WorldWideScience

Sample records for human condensin function

  1. Condensins: universal organizers of chromosomes with diverse functions.

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    Hirano, Tatsuya

    2012-08-01

    Condensins are multisubunit protein complexes that play a fundamental role in the structural and functional organization of chromosomes in the three domains of life. Most eukaryotic species have two different types of condensin complexes, known as condensins I and II, that fulfill nonoverlapping functions and are subjected to differential regulation during mitosis and meiosis. Recent studies revealed that the two complexes contribute to a wide variety of interphase chromosome functions, such as gene regulation, recombination, and repair. Also emerging are their cell type- and tissue-specific functions and relevance to human disease. Biochemical and structural analyses of eukaryotic and bacterial condensins steadily uncover the mechanisms of action of this class of highly sophisticated molecular machines. Future studies on condensins will not only enhance our understanding of chromosome architecture and dynamics, but also help address a previously underappreciated yet profound set of questions in chromosome biology.

  2. The functional role for condensin in the regulation of chromosomal organization during the cell cycle.

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    Kagami, Yuya; Yoshida, Kiyotsugu

    2016-12-01

    In all organisms, the control of cell cycle progression is a fundamental process that is essential for cell growth, development, and survival. Through each cell cycle phase, the regulation of chromatin organization is essential for natural cell proliferation and maintaining cellular homeostasis. During mitosis, the chromatin morphology is dramatically changed to have a "thread-like" shape and the condensed chromosomes are segregated equally into two daughter cells. Disruption of the mitotic chromosome architecture physically impedes chromosomal behaviors, such as chromosome alignment and chromosome segregation; therefore, the proper mitotic chromosome structure is required to maintain chromosomal stability. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that mitotic chromosome condensation is induced by condensin complexes. Moreover, recent studies have shown that condensin also modulates interphase chromatin and regulates gene expression. This review mainly focuses on the molecular mechanisms that condensin uses to exert its functions during the cell cycle progression. Moreover, we discuss the condensin-mediated chromosomal organization in cancer cells.

  3. Condensins under the microscope.

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    Maeshima, Kazuhiro; Hibino, Kayo; Hudson, Damien F

    2018-04-30

    Condensins are key players in mitotic chromosome condensation. Using an elegant combination of state-of-the-art imaging techniques, Walther et al. (2018. J. Cell Biol. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201801048) counted the number of Condensins, examined their behaviors on human mitotic chromosomes, and integrated the quantitative data to propose a new mechanistic model for chromosome condensation. © 2018 Maeshima et al.

  4. Identification of a BET family bromodomain/casein kinase II/TAF-containing complex as a regulator of mitotic condensin function.

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    Kim, Hyun-Soo; Mukhopadhyay, Rituparna; Rothbart, Scott B; Silva, Andrea C; Vanoosthuyse, Vincent; Radovani, Ernest; Kislinger, Thomas; Roguev, Assen; Ryan, Colm J; Xu, Jiewei; Jahari, Harlizawati; Hardwick, Kevin G; Greenblatt, Jack F; Krogan, Nevan J; Fillingham, Jeffrey S; Strahl, Brian D; Bouhassira, Eric E; Edelmann, Winfried; Keogh, Michael-Christopher

    2014-03-13

    Condensin is a central regulator of mitotic genome structure with mutants showing poorly condensed chromosomes and profound segregation defects. Here, we identify NCT, a complex comprising the Nrc1 BET-family tandem bromodomain protein (SPAC631.02), casein kinase II (CKII), and several TAFs, as a regulator of condensin function. We show that NCT and condensin bind similar genomic regions but only briefly colocalize during the periods of chromosome condensation and decondensation. This pattern of NCT binding at the core centromere, the region of maximal condensin enrichment, tracks the abundance of acetylated histone H4, as regulated by the Hat1-Mis16 acetyltransferase complex and recognized by the first Nrc1 bromodomain. Strikingly, mutants in NCT or Hat1-Mis16 restore the formation of segregation-competent chromosomes in cells containing defective condensin. These results are consistent with a model where NCT targets CKII to chromatin in a cell-cycle-directed manner in order to modulate the activity of condensin during chromosome condensation and decondensation. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Identification of a BET Family Bromodomain/Casein Kinase II/TAF-Containing Complex as a Regulator of Mitotic Condensin Function

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    Hyun-Soo Kim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Condensin is a central regulator of mitotic genome structure with mutants showing poorly condensed chromosomes and profound segregation defects. Here, we identify NCT, a complex comprising the Nrc1 BET-family tandem bromodomain protein (SPAC631.02, casein kinase II (CKII, and several TAFs, as a regulator of condensin function. We show that NCT and condensin bind similar genomic regions but only briefly colocalize during the periods of chromosome condensation and decondensation. This pattern of NCT binding at the core centromere, the region of maximal condensin enrichment, tracks the abundance of acetylated histone H4, as regulated by the Hat1-Mis16 acetyltransferase complex and recognized by the first Nrc1 bromodomain. Strikingly, mutants in NCT or Hat1-Mis16 restore the formation of segregation-competent chromosomes in cells containing defective condensin. These results are consistent with a model where NCT targets CKII to chromatin in a cell-cycle-directed manner in order to modulate the activity of condensin during chromosome condensation and decondensation.

  6. An SMC-like protein binds and regulates Caenorhabditis elegans condensins.

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    Lucy Fang-I Chao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC family proteins participate in multisubunit complexes that govern chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC-containing condensin complexes create chromosome topologies essential for mitosis/meiosis, gene expression, recombination, and repair. Many eukaryotes have two condensin complexes (I and II; C. elegans has three (I, II, and the X-chromosome specialized condensin IDC and their regulation is poorly understood. Here we identify a novel SMC-like protein, SMCL-1, that binds to C. elegans condensin SMC subunits, and modulates condensin functions. Consistent with a possible role as a negative regulator, loss of SMCL-1 partially rescued the lethal and sterile phenotypes of a hypomorphic condensin mutant, while over-expression of SMCL-1 caused lethality, chromosome mis-segregation, and disruption of condensin IDC localization on X chromosomes. Unlike canonical SMC proteins, SMCL-1 lacks hinge and coil domains, and its ATPase domain lacks conserved amino acids required for ATP hydrolysis, leading to the speculation that it may inhibit condensin ATPase activity. SMCL-1 homologs are apparent only in the subset of Caenorhabditis species in which the condensin I and II subunit SMC-4 duplicated to create the condensin IDC- specific subunit DPY-27, suggesting that SMCL-1 helps this lineage cope with the regulatory challenges imposed by evolution of a third condensin complex. Our findings uncover a new regulator of condensins and highlight how the duplication and divergence of SMC complex components in various lineages has created new proteins with diverse functions in chromosome dynamics.

  7. Condensin HEAT subunits required for DNA repair, kinetochore/centromere function and ploidy maintenance in fission yeast.

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    Xingya Xu

    Full Text Available Condensin, a central player in eukaryotic chromosomal dynamics, contains five evolutionarily-conserved subunits. Two SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes subunits contain ATPase, hinge, and coiled-coil domains. One non-SMC subunit is similar to bacterial kleisin, and two other non-SMC subunits contain HEAT (similar to armadillo repeats. Here we report isolation and characterization of 21 fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutants for three non-SMC subunits, created using error-prone mutagenesis that resulted in single-amino acid substitutions. Beside condensation, segregation, and DNA repair defects, similar to those observed in previously isolated SMC and cnd2 mutants, novel phenotypes were observed for mutants of HEAT-repeats containing Cnd1 and Cnd3 subunits. cnd3-L269P is hypersensitive to the microtubule poison, thiabendazole, revealing defects in kinetochore/centromere and spindle assembly checkpoints. Three cnd1 and three cnd3 mutants increased cell size and doubled DNA content, thereby eliminating the haploid state. Five of these mutations reside in helix B of HEAT repeats. Two non-SMC condensin subunits, Cnd1 and Cnd3, are thus implicated in ploidy maintenance.

  8. Quantitative FLIM-FRET Microscopy to Monitor Nanoscale Chromatin Compaction In Vivo Reveals Structural Roles of Condensin Complexes

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    David Llères

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available How metazoan genomes are structured at the nanoscale in living cells and tissues remains unknown. Here, we adapted a quantitative FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer-based fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM approach to assay nanoscale chromatin compaction in living organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen as a model system. By measuring FRET between histone-tagged fluorescent proteins, we visualized distinct chromosomal regions and quantified the different levels of nanoscale compaction in meiotic cells. Using RNAi and repetitive extrachromosomal array approaches, we defined the heterochromatin state and showed that its architecture presents a nanoscale-compacted organization controlled by Heterochromatin Protein-1 (HP1 and SETDB1 H3-lysine-9 methyltransferase homologs in vivo. Next, we functionally explored condensin complexes. We found that condensin I and condensin II are essential for heterochromatin compaction and that condensin I additionally controls lowly compacted regions. Our data show that, in living animals, nanoscale chromatin compaction is controlled not only by histone modifiers and readers but also by condensin complexes.

  9. Interdependency and phosphorylation of KIF4 and condensin I are essential for organization of chromosome scaffold.

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    Poonperm, Rawin; Takata, Hideaki; Uchiyama, Susumu; Fukui, Kiichi

    2017-01-01

    Kinesin family member 4 (KIF4) and condensins I and II are essential chromosomal proteins for chromosome organization by locating primarily to the chromosome scaffold. However, the mechanism of how KIF4 and condensins localize to the chromosome scaffold is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate a close relationship between the chromosome localization of KIF4 and condensin I, but not condensin II, and show that KIF4 and condensin I assist each other for stable scaffold formation by forming a stable complex. Moreover, phosphorylation of KIF4 and condensin I by Aurora B and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) is important for KIF4 and condensin I localization to the chromosome. Aurora B activity facilitates the targeting of KIF4 and condensin I to the chromosome, whereas Plk1 activity promotes the dissociation of these proteins from the chromosome. Thus, the interdependency between KIF4 and condensin I, and their phosphorylation states play important roles in chromosome scaffold organization during mitosis.

  10. Condensin II Alleviates DNA Damage and Is Essential for Tolerance of Boron Overload Stress in Arabidopsis[W

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    Sakamoto, Takuya; Inui, Yayoi Tsujimoto; Uraguchi, Shimpei; Yoshizumi, Takeshi; Matsunaga, Sachihiro; Mastui, Minami; Umeda, Masaaki; Fukui, Kiichi; Fujiwara, Toru

    2011-01-01

    Although excess boron (B) is known to negatively affect plant growth, its molecular mechanism of toxicity is unknown. We previously isolated two Arabidopsis thaliana mutants, hypersensitive to excess B (heb1-1 and heb2-1). In this study, we found that HEB1 and HEB2 encode the CAP-G2 and CAP-H2 subunits, respectively, of the condensin II protein complex, which functions in the maintenance of chromosome structure. Growth of Arabidopsis seedlings in medium containing excess B induced expression of condensin II subunit genes. Simultaneous treatment with zeocin, which induces DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), and aphidicolin, which blocks DNA replication, mimicked the effect of excess B on root growth in the heb mutants. Both excess B and the heb mutations upregulated DSBs and DSB-inducible gene transcription, suggesting that DSBs are a cause of B toxicity and that condensin II reduces the incidence of DSBs. The Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant atr-2, which is sensitive to replication-blocking reagents, was also sensitive to excess B. Taken together, these data suggest that the B toxicity mechanism in plants involves DSBs and possibly replication blocks and that plant condensin II plays a role in DNA damage repair or in protecting the genome from certain genotoxic stressors, particularly excess B. PMID:21917552

  11. Non-SMC condensin I complex proteins control chromosome segregation and survival of proliferating cells in the zebrafish neural retina

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    Harris William A

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The condensation of chromosomes and correct sister chromatid segregation during cell division is an essential feature of all proliferative cells. Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC and non-SMC proteins form the condensin I complex and regulate chromosome condensation and segregation during mitosis. However, due to the lack of appropriate mutants, the function of the condensin I complex during vertebrate development has not been described. Results Here, we report the positional cloning and detailed characterization of retinal phenotypes of a zebrafish mutation at the cap-g locus. High resolution live imaging reveals that the progression of mitosis between prometa- to telophase is delayed and that sister chromatid segregation is impaired upon loss of CAP-G. CAP-G associates with chromosomes between prometa- and telophase of the cell cycle. Loss of the interaction partners CAP-H and CAP-D2 causes cytoplasmic mislocalization of CAP-G throughout mitosis. DNA content analysis reveals increased genomic imbalances upon loss of non-SMC condensin I subunits. Within the retina, loss of condensin I function causes increased rates of apoptosis among cells within the proliferative ciliary marginal zone (CMZ whereas postmitotic retinal cells are viable. Inhibition of p53-mediated apoptosis partially rescues cell numbers in cap-g mutant retinae and allows normal layering of retinal cell types without alleviating their aberrant nuclear sizes. Conclusion Our findings indicate that the condensin I complex is particularly important within rapidly amplifying progenitor cell populations to ensure faithful chromosome segregation. In contrast, differentiation of postmitotic retinal cells is not impaired upon polyploidization.

  12. Interdependency and phosphorylation of KIF4 and condensin I are essential for organization of chromosome scaffold.

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    Rawin Poonperm

    Full Text Available Kinesin family member 4 (KIF4 and condensins I and II are essential chromosomal proteins for chromosome organization by locating primarily to the chromosome scaffold. However, the mechanism of how KIF4 and condensins localize to the chromosome scaffold is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate a close relationship between the chromosome localization of KIF4 and condensin I, but not condensin II, and show that KIF4 and condensin I assist each other for stable scaffold formation by forming a stable complex. Moreover, phosphorylation of KIF4 and condensin I by Aurora B and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1 is important for KIF4 and condensin I localization to the chromosome. Aurora B activity facilitates the targeting of KIF4 and condensin I to the chromosome, whereas Plk1 activity promotes the dissociation of these proteins from the chromosome. Thus, the interdependency between KIF4 and condensin I, and their phosphorylation states play important roles in chromosome scaffold organization during mitosis.

  13. Human Rights and Human Function

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    Mohsen Javadi

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper firstly explores some theories of Human Rights justification and then assents to the theory that Human Rights is based on justified moral values. In order to justify moral values, Aristotle’s approach called “Function Argument” is reviewed. Propounding this argument, the writer attempts to show that all analysis of human identity will directly contribute to the man’s view of his rights. Not only Human rights is really determined by human function or human distinguishing characteristic i.e. human identity, but in the world of knowledge the proper method to know human rights is to know human being himself. n cloning violates man’s rights due to two reasons: damage of human identity and violation of the right to be unique. Attempting to clarify the nature of human cloning, this article examines the aspects to be claimed to violate human rights and evaluates the strength of the reasons for this claim. این مقاله پس از بررسی اجمالی برخی از نظریه‌های توجیه حقوق بشر، نظریة ابتنای آن بر ارزش‌های اخلاقی موجّه را می‌پذیرد. دربارة چگونگی توجیه ارزش اخلاقی، رویکرد ارسطو که به «برهان ارگن» موسوم است، مورد بحث و بررسی قرار می‌گیرد. مؤلف با طرح این برهان می‌کوشد نشان دهد ارائه هرگونه تحلیل از هویت انسان در نگرش آدمی به حقوق خود تأثیر مستقیم خواهد گذاشت. حقوق آدمی نه فقط از ناحیة کارویژه یا فصل ممیز وی (هویت انسان تعیّن واقعی می‌گیرد، بلکه در عالم معرفت هم راه درست شناخت حقوق بشر، شناخت خود انسان است.

  14. Mutations in genes encoding condensin complex proteins cause microcephaly through decatenation failure at mitosis.

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    Martin, Carol-Anne; Murray, Jennie E; Carroll, Paula; Leitch, Andrea; Mackenzie, Karen J; Halachev, Mihail; Fetit, Ahmed E; Keith, Charlotte; Bicknell, Louise S; Fluteau, Adeline; Gautier, Philippe; Hall, Emma A; Joss, Shelagh; Soares, Gabriela; Silva, João; Bober, Michael B; Duker, Angela; Wise, Carol A; Quigley, Alan J; Phadke, Shubha R; Wood, Andrew J; Vagnarelli, Paola; Jackson, Andrew P

    2016-10-01

    Compaction of chromosomes is essential for accurate segregation of the genome during mitosis. In vertebrates, two condensin complexes ensure timely chromosome condensation, sister chromatid disentanglement, and maintenance of mitotic chromosome structure. Here, we report that biallelic mutations in NCAPD2, NCAPH, or NCAPD3, encoding subunits of these complexes, cause microcephaly. In addition, hypomorphic Ncaph2 mice have significantly reduced brain size, with frequent anaphase chromatin bridge formation observed in apical neural progenitors during neurogenesis. Such DNA bridges also arise in condensin-deficient patient cells, where they are the consequence of failed sister chromatid disentanglement during chromosome compaction. This results in chromosome segregation errors, leading to micronucleus formation and increased aneuploidy in daughter cells. These findings establish "condensinopathies" as microcephalic disorders, with decatenation failure as an additional disease mechanism for microcephaly, implicating mitotic chromosome condensation as a key process ensuring mammalian cerebral cortex size. © 2016 Martin et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  15. Condensin II mutation causes T-cell lymphoma through tissue-specific genome instability

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    Woodward, Jessica; Taylor, Gillian C.; Soares, Dinesh C.; Boyle, Shelagh; Sie, Daoud; Read, David; Chathoth, Keerthi; Vukovic, Milica; Tarrats, Nuria; Jamieson, David; Campbell, Kirsteen J.; Blyth, Karen; Acosta, Juan Carlos; Ylstra, Bauke; Arends, Mark J.; Kranc, Kamil R.; Jackson, Andrew P.; Bickmore, Wendy A.

    2016-01-01

    Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of cancer, but mitotic regulators are rarely mutated in tumors. Mutations in the condensin complexes, which restructure chromosomes to facilitate segregation during mitosis, are significantly enriched in cancer genomes, but experimental evidence implicating condensin dysfunction in tumorigenesis is lacking. We report that mice inheriting missense mutations in a condensin II subunit (Caph2nes) develop T-cell lymphoma. Before tumors develop, we found that the same Caph2 mutation impairs ploidy maintenance to a different extent in different hematopoietic cell types, with ploidy most severely perturbed at the CD4+CD8+ T-cell stage from which tumors initiate. Premalignant CD4+CD8+ T cells show persistent catenations during chromosome segregation, triggering DNA damage in diploid daughter cells and elevated ploidy. Genome sequencing revealed that Caph2 single-mutant tumors are near diploid but carry deletions spanning tumor suppressor genes, whereas P53 inactivation allowed Caph2 mutant cells with whole-chromosome gains and structural rearrangements to form highly aggressive disease. Together, our data challenge the view that mitotic chromosome formation is an invariant process during development and provide evidence that defective mitotic chromosome structure can promote tumorigenesis. PMID:27737961

  16. Chromatin compaction by condensin I, intra-kinetochore stretch and tension, and anaphase onset, in collective spindle assembly checkpoint interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsson, Leif

    2014-01-01

    The control mechanism in mitosis and meiosis by which cells decide to inhibit or allow segregation, the so-called spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), increases the fidelity of chromosome segregation. It acts like a clockwork mechanism which measures time in units of stable attachments of microtubules (MTs) to kinetochores (the order parameter). Stable MT–kinetochore attachments mediate poleward forces and ‘unstable’ attachments, acting alone or together with motor proteins on kinetochores via chromosomes, antipoleward forces. Stable and unstable attachments could be separated, and the non-equilibrium integrated MT mediated force acting on stably attached kinetochores was derived in a collective interaction (Matsson 2009 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 21 502101), in which kinetochores were treated as rigid protein complexes. As forces and tension in that model became equally distributed in all bioriented sister chromatid (SC) pairs, segregation was inhibited without need of a ‘wait-anaphase’ signal. In this generalization, the kinetochore is divided into an inner chromatin proximal complex and an outer MT proximal complex, and the integrated MT mediated force is divided into an integrated poleward and an integrated antipoleward force. The model also describes the collective interaction of condensin I with chromatin, which together with the MT mediated dynamics yields the putative in vivo tension in kinetochores and centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin, as a non-linear function of the order parameter. Supported by the compaction force and an increased stiffness in chromatin towards the end of metaphase, the two opposing integrated MT mediated poleward forces, together with metaphase oscillations, induce a swift and synchronized anaphase onset by first increasing the intra-kinetochore stretch. This increase lowers the SAC energy threshold, making a cleavage by separase of all cohesin tethering SC pairs in anaphase energetically possible, thereby reducing the

  17. Conditional mutation of Smc5 in mouse embryonic stem cells perturbs condensin localization and mitotic progression.

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    Pryzhkova, Marina V; Jordan, Philip W

    2016-04-15

    Correct duplication of stem cell genetic material and its appropriate segregation into daughter cells are requisites for tissue, organ and organism homeostasis. Disruption of stem cell genomic integrity can lead to developmental abnormalities and cancer. Roles of the Smc5/6 structural maintenance of chromosomes complex in pluripotent stem cell genome maintenance have not been investigated, despite its important roles in DNA synthesis, DNA repair and chromosome segregation as evaluated in other model systems. Using mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) with a conditional knockout allele of Smc5, we showed that Smc5 protein depletion resulted in destabilization of the Smc5/6 complex, accumulation of cells in G2 phase of the cell cycle and apoptosis. Detailed assessment of mitotic mESCs revealed abnormal condensin distribution and perturbed chromosome segregation, accompanied by irregular spindle morphology, lagging chromosomes and DNA bridges. Mutation of Smc5 resulted in retention of Aurora B kinase and enrichment of condensin on chromosome arms. Furthermore, we observed reduced levels of Polo-like kinase 1 at kinetochores during mitosis. Our study reveals crucial requirements of the Smc5/6 complex during cell cycle progression and for stem cell genome maintenance. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Condensins Exert Force on Chromatin-Nuclear Envelope Tethers to Mediate Nucleoplasmic Reticulum Formation in Drosophila melanogaster

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    Bozler, Julianna; Nguyen, Huy Q.; Rogers, Gregory C.; Bosco, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Although the nuclear envelope is known primarily for its role as a boundary between the nucleus and cytoplasm in eukaryotes, it plays a vital and dynamic role in many cellular processes. Studies of nuclear structure have revealed tissue-specific changes in nuclear envelope architecture, suggesting that its three-dimensional structure contributes to its functionality. Despite the importance of the nuclear envelope, the factors that regulate and maintain nuclear envelope shape remain largely unexplored. The nuclear envelope makes extensive and dynamic interactions with the underlying chromatin. Given this inexorable link between chromatin and the nuclear envelope, it is possible that local and global chromatin organization reciprocally impact nuclear envelope form and function. In this study, we use Drosophila salivary glands to show that the three-dimensional structure of the nuclear envelope can be altered with condensin II-mediated chromatin condensation. Both naturally occurring and engineered chromatin-envelope interactions are sufficient to allow chromatin compaction forces to drive distortions of the nuclear envelope. Weakening of the nuclear lamina further enhanced envelope remodeling, suggesting that envelope structure is capable of counterbalancing chromatin compaction forces. Our experiments reveal that the nucleoplasmic reticulum is born of the nuclear envelope and remains dynamic in that they can be reabsorbed into the nuclear envelope. We propose a model where inner nuclear envelope-chromatin tethers allow interphase chromosome movements to change nuclear envelope morphology. Therefore, interphase chromatin compaction may be a normal mechanism that reorganizes nuclear architecture, while under pathological conditions, such as laminopathies, compaction forces may contribute to defects in nuclear morphology. PMID:25552604

  19. Condensins exert force on chromatin-nuclear envelope tethers to mediate nucleoplasmic reticulum formation in Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Bozler, Julianna; Nguyen, Huy Q; Rogers, Gregory C; Bosco, Giovanni

    2014-12-30

    Although the nuclear envelope is known primarily for its role as a boundary between the nucleus and cytoplasm in eukaryotes, it plays a vital and dynamic role in many cellular processes. Studies of nuclear structure have revealed tissue-specific changes in nuclear envelope architecture, suggesting that its three-dimensional structure contributes to its functionality. Despite the importance of the nuclear envelope, the factors that regulate and maintain nuclear envelope shape remain largely unexplored. The nuclear envelope makes extensive and dynamic interactions with the underlying chromatin. Given this inexorable link between chromatin and the nuclear envelope, it is possible that local and global chromatin organization reciprocally impact nuclear envelope form and function. In this study, we use Drosophila salivary glands to show that the three-dimensional structure of the nuclear envelope can be altered with condensin II-mediated chromatin condensation. Both naturally occurring and engineered chromatin-envelope interactions are sufficient to allow chromatin compaction forces to drive distortions of the nuclear envelope. Weakening of the nuclear lamina further enhanced envelope remodeling, suggesting that envelope structure is capable of counterbalancing chromatin compaction forces. Our experiments reveal that the nucleoplasmic reticulum is born of the nuclear envelope and remains dynamic in that they can be reabsorbed into the nuclear envelope. We propose a model where inner nuclear envelope-chromatin tethers allow interphase chromosome movements to change nuclear envelope morphology. Therefore, interphase chromatin compaction may be a normal mechanism that reorganizes nuclear architecture, while under pathological conditions, such as laminopathies, compaction forces may contribute to defects in nuclear morphology. Copyright © 2015 Bozler et al.

  20. Condensin-driven remodelling of X chromosome topology during dosage compensation

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    Crane, Emily; Bian, Qian; McCord, Rachel Patton; Lajoie, Bryan R.; Wheeler, Bayly S.; Ralston, Edward J.; Uzawa, Satoru; Dekker, Job; Meyer, Barbara J.

    2015-07-01

    The three-dimensional organization of a genome plays a critical role in regulating gene expression, yet little is known about the machinery and mechanisms that determine higher-order chromosome structure. Here we perform genome-wide chromosome conformation capture analysis, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and RNA-seq to obtain comprehensive three-dimensional (3D) maps of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome and to dissect X chromosome dosage compensation, which balances gene expression between XX hermaphrodites and XO males. The dosage compensation complex (DCC), a condensin complex, binds to both hermaphrodite X chromosomes via sequence-specific recruitment elements on X (rex sites) to reduce chromosome-wide gene expression by half. Most DCC condensin subunits also act in other condensin complexes to control the compaction and resolution of all mitotic and meiotic chromosomes. By comparing chromosome structure in wild-type and DCC-defective embryos, we show that the DCC remodels hermaphrodite X chromosomes into a sex-specific spatial conformation distinct from autosomes. Dosage-compensated X chromosomes consist of self-interacting domains (~1 Mb) resembling mammalian topologically associating domains (TADs). TADs on X chromosomes have stronger boundaries and more regular spacing than on autosomes. Many TAD boundaries on X chromosomes coincide with the highest-affinity rex sites and become diminished or lost in DCC-defective mutants, thereby converting the topology of X to a conformation resembling autosomes. rex sites engage in DCC-dependent long-range interactions, with the most frequent interactions occurring between rex sites at DCC-dependent TAD boundaries. These results imply that the DCC reshapes the topology of X chromosomes by forming new TAD boundaries and reinforcing weak boundaries through interactions between its highest-affinity binding sites. As this model predicts, deletion of an endogenous rex site at a DCC-dependent TAD boundary using

  1. Condensin suppresses recombination and regulates double-strand break processing at the repetitive ribosomal DNA array to ensure proper chromosome segregation during meiosis in budding yeast

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    Li, Ping; Jin, Hui; Yu, Hong-Guo

    2014-01-01

    During meiosis, homologues are linked by crossover, which is required for bipolar chromosome orientation before chromosome segregation at anaphase I. The repetitive ribosomal DNA (rDNA) array, however, undergoes little or no meiotic recombination. Hyperrecombination can cause chromosome missegregation and rDNA copy number instability. We report here that condensin, a conserved protein complex required for chromosome organization, regulates double-strand break (DSB) formation and repair at the rDNA gene cluster during meiosis in budding yeast. Condensin is highly enriched at the rDNA region during prophase I, released at the prophase I/metaphase I transition, and reassociates with rDNA before anaphase I onset. We show that condensin plays a dual role in maintaining rDNA stability: it suppresses the formation of Spo11-mediated rDNA breaks, and it promotes DSB processing to ensure proper chromosome segregation. Condensin is unnecessary for the export of rDNA breaks outside the nucleolus but required for timely repair of meiotic DSBs. Our work reveals that condensin coordinates meiotic recombination with chromosome segregation at the repetitive rDNA sequence, thereby maintaining genome integrity. PMID:25103240

  2. Functional Connectivity of Human Chewing

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    Quintero, A.; Ichesco, E.; Schutt, R.; Myers, C.; Peltier, S.; Gerstner, G.E.

    2013-01-01

    Mastication is one of the most important orofacial functions. The neurobiological mechanisms of masticatory control have been investigated in animal models, but less so in humans. This project used functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) to assess the positive temporal correlations among activated brain areas during a gum-chewing task. Twenty-nine healthy young-adults underwent an fcMRI scanning protocol while they chewed gum. Seed-based fcMRI analyses were performed with the motor cortex and cerebellum as regions of interest. Both left and right motor cortices were reciprocally functionally connected and functionally connected with the post-central gyrus, cerebellum, cingulate cortex, and precuneus. The cerebellar seeds showed functional connections with the contralateral cerebellar hemispheres, bilateral sensorimotor cortices, left superior temporal gyrus, and left cingulate cortex. These results are the first to identify functional central networks engaged during mastication. PMID:23355525

  3. The functions of human saliva

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    Dawes, C; Pedersen, Anne Marie Lynge; Villa, A

    2015-01-01

    This narrative review of the functions of saliva was conducted in the PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases. Additional references relevant to the topic were used, as our key words did not generate references which covered all known functions of saliva. These functions include maintaining a...... of oral wounds. Clearly, saliva has many functions which are needed for proper protection and functioning of the human body....... a moist oral mucosa which is less susceptible to abrasion, and removal of micro-organisms, desquamated epithelial cells, leucocytes and food debris by swallowing. The mucins form a slimy coating on all surfaces in the mouth and act as a lubricant during such processes as mastication, formation of a food...

  4. The Functional Human C-Terminome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surbhi Sharma

    Full Text Available All translated proteins end with a carboxylic acid commonly called the C-terminus. Many short functional sequences (minimotifs are located on or immediately proximal to the C-terminus. However, information about the function of protein C-termini has not been consolidated into a single source. Here, we built a new "C-terminome" database and web system focused on human proteins. Approximately 3,600 C-termini in the human proteome have a minimotif with an established molecular function. To help evaluate the function of the remaining C-termini in the human proteome, we inferred minimotifs identified by experimentation in rodent cells, predicted minimotifs based upon consensus sequence matches, and predicted novel highly repetitive sequences in C-termini. Predictions can be ranked by enrichment scores or Gene Evolutionary Rate Profiling (GERP scores, a measurement of evolutionary constraint. By searching for new anchored sequences on the last 10 amino acids of proteins in the human proteome with lengths between 3-10 residues and up to 5 degenerate positions in the consensus sequences, we have identified new consensus sequences that predict instances in the majority of human genes. All of this information is consolidated into a database that can be accessed through a C-terminome web system with search and browse functions for minimotifs and human proteins. A known consensus sequence-based predicted function is assigned to nearly half the proteins in the human proteome. Weblink: http://cterminome.bio-toolkit.com.

  5. The Functional Human C-Terminome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedden, Michael; Lyon, Kenneth F.; Brooks, Steven B.; David, Roxanne P.; Limtong, Justin; Newsome, Jacklyn M.; Novakovic, Nemanja; Rajasekaran, Sanguthevar; Thapar, Vishal; Williams, Sean R.; Schiller, Martin R.

    2016-01-01

    All translated proteins end with a carboxylic acid commonly called the C-terminus. Many short functional sequences (minimotifs) are located on or immediately proximal to the C-terminus. However, information about the function of protein C-termini has not been consolidated into a single source. Here, we built a new “C-terminome” database and web system focused on human proteins. Approximately 3,600 C-termini in the human proteome have a minimotif with an established molecular function. To help evaluate the function of the remaining C-termini in the human proteome, we inferred minimotifs identified by experimentation in rodent cells, predicted minimotifs based upon consensus sequence matches, and predicted novel highly repetitive sequences in C-termini. Predictions can be ranked by enrichment scores or Gene Evolutionary Rate Profiling (GERP) scores, a measurement of evolutionary constraint. By searching for new anchored sequences on the last 10 amino acids of proteins in the human proteome with lengths between 3–10 residues and up to 5 degenerate positions in the consensus sequences, we have identified new consensus sequences that predict instances in the majority of human genes. All of this information is consolidated into a database that can be accessed through a C-terminome web system with search and browse functions for minimotifs and human proteins. A known consensus sequence-based predicted function is assigned to nearly half the proteins in the human proteome. Weblink: http://cterminome.bio-toolkit.com. PMID:27050421

  6. Ontogenesis of testicular function in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GaĂŤlle Angenard

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The two major functions of the testis, steroidogenesis and gametogenesis, take place during fetal life. These two functions have been extensively studied in rodents and adult humans. However, their onset during fetal life is poorly documented in humans. In the first part of this work we presented both our experimental data and some data of literature concerning the development of the human fetal testis. In the second part of this article, using the organ culture system we previously developed, we have investigated the regulations or perturbations of fetal testis development both in rodent and human models. Our findings provide important insight into the potential role of exposure to environmental pollutants (physical factors, in particular ionizing radiation, cadmium and endocrine disruptors such as phthalates during fetal testicular development and their potential deleterious effects on male fertility in adulthood. Our results highlight the specificity of the human model compared with rodent models.

  7. Human milk metagenome: a functional capacity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Human milk contains a diverse population of bacteria that likely influences colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies, however, have been limited to characterization of this microbial community by 16S rRNA analysis. In the present study, a metagenomic approach using Illumina sequencing of a pooled milk sample (ten donors) was employed to determine the genera of bacteria and the types of bacterial open reading frames in human milk that may influence bacterial establishment and stability in this primal food matrix. The human milk metagenome was also compared to that of breast-fed and formula-fed infants’ feces (n = 5, each) and mothers’ feces (n = 3) at the phylum level and at a functional level using open reading frame abundance. Additionally, immune-modulatory bacterial-DNA motifs were also searched for within human milk. Results The bacterial community in human milk contained over 360 prokaryotic genera, with sequences aligning predominantly to the phyla of Proteobacteria (65%) and Firmicutes (34%), and the genera of Pseudomonas (61.1%), Staphylococcus (33.4%) and Streptococcus (0.5%). From assembled human milk-derived contigs, 30,128 open reading frames were annotated and assigned to functional categories. When compared to the metagenome of infants’ and mothers’ feces, the human milk metagenome was less diverse at the phylum level, and contained more open reading frames associated with nitrogen metabolism, membrane transport and stress response (P milk metagenome also contained a similar occurrence of immune-modulatory DNA motifs to that of infants’ and mothers’ fecal metagenomes. Conclusions Our results further expand the complexity of the human milk metagenome and enforce the benefits of human milk ingestion on the microbial colonization of the infant gut and immunity. Discovery of immune-modulatory motifs in the metagenome of human milk indicates more exhaustive analyses of the functionality of the human

  8. Functional anatomy of the human ureterovesical junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roshani, H.; Dabhoiwala, N. F.; Verbeek, F. J.; Lamers, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The valve function of the ureterovesical-junction (UVJ) is responsible for protection of the low pressure upper urinary tract from the refluxing of urine from the bladder. Controversy about the microanatomy of the human ureterovesical-junction persists. METHODS: Ten (3 male and 7 female)

  9. Tiny plastic lung mimics human pulmonary function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careers Inclusion & Diversity Work-Life Balance Career Resources Apply for a Job Postdocs Students Goals Recycling Green Purchasing Pollution Prevention Reusing Water Resources Environmental Management Releases - 2016 » April » Tiny plastic lung mimics human pulmonary function Tiny plastic lung mimics

  10. Mesocortical dopaminergic function and human cognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weinberger, D.R.; Berman, K.F.; Chase, T.N.

    1988-01-01

    In summary, we have reviewed rCBF data in humans that suggest that mesoprefrontal dopaminergic activity is involved in human cognition. In patients with Parkinson's disease and possibly in patients with schizophrenia, prefrontal physiological activation during a cognitive task that appears to depend on prefrontal neural systems correlates positively with cognitive performance on the task and with clinical signs of dopaminergic function. It may be possible in the future to examine prefrontal dopamine metabolism directly during prefrontal cognition using positron emission tomography and tracers such as F-18 DOPA. 21 references

  11. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marg, E.

    1988-01-01

    Imaging of human brain structure and activity with particular reference to visual function is reviewed along with methods of obtaining the data including computed tomographic (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET). The literature is reviewed and the potential for a new understanding of brain visual function is discussed. PET is reviewed from basic physical principles to the most recent visual brain findings with oxygen-15. It is shown that there is a potential for submillimeter localization of visual functions with sequentially different visual stimuli designed for the temporal separation of the responses. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a less expensive substitute for PET, is also discussed. MRS is covered from basic physical principles to the current state of the art of in vivo biochemical analysis. Future possible clinical applications are discussed. Improved understanding of the functional neural organization of vision and brain will open a window to maps and circuits of human brain function.119 references

  12. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

    Giacomo Rizzolatti, Stanislas Dehaene, and Trevor Robbins were recently awarded the 2014 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize for their 'pioneering research on higher brain mechanisms underpinning such complex human functions as literacy, numeracy, motivated behavior and social cognition, and for their effort to understand cognitive and behavioral disorders'. Why was their work highlighted? Is there anything that links together these seemingly disparate lines of research? Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Promotion of health and human functionality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristhina de Oliveira Brasil

    2013-08-01

    Organization, signatory of Resolution WHA54.21-OMS54.21, which recommends the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF, translated into Portuguese in 2003. The main paradigm that ICF brings is the shift from an approach based on the disease to an approach focused on the human functionality (3. Only in May 2012 the National Health Council (Conselho nacioinal de Saúde – CNS approved the resolution 452 for the Ministry of Health to adopt the ICF, among other uses, as a generator of indicators of human functionality (4. Human functionality, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF of the World Health Organization, is a comprehensive term that designates the elements of the body, its functions and structures, the human activities and participation in the social processes, indicating the positive aspects of the interaction of individuals with certain health conditions and thee context in which he lives with regard to personal and environmental factors (structural and attitudinal (3. However, health information appears incomplete, since data regarding the human functionality is not yet meaningful enough to support the developed policies so that they could accomplish the expected results in the face of the disabilities posed by the deficiencies, limitations in activities and restrictions of participation(5. Given the above, a change in direction is required in the paths of public health policies in Brazil, disposing of the exclusively biological approach to the disease, and starting to see it as a problem produced by the society. Therefore, it is necessary to develop information that record not only the disease but the additional aspects of the individuals´ health status. The human functionality is directly influenced both by the presence of diseases, mainly the chronic ones (featuring the change induced by the epidemiologic transition, as by the occurance of negative context, like the

  14. Promotion of Health and Human Functionality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristhina de Oliveira Brasil

    2013-03-01

    Organization, signatory of Resolution WHA54.21-OMS54.21, which recommends the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF, translated into Portuguese in 2003. The main paradigm that ICF brings is the shift from an approach based on the disease to an approach focused on the human functionality (3. Only in May 2012 the National Health Council (Conselho nacioinal de Saúde – CNS approved the resolution 452 for the Ministry of Health to adopt the ICF, among other uses, as a generator of indicators of human functionality (4. Human functionality, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF of the World Health Organization, is a comprehensive term that designates the elements of the body, its functions and structures, the human activities and participation in the social processes, indicating the positive aspects of the interaction of individuals with certain health conditions and thee context in which he lives with regard to personal and environmental factors (structural and attitudinal (3. However, health information appears incomplete, since data regarding the human functionality is not yet meaningful enough to support the developed policies so that they could accomplish the expected results in the face of the disabilities posed by the deficiencies, limitations in activities and restrictions of participation(5.Given the above, a change in direction is required in the paths of public health policies in Brazil, disposing of the exclusively biological approach to the disease, and starting to see it as a problem produced by the society. Therefore, it is necessary to develop information that record not only the disease but the additional aspects of the individuals´ health status.The human functionality is directly influenced both by the presence of diseases, mainly the chronic ones (featuring the change induced by the epidemiologic transition, as by the occurance of negative context, like the diverse

  15. Biomimetics of human movement: functional or aesthetic?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, Christopher M

    2009-01-01

    How should robotic or prosthetic arms be programmed to move? Copying human smooth movements is popular in synthetic systems, but what does this really achieve? We cannot address these biomimetic issues without a deep understanding of why natural movements are so stereotyped. In this article, we distinguish between 'functional' and 'aesthetic' biomimetics. Functional biomimetics requires insight into the problem that nature has solved and recognition that a similar problem exists in the synthetic system. In aesthetic biomimetics, nature is copied for its own sake and no insight is needed. We examine the popular minimum jerk (MJ) model that has often been used to generate smooth human-like point-to-point movements in synthetic arms. The MJ model was originally justified as maximizing 'smoothness'; however, it is also the limiting optimal trajectory for a wide range of cost functions for brief movements, including the minimum variance (MV) model, where smoothness is a by-product of optimizing the speed-accuracy trade-off imposed by proportional noise (PN: signal-dependent noise with the standard deviation proportional to mean). PN is unlikely to be dominant in synthetic systems, and the control objectives of natural movements (speed and accuracy) would not be optimized in synthetic systems by human-like movements. Thus, employing MJ or MV controllers in robotic arms is just aesthetic biomimetics. For prosthetic arms, the goal is aesthetic by definition, but it is still crucial to recognize that MV trajectories and PN are deeply embedded in the human motor system. Thus, PN arises at the neural level, as a recruitment strategy of motor units and probably optimizes motor neuron noise. Human reaching is under continuous adaptive control. For prosthetic devices that do not have this natural architecture, natural plasticity would drive the system towards unnatural movements. We propose that a truly neuromorphic system with parallel force generators (muscle fibres) and noisy

  16. Human Eosinophils Express Functional CCR7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueki, Shigeharu; Estanislau, Jessica; Weller, Peter F.

    2013-01-01

    Human eosinophils display directed chemotactic activity toward an array of soluble chemokines. Eosinophils have been observed to migrate to draining lymph nodes in experimental models of allergic inflammation, yet it is unknown whether eosinophils express CCR7, a key chemokine receptor in coordinating leukocyte trafficking to lymph nodes. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate expression of CCR7 by human eosinophils and functional responses to CCL19 and CCL21, the known ligands of CCR7. Human eosinophils were purified by negative selection from healthy donors. CCR7 expression of freshly purified, unstimulated eosinophils and of IL-5–primed eosinophils was determined by flow cytometry and Western blot. Chemotaxis to CCL19 and CCL21 was measured in transwell assays. Shape changes to CCL19 and CCL21 were analyzed by flow cytometry and microscopy. Calcium fluxes of fluo-4 AM–loaded eosinophils were recorded by flow cytometry after chemokine stimulation. ERK phosphorylation of CCL19- and CCL21-stimulated eosinophils was measured by Western blot and Luminex assay. Human eosinophils expressed CCR7 as demonstrated by flow cytometry and Western blots. Eosinophils exhibited detectable cell surface expression of CCR7. IL-5–primed eosinophils exhibited chemotaxis toward CCL19 and CCL21 in a dose-dependent fashion. Upon stimulation with CCL19 or CCL21, IL-5–primed eosinophils demonstrated dose-dependent shape changes with polarization of F-actin and exhibited calcium influxes. Finally, primed eosinophils stimulated with CCL19 or CCL21 exhibited increased phosphorylation of ERK in response to both CCR7 ligands. We demonstrate that human eosinophils express CCR7 and have multipotent responses to the known ligands of CCR7. PMID:23449735

  17. Hierarchical modularity in human brain functional networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Meunier

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The idea that complex systems have a hierarchical modular organization originates in the early 1960s and has recently attracted fresh support from quantitative studies of large scale, real-life networks. Here we investigate the hierarchical modular (or “modules-within-modules” decomposition of human brain functional networks, measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in 18 healthy volunteers under no-task or resting conditions. We used a customized template to extract networks with more than 1800 regional nodes, and we applied a fast algorithm to identify nested modular structure at several hierarchical levels. We used mutual information, 0 < I < 1, to estimate the similarity of community structure of networks in different subjects, and to identify the individual network that is most representative of the group. Results show that human brain functional networks have a hierarchical modular organization with a fair degree of similarity between subjects, I=0.63. The largest 5 modules at the highest level of the hierarchy were medial occipital, lateral occipital, central, parieto-frontal and fronto-temporal systems; occipital modules demonstrated less sub-modular organization than modules comprising regions of multimodal association cortex. Connector nodes and hubs, with a key role in inter-modular connectivity, were also concentrated in association cortical areas. We conclude that methods are available for hierarchical modular decomposition of large numbers of high resolution brain functional networks using computationally expedient algorithms. This could enable future investigations of Simon's original hypothesis that hierarchy or near-decomposability of physical symbol systems is a critical design feature for their fast adaptivity to changing environmental conditions.

  18. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are a group of complex sugars that are highly abundant in human milk, but currently not present in infant formula. More than a hundred different HMOs have been identified so far. The amount and composition of HMOs are highly variable between women, and each structurally defined HMO might have a distinct functionality. HMOs are not digested by the infant and serve as metabolic substrates for select microbes, contributing to shape the infant gut microbiome. HMOs act as soluble decoy receptors that block the attachment of viral, bacterial or protozoan parasite pathogens to epithelial cell surface sugars, which may help prevent infectious diseases in the gut and also the respiratory and urinary tracts. HMOs are also antimicrobials that act as bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal agents. In addition, HMOs alter host epithelial and immune cell responses with potential benefits for the neonate. The article reviews current knowledge as well as future challenges and opportunities related to the functional biology of HMOs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Structure-function relationships of human meniscus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danso, Elvis K; Oinas, Joonas M T; Saarakkala, Simo; Mikkonen, Santtu; Töyräs, Juha; Korhonen, Rami K

    2017-03-01

    Biomechanical properties of human meniscus have been shown to be site-specific. However, it is not known which meniscus constituents at different depths and locations contribute to biomechanical properties obtained from indentation testing. Therefore, we investigated the composition and structure of human meniscus in a site- and depth-dependent manner and their relationships with tissue site-specific biomechanical properties. Elastic and poroelastic properties were analyzed from experimental stress-relaxation and sinusoidal indentation measurements with fibril reinforced poroelastic finite element modeling. Proteoglycan (PG) and collagen contents, as well as the collagen orientation angle, were determined as a function of tissue depth using microscopic and spectroscopic methods, and they were compared with biomechanical properties. For all the measurement sites (anterior, middle and posterior) of lateral and medial menisci (n=26), PG content and collagen orientation angle increased as a function of tissue depth while the collagen content had an initial sharp increase followed by a decrease across tissue depth. The highest values (pmeniscus. This location had also higher (pmeniscus, higher (pmeniscus) significantly higher (pmeniscus modulus and/or nonlinear permeability. This study suggests that nonlinear biomechanical properties of meniscus, caused by the collagen network and fluid, may be strongly influenced by tissue osmotic swelling from the deep meniscus caused by the increased PG content, leading to increased collagen fibril tension. These nonlinear biomechanical properties are suggested to be further amplified by higher collagen content at all tissue depths and superficial collagen fibril orientation. However, these structure-function relationships are suggested to be highly site-specific. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Human-Robot Teams Informed by Human Performance Moderator Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-29

    performance factors that affect the ability of a human to drive at night, which includes the eyesight of the driver, the fatigue level of the driver...where human factors are factors that affect the performance of an individual. 7 for human interaction. For instance, they explain the various human... affecting trust in human-robot interaction. Human Factors 53(5), 517-527 (2001) 35. Hart, S. G. and Staveland, L. E. Development of NASA-TLX (Task

  1. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

  2. Functional Crosstalk between Human Papillomaviruses and Lentiviruses

    OpenAIRE

    Pryszlak, Anna Marta

    2016-01-01

    Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and human immunodeficiency virus‐1 (HIV‐1) are human pathogens of high biomedical significance worldwide. Interestingly, increasing epidemiological evidence indicates that individuals with active HPV infections possess an enhanced risk of being infected by HIV‐1. These findings raise the possibility that HPVs may directly or indirectly increase the pathogenicity of lentiviruses, such as HIV‐1. Using a Vesicular Stomatitis Virus‐G‐(VSV‐G)‐pseudotype...

  3. Toward discovery science of human brain function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2010-01-01

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints...... individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships...... in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/....

  4. Functional analysis of human and chimpanzee promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heissig, Florian; Krause, Johannes; Bryk, Jaroslaw; Khaitovich, Philipp; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante

    2005-01-01

    It has long been argued that changes in gene expression may provide an additional and crucial perspective on the evolutionary differences between humans and chimpanzees. To investigate how often expression differences seen in tissues are caused by sequence differences in the proximal promoters, we tested the expression activity in cultured cells of human and chimpanzee promoters from genes that differ in mRNA expression between human and chimpanzee tissues. Twelve promoters for which the corresponding gene had been shown to be differentially expressed between humans and chimpanzees in liver or brain were tested. Seven showed a significant difference in activity between the human promoter and the orthologous chimpanzee promoter in at least one of the two cell lines used. However, only three of them showed a difference in the same direction as in the tissues. Differences in proximal promoter activity are likely to be common between humans and chimpanzees, but are not linked in a simple fashion to gene-expression levels in tissues. This suggests that several genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees might be responsible for a single expression difference and thus that relevant expression differences between humans and chimpanzees will be difficult to predict from cell culture experiments or DNA sequences.

  5. Functional impact of the human mobilome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babatz, Timothy D; Burns, Kathleen H

    2013-06-01

    The human genome is replete with interspersed repetitive sequences derived from the propagation of mobile DNA elements. Three families of human retrotransposons remain active today: LINE1, Alu, and SVA elements. Since 1988, de novo insertions at previously recognized disease loci have been shown to generate highly penetrant alleles in Mendelian disorders. Only recently has the extent of germline-transmitted retrotransposon insertion polymorphism (RIP) in human populations been fully realized. Also exciting are recent studies of somatic retrotransposition in human tissues and reports of tumor-specific insertions, suggesting roles in tissue heterogeneity and tumorigenesis. Here we discuss mobile elements in human disease with an emphasis on exciting developments from the last several years. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Development and function of human innate immune cells in a humanized mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rongvaux, Anthony; Willinger, Tim; Martinek, Jan; Strowig, Till; Gearty, Sofia V; Teichmann, Lino L; Saito, Yasuyuki; Marches, Florentina; Halene, Stephanie; Palucka, A Karolina; Manz, Markus G; Flavell, Richard A

    2014-04-01

    Mice repopulated with human hematopoietic cells are a powerful tool for the study of human hematopoiesis and immune function in vivo. However, existing humanized mouse models cannot support development of human innate immune cells, including myeloid cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Here we describe two mouse strains called MITRG and MISTRG, in which human versions of four genes encoding cytokines important for innate immune cell development are knocked into their respective mouse loci. The human cytokines support the development and function of monocytes, macrophages and NK cells derived from human fetal liver or adult CD34(+) progenitor cells injected into the mice. Human macrophages infiltrated a human tumor xenograft in MITRG and MISTRG mice in a manner resembling that observed in tumors obtained from human patients. This humanized mouse model may be used to model the human immune system in scenarios of health and pathology, and may enable evaluation of therapeutic candidates in an in vivo setting relevant to human physiology.

  7. Functional Neuronal Processing of Human Body Odors

    OpenAIRE

    Lundström, Johan N.; Olsson, Mats J.

    2010-01-01

    Body odors carry informational cues of great importance for individuals across a wide range of species, and signals hidden within the body odor cocktail are known to regulate several key behaviors in animals. For a long time, the notion that humans may be among these species has been dismissed. We now know, however, that each human has a unique odor signature that carries information related to his or her genetic makeup, as well as information about personal environmental variables, such as d...

  8. Human Systems Integration: Requirements and Functional Decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berson, Barry; Gershzohn, Gary; Boltz, Laura; Wolf, Russ; Schultz, Mike

    2005-01-01

    This deliverable was intended as an input to the Access 5 Policy and Simulation Integrated Product Teams. This document contains high-level pilot functionality for operations in the National Airspace System above FL430. Based on the derived pilot functions the associated pilot information and control requirements are given.

  9. Functional neuronal processing of human body odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundström, Johan N; Olsson, Mats J

    2010-01-01

    Body odors carry informational cues of great importance for individuals across a wide range of species, and signals hidden within the body odor cocktail are known to regulate several key behaviors in animals. For a long time, the notion that humans may be among these species has been dismissed. We now know, however, that each human has a unique odor signature that carries information related to his or her genetic makeup, as well as information about personal environmental variables, such as diet and hygiene. Although a substantial number of studies have investigated the behavioral effects of body odors, only a handful have studied central processing. Recent studies have, however, demonstrated that the human brain responds to fear signals hidden within the body odor cocktail, is able to extract kin specific signals, and processes body odors differently than other perceptually similar odors. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of how the human brain processes body odors and the potential importance these signals have for us in everyday life. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Marijuana Effects on Human Forgetting Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Scott D.; Cherek, Don R.; Lieving, Lori M.; Tcheremissine, Oleg V.

    2005-01-01

    It has long been known that acute marijuana administration impairs working memory (e.g., the discrimination of stimuli separated by a delay). The determination of which of the individual components of memory are altered by marijuana is an unresolved problem. Previous human studies did not use test protocols that allowed for the determination of…

  11. Human reproduction functions: Evaluation with radiobioassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Hassan, N.D.

    1983-01-01

    Many studies reveal that the ovary is capable of responding to an adequate gonadotropic stimulus long before menarche. Similarly, the pituitary is capable of producing gonadotropins in response to an adequate hypothalamic signal before menarche. Recent studies in the primate confirm that the hypothalamus signals are temporarily different before menarche as compared to the reproductive years, so that if the luteotropic hormone (LRH) stimulus is pulsed to the pituitary at the required time sequence, the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH) as well as ovulation can be achieved even in the immature monkey. HPL is another hormone produced by the syncytiotrophoblast that is also used to identify pregnancies at a higher risk of fetal demise. It shares structural similarities with the human growth hormone (hGH) and PRL. HPL is diabetogenic. Its effect is mediated through glucose metabolism. Circulating HPL is elevated during multiple gestations. Its circulating levels in fact correlate with the fetoplacental mass. It has a short half-life and the larger the fetoplacental mass, the higher the HPL level. Hyperglycemic states are associated with a decrease in HPL levels, and hypoglycemia is associated with elevated levels of HPL. RIA through the measurement of HPL has helped in the management of the high-risk fetus and its mother. Through RIA other fetoplacental hormones are identifiable and their levels are obtainable. There is a human chorionic ACTH, a human chorionic TSH, and a human chorionic PRL. These can be involved in health and disease

  12. The Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Face Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grill-Spector, Kalanit; Weiner, Kevin S; Kay, Kendrick; Gomez, Jesse

    2017-09-15

    Face perception is critical for normal social functioning and is mediated by a network of regions in the ventral visual stream. In this review, we describe recent neuroimaging findings regarding the macro- and microscopic anatomical features of the ventral face network, the characteristics of white matter connections, and basic computations performed by population receptive fields within face-selective regions composing this network. We emphasize the importance of the neural tissue properties and white matter connections of each region, as these anatomical properties may be tightly linked to the functional characteristics of the ventral face network. We end by considering how empirical investigations of the neural architecture of the face network may inform the development of computational models and shed light on how computations in the face network enable efficient face perception.

