Publications by authors named "Ali Karimi"

96 Publications

Occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and lung function among hairdressers in Iran: a cross-sectional study.

Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2021 Jan 18. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Aapistie 5B, P.O. Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland.

Objective: Exposures at hairdressers' work have been reported to lead to an increased risk of several health outcomes. The present study aimed to investigate the relations between occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and lung function among hairdressers in Iran.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to compare potential respiratory effects among 140 women working as hairdressers to such effects among 140 women working as office workers (administrative personnel). Both groups worked in Shiraz, Iran. Respiratory symptoms were assessed by a standard respiratory questionnaire. The questionnaire also inquired about substances used and workspace conditions, including ventilation type. Lung function levels were measured by spirometry.

Results: Respiratory symptoms, including cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness were significantly more frequent in hairdressers compared to the reference group (p < 0.05). After controlling for potential confounders, hairdressers had a prevalence ratio (PR) of 2.18 (95% CI 1.26-3.77) for cough, 9.59 (95% CI 1.004-91.73) for wheezing, 2.06 (95% CI 1.25-3.39) for shortness of breath, and 3.31 (95% CI 1.84-5.97) for chest tightness compared to the reference group. Lung function parameters (including VC, FVC, and FEV1) were significantly reduced in hairdressers (p < 0.001). Absence of air conditioning predicted greater reduction in lung function (p < 0.05) in the exposed. Decrease in FVC with normal FEV1/FVC in the exposed group suggested existence of restrictive lung function.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence of increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms and restrictive lung function impairment among hairdressers in Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-020-01645-zDOI Listing
January 2021

Occurrence of respiratory symptoms and lung function deficits among fruit and vegetable market workers.

Occup Environ Med 2021 Apr 17;78(4):262-268. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the potential effects of occupational exposures among fruit and vegetable market workers on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms and on the level of lung function parameters.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 140 men working as fruit and vegetable market workers (response rate 100%) and a reference group of 77 male office workers as the reference group (response rate 55%) from Shiraz, Iran. The outcomes of interest included occurrence of respiratory symptoms assessed by a standard respiratory questionnaire and lung function assessed by spirometry.

Results: In Poisson regression analyses, the exposed group showed increased prevalence ratio (PR) of wheezing (adjusted PR 5.32, 95% CI 1.40 to 20.26), after controlling for confounding. Cough (PR 3.30, 95% CI 1.16 to 9.40) and wheezing (PR 9.40, 95% CI 2.28 to 38.64) showed increased PRs among vegetable distributors. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV) and FEV/forced vital capacity were significantly decreased among exposed workers after controlling for confounders. The absolute value of FEV level was reduced significantly among fruit and vegetable carters (-0.99, 95% CI -1.68 to -0.32) and vegetable (-0.51, 95% CI -0.93 to -0.10) and fruit (-0.51, 95% CI -0.86 to -0.15) distributors in comparison with the reference group in the adjusted full model.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that fruit and vegetable market workers are at an increased risk of respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function. Workplace conditions and safety training clearly need improvement, and there is a likely role for proper use of personal protective equipment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2020-106829DOI Listing
April 2021

Multi-dimensional model for determining the leading performance indicators of safety management systems.

Work 2020 ;67(4):959-969

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Health and safety performance measurements aimed to provide information on the progress and current situation of organizational strategies and activities.

Objectives: We developed a model to determine and select safety key performance indicators in order to assess safety management systems.

Methods: This study has been designed in six steps aiming at defining a model of leading performance indicators (LPIs) and selecting key performance indicators (KPIs) using the AHP method.

Results: According to the results analysis, 116 structural and operational indicators were defined based on the components of the OHSAS 18001 management system. For this purpose, 19 structural, 27 operational and 33 active KPIs were selected by AHP and BN techniques.

Conclusion: Development of LPIs is influenced by various organizational, managerial, and operational factors. LPIs extracted from the components of the OHS-MS deployed in an organization are often passive and cannot show the changes in the safety status of a workplace in a short period. The model presented in this study was designed with an emphasis on extraction of active and operational indicators, as they were capable of detecting performance changes in construction industries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-203346DOI Listing
January 2020

Statistical Laws of Protein Motion in Neuronal Dendritic Trees.

Cell Rep 2020 Nov;33(7):108391

Theory of Neural Dynamics Group, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:

Across their dendritic trees, neurons distribute thousands of protein species that are necessary for maintaining synaptic function and plasticity and that need to be produced continuously and trafficked to their final destination. As each dendritic branchpoint splits the protein flow, increasing branchpoints decreases the total protein number downstream. Consequently, a neuron needs to produce more proteins to maintain a minimal protein number at distal synapses. Combining in vitro experiments and a theoretical framework, we show that proteins that diffuse within the cell plasma membrane are, on average, 35% more effective at reaching downstream locations than proteins that diffuse in the cytoplasm. This advantage emerges from a bias for forward motion at branchpoints when proteins diffuse within the plasma membrane. Using 3D electron microscopy (EM) data, we show that pyramidal branching statistics and the diffusion lengths of common proteins fall into a region that minimizes the overall protein need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7672524PMC
November 2020

Cancer and non-cancer health risk assessment of occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene in a petrochemical plant in Iran.

