Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino della Società Italiana di Biologia Sperimentale <p>The <strong>Journal of Biological Research – Bollettino della <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Società Italiana di Biologia Sperimentale</a></strong> is one of the oldest journals in Biology. Founded in 1925 the journal is available in <a href="[jour]" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Medline</a> until 2001 and <a href=";origin=resultslist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Scopus</a> since 2014. The <strong>Journal of Biological Research – Bollettino della&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Società Italiana di Biologia Sperimentale</a></strong>&nbsp;is an online-only peer-reviewed journal which welcomes papers dealing with any aspect of experimental biology. Papers concerning clinical topics can be accepted only if they include experimental laboratory data. Original communications, review articles or short communications may be submitted.</p> PAGEPress Scientific Publications, Pavia, Italy en-US Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino della Società Italiana di Biologia Sperimentale 1826-8838 <p><strong>PAGEPress</strong> has chosen to apply the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License</strong></a>&nbsp;(CC BY-NC 4.0) to all manuscripts to be published.<br><br> An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:</p> <ol> <li>the author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.</li> <li>a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.</li> </ol> <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p> <ol> <li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.</li> </ol> Nutrition, obesity and hormones <p>Obesity is a chronic pathological condition with a multifactorial aetiology, characterised by an excessive body fat accumulation with multiple organ-specific consequences. Emerging evidence highlights that obesity appears to be associated with multiple alterations in the endocrine system. However, the mechanisms underlying the interactions between obesity and this system remain still controversial. This review discusses the impact of obesity on various endocrine systems and, in particular, would provide a general overview on the biochemical changes that may occur in each of these axes in association with obesity.</p> Marco Giammanco Laura Lantieri Gaetano Leto Fulvio Pescia Danila Di Majo ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-17 2018-12-17 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7755 Comparison of different methods to overexpress large genes Gain-of-function of very large transgene constructs can lead to genetic perturbations, providing researchers with the alternative of a powerful tool to identify pathway components which remain undetected when using traditional loss-of-function analysis. To promote longer-term expression, various systems for transgene integration have been developed, however large cDNA sequences are often difficult to clone into size-limited expression vectors. We attempted to overexpress <em>ARHGAP21</em>, a 5.874 kb gene, using different methodologies as plasmid, lentiviral and Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon based gene transfer. Using lentiviral based transduction; an enormous amount of lentiviral supernatant was produced to obtain a satisfactory titration after double ultracentrifugation. However, U937 transduced cells showed only 50% of gene expression increase, which vanished after 5 days. SB transposon system application to overexpress <em>ARHGAP21</em> was a complete success. Nucleofecting SB-based vector plus SB100x transposase vector resulted in an expressive increase of gene and protein expression. Furthermore, the overexpression was maintained even after freezing and thawing processes. In conclusion, our work shows that the SB transposon system is the best choice for those seeking a stable and high gene expression. Once the overexpression is achieved, freezing cells and using them for a long time becomes possible. Aline Lisie Ramos Fernanda Soares Niemann Adriana Silva Santos Duarte Karla Priscila Ferro Irene Santos Carolina Louzão Bigarella Antonio Filareto Sara Teresinha Olalla Saad ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-26 2018-10-26 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7249 Role of ways of insect visitors foraging for pollination in yield contributing traits of mustard The experiment was conducted at the research farm of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka-1207 during the period from November 2016 to February 2017. The experiment consisted of three different ways of insect visitors foraging for pollination of mustard flowers <em>viz.</em>, T<sub>1</sub>= Open field (Control), <em>i.e.</em>, the mustard field was fully open for free movement by the insect pollinators, T<sub>2</sub>= Netting with honey bee, <em>i.e</em>., the mustard plots was caged with muslin net and the bee hive was placed inside the cage and T<sub>3</sub>= Netting without honey bee, <em>i.e.</em>, the mustard plots was caged with muslin net but the bee hive was not placed inside the cage. BARI Sharisha-8 [<em>Brassica juncea</em> (L.) Czernajew] was used as planting material. Randomized Complete Block Design was selected to lay out the present experiment with 7 replicates. Study showed that, honey bee was the most abundant hymenopterans in the mustard field as a pollinator. The yield and yield contributing traits were significantly influenced by different ways of insect visitors foraging for pollination. The maximum (3.50 g) 1000-seed weight was recorded from treatment T<sub>2</sub> followed by T<sub>3</sub> and the lowest 1000- seed weight (2.68 g) was recorded from T<sub>3</sub>. The highest seed yield (2.45 t ha<sup>-1</sup>) was exhibited from treatment T<sub>2</sub> followed by T<sub>1</sub> whereas the lowest seed yield (1.67 t ha<sup>-1</sup>) was recorded from T<sub>3</sub>. Finally, it can be concluded that providing