Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 36 in total

  1. Li ZZ, Liu G, Tao R, Lobont OR
    Front Public Health, 2021;9:699821.
    PMID: 34568255 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.699821
    This paper aims to determine the existence of convergence in health expenditures among Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Based on the SPSM procedure and panel KSS unit root test results, the public health expenditures (PUHE) in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Myanmar are converging, while that of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand are diverging. In addition, the sequences of private health expenditures (PRHE) in ASEAN member states are stationary, which implies convergence. This finding is in accordance with Wagner's law, that is, as nations develop, they are forced to expand public expenditure. Specifically, countries with low levels of PUHE tend to catch up with the high health spending countries. This research has policy implications with regard to the convergence of health expenditure across countries. The government in low- and lower-middle income countries should raise PUHE to provide access to health services for those who are unaffordable individuals.
  2. Ashraf A, Liu G, Yousaf B, Arif M, Ahmed R, Irshad S, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2021 Jun 10;772:145389.
    PMID: 33578171 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145389
    Wide spread documentation of antibiotic pollution is becoming a threat to aquatic environment. Erythromycin (ERY), a macrolide belonging antibiotic is at the top of this list with its concentrations ranging between ng/L to a few μg/L in various global waterbodies giving rise to ERY-resistance genes (ERY-RGs) and ERY- resistance bacteria (ERY-RBs) posing serious threat to the aquatic organisms. ERY seems resistant to various conventional water treatments, remained intact and even increased in terms of mass loads after treatment. Enhanced oxidation potential, wide pH range, elevated selectivity, adaptability and greater efficiency makes advance oxidation processes (AOPs) top priority for degrading pollutants with aromatic rings and unsaturated bonds like ERY. In this manuscript, recent developments in AOPs for ERY degradation are reported along with the factors that affect the degradation mechanism. ERY, marked as a risk prioritized macrolide antibiotic by 2015 released European Union watch list, most probably due to its protein inhibition capability considered third most widely used antibiotic. The current review provides a complete ERY overview including the environmental entry sources, concentration in global waters, ERY status in STPs, as well as factors affecting their functionality. Along with that this study presents complete outlook regarding ERY-RGs and provides an in depth detail regarding ERY's potential threats to aquatic biota. This study helps in figuring out the best possible strategy to tackle antibiotic pollution keeping ERY as a model antibiotic because of extreme toxicity records.
  3. Liu G, Chong HX, Chung FY, Li Y, Liong MT
    Int J Mol Sci, 2020 Jun 29;21(13).
    PMID: 32610495 DOI: 10.3390/ijms21134608
    We have previously reported that the administration of Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 for 12 weeks reduced stress and anxiety in stressed adults as compared to the placebo group, in association with changes along the brain neurotransmitters pathways of serotonin and dopamine-norepinephrine. We now aim to evaluate the effects of DR7 on gut functions, gut microbiota compositional changes, and determine the correlations between microbiota changes and the pathways of brain neurotransmitters. The administration of DR7 prevented an increase of defecation frequency over 12 weeks as compared to the placebo (p = 0.044), modulating the increase of stress-induced bowel movement. Over 12 weeks, alpha diversity of gut microbiota was higher in DR7 than the placebo group across class (p = 0.005) and order (p = 0.018) levels, while beta diversity differed between groups at class and order levels (p < 0.001). Differences in specific bacterial groups were identified, showing consistency at different taxonomic levels that survived multiplicity correction, along the phyla of Bacteroides and Firmicutes and along the classes of Deltaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Bacteroidetes, Bacteroidia, and Bacteroidales which were reduced in abundance in the placebo group showed opposing correlation with gene expression of dopamine beta hydrolase (DBH, dopamine pathway; p < 0.001), while Bacteroidia and Bacteroidales showed correlation with tryptophan hydroxylase-II (TPH2, serotonin pathway; p = 0.001). A correlation was observed between DBH and Firmicutes (p = 0.002), Clostridia (p < 0.001), Clostridiales (p = 0.001), Blautia (p < 0.001), and Romboutsia (p < 0.001), which were increased in abundance in the placebo group. Blautia was also associated with TDO (p = 0.001), whereas Romboutsia had an opposing correlation with TPH2 (p < 0.001). Deltaproteobacteria and Desulfovibrionales which were decreased in abundance in the placebo group showed opposing correlation with DBH (p = 0.001), whereas Bilophila was associated with TPH2 (p = 0.001). Our present data showed that physiological changes induced by L. plantarum DR7 could be associated with changes in specific taxa of the gut microbiota along the serotonin and dopamine pathways.
