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Hospital de Órbigo, Spain

Khella H.W.Z.,Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science | Khella H.W.Z.,University of Toronto | Scorilas A.,University of Athens | Mozes R.,Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science | And 9 more authors.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2015

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is an aggressive tumor with unpredictable behavior. Clinical parameters are not always accurate for predicting prognosis. miR-126 is differentially expressed in many cancers, including RCC, and is down-regulated in metastatic versus primary ccRCC. We assessed the prognostic significance of miR-126 in 264 primary ccRCCs. We also compared its expression in normal kidney, primary and metastatic ccRCC, and RCC subtypes. We validated our results on an independent set of 481 ccRCCs. miR-126 was down-regulated in metastatic versus primary tumors and in tumors of higher stage (P = 0.005) or higher grade (P = 0.002). miR-126 up-regulation was associated with significantly prolonged disease-free survival (P < 0.001) and overall survival (P = 0.015). For larger tumors (>4 cm), patients with higher miR-126 expression had significantly longer survival. Restoration of miR-126 expression decreased cellular migration and proliferation in RCC cell lines. The ccRCCs exhibited the highest miR-126 expression, and papillary RCCs exhibited the lowest expression. We identified a number of miR-126 targets and pathways that are involved in carcinogenesis, including the apoptosis signaling pathway. miR-126 is a promising prognostic marker in ccRCC that can distinguish between clear cell and papillary subtypes. In addition, miR-126 has potential therapeutic applications. © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology.

Canganella F.,University of Tuscia | Wiegel J.,University of Athens
Life | Year: 2014

The term -extremophile{norm of matrix} was introduced to describe any organism capable of living and growing under extreme conditions. With the further development of studies on microbial ecology and taxonomy, a variety of -extreme{norm of matrix} environments have been found and an increasing number of extremophiles are being described. Extremophiles have also been investigated as far as regarding the search for life on other planets and even evaluating the hypothesis that life on Earth originally came from space. The first extreme environments to be largely investigated were those characterized by elevated temperatures. The naturally -hot environments{norm of matrix} on Earth range from solar heated surface soils and water with temperatures up to 65 °C, subterranean sites such as oil reserves and terrestrial geothermal with temperatures ranging from slightly above ambient to above 100 °C, to submarine hydrothermal systems with temperatures exceeding 300 °C. There are also human-made environments with elevated temperatures such as compost piles, slag heaps, industrial processes and water heaters. Thermophilic anaerobic microorganisms have been known for a long time, but scientists have often resisted the belief that some organisms do not only survive at high temperatures, but actually thrive under those hot conditions. They are perhaps one of the most interesting varieties of extremophilic organisms. These microorganisms can thrive at temperatures over 50 °C and, based on their optimal temperature, anaerobic thermophiles can be subdivided into three main groups: thermophiles with an optimal temperature between 50 °C and 64 °C and a maximum at 70 °C, extreme thermophiles with an optimal temperature between 65 °C and 80 °C, and finally hyperthermophiles with an optimal temperature above 80 °C and a maximum above 90 °C. The finding of novel extremely thermophilic and hyperthermophilic anaerobic bacteria in recent years, and the fact that a large fraction of them belong to the Archaea has definitely made this area of investigation more exciting. Particularly fascinating are their structural and physiological features allowing them to withstand extremely selective environmental conditions. These properties are often due to specific biomolecules (DNA, lipids, enzymes, osmolites, etc.) that have been studied for years as novel sources for biotechnological applications. In some cases (DNA-polymerase, thermostable enzymes), the search and applications successful exceeded preliminary expectations, but certainly further exploitations are still needed. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Karamanou M.,University of Athens
Psychiatrikē = Psychiatriki | Year: 2013

For centuries, heat has been used in various ways for the cure of mental diseases. Hippocrates noted that malarial fever could have a calming effect in epileptics. Centuries later, Galen described a case of melancholy cured as a result of an attack of quartan fever. In 19th century, the eminent French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel, in his treatise on insanity referred to the beneficial effect of fever. An opinion expressed few years later by his pupil Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol in his treatise entitled Des maladies mentales considérées sous les rapports médical, hygiénique et médico-légal. However, in 1917, the Austrian neuro-psychiatrist Julius Wagner Jauregg pointed out the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica. In 1927, Wagner Jauregg received for this work the Nobel Prize in Medicine, being actually the first psychiatrist to win the Nobel Prize. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate in 1880. In 1889, he was appointed Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Graz's Psychiatric Clinic, a position that he held until 1928. Working in the asylum, Wagner Jauregg noted that insane patients with general paralysis occasionally became sane after some febrile episode. After experimenting with several artificial methods (streptococci, tuberculin) to induce fever, he concluded that malaria was the most satisfactory. Actually, malaria infection was an acceptable risk for the patients, as quinine would be administered as soon as syphilis was cured. In 1917, he reported the first favorable results of his study. Patients were inoculated via intravenous injections with malaria. Some physicians were starting the administration of anti-syphilitic treatment (bismuth, salvarsan and later penicillin) after 10-12 febrile paroxysms, while others initiated the regimen the first febrile-free day after 8 malarial paroxysms. The therapeutic regimen was completed with the administration of quinine sulfate to terminate the malaria infection. It is worth mentioning that the above treatment was followed in hospital under strict monitoring of patients' vital signs and regular laboratory tests. In the following years of his discovery, artificial fever was induced by any one of the following methods: the introduction into the patient of a parasitic disease; the injection of a foreign protein; injections of chemical substances such as sulphur; electrical means such as the administration of diathermy or radiotherapy, or placing the patient in an electromagnetic field; and simple immersion of the individual in a hot bath, or placing him in a heat cabinet. Wagner Jauregg's therapy was highly admired and was used on neurosyphilis cases well onto the 1950's. However, with the introduction of penicillin in syphilis' treatment, fever therapy effectively ended. Wagner Jauregg's study led to all the methods of stress therapy used in psychiatry, as electric shock, and insulin.

