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Published By Mdpi Ag

1422-0067
Updated Thursday, 28 October 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11528
Author(s):  
Bangbang Guo ◽  
Ye Fan ◽  
Minghao Wang ◽  
Yuhua Cheng ◽  
Bowen Ji ◽  
...  

With the rapid increase in the use of optogenetics to investigate nervous systems, there is high demand for neural interfaces that can simultaneously perform optical stimulation and electrophysiological recording. However, high-magnitude stimulation artifacts have prevented experiments from being conducted at a desirably high temporal resolution. Here, a flexible polyimide-based neural probe with polyethylene glycol (PEG) packaged optical fiber and Pt-Black/PEDOT-GO (graphene oxide doped poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene)) modified microelectrodes was developed to reduce the stimulation artifacts that are induced by photoelectrochemical (PEC) and photovoltaic (PV) effects. The advantages of this design include quick and accurate implantation and high-resolution recording capacities. Firstly, electrochemical performance of the modified microelectrodes is significantly improved due to the large specific surface area of the GO layer. Secondly, good mechanical and electrochemical stability of the modified microelectrodes is obtained by using Pt-Black as bonding layer. Lastly, bench noise recordings revealed that PEC noise amplitude of the modified neural probes could be reduced to less than 50 µV and no PV noise was detected when compared to silicon-based neural probes. The results indicate that this device is a promising optogenetic tool for studying local neural circuits.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11529
Author(s):  
Suman Samantray ◽  
Olujide O. Olubiyi ◽  
Birgit Strodel

The increasing recognition of the biochemical importance of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) has in recent times made them the center of attention of recent research investigations. It became evident that subtle conformational factors play an important role in determining the relationship between the chemical composition of GAGs and their activity. Therefore, a thorough understanding of their structural flexibility is needed, which is addressed in this work by means of all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Four major GAGs with different substitution patterns, namely hyaluronic acid as unsulphated GAG, heparan-6-sulphate, chondroitin-4-sulphate, and chondroitin-6-sulphate, were investigated to elucidate the influence of sulphation on the dynamical features of GAGs. Moreover, the effects of increasing NaCl and KCl concentrations were studied as well. Different structural parameters were determined from the MD simulations, in combination with a presentation of the free energy landscape of the GAG conformations, which allowed us to unravel the conformational fingerprints unique to each GAG. The largest effects on the GAG structures were found for sulphation at position 6, as well as binding of the metal ions in the absence of chloride ions to the carboxylate and sulphate groups, which both increase the GAG conformational flexibility.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11492
Author(s):  
Shin Pai ◽  
Vijesh Kumar Yadav ◽  
Kuang-Tai Kuo ◽  
Narpati Wesa Pikatan ◽  
Chun-Shu Lin ◽  
...  

Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has a high prevalence and predicted global mortality rate of 67.1%, necessitating better therapeutic strategies. Moreover, the recurrence and resistance of OSCC after chemo/radioresistance remains a major bottleneck for its effective treatment. Molecular targeting is one of the new therapeutic approaches to target cancer. Among a plethora of targetable signaling molecules, PDK1 is currently rising as a potential target for cancer therapy. Its aberrant expression in many malignancies is observed associated with glycolytic re-programming and chemo/radioresistance. Methods: Furthermore, to better understand the role of PDK1 in OSCC, we analyzed tissue samples from 62 patients with OSCC for PDK1 expression. Combining in silico and in vitro analysis approaches, we determined the important association between PDK1/CD47/LDHA expression in OSCC. Next, we analyzed the effect of PDK1 expression and its connection with OSCC orosphere generation and maintenance, as well as the effect of the combination of the PDK1 inhibitor BX795, cisplatin and radiotherapy in targeting it. Results: Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that higher PDK1 expression is associated with a poor prognosis in OSCC. The immunoprecipitation assay indicated PDK1/CD47 binding. PDK1 ligation significantly impaired OSCC orosphere formation and downregulated Sox2, Oct4, and CD133 expression. The combination of BX795 and cisplatin markedly reduced in OSCC cell’s epithelial-mesenchymal transition, implying its synergistic effect. p-PDK1, CD47, Akt, PFKP, PDK3 and LDHA protein expression were significantly reduced, with the strongest inhibition in the combination group. Chemo/radiotherapy together with abrogation of PDK1 inhibits the oncogenic (Akt/CD47) and glycolytic (LDHA/PFKP/PDK3) signaling and, enhanced or sensitizes OSCC to the anticancer drug effect through inducing apoptosis and DNA damage together with metabolic reprogramming. Conclusions: Therefore, the results from our current study may serve as a basis for developing new therapeutic strategies against chemo/radioresistant OSCC.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11506
Author(s):  
Marcela Martončíková ◽  
Anna Alexovič Matiašová ◽  
Juraj Ševc ◽  
Enikő Račeková

