Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC; previously known as primary biliary cirrhosis) is a chronic inflammation-induced cholestatic process in the liver. Antimitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) are observed in around 90% of patients, which suggests that PBC is an autoimmune disease. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), ADH isoenzymes and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) are localized in the liver, and they are useful markers of liver dysfunction. In this study, the activity of total ADH, ADH isoenzymes and ALDH was evaluated in the blood serum of patients with PBC. The experimental group comprised 50 PBC patients, both male and female, aged 28–67. The control group consisted of 50 healthy subjects, both male and female, aged 25–65. The serum activity of class I ADH, class II ADH and ALDH was measured by spectrofluorophotometry, whereas total ADH and class III ADH activity was determined by photometry methods. The activity of class I ADH and total ADH was significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group (p < 0.001). An increase in class I ADH and total ADH activity indicates that the isoenzyme class I ADH is released by compromised liver cells and can be useful diagnostic markers of PBC.
- Hanna Fuchs
- Beata P Plitta-Michalak
- Arleta Małecka
- Ewelina Ratajczak
The problems posed by seed sensitivity to desiccation and aging have motivated the development of various techniques for mitigating their detrimental effects. The redox priming of seeds in antioxidant solution to improve their postharvest performance is one of the approaches. Spermidine (Spd) was tested as an invigorating solution on nondormant recalcitrant (desiccation sensitive) seeds of the silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.). The treatment resulted in an 8-10% increase in germination capacity in seeds subjected to mild and severe desiccation, while in aged seeds stored for six months, no significant change was observed. The cellular redox milieu, genetic stability, mitochondrial structure and function were investigated to provide information about the cellular targets of Spd activity. Spd improved the antioxidative capacity, especially the activity of catalase, and cellular membrane stability, protected genome integrity from oxidative damage and increased the efficiency of mitochondria. However, it also elicited a hydrogen peroxide burst. Therefore, it seems that redox priming in nondormant seeds that are highly sensitive to desiccation, although positively affected desiccated seed performance, may not be a simple solution to reinvigorate stored seeds with a low-efficiency antioxidant system.
Introduction In pediatric Crohn's disease ileocecal resection is performed reluctantly as postoperative recurrence is frequent. Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy reduces postoperative recurrence rates but increases the risk for infections. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed pediatric Crohn's disease patients who underwent ileocecal resection in our center. We compared disease activity and z-scores for height, weight, and body mass index of patients, who continuously received perioperative anti-TNF therapy (TNF + ), with those who did not (TNF–). Results Of 29 patients (48% females), 13 and 16 were grouped to TNF+ and TNF–, respectively. Patients' characteristics did not differ between groups, except a longer follow-up time in TNF–. We saw significant postoperative improvement but no normalization in z-scores for weight (1.78 vs. 0.77, p < 0.001), body mass index (1.08 vs. 0.22, p < 0.001), and height (0.88 vs. 0.66, p < 0.001). Disease activity improved significantly more in patients receiving anti-TNF therapy (moderate improvement in 83% vs. 31%, p = 0.02). Endoscopic recurrence was more frequent in patients without anti-TNF therapy (80% vs. 20%; p = 0.023), but endoscopic follow-up was incomplete. There was no increase of infections under perioperative anti-TNF therapy (1 patient each; p = 1.000). Conclusion In patients with localized Crohn's disease an ileocecal resection leads to short-term postoperative improvement of disease activity, body mass index, weight, and growth. For relevant catch-up growth an earlier intervention is necessary. Continuous perioperative anti-TNF therapy had no increased risk of perioperative infections.
Recent research efforts have focused on replacing expensive imported genetically modified soybean meal (GM SBM) as a protein source in animal diets with guar meal characterized by similar nutritional characteristics, which could improve meat quality. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of guar meal protein fed to pigs on carcass quality and the content of major nutrients and fatty acids in the longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle. Pigs were divided into four groups. Control group (1) animals were fed diets containing SBM as the main protein source. In diets for experimental groups 2, 3 and 4, SBM protein was replaced with guar meal protein in 25%, 50% and 75%, respectively. It was found that SBM replacement with guar meal protein at 25% affected carcass weight and the lean content, fat content and protein content of the LL muscle. An analysis of linear correlations revealed a strong negative correlation between the concentrations of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and saturated fatty acids (SFAs) in the LL muscle of pigs fed diets containing 25% of guar meal protein, which is nutritionally desirable. The results of this study suggest that the dietary inclusion of guar meal protein at up to 25% of SBM protein has no negative effects on the fattening performance of pigs. Meat quality was not affected by diets fortified with guar meal protein.
