ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0330.v1
Online: 14 July 2021 (12:39:04 CEST)
Abstract Background Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) are the most common type of genetic polymorphism. SNP can significantly affect the expression activity of genes and the level of protein production. Researching the role of SNP in the occurrence of diseases is an important and urgent task, as it allows to predict the risk of pathology, its severity and outcome. Purpose of the study: study of the frequency of I148M polymorphism of the PNPLA3 gene in residents of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), associated with a high risk of steatosis and liver fibrosis. Methods A total of 3132 peripheral venous blood samples were used for population studies, studies patients with chronic hepatitis B and C, studies patients with NAFLD. Genotyping of DNA samples was carried out by real time-PCR. Reagent kits were used for genotyping I148M polymorphism of the PNPLA3 gene. Results In the present study, it was found that in the Yakut population the carriage of the GG genotype (49%) of the PNPLA3 gene I148M polymorphism predominates. When conducting a comparative frequency analysis, there were no statistically significant differences between the control group and the group with NAFLD patients(p=0,82). A comparative frequency analysis of the distribution of genotypes and alleles of I148M polymorphism of the PNPLA3 gene in the control group and the group of patients with chronic hepatitis B and C showed that we did not reveal significantly significant differences (p = 0.45). Conclusions The frequency of homozygotes for the mutant G allele of the I148M polymorphism of the PNPLA3 gene in the Yakut population significantly exceeds the frequency indicator of the G allele in other world populations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0432.v1
Online: 19 May 2021 (07:55:59 CEST)
Fibroblasts are differentiated to myofibroblasts and produce collagen and other extracellular matrix when the heart is exposed to stresses. Myocardial infarction and pressure overload-induced hypertrophy are major stresses to induce differentiation of fibroblasts. Since collagen can compensate the missing tissue due to injury, appropriate production of collagen is beneficial for the injured heart against rupture. However, excessive deposition of collagen is called fibrosis and causes cardiac dysfunction. After fibroblasts are differentiated to myofibroblasts, myofibroblasts can further change their phenotypes. In addition, myofibroblasts are found to have a new function other than collagen production. Myofibroblasts have macrophage-like functions that engulf dead cells and secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines. So far, research on fibroblasts has been delayed due to the lack of available markers for selective isolation of fibroblasts. In recent years, it has become possible to genetically label fibroblasts, sequence the cells at single cell levels, and manipulate function or the number of cells. Based on new technologies, the origin of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, time-dependent changes of fibroblast states after injury, and heterogeneity have been demonstrated. Here, I will introduce recent advances in fibroblasts and myofibroblasts.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0427.v1
Online: 19 May 2021 (07:35:10 CEST)
:Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and fatal lung disease that significantly impacts the aging population globally. To date, anti-fibrotic, immunosuppressive, and other adjunct therapy demonstrate a limited efficacy. Advancing our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of lung fibrosis provides a future path for the cure. Cellular senescence has gained substantial interest in the past decades due to the increased incidence of fibroproliferative lung diseases in the older age group. Furthermore, the pathologic state of cellular senescence that includes maladaptive tissue repair, decreased regeneration, and chronic inflammation resembles key features of progressive lung fibrosis. This review describes regulatory pathways of cellular senescence and discusses the current knowledge on the senescence of critical cellular players of lung fibrosis, including epithelial cells (alveolar type 2 cells, basal cells, etc.), fibroblasts, and immune cells, their phenotypic changes, and the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which these cells contribute to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. A few challenges in the field include establishing appropriate in vivo experimental models and identifying senescence targeted signaling molecules and specific therapy to target senescent cells, known collectively as "senolytic" or “senotherapeutic” agents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0354.v1
Online: 14 May 2021 (17:05:25 CEST)
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes are engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that have a fiber-like structure which may be a concern for the development of cellular senescence. Premature senes-cence, a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest, is implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic lung dis-eases such as pulmonary fibrosis (PF). However, the crosstalk between downstream pathways mediating fibrotic and senescent responses of MWCNTs is not well defined. Here, we exposed human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS2B) to MWCNTs for up to 72 hours and demonstrate that MWCNTs increase reactive oxygen species production (ROS) accompanied by inhibition of cell growth and proliferation. In addition, exposure resulted in the increase of p21 protein and senes-cence associated β-galactosidase (SA β-gal) activity. We also determined that co-exposure with the cytokine, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) exacerbated cellular senescence indicated by increased protein levels of p21, p16, and γH2A.X Furthermore, the production of fibronectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) was significantly elevated with the co-exposure compared to MWCNTs or TGF-β alone. Together, this suggests that the senescence potential of MWCNTs may be enhanced by pro-fibrotic mediators in the surrounding microenvironment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0472.v1
Online: 18 March 2021 (10:57:54 CET)
Purpose: The treatment of renal fibrosis caused by long-term obstructive nephropathy is limited. The purpose of this study was to establish a mouse model of renal fibrosis with unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and to treat it with exosomes derived from SIRT6 transfected urine-derived stem cells (USCs), which will determine whether exosomes have the effect of anti-fibrosis Methods: The renal fibrosis model of UUO mice was established by ligating unilateral ureter. USCs were extracted from human urine and transfected with SIRT6 lentivirus plasmid. The SIRT6-USCs-exosomes(SIRT6-USCs-exos) were collected and identified by transmission electron microscope, nanoparticle tracking analysis and western blot. SIRT6-USCs-exos were injected into the tail vein of mice and the renal tissue of mice was stained with HE. The relative gene expressions of α-SMA, E-cadherin and TGF-β1 were analyzed by RT-qPCR. Results: In this study, we successfully constructed the renal fibrosis model of UUO mice and hUSCs with overexpression of SIRT6. The SIRT6-USCs-exos significantly improved the renal fibrosis in UUO mice. The relative mRNA expressions of fibrosis-related genes α-SMA, E-cadherin and TGF-β1 in renal tissue were significantly down-regulated after SIRT6-USCs-exos treatment. Conclusion: Our results indicate that SIRT6-USCs-exos can effectively alleviate renal fibrosis caused by long-term obstructive nephropathy. The findings may be promising for dealing with renal fibrosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0050.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: cystic fibrosis; newborn bloodspot screening; CFTR-related metabolic syndrome; cystic fibrosis screen positive; inconclusive diagnosis
Online: 3 December 2021 (10:50:20 CET)
The main aim of the present study was to explore health professionals’ reported experiences and approaches to managing children who receive a designation of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator-related metabolic syndrome/cystic fibrosis screen positive inconclusive diagnosis following a positive NBS result for cystic fibrosis. An online questionnaire was distributed via Qualtrics Survey Software and circulated to a purposive, international sample of health professionals involved in managing children with this designation. In total, 101 clinicians completed the online survey; 39 from the US, six from Canada and 56 from Europe (including the UK). Results indicated that while respondents reported minor deviations in practice, they were cognizant of recommendations in the updated guidance and for the most part, attempted to implement these into practice consistently internationally. Where variation was reported, the purpose of this appeared to be to enable clinicians to respond to either clinical assessments or parental anxiety in order to improve outcomes for the child and family. Further research is needed to determine if these findings are reflective of both a wider audience of clinicians and actual (rather than reported) practice.
Online: 8 September 2021 (11:24:31 CEST)
Commonly macrophages are categorized into M1 and M2 subsets. M1 macrophages are defined as inflammatory cells and may contribute to tissue injury, while, M2 macrophages play a central role in tissue remodeling and control of immune responses. It seems that the existence of these cells in graft location is effective for control of inflammation and improvement of transplantation consequences. Although the relative contribution of M2 cells in organ transplantation is not clear, the accumulation of these cells in acute and chronic injury models of transplantation was shown. In some cases, the depletion of M2 cells leads to the amelioration of disease; however in other causes, skewing the response in M2 cells leads to an augmentation of graft fibrosis and worsening of graft condition. In spite of these findings, the benefits of such strategies and their implications in human disease are not clearly understood. The purpose of this mini-review is to highlight the role of alternatively activated M2-type macrophages in the improvement or reduction of the kidney transplantation outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0282.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: liver fibrosis; NASH; innate immune cells.
Online: 24 October 2019 (15:48:02 CEST)
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is characterized by liver steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis, is the most severe variation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disease is a consequence of several metabolic alterations such as type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia that trigger different pathways of cell dysfunction and systemic inflammation which ultimately affect the liver. Furthermore, those mechanisms activate a complex cascade of immune response after repeated cell aggression. In the liver cytokines and interleukins interact with network of innate immune cells, including Kupffer cells (KCs), dendritic cells (DCs), lymphocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSC). These cells translate those signals into immune responses and pathologic hepatic changes during the development of NASH. In this scenario the development of fibrosis is the most important change since it is an adaptive mechanism that in the short time has the objective of repair the damaged tissue but after prolonged injury it progresses to parenchymal scarring, cellular dysfunction and finally to organ failure. Finally, since NASH is an important cause of liver cirrhosis; this review addresses the cellular pathways of fibrosis in the setting of NASH explained by the interaction between immune and hepatic cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0497.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: liver fibrosis; Smad; decoy; oligodeoxynucleotide; CCl4
Online: 30 June 2018 (14:36:06 CEST)
Hepatic fibrosis is the wound-healing process of chronic hepatic disease that leads to end-stage of hepatocellular carcinoma and demolition of hepatic structures. EMT has been identified to phenotypic conversion of the epithelium to mesenchymal phenotype that occurred during fibrosis. Smad decoy oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) is a synthetic DNA fragment containing complementary sequence of Smad transcription factor. Thus, this study evaluated the anti-fibrotic effects of Smad decoy ODN on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice. As shown in histological results, CCl4 treatment triggered hepatic fibrosis and increased Smad expression. On the contrary, Smad decoy ODN administration suppressed fibrogenesis and EMT process. The expression of Smad signaling and EMT-associated protein was markedly decreased in Smad decoy ODN treatment mice compared with CCl4-injuried mice. In conclusion, these data indicate the practicability of Smad decoy ODN administration for preventing hepatic fibrosis and EMT processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0488.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Chronic viral hepatitis C; Liver fibrosis; Liver cirrhosis; Diagnosis of liver fibrosis; Machine learning
Online: 22 February 2021 (15:31:11 CET)
Aim. The purpose of the work was the development of a machine learning model for diagnosing the stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C according to the data of routine clinical examination. Materials and methods. A total of 1240 patients with chronic viral hepatitis C was examined. A set of data obtained from 689 patients balancing by the stage of liver fibrosis was used for developing and testing machine learning models. 9 routine clinical parameters were selected as the most important predictors for determining the likelihood of liver fibrosis the 3–4 stages presence: age, height, weight and body mass index of the patient, the number of platelets in the clinical blood test, levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, and total bilirubin in a biochemical blood test. Results. The accuracy of the developed method for determining the 3–4 stages of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C in comparison with the «gold standard» of diagnosis (liver biopsy) was 80.56% (95% CI: 69.53–88.94%), sensitivity — 66.67%, specificity — 94.44%. Conclusion. The developed method is an alternative to more expensive and geographically inaccessible studies. The method does not require the purchase of additional equipment or software, as well as additional laboratory tests, when used in real clinical practice. The introduction of the method into clinical practice can help to solve the problem of low material and territorial availability of diagnostic tests and allow determining the stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0212.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: drug repurposing; cystic fibrosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; biofilm
Online: 22 April 2022 (10:55:32 CEST)
