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- Polyelectrolyte-single wall carbon nanotube composite as an effective cathode catalyst for air-cathode microbial fuel cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Water Sci Technol 2014 Nov; 70(10):1610-1616.
Polyelectrolyte-single wall carbon nanotube (SCNT) composites are prepared by a solution-based method and used as metal-free cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, two types of polyelectrolytes, polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDDA) and poly[bis(2-chloroethyl)ether-alt-1,3-bis[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]urea] (PEPU) are applied to decorate the SCNTs and the resulting catalysts exhibit remarkable catalytic ability toward ORR in MFC applications. The enhanced catalytic ability could be attributed to the positively charged quaternary ammonium sites of polyelectrolytes, which increase the oxygen affinity of SCNTs and reduce activation energy in the oxygen reduction process. It is also found that PEPU-SCNT composite-based MFCs show efficient performance with maximum power density of 270.1 mW m(-2), comparable to MFCs with the benchmark Pt/C catalyst (375.3 mW m(-2)), while PDDA-SCNT composite-based MFCs produce 188.9 mW m(-2). These results indicate that PEPU-SCNT and PDDA-SCNT catalysts are promising candidates as metal-free cathode catalysts for ORR in MFCs and could facilitate MFC scaling up and commercialization.
- Shinzami Korean purple-fleshed sweet potato extract prevents ischemia-reperfusion-induced liver damage in rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Sci Food Agric 2014 Nov 26.
This study was designed to investigate the hepatoprotective effect of extract from Shinzami, a variety of purple sweet potato, in rats injured by hepatic ischemia reperfusion (I/R).Pretreatment with Shinzami extract decreased the aspirate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) serum levels in our hepatic I/R rat model. The glutathione (GSH) level and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity level were significantly higher in the rats pretreated with the Shinzami extract compared with the hepatic I/R rats, and the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity level was higher in pretreated rats. The total anthocyanins extracted from Shinzami, however, only increased the SOD activity level in the hepatic I/R rats. Rats pretreated with the Shinzami extract or anthocyanins demonstrated attenuated hepatic pathological changes, such as hepatic distortion, hemorrhage, necrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration compared with the hepatic I/R control rats.Shinzami extract and anthocyanins have a hepatoprotective effect on the liver damage induced by hepatic I/R by improving antioxidant status. Furthermore, the Shinzami extract may have a more potent effect on the antioxidant status compared with the Shinzami anthocyanins alone.
- Prospective evaluation of the acute patient physiologic and laboratory evaluation score and an extended clinicopathological profile in dogs with systemic inflammatory response syndrome. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio) 2014 Nov 26.
To investigate the prognostic value of the acute patient physiologic and laborartory evaluation (APPLE) score and relevant clinicopathological markers in dogs with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).Prospective observational cohort study.Veterinary teaching hospital.Thirty-three dogs with SIRS admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) were compared to 35 healthy control dogs. Dogs with SIRS were divided into septic (n = 20) and nonseptic (n = 13) etiologies and as survivors (alive to discharge, n = 22) and nonsurvivors (n = 11: died, n = 6, or humanely euthanized, n = 5).For all dogs, physiological and laboratory parameters were prospectively collected for the calculation of the APPLEfast score. No difference between septic and nonseptic SIRS dogs was detected for any parameter evaluated. Survivors had significantly higher total protein, albumin concentrations, antithrombin activity (ATA), and base excess (BE), as well as significantly lower lactate, urea, creatinine concentrations, urinary protein to creatinine ratio and APPLEfast score compared to nonsurvivors. Higher values of creatinine, lactate, anion gap, alanine transaminase (ALT), and APPLEfast score were significantly associated with an increased risk of death in SIRS dogs, while higher values of total protein, albumin, ATA, and BE were associated with a significantly reduced risk of mortality. When a multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was performed, the APPLEfast score was the only significant parameter retained.The determination of the APPLEfast score in clinical setting, as well as the measurement of APP, ATA, lactate, BE, anion gap, ALT, urinary proteins, and electrolytes may be beneficial for a better assessment of dogs with SIRS. Identified parameters were significantly related with the presence of SIRS and their evaluation should be considered for the assessment of disease severity, and guidance of the decision-making process in critically ill dogs.
- The association of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with central and peripheral blood pressure in adolescence: findings from a cross-sectional study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Hypertens 2014 Nov 24.
