Scholarly Works, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Permanent URI for this collection

Research articles, presentations, and other scholarship


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 392
  • A Scoping Review of Food Systems Governance Frameworks and Models to Develop a Typology for Social Change Movements to Transform Food Systems for People and Planetary Health
    Kraak, Vivica; Niewolny, Kimberly L. (MDPI, 2024-02-09)
    Effective governance is essential to transform food systems and achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Different political ideologies and paradigms inhibit or drive social change movements. This study examined how food systems governance has been described. Thereafter, we reviewed graphic frameworks and models to develop a typology for civil society actors to catalyze social change movements to transform food systems for people and the planet. The scoping review involved (1) formulating research questions; (2) developing a search strategy to identify evidence from four English-language electronic databases and reports, 2010–2023; and (3–4) selecting, analyzing, and synthesizing evidence into a narrative review. Results yielded 5715 records, and 36 sources were selected that described and depicted graphic frameworks and models examined for purpose, scale, political ideology, paradigm, discourse, principles, governance, and democracy. Evidence was used to develop a graphic food systems governance typology with distinct political ideologies (i.e., neoliberal, reformist, progressive, radical); paradigms (i.e., maintain, reform, transition, transform); discourses (i.e., food enterprise, food security, food justice, food sovereignty); types of governance (i.e., multistakeholder, shared, self); and democracy (i.e., representative, participatory, deliberative). This proof-of-concept typology could be applied to examine how change agents use advocacy and activism to strengthen governance for sustainable diets, regenerative food systems, and planetary health.
  • Neuromuscular Dysfunction Precedes Cognitive Impairment in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease
    Brisendine, Matthew H.; Nichenko, Anna S.; Bandara, Aloka B.; Willoughby, Orion S.; Amiri, Niloufar; Weingrad, Zach; Specht, Kalyn S.; Bond, Jacob M.; Addington, Adele; Jones III, Ronald G.; Murach, Kevin A.; Poelzing, Steven; Craige, Siobhan M.; Grange, Robert W.; Drake, Joshua C. (Oxford University Press, 2023-12-04)
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) develops along a continuum that spans years prior to diagnosis. Decreased muscle function and mitochondrial respiration occur years earlier in those that develop AD; however, it is unknown what causes these peripheral phenotypes in a disease of the brain. Exercise promotes muscle, mitochondria, and cognitive health and is proposed to be a potential therapeutic for AD, but no study has investigated how skeletal muscle adapts to exercise training in an AD-like context. Utilizing 5xFAD mice, an AD model that develops ad-like pathology and cognitive impairments around 6 mo of age, we examined in vivo neuromuscular function and exercise adapations (mitochondrial respiration and RNA sequencing) before the manifestation of overt cognitive impairment. We found 5xFAD mice develop neuromuscular dysfunction beginning as early as 4 mo of age, characterized by impaired nerve-stimulated muscle torque production and compound nerve action potential of the sciatic nerve. Furthermore, skeletal muscle in 5xFAD mice had altered, sex-dependent, adaptive responses (mitochondrial respiration and gene expression) to exercise training in the absence of overt cognitive impairment. Changes in peripheral systems, specifically neural communication to skeletal muscle, may be harbingers for AD and have implications for lifestyle interventions, like exercise, in AD.
  • Exerkines, Nutrition, and Systemic Metabolism
    Watkins, Bruce A.; Smith, Brenda J.; Volpe, Stella Lucia; Shen, Chwan-Li (MDPI, 2024-01-30)
    The cornerstones of good health are exercise, proper food, and sound nutrition. Physical exercise should be a lifelong routine, supported by proper food selections to satisfy nutrient requirements based on energy needs, energy management, and variety to achieve optimal metabolism and physiology. The human body is sustained by intermediary and systemic metabolism integrating the physiologic processes for cells, tissues, organs, and systems. Recently, interest in specific metabolites, growth factors, cytokines, and hormones called exerkines has emerged to explain cooperation between nutrient supply organs and the brain during exercise. Exerkines consist of different compounds described as signaling moiety released during and after exercise. Examples of exerkines include oxylipin 12, 13 diHOME, lipid hormone adiponectin, growth factor BDNF, metabolite lactate, reactive oxygen species (ROS), including products of fatty acid oxidation, and cytokines such as interleukin-6. At this point, it is believed that exerkines are immediate, fast, and long-lasting factors resulting from exercise to support body energy needs with an emphasis on the brain. Although exerkines that are directly a product of macronutrient metabolism such as lactate, and result from catabolism is not surprising. Furthermore, other metabolites of macronutrient metabolism seem to be candidate exerkines. The exerkines originate from muscle, adipose, and liver and support brain metabolism, energy, and physiology. The purpose of this review is to integrate the actions of exerkines with respect to metabolism that occurs during exercise and propose other participating factors of exercise and brain physiology. The role of diet and macronutrients that influence metabolism and, consequently, the impact of exercise will be discussed. This review will also describe the evidence for PUFA, their metabolic and physiologic derivatives endocannabinoids, and oxylipins that validate them being exerkines. The intent is to present additional insights to better understand exerkines with respect to systemic metabolism.
