REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0364.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: breast cancer; Nerve Growght Factor (NGF); TrkA; p75NTR; NGFR; pro-NGF; angiogenesis; invasion; metastasis; diagnosis; prognosis; treatment
Online: 23 September 2022 (09:18:12 CEST)
Breast cancer represents the most frequent cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women. Thus, the prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer appears to be of primary urgency as well as the development of new treatments able to improve its prognosis. Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is a neurotrophic factor that plays a key role in the regulation of neuronal functions thought the binding to the Tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) and the Nerve Growth Factor receptor or Pan-Neurotrophin Receptor 75 (NGFR/p75NTR). Also, its precursor (pro-NGF) can extert biological activity by forming a trimeric complex with NGFR/p75NTR and sortilin or by binding to TrkA receptors with low affinity. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed that NGF is synthesized and released by breast cancer cells and has mitogen, antiapoptotic and angiogenic effects on these cells through the activation of different signaling cascades that involve TrkA and NGFR/p75NTR receptors. Conversely, pro-NGF signaling has been related to breast cancer invasion and metastasis. Other studies suggested that NGF and its receptors could represent a good diagnostic and prognostic tool, as well as promising therapeutic targets for breast cancer. Here, we comprehensively summarize and systematically review the current experimental evidence on this topic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0161.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Crocin; Multiple scleroses; Cognition; BDNF; NGF; Demyelination
Online: 8 August 2022 (13:46:09 CEST)
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Crocin on brain neuroterophins, cognition, sensory and motor dysfunction and compare to fingolimod effects in experimental model of demyelination with Ethidium Bromide EB in female Wistar rats. Methods: Animals were assigned in to 8 groups; Sham, Sham operated (ShOp), EAE, crocin treated (Cr5,10,20 mg/kg), Vehicle, Fingolompd (Fing) and fingolimod + crocin (Cr+Fing). Demyelination was induced by single dose injection of 10 μl of EB 0.1% into the fourth ventricle of the brain. Crocin and fingolimod were applied for 21 days, daily, oral gavage. BDNF, NGF1, nerve conduction velocities, tail flake latency, balance and behavioral variables were sampled and analyzed by paired t-test and ANOVA test with repeated post hoc measurements. Results: The results showed that crocin improves all studied factors, but remarkable imrovments were observed in dosage of 10 mg/kg. Crocin (10mg/kg) and fingolimod (1mg/kg) significantly improved cognition variables in open field test, sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity, tail flick latency and clinical signs (p<005). In addition, applying of crocin co-administered with fingolimod led to significant increases in all assessed factors, greater than crocin or fingolimod intervention alone (α≤0.001). Conclusion: Based on the current findings, crocin can improve the level of brain neurotrophins, exploratory behavior and nerve conduction after demyelination as close as fingolimod results. So, crocins can be considered as a neuro supportive agent in the management of degenerative diseases maybe similar to fingolimod mechanism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0454.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: casein hydrolysate; Val-Pro-Pro; Ile-Pro-Pro; brachial ankle pulse wave velocity; advanced glycation end products; facial pigmentation
Online: 25 April 2020 (02:42:35 CEST)
Casein hydrolysate improves arterial stiffness, as estimated by brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), in untreated hypertensive subjects. Facial pigmentation is a useful biomarker for arterial stiffness. This trial evaluated whether casein hydrolysate improves facial pigmentation in association with changes in arterial stiffness. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 80 non-hypertensive Japanese participants randomly assigned to receive either active tablets containing casein hydrolysate or placebo for 48 weeks. Facial pigmentation and baPWV were measured at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Other biochemical atherosclerosis-related parameters were also measured, including advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Changes in facial pigmentation showed a significant difference between the groups. Change in baPWV was significantly better in the active than in the placebo group. In contrast, no significant association was seen between changes in facial pigmentation and those in baPWV. Among other atherosclerosis-related factors, changes in advanced glycation products (AGEs) were significantly decreased in the active compared to the placebo group. Further, changes in facial pigmentation were positively correlated with those in AGEs. Changes in AGEs were independently associated with changes in facial pigmentation. Casein hydrolysate improves facial pigmentation in non-hypertensive participants. Casein hydrolysate may have beneficial effects on glycation stress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0402.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: ELTD1; EMT; pro-angiogenic; myofibroblast
Online: 23 September 2021 (11:34:28 CEST)
ELTD1 is expressed in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells and has a role in angiogenesis. It has been classified as an adhesion GPCR, but as yet, no ligand has been identified and its function remains unknown. To establish its role, ELTD1 was overexpressed in endothelial cells. Expression and consequently ligand independent activation of ELTD1 results in EndMT with a loss of cell-cell contact, formation of stress fibres and mature focal adhesions and an increased expression of smooth muscle actin. The effect was pro-angiogenic, increasing Matrigel network formation and endothelial sprouting. RNA-Seq analysis after the cells had undergone EndMT revealed large increases in chemokines and cytokines involved in regulating immune response. Gene set enrichment analysis of the data identified a number of pathways involved in myofibroblast biology suggesting that the endothelial cells had undergone a type II EMT. This type of EMT is involved in wound repair and is closely associated with inflammation implicating ELTD1 in these processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0142.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Urology Keywords: NGF/TrkA signaling; mitogenesis; invasiveness; EMT; 3D models; castrate-resistant prostate cancers
Online: 11 April 2019 (12:55:18 CEST)
Resistance to hormone therapy and disease progression is the major challenge in clinical management of prostate cancer (PC). Drugs currently used in PC therapy initially show a potent antitumor effect. Nevertheless, PC gradually develops resistance, relapses and spreads. Most patients develop, indeed, castrate-resistant PC (CRPC), which is almost incurable. The nerve growth factor (NGF) acts on a variety of non-neuronal cells by activating the NGF tyrosine-kinase receptor, TrkA. NGF signaling is deregulated in PC. In androgen-dependent PC cells, TrkA mediates the proliferative action of NGF through its cross talk with the androgen receptor (AR). Epithelial PC cells, however, acquire the ability to express NGF and TrkA, as the disease progresses, indicating a role for NGF/TrkA axis in PC progression and androgen-resistance. We here report that once activated by NGF, TrkA mediates proliferation, invasiveness and epithelial-mesenchyme transition (EMT) in various CRPC cells. NGF promotes organoid growth in 3D models of CRPC cells, and specific inhibition of TrkA impairs all these responses. Thus TrkA represents a new biomarker to target in CRPC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0443.v1
Subject: Keywords: critical sized bone defect; bone tissue regeneration; nano-gelatin/ hydroxyapatite fiber (NGF); metformin.
