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Introduction

Seizures are the hallmarks of most types of epilepsies. Behavioral and cognitive impairments coincide with interictal periods even though it is not clear whether these impairments spring out of the seizure itself or accompanying sociopsychological burden of the disease.

Materials and methods

In this study, we investigated behavioral and cognitive consequences of a single GABA receptor-related seizure in mice, and examined the potential anticonvulsive and behavior-modulating properties of sophoretin (quercetin) and rutoside (rutin).

Results

The study demonstrated that sophoretin and rutoside, common flavonoids of the human diet, delay the seizure onset and reduce the seizure stage. Moreover, they exerted an antidepressant-like effect, which was independent of the seizure. Neither treatments nor seizure altered recognition and spatial memory performances of the mice.

Conclusions

Behavioral or cognitive disturbances that are evident in epileptic patients did not appear following a single seizure. In addition, we suggest that both sophoretin and rutoside successfully alleviate the seizure severity without interfering in the behavioral stability and cognitive performance. Hence, these flavonoids may be of use as adjuncts to the current treatment options.

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Antimicrobial multidrug-resistance (MDR) constitutes an emerging threat to global health and makes the effective prevention and treatment of many, particularly severe infections challenging, if not impossible. Many antibiotic classes have lost antimicrobial efficacy against a plethora of infectious agents including bacterial species due to microbial acquisition of distinct resistance genes. Hence, the development of novel anti-infectious intervention strategies including antibiotic-independent approaches is urgently needed. Vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin D derivates might be such promising molecular candidates to combat infections caused by bacteria including MDR strains. Using the Pubmed database, we therefore performed an in-depth literature survey, searching for publications on the antimicrobial effect of vitamin D directed against bacteria including MDR strains. In vitro and clinical studies between 2009 and 2019 revealed that vitamin D does, in fact, possess antimicrobial properties against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, whereas conflicting results could be obtained from in vivo studies. Taken together, the potential anti-infectious effects for the antibiotic-independent application of vitamin D and/or an adjunct therapy in combination with antibiotic compounds directed against infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, H. pylori infections, or skin diseases, for instance, should be considered and further investigated in more detail.

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Doubled haploidy breeding via wide hybridization has been used in durum wheat haploid production for creating homozygosity in the shortest possible time. Post pollination treatment with hormones is a key factor for inducing haploid embryos in durum wheat wide crosses. An intergeneric hybridization experiment was carried out in seven durum wheat genotypes using Imperata cylindrica and two composites of Maize viz., Bajaura Makka and Early Composite, as pollen sources. The pollinated spikes were injected with 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in five different concentrations i.e., 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 ppm, for three consecutive days at 24, 48 and 72 hrs after pollination. Analysis of variance revealed that the five concentrations of 2,4-D significantly differed in their ability to induce haploid embryos and 2,4-D at 250 ppm was found to be most effective in durum wheat haploid production through wide hybridization. The highest frequency of embryo carrying seeds was recorded to be 65.75 and 36.73 percent, at 250 ppm with I. cylindrica and Bajaura Makka, respectively in first cropping season. During second season, embryo formation frequency was observed to be maximum, 70.69, 32.84 and 27.59 percent, at 250 ppm 2,4-D with all three pollen sources, viz., I. cylindrica, Bajaura Makka and Early Composite, respectively.

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The GGE biplot tool has potential for determining combining ability effects, identifying distinct heterotic groups and efficient testers in a line × tester study. However, its use for such analysis has not been adequately explored. The objectives of this study were to (i) assess combining ability of extra-early maturing lines (80–85 days to physiological maturity) and testers for grain yield (ii) classify lines into heterotic groups and (iii) identify most efficient testers using GGE biplot. Sixty-three lines crossed to four testers were evaluated under Strga-infested, drought and nonstress environments for 2 years in Nigeria. Results of GGE biplot analyses of combining ability and heterotic patterns of yield of lines, grouping and identification of testers were close to those of the conventional line × tester method. Testers TZEEI 13, TZEEI 21 and TZEEI 29 were highly efficient in grouping lines under stress environments while testers TZEEI 21 and TZEEI 29 were best under nonstress environments. The GGE biplot identified tester TZEEI 13, TZEEI 21 and TZEEI 29 as most efficient across stress environments and TZEEI 21 and TZEEI 29 across nonstress environments.

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Book reviews
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A new lichenicolous fungus Buelliella indica colonising on the thallus of Graphis longiramea is described from the state of Nagaland, a part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot region in India. It is characterised by its brown epihymenium, much smaller ascospores with dimensions of 11.5–13.8 × 4.8–6 µm and the new host Graphis.

