38 research outputs found

    Nutrients, herbal bioactive derivatives and commensal microbiota as tools to lower the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection

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    The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has infected a vast population across the world, causing more than 664 million cases and 6.7 million deaths by January 2023. Vaccination has been effective in reducing the most critical aftermath of this infection, but some issues are still present regarding re-infection prevention, effectiveness against variants, vaccine hesitancy and worldwide accessibility. Moreover, although several old and new antiviral drugs have been tested, we still lack robust and specific treatment modalities. It appears of utmost importance, facing this continuously growing pandemic, to focus on alternative practices grounded on firm scientific bases. In this article, we aim to outline a rigorous scientific background and propose complementary nutritional tools useful toward containment, and ultimately control, of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In particular, we review the mechanisms of viral entry and discuss the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from α-linolenic acid and other nutrients in preventing the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with its entry gateways. In a similar way, we analyze in detail the role of herbal-derived pharmacological compounds and specific microbial strains or microbial-derived polypeptides in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 entry. In addition, we highlight the role of probiotics, nutrients and herbal-derived compounds in stimulating the immunity response

    p53/NF-kB Balance in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: From OMICs, Genomics and Pharmacogenomics Insights to Tailored Therapeutic Perspectives (COVIDomics)

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    SARS-CoV-2 infection affects different organs and tissues, including the upper and lower airways, the lung, the gut, the olfactory system and the eye, which may represent one of the gates to the central nervous system. Key transcriptional factors, such as p53 and NF-kB and their reciprocal balance, are altered upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as other key molecules such as the virus host cell entry mediator ACE2, member of the RAS-pathway. These changes are thought to play a central role in the impaired immune response, as well as in the massive cytokine release, the so-called cytokine storm that represents a hallmark of the most severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Host genetics susceptibility is an additional key side to consider in a complex disease as COVID-19 characterized by such a wide range of clinical phenotypes. In this review, we underline some molecular mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 modulates p53 and NF-kB expression and activity in order to maximize viral replication into the host cells. We also face the RAS-pathway unbalance triggered by virus-ACE2 interaction to discuss potential pharmacological and pharmacogenomics approaches aimed at restoring p53/NF-kB and ACE1/ACE2 balance to counteract the most severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Physical Exercise and Appetite Regulation: New Insights

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    Physical exercise is considered an important physiological intervention able to prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and obesity-related cardiometabolic imbalance. Nevertheless, basic molecular mechanisms that govern the metabolic benefits of physical exercise are poorly understood. Recent data unveil new mechanisms that potentially explain the link between exercise, feeding suppression, and obesity

    Cell cycle block by p53 activation reduces SARS-CoV-2 release in infected alveolar basal epithelial A549-hACE2 cells

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    SARS-CoV viruses have been shown to downregulate cellular events that control antiviral defenses. They adopt several strategies to silence p53, key molecule for cell homeostasis and immune control, indicating that p53 has a central role in controlling their proliferation in the host. Specific actions are the stabilization of its inhibitor, MDM2, and the interference with its transcriptional activity. The aim of our work was to evaluate a new approach against SARS-CoV-2 by using MDM2 inhibitors to raise p53 levels and activate p53-dependent pathways, therefore leading to cell cycle inhibition. Experimental setting was performed in the alveolar basal epithelial cell line A549-hACE2, expressing high level of ACE2 receptor, to allow virus entry, as well as p53 wild-type. Cells were treated with several concentrations of Nutlin-3 or RG-7112, two known MDM2 inhibitors, for the instauration of a cell cycle block steady-state condition before and during SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for the evaluation of p53 activation and impact on virus release and related innate immune events. The results indicated an efficient cell cycle block with inhibition of the virion release and a significant inhibition of IL-6, NF-kB and IFN-λ expression. These data suggest that p53 is an efficient target for new therapies against the virus and that MDM2 inhibitors deserve to be further investigated in this field

    A Toolchain Architecture for Condition Monitoring Using the Eclipse Arrowhead Framework

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    Condition Monitoring is one of the most critical applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the context of Industry 4.0. Current deployments typically present interoperability and management issues, requiring human intervention along the engineering process of the systems; in addition, the fragmentation of the IoT landscape, and the adoption of poor architectural solutions often make it difficult to integrate third-party devices in a seamless way. In this paper, we tackle these issues by proposing a tool-driven architecture that supports heterogeneous sensor management through well-established interoperability solutions for the IoT domain, i.e. the Eclipse Arrowhead framework and the recent Web of Things (WoT) standard released by the W3C working group. We deploy the architecture in a real Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) scenario, which validates each developed tool and demonstrates the increased automation derived from their combined usage

    An IoT Toolchain Architecture for Planning, Running and Managing a Complete Condition Monitoring Scenario

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    Condition Monitoring (CM) is an extremely critical application of the Internet of Things (IoT) within Industry 4.0 and Smart City scenarios, especially following the recent energy crisis. CM aims to monitor the status of a physical appliance over time and in real time in order to react promptly when anomalies are detected, as well as perform predictive maintenance tasks. Current deployments suffer from both interoperability and management issues within their engineering process at all phases – from their design to their deployment, to their management –, often requiring human intervention. Furthermore, the fragmentation of the IoT landscape and the heterogeneity of IoT solutions hinder a seamless onboarding process of legacy devices and systems. In this paper, we tackle these problems by first proposing an architecture for CM based on both abstraction layers and toolchains, i.e., automated pipelines of engineering tools aimed at supporting the engineering process. In particular, we introduce four different toolchains, each of them dedicated to a well-defined task (e.g., energy monitoring). This orthogonal separation of concerns aims to simplify both the understanding of a complex ecosystem and the accomplishment of independent tasks. We then illustrate our implementation of a complete CM system that follows said architecture as a real Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) pilot of the Arrowhead Tools project, by describing in detail every single tool that we developed. We finally show how our pilot achieves the main objectives of the project: the reduction of engineering costs, the integration of legacy systems, and the interoperability with IoT frameworks

