Publications by authors named "S Albu"

146 Publications

Vitiligo and chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.

J Med Life 2021 Mar-Apr;14(2):127-130

Department of Endocrinology, Clinical County Hospital, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Vitiligo, the discoloration of the skin, has different autoimmune mechanisms reflected by many biomarkers as shown by skin histology, staining for CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes, chemokine ligand 9 or circulating cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 beta, interferon (IFN)-gamma, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, antibodies, markers of oxidative stress, chemokines, and others. In this narrative review, we aim to overview vitiligo in relationship with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. Regarding vitiligo, more than 50 different genetic loci have been associated with this disease, and the heritability is high. There is a 20% risk of an environmental connection which may also act as a trigger; moreover, the association with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression is well recognized. The specific lesions display CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells as continuous key activators of melanocytes. The association with chronic thyroiditis is based on common autoimmune background and excessive reactive oxygen species that destroy melanocytes and thyrocytes (oxidative stress hypothesis) with thyroxine and melanin as target molecules, thus sharing a common origin: tyrosine. Moreover, common epigenetic anomalies or mutations of the Forkhead transcription factor D3 (FOXD3) have been described. Since vitiligo affects up to 1-2% of the population worldwide and 34% of patients have positive thyroid antibodies, apart from common autoimmunity background and oxidative stress toxicity, the association is clinically relevant for different practitioners.
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June 2021

The Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Treatment of a Chronic Rhinosinusitis-An In Vivo Mouse Model.

Microorganisms 2021 May 30;9(6). Epub 2021 May 30.

II-nd Department of Otolaryngology, Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400015 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

It is acknowledged that the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) represents an important challenge for rhinology and for social and economic life. At present, one of the most common treatments for CRS is represented by local corticosteroids followed by endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Starting from the example of the mesenchymal stem cell's (MSC) capacity to migrate and to modulate a real response in the nasal mucosa of an allergic rhinitis mouse model, we try to obtain a response in a CRS mouse model, using MSC derived by adipose tissue. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that the MSC can be used in CRS treatment and could change its priorities. Seventy female mice (6 MSC donor mice) were randomized in two stages of study, 32 Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) exposure mice (20 for histological comparison to 1st control mice and 12 for MSC administration, to CRS/MCS model) and 32 control mice (20 for histological comparison to CRS model and 12 for MSC administration and histological control to MSC model); in the first stage, the (Af) CRS mouse model was targeted, in this section were included 64 ( = 32) mice (treated and control group). In order to assess the inflammation level (histological analysis), the animals were euthanized; in the second stage MSCs (1 × 10/animal) were administered intravenously to a total of 24 ( = 24) mice (12 mice from the exposed group and 12 mice from the second control group). After 12 weeks of Af intranasal instillation, the inflammation parameters evaluated indicated a severe diffuse chronic inflammation, associated with diffuse severe hyperplasia and mature diffuse squamous metaplasia. The MSCs' injection via the ophthalmic vein induced important histopathological changes in the CRS experimental group, starting with the presence of MSCs in all samples and continuing with the important degenerative character of inflammation. MSC administration demonstrated a real improvement of CRS evolution on the CRS mouse model.
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May 2021

Botulinum toxin type-A infiltration of the external anal sphincter to treat outlet constipation in motor incomplete spinal cord injury: pilot cohort study.

Scand J Gastroenterol 2021 Jul 17;56(7):777-783. Epub 2021 May 17.

Unit of Functional Digestive Rehabilitation, Institut Guttmann, University of Barcelona, Badalona, Spain.

Background: Outlet constipation is a major problem in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. We aimed to study the efficacy of external anal sphincter (EAS) infiltration with type-A botulinum toxin (BTX-A) in motor incomplete SCI patients with outlet constipation.

Methods: Double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, comparative study in 16 motor incomplete SCI subjects. Patients were randomly assigned toreceive100 UI of BTX-A ( = 9) or physiologic serum infiltration ( = 7) in the EAS under electromyographic guidance. Outcome measures included a questionnaire for clinical bowel function evaluation, colonic transit time and anorectal manometry. All assessments were done at baseline, 1 and 3 months after treatment.