Online: 19 February 2021 (14:35:11 CET)
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has gradually evolved as a promising therapeutic strategy to the modern healthcare of the aging and diseased population. In this study, we developed a novel nano-fibrous scaffold and verified its application in the critical bone defect regeneration. The metformin-incorporated nano-gelatin/hydroxyapatite fibers (NGF) was produced by electrospinning, cross-linked, and then characterized by XRD and FTIR. Cytotoxicity, cells adhesion, cell differentiation, and quantitative osteogenic gene and protein expression were analyzed by bone marrow stem cells from rat. Rat forearm critical bone defect model was performed for the in vivo study. The nano-gelatin/hydroxyapatite fibers (NGF) were characterized by their porous structures with proper interconnectivity without significant cytotoxic effects; the adhesion of bone marrow stem cells on the nano-gelatin/hydroxyapatite fibers (NGF) could be enhanced. The osteogenic gene and protein expression were upregulated. Post implantation, the new regenerated bone in bone defect was well demonstrated in the NGF samples. We demonstrated that the metformin-incorporated nano-gelatin-hydroxyapatite fibers greatly improved healing potential on the critical sized bone defect. Although metformin-incorporated nano-gelatin/hydroxyapatite fibers had advantageous effectiveness during bone regeneration, further validation is required before it can be applied to clinical applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0172.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: contrast media; troponin; Pro-BNP; interference
Online: 17 January 2019 (03:10:04 CET)
Background and objectives: The fact that the results of troponin and Nt-proBNP interfere from biotin caused some commercial firms to update their measurement methods. In particular, the clinical incompatibility of cardiac test results may affect the risk of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to investigate the interference effects of 7 different contrast agents on cardiac markers (Troponin-I, Nt-proBNP, Mass CK-MB, CK, AST, LDH) and coagulation tests (PT, APTT). Materials and Methods: Seven different contrast medias were added into control materials by using interference protocol. Concentration of PT, APTT, CK, AST, LDH, Mass CK-MB, Troponin-I, Nt-proBNP were measured by Sysmex CS-2100, Abbott c16000, Siemens Centaur XP and AFİAS-6 analyzer. The amount of deviations from target values were calculated. Results: 7 different contrast medias caused negative interference in troponin levels between 57.43% and 62.87%. It was found that different contrast medias produced false negativity in the pro-BNP test ranging from 6.11% to 96.01%. Enzymes and coagulation tests have been less affected. Conclusions: Different contrast medias may cause false negative cTnI and pro-BNP. Therefore, the contrast medias which causes the least interference should be preferred. The results of samples taken in the first hour of contrast imaging should be interpreted with care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0214.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: pro-environmental behavior; factorial experiment; adolescence; intervention
Online: 10 May 2021 (15:27:23 CEST)
The current study aimed to assess the components of the intervention program “Aquatic”, targeted at the reduction of bottled water use in adolescence. The Comprehensive Action Determination Model was chosen as a theory of change for the development and evaluation of pro-environmental behavior intervention. We examined the impact of five experimental intervention factors (water bottles, promo video, prompts, goal setting, and feedback) on eight intervention program outcomes: Perceived behavioral control, Social norm, Habit, Awareness of need, Awareness of consequence, Personal norm, Intention, and Behavior. The study sample consisted of 419 adolescents (52.8% girls, Mage = 15.21, SDage = .64) from Lithuania. A factorial experimental study design was used, and a Latent change modeling approach was applied for the evaluation of individual and combined effects of intervention components. Promo video, Prompts, and Goal setting had a positive effect on Awareness of consequence, Social norm, and Awareness of need, respectively. Receiving a Water bottle in combination with the Promo video had a positive effect on Perceived behavioral control and in combination with Prompts as well as Goals – on Awareness of need. Water bottles, Promo-video, Prompts, and Goals, but not Feedback, had value in the promotion of targeted pro-environmental outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0015.v2
Online: 3 April 2020 (15:08:50 CEST)
Ligand and structure based virtual screening approaches were applied to clinical stage drugs as well as those approved for human use in an attempt to repurpose drugs for potential use against COVID-19. This approach involved ligand-based shape similarity searches, structure-based docking and pharmacophore searches with the help of pharmacophore queries derived from available ligands and receptor structures. Several compounds appeared as hits in pharmacophore and shape similarity searches and those docking to the SARS-CoV-2 viral 3CL protease were then ranked on the basis of docking scores.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0407.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: thematic analysis; pro-environmental behavior; motivation; environmental activists
Online: 24 August 2022 (04:00:15 CEST)
We conduct a thematic analysis of a U.S. adult sample’s self-reported motives and perception of environmental activists’ motives to engage in pro-environmental behavior via a qualitative online survey. We identified themes using a two-stage coding procedure, whereby the research team first helped to code all content into one or more of 17 inductive content categories, then the lead investigator examined themes in each of the categories and created 5 themes based on both inductive and theoretical (e.g., moral foundations theory) considerations: a) harm and care, b) purity, c) waste and efficiency, d) spreading awareness, and e) self-interest (mostly non-financial). Endorsement of themes were qualitatively similar across individuals’ own self-described motives and perceptions of environmental activists’ motives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0473.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: PCOS; obesity; inflammation; specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs)
Online: 24 August 2021 (14:07:27 CEST)
Introduction: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinologic disorder that affects 5-15 % of women of their reproductive age and is a frequent cause of infertility. Major symptoms include hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, a characteristic multi-follicular morphology of the ovary, an elevated ratio of LH/FSH, and often obesity and/or insulin resistance. PCOS also represents a state of chronic low-grade inflammation that is closely interlinked with the metabolic features. Inflammatory processes consist of the acute inflammatory response and resolution processes initiated concomitantly. "Classical" pro-inflammatory lipid mediators like prostaglandins (PG), leukotrienes (LT), or thromboxanes (TX) are derived from arachidonic acid (AA) and are crucial for the initial response. Resolution processes are driven by four families of so-called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs): resolvins, maresins, lipoxins, and protectins. SPM biosynthesis starts from the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA, DPA, or EPA via certain hydroxylated intermediates (18-HEPE, 17-HDHA, 14-HDHA). The present study aimed to establish lipid mediator profiles of PCOS patients compared to healthy women to identify differences in their resolutive and pro-inflammatory lipid parameters. Material and Methods: Blood samples were taken (20 ml), separated into plasma and serum, and analyzed by HPLC/MS-QQQ. Fifteen female patients (18-45 years) were diagnosed with PCOS according to Rotterdam criteria, and five healthy women, as comparator group, were recruited for the study. The main outcome measures were: Pro-inflammatory lipid mediators (PG, LT, TX) and their precursor AA; SPMs (Resolvins, Maresins, Protectins, Lipoxins), their precursors EPA, DHA, DPA, and their active biosynthesis pathway intermediates (18-HEPE, 17-HDHA, 14-HDHA). Ratio [(sum of pro-inflammatory molecules)/sum of SPMs]. Results: The level of pro-inflammatory parameters in serum was significantly higher in PCOS-affected women. The ratio [(sum of pro-inflammatory molecules) / (sum of SPMs plus hydroxylated intermediates)] reflecting the inflammatory state was significantly lower in the group of healthy women. Conclusion: There is a strong pro-inflammatory state in PCOS patients. Further research will clarify whether supplementation with SPMs or their precursors may improve this state.