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1.  Probiotic Interference of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 with the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen Candida albicans 
Candida albicans is the most important Candida species causing vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). VVC has significant medical and economical impact on women's health and wellbeing. While current antifungal treatment is reasonably effective, supportive and preventive measures such as application of probiotics are required to reduce the incidence of VVC. We investigated the potential of the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 towards control of C. albicans. In vitro experiments demonstrated that lactic acid at low pH plays a major role in suppressing fungal growth. Viability staining following cocultures with lactobacilli revealed that C. albicans cells lost metabolic activity and eventually were killed. Transcriptome analyses showed increased expression of stress-related genes and lower expression of genes involved in fluconazole resistance, which might explain the increased eradication of Candida in a previous clinical study on conjoint probiotic therapy. Our results provide insights on the impact of probiotics on C. albicans survival.
doi:10.1155/2012/636474
PMCID: PMC3395238  PMID: 22811591
2.  Role of sex steroid receptors in pathobiology of hepatocellular carcinoma 
The striking gender disparity observed in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) suggests an important role of sex hormones in HCC pathogenesis. Though the studies began as early as in 1980s, the precise role of sex hormones and the significance of their receptors in HCC still remain poorly understood and perhaps contribute to current controversies about the potential use of hormonal therapy in HCC. A comprehensive review of the existing literature revealed several shortcomings associated with the studies on estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR) in normal liver and HCC. These shortcomings include the use of less sensitive receptor ligand binding assays and immunohistochemistry studies for ERα alone until 1996 when ERβ isoform was identified. The animal models of HCC utilized for studies were primarily based on chemical-induced hepatocarcinogenesis with less similarity to virus-induced HCC pathogenesis. However, recent in vitro studies in hepatoma cells provide newer insights for hormonal regulation of key cellular processes including interaction of ER and AR with viral proteins. In light of the above facts, there is an urgent need for a detailed investigation of sex hormones and their receptors in normal liver and HCC. In this review, we systematically present the information currently available on androgens, estrogens and their receptors in normal liver and HCC obtained from in vitro, in vivo experimental models and clinical studies. This information will direct future basic and clinical research to bridge the gap in knowledge to explore the therapeutic potential of hormonal therapy in HCC.
doi:10.3748/wjg.14.5945
PMCID: PMC2760195  PMID: 18932272
Sex hormones; Estrogen receptor; Androgen receptor; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hepatocarcinogenesis

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