37,176 research outputs found

    Mushroom ő≤-glucan and polyphenol formulations as natural immunity boosters and balancers: nature of the application

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    Mushrooms are experiencing a kind of renaissance as a part of the contemporary human diet. These valuable organisms are more than food, they fi t in perfectly as a novel market group known as nutra-mycoceuticals. Immune-balancing mushroom dietary fibers and secondary metabolites such as polyphenols are the main focus of the healthcare industry. Wellness and cosmetic companies are increasingly using mushroom extracts rich in these ingredients. This review considers the basic molecular immunomodulatory mechanisms of action of the most commonly used mushroom dietary fibers, ő≤-glucans. The literature data on their bioavailability, metabolic transformations, preclinical and human clinical research, and safety are discussed. Immunomodulatory mechanisms of polyphenol ingredients are also considered. These molecules present great potential in the design of the new immunity balancer formulations according to their widespread structural diversity. Finally, we draw attention to the perspectives of modern trends in mushroom nutraceutical and cosmeceutical formulations to strengthen and balance immunity

    Sex-Specific Relationships of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour with Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Markers in Young Adults

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    This study aims to analyse sex-specific associations of physical activity and sedentary behaviour with oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in a young-adult population. Sixty participants (21 women, 22.63 ¬Ī 4.62 years old) wore a hip accelerometer for 7 consecutive days to estimate their physical activity and sedentarism. Oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione, malondialdehyde, and advanced oxidation protein products) and inflammatory (tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6) markers were measured. Student t-tests and single linear regressions were applied. The women presented higher catalase activity and glutathione concentrations, and lower levels of advanced protein-oxidation products, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 than the men (p < 0.05). In the men, longer sedentary time was associated with lower catalase activity (ő≤ = ‚ąí0.315, p = 0.04), and longer sedentary breaks and higher physical-activity expenditures were associated with malondialdehyde (ő≤ = ‚ąí0.308, p = 0.04). Vigorous physical activity was related to inflammatory markers in the women (tumour necrosis factor-alpha, ő≤ = 0.437, p = 0.02) and men (interleukin‚ąí6, ő≤ = 0.528, p < 0.01). In conclusion, the women presented a better redox and inflammatory status than the men; however, oxidative-stress markers were associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviours only in the men. In light of this, women could have better protection against the deleterious effect of sedentarism but a worse adaptation to daily physical activity.This work was partly supported by Universidad de C√°diz (grant number PR2016-051 and PR2019-054), by Instituto de Investigaci√≥n e Innovaci√≥n Biom√©dica de C√°diz (LI19/21IN-CO09), and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovaci√≥n) (MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033), grants PID2019-110063RA-I00 and PID2020-120034RA-I00. J.C.-P. is supported by a predoctoral grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educaci√≥n) (grant number FPU19/02326). D.V.-D is funded by the Margarita Salas Postdoctoral Program from European Union Next GenerationEU and University of C√°diz. Partial funding for open access charge: Universidad de M√°lag

    Proteomic analysis of metronidazole resistance in the human facultative pathogen Bacteroides fragilis

