Topic Review
Melanogenesis
Melanogenesis is the biological and biochemical process of melanin and melanosome biosynthesis. Melanin is formed by enzymic reactions of tyrosinase family proteins that convert tyrosine to form brown-black eumelanin and yellow-red pheomelanin within melanosomal compartments in melanocytes, following the cascades of events interacting with a series of autocrine and paracrine signals. Fully melanized melanosomes are delivered to keratinocytes of the skin and hair. In humans, eumelanin and pheomelanin are mixed together regardless of the pigmentary phenotype. The ratio of the two melanin pigments is determined by race and/or specific genetic variations. On the other hand, many mammals have various patterns of hair coat color that can be changed temporally. Wild type mice have agouti pattern hair caused by a mechanism, called pigment-type switching.
  • 2632
  • 27 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Aquaporin Inhibitors
Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins that are essential to life, being expressed in all kingdoms. In humans, there are 13 AQPs, at least one of which is found in every organ system. The structural biology of the AQP family is well-established and many functions for AQPs have been reported in health and disease. AQP expression is linked to numerous pathologies including tumor metastasis, fluid dysregulation, and traumatic injury. The targeted modulation of AQPs therefore presents an opportunity to develop novel treatments for diverse conditions. Various techniques such as video microscopy, light scattering and fluorescence quenching have been used to test putative AQP inhibitors in both AQP-expressing mammalian cells and heterologous expression systems. The inherent variability within these methods has caused discrepancy and many molecules that are inhibitory in one experimental system (such as tetraethylammonium, acetazolamide, and anti-epileptic drugs) have no activity in others. Some heavy metal ions (that would not be suitable for therapeutic use) and the compound, TGN-020, have been shown to inhibit some AQPs. Clinical trials for neuromyelitis optica treatments using anti-AQP4 IgG are in progress. However, these antibodies have no effect on water transport. More research to standardize high-throughput assays is required to identify AQP modulators for which there is an urgent and unmet clinical need.
  • 1730
  • 06 Sep 2021
Topic Review
Tumoroid
The term “tumoroid” means “tumor-like organoid”: tumoroids typically derive from primary tumors harvested from oncological patients and they can mimic human tumor microenvironment (TME); nowadays, they are considered a promising tool for cost-effective studies on novel anticancer drugs to be used in precision medicine in the field of oncology.
  • 1580
  • 01 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Thymoquinone and COVID-19
Thymoquinone (TQ) is the most pharmacologically active ingredient in Nigella sativa seeds (black seeds); it is reported to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in various settings.
  • 1049
  • 02 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Acinar Cells for Pancreatic Cancer
The carcinogenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) progresses according to multi-step evolution, whereby the disease acquires increasingly aggressive pathological features. Lineage-tracing experiments demonstrated that pancreatic cancerous lesions originate from acinar cells, a highly specialized cell type in the pancreatic epithelium. Acinar cells are polarized, pyramidal-shaped cells containing numerous acidophilic granules near the apical side. Those granules contain inactive proteases, which are activated and released into the tubular network upon activation. Primary acinar cells can survive in vitro as organoid-like 3D spheroids, which can transdifferentiate into cells with a clear ductal morphology in response to different cell- and non-cell-autonomous stimuli.This event, termed acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, recapitulates the histological and molecular features of disease initiation.
  • 995
  • 24 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Ioannis Zabetakis
Short biography of Dr Ioannis Zabetakis, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • 974
  • 22 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a destructive neurological and pathological state that causes major motor, sensory and autonomic dysfunctions. Its pathophysiology comprises acute and chronic phases and incorporates a cascade of destructive events such as ischemia, oxidative stress, inflammatory events, apoptotic pathways and locomotor dysfunctions. This review aims to promote the understanding of SCI pathophysiology, interrelated or interlinked multimolecular interactions and various methods of neuronal recovery i.e., neuroprotective, immunomodulatory and neuro-regenerative pathways and relevant approaches. 
  • 955
  • 06 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Perinatal Stem Cells
Perinatal tissues refer to tissues that are discarded at birth, such as the placenta, umbilical cord, cord blood, and amniotic fluid, and different stem and progenitor cell types can be isolated from these tissues. Regenerative medicine has found in the perinatal medical wastes one of the most promising sources of various cells and tissues for use in cell therapy and tissue engineering, both in experimental and clinical settings. The primary source of perinatal stem cells is cord blood. Cord blood has been a well-known source of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Other perinatal tissues contain non-hematopoietic cells with potential therapeutic value. Indeed, in advanced perinatal cell therapy trials, mesenchymal stromal cells are the most commonly used.
  • 834
  • 14 Jan 2021
Topic Review
Plant Stinging Hairs
True stinging hairs are highly specialized plant structures that are able to inject a physiologically active liquid into the skin. They can be classified into two basic types: Urtica-type stinging hairs with the classical “hypodermic syringe” mechanism expelling only liquid, and Tragia-type stinging hairs expelling a liquid together with a sharp crystal. Since the middle of the 20th century, neurotransmitters(acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin) have been repeatedly detected in stinging hairs of Urticaceae; these substances can explain some of the physiological effects of stinging hairs, but fail to completely explain neuropathic effects, pointing to some yet unidentified neurotoxins. 
  • 813
  • 22 Sep 2021
Topic Review
The B-cell Activating Factor/A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand System
It cannot present MZ B-cell populations without discussing the B-cell Activating Factor/A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand System (BAFF/APRIL) system. Without a doubt, one of the most important molecules for the survival and differentiation of B-cells is BAFF. BAFF, also known as B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS), is part of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family and is encoded by the TNFSF13B gene.
  • 790
  • 18 Apr 2022
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