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In the present study, morphological and anatomical structures of cypsela – 12 Cirsium Miller (Carduoideae, Asteraceae) taxa belonging to two sections (sect. Cirsium and sect. Cephalonoplos) were investigated in detail with using stereomicroscope and light microscope. The taxa were evaluated comparatively in the aspect of carpological variations and their anatomies were presented in here for the first time. Morphological features including size, shape and colour of cypselae were examined. From anatomical observations, anatomical structures of pericarp, as well as the structure of testa were described. Cypselae colours differ from light brown to stramineous, sometimes with blackish striations. Their shapes change from oblong to oblanceolate, rarely obovate. The largest cypselae are present in C. echinus (1.59±0.03 mm × 4.68±0.07 mm) and the smallest ones are found in C. subinerme (1.20±0.02 mm × 2.97±0.05 mm). The pericarp is characterised by almost parenchymatous cells, while the testa is composed of lignified sclerenchymatous cell lines and crushed cells group. Secretory structure in testa bundle was evaluated. Results obtained from this study were compared with the present data in literature. Overall, morphological and anatomical characteristics of cypselae provide useful taxonomic markers in their classifications of the studied taxa of Cirsium but not distinctive for their sectional levels.

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Background and aims

Targeted chemotherapeutics such as cetuximab can cause many side effects such as skin toxicity when used in high concentrations. In addition, cancer cells can develop resistance to some of the anticancer agents during treatment. The lack of the desired success in chemotherapy and the development of resistance to chemotherapeutics, such as epirubicin HCl, suggest that there is a need for combined therapies. The combination of targeted chemotherapeutics and conventional chemotherapy drugs may lead to the emergence of new strategies in the treatment of cancer. In this study, cytotoxic, antiproliferative, cell cycle inhibitive, oxidative stress generation, and apoptotic effects and effect mechanisms of cetuximab alone and together with epirubicin HCl on parental liver cancer cells (P-Hep G2) and epirubicin HCl-resistant liver cancer cells (R-Hep G2) were investigated.

Materials

Cytotoxic effects of cetuximab alone and with epirubicin-HCl on cells were determined by Cell Titer-Blue® Cell Viability and Lactate Dehydrogenase Activity tests. Cell cycle distributions and apoptosis were detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results

Cetuximab with epirubicin HCl treatment increased the cytotoxic effect on both cells. Caspase-3/7 activity increased 3 and 1.5 times in comparison with control group in P-Hep G2 and R-Hep G2 cells, respectively, after treating with cetuximab alone, whereas the increase was found to be approximately 4.7 and 2.5 times when cetuximab was treated with epirubicin HCl in P-Hep G2 and R-Hep G2 cells, respectively. Both cetuximab alone and together with epirubicin HCl treatments caused increases in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in both cells.

Discussion

Treatment of cetuximab with epirubicin HCl to P-Hep G2 and R-Hep G2 cells was found to be more effective in cytotoxic effect and inducing apoptosis comparison to cetuximab alone treatment. In addition, combination treatment showed different effects on pro-apoptotic/anti-apoptotic genes expression according to cells drug resistance properties.

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Powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) is one of the most devastating wheat diseases. The wheat line N9134 contains PmAS846 that was transferred to N9134 from wild emmer wheat, and is still one of the most effective resistance genes in China. A full-length wheat RPM1 gene was obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) based on the up-regulated probe sequence from differentially expressed transcripts during the N9134 and powdery mildew interaction. The gene was named TaRPM1, and the open reading frame (ORF) is 2721 nucleotides and encodes a polypeptide of 907 amino acids with a predicted isoelectric point of 4.86. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that TaRPM1 was highly homologous on both Aegilops tauschii and Triticum urartu at both the nucleotide and protein level. Using real-time quantitative PCR, the TaRPM1 gene expression level in wheat leaves was found to be sharply up-regulated, while the transcript level was lowly induced in the root and stem. Under the powdery mildew treatment, the transcription profile of TaRPM1 was very strongly expressed at 48 hour post inoculation (hpi), which increased again to 96 hpi and reaching a high level at 120 hpi. Based on sequence similarities and positions, we inferred that the TaRPM1 gene was on wheat chromosome 3D. These results suggested that TaRPM1 plays an important role in the mechanism of innate immunity to infection by the powdery mildew pathogen.

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This study aimed at evaluating in outpatients an algorithm for the laboratory diagnosis of Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI), i.e., enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) detecting bacterial glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and toxin A/B, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses of samples with discordant EIA results.

In total, 9802 examinations of stool samples by GDH and toxin EIAs performed in 7263 outpatients and 488 inpatients were analyzed retrospectively. Samples with discordant EIA results had been tested by a commercially available PCR assay detecting genes of the C. difficile-specific triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) and toxin B (tcdB).

Concordant EIA results (686 C. difficile-positive, 8121 negative) were observed for 8807 (89.8%; 95% CI, 89.2–90.4%) samples. Of 958 samples with discordant EIA results, 895 were analyzed using PCR and 580 of 854 GDH-positive/borderline, toxin-negative samples (67.9%; 95% CI, 64.7–71.0%) were positive for tpi and tcdB, while 274 samples (32.1%; 95% CI, 29.0–35.3%) were tcdB-negative. In contrast, 35 of 41 GDH-negative, toxin-positive/borderline samples (85.4%; 95% CI, 71.2–93.5%) were tcdB-negative. Still, 6 samples (14.6%; 95% CI, 6.5–28.8%) yielded positive PCR results for both genes.

In conclusion, around 90% of the samples were analyzed appropriately by only applying EIAs. Approximately one third of the PCR-analyzed samples were tcdB-negative; thus, patients most likely did not require CDI treatment.

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