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    The anaerobic gut bacteria and opportunistic pathogen Bacteroides fragilis can cause life-threatening infections when leaving its niche and reaching body sites outside of the gut. The antimicrobial metronidazole is a mainstay in the treatment of anaerobic infections and also highly effective against Bacteroides spp. Although resistance rates have remained low in general, metronidazole resistance does occur in B. fragilis and can favor fatal disease outcomes. Most metronidazole-resistant Bacteroides isolates harbor nim genes, commonly believed to encode for nitroreductases which deactivate metronidazole. Recent research, however, suggests that the mode of resistance mediated by Nim proteins might be more complex than anticipated because they affect the cellular metabolism, e.g., by increasing the activity of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR). Moreover, although nim genes confer only low-level metronidazole resistance to Bacteroides, high-level resistance can be much easier induced in the laboratory in the presence of a nim gene than without. Due to these observations, we hypothesized that nim genes might induce changes in the B. fragilis proteome and performed comparative mass-spectrometric analyses with B. fragilis 638R, either with or without the nimA gene. Further, we compared protein expression profiles in both strains after induction of high-level metronidazole resistance. Interestingly, only few proteins were repeatedly found to be differentially expressed in strain 638R with the nimA gene, one of them being the flavodiiron protein FprA, an enzyme involved in oxygen scavenging. After induction of metronidazole resistance, a far higher number of proteins were found to be differentially expressed in 638R without nimA than in 638R with nimA. In the former, factors for the import of hemin were strongly downregulated, indicating impaired iron import, whereas in the latter, the observed changes were not only less numerous but also less specific. Both resistant strains, however, displayed a reduced capability of scavenging oxygen. Susceptibility to metronidazole could be widely restored in resistant 638R without nimA by supplementing growth media with ferrous iron sulfate, but not so in resistant 638R with the nimA gene. Finally, based on the results of this study, we present a novel hypothetic model of metronidazole resistance and NimA function

    Immunosuppressive drugs in renal transplantation

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    A kidney transplant, sometimes known as a renal transplant, is the treatment of choice for kidney failure at end stage renal disease (ESRD). The renal transplant surgery is followed by a lifetime course of immunosuppressive agents, divided into initial induction phase and later maintenance phase. It is seen that the risk of acute rejection is maximum in the initial months after transplantation (induction phase) and then reduces later (maintenance phase). In induction phase there is use of high-intensity immunosuppression immediately after transplantation, when the risk of rejection is maximum and then the dose reduced for long- term therapy. The main challenge in the renal transplantation community is long- term transplant survival. Long-term graft loss is mainly due to acute and chronic graft rejection, and also due to complications of immunosuppressive therapy. Currently, there is triple therapy as conventional immunosuppressive protocol: a calcineurin inhibitor, an antimetabolite agent, and a corticosteroid. The main aim of development of new immunosuppressive agents is not only improvement of short- term outcomes but also to increase the long- term graft survival by less nephrotoxicity, and minimal side-effects

    Alphaviruses Detected in Mosquitoes in the North-Eastern Regions of South Africa, 2014 to 2018

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    The prevalence and distribution of African alphaviruses such as chikungunya have increased in recent years. Therefore, a better understanding of the local distribution of alphaviruses in vectors across the African continent is important. Here, entomological surveillance was performed from 2014 to 2018 at selected sites in north-eastern parts of South Africa where alphaviruses have been identified during outbreaks in humans and animals in the past. Mosquitoes were collected using a net, CDC-light, and BG-traps. An alphavirus genus-specific nested RT-PCR was used for screening, and positive pools were confirmed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. We collected 64,603 mosquitoes from 11 genera, of which 39,035 females were tested. Overall, 1462 mosquito pools were tested, of which 21 were positive for alphaviruses. Sindbis (61.9%, N = 13) and Middelburg (28.6%, N = 6) viruses were the most prevalent. Ndumu virus was detected in two pools (9.5%, N = 2). No chikungunya positive pools were identified. Arboviral activity was concentrated in peri-urban, rural, and conservation areas. A range of Culicidae species, including Culex univittatus, Cx. pipiens s.l., Aedes durbanensis, and the Ae. dentatus group, were identified as potential vectors. These findings confirm the active circulation and distribution of alphaviruses in regions where human or animal infections were identified in South Africa.publishersversionpublishe

    Mechanical Regulation of Mitochondrial Dynamics and Function in a 3D-Engineered Liver Tumor Microenvironment