Drug repurposing is an attractive strategy for developing new antibacterial molecules. Herein, we evaluated the in vitro antibacterial, antibiofilm, and antivirulence activities of eight FDA-approved “non-antibiotic” drugs, comparatively to tobramycin, against selected Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from cystic fibrosis patients. MIC and MBC values were measured by broth microdilution methods. Time-kill kinetics was studied by the macro dilution method, and synergy studies were performed by checkerboard microdilution assay. The activity against preformed biofilm was measured by crystal violet and viable cell count assays. The effects on gene expression were studied by real-time quantitative PCR, while the cytotoxic potential was evaluated against IB3-1 bronchial CF cells. Ciclopirox, 5-fluorouracil, and actinomycin D showed the best activity against P. aeruginosa planktonic cells and, therefore, underwent further evaluation. Time-kill assays indicated actinomycin D and ciclopirox, contrarily to 5-fluorouracil and tobramycin, have the potential for bacterial eradication, although with strain-dependent efficacy. Ciclopirox was the most effective against the viability of the preformed biofilm. A similar activity was observed for other drugs, although they stimulate EPS production. Ribavirin showed a specific antibiofilm effect, not dependent on bacterial killing. Exposure to drugs and tobramycin generally caused hyperexpression of the virulence traits tested, except for actinomycin D, which downregulated the expression of alkaline protease and alginate polymerization. Ciclopirox and actinomycin D revealed high cytotoxic potential. Ciclopirox and ribavirin might provide chemical scaffolds for anti-P. aeruginosa drugs. Further studies are warranted to decrease ciclopirox cytotoxicity and evaluate the in vivo protective effects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0037.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Extrac cellular matrix; Relaxin; liver fibrosis; MMPs
Online: 3 March 2020 (11:16:49 CET)
BACKGROUND Relaxin (RLX), a hormone-like molecule with pleiotropic effects, has been found to reduce matrix deposition and mediate collagen degradation in animal models of chronic liver injuries and might be considered as an adjuvant therapeutic agent for progressive liver diseases. AIMS In the present study, we evaluated whether RLX affects the development of liver fibrosis in an experimental mouse model of NASH in C57BL6 male mice fed with a methionine-choline deficient diet (MCD). Methods Mice were treated per os as we intended to assess the enteric absorption and bioavailability of orally administered RLX (RLX purified from pig ovaries, IBSA SA, Lugano, Switzerland). Mice were fed the MCD diet for 6 weeks. After the initial 3 weeks, one group received drinking water supplemented with RLX (25 mcg/ml) whereas the other continued to receive regular water. A third group of mice fed a regular diet served as control. After 3 additional weeks mice were anesthetized and sacrificed. Results A significant, reduced expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and of relevant markers of active fibrogenesis and extracellular matrix deposition, Col1A1 and α-SMA, was observed in mice treated with RLX vs controls. RLX also induced a significant decrease of TIMP1 and an increase of both MMP 2 and 9 when evaluated by zymographic analysis in liver extracts. Conclusions Although preliminary pharmacokinetics experiments showed barely detectable amounts of RLX in the blood of mice treated per os, these data support the absorption of orally administered RLX and confirm its potential therapeutic use in the management of liver fibrosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0137.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: CHIP; metabolism; fenofibrate; fibrosis; metabolomics; pressure overload
Online: 9 July 2018 (12:11:53 CEST)
We previously reported how the loss of CHIP expression (Carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-Interacting Protein) during pressure overload resulted in robust cardiac dysfunction, accompanied by a failure to maintain ATP levels in the face of increased energy demand. In this study, we analyzed the cardiac metabolome after seven days of pressure overload and found an increase in long- and medium-chain fatty acid metabolites in wild-type hearts, a response that was attenuated in mice that lack expression of CHIP (CHIP-/-). These findings suggest that CHIP may play an essential role in regulating oxidative metabolism, pathways that are regulated in part by the nuclear receptor PPARα (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha). Next, we challenged CHIP-/- mice with the PPARα agonist, fenofibrate. Surprisingly, treating CHIP-/- mice with fenofibrate for five weeks under non-pressure overload conditions resulted in a loss of skeletal muscle mass and a marked increase in cardiac fibrosis, accompanied by a decrease in cardiac function. Isolated CHIP-/- cardiac fibroblasts treated with fenofibrate did not increase synthesis of collagen or TGFβ, suggesting that the fibrosis observed in CHIP-/- hearts likely depends on signaling from other cell types or circulating factors. In conclusion, in the absence of functional CHIP expression, fenofibrate results in unexpected cardiac pathologies. These findings are particularly relevant to patients harboring loss-of-function mutations in CHIP and are consistent with a prominent role for CHIP in regulating cardiac metabolism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0337.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Periostracum cicadae; IgA nephropathy; inflammation; fibrosis; apoptosis
Online: 24 May 2018 (06:32:22 CEST)
Periostracum cicadae, the cast-off shell of the cicada Cryptotympana pustulata Fabricius, is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its diaphoretic, anticonvulsive, sedative, antipyretic, and antiallergic effects. However, the exact pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) remains unclear, thereby hindering investigations to identify novel therapeutic agents. A rat IgAN model was established by administration of bovine serum albumin, lipopolysaccharide, and carbon tetrachloride, which simultaneously established blood stasis and a heat syndrome model. The animals were sacrificed to detect changes in protein levels in urine and blood. Immunofluorescence was performed to assess IgA deposition in the glomeruli. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Hematology and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, TUNEL, and immunohistochemical staining were performed to evaluate histopathological changes in kidney tissues. Additionally, target-related proteins were measured by western blotting. Periostracum cicadae resulted in a reduction in blood and urine protein levels. Serum TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels significantly decreased in the periostracum cicadae-treated groups compared to the IgAN group. Furthermore, a reduction in MCP-1, TLR4, and IgA expression levels and a dose- dependent increase in caspace-3 expression were observed in response to periostracum cicadae treatment. TGF-β1 levels decreased, whereas that of Fas increased in the kidney tissues of the periostracum cicadae-treated groups. The findings of the present study indicate that periostracum cicadae induces apoptosis and improves kidney inflammation and fibrosis in IgA nephropathy rat models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0114.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Cystic Fibrosis; elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor; microbiology; airway colonization
Online: 13 April 2022 (04:06:36 CEST)
The use of modulator drugs that target the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is the final frontier in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic multiorgan disease. F508del is the most common mutation causing defective formation and function of CFTR. Elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor is the first triple combination of CFTR modulators. Herein we report on a one-year case-control study that involved 26 patients with at least one F508del mutation. Patients were assigned to two similar groups, with patients with the worse clinical condition receiving treatment with the triple combination therapy. The study aims to define the clinical and especially microbiological implications of treatment administration. The treatment provided significant clinical benefits in terms of respiratory, pancreatic and sweat function. After one year of therapy, airway infection rates decreased and pulmonary exacerbations were dramatically reduced. Finally, treated patients reported a surprising improvement in their quality of life. The use of triple combination therapy has become essential in most CF people carrying the F508del mutation. While the clinical and instrumental benefits of treatment are thoroughly known, further investigations are needed to properly define its microbiological respiratory implications and establish the real advantage of life-long treatment with elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0110.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: cardiac fibroblasts; sex-specific; estrogen; fibrosis; heart failure
Online: 6 September 2021 (17:24:51 CEST)
Several studies have demonstrated estrogen’s cardioprotective abilities in decreasing the fibrotic response of cardiac fibroblasts (CFs). However, the majority of these studies are not sex-specific, and those at the cellular level utilize tissue culture plastic, a substrate that has a stiffness much higher than physiological conditions. Understanding the intrinsic differences between male and female CFs under more physiologically “healthy” conditions will help to elucidate the divergences in their complex signaling networks. We aimed to do this by conducting sex-disaggregated analysis of changes in cellular morphology and relative concentrations of profibrotic signaling proteins in CFs cultured on 8kPa stiffness plates with and without 17-β estradiol (E2). Cyclic immunofluorescent analysis indicated that there is a negligible change in cellular morphology due to sex and E2 treatment and that the differences between male and female CFs are occurring at a biochemical rather than structural level. Several proteins corresponding to profibrotic activity had various sex-specific responses with and without E2 treatment. Single-cell correlation analysis exhibited varied protein-protein interaction across experimental conditions. These findings demonstrate the need for further research into the dimorphisms of male and female CFs to develop better tailored, sex-informed prevention and treatment interventions of cardiac fibrosis.
Online: 22 October 2020 (12:41:30 CEST)
Fibrosis is a condition characterized by thickening or/and scarring of various tissues. Fibrosis may develop in almost all tissues and organs, and it may be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. It provokes excessive scarring that excels the usual wound healing response to trauma in numerous organs. Currently, very little can be done to prevent tissue fibrosis, and it is almost impossible to reverse it. Therefore, fibrosis is frequently associated with premature aging. In turn, aging is associated with more frequent incidences of fibrosis. Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs are among the few treatments that may be efficient in preventing fibrosis. Numerous publications suggest that cannabinoids and extracts of Cannabis sativa have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrogenic properties. In this review, we describe the types and mechanisms of fibrosis in various tissues and discuss various strategies for prevention and dealing with tissue fibrosis. We further introduce cannabinoids and their potential for the prevention and treatment of fibrosis, and therefore for extending healthy lifespan.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0417.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics Keywords: hepatic fibrosis; hepatocullar carcinoma; vibration controlled transient elastography
Online: 19 August 2020 (13:00:28 CEST)
The prevalence of obesity or metabolic syndrome is increasing worldwide (“Globally metabodemic”). Approximately 25% of adult general population is suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which has become serious health problem. Hepatic fibrosis is the most significant determinant of all cause and liver -related mortality in NAFLD. Noninvasive test (NIT) should be urgently required to evaluate hepatic fibrosis in NAFLD. Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index is the 1st triaging tool for excluding advanced fibrosis because of its accuracy, simplicity, and cheapness especially for general physicians or endocrinologists, although FIB-4 index has several drawbacks. Accumulating evidence has suggested that vibration controlled transient elastography (VCTE) and the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) test may become useful as the 2nd step after triaging by FIB-4 index. The leading cause of mortality in NAFLD is cardiovascular disease (CVD), extrahepatic malignancy, and liver-related diseases. NAFLD often complicates chronic kidney disease (CKD), resulting in increased simultaneous liver kidney transplantation (SLKT). FIB-4 index could be a predictor of not only liver-related mortality and incident hepatocullar carcinoma (HCC) but also prevalent and incident CKD, CVD, and extrahepatic malignancy. Although NITs as milestones for evaluating treatment efficacy have never been established, FIB- 4 index is expected to reflect histological hepatic fibrosis after treatment in several longitudinal studies. We here review the role of FIB-4 index as 1st step NIT in management of NAFLD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0044.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: hypertensive nephropathy; oxidative stress; fibrosis; inflammation; Cx43; Fasudil
Online: 5 August 2019 (05:02:36 CEST)
In various models of chronic kidney disease, the amount and localization of Cx43 in the nephron is known to increase, but the intracellular pathways that regulate these changes have not been identified. Therefore, we proposed that: "In the model of renal damage induced by infusion of angiotensin II (AngII), a RhoA/ROCK-dependent pathway, is activated and regulates the abundance of renal Cx43”. In rats, we evaluated: 1) the time-point where the renal damage induced by AngII is no longer reversible; and 2) the involvement of a RhoA/ROCK-dependent pathway and its relationship with the amount of Cx43 in this irreversible stage. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and renal function (urinary protein/urinary creatinine: Uprot/UCrea) were evaluated as systemic and organ outcomes, respectively. In kidney tissue, we also evaluated: 1) oxidative stress (amount of thiobarbituric acid reactive species), 2) inflammation (immunoperoxidase detection of the inflammatory markers ED-1 and IL-1β), 3) fibrosis (immune detection of type III collagen; Col III) and 4) activity of RhoA/ROCK (amount of phosphorylated MYPT1; p-MYPT1). The ratio Uprot/UCrea, SBP, oxidative stress, inflammation, amount of Cx43 and p-MYPT1 remained high 2 weeks after suspending AngII treatment in rats treated for 4 weeks with AngII. These responses were not observed in rats treated with AngII for less than 4 weeks, in which all measurements returned spontaneously close to the control values after suspending AngII treatment. Rats treated with AngII for 6 weeks and co-treated for the last 4 weeks with Fasudil, an inhibitor of ROCK, showed high SBP but did not present renal damage or increased amount of renal Cx43. Therefore, renal damage induced by AngII correlates with the activation of RhoA/ROCK and the increase in Cx43 amounts and can be prevented by inhibitors of this pathway.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0444.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: cystic fibrosis; gene therapy; gene targeting; gene integration
Online: 19 November 2018 (10:14:02 CET)