Female breast cancer is the most deadly cancer in women worldwide. The triple-negative breast cancer subtype therapies, due to the lack of specific drug targets, are still based on systemic chemotherapy with doxorubicin, which is burdened with severe adverse effects. To enhance therapeutic success and protect against systemic toxicity, drug carriers or combination therapy are being developed. Thus, an innovative liposomal formulation containing doxorubicin and the main nutraceutical, sulforaphane, has been developed. The anticancer efficacy and safety of the proposed liposomal formulation was evaluated in vivo, in a 4T1 mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer, and the mechanism of action was determined in vitro, using triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and non-tumorigenic breast MCF-10A cell line. The elaborated drug carriers were shown to efficiently deliver both compounds into the cancer cell and direct doxorubicin to the cell nucleus. Incorporation of sulforaphane resulted in a twofold inhibition of tumor growth and the potential of up to a fourfold reduction in doxorubicin concentration due to the synergistic interaction between the two compounds. Sulforaphane was shown to increase the accumulation of doxorubicin in the nuclei of cancer cells, accompanied by inhibition of mitosis, without affecting the reactive oxygen species status of the cell. In normal cells, an antagonistic effect resulting in less cytotoxicity was observed. In vivo results showed that sulforaphane incorporation yielded not only cardioprotective, but also nephro- and hepatoprotective effects. The results of the research revealed the prospects of applying sulforaphane as a component of liposomal doxorubicin in triple-negative breast cancer chemotherapy.
Health information can influence patient trust and is vital to the healthcare system of a country. This study comparatively assesses trust levels within Poland’s healthcare system from two perspectives: non-healthcare workers (i.e. lay people) and healthcare workers. Four trust indicators, i.e. the payer, visiting or consulting with a physician, the medical profession, and hospitals are used to test trust volatility. The methodology combined a participant three-stage experiment by measuring level of trust, randomly separating participants into two groups – i.e. control and experimental – and testing whether observational changes were long-lasting. Results indicate that the level of trust of non-healthcare workers to the payer, a physician, and hospitals was susceptible to the information provided, while trust to the medical profession did not show sensitivity and almost did not change. Statistical analysis showed the non-healthcare workers trust level in all tested objects, apart from the medical profession, tended to return to their start values. Healthcare workers, on the other hand, had an overall higher level of trust in a physician, the medical profession, and hospitals. Overall, it can be concluded that the impact from the intervention in terms of hospitals was lower for the healthcare workers.
This paper identifies the management of municipal housing stock as an area of public management in an urban municipality, taking into account the legal, institutional and market conditions in Poland. In order to achieve this aim, the author examined relevant literature and pertinent legislation and employed an analysis of source (organizational) documentation on the management of municipal housing stock in provincial capital cities. The paper begins by discussing the essence, distinctive characteristics and concepts of public management as a sub-discipline of management sciences. Subsequently, it outlines the specificity of public management in a municipality as a local government unit. Against this background, the author goes on to identify the management of municipal housing stock from the standpoint of public management in an urban municipality by formulating its definition in a broad and narrow sense, followed by a synthetic characterization of this management in a functional and institutional approach, considering its basic organizational models. The research demonstrated that the management of municipal housing stock is subject to progressive marketization and tends to be shaped by such public management mechanisms as hierarchy, market and network. These mechanisms cause this management to operate in practice in a hybrid system.
Points of Interest (POI) are an inherent element of the urban landscape, and their number and density reflect, among other things, the degree of urbanization and the city’s spatial structure. The very presence of POI in the closest vicinity of a residential property may indirectly or directly affect housing value. This paper aims to demonstrate the usefulness of POI density information of different categories in assessing the quality of a property’s immediate surroundings. While the mere presence of POIs in the nearest neighborhood may affect real estate prices, the influence of specific categories may not necessarily be positive. Therefore, the study attempted to classify POIs and determine their importance in the price formation process using spatial regression models. The results indicate that a high density of POIs in the immediate area is a stimulant for housing prices. The detailed analysis indicated that only some POI categories might be related to transaction prices, while in certain situations, some POI categories may negatively impact prices.