Toxicol Ind Health 2020 Dec 27;36(12):960-970. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, 48439Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

1,3-Butadiene is classified as carcinogenic to humans by inhalation. This study aimed to assess cancer and non-cancer risk following occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene. This cross-sectional study was conducted in a petrochemical plant producing acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer in Iran. Occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene was measured according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 1024 method. Cancer and non-cancer risk assessment were performed according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency method. The average occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene during work shifts among all participants was 560.82 ± 811.36 µg m. The average lifetime cancer risk (LCR) in the present study was 2.71 × 10; 82.2% of all exposed workers were within the definite carcinogenic risk level. Also, the mean non-cancer risk (hazard quotient (HQ)) among all participants was 10.82 ± 14.76. The highest LCR and HQ were observed in the safety and fire-fighting station workers with values of 7.75 × 10 and 36.57, respectively. The findings revealed that values of carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risk in the majority of participants were within the definitive and unacceptable risk levels. Therefore, corrective measures are necessary to protect these workers from non-cancer and cancer risks from 1,3-butadiene exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0748233720962238DOI Listing
December 2020

Metabolomics Approaches for Analyzing Effects of Geographic and Environmental Factors on the Variation of Root Essential Oils of L.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 Sep 3;68(37):9940-9952. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Institute for Ecological Chemistry, Plant Analysis and Stored Product Protection, Julius Kühn Institute, Königin-Luise-Straße 19, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.

Environmental factors shape the production and accumulation processes of plant secondary metabolites in medical and aromatic plants and thus their pharmacological and biological activity. Using an environmental metabolomics approach, we determined chemotypes and specific compounds on the basis of essential oils (EOs) from roots of 10 Iranian L. populations and related them to geographical, climate, and edaphic data. GC-MS revealed three distinct chemotypes characterized by (I) monoterpenes and -1-propenyl -butyl disulfide; (II) eudesmane sesquiterpenoids and α-agarofuran; and (III) - and -1-propenyl -butyl disulfide. NIRS measurements indicated a similar but less distinct pattern. Structural equation models showed that EO constituents and content were directly influenced by edaphic factors (texture, pH, and iron, potassium, and aluminum content) and temperature and predominantly indirectly by latitude, longitude, and altitude. Predicting EO constituents or chemotypes by geographical, climate, and soil factors can be used in to select populations with specific EO characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c03681DOI Listing
September 2020

The Photothermal Effect of Targeted Methotrexate-Functionalized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on MCF7 Cells.

Iran J Pharm Res 2019 ;18(Suppl1):221-236

Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Our goal is to reduce the release rate of methotrexate (MTX) and increase cell death efficiency.Carboxylated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-COOH) were functionalized with MTX as a cytotoxic agent, FA as a targeting moiety and polyethylene amine (PEI) as a hydrophilic agent. Ultimately, MWCNT-MTX and MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA were synthesized. Methotrexate release studies were conducted in PBS and cytotoxic studies were carried out by means of the MTT tassay. Methotrexate release studies from these two carriers demonstrated that the attachment of PEI-FA onto MWCNT-MTX reduces the release rate of methotrexate. The IC50 of MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA and MWCNT-MTX have been calculated as follows: 9.89 ± 0.38 and 16.98 ± 1.07 µg/mL, respectively. Cytotoxic studies on MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA and MWCNT-MTX in the presence of an IR laser showed that at high concentrations, they had similar toxicities due to the MWCNT's photothermal effect. Targeting effect studies in the presence of the IR laser on the cancer cells have shown that MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA, MWCNT-MTX, and f-MWCNT have triggered the death of cancer cells by 55.11 ± 1.97%, 49.64 ± 2.44%, and 37 ± 0.70%, respectively. The release profile of MTX in MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA showed that the presence of PEI acts as a barrier against release and reduces the MTX release rate. In the absence of a laser, MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA exhibits the highest degree of cytotoxicity. In the presence of a laser, the cytotoxicity of MWCNT-MTX and MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA has no significant difference. Targeting studies have shown that MWCNT-MTX-PEI-FA can be absorbed by cancer cells exclusively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22037/ijpr.2020.14484.12423DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393047PMC
January 2019

Variation of Secondary Metabolite Profile of Boiss. Populations Linked to Geographic, Climatic, and Edaphic Factors.

Front Plant Sci 2020 3;11:969. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Institute for Ecological Chemistry, Plant Analysis and Stored Product Protection, Julius Kühn Institute, Berlin, Germany.