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited monogenic disorder, amenable to gene based therapies. Because CF lung disease is currently the major cause of mortality and morbidity, and lung airway is readily accessible to gene delivery, the major CF gene therapy effort at present is directed to the lung. Although airway epithelial cells are renewed slowly, permanent gene correction through gene editing or targeting in airway stem cells is needed to perpetuate the therapeutic effect. Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) has been utilized widely for a variety of gene editing applications. The stringent requirement for nuclease binding target sites allows for gene editing with precision. In this study, we engineered helper-dependent adenoviral (HD-Ad) vectors to deliver a pair of TALENs together with donor DNA targeting the human AAVS1 locus. With homology arms of 4 kb in length, we demonstrated precise insertion of either a LacZ reporter gene or a human CFTR minigene into the target site. Using the LacZ reporter, we determined the efficiency of gene integration to be about 5%. In the CFTR vector transduced cells, we have detected both CFTR mRNA and protein expression by qPCR and Wetern analysis, respectively. We have also confirmed CFTR function correction by flurometric Image Plate Reader (FLIPR) and iodide efflux assays. Taking together, these findings suggest a new direction for future in vitro and in vivo studies in CF gene editing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0074.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; miR-30a; TET1; Drp-1
Online: 16 January 2017 (04:44:44 CET)
Several recent studies have indicated that miR-30a plays critical roles in various biological processes and diseases. However, the mechanism of miR-30a participation in the regulation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is ambiguous. Our previous study demonstrated that miR-30a may function as a novel therapeutic target for lung ﬁbrosis by blocking mitochondrial fission, which is dependent on dynamin-related protein-1 (Drp-1). However, the regulatory mechanism between miR-30a and Drp-1 has yet to be investigated. In addition, whether miR-30a can act as a potential therapeutic has not been verified in vivo. In this study, the miR-30a expression in IPF patients was evaluated. Computational analysis and a dual luciferase reporter system assay were used to identify the target gene of miR-30a, and cell transfection was used to confirm this relationship. Ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) was validated as a direct target of miR-30a, and the transfection of miR-30a mimic/inhibitor significantly reduced/increased the expression of TET1 protein. Further experiment verified that the interference on TET1(siRNA) could inhibit the hydroxymethlation of the Drp-1 promoter. Finally, miR-30a agomir was designed and applied to identify and validate the therapeutic effect of miR-30a in vivo. Our study demonstrated that miR-30a could inhibit the TET1 expression by base pairing with complementary sites in the 3′ untranslated region to regulate the hydroxymethlation of the Drp-1 promoter. Furthermore, miR-30a could act as a potential therapeutic target for IPF.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0235.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Cystic Fibrosis; CFTR gene; CRISPR/Cas; pegRNA; Cationic Liposome
Online: 12 November 2021 (15:34:03 CET)
Cystic Fibrosis is a rare genetic disease that affects the transmission of chloride ions due to mutations in the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene. Even though there are nearly 2000 mutations identified to be related to the condition, the most common mutation is F508del; deletion of a phenylalanine residue at 508. On the other hand, G542X which is a Class I mutation is also found very commonly and there are no modulator treatments available for it. Furthermore, it was investigated that R553X mutation can as well be corrected simultaneously with G542X mutation. Therefore, the main focus is on designing a gene therapy project that can correct all these three mutations at once by utilizing the prime editing technique via lipid-based delivery. In this way, the mutations can be edited through plasmids that were designed containing 2 pegRNAs and the Cas enzyme. To implement such an approach efficiently, both ex vivo, an animal model, and in vivo steps are to be designed. For the cell line, fibroblasts are selected due to their simplicity and low cost. The animal model of the experiment is determined to be a ferret concerning the high similarity to the human's CFTR protein and finally, the procedure will follow on a direct application in human Cystic Fibrosis patients. The plasmids are thought to be delivered through a cationic liposome that will reach the lungs with the aid of a nebulizer. At the last stage of the experimental procedure, Sanger Sequencing will be done to see if the desired edit within the CFTR has been performed successfully, and Next Generation Sequencing will be executed to see if there has been an off-target mutation in the remainder of the genome. Whereas for detecting the presence and expression of CFTR protein in humans, immunodetection with flow cytometry will be conducted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0032.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Pseudomonas; Efflux Pumps; Virulence; Evolution; Antibiotic Resistance; Cystic Fibrosis
Online: 2 September 2021 (08:02:02 CEST)
Antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are the primary cause of mortality in people with cystic fibrosis (CF). Yet it has only recently become appreciated that resistance mutations can also increase P. aeruginosa virulence, even in the absence of antibiotics. Moreover, the mechanisms by which resistance mutations increase virulence are poorly understood. In this study we tested the hypothesis that mutations affecting efflux pumps can directly increase P. aeruginosa virulence. Using genetics, physiological assays, and model infections, we show that efflux pump mutations can increase virulence. Mutations of the mexEF efflux pump system increased swarming, rhamnolipid production, and lethality in a mouse infection model, while mutations in mexR that increased expression of the mexAB-oprM efflux system increased virulence during an acute murine lung infection without affecting swarming or rhamnolipid gene expression. Finally, we show that an efflux pump inhibitor, which represents a proposed novel treatment approach for P. aeruginosa, increased rhamnolipid gene expression in a dose-dependent manner. This finding is important because rhamnolipids are key virulence factors involved in dissemination through epithelial barriers and cause neutrophil necrosis. Together, these data show how current and proposed future anti-Pseudomonal treatments may unintentionally make infections worse by increasing virulence. Therefore, treatments that target efflux should be pursued with caution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0041.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: liver cirrhosis; liver fibrosis; gut microbiome' gut-liver axis
Online: 1 December 2020 (18:19:00 CET)
Liver cirrhosis is one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases worldwide. In addition to viral hepatitis, genetic conditions such as steatohepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, sclerosing cholangitis, and Wilson’s disease can also lead to cirrhosis. Moreover, alcohol can cause cirrhosis on its own and exacerbate chronic liver disease from other causes. The treatment of cirrhosis can be divided into addressing the cause of cirrhosis and reversing liver fibrosis. To this date, there is still no clear consensus on the treatment of cirrhosis. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in potential treatments that modulate the gut microbiota and gut-liver axis for the treatment of cirrhosis. According to recent studies, modulation of the gut microbiome by probiotics ameliorates the progression of liver disease. The precise mechanism for relieving cirrhosis via gut microbial modulation has not been identified. This paper summarizes the role and effects of the gut microbiome in cirrhosis based on experimental and clinical studies on absorbable antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics. Moreover, it provides evidence of a relationship between the gut microbiome and liver cirrhosis.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0077.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: heart failure; angiogenesis; angiopoietin-1; angiopoietin-2; cardiac fibrosis
Online: 8 October 2019 (05:59:11 CEST)
Background and Objectives: Ischemic and idiopathic heart failure are two different etiologies, however reactive cardiac fibrosis together with impaired vasculogenesis has been described in both of them. Implication of main proangiogenic factors as: angiogenin, agiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) has been described mainly in experimental models of heart failure. However, differences in molecular pathways between these cardiomyopathies are still under investigation. In this short communication we aimed to evaluate and compare the expression of pro-angiogenic molecules in the heart tissue of patients with advanced chronic heart failure (CHF) of ischemic and idiopathic etiology. Methods and Results: Heart tissue from left ventricular walls was obtained at transplantation from ischemic heart disease (IHD), idiopathic cardiomyopathy (ICM) patients. Tissue samples were examined using immunohistochemistry for angiogenic molecules. Immunopositivity (I-pos) for angiopoietin-1 was mainly observed in the cardiomyocytes, while I-pos for Ang-2 and Tie-2 receptor mainly in endothelial cells. Procollagen-I (PICP), angiogenin, Ang-1, Tie-2 receptor, were similarly expressed in IHD and ICM patients. In contrast, endothelial immunopositivity for Ang-2 was higher in IHD samples compared to ICM (p=0.03). Conclusions: Ang-2 expression is different in heart tissue of ICM and ICM patients and distribution of Ang-1 and angiogenin is higher in cardiomyocytes, whereas Ang-2 higher in endothelial cells, suggesting a different pattern of angiogenic stimulation, or at least of altered endothelial integrity. This data may serve for further studies investigating angiogenesis signaling pathways and in HF of different etiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0253.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: gender; nonbinary; cystic fibrosis; embodiment; agender identities; identity negotiation
Online: 24 January 2019 (11:42:42 CET)
In this manuscript, I build and expand on prior work by myself (Author 2016) and others exploring the dynamics of embodiment among people with chronic health conditions. Specifically, I critically investigate the intersecting social and medical elements of responses to bodies perceived as too thin and otherwise lacking in physical ability, using my own experiences of living and aging with cystic fibrosis (CF) as a case example. In these explorations, I center gendered identity and its intersection with disabling physical illness. I do so by using my own lived experiences as autoethnographic anchor points to guide critical review of key concepts from the nexus of these two content areas. I focus throughout on exploring how others’ reactions to a frail-looking body often constitute a form of forced gendering via the narratives people attempt to construct for why a person’s body appears that way. The title of the manuscript supports this framework by referencing three cornerstones of patient experience in the CF community: the general trend of patients having salty skin due to the pathology of the disease, a prior embodiment project called Salty Girls (Pettigrew 2012) that engages this idea, and the more abstract concept of “saltiness” in describing the grit marginalized people display in responding to microaggressions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0350.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: 1-DNJ; diabetic cardiomyopathy; fibrosis; N-glycosylation; α1,6-fucosylation
Online: 27 April 2018 (06:13:25 CEST)
The traditional Chinese drug Bombyx Batryticatus mori.L (BBm) which is also named the white stiff silkworm has been widely used in Chinese clinics for thousands of years. It is famous for its antispasmodic and blood circulation promoting effects. Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, interstitial cell hyperplasia and myocardial fibrosis are closely related to the N-glycosylation of key proteins. To examine the alterations of N-glycosylation that occur in diabetic myocardium during the early stage of the disease and clarify the therapeutic effect of 1-DNJ extracted from BBm, we used the db/db mouse model and an approach based on hydrophilic chromatography solid-phase extraction integrated with an LC-MS/MS identification strategy to perform a site-specific N-glycosylation analysis of left ventricular cardiomyocyte proteins. AGEs, hydroxyproline, CTGF and other serum biochemical indicators were measured with ELISA. In addition, the α1,6-fucosylation of N-glycans was profiled with LCA lectin blots and FITC-labelled lectin affinity histochemistry. The results indicated that 1-DNJ administration obviously downregulated myocardium protein N-glycosylation in db/db mice. The expression levels of serum indicators and fibrosis-related cytokines were reduced significantly by 1-DNJ in a dose-dependent manner. The glycan α1,6-fucosylation level of the db/db mouse myocardium was elevated, and the intervention effect of 1-DNJ administration on N-glycan α1,6-fucosylation was significant. To verify this result, the well-known TGF-β/smad2/3 pathway was selected, and core α1,6-fucosylated TGFR-βⅡ was analysed semi-quantitatively with western blotting. The result supported the conclusions obtained from LCA lectin affinity histochemistry and lectin blot analysis. The expression level of FUT8 mRNA was also detected, and the results showed that 1-DNJ administration did not cause obvious inhibitory effects on FUT8 expression. Therefore, the mechanism of 1-DNJ to relieve the DCM-associated fibrosis can be concluded as the inhibition of N-GlcNAc formation and the reduction of substrate concentration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0728.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: theratyping; cystic fibrosis; functional characterization; personalized medicine; CFTR; rare mutation
Online: 31 May 2021 (10:11:41 CEST)
The new CFTR modulator combination, elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (Trikafta) was approved by the FDA in October 2019 for treatment of Cystic Fibrosis in patients 12 years of age or older who have at least one F508del mutation in one allele and a minimal-function or another F508del mutation in the other allele. However, there is a group of patients, in addition to those with rare mutations, in which despite the presence of a F508del in one allele, it was not possible to identify any mutation in the other allele. Today these patients are excluded from treatment with Trikafta. In Italy CF patients carrying F508del/unknown represent about 3% (156 patients) of the overall Italian CF patients. In this paper we show that the Trikafta treatment of nasal epithelial cells, derived from F508del/Unknown patients, results in a significant rescue of CFTR activity. Based on our findings, we think that the F508del/Unknown patients considered in this study could obtain clinical benefits from Trikafta treatment, and we strongly suggest their eligibility for this type of treatment.This study, adding further evidence in the literature, once again confirms the validity of functional studies on nasal cells in the cystic fibrosis theratyping and personalized medicine.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0444.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SMAD; Sjӧgren’s syndrome; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; fibrosis; TGF-β; inflammation
Online: 17 March 2021 (14:43:37 CET)
There is considerable interest in delineating the molecular mechanisms of action of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), considered as central player in a plethora of human conditions, including cancer, fibrosis and autoimmune disease. TGF-β elicits its biological effects through membrane bound serine/threonine kinase receptors which transmit their signals via downstream signalling molecules, SMADs, which regulate the transcription of target genes in collaboration with various co-activators and co-repressors. Until now, therapeutic strategy for primary Sjӧgren’s syndrome (pSS) has been focused on inflammation, but, recently, the involvement of TGF-β/SMADs signalling has been demonstrated in pSS, although TGFβ family members seems to have ambiguous effects on the function of pSS salivary glands. Based on these premises, this review highlights recent advances in unravelling the molecular basis for the multi-faceted functions of TGF-β in pSS that are dictated by orchestrations of SMADs, and describe TGF-β/SMADs value as both disease markers and/or therapeutic target for pSS.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0273.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Mycobacterium abscessus; non-tuberculous mycobacteria; antimicrobial drug discovery; cystic fibrosis
