1,310 research outputs found

    Is “Unconsummated Marriage” still an appropriate term? A snapshot of reality

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    The most shared definition of Unconsummated Marriage (UM) refers to “the failure to perform successful sexual intercourse at the beginning of the marriage. UM usually occurs in the first few nights of marriage and so it is frequently referred to as “honeymoon impotence” or “wedding night impotence”. In the Middle-Eastern (MES) and Western (WS) societies, sexuality follows different patterns in terms of meaning and rules. Moreover the evolution of societies all around the world created new contexts and kinds of relationship. This could hamper a correct taxonomy of such sexual dysfunction where a social variable seems crucial. Aim: To analyze and review data on UM all around the world, to understand if in different societies it refers to the same situation. Method: A review of published literature on UM from 1970 to date, was conducted. Results: Substantial difference emerged from MES to WS. In MES, sexuality is allowable only in marriage, while in WS sexuality and relationship are not strongly linked. This could suggest that the term “marriage” is unable to cover the phenomenon in such different countries. Moreover, the average time before the consultation, causal attribution and prevalence are very different in Western and Middle Eastern countries. Conclusion: We found that the term “first attempts dysfunction” could be better used to describe male, female or both difficulties related to ignorance about sexuality or state/performance anxiety. On the other hand over the individual category of sexual dysfunctions, we suggest a new term as “Unconsummated relationship”, where individual difficulties toward sexuality are involved creating a couple’s dysfunction. Keywords: Unconsummated marriage; Honeymoon impotence; White marriage; Vaginismus; Infertilit

    HBV vaccination with Fendrix is effective and safe in pre-dialysis CKD population

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    Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease have a poor response to hepatitis B vaccine due to the immunodeficiency conferred from chronic uremia. A recombinant HB vaccine containing an improved adjuvant system AS04 (HBV-AS04) has been manufactured but scarce evidence exists on HBV-AS04 use among patients with CKD. Aim: To assess efficacy and safety of an adjuvanted recombinant vaccine (HBV-AS04) in a large cohort of CKD patients at pre-dialysis stage (with susceptibility to HBV infection). Methods: Patients were prospectively enrolled to receive four 20-mcg doses of HBV-AS04 by intramuscular route (deltoid muscle) at months 1, 2, 3, and 4. Anti-HBs surface antibody concentrations were tested at intervals of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 months. Multivariate analyses were performed to assess the parameters, which predicted immunologic response to HBV-AS04 vaccine. Results: One hundred and seven patients were included and 102 completed the study. At completion of vaccine schedule, the frequency of responders (anti-HBs titers 65 10 mIU/mL) was 95% (97/102) (mean anti-HBs antibody titers, 688.9 \ub1 385 mIU/mL), according to per-protocol analysis. Serum haemoglobin levels were greater in responder than non- or low-responder patients to HBV-AS04 (P = 0.04) and this was confirmed by multivariate analysis. The seroprotection rate at month 50 was 88% (30/34) with lower anti-HBs antibody titers (218.5 \ub1 269.6 mIU/mL, P = 0.001). No major side effects were observed. Conclusions: Our prospective study performed in a real-world setting showed a high immunogenicity and safety of HBV-AS04 vaccine in patients with CKD not yet on maintenance dialysis. Studies provided with longer follow-ups are under way to assess the durability of seroprotection in responders

    An epistatic mini-circuitry between the transcription factors Snail and HNF4a controls liver stem cell and hepatocyte features exhorting opposite regulation on stemness-inhibiting microRNAs

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    Preservation of the epithelial state involves the stable repression of EMT program while maintenance of the stem compartment requires the inhibition of differentiation processes. A simple and direct molecular mini-circuitry between master elements of these biological processes, may provide the best device to keep balanced such complex phenomena. In this work, we show that in hepatic stem cell Snail, a transcriptional repressor of the hepatocyte differentiation master gene HNF4, directly represses the expression of the epithelial microRNAs-200c and -34a, which in turn target several stem cell genes. Notably, in differentiated hepatocytes HNF4, previously identified as a transcriptional repressor of Snail, induces the microRNAs-34a and -200a, b, c that, when silenced, causes epithelial dedifferentiation and reacquisition of stem traits. Altogether these data unveiled Snail, HNF4 and microRNAs -200a, b, c and -34a as epistatic elements controlling hepatic stem cell maintenance/differentiation

    Synthesis and biological evaluation of new 3-amino-2-azetidinone derivatives as anticolorectal cancer agents

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    Several synthetic combretastatin A4 (CA-4) derivatives were recently prepared to increase the drug efficacy and stability of the natural product isolated from the South African tree Combretum caffrum. A group of ten 3-amino-2-azetidinone derivatives, as combretastatin A4 analogues, was selected through docking experiments, synthesized and tested for their anti-proliferative activity against the colon cancer SW48 cell line. These molecules, through the formation of amide bonds in position 3, allow the synthesis of various derivatives that can modulate the activity with great resistance to hydrolytic conditions. The cyclization to obtain the 3-aminoazetidinone ring is highly diastereoselective and provides a trans biologically active isomer under mild reaction conditions with better yields than the 3-hydroxy-2-azetidinone synthesis. All compounds showed IC50 values ranging between 14.0 and 564.2 nM, and the most active compound showed inhibitory activity against tubulin polymerization in vitro, being a potential therapeutic agent against colon cancer

