BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2018 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Donation after Circulatory Death in Paediatric Liver Transplantation: Current Status and Future Perspectives in the Machine Perfusion Era Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Efforts have been made by the transplant community to expand the deceased donor pool in paediatric liver transplantation (LT). The growing experience on donation after circulatory death (DCD) for adult LT has encouraged its use also in children, albeit in selective cases, opening new perspectives for paediatric patients. Even though there has recently been a slight increase in the number of DCD livers transplanted in children, with satisfactory graft and patient outcomes, the use of DCD grafts in paediatric recipients is still controversial due to morbid outcomes associated with DCD grafts. In this context, recent advances in the optimization of donor support by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and in the graft preservation by liver machine perfusion could find application in order to expand the donor pool in paediatric LT. In the present study we review the current literature on DCD liver grafts transplanted in children and on the use of extracorporeal donor support and liver perfusion machines in paediatrics, with the aim of defining the current status and future perspectives of paediatric LT. Roberta Angelico, M. Thamara P. R. Perera, Tommaso Maria Manzia, Alessandro Parente, Chiara Grimaldi, and Marco Spada Copyright © 2018 Roberta Angelico et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Gastric Cancer-Related Circular RNA through Microarray Analysis and Bioinformatics Analysis Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Gastric cancer is one of the common malignant tumors worldwide. Increasing studies have indicated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) play critical roles in the cancer progression and have shown great potential as useful markers and therapeutic targets. However, the precise mechanism and functions of most circRNAs are still unknown in gastric cancer. In the present study, we performed a microarray analysis to detect circRNA expression changes between tumor samples and adjacent nontumor samples. The miRNA expression profiles were obtained from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). The differentially expressed circRNAs and miRNAs were identified through fold change filtering. The interactions between circRNAs and miRNAs were predicted by Arraystar’s home-made miRNA target prediction software. After circRNA-related miRNAs and dysregulated miRNAs were intersected, 23 miRNAs were selected. The target mRNAs of miRNAs were predicted by TarBase v7.0. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis and pathway analysis were performed using standard enrichment computational methods for the target mRNAs. The results of pathway analysis showed that p53 signaling pathway and hippo signal pathway were significantly enriched and CCND2 was a cross-talk gene associated with them. Finally, a circRNA-miRNA-mRNA regulation network was constructed based on the gene expression profiles and bioinformatics analysis results to identify hub genes and hsa_circRNA_101504 played a central role in the network. Wei Gu, Ying Sun, Xiong Zheng, Jin Ma, Xiao-Ying Hu, Tian Gao, and Mei-Jie Hu Copyright © 2018 Wei Gu et al. All rights reserved. Herbal Medicine for Oligomenorrhea and Amenorrhea: A Systematic Review of Ancient and Conventional Medicine Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Introduction. Menstrual bleeding cessation is one of the most frequent gynecologic disorders among women in reproductive age. The treatment is based on hormone therapy. Due to the increasing request for alternative medicine remedies in the field of women’s diseases, in present study, it was tried to overview medicinal plants used to treat oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea according to the pharmaceutical textbooks of traditional Persian medicine (TPM) and review the evidence in the conventional medicine. Methods. This systematic review was designed and performed in 2017 in order to gather information regarding herbal medications of oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea in TPM and conventional medicine. This study had several steps as searching Iranian traditional medicine literature and extracting the emmenagogue plants, classifying the plants, searching the electronic databases, and finding evidences. To search traditional Persian medicine references, Noor digital library was used, which includes several ancient traditional medical references. The classification of plants was done based on the repetition and potency of the plants in the ancient literatures. The required data was gathered using databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library, Science Direct, and web of knowledge. Results. In present study of all 198 emmenagogue medicinal plants found in TPM, 87 cases were specified to be more effective in treating oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea. In second part of present study, where a search of conventional medicine was performed, 12 studies were found, which had 8 plants investigated: Vitex agnus-castus, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Foeniculum vulgare, Cinnamomum verum, Paeonia lactiflora, Sesamum indicum, Mentha longifolia, and Urtica dioica. Conclusion. Traditional Persian medicine has proposed many different medicinal plants for treatment of oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea. Although just few plants have been proven to be effective for treatment of menstrual irregularities, the results and the classification in present study can be used as an outline for future studies and treatment. Arezoo Moini Jazani, Kobra Hamdi, Mojgan Tansaz, Hossein Nazemiyeh, Homayoun Sadeghi Bazargani, Seyed Mohammad Bagher Fazljou, and Ramin Nasimi Doost Azgomi Copyright © 2018 Arezoo Moini Jazani et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Blastocystis Subtype 3 in Human Populations, with Special Reference to a Rural Population in Central Mexico Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Blastocystis subtype 3 (ST3) is a parasitic protist found in the digestive tract of symptomatic