Online: 28 January 2019 (10:05:28 CET)
Mycobacteria are a large family of over 100 species, most of which do not cause diseases in humans. The majority of the mycobacterial species are referred to as nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), meaning they are not the causative agent of tuberculous (TB) or leprosy, i.e. Mycobacterium tuberculous complex and Mycobacterium leprae, respectively. The latter group is undoubtedly the most infamous, with TB infecting an estimated 10 million people and causing over 1.2 million deaths in 2017 alone (1). TB and leprosy also differ from NTM in that they are only transmitted from person to person and have no environmental reservoir, whereas NTM infections are commonly acquired from the environment (2) (3). It took until the 1950's for NTM to be recognised as a potential lung pathogen in people with underlying pulmonary disease and another 3 decades for NTM to be widely recognised by the medical community when NTM, particularly Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) was recognised as the most common group of opportunistic pathogens in AIDS patients (4). This review focusses on an emerging NTM called Mycobacterium abscessus (M. abs). M. abs is a rapidly growing (RGM) NTM that is responsible for opportunistic pulmonary infections in patients with structural lung disorders such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and bronchiectasis (5), as well as a wide range of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in humans (6) (7). M. abs is a weakly staining Gram-positive mycobacterium that is neverand is, like other NTM, most often seen in soil and aquatic environments (8). The bacillus-shaped bacterium is 1-6µm long and 0.2-0.5µm in diameter, with curved ends and the presence of cord factor, or trehalose 6-6'-dimycolate, a glycolipid found in the cell wall of virulent species of mycobacteria that results in "serpentine cord" cell morphology is sometimes observed (8) (9). On solid growth medium, M. abs can display either a rough (M. abs-R) or smooth (M. abs-S) morphotype, with the rough morphotype displaying a more virulent phenotype than its smooth variant (10). The rough morphotype is characterised by irregular parallel filaments that form ridges across the colony, whereas a smooth morphology is displays a wet, smooth colony with no filaments or ridges (79). This morphology is driven by cell wall glycopeptidolipid (GPL); a loss of GPL results in the reversion from rough to smooth morphotype (80) (81). Moreover, it has been shown using human tissue culture models of infection that M. abs-R is able to persist and multiply within the host macrophage whereas M. abs-S lacks this capacity, hence its role in virulence (82). Like all other mycobacteria, M. abs are aerobic, non-motile and acid-fast organisms with a characteristically thick, lipid-rich cell wall that is hydrophobic. Due to their unusually impermeable, thick cell wall, mycobacteria are notoriously resistant to many antibiotics, disinfectants and heavy metals (11). When the genome of M. abs became available in 2009, elucidation of the resistance mechanisms of M. abs became an area of focus for scientific research, as the considerable threat it poses to public health became more apparent (12) (13) (14). In this review we will discuss how we came to understand the pathogen, how it is currently treated, as well as a discussion of drug resistance mechanisms and novel treatments currently in development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0266.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: hypobaric hypoxia; myocardium; interstitial space; fibroblasts; fibrosis; succinic acid; rats
Online: 12 November 2018 (05:16:27 CET)
The myocardial extracellular matrix is not a passive entity, but rather a complex and dynamic microenvironment which represents an important structural and signaling system within the myocardium. Understanding the fundamental role of hypoxia and peroxidation in the genesis of many cardiovascular diseases has stimulated the development of strategies that can enhance the energy-producing functions of cells. Revealing the alterations in cardiac metabolism and function associated with sustained exposure to high altitude advances our understanding of hypoxia-related disease. The study was conducted on 26 adult males of Wistar rats weighing 220–310 g, divided into 3 groups. The first control group consisted of 6 intact animals, the second group included 10 rats which were exposed to hypobaric hypoxia without medication for 30 days. Third group was composed of 10 rats, which were medicated by succinic acid solution which was injected intraperitoneally once a day at the rate of 0.5 mL/100 g of animal body weight 15 minutes before hypoxic exposure for 30 days. Fibrosis in the myocardium inevitably leads to increased myocardial stiffness, resulting in systolic and diastolic dysfunction, neurohormonal activation and, ultimately, heart failure Changes in cardiac highenergy phosphate metabolism may underlie the myocardial dysfunction caused by hypobaric hypoxia. Reduced oxygen delivery by microvascular damage, increased perivascular fibrosis associated with reduced cellular oxygen availability may contribute to contractile failure. Succinic acid combined with inosine acts as a high-energy phosphate reserve, to maintain adenosine triphosphate at levels sufficient to support contractile function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0030.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: 1-DNJ; diabetic cardiomyopathy; fibrosis; N-glycosylation; α 1,6-Fucosylation
Online: 5 March 2018 (04:08:49 CET)
The Chinese drug Bombyx Batryticatus mori.L which also named as the white stiff silkworm is widely used in clinics, due to the significant antispasmodic and promotional blood circulation effects. In addition, its hypoglycemic effect is also recognized in recent years. From a pathological point of view, the enzymatic glycosylation and non-enzymatic glycation both have important roles in regulating properties of proteins and are associated with Diabetes. With the db/db mouse model, we examined the alterations of N-glycosylation of diabetic myocardium at primary stage and clarify the differences in glycosylation of myocardium before and after with 1-DNJ treatment. Hydrophilic chromatography solid phase extraction enrichment and LC-MS/MS identification was applied to profile the alternations in protein glycosylation. Meanwhile, N-glycan α1, 6-fucosylation alterations were profiled with LCA lectin blot and FITC-labelled lectin affinity histochemistry. Our results showed that AGES, hydroxyproline, CTGF and other serum indicators and fibrosis related cytokines expressional levels were reduced significantly by 1-DNJ in a dose-dependent manner. In order to verify this result, the well-known pathway of TGF-β/smad2/3 was picked out and α1, 6-core fucosylated TGFR-βⅡwas semi-quantified with western blot method. The result sustained the conclusion from LCA lectin affinity histochemistry and lectin blot analysis. The expressional level of α1, 6-fucosyltransferase mRNA was increased in the myocardium of db/db mice, however, the 1-DNJ administration did not show obvious inhibitory effect on FU8 expression. This unexpected result can be interpreted as 1-DNJ plays the roles by reducing the concentration of substrate rather than inhibiting α1，6-fucose glycosyltransferase expression. Meanwhile, 1-DNJ crude extract from BBm with some flavonoids accompany can also play the roles of anti-oxidant, and all the chemicals protect the diabetic myocardium from hyperglycemia damage commonly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0423.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; post-COVID pulmonary fibrosis; lung injury; anti-fibrotic agents
Online: 18 May 2021 (11:32:07 CEST)
Total 219 countries and territories globally suffering from the recent pandemic COVID-19 is now in its second wave with more brutality, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) . It has several symptoms like as persistent fever; respiratory illnesses; cough; fatigue; shortness of breath; loss of appetite; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; dysgeusia; acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) etc., and here the things to worry about is the development of pulmonary fibrosis after COVID-19 in both peoples who had died of due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or those who survived. Due to COVID-19, dysregulated immune response and wound repair mainly in elderly patients causes this secondary pulmonary fibrosis. Thus using anti-fibrotic agents could be meaningful in these circumstances although their efficacy in treating COVID-19 is subject to more detailed laboratory research works. In this review article you will get to know about the lung fibrosis generation due to COVID-19 infection, about anti-fibrotic agents and the currents challenges of this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0049.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: IgAN; miR-148b; let-7b; Tubular atrophy; Interstitial fibrosis; MEST-C
Online: 5 June 2020 (14:06:53 CEST)
IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is one of the most common forms of glomerular disease. It is diagnosed by the dominant or co-dominant IgA deposition in the mesangial region by histopathological examination of kidney biopsy. Kidney biopsy has its own complication and not performed frequently. microRNA (miRNA) is a small RNA, which plays an important role at the post transcriptional level by downregulating mRNAs. We have tried to establish a miRNA based biomarker for IgAN. We quantified miR-148b and let-7b from plasma in IgAN patients and healthy controls. Logistic regression models and receiver operating curve analysis used to analyze the miRNAs quantity and Oxford MEST-C scoring parameters (M- Mesangial hypercellularity, E- Endocapillary hypercellularity, S- Segmental glomerulosclerosis, T- Tubular atrophy/Interstitial fibrosis, C- Crescents). miR-148b and let-7b levels in IgAN were found to be higher by 2.9 and 5.48 times than the healthy controls, respectively. let-7b was positively correlated with complement C3 levels. Similarly, miR-148b was positively correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and negatively correlated with S, T, and blood pressure (BP). The sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) for miR-148b against T were 0.87, 0.77, and 0.85, respectively. The threshold value of miR-148b concentration was found to be 8479 to differentiate the severe condition of IgAN. Furthermore, the decrease in miR-148b concentration at a threshold point indicated the progression of the severity of the IgAN. It can also be used to predict the IgAN at an earlier stage.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0180.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: BMP; TGF-β; signaling; sex; chromosomes; XIST; genomic imprinting; hormones; fibrosis
Online: 11 May 2018 (09:49:48 CEST)
Crosstalk between the BMP and TGF-β signaling pathways regulates many complex developmental processes from the earliest stages of embryogenesis throughout adult life. In many situations, the two signaling pathways act reciprocally. For example, TGF-β signaling is generally pro-fibrotic whereas BMP signaling is anti-fibrotic and pro-calcific. Sex-specific differences occur in many diseases including cardiovascular pathologies. Differing ratios of fibrosis and calcification in stenotic valves suggests that BMP/TGF-β signaling may vary in men and women. In this review, we focus on the current understanding of the interplay between sex and BMP/TGF-β signaling and pose several unanswered questions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0141.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: AtbFinder; antibiotic susceptibility testing; cystic fibrosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; multi-drug re-sistant
Online: 11 October 2022 (04:56:32 CEST)
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is characterized by mutations of CFTR that lead to increased viscous secretions, bacterial colonization and recurrent infections. Chronic P. aeruginosa infection in persons with CF is associated with progressive and accelerated lung function decline despite aggressive antibiotic treatment. We report the management of respiratory infections in persons with CF with antibiotic therapy that was based on the recommendations of AtbFinder, a novel, rapid, culture-based diagnostic test system that employs a novel paradigm of antibiotic selection. AtbFinder mimics bacterial interactions with antibiotics at concentrations that can be achieved in affected tissues or organs, and models conditions of interbacterial interactions within polymicrobial biofilms. This open-label, single-arm, investigator‐initiated clinical study was designed to identify the efficacy of antibiotics selected using AtbFinder in persons with CF. Microbiological and clinical parameters were assessed following the change of antibiotic therapy to antibiotics selected with AtbFinder between January 2016 and December 2018 and retrospectively compared with clinical data collected between January 2013 and December 2015.We enrolled 35 persons with CF (33 with chronic P. aeruginosa colonization). Antibiotics selected using AtbFinder resulted in clearance of P. aeruginosa in 81.8% of subsequent cultures, decreased pulmonary exacerbations from 1.21 per patient per annum to 0, and an increase in predicted FEV1% up to 28.4% from baseline. The number of systemic antibiotic courses used in patients after switching to the AtbFinder selected therapy was reduced from 355 to 178. These findings describe the superiority of antibiotic regimens selected with AtbFinder compared with routine antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0422.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: cystic fibrosis; SARS-CoV-2; Covid-19, vaccine; antibody response; humoral response
Online: 27 July 2022 (13:29:14 CEST)
During the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, people with CF (pwCF) were considered a clinically vulnerable population. However, data on immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in pwCF are lacking. We conducted a prospective study enrolling all patients aged >12 and followed-up in our CF centre, who received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine in March-October 2021. They underwent a blood sample for quantification of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain immediately before receiving the first dose and after 3 and 6 months from the second dose. We enrolled 143 patients (median age: 21 years, range: 13-38); of whom 16 had a previous infection. Median antibody titer (interquartile range) after 3 months from vaccination was 1288 U/mL (730-2115) and decreased to 918 U/mL (534-1488) after 6 months (P<0.0001). Median values were higher among previously infected patients as compared to those naïve to SARS-CoV-2 (9107 vs 1229 U/mL at 3 months and 4810 vs 829 U/mL at 6 months, P<0.0001) with no significant differences in the rate of decline over time (P=0.135). All pwCF mounted an antibody response after two-doses of BNT162b2 vaccine that waned at 6 months from vaccination. Age ≥30 years and use of inhaled corticosteroids were associated with a lower humoral response.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0083.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COPD; Interstitial lung disease; Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema; interstitial lung abnormalities
