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Abstract

The inherent properties of albumin facilitate its effective use as a raw material to prepare a nanosized drug delivery vehicles. Because of the enhanced surface area, biocompatibility, and extended half-life of albumin nanoparticles, a number of drugs have been incorporated in albumin matrices in recent years. Furthermore, its ability to be conjugated to various receptor ligands makes albumin an ideal candidate for the increased delivery of drugs to specific sites. The present review provides an in-depth discussion of production strategies for the preparation of albumin and conjugated albumin nanoparticles and for the targeting of these formulations to specific organs and cancer cells. This review also provides insights into drug loading, release patterns, and cytotoxicity of various drug-loaded albumin nanoparticles.

Abstract

Background

Acrosin binding protein (ACRBP) is a member of the cancer–testis antigen (CTA) family. Normally, ACRBP mRNA is expressed only in seminiferous tubules, while abnormally it is expressed in various types of cancers in tumor tissues, such as brain tumor.

Objectives

To determine the expression and clinical impact of a newly discovered splice variant of ACRBP in brain tumor.

Methods

Total RNA was extracted and reverse transcribed from 92 tumor specimens and 3 cell lines. Primers were designed to determine the expression of the new splice variant in all the samples. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was conducted for samples positive in reverse transcriptase-PCR. Association of the expression of ACRBP with the clinicopathological features of the various brain tumors was assessed statistically.

Results

The primers identified a newly discovered splice variant of ACRBP named ACRBP-V5a. The proportions of samples of the various brain tumor types positive for the ACRBP-V5a splicing variant were as follows: astrocytoma 10/33 (30%), glioblastoma 10/30 (33%), medulloblastoma 14/29 (48%), all tumors 34/92 (37%). Although we did not find a significant difference in the proportions of samples of various types of brain tumor tissues positive for the new splice variant (P > 0.05), levels of expression of the ACRBP-V5a splice variant were significantly different for tumor grade (P = 0.01) and tumor type (P = 0.02).

Conclusions

A newly discovered splice variant, ACRBP-V5a, is present in brain tumor. The new splicing variant may have discriminative value and potential importance in molecular-targeted therapy for brain tumors.

Abstract

Background

Obesity and the inflammation associated with it, play a key role in the development of insulin resistance through the release of inflammatory cytokines and free fatty acids and the stimulation of toll-like receptors (TLR). Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK), which mediates the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway, is an important molecule in TLR signaling. The NF-κB pathway can reduce insulin efficacy by increasing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. There is no safe inhibitor for the NF-κB pathway, and for this reason, the upper mediator of this pathway was selected for investigation.

Objectives

To determine the effects of an IRAK inhibitor on insulin resistance and serum biochemical factors in high-fat-fed insulin-resistant mice.

Methods

Insulin resistance was developed in C57BL/6J mice by 12 weeks of a high-fat diet. Subsequently, the IRAK 1/4 inhibitor 1-(2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl)-2-(3-nitrobenzoylamino)benzimidazole (IRAKi)/or pioglitazone, or both, were administered for a further 2 weeks. After 12 h fasting, blood and tissue samples were collected, insulin and glucose levels were assayed, and the homeostatic model assessment was used to quantify insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

Results

The IRAKi decreased blood glucose levels significantly (253 ± 14.3 mg/dL vs 390.1 ± 16.6 mg/dL) and increased insulin sensitivity compared with untreated controls. However, we did not find a synergistic effect of IRAKi with pioglitazone in increasing insulin sensitivity.

Conclusion

IRAKis can increase insulin sensitivity and their efficacy is comparable to pioglitazone. However, combined administration of pioglitazone and IRAKi had no synergistic effect compared with monotherapy.

Abstract

Background

The composition and activities of essential oil of common sage from Saudi Arabia have not yet been reported.

Objectives

To analyze the composition and antibacterial and antioxidant activities of essential oil from leaves of the common sage Salvia officinalis L. from Abha, Saudi Arabia.

Methods

Essential oil was extracted from the leaves of S. officinalis by hydrodistillation, and its composition was analyzed using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Phenolics and flavonoids were determined using gallic acid and quercetin standards. Antioxidant activity was determined using a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging method. Activity against various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was determined by disk diffusion and microdilution.

Results

The yield of essential oil was 3.24 ± 0.55% (w/dry weight). Major compounds identified were camphor (20.3%), 1,8-cineole (15.0%), α-thujone (14.9%), viridiflorol (9.9%), carvone (6.2%), and β-thujone (5.7%). Phenolic content was 134.3 ± 17.61 μg/mL and flavonoid content was 119.5 ± 18.75 μg/mL. Antioxidant IC50 was 970 ± 5.5 μg/mL. The highest gram-positive antibacterial activity was for Bacillus subtilis and the highest gram-negative activity was for Escherichia coli. Minimum inhibitory concentrations ranged from 62.2 ± 3.9 to 1398.1 ± 50.7 μg/mL for gram-positive bacteria and from 323.4 ± 69.5 to 968.4 ± 120.6 μg/mL for gram-negative bacteria. Minimum bactericidal concentrations ranged from 120.3 ± 7.6 to 1387.4 ± 161.8 μg/mL for gram-positive bacteria and from 386 ± 8.3 to 1225.2 ± 100.9 μg/mL for gram-negative bacteria.

