Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1371 in total

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  1. A Hamid MS, Sazlina SG
    PLoS ONE, 2019;14(1):e0209746.
    PMID: 30625165 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209746
    BACKGROUND: Childhood overweight and obesity has emerged as a major public health threat worldwide with challenges in its management. This review assessed the effectiveness of interventions for childhood overweight and obesity.

    METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted using CINAHL, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO and SPORTDiscus databases to retrieve articles published from 1st January 2000 to 31st December 2017. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies comparing different strategies in managing overweight and obesity among schoolchildren (6 to 12 years of age) were included. The main outcomes of interest were reductions in weight related variables included anthropometry and body composition measurements. All variables were analysed using random effects meta-analyses.

    RESULTS: Fourteen studies were reviewed, 13 were RCTs and one was a quasi-experimental study. The risk of bias for randomisation was low risk for all of RCTs except for one, which was unclear. The risk of bias for randomisation was high for the quasi-experimental study. Most interventions incorporated lifestyle changes and behavioural strategies such as coping and problem solving skills with family involvement. The meta-analyses did not show significant effects of the intervention in reducing weight related outcomes when compared with controls.

    CONCLUSION: Meta-analyses of the selected studies did not show significant effects of the interventions on weight related outcomes among overweight and obese schoolchildren when compared with controls. The role of interdisciplinary team approaches with family involvement using behaviour and lifestyle strategies to curb obesity among schoolchildren is important.

  2. Aalsalem MY, Khan WZ, Saad NM, Hossain MS, Atiquzzaman M, Khan MK
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(7):e0158072.
    PMID: 27409082 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158072
    Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are vulnerable to Node Replication attacks or Clone attacks. Among all the existing clone detection protocols in WSNs, RAWL shows the most promising results by employing Simple Random Walk (SRW). More recently, RAND outperforms RAWL by incorporating Network Division with SRW. Both RAND and RAWL have used SRW for random selection of witness nodes which is problematic because of frequently revisiting the previously passed nodes that leads to longer delays, high expenditures of energy with lower probability that witness nodes intersect. To circumvent this problem, we propose to employ a new kind of constrained random walk, namely Single Stage Memory Random Walk and present a distributed technique called SSRWND (Single Stage Memory Random Walk with Network Division). In SSRWND, single stage memory random walk is combined with network division aiming to decrease the communication and memory costs while keeping the detection probability higher. Through intensive simulations it is verified that SSRWND guarantees higher witness node security with moderate communication and memory overheads. SSRWND is expedient for security oriented application fields of WSNs like military and medical.
  3. Abas A, Gan ZL, Ishak MH, Abdullah MZ, Khor SF
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(7):e0159357.
    PMID: 27454872 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159357
    This paper studies the three dimensional (3D) simulation of fluid flows through the ball grid array (BGA) to replicate the real underfill encapsulation process. The effect of different solder bump arrangements of BGA on the flow front, pressure and velocity of the fluid is investigated. The flow front, pressure and velocity for different time intervals are determined and analyzed for potential problems relating to solder bump damage. The simulation results from Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) code will be validated with experimental findings as well as the conventional Finite Volume Method (FVM) code to ensure highly accurate simulation setup. Based on the findings, good agreement can be seen between LBM and FVM simulations as well as the experimental observations. It was shown that only LBM is capable of capturing the micro-voids formation. This study also shows an increasing trend in fluid filling time for BGA with perimeter, middle empty and full orientations. The perimeter orientation has a higher pressure fluid at the middle region of BGA surface compared to middle empty and full orientation. This research would shed new light for a highly accurate simulation of encapsulation process using LBM and help to further increase the reliability of the package produced.
  4. Abbas M, Majid AA, Md Ismail AI, Rashid A
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(1):e83265.
    PMID: 24427270 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083265
    In this paper, a numerical method for the solution of a strongly coupled reaction-diffusion system, with suitable initial and Neumann boundary conditions, by using cubic B-spline collocation scheme on a uniform grid is presented. The scheme is based on the usual finite difference scheme to discretize the time derivative while cubic B-spline is used as an interpolation function in the space dimension. The scheme is shown to be unconditionally stable using the von Neumann method. The accuracy of the proposed scheme is demonstrated by applying it on a test problem. The performance of this scheme is shown by computing L∞ and L2 error norms for different time levels. The numerical results are found to be in good agreement with known exact solutions.