and asymptomatic humans around the world. While this parasite exhibits a high prevalence in the human population, its true geographic distribution and global genetic diversity are still unknown. This gap in knowledge limits the understanding of the spread mechanisms, epidemiology, and impact that this parasite has on human populations. Herein, we provided new data on the geographical distribution and genetic diversity of Blastocystis ST3 from a rural human population in Mexico. To do so, we collected and targeted the SSU-rDNA region in fecal samples from this population and further compared its genetic diversity and structure with that previously observed in populations of Blastocystis ST3 from other regions of the planet. Our analyses reveled that diversity of Blastocystis ST3 showed a high haplotype diversity and genetic structure to the world level; however, they were low in the Morelos population. The haplotype network revealed a common widespread haplotype from which the others were generated recently. Finally, our results suggested a recent expansion of the diversity of Blastocystis ST3 worldwide. Liliana Rojas-Velázquez, Patricia Morán, Angélica Serrano-Vázquez, Leonardo D. Fernández, Horacio Pérez-Juárez, Augusto C. Poot-Hernández, Tobías Portillo, Enrique González, Eric Hernández, Oswaldo Partida-Rodríguez, Miriam E. Nieves-Ramírez, Ulises Magaña, Javier Torres, Luis E. Eguiarte, Daniel Piñero, and Cecilia Ximénez Copyright © 2018 Liliana Rojas-Velázquez et al. All rights reserved. Cell Fragmentation and Permeabilization by a 1 ns Pulse Driven Triple-Point Electrode Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Ultrashort electric pulses (ns-ps) are useful in gaining understanding as to how pulsed electric fields act upon biological cells, but the electric field intensity to induce biological responses is typically higher than longer pulses and therefore a high voltage ultrashort pulse generator is required. To deliver 1 ns pulses with sufficient electric field but at a relatively low voltage, we used a glass-encapsulated tungsten wire triple-point electrode (TPE) at the interface among glass, tungsten wire, and water when it is immersed in water. A high electric field (2 MV/cm) can be created when pulses are applied. However, such a high electric field was found to cause bubble emission and temperature rise in the water near the electrode. They can be attributed to Joule heating near the electrode. Adherent cells on a cover slip treated by the combination of these stimuli showed two major effects: (1) cells in a crater (<100 μm from electrode) were fragmented and the debris was blown away. The principal mechanism for the damage is presumed to be shear forces due to bubble collapse; and (2) cells in the periphery of the crater were permeabilized, which was due to the combination of bubble movement and microstreaming as well as pulsed electric fields. These results show that ultrashort electric fields assisted by microbubbles can cause significant cell response and therefore a triple-point electrode is a useful ablation tool for applications that require submillimeter precision. Enbo Yang, Joy Li, Michael Cho, and Shu Xiao Copyright © 2018 Enbo Yang et al. All rights reserved. Metamorphopsia Score and Central Visual Field Outcomes in Diabetic Cystoid Macular Edema Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. To detect abnormality of the visual function in naïve patients with cystoid diabetic macular edema (DME) using M-charts, Amsler test, and white on white (W/W) and blue on yellow (B/Y) perimetry. Methods. There were 64 eyes included in the study: 30 eyes with DME, 22 eyes with diabetes without DME, and 12 eyes of normal subjects. Conventional W/W perimetry and B/Y perimetry were performed within the central 10° of the visual field. To assess metamorphopsia, Amsler test and M-charts were used. Results. The rate of detection of metamorphopsia was 37% with Amsler test examination and 50% with M-charts. Specificity of both tests was 100%. We found a significant difference between vertical scores of M-charts in all groups, but not in horizontal scores (). Mean defect (MD) was 8.9 dB and 3.6 dB and loss variance (LV) 4.8 dB and 3.3 dB (). Conclusions. M-chart is more sensitive than Amsler test method for detection of metamorphopsia. The MD and LV are higher in b/y in comparison to W/W perimetry. B/Y perimetry and M-charts are more sensitive than conventional methods for detecting the visual function loss in cystoid DME. Agnieszka Kalinowska, Katarzyna Nowomiejska, Agnieszka Brzozowska, Ryszard Maciejewski, and Robert Rejdak Copyright © 2018 Agnieszka Kalinowska et al. All rights reserved. Gear Shifting of Quadriceps during Isometric Knee Extension Disclosed Using Ultrasonography Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Ultrasonography has been widely employed to estimate the morphological changes of muscle during contraction. To further investigate the motion pattern of quadriceps during isometric knee extensions, we studied the relative motion pattern between femur and quadriceps under ultrasonography. An interesting observation is that although the force of isometric knee extension can be controlled to change almost linearly, femur in the simultaneously captured ultrasound video sequences has several different piecewise moving patterns. This phenomenon is like quadriceps having several forward gear ratios like a car starting from rest towards maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and then returning to rest. Therefore, to verify this assumption, we captured several ultrasound video sequences of isometric knee extension and collected the torque/force signal simultaneously. Then we extract the shapes of femur from these ultrasound video sequences using video processing techniques and study the motion pattern both qualitatively and quantitatively. The phenomenon can be seen easier via a comparison between the torque signal and relative spatial distance between femur and quadriceps. Furthermore, we use cluster analysis techniques to study the process and the clustering results also provided preliminary support to the conclusion that, during both ramp increasing and decreasing phases, quadriceps contraction may have several forward gear ratios relative to femur. Shu Zhang, Weijian Huang, Yu Zeng, Wenxiu Shi, Xianfen