Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Jeričević Anja

17 Cytology Is a Promising Tool for the Diagnosis of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma from Ascites

Authors: Miceska Simona, Škof Erik, Frković Grazio Snježana, Jeričević Anja, Smrkolj Špela, Cvjetićanin Branko, Novaković Srdjan, Grčar Kuzmanov Biljana, Kloboves-Prevodnik Veronika

Abstract:

Objectives: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is characterized by the dissemination of the tumor cells (TC) in the peritoneal cavity forming malignant ascites at the time of diagnosis or recurrence. Still, cytology itself has been underutilized as a modality for the diagnosis of HGSOC from ascites, and histological examination from the tumor tissue is yet the only validated method used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of cytology in the diagnosis of HGSOC in relation to the histopathological examination. Methods: The study included 42 patients with histologically confirmed HGSOC, accompanied by malignant ascites. To confirm the malignancy of the TC in the ascites and to define their immunophenotype, immunohistochemical reaction (IHC) of the following antigens: Calretinin, MOC, WT1, PAX8, p53, p16 & Ki-67 was evaluated on ascites cytospins and tissue blocks. For complete cytological determination of HGSOC, BRCA 1/2 gene mutation was determined from ascites, tissue block, and blood. BRCA1/2 mutation from blood was performed to define the type of mutation, somatic vs germline. Results: Among 42 patients, the immunophenotype of HGSOC from ascites was confirmed in 36 cases (86%). For more profound analysis, the patients were divided in 3 groups regarding the number of TC present in the ascites: patients with less than 10% TC, 10% TC, and more than 10% TC. From all included patients, in the group with less than 10% TC, there were 10 cases, and only 5 of them(50%) showed HGSOC phenotype; 12 cases had equally 10% of TC, and 11 cases (92%) showed HGSOC phenotype; 20 cases had more than 10% TC and all of them (100%) confirmed the HGSOC immunophenotype from ascites. Only 33 patients were eligible for further BRCA1/2 analysis. Eleven BRCA1/2 mutations were detected from thetissue block: 6 germline and 5 somatic. In 2 cases with less than 10% TC, BRCA1/2 mutation was not detected; 4 cases had 10% TC, and 2 of them (50%) confirmed the mutation; 4 cases had more than 10% TC, and all showed 100% reliability with the tumor tissue. Conclusions: Cytology is a highly reliable method for determining the immunophenotype of HGSOC and BRCA1/2 mutation if more than 10% of tumor cells are present in the ascites. This may present an additional non-invasive clinical approach for fast and effective diagnose in the future, especially in inoperable conditions or relapses.

Keywords: cytology, ascites, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, immunophenotype, BRCA1/2

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16 Urban Laboratory for Community Involvement in Urban Design Process

Authors: Anja Jutraz, Tadeja Zupancic

Abstract:

This article explores urban laboratory, which presents a combination of different physical and digital methods and tools for public participation in urban design. The city consists of built and unbuilt environments, which can be defined as a community of people, who live there. Communities should have the option to express opinions and decide about the future of their city, from the early stages of the design process onwards. In this paper, we presented the possibility of involving community into renewal of Banska Štiavnica in Slovakia (more exactly the old mining shaft and lake Michal Štolna) and the methods to promote the community building. As a case study we presented the eTHNo project, Education about Technical, Historical and Natural opportunities of Michal Štolna. Moreover, we discussed the possibility of using virtual digital tools for public participation in urban design, where we especially focused on Virtual Urban Laboratory, VuLab.

Keywords: community building, digital tools, public participation, urban design

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15 Explaining the Impact of Poverty Risk on Frailty Trajectories in Old Age Using Growth Curve Models

Authors: Erwin Stolz, Hannes Mayerl, Anja Waxenegger, Wolfgang Freidl

Abstract:

Research has often found poverty associated with adverse health outcomes, but it is unclear which (interplay of) mechanisms actually translate low economic resources into poor physical health. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of educational, material, psychosocial and behavioural factors in explaining the poverty-health association in old age. We analysed 28,360 observations from 11,390 community-dwelling respondents (65+) from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, 2004-2013, 10 countries). We used multilevel growth curve models to assess the impact of combined income- and asset poverty risk on old age frailty index levels and trajectories. In total, 61.8% of the variation of poverty risk on frailty levels could be explained by direct and indirect effects, thereby highlighting the role of material and particularly psychosocial factors, such as perceived control and social isolation. We suggest strengthening social policy and public health efforts in order to fight poverty and its deleterious effects from early age on and to broaden the scope of interventions with regard to psychosocial factors.