Online: 6 May 2021 (12:56:28 CEST)
Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) have distinct clinical features, both diseases may coexist in a patient because they share similar risk factors such as smoking, male sex, and old age. Patients with both emphysema in upper lung fields and diffuse ILD are diagnosed with combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE), which causes substantial clinical deterioration. Patients with CPFE have higher mortality compared with patients who have COPD alone, but results have been inconclusive compared with patients who have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Poor prognostic factors for CPFE include exacerbation, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension. The presence of interstitial lung abnormalities, which may be an early or mild form of ILD, is notable among patients with COPD, and is associated with poor prognosis. Various theories have been proposed regarding the pathophysiology of CPFE. Biomarker analyses have implied that this pathophysiology may be more closely associated with IPF development, rather than COPD or emphysema. Patients with CPFE should be advised to quit smoking and undergo routine lung function tests, and pulmonary rehabilitation may be helpful. Various pharmacologic agents may be beneficial in patients with CPFE, but further studies are needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0409.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: liver fibrosis; hepatic stellate cells; coculture; transforming growth factor beta; oxygen tension
Online: 20 October 2020 (11:35:01 CEST)
During chronic liver injury, inflammation leads to the development of liver fibrosis— particularly due to the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). However, the involvement of inflammatory cytokines in HSC activation is unclear. Many existing in vitro liver models do not include these non-parenchymal cells (NPCs), and hence, do not represent the physiological relevance found in vivo. Herein, we demonstrated the hierarchical coculture of primary rat hepatocytes with NPCs such as the human-derived HSC line (LX-2) and the human-derived liver sinusoidal endothelial cell line (TMNK-1). The coculture tissue had higher albumin production and hepatic cytochrome P450 3A4 activity compared to the monoculture. We then further studied the effects of stimulation by both oxygen tension and key pro-fibrogenic cytokines, such as the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), on HSC activation. Gene expression analysis revealed that lower oxygen tension and TGF-β1 stimulation enhanced collagen type I, III, and IV, alpha-smooth muscle actin, platelet-derived growth factor, and matrix metallopeptidase expression from LX-2 cells in the hierarchical coculture after fibrogenesis induction. This hierarchical in vitro cocultured liver tissue could, therefore, provide an improved platform as a disease model for elucidating the interactions of various liver cell types and biochemical signals in liver fibrosis studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0127.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; liver fibrosis; amino acids; insulin resistance
Online: 7 May 2020 (13:29:39 CEST)
Altered amino acid levels have been found in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, it is not clear whether this alteration is due to altered hepatic metabolism or insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to clarify the association among amino acid levels, fatty liver, and liver fibrosis while eliminating the influence of insulin resistance. NAFLD and liver fibrosis were diagnosed using transient elastography and subjects were divided in three groups: normal, NAFLD, and liver fibrosis. To exclude the influence of insulin resistance, the subjects were matched using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The amino acid serum levels were compared among the groups. Of 731 enrolled subjects, 251 and 33 were diagnosed with NAFLD and liver fibrosis. Although significant differences were observed among the groups in the serum levels of most amino acids, all but those of glutamate and glycine disappeared after matching for HOMA-IR. The multivariate logistic regression revealed that glutamate, glycine, and HOMA-IR were independent risk factors for liver fibrosis. The altered serum levels of most amino acids were associated with insulin resistance, while the increase in glutamate and the decrease in glycine levels were strongly associated not only with insulin resistance, but also with altered liver metabolism in patients with liver fibrosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0266.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: β2-adrenergic receptor; cAMP; cardiac myocytes; CRISPR; Epac1; fibrosis; osteopontin; signal transduction
Online: 1 March 2019 (05:15:17 CET)
Cardiac β2-adrenergic receptors (ARs) are known to inhibit collagen production and fibrosis in cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes. The β2AR is a Gs protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and, upon its activation, stimulates generation of cyclic 3', 5'-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP has two effectors: protein kinase A (PKA) and the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac). Epac1 has been shown to inhibit cardiac fibroblast activation and fibrosis. Osteopontin (OPN) is a ubiquitous pro-inﬂammatory cytokine, mediating also fibrosis in several tissues, including the heart. OPN underlies several cardiovascular pathologies, including atherosclerosis and cardiac adverse remodeling. We have found that the cardiotoxic hormone aldosterone transcriptionally upregulates OPN in H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts, an effect prevented by endogenous β2AR activation. Additionally, CRISPR-mediated OPN deletion enhances cAMP generation in response to both b1AR and β2AR activation in H9c2 cardiomyocytes, leading to upregulation of Epac1 protein levels. These effects render β2AR stimulation capable of completely abrogating transforming growth factor (TGF)-β-dependent fibrosis in OPN-lacking H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Finally, OPN interacts constitutively with Gas subunits in H9c2 cardiac cells. Thus, we have uncovered a direct inhibitory role of OPN in cardiac β2AR anti-fibrotic signaling via cAMP/Epac1. OPN blockade could be of value in the treatment and/or prevention of cardiac fibrosis.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: cardiac fibroblasts; WNT3a; WNT5a; beta-catenin; TGF-beta signalling; IL-11; cardiac fibrosis
Online: 29 July 2021 (13:15:00 CEST)
Cardiac fibrosis is a pathological process associated with development of heart failure. TGF-β and WNT signaling have been implicated in pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis, however little is known about molecular cross-talk between these two pathways. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of exogenous canonical WNT3a and non-canonical WNT5a in TGF-β-activated human cardiac fibroblasts. We found that WNT3a and TGF-β induced -catenin-dependent response, whereas WNT5a prompted AP-1 activity. TGF-β triggered profibrotic signature in cardiac fibroblasts, and co-stimulation with WNT3a or co-activation of the β-catenin pathway with GSK3β inhibitor CHIR99021 enhanced collagen I and fibronectin production and development of active contractile stress fibers. In the absence of TGF-β, neither WNT3a nor CHIR99021 exerted profibrotic response. On a molecular level, in TGF-β-activated fibroblasts WNT3a enhanced phosphorylation of TAK1 and production and secretion of IL-11 but showed no effect on Smad pathway. Neutralization of IL-11 activity with the blocking anti-IL-11 antibody effectively reduced profibrotic response of cardiac fibroblasts activated with TGF-β and WNT3a. In contrast to canonical WNT3a, co-activation with non-canonical WNT5a suppressed TGF-β-induced production of collagen I. In conclusion, WNT/β-catenin signaling promotes TGF-β-mediated fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition by enhancing IL-11 production. Thus, the uncovered mechanism broadens our knowledge on molecular basis of cardiac fibrogenesis and defines novel therapeutic targets for fibrotic heart diseases.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0480.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: endothelial; infection; basement membrane; fibroblast; fibrosis; nsp7; hypothesis; pathogenesis; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:28:19 CEST)
Severe COVID-19 is associated with viraemia and multiple organ disease. Similar clinicopathological features have been previously seen in SARS and MERS. Clinically, the severity of SARS, MERS and COVID-19 has been associated with the presence of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV2 viraemia in affected patients. In vitro work has looked at the pattern of viral entry and release from polarised epithelial cells infected by coronaviruses. This work has demonstrated a correlation between the severity of a coronavirus infection and the ability of the virus to reach and infect the basal surface of host cells. It has been postulated that this ability helps the virus invade the bloodstream of the host, resulting in a systemic infection with multiple organ involvement. Here we propose that basal surface release and entry of COVID-19 into and out of cells at epithelial-endothelial interface plays a key pathogenic role in severe COVID-19 disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0103.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: heart disease; atrial fibrillation; atrial fibrosis; transcriptome; microRNA; RNA sequencing; syndecan-1; miR-302
Online: 7 February 2022 (19:01:55 CET)
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a form of sustained cardiac arrhythmia and microRNAs (miRs) play crucial roles in pathophysiology of AF. To identify novel miR-mRNA pairs, we performed RNAseq from atrial biopsies of AF and non-AF patients. Differentially expressed miRs (11-down and 9-up) and mRNAs (95-up and 82-down) were identified and hierarchically clustered in a heat-map. Subsequently, GO, KEGG, and GSEA analyses were run to identify deregulated pathways. Then, miR targets were predicted in miRDB database, and a regulatory network of negatively correlated miR-mRNA pairs was constructed using Cytoscape. To select potential candidate genes from GSEA analysis, top-50 enriched genes in GSEA were overlaid with predicted targets of differentially deregulated miRs. Besides, protein-protein-interaction (PPI) network of enriched genes in GSEA was constructed, and subsequently GO and canonical pathway analyses were run for genes in PPI network. Our analyses showed that TNF-α, p53, EMT, and SYDECAN1 signaling were among the highly affected pathways in AF samples. SDC-1 (syndecan-1) was the top-enriched gene in p53, EMT, and SYDECAN1 signaling. Consistently, SDC-1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in atrial samples of AF patients. Among negatively correlated miRs, miR-302b-3p was experimentally validated to suppress SDC-1 transcript levels. Overall, our results suggested that miR-302b-3p/SDC-1 axis may involve in pathogenesis of AF.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0450.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Fibrosis; Integrin; TGFβ; Therapeutic target; Drug; Inhibitor; Monoclonal antibody; α8β1; α11β1; Hepatic stellate cell
Online: 29 October 2021 (10:16:13 CEST)
Huge effort has been devoted to developing drugs targeting integrins over 30 years, because of the primary roles of integrins in the cell-matrix milieu. Five αv-containing integrins, in the 24 family members, have been a central target of fibrosis. Currently, a small molecule against αvβ1 is undergoing a clinical trial for NASH-associated fibrosis as a rare reagent aiming at fibrogenesis. Latent TGFβ activation, a distinct talent of αv-integrins, has been intriguing as therapeutic target. None of the αv-integrin inhibitors, however, has been in the clinical market. αv-integrins commonly recognize an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence, and thus the pharmacophore of inhibitors for the 5-integrins is based on the same RGD structure. The RGD preference of the integrins, at the same time, dilutes ligand specificity, as the 5-integrins share ligands containing RGD sequence such as fibronectin. With the inherent little specificity in both drugs and targets, “disease specificity” has become less important for the inhibitors than blocking as many αv-integrins. In fact, an almighty inhibitor for αv-integrins, pan-αv, was in a clinical trial. On the contrary, approved integrin inhibitors are all specific to target integrins, which are expressed in cell-type specific manner: αIIbβ3 on platelets, α4β1, α4β7 and αLβ2 on leukocytes. Herein, “disease specific” integrins would serve as attractive targets. α8β1 and α11β1 are selectively expressed in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and distinctively induced upon culture activation. The exceptional specificity to activated HSCs reflects rather “pathology specific” nature of these new integrins. The monoclonal antibodies against α8β1 and α11β1 in preclinical examinations may illuminate the road to the first medical reagents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0585.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Functional receptor; Hepatitis B virus; Polymorphism; Sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide; hepatic fibrosis; Egypt
Online: 26 July 2021 (14:42:42 CEST)
Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SLC10A1 gene, coding for a functional receptor of hepatitis B virus (HBV), sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP), may influence the susceptibility, the outcome, and disease course of HBV infection in some populations. Aim: to determine the prevalence of SNPs of NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277, and their relationship with chronic HBV infection in a group of Egyptian patients. Methods: 137 patients with HBV and 65 healthy controls were enrolled, and the patients were divided into two groups; group I chronic HBV infection (68 patients with normal ALT and minimal or no liver necroinflammation or fibrosis) and group II chronic hepatitis B (69 patients with elevated ALT and moderate or severe liver necroinflammation). They were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, laboratory investigations, abdominal ultrasound, and liver stiffness measurement using both Echosens® Fibroscan and acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI). Real time PCR TaqMan 5’ allelic discrimination assay was applied to detect the SNPs in NTCP gene, rs2296651 and rs943277. Results: On studying the rs2296651 variant, all controls and patients had genotype GG without any significant association with HBV infection or disease progression. However, the rs943277 variant in all controls and 98% of patients had genotype GA, except for two chronic HBV infection patients who had genotype AA, but no significant difference between patients and controls was found. The non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment ARFI, AST/platelet's ratio (APRI), and fibrosis-4 score (FIB-4) could predict the stages of fibrosis in agreement with Fibroscan with AUCOR 0.8, 0.79, and 0.76, respectively. Conclusion: These findings may suggest that there is no relation between these SNPs of the NTCP gene and susceptibility or chronicity of HBV infection in the Egyptian population. We also suggest that the use of the non-invasive methods for liver fibrosis assessment, ARFI, FIB-4, and APRI may decrease the need for liver biopsies in prediction of significant hepatic fibrosis in chronic HBV patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0354.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: heart failure; mid-range ejection fraction; atrial fibrillation; cardiac inflammation; cardiac fibrosis; risk factors.