Diao, Xiguang Wei, and Shan Ling Copyright © 2018 Shu Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Peer Inclusion in Interventions for Children with ADHD: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. To assess the effectiveness of peer inclusion in interventions to improve the social functioning of children with ADHD. Methods. We searched four electronic databases for randomized controlled trials and controlled quasi-experimental studies that investigated peer inclusion interventions alone or combined with pharmacological treatment. Data were collected from the included studies and methodologically assessed. Meta-analyses were conducted using a random-effects model. Results. Seventeen studies met eligibility criteria. Studies investigated interventions consisting of peer involvement and peer proximity; no study included peer mediation. Most included studies had an unclear or high risk of bias regarding inadequate reporting of randomization, blinding, and control for confounders. Meta-analyses indicated improvements in pre-post measures of social functioning for participants in peer-inclusive treatment groups. Peer inclusion was advantageous compared to treatment as usual. The benefits of peer inclusion over other therapies or medication only could not be determined. Using parents as raters for outcome measurement significantly mediated the intervention effect. Conclusions. The evidence to support or contest the efficacy of peer inclusion interventions for children with ADHD is lacking. Future studies need to reduce risks of bias, use appropriate sample sizes, and provide detailed results to investigate the efficacy of peer inclusion interventions for children with ADHD. Reinie Cordier, Brandon Vilaysack, Kenji Doma, Sarah Wilkes-Gillan, and Renée Speyer Copyright © 2018 Reinie Cordier et al. All rights reserved. The Role of the Immune Response in the Pathogenesis of Bronchiectasis Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Bronchiectasis is a prevalent respiratory condition characterised by permanent and abnormal dilation of the lung airways (bronchi). There are a large variety of causative factors that have been identified for bronchiectasis; all of these compromise the function of the immune response to fight infection. A triggering factor may lead to the establishment of chronic infection in the lower respiratory tract. The bacteria responsible for the lower respiratory tract infection are usually found as commensals in the upper respiratory tract microbiome. The consequent inflammatory response to infection is largely responsible for the pathology of this condition. Both innate and adaptive immune responses are activated. The literature has highlighted the central role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of bronchiectasis. Proteases produced in the lung by the inflammatory response damage the airways and lead to the pathological dilation that is the pathognomonic feature of bronchiectasis. The small airways demonstrate infiltration with lymphoid follicles that may contribute to localised small airway obstruction. Despite aggressive treatment, most patients will have persistent disease. Manipulating the immune response in bronchiectasis may potentially have therapeutic potential. Paul T. King Copyright © 2018 Paul T. King. All rights reserved. Antioxidant, Hepatoprotective, and Antidepression Effects of Rumex tingitanus Extracts and Identification of a Novel Bioactive Compound Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Over the last few decades, Rumex species have been recognized as a promising source of new compounds with numerous pharmacological activities. Therefore, the antioxidant activity of Rumex tingitanus (R. tingitanus) leaves extracts was evaluated in vitro and then confirmed in vivo as well as the antidepressant-like and toxicological effects of the extracts. The ethyl acetate fraction (Rt EtOAcF) followed by hydroalcoholic extract (Rt EtOH-H2O) showed a remarkable in vitro antioxidant activity. The hydroalcoholic extract (Rt EtOH-H2O) showed significant hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride- (CCl4-) induced liver toxicity which is seen from inhibition of the malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation and enhancement of the liver antioxidant enzymes activities. The Rt EtOH-H2O and Rt EtOAcF extracts were able to reduce the immobility time in mice and then elicited a significant antidepressant-like effect. The ethyl acetate fraction (Rt EtOAcF) was purified and resulted in the identification of a new antioxidant component called 4′-p-acetylcoumaroyl luteolin. The Rt EtOAcF and the 4′-p-acetylcoumaroyl luteolin revealed a strong antioxidant activity using DPPH test with IC50 of 11.7 ± 0.2 and 20.74 ± 0.6 μg/ml, respectively, and AAI of 3.39 and 1.92 better than that of BHT, used as control. Dhekra Mhalla, Karama Zouari Bouassida, Rachid Chawech, Amira Bouaziz, Samar Makni, Lobna Jlaiel, Slim Tounsi, Raoudha Mezghani Jarraya, and Mohamed Trigui Copyright © 2018 Dhekra Mhalla et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Cardiokines in Heart Diseases: Beneficial or Detrimental? Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, imposing a major disease burden worldwide. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets. Recently, the concept that the heart acts as a secretory organ has attracted increasing attention. Proteins secreted by the heart are called cardiokines, and they play a critical physiological role in maintaining heart homeostasis or responding to myocardial damage and thereby influence the development of heart diseases. Given the critical role of cardiokines in heart disease, they might represent a promising therapeutic target. This review will focus on several cardiokines and discuss their roles in the pathogenesis of heart diseases and as potential therapeutics. Ye-Shun Wu, Bin Zhu, Ai-Lin Luo, Ling Yang, and Chun Yang Copyright © 2018 Ye-Shun Wu et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Chinese Dietary Pattern of Fat Content, n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Ratio, and Cholesterol Content on Lipid Profile in Rats Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 This study aims to investigate the effect of Chinese diet pattern of fat content (30% or 36.06%), n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ratio (5 : 1 or 9 : 1), and cholesterol content (0.04 or 0.057 g/kg total diet) on lipid profile using a rat model. Results showed that rats’ body weights (BWs) were controlled by the simultaneous intakes of cholesterol level of 0.04 g/kg total diet and n-6/n-3 ratio of 5 : 1. In addition, under high-fat diet, increased cholesterol feeding led to increased total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and decreased triacylglycerols (TG) in rats’ plasma. However, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level and the ratios of HDL-C/LDL-C and HDL-C/TC in rats’ plasma increased in response to simultaneous intakes of low n-6/n-3 ratio (5 : 1) and cholesterol (0.04 g/kg total diet) even under high-fat diet. Moreover, as the n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in the diet decreased, the proportion of n-3 PUFAs increased in plasma, liver, and muscle and resulted in the decrease of n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio. Xian-Guo Zou, Yu-Hua Huang, Hong-Yan Li, Tong-Cheng Xu, Ya-Wei Fan, Jing Li, and Ze-Yuan Deng Copyright © 2018 Xian-Guo Zou et al. All rights reserved. Relationship between Isometric Muscle Force and Fractal Dimension of Surface Electromyogram Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:49:50 +0000 The relationship between fractal dimension of the surface electromyogram (sEMG) and the intensity of muscle contraction is still controversial in simulated and experimental conditions. To support the use of fractal analysis to investigate myoelectric fatigue, it is crucial to establish the interdependence between fractal dimension and muscle contraction intensity. We analyzed the behavior of fractal dimension, conduction velocity, mean frequency, and average rectified value in twenty-eight volunteers at nine levels of isometric force. sEMG was obtained using bidimensional arrays in the biceps brachii muscle. The values of fractal dimension and mean frequency increased with force unless a plateau was reached at 30% maximal voluntary contraction. Overall, our findings suggest that, above a certain level of force, the use of fractal dimension to evaluate the myoelectric manifestations of fatigue may be considered, regardless of muscle contraction intensity. Matteo Beretta-Piccoli, Gennaro Boccia, Tessa Ponti, Ron Clijsen, Marco Barbero, and Corrado Cescon Copyright © 2018 Matteo Beretta-Piccoli et al. All rights reserved. Educational Software Applied in Teaching Electrocardiogram: A Systematic Review Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:27:48 +0000 Background. The electrocardiogram (ECG) is the most used diagnostic tool in medicine; in this sense, it is essential that medical undergraduates learn how to interpret it correctly while they are still on training. Naturally, they go through classic learning (e.g., lectures and speeches). However, they are not often efficiently trained in analyzing ECG results. In this regard, methodologies such as other educational support tools in medical practice, such as educational software, should be considered a valuable approach for medical training purposes. Methods. We performed a literature review in six electronic databases, considering studies published before April 2017. The resulting set comprises 2,467 studies. From this collection, 12 studies have been selected, initially, whereby we carried out a snowballing process to identify other relevant studies through the reference lists of these studies, resulting in five relevant studies, making up a total of 17 articles that passed all stages and criteria. Results. The results show that 52.9% of software types were tutorial and 58.8% were designed to be run locally on a computer. The subjects were discussed together with a greater focus on the teaching of electrophysiology and/or cardiac physiology, identifying patterns of ECG and/or arrhythmias. Conclusions. We found positive results with the introduction of educational software for ECG teaching. However, there is a clear need for using higher quality research methodologies and the inclusion of appropriate controls, in order to obtain more precise conclusions about how beneficial the inclusion of such tools can be for the practices of ECG interpretation. Paulo A. I. Pontes, Rafael O. Chaves, Roberto C. Castro, Érica F. de Souza, Marcos C. R. Seruffo, and Carlos R. L. Francês Copyright © 2018 Paulo A. I. Pontes et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Risk Factors Affecting Substance Use among Tenth-Grade Students Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:34:49 +0000 Aim. The aim of this study is to detect the prevalence of substance use among tenth-grade students; their thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and tendencies towards substance use; and risk factors of substance use in tenth-grade students in general. Methods. This study is descriptive and cross-sectional conducted between April and May 2016. Research population consists of tenth-grade students in 2015-2016 school year in the city of Ordu. Since the study involved all tenth-grade students, no sampling was done. Questions on substance use were prepared by Ordu Public Health Directorate and the authors by making use of European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) study questions, AMATEM’s “Drugs and Addiction Youth Survey” study conducted on May 1996, and scientific studies conducted previously on similar subjects. Results. 9825 tenth-grade students in 88 schools from 19 counties in the city of Ordu were included in the study. 