ResearchPad - peptide-hormones https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)—Validation of its use in a Danish-speaking population of new mothers stimulated with oxytocin during labour]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14579 When determining optimal treatment regimens, patient reported outcomes including satisfaction are increasingly appreciated. It is well established that the birth experience may affect the postnatal attachment to the newborn and the management of subsequent pregnancies and deliveries. As we have no robust validated Danish tool to evaluate the childbirth experience exists, we aimed to perform a transcultural adaptation of the Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) to a Danish context.MethodsIn accordance with the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN), we translated the Swedish-CEQ to Danish. The Danish-CEQ was tested for content validity among 10 new mothers. In a population of women who have had their labour induced, we then assessed the electronic questionnaire for validity and reliability using factor analytical design, hypothesis testing, and internal consistency. Based on these data, we determined criterion and construct responsiveness in addition to floor and ceiling effects.ResultsThe content validation resulted in minor adjustments in two items. This improved the comprehensibility. The electronic questionnaire was completed by 377 of 495 women (76.2%). The original Swedish-CEQ was four-dimensional, however an exploratory factor analysis revealed a three-dimensional structure in our Danish population (Own capacity, Participation, and Professional support). Parous women, women who delivered vaginally, and women with a labour duration <12 hours had a higher score in each domain. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) ranged between 0.75 and 0.89 and the ICC between 0.68–0.93. We found ceiling effects of 57.6% in the domain Professional support and of 25.5% in the domain Participation.ConclusionThis study offers transcultural adaptation of the Swedish-CEQ to a Danish context. The 3-dimensional Danish-CEQ demonstrates construct validity and reliability. Our results revealed significant ceiling effect especially in the domain Professional support, which needs to be acknowledged when considering implementing the Danish-CEQ into trials and clinical practice. ]]> <![CDATA[Predicting resource-dependent maternal health outcomes at a referral hospital in Zanzibar using patient trajectories and mathematical modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d5d5eed0c4846390ee

Poor intra-facility maternity care is a major contributor to maternal mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Close to 830 women die each day due to preventable maternal complications, partly due to the increasing number of women giving birth in health facilities that are not adequately resourced to manage growing patient populations. Barriers to adequate care during the ‘last mile’ of healthcare delivery are attributable to deficiencies at multiple levels: education, staff, medication, facilities, and delays in receiving care. Moreover, the scope and multi-scale interdependence of these factors make individual contributions of each challenging to analyze, particularly in settings where basic data registration is often lacking. To address this need, we have designed and implemented a novel systems-level and dynamic mathematical model that simulates the impact of hospital resource allocations on maternal mortality rates at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital (MMH), a referral hospital in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The purpose of this model is to provide a rigorous and flexible tool that enables hospital administrators and public health officials to quantitatively analyze the impact of resource constraints on patient outcomes within the maternity ward, and prioritize key areas for further human or capital investment. Currently, no such tool exists to assist administrators and policy makers with effective resource allocation and planning. This paper describes the structure and construct of the model, provides validation of the assumptions made with anonymized patient data and discusses the predictive capacity of our model. Application of the model to specific resource allocations, maternal treatment plans, and hospital loads at MMH indicates through quantitative results that medicine stocking schedules and staff allocations are key areas that can be addressed to reduce mortality by up to 5-fold. With data-driven evidence provided by the model, hospital staff, administration, and the local ministries of health can enact policy changes and implement targeted interventions to improve maternal health outcomes at MMH. While our model is able to determine specific gaps in resources and health care delivery specifically at MMH, the model should be viewed as an additional tool that may be used by other facilities seeking to analyze and improve maternal health outcomes in resource constrained environments.