Background: The Russian invasion of Ukraine forced migration for safety, protection, assistance. Poland is the primary sheltering country for Ukrainian refugees, providing support including medical care, which resulted in the rapid ∼15% increase in the number of followed-up people with HIV (PWH) in the country. Here, we present the national experience on HIV care provided for refugees from Ukraine. Methods: Clinical, antiretroviral, immunological, and virologic data from 955 Ukrainian PWH entering care in Poland since February 2022 were analyzed. The dataset included both antiretroviral-treated (n = 851) and newly diagnosed patients (n = 104). In 76 cases protease/reverse transcriptase/integrase sequencing was performed to identify drug resistance and subtype. Results: Majority (70.05%) of the patients were female, with a predominance of heterosexual (70.3%) transmissions. Anti-hepatitis C antibody and hepatitis B antigen were present in 28.7% and 2.9% of the patients, respectively. A history of tuberculosis was reported in 10.1% of cases. Among previously treated patients viral suppression rate was 89.6%. In 77.3% new cases were diagnosed with lymphocyte CD4 count < 350 cells/μl or AIDS. The A6 variant observed in 89.0% sequences. Transmitted mutations in the reverse transcriptase were found in 15.4% treatment-naïve cases. Two patients with treatment failure exhibited multi-class drug resistance. Conclusions: Migration from Ukraine influences the characteristics of HIV epidemics in Europe, with an increase in the proportion of women and hepatitis C co-infected patients. Antiretroviral treatment efficacy among previously treated refugees was high, with new HIV cases frequently diagnosed late. The A6 subtype was the most common variant.
Inflammation in the female reproductive system causes serious health problems including infertility. The aim of this study was to determine the in vitro effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-beta/delta (PPARβ/δ) ligands on the transcriptomic profile of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated pig corpus luteum (CL) in the mid-luteal phase of the estrous cycle using RNA-seq technology. The CL slices were incubated in the presence of LPS or in combination with LPS and the PPARβ/δ agonist—GW0724 (1 μmol/L or 10 μmol/L) or the antagonist—GSK3787 (25 μmol/L). We identified 117 differentially expressed genes after treatment with LPS; 102 and 97 differentially expressed genes after treatment, respectively, with the PPARβ/δ agonist at a concentration of 1 μmol/L or 10 μmol/L, as well as 88 after the treatment with the PPARβ/δ antagonist. In addition, biochemical analyses of oxidative status were performed (total antioxidant capacity and activity of peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione S-transferase). This study revealed that PPARβ/δ agonists regulate genes involved in the inflammatory response in a dose-dependent manner. The results indicate that the lower dose of GW0724 showed an anti-inflammatory character, while the higher dose seems to be pro-inflammatory. We propose that GW0724 should be considered for further research to alleviate chronic inflammation (at the lower dose) or to support the natural immune response against pathogens (at the higher dose) in the inflamed corpus luteum.
Previous research has shown that the endosperm microstructure and physical properties of grain have significance in grain processing and in the development of processing machines. The aim of our study was to analyze the endosperm microstructure, physical, thermal properties, and specific milling energy of organic spelt (Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta) grain and flour. Image analysis combined with fractal analysis was used to describe the microstructural differences of the endosperm of spelt grain. The endosperm morphology of spelt kernels was monofractal, isotropic, and complex. A higher proportion of Type-A starch granules resulted in an increased proportion of voids and interphase boundaries in the endosperm. Changes in the fractal dimension were correlated with kernel hardness, specific milling energy, the particle size distribution of flour, and the starch damage rate. Spelt cultivars varied in size and shape of the kernels. Kernel hardness was a property that differentiated specific milling energy, particle size distribution of flour, and starch damage rate. Fractal analysis may be considered as a useful tool for evaluating milling processes in the future.
Official data, including national geodetic and cartographic resources, are integrated in a spatial reference system. This study outlines national resources in Poland as an important part of the spatial information infrastructure in the European Community. They also provide reference data, including: geodetic control networks, base map, and topographic maps, for other resources of spatial data infrastructure. The study presents changes in the methods of sharing geo-data and technical standards for their collecting in the last few years, and additionally also presents some aspects of progressing geodetic and cartographic resources and legislation in Poland. It was noted that modern national geoportal or regional and district resources and progress, especially in the form of their standardization of presentation, enable to promote the use of spatial data in Poland and their popularization among the international community.
