Publications by authors named "Minh Le"

309 Publications

The Prevalence and Components of Metabolic Syndrome in Men from Infertile Couples and Its Relation on Semen Analysis.

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2021 29;14:1453-1463. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of OBGYN, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, Hue, Vietnam.

Purpose: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been reported as a deleterious factor in male fertility potential, associated with hypogonadism, impaired spermatogenesis, decreased sperm concentration and motility, and increased sperm DNA damage. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS in men from infertile couples and evaluate its effect on semen analysis (SA).

Participants And Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed in men from infertile couples diagnosed based on the World Health Organization 2010 criteria and treated at the Hue Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Vietnam. General information included medical history, lifestyle, MetS factors, SA, and sperm DNA fragmentation test were collected. Based on the diagnostic criteria of the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for Asian men, the study population was divided into two groups: MetS and non-MetS groups. The outcomes were analyzed for any relationship between MetS and the SA index and the DNA fragmentation index (DFI).

Results: A total of 534 men from infertile couples were included in this study. The prevalence of MetS was 23.4%, and abnormal semen analysis accounted for 93.8%. Age, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), hepatitis B and total cholesterol were related to the occurrence of MetS in infertile men (p <0.05). MetS did not reveal any impact on the parameters of SA. There was a positive correlation between waist circumference (WC), WHR, WHtR, and systolic blood pressure (BP) with abnormal sperm head and DFI (p <0.05).

Conclusion: Although the prevalence of MetS was remarkable in men from infertile couples, there was no association between MetS and semen quality. However, WC, WHR, WHtR, and systolic BP were found to be significantly associated with abnormal sperm head and DFI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S302575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018567PMC
March 2021

Variation in predicted COVID-19 risk among lemurs and lorises.

Am J Primatol 2021 Apr 1:e23255. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York, USA.

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which in humans leads to the disease COVID-19, has caused global disruption and more than 2 million fatalities since it first emerged in late 2019. As we write, infection rates are at their highest point globally and are rising extremely rapidly in some areas due to more infectious variants. The primary target of SARS-CoV-2 is the cellular receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Recent sequence analyses of the ACE2 gene predict that many nonhuman primates are also likely to be highly susceptible to infection. However, the anticipated risk is not equal across the Order. Furthermore, some taxonomic groups show high ACE2 amino acid conservation, while others exhibit high variability at this locus. As an example of the latter, analyses of strepsirrhine primate ACE2 sequences to date indicate large variation among lemurs and lorises compared to other primate clades despite low sampling effort. Here, we report ACE2 gene and protein sequences for 71 individual strepsirrhines, spanning 51 species and 19 genera. Our study reinforces previous results while finding additional variability in other strepsirrhine species, and suggests several clades of lemurs have high potential susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Troublingly, some species, including the rare and endangered aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), as well as those in the genera Avahi and Propithecus, may be at high risk. Given that lemurs are endemic to Madagascar and among the primates at highest risk of extinction globally, further understanding of the potential threat of COVID-19 to their health should be a conservation priority. All feasible actions should be taken to limit their exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23255DOI Listing
April 2021

Diaphragm Dysfunction After Cardiac Surgery: Reappraisal.

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Cardiology and Critical Care, Clinique Ambroise Paré, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to re-investigate the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of postoperative diaphragmatic dysfunction (DD) with actual cardiac surgery procedures.

Design: Single-center, retrospective, observational study based on a prospectively collected database.

Setting: Tertiary care cardiac surgery center.

Participants: Patients who underwent cardiac surgery between January 2016 and September 2019.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: The DD group included patients with clinically perceptible diaphragmatic paralysis, which was confirmed by chest ultrasound (amplitude of the diaphragm movement in time-motion mode at rest, after a sniff test). The primary endpoint was the incidence of DD. Among 3,577 patients included, the authors found 272 cases of DD (7.6%). Individuals with DD had more arterial hypertension (64.3% v 52.6%; p < 0.0001), higher body mass index (BMI) (28 [25-30] kg/mv 26 [24-29] kg/m; p < 0.0002), and higher incidence of coronary bypass grafting (CABG) (58.8% v 46.6%; p = 0.0001). DD was associated with more postoperative pneumonia (23.9% v 8.7%; p < 0.0001), reintubation (8.8% v 2.9%; p < 0.0001), tracheotomy (3.3% v 0.3%; p < 0.0001), noninvasive ventilation (45.6% v 5.4%; p < 0.0001), duration of mechanical ventilation (five [four-11] hours v four [three-six] hours; p < 0.0001), and intensive care unit and hospital stays (14 [11-17] days v 13 [11-16] days; p < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, DD was associated with CABG (odds ratio [OR] 1.9 [1.5-2.6]; p = 0.0001), arterial hypertension (OR 1.4 [1.1-1.9]; p = 0.008), and BMI (OR per point 1.04 [1.01-1.07] kg/m; p = 0.003).