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0053.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: pro-environmental behaviours; recycling; teenagers’ engagement; gamified learning activities
Online: 5 May 2022 (16:39:33 CEST)
Edcraft, a recycling and upcycling event for Malaysian secondary school students, particularly in the Klang Valley area in 2020. The event's goal was to look into gamified solutions to encourage recycling and upcycling among the students’ age group. Lectures, talks, practical exercises and games were used to teach students about climate change and environmental preservation. According to a post-event survey, the percentage of participants who recycle has climbed significantly: 76% now recycle, compared to only 24% previously. The study discovered that gamification-based activities could effectively facilitate recycling and upcycling behaviours. Such solutions can be applied to encourage behavioural changes in different contexts. By interviewing 15 Edcraft students in a focus group study setting, researchers could better understand the motivations. Themes such as 'social connections are vital', 'convenience and rewards are significant motivators', 'gamified activities help attract and engage teens' and 'environmental knowledge is crucial to prolonging recycling' emerged from the thematic analysis. This manuscript proposes gamified activities to induce a behavioural change in upcycling, and the findings yield helpful insights to fuel pro-environmental behaviours.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0384.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: supervisor identification; employability perceptions; unethical pro-supervisor behavior (UPSB)
Online: 19 October 2020 (14:07:15 CEST)
Under some employment circumstances, individuals in some organizations are willing to engage in unethical behaviors that benefit one’s own supervisors who have a great power to decide the levels of evaluation and compensation for each individual. In this study two hypotheses were examined. First, based on social identification theory, we hypothesized that individuals’ feeling a sense of oneness with one’s own supervisors promote unethical pro-supervisor behaviors (UPSB). Second, based on a person-situation interactionist model, we hypothesized that this positive relationship is strengthen if the individual perceives lower levels of one’s own employability. Data were collected from 185 individuals of various types of organizations in South Korea. A time-lagged field study supported our hypotheses. In particular, supervisor identification was positively related to UPSB. Further, for individuals with a weaker employability perception, supervisor identification was positively related to UPSB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0145.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: NHEJ; Cernunnos; Cyren; pro-B cells; lymphocyte; genetic interaction
Online: 6 September 2020 (15:50:10 CEST)
Non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is a DNA repair pathway required to detect, process, and ligate DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) throughout the cell cycle. The NHEJ pathway is necessary for V(D)J recombination in developing B and T lymphocytes. During NHEJ, Ku70 and Ku80 form a heterodimer that recognizes DSBs and promotes recruitment and function of downstream factors PAXX, MRI, DNA-PKcs, Artemis, XLF, XRCC4, and LIG4. Mutations in several known NHEJ genes result in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Inactivation of Mri, Paxx or Xlf in mice results in normal or mild phenotype, while combined inactivation of Xlf/Mri, Xlf/Paxx, or Xlf/Dna-pkcs leads to late embryonic lethality. Here, we describe three new mouse models. We demonstrate that deletion of Trp53 rescues embryonic lethality in mice with combined deficiencies of Xlf and Mri. Furthermore, Xlf-/-Mri-/-Trp53+/- and Xlf-/-Paxx-/-Trp53+/- mice possess reduced body weight, severely reduced mature lymphocyte counts, and accumulation of progenitor B cells. We also report that combined inactivation of Mri/Paxx results in live-born mice with modest phenotype, and combined inactivation of Mri/Dna-pkcs results in embryonic lethality. Therefore, we conclude that XLF is functionally redundant with MRI and PAXX during lymphocyte development in vivo. Moreover, Mri genetically interacts with Dna-pkcs and Paxx.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0078.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: mixed cereal grains; pro-inflammatory cytokines; inflammation; colon carcinogenesis
Online: 4 July 2019 (11:41:51 CEST)
The chemopreventive effects of various mixed cereal grain (MCG) samples on azoxymethane (AOM, 10 mg/kg) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS, 2% w/v)-induced colorectal cancer (CRC) in C57BL/6J mice were studied. The main MCG preparation consisted of fermented brown rice (FBR), glutinous brown rice, glutinous Sorghum bicolor, glutinous Panicum miliaceum, Coix lacryma-jobi and black soybean at an appropriate mixing ratio. Other MCG preparations contained rice coated with 5% Phellinus linteus and 5% Curcuma longa (MGR-PC), or 10% Phellinus linteus (MCG-P), or 10% Curcuma longa (MCG-C). Consumption of dietary MCG-PC by CRC mice significantly increased colon length, decreased the ratio of colon weight to length, and reduced the number of colon tumors. Similar effects, although to a lower extent, were observed in CRC mice fed with MCG-P, followed by those fed with MCG-C, MCG, FBR or white rice (WR). MCG-PC significantly suppressed colonic neoplasia, and decreased the levels of various cytokines (tumor necrosis factor: Tnf, interleukin 1 beta: Il1b, interleukin 6: Il6, and interferon gamma: Ifng) in serum and colon tissue of the CRC mice. In addition, MCG-PC increased the mRNA expressions of tumor protein p53(Tp53) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A(Cdkn1a), activated pro-apoptotic caspase 3(Casp3), and reduced expression of both mRNA and protein of inducible inducible nitric oxide synthase 2 (Nos2), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (Ptgs2), and cyclin D1(Ccnd1) in colon tissue. These findings suggest that than compared with other cereal grain preparations, MCG-PC had a greater activity against AOM/DSS-induced CRC by reducing intestinal inflammation, and modulating the expression of certain carcinogenesis related factors (Nos2, Ptgs2, Tp53, Cdkn1a, Ccnd1 and Casp3) in colon tissue of CRC mice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0001.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: fashion trendsetting; creativity; pro-environmental behaviors; gender; Korea; U.S.