    Genome-wide SNP discovery and population structure analysis in pepper (Capsicum annuum) using genotyping by sequencing

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    BACKGROUND: Knowledge on population structure and genetic diversity in vegetable crops is essential for association mapping studies and genomic selection. Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) represents an innovative method for large scale SNP detection and genotyping of genetic resources. Herein we used the GBS approach for the genome-wide identification of SNPs in a collection of Capsicum spp. accessions and for the assessment of the level of genetic diversity in a subset of 222 cultivated pepper (Capsicum annum) genotypes. RESULTS: GBS analysis generated a total of 7,568,894 master tags, of which 43.4% uniquely aligned to the reference genome CM334. A total of 108,591 SNP markers were identified, of which 105,184 were in C. annuum accessions. In order to explore the genetic diversity of C. annuum and to select a minimal core set representing most of the total genetic variation with minimum redundancy, a subset of 222 C. annuum accessions were analysed using 32,950 high quality SNPs. Based on Bayesian and Hierarchical clustering it was possible to divide the collection into three clusters. Cluster I had the majority of varieties and landraces mainly from Southern and Northern Italy, and from Eastern Europe, whereas clusters II and III comprised accessions of different geographical origins. Considering the genome-wide genetic variation among the accessions included in cluster I, a second round of Bayesian (K = 3) and Hierarchical (K = 2) clustering was performed. These analysis showed that genotypes were grouped not only based on geographical origin, but also on fruit-related features. CONCLUSIONS: GBS data has proven useful to assess the genetic diversity in a collection of C. annuum accessions. The high number of SNP markers, uniformly distributed on the 12 chromosomes, allowed the accessions to be distinguished according to geographical origin and fruit-related features. SNP markers and information on population structure developed in this study will undoubtedly support genome-wide association mapping studies and marker-assisted selection programs. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-3297-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users

    Lipomatous hypertrophy: an accidental finding in heart

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    Lipomatous hypertrophy is an uncommon benign lesion of the atrium, generally asymptomatic, characterized by unencapsulated accumulation of adipose tissue entrapping cardiomyocytes. This pathology generally remains unnoticed and often emerges as an occasional finding. Here, we report two cases from our hospital including a review of the available literature

    Miniaturized and High-Throughput Assays for Analysis of T-Cell Immunity Specific for Opportunistic Pathogens and HIV

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    Monitoring of antigen-specific T-cell responses is valuable in numerous conditions that include infectious diseases, vaccinations, and opportunistic infections associated with acquired or congenital immune defects. A variety of assays that make use of peripheral lymphocytes to test activation markers, T-cell receptor expression, or functional responses are currently available. The last group of assays calls for large numbers of functional lymphocytes. The number of cells increases with the number of antigens to be tested. Consequently, cells may be the limiting factor, particularly in lymphopenic subjects and in children, the groups that more often require immune monitoring. We have developed immunochemical assays that measure secreted cytokines in the same wells in which peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) are cultured. This procedure lent itself to miniaturization and automation. Lymphoproliferation and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay have been adapted to a miniaturized format. Here we provide examples of immune profiles and describe a comparison between miniaturized assays based on cytokine secretion or proliferation. We also demonstrate that these assays are convenient for use in testing antigen specificity in established T-cell lines, in addition to analysis of PBMC. In summary, the applicabilities of miniaturization to save cells and reagents and of automation to save time and increase accuracy were demonstrated in this study using different methodological approaches valuable in the clinical immunology laboratory

    Nonuniversal temperature dependencies of the low-frequency ac magnetic susceptibility in high-T c superconductors

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    The complex ac magnetic susceptibilities ({\ensuremath{\chi}}_{n}={\ensuremath{\chi}}_{n}^{\ensuremath{'}}+i{\ensuremath{\chi}}_{n}^{\ensuremath{''}}) of high-Tc{T}_{c} superconductors in absence of dc fields have been studied by numerically solving the nonlinear diffusion equation for the magnetic flux, where the diffusivity is determined by the resistivity. In our approach the parallel resistor model between the creep and flux flow resistivities is used, so that the crossover between different flux dynamic processes (thermally activated flux flow, flux creep, flux flow) can naturally arise. For this reason we remark that, as the frequency increases, the presence of a different nonlinearity in different regions of the I\ensuremath{-}V characteristic determines nonuniversal temperature dependencies of the {\ensuremath{\chi}}_{n}, i.e., the {\ensuremath{\chi}}_{n} are found to be not universal functions of a frequency- and temperature-dependent single parameter. Moreover, the actual frequency-dependent behavior is also shown to be strictly related to the particular pinning model chosen for the simulations. Indeed, for large values of the reduced pinning potential (U/KTg 220)(U/KTg~220) and for increasing frequency, a transition has been observed between dynamic regimes dominated by creep and flux flow processes. On the other hand, for smaller reduced pinning potentials, a transition from the thermally activated flux flow (Taff) to the flow regime occurs. In qualitative agreement with available experimental data but in contrast with previously used simpler models, the amplitude of the peak of the imaginary part of the first harmonic is shown to be frequency dependent. Moreover the frequency dependence of its peak temperature shows large discrepancies with approximated analytical predictions. Finally, the shapes of the temperature dependencies of the higher harmonics are found to be strongly affected by the frequency
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