Accumulating evidence indicates that obesity is closely associated with an increased risk of metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Obesity results from an imbalance between food intake and energy expenditure, which leads to an excessive accumulation of adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is now recognized not only as a main site of storage of excess energy derived from food intake but also as an endocrine organ. The expansion of adipose tissue produces a number of bioactive substances, known as adipocytokines or adipokines, which trigger chronic low-grade inflammation and interact with a range of processes in many different organs. Although the precise mechanisms are still unclear, dysregulated production or secretion of these adipokines caused by excess adipose tissue and adipose tissue dysfunction can contribute to the development of obesity-related metabolic diseases. In this review, we focus on the role of several adipokines associated with obesity and the potential impact on obesity-related metabolic diseases. Multiple lines evidence provides valuable insights into the roles of adipokines in the development of obesity and its metabolic complications. Further research is still required to fully understand the mechanisms underlying the metabolic actions of a few newly identified adipokines.
Validation is a crucial aspect of quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling. The present paper shows that traditionally used validation parameters (leave-one-out Q(2) for internal validation and predictive R-2 for external validation) may be supplemented with two novel parameters r(m)(2) and R-p(2) for a stricter test of validation. The parameter r(m)(2) (overall) penalizes a model for large differences between observed and predicted values of the compounds of the whole set (considering both training and test sets) while the parameter R-p(2) penalizes model R-2 for large differences between determination coefficient of nonrandom model and square of mean correlation coefficient of random models in case of a randomization test. Two other variants of r(m)(2) parameter, r(m) (2)((LOO)) and r(m (test))(2), penalize a model more strictly than Q(2) and R-pred(2) respectively. Three different data sets of moderate to large size have been used to develop multiple models in order to indicate the suitability of the novel parameters in QSAR studies. The results show that in many cases the developed models could satisfy the requirements of conventional parameters (Q(2) and R-pred(2)) but fail to achieve the required values for the novel parameters r(m)(2) and R-p(2). Moreover, these parameters also help in identifying the best models from among a set of comparable models. Thus, a test for these two parameters is suggested to be a more stringent requirement than the traditional validation parameters to decide acceptability of a predictive QSAR model, especially when a regulatory decision is involved.
The chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils from 10 commonly consumed herbs: Citrus aurantium, C. limon, Lavandula angustifolia, Matricaria chamomilla, Mentha piperita, M. spicata, Ocimum basilicum, Origanum vulgare, Thymus vulgaris and Salvia officinalis have been determined. The antibacterial activity of these oils and their main components; i.e. camphor, carvacrol, 1,8-cineole, linalool, linalyl acetate, limonene, menthol, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and thymol were assayed against the human pathogenic bacteria Bacillus subtilis, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Micrococcus flavus, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enteritidis, S. epidermidis, S. typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus. The highest and broadest activity was shown by O. vulgare oil. Carvacrol had the highest antibacterial activity among the tested components.
The biosynthesis of nanoparticles has received increasing attention due to the growing need to develop safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technologies for nano-materials synthesis. In this report, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using a reduction of aqueous Ag+ ion with the culture supernatants of Aspergillus terreus. The reaction occurred at ambient temperature and in a few hours. The bioreduction of AgNPs was monitored by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and the AgNPs obtained were characterized by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The synthesized AgNPs were polydispersed spherical particles ranging in size from 1 to 20 nm and stabilized in the solution. Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) was found to be an important reducing agent for the biosynthesis, and the formation of AgNPs might be an enzyme-mediated extracellular reaction process. Furthermore, the antimicrobial potential of AgNPs was systematically evaluated. The synthesized AgNPs could efficiently inhibit various pathogenic organisms, including bacteria and fungi. The current research opens a new avenue for the green synthesis of nano-materials.
The synthetic thermoplastic polymer polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is becoming a popular component of clinical orthopedic and spinal applications, but its practical use suffers from several limitations. Although PEEK is biocompatible, chemically stable, radiolucent and has an elastic modulus similar to that of normal human bone, it is biologically inert, preventing good integration with adjacent bone tissues upon implantation. Recent efforts have focused on increasing the bioactivity of PEEK to improve the bone-implant interface. Two main strategies have been used to overcome the inert character of PEEK. One approach is surface modification to activate PEEK through surface treatment alone or in combination with a surface coating. Another strategy is to prepare bioactive PEEK composites by impregnating bioactive materials into PEEK substrate. Researchers believe that modified bioactive PEEK will have a wide range of orthopedic applications.