We aimed to determine the association of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with central and peripheral blood pressure (BP), in a general adolescent population and to examine whether associations are independent of adiposity.Using cross-sectional data from a subsample (N = 1904) of a UK birth cohort, we assessed markers of NAFLD including ultrasound scan (USS) determined fatty liver, shear velocity (marker of liver fibrosis), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) at a mean age of 17.8 years. These were related to BP [central and peripheral SBP and DBP and mean arterial pressure (MAP)].Fatty liver was positively associated with central and peripheral SBP, DBP and MAP in models adjusting for age, sex, social class, puberty and alcohol intake. These positive associations were attenuated to the null when fat mass was included. For example, in confounder-adjusted models, not including fat mass, mean central SBP was 3.74 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12 to 6.36] higher in adolescents with USS fatty liver than in those without; with additional adjustment for fat mass, the association attenuated to the null value (-0.37 mmHg; 95% CI -3.09 to 2.36). Similar patterns were found for associations of ALT and GGT with central and peripheral BP. There was no consistent evidence of associations of shear velocity or AST with BP measurements. Fatty liver was not consistently associated with central pulse pressure (PP), peripheral PP and Aix@75.NAFLD is not associated with higher central or peripheral BP in adolescents once confounding by adiposity is taken into account.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.
- Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Brazilian wildlife revealed abundant new genotypes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2014 Dec; 3(3):276-283.
This study aimed to isolate and genotype T. gondii from Brazilian wildlife. For this purpose, 226 samples were submitted to mice bioassay and screened by PCR based on 18S rRNA sequences. A total of 15 T. gondii isolates were obtained, including samples from four armadillos (three Dasypus novemcinctus, one Euphractus sexcinctus), three collared anteaters (Tamandua tetradactyla), three whited-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari), one spotted paca (Cuniculus paca), one oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus), one lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) and one maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). DNA from the isolates, originated from mice bioassay, and from the tissues of the wild animal, designated as "primary samples", were genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP), using 12 genetic markers (SAG1, SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L258, PK1, CS3 and Apico). A total of 17 genotypes were identified, with 13 identified for the first time and four already reported in published literature. Results herein obtained corroborate previous studies in Brazil, confirming high diversity and revealing unique genotypes in this region. Given most of genotypes here identified are different from previous studies in domestic animals, future studies on T. gondii from wildlife is of interest to understand population genetics and structure of this parasite.
- Achieving Direct Closure of the Anterolateral Thigh Flap Donor Site-An Algorithmic Approach. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2014 Oct; 2(10):e232.
Minimizing donor-site morbidity after free flap harvest is of paramount importance. In this article, we share our experience with achieving primary closure of 58 anterolateral thigh (ALT) free flap donor sites using a simple algorithm in cases where primary closure would otherwise have not been possible.Between 2004 and 2010, 58 patients who underwent free ALT flap reconstruction were included in the study. The inclusion criteria were those who had flap width requirements that were wider than 16% of the thigh circumference and had achieved direct primary closure of the donor site by the use of our technique.Primary closure of the donor sites was facilitated in all cases by the use of 3 distinct techniques. This included the use of the V-Y advancement technique in 13 patients, split skin paddle technique in 7 patients, and the tubed skin paddle design in 38 patients. No episodes of postoperative wound dehiscence at the donor site were encountered; however, 2 cases were complicated by superficial wound infections that settled with a course of antibiotics.Direct primary closure of the ALT donor site can be facilitated by the use of our simple algorithm. Certain strategies need to be adopted at the design stage; however, the techniques used are simple and reliable, produce superior cosmetic results at the donor site, save time, and spare the patient the morbidity associated with the harvest of a skin graft.
- Exploring BSEP inhibition-mediated toxicity with a mechanistic model of drug-induced liver injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Front Pharmacol 2014.:240.
Inhibition of the bile salt export pump (BSEP) has been linked to incidence of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), presumably by the accumulation of toxic bile acids in the liver. We have previously constructed and validated a model of bile acid disposition within DILIsym®, a mechanistic model of DILI. In this paper, we use DILIsym® to simulate the DILI response of the hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitors bosentan and CP-724,714 and the non-hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitor telmisartan in humans in order to explore whether we can predict that hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitors can cause bile acid accumulation to reach toxic levels. We also simulate bosentan in rats in order to illuminate potential reasons behind the lack of toxicity in rats compared to the toxicity observed in humans. DILIsym® predicts that bosentan, but not telmisartan, will cause mild hepatocellular ATP decline and serum ALT elevation in a simulated population of humans. The difference in hepatotoxic potential between bosentan and telmisartan is consistent with clinical observations. However, DILIsym® underpredicts the incidence of bosentan toxicity. DILIsym® also predicts that bosentan will not cause toxicity in a simulated population of rats, and that the difference between the response to bosentan in rats and in humans is primarily due to the less toxic bile acid pool in rats. Our simulations also suggest a potential synergistic role for bile acid accumulation and mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) inhibition in producing the observed toxicity in CP-724,714, and suggest that CP-724,714 metabolites may also play a role in the observed toxicity. Our work also compares the impact of competitive and noncompetitive BSEP inhibition for CP-724,714 and demonstrates that noncompetitive inhibition leads to much greater bile acid accumulation and potential toxicity. Our research demonstrates the potential for mechanistic modeling to contribute to the understanding of how bile acid transport inhibitors cause DILI.