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<![CDATA[Brief communication: β-cell function influences dopamine receptor availability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1952d5eed0c484b4d3f2

We aim to identify physiologic regulators of dopamine (DA) signaling in obesity but previously did not find a compelling relationship with insulin sensitivity measured by oral-minimal model (OMM) and DA subtype 2 and 3 receptor (D2/3R) binding potential (BPND). Reduced disposition index (DI), a β-cell function metric that can also be calculated by OMM, was shown to predict a negative reward behavior that occurs in states of lower endogenous DA. We hypothesized that reduced DI would occur with higher D2/3R BPND, reflecting lower endogenous DA. Participants completed PET scanning, with a displaceable radioligand to measure D2/3R BPND, and a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test to measure DI by OMM. We studied 26 age-similar females without (n = 8) and with obesity (n = 18) (22 vs 39 kg/m2). Reduced DI predicted increased striatal D2/3R BPND independent of BMI. By accounting for β-cell function, we were able to determine that the state of insulin and glucose metabolism is pertinent to striatal D2/3R BPND in obesity.

Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT00802204

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<![CDATA[The serum level of a novel lipogenic protein Spot 14 was reduced in metabolic syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14f9d5eed0c48467abe8

Spot 14 (S14) protein is primarily expressed in adipogenic tissues. Compared to wild type, S14 knockout mice had better resistance to diet-induced obesity and glucose tolerance. However, the association between serum S14 level and metabolic variables in humans has never been investigated. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the associations between serum S14 concentrations with components of metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 327 subjects were recruited in this cross-sectional study and categorized by presence of MetS. The mean serum levels of S14 were significantly lower in subjects with MetS than those without (87.1±26.3 μg/L vs. 107.3±40.2 μg/L, p<0.001). In addition, the subjects with central obesity, low high density lipoprotein-C (HDL-C) or hypertriglyceridemia also had significantly lower S14 levels in comparison to those without. Adjusted with age and sex, diagnosis of MetS (β = -0.227, p<0.001), central obesity (β = -0.176, p = 0.001), low HDL-C (β = -0.149, p = 0.005), and high triglyceride (TG) (β = -0.198, p<0.001) were negatively associated with log transformation of serum S14 levels (logS14). With 25% logS14 increased, the risk of MetS (OR 0.65, 95% CI, 0.51–0.82, p<0.001), central obesity (OR 0.72, 95% CI, 0.58–0.89, p = 0.002), low HDL-C (OR 0.76, 95% CI, 0.61–0.95, p = 0.015) or high TG (OR 0.65, 95% CI, 0.51–0.83, p = 0.001) was reduced with a dose response trend. Our analysis revealed that patients with MetS had lower serum S14 levels than those without. Negative associations existed between MetS, central obesity, high TG, low HDL-C and logS14.

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<![CDATA[Molecular dynamic (MD) studies on Gln233Arg (rs1137101) polymorphism of leptin receptor gene and associated variations in the anthropometric and metabolic profiles of Saudi women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1542d5eed0c48467afac

The Gln233Arg (A>G; rs1137101) polymorphism of the leptin receptor gene (LEPR) has been investigated extensively and is reported to be associated with different metabolic states. In this investigation, we aimed to study the frequency of Gln233Arg genotypes and alleles in a group of Saudi women stratified by their body mass index (BMI), to correlate the LEPR genotypes with variations in anthropometric, lipid and hormonal parameters and to investigate conformational and structural variations in the mutant LEPR using molecular dynamic (MD) investigations. The study group included 122 Saudi women (normal weight = 60; obese = 62) attending the clinics for a routine checkup. Anthropometric data: height, weight, waist and hip circumference were recorded and fasting serum sample was used to estimate glucose, lipids, ghrelin, leptin and insulin. BMI, W/H ratio, and HOMA-IR values were calculated. Whole blood sample was used to extract DNA; exon 6 of the LEPR gene was amplified by PCR and sequencing was conducted on an ABI 3100 Avant Genetic Analyser. Molecular Dynamic Simulation studies were carried out using different softwares. The results showed the presence of all three genotypes of Gln233Arg in Saudi women, but the frequencies were significantly different when compared to reports from some populations. No differences were seen in the genotype and allele frequencies between the normal weight and obese women. Stratification by the genotypes showed significantly higher BMI, waist and hip circumference, leptin, insulin, fasting glucose and HOMA-IR and lower ghrelin levels in obese women carrying the GG genotype. Even in the normal weight group, individuals with GG genotype had higher BMI, waist and hip circumference and significantly lower ghrelin levels. The MD studies showed a significant effect of the Gln/Arg substitution on the conformation, flexibility, root-mean-square fluctuation (RMSF), radius of gyration (Rg) values, solvent-accessible surface area (SASA) and number of inter- and intra-molecular H-bonds. The results suggest that the structural changes brought about by the mutation, influence the signaling pathways by some unknown mechanism, which may be contributing to the abnormalities seen in the individuals carrying the G allele of rs1137101.