Keywords: frailty, health inequality, old age, poverty

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14 Structural, Magnetic and Thermodynamic Investigation of Iridium Double Perovskites with Ir⁵⁺

Authors: Mihai I. Sturza, Laura T. Corredor, Kaustuv Manna, Gizem A. Cansever, Tushar Dey, Andrey Maljuk, Olga Kataeva, Sabine Wurmehl, Anja Wolter, Bernd Buchner

Abstract:

Recently, the iridate double perovskite Sr₂YIrO₆ has attracted considerable attention due to the report of unexpected magnetism in this Ir⁵⁺ material, in which according to the Jeff model, a non-magnetic ground state is expected. Structural, magnetic and thermodynamic investigations of Sr₂YIrO₆ and Ba2YIrO6 single crystals, with emphasis on the temperature and magnetic field dependence of the specific heat will be presented. The single crystals were grown by using SrCl₂ and BaCl₂ as flux. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction measurements performed on several crystals from different preparation batches showed a high quality of the crystals, proven by the good internal consistency of the data collected using the full-sphere mode and an extremely low R factor. In agreement with the expected non-magnetic ground state of Ir⁵⁺ (5d4) in these iridates, no magnetic transition is observed down to 430 mK. Moreover, our results suggest that the low-temperature anomaly observed in the specific heat is not related to the onset of long-range magnetic order. Instead, it is identified as a Schottky anomaly caused by paramagnetic impurities present in the sample, of the order of

Keywords: double perovskites, iridates, self-flux grown synthesis, spin-orbit coupling

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13 Effects of a Simulated Power Cut in Automatic Milking Systems on Dairy Cows Heart Activity

Authors: Anja Gräff, Stefan Holzer, Manfred Höld, Jörn Stumpenhausen, Heinz Bernhardt

Abstract:

In view of the increasing quantity of 'green energy' from renewable raw materials and photovoltaic facilities, it is quite conceivable that power supply variations may occur, so that constantly working machines like automatic milking systems (AMS) may break down temporarily. The usage of farm-made energy is steadily increasing in order to keep energy costs as low as possible. As a result, power cuts are likely to happen more frequently. Current work in the framework of the project 'stable 4.0' focuses on possible stress reactions by simulating power cuts up to four hours in dairy farms. Based on heart activity it should be found out whether stress on dairy cows increases under these circumstances. In order to simulate a power cut, 12 random cows out of 2 herds were not admitted to the AMS for at least two hours on three consecutive days. The heart rates of the cows were measured and the collected data evaluated with HRV Program Kubios Version 2.1 on the basis of eight parameters (HR, RMSSD, pNN50, SD1, SD2, LF, HF and LF/HF). Furthermore, stress reactions were examined closely via video analysis, milk yield, ruminant activity, pedometer and measurements of cortisol metabolites. Concluding it turned out, that during the test only some animals were suffering from minor stress symptoms, when they tried to get into the AMS at their regular milking time, but couldn´t be milked because the system was manipulated. However, the stress level during a regular “time-dependent milking rejection” was just as high. So the study comes to the conclusion, that the low psychological stress level in the case of a 2-4 hours failure of an AMS does not have any impact on animal welfare and health.

Keywords: dairy cow, heart activity, power cut, stable 4.0

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12 Influence of Loudness Compression on Hearing with Bone Anchored Hearing Implants

Authors: Anja Kurz, Marc Flynn, Tobias Good, Marco Caversaccio, Martin Kompis

Abstract:

Bone Anchored Hearing Implants (BAHI) are routinely used in patients with conductive or mixed hearing loss, e.g. if conventional air conduction hearing aids cannot be used. New sound processors and new fitting software now allow the adjustment of parameters such as loudness compression ratios or maximum power output separately. Today it is unclear, how the choice of these parameters influences aided speech understanding in BAHI users. In this prospective experimental study, the effect of varying the compression ratio and lowering the maximum power output in a BAHI were investigated. Twelve experienced adult subjects with a mixed hearing loss participated in this study. Four different compression ratios (1.0; 1.3; 1.6; 2.0) were tested along with two different maximum power output settings, resulting in a total of eight different programs. Each participant tested each program during two weeks. A blinded Latin square design was used to minimize bias. For each of the eight programs, speech understanding in quiet and in noise was assessed. For speech in quiet, the Freiburg number test and the Freiburg monosyllabic word test at 50, 65, and 80 dB SPL were used. For speech in noise, the Oldenburg sentence test was administered. Speech understanding in quiet and in noise was improved significantly in the aided condition in any program, when compared to the unaided condition. However, no significant differences were found between any of the eight programs. In contrast, on a subjective level there was a significant preference for medium compression ratios of 1.3 to 1.6 and higher maximum power output.

Keywords: Bone Anchored Hearing Implant, baha, compression, maximum power output, speech understanding

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11 The Role of Leukocyte-Derived IL-10 on Postoperative ileus and Intestinal Macrophage Differentiation in Mice

Authors: Kathy Stein, Mariola Lysson, Anja Schmidt, Beatrix Schumak, Sabine Specht, Hicham Bouabe, Jürgen Heesemann, Axel Roers, Joerg C. Kalff, Sven Wehner

Abstract:

Objective: Postoperative ileus (POI) is a common complication of abdominal surgery. Monocyte infiltration is a hallmark of POI. The polarization of macrophages/monocytes in this process is not well understood. We aimed to investigate if and how M2 macrophage/monocyte differentiation is involved in POI pathogenesis. Design: POI was induced by intestinal manipulation (IM). C57Bl/6, CCR2-/-, IL-10 reporter (ITIB), IL-10-/- and LysMcre/IL-10fl/fl mice underwent IM. At various points in time leukocyte influx, gene and protein expression of cytokines, chemokines and M2 differentiation markers and intestinal motility were analyzed. Results: IM induced the postoperative expression of the M2 markers Arginase-1 and YM-1, predominantly in F4/80+Ly6C+ monocytes. Gene expression analyses indicated an IL-10-dependent, IL-4-independent M2 polarization of these monocytes. IL-10 dependency of M2 differentiation was confirmed in IL-10 deficient mice. Leukocytes, in the order of infiltrating monocytes, neutrophils, and resident macrophages were the main IL-10 producers during POI. IL-10 producing monocytes as well as M2 marker expression were almost absent in CCR2-deficient mice. However, postoperative IL-10 expression was not altered in CCR2-/- mice. The loss of M2 polarized monocytes neither protected CCR2-/- mice from nor affected resolution of POI. In contrast, IL-10 deficiency reduced postoperative neutrophil numbers and ameliorated POI. IL-10Ra expression was strongly induced in neutrophils but not in monocytes. Conclusion: We conclude that IL-10 counteracts POI resolution by activating IL-10Ra-expressing neutrophils in the late phase of disease while IL-10-dependent M2 differentiation is not pivotal to POI manifestation and resolution.

Keywords: interleukin-10, macrophages, neutrophils, postoperative ileus

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10 Commentary on Successful and Emerging Bullying Control Programs: A Comparison between Eighteen Bullying Interventions Applied Worldwide

Authors: Sohni Siddiqui, Anja Schultze-Krumbholz

Abstract:

Our lives now revolve more around online-related tasks, as the internet has become a necessity. One of the disturbance concerns with high internet usage is the multiplication of cyber-associated risky behaviors such as cyber aggression and/or cyberbullying. Cyber Bullying is an emerging issue that needs immediate attention from many stakeholders such as parents, doctors, school administrators, policymakers, researchers, and others, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic when online learning has been adopted as an instructional strategy, and there is a continuous rise in cyberbullying cases. The aim of the article is to review existing successful and emerging interventions designed to control bullying and cyberbullying by engaging individuals through teachers’ professional development and adopting a whole-school approach. The study identified the strengths and limitations of the programs and suggested improvements to existing interventions. Preparing interventions with a strong theoretical framework, integrating applications of emerging theories in interventions, promoting proactive and reactive strategies in combination, beginning with the baseline needs assessment surveys, reducing digital time and digital divide among parents and children, promoting the concept of lead trainer, peer trainer, and hot spots, focusing on physical activities, use of landmarks are some of the recommendations proposed by authors. In addition to face-to-face intervention, the researchers recommend updating and improving previous intervention programs with games and apps. Especially in the time of pandemic crises, when face-to-face interactions are limited and cyberbullying is triggered, the use of apps, web-based interventions, and games can be an effective way to control electronic perpetration and victimization.