Geographic location and connected environmental and edaphic factors like temperature, rainfall, soil type, and composition influence the presence and the total content of specific plant compounds as well as the presence of a certain chemotype. This study evaluated whether geographic, edaphic, and climatic information can be utilized to predict the presence of specific compounds from medicinal or aromatic plants. Furthermore, we tested rapid analytical methods based on near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) coupled with gas chromatography/flame ionization (GC/FID) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analytical methods for characterization and classification metabolite profiling of Boiss. populations. is an aromatic, perennial plant with interesting pharmacological and biological properties. It is widely dispersed in Iran as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here, we studied the effect of environmental factors on essential oil (EO) content and the composition and distribution of chemotypes. Our results indicate that this species grows predominantly in areas rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and aluminum, with mean rainfall of 40.46 to 302.72 mm·year and mean annual temperature of 14.90°C to 28.80°C. EO content ranged from 2.75% to 5.89%. Carvacrol (10.56-73.31%), thymol (3.51-48.12%), linalool (0.90-55.38%), and -cymene (1.66-13.96%) were the major constituents, which classified 14 populations into three chemotypes. Corresponding to the phytochemical cluster analysis, the hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) based on NIR data also recognized the carvacrol, thymol, and linalool chemotypes. Hence, NIR has the potential to be applied as a useful tool to determine rapidly the chemotypes of and similar herbs. EO and EO constituent content correlated with different geographic location, climate, and edaphic factors. The structural equation models (SEMs) approach revealed direct effects of soil factors (texture, phosphor, pH) and mostly indirect effects of latitude and altitude directly affecting, e.g., soil factors. Our approach of identifying environmental predictors for EO content, chemotype or presence of high amounts of specific compounds can help to select regions for sampling plant material with the desired chemical profile for direct use or for breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00969DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7348666PMC
July 2020

A simple and rapid technique for the determination of copper based on air-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction and image colorimetric analysis.

Anal Methods 2020 07;12(27):3490-3498

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran.

In this study, a new, cheap, simple and rapid method for the determination of copper in water and food samples using air-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction and digital image decomposition into the primary colors Red (R), Green (G) and Blue (B) is introduced. In the proposed method, sodium diethyl-dithiocarbamate (Na-DDTC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) were used as the chelating agent and extraction solvent, respectively. The digital images of the extraction phase were obtained using an Android mobile phone and analyzed using a free app (Color Grab). Then the value of the B channel was taken as the analytical signal. The effects of different parameters influencing the extraction efficiency were investigated and optimized. Under the optimal conditions, the limit of detection (LOD) and quantitation (LOQ) were 1.5 and 5 μg L-1, respectively. The repeatability of the proposed method, expressed as the relative standard deviation (RSD), was 4.53% for intra-day (n = 8, C = 100 μg L-1) and 5.66% for inter-day (n = 5) precision. The proposed method was applied for the determination of trace amounts of copper in rice, lettuce and water samples with satisfactory results validated by the Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ay00706dDOI Listing
July 2020

Design of nanostructure chitosan hydrogels for carrying zinc phthalocyanine as a photosensitizer and difloxacin as an antibacterial agent.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Sep 16;159:598-606. Epub 2020 May 16.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak 38156-8-8349, Iran.

Here, we develop homogeneous hydrogel networks containing zinc tetraamino-phthalocyanine (ZnTAPc) as photosensitizer cross-linked with glutaraldehyde. The cross-linking process occurs via imine bond formation by reaction of NH groups of ZnTAPc and chitosan with aldehyde groups of the glutaraldehyde. Insertion of ZnTAPc interestingly increases its solubility in water medium. 2.0% and 4% w/w of the ZnTAPc were used with respect to chitosan polymer to generate hydrogel photosensitizer. FT-IR and UV-Vis spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and rheological measurements were applied to evaluate the properties of the prepared hydrogels. Finally, difloxacin HCl was selected as a fluoroquinolone drug for the assessment of the drug release features of the made hydrogels. The difloxacin release was affected by the amount of ZnTAPc and pH medium. The activity of the hydrogels in photosensitizing process was considered by computing the rate of 1,3-diphenylisobenzofuran adsorption reduction as a singlet oxygen chemical quencher.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.05.086DOI Listing
September 2020

Evaluation of pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms among workers exposed to 1,3-Butadiene in a petrochemical industry in Iran.

Arch Environ Occup Health 2020 27;75(8):483-490. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

This study aimed to evaluate pulmonary function among workers exposed to 1,3-butadiene and was carried out in a petrochemical industry in Iran. The study participants consisted of fifty male workers with current respiratory exposure to 1,3-butadiene and fifty non-exposed workers as the control group. Exposure to 1,3-butadiene was measured according to the NIOSH 1024 method. Respiratory symptom histories were collected through the American Thoracic Society respiratory symptom questionnaire. Lung functions were evaluated using spirometry method. The results showed that exposed participants had significantly higher prevalence rates of all respiratory symptoms compared to the control group. Statistical tests demonstrated a significant difference between pulmonary function tests of exposed and non-exposed personnel. Ultimately, the results of the present study indicate that respiratory exposure to 1,3-butadiene can lead to negative effects on pulmonary functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19338244.2020.1749018DOI Listing
October 2020

In vitro anti-adenoviral activities of ethanol extract, fractions, and main phenolic compounds of pomegranate ( L.) peel.