    Original Article

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    The pancreas taken from the frog (Rana nigromaculata) was fixed in 1% OsO_4 and sliced into ultrathin sections for electron microscopic studies. The following observations were made: 1. A great \u27number of minute granules found in the cytoplasm of a pancreatic cell were called the microsomes, which were divided into two types, the C-microsome and S-microsome. 2. Electron microsopic studies of the ergastoplasm showed that it is composed of the microsome granules and A-substance. The microsomes were seen embedded in the A-substance which was either filamentous or membranous. The membranous structure, which was called the Am-membrane, was seen to form a sac, with a cavity of varying sizes, or to form a lamella. 3. The Am-membrane has close similarity to α-cytomembrane of Sjostrand, except that the latter is rough-surfaced. It was deduced that the Am-membrane, which is smooth-surfaced, might turn into the rough-surfaced α-cytomembrane. 4. There was the Golgi apparatus in the supranuclear region of a pancreatic cell. It consisted of the Golgi membrane, Golgi vacuole and. Golgi vesicle. 5. The mitochondria of a pancreatic cell appeared like long filaments, and some of them were seen to ramify. 6. The membrane of mitochondria, i. e. the limiting membrane, consisted of the Ammembrane. The mitochondria contained a lot of A-substances, as well as the C-microsomes and S-microsomes. When the mitochondria came into being, there appeared inside them chains of granules, which appeared like strips of beads, as the outgrowths of the A-substance and the microsome granules attached to the Am-membrane. They are the so-called cristae mitochondriales. 7. The secretory granules originate in the microsomes. They came into being when the microsomes gradually thickened and grew in size as various substances became adhered to them. Some of the secretory granules were covered with a membrane and appeared like what they have called the intracisternal granule of Palade.It seemed that this was a phenomenon attendant upon the dissolution and liqutefaction of the secretory granule. 8. Comparative studies were made of the ergastoplasm of the pancreatic cells from the frogs in hibernation, the frogs artificially hungered, the frogs which were given food after a certain period of fasting, the frogs to which pilocarpine was given subcutaneously, and the very young, immature frogs. The studies revealed that the ergastoplasm of the pancreatic cells greatly varied in form with the difference in nutritive condition and with different developmental stages of the cell. The change in form and structure occured as a result of transformation of the microsomes and A-substance. The ergastoplasm, even after it has come into being, might easily be inactivated if nutrition is defective. The ergastoplasm is concerned in the secretory mechanism, which is different from the secretory phenomenon of the secretory granules. It would seem that structurally the mitochondria have no direct relation to this mechanism

    Adherence issues related to sublingual immunotherapy as perceived by allergists

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    Objectives: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a viable alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy to treat allergic rhinitis and asthma, and is widely used in clinical practice in many European countries. The clinical efficacy of SLIT has been established in a number of clinical trials and meta-analyses. However, because SLIT is self-administered by patients without medical supervision, the degree of patient adherence with treatment is still a concern. The objective of this study was to evaluate the perception by allergists of issues related to SLIT adherence. Methods: We performed a questionnaire-based survey of 296 Italian allergists, based on the adherence issues known from previous studies. The perception of importance of each item was assessed by a VAS scale ranging from 0 to 10. Results: Patient perception of clinical efficacy was considered the most important factor (ranked 1 by 54% of allergists), followed by the possibility of reimbursement (ranked 1 by 34%), and by the absence of side effects (ranked 1 by 21%). Patient education, regular follow-up, and ease of use of SLIT were ranked first by less than 20% of allergists. Conclusion: These findings indicate that clinical efficacy, cost, and side effects are perceived as the major issues influencing patient adherence to SLIT, and that further improvement of adherence is likely to be achieved by improving the patient information provided by prescribers. © 2010 Scurati et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

    HIV-Tat immunization induces cross-clade neutralizing antibodies and CD4+ T cell increases in antiretroviral-treated South African volunteers: a randomized phase II clinical trial

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    Palmitic Acid Induced a Long-Lasting Lipotoxic Insult in Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells, which Is Partially Counteracted by TRAIL

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    Hyperglycaemia and increased circulating saturated fatty acids are key metabolic features of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) that contribute to diabetic retinopathy pathogenesis. Contrarily, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has been shown to improve or prevent T2DM. This study aimed at investigating the effect of TRAIL in an in vitro model of human retinal pigment epithelium: the ARPE-19 cell line, treated with palmitic acid (PA) in the presence of high glucose concentration. PA caused a drop in cellular metabolic activity and cell viability as well as an increase in apoptosis rates, which were paralleled by an upregulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation as well as mitochondrial fragmentation. Despite ARPE-19 cells expressing TRAIL-R2 at the cell surface, TRAIL failed to counteract the cytotoxic effects of PA. However, when TRAIL was used alongside PA and then removed or used alone following PA challenge, it partially attenuated PA-induced lipotoxicity. This effect of TRAIL appeared to rely upon the modulation of inflammation and ROS production. Thus, TRAIL exerted a trophic effect on ARPE-19 cells, which became evident only when the lipotoxic insult was removed. Nevertheless, whether recombinant TRAIL might have a therapeutic potential for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy requires further investigation
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