Neural precursors originating in the subventricular zone (SVZ), the largest neurogenic region of the adult brain, migrate several millimeters along a restricted migratory pathway, the rostral migratory stream (RMS), toward the olfactory bulb (OB), where they differentiate into interneurons and integrate into the local neuronal circuits. Migration of SVZ-derived neuroblasts in the adult brain differs in many aspects from that in the embryonic period. Unlike in that period, postnatally-generated neuroblasts in the SVZ are able to divide during migration along the RMS, as well as they migrate independently of radial glia. The homophilic mode of migration, i.e., using each other to move, is typical for neuroblast movement in the RMS. In addition, it has recently been demonstrated that specifically-arranged blood vessels navigate SVZ-derived neuroblasts to the OB and provide signals which promote migration. Here we review the development of vasculature in the presumptive neurogenic region of the rodent brain during the embryonic period as well as the development of the vascular scaffold guiding neuroblast migration in the postnatal period, and the significance of blood vessel reorganization during the early postnatal period for proper migration of RMS neuroblasts in adulthood.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11473
Author(s):  
Dimitra A. Vassiliadi ◽  
Alice G. Vassiliou ◽  
Ioannis Ilias ◽  
Stylianos Tsagarakis ◽  
Anastasia Kotanidou ◽  
...  

The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis was described as the principal component of the stress response 85 years ago, along with the acute-phase reaction, and the defense response at the tissue level. The orchestration of these processes is essential since systemic inflammation is a double-edged sword; whereas inflammation that is timely and of appropriate magnitude is beneficial, exuberant systemic inflammation incites tissue damage with potentially devastating consequences. Apart from its beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic effects, cortisol exerts a significant immunoregulatory role, a major attribute being that it restrains the excessive inflammatory reaction, thereby preventing unwanted tissue damage. In this review, we will discuss the role of the HPA axis in the normal stress response and in critical illness, especially in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Finally, a chapter will be dedicated to the findings from clinical studies in critical illness and COVID-19 on the expression of the mediator of glucocorticoid actions, the glucocorticoid receptor (GCR).


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11505
Author(s):  
Takuya Ogura ◽  
Kotaro Azuma ◽  
Junichiro Sato ◽  
Keiichi Kinowaki ◽  
Ken-Ichi Takayama ◽  
...  

Octamer transcription factor 1 (OCT1) is a transcriptional factor reported to be a poor prognostic factor in various cancers. However, the clinical value of OCT1 in breast cancer is not fully understood. In the present study, an immunohistochemical study of OCT1 protein was performed using estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer tissues from 108 patients. Positive OCT1 immunoreactivity (IR) was associated with the shorter disease-free survival (DFS) of patients (p = 0.019). Knockdown of OCT1 inhibited cell proliferation in MCF-7 breast cancer cells as well as its derivative long-term estrogen-deprived (LTED) cells. On the other hand, the overexpression of OCT1 promoted cell proliferation in MCF-7 cells. Using microarray analysis, we identified the non-structural maintenance of chromosomes condensin I complex subunit H (NCAPH) as a novel OCT1-taget gene in MCF-7 cells. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that NCAPH IR was significantly positively associated with OCT1 IR (p < 0.001) and that positive NCAPH IR was significantly related to the poor DFS rate of patients (p = 0.041). The knockdown of NCAPH inhibited cell proliferation in MCF-7 and LTED cells. These results demonstrate that OCT1 and its target gene NCAPH are poor prognostic factors and potential therapeutic targets for patients with ER-positive breast cancer.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11490
Author(s):  
Patricia Llamas-Granda ◽  
Laura Martin-Rodríguez ◽  
Raquel Largo ◽  
Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont ◽  
Aránzazu Mediero

Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) is a neurotrophin that is secreted by osteoclasts and binds to its receptor PlexinB1 on osteoblasts to inhibit their differentiation and function. Adenosine A2A activation inhibits osteoclast Sema4D-mediated secretion, diminishes inflammatory osteolysis and prevents bone loss following tenofovir (one of the most used antivirals in HIV). Therefore, tenofovir might activate Sema4D signaling to alter bone turnover. Female C57Bl/6/A2AKO mice were ovariectomized and treated with saline (control), tenofovir 75 mg/Kg/day, dipyridamole 25 mg/Kg/day or a combination for 5 weeks and long bones were prepared for histology. Primary murine-induced osteoclast/osteoblast were challenged with tenofovir/dipyridamole 1 μM each, and the expression of Sema4D/PlexinB1, RhoA/ROCK/IGF1R was studied by RT-PCR, Western blot and immunostaining. In vivo tenofovir showed an increased expression of Sema4D when compared to control mice, and dipyridamole reverted the expression in an A2A-dependent manner. In vitro, tenofovir increases Sema4D expression and secretion in osteoclast precursors, and pre-treatment with dipyridamole reverted this effect. pRhoA and ROCK1 activation were increased and IRS1/IGF1R expression was diminished by tenofovir in the Vav3/ARHGAP18 mechanism in osteoblast precursors and reverted by dipyridamole in an A2A-dependent manner. This suggests that tenofovir increases bone loss by activation of Sema4D/PlexinB1 signaling, which inhibits osteoblast differentiation. Agents that increase local adenosine concentrations, such as dipyridamole, might prevent bone loss following the inhibition of this pathway.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11486
Author(s):  
Ruo Yu Meng ◽  
Hua Jin ◽  
Thi Van Nguyen ◽  
Ok-Hee Chai ◽  
Byung-Hyun Park ◽  
...  