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    It has become evident that physical stimuli of the cellular microenvironment transmit mechanical cues regulating key cellular functions, such as proliferation, migration, and malignant transformation. Accumulating evidence suggests that tumor cells face variable mechanical stimuli that may induce metabolic rewiring of tumor cells. However, the knowledge of how tumor cells adapt metabolism to external mechanical cues is still limited. We therefore designed soft 3D collagen scaffolds mimicking a pathological mechanical environment to decipher how liver tumor cells would adapt their metabolic activity to physical stimuli of the cellular microenvironment. Here, we report that the soft 3D microenvironment upregulates the glycolysis of HepG2 and Alexander cells. Both cell lines adapt their mitochondrial activity and function under growth in the soft 3D microenvironment. Cells grown in the soft 3D microenvironment exhibit marked mitochondrial depolarization, downregulation of mitochondrially encoded cytochrome c oxidase I, and slow proliferation rate in comparison with stiff monolayer cultures. Our data reveal the coupling of liver tumor glycolysis to mechanical cues. It is proposed here that soft 3D collagen scaffolds can serve as a useful model for future studies of mechanically regulated cellular functions of various liver (potentially other tissues as well) tumor cells

    Nitrite and insulin lower the oxygen cost of ATP synthesis in skeletal muscle cells by pleiotropic stimulation of glycolysis

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    Dietary nitrate lowers the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise, but precise mechanistic insight into how this occurs is lacking. Research suggests that dietary nitrate may render oxidative ATP synthesis more efficient, but evidence is inconclusive at present. This thesis aimed to establish how nitrite (a reduced form of nitrate) affects the bioenergetics of cultured skeletal muscle cells. Comparison between the acute effects of nitrite and insulin, a hormonal regulator of muscle function that increases mitochondrial efficiency, was explored to assess possible mechanistic overlap. Calculation of real-time intracellular ATP synthesis rates from simultaneous oxygen consumption and medium acidification measurements revealed the effects of sodium nitrite and insulin on intact rat (L6) myoblasts and myotubes. These extracellular flux data were also used to determine how mitochondrial and glycolytic ATP supply is used to fuel ATP-demanding processes. The data presented in this thesis revealed that both nitrite and insulin acutely stimulate glycolytic ATP synthesis. This stimulation occurs without significant mitochondrial ATP supply changes, thus increasing the glycolytic index of myocytes. Consequently, nitrite and insulin lower the oxygen cost of cellular ATP supply. Notably, insulin lowers oxygen consumption linked to mitochondrial proton leak, thus increasing mitochondrial efficiency. Nitrite does not improve coupling efficiency in myoblasts or myotubes. Further investigations revealed that stimulation of glycolytic ATP supply is not secondary to increased glucose availability. In myotubes, glycolytic stimulation persists in the presence of a mitochondrial uncoupler, suggesting that glycolysis is increased directly. In myoblasts, stimulation is annulled by uncoupler, suggesting that glycolysis increases indirectly, via increased ATP consumption. The molecular targets of nitrite and insulin remain unclear, but the data exclude stimulation of protein synthesis. Together, the data demonstrate that nitrite and insulin lower the oxygen cost of ATP synthesis in skeletal muscle cells by pleiotropic stimulation of glycolysis. The data inform the ongoing debate regarding the mechanism by which dietary nitrate lowers the oxygen cost of exercise, suggesting a push toward a more glycolytic phenotype. Such mechanistic insight is crucial for achieving the full translational potential of dietary nitrate

    In vitro investigation of the effect of disulfiram on hypoxia induced NFőļB, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells in glioblastoma cell lines