8714 of the students participated in the survey. Being male, being over the age of 15, mother and father being separated, living with relatives, being in low income, negative feelings about school, perception of being unsuccessful in school, failing a year, absenteeism, and not being content with life are the risk factors for substance use. Conclusions. The tendency of illegal substance use becoming more and more prevalent especially among youth requires the development of new treatment strategies. Dilek Öztaş, Aydan Kalyon, Ayşin Ertuğrul, Çetin Gündoğdu, Hüseyin Balcıoğlu, Yasemin Sağlan, Uğur Bilge, and Sevilay Karahan Copyright © 2018 Dilek Öztaş et al. All rights reserved. Comment on “Using Innovative Acoustic Analysis to Predict the Postoperative Outcomes of Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis” Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:26:02 +0000 Andrea Lovato and Cosimo de Filippis Copyright © 2018 Andrea Lovato and Cosimo de Filippis. All rights reserved. The Investigation and Management of Adenomyosis in Women Who Wish to Improve or Preserve Fertility Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The management of adenomyosis remains a great challenge to practicing gynaecologists. Until recently, hysterectomy has been the only definitive treatment in women who have completed child bearing. A number of nonsurgical and minimally invasive, fertility-sparing surgical treatment options have recently been developed. This review focuses on three aspects of management, namely, (1) newly introduced nonsurgical treatments; (2) management strategies of reproductive failures associated with adenomyosis; and (3) surgical approaches to the management of cystic adenomyoma. Jin-Jiao Li, Jacqueline P. W. Chung, Sha Wang, Tin-Chiu Li, and Hua Duan Copyright © 2018 Jin-Jiao Li et al. All rights reserved. Chemical and Mechanical Properties of Experimental Dental Composites as a Function of Formulation and Postcuring Thermal Treatment Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 This study evaluated the influence of formulation and thermal treatment on the degree of conversion, fracture toughness, flexural strength, and elastic modulus of experimental composites. Six composites were analyzed at BisGMA : TEGDMA molar ratios of 1 : 1 and 7 : 3 with filler at 30, 50, and 70 wt%. The degree of conversion was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, fracture toughness was measured using the single-edge notched beam, and flexural strength and elastic modulus were measured with the 3-point bend test. For all tests, one-half of the specimens received thermal treatment at 170°C for 10 min. Data were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis or ANOVA/Tukey’s test (α = 5%). The 1 : 1 BisGMA : TEGDMA ratio showed higher properties than the 7 : 3 ratio. Although the material with 70% filler had a conversion lower than the one with 50%, it showed higher mechanical properties. The thermal treatment improved all properties in all materials. Therefore, the use of an equimolar ratio of BisGMA : TEGDMA can be paired with 70 wt% filler to design dental composites that possess increased advantageous physical and chemical properties. Furthermore, the simple and low-cost method of thermal treatment proposed for use in clinical dentistry has been shown to effectively improve the properties of all evaluated materials. Renata A. Esteves, Letícia C. C. Boaro, Flávia Gonçalves, Luiza M. P. Campos, Cecy M. Silva, and Leonardo Eloy Rodrigues-Filho Copyright © 2018 Renata A. Esteves et al. All rights reserved. Safety of Intravenous Immunoglobulin (Tegeline®), Administered at Home in Patients with Autoimmune Disease: Results of a French Study Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) in patients with autoimmune diseases (AID) has been known for several decades. Majority of these patients received IVIg in hospital. A retrospective study was conducted in 22 centers in France to evaluate the feasibility of the administration of Tegeline, an IVIg from LFB Biomedicaments, and assess its safety at home, compared to in hospital, in patients with AID. The included patients were at least 18 years old, suffering from AID, and treated with at least 1 cycle of Tegeline at home after receiving 3 consecutive cycles of hospital-based treatment with Tegeline at a dose between 1 and 2 g/kg/cycle. Forty-six patients with AID, in most cases immune-mediated neuropathies, received a total of 138 cycles of Tegeline in hospital and then 323 at home. Forty-five drug-related adverse events occurred in 17 patients who received their cycles at home compared to 24 adverse events in hospital in 15 patients. Serious adverse events occurred in 3 patients during home treatment, but they were not life-threatening and did not lead to discontinuation of Tegeline. Forty-five patients continued their treatment with Tegeline at home or in hospital; 39 (84.8%) were still receiving home treatment at the end of the study. In conclusion, the study demonstrates the good safety profile of Tegeline administered at home at high doses in patients with AID who are eligible for home administration of Tegeline. Eric Hachulla, Gwendal Le Masson, Guilhem Solé, Mohamed Hamidou, Claude Desnuelle, Jean-Philippe Azulay, Gérard Besson, Laure Swiader, Sébastien Abad, Jean-Christophe Antoine, Françoise Bouhour, Alain Créange, Marike Grenouillet, Laurent Magy, Sébastien Marcel, Jean-Michel Paquet, François Rouhart, François Ziegler, Stéphane Mathis, Marc Gauthier-Darnis, and Sophie Puget Copyright © 2018 Eric Hachulla et al. All rights reserved. Once-Weekly Hypofractionated Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer in Elderly Patients: Efficacy and Tolerance in 486 Patients Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Purpose. Radiation therapy is a key treatment of breast cancer. Elderly patients with associated diseases that modify their performance status do not tolerate long periods of daily irradiation. The objective of this study is to analyze the results of weekly hypofractionated treatment in these patients. Material and Methods. Between 1992 and 2016, we included 486 elderly patients presenting concomitant pathology or sociofamilial problems in which it was not feasible to propose conventional treatment. They were treated with conservative surgery or mastectomy and then adjuvant hypofractionated irradiation, administering 5 Gy or 6.25 Gy in 6 fractions, once a week (total dose 30–37.5 Gy) over 6 weeks. Results. Breast cancer overall survival according to the Kaplan-Meier method at 5 years was 74.2.3%; breast cancer disease-free survival was 90.6%; local relapse-free survival was 96.5% showing that patients die more from other causes and not from their neoplasia. Acute dermatitis was mild (75.6% of the patients grades I–III) and 30.6% had moderate chronic fibrosis. Conclusions. The once-weekly hypofractionated radiotherapy is a feasible and convenient option for elderly patients with breast cancer. It is a safe treatment modality with similar survival and local control results compared to standard fractionation, while the side effects