Conclusions: The incidence of symptomatic DD after cardiac surgery was 7.6%, leading to respiratory complications and increased ICU stay. CABG was the principal factor associated with DD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jvca.2021.02.023DOI Listing
February 2021

Author Correction: Cigarette smoke induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppresses efferocytosis through the activation of RhoA.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 8;11(1):5866. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Clinical Medicine, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki, 852-8523, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85556-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940424PMC
March 2021

Differences in clinical severity of respiratory viral infections in hospitalized children.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 4;11(1):5163. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan.

It is uncertain whether clinical severity of an infection varies by pathogen or by multiple infections. Using hospital-based surveillance in children, we investigate the range of clinical severity for patients singly, multiply, and not infected with a group of commonly circulating viruses in Nha Trang, Vietnam. RT-PCR was performed to detect 13 respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal samples from enrolled patients. We apply a novel clinical severity score and examine associations with the odds of being severe and differences in raw severity scores. We find no difference in severity between 0-, 1-, and 2-concurrent infections and little differences in severity between specific viruses. We find RSV and HMPV infections to be associated with 2- and 1.5-fold increase in odds of being severe, respectively, and that infection with ADV is consistently associated with lower risk of severity. Clinically, based on the results here, if RSV or HMPV virus is suspected, PCR testing for confirmatory diagnosis and for detection of multiple coinfecting viruses would be fruitful to assess whether a patient's disease course is going to be severe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84423-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933285PMC
March 2021

Optical coherence tomography angiography measures blood pulsatile waveforms at variable tissue depths.

Quant Imaging Med Surg 2021 Mar;11(3):907-917

Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Photoplethysmography (PPG) is routinely used to detect the blood pulse signal from skin tissue beds in clinics. However, the origin of the PPG signal remains controversial. The purpose of this study is to explore optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to indicate pulsatile waveforms in the papillary plexus and dermal plexus separately under different hand elevations.

Method: Optical microangiography (OMAG) algorithm was used to obtain a 3D OCTA signals, from which the depth-resolved pulsatile blood flow signals were extracted from different skin vascular plexus. The systolic amplitude, crest time, and delta T were measured from the OCTA pulsatile signals when the hand was placed at the positions of 50 cm below, 0 cm, and 50 cm above the heart level.

Results: The pulse signal integrated from all the depths has a similar waveform to that of the PPG and showed the same morphological change at different hand elevations. The pulsatile patterns from the papillary plexus and dermal plexus showed distinct morphological changes at different local blood pressure. Less amplitude difference was found from papillary plexus comparing to that of the dermal plexus. Crest time was found in an increasing trend in the OCTA pulsatile waveform from both plexuses when the arm was raised from the position below to above the heart level. In contrast, a decreasing trend of Delta T was detected in the dermal pulsatile but was not observed from that of the papillary plexus, indicating that vascular resistance associated with the arm elevations does not necessarily have the same effect on the two plexuses.

Conclusions: OCTA can provide depth-resolved pulsatile waveforms within different microvascular plexus within tissue skin beds. This technique could open doors to understanding the mechanisms of how blood flow changes at different skin circulatory plexus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/qims-20-778DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7829165PMC
March 2021

Covalent conjugation of extracellular vesicles with peptides and nanobodies for targeted therapeutic delivery.

J Extracell Vesicles 2021 Feb 16;10(4):e12057. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Pharmacology Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine National University of Singapore Singapore.

Natural extracellular vesicles (EVs) are ideal drug carriers due to their remarkable biocompatibility. Their delivery specificity can be achieved by the conjugation of targeting ligands. However, existing methods to engineer target-specific EVs are tedious or inefficient, having to compromise between harsh chemical treatments and transient interactions. Here, we describe a novel method for the covalent conjugation of EVs with high copy numbers of targeting moieties using protein ligases. Conjugation of EVs with either an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeting peptide or anti-EGFR nanobody facilitates their accumulation in EGFR-positive cancer cells, both and . Systemic delivery of paclitaxel by EGFR-targeting EVs at a low dose significantly increases drug efficacy in a xenografted mouse model of EGFR-positive lung cancer. The method is also applicable to the conjugation of EVs with peptides and nanobodies targeting other receptors, such as HER2 and SIRP alpha, and the conjugated EVs can deliver RNA in addition to small molecules, supporting the versatile application of EVs in cancer therapies. This simple, yet efficient and versatile method for the stable surface modification of EVs bypasses the need for genetic and chemical modifications, thus facilitating safe and specific delivery of therapeutic payloads to target cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jev2.12057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7886705PMC
February 2021

