In this compilation, the authors open with a discussion on lectins, carbohydrate-binding proteins which are widely present in living organisms and participate in molecular recognition and intracellular functions. Due to their carbohydrate specificity, lectins can be employed as an analytical tool to study glycan structures on glycoconjugates. Plant lectins have also been used to study glycosylation pattern of animal glycoproteins. The first chapter includes a brief review on lectins, a summary of the general information on glycoconjugate, a review on lectin-affinity techniques and their potential, as well as perspectives of the employment of lectins in the estimation of the glycosylation pattern of glycoconjugates. Next, the authors discuss the cytokine interleukin-7 and its many diverse and important functions in the development and maintenance of immune cells. For haematopoiesis, depending on particular cell type, IL-7 is important for cell survival, proliferation and differentiation.
The cytokine’s receptor is expressed by early progenitors of B, T lymphocytes and Innate Lymphoid Cells, and IL-7 signaling is critical for the generation of these cells. The authors go on to examine enzyme therapy as a modern way of providing better protection for people with coeliac disease and sensitivity to gluten who have been placed solely on a lifelong gluten-free diet. By itself, the gluten-free diet is not always fully protective of the small intestine because small amounts of gluten can be present from contamination and the failure to recognize “hidden gluten” in food. This chapter explains how certain supplements are able to help those with gluten sensitivity overcome the harmful effects of gluten and reduce the worry about contamination of their food and the lack of knowledge about its gluten content. These supplements represent an important development of the gluten-free diet and will assist in patient management to ensure that patients remain free from the effects of gluten.
Later, adrenergic urticarial, a well-defined-yet-neglected variant of urticarial, is discussed. It is characterized by a peculiar clinical picture, with small hives surrounded by white haloes due to local vasoconstriction. Lastly, the authors discuss how abnormalities in physical properties of the cell membranes may be strongly linked to cerebro- and cardiovascular diseases. Recent evidence indicates that increased plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), an inflammatory cytokine, may actively participate in the pathophysiology of endothelial dysfunction, hypertension and other circulatory disorders. The present study was performed to investigate the possible relationships among plasma TNF-a, asymmetric dimethylarginine and membrane fluidity in hypertensive and normotensive subjects using an electron spin resonance (ESR)-spectrometry.