Topic Review
Taurine, Bile Acids, and Microbiota
Taurine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body, and is mainly derived from the diet, but can also be produced endogenously from cysteine. It plays multiple essential roles in the body, including development, energy production, osmoregulation, prevention of oxidative stress, and inflammation. Taurine is also crucial as a molecule used to conjugate bile acids (BAs). In the gastrointestinal tract, BAs deconjugation by enteric bacteria results in high levels of unconjugated BAs and free taurine. Depending on conjugation status and other bacterial modifications, BAs constitute a pool of related but highly diverse molecules, each with different properties concerning solubility and toxicity, capacity to activate or inhibit receptors of BAs, and direct and indirect impact on microbiota and the host, whereas free taurine has a largely protective impact on the host, serves as a source of energy for microbiota, regulates bacterial colonization and defends from pathogens.
  • 26
  • 19 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Metabolic flexibility and Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most commonly encountered arrhythmia in clinical practice, is characterized by irregular contractions of atrial cardiomyocytes. AF causes substantial disability and morbidity with a high risk of heart failure (HF) and ischemic stroke, and has exerted a tremendous burden on society, the health care system, and the economy. Metabolic flexibility is a novel concept that aptly describes switches in substrate metabolism depending on availability and requirements, thus coping with the dramatic fluctuations in energy supply and demand under physiological and pathological stimuli. Metabolic flexibility is critical for normal heart function, as it provides sufficient energy when the rapid and irregular contraction of atrial cardiomyocytes occurs during AF. 
  • 28
  • 15 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Bioactive Factors in Human Breastmilk
Maternal milk, a complex fluid with several bioactive factors, is the best option for the newborn. Its dynamic composition is influenced by diverse factors such as maternal age, lactation period, and health status. 
  • 58
  • 11 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Carotenoids in Human Skin
Carotenoids having ≥10 π-π-conjugated C=C double bonds serve as an objective marker of the antioxidant status of human stratum corneum (SC) in vivo according to the principle: the higher the concentration of carotenoids the higher the antioxidant status of the entire SC. The exposure to doses of radiation in the visible (>50 J/cm2) and near-infrared (>120 J/cm2) spectral ranges cause the formation of free radicals in human skin, which can be determined in vivo by a decrease in the concentration of carotenoids in the SC. The topical application of sunscreen containing antioxidants has a protective effect on the skin. A diet containing antioxidants, in particular fruit and vegetables or food supplements, leads to an increase in the carotenoid concentration and the antioxidant status of the SC. The concentration of carotenoids in the SC can reflect the individual lifestyle habits and health status. Resonance Raman spectroscopy and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy are optical methods that provide a rapid and non-invasive screening of the kinetics of carotenoids and changes in the antioxidant status of the human SC, which can be useful in in vivo skin research.
  • 39
  • 08 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Embodied 'Basic' Emotions in Chinese and English Language
References to the body are one feature shared across languages, particularly when describing the mental processes of emotion, reflecting the embodiment of an emotional experience. Embodied emotion concepts encompass these categorized outcomes of bidirectional brain–body interactions yet can be differentiated further into afferent or interoceptive and efferent or autonomic processes. Between languages, a comparison of emotion words indicates the dominance of afferent or interoceptive processes in how embodied emotions are conceptualized in Chinese, while efferent or autonomic processes feature more commonly in English. Correspondingly, in linguistic expressions of emotion, Chinese-speaking people are biased toward being more receptive, reflective, and adaptive, whereas native English speakers may tend to be more reactive, proactive, and interactive. 
  • 478
  • 05 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Primary Cilia: Sensory Hubs for Nitric Oxide Signaling
Primary cilia are sensory organelles present on the surface of most polarized cells. Primary cilia have been demonstrated to play many sensory cell roles, including mechanosensory and chemosensory cell functions. It is known that the primary cilia of vascular endothelial cells will bend in response to fluid shear stress, which leads to the biochemical production and release of nitric oxide, and this process is impaired in endothelial cells that lack primary cilia function or structure. In this entry, we will provide an overview of ciliogenesis and the differences between primary cilia and multicilia, as well as an overview of our published work on primary cilia and nitric oxide, and a brief perspective on their implications in health and disease.
  • 35
  • 04 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Fibrinogen, Fibrinogen Chains, Its Derivatives, and Fibrinogen-Like Proteins
Fibrinogen (Fg), its derivatives and Fg-like other proteins play a considerable role in many diseases. For example, increased levels of Fg have been found in many inflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and cancer. Associations of Fg, Fg chains, its derivatives and Fg-like proteins with various diseases have been established and their specific effects and the mechanisms of actions gradually become more evident. 
  • 82
  • 27 Jul 2022
Topic Review
New Insights into Melanocytes Beyond Conventional Recognition
Melanocytes produce melanin to protect the skin from UV-B radiation. Notwithstanding, the spectrum of their functions extends far beyond their well-known role as melanin production factories. Melanocytes have been considered as sensory and computational cells. The neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and other hormones produced by melanocytes make them part of the skin’s well-orchestrated and complex neuroendocrine network, counteracting environmental stressors. Melanocytes can also actively mediate the epidermal immune response. Melanocytes are equipped with ectopic sensory systems similar to the eye and nose and can sense light and odor.In addition, melanocytes have also been shown to be localized in internal sites such as the inner ear, brain, and heart, locations not stimulated by sunlight.
  • 87
  • 18 Jul 2022
Topic Review
South African Medicinal Plants in Metabolic Disorders Management
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a prevalent, multifactorial and complex disease that is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes and other major cardiovascular complications. The rise in the global prevalence of MetS has been attributed to genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. The adoption of sedentary lifestyles that are characterized by low physical activity and the consumption of high-energy diets contributes to MetS development. Current management criteria for MetS risk factors involve changes in lifestyle and the use of pharmacological agents that target specific biochemical pathways involved in the metabolism of nutrients. Pharmaceutical drugs are usually expensive and are associated with several undesirable side effects. Alternative management strategies of MetS risk factors involve the use of medicinal plants that are considered to have multiple therapeutic targets and are easily accessible. Medicinal plants contain several different biologically active compounds that provide health benefits.
  • 70
  • 18 Jul 2022
Topic Review
Nrf2 in Neurogenesis and Disease Development
Neurogenesis occurs in the brain during embryonic development and throughout adulthood. Neurogenesis occurs in the hippocampus and under normal conditions and persists in two regions of the brain—the subgranular zone (SGZ) in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles. The transcription factor Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a major regulator of metabolism, protein quality control, and antioxidative defense, and is linked to neurogenesis. 
  • 107
  • 13 Jul 2022
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