  13. Marijuana's effects on human cognitive functions, psychomotor functions, and personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, J B

    1986-01-01

    Marijuana is complex chemically and not yet fully understood, but it is not a narcotic. Like alcohol, marijuana acts as both stimulant and depressant, but it lingers in body organs longer than alcohol. Smoking marijuana can injure mucosal tissue and may have more carcinogenic potential than tobacco. Research has indicated that marijuana intoxication definitely hinders attention, long-term memory storage, and psychomotor skills involved in driving a car or flying a plane. Expectations and past experience with marijuana have often influenced results more than pharmacological aspects have. Marijuana has triggered psychotic episodes in those more vulnerable. Psychological and some instances of physiological dependence on marijuana have been demonstrated. As a psychoactive drug, marijuana surely alters mental functioning. Although it is possible that chronic use of marijuana produces irreversible damage to mind or brain areas, this has not been determined by research.

  14. Functional Metagenomic Investigations of the Human Intestinal Microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, Aimee M.; Munck, Christian; Sommer, Morten Otto Alexander

    2011-01-01

    The human intestinal microbiota encode multiple critical functions impacting human health, including metabolism of dietary substrate, prevention of pathogen invasion, immune system modulation, and provision of a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes accessible to pathogens. The complexity...... microorganisms, but relatively recently applied to the study of the human commensal microbiota. Metagenomic functional screens characterize the functional capacity of a microbial community, independent of identity to known genes, by subjecting the metagenome to functional assays in a genetically tractable host....... Here we highlight recent work applying this technique to study the functional diversity of the intestinal microbiota, and discuss how an approach combining high-throughput sequencing, cultivation, and metagenomic functional screens can improve our understanding of interactions between this complex...

  15. On the allocation of functions between human and machine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wirstad, J.

    1979-09-01

    The idea of allocating functions between human and machine was proceduralized early through aids like Fitts' List which describes the relative advantages of men and machines. Although the principle is clear, function allocation has never worked in practice. Some conditions for function allocations are discussed; adequate logic, a common man-machine system language, usable human engineering guides and data and professional habits and attitudes. Trends which will influence ergonomics procedures are described; influence from technology, increasing work environment requirements and user participation requirements. A procedural structure for human engineering or ergonomics in control system design is suggested. This does not include a separate function allocation activity but a number of activities, the result of which will be a systematic function allocation. A case study on ergonomics techniques for systematic function allocation in a control system is described in an appendix to the report. (author)

  16. Effect of aberrations in human eye on contrast sensitivity function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Wei; Wang, Feng-lin; Wang, Zhao-qi

    2011-06-01

    The quantitative analysis of the effect of aberrations in human eye on vision has important clinical value in the correction of aberrations. The wave-front aberrations of human eyes were measured with the Hartmann-Shack wave-front sensor and modulation transfer function (MTF) was computed from the wave-front aberrations. Contrast sensitivity function (CSF) was obtained from MTF and the retinal aerial image modulation (AIM). It is shown that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Zernike aberrations deteriorate contrast sensitivity function. When the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Zernike aberrations are corrected high contrast sensitivity function can be obtained.

  17. Human otolith function, experiment M009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graybiel, A.; Miller, E. F., II

    1971-01-01

    The experiments that were performed during the Gemini 5 and 7 missions resulted in quantitative information concerning otolithic function and orientation of four subjects exposed to an orbiting spacecraft environment for prolonged periods of time. Preflight counterrolling measurements revealed significant differences between crewmembers with regard to the basic magnitude of otolith response. However, after the flight, each crewmember maintained his respective preflight level of response. This was indicative that no significant change in otolithic sensitivity occurred as a result of the flight, or at least no change persisted long enough to be recorded several hours after recovery. The EVLH data recorded for each subject confirmed the observation that a coordinate space sense exists even in a weightless environment if contact cues are adequate. However, it was noted that the apparent location of the horizontal within the spacecraft may not agree necessarily with its physical correlate in the spacecraft.

  18. Platelet modulation of human neutrophil functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGarrity, S.T.; Hyers, T.M.; Webster, R.O.

    1986-03-01

    The combined presence of platelets (PLTS) and neutrophils (PMN) at inflammatory sites has led to examination of the hypothesis that interaction of these cells modulates their responses to stimuli. Gel-filtered human PLTS (GFP) were found to inhibit N-formyl-met-leu-phe (FMLP) and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) stimulated PMN O/sub 2//sup -/ generation in a concentration-dependent fashion. The heat-stable inhibitory activity was present in the supernatants of GFP after incubation with FMLP (10/sup -7/M), thrombin (0.5 U/ml) or ADP (20 ..mu..M), suggesting a role for PLT release products. PLT lysates added to PMN produced up to 80% inhibition of O/sub 2//sup -/ generation for PMA and 40% for FMLP. Like GFP, lysates failed to scavenge O/sub 2/..pi.. produced by xanthine oxidase-hypoxanthine. The inhibitory activity could not be ascribed to serotonin or adenosine. PLT lysates failed to compete with /sup 3/H-FMLP for binding to PMN. Sephadex G-200 fractionation of PLT lysates releaved two peaks of inhibitory activity with apparent Mr > 200,000 and < 14,000 Daltons. Pretreatment of PMN with PLT lysates also results in a concentration-dependent inhibition of degranulation provoked by FMLP (2 x 10/sup -7/M) or PMA (2 ng/ml) and PMN chemotaxis to FMLP (10/sup -8/M). These studies indicate that preformed PLT mediator(s) released in response to physiological stimuli may limit tissue damage by PMN at sites of inflammation.

  19. A Preliminary Classification of Human Functional Sexual Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Lawrence; And Others

    1976-01-01

    A preliminary classification is presented for functional human sexual disorders. This system is based on objective behavior and reports of distress. Five categories of sexual disorders are proposed, including the behavioral, psychological and informational components of sexual functioning in the individual and the couple. (Author)

  20. Adult Functional Literacy Curriculum: Effective Strategy for Human ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adult functional literacy curriculum no doubt, is a panacea to human resource development in Nigeria. Government and non-government organizations have roles to play in providing functional education to adults who drop out of school or have no opportunity of attending the formal school system for all round development.

  1. An anatomical and functional topography of human auditory cortical areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle eMoerel

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available While advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI throughout the last decades have enabled the detailed anatomical and functional inspection of the human brain non-invasively, to date there is no consensus regarding the precise subdivision and topography of the areas forming the human auditory cortex. Here, we propose a topography of the human auditory areas based on insights on the anatomical and functional properties of human auditory areas as revealed by studies of cyto- and myelo-architecture and fMRI investigations at ultra-high magnetic field (7 Tesla. Importantly, we illustrate that - whereas a group-based approach to analyze functional (tonotopic maps is appropriate to highlight the main tonotopic axis - the examination of tonotopic maps at single subject level is required to detail the topography of primary and non-primary areas that may be more variable across subjects. Furthermore, we show that considering multiple maps indicative of anatomical (i.e. myelination as well as of functional properties (e.g. broadness of frequency tuning is helpful in identifying auditory cortical areas in individual human brains. We propose and discuss a topography of areas that is consistent with old and recent anatomical post mortem characterizations of the human auditory cortex and that may serve as a working model for neuroscience studies of auditory functions.

  2. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Cui

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study demonstrated that human KIAA0100 gene was a novel acute monocytic leukemia-associated antigen (MLAA gene. But the functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene has remained unknown to date. Here, firstly, bioinformatic prediction of human KIAA0100 gene was carried out using online softwares; Secondly, Human KIAA0100 gene expression was downregulated by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/CRISPR-associated (Cas 9 system in U937 cells. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were next evaluated in KIAA0100-knockdown U937 cells. The bioinformatic prediction showed that human KIAA0100 gene was located on 17q11.2, and human KIAA0100 protein was located in the secretory pathway. Besides, human KIAA0100 protein contained a signalpeptide, a transmembrane region, three types of secondary structures (alpha helix, extended strand, and random coil , and four domains from mitochondrial protein 27 (FMP27. The observation on functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene revealed that its downregulation inhibited cell proliferation, and promoted cell apoptosis in U937 cells. To summarize, these results suggest human KIAA0100 gene possibly comes within mitochondrial genome; moreover, it is a novel anti-apoptotic factor related to carcinogenesis or progression in acute monocytic leukemia, and may be a potential target for immunotherapy against acute monocytic leukemia.

  3. Functional Metagenomic Investigations of the Human Intestinal Microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Marguerite Moore

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The human intestinal microbiota encode multiple critical functions impacting human health, including, metabolism of dietary substrate, prevention of pathogen invasion, immune system modulation, and provision of a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes accessible to pathogens. The complexity of this microbial community, its recalcitrance to standard cultivation and the immense diversity of its encoded genes has necessitated the development of novel molecular, microbiological, and genomic tools. Functional metagenomics is one such culture-independent technique used for decades to study environmental microorganisms but relatively recently applied to the study of the human commensal microbiota. Metagenomic functional screens characterize the functional capacity of a microbial community independent of identity to known genes by subjecting the metagenome to functional assays in a genetically tractable host. Here we highlight recent work applying this technique to study the functional diversity of the intestinal microbiota, and discuss how an approach combining high-throughput sequencing, cultivation, and metagenomic functional screens can improve our understanding of interactions between this complex community and its human host.

  4. Regional specialization within the human striatum for diverse psychological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Wolfgang M; O'Reilly, Randall C; Yarkoni, Tal; Wager, Tor D

    2016-02-16

    Decades of animal and human neuroimaging research have identified distinct, but overlapping, striatal zones, which are interconnected with separable corticostriatal circuits, and are crucial for the organization of functional systems. Despite continuous efforts to subdivide the human striatum based on anatomical and resting-state functional connectivity, characterizing the different psychological processes related to each zone remains a work in progress. Using an unbiased, data-driven approach, we analyzed large-scale coactivation data from 5,809 human imaging studies. We (i) identified five distinct striatal zones that exhibited discrete patterns of coactivation with cortical brain regions across distinct psychological processes and (ii) identified the different psychological processes associated with each zone. We found that the reported pattern of cortical activation reliably predicted which striatal zone was most strongly activated. Critically, activation in each functional zone could be associated with distinct psychological processes directly, rather than inferred indirectly from psychological functions attributed to associated cortices. Consistent with well-established findings, we found an association of the ventral striatum (VS) with reward processing. Confirming less well-established findings, the VS and adjacent anterior caudate were associated with evaluating the value of rewards and actions, respectively. Furthermore, our results confirmed a sometimes overlooked specialization of the posterior caudate nucleus for executive functions, often considered the exclusive domain of frontoparietal cortical circuits. Our findings provide a precise functional map of regional specialization within the human striatum, both in terms of the differential cortical regions and psychological functions associated with each striatal zone.

  5. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-21

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call 'connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory-inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation-inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness.

  6. Human astrocytes: structure and functions in the healthy brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasile, Flora; Dossi, Elena; Rouach, Nathalie

    2017-07-01

    Data collected on astrocytes' physiology in the rodent have placed them as key regulators of synaptic, neuronal, network, and cognitive functions. While these findings proved highly valuable for our awareness and appreciation of non-neuronal cell significance in brain physiology, early structural and phylogenic investigations of human astrocytes hinted at potentially different astrocytic properties. This idea sparked interest to replicate rodent-based studies on human samples, which have revealed an analogous but enhanced involvement of astrocytes in neuronal function of the human brain. Such evidence pointed to a central role of human astrocytes in sustaining more complex information processing. Here, we review the current state of our knowledge of human astrocytes regarding their structure, gene profile, and functions, highlighting the differences with rodent astrocytes. This recent insight is essential for assessment of the relevance of findings using animal models and for comprehending the functional significance of species-specific properties of astrocytes. Moreover, since dysfunctional astrocytes have been described in many brain disorders, a more thorough understanding of human-specific astrocytic properties is crucial for better-adapted translational applications.

  7. Cytoarchitecture, probability maps and functions of the human frontal pole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bludau, S; Eickhoff, S B; Mohlberg, H; Caspers, S; Laird, A R; Fox, P T; Schleicher, A; Zilles, K; Amunts, K

    2014-06-01

    The frontal pole has more expanded than any other part in the human brain as compared to our ancestors. It plays an important role for specifically human behavior and cognitive abilities, e.g. action selection (Kovach et al., 2012). Evidence about divergent functions of its medial and lateral part has been provided, both in the healthy brain and in psychiatric disorders. The anatomical correlates of such functional segregation, however, are still unknown due to a lack of stereotaxic, microstructural maps obtained in a representative sample of brains. Here we show that the human frontopolar cortex consists of two cytoarchitectonically and functionally distinct areas: lateral frontopolar area 1 (Fp1) and medial frontopolar area 2 (Fp2). Based on observer-independent mapping in serial, cell-body stained sections of 10 brains, three-dimensional, probabilistic maps of areas Fp1 and Fp2 were created. They show, for each position of the reference space, the probability with which each area was found in a particular voxel. Applying these maps as seed regions for a meta-analysis revealed that Fp1 and Fp2 differentially contribute to functional networks: Fp1 was involved in cognition, working memory and perception, whereas Fp2 was part of brain networks underlying affective processing and social cognition. The present study thus disclosed cortical correlates of a functional segregation of the human frontopolar cortex. The probabilistic maps provide a sound anatomical basis for interpreting neuroimaging data in the living human brain, and open new perspectives for analyzing structure-function relationships in the prefrontal cortex. The new data will also serve as a starting point for further comparative studies between human and non-human primate brains. This allows finding similarities and differences in the organizational principles of the frontal lobe during evolution as neurobiological basis for our behavior and cognitive abilities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All

  8. Phylotyping and functional analysis of two ancient human microbiomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Y Tito

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Human Microbiome Project (HMP is one of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research. Primary interests of the HMP include the distinctiveness of different gut microbiomes, the factors influencing microbiome diversity, and the functional redundancies of the members of human microbiotas. In this present work, we contribute to these interests by characterizing two extinct human microbiotas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examine two paleofecal samples originating from cave deposits in Durango Mexico and dating to approximately 1300 years ago. Contamination control is a serious issue in ancient DNA research; we use a novel approach to control contamination. After we determined that each sample originated from a different human, we generated 45 thousand shotgun DNA sequencing reads. The phylotyping and functional analysis of these reads reveals a signature consistent with the modern gut ecology. Interestingly, inter-individual variability for phenotypes but not functional pathways was observed. The two ancient samples have more similar functional profiles to each other than to a recently published profile for modern humans. This similarity could not be explained by a chance sampling of the databases. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conduct a phylotyping and functional analysis of ancient human microbiomes, while providing novel methods to control for DNA contamination and novel hypotheses about past microbiome biogeography. We postulate that natural selection has more of an influence on microbiome functional profiles than it does on the species represented in the microbial ecology. We propose that human microbiomes were more geographically structured during pre-Columbian times than today.

  9. Molecular and functional definition of the developing human striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onorati, Marco; Castiglioni, Valentina; Biasci, Daniele; Cesana, Elisabetta; Menon, Ramesh; Vuono, Romina; Talpo, Francesca; Laguna Goya, Rocio; Lyons, Paul A; Bulfamante, Gaetano P; Muzio, Luca; Martino, Gianvito; Toselli, Mauro; Farina, Cinthia; Barker, Roger A; Biella, Gerardo; Cattaneo, Elena

    2014-12-01

    The complexity of the human brain derives from the intricate interplay of molecular instructions during development. Here we systematically investigated gene expression changes in the prenatal human striatum and cerebral cortex during development from post-conception weeks 2 to 20. We identified tissue-specific gene coexpression networks, differentially expressed genes and a minimal set of bimodal genes, including those encoding transcription factors, that distinguished striatal from neocortical identities. Unexpected differences from mouse striatal development were discovered. We monitored 36 determinants at the protein level, revealing regional domains of expression and their refinement, during striatal development. We electrophysiologically profiled human striatal neurons differentiated in vitro and determined their refined molecular and functional properties. These results provide a resource and opportunity to gain global understanding of how transcriptional and functional processes converge to specify human striatal and neocortical neurons during development.

  10. Impaired mitochondrial function in chronically ischemic human heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stride, Nis Ottesen; Larsen, Steen; Hey-Mogensen, Martin

    2013-01-01

    , and finally to assess myocardial antioxidant levels. Mitochondrial respiration in biopsies from ischemic and nonischemic regions from the left ventricle of the same heart was compared in nine human subjects. Maximal oxidative phosphorylation capacity in fresh muscle fibers was lower in ischemic compared.......05), and the levels of antioxidant protein expression was lower. Diminished mitochondrial respiration capacity and excessive ROS production demonstrate an impaired mitochondrial function in ischemic human heart muscle. No chronic ischemic preconditioning effect was found....

  11. Studies on catecholamine function in human fat cells

    OpenAIRE

    Hellström, Lena

    1996-01-01

    Catecholamine function in human fat cells Lena Hellström, Centre for Metabolism and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden Human adipose tissue is a heterogeneous organ as regards metabolism. The effects of catecholamines, the main lipolytic hormones in man vary considerably in different regions. Fat cell lipolysis also changes in a number of physiological and pathophysiological states...

  12. Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Gaurav H; Yang, Danica; Jamerson, Emery C; Snyder, Lawrence H; Corbetta, Maurizio; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2015-07-28

    Macaques are often used as a model system for invasive investigations of the neural substrates of cognition. However, 25 million years of evolution separate humans and macaques from their last common ancestor, and this has likely substantially impacted the function of the cortical networks underlying cognitive processes, such as attention. We examined the homology of frontoparietal networks underlying attention by comparing functional MRI data from macaques and humans performing the same visual search task. Although there are broad similarities, we found fundamental differences between the species. First, humans have more dorsal attention network areas than macaques, indicating that in the course of evolution the human attention system has expanded compared with macaques. Second, potentially homologous areas in the dorsal attention network have markedly different biases toward representing the contralateral hemifield, indicating that the underlying neural architecture of these areas may differ in the most basic of properties, such as receptive field distribution. Third, despite clear evidence of the temporoparietal junction node of the ventral attention network in humans as elicited by this visual search task, we did not find functional evidence of a temporoparietal junction in macaques. None of these differences were the result of differences in training, experimental power, or anatomical variability between the two species. The results of this study indicate that macaque data should be applied to human models of cognition cautiously, and demonstrate how evolution may shape cortical networks.

  13. The human thoracic duct is functionally innervated by adrenergic nerves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Telinius, Niklas; Baandrup, Ulrik; Rumessen, Jüri Johs.

    2013-01-01

    ) that is predominantly adrenergic. TDs harvested from 51 patients undergoing esophageal and cardia cancer surgery were either fixed for structural investigations or maintained in vitro for the functional assessment of innervation by isometric force measurements and electrical field stimulation (EFS). Electron microscopy......, and methacholine was demonstrated by exogenous application to human TD ring segments. Norepinephrine provided the most consistent responses, whereas responses to the other agonists varied. We conclude that the human TD is functionally innervated with both cholinergic and adrenergic components, with the latter...

  14. Structure-function relationships during segregated and integrated network states of human brain functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushima, Makoto; Betzel, Richard F; He, Ye; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Sporns, Olaf

    2018-04-01

    Structural white matter connections are thought to facilitate integration of neural information across functionally segregated systems. Recent studies have demonstrated that changes in the balance between segregation and integration in brain networks can be tracked by time-resolved functional connectivity derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data and that fluctuations between segregated and integrated network states are related to human behavior. However, how these network states relate to structural connectivity is largely unknown. To obtain a better understanding of structural substrates for these network states, we investigated how the relationship between structural connectivity, derived from diffusion tractography, and functional connectivity, as measured by rs-fMRI, changes with fluctuations between segregated and integrated states in the human brain. We found that the similarity of edge weights between structural and functional connectivity was greater in the integrated state, especially at edges connecting the default mode and the dorsal attention networks. We also demonstrated that the similarity of network partitions, evaluated between structural and functional connectivity, increased and the density of direct structural connections within modules in functional networks was elevated during the integrated state. These results suggest that, when functional connectivity exhibited an integrated network topology, structural connectivity and functional connectivity were more closely linked to each other and direct structural connections mediated a larger proportion of neural communication within functional modules. Our findings point out the possibility of significant contributions of structural connections to integrative neural processes underlying human behavior.

  15. Evidence for Functional Networks within the Human Brain's White Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peer, Michael; Nitzan, Mor; Bick, Atira S; Levin, Netta; Arzy, Shahar

    2017-07-05

    Investigation of the functional macro-scale organization of the human cortex is fundamental in modern neuroscience. Although numerous studies have identified networks of interacting functional modules in the gray-matter, limited research was directed to the functional organization of the white-matter. Recent studies have demonstrated that the white-matter exhibits blood oxygen level-dependent signal fluctuations similar to those of the gray-matter. Here we used these signal fluctuations to investigate whether the white-matter is organized as functional networks by applying a clustering analysis on resting-state functional MRI (RSfMRI) data from white-matter voxels, in 176 subjects (of both sexes). This analysis indicated the existence of 12 symmetrical white-matter functional networks, corresponding to combinations of white-matter tracts identified by diffusion tensor imaging. Six of the networks included interhemispheric commissural bridges traversing the corpus callosum. Signals in white-matter networks correlated with signals from functional gray-matter networks, providing missing knowledge on how these distributed networks communicate across large distances. These findings were replicated in an independent subject group and were corroborated by seed-based analysis in small groups and individual subjects. The identified white-matter functional atlases and analysis codes are available at http://mind.huji.ac.il/white-matter.aspx Our results demonstrate that the white-matter manifests an intrinsic functional organization as interacting networks of functional modules, similarly to the gray-matter, which can be investigated using RSfMRI. The discovery of functional networks within the white-matter may open new avenues of research in cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychiatry. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In recent years, functional MRI (fMRI) has revolutionized all fields of neuroscience, enabling identifications of functional modules and networks in the human

  16. Functional characterization of genetic enzyme variations in human lipoxygenases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Horn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian lipoxygenases play a role in normal cell development and differentiation but they have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular, hyperproliferative and neurodegenerative diseases. As lipid peroxidizing enzymes they are involved in the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis since they produce lipid hydroperoxides, which serve as an efficient source for free radicals. There are various epidemiological correlation studies relating naturally occurring variations in the six human lipoxygenase genes (SNPs or rare mutations to the frequency for various diseases in these individuals, but for most of the described variations no functional data are available. Employing a combined bioinformatical and enzymological strategy, which included structural modeling and experimental site-directed mutagenesis, we systematically explored the structural and functional consequences of non-synonymous genetic variations in four different human lipoxygenase genes (ALOX5, ALOX12, ALOX15, and ALOX15B that have been identified in the human 1000 genome project. Due to a lack of a functional expression system we resigned to analyze the functionality of genetic variations in the hALOX12B and hALOXE3 gene. We found that most of the frequent non-synonymous coding SNPs are located at the enzyme surface and hardly alter the enzyme functionality. In contrast, genetic variations which affect functional important amino acid residues or lead to truncated enzyme variations (nonsense mutations are usually rare with a global allele frequency<0.1%. This data suggest that there appears to be an evolutionary pressure on the coding regions of the lipoxygenase genes preventing the accumulation of loss-of-function variations in the human population.

  17. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation into Functional Epicardial Progenitor Cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guadix, Juan Antonio; Orlova, Valeria V.; Giacomelli, Elisa; Bellin, Milena; Ribeiro, Marcelo C.; Mummery, Christine L.; Pérez-Pomares, José M.; Passier, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are widely used to study cardiovascular cell differentiation and function. Here, we induced differentiation of hPSCs (both embryonic and induced) to proepicardial/epicardial progenitor cells that cover the heart during development. Addition of retinoic acid (RA)

  18. Cryopreservation of human skeletal muscle impairs mitochondrial function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Steen; Wright-Paradis, C; Gnaiger, E

    2012-01-01

    functionality after long term cryopreservation (1 year). Skeletal muscle samples were preserved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for later analysis. Human skeletal muscle fibres were thawed and permeabilised with saponin, and mitochondrial respiration was measured by high-resolution respirometry. The capacity...

  19. The food, GI tract functionality and human health cluster

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mattila-Sandholm, T.; Blaut, M.; Daly, C.; Vuyst, de L.; Dore, J.; Gibson, G.; Goossens, H.; Knorr, D.; Lucas, J.; Lahteenmaki, L.; Mercenier, A.M.E.; Saarela, M.; Shanahan, F.; Vos, de W.M.

    2002-01-01

    The Food, GI-tract Functionality and Human Health (PROEUHEALTH) Cluster brings together eight complementary, multicentre interdisciplinary research projects. All have the common aim of improving the health and quality of life of European comsumers. The collaboration involves 64 different research

  20. Why are Functional Amyloids Non-Toxic in Humans?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew P. Jackson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Amyloids were first identified in association with amyloidoses, human diseases in which proteins and peptides misfold into amyloid fibrils. Subsequent studies have identified an array of functional amyloid fibrils that perform physiological roles in humans. Given the potential for the production of toxic species in amyloid assembly reactions, it is remarkable that cells can produce these functional amyloids without suffering any obvious ill effect. Although the precise mechanisms are unclear, there are a number of ways in which amyloid toxicity may be prevented. These include regulating the level of the amyloidogenic peptides and proteins, minimising the production of prefibrillar oligomers in amyloid assembly reactions, sequestrating amyloids within membrane bound organelles, controlling amyloid assembly by other molecules, and disassembling the fibrils under physiological conditions. Crucially, a better understanding of how toxicity is avoided in the production of functional amyloids may provide insights into the prevention of amyloid toxicity in amyloidoses.

  1. Thermal Stimulation Alters Cervical Spinal Cord Functional Connectivity in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kenneth A; Sentis, Amy I; Bernadel-Huey, Olivia N; Chen, Yufen; Wang, Xue; Parrish, Todd B; Mackey, Sean

    2018-01-15

    The spinal cord has an active role in the modulation and transmission of the neural signals traveling between the body and the brain. Recent advancements in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have made the in vivo examination of spinal cord function in humans now possible. This technology has been recently extended to the investigation of resting state functional networks in the spinal cord, leading to the identification of distinct patterns of spinal cord functional connectivity. In this study, we expand on the previous work and further investigate resting state cervical spinal cord functional connectivity in healthy participants (n = 15) using high resolution imaging coupled with both seed-based functional connectivity analyses and graph theory-based metrics. Within spinal cord segment functional connectivity was present between the left and right ventral horns (bilateral motor network), left and right dorsal horns (bilateral sensory network), and the ipsilateral ventral and dorsal horns (unilateral sensory-motor network). Functional connectivity between the spinal cord segments was less apparent with the connectivity centered at the region of interest and spanning spinal cord functional network was demonstrated to be state-dependent as thermal stimulation of the right ventrolateral forearm resulted in significant disruption of the bilateral sensory network, increased network global efficiency, and decreased network modularity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Human Intellectual Disability Genes Form Conserved Functional Modules in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oortveld, Merel A. W.; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Oti, Martin; Nijhof, Bonnie; Fernandes, Ana Clara; Kochinke, Korinna; Castells-Nobau, Anna; van Engelen, Eva; Ellenkamp, Thijs; Eshuis, Lilian; Galy, Anne; van Bokhoven, Hans; Habermann, Bianca; Brunner, Han G.; Zweier, Christiane; Verstreken, Patrik; Huynen, Martijn A.; Schenck, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Intellectual Disability (ID) disorders, defined by an IQ below 70, are genetically and phenotypically highly heterogeneous. Identification of common molecular pathways underlying these disorders is crucial for understanding the molecular basis of cognition and for the development of therapeutic intervention strategies. To systematically establish their functional connectivity, we used transgenic RNAi to target 270 ID gene orthologs in the Drosophila eye. Assessment of neuronal function in behavioral and electrophysiological assays and multiparametric morphological analysis identified phenotypes associated with knockdown of 180 ID gene orthologs. Most of these genotype-phenotype associations were novel. For example, we uncovered 16 genes that are required for basal neurotransmission and have not previously been implicated in this process in any system or organism. ID gene orthologs with morphological eye phenotypes, in contrast to genes without phenotypes, are relatively highly expressed in the human nervous system and are enriched for neuronal functions, suggesting that eye phenotyping can distinguish different classes of ID genes. Indeed, grouping genes by Drosophila phenotype uncovered 26 connected functional modules. Novel links between ID genes successfully predicted that MYCN, PIGV and UPF3B regulate synapse development. Drosophila phenotype groups show, in addition to ID, significant phenotypic similarity also in humans, indicating that functional modules are conserved. The combined data indicate that ID disorders, despite their extreme genetic diversity, are caused by disruption of a limited number of highly connected functional modules. PMID:24204314

  3. Human performance in nondestructive inspections and functional tests: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, D.H.

    1988-10-01

    Human performance plays a vital role in the inspections and tests conducted to assure the physical integrity of nuclear power plants. Even when technically-sophisticated equipment is employed, the outcome is highly dependent on human control actions, calibrations, observations, analyses, and interpretations. The principal consequences of inadequate performance are missed or falsely-reported defects. However, the cost-avoidance that stems from addressing potential risks promptly, and the increasing costs likely with aging plants, emphasize that timeliness and efficiency are important inspection-performance considerations also. Human performance issues were studied in a sample of inspections and tests regularly conducted in nuclear power plants. These tasks, selected by an industry advisory panel, were: eddy-current inspection of steam-generator tubes; ultrasonic inspection of pipe welds; inservice testing of pumps and valves; and functional testing of shock suppressors. Information was obtained for the study from industry and plant procedural documents; training materials; research reports and related documents; interviews with training specialists, inspectors, supervisory personnel, and equipment designers; and first-hand observations of task performance. Eleven recommendations are developed for improving human performance on nondestructive inspections and functional tests. Two recommendations were for the more-effective application of existing knowledge; nine recommendations were for research projects that should be undertaken to assure continuing improvements in human performance on these tasks. 25 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  4. Functional organization of the transcriptome in human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Michael C; Konopka, Genevieve; Iwamoto, Kazuya; Langfelder, Peter; Kato, Tadafumi; Horvath, Steve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2009-01-01

    The enormous complexity of the human brain ultimately derives from a finite set of molecular instructions encoded in the human genome. These instructions can be directly studied by exploring the organization of the brain’s transcriptome through systematic analysis of gene coexpression relationships. We analyzed gene coexpression relationships in microarray data generated from specific human brain regions and identified modules of coexpressed genes that correspond to neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. These modules provide an initial description of the transcriptional programs that distinguish the major cell classes of the human brain and indicate that cell type–specific information can be obtained from whole brain tissue without isolating homogeneous populations of cells. Other modules corresponded to additional cell types, organelles, synaptic function, gender differences and the subventricular neurogenic niche. We found that subventricular zone astrocytes, which are thought to function as neural stem cells in adults, have a distinct gene expression pattern relative to protoplasmic astrocytes. Our findings provide a new foundation for neurogenetic inquiries by revealing a robust and previously unrecognized organization to the human brain transcriptome. PMID:18849986

  5. Innate immune functions of microglia isolated from human glioma patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grimm Elizabeth

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Innate immunity is considered the first line of host defense and microglia presumably play a critical role in mediating potent innate immune responses to traumatic and infectious challenges in the human brain. Fundamental impairments of the adaptive immune system in glioma patients have been investigated; however, it is unknown whether microglia are capable of innate immunity and subsequent adaptive anti-tumor immune responses within the immunosuppressive tumor micro-environment of human glioma patients. We therefore undertook a novel characterization of the innate immune phenotype and function of freshly isolated human glioma-infiltrating microglia (GIM. Methods GIM were isolated by sequential Percoll purification from patient tumors immediately after surgical resection. Flow cytometry, phagocytosis and tumor cytotoxicity assays were used to analyze the phenotype and function of these cells. Results GIM expressed significant levels of Toll-like receptors (TLRs, however they do not secrete any of the cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α critical in developing effective innate immune responses. Similar to innate macrophage functions, GIM can mediate phagocytosis and non-MHC restricted cytotoxicity. However, they were statistically less able to mediate tumor cytotoxicity compared to microglia isolated from normal brain. In addition, the expression of Fas ligand (FasL was low to absent, indicating that apoptosis of the incoming lymphocyte population may not be a predominant mode of immunosuppression by microglia. Conclusion We show for the first time that despite the immunosuppressive environment of human gliomas, GIM are capable of innate immune responses such as phagocytosis, cytotoxicity and TLR expression but yet are not competent in secreting key cytokines. Further understanding of these innate immune functions could play a critical role in understanding and developing effective immunotherapies to malignant human gliomas.

  6. Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellis, Manolis; Wold, Barbara; Snyder, Michael P.; Bernstein, Bradley E.; Kundaje, Anshul; Marinov, Georgi K.; Ward, Lucas D.; Birney, Ewan; Crawford, Gregory E.; Dekker, Job; Dunham, Ian; Elnitski, Laura L.; Farnham, Peggy J.; Feingold, Elise A.; Gerstein, Mark; Giddings, Morgan C.; Gilbert, David M.; Gingeras, Thomas R.; Green, Eric D.; Guigo, Roderic; Hubbard, Tim; Kent, Jim; Lieb, Jason D.; Myers, Richard M.; Pazin, Michael J.; Ren, Bing; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A.; Weng, Zhiping; White, Kevin P.; Hardison, Ross C.

    2014-01-01

    With the completion of the human genome sequence, attention turned to identifying and annotating its functional DNA elements. As a complement to genetic and comparative genomics approaches, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project was launched to contribute maps of RNA transcripts, transcriptional regulator binding sites, and chromatin states in many cell types. The resulting genome-wide data reveal sites of biochemical activity with high positional resolution and cell type specificity that facilitate studies of gene regulation and interpretation of noncoding variants associated with human disease. However, the biochemically active regions cover a much larger fraction of the genome than do evolutionarily conserved regions, raising the question of whether nonconserved but biochemically active regions are truly functional. Here, we review the strengths and limitations of biochemical, evolutionary, and genetic approaches for defining functional DNA segments, potential sources for the observed differences in estimated genomic coverage, and the biological implications of these discrepancies. We also analyze the relationship between signal intensity, genomic coverage, and evolutionary conservation. Our results reinforce the principle that each approach provides complementary information and that we need to use combinations of all three to elucidate genome function in human biology and disease. PMID:24753594

  7. Revealing topological organization of human brain functional networks with resting-state functional near infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Haijing; Wang, Jinhui; Zhao, Tengda; Shu, Ni; He, Yong

    2012-01-01

    The human brain is a highly complex system that can be represented as a structurally interconnected and functionally synchronized network, which assures both the segregation and integration of information processing. Recent studies have demonstrated that a variety of neuroimaging and neurophysiological techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion MRI and electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography can be employed to explore the topological organization of human brain networks. However, little is known about whether functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a relatively new optical imaging technology, can be used to map functional connectome of the human brain and reveal meaningful and reproducible topological characteristics. We utilized resting-state fNIRS (R-fNIRS) to investigate the topological organization of human brain functional networks in 15 healthy adults. Brain networks were constructed by thresholding the temporal correlation matrices of 46 channels and analyzed using graph-theory approaches. We found that the functional brain network derived from R-fNIRS data had efficient small-world properties, significant hierarchical modular structure and highly connected hubs. These results were highly reproducible both across participants and over time and were consistent with previous findings based on other functional imaging techniques. Our results confirmed the feasibility and validity of using graph-theory approaches in conjunction with optical imaging techniques to explore the topological organization of human brain networks. These results may expand a methodological framework for utilizing fNIRS to study functional network changes that occur in association with development, aging and neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  8. Swell activated chloride channel function in human neutrophils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salmon, Michael D. [Leukocyte and Ion Channel Research Laboratory, School of Health and Biosciences, University of East London, Stratford Campus, London E15 4LZ (United Kingdom); Ahluwalia, Jatinder, E-mail: j.ahluwalia@uel.ac.uk [Leukocyte and Ion Channel Research Laboratory, School of Health and Biosciences, University of East London, Stratford Campus, London E15 4LZ (United Kingdom)

    2009-04-17

    Non-excitable cells such as neutrophil granulocytes are the archetypal inflammatory immune cell involved in critical functions of the innate immune system. The electron current generated (I{sub e}) by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase is electrogenic and rapidly depolarises the membrane potential. For continuous function of the NADPH oxidase, I{sub e} has to be balanced to preserve electroneutrality, if not; sufficient depolarisation would prevent electrons from leaving the cell and neutrophil function would be abrogated. Subsequently, the depolarisation generated by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase I{sub e} must be counteracted by ion transport. The finding that depolarisation required counter-ions to compensate electron transport was followed by the observation that chloride channels activated by swell can counteract the NADPH oxidase membrane depolarisation. In this mini review, we discuss the research findings that revealed the essential role of swell activated chloride channels in human neutrophil function.

  9. PROBING GENOME MAINTENANCE FUNCTIONS OF HUMAN RECQ1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Furqan Sami

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The RecQ helicases are a highly conserved family of DNA-unwinding enzymes that play key roles in protecting the genome stability in all kingdoms of life.'Human RecQ homologs include RECQ1, BLM, WRN, RECQ4, and RECQ5β.'Although the individual RecQ-related diseases are characterized by a variety of clinical features encompassing growth defects (Bloom Syndrome and Rothmund Thomson Syndrome to premature aging (Werner Syndrome, all these patients have a high risk of cancer predisposition.'Here, we present an overview of recent progress towards elucidating functions of RECQ1 helicase, the most abundant but poorly characterized RecQ homolog in humans.'Consistent with a conserved role in genome stability maintenance, deficiency of RECQ1 results in elevated frequency of spontaneous sister chromatid exchanges, chromosomal instability, increased DNA damage and greater sensitivity to certain genotoxic stress.'Delineating what aspects of RECQ1 catalytic functions contribute to the observed cellular phenotypes, and how this is regulated is critical to establish its biological functions in DNA metabolism.'Recent studies have identified functional specialization of RECQ1 in DNA repair; however, identification of fundamental similarities will be just as critical in developing a unifying theme for RecQ actions, allowing the functions revealed from studying one homolog to be extrapolated and generalized to other RecQ homologs.

  10. Functional modules, mutational load and human genetic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaghloul, Norann A; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2010-04-01

    The ability to generate a massive amount of sequencing and genotyping data is transforming the study of human genetic disorders. Driven by such innovation, it is likely that whole exome and whole-genome resequencing will replace regionally focused approaches for gene discovery and clinical testing in the next few years. However, this opportunity brings a significant interpretative challenge to assigning function and phenotypic variance to common and rare alleles. Understanding the effect of individual mutations in the context of the remaining genomic variation represents a major challenge to our interpretation of disease. Here, we discuss the challenges of assigning mutation functionality and, drawing from the examples of ciliopathies as well as cohesinopathies and channelopathies, discuss possibilities for the functional modularization of the human genome. Functional modularization in addition to the development of physiologically relevant assays to test allele functionality will accelerate our understanding of disease architecture and enable the use of genome-wide sequence data for disease diagnosis and phenotypic prediction in individuals. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Politics drives human functioning, dignity, and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Brian K; Spellings, Carolyn; McNeely, Clea; Page, Paul D; Giacaman, Rita; Arafat, Cairo; Daher, Mahmoud; El Sarraj, Eyad; Mallouh, Mohammed Abu

    2014-12-01

    Too little is known about human functioning amidst chronic adversity. We addressed that need by studying adult Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), a population that has experienced longstanding economic and political hardships. Fourteen group interviews were conducted in February, 2010 in Arabic by local fieldworkers with 68 participants representing the main stratifications of Palestinian society: gender, region, refugee status, and political affiliation. Interview tasks included each participant: describing someone doing well and not well, free listing domains of functioning, and prioritizing domains to the three most important. Thematic analyses highlighted the dominating role of the political domain of functioning (e.g., political structures, constraints, effects, identity, and activism) and the degree to which political conditions impacted all other realms of functioning (economic, education, family, psychological, etc.). The discussion links the findings to relevant theory and empirical work that has called attention to the need to include the political in frameworks of quality of life. It also emphasized that values, such as justice, rights, dignity and self-determination, that underlie political structures and policies, are key elements of human functioning. This is the case not only in the oPt, but in any society where power imbalances marginalize segments of the population. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Identifying and annotating human bifunctional RNAs reveals their versatile functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Geng; Yang, Juan; Chen, Jiwei; Song, Yunjie; Cao, Ruifang; Shi, Tieliu; Shi, Leming

    2016-10-01

    Bifunctional RNAs that possess both protein-coding and noncoding functional properties were less explored and poorly understood. Here we systematically explored the characteristics and functions of such human bifunctional RNAs by integrating tandem mass spectrometry and RNA-seq data. We first constructed a pipeline to identify and annotate bifunctional RNAs, leading to the characterization of 132 high-confidence bifunctional RNAs. Our analyses indicate that bifunctional RNAs may be involved in human embryonic development and can be functional in diverse tissues. Moreover, bifunctional RNAs could interact with multiple miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins to exert their corresponding roles. Bifunctional RNAs may also function as competing endogenous RNAs to regulate the expression of many genes by competing for common targeting miRNAs. Finally, somatic mutations of diverse carcinomas may generate harmful effect on corresponding bifunctional RNAs. Collectively, our study not only provides the pipeline for identifying and annotating bifunctional RNAs but also reveals their important gene-regulatory functions.

  13. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-07

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Cloning and characterization of a functional human ¿-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter, human GAT-2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Bolette; Meinild, Anne-Kristine; Jensen, Anders A.

    2007-01-01

    Plasma membrane gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporters act to terminate GABA neurotransmission in the mammalian brain. Intriguingly four distinct GABA transporters have been cloned from rat and mouse, whereas only three functional homologs of these transporters have been cloned from human....... The aim of this study therefore was to search for this fourth missing human transporter. Using a bioinformatics approach, we successfully identified and cloned the full-length cDNA of a so far uncharacterized human GABA transporter (GAT). The predicted protein displays high sequence similarity to rat GAT......-2 and mouse GAT3, and in accordance with the nomenclature for rat GABA transporters, we therefore refer to the transporter as human GAT-2. We used electrophysiological and cell-based methods to demonstrate that this protein is a functional transporter of GABA. The transport was saturable...

  15. A human-specific de novo protein-coding gene associated with human brain functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuan-Yun Li

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available To understand whether any human-specific new genes may be associated with human brain functions, we computationally screened the genetic vulnerable factors identified through Genome-Wide Association Studies and linkage analyses of nicotine addiction and found one human-specific de novo protein-coding gene, FLJ33706 (alternative gene symbol C20orf203. Cross-species analysis revealed interesting evolutionary paths of how this gene had originated from noncoding DNA sequences: insertion of repeat elements especially Alu contributed to the formation of the first coding exon and six standard splice junctions on the branch leading to humans and chimpanzees, and two subsequent substitutions in the human lineage escaped two stop codons and created an open reading frame of 194 amino acids. We experimentally verified FLJ33706's mRNA and protein expression in the brain. Real-Time PCR in multiple tissues demonstrated that FLJ33706 was most abundantly expressed in brain. Human polymorphism data suggested that FLJ33706 encodes a protein under purifying selection. A specifically designed antibody detected its protein expression across human cortex, cerebellum and midbrain. Immunohistochemistry study in normal human brain cortex revealed the localization of FLJ33706 protein in neurons. Elevated expressions of FLJ33706 were detected in Alzheimer's brain samples, suggesting the role of this novel gene in human-specific pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. FLJ33706 provided the strongest evidence so far that human-specific de novo genes can have protein-coding potential and differential protein expression, and be involved in human brain functions.

  16. Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain

    OpenAIRE

    Gotts, Stephen J.; Jo, Hang Joon; Wallace, Gregory L.; Saad, Ziad S.; Cox, Robert W.; Martin, Alex

    2013-01-01

    This study alters our fundamental understanding of the functional interactions between the cerebral hemispheres of the human brain by establishing that the left and right hemispheres have qualitatively different biases in how they dynamically interact with one another. Left-hemisphere regions are biased to interact more strongly within the same hemisphere, whereas right-hemisphere regions interact more strongly with both hemispheres. These two different patterns of interaction are associated ...

  17. The Complex Functioning of the Human Brain: The Two Hemispheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iulia Cristina Timofti

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study reveals just a glimpse of the possible functions and reactions that the human brain can have. I considered as good examples different situations characteristic both of a normal person and a split-brain one. These situations prove that the brain, although divided in two, works as a unit, as an amazing computer that has data processing as a main goal.

  18. The ecology of seamounts: structure, function, and human impacts.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, MR; Rowden, AA; Schlacher, T; Williams, A; Consalvey, M; Stocks, KI; Rogers, AD; O'Hara, TD; White, M; Shank, TM; Hall-Spencer, JM

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological prod...

  19. Alternative Functional In Vitro Models of Human Intestinal Epithelia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L Kauffman

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Physiologically relevant sources of absorptive intestinal epithelial cells are crucial for human drug transport studies. Human adenocarcinoma-derived intestinal cell lines, such as Caco-2, offer conveniences of easy culture maintenance and scalability, but do not fully recapitulate in vivo intestinal phenotypes. Additional sources of renewable physiologically relevant human intestinal cells would provide a much needed tool for drug discovery and intestinal physiology. We sought to evaluate and compare two alternative sources of human intestinal cells, commercially available primary human intestinal epithelial cells (hInEpCs and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived intestinal cells to Caco-2, for use in in vitro transwell monolayer intestinal transport assays. To achieve this for iPSC-derived cells, our previously described 3-dimensional intestinal organogenesis method was adapted to transwell differentiation. Intestinal cells were assessed by marker expression through immunocytochemical and mRNA expression analyses, monolayer integrity through Transepithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER measurements and molecule permeability, and functionality by taking advantage the well-characterized intestinal transport mechanisms. In most cases, marker expression for primary hInEpCs and iPSC-derived cells appeared to be as good as or better than Caco-2. Furthermore, transwell monolayers exhibited high TEER with low permeability. Primary hInEpCs showed molecule efflux indicative of P-glycoprotein transport. Primary hInEpCs and iPSC-derived cells also showed neonatal Fc receptor-dependent binding of immunoglobulin G variants. Primary hInEpCs and iPSC-derived intestinal cells exhibit expected marker expression and demonstrate basic functional monolayer formation, similar to or better than Caco-2. These cells could offer an alternative source of human intestinal cells for understanding normal intestinal epithelial physiology and drug transport.

  20. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shen, Stephen; Katkuri, Yashwanth; Alexis, Mitchell; Anderson, Amy L; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Hassan, Sonia S; Studholme, Colin; Jeong, Jeong-Won; Romero, Roberto

    2013-02-20

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC.

  1. Analysis of human cerebral functions using positron emission tomography (PET)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibasaki, Takashi

    1984-01-01

    Positron emission tomography has two major advantages to analyse human cerebral functions in vivo. First, we can see the distribution of a variety of substance in the living (and doing something) human brain. Positron emitters, 11 C, 13 N, 15 O and 18 F, are made by medical cyclotron and are elements of natural substrates or easily tagged to substrate. Second, the distribution of the tracer is calculated to make a quantitative functional map in a reasonable spatial resolution over the entire brain in the same time. Not only cortical areas but also deeper structures show regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) or local cerebral metabolic rates (LCMRs). Nowadays, PET is put to practical use for determination of mainly rCBF, LCMR for glucose (LCMRsub(glu)), LCMR for oxygen (LCMRsub(o2)) and regional cerebral blood volume (rCBV). There have been many other pilot studies, such as estimation of distribution of given neurotransmitters or modulators in the brain which also confirms the substances' role in the neuronal function, and observation of protein synthesis relating to memory function. (J.P.N.)

  2. Cholinergic modulation of cognition: Insights from human pharmacological functional neuroimaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Paul; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2011-01-01

    Evidence from lesion and cortical-slice studies implicate the neocortical cholinergic system in the modulation of sensory, attentional and memory processing. In this review we consider findings from sixty-three healthy human cholinergic functional neuroimaging studies that probe interactions of cholinergic drugs with brain activation profiles, and relate these to contemporary neurobiological models. Consistent patterns that emerge are: (1) the direction of cholinergic modulation of sensory cortex activations depends upon top-down influences; (2) cholinergic hyperstimulation reduces top-down selective modulation of sensory cortices; (3) cholinergic hyperstimulation interacts with task-specific frontoparietal activations according to one of several patterns, including: suppression of parietal-mediated reorienting; decreasing ‘effort’-associated activations in prefrontal regions; and deactivation of a ‘resting-state network’ in medial cortex, with reciprocal recruitment of dorsolateral frontoparietal regions during performance-challenging conditions; (4) encoding-related activations in both neocortical and hippocampal regions are disrupted by cholinergic blockade, or enhanced with cholinergic stimulation, while the opposite profile is observed during retrieval; (5) many examples exist of an ‘inverted-U shaped’ pattern of cholinergic influences by which the direction of functional neural activation (and performance) depends upon both task (e.g. relative difficulty) and subject (e.g. age) factors. Overall, human cholinergic functional neuroimaging studies both corroborate and extend physiological accounts of cholinergic function arising from other experimental contexts, while providing mechanistic insights into cholinergic-acting drugs and their potential clinical applications. PMID:21708219

  3. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed.

  4. Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotts, Stephen J.; Jo, Hang Joon; Wallace, Gregory L.; Saad, Ziad S.; Cox, Robert W.; Martin, Alex

    2013-01-01

    The hemispheric lateralization of certain faculties in the human brain has long been held to be beneficial for functioning. However, quantitative relationships between the degree of lateralization in particular brain regions and the level of functioning have yet to be established. Here we demonstrate that two distinct forms of functional lateralization are present in the left vs. the right cerebral hemisphere, with the left hemisphere showing a preference to interact more exclusively with itself, particularly for cortical regions involved in language and fine motor coordination. In contrast, right-hemisphere cortical regions involved in visuospatial and attentional processing interact in a more integrative fashion with both hemispheres. The degree of lateralization present in these distinct systems selectively predicted behavioral measures of verbal and visuospatial ability, providing direct evidence that lateralization is associated with enhanced cognitive ability. PMID:23959883

  5. Intranasal oxytocin modulates neural functional connectivity during human social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K; Chen, Xiangchuan; Chen, Xu; Haroon, Ebrahim

    2018-02-10

    Oxytocin (OT) modulates social behavior in primates and many other vertebrate species. Studies in non-primate animals have demonstrated that, in addition to influencing activity within individual brain areas, OT influences functional connectivity across networks of areas involved in social behavior. Previously, we used fMRI to image brain function in human subjects during a dyadic social interaction task following administration of either intranasal oxytocin (INOT) or placebo, and analyzed the data with a standard general linear model. Here, we conduct an extensive re-analysis of these data to explore how OT modulates functional connectivity across a neural network that animal studies implicate in social behavior. OT induced widespread increases in functional connectivity in response to positive social interactions among men and widespread decreases in functional connectivity in response to negative social interactions among women. Nucleus basalis of Meynert, an important regulator of selective attention and motivation with a particularly high density of OT receptors, had the largest number of OT-modulated connections. Regions known to receive mesolimbic dopamine projections such as the nucleus accumbens and lateral septum were also hubs for OT effects on functional connectivity. Our results suggest that the neural mechanism by which OT influences primate social cognition may include changes in patterns of activity across neural networks that regulate social behavior in other animals. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Is function-based control room design human-centered?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norros, L.; Savioja, P.

    2006-01-01

    Function-based approaches to system interface design appears an appealing possibility in helping designers and operators to cope with the vast amount of information needed to control complex processes. In this paper we provide evidence of operator performance analyses showing that outcome-centered performance measures may not be sufficiently informative for design. We need analyses indicating habitual patterns of using information, operator practices. We argue that practices that portray functional orienting to the task support mastery of the process. They also create potential to make use of function-based information presentation. We see that functional design is not an absolute value. Instead, such design should support communication of the functional significance of the process information to the operators in variable situations. Hence, it should facilitate development of practices that focus to interpreting this message. Successful function-based design facilitates putting operations into their contexts and is human-centered in an extended sense: It aids making sense in the complex, dynamic and uncertain environment. (authors)

  7. Triazole fungicide tebuconazole disrupts human placental trophoblast cell functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Jinghua; Zhang, Jianyun; Li, Feixue; Liu, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Tebuconazole (TEB) inhibited the proliferation of human placental trophoblasts. • TEB changed cell cycle distribution of G1 and G2 phases of trophoblasts. • TEB induced apoptosis of trophoblasts via mitochondrial pathway. • TEB decreased the invasive and migratory capacities of trophoblasts. • TEB altered the mRNA levels of key regulatory genes in trophoblasts - Abstract: Triazole fungicides are one of the top ten classes of current-use pesticides. Although exposure to triazole fungicides is associated with reproductive toxicity in mammals, limited information is available regarding the effects of triazole fungicides on human placental trophoblast function. Tebuconazole (TEB) is a common triazole fungicide that has been extensively used for fungi control. In this work, we showed that TEB could reduce cell viability, disturb normal cell cycle distribution and induce apoptosis of human placental trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo (HTR-8). Bcl-2 protein expression decreased and the level of Bax protein increased after TEB treatment in HTR-8 cells. The results demonstrated that this fungicide induced apoptosis of trophoblast cells via mitochondrial pathway. Importantly, we found that the invasive and migratory capacities of HTR-8 cells decreased significantly after TEB administration. TEB altered the expression of key regulatory genes involved in the modulation of trophoblast functions. Taken together, TEB suppressed human trophoblast invasion and migration through affecting the expression of protease, hormones, angiogenic factors, growth factors and cytokines. As the invasive and migratory abilities of trophoblast are essential for successful placentation and fetus development, our findings suggest a potential risk of triazole fungicides to human pregnancy.

