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Antoni F. Tulla, Ana Vera, Natàlia Valldeperas and Carles Guirado

Abstract

In Europe, Social Farming (SF) and agritourism are multifunctional agriculture activities that arise when agricultural land is abandoned in rural and peri-urban areas; it is difficult to develop commercial agriculture if it is not intensive. In our research, we studied SF in Catalonia, carrying out a census and classification of 161 initiatives and a more in-depth analysis of 10 projects (or 9 in some cases), identifying their viability and the economic, social, and environmental return on investment (SROI) for the resources used in each case. The methodology included questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and Canvas and SROI analyses. Although SF has developed in many European countries, it is incipient in the Iberian Peninsula. The projects in Catalonia combine agrarian activity, socio-health care and social policies, with the aim of offering innovative solutions to the needs of different groups at risk of social exclusion.

Open access

Ana Reis-Mendes, Marisa Alves, Félix Carvalho, Fernando Remião, Maria Lourdes Bastos and Vera Marisa Costa

Abstract

Pixantrone (PIX) is an anticancer drug approved for the treatment of multiple relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is an aza-anthracenedione synthesized to have the same anticancer activity as its predecessors, anthracyclines (e.g. doxorubicin) and anthracenediones (e.g. mitoxantrone), with lower cardiotoxicity. However, published data regarding its possible cardiotoxicity are scarce. Therefore, this work aimed to assess the potential cytotoxicity of PIX, at clinically relevant concentrations (0.1; 1; and 10 µM) in both non-differentiated and 7-day differentiated H9c2 cells. Cells were exposed to PIX for 48 h and cytotoxicity was evaluated through phase contrast microscopy, Hoescht staining and the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction and neutral red (NR) uptake assays. Cytotoxicity was observed in differentiated and non-differentiated H9c2 cells, with detached cells and round cells evidenced by phase contrast microscopy, mainly at the highest concentration tested (10 µM). In the Hoechst staining, PIX 10 µM showed a marked decrease in the number of cells when compared to control but with no signs of nuclear condensation. Furthermore, significant concentration-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction was observed through the MTT reduction assay. The NR assay showed similar results to those obtained in the MTT reduction assay in both differentiated and non-differentiated H9c2 cells. The differentiation state of the cells was not crucial to PIX effects, although PIX toxicity was slightly higher in differentiated H9c2 cells. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first in vitro study performed with PIX in H9c2 cells and it discloses worrying cytotoxicity at clinically relevant concentrations.

Open access

Mirjana Popovska, Kristina Mitik, Ladislava Grchevska, Aneta Atanasovska-Stojanovska, Biljana Kapushevska, Ilijana Muratovska, Ana Minovska and Vera Radojkova-Nikolovska

Abstract

Aim: To examine the role of IgA, CIC and component C3 as indicators of humoral immune response in the etiopathogenesis of oral erosive lichen planus (OELP).

Material and method: The study comprised 19 patients with OELP whose samples of blood, saliva and tissue were obtained after carefully taken medical history and clinical examination. Samples of oral mucosa were taken from the site of lesion, i.e. exclusively from buccal mucosa (1 cm in width and length), and from the deep epithelium as well as a segment from the lamina propria. Determination of immunoglobulins in serum and saliva, and determination of component C3, was done using the micro-elisa technique by Rook & Cameron, Engvall and Ulman. Determination of CIC in serum and mixed saliva was done with the PEG (polyethylene glycol) method. Determination of immunoglobulin A and component C3 in biopsy material was done with direct immunofluorescence.

Results: Levels of immunoglobulin A in serum in OELP during exacerbation were decreased (1.04 ± 0.49 gr/l) and during remission increased (5.92 ± 0.62) in comparison with the control group (p < 0.001). Levels of CIC during exacerbation and remission were increased (p < 0.001), and component C3 levels were increased in both examined phases in the examined group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Deposits of IgA were registered in one (5.88%) patient with OELP and component C3 was registered in 3 (17.64%) patients.

Conclusion: Changes in IgA values, as well as CIC and component C3, may correlate with changes in oral mucosa emphasizing the role of humoral immune response in the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus.

Open access

Ana Belazelkovska, Mirjana Popovska, Goce Spasovski, Jelka Masin-Spasovska, Svetlana Cekovska, Aneta Atanasovska-Stojanovska, Kristina Mitic and Vera Radojkova-Nikolovska

Abstract

Introduction. Kidney disease is associated with many abnormalities in the oral health status as well as with alterations in salivary flow and composition. The aim of this study was to evaluate and to correlate oral clinical findings, salivary flow (SF) and salivary pH values in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) not yet on hemodyalisis treatment, those undergoing hemodialysis and in kidney transplant recipients.

Methods. In a cross-sectional study 90 patients were included. The cohort was composed of three groups: 30 patients with CKD (serum creatinine values under 120 μmol/L-group 1), 30 patients with CKD on hemodialysis (group 2) and 30 kidney transplanted patients (group 3). The control group consisted of 20 healthy individuals. Oral symptoms, signs and lesions: salivary volume, salivary pH and SF of stimulated and unstimulated saliva were evaluated.

Results. Among patients with CKD without dialysis treatment inverse relationship was found between uremic fetor, unpleasant taste and unstimulated SF and also between xerostomia and stimulated SF. Negative correlation between thirst and unstimulated salivary flow was found in both groups, patients with CKD on dialysis and kidney transplant group. Furthermore, in kidney-transplant patients a negative correlation was found between petechiae and SF, while in group of patients with CKD on hemodialysis the same negative correlation was registered between uremic fetor and stimulated SF.

Conclusions. Salivary flow was significantly lower in hemodialysis patients, while the highest was in the kidney-transplant recipients accompanied with improvement in the other oral clinical findings observed in our study.