honey bee colonies to the flowering mustard field can substantially contribute to the yield. Md. Iqbal Hossain Md. Mizanur Rahman Mohammed Sakhawat Hossain Rajesh Chakraborty Ruhul Amin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-22 2018-10-22 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.6982 Occult hepatitis B virus infection among hemodialysis patients Hepatitis B virus is a major public health impasse all over the world. Recently a new form of hepatitis B infection named Occult hepatitis B Infection (OBI) has appeared globally. The OBI is defined as the presence of HBV DNA in the liver and/or blood in the absence of detectable serum HBsAg with/without anti-HBc or anti-HBs. The prevalence of OBI has been reported in hemodialysis (HD) patients in different regions of the world. Thus, this study investigated the prevalence of OBI among HD patients. The cross-sectional study was carried out on 84 HD patients. These sera were checked for HBsAg, HBc-IgG assessment using Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The DNA was extracted from the sera samples and tested for HBVDNA detection using Nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (Nested PCR). The liver function tests including serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were carried out for all the HD individuals. 52/84(61.9%) of HD were males and 32/84 (38.1%) were females. The patient’s age ranged from 25 to 64 with a mean age of 52.4±15.2 years. HBsAg and HBc-IgG were detected in 1(1.1%) female. 2 (2.4%; a female and a male) patients were positive for HBsAg. 14/84 (16.7%; 6 female and 8 male) HD patients were positive for anti-HBc but negative for HBsAg, among them 4(28.6%; 2 female and 2 male) cases were positive for HBV DNA, indicating the presence of OBI in HD patients. Even distribution of OBI among the HD was found in 2(2.36%) male and 2(2.36%) female (P&gt;.0.05). In the present study the moderate rate of 4.76% OBI has been observed in HD patients. The prevalence of seropositive OBI among the gender was 2(2.36%) male and 2(2.36%) female. The seronegative OBI have not been detected in the present study but requires further investigation. In this study the affliction of OBI in HD patients is not clear. Rahil Nahid Samiei Somayeh Shokri Shahab Mahmoudvand Manoochehr Makvandi Heshmatollah Shahbazian Shokouh Shayanpur Sepideh Nowrozi Khojasteh Hoseiny Nejad ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-10 2018-08-10 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7516 Antidiarrhoeal activity of aqueous leaf extract of Olea europaea var. sylvestris in albino Wistar rats <p><em>Olea europaea var. sylvestris</em>, also named oleaster, is widely used by traditional medicine practitioners in Algeria to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. However, the antidiarrhoeal activity of this plant has not been scientifically evaluated. The main aim of the study deals with an investigation of three topics: the phytochemical screening, the acute toxicity, and antidiarrhoeal activity of the oleaster leaf aqueous extract. Acute oral toxicity study was carried out based on Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 423 guideline. The extract was orally administered in wistar rats at a single dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight and the animals were observed for mortality, behavioral changes and other abnormal signs. Qualitative analysis of phytochemical constituents was carried out using standard methods developed by Harborne, Trease and Evans. Castor oil-induced diarrhoea tests and gastro intestinal motility assay were evaluated in rats to determine the antidiarrhoeal activity of the extract. In the acute toxicity study, the extract did not induce death or any sign of toxicity in treated rats. The preliminary phytochemical screening of the extract revealed the presence of saponins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids. The oleaster extract at oral doses of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight showed a significant (P&lt;0.05) antidiarrhoeal activity compared to the control group treated with castor oil induced diarrhoea, enteropooling and gastrointestinal motility assay, after charcoal meal administration. The oleaster leaf aqueous extract has shown a gradual response with increasing dose. The present study indicates that the oleaster leaf aqueous extract is safe with antidiarrhoeal property.</p> Mohamed Zaouani Fatima Yahiaoui Nazli Nacer Bey Meriem Hind Ben-Mahdi ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-08 2018-11-08 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7614 Comparative study of estrogen receptor α, β mRNA expressions of endometriosis and normal endometrium in women and analysis of potential synthetic anti-estrogens in silico <p>Endometriosis is a multifactorial disease in which genetic and environmental factors interact causing its pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression pattern of estrogen receptor α (ERα) and β (ERβ) in endometriosis patients compared to normal endometrioum (n=18) as a control by using Quantitative Real Time PCR method. Moreover, we also measured serum estradiol levels of endometriosis patients in the proliferation phase of the menstrual cycle using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The mRNA expression of ERβ was significantly higher in the endometriosis group compared to control, and the result of t-test showed that were significantly different (P&lt;0.05). Overexpression of ERβ in endometriosis was likely to have other significant important impacts in the pathology of endometriosis that allowed ERβ to stimulate prostaglandin production in endometriosis tissue and cells. Estradiol content did not correlate with the ERα expression, and it is weakly correlated with ERβ mRNA expression. Molecular docking analysis showed that ERα and ERβ have different binding interactions with synthetic antiestrogens, whereas the best inhibitor was Ral2 to ERα and Aco1 to ERβ. Thus, both inhibitors could be used as leads in further investigation of ERα, ERβ inhibitory activities <em>in vitro</em> and <em>in vivo</em>.