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Head of Institute: Prof. Oren Froy

Administrative manager: Ms. Yael Fruchter

Office Address:
Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition,
Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 
P.O.Box 12, Rehovot 7610001, ISRAEL

Tel: +972 - (0)8-9489385
Fax: +972 - (0)8-9363208
Email Address: yaelf@savion.huji.ac.il

Publications

2019
Ofir, O. ; Buch, A. ; Rouach, V. ; Goldsmith, R. ; Stern, N. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. Association between abdominal obesity and fragility fractures among elderly Israeli women. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Background: Obesity has been traditionally viewed as a protective factor for fractures. Recent studies have challenged this concept, particularly regarding abdominal obesity. We aimed to investigate the association between abdominal obesity, body mass index (BMI) and fragility fractures prevalence in a sample of community-dwelling elderly Israeli women. Methods: The data in this cross-sectional study were based on ‘Mabat Zahav’—a survey of a nationally representative sample of elderly Israelis. The study population included 669 women. Data on fragility fractures site and circumstances were self-reported, and height, weight, waist and calf circumferences were measured. Waist circumference (WC) variable was divided into tertiles: < 88 cm, 88–99 cm and > 99 cm. Results: Sixty-five women reported fragility fractures (14 hip fractures, 18 vertebral fractures and 39 wrist fractures). Mean age was 73.9 ± 5.9 years, mean BMI was 29.9 ± 5 kg/m2 and mean WC was 93.9 ± 12 cm. While BMI was not associated with osteoporotic fractures, abdominal obesity (WC > 88 cm) was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity [middle and high WC tertiles 3.15 (95% CI 1.41–7.02), 2.78 (95% CI 1.05–7.31), respectively]. Conclusions: Among this sample of elderly women, abdominal obesity was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity and BMI. Waist circumference, an easily measured anthropometric indicator, may be useful for assessing the risk of fragility fractures in elderly women, particularly among those with normal or high BMI—a vast population which has been traditionally considered as having lower fracture risk. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Ofer, L. ; Dean, M. N. ; Zaslansky, P. ; Kult, S. ; Shwartz, Y. ; Zaretsky, J. ; Griess-Fishheimer, S. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Zelzer, E. ; Shahar, R. A novel nonosteocytic regulatory mechanism of bone modeling. PLOS Biology 2019, 17, e3000140 -. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Bone’s ability to change its morphology in response to load is widely attributed to osteocytes. A study of fish shows that bone can respond to load even in the absence of osteocytes, using a molecular mechanism that is conserved across vertebrates, albeit with different cellular effectors.
Sinai, T. ; Goldberg, M. R. ; Nachshon, L. ; Amitzur-Levy, R. ; Yichie, T. ; Katz, Y. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Elizur, A. Reduced Final Height and Inadequate Nutritional Intake in Cow's Milk-Allergic Young Adults. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice 2019, 7 509 - 515. Publisher's VersionAbstract
BackgroundGrowth impairment was previously described in milk-allergic children but was not examined in adults on reaching final height. Objectives To investigate the dietary intake and final stature of young adults with IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy (IgE-CMA) as compared with nonallergic controls. Methods Eighty-seven patients with IgE-CMA, median age 19.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 17.3-22.7), and 36 control participants without food allergies, median age 22.7 years (IQR, 18.9-26.1), were studied. Anthropometric and nutritional data were collected. Age and gender z-scores were determined according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. Nutrient intake assessment was based on dietary records. Individuals with conditions or treatments affecting bone metabolism or growth, other than asthma, were excluded. Results Mean values of height z-scores were significantly reduced in CMA subjects compared with controls (−0.64 ± 0.9 vs −0.04 ± 0.7, P = .001). In contrast, no differences were found between the 2 groups in weight and body mass index z-scores. Patients with CMA had significantly lower intake of protein, and several essential vitamins (A, B12, and riboflavin) and minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc) compared with controls (P < .05), but the intakes of calories, carbohydrate, and fat were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Differences between actual and expected (based on midparental height) height z-scores were comparable in CMA subjects with or without asthma and between those with and without additional food allergies. Conclusions Young adults who have CMA from infancy are at risk of not reaching their growth potential. Growth and nutritional monitoring and appropriate dietary intervention are of particular importance in these at-risk individuals.
2017
Kalish-Achrai, N. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Shahar, R. Structure, composition, mechanics and growth of spines of the dorsal fin of blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus and common carp Cyprinus carpio. Journal of Fish Biology 2017, 90, 2073-2096. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The structural, compositional and mechanical properties of the spines of the dorsal fin in mature anosteocytic blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus and osteocytic common carp Cyprinus carpio are described, as well as their temporal growth pattern and regenerative capacities. The three-dimensional architecture of both spines, from macro to sub-micron levels, is shown to be axially oriented and therefore highly anisotropic and the spines of both species are able to regenerate after partial amputation.
