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Molecular Aspects of Medicine

Eleonora Scorletti, Christopher D Byrne
For many years it has been known that high doses of long chain omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the treatment of hypertriglyceridaemia. Over the last three decades, there has also been a wealth of in vitro and in vivo data that has accumulated to suggest that long chain omega-3 fatty acid treatment might be beneficial to decrease liver triacylglycerol. Several biological mechanisms have been identified that support this hypothesis; notably, it has been shown that long chain omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect: a) on bioactive metabolites involved in inflammatory pathways, and b) on alteration of nuclear transcription factor activities such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) and carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP), involved in inflammatory pathways and liver lipid metabolism...
March 12, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Valeska Helfinger, Katrin Schröder
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular diseases. This has been the case for the last few decades despite there being an increase in the number of cancer treatments. One reason for the apparent lack of drug effectiveness might be, at least in part, due to unspecificity for tumors; which often leads to substantial side effects. One way to improve the treatment of cancer is to increase the specificity of the treatment in accordance with the concept of individualized medicine. This will help to prevent further progression of an existing cancer or even to reduce the tumor burden...
February 28, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Cecilia Lässer, Su Chul Jang, Jan Lötvall
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as exosomes and microvesicles, have over the last 10-15 years been recognized to convey key messages in the molecular communication between cells. Indeed, EVs have the capacity to shuttle proteins, lipids, and nucleotides such as RNA between cells, leading to an array of functional changes in the recipient cells. Importantly, the EV secretome changes significantly in diseased cells and under conditions of cellular stress. More recently, it has become evident that the EV secretome is exceptionally diverse, with many different types of EVs being released by a single cell type, and these EVs can be described in terms of differences in density, molecular cargos, and morphology...
February 9, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
R J Scott Lacombe, Raphaël Chouinard-Watkins, Richard P Bazinet
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in the brain where it serves to regulate several important processes and, in addition, serves as a precursor to bioactive mediators. Given that the capacity of the brain to synthesize DHA locally is appreciably low, the uptake of DHA from circulating lipid pools is essential to maintaining homeostatic levels. Although, several plasma pools have been proposed to supply the brain with DHA, recent evidence suggests non-esterified-DHA and lysophosphatidylcholine-DHA are the primary sources...
February 8, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Javier I Ottaviani, Christian Heiss, Jeremy P Spencer, Malte Kelm, Hagen Schroeter
The last 8 years have seen significant developments in our understanding of dietary flavanols and procyanidins in the context of human health and nutrition. During the same time, recognition of the importance of nutrition in primary disease prevention and health maintenance has increased. In addition, the concept of dietary bioactives (food constituents that although not essential to human life and procreation, may nevertheless play an important role in disease risk reduction, primary disease prevention, and healthy aging) has been created and developed...
February 7, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Susmita Sil, Palsamy Periyasamy, Annadurai Thangaraj, Ernest T Chivero, Shilpa Buch
Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors (PDGFRs) are expressed in several cell types including the brain cells such as neuronal progenitors, neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Emerging evidence shows that PDGF-mediated signaling regulates diverse functions in the central nervous system (CNS) such as neurogenesis, cell survival, synaptogenesis, modulation of ligand-gated ion channels, and development of specific types of neurons. Interestingly, PDGF/PDFGR signaling can elicit paradoxical roles in the CNS, depending on the cell type and the activation stimuli and is implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases...
February 6, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Cesar G Fraga, Patricia I Oteiza, Monica Galleano
Polyphenols are bioactives claimed to be responsible for some of the health benefits provided by fruit and vegetables. It is currently accepted that the bioactivities of polyphenols can be mostly ascribed to their interactions with proteins and lipids. Such interactions can affect cell oxidant production and cell signaling, and explain in part the ability of polyphenols to promote health. EC can modulate redox sensitive signaling by: i) defining the extent of oxidant levels that can modify cell signaling, function, and fate, e...
February 5, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Erika Folestad, Anne Kunath, Dick Wågsäter
Members of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family are well known to be involved in different pathological conditions. The cellular and molecular mechanisms induced by the PDGF signaling have been well studied. Nevertheless, there is much more to discover about their functions and some important questions to be answered. This review summarizes the known roles of two of the PDGFs, PDGF-C and PDGF-D, in vascular diseases. There are clear implications for these growth factors in several vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and stroke...
February 1, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Renger F Witkamp
Intake, absorption and synthesis of fatty acids, including those produced by the intestinal microbiota are tightly monitored via specific receptors and, indirectly through their conversion into a variety of signalling molecules. The resulting information is integrated and translated to different physiological processes, including the regulation of appetite and satiation. Direct chemosensing of fatty acids takes place via interaction with free fatty acid (FFA) and other receptors. These are present in the oronasal cavity and along the entire gastrointestinal tract, in various other tissues, and, for some receptors also in brain...
January 19, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Ondrej Kuda, Martin Rossmeisl, Jan Kopecky
This review provides evidence for the importance of white and brown adipose tissue (i.e. WAT and BAT) function for the maintenance of healthy metabolic phenotype and its preservation in response to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA), namely in the context of diseased states linked to aberrant accumulation of body fat, systemic low-grade inflammation, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. More specifically, the review deals with (i) the concept of immunometabolism, i.e. how adipose-resident immune cells and adipocytes affect each other and define the immune-metabolic interface; and (ii) the characteristic features of "healthy adipocytes" in WAT, which are relatively small fat cells endowed with a high capacity for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, triacylglycerol/fatty acid (TAG/FA) cycling and de novo lipogenesis (DNL)...
