Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31

Search results for: senescence

31 Decreased Autophagy Contributes to Senescence Induction in HS68 Cells

Authors: Byeal-I Han, Michael Lee


Ageing is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Increased autophagy delays ageing and extends longevity. In this study, we investigated the role of autophagy in longevity using human foreskin fibroblast HS68 cells, in which a senescence-like growth arrest can be induced. In particular, cellular senescence is manifested by the irreversible cell cycle arrest, and may contribute to the ageing of organisms. The senescence state was measured with staining for senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity that represents a sensitive and reliable marker to quantify senescent cells. We detected a significantly increased percentage (%) of SA-β-gal positive cells in HS68 cultures at passage 40 (63%) when compared with younger ones at passage 15 (0.5%). As expected, HS68 cells at passage 40 exhibited much lower proliferation rate than cells at passage 15. The basal levels of LC3 were measured by immunoblotting showing a comparison of LC3-I and LC3-II levels at 3 age-points in serially passaged HS68 cells. LC3-II/LC3-I ratio at different passage levels relative to β-actin levels of each band confirmed that cells at passage 34 showed lower conversion of non-autophagic LC3-I to autophagic LC3-II than the cells at passage 16. Furthermore, Cyto-ID autophagy assay also revealed that late passage cells showed lower autophagy than the early passage cells. Together, our findings suggest that senescence induction might be associated with decreased autophagy.

Keywords: ageing, autophagy, senescence, HS68

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30 Effect of Oxidative Stress from Smoking on Erythrocyte Phosphatidylserine Externalization

Authors: Ratchaneewan Maneemaroj, Paveena Noisuwan, Chonlada Lakhonphon


The smoking is one of the major risk factors in Non-Communicable Disease. Free radicals from cigarette smoke can cause oxidative stress. The oxidative insults can lead to red blood cell (RBC) senescence and are involved in the clearance of red blood cells. The objective of the present study is to assess the association between smoke, oxidative stress evaluated with serum Malondialdehyde (MDA) level and phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization (biomarker of RBC senescence) evaluated with annexin V binding. A total of sixty-four male volunteers aged 25-60 years old were recruited in this study. MDA was measured by colorimetric method. Annexin V binding was detected by flow cytometry. Our results show that there was a significant increase in MDA levels in cigarette smokers as compared to non-smokers (p < 0.001). However, there was no significant different between annexin V binding (% gate) in cigarette smokers and non-smokers (p = 0.978). These results provide evidence of free radical from smoking is associated with oxidative damage to erythrocytes. However, our results suggest that PS externalization is unlikely to have a role in RBC senescence pathway of stressed erythrocytes from cigarette smoke. The other biomarker of RBC senescence should be determined on cigarette smoker erythrocytes.

Keywords: malondialdehyde, phosphatidylserine, RBC senescence, annexin V

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29 Stress-Controlled Senescence and Development in Arabidopsis thaliana by Root Associated Factor (RAF), a NAC Transcription Regulator

Authors: Iman Kamranfar, Gang-Ping Xue, Salma Balazadeh, Bernd Mueller-Roeber


Adverse environmental conditions such as salinity stress, high temperature and drought limit plant growth and typically lead to precocious tissue degeneration and leaf senescence, a process by which nutrients from photosynthetic organs are recycled for the formation of flowers and seeds to secure reaching the next generation under such harmful conditions. In addition, abiotic stress affects developmental patterns that help the plant to withstand unfavourable environmental conditions. We discovered an NAC (for NAM, ATAF1, 2, and CUC2) transcription factor (TF), called RAF in the following, which plays a central role in abiotic drought stress-triggered senescence and the control of developmental adaptations to stressful environments. RAF is an ABA-responsive TF; RAF overexpressors are hypersensitive to abscisic acid (ABA) and exhibit precocious senescence while knock-out mutants show delayed senescence. To explore the RAF gene regulatory network (GRN), we determined its preferred DNA binding sites by binding site selection assay (BSSA) and performed microarray-based expression profiling using inducible RAF overexpression lines and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR. Our studies identified several direct target genes, including those encoding for catabolic enzymes acting during stress-induced senescence. Furthermore, we identified various genes controlling drought stress-related developmental changes. Based on our results, we conclude that RAF functions as a central transcriptional regulator that coordinates developmental programs with stress-related inputs from the environment. To explore the potential agricultural applications of our findings, we are currently extending our studies towards crop species.

Keywords: abiotic stress, Arabidopsis, development, transcription factor

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28 Cellular Senescence and Neuroinflammation Following Controlled Cortical Impact Traumatic Brain Injury in Juvenile Mice

Authors: Zahra F. Al-Khateeb, Shenel Shekerzade, Hasna Boumenar, Siân M. Henson, Jordi L. Tremoleda, A. T. Michael-Titus


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in young adults and also increases the risk ofneurodegeneration. The mechanisms linking moderate to severe TBI to neurodegeneration are not known. It has been proposed that cellular senescence inductionpost-injury could amplify neuroinflammation and induce long-term changes. The impact of these processes after injury to an immature brain has not been characterised yet. We carried out a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) in juvenile 1 month-old male CD1 mice. Animals were anesthetised and received a unilateral CCI injury. The sham group received anaesthesia and had a craniotomy. A naïve group had no intervention. The brain tissue was analysed at 5 days and 35 days post-injury using immunohistochemistry and markers for microglia, astrocytes, and senescence. Compared tonaïve animals, injured mice showed an increased microglial and astrocytic reaction early post-injury, as reflected in Iba1 and GFAP markers, respectively; the GFAP increase persisted in the later phase. The senescence analysis showed a significant increase inγH2AX-53BP1 nuclear foci, 8-oxoguanine, p19ARF, p16INK4a, and p53 expression in naïve vs. sham groups and naïve vs. CCI groups, at 5 dpi. At 35 days, the difference was no longer statistically significant in all markers. The injury induced a decrease p21 expression vs. the naïve group, at 35 dpi. These results indicate the induction of a complex senescence response after immature brain injury. Some changes occur early and may reflect the activation/proliferation of non-neuronal cells post-injury that had been hindered, whereas changes such as p21 downregulation may reflect a delayed response and pro-repair processes.

