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1.  Relationship between Undescended Testis Position and Prevalence of Testicular Appendices, Epididymal Anomalies, and Patency of Processus Vaginalis 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:5926370.
To assess the incidence of testicular appendices (Tas), epididymal anomalies (EAs), and processus vaginalis (PV) patency in patients with undescended testis (UT) according to testicular position and to compare them with human fetuses.
We studied 85 patients (108 testes) with cryptorchidism and compared the features with those of 15 fetuses (30 testes) with scrotal testes. We analyzed the relationships among the testis and epididymis, patency of PV, and the presence of TAs. We used the Chi-square test for statistical analysis (p < 0.05).
In 108 UT, 72 (66.66%) had PV patent, 67 (62.03%) had TAs, and 39 (36.12%) had EAs. Of the 108 UT, 14 were abdominal (12.96%; 14 had PV patency, 9 TAs, and 7 EAs); 81 were inguinal (75%; 52 had PV patency, 45 TAs, and 31 EAs), and 13 were suprascrotal (12.03%; 6 had PV patency, 13 TAs, and 1 EAs). The patency of PV was more frequently associated with EAs (p = 0.00364). The EAs had a higher prevalence in UT compared with fetuses (p = 0.0005).
Undescended testis has a higher risk of anatomical anomalies and the testes situated in abdomen and inguinal canal have a higher risk of presenting patency of PV and EAs.
PMCID: PMC5763057
2.  Route of Injection Affects the Impact of InlB Internalin Domain Variants on Severity of Listeria monocytogenes Infection in Mice 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:2101575.
The facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes causes a severe food-borne infection in humans and animals. L. monocytogenes invasion factor InlB interacts with the tyrosine kinase c-Met via the N-terminal internalin domain. Previously, distinct variants of the InlB internalin domain (idInlB) have been described in L. monocytogenes field isolates. Three variants were used to restore full-length InlB expression in the L. monocytogenes strain EGDeΔinlB. Obtained isogenic L. monocytogenes strains were tested in the invasion assay and intravenous, intraperitoneal, and intragastric models of infection in mice. All idInlBs were functional, restored InlB activity as an invasion factor, and improved invasion of the parental strain EGDeΔinlB into human kidney HEK23 cells. Meanwhile, distinct idInlBs provided different mortality rates and bacterial loads in internal organs. When recombinant strains were compared, the variant designated idInlB14 decreased severity of disease caused by intravenous and intraperitoneal bacterial administration, whereas this variant improved intestine colonization and stimulated intragastric infection. Obtained results demonstrated that naturally occurring idInlBs differed in their impact on severity of L. monocytogenes infection in mice in dependence on the infection route.
PMCID: PMC5763066
4.  Impact of Chestnut and Quebracho Tannins on Rumen Microbiota of Bovines 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:9610810.
The use of phytogenic dietary additives is being evaluated as a means to improve animal productivity. The effect of tannins seems to be the influence not only directly on the digestive process through binding of dietary proteins but also indirectly over their effects on gastrointestinal microbiota. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene was used to analyze the impact of dietary supplementation with a blend of chestnut and quebracho tannins on the rumen microbiota of Holstein steers. Bacterial richness was lower in tannins treated animals, while the overall population structure of rumen microbiota was not significantly disturbed by tannins. The ratio of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, a parameter associated with energy harvesting function, was increased in tannins supplemented animals, essentially due to the selective growth of Ruminococcaceae over members of genus Prevotella. Fibrolytic, amylolytic, and ureolytic bacterial communities in the rumen were altered by tannins, while methanogenic archaea were reduced. Furthermore, ruminal pH was significantly higher in animals supplemented with tannins than in the control group, while urease activity exhibited the opposite pattern. Further work is necessary to assess the relation between tannins impact on rumen microbiota and alteration of rumen fermentation parameters associated with bovine performance.
PMCID: PMC5763072
5.  Antifungal Compounds against Candida Infections from Traditional Chinese Medicine 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:4614183.