Antivir Chem Chemother 2020 Jan-Dec;28:2040206620916571

Clinical Biochemistry Research Center, Basic Health Sciences Institute, Shahrekord University of Medical Science, Shahrekord, Iran.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2040206620916571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7169357PMC
April 2020

Late Gastropleural Fistula after the Management of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Leakage.

Obes Surg 2020 Sep;30(9):3620-3623

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Laparoscopy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

One of the rare but serious complications of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) with significant morbidity and mortality is gastropleural fistula (GPF). Here, we present a 34-year-old woman who underwent LSG. Due to leakage in the proximal site of the stapler line and splenic artery erosion into the site of leakage after 1 month, splenectomy and drainage catheter insertion was done. Three months later, she presented with dyspnea, fever, and lung abscess, GPF was diagnosed, and Roux-en-Y fistulo-jejunostomy was done. After 10 days, her clinical condition improved, but the patient expired due to hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Therefore, GPF along with other common complications should be seriously considered in patients developing post-LSG chronic respiratory symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-04604-2DOI Listing
September 2020

Using fuzzy logic approach to predict work-related musculoskeletal disorders among automotive assembly workers.

Med J Islam Repub Iran 2019 16;33:136. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

School of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are considered an important health concern, particularly in automotive assembly industries. Evaluation of the effects of all MSDs risk factors is difficult due to its multifactorial nature. In addition, the risk factors cannot be detected accurately when they are only based on individual opinions. Thus, in this study, fuzzy logic tool was used to evaluate the combined effects of all risk factors on MSDs. This cross sectional study was conducted on 100 male workers in an automotive industry. Job satisfaction, job stress, job fatigue, and body posture were evaluated by a self-reported questionnaire. Body posture was evaluated using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA). Primary data analysis on extracting the input variables of MATLAB was performed by SPSS 22, with a significant level of 0.05. T test, one-way Anova, and Pearson correlation analysis were used to extract the input variables for the fuzzy logic model. The results obtained from the Nordic questionnaire was selected as the output of the fuzzy model. Fuzzy logic assessment was performed using MATLAB software version 7.0. There were significant differences between WMSDs factors, including job fatigue, strain, working posture, and the REBA final score, and pain in all limbs of the body (p<0.05). A significant difference was also found between working posture with wrist score (p<0.05). The findings on defuzzification showed a strong correlation between real and modelling results. The results showed that many factors such as posture, fatigue, and strain affect MSDs. Based on the obtained results, all categories of risk factors, including personal, psychosocial, and occupational, should be considered to predict MSDs, which can be achieved by a modeling approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.34171/mjiri.33.136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7137815PMC
December 2019

Pomegranate peel extract inhibits internalization and replication of the influenza virus: An study.

Avicenna J Phytomed 2020 Mar-Apr;10(2):143-151

Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University.

Objective: Influenza virus, which is associated with high level of morbidity and mortality, has been recently considered a public health concern; however, the methods of choice to control and treat it are limited. Our previous study showed anti-influenza virus activity of pomegranate peel extract (PPE). In this study, the mechanism through which PPE acts against influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1; PR8) was investigated.

Materials And Methods: Ethyl alcohol extract of pomegranate ( L.) peel was prepared, and the action mechanism of PPE in inhibiting influenza replication was studied by time-of-drug-addition assay, virucidal activity, RNA replication, hemagglutination inhibition assay, viral mRNA expression, and western blot analysis.

Results: PPE inhibited viral polymerase activity, viral RNA replication, and viral protein expression but could not affect hemagglutination inhibition and virucidal activity. According to time-of-drug-addition assay results, PPE inhibited the virus adsorption and early steps of influenza replication.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the antiviral effect of PPE on influenza virus is most probably associated with inhibition of viral adsorption and viral RNA transcription.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103433PMC
April 2020

Tumor-derived urinary exosomal long non-coding RNAs as diagnostic biomarkers for bladder cancer.

EXCLI J 2020 4;19:301-310. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Bladder cancer (BC) is the sixth most common malignancy in men and 17th in women. Exosomal long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been defined as a novel biomarker for BC. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical significance of urine exosomal PVT-1, ANRIL and PCAT-1 as a biomarker in BC patients with tumors classified as T1 or T2. Exosomes were isolated from urine of BC patients and healthy donors, then characterized according to their shape, size, and exosome markers by Electron Microscopy, Dynamic light scattering, and Western blotting. Exosomal lncRNAs extraction was done to determine the expression levels of PVT-1, ANRIL and PCAT-1 by qRT-PCR. ANRIL and PCAT-1 expression was significantly higher in BC patients compared to normal subjects. To evaluate the performance of the identified lncRNAs for BC detection, we performed ROC curves analysis. The diagnostic accuracy of ANRIL and PCAT-1, measured by AUC, was 0.7229 (sensitivity = 46.67 % and specificity = 87.5 %) and 0.7292 (sensitivity = 43.33 % and specificity = 87.5 %). Transcript levels of lncRNAs in urinary exosomes are potential diagnostic biomarkers in bladder cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17179/excli2019-1683DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104196PMC
March 2020

Cell-type specific innervation of cortical pyramidal cells at their apical dendrites.

