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 47 community pharmacists selected through convenience sampling. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics, Mann–Whitney U test, and Pearson’s Chi-square test of independence were conducted with considered statistically significant. Result. The majority of respondents were in the 23–28-year age group (, 55.3%) and with at least B.Pharm degree (, 53.2%). Poor prescription handwriting and similar/confusing names were perceived to be the main contributing factors while all the strategies and types of dispensing errors were highly acknowledged by the respondents. Group differences () in opinions were largely due to educational level and age. Conclusion. Dispensing errors were associated with prescribing quality and design of dispensary as well as dispensing procedures. Opinion differences relate to age and educational status of the respondents. Dessalegn Asmelashe Gelayee and Gashaw Binega Mekonnen Copyright © 2017 Dessalegn Asmelashe Gelayee and Gashaw Binega Mekonnen. All rights reserved. The Potential of a Brown Microalga Cultivated in High Salt Medium for the Production of High-Value Compounds Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Amphora sp. was isolated from the Sfax Solar Saltern and cultivated under hypersaline conditions. It contains moderate rates of proteins, lipids, sugars, and minerals and a prominent content of bioactive compounds: polyphenols, chlorophyll a, carotenoids, and fatty acids. The analysis of fatty acids with GC/MS showed that the C16 series accounted for about 75% of Amphora sp. lipids. Saturated fatty acids whose palmitic acid was the most important (27.41%) represented 41.31%. Amphora sp. was found to be rich in monounsaturated fatty acids with dominance of palmitoleic acid. It also contains a significant percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids with a high amount of eicosapentaenoic acid (2.36%). Among the various solvents used, ethanol at 80% extracted the highest amounts of phenols and flavonoids that were 38.27 mg gallic acid equivalent and 17.69 mg catechin equivalent g−1 of dried extract, respectively. Using various in vitro assays including DPPH and ABTS radicals methods, reducing power assay, and β-carotene bleaching assay, the 80% ethanolic extract showed high antioxidant activity. A strong antibacterial activity was checked against Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus luteus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica). These results are in favor of Amphora sp. valorization in aquaculture and food and pharmaceutical industries. Saoussan Boukhris, Khaled Athmouni, Ibtissem Hamza-Mnif, Rayda Siala-Elleuch, Habib Ayadi, Moncef Nasri, and Alya Sellami-Kamoun Copyright © 2017 Saoussan Boukhris et al. All rights reserved. MicroRNA-29b Contributes to Collagens Imbalance in Human Osteoarthritic and Dedifferentiated Articular Chondrocytes Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. Decreased expression of collagen type II in favour of collagen type I or X is one hallmark of chondrocyte phenotype changes in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage. MicroRNA- (miR-) 29b was previously shown to target collagens in several tissues. We studied whether it could contribute to collagen imbalance in chondrocytes with an impaired phenotype. Methods. After preliminary microarrays screening, miR-29b levels were measured by RT- quantitative PCR in in vitro models of chondrocyte phenotype changes (IL-1β challenge or serial subculturing) and in chondrocytes from OA and non-OA patients. Potential miR-29b targets identified in silico in 3′-UTRs of collagens mRNAs were tested with luciferase reporter assays. The impact of premiR-29b overexpression in ATDC5 cells was studied on collagen mRNA levels and synthesis (Sirius red staining) during chondrogenesis. Results. MiR-29b level increased significantly in IL-1β-stimulated and weakly in subcultured chondrocytes. A 5.8-fold increase was observed in chondrocytes from OA versus non-OA patients. Reporter assays showed that miR-29b targeted COL2A1 and COL1A2 3′-UTRs although with a variable recovery upon mutation. In ATDC5 cells overexpressing premiR-29b, collagen production was reduced while mRNA levels increased. Conclusions. By acting probably as a posttranscriptional regulator with a different efficacy on COL2A1 and COL1A2 expression, miR-29b can contribute to the collagens imbalance associated with an abnormal chondrocyte phenotype. David Moulin, Véronique Salone, Meriem Koufany, Thomas Clément, Isabelle Behm-Ansmant, Christiane Branlant, Bruno Charpentier, and Jean-Yves Jouzeau Copyright © 2017 David Moulin et al. All rights reserved. Antimicrobial Activity of Quinazolin Derivatives of 1,2-Di(quinazolin-4-yl)diselane against Mycobacteria Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Currently, the emergence of drug resistance has an urgent need for new drugs. In previous study, we found that 1,2-di(quinazolin-4-yl)diselane (DQYD), a quinazoline derivative, has anticancer activities against many cancers. However, whether DQYD has the activity of antimycobacterium is still little known. Here our results show that DQYD has a similar value of the minimum inhibitory concentration with clinical drugs against mycobacteria and also has the ability of bacteriostatic activity with dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, the