Physiological Functions
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2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (19) ◽  
pp. 10388
Kalaivani Nadarajah ◽  
Nur Sabrina Natasha Abdul Rahman

Soil health and fertility issues are constantly addressed in the agricultural industry. Through the continuous and prolonged use of chemical heavy agricultural systems, most agricultural lands have been impacted, resulting in plateaued or reduced productivity. As such, to invigorate the agricultural industry, we would have to resort to alternative practices that will restore soil health and fertility. Therefore, in recent decades, studies have been directed towards taking a Magellan voyage of the soil rhizosphere region, to identify the diversity, density, and microbial population structure of the soil, and predict possible ways to restore soil health. Microbes that inhabit this region possess niche functions, such as the stimulation or promotion of plant growth, disease suppression, management of toxicity, and the cycling and utilization of nutrients. Therefore, studies should be conducted to identify microbes or groups of organisms that have assigned niche functions. Based on the above, this article reviews the aboveground and below-ground microbiomes, their roles in plant immunity, physiological functions, and challenges and tools available in studying these organisms. The information collected over the years may contribute toward future applications, and in designing sustainable agriculture.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Mariam S. Khelifa ◽  
Louise J. Skov ◽  
Birgitte Holst

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a complex disease that impairs the metabolic, mental and physiological health of affected individuals in a severe and sometimes lethal way. Many of the common symptoms in AN patients, such as reduced food intake, anxiety, impaired gut motility or overexercising are connected to both the orexigenic gut hormone ghrelin and the dopaminergic system. Targeting the ghrelin receptor (GhrR) to treat AN seems a promising possibility in current research. However, GhrR signaling is highly complex. First, the GhrR can activate four known intracellular pathways Gαq, Gαi/o, Gα12/13 and the recruitment of β-arrestin. Biased signaling provides the possibility to activate or inhibit only one or a subset of the intracellular pathways of a pleiotropic receptor. This allows specific targeting of physiological functions without adverse effects. Currently little is known on how biased signaling could specifically modulate GhrR effects. Second, GhrR signaling has been shown to be interconnected with the dopaminergic system, particularly in the context of AN symptoms. This review highlights that a biased agonist for the GhrR may be a promising target for the treatment of AN, however extensive and systematic translational studies are still needed and the connection to the dopaminergic system has to be taken into account.

2021 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Jie Shao ◽  
Yunhui Liu ◽  
Dashuang Gao ◽  
Jie Tu ◽  
Fan Yang

Neural firing patterns are critical for specific information coding and transmission, and abnormal firing is implicated in a series of neural pathologies. Recent studies have indicated that enhanced burst firing mediated by T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (T-VGCCs) in specific neuronal subtypes is involved in several mental or neurological disorders such as depression and epilepsy, while suppression of T-VGCCs relieve related symptoms. Burst firing consists of groups of relatively high-frequency spikes separated by quiescence. Neurons in a variety of brain areas, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, cortex, and hippocampus, display burst firing, but the ionic mechanisms that generating burst firing and the related physiological functions vary among regions. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the mechanisms underlying burst firing in various brain areas, as well as the roles of burst firing in several mental and neurological disorders. We also discuss the ion channels and receptors that may regulate burst firing directly or indirectly, with these molecules highlighted as potential intervention targets for the treatment of mental and neurological disorders.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Ann-Kathrin Volz ◽  
Alina Frei ◽  
Viola Kretschmer ◽  
António M. de Jesus Domingues ◽  
Rene F. Ketting ◽  

AbstractPrimary cilia are microtubule based sensory organelles important for receiving and processing cellular signals. Recent studies have shown that cilia also release extracellular vesicles (EVs). Because EVs have been shown to exert various physiological functions, these findings have the potential to alter our understanding of how primary cilia regulate specific signalling pathways. So far the focus has been on lgEVs budding directly from the ciliary membrane. An association between cilia and MVB-derived smEVs has not yet been described. We show that ciliary mutant mammalian cells demonstrate increased secretion of small EVs (smEVs) and a change in EV composition. Characterisation of smEV cargo identified signalling molecules that are differentially loaded upon ciliary dysfunction. Furthermore, we show that these smEVs are biologically active and modulate the WNT response in recipient cells. These results provide us with insights into smEV-dependent ciliary signalling mechanisms which might underly ciliopathy disease pathogenesis.