Ursolic acid (UA), a pentacyclic triterpenoid extracted from various plants, inhibits cell growth, metastasis, and tumorigenesis in various cancers. Chemotherapy resistance and the side effects of paclitaxel (PTX), a traditional chemotherapy reagent, have limited the curative effect of PTX in esophageal cancer. In this study, we investigate whether UA promotes the anti-tumor effect of PTX and explore the underlying mechanism of their combined effect in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Combination treatment with UA and PTX inhibited cell proliferation and cell growth more effectively than either treatment alone by inducing more significant apoptosis, as indicated by increased sub-G1 phase distribution and protein levels of cleaved-PARP and cleaved caspase-9. Similar to the cell growth suppressive effect, the combination of UA and PTX significantly inhibited cell migration by targeting uPA, MMP-9, and E-cadherin in ESCC cells. In addition, combination treatment with UA and PTX significantly activated p-GSK-3β and suppressed the activation of Akt and FOXM1 in ESCC cells. Those effects were enhanced by the Akt inhibitor LY2940002 and inverted by the Akt agonist SC79. In an in vivo evaluation of a murine xenograft model of esophageal cancer, combination treatment with UA and PTX suppressed tumor growth significantly better than UA or PTX treatment alone. Thus, UA effectively potentiates the anti-tumor efficacy of PTX by targeting the Akt/FOXM1 cascade since combination treatment shows significantly more anti-tumor potential than PTX alone both in vitro and in vivo. Combination treatment with UA and PTX could be a new strategy for curing esophageal cancer patients.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11467
Author(s):  
Joshua Kleine ◽  
Sandra Leisz ◽  
Chalid Ghadban ◽  
Tim Hohmann ◽  
Julian Prell ◽  
...  

Based on oxidized regenerated cellulose (ORC), several hemostyptic materials, such as Tabotamp®, Equicel® and Equitamp®, have been developed to approach challenging hemostasis in neurosurgery. The present study compares ORC that differ in terms of compositions and properties, regarding their structure, solubility, pH values and effects on neuronal tissue. Cytotoxicity was detected via DNA-binding fluorescence dye in Schwann cells, astrocytes, and neuronal cells. Additionally, organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSC) were analyzed, using propidium iodide, hematoxylin-eosin, and isolectin B4 staining to investigate the cellular damage, cytoarchitecture, and microglia activation. Whereas Equicel® led to a neutral pH, Tabotamp® (pH 2.8) and Equitamp® (pH 4.8) caused a significant reduction of pH (p < 0.001). Equicel® and Tabotamp® increased cytotoxicity significantly in several cell lines (p < 0.01). On OHSC, Tabotamp® and Equicel® led to a stronger and deeper damage to the neuronal tissue than Equitamp® or gauze (p < 0.01). Equicel® increased strongly the number of microglia cells after 24 h (p < 0.001). Microglia cells were not detectable after Tabotamp® treatment, presumably due to an artifact caused by strong pH reduction. In summary, our data imply the use of Equicel®, Tabotamp® or Equitamp® for specific applications in distinct clinical settings depending on their localization or tissue properties.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11497
Author(s):  
Brigitte Sibille ◽  
Isabelle Mothe-Satney ◽  
Gwenaëlle Le Menn ◽  
Doriane Lepouse ◽  
Sébastien Le Garf ◽  
...  

Synthetic ligands of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor beta/delta (PPARβ/δ) are being used as performance-enhancing drugs by athletes. Since we previously showed that PPARβ/δ activation affects T cell biology, we wanted to investigate whether a specific blood T cell signature could be employed as a method to detect the use of PPARβ/δ agonists. We analyzed in primary human T cells the in vitro effect of PPARβ/δ activation on fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and on their differentiation into regulatory T cells (Tregs). Furthermore, we conducted studies in mice assigned to groups according to an 8-week exercise training program and/or a 6-week treatment with 3 mg/kg/day of GW0742, a PPARβ/δ agonist, in order to (1) determine the immune impact of the treatment on secondary lymphoid organs and to (2) validate a blood signature. Our results show that PPARβ/δ activation increases FAO potential in human and mouse T cells and mouse secondary lymphoid organs. This was accompanied by increased Treg polarization of human primary T cells. Moreover, Treg prevalence in mouse lymph nodes was increased when PPARβ/δ activation was combined with exercise training. Lastly, PPARβ/δ activation increased FAO potential in mouse blood T cells. Unfortunately, this signature was masked by training in mice. In conclusion, beyond the fact that it is unlikely that this signature could be used as a doping-control strategy, our results suggest that the use of PPARβ/δ agonists could have potential detrimental immune effects that may not be detectable in blood samples.


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