Infections caused by Candida albicans, often refractory and with high morbidity and mortality, cause a heavy burden on the public health while the current antifungal drugs are limited and are associated with toxicity and resistance. Many plant-derived molecules including compounds isolated from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are reported to have antifungal activity through different targets such as cell membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, and virulence factors. Here, we review the recent progress in the anti-Candida compounds from TCM, as well as their antifungal mechanisms. Considering the diverse targets and structures, compounds from TCM might be a potential library for antifungal drug development.
PMCID: PMC5763084
7.  Dynamic Changes of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Brain Injury after Cardiac Arrest in Rats 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:1948070.
Mitochondria change their morphology dynamically by continual fusion and fission processes to fulfill their function. However, little is known about the effect of cardiac arrest on mitochondrial dynamics. This study aimed to investigate time-dependent change of the mitochondrial dynamics after brain ischemic injury in rats of cardiac arrest. After resuscitation, obvious neuronal injury, reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and increased release of mitochondrial cytochrome c were observed at 12 h and 24 h after cardiac arrest. Moreover, we found that elongation of mitochondria was observed at 4 h after cardiac arrest, whereas fragmented mitochondria were significantly increased, along with concomitant increase in the fission proteins Drp1 and Fis1 and a reduction in the fusion proteins Mfn1 and Mfn2 at 12 h and 24 h after cardiac arrest. Taken together, these findings suggest that imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics probably contributes to brain injury after cardiac arrest.
PMCID: PMC5763114
8.  Tuberculosis Treatment Outcomes and Factors Associated with Each of Them in a Cohort Followed Up between 2010 and 2014 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:3974651.
Tuberculosis treatment has undergone recent changes in Brazil. Objective. To assess whether favorable outcomes on tuberculosis therapy improved in recent years. Methods. Retrospective observational study, based on primary data of tuberculosis patients, followed at INI-FIOCRUZ, from January 2012 to December 2014. Results. The outcomes observed were as follows: cure (80%), default (14%), treatment failure (5%), and death (1%). HIV infection without antiretroviral therapy [OR 0.34 (0.15–0.79)], tuberculosis diagnosis based on sputum smear [OR 0.22 (0.07–0.74)], drug use [OR 0.22 (0.11–0.46)], and/or treatment interruption due to adverse reactions [OR 0.23 (0.08–0.67)] decreased the chance of cure. Predictors of default, that is, use of noninjecting drugs [OR 3.00 (95% CL 1.31–6.88)], treatment interruption due to adverse reactions [OR 6.30 (1.81–21.95)], low schooling [OR 2.59 (2.15–5.82)], higher age [OR 0.44 (0.23–0.82)], and female gender [OR 0.28 (0.11–0.71)], reduced the chance of treatment default. Tuberculosis diagnosis based on sputum smear [OR 7.77 (1.94–31.09)] and/or arterial hypertension [OR 4.07 (1.25–13.18)] was associated with treatment failure. Conclusion. Mortality and default were low considering the prevalence of HIV infection; however cure was not significantly increased.
PMCID: PMC5763121
9.  Rhizospheric Bacillus subtilis Exhibits Biocontrol Effect against Rhizoctonia solani in Pepper (Capsicum annuum) 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:9397619.
This study aimed at evaluating the ability of SL-44 to control Rhizoctonia solani and promote pepper (Capsicum annuum) growth. Strain SL-44 was isolated from plant rhizosphere and the pot experiment results indicated that the dry and fresh weights of pepper in SL-44 and Rhizoctonia solani (S-R) treatment were 45.5% and 54.2% higher than those in Rhizoctonia solani (R) treatment and 18.2% and 31.8% higher than those in CK (control, noninoculation) treatment. The plant height in S-R treatment increased by 14.2% and 9.0% compared with those in the R and CK treatments, respectively. In vitro antagonism assay showed that SL-44 exhibited strong antifungal activity against the mycelial growth of Rhizoctonia solani, with an inhibition rate of 42.3%. The amount of phosphorus dissolved by SL-44 reached 60.58 mg·L−1 in broth and 7.5 μg·mL−1 IAA were secreted by SL-44. Strain SL-44 inhibited the growth of R. solani and improved biomass of pepper plants. Mass exchange and information transmission between the pepper plants and SL-44 mutually promoted their development. Bacillus subtilis SL-44 has a great potential as biocontrol agent against Rhizoctonia solani on pepper plants.