are acceptable. Javier Sanz, Min Zhao, Nuria Rodríguez, Raquel Granado, Palmira Foro, Ana Reig, Ismael Membrive, and Manuel Algara Copyright © 2018 Javier Sanz et al. All rights reserved. The International Prognostic Index for Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Has the Higher Value in Predicting Overall Outcome Compared with the Barcelona-Brno Biomarkers Only Prognostic Model and the MD Anderson Cancer Center Prognostic Index Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 In recent years, new prognostic indexes (PIs) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which include clinical, biological, and genetic variables, have been validated, highlighting the MD Anderson Cancer Center prognostic index (MDACC PI), the CLL-international prognostic index (CLL-IPI), and the Barcelona-Brno biomarkers only prognostic model. The aim of this study is to compare the utility of these PIs in a cohort of Spanish patients. A retrospective analysis of 696 unselected CLL patients newly diagnosed and previously untreated from different Spanish institutions was performed. The MDACC PI, the CLL-IPI, and the biomarkers only PI were applied to these patients, and a comparison of the three PIs was performed. With a median follow-up time of 46 months, 394 patients were alive and 187 had received treatment. The median overall survival (OS) was 173 months and the median time to first therapy (TTFT) was 32 months. Significant differences were obtained in OS and TTFT for all subgroups when applying these PIs, with the CLL-IPI being the one with the higher -index (0.676 for OS and 0.757 for TTFT). The three PIs were able to discriminate patients in different prognostic subgroups. In our cohort, the CLL-IPI showed higher power in predicting TTFT and OS. Carolina Muñoz-Novas, María Poza-Santaella, Isabel González-Gascón y Marín, María Hernández-Sánchez, Ana-Eugenia Rodríguez-Vicente, María-Stefania Infante, Cecilia Heras, María-Ángeles Foncillas, Karen Marín, Jesús-María Hernández-Rivas, and José-Ángel Hernández Copyright © 2018 Carolina Muñoz-Novas et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Antimicrobial Peptide Nal-P-113 on Inhibiting Periodontal Pathogens and Improving Periodontal Status Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Periodontal disease consists of chronic gingival inflammation characterized by both degradation of the periodontal connective tissue and alveolar bone loss. Drug therapy is used as an auxiliary treatment method in severe chronic periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis, and periodontitis-associated systemic disease. Nal-P-113, a modified antimicrobial peptide, specifically replaces the histidine residues of P-113 with the bulky amino acid β-naphthylalanine, and our previous studies have verified that this novel peptide is not toxic to the human body within a certain concentration range. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Nal-P-113 on periodontal pathogens and periodontal status in clinical studies. In a split-mouth clinical trial, the pocket depth and bleeding index values tended to decrease in the experimental group compared with those in the control group. SEM results verified that Nal-P-113 restrained the maturation of plaque. Based on real-time polymerase chain reaction, the levels of Fusobacterium nucleatum, Streptococcus gordonii, Treponema denticola, and Porphyromonas gingivalis in subgingival plaque were decreased when the subjects were given Nal-P-113. Bacterial growth curve analysis and a biofilm susceptibility assay verified that Nal-P-113 at a concentration of 20 μg/mL restrained the growth of S. gordonii, F. nucleatum, and P. gingivalis and biofilm formation. Therefore, Nal-P-113 effectively reduces periodontal pathogens and ameliorates periodontal status. Hongyan Wang, Lisi Ai, Yu Zhang, Jyawei Cheng, Huiyuan Yu, Chen Li, Dongmei Zhang, Yaping Pan, and Li Lin Copyright © 2018 Hongyan Wang et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity of Aromatic Rice Germplasm Revealed By SSR Markers Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Aromatic rice cultivars constitute a small but special group of rice and are considered the best in terms of quality and aroma. Aroma is one of the most significant quality traits of rice, and variety with aroma has a higher price in the market. This research was carried out to study the genetic diversity among the 50 aromatic rice accessions from three regions (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak) with 3 released varieties as a control using the 32 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The objectives of this research were to quantify the genetic divergence of aromatic rice accessions using SSR markers and to identify the potential accessions for introgression into the existing rice breeding program. Genetic diversity index among the three populations such as Shannon information index () ranged from 0.25 in control to 0.98 in Sabah population. The mean numbers of effective alleles and Shannon’s information index were 0.36 and 64.90%, respectively. Similarly, the allelic diversity was very high with mean expected heterozygosity () of 0.60 and mean Nei’s gene diversity index of 0.36. The dendrogram based on UPGMA and Nei’s genetic distance classified the 53 rice accessions into 10 clusters. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that 89% of the total variation observed in this germplasm came from within the populations, while 11% of the variation emanated among the populations. These results reflect the high genetic differentiation existing in this aromatic rice germplasm. Using all these criteria and indices, seven accessions (Acc9993, Acc6288, Acc6893, Acc7580, Acc6009, Acc9956, and Acc11816) from three populations have been identified and selected for further evaluation before introgression into the existing breeding program and for future aromatic rice varietal development. Saba Jasim Aljumaili, M. Y. Rafii, M. A. Latif, Siti Zaharah Sakimin, Ibrahim Wasiu Arolu, and Gous Miah Copyright © 2018 Saba Jasim Aljumaili et al. All rights reserved. Quercetin Stimulates Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation through an Estrogen Receptor-Mediated Pathway Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Objectives. The present study aimed to investigate the