Elife 2020 02 28;9. Epub 2020 Feb 28.

Department of Connectomics, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany.

We investigated the synaptic innervation of apical dendrites of cortical pyramidal cells in a region between layers (L) 1 and 2 using 3-D electron microscopy applied to four cortical regions in mouse. We found the relative inhibitory input at the apical dendrite's main bifurcation to be more than 2-fold larger for L2 than L3 and L5 thick-tufted pyramidal cells. Towards the distal tuft dendrites in upper L1, the relative inhibitory input was at least about 2-fold larger for L5 pyramidal cells than for all others. Only L3 pyramidal cells showed homogeneous inhibitory input fraction. The inhibitory-to-excitatory synaptic ratio is thus specific for the types of pyramidal cells. Inhibitory axons preferentially innervated either L2 or L3/5 apical dendrites, but not both. These findings describe connectomic principles for the control of pyramidal cells at their apical dendrites and support differential computational properties of L2, L3 and subtypes of L5 pyramidal cells in cortex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.46876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297530PMC
February 2020

Anti-Influenza Virus Activity and Phenolic Content of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Peel Extract and Fractions.

Avicenna J Med Biotechnol 2019 Oct-Dec;11(4):285-291

Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Basic Health Sciences Institute, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.

Background: Influenza virus, associated with high level of morbidity and mortality, has been recently considered a public health concern while the choices for the control and treatment of the disease are limited. The present study was conducted to evaluate activity of pomegranate peel extract and its fractions against virus .

Methods: In this research, ethyl alcohol extract of pomegranate peel was prepared and subjected to fractionation with different polarities. The potential anti-influenza A virus activity of the extract and fractions was assessed using Cytopathic Effect (CPE) reduction assay, Hemagglutinin Assay (HA), and 50% Tissue Culture Infectious Doses (TCID) method in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells.

Results: The crude pomegranate peel extract and its n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions had the highest inhibitory effect against influenza A virus with IC value of 6.45, 6.07 and 5.6 in MDCK cells, respectively. Our results also showed that, the production of virus was significantly reduced upon treatment with crude extract, n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Based on our results, the ethyl alcohol extract and its polar fractions of pomegranate peel can inhibit influenza A virus replication . Therefore, further characterization of its active ingredients and the mechanism of action should be carried out.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6925405PMC
January 2020

Histological Evidence for Therapeutic Induction of Angiogenesis Using Mast Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma within A Bioengineered Scaffold following Rat Hindlimb Ischemia.

Cell J 2020 Jan 29;21(4):391-400. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Cell and Molecular Biology Group, Airways Disease Section, Faculty of Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: Peripheral arterial disease results from obstructed blood flow in arteries and increases the risk of amputation in acute cases. Therapeutic angiogenesis using bioengineered tissues composed of a chitosan scaffold that was enriched with mast cells (MCs) and/or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was used to assess the formation of vascular networks and subsequently improved the functional recovery following hindlimb ischemia. This study aimed to find an optimal approach for restoring local vascularization.

Materials And Methods: In this experimental study, thirty rats were randomly divided into six experimental groups: a. Ischemic control group with right femoral artery transection, b. Ischemia with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) control group, c. Ischemia with chitosan scaffold, d. Ischemia with chitosan and MCs, e. Ischemia with chitosan and PRP, and f. Ischemia with chitosan, PRP, and MCs. The left hind limbs served as non-ischemic controls. The analysis of capillary density, arterial diameter, histomorphometric analysis and immunohistochemistry at the transected locations and in gastrocnemius muscles was performed.

Results: The group treated with chitosan/MC significantly increased capillary density and the mean number of large blood vessels at the site of femoral artery transection compared with other experimental groups (P<0.05). The treatment with chitosan/MC also significantly increased the muscle fiber diameter and the capillary-to-muscle fiber ratio in gastrocnemius muscles compared with all other ischemic groups (P<0.05).

Conclusion: These findings suggested that chitosan and MCs together could offer a new approach for the therapeutic induction of angiogenesis in cases of peripheral arterial diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22074/cellj.2020.6287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722454PMC
January 2020

A Pregnant Lady Undergoing Bariatric Surgery.

Obes Surg 2019 10;29(10):3401-3403

Laparoscopy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

The patient was a 34-year-old morbidly obese woman, a proper candidate for bariatric surgery, with a BMI of 49.5 (135 kg weight, and 165 cm height). All the routine blood tests, done prior to the surgery, were within the normal range, and her blood β-hCG was particularly negative before the surgery.Sleeve gastrectomy was performed successfully and she was discharged three days later under acceptable medical conditions. Due to the lack of menstruation three months after the operation, Blood β-hCG level was checked and turned out to be positive. Ultrasound examination confirmed a pregnancy at 14 weeks of gestational age, implying that the patient had been pregnant during the bariatric surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-019-03954-wDOI Listing
October 2019

Functionalisation of carbon nanotubes by methotrexate and study of synchronous photothermal effect of carbon nanotube and anticancer drug on cancer cell death.