Keywords: cellular senescence, traumatic brain injury, brain injury, controlled cortical impact

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27 Mechanical Properties of Young and Senescence Fibroblast Cells Using Passive Microrheology

Authors: Samira Khalaji, , Fenneke Klein Jan, Kay-E. Gottschalk, Eugenia Makrantonaki, Karin Scharffetter-Kochanek


Biological aging is a multi-dimensional process that takes place over a whole range of scales from the nanoscopic alterations within individual cells, over transformations in tissues and organs and to changes of the whole organism. On the single cell level, aging involves mutation of genes, differences in gene expression levels as well as altered posttranslational modifications of proteins. A variety of proteins is affected, including proteins of the cell cytoskeleton and migration machinery. Previous work quantified the expression of cytoskeleton proteins on the gene and protein levels in senescent and young fibroblasts. Their results show that senescent skin fibroblasts have an upregulated expression of the intermediate filament (IF) protein vimentin in contrast to actin and tubulin, which are downregulated. IFs play an important role in providing mechanical stability of cells. However, the mechanical properties of IFs depending on cellular senescence or age of the donor has not been studied so far. Hence, we employed passive microrheology on primary human dermal fibroblasts from female donors with age of 28 years (young) and 86 years (old) as model of in vivo aging and human normal dermal fibroblast from 11-year old male with CPD 17-35 (young) and CPD 58-59 (senescence) as a model of in vitro replicative senescence. In contrast to the expectations, our primary results show no significant differences in the viscoelastic properties of fibroblasts depending on age of the donor or cellular replicative senescence.

Keywords: aging, cytoskeleton, fibroblast, mechanical properties

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26 Establishment and Aging Process Analysis in Dermal Fibroblast Cell Culture of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Authors: Yemima Dani Riani, Anggraini Barlian


Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is one of well known long-lived turtle. Its age can reach 100 years old. Senescence in green turtle is an interesting process to study because until now no clear explanation has been established about senescence at cellular or molecular level in this species. Since 1999, green turtle announced as an endangered species. Hence, establishment of fibroblast skin cell culture of green turtle may be material for future study of senescence. One common marker used for detecting senescence is telomere shortening. Reduced telomerase activity, the reverse transcriptase enzyme which adds TTAGGG DNA sequence to telomere end, may also cause senescence. The purpose of this research are establish and identify green turtle fibroblast skin cell culture and also compare telomere length and telomerase activity from passage 5 and 14. Primary cell culture made with primary explant method then cultured in Leibovitz-15 (Sigma) supplemented by 10% Fetal Bovine Serum (Sigma) and 100 U/mL Penicillin/Streptomycin (Sigma) at 30 ± 1oC. Cells identified with Rabbit Anti-Vimentin Polyclonal Antibody (Abcam) and Goat Polyclonal Antibody (Abcam) using confocal microscope (Zeiss LSM 170). Telomere length obtained using TeloTAGGG Telomere Length Assay (Roche) while telomerase activity obtained using TeloTAGGG Telomerase PCR ElisaPlus (Roche). Primary cell culture from green turtle skin had fibroblastic morphology and immunocytochemistry test with vimentin antibody proved the culture was fibroblast cell. Measurement of telomere length and telomerase activity showed that telomere length and telomerase activity of passage 14 was greater than passage 5. However, based on morphology, green turtle fibroblast skin cell culture showed senescent morphology. Based on the analysis of telomere length and telomerase activity, suspected fibroblast skin cell culture of green turtles is not undergo aging through telomere shortening.

Keywords: cell culture, chelonia mydas, telomerase, telomere, senescence

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25 Comparison of Physical and Chemical Effects on Senescent Cells

Authors: Svetlana Guryeva, Inna Kornienko, Andrey Usanov, Dmitry Usanov, Elena Petersen


Every day cells in our organism are exposed to various factors: chemical agents, reactive oxygen species, ionizing radiation, and others. These factors can cause damage to DNA, cellular membrane, intracellular compartments, and proteins. The fate of cells depends on the exposure intensity and duration. The prolonged and intense exposure causes the irreversible damage accumulation, which triggers the permanent cell cycle arrest (cellular senescence) or cell death programs. In the case of low dose of impacts, it can lead to cell renovation and to cell functional state improvement. Therefore, it is a pivotal question to investigate the factors and doses that result in described positive effects. In order to estimate the influence of different agents, the proliferation index and levels of cell death markers (annexin V/propidium iodide), senescence-associated β-galactosidase, and lipofuscin were measured. The experiments were conducted on primary human fibroblasts of the 8th passage. According to the levels of mentioned markers, these cells were defined as senescent cells. The effect of low-frequency magnetic field was investigated. Different modes of magnetic field exposure were tested. The physical agents were compared with chemical agents: metformin (10 mM) and taurine (0.8 mM and 1.6 mM). Cells were incubating with chemicals for 5 days. The highest decrease in the level of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (21%) and lipofuscin (17%) was observed in the primary senescent fibroblasts after 5 days after double treatments with 48 h intervals with low-frequency magnetic field. There were no significant changes in the proliferation index after magnetic field application. The cytotoxic effect of magnetic field was not observed. The chemical agent taurine (1.6 mM) decreased the level of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (23%) and lipofuscin (22%). Metformin improved the activity of senescence-associated β-galactosidase on 15% and the level of lipofuscin on 19% in this experiment. According to these results, the effect of double treatment with 48 h interval with low-frequency magnetic field and the effect of taurine (1.6 mM) were comparable to the effect of metformin, for which anti-aging properties are proved. In conclusion, this study can become the first step towards creation of the standardized system for the investigation of different effects on senescent cells.

Keywords: biomarkers, magnetic field, metformin, primary fibroblasts, senescence, taurine

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24 Non-Canonical Beclin-1-Independent Autophagy and Apoptosis in Cell Death Induced by Rhus coriaria in Human Colon HT-29 Cancer Cells

Authors: Rabah Iratni, Husain El Hasasna, Khawlah Athamneh, Halima Al Sameri, Nehla Benhalilou, Asma Al Rashedi


Background: Cancer therapies have witnessed great advances in the recent past, however, cancer continues to be a leading cause of death, with colorectal cancer being the fourth cause of cancer-related deaths. Colorectal cancer affects both sexes equally with poor survival rate once it metastasizes. Phytochemicals, which are plant derived compounds, have been on a steady rise as anti-cancer drugs due to the accumulation of evidences that support their potential. Here, we investigated the anticancer effect of Rhus coriaria on colon cancer cells. Material and Method: Human colon cancer HT-29 cell line was used. Protein expression and protein phosphorylation were examined using Western blotting. Transcription activity was measure using Quantitative RT-PCR. Human tumoral clonogenic assay was used to assess cell survival. Senescence was assessed by the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase assay. Results: Rhus coriaria extract (RCE) was found to significantly inhibit the viability and colony growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells. RCE induced senescence and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. These changes were concomitant with upregulation of p21, p16, downregulation of cyclin D1, p27, c-myc and expression of Senescence-associated-β-Galactosidase activity. Moreover, RCE induced non-canonical beclin-1independent autophagy and subsequent apoptotic cell death through activation of activation caspase 8 and caspase 7. The blocking of autophagy by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or chloroquine (CQ) reduced RCE-induced cell death. Further, RCE induced DNA damage, reduced mutant p53 protein level and downregulated phospho-AKT and phospho-mTOR, events that preceded autophagy. Mechanistically, we found that RCE inhibited the AKT and mTOR pathway, a regulator of autophagy, by promoting the proteasome-dependent degradation of both AKT and mTOR proteins. Conclusion: Our findings provide strong evidence that Rhus coriaria possesses strong anti-colon cancer activity through induction of senescence and autophagic cell death, making it a promising alternative or adjunct therapeutic candidate against colon cancer.