  8. Triazole fungicide tebuconazole disrupts human placental trophoblast cell functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Jinghua [Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecological Health, Ministry of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058 (China); Zhang, Jianyun [Research Center for Air Pollution and Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058 (China); Li, Feixue [Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Organ Development and Regeneration, Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); Liu, Jing, E-mail: jliue@zju.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecological Health, Ministry of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058 (China); Research Center for Air Pollution and Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058 (China)

    2016-05-05

    Highlights: • Tebuconazole (TEB) inhibited the proliferation of human placental trophoblasts. • TEB changed cell cycle distribution of G1 and G2 phases of trophoblasts. • TEB induced apoptosis of trophoblasts via mitochondrial pathway. • TEB decreased the invasive and migratory capacities of trophoblasts. • TEB altered the mRNA levels of key regulatory genes in trophoblasts - Abstract: Triazole fungicides are one of the top ten classes of current-use pesticides. Although exposure to triazole fungicides is associated with reproductive toxicity in mammals, limited information is available regarding the effects of triazole fungicides on human placental trophoblast function. Tebuconazole (TEB) is a common triazole fungicide that has been extensively used for fungi control. In this work, we showed that TEB could reduce cell viability, disturb normal cell cycle distribution and induce apoptosis of human placental trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo (HTR-8). Bcl-2 protein expression decreased and the level of Bax protein increased after TEB treatment in HTR-8 cells. The results demonstrated that this fungicide induced apoptosis of trophoblast cells via mitochondrial pathway. Importantly, we found that the invasive and migratory capacities of HTR-8 cells decreased significantly after TEB administration. TEB altered the expression of key regulatory genes involved in the modulation of trophoblast functions. Taken together, TEB suppressed human trophoblast invasion and migration through affecting the expression of protease, hormones, angiogenic factors, growth factors and cytokines. As the invasive and migratory abilities of trophoblast are essential for successful placentation and fetus development, our findings suggest a potential risk of triazole fungicides to human pregnancy.

  9. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation into Functional Epicardial Progenitor Cells

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    Juan Antonio Guadix

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs are widely used to study cardiovascular cell differentiation and function. Here, we induced differentiation of hPSCs (both embryonic and induced to proepicardial/epicardial progenitor cells that cover the heart during development. Addition of retinoic acid (RA and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4 promoted expression of the mesodermal marker PDGFRα, upregulated characteristic (proepicardial progenitor cell genes, and downregulated transcription of myocardial genes. We confirmed the (proepicardial-like properties of these cells using in vitro co-culture assays and in ovo grafting of hPSC-epicardial cells into chick embryos. Our data show that RA + BMP4-treated hPSCs differentiate into (proepicardial-like cells displaying functional properties (adhesion and spreading over the myocardium of their in vivo counterpart. The results extend evidence that hPSCs are an excellent model to study (proepicardial differentiation into cardiovascular cells in human development and evaluate their potential for cardiac regeneration. : The authors have shown that hPSCs can be instructed in vitro to differentiate into a specific cardiac embryonic progenitor cell population called the proepicardium. Proepicardial cells are required for normal formation of the heart during development and might contribute to the development of cell-based therapies for heart repair. Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells, proepicardium, progenitor cells, cardiovascular, differentiation

  10. Generation of functional podocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells

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    Osele Ciampi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Generating human podocytes in vitro could offer a unique opportunity to study human diseases. Here, we describe a simple and efficient protocol for obtaining functional podocytes in vitro from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Cells were exposed to a three-step protocol, which induced their differentiation into intermediate mesoderm, then into nephron progenitors and, finally, into mature podocytes. After differentiation, cells expressed the main podocyte markers, such as synaptopodin, WT1, α-Actinin-4, P-cadherin and nephrin at the protein and mRNA level, and showed the low proliferation rate typical of mature podocytes. Exposure to Angiotensin II significantly decreased the expression of podocyte genes and cells underwent cytoskeleton rearrangement. Cells were able to internalize albumin and self-assembled into chimeric 3D structures in combination with dissociated embryonic mouse kidney cells. Overall, these findings demonstrate the establishment of a robust protocol that, mimicking developmental stages, makes it possible to derive functional podocytes in vitro.

  11. Human Functions, Machine Tools, and the Role of the Analyst

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    Gordon R. Middleton

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In an era of rapidly increasing technical capability, the intelligence focus is often on the modes of collection and tools of analysis rather than the analyst themselves. Data are proliferating and so are tools to help analysts deal with the flood of data and the increasingly demanding timeline for intelligence production, but the role of the analyst in such a data-driven environment needs to be understood in order to support key management decisions (e.g., training and investment priorities. This paper describes a model of the analytic process, and analyzes the roles played by humans and machine tools in each process element. It concludes that human analytic functions are as critical in the intelligence process as they have ever been, and perhaps even more so due to the advance of technology in the intelligence business. Human functions performed by analysts are critical in nearly every step in the process, particularly at the front end of the analytic process, in defining and refining the problem statement, and at the end of the process, in generating knowledge, presenting the story in understandable terms, tailoring the presentation of the results of the analysis to various audiences, as well as in determining when to initiate iterative loops in the process. The paper concludes with observations on the necessity of enabling expert analysts, tools to deal with big data, developing analysts with advanced analytic methods as well as with techniques for optimal use of advanced tools, and suggestions for further quantitative research.

  12. Human feeding biomechanics: performance, variation, and functional constraints

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    Justin A. Ledogar

    2016-07-01

    dislocation and constrained the maximum recruitment levels of the masticatory muscles on the balancing (non-biting side of the head. Our results do not necessarily conflict with the hypothesis that anterior tooth (incisors, canines, premolars biting could have been selectively important in humans, although the reduced size of the premolars in humans has been shown to increase the risk of tooth crown fracture. We interpret our results to suggest that human craniofacial evolution was probably not driven by selection for high magnitude unilateral biting, and that increased masticatory muscle efficiency in humans is likely to be a secondary byproduct of selection for some function unrelated to forceful biting behaviors. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a shift to softer foods and/or the innovation of pre-oral food processing techniques relaxed selective pressures maintaining craniofacial features that favor forceful biting and chewing behaviors, leading to the characteristically small and gracile faces of modern humans.

  13. Human feeding biomechanics: performance, variation, and functional constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechow, Paul C.; Wang, Qian; Gharpure, Poorva H.; Baab, Karen L.; Smith, Amanda L.; Weber, Gerhard W.; Grosse, Ian R.; Ross, Callum F.; Richmond, Brian G.; Wright, Barth W.; Byron, Craig; Wroe, Stephen; Strait, David S.

    2016-01-01

    constrained the maximum recruitment levels of the masticatory muscles on the balancing (non-biting) side of the head. Our results do not necessarily conflict with the hypothesis that anterior tooth (incisors, canines, premolars) biting could have been selectively important in humans, although the reduced size of the premolars in humans has been shown to increase the risk of tooth crown fracture. We interpret our results to suggest that human craniofacial evolution was probably not driven by selection for high magnitude unilateral biting, and that increased masticatory muscle efficiency in humans is likely to be a secondary byproduct of selection for some function unrelated to forceful biting behaviors. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a shift to softer foods and/or the innovation of pre-oral food processing techniques relaxed selective pressures maintaining craniofacial features that favor forceful biting and chewing behaviors, leading to the characteristically small and gracile faces of modern humans. PMID:27547550

  14. Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin and vagina. Much of this diversity remains unexplained, although diet, environment, host genetics and early microbial exposure have all been implicated. Accordingly, to characterize the ecology of human-associated microbial communities, the Human Microbiome Project has analysed the largest cohort and set of distinct, clinically relevant body habitats so far. We found the diversity and abundance of each habitat's signature microbes to vary widely even among healthy subjects, with strong niche specialization both within and among individuals. The project encountered an estimated 81-99% of the genera, enzyme families and community configurations occupied by the healthy Western microbiome. Metagenomic carriage of metabolic pathways was stable among individuals despite variation in community structure, and ethnic/racial background proved to be one of the strongest associations of both pathways and microbes with clinical metadata. These results thus delineate the range of structural and functional configurations normal in the microbial communities of a healthy population, enabling future characterization of the epidemiology, ecology and translational applications of the human microbiome.

  15. Pleiotropic function of ezrin in human metastatic melanomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federici, Cristina; Brambilla, Daria; Lozupone, Francesco; Matarrese, Paola; de Milito, Angelo; Lugini, Luana; Iessi, Elisabetta; Cecchetti, Serena; Marino, Marialucia; Perdicchio, Maurizio; Logozzi, Mariantonia; Spada, Massimo; Malorni, Walter; Fais, Stefano

    2009-06-15

    The membrane cytoskeleton cross-linker, ezrin, has recently been depicted as a key regulator in the progression and metastasis of several pediatric tumors. Less defined appears the role of ezrin in human adult tumors, especially melanoma. We therefore addressed ezrin involvement in the metastatic phenotype of human adult metastatic melanoma cells. Our results show that cells resected from melanoma metastatic lesions of patients, display marked metastatic spreading capacity in SCID mice organs. Stable transfection of human melanoma cells with an ezrin deletion mutant comprising only 146 N-terminal aminoacids led to the abolishment of metastatic dissemination. In vitro experiments revealed ezrin direct molecular interactions with molecules related to metastatic functions such as CD44, merlin and Lamp-1, consistent with its participation to the formation of phagocitic vacuoles, vesicular sorting and migration capacities of melanoma cells. Moreover, the ezrin fragment capable of binding to CD44 was shorter than that previously reported, and transfection with the ezrin deletion mutant abrogated plasma membrane Lamp-1 recruitment. This study highlights key involvement of ezrin in a complex machinery, which allows metastatic cancer cells to migrate, invade and survive in very unfavorable conditions. Our in vivo and in vitro data reveal that ezrin is the hub of the metastatic behavior also in human adult tumors. Copyright 2008 UICC.

  16. Approaching human performance the functionality-driven Awiwi robot hand

    CERN Document Server

    Grebenstein, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Humanoid robotics have made remarkable progress since the dawn of robotics. So why don't we have humanoid robot assistants in day-to-day life yet? This book analyzes the keys to building a successful humanoid robot for field robotics, where collisions become an unavoidable part of the game. The author argues that the design goal should be real anthropomorphism, as opposed to mere human-like appearance. He deduces three major characteristics to aim for when designing a humanoid robot, particularly robot hands: _ Robustness against impacts _ Fast dynamics _ Human-like grasping and manipulation performance   Instead of blindly copying human anatomy, this book opts for a holistic design me-tho-do-lo-gy. It analyzes human hands and existing robot hands to elucidate the important functionalities that are the building blocks toward these necessary characteristics.They are the keys to designing an anthropomorphic robot hand, as illustrated in the high performance anthropomorphic Awiwi Hand presented in this book.  ...

  17. The Concept of Human Functional State in Russian Applied Psychology

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    Anna B. Leonova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The concept of human functional states (HFS is considered in the framework of activity regulation approach developed in Russian applied psychology. Aimed at the analysis of changes in regulatory mechanisms of on-going activity, structural methods for multilevel assessment of workers’ states are discussed. Three different strategies of data integration are proposed regarding the types of essential practical problems. Their usability is exemplified with the help of two empirical studies concerned with reliability of fire-fighters’ work in the Chernobyl Zone and effects of interruptions in computerized office environment. A general framework for applied HFS research is proposed in order to develop new ecologically valid psychodiagnostic procedures that can help to create efficient stress-management programs for enhancing human reliability and performance in complex job environment.

  18. Functional MRI studies of human vision on a clinical imager

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, J.S.; Lewine, J.D.; Aine, C.J.; van Hulsteyn, D.; Wood, C.C.; Sanders, J.; Maclin, E.; Belliveau, J.W.; Caprihan, A.

    1992-01-01

    During the past decade, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become the method of choice for imaging the anatomy of the human brain. Recently, Belliveau and colleagues have reported the use of echo planar magnetic resonance imaging (EPI) to image patterns of neural activity. Here, we report functional MR imaging in response to visual stimulation without the use of contrast agents, and without the extensive hardware modifications required for EPI. Regions of activity were observed near the expected locations of V1, V2 and possibly V3 and another active region was observed near the parietal-occipital sulcus on the superior surface of the cerebrum. These locations are consistent with sources observed in neuromagnetic studies of the human visual response

  19. Identification of functional VEGF receptors on human platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selheim, Frode; Holmsen, Holm; Vassbotn, Flemming S

    2002-02-13

    Platelets secrete platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) upon stimulation. We have demonstrated that platelets have functionally active PDGF alpha-receptors, a transmembrane tyrosine kinase involved in negative feedback regulation. Here we demonstrate the presence of the related VEGF receptors fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 and kinase-insert domain region on human platelets. VEGF itself did not cause platelet aggregation. However, addition of exogenous VEGF to SFRLLN or thrombin-stimulated platelets potentiated platelet aggregation. Moreover, thrombin-induced phosphoinositide 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase activity were enhanced in the presence of VEGF.

  20. Towards a functional definition of the mitochondrial human proteome

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    Mauro Fasano

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The mitochondrial human proteome project (mt-HPP was initiated by the Italian HPP group as a part of both the chromosome-centric initiative (C-HPP and the “biology and disease driven” initiative (B/D-HPP. In recent years several reports highlighted how mitochondrial biology and disease are regulated by specific interactions with non-mitochondrial proteins. Thus, it is of great relevance to extend our present view of the mitochondrial proteome not only to those proteins that are encoded by or transported to mitochondria, but also to their interactors that take part in mitochondria functionality. Here, we propose a graphical representation of the functional mitochondrial proteome by retrieving mitochondrial proteins from the NeXtProt database and adding to the network their interactors as annotated in the IntAct database. Notably, the network may represent a reference to map all the proteins that are currently being identified in mitochondrial proteomics studies.

  1. Functional annotation of the human retinal pigment epithelium transcriptome

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    Gorgels Theo GMF

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To determine level, variability and functional annotation of gene expression of the human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, the key tissue involved in retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Macular RPE cells from six selected healthy human donor eyes (aged 63–78 years were laser dissected and used for 22k microarray studies (Agilent technologies. Data were analyzed with Rosetta Resolver, the web tool DAVID and Ingenuity software. Results In total, we identified 19,746 array entries with significant expression in the RPE. Gene expression was analyzed according to expression levels, interindividual variability and functionality. A group of highly (n = 2,194 expressed RPE genes showed an overrepresentation of genes of the oxidative phosphorylation, ATP synthesis and ribosome pathways. In the group of moderately expressed genes (n = 8,776 genes of the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and aminosugars metabolism were overrepresented. As expected, the top 10 percent (n = 2,194 of genes with the highest interindividual differences in expression showed functional overrepresentation of the complement cascade, essential in inflammation in age-related macular degeneration, and other signaling pathways. Surprisingly, this same category also includes the genes involved in Bruch's membrane (BM composition. Among the top 10 percent of genes with low interindividual differences, there was an overrepresentation of genes involved in local glycosaminoglycan turnover. Conclusion Our study expands current knowledge of the RPE transcriptome by assigning new genes, and adding data about expression level and interindividual variation. Functional annotation suggests that the RPE has high levels of protein synthesis, strong energy demands, and is exposed to high levels of oxidative stress and a variable degree of inflammation. Our data sheds new light on the molecular composition of BM, adjacent to the

  2. Insulator function and topological domain border strength scale with architectural protein occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Chromosome conformation capture studies suggest that eukaryotic genomes are organized into structures called topologically associating domains. The borders of these domains are highly enriched for architectural proteins with characterized roles in insulator function. However, a majority of architectural protein binding sites localize within topological domains, suggesting sites associated with domain borders represent a functionally different subclass of these regulatory elements. How topologically associating domains are established and what differentiates border-associated from non-border architectural protein binding sites remain unanswered questions. Results By mapping the genome-wide target sites for several Drosophila architectural proteins, including previously uncharacterized profiles for TFIIIC and SMC-containing condensin complexes, we uncover an extensive pattern of colocalization in which architectural proteins establish dense clusters at the borders of topological domains. Reporter-based enhancer-blocking insulator activity as well as endogenous domain border strength scale with the occupancy level of architectural protein binding sites, suggesting co-binding by architectural proteins underlies the functional potential of these loci. Analyses in mouse and human stem cells suggest that clustering of architectural proteins is a general feature of genome organization, and conserved architectural protein binding sites may underlie the tissue-invariant nature of topologically associating domains observed in mammals. Conclusions We identify a spectrum of architectural protein occupancy that scales with the topological structure of chromosomes and the regulatory potential of these elements. Whereas high occupancy architectural protein binding sites associate with robust partitioning of topologically associating domains and robust insulator function, low occupancy sites appear reserved for gene-specific regulation within topological domains. PMID

  3. The functional connectivity landscape of the human brain.

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    Bratislav Mišić

    Full Text Available Functional brain networks emerge and dissipate over a primarily static anatomical foundation. The dynamic basis of these networks is inter-regional communication involving local and distal regions. It is assumed that inter-regional distances play a pivotal role in modulating network dynamics. Using three different neuroimaging modalities, 6 datasets were evaluated to determine whether experimental manipulations asymmetrically affect functional relationships based on the distance between brain regions in human participants. Contrary to previous assumptions, here we show that short- and long-range connections are equally likely to strengthen or weaken in response to task demands. Additionally, connections between homotopic areas are the most stable and less likely to change compared to any other type of connection. Our results point to a functional connectivity landscape characterized by fluid transitions between local specialization and global integration. This ability to mediate functional properties irrespective of spatial distance may engender a diverse repertoire of cognitive processes when faced with a dynamic environment.

  4. Human RAD50 makes a functional DNA-binding complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinoshita, Eri; van Rossum-Fikkert, Sari; Sanchez, Humberto; Kertokalio, Aryandi; Wyman, Claire

    2015-06-01

    The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex has several distinct functions in DNA repair including important roles in both non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). The biochemical activities of MR(N) have been well characterized implying specific functional roles for the components. The arrangement of proteins in the complex implies interdependence of their biochemical activities making it difficult to separate specific functions. We obtained purified human RAD50 and observed that it binds ATP, undergoes ATP-dependent conformational changes as well as having ATPase activity. Scanning force microscopy analysis clearly showed that RAD50 binds DNA although not as oligomers. RAD50 alone was not functional in tethering DNA molecules. ATP increased formation of RAD50 multimers which were however globular lacking extended coiled coils, in contrast to the MR complex where ATP induced oligomers have obvious coiled coils protruding from a central domain. These results suggest that MRE11 is important in maintaining the structural arrangement of RAD50 in the protein complex and perhaps has a role in reinforcing proper alignment of the coiled coils in the ATP-bound state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  5. Human Motor Cortex Functional Changes in Acute Stroke: Gender Effects

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    Vincenzo eDi Lazzaro

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The acute phase of stroke is accompanied by functional changes in the activity and interplay of both hemispheres. In healthy subjects, gender is known to impact the functional brain organization.We investigated whether gender influences also acute stroke functional changes. In thirty-five ischemic stroke patients, we evaluated the excitability of the affected (AH and unaffected hemisphere (UH by measuring resting and active motor threshold and motor-evoked potential amplitude under baseline conditions and after intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS of AH. We also computed an index of the excitability balance between the hemispheres, laterality indexes (LI, to evidence hemispheric asymmetry. Active motor threshold differed significantly between AH and UH only in the male group (p=0.004, not in females (p>0.200, and both LIAMT and LIRMT were significantly higher in males than in females (respectively p=0.033 and p=0.042. LTP-like activity induced by iTBS in AH was more frequent in females. Gender influences the functional excitability changes that take place after human stroke and the level of LTP that can be induced by repetitive stimulation. This knowledge is of high value in the attempt of individualizing to different genders any non-invasive stimulation strategy designed to foster stroke recovery.

  6. Human Motor Cortex Functional Changes in Acute Stroke: Gender Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo; Pellegrino, Giovanni; Di Pino, Giovanni; Ranieri, Federico; Lotti, Fiorenza; Florio, Lucia; Capone, Fioravante

    2016-01-01

    The acute phase of stroke is accompanied by functional changes in the activity and interplay of both hemispheres. In healthy subjects, gender is known to impact the functional brain organization. We investigated whether gender influences also acute stroke functional changes. In thirty-five ischemic stroke patients, we evaluated the excitability of the affected (AH) and unaffected hemisphere (UH) by measuring resting and active motor threshold (AMT) and motor-evoked potential amplitude under baseline conditions and after intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) of AH. We also computed an index of the excitability balance between the hemispheres, laterality indexes (LI), to evidence hemispheric asymmetry. AMT differed significantly between AH and UH only in the male group (p = 0.004), not in females (p > 0.200), and both LIAMT and LIRMT were significantly higher in males than in females (respectively p = 0.033 and p = 0.042). LTP-like activity induced by iTBS in AH was more frequent in females. Gender influences the functional excitability changes that take place after human stroke and the level of LTP that can be induced by repetitive stimulation. This knowledge is of high value in the attempt of individualizing to different genders any non-invasive stimulation strategy designed to foster stroke recovery. PMID:26858590

  7. Resting State Functional Connectivity in Early Blind Humans

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    Harold eBurton

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Task-based neuroimaging studies in early blind humans (EB have demonstrated heightened visual cortex responses to non-visual paradigms. Several prior functional connectivity studies in EB have shown altered connections consistent with these task-based results. But these studies generally did not consider behavioral adaptations to lifelong blindness typically observed in EB. Enhanced cognitive abilities shown in EB include greater serial recall and attention to memory. Here, we address the question of the extent to which brain intrinsic activity in EB reflects such adaptations. We performed a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study contrasting 14 EB with 14 age/gender matched normally sighted controls (NS. A principal finding was markedly greater functional connectivity in EB between visual cortex and regions typically associated with memory and cognitive control of attention. In contrast, correlations between visual cortex and non-deprived sensory cortices were significantly lower in EB. Thus, the available data, including that obtained in prior task-based and resting state fMRI studies, as well as the present results, indicate that visual cortex in EB becomes more heavily incorporated into functional systems instantiating episodic recall and attention to non-visual events. Moreover, EB appear to show a reduction in interactions between visual and non-deprived sensory cortices, possibly reflecting suppression of inter-sensory distracting activity.

  8. Establishing human lacrimal gland cultures with secretory function.

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    Shubha Tiwari

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial chronic disabling disease mainly caused by the functional disruptions in the lacrimal gland. The treatment involves palliation like ocular surface lubrication and rehydration. Cell therapy involving replacement of the gland is a promising alternative for providing long-term relief to patients. This study aimed to establish functionally competent lacrimal gland cultures in-vitro and explore the presence of stem cells in the native gland and the established in-vitro cultures. METHODS: Fresh human lacrimal gland from patients undergoing exenteration was harvested for cultures after IRB approval. The freshly isolated cells were evaluated by flow cytometry for expression of stem cell markers ABCG2, high ALDH1 levels and c-kit. Cultures were established on Matrigel, collagen and HAM and the cultured cells evaluated for the presence of stem cell markers and differentiating markers of epithelial (E-cadherin, EpCAM, mesenchymal (Vimentin, CD90 and myofibroblastic (α-SMA, S-100 origin by flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. The conditioned media was tested for secretory proteins (scIgA, lactoferrin, lysozyme post carbachol (100 µM stimulation by ELISA. RESULTS: Native human lacrimal gland expressed ABCG2 (mean±SEM: 3.1±0.61%, high ALDH1 (3.8±1.26% and c-kit (6.7±2.0%. Lacrimal gland cultures formed a monolayer, in order of preference on Matrigel, collagen and HAM within 15-20 days, containing a heterogeneous population of stem-like and differentiated cells. The epithelial cells formed 'spherules' with duct like connections, suggestive of ductal origin. The levels of scIgA (47.43 to 61.56 ng/ml, lysozyme (24.36 to 144.74 ng/ml and lactoferrin (32.45 to 40.31 ng/ml in the conditioned media were significantly higher than the negative controls (p<0.05 for all comparisons. CONCLUSION: The study reports the novel finding of establishing functionally competent human lacrimal gland cultures in-vitro. It also

  9. Expression of fully functional tetrameric human hemoglobin in Escherichia coli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffman, S.J.; Looker, D.L.; Roehrich, J.M.; Cozart, P.E.; Durfee, S.L.; Tedesco, J.L.; Stetler, G.L.

    1990-01-01

    Synthesis genes encoding the human α- and β-globin polypeptides have been expressed from a single operon in Escherichia coli. The α- and β-globin polypeptides associate into soluble tetramers, incorporate heme, and accumulate to >5% of the total cellular protein. Purified recombinant hemoglobin has the correct stoichiometry of α- and β-globin chains and contains a full complement of heme. Each globin chain also contains an additional methionine as an extension to the amino terminus. The recombinant hemoglobin has a C 4 reversed-phase HPLC profile essentially identical to that of human hemoglobin A 0 and comigrates with hemoglobin A 0 on SDS/PAGE. The visible spectrum and oxygen affinity are similar to that of native human hemoglobin A 0 . The authors have also expressed the α- and β-globin genes separately and found that the expression of the α-globin gene alone results in a marked decrease in the accumulation of α-globin in the cell. Separate expression of the β-globin gene results in high levels of insoluble β-globin. These observations suggest that the presence of α- and β-globin in the same cell stabilizes α-globin and aids the correct folding of β-globin. This system provides a simple method for expressing large quantities of recombinant hemoglobin and allows facile manipulation of the genes encoding hemoglobin to produce functionally altered forms of this protein

  10. Androgen receptor function links human sexual dimorphism to DNA methylation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ole Ammerpohl

    Full Text Available Sex differences are well known to be determinants of development, health and disease. Epigenetic mechanisms are also known to differ between men and women through X-inactivation in females. We hypothesized that epigenetic sex differences may also result from sex hormone functions, in particular from long-lasting androgen programming. We aimed at investigating whether inactivation of the androgen receptor, the key regulator of normal male sex development, is associated with differences of the patterns of DNA methylation marks in genital tissues. To this end, we performed large scale array-based analysis of gene methylation profiles on genomic DNA from labioscrotal skin fibroblasts of 8 males and 26 individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS due to inactivating androgen receptor gene mutations. By this approach we identified differential methylation of 167 CpG loci representing 162 unique human genes. These were significantly enriched for androgen target genes and low CpG content promoter genes. Additional 75 genes showed a significant increase of heterogeneity of methylation in AIS compared to a high homogeneity in normal male controls. Our data show that normal and aberrant androgen receptor function is associated with distinct patterns of DNA-methylation marks in genital tissues. These findings support the concept that transcription factor binding to the DNA has an impact on the shape of the DNA methylome. These data which derived from a rare human model suggest that androgen programming of methylation marks contributes to sexual dimorphism in the human which might have considerable impact on the manifestation of sex-associated phenotypes and diseases.

  11. Architecture of the human renal inner medulla and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Guojun; Rosen, Seymour; Dantzler, William H; Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-10-01

    The architecture of the inner stripe of the outer medulla of the human kidney has long been known to exhibit distinctive configurations; however, inner medullary architecture remains poorly defined. Using immunohistochemistry with segment-specific antibodies for membrane fluid and solute transporters and other proteins, we identified a number of distinctive functional features of human inner medulla. In the outer inner medulla, aquaporin-1 (AQP1)-positive long-loop descending thin limbs (DTLs) lie alongside descending and ascending vasa recta (DVR, AVR) within vascular bundles. These vascular bundles are continuations of outer medullary vascular bundles. Bundles containing DTLs and vasa recta lie at the margins of coalescing collecting duct (CD) clusters, thereby forming two regions, the vascular bundle region and the CD cluster region. Although AQP1 and urea transporter UT-B are abundantly expressed in long-loop DTLs and DVR, respectively, their expression declines with depth below the outer medulla. Transcellular water and urea fluxes likely decline in these segments at progressively deeper levels. Smooth muscle myosin heavy chain protein is also expressed in DVR of the inner stripe and the upper inner medulla, but is sparsely expressed at deeper inner medullary levels. In rodent inner medulla, fenestrated capillaries abut CDs along their entire length, paralleling ascending thin limbs (ATLs), forming distinct compartments (interstitial nodal spaces; INSs); however, in humans this architecture rarely occurs. Thus INSs are relatively infrequent in the human inner medulla, unlike in the rodent where they are abundant. UT-B is expressed within the papillary epithelium of the lower inner medulla, indicating a transcellular pathway for urea across this epithelium. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    , morphological features and assembly. Aside from fundamental perspectives, we anticipate that these results will provide a blueprint for the design of precise materials for a range of potential applications such as controlled release devices, functional coatings, components of tissue regeneration materials and environmentally friendly polymers in future studies. In the second part of this work, human collagen type I was studied as another representative of the family of fibrous proteins. Collagen type I is the most abundant extracellular matrix protein in the human body, providing the basis for tissue structure and directing cellular functions. Collagen has a complex structural hierarchy, organized at different length scales, including the characteristic triple helical feature. In the present study we assessed the relationship between collagen structure (native vs. denatured) and sensitivity to UV radiation with a focus on changes in the primary structure, conformation, microstructure and material properties. Free radical reactions are involved in collagen degradation and a mechanism for UV-induced collagen degradation related to structure was proposed. The results from this study demonstrated the role of collagen supramolecular organization (triple helix) in the context of the effects of electromagnetic radiation on extracellular matrices. Owing to the fact that both silks and collagens are proteins that have found widespread interest for biomaterial related needs, we anticipate that the current studies will serve as a foundation for future biomaterial designs with controlled properties. Furthermore, fundamental insight into self-assembly and environmentally-2mediated degradation, will build a foundation for fundamental understanding of the remodeling and functions of these types of fibrous proteins in vivo and in vitro. This type of insight is essential for many areas of scientific inquiry, from drug delivery, to scaffolds for tissue engineering, and to the stability of

  13. Diterpenoids from Tetraclinis articulata that inhibit various human leukocyte functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrero, Alejandro F; Quílez del Moral, José F; Lucas, Rut; Payá, Miguel; Akssira, Mohamed; Akaad, Said; Mellouki, Fouad

    2003-06-01

    Ten new compounds, eight of them pimarane derivatives (1-8), together with a menthane dimer (9) and a totarane diterpenoid (10), were isolated from the leaves and wood of Tetraclinis articulata. The structures of 1-10 were established by using spectroscopic techniques, including 2D NMR spectra. Pimaranes 1-5 were found to possess an unusual cis interannular union of the B and C rings, which, from a biogenetic perspective, could be derived from the hydration of a carbocation at C-8. Compounds 4-6 and a mixture of 7 and 11 modulated different human leukocyte functions at a concentration of 10 microM, mainly the degranulation process measured as myeloperoxidase release and, to a lesser extent, the superoxide production measured by chemiluminescence.

  14. The Ecology of Seamounts: Structure, Function, and Human Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Schlacher, Thomas; Williams, Alan; Consalvey, Mireille; Stocks, Karen I.; Rogers, Alex D.; O'Hara, Timothy D.; White, Martin; Shank, Timothy M.; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological productivity, and whether they have unique trophic architecture. We discuss how vulnerable seamount communities are to fishing and mining, and how we can balance exploitation of resources and conservation of habitat. Despite considerable advances in recent years, there remain many questions about seamount ecosystems that need closer integration of molecular, oceanographic, and ecological research.

  15. Effects of heat stress on baroreflex function in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crandall, Craig G.; Cui, Jian; Wilson, Thad E.

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Heat stress significantly reduces orthostatic tolerance in humans. The mechanism(s) causing this response remain unknown. The purpose of this review article is to present data pertaining to the hypothesis that reduced orthostatic tolerance in heat stressed individuals is a result of heat stress induced alterations in baroflex function. METHODS: In both normothermic and heat stressed conditions baroreflex responsiveness was assessed via pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. In addition, the effects of heat stress on post-synaptic vasoconstrictor responsiveness were assessed. RESULTS: Generally, whole body heating did not alter baroreflex sensitivity defined as the gain of the linear portion of the baroreflex curve around the operating point. However, whole body heating shifted the baroreflex curve to the prevailing (i.e. elevated) heart rate and muscle sympathetic nerve activity. Finally, the heat stress impaired vasoconstrictor responses to exogenous administration of adrenergic agonists. CONCLUSION: Current data do not support the hypothesis that reduced orthostatic tolerance associated with heat stress in humans is due to impaired baroreflex responsiveness. This phenomenon may be partially due to the effects of heat stress on reducing vasoconstrictor responsiveness.

  16. Distinct functional programming of human fetal and adult monocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krow-Lucal, Elisabeth R; Kim, Charles C; Burt, Trevor D; McCune, Joseph M

    2014-03-20

    Preterm birth affects 1 out of 9 infants in the United States and is the leading cause of long-term neurologic handicap and infant mortality, accounting for 35% of all infant deaths in 2008. Although cytokines including interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-6, and IL-1 are produced in response to in utero infection and are strongly associated with preterm labor, little is known about how human fetal immune cells respond to these cytokines. We demonstrate that fetal and adult CD14(+)CD16(-) classical monocytes are distinct in terms of basal transcriptional profiles and in phosphorylation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) in response to cytokines. Fetal monocytes phosphorylate canonical and noncanonical STATs and respond more strongly to IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-4 than adult monocytes. We demonstrate a higher ratio of SOCS3 to IL-6 receptor in adult monocytes than in fetal monocytes, potentially explaining differences in STAT phosphorylation. Additionally, IFN-γ signaling results in upregulation of antigen presentation and costimulatory machinery in adult, but not fetal, monocytes. These findings represent the first evidence that primary human fetal and adult monocytes are functionally distinct, potentially explaining how these cells respond differentially to cytokines implicated in development, in utero infections, and the pathogenesis of preterm labor.

  17. Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    Is the human mind/brain composed of a set of highly specialized components, each carrying out a specific aspect of human cognition, or is it more of a general-purpose device, in which each component participates in a wide variety of cognitive processes? For nearly two centuries, proponents of specialized organs or modules of the mind and brain—from the phrenologists to Broca to Chomsky and Fodor—have jousted with the proponents of distributed cognitive and neural processing—from Flourens to Lashley to McClelland and Rumelhart. I argue here that research using functional MRI is beginning to answer this long-standing question with new clarity and precision by indicating that at least a few specific aspects of cognition are implemented in brain regions that are highly specialized for that process alone. Cortical regions have been identified that are specialized not only for basic sensory and motor processes but also for the high-level perceptual analysis of faces, places, bodies, visually presented words, and even for the very abstract cognitive function of thinking about another person’s thoughts. I further consider the as-yet unanswered questions of how much of the mind and brain are made up of these functionally specialized components and how they arise developmentally. PMID:20484679

  18. Inorganic arsenic impairs differentiation and functions of human dendritic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macoch, Mélinda; Morzadec, Claudie [UMR INSERM U1085, Institut de Recherche sur la Santé, l' Environnement et le Travail (IRSET), Université de Rennes 1, 2 avenue du Professeur Léon Bernard, 35043 Rennes (France); Fardel, Olivier [UMR INSERM U1085, Institut de Recherche sur la Santé, l' Environnement et le Travail (IRSET), Université de Rennes 1, 2 avenue du Professeur Léon Bernard, 35043 Rennes (France); Pôle Biologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Rennes, 2 rue Henri Le Guilloux, 35033 Rennes (France); Vernhet, Laurent, E-mail: laurent.vernhet@univ-rennes1.fr [UMR INSERM U1085, Institut de Recherche sur la Santé, l' Environnement et le Travail (IRSET), Université de Rennes 1, 2 avenue du Professeur Léon Bernard, 35043 Rennes (France)

    2013-01-15

    Experimental studies have demonstrated that the antileukemic trivalent inorganic arsenic prevents the development of severe pro-inflammatory diseases mediated by excessive Th1 and Th17 cell responses. Differentiation of Th1 and Th17 subsets is mainly regulated by interleukins (ILs) secreted from dendritic cells (DCs) and the ability of inorganic arsenic to impair interferon-γ and IL-17 secretion by interfering with the physiology of DCs is unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that high concentrations of sodium arsenite (As(III), 1–2 μM) clinically achievable in plasma of arsenic-treated patients, block differentiation of human peripheral blood monocytes into immature DCs (iDCs) by inducing their necrosis. Differentiation of monocytes in the presence of non-cytotoxic concentrations of As(III) (0.1 to 0.5 μM) only slightly impacts endocytotic activity of iDCs or expression of co-stimulatory molecules in cells activated with lipopolysaccharide. However, this differentiation in the presence of As(III) strongly represses secretion of IL-12p70 and IL-23, two major regulators of Th1 and Th17 activities, from iDCs stimulated with different toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists in metalloid-free medium. Such As(III)-exposed DCs also exhibit reduced mRNA levels of IL12A and/or IL12B genes when activated with TLR agonists. Finally, differentiation of monocytes with non-cytotoxic concentrations of As(III) subsequently reduces the ability of activated DCs to stimulate the release of interferon-γ and IL-17 from Th cells. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that clinically relevant concentrations of inorganic arsenic markedly impair in vitro differentiation and functions of DCs, which may contribute to the putative beneficial effects of the metalloid towards inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Highlights: ► Inorganic arsenic impairs differentiation and functions of human dendritic cells (DCs) ► Arsenite (> 1 μM) blocks differentiation of dendritic cells by

  19. Inorganic arsenic impairs differentiation and functions of human dendritic cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macoch, Mélinda; Morzadec, Claudie; Fardel, Olivier; Vernhet, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Experimental studies have demonstrated that the antileukemic trivalent inorganic arsenic prevents the development of severe pro-inflammatory diseases mediated by excessive Th1 and Th17 cell responses. Differentiation of Th1 and Th17 subsets is mainly regulated by interleukins (ILs) secreted from dendritic cells (DCs) and the ability of inorganic arsenic to impair interferon-γ and IL-17 secretion by interfering with the physiology of DCs is unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that high concentrations of sodium arsenite (As(III), 1–2 μM) clinically achievable in plasma of arsenic-treated patients, block differentiation of human peripheral blood monocytes into immature DCs (iDCs) by inducing their necrosis. Differentiation of monocytes in the presence of non-cytotoxic concentrations of As(III) (0.1 to 0.5 μM) only slightly impacts endocytotic activity of iDCs or expression of co-stimulatory molecules in cells activated with lipopolysaccharide. However, this differentiation in the presence of As(III) strongly represses secretion of IL-12p70 and IL-23, two major regulators of Th1 and Th17 activities, from iDCs stimulated with different toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists in metalloid-free medium. Such As(III)-exposed DCs also exhibit reduced mRNA levels of IL12A and/or IL12B genes when activated with TLR agonists. Finally, differentiation of monocytes with non-cytotoxic concentrations of As(III) subsequently reduces the ability of activated DCs to stimulate the release of interferon-γ and IL-17 from Th cells. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that clinically relevant concentrations of inorganic arsenic markedly impair in vitro differentiation and functions of DCs, which may contribute to the putative beneficial effects of the metalloid towards inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Highlights: ► Inorganic arsenic impairs differentiation and functions of human dendritic cells (DCs) ► Arsenite (> 1 μM) blocks differentiation of dendritic cells by

  20. Genetic association between human chitinases and lung function in COPD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aminuddin, F; Akhabir, L; Stefanowicz, D; Paré, P D; Connett, J E; Anthonisen, N R; Fahy, J V; Seibold, M A; Burchard, E G; Eng, C; Gulsvik, A; Bakke, P; Cho, M H; Litonjua, A; Lomas, D A; Anderson, W H; Beaty, T H; Crapo, J D; Silverman, E K; Sandford, A J

    2012-07-01

    Two primary chitinases have been identified in humans--acid mammalian chitinase (AMCase) and chitotriosidase (CHIT1). Mammalian chitinases have been observed to affect the host's immune response. The aim of this study was to test for association between genetic variation in the chitinases and phenotypes related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Polymorphisms in the chitinase genes were selected based on previous associations with respiratory diseases. Polymorphisms that were associated with lung function level or rate of decline in the Lung Health Study (LHS) cohort were analyzed for association with COPD affection status in four other COPD case-control populations. Chitinase activity and protein levels were also related to genotypes. In the caucasian LHS population, the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) was significantly different between the AA and GG genotypic groups of the AMCase rs3818822 polymorphism. Subjects with the GG genotype had higher AMCase protein and chitinase activity compared with AA homozygotes. For CHIT1 rs2494303, a significant association was observed between rate of decline in FEV(1) and the different genotypes. In the African American LHS population, CHIT1 rs2494303 and AMCase G339T genotypes were associated with rate of decline in FEV(1). Although a significant effect of chitinase gene alleles was found on lung function level and decline in the LHS, we were unable to replicate the associations with COPD affection status in the other COPD study groups.

  1. Functional neuroimaging insights into the physiology of human sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Schabus, Manuel; Desseilles, Martin; Sterpenich, Virginie; Bonjean, Maxime; Maquet, Pierre

    2010-12-01

    Functional brain imaging has been used in humans to noninvasively investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the generation of sleep stages. On the one hand, REM sleep has been associated with the activation of the pons, thalamus, limbic areas, and temporo-occipital cortices, and the deactivation of prefrontal areas, in line with theories of REM sleep generation and dreaming properties. On the other hand, during non-REM (NREM) sleep, decreases in brain activity have been consistently found in the brainstem, thalamus, and in several cortical areas including the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), in agreement with a homeostatic need for brain energy recovery. Benefiting from a better temporal resolution, more recent studies have characterized the brain activations related to phasic events within specific sleep stages. In particular, they have demonstrated that NREM sleep oscillations (spindles and slow waves) are indeed associated with increases in brain activity in specific subcortical and cortical areas involved in the generation or modulation of these waves. These data highlight that, even during NREM sleep, brain activity is increased, yet regionally specific and transient. Besides refining the understanding of sleep mechanisms, functional brain imaging has also advanced the description of the functional properties of sleep. For instance, it has been shown that the sleeping brain is still able to process external information and even detect the pertinence of its content. The relationship between sleep and memory has also been refined using neuroimaging, demonstrating post-learning reactivation during sleep, as well as the reorganization of memory representation on the systems level, sometimes with long-lasting effects on subsequent memory performance. Further imaging studies should focus on clarifying the role of specific sleep patterns for the processing of external stimuli, as well as the consolidation of freshly encoded information during sleep.

  2. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Pidoux

    Full Text Available The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST, which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT. Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2. Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac, an antioxidant.

  3. Tryptophan Transport in Human Fibroblast Cells—A Functional Characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravi Vumma

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There are indications that serotonergic neurotransmission is disturbed in several psychiatric disorders. One explanation may be disturbed transport of tryptophan (precursor for serotonin synthesis across cell membranes. Human fibroblast cells offer an advantageous model to study the transport of amino acids across cell membranes, since they are easy to propagate and the environmental factors can be controlled. The aim of this study was to functionally characterize tryptophan transport and to identify the main transporters of tryptophan in fibroblast cell lines from healthy controls. Tryptophan kinetic parameters ( V max and K m at low and high concentrations were measured in fibroblasts using the cluster tray method. Uptake of 3 H (5-L-tryptophan at different concentrations in the presence and absence of excess concentrations of inhibitors or combinations of inhibitors of amino acid transporters were also measured. Tryptophan transport at high concentration (0.5 mM had low affinity and high V max and the LAT1 isoform of system-L was responsible for approximately 40% of the total uptake of tryptophan. In comparison, tryptophan transport at low concentration (50 nM had higher affinity, lower V max and approximately 80% of tryptophan uptake was transported by system-L with LAT1 as the major isoform. The uptake of tryptophan at the low concentration was mainly sodium (Na + dependent, while uptake at high substrate concentration was mainly Na + independent. A series of different transporter inhibitors had varying inhibitory effects on tryptophan uptake. This study indicates that tryptophan is transported by multiple transporters that are active at different substrate concentrations in human fibroblast cells. The tryptophan transport trough system-L was mainly facilitated by the LAT1 isoform, at both low and high substrate concentrations of tryptophan.

  4. Automated discovery of functional generality of human gene expression programs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg K Gerber

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available An important research problem in computational biology is the identification of expression programs, sets of co-expressed genes orchestrating normal or pathological processes, and the characterization of the functional breadth of these programs. The use of human expression data compendia for discovery of such programs presents several challenges including cellular inhomogeneity within samples, genetic and environmental variation across samples, uncertainty in the numbers of programs and sample populations, and temporal behavior. We developed GeneProgram, a new unsupervised computational framework based on Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes that addresses each of the above challenges. GeneProgram uses expression data to simultaneously organize tissues into groups and genes into overlapping programs with consistent temporal behavior, to produce maps of expression programs, which are sorted by generality scores that exploit the automatically learned groupings. Using synthetic and real gene expression data, we showed that GeneProgram outperformed several popular expression analysis methods. We applied GeneProgram to a compendium of 62 short time-series gene expression datasets exploring the responses of human cells to infectious agents and immune-modulating molecules. GeneProgram produced a map of 104 expression programs, a substantial number of which were significantly enriched for genes involved in key signaling pathways and/or bound by NF-kappaB transcription factors in genome-wide experiments. Further, GeneProgram discovered expression programs that appear to implicate surprising signaling pathways or receptor types in the response to infection, including Wnt signaling and neurotransmitter receptors. We believe the discovered map of expression programs involved in the response to infection will be useful for guiding future biological experiments; genes from programs with low generality scores might serve as new drug targets that exhibit minimal

  5. Oxygen Tension Regulates Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Paracrine Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquet, Joseph; Deschepper, Mickael; Moya, Adrien; Logeart-Avramoglou, Delphine; Boisson-Vidal, Catherine; Petite, Hervé

    2015-07-01

    : Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have captured the attention and research endeavors of the scientific world because of their differentiation potential. However, there is accumulating evidence suggesting that the beneficial effects of MSCs are predominantly due to the multitude of bioactive mediators secreted by these cells. Because the paracrine potential of MSCs is closely related to their microenvironment, the present study investigated and characterized select aspects of the human MSC (hMSC) secretome and assessed its in vitro and in vivo bioactivity as a function of oxygen tension, specifically near anoxia (0.1% O2) and hypoxia (5% O2), conditions that reflect the environment to which MSCs are exposed during MSC-based therapies in vivo. In contrast to supernatant conditioned media (CM) obtained from hMSCs cultured at either 5% or 21% of O2, CM from hMSCs cultured under near anoxia exhibited significantly (p mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) secretome and assessed its in vitro and in vivo biological bioactivity as a function of oxygen tension, specifically near anoxia (0.1% O2) and hypoxia (5% O2), conditions that reflect the environment to which MSCs are exposed during MSC-based therapies in vivo. The present study provided the first evidence of a shift of the hMSC cytokine signature induced by oxygen tension, particularly near anoxia (0.1% O2). Conditioned media obtained from hMSCs cultured under near anoxia exhibited significantly enhanced chemotactic and proangiogenic properties and a significant decrease in the inflammatory mediator content. These findings provide new evidence that elucidates aspects of great importance for the use of MSCs in regenerative medicine, could contribute to improving the efficacy of such therapies, and most importantly highlighted the interest in using conditioned media in therapeutic modalities. ©AlphaMed Press.

  6. Expression and function of the human estrogen receptor in yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, J.H.; Metzger, D.; Chambon, P.

    1988-01-01

    Gene expression in eukaryotes is regulated at many levels. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that the basic control mechanisms of transcription initiation have been conserved across the range of eukaryotes from yeast to man. In vertebrates, the nuclear receptors, whose activity is dependent on the binding of specific ligands, stimulate transcription by interacting with specific cis-acting sequences and display all of the hallmarks of inducible enhancer factors. Alignment of their amino acid sequences indicates that they are composed of a series of conserved domains. The domain structure of the human estrogen receptor (hER) is typical of receptor proteins. Region C, containing two putative zinc fingers, comprises the DNA-binding domain responsible for specific recognition of estrogen response elements (ERE). Region E contains the hormone-binding domain and domain(s) responsible for transcription activation. A mutant of the hER, called HE15, which lacks the hormone-binding domain, binds DNA in vivo and in vitro but activates transcription only poorly in a constitutive manner in vivo in HeLa cells. A series of studies have demonstrated that the hormone- and DNA-binding domains of the nuclear receptors function independently. Chimeric proteins consisting of the DNA-binding domain of yeast GAL4 coupled to the hormone-binding domains of either the hER or glucocorticoid receptor element (GRE) will stimulate transcription in HeLa cells when bound to a UAS. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the hER and other nuclear receptors, as well as GAL4 and GCN4 proteins of yeast, consist of discrete and separable DNA-binding and transcription-activation functions. To investigate these striking parallels further, the authors have expressed the hER in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and have analyzed its hormone- and DNA-binding properties in vitro and its ability to stimulate transcription in vivo

  7. Diesel-Enriched Particulate Matter Functionally Activates Human Dendritic Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Michael; Karp, Matthew; Killedar, Smruti; Bauer, Stephen M.; Guo, Jia; Williams, D'Ann; Breysse, Patrick; Georas, Steve N.; Williams, Marc A.

    2007-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies have associated exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) with exacerbations of asthma. It is unknown how different sources of PM affect innate immunity. We sought to determine how car- and diesel exhaust–derived PM affects dendritic cell (DC) activation. DC development was modeled using CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors. Airborne PM was collected from exhaust plenums of Fort McHenry Tunnel providing car-enriched particles (CEP) and diesel-enriched particles (DEP). DC were stimulated for 48 hours with CEP, DEP, CD40-ligand, or lipopolysaccharide. DC activation was assessed by flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and standard culture techniques. DEP increased uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran (a model antigen) by DC. Diesel particles enhanced cell-surface expression of co-stimulatory molecules (e.g., CD40 [P < 0.01] and MHC class II [P < 0.01]). By contrast, CEP poorly affected antigen uptake and expression of cell surface molecules, and did not greatly affect cytokine secretion by DC. However, DEP increased production of TNF, IL-6, and IFN-γ (P < 0.01), IL-12 (P < 0.05), and vascular endothelial growth factor (P < 0.001). In co-stimulation assays of PM-exposed DC and alloreactive CD4+ T cells, both CEP and DEP directed a Th2-like pattern of cytokine production (e.g., enhanced IL-13 and IL-18 and suppressed IFN-γ production). CD4+ T cells were not functionally activated on exposure to either DEP or CEP. Car- and diesel-enriched particles exert a differential effect on DC activation. Our data support the hypothesis that DEP (and to a lesser extent CEP) regulate important functional aspects of human DC, supporting an adjuvant role for this material. PMID:17630318

  8. Functional segregation of the human cingulate cortex is confirmed by functional connectivity based neuroanatomical parcellation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chunshui; Zhou, Yuan; Liu, Yong; Jiang, Tianzi; Dong, Haiwei; Zhang, Yunting; Walter, Martin

    2011-02-14

    The four-region model with 7 specified subregions represents a theoretical construct of functionally segregated divisions of the cingulate cortex based on integrated neurobiological assessments. Under this framework, we aimed to investigate the functional specialization of the human cingulate cortex by analyzing the resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of each subregion from a network perspective. In 20 healthy subjects we systematically investigated the FC patterns of the bilateral subgenual (sACC) and pregenual (pACC) anterior cingulate cortices, anterior (aMCC) and posterior (pMCC) midcingulate cortices, dorsal (dPCC) and ventral (vPCC) posterior cingulate cortices and retrosplenial cortices (RSC). We found that each cingulate subregion was specifically integrated in the predescribed functional networks and showed anti-correlated resting-state fluctuations. The sACC and pACC were involved in an affective network and anti-correlated with the sensorimotor and cognitive networks, while the pACC also correlated with the default-mode network and anti-correlated with the visual network. In the midcingulate cortex, however, the aMCC was correlated with the cognitive and sensorimotor networks and anti-correlated with the visual, affective and default-mode networks, whereas the pMCC only correlated with the sensorimotor network and anti-correlated with the cognitive and visual networks. The dPCC and vPCC involved in the default-mode network and anti-correlated with the sensorimotor, cognitive and visual networks, in contrast, the RSC was mainly correlated with the PCC and thalamus. Based on a strong hypothesis driven approach of anatomical partitions of the cingulate cortex, we could confirm their segregation in terms of functional neuroanatomy, as suggested earlier by task studies or exploratory multi-seed investigations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Inhibition of human polymorphonuclear leukocyte function by components of human colostrum and mature milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, L K; Cleary, T G; Caprioli, R M

    1983-04-01

    To compare the effect of human colostrum (days 1 to 3 postpartum) and mature milk (days 170 +/- 24 postpartum) on the function of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL), Ficoll-Hypaque-separated PMNL from the blood of 60 healthy volunteers were incubated with whole colostrum, colostral lipid, and colostral aqueous phase from 30 mothers, or with mature whole milk and its separated components from 30 mothers, and tested for resting and zymosan-stimulated oxidative metabolism, functional activity, and the presence of Fc receptors. Stimulated oxygen consumption, quantitative nitroblue tetrazolium dye reduction, [1-(14)C]glucose utilization, and Fc receptors were significantly (P cells or cells exposed to the aqueous phase of colostrum. In contrast, PMNL exposed to whole mature milk or to its lipid or aqueous phase caused no significant decrease in any of these parameters when compared to nonexposed cells. In assays of phagocytosis, colostral PMNL or blood PMNL exposed to colostral lipid had a significant (P < 0.001) decrease in their ability to ingest [methyl-(3)H]thymidine-labeled Staphylococcus aureus when compared to non-lipid-exposed PMNL. Blood PMNL exposed to lipid from mature milk had no decrease in ability to ingest S. aureus. Analysis of total lipid and total and individual fatty acid content revealed a uniform increase in all components in mature milk when compared to colostrum. Lipid or lipid-soluble material present in human colostrum but not mature milk causes inhibition of phagocytosis and respiratory burst-related activities of PMNL.

  10. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruytjens, Liesbet; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Holstege, Gert; Wit, Hero P.; Albers, Frans W.J.; Willemsen, Antoon T.M.

    2007-01-01

    We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation). We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC. Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies. (orig.)

  11. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruytjens, Liesbet [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Groningen (Netherlands); University Medical Center Utrecht, Department Otorhinolaryngology, P.O. Box 85500, Utrecht (Netherlands); Georgiadis, Janniko R. [University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Groningen (Netherlands); Holstege, Gert [University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Uroneurology, Groningen (Netherlands); Wit, Hero P. [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Groningen (Netherlands); Albers, Frans W.J. [University Medical Center Utrecht, Department Otorhinolaryngology, P.O. Box 85500, Utrecht (Netherlands); Willemsen, Antoon T.M. [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Groningen (Netherlands)

    2007-12-15

    We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation). We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC. Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies. (orig.)

