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Open access

Akinleye Akinrinde, Trevor Koekemoer, Maryna Van De Venter and Graeme Bradley

Abstract

The corms of Hypoxis argentea are widely used as a traditional remedy for diabetes mellitus in South Africa. In this study, we investigated the effects of non-toxic concentrations (12.5-100 μg mL-1) of the aqueous extract of H. argentea (HAA) corms on glucose uptake, pancreatic beta cell proliferation, and adipocyte differentiation. HAA stimulated glucose uptake in HepG2 cells up to 19.6 % and 17.0 % in L6 myotubes. Live-cell imaging microscopy revealed significant increases (p < 0.001) in total INS-1 cell numbers exposed to HAA, although no effect was observed on adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. HAA produced weak to moderate inhibition of porcine pancreatic α-amylase, α-glucosidase, porcine pancreatic lipase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) activities, as well as protein glycation. Our results suggest that the acclaimed anti-diabetic effects of H. argentea could be mediated by its promotion of glucose utilization and preservation of pancreatic beta cell populations while preventing fat accumulation in adipocytes.

Open access

Shada Y. Elhayek, Mohammad A. Fararjeh, Areej M. Assaf, Eman Y. Abu-Rish and Yasser Bustanji

Abstract

Tigecycline is a glycylcycline antibiotic approved by the FDA for the treatment of complicated infections. Despite its effectiveness, the FDA announced a warning of increasing mortality associated with its use. There is, however, no clear explanation for this side effect. Previous reports found a possible effect of tigecycline on leukocyte proliferation and proinflammatory cytokine release. We t herefore i nvestigated the effect of tigecycline on the immune components and response in Balb/c mice in vivo and in vitro. It was found that tigecycline enhanced lymphocyte proliferation and significantly increased cellular infiltration within the footpad, as based on DTH testing, but reduced the hemagglutination titer. In splenocyte cultures, tigecycline suppressed splenocyte proliferation with IC50 3-5 mmol L-1, significantly increased IL-2 secretion and reduced IL-17 secretion in a dose dependent mode. In conclusion, tigecycline is safe at therapeutic and sub-therapeutic doses, but it could still have an immunomodulatory effect at higher doses. Use of higher doses of tigecycline requires further investigation.

Open access

Andrei Novac, M. C. Tuttle, R. Bota and B. J. Blinder

Abstract

Over the past years, a multi-disciplinary literature on the significance of personal narratives in autobiography and identity has emerged. This subject has been of interest to authors in the fields of humanities, psychology, and medicine alike. In this paper, we are proposing the term Identity Narrative (IdN) to define a cognitive and emotional framework that serves as an implicit (unconscious) scaffolding of memory on which to build human autobiography. The authors first classify narratives into external (universal history, the humanities, culture) and internal (autobiography, based on personal experiences, both directly and indirectly, through identification and education). All philosophy and social commentary has utilized history for the purposes of prediction and meaning-making. Personalities including Aristotle, St. Augustine, Rousseau, Freud, Marx, Spengler, and Benjamin Franklin have reread history to gain insight about human nature. History has inspired the enlightenment and renaissance of a new reality for humanity. It is widely known that history can also be misused to justify aggression and human suffering. The use of history to create deep convictions that annihilate moral imperatives is only possible because of unconsciously consolidated internal narratives, the IdN. IdN is reshaped through life, both by “bottom-up” acquisition of information, as well as a “top-down” learning model, which includes the following circumstances: (a) sudden insight and awareness; (b) experiences with high emotional valence; (c) high frequency of repetition; and (d) prolonged duration of exposure. In this way, IdN, a form of relatively stable unconscious, anoetic memory, provides a “first-person” experience to autobiography. Autobiography then, becomes part of auto-noetic consciousness, the human ability to mentally time travel and have self-knowledge. IdN parallels lifelong growth and development, language acquisition, and maturing of attachment. The extensive brain activation during communication and speech, revealed by neuroimaging studies, will be referred to as the “communication beltway.” We hypothesize that the alternation in activation between the default mode (midline structures) of the brain (previously associated with the Self) and the language brain creates a platform that encodes crucial components of IdN throughout life. In this way, IdN, autobiographical memory, and the language brain are parts of a larger biological substrate of social affiliations.

Open access

Sanaa K. Bardaweel, Husam A. Alsalamat, Shereen M. Aleidi and Rasha M. Bashatwah

Abstract

Extensive in vitro studies have been conducted to evaluate the anticancer activity of oral hypoglycemic agents. Many of these studies experienced detrimental limitations, since they were conducted on cancer cells commonly grown in culture media consisting of extremely high concentrations of growth factors and glucose. The present study was aimed at exploring the antiproliferative effects of the commonly studied metformin and the less frequently reported phenformin oral hypoglycemic agents on different molecular subtypes of breast cancer under rich glucose and glucose deprived conditions. Our results indicate that under glucose deprived conditions, which better reflect the factual glucose-starved solid tumors in vivo, biguanides exert more antiproliferative activities against the three molecular subtypes of breast cancer cell lines examined in this study. In addition, the observed antiproliferative activities of biguanides appear to be mediated by apoptosis induction in breast cancer cells. This induction is significantly augmented under glucose deprived conditions.

Open access

Katarzyna Cieszczyk, Iwona Pasnik, Lech Wronecki, Anna Ostrowska, Pawel Bojar, Barbara Marzec-Kotarska and Justyna Szumilo

Abstract

Gastric lipomatosis is a condition characterized by the presence of multiple lipomas or diffuse mature adipose tissue infiltration within the gastric wall. The diffuse form is thought to be an extremely rare, with only few described cases. The lesion may be asymptomatic or associated with symptoms and signs depending on location and size. Treatment depends on clinical presentation, range and complications. In a symptomatic disease, it should be surgical, but conservative treatment is preferred for asymptomatic and solitary lesions. Among diagnostic methods, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are thought to be the most valuable.