Roth, L. ; Kalev-Altman, R. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Sela-Donenfeld, D. A new role of the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase 16 (MMP16/MT3-MMP) in neural crest cell migration. Int J Dev Biol 2017, 61, 245-256.Abstract
Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a transient population of neuroectodermal-originated cells that populate the dorsal neural tube (dNT), before migrating and giving rise to multiple cell lineages in the developing embryo. Prior to their migration, NCCs undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) through which they lose cell contacts and detach from the dNT to invade their surrounding environment. Multiple signals and transcription factors have been identified to regulate these events. Yet, less is known regarding effectors that act downstream to execute the actual NCC separation and migration. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteases that degrade the extracellular matrix as well as other pericellular proteins during processes of tissue remodeling, angiogenesis and metastasis. Previously, we and others have demonstrated the role of the gelatinases MMP2 and MMP9 during the onset of NCC migration. Several evidences link the cleavage and activation of these secreted gelatinases to the activity of membrane-type MMPs (MT-MMP), such as MMP14 and MMP16, which are tethered to plasma membrane and affect various cellular behaviors. The aim of this study was to investigate whether MMP16 acts in NCCs. Here we demonstrate the expression of MMP16 mRNA and protein in cranial NCCs in avian embryos. Knockdown of MMP16 inhibited NCC migration. This inhibition was rescued by the addition of recombinant MMP16, which was also sufficient to increase proper NCC migration. Furthermore, excess MMP16 caused enhanced NCC EMT, concomitant with degradation of dNT-related proteins, laminin and N-cadherin. Altogether, these results uncover MMP16 as a new effector participating in EMT and in the migration of NCCs.
Kalev-Altman, R. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Sela-Donenfeld, D. The Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and Metalloproteinase-9 in Embryonic Neural Crest Cells and Their Derivatives. In Proteases in Physiology and Pathology; Chakraborti, S. ; Dhalla, N. S., Ed. Proteases in Physiology and Pathology; Springer Singapore: Singapore, 2017; pp. 27 - 48. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Neural crest cells (NCCs) are transient cell populations that are initially residing at the dorsal-most part of the neural tube of the developing vertebrate embryo. At well-defined time points, NCCs detach from the neural tube as they undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migrate in distinct pathways to their final destinations. There, this unique cell population differentiates into a great variety of cell types including bone and cartilage tissues of the head and face, connective tissue of the heart, skin melanocytes, adipocytes, enteric neurons, and most of the peripheral sensory neurons, glia, and Schwann cells. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of matrix-degrading enzymes, which are divided into several subfamilies according to their structure and substrate specificity. The gelatinases subfamily, which includes MMP-2 and MMP-9 solely, is the most investigated group. Both MMP-2 and MMP-9 were previously reported to be expressed in embryonic NCCs and to have a role in their EMT and migration processes. In this review we present the most recent data regarding the role of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in embryonic NCCs and in their various derivatives in later embryonic stages and in adults.
2016
Rub, G. ; Marderfeld, L. ; Poraz, I. ; Hartman, C. ; Amsel, S. ; Rosenbaum, I. ; Pergamentzev-Karpol, S. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Shamir, R. Validation of a Nutritional Screening Tool for Ambulatory Use in Pediatrics. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2016, 62. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Objectives:To evaluate the use of Screening Tool for the Assessment of Malnutrition in Pediatrics (STAMP) in a primary health care clinic in the community and to assess the impact of its use on medical staff's awareness of nutritional status. Methods: STAMP scoring system was tested as is and with modifications in the ambulatory setting. Nutritional risk according to STAMP was compared with a detailed nutritional assessment performed by a registered dietitian. Recording of nutrition-related data and anthropometric measurements in medical files were compared prior and post implementation. Results: Sixty children were included (31 girls, 52%), ages between 1 and 6 years, mean age 2.8 ± 1.5 (mean ± SD). STAMP scores yielded a fair agreement between STAMP and the dietitian's nutritional assessment: κ = 0.47 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.24–0.7), sensitivity of 47.62% (95% CI 28.34–67.63). Modified STAMP yielded more substantial agreement: κ = 0.57 (95% CI 0.35–0.79), sensitivity of 76.19% (95% CI 54.91–89.37), specificity of 82.05% (95% CI 67.33–91.02). The use of STAMP resulted in an increase in recording of appetite, dietary intake, and anthropometric measurements. Conclusions: Modification of the STAMP improved nutritional risk evaluation in community setting. The use of STAMP in a primary health care clinic raised clinician's awareness to nutritional status. Further work will identify whether this could be translated into lower malnutrition rates and better child care.