- Serum prolidase activity and oxidant¿antioxidant status in children with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Ital J Pediatr 2014 Nov 26; 40(1):95.
BackgroundChronic hepatitis B (CHB) is a global health problem that can result in serious complications associated with collagen degradation. Prolidase is a specific imidodipeptidase that plays an important role in the breakdown of collagen. The aim of this study was to investigate prolidase activity and oxidant¿antioxidant status in children with CHB.MethodsThis prospective case control study includes 38 patients with CHB, 31 patients with inactive hepatitis B (IHB), and 29 healthy matched control subjects. Serum prolidase enzyme activity (SPEA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidative activity (TOA), and malondialdehyde (MDA) level were measured and oxidative stress index (OSI) was calculated for each group.ResultsPatients with CHB had significantly higher SPEA levels (207.82¿±¿186.80 IU/L) than did the controls (58.6¿±¿38.1 IU/L) and IHB patients (67.1¿±¿39.9) (p¿<¿0.001). CHB patients also had significantly higher TOA (45.0¿±¿19.9 vs. 29.4¿±¿11.7 (¿molH2O2 Eq./L), p¿=¿0.005), OSI (33.1¿±¿21.4 vs. 17.5¿±¿10.2, p¿=¿0.002) and MDA (13.4¿±¿4.0 vs. 7.8¿±¿2.6 ¿m/L, p¿<¿0.001) values compared with the controls. TOA (32.0¿±¿10.0) and OSI (15.4¿±¿11.0) values of IHB patients were significantly lower than those of CHB patients (p¿<¿0.05). SPEA had significant correlations with HBV- DNA and ALT values (r =0.514 and r =0.454, p¿<¿0.001).ConclusionOur results suggest that prolidase activity can be considered as a reliable marker for CHB and increased oxidative stress appears to be related to chronicity of the disease.
- Treating Immune-tolerant Hepatitis B. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Viral Hepat 2014 Nov 25.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. On the basis of virus-host interactions, the natural history of HBV carriers can be divided into four chronological phases. In the first immune tolerance phase, HBV carriers are positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and have high HBV replication activity, normal ALT levels as well as minimal liver disease. Ample evidence has shown that patients in the immune tolerance phase have very low viral evolution and minimal risk of fibrosis progression. However, recent immunological studies argued that HBV-specific immune responses already exist in a proportion of immune-tolerant patients and the immune activities are comparable to those in the immune clearance phase. Regarding antiviral therapy, whether these immune-tolerant patients are indicated for treatment remains debated. Previous studies showed that HBeAg-positive patients with normal or near-normal ALT levels, who are assumed to be in the immune tolerance phase, have a lower HBeAg seroconversion rate receiving either pegylated interferon or nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment. The latest clinical trial focusing on-treatment response of immune-tolerant patients with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-based therapy also confirmed the results. The HBeAg seroconversion rates are <5% at 4 years of treatment. Considering the minimal risk of disease progression and low treatment response rates in immune-tolerant patients, current antiviral therapy should not be recommended unless the patients have advanced liver fibrosis. In addition, novel agents targeting the HBV template known as covalently closed circular DNA and aiming to reduce or eliminate it are urgently required.
- Heritability of liver enzyme levels estimated from genome-wide SNP data. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Eur J Hum Genet 2014 Nov 26.
Variation in the liver enzyme levels in humans is moderately heritable, as indicated by twin-family studies. At present, genome-wide association studies have traced <2% of the variance back to genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We estimated the SNP-based heritability of levels of three liver enzymes (gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT); alanine aminotransferase (ALT); and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)) using genome-wide SNP data in a sample of 5421 unrelated Dutch individuals. Two estimation methods for SNP-based heritability were compared, one based on the distant genetic relatedness among all subjects as summarized in a Genetic Relatedness Matrix (GRM), and the other one based on density estimation (DE). The DE method was also applied to meta-analysis results on GGT and ALT. GRM-derived SNP-based heritability estimates were significant for GGT (16%) and AST (11%), but not for ALT (6%). DE estimates in the same sample varied as a function of pruning and were around 23% for all liver enzymes. Application of the DE approach to meta-analysis results for GGT and ALT gave SNP-based heritability estimates of 6 and 3%. The significant results in the Dutch sample indicate that genome-wide SNP platforms contain substantial information regarding the underlying genetic variation in the liver enzyme levels. A major part of this genetic variation remains however undetected. SNP-based heritability estimates, based on meta-analysis results, may point at substantial heterogeneity among cohorts contributing to the meta-analysis. This type of analysis may provide useful information to guide future gene searches.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 26 November 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.259.