Online: 1 October 2017 (06:00:21 CEST)
According to Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, cultures differ in cultural values and norms; values and norms that may influence differences in trendsetting, creative traits and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Further, because men and women have been socialized within particular cultures, gender differences may exist in trendsetting, creative traits and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Trendsetters have characteristics that are interrelated with creative traits and behaviors, perhaps inclining them to endorse pro-environmental behaviors. However, the interrelationships among these variables remain unexplored. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine these three variables among college students in South Korea and the United States, specifically looking at cultural and gender differences. Participants were 225 Korean college students and 221 U.S. college students. Questionnaires included demographic items and scales measuring trendsetting, creative traits and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha reliability, MANOVA, ANOVA and SNK posthoc test. Results show that U.S. (vs Korean) students indicated greater trendsetting and creative traits and behaviors but not greater pro-environmental behaviors. Fashion trendsetting groups in both Korea and the U.S. differed in creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors. Among Korean trendsetting groups, reluctant adopters scored lowest on creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors. Among U.S. trendsetting groups, trendsetters scored highest on creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors; reluctant adopters scored lowest on pro-environmental behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are provided for researchers and marketers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0284.v1
Subject: Keywords: Religious beliefs; Public pro-environmental behavior; Environmental risk perception; China
Online: 24 January 2020 (14:35:21 CET)
Although the positive relationship between religion and environmental behavior is well-argued, empirical research about the relationship between religion and public pro-environmental behavior is relatively lacking. This paper aims to explore the group differences in the influence of religion on public pro-environmental behavior and the mediating role of environmental risk perception in religion and public pro-environmental behavior. Using the Chinese General Social Survey data in 2013 for empirical analysis, this study’s results show that there are group differences in the impact of religion on public pro-environmental behavior. Women with religious beliefs are more willing to engage in public pro-environmental behavior than those without religious beliefs. Religious believers over the age of 45 are more willing to participate in public pro-environmental behavior than those without religious beliefs. Political participants with religious beliefs are more willing to practice public pro-environmental behavior than those without religious beliefs. In addition, we found that environmental risk perception can act as partial mediation in religious and public pro-environmental behavior. In other words, religious beliefs are deeply embedded in local political and social culture. In order to correctly understand the relationship between religion and public pro-environmental behavior, it is necessary to consider religion in a specific cultural background.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0170.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: finance; governance; water; sanitation; enabling environment; pro-poor; systems thinking
Online: 16 October 2019 (04:06:46 CEST)
Responding to the substantial finance gap for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 and 6.2, the Water and Sanitation sector has mobilized to launch new blended finance vehicles with increasing frequency. The sustainability and scale-up of financial solutions is intended to support increased access to unserved, marginalized populations. However, without addressing foundational issues in the sector, any finance mechanism, whether public, private or blended, will be a short-term, band-aid solution and the sector will continue the cycle of dependency on external assistance. This paper presents the results of a collaborative effort of Water.org, IRC WASH and the World Bank Water Global Practice. Drawing from the latest research on effective public financial management and based on evidence from the countries where these organizations work, the paper demonstrates that sustainable success in mobilising finance at large scale is dependent on a reasonable level of performance across 10 foundational areas. The paper presents evidence on the 10 foundational areas and discusses why other aspects of finance and governance while necessary are not sufficient. Better coordination amongst all development partners and governments, including a collective commitment to and prioritization of working on these foundational issues, is a necessary first step.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0289.v1
Subject: Keywords: lipopolysaccharide; Cyclosporin A; pro-inflammatory cytokines; anti-inflammatory cytokines; rabbit
Online: 13 November 2018 (03:47:12 CET)
In this study, we evaluated the effects of Cyclosporine A (CsA) on Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cytokine production in the genital tract of female rabbits. Twelve sexually mature and healthy female rabbits were randomly divided into four groups (n = 3 each). The rabbits in the LPS group were given an intrauterine infusion of Escherichia coli LPS (4 mg/kg body weight (BW)). Rabbits in the CsA group were given CsA (20 mg/kg BW). Rabbits in the LPS + CsA group were given LPS (4 mg/kg BW) and CsA (20 mg/kg BW). The control group received only LPS and CsA carrier. The gene expression and protein levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were observed using qRT-PCR and immuno-histochemical (IHC) assay, respectively. Our study showed that IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, and TGF-β were expressed in female genital organs. The LPS challenge increased the mRNA expression of IL-6 and TNF-α in the uterine body and IL-1β in the uterotubal junction compared to the control group. CsA increased the basal mRNA expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (i.e., IL-4 in the uterine body, uterotubal junction, and oviductal ampulla; IL-10 in the cervix, oviductal isthmus, and ampulla; and TGF-β in the uterotubal junction and oviductal ampulla) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e., IL-6 and IL-8 in the cervix; IL-1β in the oviductal isthmus; TNF-α in the oviductal ampulla; and IFN-γ in the uterine body compared to the control group). In addition, CsA inhibited the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 in the uterine body, uterotubal junction, and oviductal isthmus; TNF-α in the uterine body; and IFN-γ in the uterotubal junction and oviductal isthmus induced by the LPS challenge. The IHC assay showed the LPS-induced increase in protein production of IL-6 in the uterine body and oviductal isthmus. CsA increased the protein production of IL-10 in the cervix, uterine body, oviductal ampulla, and isthmus. Moreover, CsA decreased the protein production of IL-6 in the uterine body and oviductal isthmus induced by LPS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0197.v1
Subject: Keywords: pro-environmental behavior, social-ecological systems, conservation, social networks, landscape structure
Online: 15 May 2019 (12:24:16 CEST)
Conservation of natural habitats in human-dominated landscapes is critical for halting biodiversity loss. Maintaining habitat quantity and connectivity requires landscape-level collective action, which results from environmental decisions made by individual land owners. We investigate how individual decision making in a rural collective translates into quantitative differences in landscape-level environmental outcomes. Behavioral science has become a critical domain of knowledge in conservation, but little attention has been paid to how multiple behavioral drivers determine the success of collective environmental action. We developed a social-ecological model for landscape-level conservation using a detailed data set of 600 land owners in New Zealand. With the model, we tested whether the effect of social influence networks on collective conservation action was altered by their interplay with land owners’ personal characteristics, connections to cross-scale actors and local environmental contexts. Interactions between multiple behavioral drivers determined the environmental outcomes of collective action in unexpected ways by modifying, muting or amplifying the effects of single drivers. Importantly, we detected a social-ecological mechanism for rapid change in the extent of protected habitats, which can explain highly successful or failed environmental outcomes of collective conservation. Further, when environmentally desirable and undesirable behaviors spread simultaneously through the social network, homophily and network cohesion hinder desirable environmental outcomes. This effect can be modified by other drivers such as social responses to local environmental change. Thus, understanding how the antagonistic and synergistic effects of behavioral drivers can be best utilized in conservation will benefit biodiversity and ensure benefits that humans obtain from biodiversity.
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Water Conservation; Customer Segmentation; Pro-Environmental Behaviour; Smart Water Meters; Water-use Feedback
Online: 7 May 2021 (09:41:56 CEST)
In response to droughts, various media campaigns and water saving instructions are released, often however, with only temporary water conservation effects. A promising development is this regard are Digital Water Meters (DWM) that provide near real-time water-use feedback. Despite extensive DWM experience in some water-stressed regions, a profound understanding of the initial attitude towards DWM and message tailoring opportunities are rarely empirically explored. Therefore, we aim to obtain insights into the attitude towards the introduction of DWM and explore opportunities for message tailoring, a topic of extra relevance as we may be on the threshold of a large-scale implementation in many world regions. Messages tailored to (i) normative beliefs and attitudes on drinking water, (ii) water-use activity and (iii) phase of decision-making, seem particularly compatible with DWM. Through a survey (n=1037) in the Netherlands, we observe that 93% of respondents have no objections utility investments in DWM and that 78% would accept a free DWM because of improved leakage detection, lower costs and environmental considerations. Finally, instead of sociodemographic factors, we observed that an attitude-based customer segmentation approach proved an especially useful predictor of respondent’s motivation to endorse DWM and forms a promising basis for water conservation message-tailoring strategies.