Keywords: anti bullying programs, cyber bullying, individualized trainings, teachers’ professional development, whole school interventions

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9 Socially Engaged Buddhism and the Ecological Crisis: Practices from Thailand and Sri Lanka

Authors: Anja Zalta

Abstract:

In the time of environmental challenges and the ecological crisis, relevant questions are how religious and/or philosophical-ethical systems respond to these challenges, how they question their social roles and what alternative models and paradigms they offer in resolving the environmental crisis. In this paper, we will first present the understanding of the attitude of the Theravāda Buddhist tradition(s) towards nature and elaborate on the understanding of the individual and his/her role in (co)-creating the environmental crisis. In terms of the relational line nature-individual-society, we will highlight two theses: (1) environmental crisis is arising from an individual’s unwholesome states of mind, and (2) environmental crisis is arising from unsatisfactory social and environmental conditions, caused by the unwholesome states of mind (of others). Old Theravādic understanding of unwholesome states of mind will be complemented by modern approaches of socially engaged Buddhism, which use different methods both for the individual as well as social transformation. A number of engaged Buddhists, among others A. T. Ariyaratne in Sri Lanka and Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand) support the idea that social and spiritual transformations are not separate. One of the most important concepts of socially engaged Buddhism is the idea of inter-connectedness. Thich Nhat Hanh uses the term "Interbeing", which derives from the Buddhist idea of paticca-samuppāda (dependant origination). In the continuation of the presentation, we will present good practices or models offered by socially engaged Buddhism in Sri Lanka (especially the Sarvodaya movement) and eco-Buddhists in Thailand. Based on the results of field research, we will analyze two key concepts, paticca-samuppāda (dependent co-existence) and anattā (non-self), in relation to good practices and (alternative) models for resolving environmental crises and consider the possibilities of their applications in other socio-cultural contexts.

Keywords: ecological crisis, paticca-samuppāda, Sarvodaya movement, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Theravāda

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8 Modeling Biomass and Biodiversity across Environmental and Management Gradients in Temperate Grasslands with Deep Learning and Sentinel-1 and -2

Authors: Javier Muro, Anja Linstadter, Florian Manner, Lisa Schwarz, Stephan Wollauer, Paul Magdon, Gohar Ghazaryan, Olena Dubovyk

Abstract:

Monitoring the trade-off between biomass production and biodiversity in grasslands is critical to evaluate the effects of management practices across environmental gradients. New generations of remote sensing sensors and machine learning approaches can model grasslands’ characteristics with varying accuracies. However, studies often fail to cover a sufficiently broad range of environmental conditions, and evidence suggests that prediction models might be case specific. In this study, biomass production and biodiversity indices (species richness and Fishers’ α) are modeled in 150 grassland plots for three sites across Germany. These sites represent a North-South gradient and are characterized by distinct soil types, topographic properties, climatic conditions, and management intensities. Predictors used are derived from Sentinel-1 & 2 and a set of topoedaphic variables. The transferability of the models is tested by training and validating at different sites. The performance of feed-forward deep neural networks (DNN) is compared to a random forest algorithm. While biomass predictions across gradients and sites were acceptable (r2 0.5), predictions of biodiversity indices were poor (r2 0.14). DNN showed higher generalization capacity than random forest when predicting biomass across gradients and sites (relative root mean squared error of 0.5 for DNN vs. 0.85 for random forest). DNN also achieved high performance when using the Sentinel-2 surface reflectance data rather than different combinations of spectral indices, Sentinel-1 data, or topoedaphic variables, simplifying dimensionality. This study demonstrates the necessity of training biomass and biodiversity models using a broad range of environmental conditions and ensuring spatial independence to have realistic and transferable models where plot level information can be upscaled to landscape scale.