January 15, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Andreas Weigert, Andreas von Knethen, Dominik Fuhrmann, Nathalie Dehne, Bernhard Brüne
Macrophages are known for their versatile role in biology. They sense and clear structures that contain exogenous or endogenous pathogen-associated molecular patterns. This process is tightly linked to the production of a mixture of potentially harmful oxidants and cytokines. Their inherent destructive behavior is directed against foreign material or structures of 'altered self', which explains the role of macrophages during innate immune reactions and inflammation. However, there is also another side of macrophages when they turn into a tissue regenerative, pro-resolving, and healing phenotype...
January 9, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
P I Oteiza, C G Fraga, D A Mills, D H Taft
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a central role in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of flavonoids, which ultimately define the health effects of these bioactives. These aspects are modulated by the interactions of flavonoids with other dietary components, environmental factors, the host, and the GI microbiota. Flavonoid can target molecules in the luminal content, the different GI tract cell types, and the microbiota. Importantly, flavonoid actions at the GI tract can have an impact systemically, e...
January 6, 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Susanne Rautiainen, Howard D Sesso, JoAnn E Manson
Several bioactive compounds and nutrients in foods have physiological properties that are beneficial for human health. While nutrients typically have clear definitions with established levels of recommended intakes, bioactive compounds often lack such a definition. Although a food-based approach is often the optimal approach to ensure adequate intake of bioactives and nutrients, these components are also often produced as dietary supplements. However, many of these supplements are not sufficiently studied and have an unclear role in chronic disease prevention...
December 29, 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Jinmiao Chen, Laurent Rénia, Florent Ginhoux
Advances in single-cell RNA-sequencing have helped reveal the previously underappreciated level of cellular heterogeneity present during cellular differentiation. A static snapshot of single-cell transcriptomes provides a good representation of the various stages of differentiation as differentiation is rarely synchronized between cells. Data from numerous single-cell analyses has suggested that cellular differentiation and development can be conceptualized as continuous processes. Consequently, computational algorithms have been developed to infer lineage relationships between cell types and construct developmental trajectories along which cells are re-ordered such that similarity between successive cell pairs is maximized...
February 2018: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Claudia Quezada, Ángelo Torres, Ignacio Niechi, Daniel Uribe, Susana Contreras-Duarte, Fernando Toledo, Rody San Martín, Jaime Gutiérrez, Luis Sobrevia
The role of extracellular vesicles in cancer biology has emerged as a focus of the study of great importance and has been shown to directly influence tumour development in several cancers including brain tumours, such as gliomas. Gliomas are the most aggressive brain tumours, and in the last time, a considerable effort has been made to understand their biology. Studies focus in the signalling pathways involved in the processes of angiogenesis, viability, drug resistance and immune response evasion, as well as gliomas ability to infiltrate healthy tissue, a phenomenon regulated by the migratory and invasive capacity of the cells within a tumour...
December 13, 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Delia I Chiarello, Rocío Salsoso, Fernando Toledo, Alfonso Mate, Carmen M Vázquez, Luis Sobrevia
Intercellular communication is a critical process in biological mechanisms. During pregnancy foetoplacental tissues release a heterogeneous group of extracellular vesicles (EVs) that include exosomes, microvesicles, apoptotic bodies, and syncytial nuclear aggregates. These vesicles contain a complex cargo (proteins, DNA, mRNA transcripts, microRNAs, noncoding RNA, lipids, and other molecules) that actively participate in the maternal-foetal communication by modulating different processes during gestation for a successful foetal development...
December 12, 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Lesley Cheng, Wenting Zhao, Andrew F Hill
Over the past decade, small extracellular vesicles called exosomes have been observed to harbour protein and genetic cargo that can assist in health and also cause disease. Many groups are extensively investigating the mechanisms involved that regulate the trafficking and packaging of exosomal contents and how these processes may be deregulated in disease. Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative disorders and are characterized by the presence of detectable misfolded prion proteins. The disease associated form of the prion protein can be found in exosomes and its transmissible properties have provided a reliable experimental read out that can be used to understand how exosomes and their cargo are involved in cell-cell communication and in the spread of prion diseases...
December 8, 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Laura Nogués, Alberto Benito-Martin, Marta Hergueta-Redondo, Héctor Peinado
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are key mediators of intercellular communication that have been ignored for decades. Tumour cells benefit from the secretion of vesicles as they can influence the behaviour of neighbouring tumour cells within the tumour microenvironment. Several studies have shown that extracellular vesicles play an active role in pre-metastatic niche formation and importantly, they are involved in the metastatic organotropism of different tumour types. Tumour-derived EVs carry and transfer molecules to recipient cells, modifying their behaviour through a process defined as "EV-driven education"...
December 5, 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Bian Wu, Giorgio Mottola, Melinda Schaller, Gilbert R Upchurch, Michael S Conte
Acute vascular injury occurs in a number of important clinical contexts, including spontaneous disease-related events (e.g. plaque rupture, thrombosis) and therapeutic interventions such as angioplasty, stenting, or bypass surgery. Endothelial cell (EC) disruption exposes the underlying matrix, leading to a rapid deposition of platelets, coagulation proteins, and leukocytes. A thrombo-inflammatory response ensues characterized by leukocyte recruitment, vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) activation, and the elaboration of cytokines, reactive oxygen species and growth factors within the vessel wall...
December 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Thomas E Van Dyke
Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the supporting structures of the dentition that is initiated by bacteria that form a biofilm on the surface of the teeth. The pathogenesis of the disease is a result of complex interactions between the biofilm and the host response that results in dysbiosis of the microbiome and dysregulation of the inflammatory response. Current data suggest that the excess inflammation associated with periodontitis is due to a failure of resolution of inflammation pathways. In this review, the relationship between inflammation and microbial dysbiosis is examined in the context of pro-inflammation and pro-resolution mediators and their ability to modify the course of disease...
December 2017: Molecular Aspects of Medicine
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