Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), also known as endotoxin, can trigger septic shock, a severe form of inflammation-mediated sepsis with a very high mortality rate. However, the precise mechanisms underlying this endotoxin remain to be defined and detoxification of LPS is yet to be established. Macrophages, a type of immune cells, initiate a key response responsible for the cascade of events leading to the surge in inflammatory cytokines and immunopathology of septic shock. This study was undertaken to determine whether the LPS-induced inflammation in macrophage cells could be ameliorated via CDDO-IM (2-cyano-3,12 dioxooleana-1,9 dien-28-oyl imidazoline), a novel triterpenoid compound. Data from this study show that gene expression levels of inflammatory cytokine genes such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-8 (IL-8), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were considerably increased by treatment with LPS in macrophages differentiated from ML-1 monocytes. Interestingly, LPS-induced increase in expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine levels is reduced by CDDO-IM. In addition, endogenous upregulation of a series of antioxidant molecules by CDDO-IM provided protection against LPS-induced cytotoxicity in macrophages. LPS-mediated nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) transcriptional activity was also noted to decrease upon treatment with CDDO-IM in macrophages suggesting the involvement of the NF-κB signaling. This study would contribute to improve our understanding of the detoxification of endotoxin LPS by the triterpenoid CDDO-IM.
B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) protein is a member of BAG family of co-chaperones that modulates major biological processes, including apoptosis, autophagy, and development to promote cellular adaptive responses to stress stimuli. Although BAG3 is constitutively expressed in several cell types, its expression is also inducible and is regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that mostly bind to the 3′-UTR (untranslated region) of mRNAs to inhibit their translation or to promote their degradation. miRNAs can potentially regulate over 50% of the protein-coding genes in a cell and therefore are involved in the regulation of all major functions, including cell differentiation, growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy. Dysregulation of miRNA expression is associated with pathogenesis of numerous diseases, including peripheral artery disease (PAD). BAG3 plays a critical role in regulating the response of skeletal muscle cells to ischemia by its ability to regulate autophagy. However, the biological role of miRNAs in the regulation of BAG3 in biological processes has only been elucidated recently. In this review, we discuss how miRNA may play a key role in regulating BAG3 expression under normal and pathological conditions.
The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic requires a rapid, reliable, and user-friendly diagnostic test to help control the spread of the virus. Reverse transcription and quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is currently the gold standard method for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Here, we develop a protocol based on reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and demonstrate increased sensitivity of this technique using fresh RNA extracts compared to RNA samples subjected to freezing/thawing cycles. We further compare RT-LAMP to RT-qPCR and demonstrate that the RT-LAMP approach has high sensitivity in fresh RNA extracts and can detect positive samples with Ct values between 8 and 35.
With the dramatic increase in cancer incidence all over the world in the last decades, studies on identifying novel efficient anti-cancer agents have been intensified. Historically, natural products have represented one of the most important sources of new lead compounds with a wide range of biological activities. In this article, the multifaceted anti-cancer action of propolis-derived flavonoid, galangin, is presented, discussing its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic, and anti-metastatic effects in various cancer cells. In addition, co-effects with standard chemotherapeutic drugs as well as other natural compounds are also under discussion, besides highlighting modern nanotechnological advancements for overcoming the low bioavailability issue characteristic of galangin. Although further studies are needed for confirming the anti-cancer potential of galangin in vivo malignant systems, exploring this natural compound might open new perspectives in molecular oncology.
A dual-channel optical coherence tomography system with wavelengths in the visible and near-infrared light ranges can provide both structural and functional information for retinal microvasculature simultaneously. We applied this integrated system in an ongoing clinical study of patients with various retinal pathologies. Here, we present case study results of patients with diabetic retinopathy, central retinal vein occlusion, and sickle cell retinopathy compared to a healthy subject. For the first time, this comparison validates the system’s ability to detect structural anomalies in both en face and B-scan images with simultaneous retinal optical coherence tomography angiography and measurement of sO2 in parafoveal vessels that are around 20–30 µm in diameter. This integrated system represents a powerful instrument with potentially far-reaching clinical implications for the early detection and diagnosis of retinal vascular diseases.
Prognosis stratification in colorectal cancer helps to address cancer heterogeneity and contributes to the improvement of tailored treatments for colorectal cancer patients. In this study, an autoencoder-based model was implemented to predict the prognosis of colorectal cancer via the integration of multi-omics data. DNA methylation, RNA-seq, and miRNA-seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were integrated as input for the autoencoder, and 175 transformed features were produced. The survival-related features were used to cluster the samples using k-means clustering. The autoencoder-based strategy was compared to the principal component analysis (PCA)-, t-distributed random neighbor embedded (t-SNE)-, non-negative matrix factorization (NMF)-, or individual Cox proportional hazards (Cox-PH)-based strategies. Using the 175 transformed features, tumor samples were clustered into two groups (G1 and G2) with significantly different survival rates. The autoencoder-based strategy performed better at identifying survival-related features than the other transformation strategies. Further, the two survival groups were robustly validated using “hold-out” validation and five validation cohorts. Gene expression profiles, miRNA profiles, DNA methylation, and signaling pathway profiles varied from the poor prognosis group (G2) to the good prognosis group (G1). miRNA–mRNA networks were constructed using six differentially expressed miRNAs (let-7c, mir-34c, mir-133b, let-7e, mir-144, and mir-106a) and 19 predicted target genes. The autoencoder-based computational framework could distinguish good prognosis samples from bad prognosis samples and facilitate a better understanding of the molecular biology of colorectal cancer.