Ferulic acid (FA) is a naturally occurring phenolic antioxidant that is widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries due to its low toxicity. Its derivatives also find numerous industrial applications and may have even higher biological activity than ferulic acid. In this study, the effect of the addition of FA and its derivatives—including vanillic acid (VA), dihydroferulic acid (DHFA), and 4-vinylguaiacol (4-VG)—on the oxidative stability of cold-pressed flaxseed oil and the degradation of bioactive compounds during oxidation was investigated. The results showed that FA and its derivatives affected the oxidative stability of flaxseed oil, but their antioxidant activity depended on the concentration (25–200 mg/100 g oil) and temperature of treatment (60–110 °C). Based on Rancimat test results, flaxseed oil oxidative stability predicted at 20 °C increased linearly with ferulic acid concentration, while its derivatives effectively prolonged the induction time at lower concentrations (50–100 mg/100 g oil). The addition of phenolic antioxidants (80 mg/100 g) generally showed a protective effect against polyunsaturated fatty acids (DHFA and 4-VG), sterols (4-VG), tocols (DHFA), squalene, and carotenoids (FA). The exception was VA, which increased the degradation of most bioactive compounds. It is believed that adding properly composed mixtures of FA and its derivatives (DHFA and 4-VG) can extend the shelf life of flaxseed oil and provide nutritional benefits.
Background: While several scoring systems for the severity of anaphylactic reactions have been developed, there is a lack of consensus on definition and categorisation of severity of food allergy disease as a whole. Aim: To develop an international consensus on the severity of food allergy (DEfinition of Food Allergy Severity, DEFASE) scoring system, to be used globally. Methods: Phase 1: We conducted a mixed-method systematic review (SR) of 11 databases for published and unpublished literature on severity of food allergy management and set up a panel of international experts. Phase 2: Based on our findings in Phase 1, we drafted statements for a two-round modified electronic Delphi (e-Delphi) survey. A purposefully selected multidisciplinary international expert panel on food allergy (n ¼ 60) was identified and sent a structured questionnaire, including a set of statements on different domains of food allergy severity related to symptoms, health-related quality of life, and economic impact. Participants were asked to score their agreement on each statement on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Median scores and percentage agreements were calculated. Consensus was defined a priori as being achieved if 70% or more of panel members rated a statement as “strongly agree” to “agree” after the second round. Based on feedback, 2 additional online voting rounds were conducted. Results: We received responses from 92% of Delphi panel members in round 1 and 85% in round 2. Consensus was achieved on the overall score and in all of the 5 specific key domains as essential components of the DEFASE score. Conclusions: The DEFASE score is the first comprehensive grading of food allergy severity that considers not only the severity of a single reaction, but the whole disease spectrum. An international consensus has been achieved regarding a scoring system for food allergy disease. It offers an evaluation grid, which may help to rate the severity of food allergy. Phase 3 will involve validating the scoring system in research settings, and implementing it in clinical practice.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a leading cause of preventable blindness, is expected to remain a growing health burden worldwide. Screening to detect early sight-threatening lesions of DR can reduce the burden of vision loss; nevertheless, the process requires intensive manual labor and extensive resources to accommodate the increasing number of patients with diabetes. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been shown to be an effective tool which can potentially lower the burden of screening DR and vision loss. In this article, we review the use of AI for DR screening on color retinal photographs in different phases of application, ranging from development to deployment. Early studies of machine learning (ML)-based algorithms using feature extraction to detect DR achieved a high sensitivity but relatively lower specificity. Robust sensitivity and specificity were achieved with the application of deep learning (DL), although ML is still used in some tasks. Public datasets were utilized in retrospective validations of the developmental phases in most algorithms, which require a large number of photographs. Large prospective clinical validation studies led to the approval of DL for autonomous screening of DR although the semi-autonomous approach may be preferable in some real-world settings. There have been few reports on real-world implementations of DL for DR screening. It is possible that AI may improve some real-world indicators for eye care in DR, such as increased screening uptake and referral adherence, but this has not been proven. The challenges in deployment may include workflow issues, such as mydriasis to lower ungradable cases; technical issues, such as integration into electronic health record systems and integration into existing camera systems; ethical issues, such as data privacy and security; acceptance of personnel and patients; and health-economic issues, such as the need to conduct health economic evaluations of using AI in the context of the country. The deployment of AI for DR screening should follow the governance model for AI in healthcare which outlines four main components: fairness, transparency, trustworthiness, and accountability.