  5. Abbasi A, Woo CS, Ibrahim RW, Islam S
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(4):e0123427.
    PMID: 25884854 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123427
    Digital image watermarking is an important technique for the authentication of multimedia content and copyright protection. Conventional digital image watermarking techniques are often vulnerable to geometric distortions such as Rotation, Scaling, and Translation (RST). These distortions desynchronize the watermark information embedded in an image and thus disable watermark detection. To solve this problem, we propose an RST invariant domain watermarking technique based on fractional calculus. We have constructed a domain using Heaviside function of order alpha (HFOA). The HFOA models the signal as a polynomial for watermark embedding. The watermark is embedded in all the coefficients of the image. We have also constructed a fractional variance formula using fractional Gaussian field. A cross correlation method based on the fractional Gaussian field is used for watermark detection. Furthermore the proposed method enables blind watermark detection where the original image is not required during the watermark detection thereby making it more practical than non-blind watermarking techniques. Experimental results confirmed that the proposed technique has a high level of robustness.
  6. Abd Rahman M, Ahmad Zaki R, Sarimin R, Ariff MI, Suli Z, Mahmud M, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(11):e0184559.
    PMID: 29095822 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184559
    The Malaysian Dengue Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) have been developed to provide evidence-based guidance in the management of dengue infections. The use of these guidelines is essential to ensure its recommendations are being practiced. However, the adherence to the guidelines for management of dengue (revised 2nd edition) by healthcare providers still remains unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the proportion among healthcare providers that adhere to this Dengue CPG. A retrospective cohort study of dengue cases registered from 1 January 2014 to 1 June 2015 was conducted in public hospitals and health clinics in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur. Adherence to the CPG recommendations were recorded by reviewing patients' case notes. Overall proportion of adherence in clinical components of the recommendation were (7.1 to 100.0% versus 7.7 to 73.8%) in history taking, (6.7 to 100.0% versus 12.3 to 60.0%) in physical examinations, (18.4 to 100.0% versus 23.1 to 83.2%) in assessment of warning signs, (0.6 to 100.0% versus 12.3 to 87.7%) in assessment of haemodynamic status, (60.0 to 100.0% versus 27.7 to 40.0%) in diagnosis, (46.6 to 80.0% versus 52.3%) in case notifications, (73.2 to 100.0% versus 89.2 to 96.9%) in performing specific laboratory investigations and (7.9 to 100.0% versus 21.5%) in monitoring, for outpatient versus inpatient, respectively. Adherence trends were demonstrated to be higher in hospital settings compared to outpatient settings. Adherence to this Dengue CPG varies widely with overall good clinical outcomes observed.
  7. Abdelaziz A, Fong AT, Gani A, Garba U, Khan S, Akhunzada A, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(4):e0174715.
    PMID: 28384312 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174715
    Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging promising paradigm for network management because of its centralized network intelligence. However, the centralized control architecture of the software-defined networks (SDNs) brings novel challenges of reliability, scalability, fault tolerance and interoperability. In this paper, we proposed a novel clustered distributed controller architecture in the real setting of SDNs. The distributed cluster implementation comprises of multiple popular SDN controllers. The proposed mechanism is evaluated using a real world network topology running on top of an emulated SDN environment. The result shows that the proposed distributed controller clustering mechanism is able to significantly reduce the average latency from 8.1% to 1.6%, the packet loss from 5.22% to 4.15%, compared to distributed controller without clustering running on HP Virtual Application Network (VAN) SDN and Open Network Operating System (ONOS) controllers respectively. Moreover, proposed method also shows reasonable CPU utilization results. Furthermore, the proposed mechanism makes possible to handle unexpected load fluctuations while maintaining a continuous network operation, even when there is a controller failure. The paper is a potential contribution stepping towards addressing the issues of reliability, scalability, fault tolerance, and inter-operability.
  8. Abdelhaq M, Alsaqour R, Abdelhaq S
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(5):e0120715.