Keywords: autophagy, proteasome degradation, senescence, mTOR, apoptosis, Beclin-1

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23 The Improved Therapeutic Effect of Trans-Cinnamaldehyde on Adipose-Derived Stem Cells without Chemical Induction

Authors: Karthyayani Rajamani, Yi-Chun Lin, Tung-Chou Wen, Jeanne Hsieh, Yi-Maun Subeq, Jen-Wei Liu, Po-Cheng Lin, Horng-Jyh Harn, Shinn-Zong Lin, Tzyy-Wen Chiou


Assuring cell quality is an essential parameter for the success of stem cell therapy, utilization of various components to improve this potential has been the primary goal of stem cell research. The aim of this study was not only to demonstrate the capacity of trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC) to reverse stress-induced senescence but also improve the therapeutic abilities of stem cells. Because of the availability and the promising application potential in regenerative medicine, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) were chosen for the study. We found that H2O2 treatment resulted in the expression of senescence characteristics in the ADSCs, including decreased proliferation rate, increased senescence-associated- β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, decreased SIRT1 (silent mating type information regulation 2 homologs) expression and decreased telomerase activity. However, TC treatment was sufficient to rescue or reduce the effects of H2O2 induction, ultimately leading to an increased proliferation rate, a decrease in the percentage of SA-β-gal positive cells, upregulation of SIRT1 expression, and increased telomerase activity of the senescent ADSCs at the cellular level. Further recently it was observed that the ADSCs were treated with TC without induction of senescence, all the before said positives were observed. Moreover, a chemically induced liver fibrosis animal model was used to evaluate the functionality of these rescued cells in vivo. Liver dysfunction was established by injecting 200 mg/kg thioacetamide (TAA) intraperitoneally into Wistar rats every third day for 60 days. The experimental rats were separated into groups; normal group (rats without TAA induction), sham group (without ADSC transplantation), positive control group (transplanted with normal ADSCs); H2O2 group (transplanted with H2O2 -induced senescent ADSCs), H2O2+TC group (transplanted with ADSCs pretreated with H2O2 and then further treated with TC) and TC group (ADSC treated with TC without H2O2 treatment). In the transplantation group, 1 × 106 human ADSCs were introduced into each rat via direct liver injection. Based on the biochemical analysis and immunohistochemical staining results, it was determined that the therapeutic effects on liver fibrosis by the induced senescent ADSCs (H2O2 group) were not as significant as those exerted by the normal ADSCs (the positive control group). However, the H2O2+TC group showed significant reversal of liver damage when compared to the H2O2 group 1 week post-transplantation. Further ADSCs without H2O2 treatment but with just TC treatment performed much better than all the groups. These data confirmed that the TC treatment had the potential to improve the therapeutic effect of ADSCs. It is therefore suggested that TC has potential applications in maintaining stem cell quality and could possibly aid in the treatment of senescence-related disorders.

Keywords: senescence, SIRT1, adipose derived stem cells, liver fibrosis

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22 Anti-Aging Effects of Two Agricultural Plant Extracts and Their Underlying Mechanism

Authors: Shwu-Ling Peng, Chiung-Man Tsai, Chia-Jui Weng


Chronic micro-inflammation is a hallmark of many aging-related neurodegenerative and metabolic syndrome-driven diseases. In high glucose (HG) environment, reactive oxygen species (ROS) is generated and the ROS induced inflammation, cytokines secretion, DNA damage, and cell cycle arrest to lead to cellular senescence. Water chestnut shell (WCS) is a plant hull which containing polyphenolic compounds and showed antioxidant and anticancer activities. Orchid, which containing a natural polysaccharide compound, possesses many physiological activities including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. These agricultural plants might be able to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. This study was used HG-induced human normal dermal fibroblasts (HG-HNDFs) as an in vitro model to disclose the effects of water extract of Phalaenopsis orchid flower (WEPF) and ethanol extract of water chestnut shell (EEWCS) on the anti-aging and their underlying molecular mechanisms. The toxicity of extracts on human normal dermal fibroblasts (HNDFs) was determined by MTT method. The senescence of cells was assayed by β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) kit. ROS and nitrate production was analyzed by Intracellular ROS contents and ELISA, respectively. Western blotting was used to detect the proteins in cells. The results showed that the exposure of HNDFs to HG (30 mM) for 72 h were caused cellular senescence and arrested cells at G0/G1 phase. Indeed, the treatment of HG-HNDFs with WEPF (200 μg/ml) and EEWCS (10 μg/ml) significantly released cell cycle arrest and promoted cell proliferation. The G1/S phase transition regulatory proteins such as protein retinoblastoma (pRb), p53, and p16ᴵᴺᴷ⁴ᵃ depressed by WEPF and EEWCS were also observed. Additionally, the treatment of WEPF and EEWCS increased the activity of HO-1 through upregulating Nrf2 as well as decreased the ROS and NO of HG-HNDFs. Therefore, the senescence marker protein-30 (SMP30) in cells was diminished. In conclusion, the WEPF and EEWCS might inhibit HG-induced aging of HNDFs by reducing oxidative stress and free radicals.

Keywords: agricultural plant extract, anti-aging, high glucose, Phalaenopsis orchid flower, water chestnut shell

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21 Postharvest Studies Beyond Fresh Market Eating Quality: Phytochemical Changes in Peach Fruit During Ripening and Advanced Senescence

Authors: Mukesh Singh Mer, Brij Lal Attri, Raj Narayan, Anil Kumar


Postharvest studies were conducted under the concept that fruit do not qualify for the fresh market may be used as a source of bioactive compounds. One peach (Prunus persica cvs Red June) were evaluated for their photochemical content and antioxidant capacity during the ripening and over ripening periods (advanced senescence) for 12 and 15 d, respectively. Firmness decreased rapidly during this period from an initial pre –ripe stage of 5.85 lb/in2 for peach until the fruit reached the fully ripe stage of lb/in2. In this study we evaluate the varietal performance in respect of the quality beyond fresh market eating and nutrition levels. The varieties are (T-1 F-16-23), (T-2 Florda king), (T-3 Nectarine), (T-4 Red June). The result pertaining are there the highest fruit length (68.50 mm), fruit breadth (71.38 mm), fruit weight (186.11 g) found in T4 Red June and fruit firmness (8.74 lb/in 2) found in T3-Nectarine. The acidity (1.66 %), ascorbic acid (440 mg/100 g), reducing sugar (19.77 %) and total sugar (51.73 %) found in T4- Red June, T-2 Florda King, T-3 Nectarine at harvesting time but decrease in fruit length ( 60.81 mm), fruit breadth (51.84 mm), fruit weight (143.03 g) found in T4 Red June and fruit firmness (6.29 lb/in 2) found in T3-Nectarine. The acidity (0.80 %), ascorbic acid (329.50 mg/100 g), reducing sugar (34.03 %) and total sugar (26.97 %) found in T1- F-16-23, T-2 Florda King, T-1 F-16-23 and T-3 Nectarine after 15 days in freeze conditions when will have been since reached beyond market. The study reveals that the size and yield good in Red June and the nutritional value higher in Florda King and Nectarine peach. Fruit firmness remained unchanged afterwards. In addition, total soluble solids in peach were basically similar during the ripening and over ripening periods. Further research on secondary metabolism regulation during ripening and advanced senescence is needed to obtain fruit as enriched dietary sources of bioactive compounds or for its use in alternative high value health markets including dietary supplements, functional foods cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: metabolism, acidity, ascorbic acid, pharmaceuticals