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<![CDATA[Fat cells gobbling up norepinephrine?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcd9d5eed0c484dec37d

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls key aspects of adipose tissue (AT) function through the release of norepinephrine (NE) and beta adrenergic signaling. Sympathetic tone is determined by NE release but also by the rate of extracellular NE clearance that historically has been believed to occur solely through solute carrier family 6 member 2 (SLC6A2) expressed on sympathetic neurons. Song and colleagues show that adipocytes can also clear NE through organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3). This contributes to our understanding of how adrenergic signaling is controlled in AT and also emphasizes the need to develop better methods to assess adrenergic signaling in vivo.

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<![CDATA[A pilot study of metabolic fitness effects of weight-supported walking in women with obesity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fdecd5eed0c484e5b0c0

Background

This is an exploratory pilot study of novel technology enabling people with mobility disability to walk with minimal effort, in the “sedentary range”. The study’s premise is that impairment of the leading physical activity of daily living, walking, is a major contributor to a dysmetabolic state driving many prevalent “civilization diseases” associated with insulin resistance.

Methods

We explore within-subject changes in standard oral glucose tolerance (OGT) tests including metabotropic molecules after 22 twice-weekly, 30-minute bouts of weight-supported light-moderate physical activity in 16 non-diabetic obese, otherwise healthy, reproductive-age, volunteer women walking on an “anti-gravity” lower-body positive pressure (LBPP) treadmill.

Results

Subjects had reference base-line fasting plasma glucose and triglycerides (TG) but 2-hr OGT insulin levels of 467 ± 276 pmol • liter-1 (mean± S.D.) indicating nascent insulin resistance, compared to post-study 308 ± 179 (p = 0.002). Fasting TG decreased from 0.80 ± 0.30 mmol • liter-1 to 0.71 ± 0.25 (p = 0.03). Concomitantly plasma total ghrelin decreased from 69.6 ± 41.6 pmol • liter-1 to 56.0 ± 41.3 (p = 0.008). There were no statistically significant changes in body weight or any correlations between weight change and cardiometabolic markers. However, there were robust positive correlations between changes among different classes of peptides including C-reactive protein–Interleukin 6, leptin–adiponectin, β-endorphin–oxytocin and orexin A (r 2 = 0.48–0.88).

Conclusion

We conclude that brief, low-dose physical activity, walking on an anti-gravity LBPP treadmill may improve cardiometabolic risk, exhibiting favorable changes in neuro-regulatory peptides without weight loss in people with problems walking.

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<![CDATA[The availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines in Malawi: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75d2d5eed0c4843d025a

Introduction

The Malawian government recently introduced cost-covering consultation fees for self-referral patients in tertiary public hospitals. Previously, patients received medicines free of charge in government-owned health facilities, but must pay elsewhere. Before the government implements a payment policy in other areas of health care, it is important to investigate the prices, affordability and availability of essential medicines in Malawi.

Methods

Data on availability and prices of 50 essential medicines were collected in 44 health facilities in two major cities and two districts. These included 12 public facilities, 11 facilities of the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), nine retail pharmacies, eight wholesalers and four private clinics/hospitals. Price, availability and affordability were assessed based on the methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International, which compares local prices to international reference prices.