PMCID: PMC5763166
10.  Simvastatin Ameliorates PAK4 Inhibitor-Induced Gut and Lung Injury 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:8314276.
P21 activated kinase 4 (PAK4), a key regulator of cytoskeletal rearrangement and endothelial microparticles (EMPs), is released after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. In addition, it participates in LPS-induced lung injury. In this study, forty-eight Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were divided into two groups, including PAK4 inhibitor (P) and PAK4 inhibitor + simvastatin (P + S) treatment groups. All rats were given PAK4 inhibitor (15 mg/kg/d) orally. Immediately after PAK4 inhibitor administration, simvastatin was injected intraperitoneally to P + S group animals at 20 mg/kg/day. Then, treatment effects on the intestinal mucosal barrier and lung injury caused by PAK4 inhibitor and simvastatin were assessed. The results showed that gut Zonula Occludens- (ZO-) 1, PAK4, mitogen-activated protein kinase 4 (MPAK4), and CD11c protein levels were reduced, while plasma endotoxin levels were increased after administration of PAK4 inhibitor. Furthermore, compared with normal rats, wet-to-dry (W/D) values of lung tissues and circulating EMP levels were increased in the treatment group, while PAK4 and CD11c protein amounts were reduced. Therefore, in this lung injury process induced by PAK4 inhibitor, the protective effects of simvastatin were reflected by intestinal mucosal barrier protection, inflammatory response regulation via CD11c+ cells, and cytoskeleton stabilization. In summary, PAK4 is a key regulator in the pathophysiological process of acute lung injury (ALI) and can be a useful target for ALI treatment.
PMCID: PMC5763212
11.  Expression of Cancer Stem Cell Marker CD44 and Its Polymorphisms in Patients with Chronic Gastritis, Precancerous Gastric Lesion, and Gastric Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study in Thailand 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:4384823.
Here we investigated CD44 protein expression and its polymorphisms in patients with chronic gastritis, precancerous gastric lesions, and gastric cancer; and we evaluated our result with the risk of CD44 protein expression and clinicopathological characteristics. Our results obtained by analyzing 162 gastric cancer patients, 125 chronic gastritis, and 165 precancerous gastric lesions from three study centers in Thailand showed that CD44 expression was significantly higher in patients with precancerous gastric lesions and gastric cancer while patients with chronic gastritis were negative for CD44 staining (p = 0.036). We further observed the significant association of variant genotype; gastric cancer patients carrying AG or GG of CD44 rs187116 had more increased risk of CD44 expression than wild-type (WT) carriers (AG: odds ratio (OR) = 5.67; 95% CI = 1.57–7.23; p = 0.024 and GG: OR = 8.32; 95% CI = 2.94–11.42; p = 0.016), but no significant difference in the risk of CD44 expression due to polymorphism in patients with precancerous gastric lesions. Our results suggested that CD44 expression could be used as a marker for the prediction of gastric cancer development, particularly in patients with precancerous gastric lesions carrying AG or GG, who were selected to surveillance follow-up for gastric cancer prevention.
PMCID: PMC5763069
12.  Effects of TLR3 and TLR9 Signaling Pathway on Brain Protection in Rats Undergoing Sevoflurane Pretreatment during Cardiopulmonary Bypass 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:4286738.
To investigate the effects of TLR3 and TLR9 signaling pathway on brain injury during CPB in rats pretreated with sevoflurane and its possible molecular mechanism.
SD rats were randomly assigned to sham group, CPB group, and Sev group. Brain tissue was obtained at before CPB (T0), at CPB for 30 minutes (T1), 1 hour after CPB (T3), and 3 hours after CPB (T5). ELISA was used to measure S100-β and IL-6. Western blot was utilized to determine TLR3 and TLR9 expression. TUNEL was applied to detect neuronal apoptosis.
