Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

1021 Books

This book is about the various roles of bioactive ceramides and other sphingolipids in cellular biology. The enigmatic biophysical and biochemical properties of ceramides and their propensity to influence membranes whether as rafts or protein-permeable channels are heavily discussed. Metabolism of ceramides and their metabolites is also focused with ceramide synthase family of proteins being a target of extensive review. Ceramide 1-phosphate and other sphingolipids are also presented in cellular physiology and pathophysiology. Prokaryotic origins of mitochondria at the level of membranes and the occurrence of apoptosis in bacteria are presented.

Many aspects of ceramide and sphingolipid biology are addressed in this book. Its focus is the metabolism of ceramide in normal and diseased states and the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms governing the bioactivity of these molecules. Sphingolipid research has surged over the past thirty years and this book gathers the recent findings of various aspects of sphingolipid biochemistry.

World-renowned scientists from the field of lipid biology, specifically sphingolipid biochemistry, were gathered to write this book. Scholars from most continents of the globe committed to write diligently about their expertise and the newest findings in the relevant fields. This book came to fruition after almost a year and a half of laborious preparation and diligent writings.

This book is targeted to the experienced reader who is looking to read about the various aspects of bioactive ceramide signaling, as well as to the newcomer into the field, as the topics are explained in concise yet very informative manner. The authors and editor wish all readers a pleasant time reading this volume, and are adamant that this book will meet all expectations.

The circulatory system is usually considered to be composed of tubes of various diameters, characterized by collateral and terminal branches. There is also a tendency to treat blood vessels merely as conducting tubes in which the various structures of the wall act as mechanical pumps wlrich modify their diameter. This is, of course, not so. In fact, we know that blood vessels, and in particular arteries, are organs with personalities of their own and a particular susceptibility to several diseases. In addition, blood vessels differ in structure, according to their localization, and age at differing rates. The experimental work car ried out so far clearly confirms the data that have come from spontaneous human pathology; experimentally induced arterial lesions have a definite tendency to appear in certain arteries and not in others, depending on the experimental procedures used, and in each specific artery the lesions appear to have a specific location. We now know that the arterial wall is a metabo licallyactive structure, in which a number of enzyme activities have been clearly demonstrated. It possesses a sensitive vasa vasorum apparatus and a specific reactivity to various lesion-inducing stimuli. We must also remember that the arterial wall is in continuous contact with the blood circulating through the endothelial cells lining the vascular bed. It is obvious, therefore, that any variation in the circulating blood mass can modify the morphology as well as the function of the vessel wall.
The purpose of this book is to disseminate and deliberate on the latest knowledge concerning immunity and its role in protection and fight against microorganism invasion.

The articles tackle both humoral and cellular immunity, and their interconnectivity. The former involves B cells that recognize invading pathogens and create the antibody-mediated response, which when memorized provides future immunity. The latter involves mostly T cells, exemplified by cytotoxic or killer cell destroying the pathogens, or helper cells stimulating B cells to produce antibodies to bind and neutralize the pathogens. T cells act through release of cytokines, interleukins, and other bioactive mediators. Neutrophils play a key role in innate immunity against bacterial infections. The process of NETosis is a recently unraveled sophisticated defense mechanism, consisting of the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps that catch, immobilize, and remove pathogens from the body. Dysfunction of immunity is indisputably conducive to the propensity for infections, particularly respiratory tract infections, as the airways are the first line of defense against invading pathogens. Pathogens can rapidly evolve and adapt to avoid detection by the immune system. The case in point is the influenza virus. The articles report on the epidemiology, diagnostics, serology, complications, and the process of acquired immunity due to vaccination against influenza and influenza-like infections in recent epidemic seasons.

The book is a blend of medical research and practice. It is intended for academic scientists, research scholars, clinicians, family doctors, and healthcare professionals.

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