Online: 15 July 2021 (10:18:01 CEST)
Aims: Heart failure (HF) is frequently accompanied by atrial fibrillation (AF), a combination that worsens the outcomes of both diseases. Despite advances in the treatment of AF, it remains a serious and unsolved problem for clinicians and researchers. The aim of this study was to examine risk factors for incidents of paroxysmal and persistent AF in patients having heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction (HFmrEF). Methods. Overall, 71 patients with HFmrEF and non-valvular AF, including paroxysmal and persistent types, were enrolled in this study. As a control group, 42 HFmrEF patients without AF were also enrolled. All patients underwent detailed physical examination, including resting electrocardiography, echocardiography, and 24-hour ambulatory Holter monitoring. Levels of the inflammation markers high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and the fibrotic marker transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were measured by ELISA and expressed as odds ratios. Results: We show that paroxysmal AF was associated with higher diastolic blood pressure, whereas both paroxysmal and persistent forms of AF were associated with more frequent occurrence of hypertensive crisis episodes and greater body mass index. Progression from paroxysmal to persistent AF was associated with significant ventricular remodeling. Persistent and paroxysmal AF were associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers when compared to HFmrEF patients having no AF. In addition, TGF-1 was significantly increased in HFmrEF patients having persistent but not paroxysmal AF. Conclusions: Occurrence of AF, first paroxysmal and then persistent, in HFmrEF patients is associated with left ventricular remodeling and the appearance of systemic inflammatory and fibrotic markers. Changes in those parameters may be indicators by which to identify patients at increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Further studies are needed to determine the prognostic validity of these markers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0237.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: renovascular hypertension; chronic kidney disease; oxidative stress; fibrosis; (S)-2,9-dihydroxy-1,10-dimethoxy-aporphine
Online: 17 May 2018 (07:50:15 CEST)
Boldine, a major aporphine alkaloid found in Chilean boldo tree, is a potent antioxidant. Oxidative stress plays a detrimental role in the pathogenesis of kidney damage in Renovascular hypertension (RVH). The activation of the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS) is crucial in the development and progression of hypertensive renal damage and TGF-β is closely associated with the activation of RAS. In the present study, we assessed the effect of boldine on the progression of kidney disease using the 2K1C hypertension model and identifying mediators in the RAS such as TGF-β, that could be modulated by this alkaloid. Toward this hypothesis, rats (n=5/group) were treated with boldine (50mg/kg/day, gavage) for 6 weeks after 2K1C surgery (pressure≥180mmHg). Kidney function was evaluated by measuring of proteinuria/creatininuria ratio (U prot/U Crea), oxidative stress (OS) by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The evolution of systolic blood pressure (SBP) was followed weekly. α-SMA and Col III were used as markers of kidney damage; ED-1 and Osteopontin (OPN) as markers of inflammation. We also explored the effect in RAS mediators, such as ACE-1 and TGF-β. Boldine treatment reduced UProt/UCrea ratio, plasma TBARS and slightly reduced SBP in 2K1C hypertensive rats, producing no effect in control animals. In 2K1C rats treated with boldine the levels of α-SMA, Col III, ED-1 and OPN were lower when compared to 2K1C rats. Boldine prevented the increase in ACE-1 and TGF-β in 2K1C rats, suggesting that boldine reduces kidney damage. These results suggest that boldine could potentially be used as a nutraceutic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0023.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: pSrc; Glutathione; Na/K-ATPase; metabolic prints; metabolomics; NAFLD; NASH; high-fat diet; fibrosis; inflammation
Online: 25 May 2022 (08:37:22 CEST)
BACKGROUND. Two sequelae of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), ESLD and HCC, have become the leading causes for liver transplantation in the Western. The present study aims to approach the cellular metabolic disturbances involved in NASH progression that are associated with microbiota community changes. METHODS. Metabolic effects and microbiota community changes were explored in the murine with NASH progression by blocking the Na/K-ATPase/Src/reactive oxygen amplification loop using the synthetic targeting peptide pNaKtide. DNA from the terminal ileum microbiota habitat was obtained and amplified by PCR to develop DNA bacterial phylogenic sequence analysis of wild type and treated animals at 12, 24 and 48 weeks. Induced changes by pSrc normalization at 24 weeks were correlated with liver morphological changes, intestinal CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and liver macrophage CD14+ expression. Differences among groups were evaluated by ANOVA/t-test and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). RESULTS. Microbiota communities varied significantly at all time points (12, 24 and 48 weeks), with an increase of Verrucomicrobia and a decrease of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes in the HFD group. Microbiota community changes regressed to their wild-type state at 24 weeks on treated animals, and those changes were associated with a decrease in liver inflammation and senescence, lower ileum CD4+/CD8+ T cells and higher liver CD14+ cells (p<0.05). Concomitantly, the metabolic disturbances in our diet-induced NASH model were normalized by NKA/Src signaling blockage and exercise with a paucity of apoptotic activity, mitigation of cell senescence, and regression of liver fibrosis (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS. pSrc inhibition at caveolar α1-Na/K-ATPase rescinded NASH-related metabolic disturbances establishing resident physiological microbiota communities with concomitant paucity on apoptotic activity and regression of liver fibrosis; effects that were associated with both gut and liver T-lymphocyte responses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0171.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi; TGF-β; heart fibrosis; extracellular matrix; signaling pathways; SMAD2; p-38 MAPK; c-Jun
Online: 14 May 2019 (12:28:59 CEST)
Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is a determinant for inflammation and fibrosis in cardiac and skeletal muscle in Chagas disease. To determine its regulatory mechanisms, we investigated the response of T. cruzi-infected cardiomyocytes (CM), cardiac fibroblasts (CF) and L6E9 skeletal myoblasts to TGF-β. Cultures of CM, CF and L6E9 were infected with T. cruzi (Y strain) and treated with TGF-β (1–10 ng/mL, 1h or 48 h). Fibronectin (FN) distribution was analyzed by immunofluorescence and Western blot (WB). Phosphorylated SMAD2 (PS2), phospho-p38 (p-p38), and phospho-c-Jun (p-c-Jun) signaling were evaluated by WB. CF and L6E9 showed an increase in FN from 1 ng/mL of TGF-β, while CM displayed FN modulation only after 10 ng/mL treatment. CF and L6E9 showed higher PS2 levels than CM, while p38 is less stimulated in CF than CM and L6E9. After T. cruzi infection, localized FN disorganization was observed in infected CF and L6E9. T. cruzi induced an increase in FN in CF cultures, mainly in uninfected cells. Infected CF cultures treated with TGF-β showed a reduction in PS2 and an increase in p-p38 and p-c-Jun levels. Our data suggest that p38 and c-Jun pathways may be participating in the fibrosis regulatory process mediated by TGF-β after T. cruzi infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0256.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; pathological cardiac hypertrophy; sarcomere; cardiac myocyte; cardiac fibroblast; cardiac fibrosis; myocyte-fibroblast interaction; extracellular matrix
Online: 12 July 2021 (12:13:53 CEST)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited cardiovascular disorder affecting 1 in 500 people in the general population. Although characterized by asymmetric left ventricular hypertrophy, cardiomyocyte disarray and cardiac fibrosis, HCM is in fact a highly complex disease with heterogenous clinical presentation, onset and complications. While HCM is generally accepted as a disease of the sarcomere, variable penetrance in families with identical genetic mutations challenges the monogenic origin of HCM and instead implies a multifactorial cause. Furthermore, large scale genome sequencing studies revealed that many genes previously reported as causative of HCM in fact have little or no evidence of disease association. These findings thus call for a re-evaluation of the sarcomere-centered view of HCM pathogenesis. Here, we summarize our current understanding of sarcomere-independent mechanisms of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, highlight the role of extracellular signals in cardiac fibrosis, and propose an alternative but integrated model of HCM pathogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0029.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: blood component removal; C-reactive protein; CRP apheresis; COVID-19; multiple organ fail-ure; pulmonary fibrosis; SARS virus
Online: 2 March 2022 (02:34:23 CET)
Background: The fulminant course of COVID-19, triggered by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents with a high mortality rate and still lacks a causative treatment. C-reactive protein (CRP) has been shown to increase dramatically during the disease progression and correlates with deleterious outcomes. Selective CRP apheresis can reduce circulating CRP levels fast and effective. Methods: Seven hospitalized patients with documented severe COVID-19 progression, elevated CRP plasma levels (> 100 mg/L) and signs of respiratory failure were treated with CRP apheresis. 2-12 CRP apheresis sessions were performed generally in 24 h time intervals and depending on CRP plasma levels. Results: CRP apheresis reduced CRP plasma levels by up to 84% within a few hours, without exhibiting side effects in any patient. Despite signs of severe lung infiltration in all patients, only one patient died. The other patients showed improvements within the chest x-ray after CRP apheresis and were able to recover regardless of intubation and/or ECMO (4 patients). All remaining six patients were discharged from the hospital in good clinical condition. All patients had comorbidities. Conclusions: This case series presents a mortality rate of only 14%, which is dramatically lower than expected from the presented CRP levels as well as comorbidities and ventilation require-ments. Our clinical observations regarding the here presented seven patients support the hypoth-esis that CRP is a candidate to be therapeutically targeted in the early stage of severe COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0439.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: extracellular matrix; glycosaminoglycans; inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis; Crohn´s disease; fibrosis; stenosis; magnetic resonance imaging; elastography; histopathology
Online: 23 August 2021 (13:20:23 CEST)
Work from the last years indicate that the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a direct role in vari-ous cellular processes including proliferation, migration and differentiation. Besides homeostat-ic processes, its regulatory function in inflammation becomes more and more evident. In in-flammation like inflammatory bowel disease, the ECM composition is constantly remodeled which can result in a structuring of fistulizing disease course. Thus, tracking early ECM changes might bear the potential to predict the disease course. In this review, we will provide an over-view of relevant diagnostic methods focusing on ECM changes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0246.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: epigenetics, rehabilitation, DNA methylation, histone modification, HDAC, exercise, health span, heart failure, neurodegeneration, cancer, lung fibrosis, bone formation.
