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    Depression is one of the current dilemmas in both developed and developing societies. Studies show that the severity of psychiatric symptoms is directly related to the degree of inflammation caused by cytokines secreted by the immune system. Hence, evaluating serum cytokine levels in patients with depression can help to understand the pathogenesis of the disease and make the best therapeutic decisions. The present study investigated the levels of inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in patients with major depression or bipolar disorder during depressive episodes (BDDE) before and after a 6-month pharmaceutical intervention.
    Patients referring to 3 clinics were recruited for the study. The diagnosis of major depression or bipolar disorder in a depressive phase was made according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5(DSM-5) criteria.
    There was a significant difference in depression levels between the pre-intervention and 6-month follow-up in both groups. After 6 months, IL-1 and IL-6 levels in the bipolar disorder group had decreased while TNF-α levels had increased. There was also a significant difference between pre-intervention and follow-up levels of IL-1. 
    Serum levels of IL-1 and IL-6 decreased significantly in both groups after the 6-month follow-up, and symptom improvement was observed. TNF-α levels, on the other hand, decreased in the major depression group but increased in the bipolar disorder group.
    Considering that inflammation is a major outcome of depression, treatment strategies to reduce inflammation could be a practical approach to improving psychiatric symptoms.

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    Extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii is considered one of the most dangerous threats to global health, requiring novel therapeutic interventions. The outer membrane protein A (OmpA) is an immunogenic agent that triggers immune responses. The current study evaluated serum antibody levels against previously determined immunogenic OmpA peptides from A baumannii in ICU staff.
    Serum samples were collected from 62 ICU staff members (representing the exposed group), healthy controls (representing the nonexposed group), and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (as controls for nonspecific antibody reactions). After excluding the cross-reactive antibodies via Escherichia coli lysate pretreatment, all the samples were assessed in the vicinity of A baumannii lysate by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All the positive samples were assessed for interaction with previously designed and selected peptides using ELISA. The protective potential of positive serum antibodies was surveyed in vitro using an opsonophagocytic study.
    The most antibody positive samples against one of the dominant peptides were determined in the ICU personnel (75%).  SLE serum samples did not react with candidate peptides. The strongest positive reaction was observed in serum treatment with one of the OmpA peptides (No. 5) with significant differences compared to other designed peptides. Our findings showed that ICU samples have substantially higher antibody levels than the nonexposed group; Positive samples show strong results in the opsonophagocytosiis assay.
    This study demonstrates A baumannii colonization at human mucosal surfaces, especially in exposed healthy workers. Novel OmpA-derived peptides could be used to identify immunogenic vaccine candidates. Therefore, more studies are needed  before this peptide and antibody levels are used in diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.


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    The pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is quite similar to that of cancer pathogenesis, and several pathways appear to be involved in both disorders. The mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway harbors several established oncogenes and tumor suppressors. The same signaling molecules and growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), contributing to cancer development and progression play a part in fibroblast proliferation, myofibroblast differentiation, and the production of extracellular matrix in IPF development as well.
    The expression of candidate genes acting upstream and downstream of mTORC1, as well as Vegf and low-density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1(Lrp1), was assessed using specific primers and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) within the lung tissues of bleomycin (BLM)-induced IPF mouse models. Lung fibrosis was evaluated by histological examinations and hydroxyproline colorimetric assay.
    BLM-exposed mice developed lung injuries characterized by inflammatory manifestations and fibrotic features, along with higher levels of collagen and hydroxyproline. Gene expression analyses indicated a significant elevation of regulatory associated protein of mTOR (Raptor), Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb), S6 kinase 1, and Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4Ebp1), as well as a significant reduction of Vegfa, Tuberous sclerosis complex (Tsc2), and Lrp1; no changes were observed in the Tsc1 mRNA level.
    Our findings support the elevation of S6K1 and 4EBP1 in response to the TSC/RHEB/mTORC1 axis, which profoundly encourages the development and establishment of IPF and cancer. In addition, this study suggests a possible preventive role for VEGF-A and LRP1 in the development of IPF. 

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    Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways. We assessed the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative impacts of quercetin, a plant derivative, on inflammatory and oxidative indices in lung tissue and serum of rats with asthma.
    Asthma was induced by ovalbumin. Rats were divided into 4 groups: control, asthma+vehicle (Receieved normal saline), asthma+dexamethasone, and asthma+quercetin. After asthma induction, quercetin (50 mg/kg) and dexamethasone (2.5 mg/kg) were injected intraperitoneally once daily for 1 week. On day 50, lung histopathology indices; inflammatory factors; tissue gene expression, including GATA Binding Protein 3 (Gata-3), Tbx21 (T-bet), Transforming growth factor - β (TGF-β), Il10 (IL-10), Il1b (IL-1β), Il6 (IL-6), Acta2 (α-SMA), and Tnf (TNF-α); and oxidative stress indices (malondialdehyde [MDA], catalase [CAT], glutathione peroxidase [GPX], superoxide dismutase [SOD], and total antioxidant capacity [TAC]) in tissue and serum, were evaluated.
    The results showed that quercetin reduced Gata3, Tnf, Tgfb1, Il1b, and Acta2 gene expression and increased Tbx21 gene expression following asthma. Quercetin also improved oxidative stress by decreasing MDA levels and increasing TAC, CAT, SOD, and GPX levels in serum and lung tissue. Furthermore, quercetin decreased IL6 and TNFα levels and increased IL10 levels in lung tissue after asthma was treated with quercetin.
    Quercetin ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammation caused by asthma, especially at the tissue level. Therefore, quercetin can be considered a potent antiasthmatic agent.

Brief Communication

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    Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN) is a common vasculitis that mostly affects children, and previous studies have indicated that genetic factors may influence disease susceptibility. The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible association of three interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene polymorphisms (rs3136534, rs2069776, and rs2069762) with HSPN in the Chinese population.
    A total of 81 patients with HSPN and 200 healthy children were enrolled. The distribution of genotypes, allelic frequencies, and haplotype frequencies among the three IL-2 polymorphisms were analyzed using the Sequenom MassARRAY system by means of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry method.
    Compared to the healthy controls, genotyping analysis demonstrated rs3136534 was associated with a decreased HSPN risk in the dominant inheritance model (G/T+T/T vs. G/G; OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.31–0.93). However, the frequency of the T allele and haplotypes of rs3136534 showed no statistical significance. For the frequency of genotype, allele, and haplotype of the rs2069776 and rs20697622 polymorphisms, no significant differences were observed between HSPN patients and controls.
    Our results suggest that the rs3136534 polymorphism of the IL-2 gene is associated with susceptibility to HSPN in Chinese children.


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