  4. Tan FHP, Liu G, Lau SA, Jaafar MH, Park YH, Azzam G, et al.
    Benef Microbes, 2020 Feb 19;11(1):79-89.
    PMID: 32066253 DOI: 10.3920/BM2019.0086
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive disease and one of the most common forms of neurodegenerative disorders. Emerging evidence is supporting the use of various strategies that modulate gut microbiota to exert neurological and psychological changes. This includes the utilisation of probiotics as a natural and dietary intervention for brain health. Here, we showed the potential AD-reversal effects of Lactobacillus probiotics through feeding to our Drosophila melanogaster AD model. The administration of Lactobacillus strains was able to rescue the rough eye phenotype (REP) seen in AD-induced Drosophila, with a more prominent effect observed upon the administration of Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 (DR7). Furthermore, we analysed the gut microbiota of the AD-induced Drosophila and found elevated levels of Wolbachia. The administration of DR7 restored the gut microbiota diversity of AD-induced Drosophila with a significant reduction in Wolbachia's relative abundance, accompanied by an increase of Stenotrophomonas and Acetobacter. Through functional predictive analyses, Wolbachia was predicted to be positively correlated with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases, while Stenotrophomonas was negatively correlated with these neurodegenerative disorders. Altogether, our data exhibited DR7's ability to ameliorate the AD effects in our AD-induced Drosophila. Thus, we propose that Wolbachia be used as a potential biomarker for AD.
  5. Gopi N, Rekha R, Vijayakumar S, Liu G, Monserrat JM, Faggio C, et al.
    PMID: 34375731 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2021.109161
    Effect of selenium and acidification in freshwater environment was assessed solitary but no reports are available on the impacts of both factors act together. In the present study, effects of combined simultaneous exposure to selenium (Se) and low pH were assessed in Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. Responses were measured based on antioxidant defenses (enzymatic SOD, CAT, GPx and non-enzymatic GSH), biotransformation enzyme (GST), metallothionein levels (MT), oxidative damage (LPO, CP), Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) activity in gills and liver tissues and neurotoxicity (acetylcholinesterase, AChE) response in brain tissue. Fish were exposed to combined treatment at different pH levels (7.5, control (optimum pH for tilapia growth); 5.5, low pH) and Se concentrations (0, 10, and 100 μg L-1). Toxicity levels of Se were not significantly different under control and low pH indicating that pH did not affect Se toxicity. Levels of GSH and MT were enhanced in Se-exposed fish at both pH. Combined effects of high Se concentration and low pH decreased SOD and CAT activities and increased those of GPx and GST. However, organisms were not able to prevent cellular damage (LPO and CP), indicating a condition of oxidative stress. Furthermore, inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase activity was showed. Additionally, neurotoxicity effect was observed by inhibition of cholinesterase activity in organisms exposed to Se at both pH conditions. As a result, the combined stress of selenium and freshwater acidification has a slight impact on antioxidant defense mechanisms while significantly inhibiting cholinesterase and Na+/K + -ATPase activity in fish. The mechanisms of freshwater acidification mediating the toxic effects of trace non-metal element on freshwater fish need to investigate further.