Open access

Khama’al Hussein Abod Al-Khafaji, Mohammed Noori Al-Dujaili and Arshad Noori Al-Dujaili

Abstract

Biomarkers are attractive non-invasive tools for estimating and monitoring pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) disease and for predicting survival in patients with PAH; therefore, many studies encouraged the investigation of new biomarkers to facilitate the diagnosis of PAH. Endostatin (ES) is an endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis. It is produced by proteolytic cleavage of the collagen XVIII that is present in both normal and cancerous tissue. In vitro examination shows that ES can manage endothelial cells (EC) physiology in ways that could influence angiogenesis. For example, solvent ES hinders EC movement and prompts improvements of the cytoskeleton that incorporate the loss of Actin stretch strands and central grips. This effect embraces restrictions on the α5β1integrins, Tropomyosin, and putative heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Consequences for the human EC cytoskeleton include Es-induced down-regulation of Mitogen-actuated Protein Kinase (MAPK), Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK), the Urokinase Plasminogen Activator (uPA) System, and the RhoA GTPase. Human ES has likewise been shown in a few investigations to repress EC multiplication. Moreover, ES-instigated cell cycle capture in the G1 stage is joined by Cyclin D1 down-regulation. Of note, ES blocks the proliferation and organization of endothelial cells into new blood vessels, and in animal studies, ES also inhibits angiogenesis and the growth of both primary tumors and secondary metastasis. ES was initially identified by its capacity to inhibit tumor angiogenesis in vitro and also in vivo. It can also be found in both healthy and patient’ serum, and has been detected in peripheral circulation. ES could be an attractive, non-invasive prognostic marker for some diseases, notably PAH. Therefore, the presented work is aimed at investigating the ES level in blood serum as a biomarker for detection, diagnosis and early treatment of PAH patients. In doing so, the association is ascertained between gender, age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumferences, smoking, types of PAH (primary and secondary) and this potential biomarker is assessed in PAH patients.

Open access

Angelika Szymczak, Piotr Ksiazek, Sylwia Mojsym-Korybska, Wojciech Skorupa and Albertyna Zbikowska-Machul

Abstract

Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common genetic diseases among Caucasians due to its prevalence. Modern methods of molecular diagnostics and treatment of the disease allow to prolong the life of patients. In order to apply the appropriate treatment, the genetic basis of this disease should, however, first be known. The most common and the most severe mutation present in the CFTR gene (60-70% of cases) takes the form of an allele. This is responsible for the deletion of phenylalanine in position 508 (Δ508) of the CFTR protein. Determination of mutations in the CFTR gene using molecular techniques makes it possible to identify the causes of the disease in people who do not show the characteristic symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

Open access

Anatolii Gordiienko, Mykola Blazheyevskyi and Ivan Iurchenko

Abstract

For comparative purposes, a quantitative estimation of antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds of different classes was conducted by way of the polarography method, via the ADP-Fe2+ model of the induced ascorbate-dependent lipid peroxidation of rat liver micro-somes within an in-vitro system. As a result, it was recognized that the antioxidant properties of phenolic compounds depend on the nature and chemical structure of several substances. In respect of such activity, leaders in the classes of investigated polyphenolic compounds are: Propyl gallate = Gallotannin (Phenolcarboxylic acids and their derivatives) > Quercetin = Myricetin (Flavonols) > Luteolin (Flavo n) = Mangiferin (Xanthones) > Kaempferol (Flavonols) = Catechin (Flavans). Thus, the assessment of the inhibition ability of the lipid peroxidation of microsomes by phenolic compounds can be used as an accessible test for the preliminary quantitative estimation of their antioxidant properties.

Open access

Kristina Pavić Zrinka Rajić, Zvonimir Mlinarić, Lidija Uzelac, Marijeta Kralj and Branka Zorc

Abstract

In the current paper, we describe the design, synthesis and antiproliferative screening of novel chloroquine derivatives with a quinoline core linked to a hydroxy or halogen amine through a flexible aminobutyl chain and urea spacer. Synthetic pathway leading to chloroquine urea derivatives 4-10 includes two crucial steps: i) synthesis of chloroquine benzotriazolide 3 and ii) formation of urea derivatives through the reaction of compound 3 with the corresponding amine. Testing of antiproliferative activity against four human cancer cell lines revealed that chloroquine urea derivatives 9 and 10 with aromatic moieties show activity at micromolar concentrations. Therefore, these molecules represent interesting lead compounds that might provide an insight into the design of new anticancer agents.

Open access

Cristina-Luiza Erimia and Laura Alexandra Mureseanu

Abstract

Currently, in Europe there is a close collaboration between the World Health Organization, the European Union and the Council of Europe with the declared aim to support the implementation of coordinated strategies for the implementation of patient rights, the concerns in this field intensifying, mainly, with the development of Amsterdam Declaration on the Promotion of Patients' Rights in Europe, adopted in 1994. To create a modern healthcare system, there is need for it to be cantered on patients’ needs, to have dynamic and integrated structures, adaptable to the different and ever changing health needs of the society in general and of individuals in particular and which, not least, has to recognize the role of the patient as an active partner in health policies. In this context, this article examines the national legal framework governing the rights, duties, responsibilities and penalties applied in the field of patient rights. This article aims to analyse how patients’ rights in the European Union area are implemented and enforced in the national legislation and the role that patients play in the Romanian health system.