Conclusions

Essential oil of S. officinalis L. from Abha, Saudi Arabia, showed compositional, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties generally consistent with essential oil of S. officinalis L. from other locations as reported in the literature.

Abstract

Background

Advancements in ultrasound technology have facilitated identifying polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM) in women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but it still has limitations due to follicle counting methods and variation of phenotypes according to ethnicity. Ethnicity-specific ovarian morphology may help to establish ethnicity-specific follicle count cut points for defining PCOM in women with PCOS.

Objectives

To investigate the prevalence and factors associated with PCOM in Thai women of a reproductive age with PCOS.

Methods

This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in our gynecology department at a tertiary teaching hospital from February 2016 to May 2017. We included women with PCOS, who were measured for weight, height, waist circumference, and blood pressure. Blood samples were taken to measure fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, testosterone level, and 2 h post-load 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Transvaginal or transrectal sonography was performed to evaluate their ovaries.

Results

All 143 patient participants we included had oligomenorrhea, 77.6% of them had acne, and 64.3% hirsutism. Their average total testosterone level was 0.47 ± 0.10 ng/mL. The prevalence of PCOM was 55.2%. The proportions of PCOM diagnosed by ovarian follicle and ovarian volume criteria were 36.4% and 42.0%, respectively. There were 20.0 ± 9.5 follicles per ovary, 8.3 ± 3.1 follicles per cross section, and the mean ovarian volume was 7.9 ± 3.0 mL.

Conclusion

The overall prevalence of PCOM in Thai women of reproductive age with PCOS was 55.2%. Our univariate analysis found no factors significantly associated with PCOM.

Abstract

Acinetobacter species, particularly those within Acinetobacter calcoaceticus–A. baumannii complex (ACB complex), have emerged as clinically relevant pathogens in hospital environments worldwide. Early and quick detection and identification of Acinetobacter infections is challenging, and traditional culture and biochemical methods may not achieve adequate levels of speciation. Moreover, currently available techniques to identify and differentiate closely related Acinetobacter species are insufficient. The objective of this review is to recapitulate the current evolution in phenotypic and automated techniques used to identify the ACB complex. Compared with other automated or semiautomated systems of bacterial identification, matrix-assisted laser desorption–ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) demonstrates a high level of Acinetobacter species identification and discrimination, including newly discovered species A. seifertii and A. dijkshoorniae.

Abstract

Background

Association between early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and low morbidity and mortality rate has been proven. Thus, tools for early CKD diagnosis are vital. Ultrasonography has been widely used to diagnose and monitor the progression of CKD.

Objectives

To determine the performance of selected renal ultrasonographic parameters for the diagnosis of early CKD.

Methods

In a cohort of patients diagnosed with CKD (n = 100), diagnostic performance of ultrasonographically measured renal length (RL), renal cortical thickness (RCT), and parenchymal thickness (PT) was determined using receiver operating curve analysis; correlation of each parameter with the associated comorbidities and serum creatinine (Scr) levels was also determined. Severity of CKD was graded with estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR).

Results

Of all patient participants, 85 had severity grades 2 or 3. Mean (standard deviation) Scr was 1.88 (0.60) mg/dL; eGFR was 43.3 (11.85) mL/min/1.73 m2. RL was 9.01 (0.83) cm, PT was 1.32 (0.22) cm, and RCT was 6.0 (0.10) mm. PT and RCT were positively correlated with eGFR (P = 0.01 and 0.002, respectively). Early CKD was better predicted by PT (area under the curve (AUC) 0.735; 82% sensitivity; 30% specificity; 68% positive predictive value (PPV)) and RCT (AUC 0.741; 82% sensitivity; 48% specificity; 51% PPV); severe CKD was better predicted by RL (AUC 0.809; 67% sensitivity; 26% specificity, 45% PPV; 13% negative predictive value).

Conclusion

Index ultrasonic parameters show a diagnostic role in different stages of CKD. The index ultrasound and biochemical parameters showed a complementary role in predicting renal dysfunction.

Abstract

Dengue virus infection most commonly has mild-to-moderate nonspecific clinical presentations that overlap with other diseases. Dengue-specific tests are commonly used for those patients with acute febrile illness in dengue-endemic areas. There is one study in vitro that showed a false-positive dengue-immunoglobulin M (dengue IgM) test for blood from a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we demonstrated a false-positive dengue IgM test in a patient with SLE. The patient had fever, cytopenia, and a skin rash, but her clinical variables more closely matched with the criteria for SLE than the dengue infection. Vasculitis-like-lesions supported prednisolone administration and her clinical symptoms improved. This case highlights that some patients with SLE can be misdiagnosed as having a viral infection. These two diseases have similar clinical findings, such as acute febrile illness, but they are different in terms of their treatments and disease prognosis.