  6. Ren T, Feng H, Xu C, Xu Q, Fu B, Azwar E, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2022 Jan 22;294:133710.
    PMID: 35074326 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.133710
    The usage of fertilizer with high nitrogen content in many countries, as well as its enormous surplus, has a negative impact on the soil ecological environment in agricultural system. This consumption of nitrogen fertilizer can be minimized by applying biochar to maintain the sufficient supply of nitrogen as nutrient to the near-root zone. This study investigated the effects of various amounts of biochar application (450, 900, 1350, and 1800 kg/hm2) and reduction of nitrogen fertilizer amount (10, 15, 20, and 25%) on the nutrients and microorganism community structure in rhizosphere growing tobacco plant. The microorganism community was found essential in improving nitrogen retention. Compared with conventional treatment, an application of biochar in rhizosphere soil increased the content of soil available phosphorus, organic matter and total nitrogen by 21.47%, 26.34%, and 9.52%, respectively. It also increased the abundance of microorganisms that are capable of degrading and utilizing organic matter and cellulose, such as Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria. The relative abundance of Chloroflexi was also increased by 49.67-78.61%, and the Acidobacteria increased by 14.79-39.13%. Overall, the application of biochar with reduced nitrogen fertilizer amount can regulate the rhizosphere microecological environment of tobacco plants and their microbial population structure, thereby promoting soil health for tobacco plant growth while reducing soil acidification and environmental pollution caused by excessive nitrogen fertilizer.
  7. Liu G, Tan FH, Lau SA, Jaafar MH, Chung FY, Azzam G, et al.
    J Appl Microbiol, 2020 Jul 08.
    PMID: 32640111 DOI: 10.1111/jam.14773
    AIMS: To utilize transgenic GMR-Aβ42 Drosophila melanogaster as a model to evaluate potential Alzheimer's disease (AD)-reversal effects via the administration of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains, and associations of LAB with changes in gut microbiota profiles.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: Wild-type flies (Oregon-R) were crossed with glass multimer reporter-GAL4 (GMR-GAL4) to produce GMR-OreR (Control), while UAS-Aβ42 (#33769) were crossed with GMR-GAL4 to produce transgenic Drosophila line that expressed Aβ42 (GMR-Aβ42). Feed containing seven different LAB strains (Lactobacillus paracasei 0291, Lactobacillus helveticus 1515, Lactobacillus reuteri 30242, L. reuteri 8513d, Lactobacillus fermentum 8312, Lactobacillus casei Y, Lactobacillus sakei Probio65) were given to GMR-Aβ42 respectively, while feed without LAB strains were given to control and transgenic GMR-Aβ42.nf Drosophila lines. The morphology of the eyes was viewed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The changes in gut microbiota profiles associated with LAB were analysed using 16s high throughput sequencing. Malformation of eye structures in transgenic GMR-Aβ42 Drosophila were reversed upon the administration of LAB strains, with more prevalent effects from L. sakei Probio65 and L. paracasei 0291. The GMR-Aβ42.nf group showed dominance of Wolbachia in the gut, a genus that was almost absent in the normal control group (P 

  8. Zhang W, Chen X, Liu G, Jin G, Li Y, Li G, et al.
    PMID: 34619507 DOI: 10.1016/j.saa.2021.120443
    The popularmedicinal mushroomGanodermalucidum was often cultivated by the natural-log. Generally the short log after cultivation were discarded and became pollutant. Rapid and less destructive method of analysis technical by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Two-dimension Infrared (2DIR) correlation spectroscopy were selected to determine the composition changes of the logs after G.lucidum cultivation after first year to fifth year. The FTIR accumulated spectra formed without processed baseline showed the samples relied upon a sequenced increase of higher level than spectrum control Q (Q = Quercus acuttisima) from L + Q-5 (L = Lingzhi), L + Q-3, L + Q-1 to L + Q-2. The spectrum L + Q-4 has the optimum highest peak at box B, C and E from this lumped spectral view. The split spectra pinpointed on the fingerprint region of a sample begins from peak 1737 cm-1. ascribed C = O stretching vibration on acetyl and carboxyl hemicellulose group bonding gradually faded from L + Q-1 to L + Q-4 but appeared again on L + Q-5, possibly due to the degradation of hemicellulose. The absorption of peak around 1626 cm-1,1318 cm-1 and 781 cm-1 could be the characteristic absorption peak of calcium oxalate monohydrate. The correlation table indicated, most of the original structure of the building block of the wooden part was deteriorated and marked the lowest correlation value of the 4th year sample with control Q. The sudden changing pattern of 2nd derivative spectrum L + Q-3 to more flatten pattern spectrum L + Q-4 ascribed the changing contents of cellulose and hemicellulose included the lignin within one year during the G. lucidum cultivation. The 2DIR spectrum of the raw material sample precisely showed that the active site with red color was clustered with the area around 1800-1700 cm-1, 1450-800 cm-1 and 750-400 cm-1. In between, the range 1450-800 cm-1 was the most active cluster. Each of the sample showed the different sequence of autopeak comparison. This study has examined the impact of G. lucidum on the degradation of Q. acuttisima in term of their ecosystem life chain. The components of healthy Q. acuttisima wood including lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and calcium oxalate monohydrate underwent changes after different years of G. lucidum cultivation.