Novel (R)-6,6a,7,8,9,10-hexahydro-5H-pyrazino[1,2-a][1,n]naphthyridines as potent and selective agonists of the 5-HT receptor.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2021 Apr 23;38:127872. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Arena Pharmaceuticals, 6154 Nancy Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of novel (R)-6,6a,7,8,9,10-hexahydro-5H-pyrazino[1,2-a][1,n]naphthyridines were identified as potent and selective agonists of the 5-HT receptor. Optimizations performed on a previously reported series of racemic tetrahydroquinoline-based tricyclic amines, delivered an advanced drug lead, (R)-4-(3,3,3-trifluoropropyl)-6,6a,7,8,9,10-hexahydro-5H-pyrazino[1,2-a][1,8]naphthyridine, which displayed excellent in vitro and in vivo pharmacological profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2021.127872DOI Listing
April 2021

New approaches in extracellular vesicle engineering for improving the efficacy of anti-cancer therapies.

Semin Cancer Biol 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Institute for Digital Medicine, Immunology Programme and Cancer Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; N.1 Institute for Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Electronic address:

Cancer is a disease that evolves continuously with unpredictable outcomes. Although conventional chemotherapy can display significant antitumor effects, the lack of specificity and poor bioavailability remain major concerns in cancer therapy. Moreover, with the advent of novel anti-cancer gene therapies, there is an urgent need for drug delivery vectors capable of bypassing cellular barriers and efficiently transferring therapeutic cargo to recipient cells. A number of drug delivery systems have been proposed to overcome these limitations, but their successful clinical translation has been hampered by the onset of unexpected side effects and associated toxicities. The application of extracellular vesicles (EVs), a class of naturally released, cell-derived particles, as drug delivery vectors presents a breakthrough in nanomedicine, taking into account their biocompatibility and natural role in intercellular communication. Combining the advantageous intrinsic properties of EVs with surface functionalization and the encapsulation of drugs allows for a new class of engineered EVs that serve as effective therapeutic carriers. Here, we describe the various successful approaches involving the application of engineered EVs as bio-derived drug delivery vectors in cancer therapy. The latest and most effective strategies of engineering EVs to improve drug loading, stealth properties and tumour targeting capabilities of EVs are debated. Finally, current obstacles and future perspectives of smart engineered EVs are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2021.02.010DOI Listing
February 2021

Vacuolin-1 inhibits endosomal trafficking and metastasis via CapZβ.

Oncogene 2021 Mar 9;40(10):1775-1791. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

City University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, China.

Metastasis is the fundamental cause of cancer mortality, but there are still very few anti-metastatic drugs available. Endosomal trafficking has been implicated in tumor metastasis, and we have previously found that small chemical vacuolin-1 (V1) potently inhibits autophagosome-lysosome fusion and general endosomal-lysosomal degradation. Here, we assessed the anti-metastatic activity of V1 both in vitro and in vivo. V1 significantly inhibits colony formation, migration, and invasion of various cancer cells in vitro. It also compromises the assembly-disassembly dynamics of focal adhesions (FAs) by inhibiting the recycling and degradation of integrins. In various experimental or transgenic mouse models, V1 significantly suppresses the metastasis and/or tumor growth of breast cancer or melanoma. We further identified capping protein Zβ (CapZβ) as a V1 binding protein and showed that it is required for the V1-mediated inhibition of migration and metastasis of cancer cells. Collectively, our results indicate that V1 targets CapZβ to inhibit endosomal trafficking and metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01662-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946642PMC
March 2021

Transgenic Mice Overexpressing PG1 Display Corneal Opacity and Severe Inflammation in the Eye.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Feb 4;22(4). Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Biology, Konkuk University, Hwayang-dong, Seoul 05029, Korea.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are of interest as alternatives to antibiotics or immunomodulators. We generated and characterized the phenotypes of transgenic mice overexpressing protegrin 1 (PG1), a potent porcine cathelicidin. No obvious differences were observed between PG1 transgenic and wild-type mice in terms of growth, development, general behaviour, and the major immune cell population. However, PG1 transgenic mice intranasally infected with resulted in a reduction in microscopic pulmonary injury, improved clearance of bacteria, and lower proinflammatory cytokine secretion, compared to those of wild-type mice. On the other hand, approximately 25% of PG1 transgenic mice ( = 54/215) showed corneal opacity and developed inflammation in the eye, resulting ultimately in phthisis bulbi. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that PG1 and its activator, neutrophil elastase, localized to the basal cells of the cornea and glands in eyelids, respectively. In addition, apoptosis indicated by a Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL)-positive signal was detected from flat cells of the cornea. Our study suggests that the expression regulation or localization of AMPs such as PG1 is important to prevent their adverse effects. However, our results also showed that the cytotoxic effects of PG1 on cells could be tolerated in animals, except for the eyes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22041586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915784PMC
February 2021