overall effect of quercetin on mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Materials and Methods. BMSCs were treated with different concentrations of quercetin for 6 days. The effects of quercetin on cell proliferation were assessed at predetermined times using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. The cells were then treated with quercetin, estrogen, or an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist (which was also administered in the presence of quercetin or estrogen) for 7 or 21 days. The effects of quercetin on BMSC osteogenic differentiation were analyzed by an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay kit, Alizarin Red S staining (ARS), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and western blotting. Results. The CCK-8 and ALP assays and ARS staining showed that quercetin significantly enhanced BMSC proliferation, ALP activity, and extracellular matrix production and mineralization, respectively. The qPCR results indicated that quercetin promoted osterix (OSX), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), and osteopontin (OPN) transcription in the presence of osteoinduction medium, and the western blotting results indicated that quercetin enhanced bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), Smad1, Smad4, RUNX2, OSX, and OPN expression and Smad1 phosphorylation. Treatment with the ER inhibitor ICI182780 blocked the effects of quercetin. Conclusions. Our data demonstrated that quercetin promotes BMSC proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. Quercetin enhances BMP signaling pathway activation and upregulates the expression of downstream genes, such as OSX, RUNX2, and OPN, via the ER. Xin-Gang Pang, Yu Cong, Ni-Rong Bao, Yong-Gang Li, and Jian-Ning Zhao Copyright © 2018 Xin-Gang Pang et al. All rights reserved. Acute and Long-Term Hemodynamic Effects of MitraClip Implantation on a Preexisting Secondary Right Heart Failure Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:49:55 +0000 Positive results of MitraClip in terms of improvement in clinical and left ventricular parameters have been described in detail. However, long-term effects on secondary pulmonary hypertension were not investigated in a larger patient cohort to date. 70 patients with severe mitral regurgitation, additional pulmonary hypertension, and right heart failure as a result of left heart disease were treated in the heart centers Hamburg and Göttingen. Immediately after successful MitraClip implantation, a reduction of the RVOT diameter from 3.52 cm to 3.44 cm was observed reaching a statistically significant value of 3.39 cm after 12 months. In contrast, there was a significant reduction in the velocity of the tricuspid regurgitation (TR) from 4.17 m/s to 3.11 m/s, the gradient of the TR from 48.5 mmHg to 39.3 mmHg, and the systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAPsyst) from 58.6 mmHg to 50.0 mmHg. This decline continued in the following months ( TR 3.09 m/s, peak TR 38.6 mmHg, and PAPsyst 47.4 mmHg). The tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) increased from 16.5 mm to 18.9 mm after 12 months. MitraClip implantation improves pulmonary artery pressure, tricuspid regurgitation, and TAPSE after 12 months. At the same time, there is a decrease in the RVOT diameter without significant changes in other right ventricular and right atrial dimensions. M. Hünlich, E. Lubos, B. E. Beuthner, M. Puls, A. Bleckmann, T. Beißbarth, T. Tichelbäcker, V. Rudolph, S. Baldus, U. Schäfer, H. Treede, R. S. Von Bardeleben, S. Blankenberg, and W. Schillinger Copyright © 2018 M. Hünlich et al. All rights reserved. Development of Chloroplast Genomic Resources in Chinese Yam (Dioscorea polystachya) Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:28:25 +0000 Chinese yam has been used both as a food and in traditional herbal medicine. Developing more effective genetic markers in this species is necessary to assess its genetic diversity and perform cultivar identification. In this study, new chloroplast genomic resources were developed using whole chloroplast genomes from six genotypes originating from different geographical locations. The Dioscorea polystachya chloroplast genome is a circular molecule consisting of two single-copy regions separated by a pair of inverted repeats. Comparative analyses of six D. polystachya chloroplast genomes revealed 141 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Seventy simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were found in the six genotypes, including 24 polymorphic SSRs. Forty-three common indels and five small inversions were detected. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete chloroplast genome provided the best resolution among the genotypes. Our evaluation of chloroplast genome resources among these genotypes led us to consider the complete chloroplast genome sequence of D. polystachya as a source of reliable and valuable molecular markers for revealing biogeographical structure and the extent of genetic variation in wild populations and for identifying different cultivars. Junling Cao, Dan Jiang, Zhenyu Zhao, Subo Yuan, Yujun Zhang, Teng Zhang, Wenhao Zhong, Qingjun Yuan, and Luqi Huang Copyright © 2018 Junling Cao et al. All rights reserved. Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: One More Angiographic Evidence of Microvascular Dysfunction Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) aetiology has not been completely understood yet. One proposed pathogenic mechanism was coronary microvascular dysfunction (MVD). This study compared coronary flow and myocardial perfusion in patients with TC, microvascular angina (MVA), and a control group (CG). Methods. Out of 42 consecutive patients presented to our centre with TC from 2013 to 2017; we retrospectively selected 27 patients. We compared them with a sex- and age-matched group of 27 MVA cases and 27 patients with normal coronary arteries (CG). The flow was evaluated in the three coronary arteries as TIMI flow and TIMI frame count (TFC). Myocardial perfusion was studied with Blush-Score and Quantitative Blush Evaluator (QuBE). Results. TFC, in TC, revealed flow impairment in the three arteries compared to the CG (left anterior descending artery (LAD): , ; ) (right coronary artery: , ; ) (left circumflex: , CG ; ). QuBE showed myocardial