  9. Yan S, Ren T, Wan Mahari WA, Feng H, Xu C, Yun F, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2021 Aug 24;802:149835.
    PMID: 34461468 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149835
    Soil carbon supplementation is known to stimulate plant growth by improving soil fertility and plant nutrient uptake. However, the underlying process and chemical mechanism that could explain the interrelationship between soil carbon supplementation, soil micro-ecology, and the growth and quality of plant remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the influence and mechanism of soil carbon supplementation on the bacterial community, chemical cycling, mineral nutrition absorption, growth and properties of tobacco leaves. The soil carbon supplementation increased amino acid, carbohydrates, chemical energy metabolism, and bacterial richness in the soil. This led to increased content of sugar (23.75%), starch (13.25%), and chlorophyll (10.56%) in tobacco leaves. Linear discriminant analysis revealed 49 key phylotypes and significant increment of some of the Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) genera (Bacillus, Novosphingobium, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas) in the rhizosphere, which can influence the tobacco growth. Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS-PM) showed that soil carbon supplementation positively affected the sugar and starch contents in tobacco leaves by possibly altering the photosynthesis pathway towards increasing the aroma of the leaves, thus contributing to enhanced tobacco flavor. These findings are useful for understanding the influence of soil carbon supplementation on bacterial community for improving the yields and quality of tobacco in industrial plantation.
  10. Li X, Gao D, Paudel YN, Li X, Zheng M, Liu G, et al.
    ACS Chem Neurosci, 2022 Feb 02;13(3):330-339.
    PMID: 35044760 DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.1c00656
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a devastating disease of the central nervous system that occurs mainly in the elderly age group, affecting their quality of life. The PD pathogenesis is not yet fully understood and lacks the disease-modifying treatment strategies. Sanghuangprous vaninii (S. vaninii) is a perennial fungus with a plethora of pharmacological activities including anti-cancer and antioxidant activity and so on. However, no study till date has reported its neuroprotective effect against symptoms that are similar to PD in pre-clinical investigation. In the current study, we investigated anti-PD-like effects of S. vaninii mycelium extracts (SvMEs) on MPTP-induced PD in zebrafish. We observed that the loss of dopaminergic neurons and neurovascular reduction were reversed by using SvMEs in the zebrafish brain in a concentration-independent manner. Moreover, it also relieved locomotor impairments in MPTP-induced PD zebrafish. In addition, SvMEs exerted significant antioxidant activity in vitro, which was also demonstrated in vivo on ktr4:NTR-hKikGR zebrafish. Upon investigating the underlying mechanism, we found that SvMEs may alleviate oxidant stress and accelerate α-synuclein degradation and then alleviate PD-like symptoms. Antioxidant-related genes (sod1, gss, gpx4a, gclm, and cat) implied that the SvMEs exhibited anti-PD activity due to the antioxidation mechanism. Finally, upon analysis of chemical composition of SvMEs by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified 10 compounds that are plausibly responsible for the anti-PD-like effect of SvMEs. On the limiting part, the finding of the study would have been more robust had we investigated the protein expression of genes related to PD and oxidative stress and compared the effects of SvMEs with any standard anti-PD therapy. Despite this, our results indicated that SvMEs possess anti-PD effects, indicating SvMEs as a potential candidate that is worth exploring further in this avenue.
  11. Xie Y, Gong L, Liu S, Yan J, Zhao S, Xia C, et al.
    Environ Res, 2023 Jul 25;236(Pt 1):116680.