Landscape of extracellular vesicles in the tumour microenvironment: Interactions with stromal cells and with non-cell components, and impacts on metabolic reprogramming, horizontal transfer of neoplastic traits, and the emergence of therapeutic resistance.

Semin Cancer Biol 2021 Feb 2. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are increasingly recognised as a pivotal player in cell-cell communication, an attribute of EVs that derives from their ability to transport bioactive cargoes between cells, resulting in complex intercellular signalling mediated by EVs, which occurs under both physiological and pathological conditions. In the context of cancer, recent studies have demonstrated the versatile and crucial roles of EVs in the tumour microenvironment (TME). Here, we revisit EV biology, and focus on EV-mediated interactions between cancer cells and stromal cells, including fibroblasts, immune cells, endothelial cells and neurons. In addition, we focus on recent reports indicating interactions between EVs and non-cell constituents within the TME, including the extracellular matrix. We also review and summarise the intricate cancer-associated network modulated by EVs, which promotes metabolic reprogramming, horizontal transfer of neoplastic traits, and therapeutic resistance in the TME. We aim to provide a comprehensive and updated landscape of EVs in the TME, focusing on oncogenesis, cancer progression and therapeutic resistance, together with our future perspectives on the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2021.01.007DOI Listing
February 2021

Should Scrotal Color Doppler Ultrasound Be Routinely Indicated in Fertility Evaluation of Non-Azoospermic Men?

Curr Urol 2020 Dec 18;14(4):211-218. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Hue, Vietnam.

Objective: Scrotal ultrasound is not a routine investigation in the clinical approach to male infertility analysis. This study aims to identify the role of testicular Doppler ultrasound in male infertility assessment and its relation to semen parameters in non-azoospermic men.

Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive analysis of 558 men from infertile couples were examined at the Hue Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Hue University Hospital from June 2016 to May 2018. Some cohort characteristics, semen analysis and testicular Doppler ultrasound were analyzed. Men with acute systemic diseases, acute urinary tract infection, hepatic dysfunction, malignant diseases, retrograde ejaculation, cryptorchidism or azoospermia were excluded.

Results: The mean volumes of the right and left testicles were 8.87 and 8.77 ml, respectively. The total volume of the 2 sides was 17.63 ± 4.34 ml (95% confidence interval 17.27-18.00 ml). The mean right resistive index (RI) was 0.61 ± 0.23, and the mean left RI was 0.59 ± 0.01. The rate of normal semen quality was 23.2% in group with varicocele and 30.6% in group with non-varicocele. The ultrasound results from the normal semen group were much different from those of the abnormal semen group regarding testicular volume: mean right testis volume: 9.67 ± 1.88 vs. 8.75 ± 2.34 ml, p = 0.0096; mean left testis volume: 9.54 ± 1.78 vs. 8.51 ± 2.44 ml, p = 0.0047; mean total volume of 2 sides: 19.21 ± 3.60 vs. 17.26 ± 4.59 ml, p = 0.005 (varicocele group); mean right testis volume: 9.21 ± 2.21 vs. 8.63 ± 2.21 ml, p = 0.029 (non-varicocele group). The other indexes of color Doppler ultrasound (peak systolic velocity, end diastolic velocity, RI) were not found to correlate with semen quality.

Conclusions: Testicular volume which has a close relation to the semen parameters could be used as a clinical prediction factor for the quality of semen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000499236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810219PMC
December 2020

Tiny miRNAs Play a Big Role in the Treatment of Breast Cancer Metastasis.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 18;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117600, Singapore.