  12. Expression profiling of human renal carcinomas with functional taxonomic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Background Molecular characterization has contributed to the understanding of the inception, progression, treatment and prognosis of cancer. Nucleic acid array-based technologies extend molecular characterization of tumors to thousands of gene products. To effectively discriminate between tumor sub-types, reliable laboratory techniques and analytic methods are required. Results We derived mRNA expression profiles from 21 human tissue samples (eight normal kidneys and 13 kidney tumors) and two pooled samples using the Affymetrix GeneChip platform. A panel of ten clustering algorithms combined with four data pre-processing methods identified a consensus cluster dendrogram in 18 of 40 analyses and of these 16 used a logarithmic transformation. Within the consensus dendrogram the expression profiles of the samples grouped according to tissue type; clear cell and chromophobe carcinomas displayed distinctly different gene expression patterns. By using a rigorous statistical selection based method we identified 355 genes that showed significant (p Matrix Organization and Adhesion. Conclusions Affymetrix GeneChip profiling differentiated clear cell and chromophobe carcinomas from one another and from normal kidney cortex. Clustering methods that used logarithmic transformation of data sets produced dendrograms consistent with the sample biology. Functional taxonomy provided a practical approach to the interpretation of gene expression data. PMID:12356337

  13. Expression profiling of human renal carcinomas with functional taxonomic analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madore Steven J

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular characterization has contributed to the understanding of the inception, progression, treatment and prognosis of cancer. Nucleic acid array-based technologies extend molecular characterization of tumors to thousands of gene products. To effectively discriminate between tumor sub-types, reliable laboratory techniques and analytic methods are required. Results We derived mRNA expression profiles from 21 human tissue samples (eight normal kidneys and 13 kidney tumors and two pooled samples using the Affymetrix GeneChip platform. A panel of ten clustering algorithms combined with four data pre-processing methods identified a consensus cluster dendrogram in 18 of 40 analyses and of these 16 used a logarithmic transformation. Within the consensus dendrogram the expression profiles of the samples grouped according to tissue type; clear cell and chromophobe carcinomas displayed distinctly different gene expression patterns. By using a rigorous statistical selection based method we identified 355 genes that showed significant (p Conclusions Affymetrix GeneChip profiling differentiated clear cell and chromophobe carcinomas from one another and from normal kidney cortex. Clustering methods that used logarithmic transformation of data sets produced dendrograms consistent with the sample biology. Functional taxonomy provided a practical approach to the interpretation of gene expression data.

  14. Structure, function, and control of the human musculoskeletal network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew C Murphy

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The human body is a complex organism, the gross mechanical properties of which are enabled by an interconnected musculoskeletal network controlled by the nervous system. The nature of musculoskeletal interconnection facilitates stability, voluntary movement, and robustness to injury. However, a fundamental understanding of this network and its control by neural systems has remained elusive. Here we address this gap in knowledge by utilizing medical databases and mathematical modeling to reveal the organizational structure, predicted function, and neural control of the musculoskeletal system. We constructed a highly simplified whole-body musculoskeletal network in which single muscles connect to multiple bones via both origin and insertion points. We demonstrated that, using this simplified model, a muscle's role in this network could offer a theoretical prediction of the susceptibility of surrounding components to secondary injury. Finally, we illustrated that sets of muscles cluster into network communities that mimic the organization of control modules in primary motor cortex. This novel formalism for describing interactions between the muscular and skeletal systems serves as a foundation to develop and test therapeutic responses to injury, inspiring future advances in clinical treatments.

  15. Functional Characterization of Preadipocytes Derived from Human Periaortic Adipose Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Vargas

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Adipose tissue can affect the metabolic control of the cardiovascular system, and its anatomic location can affect the vascular function differently. In this study, biochemical and phenotypical characteristics of adipose tissue from periaortic fat were evaluated. Periaortic and subcutaneous adipose tissues were obtained from areas surrounding the ascending aorta and sternotomy incision, respectively. Adipose tissues were collected from patients undergoing myocardial revascularization or mitral valve replacement surgery. Morphological studies with hematoxylin/eosin and immunohistochemical assay were performed in situ to quantify adipokine expression. To analyze adipogenic capacity, adipokine expression, and the levels of thermogenic proteins, adipocyte precursor cells were isolated from periaortic and subcutaneous adipose tissues and induced to differentiation. The precursors of adipocytes from the periaortic tissue accumulated less triglycerides than those from the subcutaneous tissue after differentiation and were smaller than those from subcutaneous adipose tissue. The levels of proteins involved in thermogenesis and energy expenditure increased significantly in periaortic adipose tissue. Additionally, the expression levels of adipokines that affect carbohydrate metabolism, such as FGF21, increased significantly in mature adipocytes induced from periaortic adipose tissue. These results demonstrate that precursors of periaortic adipose tissue in humans may affect cardiovascular events and might serve as a target for preventing vascular diseases.

  16. Complete functional rescue of the ABCA1(-/-) mouse by human BAC transgenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coutinho, Jonathan M.; Singaraja, Roshni R.; Kang, Martin; Arenillas, David J.; Bertram, Lisa N.; Bissada, Nagat; Staels, Bart; Fruchart, Jean-Charles; Fievet, Catherine; Joseph-George, Ann M.; Wasserman, Wyeth W.; Hayden, Michael R.

    2005-01-01

    Humanized mouse models are useful tools to explore the functional and regulatory differences between human and murine orthologous genes. We have combined a bioinformatics approach and an in vivo approach to assess the functional and regulatory differences between the human and mouse ABCA1 genes.

  17. Effects of Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Human Trophoblast Cell Functions In Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yajing Huang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Trophoblast cell dysfunction is involved in many disorders during pregnancy such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Few treatments exist, however, that target improving trophoblast cell function. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs are capable of self-renewing, can undergo multilineage differentiation, and have homing abilities; in addition, they have immunomodulatory effects and paracrine properties and thus are a prospective source for cell therapy. To identify whether hUCMSCs can regulate trophoblast cell functions, we treated trophoblast cells with hUCMSC supernatant or cocultured them with hUCMSCs. Both treatments remarkably enhanced the migration and invasion abilities of trophoblast cells and upregulated their proliferation ability. At a certain concentration, hUCMSCs also modulated hCG, PIGF, and sEndoglin levels in the trophoblast culture medium. Thus, hUCMSCs have a positive effect on trophoblast cellular functions, which may provide a new avenue for treatment of placenta-related diseases during pregnancy.

  18. Hippocampal sleep features: relations to human memory function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele eFerrara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The recent spread of intracranial EEG recordings techniques for presurgical evaluation of drug-resistant epileptic patients is providing new information on the activity of different brain structures during both wakefulness and sleep. The interest has been mainly focused on the medial temporal lobe, and in particular the hippocampal formation, whose peculiar local sleep features have been recently described, providing support to the idea that sleep is not a spatially global phenomenon. The study of the hippocampal sleep electrophysiology is particularly interesting because of its central role in the declarative memory formation. Recent data indicate that sleep contributes to memory formation. Therefore, it is relevant to understand whether specific pattern of activity taking place during sleep are related to memory consolidation processes. Fascinating similarities between different states of consciousness (wakefulness, REM sleep, NREM sleep in some electrophysiological mechanisms underlying cognitive processes have been reported. For instance, large-scale synchrony in gamma activity is important for waking memory and perception processes, and its changes during sleep may be the neurophysiological substrate of sleep-related deficits of declarative memory. Hippocampal activity seems to specifically support memory consolidation during sleep, through specific coordinated neurophysiological events (slow waves, spindles, ripples that would facilitate the integration of new information into the pre-existing cortical networks. A few studies indeed provided direct evidence that rhinal ripples as well as slow hippocampal oscillations are correlated with memory consolidation in humans. More detailed electrophysiological investigations assessing the specific relations between different types of memory consolidation and hippocampal EEG features are in order. These studies will add an important piece of knowledge to the elucidation of the ultimate sleep

  19. Pharmaceutical excipients influence the function of human uptake transporting proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Anett; Oswald, Stefan; Siegmund, Werner; Keiser, Markus

    2012-09-04

    Although pharmaceutical excipients are supposed to be pharmacologically inactive, solubilizing agents like Cremophor EL have been shown to interact with cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent drug metabolism as well as efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and multidrug resistance associated protein 2 (ABCC2). However, knowledge about their influence on the function of uptake transporters important in drug disposition is very limited. In this study we investigated the in vitro influence of polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG), hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD), Solutol HS 15 (SOL), and Cremophor EL (CrEL) on the organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATP) 1A2, OATP2B1, OATP1B1, and OATP1B3 and the Na(+)/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP). In stably transfected human embryonic kidney cells we analyzed the competition of the excipients with the uptake of bromosulfophthalein in OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OATP2B1, and NTCP, estrone-3-sulfate (E(3)S) in OATP1A2, OATP1B1, and OATP2B1, estradiol-17β-glucuronide in OATP1B3, and taurocholate (TA) in OATP1A2 and NTCP cells. SOL and CrEL were the most potent inhibitors of all transporters with the strongest effect on OATP1A2, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1 (IC(50) < 0.01%). HPCD also strongly inhibited all transport proteins but only for substrates containing a sterane-backbone. Finally, PEG seems to be a selective and potent modulator of OATP1A2 with IC(50) values of 0.05% (TA) and 0.14% (E(3)S). In conclusion, frequently used solubilizing agents were shown to interact substantially with intestinal and hepatic uptake transporters which should be considered in drug development. However, the clinical relevance of these findings needs to be evaluated in further in vivo studies.

  20. Hippocampal Sleep Features: Relations to Human Memory Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Michele; Moroni, Fabio; De Gennaro, Luigi; Nobili, Lino

    2012-01-01

    The recent spread of intracranial electroencephalographic (EEG) recording techniques for presurgical evaluation of drug-resistant epileptic patients is providing new information on the activity of different brain structures during both wakefulness and sleep. The interest has been mainly focused on the medial temporal lobe, and in particular the hippocampal formation, whose peculiar local sleep features have been recently described, providing support to the idea that sleep is not a spatially global phenomenon. The study of the hippocampal sleep electrophysiology is particularly interesting because of its central role in the declarative memory formation. Recent data indicate that sleep contributes to memory formation. Therefore, it is relevant to understand whether specific patterns of activity taking place during sleep are related to memory consolidation processes. Fascinating similarities between different states of consciousness (wakefulness, REM sleep, non-REM sleep) in some electrophysiological mechanisms underlying cognitive processes have been reported. For instance, large-scale synchrony in gamma activity is important for waking memory and perception processes, and its changes during sleep may be the neurophysiological substrate of sleep-related deficits of declarative memory. Hippocampal activity seems to specifically support memory consolidation during sleep, through specific coordinated neurophysiological events (slow waves, spindles, ripples) that would facilitate the integration of new information into the pre-existing cortical networks. A few studies indeed provided direct evidence that rhinal ripples as well as slow hippocampal oscillations are correlated with memory consolidation in humans. More detailed electrophysiological investigations assessing the specific relations between different types of memory consolidation and hippocampal EEG features are in order. These studies will add an important piece of knowledge to the elucidation of the ultimate

  1. Human Development XII: A Theory for the Structure and Function of the Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is probably the most complicated single structure in the biological universe. The cerebral cortex that is traditionally connected with consciousness is extremely complex. The brain contains approximately 1,000,000 km of nerve fibers, indicating its enormous complexity and which makes it difficult for scientists to reveal the function of the brain. In this paper, we propose a new model for brain functions, i.e., information-guided self-organization of neural patterns, where information is provided from the abstract wholeness of the biophysical system of an organism (often called the true self, or the “soul””. We present a number of arguments in favor of this model that provide self-conscious control over the thought process or cognition. Our arguments arise from analyzing experimental data from different research fields: histology, anatomy, electroencephalography (EEG, cerebral blood flow, neuropsychology, evolutionary studies, and mathematics. We criticize the popular network theories as the consequence of a simplistic, mechanical interpretation of reality (philosophical materialism applied to the brain. We demonstrate how viewing brain functions as information-guided self-organization of neural patterns can explain the structure of conscious mentation; we seem to have a dual hierarchical representation in the cerebral cortex: one for sensation-perception and one for will-action. The model explains many of our unique mental abilities to think, memorize, associate, discriminate, and make abstractions. The presented model of the conscious brain also seems to be able to explain the function of the simpler brains, such as those of insects and hydra.

  2. The Functions of Selected Human Rights Institutions and Related Role-Players in the Protection of Human Rights in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard Chitimira

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Various violations of the human rights of ordinary people and human rights defenders have been reported in Zimbabwe since the late 1980s. It is widely acknowledged that such violations have been perpetrated mostly by the government through its different organs for political and other related reasons. Human rights violations were also easily committed against ordinary people and human rights defenders because there was no Constitution that adequately protected such people's fundamental human rights (including their civil and political rights and their socio-economic rights in Zimbabwe. Given this background, the article discusses the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe, in the light of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment Act 20 of 2013 (Zimbabwe Constitution 2013. This is done in order to investigate whether the promotion, protection, enforcement and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe has now improved. To this end, the functions of selected national human rights institutions and other related role-players, namely civil society, the judiciary, the law enforcement organs and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, are briefly discussed first. Secondly, the functions of selected regional and international institutions, namely the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations are discussed in relation to the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe. Thereafter, concluding remarks and possible recommendations that could be utilised to combat human rights violations and enhance the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe are provided.

  3. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beltracchi, L.; Lindsay, R.W.

    1992-01-01

    Human error in execution of critical functions and tasks can be costly. The Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Accidents are examples of results from human error in the nuclear industry. There are similar errors that could no doubt be cited from other industries. This paper discusses a strategy to minimize common mode human error in the execution of critical functions and tasks. The strategy consists of the use of human redundancy, and also diversity in human cognitive behavior: skill-, rule-, and knowledge-based behavior. The authors contend that the use of diversity in human cognitive behavior is possible, and it minimizes common mode error

  4. Gastrointestinal-active oligosaccharides from human milk and functional foods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrecht, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    Keywords: human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), konjac glucomannan (KGM), breast milk, baby feces, gastrointestinal metabolization, blood-group specific conjugates, CE-LIF-MSn

    Oligosaccharides, as present in human milk or supplemented to food, are

  5. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - FROM FUNCTION TO STRATEGIC PARTNER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todericiu Ramona

    2013-07-01

    The purpose of this article is to present the current research state in the field of strategic human resource management. In order to achieve this, the factors that underline the importance of human resource management are assessed. The study has been accomplished using the methodology of bibliographic study and qualitative research.

  6. Hierarchical Functional Modularity in the Resting-State Human Brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferrarini, Luca; Veer, Ilya M.; Baerends, Evelinda; van Tol, Marie-Jose; Renken, Remco J.; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; Veltman, Dirk. J.; Aleman, Andre; Zitman, Frans G.; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.; van Buchem, Mark A.; Reiber, Johan H. C.; Rombouts, Serge A. R. B.; Milles, Julien

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that anatomically distinct brain regions are functionally connected during the resting state. Basic topological properties in the brain functional connectivity (BFC) map have highlighted the BFC's small-world topology. Modularity, a

  7. Hierarchical Functional Modularity in the Resting-State Human Brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferrarini, L.; Veer, I.M.; Baerends, E.; van Tol, M.J.; Renken, R.J.; van der Wee, N.J.A.; Veltman, D.J.; Aleman, A.; Zitman, F.G.; Penninx, B.W.J.H.; van Buchem, M.A.; Reiber, J.H.C.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.; Milles, J.

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that anatomically distinct brain regions are functionally connected during the resting state. Basic topological properties in the brain functional connectivity (BFC) map have highlighted the BFC's small-world topology. Modularity, a

  8. Reconstructed human epidermis: A model to study the barrier function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barbotteau, Y. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Gontier, E. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Barberet, P. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Cappadoro, M. [Institut de recherche Pierre FABRE, 31320 Castanet Tolosan (France); De Wever, B. [Institut de recherche Pierre FABRE, 31320 Castanet Tolosan (France); Habchi, C. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Incerti, S. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Mavon, A. [SkinEthic Laboratories, 45 rue St. Philippe, 06000 Nice (France); Moretto, P. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France)]. E-mail: moretto@cenbg.in2p3.fr; Pouthier, T. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Smith, R.W. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France); Ynsa, M.D. [CENBG-IN2P3/CNRS, BP 120, 33175 Gradignan cedex (France)

    2005-04-01

    The use of in vitro reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries is increasing because of its similar physiological mechanisms to native human skin. With the advent of ethic laws on animal experimentation, RHE provides an helpful alternative for the test of formulations. The aim of this study is to check that the RHE mineral status is comparable to that of human native skin by investigating the elemental distributions in the epidermis strata. In addition, possible deleterious effects of the transport on the epidermis ionic content were studied by nuclear microscopy.

  9. Reconstructed human epidermis: A model to study the barrier function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbotteau, Y.; Gontier, E.; Barberet, P.; Cappadoro, M.; De Wever, B.; Habchi, C.; Incerti, S.; Mavon, A.; Moretto, P.; Pouthier, T.; Smith, R.W.; Ynsa, M.D.

    2005-01-01

    The use of in vitro reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries is increasing because of its similar physiological mechanisms to native human skin. With the advent of ethic laws on animal experimentation, RHE provides an helpful alternative for the test of formulations. The aim of this study is to check that the RHE mineral status is comparable to that of human native skin by investigating the elemental distributions in the epidermis strata. In addition, possible deleterious effects of the transport on the epidermis ionic content were studied by nuclear microscopy

  10. The Human Cochlear Mechanical Nonlinearity Inferred via Psychometric Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizami Lance

    2013-12-01

    Extension of the model of Schairer and colleagues results in credible cochlear nonlinearities in man, suggesting that forward-masking provides a non-invasive way to infer the human mechanical cochlear nonlinearity.

  11. Functional corticostriatal connection topographies predict goal directed behaviour in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marquand, A.F.; Haak, K.V.; Beckmann, C.F.

    2017-01-01

    Anatomical tracing studies in non-human primates have suggested that corticostriatal connectivity is topographically organized: nearby locations in striatum are connected with nearby locations in cortex. The topographic organization of corticostriatal connectivity is thought to underpin many

  12. Rapid resensitization of purinergic receptor function in human platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundell, S J; Barton, J F; Mayo-Martin, M B; Hardy, A R; Poole, A W

    2008-08-01

    Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is a critical regulator of platelet activation, mediating its actions through two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinergic receptors. Recently, we demonstrated that both receptors desensitize and internalize in human platelets by differential kinase-dependent mechanisms. To demonstrate whether responses to P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinergic receptors resensitize in human platelets and determine the role of receptor traffic in this process. These studies were undertaken either in human platelets or in cells stably expressing epitope-tagged P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinergic receptor constructs. In this study we show for the first time that responses to both of these receptors can rapidly resensitize following agonist-dependent desensitization in human platelets. Further, we show that in human platelets or in 1321N1 cells stably expressing receptor constructs, the disruption of receptor internalization, dephosphorylation or subsequent receptor recycling is sufficient to block resensitization of purinergic receptor responses. We also show that, in platelets, internalization of both these receptors is dependent upon dynamin, and that this process is required for resensitization of responses. This study is therefore the first to show that both P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor activities are rapidly and reversibly modulated in human platelets, and it reveals that the underlying mechanism requires receptor trafficking as an essential part of this process.

  13. Increased intrinsic mitochondrial function in humans with mitochondrial haplogroup H

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Steen; Díez-Sánchez, Carmen; Rabøl, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    and determined their mitochondrial haplogroup, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity (OXPHOS), mitochondrial content (citrate synthase (CS)) and VO2max. Intrinsic mitochondrial function is calculated as mitochondrial OXPHOS capacity divided by mitochondrial content (CS). Haplogroup H showed a 30......% higher intrinsic mitochondrial function compared with the other haplo group U. There was no relationship between haplogroups and VO2max. In skeletal muscle from men with mitochondrial haplogroup H, an increased intrinsic mitochondrial function is present....

  14. Gene expression and functional annotation of the human and mouse choroid plexus epithelium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah F Janssen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The choroid plexus epithelium (CPE is a lobed neuro-epithelial structure that forms the outer blood-brain barrier. The CPE protrudes into the brain ventricles and produces the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, which is crucial for brain homeostasis. Malfunction of the CPE is possibly implicated in disorders like Alzheimer disease, hydrocephalus or glaucoma. To study human genetic diseases and potential new therapies, mouse models are widely used. This requires a detailed knowledge of similarities and differences in gene expression and functional annotation between the species. The aim of this study is to analyze and compare gene expression and functional annotation of healthy human and mouse CPE. METHODS: We performed 44k Agilent microarray hybridizations with RNA derived from laser dissected healthy human and mouse CPE cells. We functionally annotated and compared the gene expression data of human and mouse CPE using the knowledge database Ingenuity. We searched for common and species specific gene expression patterns and function between human and mouse CPE. We also made a comparison with previously published CPE human and mouse gene expression data. RESULTS: Overall, the human and mouse CPE transcriptomes are very similar. Their major functionalities included epithelial junctions, transport, energy production, neuro-endocrine signaling, as well as immunological, neurological and hematological functions and disorders. The mouse CPE presented two additional functions not found in the human CPE: carbohydrate metabolism and a more extensive list of (neural developmental functions. We found three genes specifically expressed in the mouse CPE compared to human CPE, being ACE, PON1 and TRIM3 and no human specifically expressed CPE genes compared to mouse CPE. CONCLUSION: Human and mouse CPE transcriptomes are very similar, and display many common functionalities. Nonetheless, we also identified a few genes and pathways which suggest that the CPE

  15. Network-level structure-function relationships in human neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miŝic, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F.; De Reus, Marcel A.; Van Den Heuvel, Martijn P.; Berman, Marc G.; McIntosh, Anthony R.; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional

  16. Hierarchical functional modularity in the resting-state human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarini, Luca; Veer, Ilya M; Baerends, Evelinda; van Tol, Marie-José; Renken, Remco J; van der Wee, Nic J A; Veltman, Dirk J; Aleman, André; Zitman, Frans G; Penninx, Brenda W J H; van Buchem, Mark A; Reiber, Johan H C; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Milles, Julien

    2009-07-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that anatomically distinct brain regions are functionally connected during the resting state. Basic topological properties in the brain functional connectivity (BFC) map have highlighted the BFC's small-world topology. Modularity, a more advanced topological property, has been hypothesized to be evolutionary advantageous, contributing to adaptive aspects of anatomical and functional brain connectivity. However, current definitions of modularity for complex networks focus on nonoverlapping clusters, and are seriously limited by disregarding inclusive relationships. Therefore, BFC's modularity has been mainly qualitatively investigated. Here, we introduce a new definition of modularity, based on a recently improved clustering measurement, which overcomes limitations of previous definitions, and apply it to the study of BFC in resting state fMRI of 53 healthy subjects. Results show hierarchical functional modularity in the brain. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc

  17. Purification and characterization of progenitor and mature human astrocytes reveals transcriptional and functional differences with mouse

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Ye; Sloan, Steven A.; Clarke, Laura E.; Caneda, Christine; Plaza, Colton A.; Blumenthal, Paul D.; Vogel, Hannes; Steinberg, Gary K.; Edwards, Michael S. B.; Li, Gordon; Duncan, John A.; Cheshier, Samuel H.; Shuer, Lawrence M.; Chang, Edward F.; Grant, Gerald A.

    2015-01-01

    The functional and molecular similarities and distinctions between human and murine astrocytes are poorly understood. Here we report the development of an immunopanning method to acutely purify astrocytes from fetal, juvenile, and adult human brains, and to maintain these cells in serum-free cultures. We found that human astrocytes have similar abilities to murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to exist...

  18. Human thymic epithelial cells express functional HLA-DP molecules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, A; Röpke, C; Nielsen, M

    1996-01-01

    T lymphocytes, we examined whether human thymic epithelial cells (TEC) expressed HLA-DP molecules. We present evidence that TEC obtained from short time culture express low but significant levels of HLA-DP molecules. The expression of HLA-DP molecules was comparable to or higher than the expression...... of HLA-DP allospecific primed lymphocyte typing (PLT) CD4 T cell lines. IFN-gamma treatment strongly upregulated the HLA-DP allospecific PLT responses whereas other PLT responses remained largely unchanged. In conclusion, these data indicate that human thymus epithelial cells express significant levels...

  19. New dimensions for man. [human functions in future space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louviere, A. J.

    1978-01-01

    The functions of man in space have been in a state of constant change since the first manned orbital flight. Initially, the onboard crewmen performed those tasks essential to piloting and navigating the spacecraft. The time devoted to these tasks has steadily decreased and the crewman's time is being allotted to functions other than orbital operations. The evolving functions include added orbital operational capabilities, experimentation, spacecraft maintenance, and fabrication of useful end items. The new functions will include routine utilization of the crewman to extend mission life, satellite retrieval and servicing, remote manipulator systems operations, and piloting of free-flying teleoperator systems. The most demanding tasks are anticipated to be associated with construction of large space structures. The projected changes will introduce innovative designs and revitalize the concepts for utilizing man in space.

  20. Language Functions and Medical Communication: The Human Body as Text

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantz, Deirdre; Marenzi, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the findings of a field experiment in medical English with first-year medical students at the University of Pavia, Northern Italy. Working in groups of 8-10, the students were asked to produce a corpus of medical texts in English demonstrating how the human body is itself a meaningful text (Baldry and Thibault 2006: Ch. 1).…

  1. Characteristics and potential functions of human milk adiponectin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newburg, David S; Woo, Jessica G; Morrow, Ardythe L

    2010-02-01

    Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by adipose tissue, whose circulating levels are inversely related to adiposity and inflammation. Adiponectin circulates as oligomers, from the low-molecular-weight trimer to the high-molecular-weight octodecamer (18 mer). Each oligomer has distinct biological activities, which include enhancement of insulin sensitivity and metabolic control and suppression of inflammation. Adiponectin occurs in human milk at higher concentrations than leptin. The adiponectin in human milk is almost entirely of the high-molecular-weight form, the form with the highest activity in controlling many types of metabolic processes. Human adiponectin fed to infant mice is transported across the intestinal mucosa into the serum. An inverse relationship between adiponectin levels in milk and adiposity (weight-for-height) of the breast-fed infant was observed and could be due to modulation of infant metabolism by milk adiponectin and may be related to the observed protection against obesity by breast-feeding. Human milk may be a medium whereby the hormonal milieu (in response to internal factors and the environment) of the mother can be used to communicate with the breast-fed infant to modify infant metabolic processes. Transmission of information from mother to infant through milk may allow adaptation to fluctuating environmental conditions. Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruytjens, Liesbet; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Holstege, Gert; Wit, Hero P.; Albers, Frans W. J.; Willemsen, Antoon T. M.

    2007-01-01

    Background We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a

  3. Recycling Energy to Restore Impaired Ankle Function during Human Walking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collins, S.H.; Kuo, A.D.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Humans normally dissipate significant energy during walking, largely at the transitions between steps. The ankle then acts to restore energy during push-off, which may be the reason that ankle impairment nearly always leads to poorer walking economy. The replacement of lost energy is

  4. Defect in mitochondrial functions in damaged human mitral valve

    OpenAIRE

    Shinde, Santosh; Kumar, Pawan; Mishra, Kaushala; Patil, Neela

    2006-01-01

    Mitochondrial diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders in which a primary mitochondrial dysfunction is proven by morphological, biochemical, and genetic examinations. The mitral valve has important function in the regulation of blood flow from one chamber to another. Often, the mitral valve becomes abnormal with age, in Rheumatic fever or it is abnormal from birth (Congenital) or it can be destroyed by infection i.e. bacterial endocarditis and needs replacement. Myocardial function dep...

  5. Human Milk: Bioactive Proteins/Peptides and Functional Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lönnerdal, Bo

    2016-06-23

    Breastfeeding has been associated with many benefits, both in the short and in the long term. Infants being breastfed generally have less illness and have better cognitive development at 1 year of age than formula-fed infants. Later in life, they have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Several components in breast milk may be responsible for these different outcomes, but bioactive proteins/peptides likely play a major role. Some proteins in breast milk are comparatively resistant towards digestion and may therefore exert their functions in the gastrointestinal tract in intact form or as larger fragments. Other milk proteins may be partially digested in the upper small intestine and the resulting peptides may exert functions in the lower small intestine. Lactoferrin, lysozyme and secretory IgA have been found intact in the stool of breastfed infants and are therefore examples of proteins that are resistant against proteolytic degradation in the gut. Together, these proteins serve protective roles against infection and support immune function in the immature infant. α-lactalbumin, β-casein, κ-casein and osteopontin are examples of proteins that are partially digested in the upper small intestine, and the resulting peptides influence functions in the gut. Such functions include stimulation of immune function, mineral and trace element absorption and defense against infection. © 2016 Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Dynamic reconfiguration of human brain functional networks through neurofeedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haller, Sven; Kopel, Rotem; Jhooti, Permi; Haas, Tanja; Scharnowski, Frank; Lovblad, Karl-Olof; Scheffler, Klaus; Van De Ville, Dimitri

    2013-11-01

    Recent fMRI studies demonstrated that functional connectivity is altered following cognitive tasks (e.g., learning) or due to various neurological disorders. We tested whether real-time fMRI-based neurofeedback can be a tool to voluntarily reconfigure brain network interactions. To disentangle learning-related from regulation-related effects, we first trained participants to voluntarily regulate activity in the auditory cortex (training phase) and subsequently asked participants to exert learned voluntary self-regulation in the absence of feedback (transfer phase without learning). Using independent component analysis (ICA), we found network reconfigurations (increases in functional network connectivity) during the neurofeedback training phase between the auditory target region and (1) the auditory pathway; (2) visual regions related to visual feedback processing; (3) insula related to introspection and self-regulation and (4) working memory and high-level visual attention areas related to cognitive effort. Interestingly, the auditory target region was identified as the hub of the reconfigured functional networks without a-priori assumptions. During the transfer phase, we again found specific functional connectivity reconfiguration between auditory and attention network confirming the specific effect of self-regulation on functional connectivity. Functional connectivity to working memory related networks was no longer altered consistent with the absent demand on working memory. We demonstrate that neurofeedback learning is mediated by widespread changes in functional connectivity. In contrast, applying learned self-regulation involves more limited and specific network changes in an auditory setup intended as a model for tinnitus. Hence, neurofeedback training might be used to promote recovery from neurological disorders that are linked to abnormal patterns of brain connectivity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Chemical Conversion of Human Fibroblasts into Functional Schwann Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva C. Thoma

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Direct transdifferentiation of somatic cells is a promising approach to obtain patient-specific cells for numerous applications. However, conversion across germ-layer borders often requires ectopic gene expression with unpredictable side effects. Here, we present a gene-free approach that allows efficient conversion of human fibroblasts via a transient progenitor stage into Schwann cells, the major glial cell type of peripheral nerves. Using a multikinase inhibitor, we transdifferentiated fibroblasts into transient neural precursors that were subsequently further differentiated into Schwann cells. The resulting induced Schwann cells (iSCs expressed numerous Schwann cell-specific proteins and displayed neurosupportive and myelination capacity in vitro. Thus, we established a strategy to obtain mature Schwann cells from human postnatal fibroblasts under chemically defined conditions without the introduction of ectopic genes.

  8. Covert spatial attention is functionally intact in amblyopic human adults

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Mariel; Cymerman, Rachel; Smith, R. Theodore; Kiorpes, Lynne; Carrasco, Marisa

    2016-01-01

    Certain abnormalities in behavioral performance and neural signaling have been attributed to a deficit of visual attention in amblyopia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a diverse array of visual deficits following abnormal binocular childhood experience. Critically, most have inferred attention's role in their task without explicitly manipulating and measuring its effects against a baseline condition. Here, we directly investigate whether human amblyopic adults benefit from cov...

  9. Oxygen Tension Regulates Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Paracrine Functions

    OpenAIRE

    Paquet, Joseph; Deschepper, Mickael; Moya, Adrien; Logeart-Avramoglou, Delphine; Boisson-Vidal, Catherine; Petite, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the shift of the human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) cytokine signature induced by oxygen tension. Conditioned media obtained from hMSCs cultured under near anoxia exhibited significantly enhanced chemotactic and proangiogenic properties and a significant decrease in the inflammatory mediator content. These results elucidate important aspects of using MSCs in regenerative medicine, contribute to improving the efficacy of such therapies, and highlight the interest in using c...

  10. Functional properties of human neuronal Kv11 channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Einarsen, Karoline; Calloe, Kirstine; Grunnet, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Kv11 potassium channels are important for regulation of the membrane potential. Kv11.2 and Kv11.3 are primarily found in the nervous system, where they most likely are involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Two isoforms of human Kv11.2 have been published so far. Here, we present...... current characteristics of the isoforms presented in this work may contribute to the regulation of neuronal excitability....

  11. Functional structure and dynamics of the human nervous system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, J. A.

    1981-01-01

    The status of an effort to define the directions needed to take in extending pilot models is reported. These models are needed to perform closed-loop (man-in-the-loop) feedback flight control system designs and to develop cockpit display requirements. The approach taken is to develop a hypothetical working model of the human nervous system by reviewing the current literature in neurology and psychology and to develop a computer model of this hypothetical working model.

  12. Structural and functional characterization of human complement factor P

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Dennis

    not yet been resolved. This PhD-thesis provide structural understanding of the FP mediated stabilization of the AP C3 convertase. Furthermore, functional studies involving oligomeric and monomeric FP variants have helped us to understand the importance of FP oligomerization for the primary functions of FP...... of complement by stabilizing the C3 convertase complex (C3bBb). FP has also been suggested to serve as a pattern recognition molecule for the initiation of the alternative pathway. However, the molecular mechanisms of FP remain unclear due to its oligomeric nature and hence the atomic structure of FP has...

  13. Inter-species activity correlations reveal functional correspondences between monkey and human brain areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A.; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-01-01

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. In cases where functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assess similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by means of temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we reveal regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This novel framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models. PMID:22306809

  14. Catecholamine function, brain state dynamics, and human cognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Brink R.L.,

    2017-01-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) is a nucleus in the brainstem, and projects widely to the forebrain where it releases norepinephrine (NE). Catecholamines such as NE do not have a unitary effect on their target neurons, but instead influence the function of other neurotransmitters, a process that is known

  15. Functional analysis of mutant human carnitine acylcarnitine translocases in yeast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    IJlst, L.; van Roermund, C. W.; Iacobazzi, V.; Oostheim, W.; Ruiter, J. P.; Williams, J. C.; Palmieri, F.; Wanders, R. J.

    2001-01-01

    Long chain fatty acids are translocated as carnitine esters across the mitochondrial inner membrane by carnitine acylcarnitine translocase (CACT). We report functional studies on the mutant CACT proteins from a severe and a mild patient with CACT deficiency. CACT activities in fibroblasts of both

  16. Functional MRI studies in human Ecstasy and cannabis users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, G.

    2006-01-01

    Cannabis and ecstasy are among the most widely used illicit drugs in the world. However, there are substantial concerns about their neurotoxic potential for brain and brain function. Despite previous research, some crucial questions regarding the causality, course and clinical relevance have

  17. Neonatal loss of motor function in human spina bifida aperta

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sival, Deborah A; van Weerden, Tiemen W; Vles, Johan S H; Timmer, Albertus; den Dunnen, Wilfred F A; Staal-Schreinemachers, A L; Hoving, Eelco W.; Sollie, Krystyne M; Kranen-Mastenbroek, Vivianne J M; Sauer, Pieter J J; Brouwer, Oebele F

    OBJECTIVE: In neonates with spina bifida aperta (SBA), leg movements innervated by spinal segments located caudal to the meningomyelocele are transiently present. This study in neonates with SBA aimed to determine whether the presence of leg movements indicates functional integrity of neuronal

  18. Prediction of human protein function according to Gene Ontology categories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Juhl; Gupta, Ramneek; Stærfeldt, Hans Henrik

    2003-01-01

    developed a method for prediction of protein function for a subset of classes from the Gene Ontology classification scheme. This subset includes several pharmaceutically interesting categories-transcription factors, receptors, ion channels, stress and immune response proteins, hormones and growth factors...

  19. Functional imaging of human crossmodal identification and object recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amedi, A; von Kriegstein, K; van Atteveldt, N M; Beauchamp, M S; Naumer, M J

    2005-01-01

    The perception of objects is a cognitive function of prime importance. In everyday life, object perception benefits from the coordinated interplay of vision, audition, and touch. The different sensory modalities provide both complementary and redundant information about objects, which may improve

  20. Environmental Hexachlorobenzene exposure and human male reproductive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Specht, Ina Olmer; Bonde, Jens Peter Ellekilde; Toft, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a persistent environmental fungicide that may disrupt androgen regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between HCB levels and biomarkers of male reproductive function. 589 Spouses of pregnant women from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine were enroll...

  1. Functional MRI of human hypothalamic responses following glucose ingestion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeets, P.A.M.; Graaf, C. de; Stafleu, A.; Osch, M.J.P. van; Grond, J. van der

    2005-01-01

    The hypothalamus is intimately involved in the regulation of food intake, integrating multiple neural and hormonal signals. Several hypothalamic nuclei contain glucose-sensitive neurons, which play a crucial role in energy homeostasis. Although a few functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

  2. Expression and function of human hemokinin-1 in human and guinea pig airways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassin-Delyle, Stanislas; Naline, Emmanuel; Buenestado, Amparo; Risse, Paul-André; Sage, Edouard; Advenier, Charles; Devillier, Philippe

    2010-10-07

    Human hemokinin-1 (hHK-1) and endokinins are peptides of the tachykinin family encoded by the TAC4 gene. TAC4 and hHK-1 expression as well as effects of hHK-1 in the lung and airways remain however unknown and were explored in this study. RT-PCR analysis was performed on human bronchi to assess expression of tachykinin and tachykinin receptors genes. Enzyme immunoassay was used to quantify hHK-1, and effects of hHK-1 and endokinins on contraction of human and guinea pig airways were then evaluated, as well as the role of hHK-1 on cytokines production by human lung parenchyma or bronchi explants and by lung macrophages. In human bronchi, expression of the genes that encode for hHK-1, tachykinin NK1-and NK2-receptors was demonstrated. hHK-1 protein was found in supernatants from explants of human bronchi, lung parenchyma and lung macrophages. Exogenous hHK-1 caused a contractile response in human bronchi mainly through the activation of NK2-receptors, which blockade unmasked a NK1-receptor involvement, subject to a rapid desensitization. In the guinea pig trachea, hHK-1 caused a concentration-dependant contraction mainly mediated through the activation of NK1-receptors. Endokinin A/B exerted similar effects to hHK-1 on both human bronchi and guinea pig trachea, whereas endokinins C and D were inactive. hHK-1 had no impact on the production of cytokines by explants of human bronchi or lung parenchyma, or by human lung macrophages. We demonstrate endogenous expression of TAC4 in human bronchi, the encoded peptide hHK-1 being expressed and involved in contraction of human and guinea pig airways.

  3. Expression and function of human hemokinin-1 in human and guinea pig airways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sage Edouard

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human hemokinin-1 (hHK-1 and endokinins are peptides of the tachykinin family encoded by the TAC4 gene. TAC4 and hHK-1 expression as well as effects of hHK-1 in the lung and airways remain however unknown and were explored in this study. Methods RT-PCR analysis was performed on human bronchi to assess expression of tachykinin and tachykinin receptors genes. Enzyme immunoassay was used to quantify hHK-1, and effects of hHK-1 and endokinins on contraction of human and guinea pig airways were then evaluated, as well as the role of hHK-1 on cytokines production by human lung parenchyma or bronchi explants and by lung macrophages. Results In human bronchi, expression of the genes that encode for hHK-1, tachykinin NK1-and NK2-receptors was demonstrated. hHK-1 protein was found in supernatants from explants of human bronchi, lung parenchyma and lung macrophages. Exogenous hHK-1 caused a contractile response in human bronchi mainly through the activation of NK2-receptors, which blockade unmasked a NK1-receptor involvement, subject to a rapid desensitization. In the guinea pig trachea, hHK-1 caused a concentration-dependant contraction mainly mediated through the activation of NK1-receptors. Endokinin A/B exerted similar effects to hHK-1 on both human bronchi and guinea pig trachea, whereas endokinins C and D were inactive. hHK-1 had no impact on the production of cytokines by explants of human bronchi or lung parenchyma, or by human lung macrophages. Conclusions We demonstrate endogenous expression of TAC4 in human bronchi, the encoded peptide hHK-1 being expressed and involved in contraction of human and guinea pig airways.

  4. Functional MR imaging of working memory in the human brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Na, Dong Gyu; Ryu, Jae Wook; Byun, Hong Sik; Lee, Eun Jeong; Chung, Woo In; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung; Choi, Dae Seob

    2000-01-01

    In order to investigate the functional brain anatomy associated with verbal and visual working memory, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. In ten normal right handed subjects, functional MR images were obtained using a 1.5-T MR scanner and the EPI BOLD technique. An item recognition task was used for stimulation, and during the activation period of the verbal working memory task, consonant letters were used. During the activation period of the visual working memory task, symbols or diagrams were employed instead of letters. For the post-processing of images, the SPM program was used, with the threshold of significance set at p < .001. We assessed activated brain areas during the two stimulation tasks and compared the activated regions between the two tasks. The prefrontal cortex and secondary visual cortex were activated bilaterally by both verbal and visual working memory tasks, and the patterns of activated signals were similar in both tasks. The superior parietal cortex was also activated by both tasks, with lateralization to the left in the verbal task, and bilaterally without lateralization in the visual task. The inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal cortex and temporal gyrus were activated exclusively by the verbal working memory task, predominantly in the left hemisphere. The prefrontal cortex is activated by two stimulation tasks, and this is related to the function of the central executive. The language areas activated by the verbal working memory task may be a function of the phonological loop. Bilateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices activated by the visual working memory task may be related to the visual maintenance of objects, representing visual working memory

  5. Functional MR imaging of working memory in the human brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Na, Dong Gyu; Ryu, Jae Wook; Byun, Hong Sik; Lee, Eun Jeong; Chung, Woo In; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Dae Seob [Dongguk University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2000-03-01

    In order to investigate the functional brain anatomy associated with verbal and visual working memory, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. In ten normal right handed subjects, functional MR images were obtained using a 1.5-T MR scanner and the EPI BOLD technique. An item recognition task was used for stimulation, and during the activation period of the verbal working memory task, consonant letters were used. During the activation period of the visual working memory task, symbols or diagrams were employed instead of letters. For the post-processing of images, the SPM program was used, with the threshold of significance set at p < .001. We assessed activated brain areas during the two stimulation tasks and compared the activated regions between the two tasks. The prefrontal cortex and secondary visual cortex were activated bilaterally by both verbal and visual working memory tasks, and the patterns of activated signals were similar in both tasks. The superior parietal cortex was also activated by both tasks, with lateralization to the left in the verbal task, and bilaterally without lateralization in the visual task. The inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal cortex and temporal gyrus were activated exclusively by the verbal working memory task, predominantly in the left hemisphere. The prefrontal cortex is activated by two stimulation tasks, and this is related to the function of the central executive. The language areas activated by the verbal working memory task may be a function of the phonological loop. Bilateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices activated by the visual working memory task may be related to the visual maintenance of objects, representing visual working memory.

  6. From prediction to function using evolutionary genomics: human-specific ecotypes of Lactobacillus reuteri have diverse probiotic functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinler, Jennifer K; Sontakke, Amrita; Hollister, Emily B; Venable, Susan F; Oh, Phaik Lyn; Balderas, Miriam A; Saulnier, Delphine M A; Mistretta, Toni-Ann; Devaraj, Sridevi; Walter, Jens; Versalovic, James; Highlander, Sarah K

    2014-06-19

    The vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri has diversified into separate clades reflecting host origin. Strains show evidence of host adaptation, but how host-microbe coevolution influences microbial-derived effects on hosts is poorly understood. Emphasizing human-derived strains of L. reuteri, we combined comparative genomic analyses with functional assays to examine variations in host interaction among genetically distinct ecotypes. Within clade II or VI, the genomes of human-derived L. reuteri strains are highly conserved in gene content and at the nucleotide level. Nevertheless, they share only 70-90% of total gene content, indicating differences in functional capacity. Human-associated lineages are distinguished by genes related to bacteriophages, vitamin biosynthesis, antimicrobial production, and immunomodulation. Differential production of reuterin, histamine, and folate by 23 clade II and VI strains was demonstrated. These strains also differed with respect to their ability to modulate human cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12, and IL-13) by myeloid cells. Microarray analysis of representative clade II and clade VI strains revealed global regulation of genes within the reuterin, vitamin B12, folate, and arginine catabolism gene clusters by the AraC family transcriptional regulator, PocR. Thus, human-derived L. reuteri clade II and VI strains are genetically distinct and their differences affect their functional repertoires and probiotic features. These findings highlight the biological impact of microbe:host coevolution and illustrate the functional significance of subspecies differences in the human microbiome. Consideration of host origin and functional differences at the subspecies level may have major impacts on probiotic strain selection and considerations of microbial ecology in mammalian species. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on

  7. Fetal hyperglycemia changes human preadipocyte function in adult life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ninna Schiøler; Strasko, Klaudia Stanislawa; Hjort, Line

    2017-01-01

    Context: Offspring of women with gestational diabetes (O-GDM) or type 1 diabetes mellitus (O-T1DM) have been exposed to hyperglycemia in utero and have an increased risk of developing metabolic disease in adulthood. Design: In total, we recruited 206 adult offspring comprising the two fetal...... acid supply. Conclusions: Taken together, these findings show that intrinsic epigenetic and functional changes exist in preadipocyte cultures from individuals exposed to fetal hyperglycemia who are at increased risk of developing metabolic disease....

  8. Functional analysis of the human calcyclin gene promoter in a panel of human melanoma cell lines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Groningen, J. J.; Weterman, M. A.; Swart, G. W.; Bloemers, H. P.

    1995-01-01

    By comparing two subsequent human tumor stages we previously described calcyclin as a new potential melanoma associated neoplastic progression marker positively linked with metastasis. In this study the calcyclin expression levels in a representative panel of human melanoma cell lines were

  9. Signed language and human action processing: evidence for functional constraints on the human mirror-neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

    In the quest to further understand the neural underpinning of human communication, researchers have turned to studies of naturally occurring signed languages used in Deaf communities. The comparison of the commonalities and differences between spoken and signed languages provides an opportunity to determine core neural systems responsible for linguistic communication independent of the modality in which a language is expressed. The present article examines such studies, and in addition asks what we can learn about human languages by contrasting formal visual-gestural linguistic systems (signed languages) with more general human action perception. To understand visual language perception, it is important to distinguish the demands of general human motion processing from the highly task-dependent demands associated with extracting linguistic meaning from arbitrary, conventionalized gestures. This endeavor is particularly important because theorists have suggested close homologies between perception and production of actions and functions of human language and social communication. We review recent behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological studies that explore dissociations between the processing of human actions and signed languages. These data suggest incomplete overlap between the mirror-neuron systems proposed to mediate human action and language.

  10. Portraying Urban Functional Zones by Coupling Remote Sensing Imagery and Human Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Tu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Portraying urban functional zones provides useful insights into understanding complex urban systems and establishing rational urban planning. Although several studies have confirmed the efficacy of remote sensing imagery in urban studies, coupling remote sensing and new human sensing data like mobile phone positioning data to identify urban functional zones has still not been investigated. In this study, a new framework integrating remote sensing imagery and mobile phone positioning data was developed to analyze urban functional zones with landscape and human activity metrics. Landscapes metrics were calculated based on land cover from remote sensing images. Human activities were extracted from massive mobile phone positioning data. By integrating them, urban functional zones (urban center, sub-center, suburbs, urban buffer, transit region and ecological area were identified by a hierarchical clustering. Finally, gradient analysis in three typical transects was conducted to investigate the pattern of landscapes and human activities. Taking Shenzhen, China, as an example, the conducted experiment shows that the pattern of landscapes and human activities in the urban functional zones in Shenzhen does not totally conform to the classical urban theories. It demonstrates that the fusion of remote sensing imagery and human sensing data can characterize the complex urban spatial structure in Shenzhen well. Urban functional zones have the potential to act as bridges between the urban structure, human activity and urban planning policy, providing scientific support for rational urban planning and sustainable urban development policymaking.

  11. Social Fear Learning: from Animal Models to Human Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debiec, Jacek; Olsson, Andreas

    2017-07-01

    Learning about potential threats is critical for survival. Learned fear responses are acquired either through direct experiences or indirectly through social transmission. Social fear learning (SFL), also known as vicarious fear learning, is a paradigm successfully used for studying the transmission of threat information between individuals. Animal and human studies have begun to elucidate the behavioral, neural and molecular mechanisms of SFL. Recent research suggests that social learning mechanisms underlie a wide range of adaptive and maladaptive phenomena, from supporting flexible avoidance in dynamic environments to intergenerational transmission of trauma and anxiety disorders. This review discusses recent advances in SFL studies and their implications for basic, social and clinical sciences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The human NAD metabolome: Functions, metabolism and compartmentalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikiforov, Andrey; Kulikova, Veronika; Ziegler, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The metabolism of NAD has emerged as a key regulator of cellular and organismal homeostasis. Being a major component of both bioenergetic and signaling pathways, the molecule is ideally suited to regulate metabolism and major cellular events. In humans, NAD is synthesized from vitamin B3 precursors, most prominently from nicotinamide, which is the degradation product of all NAD-dependent signaling reactions. The scope of NAD-mediated regulatory processes is wide including enzyme regulation, control of gene expression and health span, DNA repair, cell cycle regulation and calcium signaling. In these processes, nicotinamide is cleaved from NAD+ and the remaining ADP-ribosyl moiety used to modify proteins (deacetylation by sirtuins or ADP-ribosylation) or to generate calcium-mobilizing agents such as cyclic ADP-ribose. This review will also emphasize the role of the intermediates in the NAD metabolome, their intra- and extra-cellular conversions and potential contributions to subcellular compartmentalization of NAD pools. PMID:25837229

  13. Measurement of human advanced brain function in calculation processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashida, Masahiro; Yamauchi, Syuichi; Wu, Jing-Long

    2001-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the activated areas of the human brain related with calculation processing as an advanced function of the human brain. Furthermore, we investigated differences in activation between visual and auditory calculation processing. The eight subjects (all healthy men) were examined on a clinical MR unit (1.5 tesla) with a gradient echo-type EPI sequence. SPM99 software was used for data processing. Arithmetic problems were used for the visual stimulus (visual image) as well as for the auditory stimulus (audible voice). The stimuli were presented to the subjects as follows: no stimulation, presentation of random figures, and presentation of arithmetic problems. Activated areas of the human brain related with calculation processing were the inferior parietal lobule, middle frontal gyrus, and inferior frontal gyrus. Comparing the arithmetic problems with the presentation of random figures, we found that the activated areas of the human brain were not differently affected by visual and auditory systems. The areas activated in the visual and auditory experiments were observed at nearly the same place in the brain. It is possible to study advanced functions of the human brain such as calculation processing in a general clinical hospital when adequate tasks and methods of presentation are used. (author)

  14. Functional electrospun fibers for the treatment of human skin wounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Windbergs, Maike

    2017-10-01

    Wounds are trauma induced defects of the human skin involving a multitude of endogenous biochemical events and cellular reactions of the immune system. The healing process is extremely complex and affected by the patient's physiological conditions, potential implications like infectious pathogens and inflammation as well as external factors. Due to increasing incidence of chronic wounds and proceeding resistance of infection pathogens, there is a strong need for effective therapeutic wound care. In this context, electrospun fibers with diameters in the nano- to micrometer range gain increasing interest. While resembling the structure of the native human extracellular matrix, such fiber mats provide physical and mechanical protection (including protection against bacterial invasion). At the same time, the fibers allow for gas exchange and prevent occlusion of the wound bed, thus facilitating wound healing. In addition, drugs can be incorporated within such fiber mats and their release can be adjusted by the material and dimensions of the individual fibers. The review gives a comprehensive overview about the current state of electrospun fibers for therapeutic application on skin wounds. Different materials as well as fabrication techniques are introduced including approaches for incorporation of drugs into or drug attachment onto the fiber surface. Against the background of wound pathophysiology and established therapy approaches, the therapeutic potential of electrospun fiber systems is discussed. A specific focus is set on interactions of fibers with skin cells/tissues as well as wound pathogens and strategies to modify and control them as key aspects for developing effective wound therapeutics. Further, advantages and limitations of controlled drug delivery from fiber mats to skin wounds are discussed and a future perspective is provided. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Functional MRI in human motor control studies and clinical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toma, Keiichiro

    2002-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been a useful tool for the noninvasive mapping of brain function associated with various motor and cognitive tasks. Because fMRI is based on the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect, it does not directly record neural activity. With the fMRI technique, distinguishing BOLD signals creased by cortical projection neurons from those created by intracortical neurons appears to be difficult. Two major experimental designs are used in fMRI studies: block designs and event-related designs. Block-designed fMRI presupposes the steady state of regional cerebral blood flow and has been applied to examinations of brain activation caused by tasks requiring sustained or repetitive movements. By contrast, the more recently developed event-related fMRI with time resolution of a few seconds allows the mapping of brain activation associated with a single movement according to the transient aspects of the hemodynamic response. Increasing evidence suggests that multiple motor areas are engaged in a networked manner to execute various motor acts. In order to understand functional brain maps, it is important that one understands sequential and parallel organizations of anatomical connections between multiple motor areas. In fMRI studies of complex motor tasks, elementary parameters such as movement length, force, velocity, acceleration and frequency should be controlled, because inconsistency in those parameters may alter the extent and intensity of motor cortical activation, confounding interpretation of the findings obtained. In addition to initiation of movements, termination of movements plays an important role in the successful achievement of complex movements. Brain areas exclusively related to the termination of movements have been, for the first time, uncovered with an event-related fMRI technique. We propose the application of fMRI to the elucidation of the pathophysiology of movement disorders, particularly dystonia

  16. Functional MRI in human motor control studies and clinical applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toma, Keiichiro [Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Graduate School of Medicine; Nakai, Toshiharu [Inst. of Biomedical Research and Innovation, Kobe (Japan)

    2002-07-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been a useful tool for the noninvasive mapping of brain function associated with various motor and cognitive tasks. Because fMRI is based on the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect, it does not directly record neural activity. With the fMRI technique, distinguishing BOLD signals creased by cortical projection neurons from those created by intracortical neurons appears to be difficult. Two major experimental designs are used in fMRI studies: block designs and event-related designs. Block-designed fMRI presupposes the steady state of regional cerebral blood flow and has been applied to examinations of brain activation caused by tasks requiring sustained or repetitive movements. By contrast, the more recently developed event-related fMRI with time resolution of a few seconds allows the mapping of brain activation associated with a single movement according to the transient aspects of the hemodynamic response. Increasing evidence suggests that multiple motor areas are engaged in a networked manner to execute various motor acts. In order to understand functional brain maps, it is important that one understands sequential and parallel organizations of anatomical connections between multiple motor areas. In fMRI studies of complex motor tasks, elementary parameters such as movement length, force, velocity, acceleration and frequency should be controlled, because inconsistency in those parameters may alter the extent and intensity of motor cortical activation, confounding interpretation of the findings obtained. In addition to initiation of movements, termination of movements plays an important role in the successful achievement of complex movements. Brain areas exclusively related to the termination of movements have been, for the first time, uncovered with an event-related fMRI technique. We propose the application of fMRI to the elucidation of the pathophysiology of movement disorders, particularly dystonia

  17. Circular RNAs: Biogenesis, Function and Role in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Greene

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Circular RNAs (circRNAs are currently classed as non-coding RNA (ncRNA that, unlike linear RNAs, form covalently closed continuous loops and act as gene regulators in mammals. They were originally thought to represent errors in splicing and considered to be of low abundance, however, there is now an increased appreciation of their important function in gene regulation. circRNAs are differentially generated by backsplicing of exons or from lariat introns. Unlike linear RNA, the 3′ and 5′ ends normally present in an RNA molecule have been joined together by covalent bonds leading to circularization. Interestingly, they have been found to be abundant, evolutionally conserved and relatively stable in the cytoplasm. These features confer numerous potential functions to circRNAs, such as acting as miRNA sponges, or binding to RNA-associated proteins to form RNA-protein complexes that regulate gene transcription. It has been proposed that circRNA regulate gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level by interacting with miRNAs and that circRNAs may have a role in regulating miRNA function in cancer initiation and progression. circRNAs appear to be more often downregulated in tumor tissue compared to normal tissue and this may be due to (i errors in the back-splice machinery in malignant tissues, (ii degradation of circRNAs by deregulated miRNAs in tumor tissue, or (iii increasing cell proliferation leading to a reduction of circRNAs. circRNAs have been identified in exosomes and more recently, chromosomal translocations in cancer have been shown to generate aberrant fusion-circRNAs associated with resistance to drug treatments. In addition, though originally thought to be non-coding, there is now increasing evidence to suggest that select circRNAs can be translated into functional proteins. Although much remains to be elucidated about circRNA biology and mechanisms of gene regulation, these ncRNAs are quickly emerging as

  18. Structural and functional studies on human coagulation factor V

    OpenAIRE

    Neut Kolfschoten, Marijn van der

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this research was to obtain a better insight into the structure and functioning of clotting factor V (FV), a protein that plays an important role in the regulation of clotting. Congenital defects in FV can greatly disturb the coagulation system, and can lead to symptoms ranging from para-haemophilia to thrombosis. One example of a congenital defect in FV I is the R506Q mutation (an aminoacid change at position 506 in the aminoacid chain of FV). This deviating FV molecule (also know...