    PMID: 37500036 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116680
    Microbial degradation of pesticide residues has the potential to reduce their hazards to human and environmental health. However, in some cases, degradation can activate pesticides, making them more toxic to microbes. Here we report on the β-cypermethrin (β-CY) toxicity to Bacillus cereus GW-01, a recently described β-CY degrader, and effects of antioxidants on β-CY degradation. GW-01 exposed to β-CY negatively affected the growth rate. The highest maximum specific growth rate (μm) appeared at 25 mg/L β-CY. β-CY induced the oxidative stress in GW-01. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalyse (CAT), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) were significantly higher than that in control (p 
  12. Peng Z, Xue H, Liu X, Wang S, Liu G, Jia X, et al.
    Front Bioeng Biotechnol, 2023;11:1222088.
    PMID: 37539434 DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2023.1222088
    The development of cost-effective, biocompatible soft wound dressings is highly desirable; however, conventional dressings are only designed for flat wounds, which creates difficulty with promising healing efficiency in complex practical conditions. Herein, we developed a tough, adhesive biomimetic hyaluronic acid methacryloyl hydrogels composed of chemically crosslinked hyaluronic acid methacryloyl (HAMA) network and poly(N-hydroxyethyl acrylamide) (PHEAA) network rich in multiple hydrogen bonding. Due to the multiple chemical crosslinking sites (acrylamide groups) of HAMA; the bulk HEMA/PHEAA hydrogels presented significant enhancements in mechanical properties (∼0.45 MPa) than common hyaluronic acid hydrogels (<0.1 MPa). The abundant hydrogen bonding also endowed the resultant hydrogels with extremely high adhesiveness on many nonporous substrates, including glass and biological tissues (e.g., heart, liver, lung, kidney, stomach, and muscle), with a considerable interfacial toughness of ∼1432 J m-2. Accordingly, since both natural hyaluronic acid derivative polymers and hydrophilic PHEAA networks are highly biocompatible, the hydrogel matrix possesses good blood compatibility (<5% of hemolysis ratio) and satisfies the general dressing requirements (>99% of cell viability). Based on these physicochemical features, we have demonstrated that this adhesive hydrogel, administered in the form of a designed patch, could be applied to wound tissue healing by promoting epithelialization, angiogenesis, and collagen deposition. We believe that our proposed biomimetic hydrogel design holds great potential for wound repair and our developed HAMA/PHEAA hydrogels are extremely promising for the next-generation tissue healings in emergency situations.
  13. Zhu Y, Hu Z, Lv X, Huang R, Gu X, Zhang C, et al.
    Transbound Emerg Dis, 2021 May 16.
    PMID: 33993639 DOI: 10.1111/tbed.14155
    Since 2010, several duck Tembusu viruses (DTMUVs) have been isolated from infected ducks in China, and these virus strains have undergone extensive variation over the years. Although the infection rate is high, the mortality rate is usually relatively low-~5%-30%; however, since fall 2019, an infectious disease similar to DTMUV infection but with a high mortality rate of ~50% in goslings has been prevalent in Anhui Province, China. The present study identified a new Tembusu virus, designated DTMUV/Goose/China/2019/AQ-19 (AQ-19), that is believed to be responsible for the noticeably high mortality in goslings. To investigate the genetic variation of this strain, its entire genome was sequenced and analysed for specific variations, and goslings and mice were challenged with the isolated virus to investigate its pathogenicity. The AQ-19 genome shared only 94.3%-96.9% and 90.9% nucleotide identity with other Chinese and Malaysian DTMUVs, respectively; however, AQ-19 has high homology with Thailand DTMUVs (97.2%-98.1% nucleotide identity). Phylogenetic analysis of the E gene revealed that AQ-19 and most of Thailand DTMUVs form a branch separate from any of the previously reported DTMUV strains in China. After the challenge, some goslings and mice showed typical clinical signs of DTMUV, particularly severe neurological dysfunction. AQ-19 has high virulence in goslings and mice, resulting in 60% and 70% mortality through intramuscular and intracerebral routes, respectively. Pathological examination revealed severe histological lesions in the brain and liver of the infected goslings and mice. Taken together, these results demonstrated the emergence of a novel Tembusu virus with high virulence circulating in goslings in China for the first time, and our findings highlight the high genetic diversity of DTMUVs in China. Further study of the pathogenicity and host range of this novel Tembusu virus is particularly important.