Distant organ metastases accounts for the majority of breast cancer deaths. Given the prevalence of breast cancer in women, it is imperative to understand the underlying mechanisms of its metastatic progression and identify potential targets for therapy. Since their discovery in 1993, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of tumour progression and metastasis in various cancers, playing either oncogenic or tumour suppressor roles. In the following review, we discuss the roles of miRNAs that potentiate four key areas of breast cancer metastasis-angiogenesis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, the Warburg effect and the tumour microenvironment. We then evaluate the recent developments in miRNA-based therapies in breast cancer, which have shown substantial promise in controlling tumour progression and metastasis. Yet, certain challenges must be overcome before these strategies can be implemented in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13020337DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7831489PMC
January 2021

Role of cytokines produced by T helper immune-modulators in dengue pathogenesis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Acta Trop 2021 Apr 7;216:105823. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health (TMGH), Nagasaki University, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan. Electronic address:

Background And Objectives: Modulation of the immune reaction is essential in the development of various diseases, including dengue's "Cytokine Tsunami", an increase in vascular permeability with concomitant severe vascular leakage. We aim to identify the role of T-helper (Th) cells, Th2 and Th7, with their related cytokines in dengue pathogenesis.

Material And Methods: Nine electronic databases and manual search were applied to detect available publications. A meta-analysis using a fixed- or random-effect model was performed to measure standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI). The National Institute of Health (NIH) tools for observational cohort, cross-sectional, and case-control studies were used to examine the risk of bias. The protocol was recorded in PROSPERO with CRD42017060230.

Results: A total of 38 articles were found including 19 case-control, 11 cross-sectional and 8 prospective cohort studies. We indicated that Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-6, IL-8) and Th17 cytokine (IL-17) in dengue patients were notably higher than in a healthy control group in acute phase (SMD = 1.59, 95% CI [0.68, 2.51], p = 0.001; SMD = 1.24, 95% CI [0.41, 2.06], p = 0.003; SMD = 1.13, 95% CI [0.61, 1.66], p<0.0001; SMD = 1.74, 95% CI [0.87, 2.61], p<0.0001), respectively.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence of the significant roles of IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-17 in the pathogenesis of developing a severe reaction in dengue fever. However, to fully determine the association of Th cytokines with dengue, it is necessary to perform further studies to assess kinetic levels during the duration of the illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2021.105823DOI Listing
April 2021

Evolution of habitat preference in 243 species of Bent-toed geckos (Genus Gray, 1827) with a discussion of karst habitat conservation.

Ecol Evol 2020 Dec 22;10(24):13717-13730. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

Herpetology Laboratory Department of Biology La Sierra University Riverside CA USA.

Understanding the processes that underpin adaptive evolutionary shifts within major taxonomic groups has long been a research directive among many evolutionary biologists. Such phenomena are best studied in large monophyletic groups that occupy a broad range of habitats where repeated exposure to novel ecological opportunities has happened independently over time in different lineages. The gekkonid genus is just such a lineage with approximately 300 species that range from South Asia to Melanesia and occupy a vast array of habitats. Ancestral state reconstructions using a stochastic character mapping analysis of nine different habitat preferences were employed across a phylogeny composed of 76% of the known species of . This was done in order to ascertain which habitat preference is the ancestral condition and from that condition, the transition frequency to more derived habitat preferences. The results indicate that a general habitat preference is the ancestral condition for and the frequency of transitioning from a general habitat preference to anything more specialized occurs approximately four times more often than the reverse. Species showing extreme morphological and/or ecological specializations generally do not give rise to species bearing other habitat preferences. The evolution of different habitat preferences is generally restricted to clades that tend to occur in specific geographic regions. The largest radiations in the genus occur in rocky habitats (granite and karst), indicating that the transition from a general habitat preference to a granite or karst-dwelling life style may be ecologically uncomplicated. Two large, unrelated clades of karst-associated species are centered in northern Indochina and the largest clade of granite-associated species occurs on the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Smaller, independent radiations of clades bearing other habitat preferences occur throughout the tree and across the broad distribution of the genus. With the exception of a general habitat preference, the data show that karst-associated species far out-number all others (29.6% vs. 0.4%-10.2%, respectively) and the common reference to karstic regions as "imperiled arcs of biodiversity" is not only misleading but potentially dangerous. Karstic regions are not simply refugia harboring the remnants of local biodiversity but are foci of speciation that to generate the most speciose, independent, radiations across the genus. Unfortunately, karstic landscapes are some of the most imperiled and least protected habitats on the planet and these data continue to underscore the urgent need for their conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771171PMC
December 2020

Genetic susceptibilities and prediction modeling of carbamazepine and allopurinol-induced severe cutaneous adverse reactions in Vietnamese.

Pharmacogenomics 2021 01 24;22(1):1-12. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Sydney Medical School - Northern, The University of Sydney, Sydney, 2065, Australia.