Online: 27 August 2018 (15:58:21 CEST)
A large body of evidence reports about the positive effects of physical activity in pathophysiological conditions associated with aging. Physical exercise, alone or in combination with other medical therapies, unquestionably causes reduction of symptoms in chronic non-transmissible diseases often leading to significant amelioration or complete healing. The molecular basis of this exciting outcome, however, remain largely obscure. Epigenetics, exploring at the interface between environmental signals and the remodelling of chromatin structure, promises to shed light on this intriguing matter possibly contributing to the identification of novel therapeutic targets. In this review, we shall focalize on the role of sirtuins (Sirts) a class III histone deacetylases (HDACs) which function has been frequently associated, often with a controversial role, to the pathogenesis of aging-associated pathophysiological conditions including cancer, cardiovascular, muscular, neurodegenerative, bones and respiratory diseases. Numerous studies, in fact, demonstrate that Sirt-dependent pathways are activated upon physical and cognitive exercises linking mitochondrial function, DNA structure remodelling and gene expression regulation to designed medical therapies leading to tangible beneficial outcomes. However, in similar conditions, other studies assign to sirtuins a negative pathophysiological role. In spite of this controversial effect, it is doubtless that studying sirtuins in chronic diseases might lead to an unprecedented improvement of life quality in the elderly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0099.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Interstitial lung disease; Diffuse interstitial lung disease; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; High-resolution computed tomography; Complex Networks; Computer aided diagnosis
Online: 4 August 2022 (04:14:44 CEST)
Diffuse interstitial lung diseases (DILD) are a heterogeneous group of over 200 entities, some with dramatical evolution and poor prognostic. Because of their overlapping clinical, physiopathological and imagistic nature, successful management requires early detection and proper progression evaluation. This paper tests a complex networks (CN) algorithm for imagistic aided diagnosis fitness for the possibility of achieving relevant and novel DILD management data. 65 DILD and 31 normal high resolution computer tomography (HRCT) scans were selected and analyzed with the CN model. The algorithm is showcased in two case reports and then statistical analysis on the entire lot shows that a CN algorithm quantifies progression evaluation with a very fine accuracy, surpassing functional parameters’ variations. The CN algorithm can also be successfully used for early detection, mainly on the ground glass opacity Hounsfield Units band of the scan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0069.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: extracellular vesicles (EVs); urinary extracellular vesicles (uEVs); exosomes; biomarkers; liquid biopsy; cirrhosis; fibrosis; hepatocarcinoma (HCC); alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Online: 1 February 2021 (18:15:22 CET)
(1) Background: Alcohol abuse has a high impact on the mortality and morbidity related to a great number of diseases and is responsible for the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). It remains challenging to detect and evaluate its severity, which is crucial for prognosis. In this work, we studied if urinary EVs (uEVs) could serve in diagnose and evaluate cirrhosis in ALD. (2) Methods: uEVs characterization by cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) and Western blotting (WB) was performed in a cohort of 21 controls and 21 cirrhotic patients. Then, proteomics of urinary EVs (uEVs) was carried out in a second cohort of 6 controls and 8 patients in order to identify new putative biomarkers for cirrhosis in ALD. (3) Results: uEVs concentration, size and composition were altered in cirrhotic patients. A total of 1304 proteins were identified in uEVs, and 90 of them were found to be altered in cirrhotic patients. (4) Conclusions: uEVs could be considered as a tool and a supplier of new biomarkers for ALD, whose application would be especially relevant in chronic patients. Yet, further research is necessary to obtain more relevant result in clinical terms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0578.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Unfolded protein response; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Glucose-regulated protein 78 kD; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Crohn’s disease; Fibrosis; Wound healing
Online: 12 January 2021 (17:03:10 CET)
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress triggers a series of signaling and transcriptional events termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). Severe ER stress is associated with the development of fibrosis in different organs including lung, liver, kidney, heart, and intestine. ER stress is an essential response of epithelial and immune cells in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease. Intestinal epithelial cells are susceptible to ER stress-mediated damage due to secretion of a large amount of proteins that are involved in mucosal defense. In other cells, ER stress is linked to myofibroblast activation, extracellular matrix production, macrophage polarization, and immune cell differentiation. This review focuses on the role of UPR in the pathogenesis in IBD from an immunologic perspective. The roles of macrophage and mesenchymal cells in the UPR from in vitro and in vivo animal models are discussed. The links between ER stress and other signaling pathways such as senescence and autophagy are introduced. Recent advances in the understanding of the epigenetic regulation of UPR signaling are also updated here. The future directions of development of the UPR research and therapeutic strategies to manipulate ER stress levels are also reviewed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0623.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: cross-polarization optical coherence tomography (CP OCT); ultrasound; urethral pain syndrome; epithelial atrophy; epithelial hyperplasia; inflammation; fibrosis; image evaluation
Online: 26 September 2020 (11:23:45 CEST)
Urethral pain syndrome (UPS) is still a pathology in which the diagnosis is formulated as a "diagnosis of exclusion". The exact pathogenetic mechanisms are not yet fully understood and clear recommendations for the prevention and treatment of UPS are absent. The goal of the study was to assess the condition of the tissues in the female urethra in UPS, by using transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and cross-polarization optical tomography (CP OCT). TVUS showed an expansion in the diameter of the internal lumen of the urethra, especially in the proximal region compared with the norm. Compression elastography revealed areas with increased stiffness (presence of fibrosis) in urethral and surrounding tissues. When studied with CP OCT it was shown that with UPS, the structure of the tissues in most cases was changed: trophic alterations in the epithelium (hypertrophy or atrophy) and fibrosis of underlying connective tissue were observed. The proximal fragment of the urethra with UPS underwent changes identical to those of the bladder neck. This paper showed that the introduction of new technology — CP OCT — in conjunction with TVUS will allow verification of structural changes in tissues of the lower urinary tract at the level of their architectonics and will help doctors understand better the basics of the UPS pathogenesis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0115.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: : N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfatase; Arylsulfatase B; chondroitin 4-sulfate; dermatan sulfate; sulfated glycosaminoglycans; mucopolysaccharidosis; cystic fibrosis; malignancy; proteoglycans; Warburg effect
Online: 8 September 2022 (03:07:30 CEST)
The enzyme N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfatase (Arylsulfatase B; ARSB) was originally identified as a lysosomal enzyme which was deficient in Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI; Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome). Newly directed attention to the impact of ARSB in human pathobiology indicates a broader, more pervasive effect, encompassing roles as a tumor suppressor, transcriptional mediator, redox switch, and regulator of intracellular and extracellular-cell signaling. By controlling the degradation of chondroitin 4-sulfate and dermatan sulfate by removal or failure to remove the 4-sulfate residue at the non-reducing end of the sulfated glycosaminoglycan chain, ARSB modifies the binding or release of critical molecules into the cell milieu. These molecules, such as galectin-3 and SHP-2, in turn, influence crucial cellular processes and events which determine cell fate. Identification of ARSB at the cell membrane and in the nucleus expands perception of the potential impact of decline in ARSB activity. Regulation of availability of sulfate from chondroitin 4-sulfate and dermatan sulfate may also affect sulfate assimilation and production of vital molecules, including glutathione and cysteine. Increased attention to ARSB in mammalian cells may help to integrate and deepen our understanding of diverse biological phenomenon and to approach human diseases with new insights.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0416.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Malassezia; Chronic diseases; psoriasis; atopic dermatitis; chronic rhinosinusitis; asthma; cystic fibrosis; HIV infection; inflammatory bowel disease; colorectal cancer; neurodegenerative diseases
Online: 24 September 2021 (08:13:07 CEST)
Malassezia are lipid-dependent basidiomycetous yeast of the normal skin microbiome, although Malassezia DNA has been recently detected in other body sites and has been associated with cer-tain chronic human diseases. This new perspective raises many questions. Are these yeasts truly present in the investigated body site or were they contaminated by other body sites, adjacent or not? Does this DNA contamination come from living or dead yeast? If these yeasts are alive, do they belong to the resident mycobiota or are they transient colonizers which are not permanently established within these niches? And, finally, are these yeasts associated with certain chronic diseases or not? In an attempt to shed light on this knowledge gap, we critically re-viewed the 31 published studies focusing on the association of Malassezia spp. with chronic human diseases, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (AD), chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), HIV infection, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer (CRC), and neurodegenerative diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: antifungal resistance; isavuconazole; cystic fibrosis; pulmonary disease; Aspergillus fumigatus; pulmonary aspergillosis; respiratory disease; antifungal stewardship; therapeutic drug monitoring; minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)
Online: 16 February 2022 (05:12:39 CET)
Background: The burden of resistant fungal infection is rising in patients with pulmonary disease. Options for antifungal therapy are limited, and the only orally-available antifungals, the triazoles, demonstrate inter and intra-patient variability, non-linear kinetics, toxicity, drug interactions and increasing antifungal resistance. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole has been necessary to ensure their safety and efficacy, but is considered unnecessary for the newest triazole isavuconazole, use of which is increasing. Aims: To characterise isavuconazole susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates in a tertiary respiratory referral centre to understand prevalence of isavuconazole antimicrobial resistance. To retrospectively review experience of isavuconazole use in this setting, assessing tolerability and therapeutic drug monitoring. Methods: A retrospective observational analysis of adult patients with respiratory disease in a tertiary hospital setting between Sept 2016 and Aug 2021. Clinical cultures were collected and triazole Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) were recorded (based on Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI method)). Isavuconazole trough drug levels were carried out as part of the standard of care. Clinical outcomes of treatment were evaluated, along with drug tolerance and TDM. Results: During the study period, isavuconazole susceptibility testing was performed on 26 Aspergillus spp isolates. 80.8% of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates were non-wild type and had isavuconazole MIC > 1mg/L, and 73.0% had MIC above the EUCAST (European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing) epidemiological cut-off (ECOFF) of 2mg/L. There was good correlation between isavuconazole MIC and voriconazole MIC (r =0.7, p=0.0002). 54 patients had isavuconazole therapy over the study period with a median duration of 7.7 months (IQR 0.79 - 16.42). 67% of patients were able to tolerate isavuconazole, despite toxicity with prior azole treatment being the primary indication for use (in 61.8%). Increased age (r=0.29; p=0.03 (95%CI 0.02,0.52)) and gender (r for female sex=-0.31; p=0.027 (95%CI -0.52,0.036) were associated risk factors for development of adverse events (AEs). 127 Isavuconazole TDM levels were performed over the study period with 90% >1mg/L and 72% >2mg/L. Dose change from manufacturer’s dose recommendation, however, was required in 15% of patients to achieve a serum drug concentration above the EUCAST ECOFF or Area of technical uncertainty (ATU) value of 2mg/L. Conclusion: In our study, we show use of Isavuconazole as salvage therapy in chronic pulmonary fungal disease setting with high prevalence of azole resistance. Isavuconazole MICs demonstrated good correlation with voriconazole MICs suggesting the latter could be a useful surrogate marker for isavuconazole susceptibility. Although Isavuconazole achieved excellent serum drug concentrations at standard dose compared to other azole drugs, we highlight the importance of antifungal stewardship and TDM monitoring to optimise therapy in this setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0374.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: aldosterone; apoptosis; cardiac myocyte; eplerenone; fibrosis; finerenone; G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK)-5; mineralocorticoid receptor; mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA); signal transduction