perfusion impairment in the LAD territory in TC comparing with both the CG (8,9 (7,2–11,5) versus 11,4 (10–15,7); ) and the MVA group (8,9 (7,2–11,5) versus 13,5 (10–16); ). Conclusions. Our study confirmed that coronary flow is impaired in TC, reflecting a MVD. Myocardial perfusion defect was detected only in the LAD area. Marco Loffi, Andrea Santangelo, Martin Kozel, Viktor Kocka, Tomas Budesinsky, Libor Lisa, and Petr Tousek Copyright © 2018 Marco Loffi et al. All rights reserved. Drosophila as a Model System to Study Nonautonomous Mechanisms Affecting Tumour Growth and Cell Death Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The study of cancer has represented a central focus in medical research for over a century. The great complexity and constant evolution of the pathology require the use of multiple research model systems and interdisciplinary approaches. This is necessary in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding into the mechanisms driving disease initiation and progression, to aid the development of appropriate therapies. In recent decades, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and its associated powerful genetic tools have become a very attractive model system to study tumour-intrinsic and non-tumour-derived processes that mediate tumour development in vivo. In this review, we will summarize recent work on Drosophila as a model system to study cancer biology. We will focus on the interactions between tumours and their microenvironment, including extrinsic mechanisms affecting tumour growth and how tumours impact systemic host physiology. Jean-Philippe Parvy, Joseph A. Hodgson, and Julia B. Cordero Copyright © 2018 Jean-Philippe Parvy et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidant Enzyme Activities and Secondary Metabolite Profiling of Oil Palm Seedlings Treated with Combination of NPK Fertilizers Infected with Ganoderma boninense Mon, 12 Mar 2018 08:15:56 +0000 Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) is one of the major sources of edible oil. Reducing the effect of Ganoderma, main cause of basal stem rot (BSR) on oil palm, is the main propose of this study. Understanding the oil palm defense mechanism against Ganoderma infection through monitoring changes in the secondary metabolite compounds levels before/after infection by Ganoderma under different fertilizing treatment is required. Oil palm requires macro- and microelements for growth and yield. Manipulating the nutrient for oil palm is a method to control the disease. The 3-4-month-old oil palm seedlings were given different macronutrient treatments to evaluate induction of defense related enzymes and production of secondary metabolite compounds in response to G. boninense inoculation. The observed trend of changes in the infected and uninfected seedlings was a slightly higher activity for β-1,3-glucanases, chitinase, peroxidase, and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase during the process of pathogenesis. It was found that PR proteins gave positive response to the interaction between oil palm seedlings and Ganoderma infection. Although the responses were activated systematically, they were short-lasting as the changes in enzymes activities appeared before the occurrence of visible symptoms. Effect of different nutrients doses was obviously observed among the results of the secondary metabolite compounds. Many identified/unidentified metabolite compounds were presented, of which some were involved in plant cell defense mechanism against pathogens, mostly belonging to alkaloids with bitter-tasting nitrogenous-compounds, and some had the potential to be used as new markers to detect basal stem rot at the initial step of disease. Mahbod Sahebi, Mohamed M. Hanafi, Hasmah Mohidin, M. Y. Rafii, Parisa Azizi, Abu Seman Idris, A. Fariz, Rambod Abiri, Sima Taheri, and Mehdi Moradpoor Copyright © 2018 Mahbod Sahebi et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Skeletal Muscle Function and Effects of Early Rehabilitation during Acute Heart Failure: Rationale and Study Design Mon, 12 Mar 2018 06:06:31 +0000 Background. Acute heart failure (AHF) is associated with disturbances of the peripheral perfusion leading to the dysfunction of many organs. Consequently, an episode of AHF constitutes a “multiple organ failure” which may also affect the skeletal muscles. However, the abnormalities within skeletal muscles during AHF have not been investigated so far. The aim of this project is to comprehensively evaluate skeletal muscles (at a functional and tissue level) during AHF. Methods. The study will include ≥63 consecutive AHF patients who will be randomized into 2 groups: ≥42 with cardiac rehabilitation group versus ≥21 with standard pharmacotherapy alone. The following tests will be conducted on the first and last day of hospitalization, at rest and after exercise, and 30 days following the discharge: clinical evaluation, medical interview, routine physical examination, echocardiography, and laboratory tests (including the assessment of NT-proBNP, inflammatory markers, and parameters reflecting the status of the kidneys and the liver); hemodynamic evaluation, noninvasive determination of cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance using the impedance cardiography; evaluation of biomarkers reflecting myocyte damage, immunochemical measurements of tissue-specific enzymatic isoforms; evaluation of skeletal muscle function, using surface electromyography (sEMG) (maximum tonus of the muscles will be determined along with the level of muscular fatigability); evaluation of muscle tissue perfusion, assessed on the basis of the oxygenation level, with noninvasive direct continuous recording of perfusion in peripheral tissues by local tissue oximetry, measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Results and Conclusions. Our findings will demonstrate that the muscle tissue is another area of the body which should be taken into consideration in the course of treatment of AHF, requiring a development of targeted therapeutic strategies, such as a properly conducted rehabilitation. Kinga Węgrzynowska-Teodorczyk, Agnieszka Siennicka, Krystian Josiak, Robert Zymliński, Monika Kasztura, Waldemar Banasiak, Piotr Ponikowski, and Marek Woźniewski Copyright © 2018 Kinga Węgrzynowska-Teodorczyk et al. All rights reserved.