  • Impacting Community Well-Being Through Effective Engagement Using the Stakeholder Engagement in Research Question Development Method
    Rafie, Carlin; Zimmerman, Emily; Hargrove, Angelina; Biney-Amissay, Theodora; Lee, Samantha (2024)
  • Hedgehog-interacting protein acts in the habenula to regulate nicotine intake
    Caligiuri, Stephanie P. B.; Howe, William M.; Wills, Lauren; Smith, Alexander C. W.; Lei, Ye; Bali, Purva; Heyer, Mary P.; Moen, Janna K.; Ables, Jessica L.; Elayouby, Karim S.; Williams, Maya; Fillinger, Clementine; Oketokoun, Zainab; Lehmann, Vanessa E.; DiFeliceantonio, Alexandra G.; Johnson, Paul M.; Beaumont, Kristin; Sebra, Robert P.; Ibanez-Tallon, Ines; Kenny, Paul J. (National Academy of Sciences, 2022-11-08)
    Hedgehog-interacting protein (HHIP) sequesters Hedgehog ligands to repress Smoothened (SMO)-mediated recruitment of the GLI family of transcription factors. Allelic variation in HHIP confers risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other smoking-related lung diseases, but underlying mechanisms are unclear. Using single-cell and cell-type-specific translational profiling, we show that HHIP expression is highly enriched in medial habenula (MHb) neurons, particularly MHb cholinergic neurons that regulate aversive behavioral responses to nicotine. HHIP deficiency dysregulated the expression of genes involved in cholinergic signaling in the MHb and disrupted the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) through a PTCH-1/cholesterol-dependent mechanism. Further, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genomic cleavage of the Hhip gene in MHb neurons enhanced the motivational properties of nicotine in mice. These findings suggest that HHIP influences vulnerability to smoking-related lung diseases in part by regulating the actions of nicotine on habenular aversion circuits.
  • Cardiovascular aging: from cellular and molecular changes to therapeutic interventions
    Vakka, Angeliki; Warren, Junco S.; Drosatos, Konstantinos (OAE Publishing, 2023-07-01)
    Progressive age-induced deterioration in the structure and function of the cardiovascular system involves cardiac hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, arterial stiffness, and endothelial dysfunction. These changes are driven by complex processes that are interconnected, such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, autophagy, inflammation, fibrosis, and telomere dysfunction. In recent years, the advances in research of cardiovascular aging, including the wide use of animal models of cardiovascular aging, elucidated an abundance of cell signaling pathways involved in these processes and brought into sight possible interventions, which span from pharmacological agents, such as metformin, sodium-glucose cotransporter 2-inhibitors, rapamycin, dasatinib and quercetin, to lifestyle changes.