Ferentinos P.,University of Athens
Psychiatrikē = Psychiatriki | Year: 2011

Several studies have investigated fatigue in the general population, in primary care facilities as well as in patients with fatigue-related physical diseases, but only marginally in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Therefore, the investigation of correlates of depression-related fatigue is highly warranted and expected to facilitate the implementation of effective fatigue-specific treatment strategies. Depressed patients often suffer from comorbid anxiety disorders (CADs) or subthreshold anxiety symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the independent correlation of the severity of fatigue in female patients with MDD with the presence, number and type of CADs. We studied 70 consecutive female MDD patients (48.6% inpatients), aged 23-65 years (mean 48.2±10.6 years), currently in a Major Depressive Episode [17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score≥17] and free of other fatigue-associated conditions. Diagnostic assessments were made with the short structured DSM-IV-based MINI version 5.0.0. Reported fatigue was assessed with the 14-item Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ). Correlations between the FQ score and age, inpatient status, HDRS score, presence and number of CADs were calculated. Then, stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed, with the FQ score as the dependent variable,so as to isolate independent predictors of the severity of fatigue. 92.9% of patients had clinically significant fatigue. 62.9% were suffering from at least one CAD (38.6% met criteria for one CAD,21.4% for two and 2.9% for three). 51.4% were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),25.7% with panic disorder and/or agoraphobia (PD/AP), 17.1% with social anxiety disorder and 7.1%with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The FQ score was significantly correlated with the HDRS score(r=0.406, p<0.001), the presence of any CAD(s) (rho=0.4, p=0.001), the number of CADs (rho=0.393,p=0.001), the presence of GAD (rho=0.421, p<0.001) and the presence of PD/AP (rho=0.252, p=0.035).In multiple regression analyses, the presence and number of CADs and the presence of comorbid GAD turned out as significant independent predictors of the FQ score along with the HDRS score.The severity of fatigue in female MDD patients is independently correlated with the presence and number of CADs and, in specific, comorbid GAD. Our findings imply that: (1) this effect might in part account for greater impairment/disability and adverse prognosis for MDD with CADs; (2) high levels of fatigue, putatively clustering with anxiety symptoms, may be a marker of severity and anxiety disorders comorbidity for MDD and may define an "anxious-fatigued" subtype/phenotype in this population; (3) medications and psychotherapies for the management of severe depression-related fatigue should also target CADs.

The ancient underwater ruins that were recently discovered in Greece may not actually have been a sunken city but rather stone formations that were created by a natural phenomenon. In a study featured in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, researchers from the University of Athens (UoA) and University of East Anglia (UEA) found evidence that suggests the underwater city near the Greek island of Zakynthos is actually a group of stones that were shaped by a naturally occurring event in the ocean. While these marine formations do appear like paved floors and colonnades similar to those found in ancient Greek cities, UEA professor Julian Andrews noticed that the ruins didn't include any other signs of human activity, such as pieces of poetry. This missing feature is what inspired Andrews and his colleagues to investigate the site more closely to find out if it is indeed the ruins of a sunken city. Through the use of X-rays, microscopy and stable isotope analyses, the researchers examined the texture of the submerged objects as well as their mineral content. They discovered that these were formed by a natural geological event. Andrews said the doughnut and disk formations, such as those that looked like the bases of columns, are the result of the mineralization of seeps made of hydrocarbon. This can often be seen in both ancient and present-day seafloor settings. The way some of these doughnut-shaped objects are lined up suggests that there may be an underwater fault that partially ruptured the surface of the seafloor. This fault may have also released gases, such as methane, into the ocean. Andrews added that the microorganisms may have used the carbon included in methane as fuel to drive the oxidation of the sediment. This in turn changed the chemistry of the stones, creating a natural kind of cement known as concretion. The cement that was formed in the Zakynthos ruins was made of a mineral known as dolomite, which can be found in sediments rich in microbes. The stone formations were ultimately exposed through erosion, leaving them to be found by divers in the present day. "These features are proof of natural methane seeping out of rock from hydrocarbon reservoirs," Andrews said. "The same thing happens in the North Sea, and it is also similar to the effects of fracking, when humans essentially speed up or enhance the phenomena." © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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