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: propolis; pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines; LPS stimulation; bone marrow derived macrophages; metabolomics
Online: 14 September 2020 (00:36:37 CEST)
Previous research has shown that propolis has immunomodulatory activity. Extracts from two UK propolis samples were assessed for their anti-inflammatory activities by investigating their ability to alter the production of the cytokines tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6 and IL-10 from mouse bone marrow derived macrophages co-stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The propolis extracts suppressed secretion of IL-1β and IL-6 with less effect on TNFα. In addition, propolis reduced the levels of nitric oxide formed by LPS-stimulated macrophages. Metabolomic profiling was carried out by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) on a ZIC-pHILIC column. LPS increased the levels of intermediates involved in nitric oxide biosynthesis; propolis lowered many of these. Also, LPS produced an increase in itaconate and citrate and propolis treatment increased itaconate still further while greatly reducing citrate levels. Moreover, LPS treatment increased levels of GSH and intermediates in its biosynthesis while propolis treatment boosted these still further. In addition, propolis treatment greatly increased levels of UDP-sugar conjugates. Overall, the results showed that propolis extracts exert an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and by metabolic reprogramming of LPS activity in macrophages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0244.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: activated inflammatory macrophages; quercetin; pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokine genes; STAT3 protein phosphorylation; TLR2
Online: 20 November 2019 (16:04:42 CET)
Our previous studies demonstrated that quercetin (Q) could be ingested and metabolized by macrophages and exerted prophylactic immuno-stimulatory activity and therapeutic anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated macrophages ex vivo. To further clarify its possible anti-inflammatory mechanism, Q was selected to treat mouse peritoneal macrophages that obtained from female BALB/c mice exposed to LPS i.p. for 12 h. Relative gene expression of pro-/anti-inflammatory (TNF-α/IL-10) cytokines and components of inflammation-related intracellular signaling pathways (TLR2, TLR4, NF-κB, JAK2 and STAT3) was analyzed using two-step reverse transcription (RT) and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). STAT3 protein phosphorylation was determined using an in-cell ELISA method. As a result, Q and its metabolite quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucuronide (Q3G) decreased TNF-α gene expression amounts and ratios of pro-/anti-inflammatory (TNF-α/IL-10) cytokine gene expressions, but increased IL-10 gene expression amounts in activated inflammatory macrophages, supporting a substantial anti-inflammatory potential of Q and Q3G treatments. However, Q3G had lower effects than those of Q. Importantly, Q inhibited TLR2 gene expression and phosphorylation of STAT3 protein in the inflamed cells. Our results are the first report to suggest that Q inhibits LPS-induced inflammation ex vivo through suppressing TLR2 gene expression and STAT3 protein phosphorylation in activated inflammatory macrophages. Q has potential to further apply for treating inflammation-associated diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0254.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: alcohol use disorder; gut-dysfunction; gut-thyroid axis; pro-inflammatory cytokines; thyroid-associated hormones
Online: 19 September 2022 (03:09:51 CEST)
(1) Background: Heavy and chronic alcohol intake causes altered gut-permeability and dysfunction; and exhibits a unique pro-inflammatory state. Thyroid-associated hormones and proteins may be dysregulated by alcohol administration; however, the impact of altered gut-derived changes on thyroid function is unclear. This study investigated the role of gut-dysfunction and pro-inflammatory activity on thyroid function in patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). (2) Methods: Male and female AUD patients (n=44) were grouped as Gr.1 with normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels (n=28, 0.8≤TSH≤3 mIU/L); and Gr.2 with clinically elevated TSH levels (n=16, TSH> 3 mIU/l). Demographics, drinking measures, comprehensive metabolic panel, and candidate thyroid markers (TSH, circulating triiodothyronine [T3] and free thyroxine [fT4]) were tested. Plasma-derived gut-dysfunction associated markers (lipopolysaccharide [LPS], LPS-binding protein [LBP], and LPS-induced pathogen-associated protein [CD14]), and cytokine profile (IL1-β, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, PAI-1) were analyzed and compared with the thyroid, demographic, and drinking markers. (3) Results: Both groups presented with a borderline overweight category of BMI. Gr.2 presented with numerically higher level of chronic and heavy drinking patterns vs Gr.1. fT4 levels were elevated while T3 was within normal limits in both the groups. Gut-dysfunction markers LBP and CD14 were numerically elevated in Gr.2 vs Gr.1 suggesting subtle ongoing changes; however, the difference was not statistically significant. All pro-inflammatory cytokines were significantly elevated in Gr.2 among IL1-, MCP-1, and PAI-1. Gr.2 showed a strong and statistically significant effect of gut-immune-pituitary response (r=0.896, p=0.002) on TSH levels in a multivariate regression model with LBP, CD14, and PAI-1 levels as upstream variables; this assessment was not significant in Gr.1. In addition, AUROC analysis demonstrated that many of the cytokines strongly predicted TSH in Gr.2, including IL-6 (area=0.774, p<0.001) and TNF- (area=0.708, p=0.017) among others. This was not observed in Gr.1. Gr.2 demonstrated elevated fT4 as well as TSH, which suggests that there was subclinical thyroiditis with underlying CNS dysfunction and lack of a negative feedback loop. (4) Conclusions: These findings reveal the toxic effects of heavy and chronic drinking that play a pathological role in thyroid gland dysregulation employing the gut-brain axis. These results also strongly emphasize potential directions to strongly consider thyroid dysregulation in the overall medical management of AUD.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0115.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: capillary regression; COVID-19; pro-inflammatory mediators; interleukin-1 beta; tumor necrosis factor; thrombin
Online: 9 June 2020 (04:12:30 CEST)
In this brief communication, we propose the concept that capillary regression may represent a primary pathogenic process underlying COVID-19 infection, particularly in the serious and life-threatening manifestations of the disease. We suggest that the marked elevations of pro-inflammatory mediators that are observed in these seriously ill patients may directly induce capillary regression and endothelial cell (EC) loss. Recent autopsy studies are demonstrating EC loss leading to widespread microthrombi and associated tissue damage. Recent work has indicated that interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), and thrombin, individually and in combination, can potently cause capillary tube regression in experimental models in vitro and in vivo. Other pro-inflammatory mediators including interferon gamma (IFNγ), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and interleukin-13 (IL-13) were also shown to be pro-regressive and could be relevant mediators in COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, combinations of pharmacologic agents were identified that reduced capillary regression and protected capillary tube networks against these pro-inflammatory mediators. Such an approach might be an important therapeutic option going forward to treat key disease states where capillary regression plays a major underlying pathogenic role. Finally, if capillary regression is occurring in response to these pro-inflammatory mediators during COVID-19 infection, we suggest that combinations of blocking agents directed to these key pro-regressive mediators might be necessary to appropriately treat patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0329.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Vibrio cholerae cytotoxin; VCC; MAPKs; p38; ERK; pro-inflammatory; innate immune response; survival response