Compared with CPB group, at T1, at termination after 1 hour of CPB (T2), T3, 2 hours after CPB (T4) and T5, S100-β and IL-6 decreased in Sev group. Compared with CPB group, IFN-β were increased in Sev group, except T0. Compared with CPB group, TLR3 expression increased, and TLR9 and NF-κB decreased in Sev group. The apoptotic neurons were less in Sev group than in CPB group (P < 0.05).
Sevoflurane intervention can activate TLR3 and TLR9 signaling pathway, upregulate TLR3 expression and downstream TRIF expression, decrease TLR9 expression, and downregulate downstream NF-κB expression in CPB rat models, thereby mitigating brain injury induced by inflammatory response during CPB.
PMCID: PMC5763070
13.  Bone Response to Two Dental Implants with Different Sandblasted/Acid-Etched Implant Surfaces: A Histological and Histomorphometrical Study in Rabbits 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:8724951.
Scientific evidence in the field of implant dentistry of the past 20 years established that titanium rough surfaces have shown improved osseointegration rates. In a majority of dental implants, the surface microroughness was obtained by grit blasting and/or acid etching. The aim of the study was to evaluate in vivo two different highly hydrophilic surfaces at different experimental times.
Calcium-modified (CA) and SLActive surfaces were evaluated and a total of 18 implants for each type of surface were positioned into the rabbit articular femoral knee-joint in a split model experiment, and they were evaluated histologically and histomorphometrically at 15, 30, and 60 days of healing.
Bone-implant contact (BIC) at the two-implant surfaces was significantly different in favor of the CA surface at 15 days (p = 0.027), while SLActive displayed not significantly higher values at 30 (p = 0.51) and 60 days (p = 0.061).
Both implant surfaces show an intimate interaction with newly formed bone.
PMCID: PMC5763083
14.  Failure of the PTEN/aPKC/Lgl Axis Primes Formation of Adult Brain Tumours in Drosophila 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:2690187.
Different regions in the mammalian adult brain contain immature precursors, reinforcing the concept that brain cancers, such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), may originate from cells endowed with stem-like properties. Alterations of the tumour suppressor gene PTEN are very common in primary GBMs. Very recently, PTEN loss was shown to undermine a specific molecular axis, whose failure is associated with the maintenance of the GBM stem cells in mammals. This axis is composed of PTEN, aPKC, and the polarity determinant Lethal giant larvae (Lgl): PTEN loss promotes aPKC activation through the PI3K pathway, which in turn leads to Lgl inhibition, ultimately preventing stem cell differentiation. To find the neural precursors responding to perturbations of this molecular axis, we targeted different neurogenic regions of the Drosophila brain. Here we show that PTEN mutation impacts aPKC and Lgl protein levels also in Drosophila. Moreover, we demonstrate that PI3K activation is not sufficient to trigger tumourigenesis, while aPKC promotes hyperplastic growth of the neuroepithelium and a noticeable expansion of the type II neuroblasts. Finally, we show that these neuroblasts form invasive tumours that persist and keep growing in the adult, leading the affected animals to untimely death, thus displaying frankly malignant behaviours.
PMCID: PMC5763105
15.  Correlation between Pathological Characteristics and Young's Modulus Value of Spastic Gastrocnemius in a Spinal Cord Injury Rat Model 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:5387948.
The goal of the present study were (1) to investigate the pathological characteristics of gastrocnemius muscle (GM) and quantitatively assess GM tissue stiffness in rat models with spinal cord injury (SCI) and (2) to explore the correlation between pathological characteristics changes and Young's modulus value of GM. 24 Sprague Dawley male rats were allocated into normal control groups and SCI model subgroups, respectively. GM stiffness was assessed with shear wave sonoelastography technology. All GMs were further analyzed by pathological examinations. GM weights were decreased, the ratio of type I fibers was decreased, and the ratio of type II fibers was increased in the GM in the model group. MyHC-I was decreased, while MyHC-II was increased according to the electrophoretic analysis in model subgroups. The elastic modulus value of GM was increased in the model group. A significant negative correlation was found between Young's modulus value of GM and the ratio of type I fibers of GM in model subgroup. Our studies showed that the stiffness of GM is correlated with pathological characteristics during the initial stages of SCI in rats. We also identified shear wave sonoelastography technology as a useful tool to assess GM stiffness in SCI rat models.
