Inflammatory pseudotumor (IPT) of the liver is a rare benign disease. IPTs generally develop as solitary nodules, and cases with multiple lesions are uncommon. We herein report a case of multiple IPTs of the liver that spontaneously regressed. A 70-year-old woman with a 10-year history of primary biliary cholangitis and rheumatoid arthritis visited our hospital to receive a periodic medical examination. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed multiple hypoechoic lesions, with a maximum size of 33 mm, in the liver. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed low-attenuation areas in the liver with mild peripheral enhancement at the arterial and portal phases. We first suspected metastatic liver tumors, but fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography suggested the tumors to be inconsistent with malignant nodules. A percutaneous biopsy showed shedding of liver cells and abundant fibrosis with infiltration of inflammatory cells. Given these findings, we diagnosed the multiple tumors as IPTs. After careful observation for two months, the tumors almost vanished spontaneously. Physicians should avoid a hasty diagnosis of multiple tumors based solely on a few clinical findings, and a careful assessment with various imaging modalities should be conducted.
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is an inflammatory disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract that is common in both humans and veterinarians. Several studies have revealed the pharmacological properties of the oxazoline of palmitoylethanolamide (PEAOXA). Zebrafish larvae were exposed to sodium dextran sulphate (DSS) to induce enterocolitis and study the protective action of PEAOXA. After repetitive exposure with 0.25% DSS, larvae presented gut alteration with an increase in mucus production. Furthermore, DSS exposure induced an increase in the inflammatory pathway in the intestine, related to an increase in the Endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) stress genes. PEAOXA exposure at a concentration of 10 mg/L decreased the DSS-induced gut damage and mucus production, as well as being able to reduce the inflammatory and ER stress-related genes expression. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the alterations induced by repeated exposure to DSS were counteracted by PEAOXA action that was able to inhibit the increase in inflammation and ER stress involved in the progression of enterocolitis.
To develop a severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) model transited from mild symptoms, we investigated a “two-hit” strategy with L-arginine in mice. The mice were intraperitoneally injected with ice-cold L-arginine (4 g/kg) twice at an interval of 1 h on the first day and subjected to the repeated operation 72 h afterwards. The results showed the “two-hit” strategy resulted in the destructive damage and extensive necrosis of acinar cells in the pancreas compared with the “one-hit” model. Meanwhile, excessive levels of pro-inflammatory mediators, namely IL-6 and TNF-α, were released in the serum. Remarkably, additional deleterious effects on multiple organs were observed, including high intestinal permeability, kidney injury, and severe acute lung injury. Therefore, we confirmed that the SAP animal model triggered by a “two-hit” strategy with L-arginine was successfully established, providing a solid foundation for a deeper understanding of SAP initiation and therapy research to prevent worsening of the disease.
Many proteins are usually not stable under different stresses, such as temperature and pH variations, mechanical stresses, high concentrations, and high saline contents, and their transport is always difficult, because they need to be maintained in a cold regime, which is costly and very challenging to achieve in remote areas of the world. For this reason, it is extremely important to find stabilizing agents that are able to preserve and protect proteins against denaturation. In the present work, we investigate, by extensively using synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering experiments, the stabilization effect of five different sugar-derived compounds developed at ExtremoChem on two model proteins: myoglobin and insulin. The data analysis, based on a novel method that combines structural and thermodynamic features, has provided details about the physical-chemical processes that regulate the stability of these proteins in the presence of stabilizing compounds. The results clearly show that some modified sugars exert a greater stabilizing effect than others, being able to maintain the active forms of proteins at temperatures higher than those in which proteins, in the absence of stabilizers, reach denatured states.
Telemedicine (TM)—the management of disease at a distance—has potential usefulness for patients with advanced respiratory disease. Underscoring this potential is the dramatic expansion of its applications in clinical medicine. However, since clinical studies testing this intervention often provide heterogeneous results, its role in the medical management of respiratory disorders remains inconclusive. A major problem in establishing TM’s effectiveness is that it is not a single intervention; rather, it includes a number of divergent diagnostic and therapeutic modalities—and each must be tested separately. Reflecting the discord between the need for further documentation of its approaches and effectiveness and its rapid utilization without this needed information, a major challenge is the lack of international guidelines for its integration, regulation, operational plans, and guidance for professionals. Tailored TM, with increased flexibility to address differing healthcare contexts, has the potential to improve access to and quality of services while reducing costs and direct input by health professionals. We should view TM as a tool to aid healthcare professionals in managing their patients with respiratory diseases rather than as a stand-alone substitute to traditional medical care. As such, TM is a means rather than an end.