  • PERM1 regulates energy metabolism in the heart via ERR alpha/PGC-1 alpha axis
    Oka, Shin-ichi I.; Sreedevi, Karthi; Shankar, Thirupura S.; Yedla, Shreya; Arowa, Sumaita; James, Amina; Stone, Kathryn G.; Olmos, Katia; Sabry, Amira D.; Horiuchi, Amanda; Cawley, Keiko M.; O'very, Sean A.; Tong, Mingming; Byun, Jaemin; Xu, Xiaoyong; Kashyap, Sanchita; Mourad, Youssef; Vehra, Omair; Calder, Dallen; Lunde, Ty; Liu, Tong; Li, Hong; Mashchek, J. Alan; Cox, James; Saijoh, Yukio; Drakos, Stavros G.; Warren, Junco S. (Frontiers, 2022-11-07)
    Aims: PERM1 is a striated muscle-specific regulator of mitochondrial bioenergetics. We previously demonstrated that PERM1 is downregulated in the failing heart and that PERM1 positively regulates metabolic genes known as targets of the transcription factor ERRα and its coactivator PGC-1α in cultured cardiomyocytes. The aims of this study were to determine the effect of loss of PERM1 on cardiac function and energetics using newly generated Perm1-knockout (Perm1–/–) mice and to investigate the molecular mechanisms of its transcriptional control. Methods and results: Echocardiography showed that ejection fraction and fractional shortening were lower in Perm1–/– mice than in wild-type mice (both p < 0.05), and the phosphocreatine-to-ATP ratio was decreased in Perm1–/– hearts (p < 0.05), indicating reduced contractile function and energy reserves of the heart. Integrated proteomic and metabolomic analyses revealed downregulation of oxidative phosphorylation and upregulation of glycolysis and polyol pathways in Perm1–/– hearts. To examine whether PERM1 regulates energy metabolism through ERRα, we performed co-immunoprecipitation assays, which showed that PERM1 bound to ERRα in cardiomyocytes and the mouse heart. DNA binding and reporter gene assays showed that PERM1 was localized to and activated the ERR target promoters partially through ERRα. Mass spectrometry-based screening in cardiomyocytes identified BAG6 and KANK2 as potential PERM1’s binding partners in transcriptional regulation. Mammalian one-hybrid assay, in which PERM1 was fused to Gal4 DNA binding domain, showed that the recruitment of PERM1 to a gene promoter was sufficient to activate transcription, which was blunted by silencing of either PGC-1α, BAG6, or KANK2. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that PERM1 is an essential regulator of cardiac energetics and function and that PERM1 is a novel transcriptional coactivator in the ERRα/PGC-1α axis that functionally interacts with BAG6 and KANK2.
  • Endurance Exercise Training Mitigates Diastolic Dysfunction in Diabetic Mice Independent of Phosphorylation of Ulk1 at S555
    Guan, Yuntian; Zhang, Mei; Lacy, Christie; Shah, Soham; Epstein, Frederick H.; Yan, Zhen (MDPI, 2024-01-03)
    Millions of diabetic patients suffer from cardiovascular complications. One of the earliest signs of diabetic complications in the heart is diastolic dysfunction. Regular exercise is a highly effective preventive/therapeutic intervention against diastolic dysfunction in diabetes, but the underlying mechanism(s) remain poorly understood. Studies have shown that the accumulation of damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria in the myocardium is at the center of this pathology. Here, we employed a mouse model of diabetes to test the hypothesis that endurance exercise training mitigates diastolic dysfunction by promoting cardiac mitophagy (the clearance of mitochondria via autophagy) via S555 phosphorylation of Ulk1. High-fat diet (HFD) feeding and streptozotocin (STZ) injection in mice led to reduced endurance capacity, impaired diastolic function, increased myocardial oxidative stress, and compromised mitochondrial structure and function, which were all ameliorated by 6 weeks of voluntary wheel running. Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing, we generated non-phosphorylatable Ulk1 (S555A) mutant mice and showed the requirement of p-Ulk1at S555 for exercise-induced mitophagy in the myocardium. However, diabetic Ulk1 (S555A) mice retained the benefits of exercise intervention. We conclude that endurance exercise training mitigates diabetes-induced diastolic dysfunction independent of Ulk1 phosphorylation at S555.
  • The Impact of Weight Bias and Stigma on the 24 h Dietary Recall Process in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Pilot Study
    Howes, Erica M.; Parker, Molly K.; Misyak, Sarah A.; DiFeliceantonio, Alexandra G.; Davy, Brenda M.; Brown, Letisha Engracia Cardoso; Hedrick, Valisa E. (MDPI, 2024-01-06)
    People with overweight and obesity tend to both underreport dietary energy intake and experience weight stigma. This exploratory pilot study aimed to determine the relationship between weight bias and weight stigma and energy intake reporting accuracy. Thirty-nine weight-stable adults with BMI ≥ 25 completed three 24 h dietary recalls; indirect calorimetry to measure resting metabolic rate; a survey measuring weight stigma, psychosocial constructs, and physical activity; and a semi-structured qualitative interview. Multiple linear regression was used to determine if weight bias internalization, weight bias toward others, and experiences of weight stigma were predictive of the accuracy of energy reporting. A thematic analysis was conducted for the qualitative interviews. Weight stigma was reported by 64.1% of the sample. Weight stigma constructs did not predict the accuracy of energy intake reporting. People with obesity underreported by a mean of 477 kcals (p = 0.02). People classified as overweight overreported by a mean of 144 kcals, but this was not significant (p = 0.18). Participants reported a desire to report accurate data despite concerns about reporting socially undesirable foods. Future research should quantify the impact of weight stigma on energy reporting in 24 h recalls using a larger, more diverse sample size and objective measures like doubly labeled water for validation.