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20 Determining Cellular Biomarkers Sensitive to Low Damaging Exposure

Authors: Svetlana Guryeva, Inna Kornienko, Elena Petersen


At present, translational medicine is a rapidly developing branch of biomedicine. The main idea of translational medicine is a practical application of fundamental research. One of the possible applications for translational medicine is researching therapies that improve human age-related organism condition. To fill the gap between experiments and clinical practice, it is necessary to create the standardized system for the investigation of different effects on cellular aging models. In this study, primary human fibroblasts derived from patients of different ages were used as a cellular aging model. The senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, lipofuscin, γ-H2AX, the reactive oxygen species level, and cell death markers (annexin V/propidium iodide) were used as biomarkers of the cell functional state. The effects of damaging exposures (oxidative stress and heat shock), potential positive factors (metformin and acetaminophen), and their combinations were investigated using the described biomarkers. Oxidative stress and heat shock caused the increase in the levels of all biomarkers, and only the cells from young patients partly coped with stress 3 days after the exposures. Metformin improved the state of pretreatment cells from young and old patients. The acetaminophen did not show significant changes in the biomarker levels compare to the action of metformin. This study proved the opportunity to develop a standardized screening system based on biomarkers of the cell functional state to identify potential positive or negative effects of some physical and chemical exposures. Moreover, such a system can be useful for the aims of regenerative medicine to determine the effect of cell pretreatment before transplantation.

Keywords: biomarkers, primary fibroblasts, regenerative medicine, senescence, test system, translational medicine

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19 Scoping Review of Biological Age Measurement Composed of Biomarkers

Authors: Diego Alejandro Espíndola-Fernández, Ana María Posada-Cano, Dagnóvar Aristizábal-Ocampo, Jaime Alberto Gallo-Villegas


Background: With the increase in life expectancy, aging has been subject of frequent research, and therefore multiple strategies have been proposed to quantify the advance of the years based on the known physiology of human senescence. For several decades, attempts have been made to characterize these changes through the concept of biological age, which aims to integrate, in a measure of time, structural or functional variation through biomarkers in comparison with simple chronological age. The objective of this scoping review is to deepen the updated concept of measuring biological age composed of biomarkers in the general population and to summarize recent evidence to identify gaps and priorities for future research. Methods: A scoping review was conducted according to the five-phase methodology developed by Arksey and O'Malley through a search of five bibliographic databases to February 2021. Original articles were included with no time or language limit that described the biological age composed of at least two biomarkers in those over 18 years of age. Results: 674 articles were identified, of which 105 were evaluated for eligibility and 65 were included with information on the measurement of biological age composed of biomarkers. Articles from 1974 of 15 nationalities were found, most observational studies, in which clinical or paraclinical biomarkers were used, and 11 different methods described for the calculation of the composite biological age were informed. The outcomes reported were the relationship with the same measured biomarkers, specified risk factors, comorbidities, physical or cognitive functionality, and mortality. Conclusions: The concept of biological age composed of biomarkers has evolved since the 1970s and multiple methods of its quantification have been described through the combination of different clinical and paraclinical variables from observational studies. Future research should consider the population characteristics, and the choice of biomarkers against the proposed outcomes to improve the understanding of aging variables to direct effective strategies for a proper approach.

Keywords: biological age, biological aging, aging, senescence, biomarker

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18 Safety of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Therapy: Potential Risk of Spontaneous Transformations

Authors: Katarzyna Drela, Miroslaw Wielgos, Mikolaj Wrobel, Barbara Lukomska


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have a great potential in regenerative medicine. Since the initial number of isolated MSCs is limited, in vitro propagation is often required to reach sufficient numbers of cells for therapeutic applications. During long-term culture MSCs may undergo genetic or epigenetic alterations that subsequently increase the probability of spontaneous malignant transformation. Thus, factors that influence genomic stability of MSCs following long-term expansions need to be clarified before cultured MSCs are employed for clinical application. The aim of our study was to investigate the potential for spontaneous transformation of human neonatal cord blood (HUCB-MSCs) and adult bone marrow (BM-MSCs) derived MSCs. Materials and Methods: HUCB-MSCs and BM-MSCs were isolated by standard Ficoll gradient centrifugations method. Isolated cells were initially plated in high density 106 cells per cm2. After 48 h medium were changed and non-adherent cells were removed. The malignant transformation of MSCs in vitro was evaluated by morphological changes, proliferation rate, ability to enter cell senescence, the telomerase expression and chromosomal abnormality. Proliferation of MSCs was analyzed with WST-1 reduction method and population doubling time (PDT) was calculated at different culture stages. Then the expression pattern of genes characteristic for mesenchymal or epithelial cells, as well as transcriptions factors were examined by RT-PCR. Concomitantly, immunocytochemical analysis of gene-related proteins was employed. Results: Our studies showed that MSCs from all bone marrow isolations ultimately entered senescence and did not undergo spontaneous malignant transformation. However, HUCB-MSCs from one of the 15 donors displayed an increased proliferation rate, failed to enter senescence, and exhibited an altered cell morphology. In this sample we observed two different cell phenotypes: one mesenchymal-like exhibited spindle shaped morphology and express specific mesenchymal surface markers (CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166) with low proliferation rate, and the second one with round, densely package epithelial-like cells with significantly increased proliferation rate. The PDT of epithelial-like populations was around 1day and 100% of cells were positive for proliferation marker Ki-67. Moreover, HUCB-MSCs showed a positive expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), cMYC and exhibit increased number of CFU during the long-term culture in vitro. Furthermore, karyotype analysis revealed chromosomal abnormalities including duplications. Conclusions: Our studies demonstrate that HUCB-MSCs are susceptible to spontaneous malignant transformation during long-term culture. Spontaneous malignant transformation process following in vitro culture has enormous effect on the biosafety issues of future cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine regimens.