    PMID: 25946001 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120715
    A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a set of mobile, decentralized, and self-organizing nodes that are used in special cases, such as in the military. MANET properties render the environment of this network vulnerable to different types of attacks, including black hole, wormhole and flooding-based attacks. Flooding-based attacks are one of the most dangerous attacks that aim to consume all network resources and thus paralyze the functionality of the whole network. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to investigate the capability of a danger theory-based artificial immune algorithm called the mobile dendritic cell algorithm (MDCA) to detect flooding-based attacks in MANETs. The MDCA applies the dendritic cell algorithm (DCA) to secure the MANET with additional improvements. The MDCA is tested and validated using Qualnet v7.1 simulation tool. This work also introduces a new simulation module for a flooding attack called the resource consumption attack (RCA) using Qualnet v7.1. The results highlight the high efficiency of the MDCA in detecting RCAs in MANETs.
  9. Abdi A, Idris N, Alguliyev RM, Aliguliyev RM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0145809.
    PMID: 26735139 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145809
    Summarization is a process to select important information from a source text. Summarizing strategies are the core cognitive processes in summarization activity. Since summarization can be important as a tool to improve comprehension, it has attracted interest of teachers for teaching summary writing through direct instruction. To do this, they need to review and assess the students' summaries and these tasks are very time-consuming. Thus, a computer-assisted assessment can be used to help teachers to conduct this task more effectively.
  10. Abdi MM, Abdullah LC, Sadrolhosseini AR, Mat Yunus WM, Moksin MM, Tahir PM
    PLoS ONE, 2011;6(9):e24578.
    PMID: 21931763 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024578
    A new sensing area for a sensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was fabricated to detect trace amounts of mercury and lead ions. The gold surface used for SPR measurements were modified with polypyrrole-chitosan (PPy-CHI) conducting polymer composite. The polymer layer was deposited on the gold surface by electrodeposition. This optical sensor was used for monitoring toxic metal ions with and without sensitivity enhancement by chitosan in water samples. The higher amounts of resonance angle unit (ΔRU) were obtained for PPy-CHI film due to a specific binding of chitosan with Pb(2+) and Hg(2+) ions. The Pb(2+) ion bind to the polymer films most strongly, and the sensor was more sensitive to Pb(2+) compared to Hg(2+). The concentrations of ions in the parts per million range produced the changes in the SPR angle minimum in the region of 0.03 to 0.07. Data analysis was done by Matlab software using Fresnel formula for multilayer system.
  11. Abdollahi A, Talib MA, Yaacob SN, Ismail Z
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(4):e0122222.
    PMID: 25830229 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122222
    Recent evidence suggests that suicidal ideation is increased among university students, it is essential to increase our knowledge concerning the etiology of suicidal ideation among university students. This study was conducted to examine the relationships between problem-solving skills appraisal, hardiness, and suicidal ideation among university students. In addition, this study was conducted to examine problem-solving skills appraisal (including the three components of problem-solving confidence, approach-avoidance style, and personal control of emotion) as a potential mediator between hardiness and suicidal ideation.
  12. Abdul Hafid SR, Chakravarthi S, Nesaretnam K, Radhakrishnan AK
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(9):e74753.
    PMID: 24069344 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074753
    Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil is reported to possess anti-cancer and immune-enhancing effects. In this study, TRF supplementation was used as an adjuvant to enhance the anti-cancer effects of dendritic cells (DC)-based cancer vaccine in a syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer. Female BALB/c mice were inoculated with 4T1 cells in mammary pad to induce tumor. When the tumor was palpable, the mice in the experimental groups were injected subcutaneously with DC-pulsed with tumor lysate (TL) from 4T1 cells (DC+TL) once a week for three weeks and fed daily with 1 mg TRF or vehicle. Control mice received unpulsed DC and were fed with vehicle. The combined therapy of using DC+TL injections and TRF supplementation (DC+TL+TRF) inhibited (p<0.05) tumor growth and metastasis. Splenocytes from the DC+TL+TRF group cultured with mitomycin-C (MMC)-treated 4T1 cells produced higher (p<0.05) levels of IFN-γ and IL-12. The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) assay also showed enhanced tumor-specific killing (p<0.05) by CD8(+) T-lymphocytes isolated from mice in the DC+TL+TRF group. This study shows that TRF has the potential to be used as an adjuvant to enhance effectiveness of DC-based vaccines.