  19. Dopamine-dependent changes in the functional connectivity between basal ganglia and cerebral cortex in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, D; Tijssen, M; van Bruggen, G; Bosch, A; Insola, A; Di Lazzaro, V; Mazzone, P; Oliviero, A; Quartarone, A; Speelman, H; Brown, P

    2002-01-01

    We test the hypothesis that interaction between the human basal ganglia and cerebral cortex involves activity in multiple functional circuits characterized by their frequency of oscillation, phase characteristics, dopamine dependency and topography. To this end we took recordings from

  20. Functional aspects of developmental toxicity of polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons in experimental animals and human infants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, A.; Ahlborg, U. G.; van den Berg, M.; Birnbaum, L. S.; Boersma, E. R.; Bosveld, B.; Denison, M. S.; Gray, L. E.; Hagmar, L.; Holene, E.

    1995-01-01

    A scientific evaluation was made of functional aspects of developmental toxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in experimental animals and in human infants. Persistent neurobehavioral, reproductive and

  1. INFLUENCE INTERHEMISPHERIC FUNCTIONAL ASYMMETRY BRAIN ON HUMAN PERCEPTUAL PROCESSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene Gtnnadyevna Surovyatkina

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The goals of the work was to determine linkage between the dominant hemisphere of the brain and the occurrence of perceptual processes of the personality of students of the University of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia. Researching of relationship between characteristics of the nature of perceptual processes and lateralization of brain functions supplements the information about professional suitability and reliability of employees of enforcement structure within the individually-typological approach. The experimental psychological research of determination of motor and sensory asymmetries in the measurement system "hand-foot-ear-eye" (was performed by Homskay E.D., the leading channel of the auditory perception for the people with the left-hemispheric dominance, and kinesthetic channel for the people with right-hemispheric dominance were revealed. Features of functioning of system "FMPA-perception" in groups with different type of hemispheric dominance is recommended to consider in academic and professional activities of the cadets, and at the stage of professional selection.

  2. Does human presynaptic striatal dopamine function predict social conformity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Paul R A; Benecke, Aaf; Puraite, Julita; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Shotbolt, Paul; Reeves, Suzanne J; Lingford-Hughes, Anne R; Howes, Oliver; Egerton, Alice

    2014-03-01

    Socially desirable responding (SDR) is a personality trait which reflects either a tendency to present oneself in an overly positive manner to others, consistent with social conformity (impression management (IM)), or the tendency to view one's own behaviour in an overly positive light (self-deceptive enhancement (SDE)). Neurochemical imaging studies report an inverse relationship between SDR and dorsal striatal dopamine D₂/₃ receptor availability. This may reflect an association between SDR and D₂/₃ receptor expression, synaptic dopamine levels or a combination of the two. In this study, we used a [¹⁸F]-DOPA positron emission tomography (PET) image database to investigate whether SDR is associated with presynaptic dopamine function. Striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA uptake, (k(i)(cer), min⁻¹), was determined in two independent healthy participant cohorts (n=27 and 19), by Patlak analysis using a cerebellar reference region. SDR was assessed using the revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) Lie scale, and IM and SDE were measured using the Paulhus Deception Scales. No significant associations were detected between Lie, SDE or IM scores and striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA k(i)(cer). These results indicate that presynaptic striatal dopamine function is not associated with social conformity and suggests that social conformity may be associated with striatal D₂/₃ receptor expression rather than with synaptic dopamine levels.

  3. Mesenchymal stromal cells improve human islet function through released products and extracellular matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzouni, Ahmed A; Vargas-Seymour, Andreia; Rackham, Chloe L; Dhadda, Paramjeet; Huang, Guo-Cai; Choudhary, Pratik; Nardi, Nance; King, Aileen J F; Jones, Peter M

    2017-12-01

    The aims of the present study were (i) to determine whether the reported beneficial effects of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) on mouse islet function extend to clinically relevant human tissues (islets and MSCs), enabling translation into improved protocols for clinical human islet transplantation; and (ii) to identify possible mechanisms through which human MSCs influence human islet function. Human islets were co-cultured with human adipose tissue-derived MSCs (hASCs) or pre-treated with its products - extracellular matrix (ECM) and annexin A1 (ANXA1). Mouse islets were pre-treated with mouse MSC-derived ECM. Islet insulin secretory function was assessed in vitro by radioimmunoassay. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to screen human adipMSCs for potential ligands of human islet G-protein-coupled receptors. We show that co-culture with hASCs improves human islet secretory function in vitro , as measured by glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, confirming previous reports using rodent tissues. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these beneficial effects on islet function can be partly attributed to the MSC-derived products ECM and ANXA1. Our results suggest that hASCs have the potential to improve the quality of human islets isolated for transplantation therapy of Type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, it may be possible to achieve improvements in human islet quality in a cell-free culture system by using the MSC-derived products ANXA1 and ECM. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  4. Metabolic mapping of functional activity in human subjects with the [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenberg, J.H.; Reivich, M.; Alavi, A.

    1981-01-01

    The 2-[ 18 F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose technique was used to measure regional cerebral glucose utilization by human subjects during functional activation. Normal male volunteers subjected to one or more sensory stimuli exhibited focal increases in glucose metabolism in response to the stimulus. These results demonstrate that the technique is capable of providing functional maps in vivo related to both body region and submodality of sensory information in the human brain

  5. Step 1: Human System Interface (HSI) Functional Requirements Document (FRD). Version 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    This Functional Requirements Document (FRD) establishes a minimum set of Human System Interface (HSI) functional requirements to achieve the Access 5 Vision of "operating High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) routinely, safely, and reliably in the National Airspace System (NAS)". Basically, it provides what functions are necessary to fly UAS in the NAS. The framework used to identify the appropriate functions was the "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, and Avoid Hazards" structure identified in the Access 5 FRD. As a result, fifteen high-level functional requirements were developed. In addition, several of them have been decomposed into low-level functional requirements to provide more detail.

  6. TNF-alpha, leptin, and lymphocyte function in human aging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruunsgaard, H.; Pedersen, Agnes Nadelmann; Schroll, M.

    2000-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased inflammatory activity and concomitant decreased T cell mediated immune responses. Leptin may provide a link between inflammation and T cell function in aging. The aim of the study was to investigate if plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were...... there was no difference with regard to IL-2 production. Furthermore, there were no age-related differences in serum levels of leptin, However, women had higher levels than men. In the elderly people, serum levels of leptin were correlated with TNF-alpha in univariate regression analysis and in a multiple linear...... regression analysis adjusting for the effect of gender and body mass index. Furthermore, TNF-alpha, but not leptin, was positively correlated to sIL-2R and negatively correlated to IL-2 production. In conclusion, increased plasma levels of TNF-alpha in aging is associated with poor IL-2 production ex vivo...

  7. Structure and function of the human megalin receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dagil, Robert

    . The extracellular domain of megalin consists of several modular domains, of which the most abundant are the ligand binding complement type (CR) domains, that are divided into four clusters separated by YWTD -propeller domains. The broad ligand binding profile has associated megalin with the unwanted cellular uptake...... of aminoglycosides during antibacterial treatment, which can lead to nephro- and ototoxic side-effects. This thesis presents new insights into the structure-function relation of the megalin receptor. The interaction between megalin and several natural protein ligands as well as the aminoglycoside gentamicin...... were involved in binding, which utilizes the commonly found ligand binding motif. The details of the atomic resolutionmodel will aid the future design of effective megalin antagonists, however, since the common ligand binding motif of CR domains is used to bind gentamicin this may not be a trivial task...

  8. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.

  9. Functional heterogeneity of human effector CD8+ T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takata, Hiroshi; Naruto, Takuya; Takiguchi, Masafumi

    2012-02-09

    Effector CD8(+) T cells are believed to be terminally differentiated cells having cytotoxic activity and the ability to produce effector cytokines such as INF-γ and TNF-α. We investigated the difference between CXCR1(+) and CXCR1(-) subsets of human effector CD27(-)CD28(-)CD8(+) T cells. The subsets expressed cytolytic molecules similarly and exerted substantial cytolytic activity, whereas only the CXCR1(-) subset had IL-2 productivity and self-proliferative activity and was more resistant to cell death than the CXCR1(+) subset. These differences were explained by the specific up-regulation of CAMK4, SPRY2, and IL-7R in the CXCR1(-) subset and that of pro-apoptotic death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) in the CXCR1(+) subset. The IL-2 producers were more frequently found in the IL-7R(+) subset of the CXCR1(-) effector CD8(+) T cells than in the IL-7R(-) subset. IL-7/IL-7R signaling promoted cell survival only in the CXCR1(-) subset. The present study has highlighted a novel subset of effector CD8(+) T cells producing IL-2 and suggests the importance of this subset in the homeostasis of effector CD8(+) T cells.

  10. Recycling energy to restore impaired ankle function during human walking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven H Collins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Humans normally dissipate significant energy during walking, largely at the transitions between steps. The ankle then acts to restore energy during push-off, which may be the reason that ankle impairment nearly always leads to poorer walking economy. The replacement of lost energy is necessary for steady gait, in which mechanical energy is constant on average, external dissipation is negligible, and no net work is performed over a stride. However, dissipation and replacement by muscles might not be necessary if energy were instead captured and reused by an assistive device. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed a microprocessor-controlled artificial foot that captures some of the energy that is normally dissipated by the leg and "recycles" it as positive ankle work. In tests on subjects walking with an artificially-impaired ankle, a conventional prosthesis reduced ankle push-off work and increased net metabolic energy expenditure by 23% compared to normal walking. Energy recycling restored ankle push-off to normal and reduced the net metabolic energy penalty to 14%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that reduced ankle push-off contributes to the increased metabolic energy expenditure accompanying ankle impairments, and demonstrate that energy recycling can be used to reduce such cost.

  11. Design and Validation of a Model of a Human's Functional State and Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Both, F.; Hoogendoorn, M.; Jaffry, S.W.; van Lambalgen, R.M.; Oorburg, R.; Sharpanskykh, A.; Treur, J.; de Vos, M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a computational model of the dynamics of a human's functional state in relation to task performance and environment. It can be used in intelligent systems that support humans in demanding circumstances. The model takes task demand and situational aspects as input and calculates

  12. Long-term culture of human liver tissue with advanced hepatic functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Soon Seng; Xiong, Anming; Nguyen, Khanh; Masek, Marilyn; No, Da Yoon; Elazar, Menashe; Shteyer, Eyal; Winters, Mark A; Voedisch, Amy; Shaw, Kate; Rashid, Sheikh Tamir; Frank, Curtis W; Cho, Nam Joon; Glenn, Jeffrey S

    2017-06-02

    A major challenge for studying authentic liver cell function and cell replacement therapies is that primary human hepatocytes rapidly lose their advanced function in conventional, 2-dimensional culture platforms. Here, we describe the fabrication of 3-dimensional hexagonally arrayed lobular human liver tissues inspired by the liver's natural architecture. The engineered liver tissues exhibit key features of advanced differentiation, such as human-specific cytochrome P450-mediated drug metabolism and the ability to support efficient infection with patient-derived inoculums of hepatitis C virus. The tissues permit the assessment of antiviral agents and maintain their advanced functions for over 5 months in culture. This extended functionality enabled the prediction of a fatal human-specific hepatotoxicity caused by fialuridine (FIAU), which had escaped detection by preclinical models and short-term clinical studies. The results obtained with the engineered human liver tissue in this study provide proof-of-concept determination of human-specific drug metabolism, demonstrate the ability to support infection with human hepatitis virus derived from an infected patient and subsequent antiviral drug testing against said infection, and facilitate detection of human-specific drug hepatotoxicity associated with late-onset liver failure. Looking forward, the scalability and biocompatibility of the scaffold are also ideal for future cell replacement therapeutic strategies.

  13. PGC-1α and Reactive Oxygen Species Regulate Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocyte Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Birket, Matthew J.; Casini, Simona; Kosmidis, Georgios; Elliott, David A.; Gerencser, Akos A.; Baartscheer, Antonius; Schumacher, Cees; Mastroberardino, Pier G.; Elefanty, Andrew G.; Stanley, Ed G.; Mummery, Christine L.

    2013-01-01

    Diminished mitochondrial function is causally related to some heart diseases. Here, we developed a human disease model based on cardiomyocytes from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), in which an important pathway of mitochondrial gene expression was inactivated. Repression of PGC-1α, which is

  14. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardy, C.; Hurk, M. van den; Eames, T.; Marchand, C.; Hernandez, R.V.; Kellogg, M.; Gorris, M.A.J.; Galet, B.; Palomares, V.; Brown, J.; Bang, A.G.; Mertens, J.; Bohnke, L.; Boyer, L.; Simon, S.; Gage, F.H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely

  15. Functional compartmentalization of the human superficial masseter muscle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo A Guzmán-Venegas

    Full Text Available Some muscles have demonstrated a differential recruitment of their motor units in relation to their location and the nature of the motor task performed; this involves functional compartmentalization. There is little evidence that demonstrates the presence of a compartmentalization of the superficial masseter muscle during biting. The aim of this study was to describe the topographic distribution of the activity of the superficial masseter (SM muscle's motor units using high-density surface electromyography (EMGs at different bite force levels. Twenty healthy natural dentate participants (men: 4; women: 16; age 20±2 years; mass: 60±12 kg, height: 163±7 cm were selected from 316 volunteers and included in this study. Using a gnathodynamometer, bites from 20 to 100% maximum voluntary bite force (MVBF were randomly requested. Using a two-dimensional grid (four columns, six electrodes located on the dominant SM, EMGs in the anterior, middle-anterior, middle-posterior and posterior portions were simultaneously recorded. In bite ranges from 20 to 60% MVBF, the EMG activity was higher in the anterior than in the posterior portion (p-value = 0.001.The center of mass of the EMG activity was displaced towards the posterior part when bite force increased (p-value = 0.001. The topographic distribution of EMGs was more homogeneous at high levels of MVBF (p-value = 0.001. The results of this study show that the superficial masseter is organized into three functional compartments: an anterior, a middle and a posterior compartment. However, this compartmentalization is only seen at low levels of bite force (20-60% MVBF.

  16. Reproducibility of graph metrics of human brain functional networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deuker, Lorena; Bullmore, Edward T; Smith, Marie; Christensen, Soren; Nathan, Pradeep J; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Bassett, Danielle S

    2009-10-01

    Graph theory provides many metrics of complex network organization that can be applied to analysis of brain networks derived from neuroimaging data. Here we investigated the test-retest reliability of graph metrics of functional networks derived from magnetoencephalography (MEG) data recorded in two sessions from 16 healthy volunteers who were studied at rest and during performance of the n-back working memory task in each session. For each subject's data at each session, we used a wavelet filter to estimate the mutual information (MI) between each pair of MEG sensors in each of the classical frequency intervals from gamma to low delta in the overall range 1-60 Hz. Undirected binary graphs were generated by thresholding the MI matrix and 8 global network metrics were estimated: the clustering coefficient, path length, small-worldness, efficiency, cost-efficiency, assortativity, hierarchy, and synchronizability. Reliability of each graph metric was assessed using the intraclass correlation (ICC). Good reliability was demonstrated for most metrics applied to the n-back data (mean ICC=0.62). Reliability was greater for metrics in lower frequency networks. Higher frequency gamma- and beta-band networks were less reliable at a global level but demonstrated high reliability of nodal metrics in frontal and parietal regions. Performance of the n-back task was associated with greater reliability than measurements on resting state data. Task practice was also associated with greater reliability. Collectively these results suggest that graph metrics are sufficiently reliable to be considered for future longitudinal studies of functional brain network changes.

  17. Functional changes in the human auditory cortex in ageing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Profant

    Full Text Available Hearing loss, presbycusis, is one of the most common sensory declines in the ageing population. Presbycusis is characterised by a deterioration in the processing of temporal sound features as well as a decline in speech perception, thus indicating a possible central component. With the aim to explore the central component of presbycusis, we studied the function of the auditory cortex by functional MRI in two groups of elderly subjects (>65 years and compared the results with young subjects (

  18. Functional Changes in the Human Auditory Cortex in Ageing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Profant, Oliver; Tintěra, Jaroslav; Balogová, Zuzana; Ibrahim, Ibrahim; Jilek, Milan; Syka, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Hearing loss, presbycusis, is one of the most common sensory declines in the ageing population. Presbycusis is characterised by a deterioration in the processing of temporal sound features as well as a decline in speech perception, thus indicating a possible central component. With the aim to explore the central component of presbycusis, we studied the function of the auditory cortex by functional MRI in two groups of elderly subjects (>65 years) and compared the results with young subjects (presbycusis (EP) differed from the elderly group with mild presbycusis (MP) in hearing thresholds measured by pure tone audiometry, presence and amplitudes of transient otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) and distortion-product oto-acoustic emissions (DPOAE), as well as in speech-understanding under noisy conditions. Acoustically evoked activity (pink noise centered around 350 Hz, 700 Hz, 1.5 kHz, 3 kHz, 8 kHz), recorded by BOLD fMRI from an area centered on Heschl’s gyrus, was used to determine age-related changes at the level of the auditory cortex. The fMRI showed only minimal activation in response to the 8 kHz stimulation, despite the fact that all subjects heard the stimulus. Both elderly groups showed greater activation in response to acoustical stimuli in the temporal lobes in comparison with young subjects. In addition, activation in the right temporal lobe was more expressed than in the left temporal lobe in both elderly groups, whereas in the young control subjects (YC) leftward lateralization was present. No statistically significant differences in activation of the auditory cortex were found between the MP and EP groups. The greater extent of cortical activation in elderly subjects in comparison with young subjects, with an asymmetry towards the right side, may serve as a compensatory mechanism for the impaired processing of auditory information appearing as a consequence of ageing. PMID:25734519

  19. Methodology to Support Dynamic Function Allocation Policies Between Humans and Flight Deck Automation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Eric N.

    2012-01-01

    Function allocation assigns work functions to all agents in a team, both human and automation. Efforts to guide function allocation systematically have been studied in many fields such as engineering, human factors, team and organization design, management science, cognitive systems engineering. Each field focuses on certain aspects of function allocation, but not all; thus, an independent discussion of each does not address all necessary aspects of function allocation. Four distinctive perspectives have emerged from this comprehensive review of literature on those fields: the technology-centered, human-centered, team-oriented, and work-oriented perspectives. Each perspective focuses on different aspects of function allocation: capabilities and characteristics of agents (automation or human), structure and strategy of a team, and work structure and environment. This report offers eight issues with function allocation that can be used to assess the extent to which each of issues exist on a given function allocation. A modeling framework using formal models and simulation was developed to model work as described by the environment, agents, their inherent dynamics, and relationships among them. Finally, to validate the framework and metrics, a case study modeled four different function allocations between a pilot and flight deck automation during the arrival and approach phases of flight.

  20. Bovine brain ribonuclease is the functional homolog of human ribonuclease 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eller, Chelcie H; Lomax, Jo E; Raines, Ronald T

    2014-09-19

    Mounting evidence suggests that human pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase 1) plays important roles in vivo, ranging from regulating blood clotting and inflammation to directly counteracting tumorigenic cells. Understanding these putative roles has been pursued with continual comparisons of human RNase 1 to bovine RNase A, an enzyme that appears to function primarily in the ruminant gut. Our results imply a different physiology for human RNase 1. We demonstrate distinct functional differences between human RNase 1 and bovine RNase A. Moreover, we characterize another RNase 1 homolog, bovine brain ribonuclease, and find pronounced similarities between that enzyme and human RNase 1. We report that human RNase 1 and bovine brain ribonuclease share high catalytic activity against double-stranded RNA substrates, a rare quality among ribonucleases. Both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are readily endocytosed by mammalian cells, aided by tight interactions with cell surface glycans. Finally, we show that both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are secreted from endothelial cells in a regulated manner, implying a potential role in vascular homeostasis. Our results suggest that brain ribonuclease, not RNase A, is the true bovine homolog of human RNase 1, and provide fundamental insight into the ancestral roles and functional adaptations of RNase 1 in mammals. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Rad9 Has a Functional Role in Human Prostate Carcinogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Aiping; Zhang, Charles Xia; Lieberman, Howard B.

    2013-01-01

    Prostate cancer is currently the most common type of neoplasm found in American men, other than skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in males. Because cell cycle checkpoint proteins stabilize the genome, the relationship of one such protein, Rad9, to prostate cancer was investigated. We found that four prostate cancer cell lines (CWR22, DU145, LNCaP, and PC-3), relative to PrEC normal prostate cells, have aberrantly high levels of Rad9 protein. The 3′-end region of intron 2 of Rad9 in DU145 cells is hypermethylated at CpG islands, and treatment with 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine restores near-normal levels of methylation and reduces Rad9 protein abundance. Southern blot analyses indicate that PC-3 cells contain an amplified Rad9 copy number. Therefore, we provide evidence that Rad9 levels are high in prostate cancer cells due at least in part to aberrant methylation or gene amplification. The effectiveness of small interfering RNA to lower Rad9 protein levels in CWR22, DU145, and PC-3 cells correlated with reduction of tumorigenicity in nude mice, indicating that Rad9 actively contributes to the disease. Rad9 protein levels were high in 153 of 339 human prostate tumor biopsy samples examined and detectable in only 2 of 52 noncancerous prostate tissues. There was a strong correlation between Rad9 protein abundance and cancer stage. Rad9 protein level can thus provide a biomarker for advanced prostate cancer and is causally related to the disease, suggesting the potential for developing novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools based on detection or manipulation of Rad9 protein abundance. PMID:18316588

  2. Functional Echomyography of the human denervated muscle: first results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Zanato

    2011-03-01

    . The very high energy needed to stimulate the denervated muscles according to the Vienna home-based Functional Electrical Stimulation (h-b FES strategy demonstrates that the explored muscles are denervated. This pilot study confirms the usefulness of Functional EchoMyography in the follow-up and the positive effects of h-b FES of denervated/reinnervating muscles.

  3. Time domain functional NIRS imaging for human brain mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torricelli, Alessandro; Contini, Davide; Pifferi, Antonio; Caffini, Matteo; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Spinelli, Lorenzo

    2014-01-15

    This review is aimed at presenting the state-of-the-art of time domain (TD) functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We first introduce the physical principles, the basics of modeling and data analysis. Basic instrumentation components (light sources, detection techniques, and delivery and collection systems) of a TD fNIRS system are described. A survey of past, existing and next generation TD fNIRS systems used for research and clinical studies is presented. Performance assessment of TD fNIRS systems and standardization issues are also discussed. Main strengths and weakness of TD fNIRS are highlighted, also in comparison with continuous wave (CW) fNIRS. Issues like quantification of the hemodynamic response, penetration depth, depth selectivity, spatial resolution and contrast-to-noise ratio are critically examined, with the help of experimental results performed on phantoms or in vivo. Finally we give an account on the technological developments that would pave the way for a broader use of TD fNIRS in the neuroimaging community. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Structural and Functional Changes in Human Kidneys with Healthy Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hommos, Musab S; Glassock, Richard J; Rule, Andrew D

    2017-10-01

    Aging is associated with significant changes in structure and function of the kidney, even in the absence of age-related comorbidities. On the macrostructural level, kidney cortical volume decreases, surface roughness increases, and the number and size of simple renal cysts increase with age. On the microstructural level, the histologic signs of nephrosclerosis (arteriosclerosis/arteriolosclerosis, global glomerulosclerosis, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular atrophy) all increase with age. The decline of nephron number is accompanied by a comparable reduction in measured whole-kidney GFR. However, single-nephron GFR remains relatively constant with healthy aging as does glomerular volume. Only when glomerulosclerosis and arteriosclerosis exceed that expected for age is there an increase in single-nephron GFR. In the absence of albuminuria, age-related reduction in GFR with the corresponding increase in CKD (defined by an eGFRage-standardized mortality risk or ESRD. These findings raise the question of whether disease labeling of an age-related decline in GFR is appropriate. These findings also emphasize the need for a different management approach for many elderly individuals considered to have CKD by current criteria. Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  5. Testicular function following irradiation of the human prepubertal testis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shalet, S.M.; Beardwell, C.G.; Jacobs, H.S.; Pearson, D.

    1978-01-01

    Testicular function was studied in ten men, aged between 17 and 36 years, who had received irradiation for a nephroblastoma during childhood. The dose of scattered irradiation to the testes ranged from 268 to 983 rad. Eight subjects had either oligo-or azoosperma (0 to 5.6 million/ml), seven of whom had an elevated serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level. One subject showed evidence of Leydig cell dysfunction with a raised serum luteinizing hormone level (LH) and a low plasma testosterone concentration. A second group of eight prepubertal males, aged between 8 and 14 years, were studied. These had also been irradiated for abdominal malignancies during childhood and received a similar dose of irradiation to the testis as the first group studied. The plasma testosterone levels were within the normal range in all eight. The mean gonadotropin levels were not significantly different from normal. Thus irradiation-induced damage to the germinal epithelium in prepubertal boys raised FSH levels after puberty but not before it. The conclusion is that inhibin has a minor role in the control of the pre-pubertal hypothalmic-pituitary testicular axis and its contribution to gonadal control of gonadotrophin secretion changes with sexual maturation. (author)

  6. Architecture and functional ecology of the human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Erin E; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2016-04-01

    The gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit (MTU) is central to human locomotion. Structural variation in the human gastrocnemius MTU is predicted to affect the efficiency of locomotion, a concept most often explored in the context of performance activities. For example, stiffness of the Achilles tendon varies among individuals with different histories of competitive running. Such a finding highlights the functional variation of individuals and raises the possibility of similar variation between populations, perhaps in response to specific ecological or environmental demands. Researchers often assume minimal variation in human populations, or that industrialized populations represent the human species as well as any other. Yet rainforest hunter-gatherers, which often express the human pygmy phenotype, contradict such assumptions. Indeed, the human pygmy phenotype is a potential model system for exploring the range of ecomorphological variation in the architecture of human hindlimb muscles, a concept we review here. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  7. Experimental Approaches for Defining Functional Roles of Microbes in the Human Gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dantas, Gautam; Sommer, Morten; Degnan, Patrick H.

    2013-01-01

    The complex and intimate relationship between humans and their gut microbial communities is becoming less obscure, due in part to large-scale gut microbial genome-sequencing projects and culture-independent surveys of the composition and gene content of these communities.These studies build upon...... ofmicrobial genome and community profiling projects, and the loss-of-function and gain-of-function strategies long employed in model organisms are now being extended to microbial genes, species, and communities from the human gut. These developments promise to deepen our understanding of human gut host...

  8. Functional structure of spontaneous sleep slow oscillation activity in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Menicucci

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: During non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep synchronous neural oscillations between neural silence (down state and neural activity (up state occur. Sleep Slow Oscillations (SSOs events are their EEG correlates. Each event has an origin site and propagates sweeping the scalp. While recent findings suggest a SSO key role in memory consolidation processes, the structure and the propagation of individual SSO events, as well as their modulation by sleep stages and cortical areas have not been well characterized so far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We detected SSO events in EEG recordings and we defined and measured a set of features corresponding to both wave shapes and event propagations. We found that a typical SSO shape has a transition to down state, which is steeper than the following transition from down to up state. We show that during SWS SSOs are larger and more locally synchronized, but less likely to propagate across the cortex, compared to NREM stage 2. Also, the detection number of SSOs as well as their amplitudes and slopes, are greatest in the frontal regions. Although derived from a small sample, this characterization provides a preliminary reference about SSO activity in healthy subjects for 32-channel sleep recordings. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This work gives a quantitative picture of spontaneous SSO activity during NREM sleep: we unveil how SSO features are modulated by sleep stage, site of origin and detection location of the waves. Our measures on SSOs shape indicate that, as in animal models, onsets of silent states are more synchronized than those of neural firing. The differences between sleep stages could be related to the reduction of arousal system activity and to the breakdown of functional connectivity. The frontal SSO prevalence could be related to a greater homeostatic need of the heteromodal association cortices.

  9. Spatial Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Functions and Services using Human Relating Factors for SDG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Lee, W. K.; Jeon, S. W.; Kim, T.; Lim, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Application of ecosystem service concept in environmental related decision making could be numerical and objective standard for policy maker between preserving and developing perspective of environment. However, pursuing maximum benefit from natural capital through ecosystem services caused failure by losing ecosystem functions through its trade-offs. Therefore, difference between ecosystem functions and services were demonstrated and would apply human relating perspectives. Assessment results of ecosystem functions and services can be divided 3 parts. Tree growth per year set as the ecosystem function factor and indicated through so called pure function map. After that, relating functions can be driven such as water conservation, air pollutant purification, climate change regulation, and timber production. Overall process and amount are numerically quantified. These functional results can be transferred to ecosystem services by multiplying economic unit value, so function reflecting service maps can be generated. On the other hand, above services, to implement more reliable human demand, human reflecting service maps are also be developed. As the validation, quantified ecosystem functions are compared with former results through pixel based analysis. Three maps are compared, and through comparing difference between ecosystem function and services and inversed trends in function based and human based service are analysed. In this study, we could find differences in PF, FRS, and HRS in relation to based ecosystem conditions. This study suggests that the differences in PF, FRS, and HRS should be understood in the decision making process for sustainable management of ecosystem services. Although the analysis is based on in sort existing process separation, it is important to consider the possibility of different usage of ecosystem function assessment results and ecosystem service assessment results in SDG policy making. Furthermore, process based functional approach

  10. A Cell Model to Evaluate Chemical Effects on Adult Human Cardiac Progenitor Cell Differentiation and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adult cardiac stem cells (CSC) and progenitor cells (CPC) represent a population of cells in the heart critical for its regeneration and function over a lifetime. The impact of chemicals on adult human CSC/CPC differentiation and function is unknown. Research was conducted to dev...

  11. Intrinsic functional brain architecture derived from graph theoretical analysis in the human fetus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moriah E Thomason

    Full Text Available The human brain undergoes dramatic maturational changes during late stages of fetal and early postnatal life. The importance of this period to the establishment of healthy neural connectivity is apparent in the high incidence of neural injury in preterm infants, in whom untimely exposure to ex-uterine factors interrupts neural connectivity. Though the relevance of this period to human neuroscience is apparent, little is known about functional neural networks in human fetal life. Here, we apply graph theoretical analysis to examine human fetal brain connectivity. Utilizing resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data from 33 healthy human fetuses, 19 to 39 weeks gestational age (GA, our analyses reveal that the human fetal brain has modular organization and modules overlap functional systems observed postnatally. Age-related differences between younger (GA <31 weeks and older (GA≥31 weeks fetuses demonstrate that brain modularity decreases, and connectivity of the posterior cingulate to other brain networks becomes more negative, with advancing GA. By mimicking functional principles observed postnatally, these results support early emerging capacity for information processing in the human fetal brain. Current technical limitations, as well as the potential for fetal fMRI to one day produce major discoveries about fetal origins or antecedents of neural injury or disease are discussed.

  12. Protannotator: a semiautomated pipeline for chromosome-wise functional annotation of the "missing" human proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Mohammad T; Garg, Gagan; Hancock, William S; Risk, Brian A; Baker, Mark S; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2014-01-03

    The chromosome-centric human proteome project (C-HPP) aims to define the complete set of proteins encoded in each human chromosome. The neXtProt database (September 2013) lists 20,128 proteins for the human proteome, of which 3831 human proteins (∼19%) are considered "missing" according to the standard metrics table (released September 27, 2013). In support of the C-HPP initiative, we have extended the annotation strategy developed for human chromosome 7 "missing" proteins into a semiautomated pipeline to functionally annotate the "missing" human proteome. This pipeline integrates a suite of bioinformatics analysis and annotation software tools to identify homologues and map putative functional signatures, gene ontology, and biochemical pathways. From sequential BLAST searches, we have primarily identified homologues from reviewed nonhuman mammalian proteins with protein evidence for 1271 (33.2%) "missing" proteins, followed by 703 (18.4%) homologues from reviewed nonhuman mammalian proteins and subsequently 564 (14.7%) homologues from reviewed human proteins. Functional annotations for 1945 (50.8%) "missing" proteins were also determined. To accelerate the identification of "missing" proteins from proteomics studies, we generated proteotypic peptides in silico. Matching these proteotypic peptides to ENCODE proteogenomic data resulted in proteomic evidence for 107 (2.8%) of the 3831 "missing proteins, while evidence from a recent membrane proteomic study supported the existence for another 15 "missing" proteins. The chromosome-wise functional annotation of all "missing" proteins is freely available to the scientific community through our web server (http://biolinfo.org/protannotator).

  13. Reasoning, learning, and creativity: frontal lobe function and human decision-making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Collins

    Full Text Available The frontal lobes subserve decision-making and executive control--that is, the selection and coordination of goal-directed behaviors. Current models of frontal executive function, however, do not explain human decision-making in everyday environments featuring uncertain, changing, and especially open-ended situations. Here, we propose a computational model of human executive function that clarifies this issue. Using behavioral experiments, we show that unlike others, the proposed model predicts human decisions and their variations across individuals in naturalistic situations. The model reveals that for driving action, the human frontal function monitors up to three/four concurrent behavioral strategies and infers online their ability to predict action outcomes: whenever one appears more reliable than unreliable, this strategy is chosen to guide the selection and learning of actions that maximize rewards. Otherwise, a new behavioral strategy is tentatively formed, partly from those stored in long-term memory, then probed, and if competitive confirmed to subsequently drive action. Thus, the human executive function has a monitoring capacity limited to three or four behavioral strategies. This limitation is compensated by the binary structure of executive control that in ambiguous and unknown situations promotes the exploration and creation of new behavioral strategies. The results support a model of human frontal function that integrates reasoning, learning, and creative abilities in the service of decision-making and adaptive behavior.

  14. Reasoning, learning, and creativity: frontal lobe function and human decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Anne; Koechlin, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    The frontal lobes subserve decision-making and executive control--that is, the selection and coordination of goal-directed behaviors. Current models of frontal executive function, however, do not explain human decision-making in everyday environments featuring uncertain, changing, and especially open-ended situations. Here, we propose a computational model of human executive function that clarifies this issue. Using behavioral experiments, we show that unlike others, the proposed model predicts human decisions and their variations across individuals in naturalistic situations. The model reveals that for driving action, the human frontal function monitors up to three/four concurrent behavioral strategies and infers online their ability to predict action outcomes: whenever one appears more reliable than unreliable, this strategy is chosen to guide the selection and learning of actions that maximize rewards. Otherwise, a new behavioral strategy is tentatively formed, partly from those stored in long-term memory, then probed, and if competitive confirmed to subsequently drive action. Thus, the human executive function has a monitoring capacity limited to three or four behavioral strategies. This limitation is compensated by the binary structure of executive control that in ambiguous and unknown situations promotes the exploration and creation of new behavioral strategies. The results support a model of human frontal function that integrates reasoning, learning, and creative abilities in the service of decision-making and adaptive behavior.

  15. Spatial and Single-Cell Transcriptional Profiling Identifies Functionally Distinct Human Dermal Fibroblast Subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippeos, Christina; Telerman, Stephanie B; Oulès, Bénédicte; Pisco, Angela O; Shaw, Tanya J; Elgueta, Raul; Lombardi, Giovanna; Driskell, Ryan R; Soldin, Mark; Lynch, Magnus D; Watt, Fiona M

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that mouse dermis is composed of functionally distinct fibroblast lineages. To explore the extent of fibroblast heterogeneity in human skin, we used a combination of comparative spatial transcriptional profiling of human and mouse dermis and single-cell transcriptional profiling of human dermal fibroblasts. We show that there are at least four distinct fibroblast populations in adult human skin, not all of which are spatially segregated. We define markers permitting their isolation and show that although marker expression is lost in culture, different fibroblast subpopulations retain distinct functionality in terms of Wnt signaling, responsiveness to IFN-γ, and ability to support human epidermal reconstitution when introduced into decellularized dermis. These findings suggest that ex vivo expansion or in vivo ablation of specific fibroblast subpopulations may have therapeutic applications in wound healing and diseases characterized by excessive fibrosis. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Differential effects of antibiotic therapy on the structure and function of human gut microbiota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Elena Pérez-Cobas

    Full Text Available The human intestinal microbiota performs many essential functions for the host. Antimicrobial agents, such as antibiotics (AB, are also known to disturb microbial community equilibrium, thereby having an impact on human physiology. While an increasing number of studies investigate the effects of AB usage on changes in human gut microbiota biodiversity, its functional effects are still poorly understood. We performed a follow-up study to explore the effect of ABs with different modes of action on human gut microbiota composition and function. Four individuals were treated with different antibiotics and samples were taken before, during and after the AB course for all of them. Changes in the total and in the active (growing microbiota as well as the functional changes were addressed by 16S rRNA gene and metagenomic 454-based pyrosequencing approaches. We have found that the class of antibiotic, particularly its antimicrobial effect and mode of action, played an important role in modulating the gut microbiota composition and function. Furthermore, analysis of the resistome suggested that oscillatory dynamics are not only due to antibiotic-target resistance, but also to fluctuations in the surviving bacterial community. Our results indicated that the effect of AB on the human gut microbiota relates to the interaction of several factors, principally the properties of the antimicrobial agent, and the structure, functions and resistance genes of the microbial community.

  17. A Functional Assay for Putative Mouse and Human Definitive Endoderm using Chick Whole-Embryo Cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannesson, Martina; Semb, Tor Henrik; Serup, Palle

    2012-01-01

    . Thus, the purpose of this study is to describe a method whereby the in vivo functionality of DE derived from ESCs can be assessed. Methods: By directed differentiation, putative DE was derived from human and mouse ESCs. This putative DE was subsequently transplanted into the endoderm of chick embryos...... to determine any occurrence of integration. Putative DE was analyzed by gene and protein expression prior to transplantation and 48 h post transplantation. Results: Putative DE, derived from mouse and human ESCs, was successfully integrated within the chick endoderm. Endoderm-specific genes were expressed...... result show that putative DE integrates with the chick endoderm and participate in the development of the chicken gut, indicating the generation of functional DE from ESCs. This functional assay can be used to assess the generation of functional DE derived from both human and mouse ESCs and provides...

  18. Finite-element modeling of the human neurocranium under functional anatomical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mall, G; Hubig, M; Koebke, J; Steinbuch, R

    1997-08-01

    Due to its functional significance the human skull plays an important role in biomechanical research. The present work describes a new Finite-Element model of the human neurocranium. The dry skull of a middle-aged woman served as a pattern. The model was developed using only the preprocessor (Mentat) of a commercial FE-system (Marc). Unlike that of other FE models of the human skull mentioned in the literature, the geometry in this model was designed according to functional anatomical findings. Functionally important morphological structures representing loci minoris resistentiae, especially the foramina and fissures of the skull base, were included in the model. The results of two linear static loadcase analyses in the region of the skull base underline the importance of modeling from the functional anatomical point of view.

  19. The Halden Reactor Project workshop meeting on human centred automation and function allocation methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sebok, Angelia; Green, Marit; Larsen, Marit; Miberg, Ann Britt; Morisseau, Dolores

    1998-02-01

    A workshop on Human Centred Automation (HCA) and Function Allocation Methods was organised in Halden, September 29-30, 1997. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss and make recommendations on requirements for the Halden Project research agenda. The workshop meeting began with several presentations summarising current issues in HCA, Function Allocation Methods and Functional Modelling. Invited speakers presented their research or modelling efforts. Following the presentations, the workshop was divided into three working groups, all tasked with answering the same four questions: (1) What are the most important issues in Human Centred Automation? (2) Which strengths could be achieved by integrating Functional Modelling Methods into experimental Human Centred Automation research? (3) How should analytical and experimental methods be balanced? (4) What are the most important aspects in automation design methodology? Each group discussed the questions and produced specific recommendations that were summarised by the group's facilitator in a joint session of the workshop. (author)

  20. An Upper Limit on the Functional Fraction of the Human Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graur, Dan

    2017-07-01

    For the human population to maintain a constant size from generation to generation, an increase in fertility must compensate for the reduction in the mean fitness of the population caused, among others, by deleterious mutations. The required increase in fertility due to this mutational load depends on the number of sites in the genome that are functional, the mutation rate, and the fraction of deleterious mutations among all mutations in functional regions. These dependencies and the fact that there exists a maximum tolerable replacement level fertility can be used to put an upper limit on the fraction of the human genome that can be functional. Mutational load considerations lead to the conclusion that the functional fraction within the human genome cannot exceed 25%, and is probably considerably lower. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. Functions of pointing by humans, and dogs’ responses, during dog-human play between familiar and unfamiliar players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W. Mitchell

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Although much research focuses on human index finger pointing to hidden items for dogs in experimental settings, there is little research about human pointing in naturalistic interactions. We examined human pointing to dogs during 62 dog-human play interactions, spanning 4.8 hours of videotape, to determine the functions of human pointing and dogs’ responses to that pointing. Participants were 26 humans and 27 dogs. Humans played with their own dog(s and, almost always, an unfamiliar dog. Seventeen people (16 players and one passerby pointed for 20 dogs a total of 101 times (once with a foot during 26 interactions. Most (49.5% points were toward an object (almost always a ball, to direct attention or action toward the object; 36.6% were to the ground in front of the (almost always familiar pointer, directing the dog to come, and/or drop a ball the dog held, here; 10.9% directed the dog toward the designated player and/or play area; and 3.0% directed the dog to move away from a ball the dog had dropped. Humans almost always pointed such that the dog could see the point (92.1%, and pointed more with their own than with an unfamiliar dog. Dogs responded appropriately (i.e., did what the pointer requested for only 24.7% of the visible points, more often for points to the ground than for points to objects. The proportion of dogs’ appropriate responses to visible points was similar for both familiar (30% and unfamiliar (18% humans. Six dogs who responded appropriately to some points resisted responding appropriately to others. Future research should examine non-object directed uses of pointing with dogs and their responses in naturalistic and experimental settings, and experimentally assess diverse explanations, including resistance, when dogs and other animals fail standard pointing tasks.

  2. MARRVEL: Integration of Human and Model Organism Genetic Resources to Facilitate Functional Annotation of the Human Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Julia; Al-Ouran, Rami; Hu, Yanhui; Kim, Seon-Young; Wan, Ying-Wooi; Wangler, Michael F; Yamamoto, Shinya; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Comjean, Aram; Mohr, Stephanie E; Perrimon, Norbert; Liu, Zhandong; Bellen, Hugo J

    2017-06-01

    One major challenge encountered with interpreting human genetic variants is the limited understanding of the functional impact of genetic alterations on biological processes. Furthermore, there remains an unmet demand for an efficient survey of the wealth of information on human homologs in model organisms across numerous databases. To efficiently assess the large volume of publically available information, it is important to provide a concise summary of the most relevant information in a rapid user-friendly format. To this end, we created MARRVEL (model organism aggregated resources for rare variant exploration). MARRVEL is a publicly available website that integrates information from six human genetic databases and seven model organism databases. For any given variant or gene, MARRVEL displays information from OMIM, ExAC, ClinVar, Geno2MP, DGV, and DECIPHER. Importantly, it curates model organism-specific databases to concurrently display a concise summary regarding the human gene homologs in budding and fission yeast, worm, fly, fish, mouse, and rat on a single webpage. Experiment-based information on tissue expression, protein subcellular localization, biological process, and molecular function for the human gene and homologs in the seven model organisms are arranged into a concise output. Hence, rather than visiting multiple separate databases for variant and gene analysis, users can obtain important information by searching once through MARRVEL. Altogether, MARRVEL dramatically improves efficiency and accessibility to data collection and facilitates analysis of human genes and variants by cross-disciplinary integration of 18 million records available in public databases to facilitate clinical diagnosis and basic research. Copyright © 2017 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Topological organization of the human brain functional connectome across the lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao Cao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Human brain function undergoes complex transformations across the lifespan. We employed resting-state functional MRI and graph-theory approaches to systematically chart the lifespan trajectory of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks in 126 healthy individuals ranging in age from 7 to 85 years. Brain networks were constructed by computing Pearson's correlations in blood-oxygenation-level-dependent temporal fluctuations among 1024 parcellation units followed by graph-based network analyses. We observed that the human brain functional connectome exhibited highly preserved non-random modular and rich club organization over the entire age range studied. Further quantitative analyses revealed linear decreases in modularity and inverted-U shaped trajectories of local efficiency and rich club architecture. Regionally heterogeneous age effects were mainly located in several hubs (e.g., default network, dorsal attention regions. Finally, we observed inverse trajectories of long- and short-distance functional connections, indicating that the reorganization of connectivity concentrates and distributes the brain's functional networks. Our results demonstrate topological changes in the whole-brain functional connectome across nearly the entire human lifespan, providing insights into the neural substrates underlying individual variations in behavior and cognition. These results have important implications for disease connectomics because they provide a baseline for evaluating network impairments in age-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

  4. Identification of Human Junctional Adhesion Molecule 1 as a Functional Receptor for the Hom-1 Calicivirus on Human Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav V. Sosnovtsev

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The Hom-1 vesivirus was reported in 1998 following the inadvertent transmission of the animal calicivirus San Miguel sea lion virus to a human host in a laboratory. We characterized the Hom-1 strain and investigated the mechanism by which human cells could be infected. An expression library of 3,559 human plasma membrane proteins was screened for reactivity with Hom-1 virus-like particles, and a single interacting protein, human junctional adhesion molecule 1 (hJAM1, was identified. Transient expression of hJAM1 conferred susceptibility to Hom-1 infection on nonpermissive Chinese hamster ovary (CHO cells. Virus infection was markedly inhibited when CHO cells stably expressing hJAM were pretreated with anti-hJAM1 monoclonal antibodies. Cell lines of human origin were tested for growth of Hom-1, and efficient replication was observed in HepG2, HuH7, and SK-CO15 cells. The three cell lines (of hepatic or intestinal origin were confirmed to express hJAM1 on their surface, and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9-mediated knockout of the hJAM1 gene in each line abolished Hom-1 propagation. Taken together, our data indicate that entry of the Hom-1 vesivirus into these permissive human cell lines is mediated by the plasma membrane protein hJAM1 as a functional receptor.

  5. Function allocation for humans and automation in the context of team dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeffrey C. Joe; John O' Hara; Jacques Hugo; Johanna Oxstrand

    2015-07-01

    Within Human Factors Engineering, a decision-making process called function allocation (FA) is used during the design life cycle of complex systems to distribute the system functions, often identified through a functional requirements analysis, to all human and automated machine agents (or teammates) involved in controlling the system. Most FA methods make allocation decisions primarily by comparing the capabilities of humans and automation, but then also by considering secondary factors such as cost, regulations, and the health and safety of workers. The primary analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of humans and machines, however, is almost always considered in terms of individual human or machine capabilities. Yet, FA is fundamentally about teamwork in that the goal of the FA decision-making process is to determine what are the optimal allocations of functions among agents. Given this framing of FA, and the increasing use of and sophistication of automation, there are two related social psychological issues that current FA methods need to address more thoroughly. First, many principles for effective human teamwork are not considered as central decision points or in the iterative hypothesis and testing phase in most FA methods, when it is clear that social factors have numerous positive and negative effects on individual and team capabilities. Second, social psychological factors affecting team performance and can be difficult to translate to automated agents, and most FA methods currently do not account for this effect. The implications for these issues are discussed.

  6. Coevolution between human's anticancer activities and functional foods from crop origin center in the world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Ya-Wen; Du, Juan; Pu, Xiao-Ying; Yang, Jia-Zhen; Yang, Tao; Yang, Shu-Ming; Yang, Xiao-Meng

    2015-01-01

    Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world. Anticancer activities from many functional food sources have been reported in years, but correlation between cancer prevalence and types of food with anticancer activities from crop origin center in the world as well as food source with human migration are unclear. Hunger from food shortage is the cause of early human evolution from Africa to Asia and later into Eurasia. The richest functional foods are found in crop origin centers, housing about 70% in the world populations. Crop origin centers have lower cancer incidence and mortality in the world, especially Central Asia, Middle East, Southwest China, India and Ethiopia. Asia and Africa with the richest anticancer crops is not only the most important evolution base of humans and origin center of anticancer functional crop, but also is the lowest mortality and incidence of cancers in the world. Cancer prevention of early human migrations was associated with functional foods from crop origin centers, especially Asia with four centers and one subcenter of crop origin, accounting for 58% of the world population. These results reveal that coevolution between human's anticancer activities associated with functional foods for crop origin centers, especially in Asia and Africa.

  7. Identification of functional SNPs in the 5-prime flanking sequences of human genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenhard Boris

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over 4 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are currently reported to exist within the human genome. Only a small fraction of these SNPs alter gene function or expression, and therefore might be associated with a cell phenotype. These functional SNPs are consequently important in understanding human health. Information related to functional SNPs in candidate disease genes is critical for cost effective genetic association studies, which attempt to understand the genetics of complex diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, etc. Robust methods for the identification of functional SNPs are therefore crucial. We report one such experimental approach. Results Sequence conserved between mouse and human genomes, within 5 kilobases of the 5-prime end of 176 GPCR genes, were screened for SNPs. Sequences flanking these SNPs were scored for transcription factor binding sites. Allelic pairs resulting in a significant score difference were predicted to influence the binding of transcription factors (TFs. Ten such SNPs were selected for mobility shift assays (EMSA, resulting in 7 of them exhibiting a reproducible shift. The full-length promoter regions with 4 of the 7 SNPs were cloned in a Luciferase based plasmid reporter system. Two out of the 4 SNPs exhibited differential promoter activity in several human cell lines. Conclusions We propose a method for effective selection of functional, regulatory SNPs that are located in evolutionary conserved 5-prime flanking regions (5'-FR regions of human genes and influence the activity of the transcriptional regulatory region. Some SNPs behave differently in different cell types.

  8. The human likeness dimension of the "uncanny valley hypothesis": behavioral and functional MRI findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, Marcus; Suter, Pascal; Jäncke, Lutz

    2011-01-01

    The uncanny valley hypothesis (Mori, 1970) predicts differential experience of negative and positive affect as a function of human likeness. Affective experience of humanlike robots and computer-generated characters (avatars) dominates "uncanny" research, but findings are inconsistent. Importantly, it is unknown how objects are actually perceived along the hypothesis' dimension of human likeness (DOH), defined in terms of human physical similarity. To examine whether the DOH can also be defined in terms of effects of categorical perception (CP), stimuli from morph continua with controlled differences in physical human likeness between avatar and human faces as endpoints were presented. Two behavioral studies found a sharp category boundary along the DOH and enhanced visual discrimination (i.e., CP) of fine-grained differences between pairs of faces at the category boundary. Discrimination was better for face pairs presenting category change in the human-to-avatar than avatar-to-human direction along the DOH. To investigate brain representation of physical change and category change along the DOH, an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study used the same stimuli in a pair-repetition priming paradigm. Bilateral mid-fusiform areas and a different right mid-fusiform area were sensitive to physical change within the human and avatar categories, respectively, whereas entirely different regions were sensitive to the human-to-avatar (caudate head, putamen, thalamus, red nucleus) and avatar-to-human (hippocampus, amygdala, mid-insula) direction of category change. These findings show that Mori's DOH definition does not reflect subjective perception of human likeness and suggest that future "uncanny" studies consider CP and the DOH's category structure in guiding experience of non-human objects.

  9. The functionality of the gastrointestinal microbiome in non-human animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanning, Irene; Diaz-Sanchez, Sandra

    2015-11-10

    Due to the significance of the microbiome on human health, much of the current data available regarding microbiome functionality is centered on human medicine. For agriculturally important taxa, the functionality of gastrointestinal bacteria has been studied with the primary goals of improving animal health and production performance. With respect to cattle, the digestive functions of bacteria in cattle are unarguably critical to digestion and positively impact production performance. Conversely, some research suggests that the gastrointestinal microbiome in chickens competes with the host for nutrients and produces toxins that can harm the host resulting in decreased growth efficiency. Concerning many other species including reptiles and cetaceans, some cataloging of fecal bacteria has been conducted, but the functionality within the host remains ambiguous. These taxa could provide interesting gastrointestinal insight into functionality and symbiosis considering the extreme feeding regimes (snakes), highly specialized diets (vampire bats), and living environments (polar bears), which warrants further exploration.