IET Nanobiotechnol 2019 Feb;13(1):52-57

Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Carboxylated functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNT) were synthesised. Furthermore, folic acid (FA) and methotrexate (MTX) through ethylenediamine (ED) were attached to the surface of f-MWCNT to synthesise MWCNT-ED-FA and MWCNT-ED-MTX. Release studies of MTX as free drug and in MWCNT-ED-MTX were performed. These studies showed that MTX release rate from MWCNT-ED-MTX decreased in comparison with free MTX, which is due to the MTX attachment on the MWCNT. The anticancer effect of MWCNT-ED-FA and MWCNT-ED-MTX on the breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) was studied. Studies have shown that MWCNT-ED-MTX cytotoxicity is more than that of MWCNT-ED-FA, which is due to the presence of MTX. Furthermore, the anticancer effects of MWCNT-ED-FA and MWCNT-ED-MTX in the presence of infrared laser radiation on the MCF7 cell were studied. The experiments showed that in the presence of the laser, the cytotoxicities of MWCNT-ED-FA and MWCNT-ED-MTX were the same and increased in comparison with laser absence, which indicates that the photothermal effect is stronger than other factors and mask their effects. This effect can be related to laser radiation absorption by MWCNT and its conversion to heat which can induce cancer cell death. Targeting studies have shown that MWCNT-ED-FA is targeted to the cancer cells due to the presence of FA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/iet-nbt.2018.5085DOI Listing
February 2019

Design of photodynamic chitosan hydrogels bearing phthalocyanine-colistin conjugate as an antibacterial agent.

Int J Biol Macromol 2019 May 14;129:927-935. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak 38156-8-8349, Iran. Electronic address:

The fabrication of a new antibacterial system is an essential medical requirement to treat wounds caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, mostly Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antibacterial photodynamic therapy (APDT) is an encouraging therapy modality for bacterial infection. Anyhow, the applications of most photosensitizers are restricted by their poor water solubility and their inefficiency in disruption of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. In this context, zinc phthalocyanine-colistin (ZnPc-Col) conjugate as a new photosensitizer was synthesized in the hope of improving interaction of phthalocyanine with the surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Overcoming the low solubility of phthalocyanine, was achieved by the incorporation of ZnPc-Col into chitosan hydrogel. The weight percentages of ZnPc-Col and glutaraldehyde had remarkable effects in determining the hydrogel microstructure. Different spectroscopic methods, SEM, and rheological measurements were used to assess the properties of ZnPc-Col and prepared hydrogels. The photosensitizing activity of the hydrogels was investigated by application of 1,3-diphenylisobenzofuran as a singlet oxygen chemical quencher. Hydrogels bearing zinc phthalocyanine-colistin adduct revealed an improved APDT efficiency compared to hydrogels containing just zinc phthalocyanine component. This enhancement has been seen against P. aeruginosa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.02.081DOI Listing
May 2019

Developing Rat Bone Marrow Derived Mast Cells by the Splenic Cells Culture Supernatant of Rat and Mouse.

Tanaffos 2019 Feb;18(2):89-95

Clinical Tuberculosis and Epidemiology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Mast cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of various immunological and non-immunological diseases. It is now accepted that culturing primary mast cells considered as a tool for investigation role of mast cells in diseases. Development of various animal primary mast cells and their function could be used for the translational studies in the pathogenesis of human diseases. The aim of the study was to develop simple and cost-efficient method for differentiation and culture of rat mast cells from bone marrow by using rat and mouse spleen supernatant.

Materials And Methods: Bone marrow cells from 10 to15-weeks-old male rats was obtained and cultured for three weeks on cell culture medium. After that, purity of cells was approved by FCɛRI and CD117 antibodies, toluidine blue and Immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Results: After 3 weeks continuous culturing, high purity of cells was found. CD117, CD34 expression and tryptase were 80.1, 76.89 and 87.9%, respectively by rat splenic supernatant, whereas 85.4, 83.07 and 82.1%, respectively with mouse splenic supernatants. Besides, rat spleen supernatant developed 91.4% and mouse splenocyte supernatant developed 89.7% mast cells based on surface markers.

Conclusion: The data presented in this study indicated equal maturation and differentiation of bone marrow derived rat mast cells by using both spleen supernatants.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230130PMC
February 2019

Indoor air quality-induced respiratory symptoms of a hospital staff in Iran.

Environ Monit Assess 2019 Jan 5;191(2):50. Epub 2019 Jan 5.

Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

The ambient air of hospitals contains a wide range of biological and chemical pollutants. Exposure to these indoor pollutants can be hazardous to the health of hospital staff. This study aims to evaluate the factors affecting indoor air quality and their effect on the respiratory health of staff members in a busy Iranian hospital. We surveyed 226 hospital staff as a case group and 222 office staff as a control group. All the subjects were asked to fill in a standard respiratory questionnaire. Pulmonary function parameters were simultaneously measured via a spirometry test. Environmental measurements of bio-aerosols, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds in the hospital and offices were conducted. T-tests, chi-square tests, and multivariable logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. The concentration of selected air pollutants measured in the hospital wards was more than those in the administrative wards. Parameters of pulmonary functions were not statistically significant (p > 0.05) between the two groups. However, respiratory symptoms such as coughs, phlegm, phlegmatic coughs, and wheezing were more prevalent among the hospital staff. Laboratory staff members were more at risk of respiratory symptoms compared to other occupational groups in the hospital. The prevalence of sputum among nurses was significant, and the odds ratio for the presence of phlegm among nurses was 4.61 times greater than office staff (p = 0.002). The accumulation of indoor pollutants in the hospital environment revealed the failure of hospital ventilation systems. Hence, the design and implementation of an improved ventilation system in the studied hospital is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-7182-5DOI Listing
January 2019

FluoEM, virtual labeling of axons in three-dimensional electron microscopy data for long-range connectomics.

Elife 2018 08 14;7. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Department of Connectomics, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany.

The labeling and identification of long-range axonal inputs from multiple sources within densely reconstructed electron microscopy (EM) datasets from mammalian brains has been notoriously difficult because of the limited color label space of EM. Here, we report FluoEM for the identification of multi-color fluorescently labeled axons in dense EM data without the need for artificial fiducial marks or chemical label conversion. The approach is based on correlated tissue imaging and computational matching of neurite reconstructions, amounting to a virtual color labeling of axons in dense EM circuit data. We show that the identification of fluorescent light- microscopically (LM) imaged axons in 3D EM data from mouse cortex is faithfully possible as soon as the EM dataset is about 40-50 µm in extent, relying on the unique trajectories of axons in dense mammalian neuropil. The method is exemplified for the identification of long-distance axonal input into layer 1 of the mouse cerebral cortex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.38976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158011PMC
August 2018

Chitosan hydrogels cross-linked with tris(2-(2-formylphenoxy)ethyl)amine: Swelling and drug delivery.

Int J Biol Macromol 2018 Oct 12;118(Pt B):1863-1870. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak 38156-8-8349, Iran.

Tris(2-(2-formylphenoxy)ethyl)amine was designed and synthesized by reaction of salicylaldehyde with tris(2-chloroethyl)amine hydrochloride and evaluated as a new multi-functional cross-linker for preparation of new pH- and thermo-responsive chitosan hydrogels through formation of covalent Schiff-base linkage. The structure and properties of the hydrogels were characterized by FT-IR, H NMR and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The swelling behavior of prepared hydrogels at different pHs and temperatures was investigated. Also, in vitro controlled release behavior of the metronidazole model drug was studied with prepared hydrogels. The release profiles of metronidazole from the hydrogels were determined by UV-Vis absorption measurement. The results showed that the new hydrogels exhibit a pH and temperature-responsive swelling ratio. Also, the pH and temperature were found to strongly influence the drug release behavior of these swollen polymers. Due to the concurrent rapid and significant stimuli-response, these smart hydrogels prepared from chitosan as a natural polymer may expand the scope of hydrogel applications in various fields of research such as targeted (cellular or tissue) delivery of drugs. In addition, these new hydrogels can be used to improve bioavailability, sustain release of drugs or solubilize drugs for systemic delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.07.037DOI Listing
October 2018

Selenium supplementation in the form of selenium nanoparticles and selenite sodium improves mature male mice reproductive performances.

Iran J Basic Med Sci 2018 Jun;21(6):577-585

Ph.D. Student of Histology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran.

Objectives: The current study was conducted to examine the possible protective and retentive effects of one-week intra-peritoneal (IP) administration of selenium nanoparticles (Se-NPs), compared to its bulk counterpart, selenite sodium (Ss), after one complete cycle of spermatogenesis in mature male mice.

Materials And Methods: Thirty adult male mice were divided into 3 groups. Control group was administrated phosphate-buffered saline (IP) and the other groups received Ss (0.50 mg kg-1) and Se-NPs (0.50 mg kg-1) for seven successive days. Then, the animals were monitored for 28 days and finally sacrificed and tissue and blood samples were taken. Histopathological features, sperm quality, in vitro fertilization (IVF) capability and selenium (Se) content in testicular tissue were analyzed. Antioxidant enzyme activities including catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase as well as total antioxidant capacity and malondialdehyde levels were assessed in blood and the tissue samples.

Results: Remarkable differences were found in sperm characteristics, histopathological features and oxidative stress biomarkers between control and treatment groups. Moreover, IVF evaluation and tissue Se concentration examination weren't similar for Se-NPs and Ss.

Conclusion: Conclusively, Se-treated groups had more antioxidant capacity than the control group, but sperm quality and histopathological features revealed that Se-NPs might possess more antioxidative and retentive potential compared to Ss in one spermatogenesis cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22038/IJBMS.2018.26023.6397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6015244PMC
June 2018

Synthesis and Characterization of Temperature-Sensitive and Chemically Cross-Linked Poly( N-isopropylacrylamide)/Photosensitizer Hydrogels for Applications in Photodynamic Therapy.

