Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have captured the attention of researchers today due to their multipotent differentiation capacity. Also, they have been successfully applied clinically, in the treatment of various diseases of the heart and musculoskeletal systems, with encouraging results. Their supportive role in haematopoiesis and their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties have enhanced their contribution towards the improvement of engraftment and the treatment of graft-versus-host disease in patients receiving haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, there is a growing body of research that supports the involvement of MSCs in leukaemogenesis with several genetic and functional abnormalities having been detected in the MSCs of leukaemia patients. MSCs also exert leukaemia-enhancing effects and induce chemotherapy resistance in leukaemia cells. This paper addresses the key issues in the therapeutic value as well as the harmful effects of the MSCs in leukaemia with a sharp focus on the recent updates in the published literature.
Type 2 diabetes consists of progressive hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and pancreatic β-cell failure which could result from glucose toxicity, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress. In the present study, we investigate the effect of pretreatment with Gelam honey (Melaleuca spp.) and the individual flavonoid components chrysin, luteolin, and quercetin, on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell viability, lipid peroxidation, and insulin content in hamster pancreatic cells (HIT-T15 cells), cultured under normal and hyperglycemic conditions. Phenolic extracts from a local Malaysian species of Gelam honey (Melaleuca spp.) were prepared using the standard extraction methods. HIT-T15 cells were cultured in 5 % CO2 and then preincubated with Gelam honey extracts (20, 40, 60, and 80 μg/ml) as well as some of its flavonoid components chrysin, luteolin, and quercetin (20, 40, 60, and 80 μM), prior to stimulation by 20 and 50 mM of glucose. The antioxidative effects were measured in these cultured cells at different concentrations and time point by DCFH-DA assay. Pretreatment of cells with Gelam honey extract or the flavonoid components prior to culturing in 20 or 50 mM glucose showed a significant decrease in the production of ROS, glucose-induced lipid peroxidation, and a significant increase in insulin content and the viability of cells cultured under hyperglycemic condition. Our results show the in vitro antioxidative property of the Gelam honey and the flavonoids on the β-cells from hamsters and its cytoprotective effect against hyperglycemia.
Beta-thalassemia is the most-common genetic disorder of hemoglobin synthesis in Malaysia, and about 4.5% of the population are heterozygous carriers of the disorder. Prenatal diagnosis was performed for 96 couples using the Amplification Refractory Mutation System and Gap-Polymerase Chain Reaction. We identified 17 beta-globin defects-initiation codon for translation (T-G), -29 (A-G), -28 (A-G), CAP +1 (A-C), CD 8/9 (+G), CD 15 (G-A), CD 17 (A-T), CD 19 (A-G), Hb E (G-A), IVS1-1 (G-T), IVS1-5 (G-C), CD 41/42 (-CTTT), CD 71-72 (+A), IVS2-654 (CT), poly A(A-G), 100-kb Ggamma(Agammadeltabeta) degrees and 45-kb Filipino deletions. The 192 beta-alleles studied comprised Chinese (151 patients), Malay (21), Orang Asli from East Malaysia (15), Filipino (1), Indian (1), Indonesian Chinese (2), and Thai (1). In the Chinese, 2 beta-globin defects at CD 41/42 and IVS2-654 were responsible for 74% of beta-thalassemia. beta-mutations at CD 19, IVS1-1 (G-T), IVS1-5, poly A, and hemoglobin E caused 76% of the hemoglobin disorders in the Malays. The Filipino 45-kb deletion caused 73.3% of bthalassemia in the Orang Asli. Using genomic sequencing, the rare Chinese beta-mutation at CD 43 (G-T) was confirmed in 2 Chinese, and the Mediterranean mutation IVS1-1 (G-A) was observed in a Malay beta-thalassemia carrier. The beta-globin mutations confirmed in this prenatal diagnosis study were heterogenous and 65 (68%) couples showed a different globin defect from each other. The use of specific molecular protocols has allowed rapid and successful prenatal diagnosis of beta-thalassemia in Malaysia.
Altered mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the most common denominator to numerous metabolic diseases. The present study sought to investigate the correlation between mtDNA content in lymphocytes and associated clinical risk factors for impaired fasting glucose (IFG). We included 23 healthy control and 42 IFG participants in this cross-sectional study. The measurements of mtDNA content in lymphocytes and pro-inflammatory markers derived from both normal and diseased individuals were quantified. Spearman partial correlation and multivariate statistical analyses were employed to evaluate the association between mtDNA content and other metabolic covariates in IFG. Reduced mtDNA content was observed in the IFG group with microvascular complications than those without complications. The IFG patients with lowest median of mtDNA content had considerably elevated hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and inflammation. The adjusted partial correlation analysis showed that mtDNA content was positively correlated with HDL-cholesterol and IL-10 (P