To determine genetic susceptibility markers for carbamazepine (CBZ) and allopurinol-induced severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) in Vietnamese. A case-control study was performed involving 122 patients with CBZ or allopurinol-induced SCARs and 120 drug tolerant controls. was strongly associated with allopurinol-induced SCARs and strongly correlated with SNP rs9263726. was associated with CBZ-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis but not with drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome/drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms. No association was found between and CBZ-induced SCARs. and rs3909184 allele A with renal insufficiency were shown to increase the risk of allopurinol-induced SCARs. and confer susceptibility to allopurinol-induced SCARs and CBZ-induced SJS/TEN in Vietnamese. SNP rs9263726 can be used as a surrogate marker in identifying .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pgs-2019-0146DOI Listing
January 2021

Essential functions of miR-125b in cancer.

Cell Prolif 2021 Feb 17;54(2):e12913. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small and highly conserved non-coding RNAs that silence target mRNAs, and compelling evidence suggests that they play an essential role in the pathogenesis of human diseases, especially cancer. miR-125b, which is the mammalian orthologue of the first discovered miRNA lin-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans, is one of the most important miRNAs that regulate various physiological and pathological processes. The role of miR-125b in many types of cancer has been well established, and so here we review the current knowledge of how miR-125b is deregulated in different types of cancer; its oncogenic and/or tumour-suppressive roles in tumourigenesis and cancer progression; and its regulation with regard to treatment response, all of which are underlined in multiple studies. The emerging information that elucidates the essential functions of miR-125b might help support its potentiality as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker as well as an effective therapeutic tool against cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.12913DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848968PMC
February 2021

A new species of Achalinus (Squamata: Xenodermidae) from Trang An Landscape Complex, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam.

Zootaxa 2020 Nov 9;4877(1):zootaxa.4877.1.8. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

-1Faculty of Forest Resources and Environmental Management, Vietnam National University of Forestry, Xuan Mai, Chuong My, Hanoi, Vietnam..

We describe a new snake of the genus Achalinus based on an adult female specimen from Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Achalinus tranganensis sp. nov. is differentiated from its congeners genetically and by a unique combination of the following characters: 1) maxillary teeth 29; 2) suture between the internasals distinctly longer than that between the prefrontals; 3) loreal distinctly wider than high, extending from the nasal to the eye; 4) dorsal scales in 25-23-23 rows, keeled; 5) two pairs of prefrontals; 6) supralabials six; 7) infralabials six; 8) temporals 2+3, the two anterior temporals in contact with eye; 9) ventrals 171; 10) subcaudals 73+, unpaired; 11) cloacal plate entire; 12) dorsum in preservative reddish to greyish brown above; 13) the lower part of head side and chin region somewhat paler than the dorsum; 14) venter greyish cream, with the anterior region of each ventral and subcaudal somewhat darker. Based on molecular comparisons using a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), the new species differs from other members of the genus by at least 11.8%. This discovery increases the number of Achalinus species known from Vietnam to seven.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4877.1.8DOI Listing
November 2020

A new species of Limnonectes (Amphibia: Anura: Dicroglossidae) from Vietnam.

Zootaxa 2020 Dec 10;4894(3):zootaxa.4894.3.5. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, 10072 Hanoi, Vietnam..

A new species of Limnonectes from Phu Yen Province, South-central Vietnam is described based on morphological and molecular differences. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following diagnostic characters: SVL 49.8-77.9 mm in males, 40.8-61.8 mm in females; males with moderately enlarged head (HL/SVL 0.47, HW/SVL 0.48); head slightly broader than long (HL/HW 0.97 in males, 0.95 in females); vomerine teeth present; external vocal sacs absent; rostral length short (RL/SVL 0.15); tympanum invisible; dorsal surface of head, body and flanks with ridges and tubercles; dorsal surface of tibia and foot distinctly tuberculate, covered with moderately dense, small, low tubercles; supratympanic fold present; dorsolateral fold absent; Finger I with nuptial pad, composed of minute spines on dorsal surface and medial edge in males; toes webbed to distal of terminal phalanx, webbing formula I0-0II0-0III0-0IV0--0V0; in life, dorsum yellowish brown with dark brown markings; ventral surface white with brown markings. In phylogenetic analyses, the new species from Vietnam and Limnonectes fastigatus as well as L. kiziriani form a clade, which is sister to L. fragilis from China, although the nodal support values for the set of relationships are insignificant from all analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4894.3.5DOI Listing
December 2020

Cardiogenic Shock Secondary to Dynamic Left Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction and Apical Ballooning after Nonmitral Cardiovascular Surgery.