Keywords: ecosystem services, grassland management, machine learning, remote sensing

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7 Winners and Losers of Severe Drought and Grazing on a Dryland Grassland in Limpopo Province

Authors: Vincent Mokoka, Kai Behn, Edwin Mudongo, Jan Ruppert, Kingsley Ayisi, Anja Linstädter

Abstract:

Severe drought may trigger a transition of vegetation composition in dryland grasslands, with productive perennial grasses often being replaced by annual grasses. Grazing pressure is thought to exacerbate drought effects, but little is known on the joint effects of grazing and drought on the functional and taxonomic composition of the herbaceous vegetation in African savannas. This study thus aimed to elucidate which herbaceous species and plant functional types (PFTs) are most resistant to prolonged drought and grazing and whether resting plays a role in this context. Thus, we performed a six-year field experiment in South Africa’s Limpopo province, combining drought and grazing treatments. Aboveground herbaceous biomass was harvested annually and separated into species. We grouped species into five PFTs, i.e. very broad-leaved perennial grasses, broad-leaved perennial grasses, narrow-leaved perennial grasses, annual grasses, and forbs. For all species, we also recorded three-leaf traits (leaf area - LA, specific leaf area – SLA, and leaf dry matter content – LDM) to describe their resource acquisition strategies. We used generalized linear models to test for treatment effects and their interaction. Association indices were used to detect the relationship between species and treatments. We found that there were no absolute winner species or PFTs, as the six-year severe drought had a pronounced negative impact on the biomass production of all species and PFTs. However, we detected relative winners with increases in relative abundances, mainly forbs and less palatable narrow-leafed grasses with comparatively low LA and high LDMC, such as Aristida stipidata Hack. These species and PFTs also tended to be favored by grazing. Although few species profited from resting, for most species, the combination of drought and resting proved to be particularly unfavorable. Winners and losers can indicate ecological transition and may be used to guide management decisions.

Keywords: aboveground net primary production, drought, functional diversity, winner and loser species

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6 Diagnostic Accuracy in the Detection of Cervical Lymph Node Metastases in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients: A Comparison of Sonography, CT, PET/CT and MRI

Authors: Di Luo, Maria Buchberger, Anja Pickhard

Abstract:

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the diagnostic accuracy of four common morphological approaches, including sonography, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of cervical lymph node metastases in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. Material and Methods: Included in this retrospective study were 26 patients diagnosed with HNSCC between 2010 and 2011 who all underwent sonography, CT, PET/CT, and MRI imaging before neck dissection. Morphological data were compared to the corresponding histopathological results. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS statistic software (version 26.0), calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy for detection of cervical lymph node metastases. Results: The 5-year survival rate of the patient collective was 55.5%.Risk factors for survival included initial primary tumor stage, initial lymph node stage, initial metastasis status, and therapeutic approaches. Cox regression showed initial metastasis status(HR 8.671, 95%CI 1.316-57.123, p=0.025) and therapeutic approaches(HR 6.699, 95%CI 1.746-25.700, p=0.006)to be independent predictive risk factors for survival. Sensitivity was highest for MRI (96% compared to 85% for sonography and 89% for CT and PET/CT). Specificity was comparable with 95 % for CT and 98 % for sonography and PET/CT, but only 68% for MRI. While the MRI showed the least PPV (34%) compared to all other methods (85% for sonography,75% for CT, and 86% for PET/CT), the NPV was comparable in all methods(98-99%). The overall accuracy of cervical lymph node metastases detection was comparable for sonography, CT, and PET/CT with 96%,97%,94%, respectively, while MRI had only 72% accuracy. Conclusion: Since the initial status of metastasis is an independent predictive risk factor for patients’ survival, efficient detection is crucial to plan adequate therapeutic approaches. Sonography, CT, and PET/CT have better diagnostic accuracy than MRI for the evaluation of cervical lymph node metastases in HNSCC patients.

Keywords: cervical lymph node metastases, diagnostic accuracy, head and neck squamous carcinoma, risk factors, survival

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5 Effects of Intergenerational Social Mobility on General Health, Oral Health and Physical Function among Older Adults in England

Authors: Alejandra Letelier, Anja Heilmann, Richard G. Watt, Stephen Jivraj, Georgios Tsakos

Abstract:

Background: Socioeconomic position (SEP) influences adult health. People who experienced material disadvantages in childhood or adulthood tend to have higher adult disease levels than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds. Even so, life is a dynamic process and contains a series of transitions that could lead people through different socioeconomic paths. Research on social mobility takes this into account by adopting a trajectory approach, thereby providing a long-term view of the effect of SEP on health. Aim: The aim of this research examines the effects of intergenerational social mobility on adult general health, oral health and functioning in a population aged 50 and over in England. Methods: This study is based on the secondary analysis of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Using cross-sectional data, nine social trajectories were created based on parental and adult occupational socio-economic position. Regression models were used to estimate the associations between social trajectories and the following outcomes: adult self-rated health, self-rated oral health, oral health related quality of life, total tooth loss and grip strength; while controlling for socio-economic background and health related behaviours. Results: Associations with adult SEP were generally stronger than with childhood SEP, suggesting a stronger influence of proximal rather than distal SEP on health and oral health. Compared to the stable high group, being in the low SEP groups in childhood and adulthood was associated with poorer health and oral health for all examined outcome measures. For adult self-rated health and edentulousness, graded associations with social mobility trajectories were observed. Conclusion: Intergenerational social mobility was associated with self-rated health and total tooth loss. Compared to only those who remained in a low SEP group over time reported worse self-rated oral health and oral health related quality of life, and had lower grip strength measurements. Potential limitations in relation to data quality will be discussed.

Keywords: social determinants of oral health, social mobility, socioeconomic position and oral health, older adults oral health

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4 Dyadic Video Evidence on How Emotions in Parent Verbal Bids Affect Child Compliance in a British Sample

Authors: Iris Sirirada Pattara-Angkoon, Rory Devine, Anja Lindberg, Wendy Browne, Sarah Foley, Gabrielle McHarg, Claire Hughes

Abstract:

Introduction: The “Terrible Twos” is a phrase used to describe toddlers 18-30 months old. It characterizes a transition from high dependency to their caregivers in infancy to more autonomy and mastery of the body and environment. Toddlers at this age may also show more willfulness and stubbornness that could predict a future trajectory leading to conduct disorders. Thus, an important goal for this age group is to promote responsiveness to their caregivers (i.e., compliance). Existing literature tends to focus on praise to increase desirable child behavior. However, this relationship is not always straightforward as some studies have found no or negative association between praise and child compliance. Research suggests positive emotions and affection showed through body language (e.g., smiles) and actions (e.g., hugs, kisses) along with positive parent-child relationship can strengthen the praise and child compliance association. Nonetheless, few studies have examined the influences of positive emotionality within the speech. This is important as implementing verbal positive emotionality is easier than physical adjustments. The literature also tends not to include fathers in the study sample as mothers were traditionally the primary caregiver. However, as child-caring duties are increasing shared equally between mothers and fathers, it is important to include fathers within the study as studies have frequently found differences between female and male caregiver characteristics. Thus, the study will address the literary gap in two ways: 1. explore the influences of positive emotionality in parental speech and 2. include an equal sample of mothers and fathers. Positive emotionality is expected to positively correlate with and predict child compliance. Methodology: This study analyzed toddlers (18-24 months) in their dyadic interactions with mothers and fathers. A Duplo (block) task was used where parents had to work with their children to build the Duplo according to the given photo for four minutes. Then, they would be told to clean up the blocks. Parental positive emotionality in different speech types (e.g., bids, praises, affirmations) and child compliance were measured. Results: The study found that mothers (M = 28.92, SD = 12.01) were significantly more likely than fathers (M = 23.01, SD = 12.28) to use positive verbal emotionality in their speech, t(105) = 4.35, p< .001. High positive emotionality in bids during Duplo task and Clean Up was positively correlated with more child compliance in each task, r(273) = .35, p< .001 and r(264) = .58, p< .001, respectively. Overall, parental positive emotionality in speech significantly predicted child compliance, F(6, 218) = 13.33, p< .001, R² = .27) with emotionality in verbal bids (t = 6.20, p< .001) and affirmations (t = 3.12, p = .002) being significant predictors. Conclusion: Positive verbal emotions may be useful for increasing compliance in toddlers. This can be beneficial for compliance interventions as well as to the parent-child relationship quality through reduction of conflict and child defiance. As this study is correlational in nature, it will be important for future research to test the directional influence of positive emotionality within speech.