2021 ◽  
Vol 14 ◽  
Shuji Wakatsuki ◽  
Toshiyuki Araki

Small non-coding vault RNAs (vtRNAs) have been described as a component of the vault complex, a hollow-and-barrel-shaped ribonucleoprotein complex found in most eukaryotes. It has been suggested that the function of vtRNAs might not be limited to simply maintaining the structure of the vault complex. Despite the increasing research on vtRNAs, little is known about their physiological functions. Recently, we have shown that murine vtRNA (mvtRNA) up-regulates synaptogenesis by activating the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. mvtRNA binds to and activates mitogen activated protein kinase 1 (MEK1), and thereby enhances MEK1-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. Here, we introduce the regulatory mechanism of MAPK signaling in synaptogenesis by vtRNAs and discuss the possibility as a novel molecular basis for synapse formation.

2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (10) ◽  
pp. 960
Wei-Yi Wu ◽  
Shih-Pin Lee ◽  
Bing-Juin Chiang ◽  
Wei-Yu Lin ◽  
Chiang-Ting Chien

The urothelium displays mechano- and chemosensory functions via numerous receptors and channels. The calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) detects extracellular calcium and modulates several physiological functions. Nonetheless, information about the expression and the role of CaSR in lower urinary tract has been absent. We aimed to determine the existence of urothelial CaSR in urinary bladder and its effect on micturition function. We utilized Western blot to confirm the expression of CaSR in bladder and used immunofluorescence to verify the location of the CaSR in the bladder urothelium via colocalization with uroplakin III A. The activation of urothelial CaSR via the CaSR agonist, AC-265347 (AC), decreased urinary bladder smooth muscle (detrusor) activity, whereas its inhibition via the CaSR antagonist, NPS-2143 hydrochloride (NPS), increased detrusor activity in in vitro myography experiments. Cystometry, bladder nerve activities recording, and bladder surface microcirculation detection were conducted to evaluate the effects of the urothelial CaSR via intravesical administrations. Intravesical AC inhibited micturition reflex, bladder afferent and efferent nerve activities, and reversed cystitis-induced bladder hyperactivity. The urothelial CaSR demonstrated a chemosensory function, and modulated micturition reflex via regulating detrusor activity. This study provided further evidence of how the urothelial CaSR mediated micturition and implicated the urothelial CaSR as a potential pharmacotherapeutic target in the intervention of bladder disorders.

Huanhuan Zhu ◽  
Lin Pan ◽  
Yiji Li ◽  
Huiming Jin ◽  
Qian Wang ◽  

The spatial accessibility of prehospital EMS is particularly important for the elderly population’s physiological functions. Due to the recent expansion of aging populations all over the globe, elderly people’s spatial accessibility to prehospital EMS presents a serious challenge. An efficient strategy to address this issue involves using geographic information systems (GIS)-based tools to evaluate the spatial accessibility in conjunction with the spatial distribution of aging people, available road networks, and prehospital EMS facilities. This study employed gravity model and empirical Bayesian Kriging (EBK) interpolation analysis to evaluate the elderly’s spatial access to prehospital EMS in Ningbo, China. In our study, we aimed to solve the following specific research questions: In the study area, “what are the characteristics of the prehospital EMS demand of the elderly?” “Do the elderly have equal and convenient spatial access to prehospital EMS?” and “How can we satisfy the prehospital EMS demand of an aging population, improve their spatial access to prehospital EMS, and then ensure their quality of life?” The results showed that 37.44% of patients admitted to prehospital EMS in 2020 were 65 years and older. The rate of utilization of ambulance services by the elderly was 27.39 per 1000 elderly residents. Ambulance use by the elderly was the highest in the winter months and the lowest in the spring months (25.90% vs. 22.38%). As for the disease spectrum, the main disease was found to be trauma and intoxication (23.70%). The mean accessibility score was only 1.43 and nearly 70% of demand points had scored lower than 1. The elderly’s spatial accessibility to prehospital EMS had a central-outward gradient decreasing trend from the central region to the southeast and southwest of the study area. Our proposed methodology and its spatial equilibrium results could be taken as a benchmark of prehospital care capacity and help inform authorities’ efforts to develop efficient, aging-focused spatial accessibility plans.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Yuexin Guo ◽  
Boya Wang ◽  
Han Gao ◽  
Lei Gao ◽  
Rongxuan Hua ◽  

