Potential Biomarker
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2021 ◽  
Barbara S. Passadouro ◽  
Ariane D. Sanchez ◽  
James Henshaw ◽  
Karen Lopez-Diaz ◽  
Nelson Trujillo-Barreto ◽  

Pain-related catastrophising is a maladaptive coping strategy known to have a strong influence on clinical pain outcomes and treatment efficacy. Mounting evidence suggests catastrophising is associated with resting-state EEG frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) patterns reflective of greater relative right frontal activity, thought to underly withdrawal motivation and negative affect. Notwithstanding, knowledge on the neurophysiological basis of catastrophising remains limited. The present study aims to investigate whether such relationship occurs in the situational context of experimental pain, and how FAA is modulated by pain and placebo treatment. 35 participants completed the Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS) questionnaire prior to EEG recordings during cold pressor test (CPT)-induced tonic pain with or without prior application of placebo cream. There was a negative correlation between FAA and PCS-subscale helplessness scores, but not rumination or magnification, during the pre-placebo CPT condition. Moreover, FAA scores were shown to increase significantly in response to pain, indicative of greater relative left frontal activity that relates to approach-oriented behaviours. Placebo treatment elicited a decrease in FAA in low helplessness scorers, but no significant effects in individuals scoring above the mean on PCS-helplessness. These findings suggest that, during painful events, FAA may reflect the motivational drive to obtain reward of pain relief, which may be diminished in individuals who are prone to feel helpless about their pain. This study provides valuable insights into biomarkers of pain-related catastrophising and prospects of identifying promising targets of brain-based therapies for chronic pain management.

Xian Chen ◽  
Yukun Xue ◽  
Jiao Feng ◽  
Qingwu Tian ◽  
Yunyuan Zhang ◽  

Abstract Background More than half of Neuroblastoma (NB) patients presented with distant metastases and the relapse of metastatic patients was up to 90%. It is urgent to explore a biomarker that could facilitate the prediction of metastasis in NB patients. Methods and results In the present study, we systematically analyzed Gene Expression Omnibus datasets and focused on identifying the critical molecular networks and novel key hub genes implicated in NB metastasis. In total, 176 up-regulated and 19 down-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Based on these DEGs, a PPI network composed of 150 nodes and 452 interactions was established. Through PPI network identification combined with qRT-PCR, ELISA and IHC, S100A9 was screened as an outstanding gene. Furthermore, in vitro tumorigenesis assays demonstrated that S100A9 overexpression enhanced the proliferation, migration and invasion of NB cells. Conclusions Taken together, our findings suggested that S100A9 could participate in NB tumorigenesis and progression. In addition, S100A9 has the potential to be used as a promising clinical biomarker in the prediction of NB metastasis.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Ruikai Jia ◽  
Min Huang ◽  
Lichun Qian ◽  
Xiaoye Yan ◽  
Qing Lv ◽  

Obesity, especially central obesity, is a strong risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the mechanism underlying the progression from central obesity to T2D remains unknown. Therefore, we analyzed the gut microbial profiles of central obese individuals with or without T2D from a Chinese population. Here we reported both the microbial compositional and gene functional alterations during the progression from central obesity to T2D. Several opportunistic pathogens were enriched in obese T2D patients. We also characterized thousands of genes involved in sugar and amino acid metabolism whose abundance were significantly depleted in obese T2D group. Moreover, the abundance of those genes was negatively associated with plasma glycemia level and percentage of individuals with impaired plasma glucose status. Therefore, our study indicates that the abundance of those depleted genes can be used as a potential biomarker to identify central obese individuals with high risks of developing T2D.

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (21) ◽  
pp. 4861
Emma Altobelli ◽  
Paolo Matteo Angeletti ◽  
Reimondo Petrocelli ◽  
Giuseppe Lapergola ◽  
Giovanni Farello ◽  

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common inflammatory chronic disease affecting children and adolescents. Today, there are no specific biomarkers of inflammation. Therefore, it is important to identify new markers as predictors of disease activity. Recently, some researchers have directed their interest toward a protein, calprotectin (CLP), as a potential biomarker. The primary objective of our systematic review and meta-analysis was to analyze the possible role of CLP in JIA. Method: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Science Direct on 10 August 2021. The selection of studies was made using the PRISMA 2020 guidelines. Cohen’s d with 95% CI and p-value were used as a measure of effect size. The random effects model was used to account for different sources of variation among studies. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q statistics and I2. The publication bias was analyzed and represented by a funnel plot, and funnel plot symmetry was assessed with Egger’s test. Results: Our results at follow-up showed a statistically significant difference between patients with active disease compared to patients with inactive disease: 0.39 (0.16; 0.62), p = 0.001; without statistical heterogeneity. Another important aspect that emerged were the differences between the systemic disease form and any form of inactive disease showing a different concentration of calprotectin: 0.74 (0.40; 1.08), p < 0.001; without statistical heterogeneity. On the other hand, meta-regression analyses performed on gender, age, duration of disease, percentage of patients with ANA+ or RF+, medium value of ESR or CRP were not statistically significant. A statistically significant difference in serum calprotectin concentration between patients with JIA and healthy controls were observed. In fact, it presented lower values in the control group. Conclusions: The use of serum CLP could represent, in the future, a useful tool in JIA in order to stratify disease activity more accurately and may aid a more tailored approach to drug of choice in children with JIA. Further studies are needed to evaluate CLP as a predictor of flare in combination with other potential biomarkers of subclinical disease activity.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
Mengyu Chen ◽  
Chunyan Yan ◽  
Xihe Zhao

