Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remain as one of the most global problematic metabolic diseases with rapidly increasing prevalence and incidence. Epidemiological studies noted that T2DM patients have by two-fold increase to develop NAFLD, and vice versa. This complex and intricate association is supported and mediated by insulin resistance (IR). In this review, we discuss the NAFLD immunopathogenesis, connection with IR and T2DM, the role of screening and noninvasive tools, and mostly the impact of the current antidiabetic drugs on steatosis liver and new potential therapeutic targets.
Hypertension as a multifactorial pathology is one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors, affecting up to 30-40% of the general population. Complex immune responses are involved in the inflammatory mechanism of hypertension, with evidence pointing to increased inflammatory mediators even in prehypertensive patients. Increased vascular permeability, thrombogenesis, and fibrosis, effects that are associated with sustained hypertension, could be attributed to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation triggers endothelial dysfunction via increased production of ROS through proinflammatory cytokines. Increased serum level of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, IL-23, TGFβ, and TNFα in hypertensive patients has been associated with either increased blood pressure values and/or end-organ damage. Moreover, some cytokines (i.e., IL-6) seem to determine a hypertensive response to angiotensin II, regardless of blood pressure values. Understanding hypertension as an inflammatory-based pathology gives way to new therapeutic targets. As such, conventional cardiovascular drugs (statins, calcium channels blockers, and ACEIs/ARBs) have shown additional anti-inflammatory effects that could be linked to their blood pressure lowering properties. Moreover, anti-inflammatory drugs (mycophenolate mofetil) have been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients or prevent its development in normotensive individuals. Further research is needed to evaluate whether drugs targeting hypertensive-linked proinflammatory cytokines, such as monoclonal antibodies, could become a new therapeutic option in treating arterial hypertension.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remains one of the most problematic and economic consumer disorders worldwide, with growing prevalence and incidence. Over the last years, substantial research has highlighted the intricate relationship among gut microbiota, dysbiosis and metabolic syndromes development. Changes in the gut microbiome composition lead to an imbalanced gastrointestinal habitat which promotes abnormal production of metabolites, inflammatory status, glucose metabolism alteration and even insulin resistance (IR). Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), lipopolysaccharide, aromatic amino acids and their affiliated metabolites, contribute to T2DM via different metabolic and immunologic pathways. In this narrative review, we discuss the immunopathogenic mechanism behind gut dysbiosis, T2DM development and the major known diabetic microvascular complications (retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy), the beneficial use of pre- and pro-biotics and fecal microbiota transplantation in T2DM management and new findings and future perspectives in this field.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) following platinum-based chemotherapeutics is a frequently reported serious side-effect. However, there are no approved biomarkers that can properly identify proximal tubular injury while routine assessments such as serum creatinine lack sensitivity. Kidney-injury-molecule 1 (KIM-1) is showing promise in identifying cisplatin-induced renal injury both in vitro and in vivo studies. In this review, we focus on describing the mechanisms of renal tubular cells cisplatin-induced apoptosis, the associated inflammatory response and oxidative stress and the role of KIM-1 as a possible biomarker used to predict cisplatin associated AKI.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging worldwide problem and its association with other metabolic pathologies has been one of the main research topics in the last decade. The aim of this review article is to provide an up-to-date correlation between hypothyroidism and NAFLD. We followed evidence regarding epidemiological impact, immunopathogenesis, thyroid hormone-liver axis, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation. After evaluating the influence of thyroid hormone imbalance on liver structure and function, the latest studies have focused on developing new therapeutic strategies. Thyroid hormones (THs) along with their metabolites and thyroid hormone receptor β (THR-β) agonist are the main therapeutic targets. Other liver specific analogs and alternative treatments have been tested in the last few years as potential NAFLD therapy. Finally, we concluded that further research is necessary as well as the need for an extensive evaluation of thyroid function in NAFLD/NASH patients, aiming for better management and outcome.
Left atrial structural, functional and electrical remodelling are linked to atrial fibrillation (AF) pathophysiology and mirror the phrase “AF begets AF”. A structurally remodelled left atrium (LA) is fibrotic, dysfunctional and enlarged. Fibrosis is the hallmark of LA structural remodelling and is associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure development and/or progression and poorer catheter ablation outcomes with increased recurrence rates. Moreover, increased atrial fibrosis has been associated with higher rates of stroke even in sinus-rhythm individuals. As such, properly assessing the fibrotic atrial cardiomyopathy in AF patients becomes necessary. In this respect, late-gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) imaging is the gold standard in imaging myocardial fibrosis. LA structural remodelling extension offers both diagnostic and prognostic information and influences therapeutic choices. LGE-CMR scans can be used before the procedure to better select candidates and to aid in choosing the ablation technique, during the procedure (full CMR-guided ablations) and after the ablation (to assess the ablation scar). This review focuses on imaging several LA structural remodelling CMR parameters, including size, shape and fibrosis (both extension and architecture) and their impact on procedure outcomes, recurrence risk, as well as their utility in relation to the index procedure timing.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and atherosclerosis (ATS) are worldwide known diseases with increased incidence and prevalence. These two are driven and are interconnected by multiple oxidative and metabolic functions such as lipotoxicity. A gamut of evidence suggests that sphingolipids (SL), such as ceramides, account for much of the tissue damage. Although in humans they are proving to be accurate biomarkers of adverse cardiovascular disease outcomes and NAFLD progression, in rodents, pharmacological inhibition or depletion of enzymes driving de novo ceramide synthesis prevents the development of metabolic driven diseases such as diabetes, ATS, and hepatic steatosis. In this narrative review, we discuss the pathways which generate the ceramide synthesis, the potential use of circulating ceramides as novel biomarkers in the development and progression of ATS and related diseases, and their potential use as therapeutic targets in NAFDL-ATS development which can further provide new clues in this field.
Although rarely life-threatening on short term, atrial fibrillation leads to increased mortality and decreased quality of life through its complications, including heart failure and stroke. Recent studies highlight the benefits of maintaining sinus rhythm. However, pharmacological long-term rhythm control strategies may be shadowed by associated proarrhythmic effects. At the same time, electrical cardioversion is limited to hospitals, while catheter ablation therapy, although effective, is invasive and is dedicated to specific patients, usually with low amounts of atrial fibrosis (preferably Utah I-II). Cardiac optogenetics allows influencing the heart’s electrical activity by applying specific wavelength light pulses to previously engineered cardiomyocytes into expressing microbial derived light-sensitive proteins called opsins. The resulting ion influx may give rise to either hyperpolarizing or depolarizing currents, thus offering a therapeutic potential in cardiac electrophysiology, including pacing, resynchronization, and arrhythmia termination. Optogenetic atrial fibrillation cardioversion might be achieved by inducing a conduction block or filling of the excitable gap. The authors agree that transmural opsin expression and appropriate illumination with an exposure time longer than the arrhythmia cycle length are necessary to achieve successful arrhythmia termination. However, the efficiency and safety of biological cardioversion in humans remain to be seen, as well as side effects such as immune reactions and loss of opsin expression. The possibility of delivering pain-free shocks with out-of-hospital biological cardioversion is tempting; however, there are several issues that need to be addressed first: applicability and safety in humans, long-term behaviour, anticoagulation requirements, and fibrosis interactions.
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