  14. Solanki N, Mehta M, Chellappan DK, Gupta G, Hansbro NG, Tambuwala MM, et al.
    Future Med Chem, 2020 11;12(22):2019-2034.
    PMID: 33124483 DOI: 10.4155/fmc-2020-0083
    Aim: In the present study boswellic acids-loaded chitosan nanoparticles were synthesized using ionic gelation technique. The influence of independent variables were studied and optimized on dependent variables using central composite design. Methodology & results: The designed nanoparticles were observed spherical in shape with an average size of 67.5-187.2 nm and have also shown an excellent entrapment efficiency (80.06 ± 0.48). The cytotoxicity assay revealed enhanced cytotoxicity for drug-loaded nanoparticles in contrast to the free drug having an IC50 value of 17.29 and 29.59 μM, respectively. Flow cytometry confirmed that treatment of cells with 40 μg/ml had arrested 22.75 ± 0.3% at SubG0 phase of the cell cycle when compared with untreated A459 cells. The observed results justified the boswellic acids-loaded chitosan nanoparticles were effective due to greater cellular uptake, sustained intercellular drug retention and enhanced antiproliferative effect by inducing apoptosis.
  15. Li L, Shuai L, Sun J, Li C, Yi P, Zhou Z, et al.
    Food Sci Nutr, 2020 Feb;8(2):1284-1294.
    PMID: 32148834 DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.1417
    Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is respiratory climacteric fruit that ripens and decomposes quickly following their harvest. 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is known to affect the ripening of fruit, delaying the decay of mango stored under ambient conditions. The objective of this study was to clarify the role of 1-MCP in the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis and ethylene receptor gene expression in mango. 1-MCP significantly inhibited the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) content. The activity of ACC oxidase (ACO) increased on days 6, 8, and 10 of storage, whereas delayed ACC synthase (ACS) activity increased after day 4. The two homologous ethylene receptor genes, ETR1 and ERS1 (i.e., MiETR1 and MiERS1), were obtained and deposited in GenBank® (National Center for Biotechnology Information-National Institutes of Health [NCBI-NIH]) (KY002681 and KY002682). The MiETR1 coding sequence was 2,220 bp and encoded 739 amino acids (aa). The MiERS1 coding sequence was 1,890 bp and encoded 629 aa, similar to ERS1 in other fruit. The tertiary structures of MiETR1 and MiERS1 were also predicted. MiERS1 lacks a receiver domain and shares a low homology with MiETR1 (44%). The expression of MiETR1 and MiERS1 mRNA was upregulated as the storage duration extended and reached the peak expression on day 6. Treatment with 1-MCP significantly reduced the expression of MiETR1 on days 4, 6, and 10 and inhibited the expression of MiETR1 on days 2, 4, 6, and 10. These results indicated that MiETR1 and MiERS1 had important functions in ethylene signal transduction. Treatment with 1-MCP might effectively prevent the biosynthesis of ethylene, as well as ethylene-induced ripening and senescence. This study presents an innovative method for prolonging the storage life of mango after their harvest through the regulation of MiETR1 and MiERS1 expression.
  16. Ren T, Chen N, Wan Mahari WA, Xu C, Feng H, Ji X, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 01;192:110273.