Case Rep Crit Care 2020 24;2020:8826187. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Cardiovascular Center, University Medical Center, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, 215 Hong Bang Str., Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Background: The dynamic obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) is a well-known complication in mitral annuloplasty but rarely seen in nonmitral cardiovascular surgery. The dynamic LVOT obstruction can lead to hemodynamic instability, even shock and the treatment is significantly different from the standard approach. . We reported a case of low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS) with severe mitral regurgitation (MR), dramatically reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) after coronary artery bypass grafting in a 72-year-old female requiring an escalation of inotropic support, volume restriction, and mechanical support. The detailed echocardiography combined with lung ultrasound revealed a dynamic systolic anterior movement of the anterior mitral leaflet (SAM), apical ballooning, and no significant lung congestion. Intravenous fluids were given, diuretics withdrawn, inotrope discontinued, and vasopressors uptitrated. The dynamic SAM was rapidly relieved, the hemodynamics was stabilized, and the LVEF was improving. The patient was discharged in good condition without residual LVOT obstruction and trace MR.

Conclusion: We strongly suggest that a detailed echocardiography should be performed in any patient who presents in shock to rule out a dynamic LVOT obstruction. Lung ultrasound should be a routine examination in addition to echocardiography. Once SAM is detected, treatment should be based on volume expansion, inotrope discontinuation, and a careful afterload increasing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8826187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7716751PMC
November 2020

Frequency of differential placental transfer to twins of maternal antiretroviral medications.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2021 Jan 10;256:405-411. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Louis Mourier, Service de Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Colombes, France; Université de Paris, Paris, France; FHU PREMA, Paris, France; Inserm IAME U1137, F-75018, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: Placental passage of drugs in twins is poorly understood, and is unknown regarding antiretrovirals (ARVs). In the event of large differences in the exposure of 2 twins to the same maternal therapy, this could have a clinical impact in terms of prevention of perinatal HIV transmission or adverse effects.

Objective: To describe the frequency of differential transplacental passage of antiretrovirals between twins.

Study Design: The study was performed retrospectively, on data from women included in a multicenter perinatal HIV cohort study. All twin pairs for which the mother received antiretroviral therapy and for which drug concentrations in both of the umbilical cords after cord clamping at delivery were studied. We considered that a difference in concentrations of more than 50 % between twins was a substantial difference (ratios below 0.67 or above 1.50).

Results: We analyzed 29 twin pairs, 27 dichorionic and 2 monochorionic diamniotic. Cord blood concentrations differed between the 2 twins by more than 50 % for at least one ARV in 9 twin pairs, 8 dichorionic and 1 monochorionic. Discordant concentrations were observed in one or more cases for several nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (tenofovir, emtricitabine, lamivudine, zidovudine) and protease inhibitors (atazanavir, lopinavir, saquinavir et ritonavir); within individual twin pairs placental transfer was discordant for one or more ARVs, but identical for others.

Conclusion: Concentrations differed in nearly one third of twin pairs. This may be due to interindividual genetic variability of placental transporters between dizygotic twins as well as physiological differences between twins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.11.004DOI Listing
January 2021

Social comparison effects on brand addiction: A mediating role of materialism.

Authors:
Minh T H Le

Heliyon 2020 Nov 11;6(11):e05460. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

School of International Business and Marketing, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

This research explores the role of materialism, and social comparison to brand addiction in relation to compulsive buying. A structural equation modeling was used to analyze data through partial least squares by collecting online data in Vietnam. The research findings explain social comparison is an antecedent leading to addictive behavior. Materialism mediates and increases the addictive behavior when consumers are significantly impacted by social comparison. In addition, brand addiction leads to word-of-mouth and willingness to pay premium price when consumers are set under social comparison and materialistic tendency. The managerial and theoretical application is also provided in this research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7672284PMC
November 2020

Two Wrongs Make a Right: The Importance of Clinical Correlation.

Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2020 Nov 14. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics, University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PHM.0000000000001647DOI Listing
November 2020

The double-edged sword of H19 lncRNA: Insights into cancer therapy.

Cancer Lett 2021 Mar 19;500:253-262. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117599, Singapore; Institute for Digital Medicine and Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117600, Singapore; Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, 119228, Singapore; Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117600, Singapore. Electronic address:

H19 long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) has many functions in cancer. Some studies have reported that H19 acts as an oncogene and is involved in cancer progression by activating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the cell cycle and angiogenesis via mechanisms like microRNA (miRNA) sponging - the binding to and inhibition of miRNA activity. This makes H19 lncRNA a potential target for cancer therapeutics. However, several conflicting studies have also found that H19 suppresses tumour development. In this review, we shed light on the possible reasons for these conflicting findings. We also summarise the current literature on the applications of H19 lncRNA in cancer therapy in many cancers and explore new avenues for future research. This includes the use of H19 in recombinant vectors, chemoresistance, epigenetic regulation, tumour microenvironment alteration and cancer immunotherapy. The relationship between H19 and the master tumour suppressor gene p53 is also explored. In most studies, H19 knockdown via RNA interference (RNAi) or epigenetic silencing inhibits cancer development. Thus, H19 lncRNA could be a promising target for the development of cancer therapeutics. This warrants further investigations into its translational research to improve cancer therapy outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2020.11.006DOI Listing
March 2021

A Systemic Review of Available Low-Cost EEG Headsets Used for Drowsiness Detection.