In the available literature, little attention has been paid to the assessment of psoriasis and the biological therapy used for it and the nervous system. The purpose of this article is to discuss the relationship between psoriasis and the nervous system as well as to analyze the mechanisms that lead to neurological complications during anticytokine therapies in psoriasis. However, this connection requires further analysis. The use of biological drugs in psoriasis, although it yields positive therapeutic results, is not without numerous side effects. Serious neurological side effects of the therapy are most often visible with the use of anti-TNF-alpha, which is why patients should be monitored for their potential occurrence. Early detection of complications and rapid discontinuation of treatment with the drug may potentially increase the patient’s chances of a full recovery or improvement of his/her neurological condition. It also seems reasonable that, in the case of complications occurring during anti-TNF-alpha therapy, some of the drugs from other groups should be included in the therapy.
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is an androgen-dependent process and represents the most frequent non-scarring alopecia. Treatments for AGA do not always achieve a satisfactory result for the patient, and sometimes cause side effects that lead to discontinuation of treatment. AGA therapeutics currently includes topical and oral drugs, as well as follicular unit micro-transplantation techniques. Tissue engineering (TE) is postulated as one of the possible future solutions to the problem and aims to develop fully functional hair follicles that maintain their cyclic rhythm in a physiological manner. However, despite its great potential, reconstitution of fully functional hair follicles is still a challenge to overcome and the knowledge gained of the key processes in hair follicle morphogenesis and biology has not yet been translated into effective replacement therapies in clinical practice. To achieve this, it is necessary to research and develop new approaches, techniques and biomaterials. In this review, present and emerging hair follicle bioengineering strategies are evaluated. The current problems of these bioengineering techniques are discussed, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, and the future prospects for the field of TE and successful hair follicle regeneration.
(1) Background: Human aquaporin-9 (AQP9) conducts several small uncharged metabolites, such as glycerol, urea, and lactic acid. Certain brain tumors were shown to upregulate AQP9 expression, and the putative increase in lactic acid permeability was assigned to severity. (2) Methods: We expressed AQP9 and human monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) in yeast to determine the uptake rates and accumulation of radiolabeled l-lactate/l-lactic acid in different external pH conditions. (3) Results: The AQP9-mediated uptake of l-lactic acid was slow compared to MCT1 at neutral and slightly acidic pH, due to low concentrations of the neutral substrate species. At a pH corresponding to the pKa of l-lactic acid, uptake via AQP9 was faster than via MCT1. Substrate accumulation was fundamentally different between AQP9 and MCT1. With MCT1, an equilibrium was reached, at which the intracellular and extracellular l-lactate/H+ concentrations were balanced. Uptake via AQP9 was linear, theoretically yielding orders of magnitude of higher substrate accumulation than MCT1. (4) Conclusions: The selectivity of AQP9 for neutral l-lactic acid establishes an ion trap for l-lactate after dissociation. This may be physiologically relevant if the transmembrane proton gradient is steep, and AQP9 acts as the sole uptake path on at least one side of a polarized cell.
Aiming at the fact that traditional convolutional neural networks cannot effectively extract signal features in complex application scenarios, a sleep apnea (SA) detection method based on multi-scale residual networks is proposed. First, we analyze the physiological mechanism of SA, which uses the RR interval signals and R peak signals derived from the ECG signals as input. Then, a multi-scale residual network is used to extract the characteristics of the original signals in order to obtain sensitive characteristics from various angles. Because the residual structure is used in the model, the problem of model degradation can be avoided. Finally, a fully connected layer is introduced for SA detection. In order to overcome the impact of class imbalance, a focal loss function is introduced to replace the traditional cross-entropy loss function, which makes the model pay more attention to learning difficult samples in the training phase. Experimental results from the Apnea-ECG dataset show that the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the proposed multi-scale residual network are 86.0%, 84.1% and 87.1%, respectively. These results indicate that the proposed method not only achieves greater recognition accuracy than other methods, but it also effectively resolves the problem of low sensitivity caused by class imbalance.
Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism are relatively common neurodegenerative disorders. This study aimed to assess potential genetic risk factors of haplotypes in genes associated with parkinsonism in a population in which endemic parkinsonism and atypical parkinsonism have recently been found. The genes ADH1C, EIF4G1, FBXO7, GBA, GIGYF2, HTRA2, LRRK2, MAPT, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1 PLA2G6, SNCA, UCHL1, and VPS35 were analyzed in 62 patients (P) and 69 age-matched controls from the researched area (C1). Variants were acquired by high-throughput sequencing using Ion Torrent workflow. As another set of controls, the whole genome sequencing data from 100 healthy non-related individuals from the Czech population were used (C2); the results were also compared with the Genome Project data (C3). We observed shared findings of four intron (rs11564187, rs36220738, rs200829235, and rs3789329) and one exon variant (rs33995883) in the LRRK2 gene in six patients. A comparison of the C1–C3 groups revealed significant differences in haplotype frequencies between ratio of 2.09 for C1, 1.65 for C2, and 6.3 for C3, and odds ratios of 13.15 for C1, 2.58 for C2, and 7.6 for C3 were estimated. The co-occurrence of five variants in the LRRK2 gene (very probably in haplotype) could be an important potential risk factor for the development of parkinsonism, even outside the recently described pedigrees in the researched area where endemic parkinsonism is present.