Rosa rugosa Thunb. (Japanese Rose) is one of the most invasive species in Europe. It spreads spontaneously in coastal areas of western, central and northern Europe, posing a threat to dune habitats, including those indicated in the EU Habitats Directive as particularly valuable. R. rugosa has already been reported to displace native plants and alter soil properties. However, little is known about how these effects are mediated by the habitat context or the invader condition (health, ontogenetic stage). This study addressed that gap by examining vegetation and soil in 22 R. rugosa -invaded sites, half of which were in yellow dunes and the other half in grey dunes, i.e. two habitats representing the earlier and later stages of dune succession. The study was conducted on the Hel Peninsula (Poland’s Baltic coast). R. rugosa had a significant impact on dune vegetation, but the impact was strongly dependent on the habitat type. In the yellow dune sites, R. rugosa outcompeted most resident plant species, which translated into a strong decline in their total cover and richness. The invasion was almost not accompanied by changes in soil properties, suggesting that it affected the resident vegetation directly (through space takeover and shading). In the grey dunes, R. rugosa caused a shift in species composition, from that characteristic of open communities to that typical of forests. In this habitat, a significant increase in the soil organic layer thickness under R. rugosa was also observed, which means that both direct and indirect effects of the invasion on the vegetation should be assumed. Finally, a negative relationship was found between the total chlorophyll content in R. rugosa leaves and the parameters of resident plant communities, showing that the invasion effects can vary not only across habitats, but also with the condition of the invader. The results may have practical implications for managing R. rugosa invasions in coastal sand dune systems. Since R. rugosa accelerates grey dune succession, protecting this habitat may be more urgent and, at the same time, more complicated than protecting dunes at the earlier stages of development.
The present study aimed to determine the content of health-promoting compounds, and fatty acids, with particular emphasis on the content of cis9trans11 C18:2 (CLA) acid, selected minerals, folates in organic and commercial goat’s milk and fermented goat’s milk drinks. The analyzed milk and yoghurts had various contents of particular groups of fatty acids, CLA, minerals, and folates. Raw organic goat’s milk had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher content of CLA (3.26 mg/g fat) compared to commercial milk (2.88 mg/g fat and 2.54 mg/g fat). Among the analyzed fermented goat’s milk drinks, the highest CLA content (4.39 mg/g fat) was determined in commercial natural yoghurts, while the lowest one was in organic natural yoghurts (3.28 mg/g fat). The highest levels of calcium (1322.9–2324.4 µg/g), phosphorus (8148.1–11,309.9 µg/g), and copper (0.072–0.104 µg/g) were found in all commercial products and those of manganese (0.067–0.209 µg/g) in organic products. The contents of the other assayed elements (magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, and zinc) did not depend on the production method, but only on the product type, i.e., the degree of goat’s milk processing. The highest folate content in the analyzed milks was found in the organic sample (3.16 µg/100 g). Organic Greek yoghurts had a several times higher content of folates, reaching 9.18 µg/100 g, compared to the other analyzed fermented products.
The aim of the study was to determine changes in water-holding and water-binding capacities in relation to the tenderness of fallow deer semimembranosus (SM) and longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) muscles during ageing. In the study, muscles obtained from 18-month-old farm-raised fallow deer bucks were used. The quality of the meat was determined during ageing for 48 h, 168 h, and 288 h post slaughter. It was noted that ageing had a negative effect on water retention in fallow deer meat. It decreased the ability of meat tissue to bind added water (p < 0.01) and increased cooking losses (p < 0.01), though it also increased tenderness (p < 0.01). Generally, SM showed lower (p < 0.001) tenderness than LTL. SM and LTL muscles were similar in terms of free water content, ability to bind added water, and cooking losses (p > 0.05). The way the meat was heated (cooked in water vs. roasted in the dry air) affected only cooking losses (p < 0.05), which were higher in roasted samples but had no effect either on volume loss or meat tenderness. In conclusion, the main factor affecting the water holding and binding capacities, as well as fallow deer meat tenderness, is ageing. The time enough to obtain tender meat is 168 h for LTL, whereas SM should be aged for 288 h.
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