  13. Abdul Hamid NK, Carmona-Antoñanzas G, Monroig Ó, Tocher DR, Turchini GM, Donald JA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150770.
    PMID: 26943160 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150770
    Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, are intensively cultured globally. Understanding their requirement for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) and the biochemistry of the enzymes and biosynthetic pathways required for fatty acid synthesis is important and highly relevant in current aquaculture. Most gnathostome vertebrates have two fatty acid desaturase (fads) genes with known functions in LC-PUFA biosynthesis and termed fads1 and fads2. However, teleost fish have exclusively fads2 genes. In rainbow trout, a fads2 cDNA had been previously cloned and found to encode an enzyme with Δ6 desaturase activity. In the present study, a second fads2 cDNA was cloned from the liver of rainbow trout and termed fads2b. The full-length mRNA contained 1578 nucleotides with an open reading frame of 1365 nucleotides that encoded a 454 amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight of 52.48 kDa. The predicted Fads2b protein had the characteristic traits of the microsomal Fads family, including an N-terminal cytochrome b5 domain containing the heme-binding motif (HPPG), histidine boxes (HDXGH, HFQHH and QIEHH) and three transmembrane regions. The fads2b was expressed predominantly in the brain, liver, intestine and pyloric caeca. Expression of the fasd2b in yeast generated a protein that was found to specifically convert eicosatetraenoic acid (20:4n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3), and therefore functioned as a Δ5 desaturase. Therefore, rainbow trout have two fads2 genes that encode proteins with Δ5 and Δ6 desaturase activities, respectively, which enable this species to perform all the desaturation steps required for the biosynthesis of LC-PUFA from C18 precursors.
  14. Abdul Majid H, Ramli L, Ying SP, Su TT, Jalaludin MY, Abdul Mohsein NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155447.
    PMID: 27187889 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155447
    Optimal nutrition is essential for healthy growth during adolescence. This study aims to investigate the baseline nutritional intake of Malaysian adolescents by gender, body mass index, and places of residence, both urban and rural. A cohort study was conducted consisting of 794 adolescents (aged 13-years) attending 15 public secondary schools from the Central (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor) and Northern (Perak) Regions of Peninsular Malaysia. Qualified dietitians conducted a 7-day historical assessment of habitual food intakes. Facilitated by flipcharts and household measurement tools, detailed information on portion sizes and meal contents were recorded. Nutritionist Pro™ Diet Analysis software was also used to analyze the dietary records.The mean age of the adolescents was 12.86 ± 0.33 y; the mean energy intake was 1659.0 ± 329.6 kcal/d. Males had significantly (P < .001) higher energy intake than females (1774.0 ± 369.8 vs 1595.2 ± 320.6 kcal/d); adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and cholesterol (P < .001) compared to adolescents in urban schools (1706.1 ± 377.7 kcal/d and 244.1 ± 100.2 mg/d, respectively). Obese adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and sugar (1987.6 ± 374.0 kcal/d and 48.9 ± 23.0 g/d) (p-value <0.001).The dietary intake of normal weight versus obese adolescents differs by the location of their school. Thus, the implementation of a structured and tailored intervention is recommended to help minimize this nutritional inequality.
  15. Abdul Majid MA, Mahboob T, Mong BG, Jaturas N, Richard RL, Tian-Chye T, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(2):e0169448.
    PMID: 28212409 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169448
    Data on the distribution of free-living amoebae is still lacking especially in Southeast Asian region. The aquatic environment revealed a high occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) due to its suitable condition and availability of food source, which subsequently causes infection to humans. A total of 94 water samples consisted of both treated and untreated from Laos (31), Myanmar (42), and Singapore (21) were investigated for the presence of pathogenic FLA. Each water sample was filtered and cultured onto non-nutrient agar seeded with live suspension of Escherichia coli and incubated at room temperature. Morphological identification was conducted for both trophozoites and cysts via microscopic stains (Giemsa and immunofluorescence). The presence of Naegleria-like structures was the most frequently encountered in both treated and untreated water samples, followed by Acanthamoeba-like and Vermamoeba-like features. To identify the pathogenic isolates, species-specific primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Vermamoeba. The pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba lenticulata and A. triangularis were detected from untreated water samples, while Vermamoeba vermiformis was found in both treated and untreated water samples. Our results suggested that poor water quality as well as inadequate maintenance and treatment might be the cause of this alarming problem since chlorine disinfection is ineffective in eradicating these amoebas in treated water samples. Regular monitoring and examination of water qualities are necessary in order to control the growth, hence, further preventing the widespread of FLA infections among the public.