Online: 27 November 2019 (04:33:42 CET)
The human innate immune response to the pore-forming toxin of Vibrio cholerae VCC, is currently under study. Here, in vitro studies on a human macrophage cell line (THP-1), helped explore the activated pathways involved on the onset the innate immune response towards the cytotoxin. The secreted monomeric 65 KDa form interacts with mature macrophages in pg/ml concentrations, determined by dose response experiments after treatments under 1 h. Non vacuolating concentrations (pg/ml) were applied to the cells; immunoblots revealed activation of MAPKs: early overexpression of p38 and ERK. Cell lysis by release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was not apparent in the first hour, nonetheless it was positive after 24 h. Finally, to discern whether the VCC stimulates transcriptional activators via MAPKs pathway, NF-κB and AP-1 were studied by real time quantitation. Increased expression of p50 (NF-κB), cJun and cFos (AP-1) was observed. Given that NF-κB is the transcription factor initiating inflammation of innate immune response and in turn, AP-1 is responsible for cell surviving response, results from this study lead us to conclude that VCC in vitro treatments, induce a pro-inflammatory and a surviving response, in less than one hour on activated macrophages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0091.v1
Subject: Keywords: pheomelanin; mouse; benzothiazole; benzothiazine; pro-oxidant activity; melanoma; reactive oxygen species; ultraviolet-A; glutathione
Online: 5 September 2018 (08:10:43 CEST)
It is known that eumelanin (EM) is photoprotective while pheomelanin (PM) is phototoxic. A recent study using a mouse model demonstrated that PM produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause DNA damage and eventually lead to melanomagenesis. A biochemical study showed that PM possesses a pro-oxidant activity. PM consists of benzothiazine (BT) and benzothiazole (BZ) moieties, the former being transformed to the latter by heat or light. In this study, we compared the effects of ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation using synthetic PMs with different BT to BZ ratios and using various coat color mouse hairs. We found that UVA irradiation of BZ-PM increased glutathione (GSH) consumption and generated more H2O2 than UVA irradiation of BT-PM. Non-irradiated controls did not exhibit strong pro-oxidant activities. Upon UVA irradiation, yellow mouse hairs oxidized GSH and produced H2O2 faster than black or albino mouse hairs. Next, to examine the mechanism of the pro-oxidant activity of BT-PM and BZ-PM, we examined the pro-oxidant activities of 7-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-dihydro-1,4-benzothiazine-3-carboxylic acid (DHBTCA) and 6-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-4-hydroxybenzothiazole (BZ-AA) as BT and BZ monomers, respectively. Their pro-oxidant activities were similar, but a large difference was seen in the effects of ROS scavengers, which suggests that the redox reactions may proceed via singlet oxygen in BZ-AA and via superoxide anions in DHBTCA. These results show that UVA enhances the pro-oxidant activity of PM, in particular BZ-PM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0091.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: sustainable waste management behaviors; protection motivation theory; pro-environmental behaviors; threat appraisal, coping appraisal
Online: 9 August 2016 (10:29:00 CEST)
This study aims to explain individual engagement in sustainable waste management behaviors (SWMBs) based on the application of protection motivation theory (PMT). SWMBs include waste avoidance, green purchasing behavior, reuse and recycle, and waste disposal behaviors. This study applies PMT to explore how individuals’ SWMBs are influenced by their perceived threats caused by environmental contamination from waste disposal and their perceived coping capability. The Bangkok metropolitan area was selected as a case study because it has faced serious waste management problems caused by massively increasing amounts of solid waste during the last ten years. Questionnaire surveys were conducted with 193 public and private officers residing in the city of Bangkok. The one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to justify the effect of individual threat appraisal and coping appraisal on the engagement in SWMBs. The results demonstrated that respondents’ self-efficacy highly influenced all types of SWMBs. The perceived probability of being impacted from pollutants influenced all of the SWMBs except green purchasing behaviors. Response efficacy did not influence all SWMBs; however, the perceived severity of adverse consequences caused by pollutants highly influenced reuse and recycle behaviors. It could be suggested that PMT is well suited for investigating low-cost and simple SWMBs. It could also be suggested that different communication campaigns should be established to enhance citizens’ engagement in each type of SWMB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0039.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: heart failure; Sacubitril/valsartan; Neprilysin inhibition; reduced ejection fraction; echocardiography; Nt-Pro-BNP; hemodynamic; remodeling
Online: 4 November 2019 (11:20:22 CET)
Background: Sacubitril/valsartan has been shown to be superior to enalapril in reducing the risks of death and hospitalization for heart failure (HF). However the effect on cardiac performance remains unknown. We sought to evaluate the effects of sacubitril/valsartan on clinical, bioumoral and echocardiographic parameters in patients with HFrEF. Methods: Sacubitril/valsartan was administered to 205 HFrEF patients. Results: Among 230 patients (mean age 59 ± 10 years, 46% with ischemic heart disease) 205 (89%) completed the study. After a follow–up of 10.49 (2.93±18.44) months, the percentage of patients in NYHA class III changed from 40% to 17% (p<0.001). Median N–Type natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) decreased from 1865 ± 2318 to 1514 ± 2205 pg/mL, (p=0.01). Furosemide dose reduced from 131.3 ± 154.5 to 120 ± 142.5 (p=0.047). Ejection fraction (from 27± 5.9% to 30 ± 7.7% (p<0.001) and E/A ratio (from 1.67 ± 1.21 to 1.42 ± 1.12 (p=0.002)) improved. Moderate to severe mitral regurgitation (from 30.1% to 17.4%; p=0.002) and tricuspid velocity decreased from 2.8 ± 0.55 m/sec to 2.64 ± 0.59 m/sec (p<0.014). CONCLUSIONS: Sacubitril/valsartan induce “hemodynamic reverse remodeling” and in association with Nt-proBNP concentrations lowering improve NYHA class despite a diuretic dose reduction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0751.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: cysteine-glutathione disulfide; glutathione; glutathione supplementation; GSSG supplementation; oxidative stress; parenteral nutrition; premature newborns; pro-cysteine.