Results and discussion

The overall availability of medicines was 48.5% in public facilities, 71.1% in retail pharmacies, 62.9% in CHAM facilities and 57.5% in private clinics. The availability of essential medicines varied from 0% for ethosuximide to 100% for amoxicillin and cotrimoxazole tablets. Antibiotic formulations for adults were widely available, in contrast to the low availability of pediatric formulations. Several medicines for non-communicable diseases like sodium valproate, phenytoin, paraldehyde, captopril and simvastatin showed poor availability and affordability. The overall median price ratio compared to the international reference price was 1.11 for wholesalers, 2.54 in CHAM facilities, 2.70 in retail pharmacies, and 4.01 in private clinics, which is low compared to other countries. But nevertheless, for 18 out of 32 medicines assessed, the cost of one course exceeded the statutory minimum daily wage, making them unaffordable to a majority of the population. Therefore, continued provision of free public health care is still of critical importance for the foreseeable future until other financing mechanisms have been explored.

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<![CDATA[Body composition and adipokines changes after initial treatment with darunavir-ritonavir plus either raltegravir or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-emtricitabine: A substudy of the NEAT001/ANRS143 randomised trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d657d5eed0c484031c10

Background

Comparison of changes in body composition, adipokines and inflammatory markers after initial therapy with a nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (N(t)RTI)- sparing or containing regimen are scarce.

Design

Randomised Clinical Trial.

Methods

This is the body composition substudy of NEAT 001/ANRS 143, a randomised trial comparing darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) plus either raltegravir (RAL) or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) in 805 ART naïve HIV-infected adults. The primary endpoint was percentage change in limb fat at week 96. Secondary endpoints were associations among these changes and metabolic markers (IL-6, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, FGF-23).

Results

126 subjects (61 DRV/r + RAL and 65 DRV/r + TDF/FTC) were included. The rate of change in BMI between groups for RAL versus TDF/FTC at week 96 was 1.5% per 48-week period (p = 0.015). The rate of change in limb fat mass, trunk fat mass, total body fat and total lean mass was for RAL versus TDF/FTC at week 96 was 2.5% (p = 0.38), 7.3% ((p = 0.021), 4.9% (p = 0.061) and 1.3% (p = 0.12) respectively. Baseline insulin and leptin levels were correlated with baseline limb fat and trunk fat mass [r = 0.31 (p = 0.0043)/r = 0.28 (p = 0.0011) for limb fat, and r = 0.63 (p<0.0001)/r = 0.50(p<0.0001) for trunk fat]. After adjustment, a 10% faster increase in leptin between baseline and week 48 was associated with a more rapid increase in limb fat at week 48 (0.5% per 48 weeks, p<0.001), total body fat mass (0.6% per 48 weeks, p<0.001), and trunk fat mass (0.3% per 48 weeks, p = 0.0026).

Conclusions

After week 96 a N(t)RTI sparing regimen of DRV/r + RAL produced a numerically greater percentage increase in body composition variables with only change in trunk fat mass and BMI being significant.

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<![CDATA[Serotonin and neuropeptides are both released by the HSN command neuron to initiate Caenorhabditis elegans egg laying]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536ad5d5eed0c484a479f2

Neurons typically release both a small-molecule neurotransmitter and one or more neuropeptides, but how these two types of signal from the same neuron might act together remains largely obscure. For example, serotonergic neurons in mammalian brain express the neuropeptide Substance P, but it is unclear how this co-released neuropeptide might modulate serotonin signaling. We studied this issue in C. elegans, in which all serotonergic neurons express the neuropeptide NLP-3. The serotonergic Hermaphrodite Specific Neurons (HSNs) are command motor neurons within the egg-laying circuit which have been shown to release serotonin to initiate egg-laying behavior. We found that egg-laying defects in animals lacking serotonin were far milder than in animals lacking HSNs, suggesting that HSNs must release other signal(s) in addition to serotonin to stimulate egg laying. While null mutants for nlp-3 had only mild egg-laying defects, animals lacking both serotonin and NLP-3 had severe defects, similar to those of animals lacking HSNs. Optogenetic activation of HSNs induced egg laying in wild-type animals, and in mutant animals lacking either serotonin or NLP-3, but failed to induce egg laying in animals lacking both. We recorded calcium activity in the egg-laying muscles of animals lacking either serotonin, NLP-3, or both. The single mutants, and to a greater extent the double mutant, showed muscle activity that was uncoordinated and unable to expel eggs. Specifically, the vm2 muscles cells, which are direct postsynaptic targets of the HSN, failed to contract simultaneously with other egg-laying muscle cells. Our results show that the HSN neurons use serotonin and the neuropeptide NLP-3 as partially redundant co-transmitters that together stimulate and coordinate activity of the target cells onto which they are released.

