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Topic review
Updated time: 06 May 2021
Submitted by: Barbara Costa
Definition: Neuroactive steroids are potent modulators of microglial functions and are capable of counteracting their excessive reactivity. This action has mainly been ascribed to neuroactive steroids released from other sources, as microglia have been defined unable to produce neurosteroids de novo. Unexpectedly, immortalized murine microglia recently exhibited this de novo biosynthesis; herein, de novo neurosteroidogenesis was characterized in immortalized human microglia. The results demonstrated that C20 and HMC3 microglial cells constitutively express members of the neurosteroidogenesis multiprotein machinery—in particular, the transduceosome members StAR and TSPO, and the enzyme CYP11A1. Moreover, both cell lines produce pregnenolone and transcriptionally express the enzymes involved in neurosteroidogenesis. The high TSPO expression levels observed in microglia prompted us to assess its role in de novo neurosteroidogenesis. TSPO siRNA and TSPO synthetic ligand treatments were used to reduce and prompt TSPO function, respectively. The TSPO expression downregulation compromised the de novo neurosteroidogenesis and led to an increase in StAR expression, probably as a compensatory mechanism.
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Topic review
Updated time: 14 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Seong-Gon Kim
Definition: 4-Hexylresorcinol (4HR) is a synthetic resorcinolic lipid that has been used as an anti-parasitic and antiseptic agent since the 1920s.
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Updated time: 12 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Joaquín Martí
Abstract: The thymidine analogue 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) is a pyrimidine 2′-deoxyribonucleoside compound having 5-bromouracil as the nucleobase. This agent is permanently incorporated into the DNA during the synthetic phase of the cell cycle. It has been argued that gene duplication, DNA repair or apoptotic cellular events might contribute to BrdU labeling in vivo.
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Topic review
Updated time: 01 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Rosa Muñoz-Cano
Definition: Adenosine is a nucleoside involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. Its effects are mediated through its binding to G protein-coupled receptors: A1, A2a, A2b and A3. The receptors differ in the type of G protein they recruit, in the effect on adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity and the downstream signaling pathway triggered. Adenosine can produce both an enhancement and an inhibition of mast cell degranulation, indicating that adenosine effects on these receptors is controversial and remains to be clarified.
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Topic review
Updated time: 28 Jul 2021
Submitted by: vidhu gill
Definition: The Maillard reaction is a simple but ubiquitous reaction that occurs both in vivo and ex vivo during the cooking or processing of foods under high-temperature conditions, such as baking, frying, or grilling. Glycation of proteins is a post-translational modification that forms temporary adducts, which, on further crosslinking and rearrangement, form permanent residues known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Cooking at high temperature results in various food products having high levels of AGEs. This review underlines the basis of AGE formation and their corresponding deleterious effects on the body. Glycated Maillard products have a direct association with the pathophysiology of some metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2), acute renal failure (ARF), Alzheimer’s disease, dental health, allergies, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The most glycated and structurally abundant protein is collagen, which acts as a marker for diabetes and aging, where decreased levels indicate reduced skin elasticity. In diabetes, high levels of AGEs are associated with carotid thickening, ischemic heart disease, uremic cardiomyopathy, and kidney failure. AGEs also mimic hormones or regulate/modify their receptor mechanisms at the DNA level. In women, a high AGE diet directly correlates with high levels of androgens, anti-Müllerian hormone, insulin, and androstenedione, promoting ovarian dysfunction and/or infertility. Vitamin D3 is well-associated with the pathogenesis of PCOS and modulates steroidogenesis. It also exhibits a protective mechanism against the harmful effects of AGEs.
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Topic review
Updated time: 31 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Stanton Gelvin
Definition: Agrobacterium species transfer DNA (T−DNA) to plant cells where it may integrate into plant chromosomes. The process of integration is thought to involve invasion and ligation of T-DNA, or its copying, into nicks or breaks in the host genome. Integrated T−DNA often contains, at its junctions with plant DNA, deletions of T−DNA or plant DNA, filler DNA, and/or microhomology between T-DNA and plant DNA pre-integration sites. T−DNA integration is also often associated with major plant genome rearrangements, including inversions and translocations. These characteristics are similar to those often found after repair of DNA breaks, and thus DNA repair mechanisms have frequently been invoked to explain the mechanism of T−DNA integration. However, the involvement of specific plant DNA repair proteins and Agrobacterium proteins in integration remains controversial, with numerous contradictory results reported in the literature.
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Topic review
Updated time: 17 May 2021
Submitted by: Patrizia Pagliara
Definition: Allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) is a calcium-binding scaffold/adaptor protein often associated with inflammatory diseases. Originally cloned from active macrophages in humans and rats, this gene has also been identified in other vertebrates and in several invertebrate species. Among metazoans, AIF-1 protein sequences remain relatively highly conserved. Generally, the highest expression levels of AIF-1 are observed in immunocytes, suggesting that it plays a key role in immunity. In mammals, the expression of AIF-1 has been reported in different cell types such as activated macrophages, microglial cells, and dendritic cells. Its main immunomodulatory role during the inflammatory response has been highlighted. Among invertebrates, AIF-1 is involved in innate immunity, being in many cases upregulated in response to biotic and physical challenges. AIF-1 transcripts result ubiquitously expressed in all examined tissues from invertebrates, suggesting its participation in a variety of biological processes, but its role remains largely unknown.
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Topic review
Updated time: 07 May 2021
Submitted by: Matej Žnidarič
Definition: Hair loss (HL), also known as alopecia or baldness, is a common clinical disorder that affects millions of people worldwide and often causes a significant source of patient distress.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 May 2021
Submitted by: A.S.N.. Reddy
Definition: Alternative splicing (AS) is a vital post-transcriptional modulator of gene expression that amplifies the proteome diversity and regulates many physiological processes essential for mounting responses to stresses in plants.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Goran Simic
Definition: The amygdala is one of the areas in the brain involved in the development of PTSD as the starting point for the process of activation of the hypothalamo–pituitary axis and the cascade of physiological responses to acute stress. An appropriate response to acute stress is a vital adaptive mechanism, but its prolongation causes various biopsychosocial (previously, psychosomatic) disorders. Chronic stress leads to higher expression of CRH/CRF in the CE and BLA, which has an anxiogenic effect.
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