activities of DQYD against M. tuberculosis are associated with intracellular ATP homeostasis. Meanwhile, mycobacterium DNA damage level was increased after DQYD treatment. But there was no correlation between survival of mycobacteria in the presence of DQYD and intercellular reactive oxygen species. This study enlightens the possible benefits of quinazoline derivatives as potential antimycobacterium compounds and furtherly suggests a new strategy to develop new methods for searching antituberculosis drugs. Bikui Tang, Meili Wei, Qun Niu, Yinjiu Huang, Shuo Ru, Xiaofen Liu, Lin Shen, and Qiang Fang Copyright © 2017 Bikui Tang et al. All rights reserved. Chronic Kidney Dysfunction Can Increase the Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis after Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the major complications of total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Chronic kidney dysfunction (CKD) has proven to promote a proinflammatory and prothrombotic state and is prevalent among patients undergoing TJA. The purpose of this study is to identify whether CKD increase the risk of DVT following TJA. Methods. In a retrospective study, 1274 patients who underwent primary TJA were studied. CKD is graded in 5 stages. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to identify the association of CKD and its severity with postoperative DVT. Results. There were 1139 (89.4%) participants with normal kidney function, 103 (8.1%) with mildly decreased kidney function, and 32 (2.5%) with stage 3 and 4 CKD. A total of 244 patients (19.2%) were diagnosed with DVT. Sixty-four patients (5.0%) developed symptomatic DVT. Advanced age, female gender, malignancy, and eGFR showed significant association with total DVT. BMI, thrombosis history, malignancy, and eGFR were associated with symptomatic DVT. After adjusting for age, gender, BMI, and malignancy, eGFR was found to be related to both total and symptomatic DVT. Conclusions. CKD is an important risk factor for both total and symptomatic DVT following TJA. Postoperative prophylaxis should be made a priority in this population. Qiangqiang Li, Bingyang Dai, Yao Yao, Kai Song, Dongyang Chen, and Qing Jiang Copyright © 2017 Qiangqiang Li et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Streptococcus sanguinis Bacteriocin on Deformation, Adhesion Ability, and Young’s Modulus of Candida albicans Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 In order to study the thallus changes on microscopic morphology and mechanical properties of Candida albicans antagonized by Streptococcus sanguinis bacteriocin, the adhesion ability and Young’s modulus of thalli and hypha of Candida albicans were measured by the relative measurement method using atomic force microscope’s (AFM) tapping model. The results showed that the average adhesion ability and Young’s modulus of thalli were  nN and  Mpa, respectively; the average adhesion ability and Young’s modulus of hypha were  nN and  Mpa, respectively. After being antagonized by Streptococcus sanguinis bacteriocin, the adhesion ability was decreased along with the increasing of deformation in reaction region and Young’s modulus followed the same changes. It could be concluded that the adhesion ability of hypha was greater than thalli, Young’s modulus of hypha was less than thalli, and adhesion ability and Young’s modulus of Candida albicans were decreased significantly after being antagonized by Streptococcus sanguinis bacteriocin. Shengli Ma, Wenyu Ge, Yifan Yan, Xu Huang, Li Ma, Chunmei Li, Shuyang Yu, and Chunxiao Chen Copyright © 2017 Shengli Ma et al. All rights reserved. Postoperative Compensatory Ammonium Excretion Subsequent to Systemic Acidosis in Cardiac Patients Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Postoperative acid-base imbalances, usually acidosis, frequently occur after cardiac surgery. In most cases, the human body, not suffering from any severe preexisting illnesses regarding lung, liver, and kidney, is capable of transient compensation and final correction. The aim of this study was to correlate the appearance of postoperatively occurring acidosis with renal ammonium excretion. Materials and Methods. Between 07/2014 and 10/2014, a total of 25 consecutive patients scheduled for elective isolated coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass were enrolled in this prospective observational study. During the operative procedure and the first two postoperative days, blood gas analyses were carried out and urine samples collected. Urine samples were analyzed for the absolute amount of ammonium. Results. Of all patients, thirteen patients developed acidosis as an initial disturbance in the postoperative period: five of respiratory and eight of metabolic origin. Four patients with respiratory acidosis but none of those with metabolic acidosis subsequently developed a base excess > +2 mEq/L. Conclusion. Ammonium excretion correlated with the increase in base excess. The acidosis origin seems to have a large influence on renal compensation in terms of ammonium excretion and the possibility of an overcorrection. Friederike Roehrborn, Daniel-Sebastian Dohle, Indra N. Waack, Konstantinos Tsagakis, Heinz Jakob, and Johanna K. Teloh Copyright © 2017 Friederike Roehrborn et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Alimentary Canal Extracts from the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier Larvae Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The invasive red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is considered one of the world’s most devastating insect pests to palm trees. It was observed that larvae of this pest are able to inhibit microbial growth on the rearing media when they start feeding and this observation has led us to study the effect of red palm weevils on various microbial species. The antimicrobial effect of extracts from different parts of the alimentary canal on Gram positive bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus), Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp.), Candida albicans, and Penicillium sp. was tested using the agar well diffusion method. All extracts inhibited the tested microbial species. Foregut extracts had the greatest zones of growth inhibition. Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Penicillium sp. were significantly sensitive to the extracts and had the largest growth inhibition zones. It is concluded that the gut extracts contain potent antimicrobial activity and may provide a new source of antimicrobial peptides. Gamal H. Sewify, Hanan M. Hamada, and Hani A. Alhadrami Copyright © 2017 Gamal H. Sewify et al. All rights reserved. Treatment of Cervical Artery Dissection: Antithrombotics, Thrombolysis, and Endovascular Therapy Sun, 21 May 2017 09:04:20 +0000 Cervical artery dissection (CAD) is an important cause of stroke for young patients, accounting for 5–22% of strokes in patients <45 years of age, which presents not only a great burden to the stroke victims but also a financial burden to the family and society. Because CAD can lead to different clinical lesions, including neuropathy, acute ischemic stroke, and subarachnoid hemorrhage, and is an arterial dissection with a self-healing tendency, the treatment options depend on the clinical manifestations. The main purpose of the treatment is to control CAD-induced neuronal damage and to restore blood flow. The treatment programs include drug treatment and endovascular treatment. However, antithrombotic treatment is crucial. Both antiplatelet drugs and anticoagulant drugs are used to reduce the risk of stroke, but whether one treatment strategy is more effective than the other is unknown. The efficacy and timing of the endovascular treatment of CAD remain controversial. Jing Peng, Zunjing Liu, Chunxia Luo, Lin Chen, Xianhua Hou, Li Xiao, and Zhenhua Zhou Copyright © 2017 Jing Peng et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Branching Structure of Fluidic Networks with Permeable Walls Sun, 21 May 2017 07:02:05 +0000 Biological and engineering studies of Hess-Murray’s law are focused on assemblies of tubes with impermeable walls. Blood vessels and airways have permeable walls to allow the exchange of fluid and other dissolved substances with tissues. Should Hess-Murray’s law hold for bifurcating systems in which the walls of the vessels are permeable to fluid? This paper investigates the fluid flow in a porous-walled T-shaped assembly of vessels. Fluid flow in this branching flow structure is studied numerically to predict the configuration that provides greater access to the flow. Our findings indicate, among other results, that an asymmetric flow (i.e., breaking the symmetry of the flow distribution) may occur in this symmetrical dichotomous system. To derive expressions for the optimum branching sizes, the hydraulic resistance of the branched system is computed. Here we show the T-shaped assembly of vessels is only conforming to Hess-Murray’s law optimum as long as they have impervious walls. Findings also indicate that the optimum relationship between the sizes of parent and daughter tubes depends on the wall permeability of the assembled tubes. Our results agree with analytical results obtained from a variety of sources and provide new insights into the dynamics within the assembly of vessels. Vinicius R. Pepe, Luiz A. O. Rocha, and Antonio F. Miguel Copyright © 2017 Vinicius R. Pepe et al. All rights reserved. Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Affect Myogenic Processes in C2C12 Myoblasts: Role of Gap-Junction-Mediated Intercellular Communication Sun, 21 May 2017 06:41:14 +0000 Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) can interact with biological systems. Although they are successfully used as therapeutic agents in physiatrics and rehabilitative practice, they might represent environmental pollutants and pose a risk to human health. Due to the lack of evidence of their mechanism of action, the effects of ELF-EMFs on differentiation processes in skeletal muscle were investigated. C2C12 myoblasts were exposed to ELF-EMFs generated by a solenoid. The effects of ELF-EMFs on cell viability and on growth and differentiation rates were studied using colorimetric and vital dye assays, cytomorphology, and molecular analysis of MyoD and myogenin expression, respectively. The establishment of functional gap junctions was investigated analyzing connexin 43 expression levels and measuring cell permeability, using microinjection/dye-transfer assays. The ELF-EMFs did not affect C2C12 myoblast viability or proliferation rate. Conversely, at ELF-EMF intensity in the mT range, the myogenic process was accelerated, through increased expression of MyoD, myogenin, and connexin 43. The increase in gap-junction function suggests promoting cell fusion and myotube differentiation. These data provide the first evidence of the mechanism through which ELF-EMFs may provide therapeutic benefits and can resolve, at least in part, some conditions of muscle dysfunction. Caterina Morabito, Nathalie Steimberg, Francesca Rovetta, Jennifer Boniotti, Simone Guarnieri, Giovanna Mazzoleni, and Maria A. Mariggiò Copyright © 2017 Caterina Morabito et al. All rights reserved. The Protective Effect of N-Acetylcysteine on Ionizing Radiation Induced Ovarian Failure and Loss of Ovarian Reserve in Female Mouse Sun, 21 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Ionizing radiation may cause irreversible ovarian failure, which, therefore, calls for an effective radioprotective reagent. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential radioprotective effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on ionizing radiation induced ovarian failure and loss of ovarian reserve in mice. Kun-Ming mice were either exposed to X-irradiation (4 Gy), once, and/or treated with NAC (300 mg/kg), once daily for 7 days before X-irradiation. We examined the serum circulating hormone levels and the development of ovarian follicles as well as apoptosis, cell proliferation, and oxidative stress 24 hours after X-irradiation. In addition, morphological observations on the endometrial luminal epithelium and the fertility assessment were performed. We found that NAC successfully restored the ovarian and uterine function, enhanced the embryo implantation, improved the follicle development, and altered the abnormal hormone levels through reducing the oxidative stress and apoptosis level in granulosa cells while promoting the proliferation of granulosa cells. In conclusion, the radioprotective effect of NAC on mice ovary from X-irradiation was assessed, and our results suggested that NAC can be a potential radioprotector which is capable of preventing the ovarian failure occurrence and restoring the ovarian reserve. Wei Gao, Jin-Xiao Liang, Chi Ma, Jing-yin Dong, and Qiu Yan Copyright © 2017 Wei Gao et al. All rights reserved. HIPK2 Overexpression and Its Prognostic Role in Human Papillomavirus-Positive Tonsillar Squamous Cell Carcinoma Sun, 21 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Tonsillar squamous cell carcinomas (TSCCs) are the most common human papillomavirus- (HPV-) associated oropharyngeal cancers with poor prognosis. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a central regulator of p53, which participates in apoptosis during the DNA damage response. HIPK2 is involved in HPV-associated uterine cervical and cutaneous carcinogenesis through its binding of HPV E6, thereby preventing apoptosis and contributing to tumor progression. However, its clinical and prognostic significance in TSCC remains unclear. HIPK2 mRNA levels were analyzed in 20 normal tonsils and 20 TSCC specimens using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry of HIPK2 was performed in 79 resected specimens. HIPK2 was expressed in 57% of the TSCCs, and HIPK2 protein expression and HIPK2 mRNA levels were higher in TSCCs than in normal tonsils. HIPK2 overexpression was associated with poorly differentiated carcinoma and low alcohol consumption and was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival and disease-free survival (DFS) in TSCC and a negative independent prognostic factor for DFS in patients receiving postoperative radiotherapy. HIPK2 overexpression had a significant association with poorer DFS in HPV-positive TSCCs, but not in HPV-negative tumors. HIPK2 overexpression may be a potential prognostic marker for predicting prognoses and a high risk of recurrence, particularly in patients with HPV-positive TSCC. Mi Jung Kwon, So Young Kang, Eun Sook Nam, Seong Jin Cho, and Young-Soo Rho Copyright © 2017 Mi Jung Kwon et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Epidemiology of Type 2 Diabetes in Mexican Mestizos Thu, 18 May 2017 08:12:31 +0000 There are currently about 415 million people with diabetes worldwide, a figure likely to increase to 642 million by 2040. In 2015, Mexico was the second Latin American country and sixth in the world in prevalence of this disorder with nearly 11.5 million of patients. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the main kind of diabetes and its etiology is complex with environmental and genetic factors involved. Indeed, polymorphisms in several genes have been associated with this disease worldwide. To estimate the genetic epidemiology of T2D in Mexican mestizos a systematic bibliographic search of published articles through PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science was conducted. Just case-control studies of candidate genes about T2D in Mexican mestizo inhabitants were included. Nineteen studies that met the inclusion criteria were found. In total, 68 polymorphisms of 41 genes were assessed; 26 of them were associated with T2D risk, which were located in ABCA1, ADRB3, CAPN10, CDC123/CAMK1D, CDKAL1, CDKN2A/2B, CRP, ELMO1, FTO, HHEX, IGF2BP2, IRS1, JAZF1, KCNQ1, LOC387761, LTA, NXPH1, SIRT1, SLC30A8, TCF7L2, and TNF-α genes. Overall, 21 of the 41 analyzed genes were associated with T2D in Mexican mestizos. Such a genetic heterogeneity compares with findings in other ethnic groups. Eiralí Guadalupe García-Chapa, Evelia Leal-Ugarte, Valeria Peralta-Leal, Jorge Durán-González, and Juan Pablo Meza-Espinoza Copyright © 2017 Eiralí Guadalupe García-Chapa et al. All rights reserved.