PMCID: PMC5763107
16.  Oxidation Resistance of the Sulfur Amino Acids: Methionine and Cysteine 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:9584932.
Sulfur amino acids are a kind of amino acids which contain sulfhydryl, and they play a crucial role in protein structure, metabolism, immunity, and oxidation. Our review demonstrates the oxidation resistance effect of methionine and cysteine, two of the most representative sulfur amino acids, and their metabolites. Methionine and cysteine are extremely sensitive to almost all forms of reactive oxygen species, which makes them antioxidative. Moreover, methionine and cysteine are precursors of S-adenosylmethionine, hydrogen sulfide, taurine, and glutathione. These products are reported to alleviate oxidant stress induced by various oxidants and protect the tissue from the damage. However, the deficiency and excess of methionine and cysteine in diet affect the normal growth of animals; thereby a new study about defining adequate levels of methionine and cysteine intake is important.
PMCID: PMC5763110
17.  PSBinder: A Web Service for Predicting Polystyrene Surface-Binding Peptides 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:5761517.
Polystyrene surface-binding peptides (PSBPs) are useful as affinity tags to build a highly effective ELISA system. However, they are also a quite common type of target-unrelated peptides (TUPs) in the panning of phage-displayed random peptide library. As TUP, PSBP will mislead the analysis of panning results if not identified. Therefore, it is necessary to find a way to quickly and easily foretell if a peptide is likely to be a PSBP or not. In this paper, we describe PSBinder, a predictor based on SVM. To our knowledge, it is the first web server for predicting PSBP. The SVM model was built with the feature of optimized dipeptide composition and 87.02% (MCC = 0.74; AUC = 0.91) of peptides were correctly classified by fivefold cross-validation. PSBinder can be used to exclude highly possible PSBP from biopanning results or to find novel candidates for polystyrene affinity tags. Either way, it is valuable for biotechnology community.
PMCID: PMC5763211
18.  Assessment of Correlation between Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion Weighted MR Imaging and Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MR Imaging of Sacroiliitis with Ankylosing Spondylitis 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:8135863.
The relationships between IVIM and DCE-MRI parameters in AS are not clear. We explore the correlation between intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) parameters obtained on MR images in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Forty-four patients with AS were prospectively examined using a 1.5-T MR system. IVIM DWI was performed with 11 b values (range, 0–800 s/mm2) for all patients. The correlation coefficients between IVIM and DCE-MRI parameters were analyzed using Spearman's method. Our results showed that intra- and interobserver reproducibility were excellent to relatively good (ICC = 0.804–0.981; narrow width of 95% limits of agreement). Moderate positive correlations were observed between pure molecular diffusion (Ds) and maximum enhancement (ME) and relative enhancement (RE) (r  =  0.700, P < 0.001; r = 0.607, P < 0.001, resp.). Perfusion-related diffusion (Df) showed negative moderate correlation with ME (r  =  −0.608, P < 0.001). However, no correlation was observed between perfusion fraction (f) and any parameters of ME, RE, TTP, and BE (r = −0.093–0.213; P > 0.165). In conclusion, the IVIM parameters, especially f, might play a critical role in detecting the progression of AS, because it can provide more perfusion information compared with DCE-MRI; besides the IVIM MRI is a noninvasive method.
PMCID: PMC5763214
19.  Modeling and Multiresponse Optimization for Anaerobic Codigestion of Oil Refinery Wastewater and Chicken Manure by Using Artificial Neural Network and the Taguchi Method 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:2036737.