    PMID: 33002505 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110273
    Pot experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of biochar addition and the mechanisms that alleviate Cd stress in the growth of tobacco plant. Cadmium showed an inhibitory effect on tobacco growth at different post-transplantation times, and this increased with the increase in soil Cd concentration. The growth index decreased by more than 10%, and the photosynthetic pigment and photosynthetic characteristics of the tobacco leaf were significantly reduced, and the antioxidant enzyme activity was enhanced. Application of biochar effectively alleviated the inhibitory effect of Cd on tobacco growth, and the alleviation effect of treatments is more significant to the plants with a higher Cd concentration. The contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids in the leaves of tobacco plants treated with biochar increased by 9.99%, 12.58%, and 10.32%, respectively, after 60 days of transplantation. The photosynthetic characteristics index of the net photosynthetic rate increased by 11.48%, stomatal conductance increased by 11.44%, and intercellular carbon dioxide concentration decreased to 0.92. Based on the treatments, during the growth period, the antioxidant enzyme activities of tobacco leaves comprising catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and malondialdehyde increased by 7.62%, 10.41%, 10.58%, and 12.57%, respectively, after the application of biochar. Our results show that biochar containing functional groups can effectively reduce the effect of Cd stress by intensifying the adsorption or passivation of Cd in the soil, thereby, significantly reducing the Cd content in plant leaves, and providing a theoretical basis and method to alleviate soil Cd pollution and effect soil remediation.
  17. Dhanjal DS, Sharma P, Mehta M, Tambuwala MM, Prasher P, Paudel KR, et al.
    Future Med Chem, 2022 Feb;14(4):271-288.
    PMID: 35019757 DOI: 10.4155/fmc-2021-0081
    Chronic respiratory disorders affect millions of people worldwide. Pathophysiological changes to the normal airway wall structure, including changes in the composition and organization of its cellular and molecular constituents, are referred to as airway remodeling. The inadequacy of effective treatment strategies and scarcity of novel therapies available for the treatment and management of chronic respiratory diseases have given rise to a serious impediment in the clinical management of such diseases. The progress made in advanced drug delivery, has offered additional advantages to fight against the emerging complications of airway remodeling. This review aims to address the gaps in current knowledge about airway remodeling, the relationships between remodeling, inflammation, clinical phenotypes and the significance of using novel drug delivery methods.
  18. Haw TJ, Starkey MR, Pavlidis S, Fricker M, Arthurs AL, Nair PM, et al.
    Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol., 2018 02 01;314(2):L298-L317.
    PMID: 29025711 DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00154.2017
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of morbidity and death and imposes major socioeconomic burdens globally. It is a progressive and disabling condition that severely impairs breathing and lung function. There is a lack of effective treatments for COPD, which is a direct consequence of the poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in driving the pathogenesis of the disease. Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and TLR4 are implicated in chronic respiratory diseases, including COPD, asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. However, their roles in the pathogenesis of COPD are controversial and conflicting evidence exists. In the current study, we investigated the role of TLR2 and TLR4 using a model of cigarette smoke (CS)-induced experimental COPD that recapitulates the hallmark features of human disease. TLR2, TLR4, and associated coreceptor mRNA expression was increased in the airways in both experimental and human COPD. Compared with wild-type (WT) mice, CS-induced pulmonary inflammation was unaltered in TLR2-deficient ( Tlr2-/-) and TLR4-deficient ( Tlr4-/-) mice. CS-induced airway fibrosis, characterized by increased collagen deposition around small airways, was not altered in Tlr2-/- mice but was attenuated in Tlr4-/- mice compared with CS-exposed WT controls. However, Tlr2-/- mice had increased CS-induced emphysema-like alveolar enlargement, apoptosis, and impaired lung function, while these features were reduced in Tlr4-/- mice compared with CS-exposed WT controls. Taken together, these data highlight the complex roles of TLRs in the pathogenesis of COPD and suggest that activation of TLR2 and/or inhibition of TLR4 may be novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of COPD.
  19. Nisaa AA, Oon CE, Sreenivasan S, Balakrishnan V, Tan JJ, Teh CS, et al.
    Food Sci Biotechnol, 2023 Mar;32(4):471-480.
    PMID: 36911325 DOI: 10.1007/s10068-022-01088-x
    The aim of this study was to investigate the different immunological and antimicrobial properties of breast milk from women with (W) or without (WO) vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy in 85 lactating women (W, n = 43; WO, n = 42). Concentrations of IL-10, IgA, IgM, IgG, EGF, and TGF-α were similar in both groups. However, breast milk of women aged below 31 years old from the W-group showed higher concentration of EGF than the WO-group (p = 0.031). Breast milk from WO-group exhibited higher anti-Candida properties than W-group, both via growth inhibition and aggregation of yeast cells (p 
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