Online: 17 September 2020 (05:24:29 CEST)
Background: In the heart, aldosterone (Aldo) binds the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) to exert damaging, adverse remodeling-promoting effects. We recently showed that G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-kinase (GRK)-5 blocks the cardiac MR by directly phosphorylating it, thereby repressing its transcriptional activity. MR antagonist (MRA) drugs block the cardiac MR reducing morbidity and mortality of advanced human heart failure. Non-steroidal MRAs, such as finerenone, may provide better cardio-protection against Aldo than classic, steroidal MRAs, like spironolactone and eplerenone. Herein, we sought to investigate potential differences between finerenone and eplerenone at engaging GRK5-dependent cardiac MR phosphorylation and subsequent blockade. Methods: We used the cardiomyocyte cell line H9c2 and neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs). Results: GRK5 phosphorylates the MR in H9c2 cardiomyocytes in response to finerenone but not to eplerenone. Unlike eplerenone, finerenone alone potently and efficiently suppresses cardiac MR transcriptional activity, thus displaying inverse agonism. GRK5 is necessary for finerenone`s inverse agonism, since GRK5 genetic deletion renders finerenone incapable of blocking cardiac MR transcriptional activity. Eplerenone alone does not fully suppress cardiac MR basal activity regardless of GRK5 expression levels. Finally in NRVMs, GRK5 is necessary for the anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrotic effects of both finerenone and eplerenone against Aldo, as well as for the higher efficacy and potency of finerenone at blocking Aldo-induced apoptosis and fibrosis. Conclusions: Finerenone, but not eplerenone, induces GRK5-dependent cardiac MR inhibition, which underlies, at least in part, its higher potency and efficacy, compared to eplerenone, as an MRA in the heart. GRK5 acts as a co-repressor of the cardiac MR and is essential for efficient MR antagonism in the myocardium.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0338.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2; (soluble) ACE2; eosinophil; asthma; IL-10; Lung fibrosis; hypercapnic acidosis; hypoxia; infarction; hypertension; cardiac dysfunction; respiratory distress; coagulopathy; Angiotensin; renin; Ang (1-7); Ang (1-9); Mas receptor; AT2 receptor
Online: 6 May 2020 (04:40:25 CEST)
The article describes the rational for inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) pathways as specific targets in patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 in order to prevent the establishment of positive feedback loops triggered by COVID-19 in some predisposed subjects. Making use of a large quantity of published reports in which human/rodent ACE2 pathway inhibitors were administered in vivo, it is hypothesized a possible therapeutic pharmacological intervention through an inhibition strategy of the zinc metalloprotease ACE2 and its downstream pathway for SARS-CoV-2 patients. Of even more interest, metal (zinc) chelators and renin inhibitors (both FDA approved drugs) may also work alone or in combination in inhibiting the positive feedback loops, initially triggered by COVID-19 and subsequently sustained by hypoxia independently on viral trigger, when both arms of renin-angiotensin system (ACE2 and ACE) are upregulated, leading to critical, advanced and untreatable stages of the disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0314.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics Keywords: hepatic fibrosis; Mac-2 binding protein glycated isomer; apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage; patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3; α-fetoprotein; PIVKA-II
Online: 14 July 2020 (13:55:16 CEST)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver-related mortality, and liver transplantation. There is reasonable epidemiological cohort data to recommend surveillance of patients with NAFLD based upon the incidence of HCC. The American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) expert review published in 2020 recommend that NAFLD patients with cirrhosis or advanced fibrosis estimated by non-invasive tests (NITs) should consider HCC surveillance. NITs include fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index, the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) test, FibroScan, and MR elastography. The recommended surveillance modality is abdominal ultrasound (US) given that it is cost effective and noninvasive with good sensitivity. However, US is limited in obese patients and those with NAFLD. In NAFLD patients with a high likelihood of having an inadequate US or if US is attempted but inadequate, CT or MRI may be utilized. The GALAD score, consisting of age, gender, AFP, lens culinaris-agglutinin-reactive fraction of AFP (AFP-L3), and protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II), can help to identify high risk of incident HCC in NAFLD patients. Innovative parameters including Mac-2 binding protein glycated isomer , type IV collagen 7S, free apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage, combination of single nucleoside polymorphisms are expected to be established. Considering a large number of NAFLD population, optimal screening tests must meet several criteria including high sensitivity, cost effectiveness and availability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0278.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: monocyte chemoattractant protein-1; MCP-1; C-C motif chemokine ligand 2; CCL2; childhood asthma; bronchial asthma; severe asthma; cystic fibrosis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Online: 23 April 2018 (09:00:00 CEST)
C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), also called monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is a key β-chemokine involved in the migration of monocytes and macrophages, playing a significant role in the inflammatory responses in the airways. We aimed to assess the serum levels of MCP-1/CCL2 in a pilot cross-sectional study of Bulgarian children with bronchial asthma (BA) and cystic fibrosis (CF). Forty-two children were recruited to the study as follows: twenty with BA, twelve with CF and ten healthy children. Serum MCP-1/CCL2 levels were measured using ELISA. We found higher serum level of MCP-1/CCL2 in children with BA (191.09±64.96 pg/ml) and CF (258.51±76.45 pg/ml) compared to healthy children (70.30±64.30 pg/ml, p=0.022, and p=0.068, respectively). Younger patients with BA had higher levels of MCP-1/CCL2, as well as children with CF, with levels decreasing gradually with age. We observed also higher levels of MCP-1/CCL2 in children with moderate to severe BA compared to mild BA. We documented the significantly higher level of MCP-1/CCL2 in children with these chronic pulmonary diseases than in healthy controls, which suggesting that investigation of serum MCP-1/CCL2 levels could turn out to be beneficial for the severity of the disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0441.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: dystrohinopathy; Duchenne muscular disease; Becker muscular disease; dystrophic deficient cardiomyopathy; cardiac fibrosis; renin angiotensin system; angiotensin 2; angiotensin converter enzyme inhibitors; angiotensin receptor blockers; heart failure
Online: 18 December 2020 (07:18:16 CET)
Dystrophin-deficient cardiomyopathy (DDC) is currently the leading cause of death in patients with dystrophinopathies. Targeting myocardial fibrosis (MF) has become a major therapeutic goal in order to prevent the occurrence of DDC. We aimed to review and summarize the current evidence about the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in the development and perpetuation of MF in DCC. We conducted a comprehensive search of peer-reviewed English literature on PubMed about this subject. We found increasing preclinical evidence from studies in animal models during the last 20 years pointing out a central role of RAAS in the development of MF in DDC. Local tissue RAAS acts directly mainly through its main fibrotic component angiotensin II (ANG2) and its transducer receptor (AT1R) and downstream TGF-b pathway. Also, it modulates the actions of most of the remaining pro-fibrotic factors involved in DDC. Despite limited clinical evidence, RAAS blockade constitutes the most studied, available and promising therapeutic strategy against MF and DDC. Conclusion: Based on the evidence reviewed, it would be recommendable to start RAAS blockade therapy through angiotensin converter enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or AT1R blockers (ARBs) alone or in combination with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRa) at the youngest age after the diagnosis of dystrophinopathies, in order to delay the occurrence or slow the progression of MF, even before the detection of any cardiovascular alteration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0210.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: microscopic polyangiitis; granulomatosis with poliangiitis; eosinophilic granulomatosis with poliangiitis; kidney biopsy; pauci-immune focal and segmental necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis; tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis; kidney survival
Online: 10 August 2021 (07:59:00 CEST)
ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) pose a significant risk of kidney failure, kidney biopsy remains a key prognostic tool. Pathology classification of the AAV glomerulonephritis (GN) developed by Berden et al showed correlation between GN classes and kidney outcomes; ANCA Renal Risk Score (ARRS) included tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis (TA/IF) as an additional parameter for risk assessment. We aimed to evaluate kidney survival across AAV GN classes and ARRS groups. A single-center retrospective study included 85 adult patients with biopsy-proven AAV kidney disease followed in 2000-2020. Primary outcome was kidney survival at the end of 18 [5; 66] months follow-up, kidney death considered as CKD stage 5. We found significant difference in the kidney survival for sclerotic, mixed, crescentic and focal AAV GN classes: 19%, 76.2%, 91.7% and 100% respectively (p=0.009). Kidney survival was 0%, 75.6% and 100% for the high, median and low risk ARRS groups respectively (p<0.001); TA/IF analysis showed kidney survival 49.6% vs 87.7% for widespread and mild TA/IF respectively (р=0.003). Kidney survival was significantly lower in anti-MPO-ANCA versus anti-PR3-ANCA carriers (50.3% and 78.1% respectively, р=0.045). We conclude that unfavorable AAV kidney outcomes associated with sclerotic GN class by Berden’s classification, ARRS high risk group, and anti-MPO-ANCA subtype.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: vascular homing peptide; cell penetrating peptide; angiogenesis; vascular heterogeneity; fibrosis; targeted delivery; decorin; transforming growth factor-β (tgf-β), bystander effect, cendr peptide; tissue regeneration; regenerative medicine
Online: 10 December 2019 (15:02:39 CET)
Growth factors, chemokines and cytokines guide tissue regeneration after injuries. However, their applications as recombinant proteins are almost non-existent due to the difficulty of maintaining their bioactivity in the protease-rich milieu of injured tissues in humans. Safety concerns have ruled out their systemic administration. The vascular system provides a natural platform for circumvent the limitations of the local delivery of protein-based therapeutics. Tissue selectivity in drug accumulation can be obtained as organ-specific molecular signatures exist in the blood vessels in each tissue, essentially forming a postal code system (“vascular zip codes”) within the vasculature. These target-specific “vascular zip codes” can be exploited in regenerative medicine as the angiogenic vasculature forming in the regenerating tissues has a unique molecular signature. The identification of vascular homing peptides capable of finding these unique “vascular zip codes” after their systemic administration provides an opportunity for the target-specific delivery of therapeutics to tissue injuries. Therapeutic proteins can be “packaged” together with homing peptides by expressing them as multi-functional recombinant proteins. These multi-functional recombinant proteins provide an example how molecular engineering gives a compound an ability to home to regenerating tissue and enhance its therapeutic potential. Regenerative medicine has been dominated by the locally applied therapeutic approaches despite these therapies are not moving to clinical medicine with success. There might be a time to change the paradigm towards systemically administered, target organ-specific therapeutic molecules in future drug discovery and development for regenerative medicine
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0166.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: constitutive androstene receptor; cytochrome P450, fibrosis; gender difference; high-fat-cholesterol (HFC) diet; necrosis; stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive 5/Dmcr rats; sulfotransferase, pregnane X receptor; UGP-glucuronosyltransferase
Online: 23 May 2017 (07:54:46 CEST)
During middle age, women are less susceptible to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) than men. Thus, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these sexual differences using an established rat model of NASH. Mature female and male stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive 5/Dmcr rats were fed control or high-fat-cholesterol (HFC) diets for 2, 8, and 14 weeks. Although HFC-induced hepatic fibrosis was markedly less severe in females than in males, only minor gender differences were observed in expression levels of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP)7A1, CYP8B1 CYP27A1, and CYP7B1, and multidrug resistance-associated protein 3, and bile salt export pump, which are involved in fibrosis-related bile acid (BA) kinetics. However, the BA detoxification-related enzymes UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) and sulfotransferase (SULT) 2A1, and the nuclear receptors constitutive androstene receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR), were strongly suppressed in HFC fed males, and were only slightly changed in HFC-diet fed females. Expression levels of the farnesoid X receptor and its small heterodimer partner were similarly regulated in a gender-dependent fashion following HFC feeding. Hence, the pronounced female resistance to HFC-induced liver damage likely reflects sustained expression of the nuclear receptors CAR and PXR and the BA detoxification enzymes UGT and SULT.