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The Protective Effects of Panax notoginseng Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Yang et al. | Apr 06, 2016

The Protective Effects of <i>Panax notoginseng</i> Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is related to many neurological disorders, and can be caused by oxidative stress to cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) composing the BBB. The authors of the paper investigated the protective effects of the total saponins in the leaves of Panax notoginseng (LPNS) on oxidative-stress-induced damage in a mouse cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line.

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Combinatorial treatment by siNOTCH and retinoic acid decreases A172 brain cancer cell growth

Richardson et al. | Nov 14, 2022

Combinatorial treatment by siNOTCH and retinoic acid decreases A172 brain cancer cell growth

Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.

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Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

Subbiah et al. | Mar 09, 2022

Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.

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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential  Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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Assessing the Efficacy of NOX Enzyme Inhibitors as Potential Treatments for Ischemic Stroke in silico

Vinay et al. | Sep 18, 2020

Assessing the Efficacy of NOX Enzyme Inhibitors as Potential Treatments for Ischemic Stroke <i>in silico</i>

Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing brain damage. This study investigated the effectiveness of different NOX inhibitors as treatments for ischemic stroke in silico. The results help corroborate previous in vivo and in vitro studies in an in silico format, and can be used towards developing drugs to treat ischemic stroke.

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The role of CYP46A1 and its metabolic product, 24S-hydroxycholesterol, in Neuro 2A cell death

Ni et al. | May 11, 2021

The role of CYP46A1 and its metabolic product, 24S-hydroxycholesterol, in Neuro 2A cell death

Cholesterol is a major component of neuronal cell membrane and myelin sheath. In this study, the authors either transfected Neuro 2A cells with CYP46A1 cDNA or treated the cells with 24SHC. Cells expressing CYP46A1 had significantly less viability compared to the negative control. Up to 55% reduction in cell viability was also observed in 24S-HC-treated cells. This work supports that CYP46A1 and 24S-HC could directly trigger cell death. The direct involvement of 24S-HC in cell death provides further evidence that 24S-HC can be a promising biomarker for diagnosing brain damage severity.

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The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm <i>Baylisascaris procyonis</i> in Merrick County, Nebraska

The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.

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Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Jiang et al. | Sep 08, 2022

Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.

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The Impact of Age on Post-Concussive Symptoms: A Comparative Study of Symptoms Related and Not Related to the Default Mode Network

Wurscher et al. | Mar 05, 2017

The Impact of Age on Post-Concussive Symptoms: A Comparative Study of Symptoms Related and Not Related to the Default Mode Network

The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a network of connected brain regions that are active when the brain is not focused on external tasks. Minor brain injuries, such as concussions, can affect this network and manifest symptoms. In this study, the authors examined correlations between DMN age and post-concussion symptoms in previously concussed individuals and healthy controls.

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