</p> Eldafira Eldafira Abinawanto Abinawanto Luthfiralda Sjahfirdi Asmarinah Asmarinah Purnomo Soeharso Muharam Muharam Vivitri D. Prasasty Dwi A. Pujianto ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-28 2018-11-28 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7550 Statistical analysis of a survey about diffusion of binge drinking and drunkorexia among students in Palermo Youth alcohol consumption is a major global public health concern. Previous reviews have concluded that exposure to alcohol marketing was associated with drinking initiation and higher alcohol consumption among youth. From January to May 2017, a survey has been conducted through administration of questionnaires about the diffusion of Binge Drinking and Drunkorexia among the students of Palermo. Test was administered, during school time, to 2331 students between the ages of 13 and 20. Regarding the analysis of the questionnaires, 97,8% of student declares to have drunk at least once: their first taste of alcoholic drink happens at the age of thirteen/fourteen. They prefer to drink at the disco or pub (48% disco; 22% pub) on Friday and Saturday evening (92%). 52% of students also declare to associate alcohol to cigarette smoking. Another important statistic is that 736 girls and 61 boys declare to prefer to restrict food intake in order to consume greater quantities of alcohol and to avoid weight gain. In order to evaluate youth alcohol consumption in a different contest, it was created an online survey thanks to Google forms. This study involved 500 young people from Palermo between the ages of 19 and 30. The extrapolation of data confirmed the same results of the questionnaires on paper. In this test, however, it was also evaluated the spreading of drink-driving (68,5%). The present survey suggests that there is an expansion of such practices in young population. In conclusion, it appears necessary to adopt measures of information and prevention to reduce territorial diffusion. Fabio Venturella Giulia Cancellieri Marco Giammanco Anastasia Valentina Liga ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-20 2018-07-20 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7579 Gambling: spreading among students in Palermo Adolescents represent a particularly high-risk group and they are also vulnerable to the development of gambling related problems. Thanks to technological advances in gaming industry (slot machines, video lottery terminals, casino-types games) new form of gambling are continuously appearing. With the purpose of having an idea about the spreading of gambling among the students of Palermo, a survey has been conducted through administration of questionnaires during the period from January to May 2017: this study involved 1622 students (686 boys and 936 girls) between the age of 14 and 19. In this survey it has been demonstrated that only 15% of students have never played; 36% declare they have played cards with money at least once in their life and 19% of them play lotteries and scratchers; some others have played sport betting (14%), bingo (7%), slot machines (5%), horse betting (4%). The money spent on a single day is between 1 and 10 euros (584 students); 530 teenagers spend 1 euro or less; 132 between 1 o and 100 euros; 16 students more than 100 euros/<em>die</em>. Moreover, most alarming is evidence indicating that there is a considerable number of students who have gambling players parents (father 18,65%; mother 16,4%; both of them 4,52%): this is considered an important vulnerability factor. The analysis of the picked data suggests that there is a widespread diffusion of gambling among the adolescent population. So, to conclude, the present research points out the need to complete immediate interventions on both levels of information and prevention. Fabio Venturella Anastasia Valentina Liga Marco Giammanco Giulia Cancellieri ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-28 2018-08-28 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7498 The role of polymorphisms of thiopurine methyltransferase in therapy with Azathioprine: preliminary study <p>Azathioprine is an immunosuppressant drug belonging to the class of thiopurines widely used in clinical therapy. Its immunosuppressive action is linked to the substantial action mechanism in the inhibition of the synthesis of nitrogenous bases purine carried out in T-lymphocyte. The level of such medication limit resides in side effects such as myelosuppression and the development of tumours. The occurrence of side effects is linked to the presence of genetic polymorphisms of Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT). To date, 40 allelic variants for TPMT have been detected. However, those responsible for the reduction of enzyme activity are three: *2, *3A, *3C. The presence of one of the three polymorphisms makes the enzyme susceptible to degradation at proteasome level, and exposes the patient to high levels of the active drug that increases the probability of an occurrence of its side effects. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration imposed the execution of a genetic test of TPMT typing in order to determine if the drug therapy is appropriate to the metabolic characteristics of the patient. The study had the aim of identifying the prevalence of the three aforementioned polymorphisms related to TPMT in a sample population in Palermo, Italy, highlighting the differences related to the sex of the patient and highlighting the main phenotypes. The results showed prevalence in the population of the absence of polymorphism. Among the most frequent polymorphisms is the *3A (3%). A percentage of 1.5% was found for the polymorphism *3C. No polymorphism *2 was identified in the population analyzed.</p> Francesca Mortillaro Carmelo Fabiano Maria Piccione Marco Giammanco Fabio Venturella ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-28 2018-11-28 91 2 10.4081/jbr.2018.7717