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Nicolae Bălcescu, Romania

Iordache F.,University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine | Iordache F.,Nicolae Simionescu of Romanian Academy | Ionita M.,University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine | Mitrea L.I.,University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Antibiotic resistance is a major problem in current contemporary medicine and it has become a major concern of the 21st century. New resistance mechanisms developed by microorganisms spread greatly, threatening the ability to treat numerous infectious diseases, and increasing the number of nosocomial infections. Besides the role in immunology and glycobiology where they are used as hemaglutinine and identification of complex carbohydrates and glycoconjugates, lectins proved to mediate diversified biological functions like cytotoxicity, complement activation, cell-to-cell and host-pathogen communications, innate immune response, and cell-to-cell signalling. Recently, great interest has been developed for the research and applications of lectins in agriculture and medicine due to their antiparasitic and antimicrobial potentials. This review focuses on the recent data regarding the antimicrobial and antiparasitic activities of lectins, by presenting the role of lectins in host-pathogen interaction and also the cytotoxic effects on microorganisms and parasites. Identification and characterisation of new lectins with antimicrobial activity could serve as a natural alternative for the treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and parasites. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.

Alexandru N.,Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry | Alexandru N.,Nicolae Simionescu of Romanian Academy | Georgescu A.,Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry | Georgescu A.,Nicolae Simionescu of Romanian Academy | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Laboratory | Year: 2011

Background: Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common medical problem that may result in significant morbidity and mortality. Platelets are key players in haemostasis and thrombosis, but their role in the development of venous thrombosis is more controversial. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate platelet properties in CVI and their interaction with the venular endothelium. Methods: Human peripheral venules were explanted during leg surgery of patients with CVI and of healthy subjects (C); concurrently, the platelets were isolated from blood samples collected. The techniques used were: fluorescence and electron microscopy and Western-blotting. Results: Compared with the C group, the platelets of patients with CVI are activated, as demonstrated by: (i) cellular modifications, such as alteration of the discoidal shape by the development of extended cytoplasmic filopodia and changes of the cells normal ultrastructure, (ii) biochemical modifications, such as the enhanced protein levels of FAK, p85 PI3K, Akt and src, accounting for activation of α IIbβ 3 outside-in signaling, and (iii) apparent higher adhesion to the venular endothelium. We demonstrate in addition, that CVI is accompanied by severe modifications of the ultrastructure of the cells within the venular wall. Conclusions: In CVI, platelets circulate in an activated state and may contribute to the altered dysfunctional response of the venous wall and to the development of this pathology.

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