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<![CDATA[Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) treatment of MKN-45 xenograft mice improves nutrition status and strengthens immune function without promoting tumor growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521884d5eed0c484798bef

The aim of this study was to clarify the combined effects and dose-effect relationships of rhGH on tumor growth, nutrition status, and immune function in MKN-45 xenograft mice. In this study, animal models were induced in nude mice using the subcutaneous transplantation of MKN-45 cells, and rhGH was injected daily for 14 days. Three rhGH treatment dosages were set with reference to the equivalent dosage converted from human clinical dosage, including 2 IU (0.67 mg), 10 IU (3.35 mg) and 50 IU (16.75 mg) per kg body weight. The tumor volume, body weight and food intake were measured every two or three days. After 14 days of rhGH treatment, the tumors were isolated and weighed. The expression levels of Ki-67, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and CD31in tumor tissues were detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The protein expression levels of pJAK2, JAK2, pSTAT3, STAT3, pAKT, AKT, pERK and ERK were measured by western blotting. The percentage of active NK cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was detected by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The results showed that rhGH had improved the food intake, increased the body weight and strengthened the immune function of MKN-45 xenograft mice but had not promote tumor growth. MKN-45 xenograft mice treated with rhGH at a higher dosage gained more weight, while those treated with rhGH at a lower dosage showed stronger immune function and smaller tumor volume.

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<![CDATA[Day length may make geographical difference in body size and proportions: An ecological analysis of Japanese children and adolescents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c443d5eed0c4845e83df

There is a north-south gradient in the body heights of Japanese children. A hypothesis had previously been proposed that differences in thyroid hormone activity induced by geographical differences in effective day length (duration of photoperiod exceeding a predetermined light intensity) might cause the differences in height. If thyroid hormone is involved, the effect should extend to body weight. This study examined whether geographical differences in body height and weight can be explained in terms of thyroid hormone activity induced by geographical differences in the photoperiodic environment using prefecture-level anatomical data and Japanese Mesh Climatic Data. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that the combination of effective day length and weight was statistically significant as a predictor of height. Controlling for body weight revealed that effective day length was inversely correlated with height. Multiple regression analysis revealed that a combination of effective day length and height was statistically significant as a predictor of weight. Controlling for height demonstrated that effective day length was positively correlated with weight. Assuming an inverse correlation between effective day length and thyroid hormone activity, these results appear to show that short day-length will increase the activity of thyroid hormone and contribute to increasing height, but will inhibit weight gain; in contrast, long day-length will decrease the activity of thyroid hormone and contribute to increasing weight but will inhibit height gain. Geographical differences in height, and weight, and part of the prevalence of obesity in Japanese children and early adolescents may be explained by geographical differences in effective day length.

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<![CDATA[Interactive effects of OXTR and GAD1 on envy-associated behaviors and neural responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4243a2d5eed0c4845e0913

Inequity aversion (negative feelings induced by outcome differences between the self and other) plays a key role in human social behaviors. The neurotransmitters oxytocin and GABA have been implicated in neural responses to inequity. However, it remains poorly understood not only how individual genetic factors related to oxytocin and GABA affect the neural mechanisms behind inequity aversion, but also how these genes interact. To address these issues, we examined relationships between genotypes, behavioral decisions and brain activities during the ultimatum game. We identified interactive effects between the polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and glutamate decarboxylase 1 gene for GABA synthesis (GAD1) on envy aversion (i.e., disadvantageous inequity aversion) and on envy-induced activity in the dorsal ACC (dACC). Thus, our integrated approach suggested interactive genetic effects between OXTR and GAD1 on envy aversion and the underlying neural substrates.