The 2019-nCoV is a rapidly contagious pneumonia caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. Although generally the most noticeable symptoms are concentrated in the lungs, the disorders in the gastrointestinal tract are of great importance in the diagnosis of 2019-nCoV. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), an important regulator of many physiological functions, including blood pressure and nutrients absorption, is recently identified as a vital entry for 2019-nCoV to enter host cells. In this review, we summarize its functions both physiologically and pathologically. We also elaborate its conflicting roles from the clews of contemporary researches, which may provide significant indications for pharmacological investigations and clinical uses.

Insects ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (9) ◽  
pp. 844
Bin Liu ◽  
Danyang Fu ◽  
Hang Ning ◽  
Ming Tang ◽  
Hui Chen

The short neuropeptide F (sNPF) is an essential signaling molecule that is evolutionarily conserved and involved in a broad range of physiological functions in the invertebrates, by interacting with sNPF receptors, which belong to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). However, the function of sNPF in regulating the food intake of Dendroctonus armandi has been unclear. In this study, we cloned and characterized cDNAs encoding sNPF and sNPF receptor in the D. armandi and made bioinformatics predictions on the deduced amino acid sequences. They had a high degree of similarity to that of Dendroctonus ponderosa. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the transcript levels of both sNPF and sNPFR varied across developmental stages and body parts. In addition, the sNPF and sNPFR expression levels were upregulated in starved beetles, and the expression levels recovered after re-feeding. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown by the injection of sNPF and sNPFR dsRNA into beetles significantly increased mortality and reduced their food intake and body weight, and also caused decrease of glycogen and free fatty acid and increase of trehalose. These results indicate that sNPF signaling pathway plays an important role in the regulation of food intake and provides a potential molecular target for the eco-friendly control strategies of this pest.

Nutrients ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (9) ◽  
pp. 3276
Alessio Basolo ◽  
Susanna Bechi Genzano ◽  
Paolo Piaggi ◽  
Jonathan Krakoff ◽  
Ferruccio Santini

Conservation of the energy equilibrium can be considered a dynamic process and variations of one component (energy intake or energy expenditure) cause biological and/or behavioral compensatory changes in the other part of the system. The interplay between energy demand and caloric intake appears designed to guarantee an adequate food supply in variable life contexts. The circadian rhythm plays a major role in systemic homeostasis by acting as “timekeeper” of the human body, under the control of central and peripheral clocks that regulate many physiological functions such as sleep, hunger and body temperature. Clock-associated biological processes anticipate the daily demands imposed by the environment, being synchronized under ideal physiologic conditions. Factors that interfere with the expected demand, including daily distribution of macronutrients, physical activity and light exposure, may disrupt the physiologic harmony between predicted and actual behavior. Such a desynchronization may favor the development of a wide range of disease-related processes, including obesity and its comorbidities. Evidence has been provided that the main components of 24-h EE may be affected by disruption of the circadian rhythm. The sleep pattern, meal timing and meal composition could mediate these effects. An increased understanding of the crosstalk between disruption of the circadian rhythm and energy balance may shed light on the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying weight gain, which may eventually lead to design effective strategies to fight the obesity pandemic.

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