SciCombinator

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Patients' perceptions of care tend to correlate with the quality of care provided. Different health care systems and service environments may show different associations between types of usual source of care (USC) and overall service quality assessment. We attempted to analyze this association as a benefit of having a USC.

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The blood level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is associated with increased coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. However, its use as an independent factor for CHD risk prediction remains unclear in Asian populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between serum ALT levels and CHD risk in Koreans.

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Mixed lineage leukemia proteins (MLL) are the key histone lysine methyltransferases that regulate expression of diverse genes. Aberrant activation of MLL promotes leukemia as well as solid tumors in humans, highlighting the urgent need for the development of an MLL inhibitor. We screened and isolated MLL1-binding ssRNAs using SELEX (Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment) technology. When sequences in sub-libraries were obtained using next-generation sequencing (NGS), the most enriched aptamers-APT1 and APT2-represented about 30% and 26% of sub-library populations, respectively. Motif analysis of the top 50 sequences provided a highly conserved sequence: 5΄-A[A/C][C/G][G/U][U/A]ACAGAGGG[U/A]GG[A/C]GAGUGGGU-3΄. APT1, APT2, and APT5 embracing this motif generated secondary structures with similar topological characteristics. We found that APT1 and APT2 have a good binding activity and the analysis using mutated aptamer variants showed that the site information in the central region was critical for binding. In vitro enzyme activity assay showed that APT1 and APT2 had MLL1 inhibitory activity. Three-dimensional structure prediction of APT1-MLL1 complex indicates multiple weak interactions formed between MLL1 SET domain and APT1. Our study confirmed that NGS-assisted SELEX is an efficient tool for aptamer screening and that aptamers could be useful in diagnosis and treatment of MLL1-mediated diseases.

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Most diabetic patients experience diabetic mellitus (DM) urinary bladder dysfunction. A number of studies evaluate bladder smooth muscle contraction in DM. In this study, we evaluated the change of bladder smooth muscle contraction between normal rats and DM rats. Furthermore, we used pharmacological inhibitors to determine the differences in the signaling pathways between normal and DM rats. Rats in the DM group received an intraperitoneal injection of 65 mg/kg streptozotocin and measured blood glucose level after 14 days to confirm DM. Bladder smooth muscle contraction was induced using acetylcholine (ACh, 10-4 M). The materials such as, atropine (a muscarinic receptor antagonist), U73122 (a phospholipase C inhibitor), DPCPX (an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist), udenafil (a PDE5 inhibitor), prazosin (an α1-receptor antagonist), papaverine (a smooth muscle relaxant), verapamil (a calcium channel blocker), and chelerythrine (a protein kinase C inhibitor) were pre-treated in bladder smooth muscle. We found that the DM rats had lower bladder smooth muscle contractility than normal rats. When prazosin, udenafil, verapamil, and U73122 were pre-treated, there were significant differences between normal and DM rats. Taken together, it was concluded that the change of intracellular Ca2+ release mediated by PLC/IP3 and PDE5 activity were responsible for decreased bladder smooth muscle contractility in DM rats.

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Purpurogallin, a natural phenol obtained from oak nutgalls, has been shown to possess antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory effects. Recently, in addition to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation that induces cell apoptosis via oxidative stress, particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) was shown to trigger excessive production of reactive oxygen species. In this study, we observed that UVB radiation and PM2.5 severely damaged human HaCaT keratinocytes, disrupting cellular DNA, lipids, and proteins and causing mitochondrial depolarization. Purpurogallin protected HaCaT cells from apoptosis induced by UVB radiation and/or PM2.5. Furthermore, purpurogallin effectively modulates the pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins under UVB irradiation via caspase signaling pathways. Additionally, purpurogallin reduced apoptosis via MAPK signaling pathways, as demonstrated using MAPK-p38, ERK, and JNK inhibitors. These results indicate that purpurogallin possesses antioxidant effects and protects cells from damage and apoptosis induced by UVB radiation and PM2.5.

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The incidence of pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is on the rise, accounting for up to 25% of IBD cases. Pediatric IBD often has extensive bowel involvement with aggressive and rapidly progressing behavior compared to adult IBD. Because IBD has a high morbidity rate and can have a lifelong impact, successful transition from pediatric to adult care is important to maintain the continuity of care. Furthermore, successful transition facilitates appropriate development and psychosocial well-being among patients, as well as comprehensive and harmonious healthcare delivery amongst stakeholders. However, there are various obstacles related to patients, family, providers, and organizations that interfere with successful transition. Successful transition requires a flexible and tailored plan that is made according to the patient’s developmental abilities and situation. This plan should be established through periodic interviews with the patient and family and through close collaboration with other care providers. Through a stepwise approach to the transition process, patients' knowledge and self-management skills can be improved. After preparation for the transition is completed and the obstacles are overcome, patients can be gradually moved to adult care. Finally, successful transition can increase patients' adherence to therapy, maintain the appropriate health status, improve patients' self-management, and promote self-reliance among patients.

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Recent studies on pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have revealed that early-onset IBD has distinct phenotypic differences compared with adult-onset IBD. In particular, very early-onset IBD (VEO-IBD) differs in many aspects, including the disease type, location of the lesions, disease behavior, and genetically attributable risks. Neonatal or infantile-onset IBD develops in less than 1% of pediatric patients. Children with infantile-onset IBD have high rates of affected first-degree relatives and severe disease course. The suspicion of a monogenic cause of VEO-IBD was first confirmed by the discovery of mutations in the genes encoding the interleukin 10 (IL-10) receptors that cause impaired IL-10 signaling. Patients with such mutations typically presented with perianal fistulae, shows a poor response to medical management, and require early surgical interventions in the first year of life. To date, 60 monogenic defects have been identified in children with IBD-like phenotypes. The majority of monogenic defects presents before 6 years of age, and many present before 1 year of age. Next generation sequencing could become an important diagnostic tool in children with suspected genetic defects especially in children with VEO-IBD with severe disease phenotypes. VEO-IBD is a phenotypically and genetically distinct disease entity from adult-onset or older pediatric IBD.

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with considerable impairment of patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Knowledge of factors that significantly affect IBD patients' HRQoL can contribute to better patient care. However, the HRQoL of IBD patients in non-Western countries are limited. Hence, we assessed the HRQoL of Singaporean IBD patients and identified its determinants.

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Current knowledge and viewpoints regarding biosimilars among physicians in Asia are unknown, although these were investigated in European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) members in 2013 and 2015. Thus, we conducted a multinational survey to assess awareness of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies among Asian physicians.

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To examine whether visceral adiposity serves as a risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC) and colorectal adenomas.