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<![CDATA[Melanotan-II reverses autistic features in a maternal immune activation mouse model of autism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f77dd5eed0c48438626a

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interactions, difficulty with communication, and repetitive behavior patterns. In humans affected by ASD, there is a male pre-disposition towards the condition with a male to female ratio of 4:1. In part due to the complex etiology of ASD including genetic and environmental interplay, there are currently no available medical therapies to improve the social deficits of ASD. Studies in rodent models and humans have shown promising therapeutic effects of oxytocin in modulating social adaptation. One pharmacological approach to stimulating oxytocinergic activity is the melanocortin receptor 4 agonist Melanotan-II (MT-II). Notably the effects of oxytocin on environmental rodent autism models has not been investigated to date. We used a maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model of autism to assess the therapeutic potential of MT-II on autism-like features in adult male mice. The male MIA mice exhibited autism-like features including impaired social behavioral metrics, diminished vocal communication, and increased repetitive behaviors. Continuous administration of MT-II to male MIA mice over a seven-day course resulted in rescue of social behavioral metrics. Normal background C57 male mice treated with MT-II showed no significant alteration in social behavioral metrics. Additionally, there was no change in anxiety-like or repetitive behaviors following MT-II treatment of normal C57 mice, though there was significant weight loss following subacute treatment. These data demonstrate MT-II as an effective agent for improving autism-like behavioral deficits in the adult male MIA mouse model of autism.

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<![CDATA[The salivary levels of leptin and interleukin-6 as potential inflammatory markers in children obesity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7b5d5eed0c484490a01

Background

Obesity among children is an alarming issue due to an increased incidence over the last years with devastating physiological and psychological consequences. Current available medical diagnostic tools use invasive methods to evaluate and monitor the lipid profile, glycaemia or liver status for determining the overweight/ obesity complications. The standard methods proposed for the assay of IL6 and leptin from saliva cannot detect these two biomarkers in children saliva; the levels of IL6 and leptin in children’s saliva are lower than the limit of determination of the standard methods. Therefore, we proposed a method based on utilization of stochastic sensors, able to simultaneously perform a qualitative and quantitative determination of these two biomarkers within minutes, in the range able to cover healthy and obese children.

Methods

Children from the urban area monitored for annual standard analyses and health status assessment at National Institute of Endocrinology C.I. Parhon within University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania were included in the study. In the same day, for all participants of the study, blood analyses were performed and saliva samples were collected for the determination of the IL-6 and leptin levels.

Findings/ Results

The children diagnosed with overweight/ obesity presented not significantly different blood lipid profile and glycaemia comparing to the control group. Only few cases of the children presented high levels of cholesterol, low level of HDL-cholesterol, a slightly increased level of triglycerides and transaminases. No correlation with the body mass index could be established with the blood analyses results. In case of the overweight/obese children, the salivary level of the proinflammatory citokynes IL-6 (41ng/mL±21) and leptin (40.4ng/mL±28.8), were significantly increased comparing to normal weight children (IL-6 8.1±4.6, leptin 9.58±3.1). Moreover, the saliva level of the IL-6 was positively correlated with the body mass index. Salivary leptin level was highly variable in case of obese children, 6 patients presenting similar levels with the control group.

Conclusions

Increased levels of salivary IL-6 and leptin sustain a systemic inflammation status despite normal range of standard blood analyses. The results were positively correlated in case of IL-6 with the body mass index the general accepted method used for the assessment of the obesity or overweight degree The determination of these markers in saliva samples by a stochastic method proved the utility within the medical examination for a better evaluation of the health status in obesity. The method has some advantages like: easy collection of the biological sample, fast determination of low concentrations and could be promising in case of no associated oral cavity infections or inflammations which could interfere the results.

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<![CDATA[Topical essential fatty acid oil on wounds: Local and systemic effects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bafd5eed0c48491dd3a

Background

The use of medicinal plants and their derivatives is increasing, and approximately one-third of all traditional herbal medicines are intended for wound treatment. Natural products used in these treatments include vegetable oils, which are rich in essential fatty acids. Once in contact with an ulcerative surface, the oil reaches the blood and lymphatic vessels, thus eliciting systemic effects.

Objective

This study evaluated the local and possible systemic effects of essential fatty acids (sunflower oil) applied topically to rat wounds.