Front Neuroinform 2020 15;14:553352. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Ocean Systems Engineering, Jeju National University, Jeju City, South Korea.

Drowsiness is a leading cause of traffic and industrial accidents, costing lives and productivity. Electroencephalography (EEG) signals can reflect awareness and attentiveness, and low-cost consumer EEG headsets are available on the market. The use of these devices as drowsiness detectors could increase the accessibility of safety and productivity-enhancing devices for small businesses and developing countries. We conducted a systemic review of currently available, low-cost, consumer EEG-based drowsiness detection systems. We sought to determine whether consumer EEG headsets could be reliably utilized as rudimentary drowsiness detection systems. We included documented cases describing successful drowsiness detection using consumer EEG-based devices, including the Neurosky MindWave, InteraXon Muse, Emotiv Epoc, Emotiv Insight, and OpenBCI. Of 46 relevant studies, ~27 reported an accuracy score. The lowest of these was the Neurosky Mindwave, with a minimum of 31%. The second lowest accuracy reported was 79.4% with an OpenBCI study. In many cases, algorithmic optimization remains necessary. Different methods for accuracy calculation, system calibration, and different definitions of drowsiness made direct comparisons problematic. However, even basic features, such as the power spectra of EEG bands, were able to consistently detect drowsiness. Each specific device has its own capabilities, tradeoffs, and limitations. Widely used spectral features can achieve successful drowsiness detection, even with low-cost consumer devices; however, reliability issues must still be addressed in an occupational context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2020.553352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593569PMC
October 2020

microRNA exchange via extracellular vesicles in cancer.

Cell Prolif 2020 Nov 6;53(11):e12877. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Cells utilize different means of inter-cellular communication to function properly. Here, we review the crosstalk between cancer cells and their surrounding environment through microRNA (miRNA)-containing extracellular vesicles (EVs). The current findings suggest that the export of miRNAs and uptake of miRNA-containing EVs might be an active process. As post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, cancer-derived miRNAs that are taken up by normal cells can change the translational profile of the recipient cell towards a transformed proteome. Stromal cells can also deliver miRNAs via EVs to cancer cells to support tumour growth and cancer progression. Therefore, gaining a better understanding of EV-mediated inter-cellular communication in the tumour microenvironment might lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.12877DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653238PMC
November 2020

Extracellular vesicle-associated organotropic metastasis.

Cell Prolif 2021 Jan 3;54(1):e12948. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR.

Metastasis refers to the progressive dissemination of primary tumour cells and their colonization of other tissues and is associated with most cancer-related mortalities. The disproportional and systematic distribution pattern of distant metastasis in different cancers has been well documented, as is termed metastatic organotropism, a process orchestrated by a combination of anatomical, pathophysiological, genetic and biochemical factors. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanosized cell-derived membrane-bound particles known to mediate intercellular communication, are now considered crucial in organ-specific metastasis. Here, we review and summarize recent findings regarding EV-associated organotropic metastasis as well as some of the general mechanisms by which EVs contribute to this important process in cancer and provide a future perspective on this emerging topic. We highlight studies that demonstrate a role of tumour-derived EVs in organotropic metastasis via pre-metastatic niche modulation. The bioactive cargo carried by EVs is of diagnostic and prognostic values, and counteracting the functions of such EVs may be a novel therapeutic strategy targeting metastasis. Further investigations are warranted to better understand the functions and mechanisms of EVs in organotropic metastasis and accelerate the relevant clinical translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.12948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791170PMC
January 2021

The future of Extracellular Vesicles as Theranostics - an ISEV meeting report.

J Extracell Vesicles 2020 Sep 4;9(1):1809766. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

The utilization of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in clinical theranostics has rapidly advanced in the past decade. In November 2018, the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) held a workshop on "EVs in Clinical Theranostic". Here, we report the conclusions of roundtable discussions on the current advancement in the analysis technologies and we provide some guidelines to researchers in the field to consider the use of EVs in clinical application. The main challenges and the requirements for EV separation and characterization strategies, quality control and clinical investigation were discussed to promote the application of EVs in future clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20013078.2020.1809766DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580849PMC
September 2020