To study the optimum process conditions for pretreatments and anaerobic codigestion of oil refinery wastewater (ORWW) with chicken manure, L9 (34) Taguchi's orthogonal array was applied. The biogas production (BGP), biomethane content (BMP), and chemical oxygen demand solubilization (CODS) in stabilization rate were evaluated as the process outputs. The optimum conditions were obtained by using Design Expert software (Version 7.0.0). The results indicated that the optimum conditions could be achieved with 44% ORWW, 36°C temperature, 30 min sonication, and 6% TS in the digester. The optimum BGP, BMP, and CODS removal rates by using the optimum conditions were 294.76 mL/gVS, 151.95 mL/gVS, and 70.22%, respectively, as concluded by the experimental results. In addition, the artificial neural network (ANN) technique was implemented to develop an ANN model for predicting BGP yield and BMP content. The Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm was utilized to train ANN, and the architecture of 9-19-2 for the ANN model was obtained.
PMCID: PMC5758948
20.  Influences of Anlotinib on Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in Rats Using a Cocktail Method 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:3619723.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of anlotinib (AL3818) on pharmacokinetics of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes (CYP1A2, CYP2C6, CYP2D1, CYP2D2, and CYP3A1/2) by using five cocktail probe drugs in vivo. After pretreatment for 7 days with anlotinib (treatment group) or saline (control group) by oral administration, probe drugs phenacetin, tolbutamide, omeprazole, metoprolol, and midazolam were administered to rats by oral administration. Blood samples were obtained at a series of time-points and the concentrations of five probe drugs in plasma were determined by a UHPLC-MS/MS method. The results showed that treatment with anlotinib had no significant effect on rat CYP1A2, CYP2D2, and CYP2C6. However, anlotinib had a significant inductive effect on CYP2D1 and CYP3A1/2. Therefore, caution is needed during the concomitant use of anlotinib with other drugs metabolized by CYP2D1 and CYP3A1/2 because of potential drug-anlotinib interactions.
PMCID: PMC5758843
21.  Effect of Weight-Bearing in Conservative and Operative Management of Fractures of the Base of the Fifth Metatarsal Bone 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:1397252.
There is no established principle regarding weight-bearing in conservative and operative management of fifth metatarsal base fractures.
We reviewed 86 patients with acute fifth metatarsal base fractures. Conservatively treated late or early weight-bearing patients were assigned to Group A or C, respectively. Operatively treated late or early weight-bearing patients were assigned to Group B or D, respectively. Results were evaluated by clinical union, bone resorption, and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores.
All 4 groups had bone union at a mean of 6.9 weeks (range, 5.1–15.0). There were no differences between the groups in the AOFAS and VAS scores. In the early weight-bearing groups, there were fewer cases of bone resorption, and the bone unions periods were earlier.
Early weight-bearing may help this patient population. Moreover, conservative treatment could be an option in patients with underlying diseases.
PMCID: PMC5758852
22.  Anticancer Effect of a Novel Octahydropyrazino[2,1-a:5,4-a′]diisoquinoline Derivative and Its Synergistic Action with Nigella sativa in Human Gastric Cancer Cells 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:9153403.
Many studies have shown that naturally occurring compounds may support prevention and treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Pharmacological investigations revealed a wide spectrum of Nigella sativa biological activities. Combining natural compounds together with synthetic drugs may increase the anticancer activity and limit severe side effects of such a treatment and may be an alternative to monotherapy. The aim of the study was to evaluate the cytotoxic and proapoptotic effects of a novel octahydropyrazino[2,1-a:5,4-a′]diisoquinoline derivative and its effect in combination with Nigella sativa seed oil or extract in human gastric cancer cells (AGS). Etoposide was used as a reference. Our studies proved that combination strategy based on novel octahydropyrazino[2,1-a:5,4-a′]diisoquinoline derivative (OM-90) with Nigella sativa seed oil or extract represents the strongest efficacy in AGS cancer cells as compared to monotherapy and combined treatment with Nigella sativa seed oil or extract together with etoposide. Such a combination also leads to the activation of mitochondrial pathway, which plays a significant role in molecular mechanism of induction of apoptosis by these compounds.
PMCID: PMC5758943
23.  Prevalence of Urinary Schistosomiasis in Migrants in Apulia, a Region of Southern Italy, in the Years 2006–2016 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:8257310.