Keywords: child temperament, compliance, positive emotion, toddler, verbal bids

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3 Sex Differences in Age-Related AMPK-Sirt1 Axis Alteration in Human Heart

Authors: Maria Luisa Barcena De Arellano, Sofya Pozdniakova, Pavelas Karkacas, Anja Kuhl, Istvan Baczko, Yury Ladilov, Vera Regitz-Zagrosek

Abstract:

Introduction: Aging is associated with deterioration of the physiological function, leading to systemic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction that promote the development of cardiovascular diseases. Sex differences in aging-related cardiovascular diseases have been postulated. However, their precise mechanisms remain unclear. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the sex difference in the age-related alteration in Sirt1-AMPK signaling and its relation to the mitochondrial biogenesis and inflammation. Methods: Male and female human non-disease lateral left ventricular wall tissue (young (17–40 years; n= 7 male and 7 female) and old (50–68 years; n= 9 male and 8 female)) were used. qRT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry assays were performed for expression analyses of Sirt1, AMPK, pAMPK, ac-Ku70, TFAM, PGC-1α, Sirt3, SOD2 and catalase. CD68 was used as a marker for macrophages and the ratio of IL-12:IL10 (pro-inflammatory phenotype (high IL-12/low IL-10) and anti-inflammatory phenotype (low IL-12/high IL-10) was used to examine the inflammatory stage in the heart. Results: Sirt1 expression was significantly higher in young females compared to young males, whereas in aged hearts Sirt1 expression was significantly downregulated in females, but not in males. In line with the Sirt1 downregulation in aged females, acetylation of nuclear Ku70, a direct target of Sirt1, in aged female hearts was significantly elevated. The activity of AMPK was significantly decreased in aged individuals, however no sex differences in the AMPK expression or activity were found in young or old individuals. The expression of mitochondrial proteins TOM40, SOD2 and Sirt3 was significantly higher in young females compared to young males, while in aged female hearts SOD2 and TOM40 were downregulated. In addition, the expression of catalase, a key cytosolic and mitochondrial anti-oxidative enzyme was significantly higher in young females and this female sex benefit was lost in aged hearts. In addition, the number of cardiac macrophages was significantly increased in old female, but not in male hearts. Consistently, the pro-inflammatory shift in old females was further confirmed by differences in the IL12/IL10 ratio in young female cardiac tissue in a favour of the anti-inflammatory mediator IL-10 (ratio 1:4) compared to young males (ratio 1:1). The anti-inflammatory environment in the heart was lost in aged females (ratio 1:1). Conclusion: Aging leads to the significant downregulation of Sirt1 expression and elevated acetylation of Ku70 in female, but not in male hearts. Furthermore, a beneficial upregulation of mitochondrial and anti-oxidative proteins in young females is lost with aging. Moreover, the malfunctions in the expression of Sirt1 and mitochondrial proteins in aged female hearts is accompanied by a significant pro-inflammatory shift. The study provides a molecular basis for the increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases in old women.

Keywords: inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, aging, Sirt1-AMPK axis

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2 Evaluation of Herbal Extracts for Their Potential Application as Skin Prebiotics

Authors: Anja I. Petrov, Milica B. Veljković, Marija M. Ćorović, Ana D. Milivojević, Milica B. Simović, Katarina M. Banjanac, Dejan I. Bezbradica

Abstract:

One of the fundamental requirements for overall human well-being is a stable and balanced microbiome. Aside from the microorganisms that reside within the body, a large number of microorganisms, especially bacteria, swarming the human skin are in homeostasis with the host and represent a skin microbiota. Even though the immune system of the skin is capable of distinguishing between commensal and potentially harmful transient bacteria, the cutaneous microbial balance can be disrupted under certain circumstances. In that case, reduction in the skin microbiota diversity, as well as changes in metabolic activity, result in dermal infections and inflammation. Probiotics and prebiotics have the potential to play a significant role in the treatment of these skin disorders. The most common resident bacteria found on the skin, Staphylococcus epidermidis, can act as a potential skin probiotic, contributing to the protection of healthy skin from pathogen colonization, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is related to atopic dermatitis exacerbation. However, as it is difficult to meet regulations in cosmetic products, another therapy approach could be topical prebiotic supplementation of the skin microbiota. In recent research, polyphenols are attracting scientists' interest as biomolecules with possible prebiotic effects on the skin microbiota. This research aimed to determine how herbal extracts rich in different polyphenolic compounds (lemon balm, St. John's wort, coltsfoot, pine needle, and yarrow)affected the growth of S. epidermidis and S. aureus. The first part of the study involved screening plants to determine if they could be regarded as probable candidates to be skin prebiotics. The effect of each plant on bacterial growth was examined by supplementing the nutrient medium with their extracts and comparing it with control samples (without extract). The results obtained after 24 h of incubation showed that all tested extracts influenced the growth of the examined bacteria to some extent. Since lemon balm and St. John's wort extracts displayed bactericidal activity against S. epidermidis, whereas coltsfoot inhibited both bacteria equally, they were not explored further. On the other hand, pine needle and yarrow extract led to an increase in S. epidermidis/S. aureus ratio, making them prospective candidates to be used as skin prebiotics. By examining the prebiotic effect of two extracts at different concentrations, it was revealed that, in the case of yarrow, 0.1% of extract dry matter in the fermentation medium was optimal, while for the pine needle extract, aconcentration of 0.05% was preferred, since it selectively stimulated S. epidermidis growth and inhibited S. aureus proliferation. Additionally, total polyphenols and flavonoids content of two extracts were determined, revealing different concentrations and polyphenol profiles. Since yarrow and pine extracts affected the growth of skin bacteria in a dose-dependent manner, by carefully selecting the quantities of these extracts, and thus polyphenols content, it is possible to achieve desirable alterations of skin microbiota composition, which may be suitable forthe treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: herbal extracts, polyphenols, skin microbiota, skin prebiotics