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, spontaneous, transformation, long-term culture

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17 Properties of Adipose Tissue Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Long-Term Cryopreservation

Authors: Jienny Lee, In-Soo Cho, Sang-Ho Cha


Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been investigated using preclinical approaches for tissue regeneration. Porcine MSCs (pMSCs) are capable of growing and attaching to plastic with a fibroblast-like morphology and then differentiating into bone, adipose, and cartilage tissues in vitro. This study was conducted to investigate the proliferating abilities, differentiation potentials, and multipotency of miniature pig adipose tissue-derived MSCs (mpAD-MSCs) with or without long-term cryopreservation, considering that cryostorage has the potential for use in clinical applications. After confirming the characteristics of the mpAD-MSCs, we examined the effect of long-term cryopreservation (> 2 years) on expression of cell surface markers (CD34, CD90 and CD105), proliferating abilities (cumulative population doubling level, doubling time, colony-forming unit, and MTT assay) and differentiation potentials into mesodermal cell lineages. As a result, the expression of cell surface markers is similar between thawed and fresh mpAD-MSCs. However, long-term cryopreservation significantly lowered the differentiation potentials (adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic) of mpAD-MSCs. When compared with fresh mpAD-MSCs, thawed mpAD-MSCs exhibited lower expression of mesodermal cell lineage-related genes such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-g2, lipoprotein lipase, collagen Type II alpha 1, osteonectin, and osteocalcin. Interestingly, long-term cryostoraged mpAD-MSCs exhibited significantly higher cell viability than the fresh mpAD-MSCs. Long-term cryopreservation induced a 30% increase in the cell viability of mpAD-MSCs when compared with the fresh mpAD-MSCs at 5 days after thawing. However, long-term cryopreservation significantly lowered expression of stemness markers such as Oct3/4, Sox2, and Nanog. Furthermore, long-term cryopreservation negatively affected expression of senescence-associated genes such as telomerase reverse transcriptase and heat shock protein 90 of mpAD-MSCs when compared with the fresh mpAD-MSCs. The results from this study might be important for the successful application of MSCs in clinical trials after long-term cryopreservation.

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, cryopreservation, stemness, senescence

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16 Effect of Chemicals on Keeping Quality and Vase Life of Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) Cv. Eskimo

Authors: Qurrat Ul Ain Farooq, Misha Arshad, Malik Abid Mehmood


The experiment under discussion was carried out to check the effect of different concentrations of sucrose (2%, 4%, 6%), CuSO4 (200ppm, 300ppm, 400 ppm), GA3 (25ppm, 50ppm, 75 ppm), and combinations of sucrose and GA3 (2% +25 ppm), (4%+50 ppm), (6%+75 ppm) on the carnation cut flower. Visual symptoms of flower senescence, changes in weight (g) of a flower was observed and recorded by using weight balance. The experiment was laid out according to CRD (Complete Randomized Design) it was two-factor factorial, the software used for the analysis was Statistix. Maximum TSS were found in 6% sucrose + 75 ppm GA3 (8.3 %) followed by CuSO4 400 ppm, 4% sucrose + 50 ppm GA3 and 6% sucrose + 75 ppm GA3. Maximum vase life in term of days was recorded in treatment. CuSO4 400 ppm and 6% sucrose + 75 ppm GA3 (8 days) followed by CuSO4 200 ppm (7.7 days). CuSO4 300 ppm & 6% sucrose + 75 ppm GA3 were at par (7 days). Maximum water uptake was also observed in 6% sucrose + 75 ppm GA3 (56.7 ml) followed by CuSO4 400 ppm (49.7 ml) and 50 ppm GA3 (45 ml). Hence, CuSO4 400 ppm found best in all aspects.

Keywords: carnation, vaselife, GA3, CuSO4, sucrose

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15 Static Balance in the Elderly: Comparison Between Elderly Performing Physical Activity and Fine Motor Coordination Activity

Authors: Andreia Guimaraes Farnese, Mateus Fernandes Reu Urban, Leandro Procopio, Renato Zangaro, Regiane Albertini


Senescence changes include postural balance, inferring the risk of falls, and can lead to fractures, bedridden, and the risk of death. Physical activity, e.g., cardiovascular exercises, is notable for improving balance due to brain cell stimulations, but fine coordination exercises also elevate cell brain metabolism. This study aimed to verify whether the elderly person who performs fine motor activity has a balance similar to that of those who practice physical activity. The subjects were divided into three groups according to the activity practice: control group (CG) with seven participants for the sedentary individuals, motor coordination group (MCG) with six participants, and activity practitioner group (PAG) with eight participants. Data comparisons were from the Berg balance scale, Time up and Go test, and stabilometric analysis. Descriptive statistical and ANOVA analyses were performed for data analysis. The results reveal that including fine motor activities can improve the balance of the elderly and indirectly decrease the risk of falls.

Keywords: balance, barapodometer, coordination, elderly

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14 Target and Biomarker Identification Platform to Design New Drugs against Aging and Age-Related Diseases

Authors: Peter Fedichev


We studied fundamental aspects of aging to develop a mathematical model of gene regulatory network. We show that aging manifests itself as an inherent instability of gene network leading to exponential accumulation of regulatory errors with age. To validate our approach we studied age-dependent omic data such as transcriptomes, metabolomes etc. of different model organisms and humans. We build a computational platform based on our model to identify the targets and biomarkers of aging to design new drugs against aging and age-related diseases. As biomarkers of aging, we choose the rate of aging and the biological age since they completely determine the state of the organism. Since rate of aging rapidly changes in response to an external stress, this kind of biomarker can be useful as a tool for quantitative efficacy assessment of drugs, their combinations, dose optimization, chronic toxicity estimate, personalized therapies selection, clinical endpoints achievement (within clinical research), and death risk assessments. According to our model, we propose a method for targets identification for further interventions against aging and age-related diseases. Being a biotech company, we offer a complete pipeline to develop an anti-aging drug-candidate.

Keywords: aging, longevity, biomarkers, senescence

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13 Improvement in Drought Stress Tolerance in Wheat by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Authors: Seema Sangwan, Ekta Narwal, Kannepalli Annapurna


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation on drought stress tolerance in 3 genotypes of wheat subjected to moderate water stress, i.e. HD 3043 (drought tolerant), HD 2987 (drought tolerant), and HD 2967 (drought sensitive). Various growth parameters were studied, e.g. total dry weight, total shoot and root length, root volume, root surface area, grain weight and number, leaf area, chlorophyll content in leaves, relative water content, number of spores and percent colonisation of roots by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Total dry weight, root surface area and chlorophyll content were found to be significantly high in AMF inoculated plants as compared to the non-mycorrhizal ones and also higher in drought-tolerant varieties of wheat as compared to the sensitive variety HD 2967, in moderate water stress treatments. Leakage of electrolytes was lower in case of AMF inoculated stressed plants. Under continuous water stress, leaf water content and leaf area were significantly increased in AMF inoculated plants as compared to un-inoculated stressed plants. Overall, the increased colonisation of roots of wheat by AMF in inoculated plants weather drought tolerant or sensitive could have a beneficial effect in alleviating the harmful effects of water stress in wheat and delaying its senescence.

Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, wheat, drought, stress

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12 Genome-Wide Analysis of BES1/BZR1 Gene Family in Five Plant Species

Authors: Jafar Ahmadi, Zhohreh Asiaban, Sedigheh Fabriki Ourang


Brassinosteroids (BRs) regulate cell elongation, vascular differentiation, senescence and stress responses. BRs signal through the BES1/BZR1 family of transcription factors, which regulate hundreds of target genes involved in this pathway. In this research a comprehensive genome-wide analysis was carried out in BES1/BZR1 gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana, Cucumis sativus, Vitis vinifera, Glycin max, and Brachypodium distachyon. Specifications of the desired sequences, dot plot and hydropathy plot were analyzed in the protein and genome sequences of five plant species. The maximum amino acid length was attributed to protein sequence Brdic3g with 374aa and the minimum amino acid length was attributed to protein sequence Gm7g with 163aa. The maximum Instability index was attributed to protein sequence AT1G19350 equal with 79.99 and the minimum Instability index was attributed to protein sequence Gm5g equal with 33.22. Aliphatic index of these protein sequences ranged from 47.82 to 78.79 in Arabidopsis thaliana, 49.91 to 57.50 in Vitis vinifera, 55.09 to 82.43 in Glycin max, 54.09 to 54.28 in Brachypodium distachyon 55.36 to 56.83 in Cucumis sativus. Overall, data obtained from our investigation contributes a better understanding of the complexity of the BES1/BZR1 gene family and provides the first step towards directing future experimental designs to perform systematic analysis of the functions of the BES1/BZR1 gene family.

Keywords: BES1/BZR1, brassinosteroids, phylogenetic analysis, transcription factor

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11 Dermatological Study on Risk Factors for Pruritic Skin: Skin Properties of Elderly

Authors: Dianis Wulan Sari, Takeo Minematsu, Mikako Yoshida, Hiromi Sanada


Introduction: Pruritus is diagnosed as itching without macroscopic abnormalities on skin. It is the most skin complaint of elderly people. In the present study, we conducted a dermatological study to examine the risk factors of pruritic skin and predicted how to prevent pruritus especially in the elderly population. Pruritus is caused several types of inflammation, including epidermal innate immunity based on keratinocyte responses and acquired immunity regulated by type 1 or 2 helper T (Th) cells. The triggers of pruritus differ among inflammation types, therefore we did separately assess the pruritus-associated factors of each inflammation type in an effort to contribute to the identification of intervention targets for preventing pruritus. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the factors related with actual condition of pruritic skin by examine the skin properties. Method: This study was conducted in elderly population of Indonesian nursing home. Basic characteristics and behaviors were obtained by interview. The properties of pruritic skin were collected by examination of skin biomarker using skin blotting as novel method of non-invasive skin assessment method and examination of skin barrier function using stratum corneum hydration and skin pH. Result: The average age of participants was 74 years with independent status was 66.8%. Age (β = -0.130, p = 0.044), cumulative lifetime sun exposure (β = 0.145, p = 0.026), bathing duration (β = 0.151, p = 0.022), clothing change frequency (β = 0.135, p = 0.029), and clothing type (β = -0.139, p = 0.021) were risk factors of pruritic skin in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Risk factors of pruritic skin in elderly population were caused by internal factors such as skin senescence and external factors such as sun exposure, hygiene care and skin care behavior.

Keywords: aging, hygiene care, pruritus, skin care, sun exposure

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10 Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis in Multiple Sorghum Mapping Populations Facilitates the Dissection of Genetic Control of Drought Tolerance Related Traits in Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (Moench)]

Authors: Techale B., Hongxu Dong, Mihrete Getinet, Aregash Gabizew, Andrew H. Paterson, Kassahun Bantte


The genetic architecture of drought tolerance is expected to involve multiple loci that are unlikely to all segregate for alternative alleles in a single bi-parental population. Therefore, the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are expressed in diverse genetic backgrounds of multiple bi-parental populations provides evidence about both background-specific and common genetic variants. The purpose of this study was to map QTL related to drought tolerance using three connected mapping populations of different genetic backgrounds to gain insight into the genomic landscape of this important trait in elite Ethiopian germplasm. The three bi-parental populations, each with 207 F₂:₃ lines, were evaluated using an alpha lattice design with two replications under two moisture stress environments. Drought tolerance related traits were analyzed separately for each population using composite interval mapping, finding a total of 105 QTLs. All the QTLs identified from individual populations were projected on a combined consensus map, comprising a total of 25 meta QTLs for seven traits. The consensus map allowed us to deduce locations of a larger number of markers than possible in any individual map, providing a reference for genetic studies in different genetic backgrounds. The mQTL identified in this study could be used for marker-assisted breeding programs in sorghum after validation. Only one trait, reduced leaf senescence, showed a striking bias of allele distribution, indicating substantial standing variation among present varieties that might be employed in improving drought tolerance of Ethiopian and other sorghums.

Keywords: Drought tolerance , Mapping populations, Meta QTL, QTL mapping, Sorghum

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9 Hsa-miR-192-5p, and Hsa-miR-129-5p Prominent Biomarkers in Regulation Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cells Genes Microenvironment

Authors: Rasha Ahmadi


Glioblastoma is one of the most frequent brain malignancies, having a high mortality rate and limited survival in individuals with this malignancy. Despite different treatments and surgery, recurrence of glioblastoma cancer stem cells may arise as a subsequent tumor. For this reason, it is crucial to research the markers associated with glioblastoma stem cells and specifically their microenvironment. In this study, using bioinformatics analysis, we analyzed and nominated genes in the microenvironment pathways of glioblastoma stem cells. In this study, an appropriate database was selected for analysis by referring to the GEO database. This dataset comprised gene expression patterns in stem cells derived from glioblastoma patients. Gene clusters were divided as high and low expression. Enrichment databases such as Enrichr, STRING, and GEPIA were utilized to analyze the data appropriately. Finally, we extracted the potential genes 2700 high-expression and 1100 low-expression genes are implicated in the metabolic pathways of glioblastoma cancer progression. Cellular senescence, MAPK, TNF, hypoxia, zimosterol biosynthesis, and phosphatidylinositol metabolism pathways were substantially expressed and the metabolic pathways were downregulated. After assessing the association between protein networks, MSMP, SOX2, FGD4 ,and CNTNAP3 genes with high expression and DMKN and SBSN genes with low were selected. All of these genes were observed in the survival curve, with a survival of fewer than 10 percent over around 15 months. hsa-mir-192-5p, hsa-mir-129-5p, hsa-mir-215-5p, hsa-mir-335-5p, and hsa-mir-340-5p played key function in glioblastoma cancer stem cells microenviroments. We introduced critical genes through integrated and regular bioinformatics studies by assessing the amount of gene expression profile data that can play an important role in targeting genes involved in the energy and microenvironment of glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Have. This study indicated that hsa-mir-192-5p, and hsa-mir-129-5p are appropriate candidates for this.