Hypertensive disorders complicating pregnancy (HDCP) is a systemic disease among pregnant women. Therefore, the prevention and prediction of hypertension during pregnancy are critical. This study aimed to clarify whether the vascular endothelial function of women with gestational hypertension was linked to placental growth factor. A total of 200 pregnant women were enrolled in our study and subsequently divided into two groups: the HDCP group and the normal pregnancy controls. The levels of serum placental growth factor, as well as plasma endothelin-1 and nitric oxide, between the two groups were measured. In addition, the endothelial function indexes, including pressure-strain elasticity coefficient (EP), the common carotid stiffness index (β), arterial compliance, single-point pulsed-wave velocity, and augment index (AI) of bilateral common carotid arteries, were compared between the HDCP and control groups using the echo tracking technique. In our study, the level of placental growth factor in the HDCP group was significantly lower than the control group. Furthermore, our results clarified that endothelin-1 increased while nitric oxide decreased in the HDCP group compared with the control group. On the other hand, we found that EP, β, pulsed-wave velocity and augment index values were significantly higher in the HDCP group than in the control group (P < 0.001). However, the value of arterial compliance was significantly decreased in patients of the HDCP group compared with the control group (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the association between serum placental growth factor and vascular endothelial function in HDCP could serve as a more accurate predictive factor of pregnant hypertension.
Tissue trauma and hemorrhagic shock are common battlefield injuries that can induce hypoxia, inflammation, and/or anemia. Inflammation and hypoxia can initiate adaptive mechanisms, such as stress erythropoiesis in the spleen, to produce red blood cells and restore the oxygen supply. In a military context, mild hypobaric hypoxia—part of the environmental milieu during aeromedical evacuation or en route care—may influence adaptive mechanisms, such as stress erythropoiesis, and host defense. In the present study, healthy (control), muscle trauma, and polytrauma (muscle trauma and hemorrhagic shock) mice were exposed to normobaric normoxia or hypobaric hypoxia for ∼17.5 h to test the hypothesis that hypobaric hypoxia exposure influences splenic erythropoiesis and splenic inflammation after polytrauma. This hypothesis was partially supported. The polytrauma + hypobaric hypoxia group exhibited more splenic neutrophils, fewer total spleen cells, and fewer splenic proliferating cells than the polytrauma+normobaric normoxia group; however, no splenic erythroid cell differences were detected between the two polytrauma groups. We also compared splenic erythropoiesis and myeloid cell numbers among control, muscle trauma, and polytrauma groups. More reticulocytes at 1.7 days (40 h) post-trauma (dpt) and neutrophils at 4 dpt were produced in the muscle trauma mice than corresponding control mice. In contrast to muscle trauma, polytrauma led to a reduced red blood cell count and elevated serum erythropoietin levels at 1.7 dpt. There were more erythroid subsets and apoptotic reticulocytes in the polytrauma mice than muscle trauma mice at 4 and 8 dpt. At 14 dpt, the red blood cell count of the polytrauma + normobaric normoxia mice was 12% lower than that of the control + normobaric normoxia mice; however, no difference was observed between polytrauma + hypobaric hypoxia and control + hypobaric hypoxia mice. Our findings suggest muscle trauma alone induces stress erythropoiesis; in a polytrauma model, hypobaric hypoxia exposure may result in the dysregulation of splenic cells, requiring a treatment plan to ensure adequate immune functioning.
To assess the amino acid and fatty acid metabolite patterns between infants with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia in different nutritional stages after birth and identify metabolic indicators of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. This was an observational cohort of preterm infants born at a gestational age ≤32 + 6 weeks and with a body weight ≤2000 g. Amino acid and carnitine profiles were measured in dried blood spots (DBSs) during the early nutrition transitional phase using tandem mass spectrometry. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined as oxygen dependence at 36 weeks of postmenstrual age or 28 days after birth. Metabolomic analysis was employed to define metabolites with significant differences, map significant metabolites into pathways, and identify metabolic indicators of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We evaluated 45 neonates with and 40 without bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Four amino acids and three carnitines showed differences between the groups. Three carnitines (C0, C2, and C6:1) were high in the bronchopulmonary dysplasia group mostly; conversely, all four amino acids (threonine, arginine, methionine, and glutamine (Gln)) were low in the bronchopulmonary dysplasia group. Pathway analysis of these metabolites revealed two pathways with significant changes (p < 0.05). ROC analysis showed Gln/C6:1 at total parenteral nutrition phase had both 80% sensitivity and specificity for predicting the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, with an area under the curve of 0.81 (95% confidence interval 0.71–0.89). Amino acid and fatty acid metabolite profiles changed in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia after birth during the nutrition transitional period, suggesting that metabolic dysregulation may participate in the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Our findings demonstrate that metabolic indicators are promising for forecasting the occurrence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia among preterm neonates.