Methods

Cutaneous punch wounds (6 mm) were produced on the dorsa of 30 rats. Saline (SS), mineral oil (MO) or essential fatty acid (EFA) solutions were applied topically. Healing was evaluated after 2, 4 and 10 days (n = 5 per group) by visual and histological/morphometric examination, second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, and cytokine and growth factor quantification in the scar tissue (real-time PCR) and in serum (ELISA).

Results

MO/EFA-treated animals had higher IGF-1, leptin, IL-6 and IFN-γ mRNA expression and lower serum IL-6 levels than the control (SS/MO) animals. SHG analysis showed no difference in collagen density between the animals treated with MO and EFA.

Conclusion

EFA treatment induces topical (observed by local IGF-1, leptin, IL-6 and IFN-γ production) and systemic effects, lowering IL-6 levels in the serum. As the oil is widely used to shorten ulcer healing time, studies are needed to evaluate the treatment safety and possible undesired effects.

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<![CDATA[High-fat diet accelerates extreme obesity with hyperphagia in female heterozygous Mecp2-null mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bdfd5eed0c48491ebe7

Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation of the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. Although RTT has been associated with obesity, the underlying mechanism has not yet been elucidated. In this study, female heterozygous Mecp2-null mice (Mecp2+/- mice), a model of RTT, were fed a normal chow diet or high-fat diet (HFD), and the changes in molecular signaling pathways were investigated. Specifically, we examined the expression of genes related to the hypothalamus and dopamine reward circuitry, which represent a central network of feeding behavior control. In particular, dopamine reward circuitry has been shown to regulate hedonic feeding behavior, and its disruption is associated with HFD-related changes in palatability. The Mecp2+/- mice that were fed the normal chow showed normal body weight and food consumption, whereas those fed the HFD showed extreme obesity with hyperphagia, an increase of body fat mass, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance compared with wild-type mice fed the HFD (WT-HFD mice). The main cause of obesity in Mecp2+/--HFD mice was a remarkable increase in calorie intake, with no difference in oxygen consumption or locomotor activity. Agouti-related peptide mRNA and protein levels were increased, whereas proopiomelanocortin mRNA and protein levels were reduced in Mecp2+/--HFD mice with hyperleptinemia, which play an essential role in appetite and satiety in the hypothalamus. The conditioned place preference test revealed that Mecp2+/- mice preferred the HFD. Tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter mRNA levels in the ventral tegmental area, and dopamine receptor and dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens were significantly lower in Mecp2+/--HFD mice than those of WT-HFD mice. Thus, HFD feeding induced dysregulation of food intake in the hypothalamus and dopamine reward circuitry, and accelerated the development of extreme obesity associated with addiction-like eating behavior in Mecp2+/- mice.

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<![CDATA[Dyslipidemia, subclinical inflammation, hepatic cholestasis and endothelial dysfunction in schoolchildren with excess fat: A study from the United Arab Emirates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa58bd5eed0c484ca59b8

Background

The impact of obesity on cardiovascular health of young children is still to be fully illustrated. This study measured biomarkers for glycemic control, lipid metabolism, systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and hepatic cholestasis in schoolchildren. Its main purpose was to determine whether metabolic derangements could be detected in young children with excess fat.

Method

This cross-sectional study involved 967 children in the second, sixth, and tenth grades (median age, 7.3, 11.3, and 15.4 years, respectively). Using the International Obesity Task Force interpretation (IOTF) of body-mass-index (BMI), children were stratified as thin (<5th centiles), normal (5th to <85th centiles), overweight (85th to <95th centiles), obese (95th to <98th centiles), or extremely-obese (≥98th centiles). Waist circumference was also measured. Several metabolic determinations were then used as surrogate biomarkers for cardiovascular risks.