Keywords: Glioblastoma, Cancer Stem Cells, Biomarker Discovery, Gene Expression Profiles, Bioinformatics Analysis, Tumor Microenvironment

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8 Mouse Knockouts for Elucidating the Role of Cysteine-Rich Angiogenic Inducer 61 in Tendon Development and Maintenance

Authors: Josephine Hai, Jie Jiang, Karen M. Lyons


Of the musculoskeletal tissues, tendon is least understood in terms of biological development. The current study examines Cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61, or CCN1, a member of the CCN family of secreted matricellular proteins that regulate cell behavior via intercellular signaling. Though CCN1 is notable in limiting fibrosis by inducing senescence in fibroblasts, little is known about its role in normal fibrous tissue, where it may be essential to the development of ECM-rich structures like tendons. We found that CCN1 knockout mice (using limb-specific Prx1-Cre) exhibited clubfoot and waddling gaits, a unique phenotype not described in any other mutant to date. Histological analysis showed that the Achilles and patellar tendons, where we previously found high CCN1 expression in adult reporter mice, were thicker and denser in the Prx1-Cre knockouts than in their wildtype littermates. We then hypothesized that CCN1 is required directly in tendon progenitor cells for normal tendon development and generated tendon-specific CCN1 knockout mice using Scx-Cre. We observed similar Achilles/patellar tendon morphology among the Scx-Cre and Prx1-Cre mutants, indicating that the phenotype is a direct result of CCN1’s loss in tendon. To further study phenotype onset and progression, we will histologically characterize these tendons across different developmental time-points. We will also perform RNA-seq and qPCR to analyze tenocyte gene expression and expect fibrotic marker upregulation in the Scx-Cre mutants if CCN1 is required to maintain a normal tendon phenotype. Thus, our study aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying tendon formation and maintenance. Understanding tendons at the most basic level invites novel approaches to tendon repair.

Keywords: development, matricellular, musculoskeletal, tendon

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7 AquaCrop Model Simulation for Water Productivity of Teff (Eragrostic tef): A Case Study in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Authors: Yenesew Mengiste Yihun, Abraham Mehari Haile, Teklu Erkossa, Bart Schultz


Teff (Eragrostic tef) is a staple food in Ethiopia. The local and international demand for the crop is ever increasing pushing the current price five times compared with that in 2006. To meet this escalating demand increasing production including using irrigation is imperative. Optimum application of irrigation water, especially in semi-arid areas is profoundly important. AquaCrop model application in irrigation water scheduling and simulation of water productivity helps both irrigation planners and agricultural water managers. This paper presents simulation and evaluation of AquaCrop model in optimizing the yield and biomass response to variation in timing and rate of irrigation water application. Canopy expansion, canopy senescence and harvest index are the key physiological processes sensitive to water stress. For full irrigation water application treatment there was a strong relationship between the measured and simulated canopy and biomass with r2 and d values of 0.87 and 0.96 for canopy and 0.97 and 0.74 for biomass, respectively. However, the model under estimated the simulated yield and biomass for higher water stress level. For treatment receiving full irrigation the harvest index value obtained were 29%. The harvest index value shows generally a decreasing trend under water stress condition. AquaCrop model calibration and validation using the dry season field experiments of 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 shows that AquaCrop adequately simulated the yield response to different irrigation water scenarios. We conclude that the AquaCrop model can be used in irrigation water scheduling and optimizing water productivity of Teff grown under water scarce semi-arid conditions.

Keywords: AquaCrop, climate smart agriculture, simulation, teff, water security, water stress regions

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6 Ageing Gingiva: A New Hope for Autologous Stem Cell Therapy

Authors: Ankush M. Dewle, Suditi Bhattacharya, Prachi R. Abhang, Savita Datar, Ajay J. Jog, Rupesh K. Srivastava, Geetanjali Tomar


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) obtained from ageing gingival tissues, in order to suggest their potential role in autologous stem cell therapy for old individuals. Methods: MSCs were isolated from gingival tissues of young (18-45 years) and old (above 45 years) donors by enzymatic digestion. MSCs were analysed for cfu-f, surface marker expression by flow-cytometry and multilineage differentiation potential. The angiogenic potential was compared in a chick embryo yolk sac membrane model. The aging and differentiation markers including SA-β-galactosidase and p21 respectively were analysed by staining and flow-cytometry analysis. Additionally, osteogenic markers such as glucocorticoid receptor (GR), vitamin D receptor (VDR) were measured by flow-cytometry and RT-qPCR was performed for quantification of osteogenic gene expression. Alizarin Red S and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity were also quantitated. Results: Gingival MSCs (GMSCs) from both the age groups were similar in their morphology and displayed cfu-f. They had similar expression of MSC surface markers and p21, comparable rate of proliferation and differentiated to all the four lineages. GMSCs from young donors had a higher adipogenic differentiation potential as compared to the old GMSCs. Moreover, these cells did not display a significant difference in ALP activity probably due to comparable expression of GR, VDR, and osteogenic genes. Conclusions: Ageing of GMSCs occurs at a much slower rate than stem cells from other sources. Thus we suggest GMSCs as an excellent candidate for autologous stem cell therapy in degenerative diseases of elderly individuals. Clinical Significance: GMSCs could help overcome the setbacks in clinical implementation of autologous stem cell therapy for regenerative medicine in all age group of patient.

Keywords: bone regeneration, cell therapy, senescence, stem cell

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5 New Roles of Telomerase and Telomere-Associated Proteins in the Regulation of Telomere Length

Authors: Qin Yang, Fan Zhang, Juan Du, Chongkui Sun, Krishna Kota, Yun-Ling Zheng


Telomeres are specialized structures at chromosome ends consisting of tandem repetitive DNA sequences [(TTAGGG)n in humans] and associated proteins, which are necessary for telomere function. Telomere lengths are tightly regulated within a narrow range in normal human somatic cells, the basis of cellular senescence and aging. Previous studies have extensively focused on how short telomeres are extended and have demonstrated that telomerase plays a central role in telomere maintenance through elongating the short telomeres. However, the molecular mechanisms of regulating excessively long telomeres are unknown. Here, we found that telomerase enzymatic component hTERT plays a dual role in the regulation of telomeres length. We analyzed single telomere alterations at each chromosomal end led to the discoveries that hTERT shortens excessively long telomeres and elongates short telomeres simultaneously, thus maintaining the optimal telomere length at each chromosomal end for an efficient protection. The hTERT-mediated telomere shortening removes large segments of telomere DNA rapidly without inducing telomere dysfunction foci or affecting cell proliferation, thus it is mechanistically distinct from rapid telomere deletion. We found that expression of hTERT generates telomeric circular DNA, suggesting that telomere homologous recombination may be involved in this telomere shortening process. Moreover, the hTERT-mediated telomere shortening is required its enzymatic activity, but telomerase RNA component hTR is not involved in it. Furthermore, shelterin protein TPP1 interacts with hTERT and recruits it on telomeres to mediate telomere shortening. In addition, telomere-associated proteins, DKC1 and TCAB1 also play roles in this process. This novel hTERT-mediated telomere shortening mechanism not only exists in cancer cells, but also in primary human cells. Thus, the hTERT-mediated telomere shortening is expected to shift the paradigm on current molecular models of telomere length maintenance, with wide-reaching consequences in cancer and aging fields.