  • Reply to M Mialon et al.
    Kraak, Vivica (Elsevier, 2023-09-13)
  • An economic lens for sustainable dietary guidelines
    Kraak, Vivica; Consavage Stanley, Katherine (Elsevier, 2023-05)
  • Policy Insights from High-Income Countries to Guide Safe, Nutritious, and Sustainable Alternative Proteins for Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    Kraak, Vivica; Kapur, Mansha; Thamilselvan, Veena; Lartey, Anna (Elsevier, 2023-01-01)
    The United Nations has encouraged governments to promote sustainable healthy diets to address undernutrition, obesity, and climate change. This perspective paper examines policy insights from selected high-income countries in Asia, Europe, and North America to understand how traditional and novel alternative proteins (AP) may support sustainable healthy diets in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where populations experience malnutrition in all forms. AP products must be affordable, locally sustainable, and culturally acceptable to improve diet quality and health. Food-based dietary guidelines are a policy tool to guide AP product formulation, manufacturing, processing, labeling, and marketing to ensure that these products complement traditional plant- and animal-source proteins in sustainable healthy diets. This paper suggests that a new food categorization taxonomy is needed to guide AP product recommendations. Decision-makers must harmonize multisectoral policies to ensure LMIC populations have access to sustainable healthy diets to achieve a protein transition and food systems transformation by 2050.
  • Contextual Factors Influencing the Adoption of Physical Activity Direct Education and Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Initiatives by Virginia EFNEP and SNAP-Ed Staff
    Brooks, Austin; Young, Gabrielle; Misyak, Sarah; Johnson, Meredith Ledlie; Serrano, Elena L. (Elsevier, 2023-11-28)
    Objective: To explore factors influencing the adoption of direct education programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change initiatives focused on physical activity for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible audiences by Virginia Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) staff. Methods: Online survey with Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and SNAP-Ed peer (paraprofessional) educators (n = 28) and SNAP-Ed agents (master of science level) (n = 9) in Virginia. Descriptive statistics were computed for sociodemographic characteristics and responses to questions on the basis of Likert-type scales. Exploratory factor analyses were run to identify the underlying structures of the different variables. Results: The main factors for peer educators were related to substituting nutrition programs or content for physical activity programs. Other factors included staff qualifications and expectations about leading vs teaching physical activities. For PSEs, the top factors were the capacity to reach many community members, attract new partners and stakeholders, and personal interest in the PSE. Conclusions and Implications: The results provide insight into potential barriers and motivators for adopting physical activity education and PSEs within community-based initiatives and can be used to inform program planning and staff training. Additional research is warranted to examine other factors influencing the adoption and implementation of physical activity programs and PSEs.
  • US Adults' Perceptions, Beliefs, and Behaviors towards Plant-Rich Dietary Patterns and Practices: International Food Information Council Food and Health Survey Insights, 2012-2022
    Consavage Stanley, Katherine; Hedrick, Valisa E.; Serrano, Elena L.; Holz, Adrienne; Kraak, Vivica (MDPI, 2023-12-01)
    Expert groups recommend that populations adopt dietary patterns higher in whole, plant-based foods and lower in red and processed meat as a high-impact climate action. Yet, there is limited understanding of populations' willingness to adopt plant-rich dietary patterns. This study examined United States (US) adults' perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors towards plant-rich dietary patterns and practices over a decade. Fifteen questions from the International Food Information Council's Food and Health Surveys (2012-2022) were analyzed across four sustainability domains (i.e., human health, environmental, social, and economic domains). Most respondents had favorable perceptions of environmentally sustainable food and beverages, but sustainability influenced less than half of consumers' purchase decisions. Plant-rich dietary pattern adherence increased across survey years (12.1% [2019] to 25.8% [2022], p < 0.001). One-quarter (28.1%) of Americans reported reducing their red meat intake over 12 months (2020-2022). Yet, another 15.5% reported greater red meat intake, and 18.8% reported greater plant-based meat alternative (PBMA) intake over 12 months. The percentage of respondents who reported greater red meat and PBMA consumption in the previous 12 months significantly increased across the years surveyed (2020-2022, p < 0.05). IFIC Survey findings highlight growing US consumer awareness of health, environmental, and social sustainability but low adoption of plant-rich dietary patterns and practices. Government leadership and coordinated actions by health professionals, civil society, and businesses are needed to educate and incentivize Americans to adopt plant-rich dietary behaviors, and greater industry transparency is needed to show how food and beverage products support human and planetary health.
