ISSN Print 2500–1094    ISSN Online 2542–1204
Bulletin of RSMU
BIOMEDICAL JOURNAL OF PIROGOV UNIVERSITY (MOSCOW, RUSSIA)

New articles

Androgens play a key role in the physiology of the female body and the reproductive system. Androgen receptor expression in the various tissues points to the importance of androgens in the regulation of the female sexual and social functioning. The study aimed to evaluate sexual functioning in women with infertility and diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) using the Female Sexual Functioning Index questionnaire (FSFI). A cross-sectional study of 496 patients with infertility and DOR assessed the degree of sexual dysfunction in conjunction with the changes in the androgenic profiles as indicated by the androstenedione levels in the blood serum. Women with infertility and DOR were significantly more likely to report changes in sexual functioning, including a decrease in libido and in the quality and frequency of sexual relations. Furthermore, patients with normal androstenedione levels generally significantly outscored patients with decreased androstenedione levels (average questionnaire scores 21.2 ± 7.2 and 15.17 ± 3.0 respectively), indicating a lesser degree of sexual dysfunction in the former group; on the other hand, the latter group reported increased pain and decreased attraction, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction. Hormonal profile changes in patients with DOR, including decreased androstenedione levels, significantly impact sexual functioning, and their detection in clinical practice will allow to objectify complaints at an earlier state in order to assess the severity of sexual dysfunction and determine further personalized management tactics.
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Chronic systemic inflammation is essential in many chronic non-infectious diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS). This study aimed at characterization of systemic inflammatory reaction as a component of diet-induced MS in rat model. Thirty-three male Wistar rats were distributed into two groups designated 'control' (n = 15) and 'experimental (MS)' (n = 18). The groups were fed, respectively, regular and high-fat/high-carbohydrate diets for 12 weeks. The intensity of systemic inflammatory process against the background of metabolic impairments was assessed by total and differential counts of white blood cells and serum levels of total protein, C-reactive protein, cytokines (IL6, IL10 and TNFα), insulin and leptin. We also assessed the production of reactive oxygen species in adipose tissue samples. The experiment revealed signs of systemic inflammation in MS as compared to control, including reactive leukocytosis, hyperproteinemia and increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (2.6-fold; р = 0.001), IL10 (3.7-fold; р = 0.029) and TNFα (4.2-fold; р = 0.035). The observed changes were accompanied by elevated metabolic activity of visceral adipose tissue, indicated by hyperleptinemia and increased free radical oxidation intensity. Pairwise positive correlations of serum levels were revealed for leptin and insulin (r = 0.701; р = 0.001) and leptin and IL10 (r = 0.523; р = 0.012). Thus, high-fat/ high-carbohydrate diet promoted metabolic impairments concomitantly with early signs of systemic inflammation characteristic of MS and obesity.
VIEWS 91
Stanford neuromodulation therapy (SNT) is the state-of-the-art magnetic stimulation protocol that has been developed for management of treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The study was aimed to assess the possibility of SNT implementation in clinical practice and to define the protocol safety and efficacy in patients with TRD being an episode of the recurrent depressive disorder or bipolar disorder at the independent center. The study involved six patients (among them three women aged 21–66) with TRD associated with recurrent depression and type 1 or 2 bipolar disorder. The patients received intermittent theta-burst stimulation in accordance with the SNT protocol for five days: applying 10 triple blocks of stimulation daily at intervals of 1 hr between the blocks to the selected stimulation site showing maximum negative functional connectivity with subgenual cingulate cortex within the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was used for clinical assessment of the effects, the follow-up period was three months. The improvement of depressive symptoms to the levels characteristic of remission immediately after the SNT completion was observed in five patients (MADRS score ≤10). After three months, two patients still had remission, the condition of three patients met the criteria of mild depressive episode, and one female patient withdrew from the study due to logistical difficulties. No serious adverse events were reported. The findings confirm safety and potentially high efficacy of SNT, including in patients with type 1 and 2 bipolar disorders.
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Popular articles