Biomacromolecules 2018 05 6;19(5):1592-1601. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

School of Chemistry, SFI Tetrapyrrole Laboratory, Trinity Biomedical Science Institute , Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin , 152-160 Pearse Street , Dublin 2 , Ireland.

A novel poly( N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel containing different photosensitizers (protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), pheophorbide a (Pba), and protoporphyrin IX dimethyl ester (PpIX-DME)) has been synthesized with a significant improvement in water solubility and potential for PDT applications compared to the individual photosensitizers (PSs). Conjugation of PpIX, Pba, and PpIX-DME to the poly( N-isopropylacrylamide) chain was achieved using the dispersion polymerization method. This study describes how the use of nanohydrogel structures to deliver a photosensitizer with low water solubility and high aggregation tendencies in polar solvents overcomes these limitations. FT-IR spectroscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy, H NMR, fluorescence spectroscopy, SEM, and DLS analysis were used to characterize the PNIPAM-photosensitizer nanohydrogels. Spectroscopic studies indicate that the PpIX, Pba, and PpIX-DME photosensitizers are covalently conjugated to the polymer chains, which prevents aggregation and thus allows significant singlet oxygen production upon illumination. Likewise, the lower critical solution temperature was raised to ∼44 °C in the new PNIPAM-PS hydrogels. The PNIPAM hydrogels are biocompatible with >90% cell viability even at high concentrations of the photosensitizer in vitro. Furthermore, a very sharp onset of light-dependent toxicity for the PpIX-based nanohydrogel in the nanomolar range and a more modest, but significant, photocytotoxic response for Pba-PNIPAM and PpIX-DME-PNIPAM nanohydrogels suggest that the new hydrogels have potential for applications in photodynamic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.8b00293DOI Listing
May 2018

In vitro immunomodulatory activity of celastrol against influenza A virus infection.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2018 Jun 1;40(3):250-255. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

c Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Basic Health Sciences Institute , Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences , Shahrekord , Iran.

Context: The influenza A virus (IAV) causes severe respiratory disease that remains a leading reason for morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have indicated that influenza complications in addition to viral replication are due to overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, a new compound is needed to be used with current antiviral drugs to modulate overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines in IAV infection.

Objective: This study investigated the effect of celastrol on mRNA expression and concentration levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL6) that are induced by influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1; PR8) in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells. The effect of this compound on virus titration and viral mRNA expression was also investigated.

Methods: Confluent MDCK cells were infected with influenza virus (H1N1; PR8) and treated with celastrol at different concentrations. After incubation, mRNA expression and concentrations of TNFα and IL6 were investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ELISA. The viral mRNA expression and virus titration were investigated using real-time PCR and 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID) assay, respectively.

Results: mRNA expression and concentrations of TNFα and IL6 increased significantly in control virus compared to cell control, and decreased significantly when compared with control virus after celastrol treatment. Viral mRNA expression and virus titration did not decrease after celastrol treatment.

Conclusion: Due to reducing mRNA expression and concentrations of TNFα and IL6, celastrol can serve as a suitable choice to control cytokine-induced inflammation in IAV infection, and therefore it can be used with current antiviral drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923973.2018.1440591DOI Listing
June 2018

Evaluation of Respiratory Symptoms among Workers in an Automobile Manufacturing Factory, Iran.

Iran J Public Health 2018 Feb;47(2):237-245

Dept. of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Islamic Azad University, Boroujerd Branch, Boroujerd, Iran.

Background: This study estimated the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and disorders among workers exposed to exposure to volatile organic compound (VOCs) in an automobile manufacturing factory in Tehran, Iran in 2016.

Methods: Subjects of this case-control research were included 80 samples including 40 workers exposed to different level of BTEX as well as 40 unexposed individuals were considered as control group. Methods 1501 and 7602 presented by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) were used for the sampling and analysis of compounds in the air. Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) was used for analysis of compounds of interest. Six silica samples were collected during the campaign. Silica analyses were performed by using visible absorption spectrophotometry system. Lung functions were evaluated for 80 workers (40 exposed, 40 nonexposed) using spirometry system.

Results: The average amount of total dust and free silica measured in factory were 7.3±1.04 mg.m and 0.017±0.02 mg.m respectively. Average benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylene exposure levels in exposed subject's median were 0.775±0.12, 1.2±2.08, 45.8±8.5, and 42.5±23.9 ppm respectively. Statistical tests showed significant difference between pulmonary function tests (except PEF) of exposed and non-exposed individuals before and after employment (P<0.05). Workers exposed to VOCs presented lower levels of FVC, VC, and PEF than the control group except FEV1/FVC%, FEV1, FEF2575 and FEV1/VC%.

Conclusion: Decline in lung volumes and respiratory symptoms, significant difference associated with the exposure to dust or gas, duration of exposure, and smoking habit. Therefore, lung function tests should be performed before and after the employment to identify sensitive workers candidates.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810387PMC
February 2018