  • Lateral hypothalamic proenkephalin neurons drive threat-induced overeating associated with a negative emotional state
    You, In-Jee; Bae, Yeeun; Beck, Alec R.; Shin, Sora (Nature Research, 2023-10-28)
    Psychological stressors, like the nearby presence of a predator, can be strong enough to induce physiological/hormonal alterations, leading to appetite changes. However, little is known about how threats can alter feeding-related hypothalamic circuit functions. Here, we found that proenkephalin (Penk)- expressing lateral hypothalamic (LHPenk) neurons of mice exposed to predator scent stimulus (PSS) show sensitized responses to high-fat diet (HFD) eating, whereas silencing of the same neurons normalizes PSS-induced HFD overconsumption associated with a negative emotional state. Downregulation of endogenous enkephalin peptides in the LH is crucial for inhibiting the neuronal and behavioral changes developed after PSS exposure. Furthermore, elevated corticosterone after PSS contributes to enhance the reactivity of glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-containing LHPenk neurons to HFD, whereas pharmacological inhibition of GR in the LH suppresses PSS-induced maladaptive behavioral responses. We have thus identified the LHPenk neurons as a critical component in the threat-induced neuronal adaptation that leads to emotional overconsumption.
  • Matching barriers and facilitators to implementation strategies: recommendations for community settings
    Balis, Laura E.; Houghtaling, Bailey (2023-11-21)
    Background Implementation science aims to improve the integration of evidence-based interventions in real-world settings. While its methods and models could potentially apply to any field with evidence-based interventions, most research thus far has originated in clinical settings. Community settings often have fewer resources, missions beyond health, and a lack of support and expertise to implement evidence-based interventions when compared to many clinical settings. Thus, selecting and tailoring implementation strategies in community settings is particularly challenging, as existing compilations are primarily operationalized through clinical setting terminology. In this debate, we (1) share the process of using an existing match tool to select implementation strategies to increase uptake of nutrition and physical activity policy, systems, and environment interventions in community settings and (2) discuss the challenges of this process to argue that selecting implementation strategies in community settings has limited transferability from clinical settings and may require a unique implementation strategy compilation and pragmatic matching tool. Matching barriers to implementation strategies The impetus for this debate paper came from our work selecting implementation strategies to improve the implementation and eventual scaling of nutrition and physical activity policy, systems, and environment interventions in a community settings. We conducted focus groups with practitioners and used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research-Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change match tool to select potential implementation strategies to overcome prominent barriers. There was limited congruence between tool outputs and optimal strategies, which may in part be due to differences in context between clinical and community settings. Based on this, we outline needs and recommendations for developing a novel and pragmatic matching tool for researchers and practitioners in community settings. Conclusions More work is needed to refine the implementation barrier-strategy matching process to ensure it is relevant, rapid, and rigorous. As leading implementation strategy scholars note, as more researchers document contextual factors and strategies selected to address them, the knowledge base will increase, and refined mapping processes can emerge.