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1 Selective Immobilization of Fructosyltransferase onto Glutaraldehyde Modified Support and Its Application in the Production of Fructo-oligosaccharides

Authors: Milica B. Veljković, Milica B. Simović, Marija M. Ćorović, Ana D. Milivojević, Anja I. Petrov, Katarina M. Banjanac, Dejan I. Bezbradica

Abstract:

In recent decades, the scientific community has recognized the growing importance of prebiotics, and therefore, numerous studies are focused on their economical production due to their low presence in natural resources. It has been confirmed that prebiotics are a source of energy for probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and enable their proliferation, consequently leading to the normal functioning of the intestinal microbiota. Also, products of their fermentation are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which play a key role in maintaining and improving the health not only of the GIT but also of the whole organism. Among several confirmed prebiotics, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are considered interesting candidates for use in a wide range of products in the food industry. They are characterized as low-calorie and non-cariogenic substances that represent an adequate sugar substitute and can be considered suitable for use in products intended for diabetics. The subject of this research will be the production of FOS by transforming sucrose using a fructosyltransferase (FTase) present in commercial preparation Pectinex® Ultra SP-L, with special emphasis on the development of adequate FTase immobilization method that would enable selective isolation of the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of FOS from the complex enzymatic mixture. This would lead to considerable enzyme purification and allow its direct incorporation into different sucrose-based products, without the fear that action of the other hydrolytic enzymes may adversely affect the products functional characteristics. Accordingly, the possibility of selective immobilization of the enzyme using support with primary amino groups, Purolite® A109, which was previously activated and modified using glutaraldehyde (GA), was investigated. In the initial phase of the research, the effects of individual immobilization parameters such as pH, enzyme concentration, and immobilization time were investigated to optimize the process using support chemically activated with 15% and 0.5% GA to form dimers and monomers, respectively. It was determined that highly active immobilized preparations (371.8 IU/g of support - dimer and 213.8 IU/g of support – monomer) were achieved under acidic conditions (pH 4) provided that an enzyme concentration was 50 mg/g of support after 7 h and 3 h, respectively. Bearing in mind the obtained results of the expressed activity, it is noticeable that the formation of dimers showed higher reactivity compared to the form of monomers. Also, in the case of support modification using 15% GA, the value of the ratio of FTase and pectinase (as dominant enzyme mixture component) activity immobilization yields was 16.45, indicating the high feasibility of selective immobilization of FTase on modified polystyrene resin. After obtaining immobilized preparations of satisfactory features, they were tested in a reaction of FOS synthesis under determined optimal conditions. The maximum FOS yields of approximately 50% of total carbohydrates in the reaction mixture were recorded after 21 h. Finally, it can be concluded that the examined immobilization method yielded highly active, stable, and more importantly refined enzyme preparation that can be further utilized on a larger scale for development of continual processes for FOS synthesis, as well as for modification of different sucrose-based mediums.

Keywords: chemical modification, fructo-oligosaccharides, glutaraldehyde, immobilization of fructosyltransferase

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