  16. Abdul Manaf MR, Mustafa M, Abdul Rahman MR, Yusof KH, Abd Aziz NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156937.
    PMID: 27280529 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156937
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Mental health problems are common in old age, but frequently remain undetected and untreated. Mental health problems in the elderly are the result of a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and emotional stress) and their associated factors among the Malay elderly in a rural community of Perak, Malaysia.

    METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study. The Malay elderly aged 60 years and above were selected through convenient sampling to give a total of 230 respondents. The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to assess the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Bivariate analyses were performed using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between the factors and each of the mental health statuses assessed.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the elderly respondents was 27.8%, 22.6%, and 8.7%, respectively. The significant factors for depression were single elderly (Adjusted OR = 3.27, 95%CI 1.66, 6.44), living with family (Adjusted OR = 4.98, 95%CI 2.05, 12.10), and poor general health status (Adjusted OR = 2.28, 95%CI 1.20, 4.36). Living with family was the only significant factor for anxiety (Adjusted OR = 2.68, 95%CI 1.09, 6.57). There was no significant factor for stress.

    CONCLUSIONS: Depression and anxiety among the Malay elderly in the rural community were very worrying. More equity in health should be created or strengthened in order to intensify the opportunity to identify, diagnose, and treat those with mental health problems. Living arrangement in the rural community was an important factor that had influenced depression and anxiety. Therefore, further research is recommended for more comprehensive information, as a result of which appropriate intervention can be made.

  17. Abdul Manas NH, Pachelles S, Mahadi NM, Illias RM
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(9):e106481.
    PMID: 25221964 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106481
    A maltogenic amylase (MAG1) from alkaliphilic Bacillus lehensis G1 was cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and characterised for its hydrolysis and transglycosylation properties. The enzyme exhibited high stability at pH values from 7.0 to 10.0. The hydrolysis of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) produced malto-oligosaccharides of various lengths. In addition to hydrolysis, MAG1 also demonstrated transglycosylation activity for the synthesis of longer malto-oligosaccharides. The thermodynamic equilibrium of the multiple reactions was shifted towards synthesis when the reaction conditions were optimised and the water activity was suppressed, which resulted in a yield of 38% transglycosylation products consisting of malto-oligosaccharides of various lengths. Thin layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography analyses revealed the presence of malto-oligosaccharides with a higher degree of polymerisation than maltoheptaose, which has never been reported for other maltogenic amylases. The addition of organic solvents into the reaction further suppressed the water activity. The increase in the transglycosylation-to-hydrolysis ratio from 1.29 to 2.15 and the increased specificity toward maltopentaose production demonstrated the enhanced synthetic property of the enzyme. The high transglycosylation activity of maltogenic amylase offers a great advantage for synthesising malto-oligosaccharides and rare carbohydrates.
  18. Abdul Nasir NA, Agarwal R, Sheikh Abdul Kadir SH, Vasudevan S, Tripathy M, Iezhitsa I, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(3):e0174542.