Results

Prevalence of BMI≥85th centile among the second graders was 13.1%, sixth graders 42.2%, and tenth graders 33.8%. BMI≥85th centile was associated with a tendency for higher hemoglobin A1c (p≥0.160) and higher blood glucose (p≥0.197). For the second graders, BMI≥85th centile was associated with higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP, p<0.001), higher tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-alpha, p<0.001), higher interleukin-6 (IL-6, p<0.001), higher soluble intercellular cytoadhesive molecule-1 (sICAM-1), higher triglycerides (p≤0.024), and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL, p<0.001). Additionally, for the sixth and tenth graders, BMI≥85th centile was associated with higher gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT, p<0.001). In the sixth graders, BMI≥85th centile was insignificantly changed with sICAM-1 or the soluble vascular cytoadhesive molecule-1 (sVCAM-1).

Conclusions

The studied children with excess fat had increased risks for developing systemic inflammation, dyslipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, cholestasis, and diabetes. These results suggest that metabolic biomarkers should be included in the routine assessment of children with an overweight problem.

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<![CDATA[Coherency of circadian rhythms in the SCN is governed by the interplay of two coupling factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c18139dd5eed0c4847755e7

Circadian clocks are autonomous oscillators driving daily rhythms in physiology and behavior. In mammals, a network of coupled neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is entrained to environmental light-dark cycles and orchestrates the timing of peripheral organs. In each neuron, transcriptional feedbacks generate noisy oscillations. Coupling mediated by neuropeptides such as VIP and AVP lends precision and robustness to circadian rhythms. The detailed coupling mechanisms between SCN neurons are debated. We analyze organotypic SCN slices from neonatal and adult mice in wild-type and multiple knockout conditions. Different degrees of rhythmicity are quantified by pixel-level analysis of bioluminescence data. We use empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) to characterize spatio-temporal patterns. Simulations of coupled stochastic single cell oscillators can reproduce the diversity of observed patterns. Our combination of data analysis and modeling provides deeper insight into the enormous complexity of the data: (1) Neonatal slices are typically stronger oscillators than adult slices pointing to developmental changes of coupling. (2) Wild-type slices are completely synchronized and exhibit specific spatio-temporal patterns of phases. (3) Some slices of Cry double knockouts obey impaired synchrony that can lead to co–existing rhythms (“splitting”). (4) The loss of VIP-coupling leads to desynchronized rhythms with few residual local clusters. Additional information was extracted from co–culturing slices with rhythmic neonatal wild-type SCNs. These co–culturing experiments were simulated using external forcing terms representing VIP and AVP signaling. The rescue of rhythmicity via co–culturing lead to surprising results, since a cocktail of AVP-antagonists improved synchrony. Our modeling suggests that these counter-intuitive observations are pointing to an antagonistic action of VIP and AVP coupling. Our systematic theoretical and experimental study shows that dual coupling mechanisms can explain the astonishing complexity of spatio-temporal patterns in SCN slices.

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<![CDATA[Lower circulating levels of CTRP12 and CTRP13 in polycystic ovarian syndrome: Irrespective of obesity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab85fd5eed0c484027c9a

Altered production of adipokines is suggested to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). C1q/TNF-related proteins (CTRPs) play diverse roles in regulation of metabolism in physiologic and pathologic conditions. In the present study, we assessed serum concentrations of adiponectin, CTRP12, and CTRP13 in individuals with PCOS and those without PCOS. We also evaluated the possible association of these adipokines with metabolic and hormonal variables. A total of 171 premenopausal women (86 with PCOS and 85 without PCOS) enrolled in this study. Serum levels of adiponectin, CTRP12, and CTRP13 were measured. The results showed significantly lower serum concentrations of adiponectin, CTRP12, and CTRP13 in PCOS women compared to non-PCOS women. This difference remained significant after controlling for age, body mass index (BMI), and Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR). However, we did not observe any significant differences in serum levels of adiponectin, CTRP12, and CTRP13 between the overweight/obese and normal weight subgroups in PCOS and non-PCOS women. Multiple linear regression analysis showed associations of CTRP12 with adiponectin and BMI with CTRP13 in both the PCOS and non-PCOS groups. CTRP12 was significantly associated with BMI and adiponectin in the non-PCOS group, and fasting blood glucose (FBG) and CTRP13 in the PCOS group. Our results indicated that decreased adiponectin, CTRP12, and CTRP13 levels, regardless of obesity, could independently predict PCOS. This finding suggested a novel link between adipokines and PCOS.

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