REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0101.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; anti-inflammatory agents; dry AMD; geographic atrophy; intravitreal injection; complement inhibitors; neuroprotective agents; non-exudative AMD
Online: 12 February 2019 (11:00:52 CET)
The present review focuses on recent clinical trials that analyze the efficacy of intravitreal therapeutic agents for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), such as neuroprotective drugs, and complement inhibitors, also called immunomodulatory or anti-inflammatory. A systematic literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials published prior to January 2019. Patients affected by dry AMD treated with intravitreal therapeutic agents were included. The changes in the correct visual acuity and the reduction in geographic atrophy progression were evaluated. Several new drugs have shown some promising results, including those targeting the complement cascade and agents called neuroprotective. The action potential of the two groups of drugs is to block the complement cascade model for immunomodulating agents, and prevent the degeneration and apoptosis of ganglion cells for the neuroprotectors, respectively. To the best of knowledge, and after extensive studies on the matter, there are still many investigations to be carried out on dry AMD in collaboration between researchers. They will have to identify truly effective molecules, understand the practical potential of pluripotent stem cells, and refine gene therapies. Only in-depth clinical trials will be able to allow the most appropriate and personalized treatments for each dry AMD patient.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0284.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: waste; ofmsw; inertization; valorization; urea formaldehyde resin; valorized products reuse
Online: 25 September 2019 (10:29:31 CEST)
This work is aimed at the development of innovative, easy and cheap methods for the stabilization, inertization and valorisation of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW). For the first time, two original processes for transforming the organic waste into an inert, odorless and sanitized material were here proposed. The first one, called dual step, starts with grinding of the OFMSW, by means of an industrial shredder. After being finely ground, the organic waste was exposed to a sterilization process by means of UV/ozone radiations or thermal treatment (stabilization phase) in order to obtain a complete removal of the OFMSW’s bacterial activity. By means of several microbiological analyses, the best sterilization method was chosen. The incorporation in a thermosetting matrix was, then, carried out through mixing the sterilized and finely ground organic waste into a water soluble urea formaldehyde (UF) based resin, with a formaldehyde content less than 1% wt, followed by a thermal treatment for UF-resin crosslinking (inertization phase). An alternative cheaper and easier process, called one step, was also proposed and investigated, by combining the sterilization with the curing thermal process (at higher temperature) of the thermosetting matrix. The preliminary experimental results reported in this paper suggest that both the proposed methods could be considered suitable for the production of high valorized innovative OFMSW-derived panels or bricks, that could find application in several fields, such as building or constructions materials. Finally a brief description of the prototype machinery is reported properly designed for implementing OFMSW stabilization and valorisation processes developed in this research work.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0331.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: SMN; RNA-binding proteins; head and neck cancers; squamous cell carcinoma; EGFR
Online: 19 December 2022 (09:02:58 CET)
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) arise from the mucosal epithelium in the oral cavity, pharynx, sino-nasal region, and larynx. Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) represents one-third of all head and neck cancers. Dysregulated RNA-related pathways define an important molecular signature in this aggressive carcinoma. The Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein regulates fundamental aspects of the RNA metabolism but, curiously, its role in cancer is virtually unknown. For the first time, here we focus on SMN in cancer context. We conducted a pilot study in a total of 20 patients with LSCC where SMN was found overexpressed at both the protein and transcript levels. By a cellular model of human laryngeal carcinoma, we demonstrated that SMN impacts cancer-relevant behaviors and perturbs key players of cell migration, invasion, and adhesion. Furthermore, in LSCC we showed a physical interaction between SMN and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), whose overexpression is an important feature in these tumours. This study candidates SMN as novel therapeutic target in LSSC, and likely in the whole spectrum of HNSCC. Overall, we provide the first analysis of SMN in human cancer.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0087.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 RNA; mitochondria; placenta; padlock
Online: 6 January 2022 (12:35:00 CET)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dictated new priorities in biomedicine research. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. In this pilot study, we optimized our padlock assay to visualize genomic/subgenomic regions using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental samples obtained from a confirmed case of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was localized in trophoblastic cells. We also checked the presence of the virion by immunolocalization of its glycoprotein spike. In addition, we imaged mitochondria of placental villi keeping in mind that the mitochondrion has been suggested as a potential residence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Indeed, we observed a substantial overlapping of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and mitochondria in trophoblastic cells. This intriguing linkage correlated with an aberrant mitochondrial network. Overall, to our knowledge, this is the first study that provides the evidence of a co-localization of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and mitochondria in SARS-CoV-2 infected tissue. These findings also support the notion that SARS-CoV-2 infection could reprogram mitochondrial activity in highly specialized maternal/fetal interface.