Keywords: aging, hTERT, telomerase, telomeres, human cells

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4 Characterization of Forest Fire Fuel in Shivalik Himalayas Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

Authors: Neha Devi, P. K. Joshi


Fire fuel map is one of the most critical factors for planning and managing the fire hazard and risk. One of the most significant forms of global disturbance, impacting community dynamics, biogeochemical cycles and local and regional climate across a wide range of ecosystems ranging from boreal forests to tropical rainforest is wildfire Assessment of fire danger is a function of forest type, fuelwood stock volume, moisture content, degree of senescence and fire management strategy adopted in the ground. Remote sensing has potential of reduction the uncertainty in mapping fuels. Hyperspectral remote sensing is emerging to be a very promising technology for wildfire fuels characterization. Fine spectral information also facilitates mapping of biophysical and chemical information that is directly related to the quality of forest fire fuels including above ground live biomass, canopy moisture, etc. We used Hyperion imagery acquired in February, 2016 and analysed four fuel characteristics using Hyperion sensor data on-board EO-1 satellite, acquired over the Shiwalik Himalayas covering the area of Champawat, Uttarakhand state. The main objective of this study was to present an overview of methodologies for mapping fuel properties using hyperspectral remote sensing data. Fuel characteristics analysed include fuel biomass, fuel moisture, and fuel condition and fuel type. Fuel moisture and fuel biomass were assessed through the expression of the liquid water bands. Fuel condition and type was assessed using green vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and soil as Endmember for spectral mixture analysis. Linear Spectral Unmixing, a partial spectral unmixing algorithm, was used to identify the spectral abundance of green vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and soil.

Keywords: forest fire fuel, Hyperion, hyperspectral, linear spectral unmixing, spectral mixture analysis

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3 Influence of Different Ripening Agents on the Shelf-Life and Microbial Load of Organic and Inorganic Musaceae, during the Ripening Process, and the Health Implication for Food Security

Authors: Wisdom Robert Duruji


Local farmers and fruit processors in developing countries of West Africa use different ripening agents to accelerate the ripening process of plantain and banana. This study reports on the influence of different ripening agents on the shelf-life and microbial load of organic and inorganic plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and banana (Musa sapientum) during ripening process and the health implication for food security in Nigeria. The experiment consisted of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening agent was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating their micro flora (Bacteria, Yeast and Mould) using pour plate method. Microbes present in the samples were enumerated, characterized and classified to genera and species. The result indicated that the microbial load of inorganic plantain from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 12.11 cfu/g for ripened; and the microbial load of organic plantain from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching and Research Farm (OAUTRF) increased from 6.00 for unripe to 11.60 cfu/g for ripened. Also, the microbial load of inorganic banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 11.50 cfu/g for ripened; while the microbial load of organic banana from OAUTRF increased from 6.50 for unripe to 9.40 cfu/g for ripened. The microbial effects of the ripening agents increased from 10.00 for control to 16.00 cfu/g for treated (ripened) organic and inorganic plantain; while that of organic and inorganic banana increased from 7.50 for control to 14.50 cfu/g for ripened. Visual observation for the presence of fungal colonies and deterioration rates were monitored till seven days after the plantain and banana fingers have fully ripened. Inorganic plantain and banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife are more contaminated than organic plantain and banana fingers from OAUTRF. The ripening accelerators reduced the shelf life, increased senescence, and microbial load of plantain and banana. This study concluded that organic Agriculture is better and microbial friendlier than inorganic farming.

Keywords: organic agriculture, food security, Musaceae, calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis, Newbouldia laevis

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2 Growth and Yield Response of an Indian Wheat Cultivar (HD 2967) to Ozone and Water Stress in Open-Top Chambers with Emphasis on Its Antioxidant Status, Photosynthesis and Nutrient Allocation

Authors: Annesha Ghosh, S. B. Agrawal


Agricultural sector is facing a serious threat due to climate change and exacerbation of different atmospheric pollutants. Tropospheric ozone (O₃) is considered as a dynamic air pollutant imposing substantial phytotoxicity to natural vegetations and agriculture worldwide. Naturally, plants are exposed to different environmental factors and their interactions. Amongst such interactions, studies related to O₃ and water stress are still rare. In the present experiment, wheat cultivar HD2967 were grown in open top chambers (OTC) under two O₃ concentration; ambient O₃ level (A) and elevated O₃ (E) (ambient + 20 ppb O₃) along with two different water supply; well-watered (W) and 50% water stress conditions (WS), with an aim to assess the individual and interactive effect of two most prevailing stress factors in Indo-Gangetic Plains of India. Exposure to elevated O₃ dose caused early senescence symptoms and reduction in growth and biomass of the test cultivar. The adversity was more pronounced under the combined effect of EWS. Significant reduction of stomatal conductance (gs) and assimilation rate were observed under combined stress condition compared to the control (AW). However, plants grown under individual stress conditions displayed higher gs, biomass, and antioxidant defense mechanism compared to the plants grown under the presence of combined stresses. Higher induction in most of the enzyme activities of catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR), peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) was displayed by HD 2967 under EW while, under the presence of combined stresses (EWS), a moderate increment of APX and CAT activity was observed only at its vegetative phase. Furthermore, variations in nutrient uptake and redistribution to different plants parts were also observed in the present study. Reduction in water availability has checked nutrient uptake (N, K, P, Ca, Cu, Mg, Zn) in above-ground parts (leaf) and below-ground parts (root). On the other hand, carbon (C) accumulation with subsequent C-N ratio was observed to be higher in the leaves under EWS. Such major nutrient check and limitation in carbon fixation due to lower gs under combined stress conditions might have weakened the defense mechanisms of the test cultivar. Grain yield was significantly reduced under EWS followed by AWS and EW as compared to their control, exhibiting an additive effect on the grain yield.

Keywords: antioxidants, open-top chambers, ozone, water stress, wheat, yield

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