  10. Microbial metaproteomics for characterizing the range of metabolic functions and activities of human gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Weili; Abraham, Paul E; Li, Zhou; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert L

    2015-10-01

    The human gastrointestinal tract is a complex, dynamic ecosystem that consists of a carefully tuned balance of human host and microbiota membership. The microbiome is not merely a collection of opportunistic parasites, but rather provides important functions to the host that are absolutely critical to many aspects of health, including nutrient transformation and absorption, drug metabolism, pathogen defense, and immune system development. Microbial metaproteomics provides the ability to characterize the human gut microbiota functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, revealing information about microbiome development and stability as well as their interactions with their human host. Generally, microbial and human proteins can be extracted and then measured by high performance MS-based proteomics technology. Here, we review the field of human gut microbiome metaproteomics, with a focus on the experimental and informatics considerations involved in characterizing systems ranging from low-complexity model gut microbiota in gnotobiotic mice, to the emerging gut microbiome in the GI tract of newborn human infants, and finally to an established gut microbiota in human adults. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. In vitro Differentiation of Functional Human Skeletal Myotubes in a Defined System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiufang; Greene, Keshel; Akanda, Nesar; Smith, Alec; Stancescu, Maria; Lambert, Stephen; Vandenburgh, Herman; Hickman, James

    2014-01-01

    In vitro human skeletal muscle systems are valuable tools for the study of human muscular development, disease and treatment. However, published in vitro human muscle systems have so far only demonstrated limited differentiation capacities. Advanced differentiation features such as cross-striations and contractility have only been observed in co-cultures with motoneurons. Furthermore, it is commonly regarded that cultured human myotubes do not spontaneously contract, and any contraction has been considered to originate from innervation. This study developed a serum-free culture system in which human skeletal myotubes demonstrated advanced differentiation. Characterization by immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology and analysis of contractile function revealed these major features: A) well defined sarcomeric development, as demonstrated by the presence of cross-striations. B) finely developed excitation-contraction coupling apparatus characterized by the close apposition of dihydropyridine receptors on T-tubules and Ryanodine receptors on sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. C) spontaneous and electrically controlled contractility. This report not only demonstrates an improved level of differentiation of cultured human skeletal myotubes, but also provides the first published evidence that such myotubes are capable of spontaneous contraction. Use of this functional in vitro human skeletal muscle system would advance studies concerning human skeletal muscle development and physiology, as well as muscle-related disease and therapy.

  12. Comparative metagenomic analysis of plasmid encoded functions in the human gut microbiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchesi Julian R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known regarding the pool of mobile genetic elements associated with the human gut microbiome. In this study we employed the culture independent TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the human gut microbiota, and a comparative metagenomic analysis to investigate the distribution and relative abundance of functions encoded by these plasmids in the human gut microbiome. Results Novel plasmids were acquired from the human gut microbiome, and homologous nucleotide sequences with high identity (>90% to two plasmids (pTRACA10 and pTRACA22 were identified in the multiple human gut microbiomes analysed here. However, no homologous nucleotide sequences to these plasmids were identified in the murine gut or environmental metagenomes. Functions encoded by the plasmids pTRACA10 and pTRACA22 were found to be more prevalent in the human gut microbiome when compared to microbial communities from other environments. Among the most prevalent functions identified was a putative RelBE toxin-antitoxin (TA addiction module, and subsequent analysis revealed that this was most closely related to putative TA modules from gut associated bacteria belonging to the Firmicutes. A broad phylogenetic distribution of RelE toxin genes was observed in gut associated bacterial species (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria, but no RelE homologues were identified in gut associated archaeal species. We also provide indirect evidence for the horizontal transfer of these genes between bacterial species belonging to disparate phylogenetic divisions, namely Gram negative Proteobacteria and Gram positive species from the Firmicutes division. Conclusions The application of a culture independent system to capture novel plasmids from the human gut mobile metagenome, coupled with subsequent comparative metagenomic analysis, highlighted the unexpected prevalence of plasmid encoded functions in the gut microbial ecosystem. In

  13. An Experimental Study of Muscle Coordination and Function during Human Locomotion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirai Hiroaki

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available How humans solve the ill-posed problem of motor control is still a mystery. In this paper, we attempt to decompose human walking and running as the main movements of a leg into units of motor function. We introduce the key concept of “A-A ratio,” defined as the ratio of an extensor muscle’s electromyography (EMG signal to the sum of agonist and antagonist muscles’ EMG signals. Human walking and running are then decomposed into two units of motor function by applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA to the A-A ratio dataset. The kinematic meanings of these units are also experimentally shown by using a human-like musculoskeletal leg robot.

  14. Structural mapping of the coiled-coil domain of a bacterial condensin and comparative analyses across all domains of life suggest conserved features of SMC proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldman, Vincent M; Stanage, Tyler H; Mims, Alexandra; Norden, Ian S; Oakley, Martha G

    2015-06-01

    The structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins form the cores of multisubunit complexes that are required for the segregation and global organization of chromosomes in all domains of life. These proteins share a common domain structure in which N- and C- terminal regions pack against one another to form a globular ATPase domain. This "head" domain is connected to a central, globular, "hinge" or dimerization domain by a long, antiparallel coiled coil. To date, most efforts for structural characterization of SMC proteins have focused on the globular domains. Recently, however, we developed a method to map interstrand interactions in the 50-nm coiled-coil domain of MukB, the divergent SMC protein found in γ-proteobacteria. Here, we apply that technique to map the structure of the Bacillus subtilis SMC (BsSMC) coiled-coil domain. We find that, in contrast to the relatively complicated coiled-coil domain of MukB, the BsSMC domain is nearly continuous, with only two detectable coiled-coil interruptions. Near the middle of the domain is a break in coiled-coil structure in which there are three more residues on the C-terminal strand than on the N-terminal strand. Close to the head domain, there is a second break with a significantly longer insertion on the same strand. These results provide an experience base that allows an informed interpretation of the output of coiled-coil prediction algorithms for this family of proteins. A comparison of such predictions suggests that these coiled-coil deviations are highly conserved across SMC types in a wide variety of organisms, including humans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Characteristics of functional enrichment and gene expression level of human putative transcriptional target genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osato, Naoki

    2018-01-19

    Transcriptional target genes show functional enrichment of genes. However, how many and how significantly transcriptional target genes include functional enrichments are still unclear. To address these issues, I predicted human transcriptional target genes using open chromatin regions, ChIP-seq data and DNA binding sequences of transcription factors in databases, and examined functional enrichment and gene expression level of putative transcriptional target genes. Gene Ontology annotations showed four times larger numbers of functional enrichments in putative transcriptional target genes than gene expression information alone, independent of transcriptional target genes. To compare the number of functional enrichments of putative transcriptional target genes between cells or search conditions, I normalized the number of functional enrichment by calculating its ratios in the total number of transcriptional target genes. With this analysis, native putative transcriptional target genes showed the largest normalized number of functional enrichments, compared with target genes including 5-60% of randomly selected genes. The normalized number of functional enrichments was changed according to the criteria of enhancer-promoter interactions such as distance from transcriptional start sites and orientation of CTCF-binding sites. Forward-reverse orientation of CTCF-binding sites showed significantly higher normalized number of functional enrichments than the other orientations. Journal papers showed that the top five frequent functional enrichments were related to the cellular functions in the three cell types. The median expression level of transcriptional target genes changed according to the criteria of enhancer-promoter assignments (i.e. interactions) and was correlated with the changes of the normalized number of functional enrichments of transcriptional target genes. Human putative transcriptional target genes showed significant functional enrichments. Functional

  16. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  17. Tai Chi Chuan Optimizes the Functional Organization of the Intrinsic Human Brain Architecture in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gao-Xia eWei

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right postcentral gyrus (PosCG and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain’s intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population.

  18. Human factors evaluation of teletherapy: Function and task analysis. Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaye, R.D.; Henriksen, K.; Jones, R. [Hughes Training, Inc., Falls Church, VA (United States); Morisseau, D.S.; Serig, D.I. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Systems Technology

    1995-07-01

    As a treatment methodology, teletherapy selectively destroys cancerous and other tissue by exposure to an external beam of ionizing radiation. Sources of radiation are either a radioactive isotope, typically Cobalt-60 (Co-60), or a linear accelerator. Records maintained by the NRC have identified instances of teletherapy misadministration where the delivered radiation dose has differed from the radiation prescription (e.g., instances where fractions were delivered to the wrong patient, to the wrong body part, or were too great or too little with respect to the defined treatment volume). Both human error and machine malfunction have led to misadministrations. Effective and safe treatment requires a concern for precision and consistency of human-human and human-machine interactions throughout the course of therapy. The present study is the first part of a series of human factors evaluations for identifying the root causes that lead to human error in the teletherapy environment. The human factors evaluations included: (1) a function and task analysis of teletherapy activities, (2) an evaluation of the human-system interfaces, (3) an evaluation of procedures used by teletherapy staff, (4) an evaluation of the training and qualifications of treatment staff (excluding the oncologists), (5) an evaluation of organizational practices and policies, and (6) an identification of problems and alternative approaches for NRC and industry attention. The present report addresses the function and task analysis of teletherapy activities and provides the foundation for the conduct of the subsequent evaluations. The report includes sections on background, methodology, a description of the function and task analysis, and use of the task analysis findings for the subsequent tasks. The function and task analysis data base also is included.

  19. Generation of Functional Thymic Epithelium from Human Embryonic Stem Cells that Supports Host T Cell Development

    OpenAIRE

    Parent, Audrey V.; Russ, Holger A.; Khan, Imran S.; LaFlam, Taylor N.; Metzger, Todd C.; Anderson, Mark S.; Hebrok, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Inducing immune tolerance to prevent rejection is a key step toward successful engraftment of stem-cell-derived tissue in a clinical setting. Using human pluripotent stem cells to generate thymic epithelial cells (TECs) capable of supporting T cell development represents a promising approach to reach this goal; however, progress toward generating functional TECs has been limited. Here, we describe a robust in vitro method to direct differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into th...

  20. Human factors evaluation of teletherapy: Function and task analysis. Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaye, R.D.; Henriksen, K.; Jones, R.; Morisseau, D.S.; Serig, D.I.

    1995-07-01

    As a treatment methodology, teletherapy selectively destroys cancerous and other tissue by exposure to an external beam of ionizing radiation. Sources of radiation are either a radioactive isotope, typically Cobalt-60 (Co-60), or a linear accelerator. Records maintained by the NRC have identified instances of teletherapy misadministration where the delivered radiation dose has differed from the radiation prescription (e.g., instances where fractions were delivered to the wrong patient, to the wrong body part, or were too great or too little with respect to the defined treatment volume). Both human error and machine malfunction have led to misadministrations. Effective and safe treatment requires a concern for precision and consistency of human-human and human-machine interactions throughout the course of therapy. The present study is the first part of a series of human factors evaluations for identifying the root causes that lead to human error in the teletherapy environment. The human factors evaluations included: (1) a function and task analysis of teletherapy activities, (2) an evaluation of the human-system interfaces, (3) an evaluation of procedures used by teletherapy staff, (4) an evaluation of the training and qualifications of treatment staff (excluding the oncologists), (5) an evaluation of organizational practices and policies, and (6) an identification of problems and alternative approaches for NRC and industry attention. The present report addresses the function and task analysis of teletherapy activities and provides the foundation for the conduct of the subsequent evaluations. The report includes sections on background, methodology, a description of the function and task analysis, and use of the task analysis findings for the subsequent tasks. The function and task analysis data base also is included

  1. Mental Health Functioning in the Human Rights Field: Findings from an International Internet-Based Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joscelyne, Amy; Knuckey, Sarah; Satterthwaite, Margaret L; Bryant, Richard A; Li, Meng; Qian, Meng; Brown, Adam D

    2015-01-01

    Human rights advocates play a critical role in promoting respect for human rights world-wide, and engage in a broad range of strategies, including documentation of rights violations, monitoring, press work and report-writing, advocacy, and litigation. However, little is known about the impact of human rights work on the mental health of human rights advocates. This study examined the mental health profile of human rights advocates and risk factors associated with their psychological functioning. 346 individuals currently or previously working in the field of human rights completed an internet-based survey regarding trauma exposure, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resilience and occupational burnout. PTSD was measured with the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) and depression was measured with the Patient History Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). These findings revealed that among human rights advocates that completed the survey, 19.4% met criteria for PTSD, 18.8% met criteria for subthreshold PTSD, and 14.7% met criteria for depression. Multiple linear regressions revealed that after controlling for symptoms of depression, PTSD symptom severity was predicted by human rights-related trauma exposure, perfectionism and negative self-appraisals about human rights work. In addition, after controlling for symptoms of PTSD, depressive symptoms were predicted by perfectionism and lower levels of self-efficacy. Survey responses also suggested high levels of resilience: 43% of responders reported minimal symptoms of PTSD. Although survey responses suggest that many human rights workers are resilient, they also suggest that human rights work is associated with elevated rates of PTSD and depression. The field of human rights would benefit from further empirical research, as well as additional education and training programs in the workplace about enhancing resilience in the context of human rights work.

  2. Mental Health Functioning in the Human Rights Field: Findings from an International Internet-Based Survey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Joscelyne

    Full Text Available Human rights advocates play a critical role in promoting respect for human rights world-wide, and engage in a broad range of strategies, including documentation of rights violations, monitoring, press work and report-writing, advocacy, and litigation. However, little is known about the impact of human rights work on the mental health of human rights advocates. This study examined the mental health profile of human rights advocates and risk factors associated with their psychological functioning. 346 individuals currently or previously working in the field of human rights completed an internet-based survey regarding trauma exposure, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, resilience and occupational burnout. PTSD was measured with the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C and depression was measured with the Patient History Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9. These findings revealed that among human rights advocates that completed the survey, 19.4% met criteria for PTSD, 18.8% met criteria for subthreshold PTSD, and 14.7% met criteria for depression. Multiple linear regressions revealed that after controlling for symptoms of depression, PTSD symptom severity was predicted by human rights-related trauma exposure, perfectionism and negative self-appraisals about human rights work. In addition, after controlling for symptoms of PTSD, depressive symptoms were predicted by perfectionism and lower levels of self-efficacy. Survey responses also suggested high levels of resilience: 43% of responders reported minimal symptoms of PTSD. Although survey responses suggest that many human rights workers are resilient, they also suggest that human rights work is associated with elevated rates of PTSD and depression. The field of human rights would benefit from further empirical research, as well as additional education and training programs in the workplace about enhancing resilience in the context of human rights work.

  3. Environmental and Human Controls of Ecosystem Functional Diversity in Temperate South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingo Alcaraz-Segura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The regional controls of biodiversity patterns have been traditionally evaluated using structural and compositional components at the species level, but evaluation of the functional component at the ecosystem level is still scarce. During the last decades, the role of ecosystem functioning in management and conservation has increased. Our aim was to use satellite-derived Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs, patches of the land-surface with similar carbon gain dynamics to characterize the regional patterns of ecosystem functional diversity and to evaluate the environmental and human controls that determine EFT richness across natural and human-modified systems in temperate South America. The EFT identification was based on three descriptors of carbon gain dynamics derived from seasonal curves of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI: annual mean (surrogate of primary production, seasonal coefficient of variation (indicator of seasonality and date of maximum EVI (descriptor of phenology. As observed for species richness in the southern hemisphere, water availability, not energy, emerged as the main climatic driver of EFT richness in natural areas of temperate South America. In anthropogenic areas, the role of both water and energy decreased and increasing human intervention increased richness at low levels of human influence, but decreased richness at high levels of human influence.

  4. Epitope mapping of functional domains of human factor V with human and mouse monoclonal antibodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annamalai, A.E.; Rao, A.K.; Chiu, H.C.; Wang, D.; Dutta-Roy, A.K.; Colman, R.W.

    1986-01-01

    The authors previously described two human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which inactivated factor V. The authors have now purified the predominant antibody (H2) on protein A Sepharose using a pH gradient and typed it as IgG 1 ,. Immunoprecipitation of 125 I-human factor Va with H2 demonstrated specificity for the heavy chain (D), Mr = 105,000. The authors compared using ELISA the competitive binding to factor Va, of H2, H1 and two mouse MAbs, B38 (directed to E) and B10 (to activation peptide, Cl). All four antibodies recognized distinct epitopes in factor V with steric overlap in some cases. Factor Xa showed a concentration dependent competition for binding of H1, H2 and B38 but not B10 to factor V/Va in ELISA. All MAbs bound to factor V/Va in the absence of Ca ++ . However, Ca ++ at 8 mM increased the binding of H1 and H2 to 165% and 360% and did not have any effect on the binding of either mouse MAbs. Prothrombin at a concentration of up to 400 μg/ml did not inhibit binding of any of these antibodies. Thus, both the light (E) and heavy (D) chains of factor Va but not the activation peptide (Cl) interact with factor Xa as defined by the MAbs. In addition, sites on both chains for Ca ++ are recognized by particular MAbs (H1 and H2). These studies increase their knowledge of the interactions of factor V domains in the formation of prothrombinase complex

  5. Exploring the role of the human resource function in the South African information technology industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caron Hall

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The Information Technology (IT industry is one that is characterised by rapid change and a heavy reliance on human skills. A study was conducted to qualitatively explore the role of the Human Resource (HR function in the South African IT industry. Semi-structured individual and focus group interviews with professionals in this function highlighted many opportunities for HR to render a more strategic role in an environment where a skills shortage and many related problem areas exist. The implications of these findings are discussed and proposals for redefining the role of HR in the specific industry are offered.

  6. Functional neuroanatomy of human cortex cerebri in relation to wanting sex and having it.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiadis, Janniko R

    2015-04-01

    Neuroanatomical textbooks typically restrict the central nervous system control of sexual responsiveness to the hypothalamus, brainstem and spinal cord. However, for all its primitive functions human sex is surprisingly complex and versatile. This review aims to extend the neuroanatomy of sexual responsiveness by providing a comprehensive overview of the empirical evidence for cerebral cortical involvement. To this end I will structure relevant human brain research data to fit the sexual pleasure cycle template-wanting sex, having sex, inhibiting sex-arguing that going through these sexual response phases requires adequate shifting between functional cortical networks. The relevance of this notion for understanding certain sexual dysfunctions is discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. A Set of Functional Brain Networks for the Comprehensive Evaluation of Human Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yul-Wan Sung

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Many human characteristics must be evaluated to comprehensively understand an individual, and measurements of the corresponding cognition/behavior are required. Brain imaging by functional MRI (fMRI has been widely used to examine brain function related to human cognition/behavior. However, few aspects of cognition/behavior of individuals or experimental groups can be examined through task-based fMRI. Recently, resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI signals have been shown to represent functional infrastructure in the brain that is highly involved in processing information related to cognition/behavior. Using rs-fMRI may allow diverse information about the brain through a single MRI scan to be obtained, as rs-fMRI does not require stimulus tasks. In this study, we attempted to identify a set of functional networks representing cognition/behavior that are related to a wide variety of human characteristics and to evaluate these characteristics using rs-fMRI data. If possible, these findings would support the potential of rs-fMRI to provide diverse information about the brain. We used resting-state fMRI and a set of 130 psychometric parameters that cover most human characteristics, including those related to intelligence and emotional quotients and social ability/skill. We identified 163 brain regions by VBM analysis using regression analysis with 130 psychometric parameters. Next, using a 163 × 163 correlation matrix, we identified functional networks related to 111 of the 130 psychometric parameters. Finally, we made an 8-class support vector machine classifiers corresponding to these 111 functional networks. Our results demonstrate that rs-fMRI signals contain intrinsic information about brain function related to cognition/behaviors and that this set of 111 networks/classifiers can be used to comprehensively evaluate human characteristics.

  8. Frequency response function-based explicit framework for dynamic identification in human-structure systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaojun; Živanović, Stana

    2018-05-01

    The aim of this paper is to propose a novel theoretical framework for dynamic identification in a structure occupied by a single human. The framework enables the prediction of the dynamics of the human-structure system from the known properties of the individual system components, the identification of human body dynamics from the known dynamics of the empty structure and the human-structure system and the identification of the properties of the structure from the known dynamics of the human and the human-structure system. The novelty of the proposed framework is the provision of closed-form solutions in terms of frequency response functions obtained by curve fitting measured data. The advantages of the framework over existing methods are that there is neither need for nonlinear optimisation nor need for spatial/modal models of the empty structure and the human-structure system. In addition, the second-order perturbation method is employed to quantify the effect of uncertainties in human body dynamics on the dynamic identification of the empty structure and the human-structure system. The explicit formulation makes the method computationally efficient and straightforward to use. A series of numerical examples and experiments are provided to illustrate the working of the method.

  9. Blockade of human P2X7 receptor function with a monoclonal antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buell, G; Chessell, I P; Michel, A D; Collo, G; Salazzo, M; Herren, S; Gretener, D; Grahames, C; Kaur, R; Kosco-Vilbois, M H; Humphrey, P P

    1998-11-15

    A monoclonal antibody (MoAb) specific for the human P2X7 receptor was generated in mice. As assessed by flow cytometry, the MoAb labeled human blood-derived macrophage cells natively expressing P2X7 receptors and cells transfected with human P2X7 but not other P2X receptor types. The MoAb was used to immunoprecipitate the human P2X7 receptor protein, and in immunohistochemical studies on human lymphoid tissue, P2X7 receptor labeling was observed within discrete areas of the marginal zone of human tonsil sections. The antibody also acted as a selective antagonist of human P2X7 receptors in several functional studies. Thus, whole cell currents, elicited by the brief application of 2',3'-(4-benzoyl)-benzoyl-ATP in cells expressing human P2X7, were reduced in amplitude by the presence of the MoAb. Furthermore, preincubation of human monocytic THP-1 cells with the MoAb antagonized the ability of P2X7 agonists to induce the release of interleukin-1beta.

  10. Human Salivary Gland Stem Cells Functionally Restore Radiation Damaged Salivary Glands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pringle, Sarah; Maimets, Martti; van der Zwaag, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    Adult stem cells are often touted as therapeutic agents in the regenerative medicine field, however data detailing both the engraftment and functional capabilities of solid tissue derived human adult epithelial stem cells is scarce. Here we show the isolation of adult human salivary gland (SG) st...... for the first time that salispheres cultured from human SGs contain stem/progenitor cells capable of self-renewal and differentiation and rescue of saliva production. Our study underpins the therapeutic promise of salisphere cell therapy for the treatment of xerostomia....

  11. Preservation of beta cell function in adult human pancreatic islets for several months in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunstedt, J; Andersson, A; Frimodt-Møller, C

    1979-01-01

    Islets of Langerhans were isolated from four human kidney donors, aged 16 to 21 years by the collagenase method described for isolation of rodent islets. So far the human islets have been kept in tissue culture, without attachment, in medium RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% calf serum for more tha...... technique presents a valuable tool for studying chronic effects of metabolites and hormones on islet function, as well as for islet storage prior to transplantation into humans.......Islets of Langerhans were isolated from four human kidney donors, aged 16 to 21 years by the collagenase method described for isolation of rodent islets. So far the human islets have been kept in tissue culture, without attachment, in medium RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% calf serum for more than...

  12. Metagenomics Study on the Polymorphism of Gut Microbiota and Their Function on Human Health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Qiang

    diversity and functional complexity of the gut microbiome. Facilitated by the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies and the progress of bioinformatics in the past decade, we have acquired substantial achievements in metagenomic studies on human gut microbiome and established the fundamentals of our...... understanding of the interactions between gut microbes and human body, and also the importance of this interaction on human health. As one of the milestones, the first integrated gene catalog in the human gut microbiome was constructed in 2010 in the scheme of the Metagenomics of Human Intestinal Tract (Meta......’ are shared in the population. These microorganisms participate in various metabolic pathways and activities of the immune system and the nervous system of our bodies,and have fundamental impacts on our health. For example, an association study between gut microbiome and type 2 diabetes (T2D) highlighted...

  13. Advances in the quantification of mitochondrial function in primary human immune cells through extracellular flux analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dequina Nicholas

    Full Text Available Numerous studies show that mitochondrial energy generation determines the effectiveness of immune responses. Furthermore, changes in mitochondrial function may regulate lymphocyte function in inflammatory diseases like type 2 diabetes. Analysis of lymphocyte mitochondrial function has been facilitated by introduction of 96-well format extracellular flux (XF96 analyzers, but the technology remains imperfect for analysis of human lymphocytes. Limitations in XF technology include the lack of practical protocols for analysis of archived human cells, and inadequate data analysis tools that require manual quality checks. Current analysis tools for XF outcomes are also unable to automatically assess data quality and delete untenable data from the relatively high number of biological replicates needed to power complex human cell studies. The objectives of work presented herein are to test the impact of common cellular manipulations on XF outcomes, and to develop and validate a new automated tool that objectively analyzes a virtually unlimited number of samples to quantitate mitochondrial function in immune cells. We present significant improvements on previous XF analyses of primary human cells that will be absolutely essential to test the prediction that changes in immune cell mitochondrial function and fuel sources support immune dysfunction in chronic inflammatory diseases like type 2 diabetes.

  14. Functional modelling for integration of human-software-hardware in complex physical systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Modarres, M.

    1996-01-01

    A framework describing the properties of complex physical systems composed of human-software-hardware interactions in terms of their functions is described. It is argued that such a framework is domain-general, so that functional primitives present a language that is more general than most other modeling methods such as mathematical simulation. The characteristics and types of functional models are described. Examples of uses of the framework in modeling physical systems composed of human-software-hardware (hereby we refer to them as only physical systems) are presented. It is concluded that a function-centered model of a physical system provides a capability for generating a high-level simulation of the system for intelligent diagnostic, control or other similar applications

  15. 50-60 Hz electric and magnetic field effects on cognitive function in humans: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crasson, M.

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews the effect of 50-60 Hz weak electric, magnetic and combined electric and magnetic field exposure on cognitive functions such as memory, attention, information processing and time perception, as determined by electroencephalographic methods and performance measures. Overall, laboratory studies, which have investigated the acute effects of power frequency fields on cognitive functioning in humans are heterogeneous, in terms of both electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure and the experimental design and measures used. Results are inconsistent and difficult to interpret with regard to functional relevance for possible health risks. Statistically significant differences between field and control exposure, when they are found, are small, subtle, transitory, without any clear dose-response relationship and difficult to reproduce. The human performance or event related potentials (ERPs) measures that might specifically be affected by EMF exposure, as well as a possible cerebral structure or function that could be more sensitive to EMF, cannot be better determined. (author)

  16. Fetal functional imaging portrays heterogeneous development of emerging human brain networks

    OpenAIRE

    Schwartz, Ernst; Kasprian, Gregor; Gruber, Gerlinde M.; Prayer, Daniela; Langs, Georg; Jakab, András; Schöpf, Veronika

    2014-01-01

    The functional connectivity architecture of the adult human brain enables complex cognitive processes, and exhibits a remarkably complex structure shared across individuals. We are only beginning to understand its heterogeneous structure, ranging from a strongly hierarchical organization in sensorimotor areas to widely distributed networks in areas such as the parieto-frontal cortex. Our study relied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of 32 fetuses with no detectable mor...

  17. The Function of the Novel Mechanical Activated Ion Channel Piezo1 in the Human Osteosarcoma Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Long; Zhao, Yi-ding; Chen, Wei-xiang

    2017-01-01

    Background The Piezo1 protein ion channel is a novel mechanical activated ion channel which is related to mechanical signal transduction. However, the function of the mechanically activated ion channel Piezo1 had not been explored. In this study, we explored the function of the Piezo1 ion channel in human osteosarcoma (OS) cells related to apoptosis, invasion, and the cell proliferation. Material/Methods Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western-blotting were used t...

  18. Functional Development of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract: Hormone- and Growth Factor-Mediated Regulatory Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Ménard

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The present review focuses on the control of gastrointestinal (GI tract development. The first section addresses the differences in general mechanisms of GI development in humans versus rodents, highlighting that morphogenesis of specific digestive organs and the differentiation of digestive epithelia occur not only at different stages of ontogeny but also at different rates. The second section provides an overview of studies from the author's laboratory at the Université de Sherbrooke pertaining to the development of the human fetal small intestine and colon. While both segments share similar morphological and functional characteristics, they are nevertheless modulated by distinct regulatory mechanisms. Using the organ culture approach, the author and colleagues were able to establish that hormones and growth factors, such as glucocorticoids, epidermal growth factor, insulin and keratinocyte growth factor, not only exert differential effects within these two segments, they can also trigger opposite responses in comparison with animal models. In the third section, emphasis is placed on the functional development of human fetal stomach and its various epithelial cell types; in particular, the glandular chief cells responsible for the synthesis and secretion of gastric enzymes such as pepsinogen-5 and gastric lipase. Bearing in mind that limitations of available cell models have, until now, greatly impeded the comprehension of molecular mechanisms regulating human gastric epithelial cell functions, the last section focuses on new human gastric epithelial cell models recently developed in the author's laboratory. These models comprise a novel primary culture system of human fetal gastric epithelium including, for the first time, functional chief cells, and human gastric epithelium cell lines cloned from the parental NCI-N87 strain. These new cells lines could serve important applications in the study of pathogenic action and epithelial

  19. Functional relations and cognitive psychology: Lessons from human performance and animal research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Robert W; Urcuioli, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    We consider requirements for effective interdisciplinary communication and explore alternative interpretations of "building bridges between functional and cognitive psychology." If the bridges are intended to connect radical behaviourism and cognitive psychology, or functional contextualism and cognitive psychology, the efforts are unlikely to be successful. But if the bridges are intended to connect functional relationships and cognitive theory, no construction is needed because the bridges already exist within cognitive psychology. We use human performance and animal research to illustrate the latter point and to counter the claim that the functional approach is unique in offering a close relationship between science and practice. Effective communication will be enhanced and, indeed, may only occur if the goal of functional contextualism extends beyond just "the advancement of functional contextual cognitive and behavioral science and practice" to "the advancement of cognitive and behavioral science and practice" without restriction. © 2015 International Union of Psychological Science.

  20. Transplantation of specific human astrocytes promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Repairing trauma to the central nervous system by replacement of glial support cells is an increasingly attractive therapeutic strategy. We have focused on the less-studied replacement of astrocytes, the major support cell in the central nervous system, by generating astrocytes from embryonic human glial precursor cells using two different astrocyte differentiation inducing factors. The resulting astrocytes differed in expression of multiple proteins thought to either promote or inhibit central nervous system homeostasis and regeneration. When transplanted into acute transection injuries of the adult rat spinal cord, astrocytes generated by exposing human glial precursor cells to bone morphogenetic protein promoted significant recovery of volitional foot placement, axonal growth and notably robust increases in neuronal survival in multiple spinal cord laminae. In marked contrast, human glial precursor cells and astrocytes generated from these cells by exposure to ciliary neurotrophic factor both failed to promote significant behavioral recovery or similarly robust neuronal survival and support of axon growth at sites of injury. Our studies thus demonstrate functional differences between human astrocyte populations and suggest that pre-differentiation of precursor cells into a specific astrocyte subtype is required to optimize astrocyte replacement therapies. To our knowledge, this study is the first to show functional differences in ability to promote repair of the injured adult central nervous system between two distinct subtypes of human astrocytes derived from a common fetal glial precursor population. These findings are consistent with our previous studies of transplanting specific subtypes of rodent glial precursor derived astrocytes into sites of spinal cord injury, and indicate a remarkable conservation from rat to human of functional differences between astrocyte subtypes. In addition, our studies provide a specific population of human

  1. Intrinsic Resting-State Functional Connectivity in the Human Spinal Cord at 3.0 T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Emeterio Nateras, Oscar; Yu, Fang; Muir, Eric R; Bazan, Carlos; Franklin, Crystal G; Li, Wei; Li, Jinqi; Lancaster, Jack L; Duong, Timothy Q

    2016-04-01

    To apply resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to map functional connectivity of the human spinal cord. Studies were performed in nine self-declared healthy volunteers with informed consent and institutional review board approval. Resting-state functional MR imaging was performed to map functional connectivity of the human cervical spinal cord from C1 to C4 at 1 × 1 × 3-mm resolution with a 3.0-T clinical MR imaging unit. Independent component analysis (ICA) was performed to derive resting-state functional MR imaging z-score maps rendered on two-dimensional and three-dimensional images. Seed-based analysis was performed for cross validation with ICA networks by using Pearson correlation. Reproducibility analysis of resting-state functional MR imaging maps from four repeated trials in a single participant yielded a mean z score of 6 ± 1 (P 3, P 3.0-T clinical MR imaging unit and standard MR imaging protocols and hardware reveals prominent functional connectivity patterns within the spinal cord gray matter, consistent with known functional and anatomic layouts of the spinal cord.

  2. Human factors evaluation of remote afterloading brachytherapy. Volume 2, Function and task analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callan, J.R.; Gwynne, J.W. III; Kelly, T.T.; Muckler, F.A. [Pacific Science and Engineering Group, San Diego, CA (United States); Saunders, W.M.; Lepage, R.P.; Chin, E. [University of California San Diego Medical Center, CA (United States). Div. of Radiation Oncology; Schoenfeld, I.; Serig, D.I. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Systems Technology

    1995-05-01

    A human factors project on the use of nuclear by-product material to treat cancer using remotely operated afterloaders was undertaken by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The purpose of the project was to identify factors that contribute to human error in the system for remote afterloading brachytherapy (RAB). This report documents the findings from the first phase of the project, which involved an extensive function and task analysis of RAB. This analysis identified the functions and tasks in RAB, made preliminary estimates of the likelihood of human error in each task, and determined the skills needed to perform each RAB task. The findings of the function and task analysis served as the foundation for the remainder of the project, which evaluated four major aspects of the RAB system linked to human error: human-system interfaces; procedures and practices; training and qualifications of RAB staff; and organizational practices and policies. At its completion, the project identified and prioritized areas for recommended NRC and industry attention based on all of the evaluations and analyses.

  3. Inspiration from heart development: Biomimetic development of functional human cardiac organoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Dylan J; Coyle, Robert C; Tan, Yu; Jia, Jia; Wong, Kerri; Toomer, Katelynn; Menick, Donald R; Mei, Ying

    2017-10-01

    Recent progress in human organoids has provided 3D tissue systems to model human development, diseases, as well as develop cell delivery systems for regenerative therapies. While direct differentiation of human embryoid bodies holds great promise for cardiac organoid production, intramyocardial cell organization during heart development provides biological foundation to fabricate human cardiac organoids with defined cell types. Inspired by the intramyocardial organization events in coronary vasculogenesis, where a diverse, yet defined, mixture of cardiac cell types self-organizes into functional myocardium in the absence of blood flow, we have developed a defined method to produce scaffold-free human cardiac organoids that structurally and functionally resembled the lumenized vascular network in the developing myocardium, supported hiPSC-CM development and possessed fundamental cardiac tissue-level functions. In particular, this development-driven strategy offers a robust, tunable system to examine the contributions of individual cell types, matrix materials and additional factors for developmental insight, biomimetic matrix composition to advance biomaterial design, tissue/organ-level drug screening, and cell therapy for heart repair. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Human factors evaluation of remote afterloading brachytherapy. Volume 2, Function and task analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Callan, J.R.; Gwynne, J.W. III; Kelly, T.T.; Muckler, F.A.; Saunders, W.M.; Lepage, R.P.; Chin, E.; Schoenfeld, I.; Serig, D.I.

    1995-05-01

    A human factors project on the use of nuclear by-product material to treat cancer using remotely operated afterloaders was undertaken by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The purpose of the project was to identify factors that contribute to human error in the system for remote afterloading brachytherapy (RAB). This report documents the findings from the first phase of the project, which involved an extensive function and task analysis of RAB. This analysis identified the functions and tasks in RAB, made preliminary estimates of the likelihood of human error in each task, and determined the skills needed to perform each RAB task. The findings of the function and task analysis served as the foundation for the remainder of the project, which evaluated four major aspects of the RAB system linked to human error: human-system interfaces; procedures and practices; training and qualifications of RAB staff; and organizational practices and policies. At its completion, the project identified and prioritized areas for recommended NRC and industry attention based on all of the evaluations and analyses

  5. Rev and Rex proteins of human complex retroviruses function with the MMTV Rem-responsive element

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dudley Jaquelin P

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV encodes the Rem protein, an HIV Rev-like protein that enhances nuclear export of unspliced viral RNA in rodent cells. We have shown that Rem is expressed from a doubly spliced RNA, typical of complex retroviruses. Several recent reports indicate that MMTV can infect human cells, suggesting that MMTV might interact with human retroviruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV, and human endogenous retrovirus type K (HERV-K. In this report, we test whether the export/regulatory proteins of human complex retroviruses will increase expression from vectors containing the Rem-responsive element (RmRE. Results MMTV Rem, HIV Rev, and HTLV Rex proteins, but not HERV-K Rec, enhanced expression from an MMTV-based reporter plasmid in human T cells, and this activity was dependent on the RmRE. No RmRE-dependent reporter gene expression was detectable using Rev, Rex, or Rec in HC11 mouse mammary cells. Cell fractionation and RNA quantitation experiments suggested that the regulatory proteins did not affect RNA stability or nuclear export in the MMTV reporter system. Rem had no demonstrable activity on export elements from HIV, HTLV, or HERV-K. Similar to the Rem-specific activity in rodent cells, the RmRE-dependent functions of Rem, Rev, or Rex in human cells were inhibited by a dominant-negative truncated nucleoporin that acts in the Crm1 pathway of RNA and protein export. Conclusion These data argue that many retroviral regulatory proteins recognize similar complex RNA structures, which may depend on the presence of cell-type specific proteins. Retroviral protein activity on the RmRE appears to affect a post-export function of the reporter RNA. Our results provide additional evidence that MMTV is a complex retrovirus with the potential for viral interactions in human cells.

  6. Sex differences in vascular endothelial function and health in humans: impacts of exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Daniel J; Hopkins, Nicola D; Jones, Helen; Thijssen, Dick H J; Eijsvogels, Thijs M H; Yeap, Bu B

    2016-02-01

    What is the topic of this review? This brief review discusses potential sex differences in arterial function across the age span, with special emphasis on the effects of oestrogen and testosterone on the vascular endothelium. What advances does it highlight? We discuss the relationship between the impacts of sex hormones on arterial function and health in the context of epidemiological evidence pertaining to the menopause and ageing. Studies performed in humans are emphasized, alongside insights from animal studies. Findings suggest that the combination of exercise and hormone administration should be potentially synergistic or additive in humans. This brief review presents historical evidence for the purported impacts of male and female sex hormones on the vasculature in humans, including effects on macro- and microvascular function and health. Impacts of ageing on hormonal changes and arterial function are considered in the context of the menopause. Physiological data are presented alongside clinical outcomes from large trials, in an attempt to rationalize disparate findings along the bench-to-bedside continuum. Finally, the theoretical likelihood that exercise and hormone treatment may induce synergistic and/or additive vascular adaptations is developed in the context of recent laboratory studies that have compared male and female responses to training. Differences between men and women in terms of the impact of age and cardiorespiratory fitness on endothelial function are addressed. Ultimately, this review highlights the paucity of high-quality and compelling evidence regarding the fundamental impact, in humans, of sex differences on arterial function and the moderating impacts of exercise on arterial function, adaptation and health at different ages in either sex. © 2015 The Authors. Experimental Physiology © 2015 The Physiological Society.

  7. Evaluating natural resource amenities in a human life expectancy production function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neelam C. Poudyal; Donald G. Hodges; J.M. Bowker; H.K. Cordell

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the effect of natural resource amenities on human life expectancy. Extending theexisting model of the life expectancy production function, and correcting for spatial dependence, weevaluated the determinants of life expectancy using county level data. Results indicate that after controlling

  8. Identification and characterization of two functional variants in the human longevity gene FOXO3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flachsbart, Friederike; Dose, Janina; Gentschew, Liljana

    2017-01-01

    FOXO3 is consistently annotated as a human longevity gene. However, functional variants and underlying mechanisms for the association remain unknown. Here, we perform resequencing of the FOXO3 locus and single-nucleotide variant (SNV) genotyping in three European populations. We find two FOXO3 SN...

  9. Functional characterisation of human glycine receptors in a fluorescence-based high throughput screening assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anders A.

    2005-01-01

    The human glycine receptor subtypes alpha1beta and alpha2 have been expressed stably in HEK293 cells, and the functional characteristics of the receptors have been characterised in the FLIPR Membrane Potential Assay. The pharmacological properties obtained for nine standard ligands at the two rec...

  10. Human 2'-phosphodiesterase localizes to the mitochondrial matrix with a putative function in mitochondrial RNA turnover

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Jesper Buchhave; Andersen, Kasper Røjkjær; Kjær, Karina Hansen

    2011-01-01

    . Interestingly, 2′-PDE shares both functionally and structurally characteristics with the CCR4-type exonuclease–endonuclease–phosphatase family of deadenylases. Here we show that 2′-PDE locates to the mitochondrial matrix of human cells, and comprise an active 3′–5′ exoribonuclease exhibiting a preference...

  11. Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Cortex Cerebri in Relation to Wanting Sex and Having It

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Georgiadis, Janniko R.

    Neuroanatomical textbooks typically restrict the central nervous system control of sexual responsiveness to the hypothalamus, brainstem and spinal cord. However, for all its primitive functions human sex is surprisingly complex and versatile. This review aims to extend the neuroanatomy of sexual

  12. Gene Expression and Functional Annotation of the Human Ciliary Body Epithelia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, Sarah F.; Gorgels, Theo G. M. F.; Bossers, Koen; ten Brink, Jacoline B.; Essing, Anke H. W.; Nagtegaal, Martijn; van der Spek, Peter J.; Jansonius, Nomdo M.; Bergen, Arthur A. B.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The ciliary body (CB) of the human eye consists of the non-pigmented (NPE) and pigmented (PE) neuro-epithelia. We investigated the gene expression of NPE and PE, to shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the most important functions of the CB. We also developed molecular

  13. New bioinformatic tool for quick identification of functionally relevant endogenous retroviral inserts in human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garazha, Andrew; Ivanova, Alena; Suntsova, Maria; Malakhova, Galina; Roumiantsev, Sergey; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Buzdin, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and LTR retrotransposons (LRs) occupy ∼8% of human genome. Deep sequencing technologies provide clues to understanding of functional relevance of individual ERVs/LRs by enabling direct identification of transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and other landmarks of functional genomic elements. Here, we performed the genome-wide identification of human ERVs/LRs containing TFBS according to the ENCODE project. We created the first interactive ERV/LRs database that groups the individual inserts according to their familial nomenclature, number of mapped TFBS and divergence from their consensus sequence. Information on any particular element can be easily extracted by the user. We also created a genome browser tool, which enables quick mapping of any ERV/LR insert according to genomic coordinates, known human genes and TFBS. These tools can be used to easily explore functionally relevant individual ERV/LRs, and for studying their impact on the regulation of human genes. Overall, we identified ∼110,000 ERV/LR genomic elements having TFBS. We propose a hypothesis of "domestication" of ERV/LR TFBS by the genome milieu including subsequent stages of initial epigenetic repression, partial functional release, and further mutation-driven reshaping of TFBS in tight coevolution with the enclosing genomic loci.

  14. Annotating the Function of the Human Genome with Gene Ontology and Disease Ontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yang; Zhou, Wenyang; Ren, Jun; Dong, Lixiang; Wang, Yadong; Jin, Shuilin; Cheng, Liang

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidences indicated that function annotation of human genome in molecular level and phenotype level is very important for systematic analysis of genes. In this study, we presented a framework named Gene2Function to annotate Gene Reference into Functions (GeneRIFs), in which each functional description of GeneRIFs could be annotated by a text mining tool Open Biomedical Annotator (OBA), and each Entrez gene could be mapped to Human Genome Organisation Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) gene symbol. After annotating all the records about human genes of GeneRIFs, 288,869 associations between 13,148 mRNAs and 7,182 terms, 9,496 associations between 948 microRNAs and 533 terms, and 901 associations between 139 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and 297 terms were obtained as a comprehensive annotation resource of human genome. High consistency of term frequency of individual gene (Pearson correlation = 0.6401, p = 2.2e - 16) and gene frequency of individual term (Pearson correlation = 0.1298, p = 3.686e - 14) in GeneRIFs and GOA shows our annotation resource is very reliable.

  15. Specificity and functional interaction of the polymerase complex proteins of human and avian metapneumoviruses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.T. de Graaf (Marieke); S. Herfst (Sander); E.J.A. Schrauwen (Eefje); Y. Choi (Ying); B.G. van den Hoogen (Bernadette); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); R.A.M. Fouchier (Ron)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractHuman metapneumovirus (HMPV) and avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) have a similar genome organization and protein composition, but a different host range. AMPV subgroup C (AMPV-C) is more closely relaled to HMPV than other AMPVs. To investigate the specificity and functional interaction of

  16. Protein profile of human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC-7721: Identification and functional analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Yi; Tian, Zhong-Min; Wan, Ming-Xi; Zheng, Zhao-Bin

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the protein profile of human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC-7721, to analyze the specific functions of abundant expressed proteins in the processes of hepatocarcinoma genesis, growth and metastasis, to identify the hepatocarcinoma-specific biomarkers for the early prediction in diagnosis, and to explore the new drug targets for liver cancer therapy.

  17. The human likeness dimension of the "uncanny valley hypothesis": behavioural and functional MRI findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus eCheetham

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The uncanny valley hypothesis (Mori, 1970 predicts differential experience of negative and positive affect as a function of human likeness. Affective experience of realistic humanlike robots and computer-generated characters (avatars dominates uncanny research, but findings are inconsistent. How objects are actually perceived along the hypothesis’ dimension of human likeness (DOH, defined only in terms of human physical similarity, is unknown. To examine whether the DOH can be defined also in terms of effects of categorical perception (CP, stimuli from morph continua with controlled differences in physical human likeness between avatar and human faces as endpoints were presented. Two behavioural studies found a sharp category boundary along the DOH and enhanced visual discrimination (i.e. CP of fine-grained differences between face pairs at the category boundary. Discrimination was better for face pairs that presented category change in the human-to-avatar than avatar-to-human direction along DOH. To investigate brain representation of physical and category change within the uncanny valley hypothesis’ framework, an event-related fMRI study used the same stimuli in a paired repetition-priming paradigm. Bilateral mid-fusiform areas and a different right mid-fusiform area were sensitive to physical change within the human and avatar categories, respectively, whereas entirely different regions were sensitive to the human-to-avatar (caudate head, putamen, thalamus, red nucleus and avatar-to-human (hippocampus, amygdala, mid-insula direction of category change. Our findings show that Mori's DOH definition does not reflect subjective perception of human likeness and suggest that future uncanny studies consider CP and the DOH category structure in guiding experience of nonhuman objects.

  18. Isolation of the functional human excision repair gene ERCC5 by intercosmid recombination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mudgett, J.S.; MacInnes, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    The complete human nucleotide exicision repair gene ERCC5 was isolated as a functional gene on overlapping cosmids. ERCC5 corrects the excision repair deficiency of Chinese hamster ovary cell line UV135, of complementation group 5. Cosmids that contained human sequences were obtained from a UV-resistant cell line derived from UV135 cells transformed with human genomic DNA. Individually, none of the cosmids complemented the UV135 repair defect; cosmid groups were formed to represent putative human genomic regions, and specific pairs of cosmids that effectively transformed UV135 cells to UV resistance were identified. Analysis of transformants derived from the active cosmid pairs showed that the functional 32-kbp ERCC5 gene was reconstructed by homologous intercosmid recombination. The cloned human sequences exhibited 100% concordance with the locus designated genetically as ERCC5 located on human chromosome 13q. Cosmid-transformed UV135 host cells repaired cytotoxic damage to levels about 70% of normal and repaired UV-irradiated shuttle vector DNA to levels about 82% of normal

  19. De virginibus puerisque: the function of the human foreskin considered from an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, G

    1995-12-01

    The functional significance of the human male foreskin is considered in evolutionary terms. It is postulated that there is a lifetime's reproductive advantage in delaying the age of first coitus, and hence of first childbirth, for some years after puberty, until the parents are better established as providers. Phimosis and preputial adhesions are common in human males because they have selective advantage, tending to impede and therefore delay the onset of sexual activity. The physical signs of female virginity have an analogous function, and have been selected for in the same way. This hypothesis also provides a consistent explanation for the worldwide tradition of circumcision and for the common practice of masturbation by human males.

  20. Multi-Organ toxicity demonstration in a functional human in vitro system composed of four organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleaga, Carlota; Bernabini, Catia; Smith, Alec S T; Srinivasan, Balaji; Jackson, Max; McLamb, William; Platt, Vivien; Bridges, Richard; Cai, Yunqing; Santhanam, Navaneetha; Berry, Bonnie; Najjar, Sarah; Akanda, Nesar; Guo, Xiufang; Martin, Candace; Ekman, Gail; Esch, Mandy B; Langer, Jessica; Ouedraogo, Gladys; Cotovio, Jose; Breton, Lionel; Shuler, Michael L; Hickman, James J

    2016-02-03

    We report on a functional human model to evaluate multi-organ toxicity in a 4-organ system under continuous flow conditions in a serum-free defined medium utilizing a pumpless platform for 14 days. Computer simulations of the platform established flow rates and resultant shear stress within accepted ranges. Viability of the system was demonstrated for 14 days as well as functional activity of cardiac, muscle, neuronal and liver modules. The pharmacological relevance of the integrated modules were evaluated for their response at 7 days to 5 drugs with known side effects after a 48 hour drug treatment regime. The results of all drug treatments were in general agreement with published toxicity results from human and animal data. The presented phenotypic culture model exhibits a multi-organ toxicity response, representing the next generation of in vitro systems, and constitutes a step towards an in vitro "human-on-a-chip" assay for systemic toxicity screening.

  1. Composition and function of macroencapsulated human embryonic stem cell-derived implants: comparison with clinical human islet cell grafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motté, Evi; Szepessy, Edit; Suenens, Krista; Stangé, Geert; Bomans, Myriam; Jacobs-Tulleneers-Thevissen, Daniel; Ling, Zhidong; Kroon, Evert; Pipeleers, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    β-Cells generated from large-scale sources can overcome current shortages in clinical islet cell grafts provided that they adequately respond to metabolic variations. Pancreatic (non)endocrine cells can develop from human embryonic stem (huES) cells following in vitro derivation to pancreatic endoderm (PE) that is subsequently implanted in immune-incompetent mice for further differentiation. Encapsulation of PE increases the proportion of endocrine cells in subcutaneous implants, with enrichment in β-cells when they are placed in TheraCyte-macrodevices and predominantly α-cells when they are alginate-microencapsulated. At posttransplant (PT) weeks 20-30, macroencapsulated huES implants presented higher glucose-responsive plasma C-peptide levels and a lower proinsulin-over-C-peptide ratio than human islet cell implants under the kidney capsule. Their ex vivo analysis showed the presence of single-hormone-positive α- and β-cells that exhibited rapid secretory responses to increasing and decreasing glucose concentrations, similar to isolated human islet cells. However, their insulin secretory amplitude was lower, which was attributed in part to a lower cellular hormone content; it was associated with a lower glucose-induced insulin biosynthesis, but not with lower glucagon-induced stimulation, which together is compatible with an immature functional state of the huES-derived β-cells at PT weeks 20-30. These data support the therapeutic potential of macroencapsulated huES implants but indicate the need for further functional analysis. Their comparison with clinical-grade human islet cell grafts sets references for future development and clinical translation. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  2. Use of a novel chimeric mouse model with a functionally active human immune system to study human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    An, Dong Sung; Poon, Betty; Tsong Fang, Raphael Ho; Weijer, Kees; Blom, Bianca; Spits, Hergen; Chen, Irvin S. Y.; Uittenbogaart, Christel H.

    2007-01-01

    The goal of this study was to develop a small-animal model to study human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pathogenesis in blood and primary and secondary lymphoid organs. Rag2(-/-)gamma(c)(-/-) mice that are neonatally injected with human CD34(+) cells develop a functional human immune system

  3. Functional and Taxonomic Differentiation of Macrophyte Assemblages Across the Yangtze River Floodplain Under Human Impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Min; García Molinos, Jorge; Zhang, Xiaolin; Xu, Jun

    2018-01-01

    Human activities and the consequent extirpations of species have been changing the composition of species assemblages worldwide. These anthropogenic impacts alter not only the richness of assemblages but also the biological dissimilarity among them. One of the main gaps in the assessment of biodiversity change in freshwater ecosystems is our limited understanding regarding how taxonomic and functional facets of macrophyte assemblages respond to human impacts on regional scales. Here, we assess the temporal (before 1970s against after 2000s) changes in taxonomic and functional richness and compositional dissimilarities, partitioned into its turnover and nestedness components, of freshwater macrophyte assemblages across the floodplain lakes of the Yangtze River in China. We found that functional and taxonomic assemblage differentiation occurred simultaneously under increasing human impact, concomitant to a general decrease in functional and taxonomic richness. However, this effect weakened when the historical level of taxonomic dissimilarity among assemblages was high. Macrophyte species with large dispersal range and submersed life form were significantly more susceptible to extirpation. The impact of human activities on differentiation was complex but habitat loss and fishery intensity were consistently the main drivers of assemblage change in these lakes, whereas water quality (i.e., light pollution and nutrient enrichment) had weaker effects. Further, macrophyte taxonomic and functional differentiation was mainly driven by the nestedness component of dissimilarity, accounting for changes in assemblage composition related to changes in species richness independent of species replacement. This result, markedly different from previous studies on freshwater fish assemblages conducted in these lakes, represents a novel contribution toward achieving a more holistic understanding of how human impacts contribute to shape community assemblages in natural ecosystems.