Pentacyclic triterpenes are secondary plant metabolites widespread in fruit peel, leaves and stem bark. In particular the lupane-, oleanane-, and ursane triterpenes display various pharmacological effects while being devoid of prominent toxicity. Therefore, these triterpenes are promising leading compounds for the development of new multi-targeting bioactive agents. Screening of 39 plant materials identified triterpene rich (>0.1% dry matter) plant parts. Plant materials with high triterpene concentrations were then used to obtain dry extracts by accelerated solvent extraction resulting in a triterpene content of 50 - 90%. Depending on the plant material, betulin (birch bark), betulinic acid (plane bark), oleanolic acid (olive leaves, olive pomace, mistletoe sprouts, clove flowers), ursolic acid (apple pomace) or an equal mixture of the three triterpene acids (rosemary leaves) are the main components of these dry extracts. They are quantitatively characterised plant extracts supplying a high concentration of actives and therefore can be used for development of phytopharmaceutical formulations.
We isolated and examined two endophytic fungi for their potential to secrete phytohormones viz. gibberellins (GAs) and indoleacetic acid (IAA) and mitigate abiotic stresses like salinity and drought. The endophytic fungi Phoma glomerata LWL2 and Penicillium sp. LWL3 significantly promoted the shoot and allied growth attributes of GAs-deficient dwarf mutant Waito-C and Dongjin-beyo rice. Analysis of the pure cultures of these endophytic fungi showed biologically active GAs (GA(1), GA(3), GA(4) and GA(7)) in various quantities. The cultures of P. glomerata and Penicillium sp. also contained IAA. The culture application and endophytic-association with host-cucumber plants significantly increased the plant biomass and related growth parameters under sodium chloride and polyethylene glycol induced salinity and drought stress as compared to control plants. The endophytic symbiosis resulted in significantly higher assimilation of essential nutrients like potassium, calcium and magnesium as compared to control plants during salinity stress. Endophytic-association reduced the sodium toxicity and promoted the host-benefit ratio in cucumber plants as compared to non-inoculated control plants. The symbiotic-association mitigated stress by compromising the activities of reduced glutathione, catalase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase. Under stress conditions, the endophyte-infection significantly modulated stress through down-regulated abscisic acid, altered jasmonic acid, and elevated salicylic acid contents as compared to control. In conclusion, the two endophytes significantly reprogrammed the growth of host plants during stress conditions.
The primary physiological function of mitochondria is to generate adenosine triphosphate through oxidative phosphorylation via the electron transport chain. Overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as byproducts generated from mitochondria have been implicated in acute brain injuries such as stroke from cerebral ischemia. It was well-documented that mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway involves pro- and anti-apoptotic protein binding, release of cytochrome c, leading ultimately to neuronal death. On the other hand, mitochondria also play a role to counteract the detrimental effects elicited by excessive oxidative stress. Recent studies have revealed that oxidative stress and the redox state of ischemic neurons are also implicated in the signaling pathway that involves peroxisome proliferative activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) co-activator 1α (PGC1-α). PGC1-α is a master regulator of ROS scavenging enzymes including manganese superoxide dismutase 2 and the uncoupling protein 2, both are mitochondrial proteins, and may contribute to neuronal survival. PGC1-α is also involved in mitochondrial biogenesis that is vital for cell survival. Experimental evidence supports the roles of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress as determinants of neuronal death as well as endogenous protective mechanisms after stroke. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying cerebral ischemia involving ROS, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, mitochondrial proteins capable of ROS scavenging, and mitochondrial biogenesis.
Different biological methods are gaining recognition for the production of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) due to their multiple applications. One of the most important applications of Ag-NPs is their use as an anti-bacterial agent. The use of plants in the synthesis of nanoparticles emerges as a cost effective and eco-friendly approach. In this study the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using Vitex negundo L. extract and its antimicrobial properties has been reported. The resulting silver particles are characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopic techniques. The TEM study showed the formation of silver nanoparticles in the 10-30 nm range and average 18.2 nm in size. The XRD study showed that the particles are crystalline in nature, with a face centered cubic (fcc) structure. The silver nanoparticles showed the antimicrobial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. Vitex negundo L. was found to display strong potential for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents by rapid reduction of silver ions (Ag+ to Ag-0).