The discovery of circular RNA (circRNA) greatly complements the traditional gene expression theory. CircRNA is a class of non-coding RNA with a stable cyclic structure. They are highly expressed, spatiotemporal-specific and conservative across species. Importantly, circRNA participates in the occurrence of many kinds of tumors and regulates the tumor development. Glioma is featured by limited therapy and grim prognosis. Cancer-associated circRNA compromises original function or creates new effects in glioma, thus contributing to oncogenesis. Therefore, this article reviews the biogenesis, metabolism, functions and properties of circRNA as a novel potential biomarker for gliomas. We elaborate the expression characteristics, interaction between circRNA and other molecules, aiming to identify new targets for early diagnosis and treatment of gliomas.

Malik Bisserier ◽  
Santhanam Shanmughapriya ◽  
Amit Kumar Rai ◽  
Carolina Gonzalez ◽  
Agnieszka Brojakowska ◽  

Background Space travel–associated stressors such as microgravity or radiation exposure have been reported in astronauts after short‐ and long‐duration missions aboard the International Space Station. Despite risk mitigation strategies, adverse health effects remain a concern. Thus, there is a need to develop new diagnostic tools to facilitate early detection of physiological stress. Methods and Results We measured the levels of circulating cell‐free mitochondrial DNA in blood plasma of 14 astronauts 10 days before launch, the day of landing, and 3 days after return. Our results revealed a significant increase of cell‐free mitochondrial DNA in the plasma on the day of landing and 3 days after return with vast ~2 to 355‐fold interastronaut variability. In addition, gene expression analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed a significant increase in markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage. Conclusions Our study suggests that cell‐free mitochondrial DNA abundance might be a biomarker of stress or immune response related to microgravity, radiation, and other environmental factors during space flight.

2021 ◽  
pp. jnnp-2021-327269
Abram D Nitert ◽  
Harold HG Tan ◽  
Renée Walhout ◽  
Nienke L Knijnenburg ◽  
Michael A van Es ◽  

ObjectivesTo investigate sensitivity of brain MRI and neurological examination for detection of upper motor neuron (UMN) degeneration in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).MethodsWe studied 192 patients with ALS and 314 controls longitudinally. All patients visited our centre twice and underwent full neurological examination and brain MRI. At each visit, we assessed UMN degeneration by measuring motor cortex thickness (CT) and pyramidal tract fibre density (FD) corresponding to five body regions (bulbar region and limbs). For each body region, we measured degree of clinical UMN and lower motor neuron (LMN) symptom burden using a validated scoring system.ResultsWe found deterioration over time of CT of motor regions (p≤0.0081) and progression of UMN signs of bulbar region and left arm (p≤0.04). FD was discriminative between controls and patients with moderate/severe UMN signs (all regions, p≤0.034), but did not change longitudinally. Higher clinical UMN burden correlated with reduced CT, but not lower FD, for the bulbar region (p=2.2×10−10) and legs (p≤0.025). In the arms, we found that severe LMN signs may reduce the detectability of UMN signs (p≤0.043). With MRI, UMN degeneration was detectable before UMN signs became clinically evident (CT: p=1.1×10−10, FD: p=6.3×10−4). Motor CT, but not FD, deteriorated more than UMN signs during the study period.ConclusionsMotor CT is a more sensitive measure of UMN degeneration than UMN signs. Motor CT and pyramidal tract FD are discriminative between patients and controls. Brain MRI can monitor UMN degeneration before signs become clinically evident. These findings promote MRI as a potential biomarker for UMN progression in clinical trials in ALS.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (20) ◽  
pp. 11234
Giovanni Palermo ◽  
Sara Giannoni ◽  
Gabriele Bellini ◽  
Gabriele Siciliano ◽  
Roberto Ceravolo

A major goal of current clinical research in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the validation and standardization of biomarkers enabling early diagnosis, predicting outcomes, understanding PD pathophysiology, and demonstrating target engagement in clinical trials. Molecular imaging with specific dopamine-related tracers offers a practical indirect imaging biomarker of PD, serving as a powerful tool to assess the status of presynaptic nigrostriatal terminals. In this review we provide an update on the dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging in PD and translate recent findings to potentially valuable clinical practice applications. The role of DAT imaging as diagnostic, preclinical and predictive biomarker is discussed, especially in view of recent evidence questioning the incontrovertible correlation between striatal DAT binding and nigral cell or axon counts.

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