  4. Driving and driven architectures of directed small-world human brain functional networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaogan Yan

    Full Text Available Recently, increasing attention has been focused on the investigation of the human brain connectome that describes the patterns of structural and functional connectivity networks of the human brain. Many studies of the human connectome have demonstrated that the brain network follows a small-world topology with an intrinsically cohesive modular structure and includes several network hubs in the medial parietal regions. However, most of these studies have only focused on undirected connections between regions in which the directions of information flow are not taken into account. How the brain regions causally influence each other and how the directed network of human brain is topologically organized remain largely unknown. Here, we applied linear multivariate Granger causality analysis (GCA and graph theoretical approaches to a resting-state functional MRI dataset with a large cohort of young healthy participants (n = 86 to explore connectivity patterns of the population-based whole-brain functional directed network. This directed brain network exhibited prominent small-world properties, which obviously improved previous results of functional MRI studies showing weak small-world properties in the directed brain networks in terms of a kernel-based GCA and individual analysis. This brain network also showed significant modular structures associated with 5 well known subsystems: fronto-parietal, visual, paralimbic/limbic, subcortical and primary systems. Importantly, we identified several driving hubs predominantly located in the components of the attentional network (e.g., the inferior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area, insula and fusiform gyrus and several driven hubs predominantly located in the components of the default mode network (e.g., the precuneus, posterior cingulate gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Further split-half analyses indicated that our results were highly reproducible between two

  5. Are Protected Areas Required to Maintain Functional Diversity in Human-Modified Landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottee-Jones, H. Eden W.; Matthews, Thomas J.; Bregman, Tom P.; Barua, Maan; Tamuly, Jatin; Whittaker, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    The conversion of forest to agriculture across the world’s tropics, and the limited space for protected areas, has increased the need to identify effective conservation strategies in human-modified landscapes. Isolated trees are believed to conserve elements of ecological structure, providing micro-sites for conservation in matrix landscapes, and facilitating seed dispersal and forest restoration. Here we investigate the role of isolated Ficus trees, which are of critical importance to tropical forest ecosystems, in conserving frugivore composition and function in a human-modified landscape in Assam, India. We surveyed the frugivorous birds feeding at 122 isolated Ficus trees, 33 fruit trees, and 31 other large trees across a range of 32 km from the nearest intact forest. We found that Ficus trees attracted richer and more abundant assemblages of frugivores than the other tree categories. However, incidence function estimates revealed that forest specialist species decreased dramatically within the first kilometre of the forest edge. Despite this, species richness and functional diversity remained consistent across the human-modified landscape, as habitat generalists replaced forest-dependent frugivores, and accounted for most of the ecological function found in Ficus trees near the forest edge. We recommend that isolated Ficus trees are awarded greater conservation status, and suggest that their conservation can support ecologically functional networks of frugivorous bird communities. PMID:25946032

  6. Understanding the Functionality of Human Activity Hotspots from Their Scaling Pattern Using Trajectory Data

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    Tao Jia

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Human activity hotspots are the clusters of activity locations in space and time, and a better understanding of their functionality would be useful for urban land use planning and transportation. In this article, using trajectory data, we aim to infer the functionality of human activity hotspots from their scaling pattern in a reliable way. Specifically, a large number of stopping locations are extracted from trajectory data, which are then aggregated into activity hotspots. Activity hotspots are found to display scaling patterns in terms of the sublinear scaling relationships between the number of stopping locations and the number of points of interest (POIs, which indicates economies of scale of human interactions with urban land use. Importantly, this scaling pattern remains stable over time. This finding inspires us to devise an allometric ruler to identify the activity hotspots, whose functionality could be reliably estimated using the stopping locations. Thereafter, a novel Bayesian inference model is proposed to infer their urban functionality, which examines the spatial and temporal information of stopping locations covering 75 days. Experimental results suggest that the functionality of identified activity hotspots are reliably inferred by stopping locations, such as the railway station.

  7. Uterine Natural Killer Cells: Functional Distinctions and Influence on Pregnancy in Humans and Mice

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    Francesco Colucci

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of development and function of natural killer (NK cells has progressed significantly in recent years. However, exactly how uterine NK (uNK cells develop and function is still unclear. To help investigators that are beginning to study tissue NK cells, we summarize in this review our current knowledge of the development and function of uNK cells, and what is yet to be elucidated. We compare and contrast the biology of human and mouse uNK cells in the broader context of the biology of innate lymphoid cells and with reference to peripheral NK cells. We also review how uNK cells may regulate trophoblast invasion and uterine spiral arterial remodeling in human and murine pregnancy.

  8. Predictive value of plasma β2-microglobulin on human body function and senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, X-M; Cai, R; Yang, F; Zhang, Y-Y; Wang, X-G; Fu, S-L; Zhang, J-R

    2016-06-01

    To explore the correlation between plasma β2-microglobulin (β2-MG) as senescence factor with age, heart, liver and kidney function as well as the predictive value of β2-MG in human metabolism function and senescence. 387 cases of healthy people of different ages were selected and the automatic biochemical analyzer was used to test β2-MG in plasma based on immunoturbidimetry and also all biochemical indexes. The correlation between β2-MG and age, gender and all biochemical indexes was analyzed. β2-MG was positively correlated to age, r = 0.373; and the difference was of statistical significance (p human body function and anti-senescence and have significant basic research and clinical guidance values.

  9. Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Jose M.; Anton, Xaquin; Redondo-Valbuena, Celia; Roca-Saavedra, Paula; Rodriguez, Jose A.; Lamas, Alexandre; Franco, Carlos M.; Cepeda, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Eggs are sources of protein, fats and micronutrients that play an important role in basic nutrition. However, eggs are traditionally associated with adverse factors in human health, mainly due to their cholesterol content. Nowadays, however, it is known that the response of cholesterol in human serum levels to dietary cholesterol consumption depends on several factors, such as ethnicity, genetic makeup, hormonal factors and the nutritional status of the consumer. Additionally, in recent decades, there has been an increasing demand for functional foods, which is expected to continue to increase in the future, owing to their capacity to decrease the risks of some diseases and socio-demographic factors such as the increase in life expectancy. This work offers a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of egg consumption and the potential market of functional eggs, and it explores the possibilities of the development of functional eggs by technological methods. PMID:25608941

  10. Low calorie sweeteners: Evidence remains lacking for effects on human gut function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Charlotte; Mclaughlin, John

    2016-10-01

    The importance of nutrient induced gut-brain signalling in the regulation of human food intake has become an increasing focus of research. Much of the caloric excess consumed comes from dietary sugars, but our knowledge about the mechanisms mediating the physiological and appetitive effects of sweet tastants in the human gut and gut-brain axis is far from complete. The comparative effects of natural sugars vs low calorie sweeteners are also poorly understood. Research in animal and cellular models has suggested a key functional role in gut endocrine cells for the sweet taste receptors previously well described in oral taste. However human studies to date have very consistently failed to show that activation of the sweet taste receptor by low calorie sweeteners placed in the human gut fails to replicate any of the effects on gastric motility, gut hormones or appetitive responses evoked by caloric sugars. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Functional specificity for high-level linguistic processing in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Behr, Michael K; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2011-09-27

    Neuroscientists have debated for centuries whether some regions of the human brain are selectively engaged in specific high-level mental functions or whether, instead, cognition is implemented in multifunctional brain regions. For the critical case of language, conflicting answers arise from the neuropsychological literature, which features striking dissociations between deficits in linguistic and nonlinguistic abilities, vs. the neuroimaging literature, which has argued for overlap between activations for linguistic and nonlinguistic processes, including arithmetic, domain general abilities like cognitive control, and music. Here, we use functional MRI to define classic language regions functionally in each subject individually and then examine the response of these regions to the nonlinguistic functions most commonly argued to engage these regions: arithmetic, working memory, cognitive control, and music. We find little or no response in language regions to these nonlinguistic functions. These data support a clear distinction between language and other cognitive processes, resolving the prior conflict between the neuropsychological and neuroimaging literatures.

  12. Organization and hierarchy of the human functional brain network lead to a chain-like core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrandrea, Rossana; Gabrielli, Andrea; Piras, Fabrizio; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Caldarelli, Guido; Gili, Tommaso

    2017-07-07

    The brain is a paradigmatic example of a complex system: its functionality emerges as a global property of local mesoscopic and microscopic interactions. Complex network theory allows to elicit the functional architecture of the brain in terms of links (correlations) between nodes (grey matter regions) and to extract information out of the noise. Here we present the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data from forty healthy humans at rest for the investigation of the basal scaffold of the functional brain network organization. We show how brain regions tend to coordinate by forming a highly hierarchical chain-like structure of homogeneously clustered anatomical areas. A maximum spanning tree approach revealed the centrality of the occipital cortex and the peculiar aggregation of cerebellar regions to form a closed core. We also report the hierarchy of network segregation and the level of clusters integration as a function of the connectivity strength between brain regions.

  13. Developing a Bacteroides System for Function-Based Screening of DNA from the Human Gut Microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Kathy N; Martens, Eric C; Charles, Trevor C

    2018-01-01

    Functional metagenomics is a powerful method that allows the isolation of genes whose role may not have been predicted from DNA sequence. In this approach, first, environmental DNA is cloned to generate metagenomic libraries that are maintained in Escherichia coli, and second, the cloned DNA is screened for activities of interest. Typically, functional screens are carried out using E. coli as a surrogate host, although there likely exist barriers to gene expression, such as lack of recognition of native promoters. Here, we describe efforts to develop Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron as a surrogate host for screening metagenomic DNA from the human gut. We construct a B. thetaiotaomicron-compatible fosmid cloning vector, generate a fosmid clone library using DNA from the human gut, and show successful functional complementation of a B. thetaiotaomicron glycan utilization mutant. Though we were unable to retrieve the physical fosmid after complementation, we used genome sequencing to identify the complementing genes derived from the human gut microbiome. Our results demonstrate that the use of B. thetaiotaomicron to express metagenomic DNA is promising, but they also exemplify the challenges that can be encountered in the development of new surrogate hosts for functional screening. IMPORTANCE Human gut microbiome research has been supported by advances in DNA sequencing that make it possible to obtain gigabases of sequence data from metagenomes but is limited by a lack of knowledge of gene function that leads to incomplete annotation of these data sets. There is a need for the development of methods that can provide experimental data regarding microbial gene function. Functional metagenomics is one such method, but functional screens are often carried out using hosts that may not be able to express the bulk of the environmental DNA being screened. We expand the range of current screening hosts and demonstrate that human gut-derived metagenomic libraries can be

  14. Expression and function of K(V)2-containing channels in human urinary bladder smooth muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hristov, Kiril L; Chen, Muyan; Afeli, Serge A Y; Cheng, Qiuping; Rovner, Eric S; Petkov, Georgi V

    2012-06-01

    The functional role of the voltage-gated K(+) (K(V)) channels in human detrusor smooth muscle (DSM) is largely unexplored. Here, we provide molecular, electrophysiological, and functional evidence for the expression of K(V)2.1, K(V)2.2, and the electrically silent K(V)9.3 subunits in human DSM. Stromatoxin-1 (ScTx1), a selective inhibitor of K(V)2.1, K(V)2.2, and K(V)4.2 homotetrameric channels and of K(V)2.1/9.3 heterotetrameric channels, was used to examine the role of these channels in human DSM function. Human DSM tissues were obtained during open bladder surgeries from patients without a history of overactive bladder. Freshly isolated human DSM cells were studied using RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, live-cell Ca(2+) imaging, and the perforated whole cell patch-clamp technique. Isometric DSM tension recordings of human DSM isolated strips were conducted using tissue baths. RT-PCR experiments showed mRNA expression of K(V)2.1, K(V)2.2, and K(V)9.3 (but not K(V)4.2) channel subunits in human isolated DSM cells. K(V)2.1 and K(V)2.2 protein expression was confirmed by Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry. Perforated whole cell patch-clamp experiments revealed that ScTx1 (100 nM) inhibited the amplitude of the voltage step-induced K(V) current in freshly isolated human DSM cells. ScTx1 (100 nM) significantly increased the intracellular Ca(2+) level in DSM cells. In human DSM isolated strips, ScTx1 (100 nM) increased the spontaneous phasic contraction amplitude and muscle force, and enhanced the amplitude of the electrical field stimulation-induced contractions within the range of 3.5-30 Hz stimulation frequencies. These findings reveal that ScTx1-sensitive K(V)2-containing channels are key regulators of human DSM excitability and contractility and may represent new targets for pharmacological or genetic intervention for bladder dysfunction.

  15. In Vitro Generation of Functional Liver Organoid-Like Structures Using Adult Human Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Sarada Devi; Schirmer, Katharina; Münst, Bernhard; Heinz, Stefan; Ghafoory, Shahrouz; Wölfl, Stefan; Simon-Keller, Katja; Marx, Alexander; Øie, Cristina Ionica; Ebert, Matthias P; Walles, Heike; Braspenning, Joris; Breitkopf-Heinlein, Katja

    2015-01-01

    In this study we used differentiated adult human upcyte® cells for the in vitro generation of liver organoids. Upcyte® cells are genetically engineered cell strains derived from primary human cells by lenti-viral transduction of genes or gene combinations inducing transient proliferation capacity (upcyte® process). Proliferating upcyte® cells undergo a finite number of cell divisions, i.e., 20 to 40 population doublings, but upon withdrawal of proliferation stimulating factors, they regain most of the cell specific characteristics of primary cells. When a defined mixture of differentiated human upcyte® cells (hepatocytes, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)) was cultured in vitro on a thick layer of Matrigel™, they self-organized to form liver organoid-like structures within 24 hours. When further cultured for 10 days in a bioreactor, these liver organoids show typical functional characteristics of liver parenchyma including activity of cytochromes P450, CYP3A4, CYP2B6 and CYP2C9 as well as mRNA expression of several marker genes and other enzymes. In summary, we hereby describe that 3D functional hepatic structures composed of primary human cell strains can be generated in vitro. They can be cultured for a prolonged period of time and are potentially useful ex vivo models to study liver functions.

  16. Functional Studies of Missense TREM2 Mutations in Human Stem Cell-Derived Microglia

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    Philip W. Brownjohn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The derivation of microglia from human stem cells provides systems for understanding microglial biology and enables functional studies of disease-causing mutations. We describe a robust method for the derivation of human microglia from stem cells, which are phenotypically and functionally comparable with primary microglia. We used stem cell-derived microglia to study the consequences of missense mutations in the microglial-expressed protein triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2, which are causal for frontotemporal dementia-like syndrome and Nasu-Hakola disease. We find that mutant TREM2 accumulates in its immature form, does not undergo typical proteolysis, and is not trafficked to the plasma membrane. However, in the absence of plasma membrane TREM2, microglia differentiate normally, respond to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, and are phagocytically competent. These data indicate that dementia-associated TREM2 mutations have subtle effects on microglia biology, consistent with the adult onset of disease in individuals with these mutations. : Brownjohn and colleagues report methods to generate microglia from induced pluripotent human stem cells, which they demonstrate are highly similar to cultured primary human microglia. Microglia differentiated from patient-derived stem cells carrying neurological disease-causing mutations in the TREM2 receptor differentiate normally and respond appropriately to pathogenic stimuli, despite the absence of functional TREM2 receptor on the plasma membrane. Keywords: dementia, microglia, TREM2, Nasu-Hakola disease, frontotemporal dementia, iPSC-microglia, neuroinflammation

  17. Effect of a human-type communication robot on cognitive function in elderly women living alone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Masaaki; Ishii, Akira; Yamano, Emi; Ogikubo, Hiroki; Okazaki, Masatsugu; Kamimura, Kazuro; Konishi, Yasuharu; Emoto, Shigeru; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2012-09-01

    Considering the high prevalence of dementia, it would be of great value to develop effective tools to improve cognitive function. We examined the effects of a human-type communication robot on cognitive function in elderly women living alone. In this study, 34 healthy elderly female volunteers living alone were randomized to living with either a communication robot or a control robot at home for 8 weeks. The shape, voice, and motion features of the communication robot resemble those of a 3-year-old boy, while the control robot was not designed to talk or nod. Before living with the robot and 4 and 8 weeks after living with the robot, experiments were conducted to evaluate a variety of cognitive functions as well as saliva cortisol, sleep, and subjective fatigue, motivation, and healing. The Mini-Mental State Examination score, judgement, and verbal memory function were improved after living with the communication robot; those functions were not altered with the control robot. In addition, the saliva cortisol level was decreased, nocturnal sleeping hours tended to increase, and difficulty in maintaining sleep tended to decrease with the communication robot, although alterations were not shown with the control. The proportions of the participants in whom effects on attenuation of fatigue, enhancement of motivation, and healing could be recognized were higher in the communication robot group relative to the control group. This study demonstrates that living with a human-type communication robot may be effective for improving cognitive functions in elderly women living alone.

  18. Surgical reconstruction of spinal cord circuit provides functional return in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Carlstedt

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This mini review describes the current surgical strategy for restoring function after traumatic spinal nerve root avulsion in brachial or lumbosacral plexus injury in man. As this lesion is a spinal cord or central nervous injury functional return depends on spinal cord nerve cell growth within the central nervous system. Basic science, clinical research and human application has demonstrated good and useful motor function after ventral root avulsion followed by spinal cord reimplantation. Recently, sensory return could be demonstrated following spinal cord surgery bypassing the injured primary sensory neuron. Experimental data showed that most of the recovery depended on new growth reinnervating peripheral receptors. Restored sensory function and the return of spinal reflex was demonstrated by electrophysiology and functional magnetic resonance imaging of human cortex. This spinal cord surgery is a unique treatment of central nervous system injury resulting in useful functional return. Further improvements will not depend on surgical improvements. Adjuvant therapy aiming at ameliorating the activity in retinoic acid elements in dorsal root ganglion neurons could be a new therapeutic avenue in restoring spinal cord circuits after nerve root avulsion injury.

  19. Human monocytes undergo functional re-programming during differentiation to dendritic cell mediated by human extravillous trophoblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lei; Shao, Qianqian; Zhang, Yun; Zhang, Lin; He, Ying; Wang, Lijie; Kong, Beihua; Qu, Xun

    2016-02-09

    Maternal immune adaptation is required for a successful pregnancy to avoid rejection of the fetal-placental unit. Dendritic cells within the decidual microenvironment lock in a tolerogenic profile. However, how these tolerogenic DCs are induced and the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we show that human extravillous trophoblasts redirect the monocyte-to-DC transition and induce regulatory dendritic cells. DCs differentiated from blood monocytes in the presence of human extravillous trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo displayed a DC-SIGN(+)CD14(+)CD1a(-) phenotype, similar with decidual DCs. HTR8-conditioned DCs were unable to develop a fully mature phenotype in response to LPS, and altered the cytokine secretory profile significantly. Functionally, conditioned DCs poorly induced the proliferation and activation of allogeneic T cells, whereas promoted CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cells generation. Furthermore, the supernatant from DC and HTR-8/SVneo coculture system contained significant high amount of M-CSF and MCP-1. Using neutralizing antibodies, we discussed the role of M-CSF and MCP-1 during monocyte-to-DCs differentiation mediated by extravillous trophoblasts. Our data indicate that human extravillous trophoblasts play an important role in modulating the monocyte-to-DC differentiation through M-CSF and MCP-1, which facilitate the establishment of a tolerogenic microenvironment at the maternal-fetal interface.

  20. A functional test of Neandertal and modern human mitochondrial targeting sequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gralle, Matthias, E-mail: gralle@bioqmed.ufrj.br [Instituto de Bioquimica Medica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS, Ilha do Fundao, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig (Germany); Schaefer, Ingo; Seibel, Peter [Department of Molecular Cell Therapy, Leipzig University, Deutscher Platz 5, 04103 Leipzig (Germany); Paeaebo, Svante [Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig (Germany)

    2010-11-26

    Research highlights: {yields} Two mutations in mitochondrial targeting peptides occurred during human evolution, possibly after Neandertals split off from modern human lineage. {yields} The ancestral and modern human versions of these two targeting peptides were tested functionally for their effects on localization and cleavage rate. {yields} In spite of recent evolution, and to the contrary of other mutations in targeting peptides, these mutations had no visible effects. -- Abstract: Targeting of nuclear-encoded proteins to different organelles, such as mitochondria, is a process that can result in the redeployment of proteins to new intracellular destinations during evolution. With the sequencing of the Neandertal genome, it has become possible to identify amino acid substitutions that occurred on the modern human lineage since its separation from the Neandertal lineage. Here we analyze the function of two substitutions in mitochondrial targeting sequences that occurred and rose to high frequency recently during recent human evolution. The ancestral and modern versions of the two targeting sequences do not differ in the efficiency with which they direct a protein to the mitochondria, an observation compatible with the neutral theory of molecular evolution.

  1. A functional test of Neandertal and modern human mitochondrial targeting sequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gralle, Matthias; Schaefer, Ingo; Seibel, Peter; Paeaebo, Svante

    2010-01-01

    Research highlights: → Two mutations in mitochondrial targeting peptides occurred during human evolution, possibly after Neandertals split off from modern human lineage. → The ancestral and modern human versions of these two targeting peptides were tested functionally for their effects on localization and cleavage rate. → In spite of recent evolution, and to the contrary of other mutations in targeting peptides, these mutations had no visible effects. -- Abstract: Targeting of nuclear-encoded proteins to different organelles, such as mitochondria, is a process that can result in the redeployment of proteins to new intracellular destinations during evolution. With the sequencing of the Neandertal genome, it has become possible to identify amino acid substitutions that occurred on the modern human lineage since its separation from the Neandertal lineage. Here we analyze the function of two substitutions in mitochondrial targeting sequences that occurred and rose to high frequency recently during recent human evolution. The ancestral and modern versions of the two targeting sequences do not differ in the efficiency with which they direct a protein to the mitochondria, an observation compatible with the neutral theory of molecular evolution.

  2. Functional Differences between Human NKp44(-) and NKp44(+) RORC(+) Innate Lymphoid Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoorweg, Kerim; Peters, Charlotte P; Cornelissen, Ferry; Aparicio-Domingo, Patricia; Papazian, Natalie; Kazemier, Geert; Mjösberg, Jenny M; Spits, Hergen; Cupedo, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Human RORC(+) lymphoid tissue inducer cells are part of a rapidly expanding family of innate lymphoid cells (ILC) that participate in innate and adaptive immune responses as well as in lymphoid tissue (re) modeling. The assessment of a potential role for innate lymphocyte-derived cytokines in human homeostasis and disease is hampered by a poor characterization of RORC(+) innate cell subsets and a lack of knowledge on the distribution of these cells in adults. Here we show that functionally distinct subsets of human RORC(+) innate lymphoid cells are enriched for secretion of IL-17a or IL-22. Both subsets have an activated phenotype and can be distinguished based on the presence or absence of the natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp44. NKp44(+) IL-22 producing cells are present in tonsils while NKp44(-) IL-17a producing cells are present in fetal developing lymph nodes. Development of human intestinal NKp44(+) ILC is a programmed event that is independent of bacterial colonization and these cells colonize the fetal intestine during the first trimester. In the adult intestine, NKp44(+) ILC are the main ILC subset producing IL-22. NKp44(-) ILC remain present throughout adulthood in peripheral non-inflamed lymph nodes as resting, non-cytokine producing cells. However, upon stimulation lymph node ILC can swiftly initiate cytokine transcription suggesting that secondary human lymphoid organs may function as a reservoir for innate lymphoid cells capable of participating in inflammatory responses.

  3. Unvealing the Principal Modes of Human Upper Limb Movements through Functional Analysis

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    Giuseppe Averta

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich variety of human upper limb movements requires an extraordinary coordination of different joints according to specific spatio-temporal patterns. However, unvealing these motor schemes is a challenging task. Principal components have been often used for analogous purposes, but such an approach relies on hypothesis of temporal uncorrelation of upper limb poses in time. To overcome these limitations, in this work, we leverage on functional principal component analysis (fPCA. We carried out experiments with 7 subjects performing a set of most significant human actions, selected considering state-of-the-art grasp taxonomies and human kinematic workspace. fPCA results show that human upper limb trajectories can be reconstructed by a linear combination of few principal time-dependent functions, with a first component alone explaining around 60/70% of the observed behaviors. This allows to infer that in daily living activities humans reduce the complexity of movement by modulating their motions through a reduced set of few principal patterns. Finally, we discuss how this approach could be profitably applied in robotics and bioengineering, opening fascinating perspectives to advance the state of the art of artificial systems, as it was the case of hand synergies.

  4. EDC IMPACT: Chemical UV filters can affect human sperm function in a progesterone-like manner

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    A Rehfeld

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Human sperm cell function must be precisely regulated to achieve natural fertilization. Progesterone released by the cumulus cells surrounding the egg induces a Ca2+ influx into human sperm cells via the CatSper Ca2+-channel and thereby controls sperm function. Multiple chemical UV filters have been shown to induce a Ca2+ influx through CatSper, thus mimicking the effect of progesterone on Ca2+ signaling. We hypothesized that these UV filters could also mimic the effect of progesterone on sperm function. We examined 29 UV filters allowed in sunscreens in the US and/or EU for their ability to affect acrosome reaction, penetration, hyperactivation and viability in human sperm cells. We found that, similar to progesterone, the UV filters 4-MBC, 3-BC, Meradimate, Octisalate, BCSA, HMS and OD-PABA induced acrosome reaction and 3-BC increased sperm penetration into a viscous medium. The capacity of the UV filters to induce acrosome reaction and increase sperm penetration was positively associated with the ability of the UV filters to induce a Ca2+ influx. None of the UV filters induced significant changes in the proportion of hyperactivated cells. In conclusion, chemical UV filters that mimic the effect of progesterone on Ca2+ signaling in human sperm cells can similarly mimic the effect of progesterone on acrosome reaction and sperm penetration. Human exposure to these chemical UV filters may impair fertility by interfering with sperm function, e.g. through induction of premature acrosome reaction. Further studies are needed to confirm the results in vivo.

  5. EDC IMPACT: Chemical UV filters can affect human sperm function in a progesterone-like manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehfeld, A; Egeberg, D L; Almstrup, K; Petersen, J H; Dissing, S; Skakkebæk, N E

    2018-01-01

    Human sperm cell function must be precisely regulated to achieve natural fertilization. Progesterone released by the cumulus cells surrounding the egg induces a Ca 2+ influx into human sperm cells via the CatSper Ca 2+ -channel and thereby controls sperm function. Multiple chemical UV filters have been shown to induce a Ca 2+ influx through CatSper, thus mimicking the effect of progesterone on Ca 2+ signaling. We hypothesized that these UV filters could also mimic the effect of progesterone on sperm function. We examined 29 UV filters allowed in sunscreens in the US and/or EU for their ability to affect acrosome reaction, penetration, hyperactivation and viability in human sperm cells. We found that, similar to progesterone, the UV filters 4-MBC, 3-BC, Meradimate, Octisalate, BCSA, HMS and OD-PABA induced acrosome reaction and 3-BC increased sperm penetration into a viscous medium. The capacity of the UV filters to induce acrosome reaction and increase sperm penetration was positively associated with the ability of the UV filters to induce a Ca 2+ influx. None of the UV filters induced significant changes in the proportion of hyperactivated cells. In conclusion, chemical UV filters that mimic the effect of progesterone on Ca 2+ signaling in human sperm cells can similarly mimic the effect of progesterone on acrosome reaction and sperm penetration. Human exposure to these chemical UV filters may impair fertility by interfering with sperm function, e.g. through induction of premature acrosome reaction. Further studies are needed to confirm the results in vivo . © 2018 The authors.

  6. Role of C-type natriuretic peptide in the function of normal human sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Xia

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP is a newly discovered type of local regulatory factor that mediates its biological effects through the specific, membrane-bound natriuretic peptide receptor-B (NPR-B. Recent studies have established that CNP is closely related to male reproductive function. The aims of this study were to determine the distribution of CNP/NPR-B in human ejaculated spermatozoa through different methods (such as immunolocalization, real time polymerase chain reaction and Western Blot, and then to evaluate the influence of CNP on sperm function i n vitro, such as motility and acrosome reaction. Human semen samples were collected from consenting donors who met the criteria of the World Health Organization for normozoospermia. Our results show that the specific receptor NPR-B of CNP is localized in the acrosomal region of the head and the membrane of the front-end tail of the sperm, and there is no signal of CNP in human sperm. Compared with the control, CNP can induce a significant dose-dependent increase in spermatozoa motility and acrosome reaction. In summary, CNP/NPR-B can affect sperm motility and acrosome reaction, thus regulating the reproductive function of males. CNP may be a new key factor in regulating sperm function.

  7. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  8. ARF6-dependent regulation of P2Y receptor traffic and function in human platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanamarlapudi, Venkateswarlu; Owens, Sian E; Saha, Keya; Pope, Robert J; Mundell, Stuart J

    2012-01-01

    Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is a critical regulator of platelet activation, mediating its actions through two G protein-coupled receptors, the P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinoceptors. Recently, we demonstrated that P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinoceptor activities are rapidly and reversibly modulated in human platelets, revealing that the underlying mechanism requires receptor internalization and subsequent trafficking as an essential part of this process. In this study we investigated the role of the small GTP-binding protein ADP ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6) in the internalization and function of P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) purinoceptors in human platelets. ARF6 has been implicated in the internalization of a number of GPCRs, although its precise molecular mechanism in this process remains unclear. In this study we show that activation of either P2Y(1) or P2Y(12) purinoceptors can stimulate ARF6 activity. Further blockade of ARF6 function either in cell lines or human platelets blocks P2Y purinoceptor internalization. This blockade of receptor internalization attenuates receptor resensitization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Nm23-H1, a nucleoside diphosphate (NDP) kinase regulated by ARF6 which facilitates dynamin-dependent fission of coated vesicles during endocytosis, is also required for P2Y purinoceptor internalization. These data describe a novel function of ARF6 in the internalization of P2Y purinoceptors and demonstrate the integral importance of this small GTPase upon platelet ADP receptor function.

  9. ARF6-dependent regulation of P2Y receptor traffic and function in human platelets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkateswarlu Kanamarlapudi

    Full Text Available Adenosine diphosphate (ADP is a critical regulator of platelet activation, mediating its actions through two G protein-coupled receptors, the P2Y(1 and P2Y(12 purinoceptors. Recently, we demonstrated that P2Y(1 and P2Y(12 purinoceptor activities are rapidly and reversibly modulated in human platelets, revealing that the underlying mechanism requires receptor internalization and subsequent trafficking as an essential part of this process. In this study we investigated the role of the small GTP-binding protein ADP ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6 in the internalization and function of P2Y(1 and P2Y(12 purinoceptors in human platelets. ARF6 has been implicated in the internalization of a number of GPCRs, although its precise molecular mechanism in this process remains unclear. In this study we show that activation of either P2Y(1 or P2Y(12 purinoceptors can stimulate ARF6 activity. Further blockade of ARF6 function either in cell lines or human platelets blocks P2Y purinoceptor internalization. This blockade of receptor internalization attenuates receptor resensitization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Nm23-H1, a nucleoside diphosphate (NDP kinase regulated by ARF6 which facilitates dynamin-dependent fission of coated vesicles during endocytosis, is also required for P2Y purinoceptor internalization. These data describe a novel function of ARF6 in the internalization of P2Y purinoceptors and demonstrate the integral importance of this small GTPase upon platelet ADP receptor function.

  10. Establishment of Lipofection for Studying miRNA Function in Human Adipocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Enlund, Eveliina; Fischer, Simon; Handrick, René; Otte, Kerstin; Debatin, Klaus-Michael; Wabitsch, Martin; Fischer-Posovszky, Pamela

    2014-01-01

    miRNA dysregulation has recently been linked to human obesity and its related complications such as type 2 diabetes. In order to study miRNA function in human adipocytes, we aimed for the modulation of mature miRNA concentration in these cells. Adipocytes, however, tend to be resistant to transfection and there is often a need to resort to viral transduction or electroporation. Our objective therefore was to identify an efficient, non-viral transfection reagent capable of delivering small RNA...

  11. Qualitative and quantitative estimations of the effect of geomagnetic field variations on human brain functional state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belisheva, N.K.; Popov, A.N.; Petukhova, N.V.; Pavlova, L.P.; Osipov, K.S.; Tkachenko, S.Eh.; Baranova, T.I.

    1995-01-01

    The comparison of functional dynamics of human brain with reference to qualitative and quantitative characteristics of local geomagnetic field (GMF) variations was conducted. Steady and unsteady states of human brain can be determined: by geomagnetic disturbances before the observation period; by structure and doses of GMF variations; by different combinations of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of GMF variations. Decrease of optimal GMF activity level and the appearance of aperiodic disturbances of GMF can be a reason of unsteady brain's state. 18 refs.; 3 figs

  12. An overview of neural function and feedback control in human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L J

    1998-01-01

    The speech and hearing mechanisms depend on accurate sensory information and intact feedback mechanisms to facilitate communication. This article provides a brief overview of some components of the nervous system important for human communication and some electrophysiological methods used to measure cortical function in humans. An overview of automatic control and feedback mechanisms in general and as they pertain to the speech motor system and control of the hearing periphery is also presented, along with a discussion of how the speech and auditory systems interact.

  13. Structural and biophysical characteristics of human skin in maintaining proper epidermal barrier function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Boer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The complex structure of human skin and its physicochemical properties turn it into an efficient outermost defence line against exogenous factors, and help maintain homeostasis of the human body. This role is played by the epidermal barrier with its major part – stratum corneum. The condition of the epidermal barrier depends on individual and environmental factors. The most important biophysical parameters characterizing the status of this barrier are the skin pH, epidermal hydration, transepidermal water loss and sebum excretion. The knowledge of biophysical skin processes may be useful for the implementation of prophylactic actions whose aim is to restore the barrier function.

  14. Human hepatocyte growth factor promotes functional recovery in primates after spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitamura, Kazuya; Fujiyoshi, Kanehiro; Yamane, Jun-Ichi; Toyota, Fumika; Hikishima, Keigo; Nomura, Tatsuji; Funakoshi, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Toshikazu; Aoki, Masashi; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Okano, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Masaya

    2011-01-01

    Many therapeutic interventions for spinal cord injury (SCI) using neurotrophic factors have focused on reducing the area damaged by secondary, post-injury degeneration, to promote functional recovery. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is a potent mitogen for mature hepatocytes and a mediator of the inflammatory responses to tissue injury, was recently highlighted as a potent neurotrophic factor in the central nervous system. We previously reported that introducing exogenous HGF into the injured rodent spinal cord using a herpes simplex virus-1 vector significantly reduces the area of damaged tissue and promotes functional recovery. However, that study did not examine the therapeutic effects of administering HGF after injury, which is the most critical issue for clinical application. To translate this strategy to human treatment, we induced a contusive cervical SCI in the common marmoset, a primate, and then administered recombinant human HGF (rhHGF) intrathecally. Motor function was assessed using an original open field scoring system focusing on manual function, including reach-and-grasp performance and hand placement in walking. The intrathecal rhHGF preserved the corticospinal fibers and myelinated areas, thereby promoting functional recovery. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging showed significant preservation of the intact spinal cord parenchyma. rhHGF-treatment did not give rise to an abnormal outgrowth of calcitonin gene related peptide positive fibers compared to the control group, indicating that this treatment did not induce or exacerbate allodynia. This is the first study to report the efficacy of rhHGF for treating SCI in non-human primates. In addition, this is the first presentation of a novel scale for assessing neurological motor performance in non-human primates after contusive cervical SCI.

  15. Human hepatocyte growth factor promotes functional recovery in primates after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuya Kitamura

    Full Text Available Many therapeutic interventions for spinal cord injury (SCI using neurotrophic factors have focused on reducing the area damaged by secondary, post-injury degeneration, to promote functional recovery. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, which is a potent mitogen for mature hepatocytes and a mediator of the inflammatory responses to tissue injury, was recently highlighted as a potent neurotrophic factor in the central nervous system. We previously reported that introducing exogenous HGF into the injured rodent spinal cord using a herpes simplex virus-1 vector significantly reduces the area of damaged tissue and promotes functional recovery. However, that study did not examine the therapeutic effects of administering HGF after injury, which is the most critical issue for clinical application. To translate this strategy to human treatment, we induced a contusive cervical SCI in the common marmoset, a primate, and then administered recombinant human HGF (rhHGF intrathecally. Motor function was assessed using an original open field scoring system focusing on manual function, including reach-and-grasp performance and hand placement in walking. The intrathecal rhHGF preserved the corticospinal fibers and myelinated areas, thereby promoting functional recovery. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging showed significant preservation of the intact spinal cord parenchyma. rhHGF-treatment did not give rise to an abnormal outgrowth of calcitonin gene related peptide positive fibers compared to the control group, indicating that this treatment did not induce or exacerbate allodynia. This is the first study to report the efficacy of rhHGF for treating SCI in non-human primates. In addition, this is the first presentation of a novel scale for assessing neurological motor performance in non-human primates after contusive cervical SCI.

  16. Dissociable Changes of Frontal and Parietal Cortices in Inherent Functional Flexibility across the Human Life Span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Dazhi; Liu, Wenjing; Zeljic, Kristina; Wang, Zhiwei; Lv, Qian; Fan, Mingxia; Cheng, Wenhong; Wang, Zheng

    2016-09-28

    Extensive evidence suggests that frontoparietal regions can dynamically update their pattern of functional connectivity, supporting cognitive control and adaptive implementation of task demands. However, it is largely unknown whether this flexibly functional reconfiguration is intrinsic and occurs even in the absence of overt tasks. Based on recent advances in dynamics of resting-state functional resonance imaging (fMRI), we propose a probabilistic framework in which dynamic reconfiguration of intrinsic functional connectivity between each brain region and others can be represented as a probability distribution. A complexity measurement (i.e., entropy) was used to quantify functional flexibility, which characterizes heterogeneous connectivity between a particular region and others over time. Following this framework, we identified both functionally flexible and specialized regions over the human life span (112 healthy subjects from 13 to 76 years old). Across brainwide regions, we found regions showing high flexibility mainly in the higher-order association cortex, such as the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), lateral parietal cortex, and lateral temporal lobules. In contrast, visual, auditory, and sensory areas exhibited low flexibility. Furthermore, we observed that flexibility of the right LPFC improved during maturation and reduced due to normal aging, with the opposite occurring for the left lateral parietal cortex. Our findings reveal dissociable changes of frontal and parietal cortices over the life span in terms of inherent functional flexibility. This study not only provides a new framework to quantify the spatiotemporal behavior of spontaneous brain activity, but also sheds light on the organizational principle behind changes in brain function across the human life span. Recent neuroscientific research has demonstrated that the human capability of adaptive task control is primarily the result of the flexible operation of frontal brain networks. However

  17. Alternating Dynamics of Segregation and Integration in Human EEG Functional Networks During Working-memory Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zippo, Antonio G; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Castiglioni, Isabella; Biella, Gabriele E M

    2018-02-10

    Brain functional networks show high variability in short time windows but mechanisms governing these transient dynamics remain unknown. In this work, we studied the temporal evolution of functional brain networks involved in a working memory (WM) task while recording high-density electroencephalography (EEG) in human normal subjects. We found that functional brain networks showed an initial phase characterized by an increase of the functional segregation index followed by a second phase where the functional segregation faded after the prevailing the functional integration. Notably, wrong trials were associated with different or disrupted sequences of the segregation-integration profiles and measures of network centrality and modularity were able to identify crucial aspects of the oscillatory network dynamics. Additionally, computational investigations further supported the experimental results. The brain functional organization may respond to the information processing demand of a WM task following a 2-step atomic scheme wherein segregation and integration alternately dominate the functional configurations. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle following high-altitude exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobs, Robert A; Boushel, Robert; Wright-Paradis, Cynthia

    2013-01-01

    Studies regarding mitochondrial modifications in human skeletal muscle following acclimatization to high altitude are conflicting, and these inconsistencies may be due to the prevalence of representing mitochondrial function through static and isolated measurements of specific mitochondrial...... characteristics. The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate mitochondrial function in response to high-altitude acclimatization through measurements of respiratory control in the vastus lateralis muscle. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from 10 lowland natives prior to and again after a total of 9......-11 days of exposure to 4559 m. High-resolution respirometry was performed on the muscle samples to compare respiratory chain function and respiratory capacities. Respirometric analysis revealed that mitochondrial function was largely unaffected, because high-altitude exposure did not affect the capacity...

  19. Functional human antibody CDR fusions as long-acting therapeutic endocrine agonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tao; Zhang, Yong; Liu, Yan; Wang, Ying; Jia, Haiqun; Kang, Mingchao; Luo, Xiaozhou; Caballero, Dawna; Gonzalez, Jose; Sherwood, Lance; Nunez, Vanessa; Wang, Danling; Woods, Ashley; Schultz, Peter G; Wang, Feng

    2015-02-03

    On the basis of the 3D structure of a bovine antibody with a well-folded, ultralong complementarity-determining region (CDR), we have developed a versatile approach for generating human or humanized antibody agonists with excellent pharmacological properties. Using human growth hormone (hGH) and human leptin (hLeptin) as model proteins, we have demonstrated that functional human antibody CDR fusions can be efficiently engineered by grafting the native hormones into different CDRs of the humanized antibody Herceptin. The resulting Herceptin CDR fusion proteins were expressed in good yields in mammalian cells and retain comparable in vitro biological activity to the native hormones. Pharmacological studies in rodents indicated a 20- to 100-fold increase in plasma circulating half-life for these antibody agonists and significantly extended in vivo activities in the GH-deficient rat model and leptin-deficient obese mouse model for the hGH and hLeptin antibody fusions, respectively. These results illustrate the utility of antibody CDR fusions as a general and versatile strategy for generating long-acting protein therapeutics.

  20. Functional assessment of human enhancer activities using whole-genome STARR-sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuwen; Yu, Shan; Dhiman, Vineet K; Brunetti, Tonya; Eckart, Heather; White, Kevin P

    2017-11-20

    Genome-wide quantification of enhancer activity in the human genome has proven to be a challenging problem. Recent efforts have led to the development of powerful tools for enhancer quantification. However, because of genome size and complexity, these tools have yet to be applied to the whole human genome.  In the current study, we use a human prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP as a model to perform whole human genome STARR-seq (WHG-STARR-seq) to reliably obtain an assessment of enhancer activity. This approach builds upon previously developed STARR-seq in the fly genome and CapSTARR-seq techniques in targeted human genomic regions. With an improved library preparation strategy, our approach greatly increases the library complexity per unit of starting material, which makes it feasible and cost-effective to explore the landscape of regulatory activity in the much larger human genome. In addition to our ability to identify active, accessible enhancers located in open chromatin regions, we can also detect sequences with the potential for enhancer activity that are located in inaccessible, closed chromatin regions. When treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor, Trichostatin A, genes nearby this latter class of enhancers are up-regulated, demonstrating the potential for endogenous functionality of these regulatory elements. WHG-STARR-seq provides an improved approach to current pipelines for analysis of high complexity genomes to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of transcriptional regulation.

  1. High functional diversity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis driven by genetic drift and human demography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Hershberg

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects one third of the human world population and kills someone every 15 seconds. For more than a century, scientists and clinicians have been distinguishing between the human- and animal-adapted members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC. However, all human-adapted strains of MTBC have traditionally been considered to be essentially identical. We surveyed sequence diversity within a global collection of strains belonging to MTBC using seven megabase pairs of DNA sequence data. We show that the members of MTBC affecting humans are more genetically diverse than generally assumed, and that this diversity can be linked to human demographic and migratory events. We further demonstrate that these organisms are under extremely reduced purifying selection and that, as a result of increased genetic drift, much of this genetic diversity is likely to have functional consequences. Our findings suggest that the current increases in human population, urbanization, and global travel, combined with the population genetic characteristics of M. tuberculosis described here, could contribute to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

  2. Low nucleosome occupancy is encoded around functional human transcription factor binding sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daenen Floris

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcriptional regulation of genes in eukaryotes is achieved by the interactions of multiple transcription factors with arrays of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs on DNA and with each other. Identification of these TFBSs is an essential step in our understanding of gene regulatory networks, but computational prediction of TFBSs with either consensus or commonly used stochastic models such as Position-Specific Scoring Matrices (PSSMs results in an unacceptably high number of hits consisting of a few true functional binding sites and numerous false non-functional binding sites. This is due to the inability of the models to incorporate higher order properties of sequences including sequences surrounding TFBSs and influencing the positioning of nucleosomes and/or the interactions that might occur between transcription factors. Results Significant improvement can be expected through the development of a new framework for the modeling and prediction of TFBSs that considers explicitly these higher order sequence properties. It would be particularly interesting to include in the new modeling framework the information present in the nucleosome positioning sequences (NPSs surrounding TFBSs, as it can be hypothesized that genomes use this information to encode the formation of stable nucleosomes over non-functional sites, while functional sites have a more open chromatin configuration. In this report we evaluate the usefulness of the latter feature by comparing the nucleosome occupancy probabilities around experimentally verified human TFBSs with the nucleosome occupancy probabilities around false positive TFBSs and in random sequences. Conclusion We present evidence that nucleosome occupancy is remarkably lower around true functional human TFBSs as compared to non-functional human TFBSs, which supports the use of this feature to improve current TFBS prediction approaches in higher eukaryotes.

  3. An anatomical substrate for integration among functional networks in human cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Sporns, Olaf

    2013-09-04

    The human brain shows several characteristics of an efficient communication network architecture, including short communication paths and the existence of modules interlinked by a small set of highly connected regions. Studies of structural networks comprising macroscopic white matter projections have shown that these putative hubs are densely interconnected, giving rise to a spatially distributed and topologically central collective called the "rich club." In parallel, studies of intrinsic brain activity have consistently revealed distinct functional communities or resting-state networks (RSNs), indicative of specialized processing and segregation of neuronal information. However, the pattern of structural connectivity interconnecting these functional RSNs and how such inter-RSN structural connections might bring about functional integration between RSNs remain largely unknown. Combining high-resolution diffusion weighted imaging with resting-state fMRI, we present novel evidence suggesting that the rich club structure plays a central role in cross-linking macroscopic RSNs of the human brain. Rich club hub nodes were present in all functional networks, accounted for a large proportion of "connector nodes," and were found to coincide with regions in which multiple networks overlap. In addition, a large proportion of all inter-RSN connections were found to involve rich club nodes, and these connections participated in a disproportionate number of communication paths linking nodes in different RSNs. Our findings suggest that the brain's rich club serves as a macroscopic anatomical substrate to cross-link functional networks and thus plays an important role in the integration of information between segregated functional domains of the human cortex.

  4. Human impacts on functional and taxonomic homogenization of plateau fish assemblages in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guohuan Su

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Human activities and the consequent extinctions of native species and invasions of non-native species have been changing the composition of species assemblages worldwide. These anthropogenic impacts alter not only the richness of assemblages but also the biological dissimilarity among them. However, much of the research effort to date has focused on changes in taxonomic dissimilarity (i.e. accounting for species composition whether assessments of functional dissimilarity (i.e. accounting for the diversity of biological traits are much more scarce, despite revealing important complimentary information by accounting for changes in the diversity of biological traits. Here, we assess the temporal (1950s against 2000s changes in both taxonomic and functional dissimilarities of freshwater fish assemblages across lakes from the Yunnan Plateau in China. The Jaccard index to quantify the changes in both taxonomic and functional dissimilarity. We then partitioned dissimilarity to extract its turnover component and measured the changes in the contribution of turnover to dissimilarity. We found that functional and taxonomic homogenization occurred simultaneously. However, patterns between these two processes differed for some lakes. Taxonomic and functional homogenizations were stronger when the historical level of taxonomic dissimilarity among assemblages was high. The impact of extinctions of native species and invasions of non-native species on homogenization was otherwise complex to disentangle with no significant effect of any of the studied environmental factors. In agreement with other studies, our study proved that change in taxonomic dissimilarity cannot be used to predict changes in functional dissimilarity and, as an indicator of ecosystem functioning, functional dissimilarity should be used together with taxonomic dissimilarity to attain a more holistic understanding of human impacts on natural ecosystems.

  5. Orthogonal use of a human tRNA synthetase active site to achieve multi-functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Quansheng; Kapoor, Mili; Guo, Min; Belani, Rajesh; Xu, Xiaoling; Kiosses, William B.; Hanan, Melanie; Park, Chulho; Armour, Eva; Do, Minh-Ha; Nangle, Leslie A.; Schimmel, Paul; Yang, Xiang-Lei

    2011-01-01

    Protein multi-functionality is an emerging explanation for the complexity of higher organisms. In this regard, while aminoacyl tRNA synthetases catalyze amino acid activation for protein synthesis, some also act in pathways for inflammation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. How multiple functions evolved and their relationship to the active site is not clear. Here structural modeling analysis, mutagenesis, and cell-based functional studies show that the potent angiostatic, natural fragment of human TrpRS associates via Trp side chains that protrude from the cognate cellular receptor VE-cadherin. Modeling indicates that (I prefer the way it was because the conclusion was reached not only by modeling, but more so by experimental studies.)VE-cadherin Trp side chains fit into the Trp-specific active site of the synthetase. Thus, specific side chains of the receptor mimic (?) amino acid substrates and expand the functionality of the active site of the synthetase. We propose that orthogonal use of the same active site may be a general way to develop multi-functionality of human tRNA synthetases and other proteins. PMID:20010843

  6. Investigations of the human visual system using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kollias, Spyros S.

    2004-01-01

    The application of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in studies of the visual system provided significant advancement in our understanding of the organization and functional properties of visual areas in the human cortex. Recent technological and methodological improvements allowed studies to correlate neuronal activity with visual perception and demonstrated the ability of fMRI to observe distributed neural systems and to explore modulation of neural activity during higher cognitive processes. Preliminary applications in patients with visual impairments suggest that this method provides a powerful tool for the assessment and management of brain pathologies. Recent research focuses on obtaining new information about the spatial localization, organization, functional specialization and participation in higher cognitive functions of visual cortical areas in the living human brain and in further establishment of the method as a useful clinical tool of diagnostic and prognostic significance for various pathologic processes affecting the integrity of the visual system. It is anticipated that the combined neuroimaging approach in patients with lesions and healthy controls will provide new insight on the topography and functional specialization of cortical visual areas and will further establish the clinical value of the method for improving diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning

  7. From Brain-Environment Connections to Temporal Dynamics and Social Interaction: Principles of Human Brain Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Riitta

    2017-06-07

    Experimental data about brain function accumulate faster than does our understanding of how the brain works. To tackle some general principles at the grain level of behavior, I start from the omnipresent brain-environment connection that forces regularities of the physical world to shape the brain. Based on top-down processing, added by sparse sensory information, people are able to form individual "caricature worlds," which are similar enough to be shared among other people and which allow quick and purposeful reactions to abrupt changes. Temporal dynamics and social interaction in natural environments serve as further essential organizing principles of human brain function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Emerging synbiotics and their effect on the composition and functionality of the human gut microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zanten, Gabriella Christina

    Research indicates that the gut microbiota (GM) plays an important role in the health of the host and during recent years the increase in the composition and functionality of the gut microbiota has become of increasing interest. Probiotics, prebiotics or combinations hereof, so-called synbiotics......, may be used to change the composition and activity of the human GM and thereby potentially affect the host health beneficially. In this PhD study it was hypothesized that emerging synbiotics have the potential of modulating the human GM composition as well as the functionality. To gain the beneficial...... substrates. These findings indicate that the selected emerging prebiotics are able to provide a competitive advantage for NCFM and Bl-04. All the emerging synbiotics were able to induce changes in the predominant bacteria, observed as a decrease in the modified ratio of Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes (calculated...

  9. Genomic binding profiles of functionally distinct RNA polymerase III transcription complexes in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moqtaderi, Zarmik; Wang, Jie; Raha, Debasish; White, Robert J; Snyder, Michael; Weng, Zhiping; Struhl, Kevin

    2010-05-01

    Genome-wide occupancy profiles of five components of the RNA polymerase III (Pol III) machinery in human cells identified the expected tRNA and noncoding RNA targets and revealed many additional Pol III-associated loci, mostly near short interspersed elements (SINEs). Several genes are targets of an alternative transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB) containing Brf2 instead of Brf1 and have extremely low levels of TFIIIC. Strikingly, expressed Pol III genes, unlike nonexpressed Pol III genes, are situated in regions with a pattern of histone modifications associated with functional Pol II promoters. TFIIIC alone associates with numerous ETC loci, via the B box or a novel motif. ETCs are often near CTCF binding sites, suggesting a potential role in chromosome organization. Our results suggest that human Pol III complexes associate preferentially with regions near functional Pol II promoters and that TFIIIC-mediated recruitment of TFIIIB is regulated in a locus-specific manner.

  10. Functional organization and visual representations in human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Wai Yiu Chan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex even in the absence of working memory demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex remain unclear. Further, in a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex.

  11. The prefrontal landscape: implications of functional architecture for understanding human mentation and the central executive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1996-10-29

    The functional architecture of prefrontal cortex is central to our understanding of human mentation and cognitive prowess. This region of the brain is often treated as an undifferentiated structure, on the one hand, or as a mosaic of psychological faculties, on the other. This paper focuses on the working memory processor as a specialization of prefrontal cortex and argues that the different areas within prefrontal cortex represent iterations of this function for different information domains, including spatial cognition, object cognition and additionally, in humans, semantic processing. According to this parallel processing architecture, the 'central executive' could be considered an emergent property of multiple domain-specific processors operating interactively. These processors are specializations of different prefrontal cortical areas, each interconnected both with the domain-relevant long-term storage sites in posterior regions of the cortex and with appropriate output pathways.

  12. PreproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract: expression and biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bredkjoer, H E; Palle, C; Ekblad, E

    1997-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination with immunohistoc......The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination...... with immunohistochemistry were used. The effect of preproVIP 22-79, preproVIP 111-122 and preproVIP 156-170 on genital smooth muscle activity in the Fallopian tube was investigated in vitro and compared to that of VIP. All the preproVIP-derived peptides were expressed throughout the genital tract in neuronal elements...

  13. THE SPORT FUNCTION OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT WITH A SPECIAL REVIEW ON THE TRAINING TECNOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đorđe Nićin

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Human resources management in sport treats primarly the sport functions as the tasks of the increase of the training process, which implicitly brings to the high and reliable sport results. Training technology is the most responsible for the accomplishment of the high sport achievemens, but organized, planned, programmed, leaded, control led, and corrected by the experts, that is, by the team experts, at the head with a coach. The aim of the study is to, taking in to consideration all the sport and other functions of the human resource management, analyze participation and importance of the training technology in the creation of a sportsman and in maintaining of his resources, to achieve great probability in achieving stable sport results, that is, maintaining sport form.

  14. Specificity and Effector Functions of Human RSV-Specific IgG from Bovine Milk.

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    Gerco den Hartog

    Full Text Available Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV infection is the second most important cause of death in the first year of life, and early RSV infections are associated with the development of asthma. Breastfeeding and serum IgG have been shown to protect against RSV infection. Yet, many infants depend on bovine milk-based nutrition, which at present lacks intact immunoglobulins.To investigate whether IgG purified from bovine milk (bIgG can modulate immune responses against human RSV.ELISAs were performed to analyse binding of bIgG to human respiratory pathogens. bIgG or hRSV was coated to plates to assess dose-dependent binding of bIgG to human Fcγ receptors (FcγR or bIgG-mediated binding of myeloid cells to hRSV respectively. S. Epidermidis and RSV were used to test bIgG-mediated binding and internalisation of pathogens by myeloid cells. Finally, the ability of bIgG to neutralise infection of HEp2 cells by hRSV was evaluated.bIgG recognised human RSV, influenza haemagglutinin and Haemophilus influenza. bIgG bound to FcγRII on neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages, but not to FcγRI and FcγRIII, and could bind simultaneously to hRSV and human FcγRII on neutrophils. In addition, human neutrophils and dendritic cells internalised pathogens that were opsonised with bIgG. Finally, bIgG could prevent infection of HEp2 cells by hRSV.The data presented here show that bIgG binds to hRSV and other human respiratory pathogens and induces effector functions through binding to human FcγRII on phagocytes. Thus bovine IgG may contribute to immune protection against RSV.