    PMID: 28350848 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174542
    Cataract, a leading cause of blindness, is of special concern in diabetics as it occurs at earlier onset. Polyol accumulation and increased oxidative-nitrosative stress in cataractogenesis are associated with NFκB activation, iNOS expression, ATP depletion, loss of ATPase functions, calpain activation and proteolysis of soluble to insoluble proteins. Tocotrienol was previously shown to reduce lens oxidative stress and inhibit cataractogenesis in galactose-fed rats. In current study, we investigated anticataract effects of topical tocotrienol and possible mechanisms involved in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in Sprague Dawley rats by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. Diabetic rats were treated with vehicle (DV) or tocotrienol (DT). A third group consists of normal, non-diabetic rats were treated with vehicle (NV). All treatments were given topically, bilaterally, twice daily for 8 weeks with weekly slit lamp monitoring. Subsequently, rats were euthanized and lenses were subjected to estimation of polyol accumulation, oxidative-nitrosative stress, NFκB activation, iNOS expression, ATP levels, ATPase activities, calpain activity and total protein levels. Cataract progression was delayed from the fifth week onwards in DT with lower mean of cataract stages compared to DV group (p<0.01) despite persistent hyperglycemia. Reduced cataractogenesis in DT group was accompanied with lower aldose reductase activity and sorbitol level compared to DV group (p<0.01). DT group also showed reduced NFκB activation, lower iNOS expression and reduced oxidative-nitrosative stress compared to DV group. Lenticular ATP and ATPase and calpain 2 activities in DT group were restored to normal. Consequently, soluble to insoluble protein ratio in DT group was higher compared to DV (p<0.05). In conclusion, preventive effect of topical tocotrienol on development of cataract in STZ-induced diabetic rats could be attributed to reduced lens aldose reductase activity, polyol levels and oxidative-nitrosative stress. These effects of tocotrienol invlove reduced NFκB activation, lower iNOS expression, restoration of ATP level, ATPase activities, calpain activity and lens protein levels.
  19. Abdul Razak F, Jensen HJ
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(6):e99462.
    PMID: 24955766 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099462
    'Causal' direction is of great importance when dealing with complex systems. Often big volumes of data in the form of time series are available and it is important to develop methods that can inform about possible causal connections between the different observables. Here we investigate the ability of the Transfer Entropy measure to identify causal relations embedded in emergent coherent correlations. We do this by firstly applying Transfer Entropy to an amended Ising model. In addition we use a simple Random Transition model to test the reliability of Transfer Entropy as a measure of 'causal' direction in the presence of stochastic fluctuations. In particular we systematically study the effect of the finite size of data sets.
  20. Abdulaziz Bardi D, Halabi MF, Hassandarvish P, Rouhollahi E, Paydar M, Moghadamtousi SZ, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(10):e109424.
    PMID: 25280007 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109424
    This study investigated the hepatoprotective effects of ethanolic Andrographis paniculata leaf extract (ELAP) on thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. An acute toxicity study proved that ELAP is not toxic in rats. To examine the effects of ELAP in vivo, male Sprague Dawley rats were given intraperitoneal injections of vehicle 10% Tween-20, 5 mL/kg (normal control) or 200 mg/kg TAA thioacetamide (to induce liver cirrhosis) three times per week. Three additional groups were treated with thioacetamide plus daily oral silymarin (50 mg/kg) or ELAP (250 or 500 mg/kg). Liver injury was assessed using biochemical tests, macroscopic and microscopic tissue analysis, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. In addition, HepG2 and WRL-68 cells were treated in vitro with ELAP fractions to test cytotoxicity. Rats treated with ELAP exhibited significantly lower liver/body weight ratios and smoother, more normal liver surfaces compared with the cirrhosis group. Histopathology using Hematoxylin and Eosin along with Masson's Trichrome stain showed minimal disruption of hepatic cellular structure, minor fibrotic septa, a low degree of lymphocyte infiltration, and minimal collagen deposition after ELAP treatment. Immunohistochemistry indicated that ELAP induced down regulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Also, hepatic antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress parameters in ELAP-treated rats were comparable to silymarin-treated rats. ELAP administration reduced levels of altered serum liver biomarkers. ELAP fractions were non-cytotoxic to WRL-68 cells, but possessed anti-proliferative activity on HepG2 cells, which was confirmed by a significant elevation of lactate dehydrogenase, reactive oxygen species, cell membrane permeability, cytochrome c, and caspase-8,-9, and, -3/7 activity in HepG2 cells. A reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential was also detected in ELAP-treated HepG2 cells. The hepatoprotective effect of 500 mg/kg of ELAP is proposed to result from the reduction of thioacetamide-induced toxicity, normalizing reactive oxygen species levels, inhibiting cellular proliferation, and inducing apoptosis in HepG2 cells.
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