Online: 30 March 2021 (15:55:53 CEST)
Most very premature newborns (< 32 weeks of gestation) receive parenteral nutrition (PN) that is inherently contaminated with peroxides. Oxidative stress induced by PN is associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a main pathological complication in these babies who have weak antioxidant capacity to detoxify peroxides because of their glutathione deficiency. In animals, glutathione supplementation of PN prevented oxidative stress and alveolar loss (the main characteristic of bronchopulmonary dysplasia). Of its two forms - disulfide (GSSG) and free thiol (GSH) - GSSG was used because of its better stability in PN. However, a 30% loss of GSSG in PN is observed. The potentially high therapeutic benefits of GSSG supplementation on the health of very premature babies makes the study of its stability highly important. Thus, GSSG was incubated in combination with the following components of PN: dextrose, multivitamins, Primene, Travasol, as well as with cysteine, cystine and peroxides for 24h. Total glutathione in these solutions was measured 0-24h after the addition of GSSG. The combination of cysteine and multivitamins caused the maximum loss of glutathione. Removing the cysteine prevented the degradation of glutathione. GSSG reacts with cysteine to form cysteine-glutathione disulfide, another suitable glutathione substrate for preterm neonates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0187.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Analysis Keywords: medical image classification; local binary patterns; characteristic curves; whole slide image pro-cessing; automated HER2 scoring
Online: 31 October 2017 (03:10:22 CET)
This paper presents novel feature descriptors and classification algorithms for automated scoring of HER2 in Whole Slide Images (WSI) of breast cancer histology slides. Since a large amount of processing is involved in analyzing WSI images, the primary design goal has been to keep the computational complexity to the minimum possible level and to use simple, yet robust feature descriptors that can provide accurate classification of the slides. We propose two types of feature descriptors that encode important information about staining patterns and the percentage of staining present in ImmunoHistoChemistry (IHC) stained slides. The first descriptor is called a characteristic curve which is a smooth non-increasing curve that represents the variation of percentage of staining with saturation levels. The second new descriptor introduced in this paper is an LBP feature curve which is also a non-increasing smooth curve that represents the local texture of the staining patterns. Both descriptors show excellent interclass variance and intraclass correlation, and are suitable for the design of automatic HER2 classification algorithms. This paper gives the detailed theoretical aspects of the feature descriptors and also provides experimental results and comparative analysis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0437.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: breast cancer; microbiota; bacteria; dysbiosis; pro-carcinogenic; anti-carcinogenic; genetics; next-generation sequencing; cancer treatments; cancer prevention
Online: 21 October 2020 (12:51:23 CEST)
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) in their lifetime, resulting in over 2 million cases annually. BC is the most common cancer among women. Unfortunately, the etiology of majority of cases remains unknown. Recently, evidence has shown that the human microbiota plays an important role in health and disease. Intriguingly, studies have revealed the presence of microorganisms in human breast tissue, which was previously presumed to be sterile. Next-generation sequencing technologies have paved way for the investigation of breast microbiota, uncovering bacterial signatures that are associated with BC. Some of the bacterial species were found to possess pro-carcinogenic and/or anti-carcinogenic properties, suggesting that the breast microbiota has potentially crucial roles in maintenance of breast health. In this review, we summarize the recent findings on breast tissue microbiota and its interplay with BC. Bacterial signatures identified via next-generation sequencing as well as their impact on breast carcinogenesis and cancer therapies are reviewed. Correlation of breast tissue microbiota and other factors, such as geographical and racial differences, in BC is discussed. Additionally, we discuss the future directions of research on breast microbiota as well as its potential role in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of BC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0061.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; AMR; Infections; antibiotics; inappropriate prescribing; healthcare pro-fessionals; education; training; antimicrobial stewardship programs; continuous professional development
Online: 2 June 2021 (09:58:36 CEST)
(1) Background: Factors reported in literature associated with inappropriate prescribing of antimicrobials, such as physicians with less experience, uncertain diagnosis, and patient caregiver influences on physicians' decisions. Monitoring antimicrobial resistance is critical for identifying emerging resistance patterns, developing, and assessing the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. Improvement in prescribing `antimicrobials would minimize the risk of resistance and, consequently, improve patients' clinical and health outcomes. The purpose of the study is to delineate factors associated with antimicrobial resistance, describe the factors influencing prescriber’s choice during prescribing of antimicrobial, and examine factors related to consequences of inappropriate prescribing of antimicrobial. (2) Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted among healthcare providers (190) in six tertiary hospitals in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The research panel has developed validated and piloted survey specific with closed-ended questions. A value of P <0.05 was considered for statistical significance. All data analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS version 23.0). (3) Results: 72.7% of the respondents have agreed that poor skills and knowledge are key factors that contribute to the inappropriate prescribing of antimicrobials. All the respondents acknowledged effectiveness and previous experience with the antimicrobial, and reading scientific materials (such as books, articles, and the internet) were key factors influencing physicians’ choice during antimicrobial prescribing. (4) Conclusion: The current study has identified comprehensive education and training needs for healthcare providers about antimicrobial resistance. Using antimicrobials unnecessarily, insufficient duration of antimicrobial use, and using broad spectrum antimicrobials, were reported to be common practices. Further, poor skills and knowledge were a key factor that contributed to the inappropriate use and overuse of antimicrobials and using antimicrobials without physician prescription (self-medication) were the key factors which contribute to AMR from participants’ perspectives. Furthermore, internal policy and guidelines are needed to ensure that the antimicrobials are prescribed in accordance with standard protocols and clinical guidelines.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: stress granules; G3BP1; G3BP2; Caprin-1; USP10; TIA1; TIAR; cancer prognosis; biomarker; metastasis; resistance; cell death; pro-survival properties
Online: 7 April 2020 (01:56:12 CEST)
Stress Granules formation is a pro-survival mechanism helping cells to cope with environmental challenges. Stress Granules have been studied for two decades in fundamental research, and are now being examined in the context of human pathogenesis. Here, we review studies highlighting stress granules’ involvement in cancer development through translational pattern modification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0015.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Cement Industry; Homer Pro Optimization; Techno-Economic Analysis; Sensitivity Analysis; Net Present Cost; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Levelized Cost of Electricity
Online: 1 August 2022 (08:56:53 CEST)
