543 research outputs found

    The effects of recalling positive and negative contacts on linguistic discrimination towards migrant people

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    The present research aims to test whether varying the sequential position in which majority members recall positive and negative contacts with migrants affects the linguistic descriptions of these episodes - in terms of abstraction and valence - provided by majority group members. We also tested whether participants' prior contact with migrants and distance in time of the recalled contact experiences moderated the effect of the recall on linguistic discrimination. Across two experimental studies, evidence consistently showed that participants who recalled first positive and then negative interactions expressed less linguistic discrimination against migrants in the second event recalled, compared to those who recalled two negative interactions. Moreover, participants who reported having fewer positive intergroup experiences expressed less linguistic discrimination against migrants in recalling negative and then positive interactions, compared to recalling two positive interactions. Findings of Study 2 also revealed an effect of the temporal distance of the recalled events, with more beneficial effects of positive-negative sequences of contact when participants retrieved temporally recent compared to distant intergroup encounters. Overall, this research highlights the key role of positive contact in counteracting the effects of negative contact, leading to a reduction in linguistic discrimination

    Modulation of STAT3 signaling, cell redox defenses and cell cycle checkpoints by β-caryophyllene in cholangiocarcinoma cells: possible mechanisms accounting for doxorubicin chemosensitization and chemoprevention

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    Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an aggressive group of biliary tract cancers, characterized by late diagnosis, low effective chemotherapies, multidrug resistance, and poor outcomes. In the attempt to identify new therapeutic strategies for CCA, we studied the antiproliferative activity of a combination between doxorubicin and the natural sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene in cholangiocarcinoma Mz-ChA-1 cells and nonmalignant H69 cholangiocytes, under both long-term and metronomic schedules. The modulation of STAT3 signaling, oxidative stress, DNA damage response, cell cycle progression and apoptosis was investigated as possible mechanisms of action. β-caryophyllene was able to synergize the cytotoxicity of low dose doxorubicin in Mz-ChA-1 cells, while producing cytoprotective effects in H69 cholangiocytes, mainly after a long-term exposure of 24 h. The mechanistic analysis highlighted that the sesquiterpene induced a cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase along with the doxorubicin-induced accumulation in S phase, reduced the γH2AX and GSH levels without affecting GSSG. ROS amount was partly lowered by the combination in Mz-ChA-1 cells, while increased in H69 cells. A lowered expression of doxorubicin-induced STAT3 activation was found in the presence of β-caryophyllene in both cancer and normal cholangiocytes. These networking effects resulted in an increased apoptosis rate in Mz-ChA-1 cells, despite a lowering in H69 cholangiocytes. This evidence highlighted a possible role of STAT3 as a final effector of a complex network regulated by β-caryophyllene, which leads to an enhanced doxorubicin-sensitivity of cholangiocarcinoma cells and a lowered chemotherapy toxicity in nonmalignant cholangiocytes, thus strengthening the interest for this natural sesquiterpene as a dual-acting chemosensitizing and chemopreventive agent

    Shmt2: a stat3 signaling new player in prostate cancer energy metabolism

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    Prostate cancer (PCa) is a multifactorial disease characterized by the aberrant activity of different regulatory pathways. STAT3 protein mediates some of these pathways and its activation is implicated in the modulation of several metabolic enzymes. A bioinformatic analysis indicated a STAT3 binding site in the upstream region of SHMT2 gene. We demonstrated that in LNCaP, PCa cells' SHMT2 expression is upregulated by the JAK2/STAT3 canonical pathway upon IL-6 stimulation. Activation of SHTM2 leads to a decrease in serine levels, pushing PKM2 towards the nuclear compartment where it can activate STAT3 in a non-canonical fashion that in turn promotes a transient shift toward anaerobic metabolism. These results were also confirmed on FFPE prostate tissue sections at different Gleason scores. STAT3/SHMT2/PKM2 loop in LNCaP cells can modulate a metabolic shift in response to inflammation at early stages of cancer progression, whereas a non-canonical STAT3 activation involving the STAT3/HIF-1α/PKM2 loop is responsible for the maintenance of Warburg effect distinctive of more aggressive PCa cells. Chronic inflammation might thus prime the transition of PCa cells towards more advanced stages, and SHMT2 could represent a missing factor to further understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the transition of prostate cancer towards a more aggressive phenotyp

    Metal Nanoparticle-Functionalized Three-Dimensional Graphene: a versatile platform towards sensors and energy-related applications

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    We demonstrate the first successful functionalization of epitaxial three-dimensional graphene with metal nanoparticles. The functionalization is obtained by immersing the 3D graphene in a nanoparticle colloidal solution. This method is versatile and here is demonstrated for gold and palladium, but can be extended to other types and shapes of nanoparticles. We have measured the nanoparticle density on the top-surface and in the porous layer volume by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy. Samples exhibit a high coverage of nanoparticles with minimal clustering. High quality graphene has been demonstrated to promote the functionalization leading to higher nanoparticle density, both on the surface and in the pores. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy allowed to verify the absence of contamination after the functionalization process. Moreover, it confirmed the thermal stability of the Au- and Pd-functionalized three-dimensional graphene up to 530{\deg}C. Our approach opens up new avenues for utilizing three-dimensional graphene as a versatile platform for catalytic applications, sensors, and energy storage and conversion
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