Autoimmune mechanisms have been implicated in the negative effects of vaccines on female reproductive health. This study evaluates the endogenous levels of self-reactive antibodies and ovarian reserve-associated hormones before and after immunization with the domestically developed Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine to check for possible reproductive sequelae. The prospective study enrolled 120 women aged 18–49, subject to vaccination with Gam-COVID-Vac. Ovarian reserve was assessed prior to vaccination and 90 days after the first component injection. Profiles of specific antibodies to self-antigens, including phospholipids, nuclear antigens, FSH, progesterone, and also thyroid, ovarian, trophoblast, and zona pellucida antigens, were assessed at the same time points by enzyme immunoassay. Overall, the vaccination had no effect on the levels of ovarian reserve-associated hormones and autoantibodies, apart from a transient increase in positivity for antiphosphatidylethanolamine IgM and anti-dsDNA IgG. Seroprevalence of elevated serum autoantibodies constituted 70.8% before and 75% after vaccination. According to the results, immunization with Gam-COVID-Vac does not affect ovarian reserve or autoimmune status, thus being safe for the female reproductive potential.
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Genetic contribution of pre-Slavic populations to gene pools of modern Russia is increasingly relevant, along with genetic footprints of the Golden Horde invasion. The novel genome-wide approaches enable advanced solutions in this field. The study aimed at searching for the footprints of genetic interaction among Finnicspeaking, Slavic and Turkic-speaking populations of Central Russia and Volga Region and their reflection in pharmacogenetic landscape. Modeling ancestral components by ADMIXTURE software and their mapping involved genome-wide genotyping data for 248 individual genomes representing 47 populations of 9 ethnic groups. Of specific ancestral components identified in each of the Finnic-speaking peoples, only Mordovian ancestral components are common for all populations within the studied geographic area, regardless of their linguistic affiliation. Gene pools of Russian populations include 80% of intrinsic component, 19% contribution from Finnic-speaking peoples, and 1% of Central Asian influence. The Tatar gene pool combines all identified ancestral components, including 81% contribution from Finnic-speaking peoples and only 12% of Central Asian influence, which prevents using it as a reference for the assessment of Golden Horde footprints in Russian gene pools. A map of genetic distances from Ryazan Russians based on a panel of 42 pharmacogenetic markers reveals a landscape strikingly independent from the selectively neutral ancestral genomic patterns. For instance, populations of Mordovia, Kaluga, Smolensk, and Kostroma regions are the closest to Ryazan Russians in pharmacogenetic status, whereas populations of Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod regions have strikingly divergent pharmacogenetic status despite the similarity of the selectively neutral ancestral genomic patterns. These findings confirm the relevance of targeted pharmacogenetic characterization for gene pools of Russia.
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Dear researcher!
At the end of 2015, Bulletin of RSMU saw an important change in its typographic design and content. We formulated new editorial policies and established strict ethical standards for submitted manuscripts in accordance with the guidelines of reputable international bodies. As a result, about a quarter of the submitted works have been rejected, the primary reason being the author trying to submit a previously published article. Sometimes authors believe that by making slight changes to the introduction, excluding a few people from the study, performing a new statistical analysis, and thus obtaining totally new results they will turn their old manuscript into a novel work. That is why we would like to talk about scientific integrity, honesty, plagiarism, and self-plagiarism in our special project “Author’s work”.
Richard FEYNMAN Cargo cult science
American physicist Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel laureate, was always very scrupulous about the quality of a research study. During his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology in 1974, he talked about scientific integrity and honesty and warned young researchers “not to fool” themselves. A must-read for anyone who believes he/she is a true scientist.
Ivan PAVLOV On the Russian mind
In 1918, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, a Nobel laureate, delivered two lectures: on the mind in general and the Russian mind in particular; on those mind qualities that determine the success of a research work and on how these qualities are present in the Russian mind. Pavlov's thoughts are an effective vaccine against poor intellectual work.