Cement manufacturing is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the world. Most of the cost of producing cement is accounted by fuel consumption and power expenditures. Thermal power plants are the major source of electricity in Pakistan. But they are not efficient and environmentally friendly. This study simulates four different models for five cement plants of Pakistan on Homer Pro software and compares the optimal solutions based on the net present cost (NPC), levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Model-1 consists of solar panels, electrolyzer, hydrogen tank, hydrogen generator and converter. Model-2 has only a diesel generator and acts as a base case in this study. Model-3 has solar panels and a battery-converter system. In Model-4, diesel generators, solar panels and converters are considered. Based on NPC, the most optimal model is Model-4, having a 0.249 $/KWh LCOE in islanded systems. The NPC and operating costs are US$540 million and US$ 32.5 million per year, respectively, with a 29.80% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to the base case. Based on GHG emissions, Model-1 and Model-3 are the best models with 0% GHG emissions. Sensitivity analyses is also performed using the parameters of load, inflation rate and discounted rate. The results prove that the proposed hybrid micropower systems (HMS) can sustainably provide electricity for 24 hours a day to the sites under consideration with minimum objectives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0023.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: well-being; innate health; positive psychology; mental health; three principles; self-control; pro-social behaviors; criminology; incarcerated men; prisoners; inmates
Online: 2 June 2022 (02:57:49 CEST)
Knowledge about one’s innate health is central to a variety of positive mental health markers. However, men living in prison rarely receive education about how to access these internal resources. As such, this study seeks to replicate and extend emerging data on an innate health intervention. Volunteers from HMP Nottingham, England (n=126) participated in normal prison programming and the intervention group (n=65) received an additional 3-day intensive. The primary question: Does innate health function as a mediator in the same way self-control does within an incarcerated population? We conducted a mediation analysis, tested social desirability bias, and examined the impact of the intervention on crucial variables. This study found higher levels of innate health, self-control, wellbeing, and prosocial behavior and lower levels of aggression in the intervention group as compared to the control group. Importantly, innate health did play a mediating role equivalent to and/or partnering with self-control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0578.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: ecological footprint calculator; ecological footprint; environmental knowledge; environmental education; environmental values; carbon footprint calculator; carbon footprint; ecological behaviour; pro-environmental behaviour
Online: 25 February 2021 (12:00:10 CET)
Ecological footprint calculators are digital tools that help individuals calculate their environmental or climate impact, with the aim of stimulating pro-environmental behaviour change. These footprint calculators typically take an information-provision approach, but this strategy assumes that increased levels of knowledge result in increased levels of pro-environmental behaviour (i.e., a reduced footprint). This is not a given – existing literature on the relationship between environmental knowledge and pro-environmental behaviour is inconclusive, and this relationship may be different from that of environmental knowledge and ecological footprint. As such, we investigated the relationship between environmental knowledge and ecological footprint as estimated by a footprint calculator. 448 Dutch participants completed an online survey, including an ecological footprint calculator. We found no evidence for a relationship between environmental knowledge and ecological footprint calculator outcome. Rather, an exploratory analysis of our data showed that environmental values were more important predictors of ecological footprint. The finding that increased levels of knowledge are not related to a reduced ecological footprint suggests that calculators would do well to move beyond information provision, and employ additional behaviour change strategies. Based on our exploratory analysis, we provide several concrete examples of potential strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0194.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; urease; neuroinflammation; tau hyperphosphorylation; pro-inflammatory cytokines; object recognition test; elevated plus maze; SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells; BV-2 microglia
Online: 13 January 2022 (15:37:01 CET)
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) causes dementia and memory loss in the elderly. Deposits of beta-amyloid peptide and hyperphosphorylated tau protein are present in AD’s brain. A filtrate of Helicobacter pylori’s culture was previously found to induce hyperphosphorylation of tau in vivo, suggesting that bacterial exotoxins could permeate the blood brain barrier and directly induce tau’s phosphorylation. H. pylori, which infects ~60% of the world population and causes gastritis and gastric cancer, produces a pro-inflammatory urease (HPU). Here the neurotoxic potential of HPU was investigated in cultured cells and in rats. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells exposed HPU (50-300 nM) produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and had an increased [Ca2+]i. HPU-treated BV-2 microglial cells produced ROS, cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α, expressed Iba1 and showed reduced viability, consistent with a neurotoxic effect of HPU. Rats received daily i.p. HPU (5 µg) for 7 days. Hyperphosphorylation of tau at Thr205, Ser199 and Ser396 sites was seen in hippocampal homogenates of treated rats, with no alterations in total tau or GSK-3b levels. HPU was not detected in the brain homogenates. Behavioral tests were performed to assess cognitive impairments. Our findings support previous data suggesting an association between infection by H. pylori and tauopathies such as AD, possibly mediated by its urease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0133.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: advanced glycation end products (ages); drought; glycation; sh-sy5y human neuroblastoma cells; metabolomics; osmotic stress; pea (pisum sativum l.); pro-inflammatory; seeds; seed metabolism; signaling
Online: 10 December 2019 (14:53:42 CET)
Protein glycation is usually referred to as an array of non-enzymatic post-translational modifications, formed by reducing sugars and carbonyl products of their degradation. Resulting advanced glycation end products (AGEs) represent a heterogeneous group of covalent adducts, known for their pro-inflammatory effects in mammals, and impacting on pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and ageing. In plants, AGEs are the markers of tissue ageing and response to environmental stressors, the most prominent of which is drought. Although water deficit enhances protein glycation in leaves, its effect on seed glycation profiles is still unknown. Moreover, the effect of drought on biological activities of seed protein in mammalian systems is still unstudied in respect of glycation. Therefore, here we address the effects of a short-term drought on the patterns of seed protein-bound AGEs and accompanying alterations in pro-inflammatory properties of seed protein in the context of seed metabolome dynamics. A short-term drought, simulated as polyethylene glycol-induced osmotic stress and applied at the stage of seed filling, resulted in dramatic suppression of primary seed metabolism, although secondary metabolome was minimally affected. This was accompanied with significant suppression of NF-kB activation in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells after a treatment with protein hydrolyzates, isolated from the mature seeds of drought-treated plants. This effect could not be attributed to formation of known AGEs. Most likely, the prospective anti-inflammatory effect of short-term drought is related to antioxidant effect of unknown secondary metabolite protein adducts, or down-regulation of unknown plant-specific AGEs due to suppression of energy metabolism during seed filling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0112.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: cell cycle; cell synchronization; pro-inflammatory cytokines; Anaphase promoting complex subunit 10, Anapc10; Anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome, APC/C; PYRIN domain containing-3, NLRP3; The NLRP3 inflammasome
Online: 3 February 2021 (10:32:38 CET)
Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome plays a crucial role in innate immune response. During cell division, the NLRP3 inflammasome activation must be strictly controlled. Here, we discovered the anaphase promoting complex subunit 10 (Anapc10, APC10), a substrate recognition protein of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), is a critical mediator of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation. APC10 protein interacts with NLRP3, and co-localizes with NLRP3 protein in the cytoplasm. During interphase, APC10 interacts with NLRP3 to promote the NLRP3 inflammasome activation. During mitosis, APC10 disassociates from the NLRP3 inflammasome to inhibit the inflammatory responses. This study reveals a distinct mechanism by which APC10 serves as a switch of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation during cell cycle.