Schistosomiasis is the most prevalent tropical disease in the world after malaria. According to the World Health Organization, the disease afflicts more than 240 million people in about 80 countries. Recently, an epidemiological surveillance study performed between 1997 and 2010 by the European Network for Tropical Medicine and Health Travel regarding schistosomiasis between immigrants and travelers has been published. No data are available in the literature regarding the situation in South Italy. Herein, we report the prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis in a population of migrants in Apulia referring to our outpatient clinic for immigrant diseases in the period 2006–2016. Since all cases of schistosomiasis were related to the last three years of observation, the demographic and clinical characteristics of the study population were compared before and after 2014. Nearly 51% of all patients visited (1762) were from high/moderate endemic countries for schistosomiasis, and nine cases of urinary schistosomiasis were diagnosed. Prevalence was 1% among migrants from endemic areas and 10% in those from Mali and Senegal. Our findings confirm that schistosomiasis is a widespread infection among immigrants, even if it is often underdiagnosed because of the multifaceted clinical presentation. Changes in migratory dynamics can affect clinical observations very quickly.
PMCID: PMC5757092
24.  Tumor Burden and Intraosseous Metabolic Activity as Predictors of Bone Marrow Failure during Radioisotope Therapy in Metastasized Prostate Cancer Patients 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:3905216.
Radium-223-Dichloride (Ra-223) is an alpha-emitter, used to treat bone metastases. Patients with high metastatic burden and/or with increased trabecular bone uptake could present a higher incidence of hematologic toxicity. We hypothesized that these two factors are predictors of bone marrow failure.
Material and Methods
A computer algorithm discriminated between trabecular bone (BVol) and tumor metastases (MVol) within pretherapeutic whole-body skeletal SPECT/CT (N = 47). The program calculated the metastatic invasion percent (INV%) as the MVol/(MVol + BVol) ratio and extracted the BVol mean counts. BVol counts were correlated to % drop of hemoglobin (Hb), leukocytes (WBC), and platelets (PLT) after 3/6 Ra-223 cycles. Patient-specific and computational-derived parameters were tested as predictors of hematologic toxicity with MANOVA.
B Vol counts correlated with drop of Hb (R = 0,65, p < 0.01) and PLT (R = 0,45, p < 0.01). Appendicular BVol counts showed a better correlation (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, and p < 0.001 for Hb, WBC, and PLT, resp.). INV% directly correlated with BVol counts (R = 0.68, p < 0.001). At MANOVA, grade III/IV toxicity was predicted by INV% (p < 0.01), by long-bone invasion (p < 0.005), and by BVol counts (p < 0.05).
In patients with significant bone tumor burden, degree of bone invasion and trabecular bone uptake are predictors of subsequent bone marrow failure.
PMCID: PMC5757096
25.  Heterogeneous Periostin Expression in Different Histological Variants of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma 
BioMed Research International  2017;2017:8701386.
Periostin (PN) epithelial and stromal overexpression in tumor pathology has been studied according to tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasiveness, and metastasis, but a limited number of studies address PN in thyroid tumors.
Our study aimed to analyze PN expression in different histological variants of PTC and to correlate its expression with the clinicopathological prognostic factors.
Material and Methods
PN expression has been immunohistochemically assessed in 50 cases of PTC (conventional, follicular, oncocytic, macrofollicular, and tall cell variants), in tumor epithelial cells and intratumoral stroma. The association between PN expression and clinicopathological characteristics has been evaluated.
Our results show that PTC presented different patterns of PN immunoreaction, stromal PN being significantly associated with advanced tumor stage and extrathyroidal extension. No correlations were found between PN overexpression in tumor epithelial cells and clinicopathological features, except for specific histological variants, the highest risk of poor outcome being registered for the conventional subtype in comparison to the oncocytic type.
Our study demonstrates differences in PN expression in histological subtypes of PTC. Our results plead in favor of a dominant protumorigenic role of stromal PN, while the action of epithelial PN is less noticeable.
PMCID: PMC5757104

Results 1-25 (13016)