Results: Fourteen patients completed the study. In the BTX-A group we observed an improvement of subjective perception of bowel function ( = 0.01), constipation ( = 0.02) and neurogenic bowel dysfunction score ( = 0.02). The anorectal manometry revealed are duction of EAS voluntary contraction pressure ( = 0.01). No changes were observed in the placebo group. No significant side effects were observed in none of the groups.

Conclusion: BTX-A infiltration of the EAS is a safe technique that in motor incomplete SCI, decreases the EAS contraction and the anal canal pressure during straining, and improves outlet constipation symptoms. Future studies in larger populations are needed.
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July 2021

What's going on following acute covid-19? Clinical characteristics of patients in an out-patient rehabilitation program.

NeuroRehabilitation 2021 ;48(4):469-480

Fundació Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació adscrit a la UAB, Badalona -Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients present long-lasting physical and neuropsychological impairment, which may require rehabilitation.

Objectives: The current cross-sectional study characterizes post COVID-19 sequelae and persistent symptoms in patients in an outpatient rehabilitation program.

Methods: Thirty patients [16 post-ICU and 14 non-ICU; median age = 54(43.8-62) years; 19 men] presenting sequelae and/or persistent symptoms (>3 months after acute COVID-19) were selected of 41 patients referred for neurorehabilitation. Patients underwent physical, neuropsychological and respiratory evaluation and assessment of impact of fatigue and quality of life.

Results: The main reasons for referral to rehabilitation were: fatigue (86.6%), dyspnea (66.7%), subjective cognitive impairment (46.7%) and neurological sequelae (33.3%). Post-ICU patient presented sequelae of critical illness myopathy and polyneuropathy, stroke and encephalopathy and lower forced vital capacity compared to non-ICU patients. Cognitive impairment was found in 63.3% of patients, with a similar profile in both sub-groups. Increased physical fatigue, anxiety and depression and low quality of life were prevalent irrespective of acute COVID-19 severity.

Conclusions: The variability of post COVID-19 physical and neuropsychological impairment requires a complex screening process both in ICU and non-ICU patients. The high impact of persistent symptoms on daily life activities and quality of life, regardless of acute infection severity, indicate need for rehabilitation.
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January 2021

Epigenome-wide association study of COVID-19 severity with respiratory failure.

EBioMedicine 2021 Apr 15;66:103339. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.

Background: Patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), exhibit a wide spectrum of disease behaviour. Since DNA methylation has been implicated in the regulation of viral infections and the immune system, we performed an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) to identify candidate loci regulated by this epigenetic mark that could be involved in the onset of COVID-19 in patients without comorbidities.

Methods: Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 407 confirmed COVID-19 patients ≤ 61 years of age and without comorbidities, 194 (47.7%) of whom had mild symptomatology that did not involve hospitalization and 213 (52.3%) had a severe clinical course that required respiratory support. The set of cases was divided into discovery (n = 207) and validation (n = 200) cohorts, balanced for age and sex of individuals. We analysed the DNA methylation status of 850,000 CpG sites in these patients.

Findings: The DNA methylation status of 44 CpG sites was associated with the clinical severity of COVID-19. Of these loci, 23 (52.3%) were located in 20 annotated coding genes. These genes, such as the inflammasome component Absent in Melanoma 2 (AIM2) and the Major Histocompatibility Complex, class I C (HLA-C) candidates, were mainly involved in the response of interferon to viral infection. We used the EWAS-identified sites to establish a DNA methylation signature (EPICOVID) that is associated with the severity of the disease.

Interpretation: We identified DNA methylation sites as epigenetic susceptibility loci for respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients. These candidate biomarkers, combined with other clinical, cellular and genetic factors, could be useful in the clinical stratification and management of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2.

Funding: The Unstoppable campaign of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, the Cellex Foundation and the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya.
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April 2021