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    A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers with a poor prognosis. Advances in the treatment of GBM are limited due to several resistance mechanisms and limited drug delivery into the central nervous system (CNS) compartment by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and by actions of the normal brain to counteract tumour-targeting medications. Hypoxia is common in malignant brain tumours such as GBM and plays a significant role in tumour pathobiology. It is widely accepted that hypoxia is a major driver of GBM malignancy. Although it has been confirmed that hypoxia induces GBM stem-like-cells (GSCs), which are highly invasive and resistant to all chemotherapeutic agents, the detailed molecular pathways linking hypoxia, GSC traits and chemoresistance remain obscure. Evidence shows that hypoxia induces cancer stem cell phenotypes via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), promoting therapeutic resistance in most cancers, including GBM. This study demonstrated that spheroid cultured GBM cells consist of a large population of hypoxic cells with CSC and EMT characteristics. GSCs are chemo-resistant and displayed increased levels of HIFs and NFőļB activity. Similarly, the hypoxia cultured GBM cells manifested GSC traits, chemoresistance and invasiveness. These results suggest that hypoxia is responsible for GBM stemness, chemoresistance and invasiveness. GBM cells transfected with nuclear factor kappa B-p65 (NFőļB-p65) subunit exhibited CSC and EMT markers indicating the essential role of NFőļB in maintaining GSC phenotypes. The study also highlighted the significance of NFőļB in driving chemoresistance, invasiveness, and the potential role of NFőļB as the central regulator of hypoxia-induced stemness in GBM cells. GSC population has the ability of self-renewal, cancer initiation and development of secondary heterogeneous cancer. The very poor prognosis of GBM could largely be attributed to the existence of GSCs, which promote tumour propagation, maintenance, radio- and chemoresistance and local infiltration. In this study, we used Disulfiram (DS), a drug used for more than 65 years in alcoholism clinics, in combination with copper (Cu) to target the NFőļB pathway, reverse chemoresistance and block invasion in GSCs. The obtained results showed that DS/Cu is highly cytotoxic to GBM cells and completely eradicated the resistant CSC population at low dose levels in vitro. DS/Cu inhibited the migration and invasion of hypoxia-induced CSC and EMT like GBM cells at low nanomolar concentrations. DS is an FDA approved drug with low toxicity to normal tissues and can pass through the BBB. Further research may lead to the quick translation of DS into cancer clinics and provide new therapeutic options to improve treatment outcomes in GBM patients


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    The aflatoxin producing fungi Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. nomius, although they are also produced by other species of Aspergillus as well as by Emericella spp.(Telemorph). There are many types of aflatoxins, but the four main ones are aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), and aflatoxin G2 (AFG2, while aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) and M2 (AFM2) are the hydroxylated metabolites of AFB1 and AFB2. Aflatoxin B1, which is a genotoxic hepatocarcinogen, which presumptively causes cancer by inducing DNA, adducts leading to genetic changes in target liver cells. Cytochrome-P450 enzymes to the reactive intermediate AFB1‚Äď8, 9 epoxide (AFBO) which binds to liver cell DNA, resulting in DNA adducts, metabolize AFB1 Ingestion of contaminated food is the main source of exposure to aflatoxins, which adversely affect the health of both humans and animals. The compounds can cause acute or chronic toxic effects of a teratogenic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, immunotoxic or hepatotoxic character. You can reduce your aflatoxin exposure by buying only major commercial brands of food and by discarding that look moldy, discolored, or shriveled

    Drug Delivery Applications of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)

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    There has been substantial progress in the field of metal‚Äďorganic frameworks (MOFs) and their nanoscale counterparts (NMOFs), in recent years. Their exceptional physicochemical properties are being constantly and actively exploited for various applications such as energy harvesting, gas storage, gas separation, catalysis, etc. Due to their porous framework, large surface area, tunability and easy surface functionalization, MOFs and NMOFs have also emerged as useful tools for biomedical applications, specifically for drug delivery. As drug carriers, they offer high drug loading capacity and controlled release at the target site. This chapter aims to give a panorama of the use of these MOFs as drug delivery agents. A brief overview of the structure and composition of MOFs, along with various methods and techniques to synthesize NMOFs suitable for drug delivery applications are mentioned. In addition, the most commonly employed strategies to associate drugs with these NMOFs are highlighted and methods to characterize them are also briefly discussed. The last section summarizes the applications of MOFs and NMOFs as carriers of therapeutic drugs, biomolecules, and other active agents
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