  • Healthy eating and active living policy, systems, and environmental changes in rural Louisiana: a contextual inquiry to inform implementation strategies
    Houghtaling, Bailey; Balis, Laura; Pradhananga, Nila; Cater, Melissa; Holston, Denise (2023-11-13)
    Background Healthy eating and active living policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes are implemented across the United States through Cooperative Extension. However, translating multisector PSE changes to practice in community settings is challenging and there is a lack of knowledge about barriers and facilitators to PSE changes among state Extension systems using standardized frameworks. Therefore, a research-to-practice partnership effort aimed to identify Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Science (LFCS) practitioners’ barriers and facilitators to implementing PSE changes in rural Louisiana communities. Methods A qualitative approach using the 2022 Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (2022 CFIR) was used. Focus group discussions were conducted at five LFCS regional trainings between February and May 2022. All LFCS practitioners with any level of experience implementing healthy eating and active living PSE changes were eligible to participate, with emphasis on understanding efforts within more rural communities. Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Researchers analyzed qualitative data using the constant comparison method and 2022 CFIR domains and constructs including Inner Setting (LFCS organization), Outer Setting (rural Louisiana communities), Innovation (PSE changes), and Individuals (PSE change implementation actors/partners). Results Across the five regions, LFCS practitioners (n = 40) described more barriers (n = 210) than facilitators (n = 100); findings were often coded with multiple 2022 CFIR domains. Reported Inner Setting barriers were lack of formal or informal information sharing and lack of access to knowledge and information. Outer Setting barriers included sustaining and initiating community partnerships and local environmental or political conditions. Individual barriers included a lack of time and expertise, and Innovation barriers included the complex nature of rural PSE changes. Facilitators were mentioned at multiple levels and included community partner buy-in and practitioners’ motivation to implement PSE changes. Conclusions Implementation strategies are needed to build on organizational strengths and to overcome multi-level barriers to PSE change implementation among LFCS practitioners. The results from the in-depth contextual inquiry used could serve as a guide for future pragmatic assessment efforts among other state Extension systems or as a model for identifying barriers and facilitators and associated implementation strategies among other public health systems in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Non-sugar sweeteners: helpful or harmful? The challenge of developing intake recommendations with the available research
    Hedrick, Valisa E.; Nieto, Claudia; Fagundes Grilo, Mariana; Sylvetsky, Allison C. (BMJ, 2023-10)
    Non-sugar sweeteners are commonly used as replacements for added sugars, both in the general population and among people with obesity and diabetes. Because of ongoing efforts to lower added sugar intake, non-sugar sweeteners have become ubiquitous in the global food supply. The global market for non-sugar sweeteners is expected to grow, with a predicted market value of more than $408bn in 2032—a growth of 7.2% in 10 years. Although their use is widespread and increasing, there is uncertainty about their health effects, which has led to inconclusive recommendations for or against their consumption.
  • Using the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) Framework to Advance the Science and Practice of Healthy Food Retail
    Houghtaling, Bailey; Misyak, Sarah A.; Serrano, Elena L.; Dombrowski, Rachael D.; Holston, Denise; Singleton, Chelsea R.; Harden, Samantha M. (Elsevier, 2023-03)
    Although healthy food retail strategies are widely used, there appears to be a limited understanding of the processes and determinants for successful adoption, implementation, and sustainment. To fill this gap, we recommend the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) framework to be used to advance the science and practice of healthy food retail. In this perspective, we: (1) introduce EPIS and describe why it was chosen as a recommended implementation science framework for healthy food retail, (2) highlight healthy food retail evidence supporting EPIS, and (3) discuss research and practice needs mov-ing forward.
  • Genetic and Functional Modifications Associated with Ovarian Cancer Cell Aggregation and Limited Culture Conditions
    Grieco, Joseph P.; Compton, Stephanie L. E.; Davis, Grace N.; Guinan, Jack; Schmelz, Eva M. (MDPI, 2023-10-03)
    The aggregation of cancer cells provides a survival signal for disseminating cancer cells; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. Using qPCR gene arrays, this study investigated the changes in cancer-specific genes as well as genes regulating mitochondrial quality control, metabolism, and oxidative stress in response to aggregation and hypoxia in our progressive ovarian cancer models representing slow- and fast-developing ovarian cancer. Aggregation increased the expression of anti-apoptotic, stemness, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), angiogenic, mitophagic, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging genes and functions, and decreased proliferation, apoptosis, metabolism, and mitochondrial content genes and functions. The incorporation of stromal vascular cells (SVF) from obese mice into the spheroids increased DNA repair and telomere regulatory genes that may represent a link between obesity and ovarian cancer risk. While glucose had no effect, glutamine was essential for aggregation and supported proliferation of the spheroid. In contrast, low glucose and hypoxic culture conditions delayed adhesion and outgrowth capacity of the spheroids independent of their phenotype, decreased mitochondrial mass and polarity, and induced a shift of mitochondrial dynamics towards mitophagy. However, these conditions did not reduce the appearance of polarized mitochondria at adhesion sites, suggesting that adhesion signals that either reversed mitochondrial fragmentation or induced mitobiogenesis can override the impact of low glucose and oxygen levels. Thus, the plasticity of the spheroids’ phenotype supports viability during dissemination, allows for the adaptation to changing conditions such as oxygen and nutrient availability. This may be critical for the development of an aggressive cancer phenotype and, therefore, could represent druggable targets for clinical interventions.