  15. Specificity and Effector Functions of Human RSV-Specific IgG from Bovine Milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Hartog, Gerco; Jacobino, Shamir; Bont, Louis; Cox, Linda; Ulfman, Laurien H; Leusen, Jeanette H W; van Neerven, R J Joost

    2014-01-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the second most important cause of death in the first year of life, and early RSV infections are associated with the development of asthma. Breastfeeding and serum IgG have been shown to protect against RSV infection. Yet, many infants depend on bovine milk-based nutrition, which at present lacks intact immunoglobulins. To investigate whether IgG purified from bovine milk (bIgG) can modulate immune responses against human RSV. ELISAs were performed to analyse binding of bIgG to human respiratory pathogens. bIgG or hRSV was coated to plates to assess dose-dependent binding of bIgG to human Fcγ receptors (FcγR) or bIgG-mediated binding of myeloid cells to hRSV respectively. S. Epidermidis and RSV were used to test bIgG-mediated binding and internalisation of pathogens by myeloid cells. Finally, the ability of bIgG to neutralise infection of HEp2 cells by hRSV was evaluated. bIgG recognised human RSV, influenza haemagglutinin and Haemophilus influenza. bIgG bound to FcγRII on neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages, but not to FcγRI and FcγRIII, and could bind simultaneously to hRSV and human FcγRII on neutrophils. In addition, human neutrophils and dendritic cells internalised pathogens that were opsonised with bIgG. Finally, bIgG could prevent infection of HEp2 cells by hRSV. The data presented here show that bIgG binds to hRSV and other human respiratory pathogens and induces effector functions through binding to human FcγRII on phagocytes. Thus bovine IgG may contribute to immune protection against RSV.

  16. Brain barriers and functional interfaces with sequential appearance of ABC efflux transporters during human development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møllgård, Kjeld; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Holst, Camilla B.

    2017-01-01

    Adult brain is protected from entry of drugs and toxins by specific mechanisms such as ABC (ATP-binding Cassette) efflux transporters. Little is known when these appear in human brain during development. Cellular distribution of three main ABC transporters (ABCC1, ABCG2, ABCB1) was determined...... at blood-brain barriers and interfaces in human embryos and fetuses in first half of gestation. Antibodies against claudin-5 and-11 and antibodies to α-fetoprotein were used to describe morphological and functional aspects of brain barriers. First exchange interfaces to be established, probably at 4...... three transporters. Results provide evidence for sequential establishment of brain exchange interfaces and spatial and temporal timetable for three main ABC transporters in early human brain....

  17. Functional asymmetry between the left and right human fusiform gyrus explored through electrical brain stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangarajan, Vinitha; Parvizi, Josef

    2016-03-01

    The ventral temporal cortex (VTC) contains several areas with selective responses to words, numbers, faces, and objects as demonstrated by numerous human and primate imaging and electrophysiological studies. Our recent work using electrocorticography (ECoG) confirmed the presence of face-selective neuronal populations in the human fusiform gyrus (FG) in patients implanted with intracranial electrodes in either the left or right hemisphere. Electrical brain stimulation (EBS) disrupted the conscious perception of faces only when it was delivered in the right, but not left, FG. In contrast to our previous findings, here we report both negative and positive EBS effects in right and left FG, respectively. The presence of right hemisphere language dominance in the first, and strong left-handedness and poor language processing performance in the second case, provide indirect clues about the functional architecture of the human VTC in relation to hemispheric asymmetries in language processing and handedness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Periodicities common to the solar atmosphere rotation and the functioning of human organism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyagun, N.F.

    1995-01-01

    The study is made of the occurrence rates of menstrual cycle periods for ∼ 2000 women. Peaks on the distribution histogram, corresponding to 21, 25, 28 and 30 days, coincide with a set of axial rotation periods of the solar atmosphere. It is proposed that the functioning of human organism is determined not only by the Moon bu by the rithmics of solar system. 10 refs., 1 fig

  19. Human islet viability and function is maintained during high density shipment in silicone rubber membrane vessels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitzmann, Jennifer P; Pepper, Andrew R; Lopez, Boris G; Pawlick, Rena; Kin, Tatsuya; O’Gorman, Doug; Mueller, Kathryn R; Gruessner, Angelika C; Avgoustiniatos, Efstathios S; Karatzas, Theodore; Szot, Greg L; Posselt, Andrew M; Stock, Peter G; Wilson, John R; Shapiro, AM; Papas, Klearchos K

    2014-01-01

    The shipment of human islets from processing centers to distant laboratories is beneficial for both research and clinical applications. The maintenance of islet viability and function in transit is critically important. Gas-permeable silicone rubber membrane (SRM) vessels reduce the risk of hypoxia-induced death or dysfunction during high-density islet culture or shipment. SRM vessels may offer additional advantages: they are cost-effective (fewer flasks, less labor needed), safer (lower contamination risk), and simpler (culture vessel can also be used for shipment). Human islets(IE) were isolated from two manufacturing centers and shipped in 10cm2 surface area SRM vessels in temperature and pressure controlled containers to a distant center following at least two days of culture (n = 6). Three conditions were examined: low density (LD), high density (HD), and a micro centrifuge tube negative control (NC). LD was designed to mimic the standard culture density for human islet preparations (200 IE/cm2), while HD was designed to have a 20-fold higher tissue density, which would enable the culture of an entire human isolation in 1–3 vessels. Upon receipt, islets were assessed for viability, measured by oxygen consumption rate normalized to DNA content (OCR/DNA), and quantity, measured by DNA, and, when possible, potency and function with dynamic glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) measurements and transplants in immunodeficient B6 rag mice. Post-shipment OCR/DNA was not reduced in HD versus LD, and was substantially reduced in the NC condition. HD islets exhibited normal function post-shipment. Based on the data we conclude that entire islet isolations (up to 400,000 IE) may be shipped using a single, larger SRM vessel with no negative effect on viability and ex vivo and in vivo function. PMID:25131090

  20. Human leukocyte antigen-G polymorphism in relation to expression, function, and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Margit Hørup; Hviid, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) is a nonclassical class Ib molecule belonging to the major histocompatibility complex. HLA-G appears to play a role in the suppression of immune responses and contribute to long-term immune escape or tolerance. The focus of this review is polymorphism in the HLA......-G gene and protein and its possible importance in expression, function, and disease associations....

  1. Testing functional and morphological interpretations of enamel thickness along the deciduous tooth row in human children.

    OpenAIRE

    Mahoney, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    The significance of a gradient in enamel thickness along the human permanent molar row has been debated in the literature. Some attribute increased enamel thickness from first to third molars to greater bite force during chewing. Others argue that thicker third molar enamel relates to a smaller crown size facilitated by a reduced dentin component. Thus, differences in morphology, not function, explains enamel thickness. This study draws on these different interpretive models to assess enamel ...

  2. Functional Topography of Human Corpus Callosum: An fMRI Mapping Study

    OpenAIRE

    Fabri, Mara; Polonara, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    The concept of a topographical map of the corpus callosum (CC) has emerged from human lesion studies and from electrophysiological and anatomical tracing investigations in other mammals. Over the last few years a rising number of researchers have been reporting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation in white matter, particularly the CC. In this study the scope for describing CC topography with fMRI was explored by evoking activation through simple sensory stimulation and moto...

  3. Optimisation of a machine learning algorithm in human locomotion using principal component and discriminant function analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Bisele, M; Bencsik, M; Lewis, MGC; Barnett, CT

    2017-01-01

    Assessment methods in human locomotion often involve the description of normalised graphical profiles and/or the extraction of discrete variables. Whilst useful, these approaches may not represent the full complexity of gait data. Multivariate statistical methods, such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA), have been adopted since they have the potential to overcome these data handling issues. The aim of the current study was to develop and optimise a ...

  4. PINK1 is necessary for long term survival and mitochondrial function in human dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wood-Kaczmar

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

  5. The personification of animals: coding of human and nonhuman body parts based on posture and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Timothy N; McDougall, Laura; Paulson, Stephanie

    2014-09-01

    The purpose of the present research was to determine how humans represent the bodies and limbs of nonhuman mammals based on anatomical and functional properties. To this end, participants completed a series of body-part compatibility tasks in which they responded with a thumb or foot response to the color of a stimulus (red or blue, respectively) presented on different limbs of several animals. Across the studies, this compatibility task was conducted with images of human and nonhuman animals (bears, cows, and monkeys) in bipedal or quadrupedal postures. The results revealed that the coding of the limbs of nonhuman animals is strongly influenced by the posture of the body, but not the functional capacity of the limb. Specifically, body-part compatibility effects were present for both human and nonhuman animals when the figures were in a bipedal posture, but were not present when the animals were in a quadrupedal stance (Experiments 1a-c). Experiments 2a and 2b revealed that the posture-based body-part compatibility effects were not simply a vertical spatial compatibility effect or due to a mismatch between the posture of the body in the image and the participant. These data indicate that nonhuman animals in a bipedal posture are coded with respect to the "human" body representation, whereas nonhuman animals in a quadrupedal posture are not mapped to the human body representation. Overall, these studies provide new insight into the processes through which humans understand, mimic, and learn from the actions of nonhuman animals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Ex vivo perfusion of human spleens maintains clearing and processing functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffet, Pierre A; Milon, Geneviève; Brousse, Valentine; Correas, Jean-Michel; Dousset, Bertrand; Couvelard, Anne; Kianmanesh, Reza; Farges, Olivier; Sauvanet, Alain; Paye, François; Ungeheuer, Marie-Noëlle; Ottone, Catherine; Khun, Huot; Fiette, Laurence; Guigon, Ghislaine; Huerre, Michel; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; David, Peter H

    2006-05-01

    The spleen plays a central role in the pathophysiology of several potentially severe diseases such as inherited red cell membrane disorders, hemolytic anemias, and malaria. Research on these diseases is hampered by ethical constraints that limit human spleen tissue explorations. We identified a surgical situation--left splenopancreatectomy for benign pancreas tumors--allowing spleen retrieval at no risk for patients. Ex vivo perfusion of retrieved intact spleens for 4 to 6 hours maintained a preserved parenchymal structure, vascular flow, and metabolic activity. Function preservation was assessed by testing the ability of isolated-perfused spleens to retain Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes preexposed to the antimalarial drug artesunate (Art-iRBCs). More than 95% of Art-iRBCs were cleared from the perfusate in 2 hours. At each transit through isolated-perfused spleens, parasite remnants were removed from 0.2% to 0.23% of Art-iRBCs, a proportion consistent with the 0.02% to 1% pitting rate previously established in artesunate-treated patients. Histologic analysis showed that more than 90% of Art-iRBCs were retained and processed in the red pulp, providing the first direct evidence of a zone-dependent parasite clearance by the human spleen. Human-specific physiologic or pathophysiologic mechanisms involving clearing or processing functions of the spleen can now be experimentally explored in a human tissue context.

  7. Identification of antisense long noncoding RNAs that function as SINEUPs in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schein, Aleks; Zucchelli, Silvia; Kauppinen, Sakari; Gustincich, Stefano; Carninci, Piero

    2016-09-20

    Mammalian genomes encode numerous natural antisense long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that regulate gene expression. Recently, an antisense lncRNA to mouse Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (Uchl1) was reported to increase UCHL1 protein synthesis, representing a new functional class of lncRNAs, designated as SINEUPs, for SINE element-containing translation UP-regulators. Here, we show that an antisense lncRNA to the human protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 12A (PPP1R12A), named as R12A-AS1, which overlaps with the 5' UTR and first coding exon of the PPP1R12A mRNA, functions as a SINEUP, increasing PPP1R12A protein translation in human cells. The SINEUP activity depends on the aforementioned sense-antisense interaction and a free right Alu monomer repeat element at the 3' end of R12A-AS1. In addition, we identify another human antisense lncRNA with SINEUP activity. Our results demonstrate for the first time that human natural antisense lncRNAs can up-regulate protein translation, suggesting that endogenous SINEUPs may be widespread and present in many mammalian species.

  8. Relationship between chemical composition and biological function of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: effect on human neutrophil chemotaxis and oxidative burst

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Fomsgaard, A; Conrad, R S

    1991-01-01

    There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five...

  9. Estimates of segregation and overlap of functional connectivity networks in the human cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, B T Thomas; Krienen, Fenna M; Chee, Michael W L; Buckner, Randy L

    2014-03-01

    The organization of the human cerebral cortex has recently been explored using techniques for parcellating the cortex into distinct functionally coupled networks. The divergent and convergent nature of cortico-cortical anatomic connections suggests the need to consider the possibility of regions belonging to multiple networks and hierarchies among networks. Here we applied the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model and spatial independent component analysis (ICA) to solve for functionally coupled cerebral networks without assuming that cortical regions belong to a single network. Data analyzed included 1000 subjects from the Brain Genomics Superstruct Project (GSP) and 12 high quality individual subjects from the Human Connectome Project (HCP). The organization of the cerebral cortex was similar regardless of whether a winner-take-all approach or the more relaxed constraints of LDA (or ICA) were imposed. This suggests that large-scale networks may function as partially isolated modules. Several notable interactions among networks were uncovered by the LDA analysis. Many association regions belong to at least two networks, while somatomotor and early visual cortices are especially isolated. As examples of interaction, the precuneus, lateral temporal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex participate in multiple paralimbic networks that together comprise subsystems of the default network. In addition, regions at or near the frontal eye field and human lateral intraparietal area homologue participate in multiple hierarchically organized networks. These observations were replicated in both datasets and could be detected (and replicated) in individual subjects from the HCP. © 2013.

  10. Functional and structural mapping of human cerebral cortex: solutions are in the surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Essen, D. C.; Drury, H. A.; Joshi, S.; Miller, M. I.

    1998-01-01

    The human cerebral cortex is notorious for the depth and irregularity of its convolutions and for its variability from one individual to the next. These complexities of cortical geography have been a chronic impediment to studies of functional specialization in the cortex. In this report, we discuss ways to compensate for the convolutions by using a combination of strategies whose common denominator involves explicit reconstructions of the cortical surface. Surface-based visualization involves reconstructing cortical surfaces and displaying them, along with associated experimental data, in various complementary formats (including three-dimensional native configurations, two-dimensional slices, extensively smoothed surfaces, ellipsoidal representations, and cortical flat maps). Generating these representations for the cortex of the Visible Man leads to a surface-based atlas that has important advantages over conventional stereotaxic atlases as a substrate for displaying and analyzing large amounts of experimental data. We illustrate this by showing the relationship between functionally specialized regions and topographically organized areas in human visual cortex. Surface-based warping allows data to be mapped from individual hemispheres to a surface-based atlas while respecting surface topology, improving registration of identifiable landmarks, and minimizing unwanted distortions. Surface-based warping also can aid in comparisons between species, which we illustrate by warping a macaque flat map to match the shape of a human flat map. Collectively, these approaches will allow more refined analyses of commonalities as well as individual differences in the functional organization of primate cerebral cortex.

  11. Function and regulation of AUTS2, a gene implicated in autism and human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nir Oksenberg

    Full Text Available Nucleotide changes in the AUTS2 locus, some of which affect only noncoding regions, are associated with autism and other neurological disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, dyslexia, motor delay, language delay, visual impairment, microcephaly, and alcohol consumption. In addition, AUTS2 contains the most significantly accelerated genomic region differentiating humans from Neanderthals, which is primarily composed of noncoding variants. However, the function and regulation of this gene remain largely unknown. To characterize auts2 function, we knocked it down in zebrafish, leading to a smaller head size, neuronal reduction, and decreased mobility. To characterize AUTS2 regulatory elements, we tested sequences for enhancer activity in zebrafish and mice. We identified 23 functional zebrafish enhancers, 10 of which were active in the brain. Our mouse enhancer assays characterized three mouse brain enhancers that overlap an ASD-associated deletion and four mouse enhancers that reside in regions implicated in human evolution, two of which are active in the brain. Combined, our results show that AUTS2 is important for neurodevelopment and expose candidate enhancer sequences in which nucleotide variation could lead to neurological disease and human-specific traits.

  12. Gene expression and functional annotation of the human ciliary body epithelia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah F Janssen

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: The ciliary body (CB of the human eye consists of the non-pigmented (NPE and pigmented (PE neuro-epithelia. We investigated the gene expression of NPE and PE, to shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the most important functions of the CB. We also developed molecular signatures for the NPE and PE and studied possible new clues for glaucoma. METHODS: We isolated NPE and PE cells from seven healthy human donor eyes using laser dissection microscopy. Next, we performed RNA isolation, amplification, labeling and hybridization against 44×k Agilent microarrays. For microarray conformations, we used a literature study, RT-PCRs, and immunohistochemical stainings. We analyzed the gene expression data with R and with the knowledge database Ingenuity. RESULTS: The gene expression profiles and functional annotations of the NPE and PE were highly similar. We found that the most important functionalities of the NPE and PE were related to developmental processes, neural nature of the tissue, endocrine and metabolic signaling, and immunological functions. In total 1576 genes differed statistically significantly between NPE and PE. From these genes, at least 3 were cell-specific for the NPE and 143 for the PE. Finally, we observed high expression in the (NPE of 35 genes previously implicated in molecular mechanisms related to glaucoma. CONCLUSION: Our gene expression analysis suggested that the NPE and PE of the CB were quite similar. Nonetheless, cell-type specific differences were found. The molecular machineries of the human NPE and PE are involved in a range of neuro-endocrinological, developmental and immunological functions, and perhaps glaucoma.

  13. Establishment of lipofection for studying miRNA function in human adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enlund, Eveliina; Fischer, Simon; Handrick, René; Otte, Kerstin; Debatin, Klaus-Michael; Wabitsch, Martin; Fischer-Posovszky, Pamela

    2014-01-01

    miRNA dysregulation has recently been linked to human obesity and its related complications such as type 2 diabetes. In order to study miRNA function in human adipocytes, we aimed for the modulation of mature miRNA concentration in these cells. Adipocytes, however, tend to be resistant to transfection and there is often a need to resort to viral transduction or electroporation. Our objective therefore was to identify an efficient, non-viral transfection reagent capable of delivering small RNAs into these cells. To achieve this, we compared the efficiencies of three transfection agents, Lipofectamine 2000, ScreenFect A and BPEI 1.2 k in delivering fluorescent-labelled siRNA into human Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS) preadipocytes and adipocytes. Downregulation of a specific target gene in response to miRNA mimic overexpression was assayed in SGBS cells and also in ex vivo differentiated primary human adipocytes. Our results demonstrated that while all three transfection agents were able to internalize the oligos, only lipofection resulted in the efficient downregulation of a specific target gene both in SGBS cells and in primary human adipocytes. Lipofectamine 2000 outperformed ScreenFect A in preadipocytes, but in adipocytes the two reagents gave comparable results making ScreenFect A a notable new alternative for the gold standard Lipofectamine 2000.

  14. Establishment of lipofection for studying miRNA function in human adipocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eveliina Enlund

    Full Text Available miRNA dysregulation has recently been linked to human obesity and its related complications such as type 2 diabetes. In order to study miRNA function in human adipocytes, we aimed for the modulation of mature miRNA concentration in these cells. Adipocytes, however, tend to be resistant to transfection and there is often a need to resort to viral transduction or electroporation. Our objective therefore was to identify an efficient, non-viral transfection reagent capable of delivering small RNAs into these cells. To achieve this, we compared the efficiencies of three transfection agents, Lipofectamine 2000, ScreenFect A and BPEI 1.2 k in delivering fluorescent-labelled siRNA into human Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS preadipocytes and adipocytes. Downregulation of a specific target gene in response to miRNA mimic overexpression was assayed in SGBS cells and also in ex vivo differentiated primary human adipocytes. Our results demonstrated that while all three transfection agents were able to internalize the oligos, only lipofection resulted in the efficient downregulation of a specific target gene both in SGBS cells and in primary human adipocytes. Lipofectamine 2000 outperformed ScreenFect A in preadipocytes, but in adipocytes the two reagents gave comparable results making ScreenFect A a notable new alternative for the gold standard Lipofectamine 2000.

  15. Direct Induction and Functional Maturation of Forebrain GABAergic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Xuyang Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-releasing interneurons play an important modulatory role in the cortex and have been implicated in multiple neurological disorders. Patient-derived interneurons could provide a foundation for studying the pathogenesis of these diseases as well as for identifying potential therapeutic targets. Here, we identified a set of genetic factors that could robustly induce human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GABAergic neurons (iGNs with high efficiency. We demonstrated that the human iGNs express neurochemical markers and exhibit mature electrophysiological properties within 6–8 weeks. Furthermore, in vitro, iGNs could form functional synapses with other iGNs or with human-induced glutamatergic neurons (iENs. Upon transplantation into immunodeficient mice, human iGNs underwent synaptic maturation and integration into host neural circuits. Taken together, our rapid and highly efficient single-step protocol to generate iGNs may be useful to both mechanistic and translational studies of human interneurons.

  16. The role of human endogenous retroviruses in brain development and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortelmans, Kristien; Wang-Johanning, Feng; Johanning, Gary L

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous retroviral sequences are spread throughout the genome of all humans, and make up about 8% of the genome. Despite their prevalence, the function of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in humans is largely unknown. In this review we focus on the brain, and evaluate studies in animal models that address mechanisms of endogenous retrovirus activation in the brain and central nervous system (CNS). One such study in mice found that TRIM28, a protein critical for mouse early development, regulates transcription and silencing of endogenous retroviruses in neural progenitor cells. Another intriguing finding in human brain cells and mouse models was that endogenous retrovirus HERV-K appears to be protective against neurotoxins. We also report on studies that associate HERVs with human diseases of the brain and CNS. There is little doubt of an association between HERVs and a number of CNS diseases. However, a cause and effect relationship between HERVs and these diseases has not yet been established. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. From Network Analysis to Functional Metabolic Modeling of the Human Gut Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Eugen; Thiele, Ines

    2018-01-01

    An important hallmark of the human gut microbiota is its species diversity and complexity. Various diseases have been associated with a decreased diversity leading to reduced metabolic functionalities. Common approaches to investigate the human microbiota include high-throughput sequencing with subsequent correlative analyses. However, to understand the ecology of the human gut microbiota and consequently design novel treatments for diseases, it is important to represent the different interactions between microbes with their associated metabolites. Computational systems biology approaches can give further mechanistic insights by constructing data- or knowledge-driven networks that represent microbe interactions. In this minireview, we will discuss current approaches in systems biology to analyze the human gut microbiota, with a particular focus on constraint-based modeling. We will discuss various community modeling techniques with their advantages and differences, as well as their application to predict the metabolic mechanisms of intestinal microbial communities. Finally, we will discuss future perspectives and current challenges of simulating realistic and comprehensive models of the human gut microbiota.

  18. Effects of fenspiride on human bronchial cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase isoenzymes: functional and biochemical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortijo, J; Naline, E; Ortiz, J L; Berto, L; Girard, V; Malbezin, M; Advenier, C; Morcillo, E J

    1998-01-02

    We have investigated the role of human bronchial cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in the effects of fenspiride, a drug endowed with bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties. Functional studies on human isolated bronchi showed that fenspiride (10(-6)-3 x 10(-3) M, 30 min) induced a shift to the left of the concentration-response curves for isoprenaline and sodium nitroprusside with -logEC50 values of 4.1+/-0.1 (n = 7) and 3.5+/-0.2 (n = 8), respectively. Biochemical studies were carried out on three human bronchi in which separation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase isoenzymes was performed by ion exchange chromatography followed by determination of phosphodiesterase activity with a radioisotopic method. Phosphodiesterase 4 (cyclic AMP-specific) and phosphodiesterase 5 (cyclic GMP-specific) were the major phosphodiesterase isoforms present in the human bronchial tissue. The presence of phosphodiesterase 1 (Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulated), phosphodiesterase 2 (cyclic GMP-stimulated) and, in two cases, phosphodiesterase 3 (cyclic GMP-inhibited) was also identified. Fenspiride inhibited phosphodiesterase 4 and phosphodiesterase 3 activities with -logIC50 values of 4.16+/-0.09 and 3.44+/-0.12, respectively. Phosphodiesterase 5 activity was also inhibited with a -logIC50 value of approximately 3.8. Fenspiride (fenspiride is an effective inhibitor of both cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP hydrolytic activity in human bronchial tissues and this action may contribute to its airway effects.

  19. Generation of functional islets from human umbilical cord and placenta derived mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadam, Sachin; Govindasamy, Vijayendran; Bhonde, Ramesh

    2012-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have been used for allogeneic application in tissue engineering but have certain drawbacks. Therefore, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from other adult tissue sources have been considered as an alternative. The human umbilical cord and placenta are easily available noncontroversial sources of human tissue, which are often discarded as biological waste, and their collection is noninvasive. These sources of MSCs are not subjected to ethical constraints, as in the case of embryonic stem cells. MSCs derived from umbilical cord and placenta are multipotent and have the ability to differentiate into various cell types crossing the lineage boundary towards endodermal lineage. The aim of this chapter is to provide a detailed reproducible cookbook protocol for the isolation, propagation, characterization, and differentiation of MSCs derived from human umbilical cord and placenta with special reference to harnessing their potential towards pancreatic/islet lineage for utilization as a cell therapy product. We show here that mesenchymal stromal cells can be extensively expanded from umbilical cord and placenta of human origin retaining their multilineage differentiation potential in vitro. Our report indicates that postnatal tissues obtained as delivery waste represent a rich source of mesenchymal stromal cells, which can be differentiated into functional islets employing three-stage protocol developed by our group. These islets could be used as novel in vitro model for screening hypoglycemics/insulin secretagogues, thus reducing animal experimentation for this purpose and for the future human islet transplantation programs to treat diabetes.

  20. Expanding the landscape of chromatin modification (CM-related functional domains and genes in human.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuye Pu

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Chromatin modification (CM plays a key role in regulating transcription, DNA replication, repair and recombination. However, our knowledge of these processes in humans remains very limited. Here we use computational approaches to study proteins and functional domains involved in CM in humans. We analyze the abundance and the pair-wise domain-domain co-occurrences of 25 well-documented CM domains in 5 model organisms: yeast, worm, fly, mouse and human. Results show that domains involved in histone methylation, DNA methylation, and histone variants are remarkably expanded in metazoan, reflecting the increased demand for cell type-specific gene regulation. We find that CM domains tend to co-occur with a limited number of partner domains and are hence not promiscuous. This property is exploited to identify 47 potentially novel CM domains, including 24 DNA-binding domains, whose role in CM has received little attention so far. Lastly, we use a consensus Machine Learning approach to predict 379 novel CM genes (coding for 329 proteins in humans based on domain compositions. Several of these predictions are supported by very recent experimental studies and others are slated for experimental verification. Identification of novel CM genes and domains in humans will aid our understanding of fundamental epigenetic processes that are important for stem cell differentiation and cancer biology. Information on all the candidate CM domains and genes reported here is publicly available.

  1. The RNA helicase DDX1 is involved in restricted HIV-1 Rev function in human astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang Jianhua; Acheampong, Edward; Dave, Rajnish; Wang Fengxiang; Mukhtar, Muhammad; Pomerantz, Roger J.

    2005-01-01

    Productive infection by human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) in the central nervous system (CNS) involves mainly macrophages and microglial cells. A frequency of less than 10% of human astrocytes is estimated to be infectable with HIV-1. Nonetheless, this relatively low percentage of infected astrocytes, but associated with a large total number of astrocytic cells in the CNS, makes human astrocytes a critical part in the analyses of potential HIV-1 reservoirs in vivo. Investigations in astrocytic cell lines and primary human fetal astrocytes revealed that limited HIV-1 replication in these cells resulted from low-level viral entry, transcription, viral protein processing, and virion maturation. Of note, a low ratio of unspliced versus spliced HIV-1-specific RNA was also investigated, as Rev appeared to act aberrantly in astrocytes, via loss of nuclear and/or nucleolar localization and diminished Rev-mediated function. Host cellular machinery enabling Rev function has become critical for elucidation of diminished Rev activity, especially for those factors leading to RNA metabolism. We have recently identified a DEAD-box protein, DDX1, as a Rev cellular co-factor and now have explored its potential importance in astrocytes. Cells were infected with HIV-1 pseudotyped with envelope glycoproteins of amphotropic murine leukemia viruses (MLV). Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) for unspliced, singly-spliced, and multiply-spliced RNA clearly showed a lower ratio of unspliced/singly-spliced over multiply-spliced HIV-1-specific RNA in human astrocytes as compared to Rev-permissive, non-glial control cells. As well, the cellular localization of Rev in astrocytes was cytoplasmically dominant as compared to that of Rev-permissive, non-glial controls. This endogenous level of DDX1 expression in astrocytes was demonstrated directly to lead to a shift of Rev sub-cellular distribution dominance from nuclear and/or nucleolar to

  2. Surface chemical functionalities affect the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Xujie; Feng, Qingling; Bachhuka, Akash; Vasilev, Krasimir

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the effect of surface chemical functionalities on the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in vitro. Plasma polymerized films rich in amine (-NH 2 ), carboxyl (-COOH) and methyl (-CH 3 ), were generated on hydroxyapatite (HAp) substrates. The surface chemical functionalities were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ability of different substrates to absorb proteins was evaluated. The results showed that substrates modified with hydrophilic functional group (-COOH and -NH 2 ) can absorb more proteins than these modified with more hydrophobic functional group (-CH 3 ). The behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on different substrates was investigated in vitro: cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis was used to characterize cell proliferation, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to characterize cell morphology and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity analysis was used to account for differentiation. The results of this study demonstrated that the -NH 2 modified surfaces encourage osteogenic differentiation; the -COOH modified surfaces promote cell adhesion and spreading and the -CH 3 modified surfaces have the lowest ability to induce osteogenic differentiation. These findings confirmed that the surface chemical states of biomaterials can affect the behavior of hASCs in vitro.

  3. Surface chemical functionalities affect the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Xujie [State key laboratory of new ceramics and fine processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Feng, Qingling, E-mail: biomater@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn [State key laboratory of new ceramics and fine processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Bachhuka, Akash [Mawson Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes 5095 (Australia); Vasilev, Krasimir [Mawson Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes 5095 (Australia); School of Advanced Manufacturing, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes 5095 (Australia)

    2013-04-01

    This study examines the effect of surface chemical functionalities on the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in vitro. Plasma polymerized films rich in amine (-NH{sub 2}), carboxyl (-COOH) and methyl (-CH{sub 3}), were generated on hydroxyapatite (HAp) substrates. The surface chemical functionalities were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ability of different substrates to absorb proteins was evaluated. The results showed that substrates modified with hydrophilic functional group (-COOH and -NH{sub 2}) can absorb more proteins than these modified with more hydrophobic functional group (-CH{sub 3}). The behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on different substrates was investigated in vitro: cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis was used to characterize cell proliferation, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to characterize cell morphology and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity analysis was used to account for differentiation. The results of this study demonstrated that the -NH{sub 2} modified surfaces encourage osteogenic differentiation; the -COOH modified surfaces promote cell adhesion and spreading and the -CH{sub 3} modified surfaces have the lowest ability to induce osteogenic differentiation. These findings confirmed that the surface chemical states of biomaterials can affect the behavior of hASCs in vitro.

  4. Identification of a functional nuclear localization signal within the human USP22 protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiong, Jianjun [Key Laboratory of Jiangxi Province for the Systems Bio-Medicine, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province 332000 (China); College of Basic Medical Science, Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province 332000 (China); Wang, Yaqin [Reproductive Medical Center, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei Province 430060 (China); Gong, Zhen [Key Laboratory of Jiangxi Province for the Systems Bio-Medicine, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province 332000 (China); Liu, Jianyun [College of Basic Medical Science, Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province 332000 (China); Li, Weidong, E-mail: lwd626518@163.com [College of Basic Medical Science, Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province 332000 (China)

    2014-06-20

    Highlights: • USP22 was accumulated in nucleus. • We identified of a functional USP22 NLS. • The KRRK amino acid residues are indispensable in NLS. • The KRRK motif is conserved in USP22 homologues. - Abstract: Ubiquitin-specific processing enzyme 22 (USP22), a member of the deubiquitinase family, is over-expressed in most human cancers and has been implicated in tumorigenesis. Because it is an enzymatic subunit of the human SAGA transcriptional cofactor, USP22 deubiquitylates histone H2A and H2B in the nucleus, thus participating in gene regulation and cell-cycle progression. However, the mechanisms regulating its nuclear translocation have not yet been elucidated. It was here demonstrated that USP22 is imported into the nucleus through a mechanism mediated by nuclear localization signal (NLS). The bipartite NLS sequence KRELELLKHNPKRRKIT (aa152–168), was identified as the functional NLS for its nuclear localization. Furthermore, a short cluster of basic amino acid residues KRRK within this bipartite NLS plays the primary role in nuclear localization and is evolutionarily conserved in USP22 homologues. In the present study, a functional NLS and the minimal sequences required for the active targeting of USP22 to the nucleus were identified. These findings may provide a molecular basis for the mechanism underlying USP22 nuclear trafficking and function.

  5. Identification of a functional nuclear localization signal within the human USP22 protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiong, Jianjun; Wang, Yaqin; Gong, Zhen; Liu, Jianyun; Li, Weidong

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • USP22 was accumulated in nucleus. • We identified of a functional USP22 NLS. • The KRRK amino acid residues are indispensable in NLS. • The KRRK motif is conserved in USP22 homologues. - Abstract: Ubiquitin-specific processing enzyme 22 (USP22), a member of the deubiquitinase family, is over-expressed in most human cancers and has been implicated in tumorigenesis. Because it is an enzymatic subunit of the human SAGA transcriptional cofactor, USP22 deubiquitylates histone H2A and H2B in the nucleus, thus participating in gene regulation and cell-cycle progression. However, the mechanisms regulating its nuclear translocation have not yet been elucidated. It was here demonstrated that USP22 is imported into the nucleus through a mechanism mediated by nuclear localization signal (NLS). The bipartite NLS sequence KRELELLKHNPKRRKIT (aa152–168), was identified as the functional NLS for its nuclear localization. Furthermore, a short cluster of basic amino acid residues KRRK within this bipartite NLS plays the primary role in nuclear localization and is evolutionarily conserved in USP22 homologues. In the present study, a functional NLS and the minimal sequences required for the active targeting of USP22 to the nucleus were identified. These findings may provide a molecular basis for the mechanism underlying USP22 nuclear trafficking and function

  6. Human CD8 T cells generated in vitro from hematopoietic stem cells are functionally mature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zúñiga-Pflücker Juan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background T cell development occurs within the highly specialized thymus. Cytotoxic CD8 T cells are critical in adaptive immunity by targeting virally infected or tumor cells. In this study, we addressed whether functional CD8 T cells can be generated fully in vitro using human umbilical cord blood (UCB hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs in coculture with OP9-DL1 cells. Results HSC/OP9-DL1 cocultures supported the differentiation of CD8 T cells, which were TCR/CD3hi CD27hi CD1aneg and thus phenotypically resembled mature functional CD8 single positive thymocytes. These in vitro-generated T cells also appeared to be conventional CD8 cells, as they expressed high levels of Eomes and low levels of Plzf, albeit not identical to ex vivo UCB CD8 T cells. Consistent with the phenotypic and molecular characterization, upon TCR-stimulation, in vitro-generated CD8 T cells proliferated, expressed activation markers (MHC-II, CD25, CD38, secreted IFN-γ and expressed Granzyme B, a cytotoxic T-cell effector molecule. Conclusion Taken together, the ability to direct human hematopoietic stem cell or T-progenitor cells towards a mature functional phenotype raises the possibility of establishing cell-based treatments for T-immunodeficiencies by rapidly restoring CD8 effector function, thereby mitigating the risks associated with opportunistic infections.

  7. SSFSE sequence functional MRI of the human cervical spinal cord with complex finger tapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xie Chuhai; Kong Kangmei; Guan Jitian; Chen Yexi; He Jiankang; Qi Weili; Wang Xinjia; Shen Zhiwei; Wu Renhua

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Functional MR imaging of the human cervical spinal cord was carried out on volunteers during alternated rest and a complex finger tapping task, in order to detect image intensity changes arising from neuronal activity. Methods: Functional MR imaging data using single-shot fast spin-echo sequence (SSFSE) with echo time 42.4 ms on a 1.5 T GE Clinical System were acquired in eight subjects performing a complex finger tapping task. Cervical spinal cord activation was measured both in the sagittal and transverse imaging planes. Postprocessing was performed by AFNI (Analysis of Functional Neuroimages) software system. Results: Intensity changes (5.5-7.6%) were correlated with the time course of stimulation and were consistently detected in both sagittal and transverse imaging planes of the cervical spinal cord. The activated regions localized to the ipsilateral side of the spinal cord in agreement with the neural anatomy. Conclusion: Functional MR imaging signals can be reliably detected with finger tapping activity in the human cervical spinal cord using a SSFSE sequence with 42.4 ms echo time. The anatomic location of neural activity correlates with the muscles used in the finger tapping task.

  8. 3D bioprinting of functional human skin: production and in vivo analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubo, Nieves; Garcia, Marta; Del Cañizo, Juan F; Velasco, Diego; Jorcano, Jose L

    2016-12-05

    Significant progress has been made over the past 25 years in the development of in vitro-engineered substitutes that mimic human skin, either to be used as grafts for the replacement of lost skin, or for the establishment of in vitro human skin models. In this sense, laboratory-grown skin substitutes containing dermal and epidermal components offer a promising approach to skin engineering. In particular, a human plasma-based bilayered skin generated by our group, has been applied successfully to treat burns as well as traumatic and surgical wounds in a large number of patients in Spain. There are some aspects requiring improvements in the production process of this skin; for example, the relatively long time (three weeks) needed to produce the surface required to cover an extensive burn or a large wound, and the necessity to automatize and standardize a process currently performed manually. 3D bioprinting has emerged as a flexible tool in regenerative medicine and it provides a platform to address these challenges. In the present study, we have used this technique to print a human bilayered skin using bioinks containing human plasma as well as primary human fibroblasts and keratinocytes that were obtained from skin biopsies. We were able to generate 100 cm 2 , a standard P100 tissue culture plate, of printed skin in less than 35 min (including the 30 min required for fibrin gelation). We have analysed the structure and function of the printed skin using histological and immunohistochemical methods, both in 3D in vitro cultures and after long-term transplantation to immunodeficient mice. In both cases, the generated skin was very similar to human skin and, furthermore, it was indistinguishable from bilayered dermo-epidermal equivalents, handmade in our laboratories. These results demonstrate that 3D bioprinting is a suitable technology to generate bioengineered skin for therapeutical and industrial applications in an automatized manner.

  9. A statistical framework to predict functional non-coding regions in the human genome through integrated analysis of annotation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Qiongshi; Hu, Yiming; Sun, Jiehuan; Cheng, Yuwei; Cheung, Kei-Hoi; Zhao, Hongyu

    2015-05-27

    Identifying functional regions in the human genome is a major goal in human genetics. Great efforts have been made to functionally annotate the human genome either through computational predictions, such as genomic conservation, or high-throughput experiments, such as the ENCODE project. These efforts have resulted in a rich collection of functional annotation data of diverse types that need to be jointly analyzed for integrated interpretation and annotation. Here we present GenoCanyon, a whole-genome annotation method that performs unsupervised statistical learning using 22 computational and experimental annotations thereby inferring the functional potential of each position in the human genome. With GenoCanyon, we are able to predict many of the known functional regions. The ability of predicting functional regions as well as its generalizable statistical framework makes GenoCanyon a unique and powerful tool for whole-genome annotation. The GenoCanyon web server is available at http://genocanyon.med.yale.edu.

  10. Happiness Function in an Islamic Economy: Triple Economic Growth, Fair Distribution and Human Happiness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    محمد أحمد حسن الأفندي

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the characteristics of happiness function in an Islamic economy framework. It analyzed the nature and trend of the link between economic growth, equal distribution and level of human happiness. These interrelated concepts form the essence of this study problem. The study assumed four main possible tracks for the happiness function in an Islamic economy, which ultimately emphasized the wider concept of happiness that includes faith and moral values. It indicates that people’s happiness increases with the increase of material and non material resources. However, happiness increases even if material resources decline. That is a case which reflects impact of faith and moral values on people’s happiness. The study indicated the importance of conducting empirical and field studies to examine the effect of material and non- material potentials on happiness. Keywords: Happiness function, Material resources for Happiness, Nonmaterial resources for happiness, Economic growth, Equal distribution.

  11. Nursing care of patients during the dying process: a painful professional and human function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha Adiela Lopera Betancur

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective. This work sought to describe the care functions of nurses with patients during the dying process. Methodology. This was a qualitative study with ethnographic approach stemming from the analysis of the culture of nurses; it was conducted in the city of Medellín, Colombia. Theoretical saturation was obtained with 23 interviews. Results. Nurses feel the duty to care for patients throughout the vital cycle through functions defined as: serving, helping, accompanying, offering support, advocating, educating, and representing, which they identify as indispensable. They also perceive as their own the social responsibility for some issues related to death and due to this they get involved at the personal level, appropriate care and are affected as persons. Conclusion. Patient care during dying processes transcends the limits of the nurse' professional functions to become a human obligation.

  12. Nursing care of patients during the dying process: a painful professional and human function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopera Betancur, Martha Adiela

    2015-01-01

    This work sought to describe the care functions of nurses with patients during the dying process. This was a qualitative study with ethnographic approach stemming from the analysis of the culture of nurses; it was conducted in the city of Medellín, Colombia. Theoretical saturation was obtained with 23 interviews. Nurses feel the duty to care for patients throughout the vital cycle through functions defined as: serving, helping, accompanying, offering support, advocating, educating, and representing, which they identify as indispensable. They also perceive as their own the social responsibility for some issues related to death and due to this they get involved at the personal level, appropriate care and are affected as persons. Patient care during dying processes transcends the limits of the nurse' professional functions to become a human obligation.

  13. The Design of the Human Resource Function in Collaborative Communities of Firms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Sabine; Snow, Charles C.; Ulhøi, John Parm

    means to ensure that the involved actors are achieving the full potential. The aim of this paper is to present a design for the human resource (HR) function in a collaborative community of firms, the most recent community-based organizational form. The paper examines the role, structure, and activities...... of the HR function within the collaborative community organizational design. The empirical foundation for this study is based on interviews and archival data of the two cases of Blade.org (USA) and the Kalundborg Symbiosis (Denmark). The findings indicate that the primary roles that a shared and centralized...... HR group should carry out are facilitation and support, especially organizing and managing inter-organization teams that work on joint projects. A shared HR function can effectively initiate interfirm team work, locate and activate the right people and provide the necessary support for these teams...

  14. Organization of the human motor system as studied by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattay, Venkata S.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    1999-01-01

    Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI), because of its superior resolution and unlimited repeatability, can be particularly useful in studying functional aspects of the human motor system, especially plasticity, and somatotopic and temporal organization. In this survey, while describing studies that have reliably used BOLD fMRI to examine these aspects of the motor system, we also discuss studies that investigate the neural substrates underlying motor skill acquisition, motor imagery, production of motor sequences; effect of rate and force of movement on brain activation and hemispheric control of motor function. In the clinical realm, in addition to the presurgical evaluation of neurosurgical patients, BOLD fMRI has been used to explore the mechanisms underlying motor abnormalities in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders and the mechanisms underlying reorganization or plasticity of the motor system following a cerebral insult

  15. Estimation of the multidimensional transient functions oculo-motor system of human

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlenko, Vitaliy; Salata, Dmytro; Dombrovskyi, Mykola; Maksymenko, Yuri

    2017-09-01

    Proposed a new method of constructing nonparametric dynamic models of the oculomotor system system (OMS) in the form of human multidimensional transition functions on the basis of experimental data "input-output". As the test signals used bright points on the long duration of the computer screen. OMS response is measured using information technology Eye-tracking and recorded on video. As a result data processing of the experiment we receive function based "pupil coordinate - time". Using the method of least squares (Ordinary Least Squares, OLS) defined transition functions of the first, second and third order - integral transformations of Volterra kernels, representing a model of OMS. Completed experimental studies using computer simulations confirm the adequacy of the constructed approximation model as a real system.

  16. Functional specializations in human cerebral cortex analyzed using the Visible Man surface-based atlas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drury, H. A.; Van Essen, D. C.

    1997-01-01

    We used surface-based representations to analyze functional specializations in the human cerebral cortex. A computerized reconstruction of the cortical surface of the Visible Man digital atlas was generated and transformed to the Talairach coordinate system. This surface was also flattened and used to establish a surface-based coordinate system that respects the topology of the cortical sheet. The linkage between two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations allows the locations of published neuroimaging activation foci to be stereotaxically projected onto the Visible Man cortical flat map. An analysis of two activation studies related to the hearing and reading of music and of words illustrates how this approach permits the systematic estimation of the degree of functional segregation and of potential functional overlap for different aspects of sensory processing.

  17. Molecular cloning and pharmacology of functionally distinct isoforms of the human histamine H(3) receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wellendorph, Petrine; Goodman, M W; Burstein, E S

    2002-01-01

    The pharmacology of histamine H(3) receptors suggests the presence of distinct receptor isoforms or subtypes. We herein describe multiple, functionally distinct, alternatively spliced isoforms of the human H(3) receptor. Combinatorial splicing at three different sites creates at least six distinct...... receptor isoforms, of which isoforms 1, 2, and 4, encode functional proteins. Detailed pharmacology on isoforms 1 (unspliced receptor), and 2 (which has an 80 amino acid deletion within the third intracellular loop of the protein) revealed that both isoforms displayed robust responses to a series of known...... revealed a rank order of potency at both isoforms of clobenpropit>iodophenpropit>thioperamide, and these drugs are fivefold less potent at isoform 2 than isoform 1. To further explore the pharmacology of H(3) receptor function, we screened 150 clinically relevant neuropsychiatric drugs for H(3) receptor...

  18. Functional Coverage of the Human Genome by Existing Structures, Structural Genomics Targets, and Homology Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available The bias in protein structure and function space resulting from experimental limitations and targeting of particular functional classes of proteins by structural biologists has long been recognized, but never continuously quantified. Using the Enzyme Commission and the Gene Ontology classifications as a reference frame, and integrating structure data from the Protein Data Bank (PDB, target sequences from the structural genomics projects, structure homology derived from the SUPERFAMILY database, and genome annotations from Ensembl and NCBI, we provide a quantified view, both at the domain and whole-protein levels, of the current and projected coverage of protein structure and function space relative to the human genome. Protein structures currently provide at least one domain that covers 37% of the functional classes identified in the genome; whole structure coverage exists for 25% of the genome. If all the structural genomics targets were solved (twice the current number of structures in the PDB, it is estimated that structures of one domain would cover 69% of the functional classes identified and complete structure coverage would be 44%. Homology models from existing experimental structures extend the 37% coverage to 56% of the genome as single domains and 25% to 31% for complete structures. Coverage from homology models is not evenly distributed by protein family, reflecting differing degrees of sequence and structure divergence within families. While these data provide coverage, conversely, they also systematically highlight functional classes of proteins for which structures should be determined. Current key functional families without structure representation are highlighted here; updated information on the "most wanted list" that should be solved is available on a weekly basis from http://function.rcsb.org:8080/pdb/function_distribution/index.html.

  19. Protein profile of human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC-7721: Identification and functional analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi Feng; Zhong-Min Tian; Ming-Xi Wan; Zhao-Bin Zheng

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the protein profile of human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC-7721, to analyze the specific functions of abundant expressed proteins in the processes of hepatocarcinoma genesis, growth and metastasis, to identify the hepatocarcinoma-specific biomarkers for the early prediction in diagnosis, and to explore the new drug targets for liver cancer therapy.METHODS: Total proteins from human hepatocarcinomacell line SMMC-7721 were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE). The silver-stained gel was analyzed by 2DE software Image Master 2D Elite.Interesting protein spots were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS)and database searching.RESULTS: We obtained protein profile of human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC-7721. Among the twenty-one successfully identified proteins, mitofilin,endoplasmic reticulum protein ERp29, ubiquinol-cytochrome C reductase complex core protein Ⅰ,peroxisomal enoyl CoA hydratase, peroxiredoxin-4 and probable 3-oxoacid CoA transferase 1 precursor were the six novel proteins identified in human hepatocarcinoma cells or tissues. Specific functions of the identified heat-shock proteins were analyzed in detail, and the results suggested that these proteins might promote tumorigenesis via inhibiting cell death induced by several cancer-related stresses or via inhibiting apoptosis at multiple points in the apoptotic signal pathway. Other identified chaperones and cancer-related proteins were also analyzed.CONCLUSION: Based on the protein profile of SMMC-7721 cells, functional analysis suggests that the identified chaperones and cancer-related proteins have their own pathways to contribute to the tumorigenesis, tumor growth and metastasis of liver cancer. Furthermore, proteomic analysis is indicated to be feasible in the cancer study.

  20. Establishment of functional acinar-like cultures from human salivary glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, S I; Ong, H L; Gallo, A; Liu, X; Illei, G; Alevizos, I

    2015-02-01

    Disorders of human salivary glands resulting from therapeutic radiation treatment for head and neck cancers or from the autoimmune disease Sjögren syndrome (SS) frequently result in the reduction or complete loss of saliva secretion. Such irreversible dysfunction of the salivary glands is due to the impairment of acinar cells, the major glandular cells of protein, salt secretion, and fluid movement. Availability of primary epithelial cells from human salivary gland tissue is critical for studying the underlying mechanisms of these irreversible disorders. We applied 2 culture system techniques on human minor salivary gland epithelial cells (phmSG) and optimized the growth conditions to achieve the maintenance of phmSG in an acinar-like phenotype. These phmSG cells exhibited progenitor cell markers (keratin 5 and nanog) as well as acinar-specific markers-namely, α-amylase, cystatin C, TMEM16A, and NKCC1. Importantly, with an increase of the calcium concentration in the growth medium, these phmSG cells were further promoted to acinar-like cells in vitro, as indicated by an increase in AQP5 expression. In addition, these phmSG cells also demonstrated functional calcium mobilization, formation of epithelial monolayer with high transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), and polarized secretion of α-amylase secretion after β-adrenergic receptor stimulation. Taken together, suitable growth conditions have been established to isolate and support culture of acinar-like cells from the human salivary gland. These primary epithelial cells can be useful for study of molecular mechanisms involved in regulating the function of acinar cells and in the loss of salivary gland function in patients. © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2014.

  1. Hyperthermia-induced disruption of functional connectivity in the human brain network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Sun

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Passive hyperthermia is a potential risk factor to human cognitive performance and work behavior in many extreme work environments. Previous studies have demonstrated significant effects of passive hyperthermia on human cognitive performance and work behavior. However, there is a lack of a clear understanding of the exact affected brain regions and inter-regional connectivities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We simulated 1 hour environmental heat exposure to thirty-six participants under two environmental temperature conditions (25 °C and 50 °C, and collected resting-state functional brain activity. The functional connectivities with a preselected region of interest (ROI in the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus (PCC/PCu, furthermore, inter-regional connectivities throughout the entire brain using a prior Anatomical Automatic Labeling (AAL atlas were calculated. We identified decreased correlations of a set of regions with the PCC/PCu, including the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC and bilateral medial temporal cortex, as well as increased correlations with the partial orbitofrontal cortex particularly in the bilateral orbital superior frontal gyrus. Compared with the normal control (NC group, the hyperthermia (HT group showed 65 disturbed functional connectivities with 50 of them being decreased and 15 of them being increased. While the decreased correlations mainly involved with the mOFC, temporal lobe and occipital lobe, increased correlations were mainly located within the limbic system. In consideration of physiological system changes, we explored the correlations of the number of significantly altered inter-regional connectivities with differential rectal temperatures and weight loss, but failed to obtain significant correlations. More importantly, during the attention network test (ANT we found that the number of significantly altered functional connectivities was positively correlated with an increase in

  2. Restoring cortical control of functional movement in a human with quadriplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouton, Chad E; Shaikhouni, Ammar; Annetta, Nicholas V; Bockbrader, Marcia A; Friedenberg, David A; Nielson, Dylan M; Sharma, Gaurav; Sederberg, Per B; Glenn, Bradley C; Mysiw, W Jerry; Morgan, Austin G; Deogaonkar, Milind; Rezai, Ali R

    2016-05-12

    Millions of people worldwide suffer from diseases that lead to paralysis through disruption of signal pathways between the brain and the muscles. Neuroprosthetic devices are designed to restore lost function and could be used to form an electronic 'neural bypass' to circumvent disconnected pathways in the nervous system. It has previously been shown that intracortically recorded signals can be decoded to extract information related to motion, allowing non-human primates and paralysed humans to control computers and robotic arms through imagined movements. In non-human primates, these types of signal have also been used to drive activation of chemically paralysed arm muscles. Here we show that intracortically recorded signals can be linked in real-time to muscle activation to restore movement in a paralysed human. We used a chronically implanted intracortical microelectrode array to record multiunit activity from the motor cortex in a study participant with quadriplegia from cervical spinal cord injury. We applied machine-learning algorithms to decode the neuronal activity and control activation of the participant's forearm muscles through a custom-built high-resolution neuromuscular electrical stimulation system. The system provided isolated finger movements and the participant achieved continuous cortical control of six different wrist and hand motions. Furthermore, he was able to use the system to complete functional tasks relevant to daily living. Clinical assessment showed that, when using the system, his motor impairment improved from the fifth to the sixth cervical (C5-C6) to the seventh cervical to first thoracic (C7-T1) level unilaterally, conferring on him the critical abilities to grasp, manipulate, and release objects. This is the first demonstration to our knowledge of successful control of muscle activation using intracortically recorded signals in a paralysed human. These results have significant implications in advancing neuroprosthetic technology

  3. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Asmita; McConkey, Kim R; Radhakrishna, Sindhu

    2015-01-01

    Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  4. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asmita Sengupta

    Full Text Available Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  5. Cell array-based intracellular localization screening reveals novel functional features of human chromosome 21 proteins

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    Kahlem Pascal

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Chr21 results in Down's syndrome, a complex developmental and neurodegenerative disease. Molecular analysis of Down's syndrome, however, poses a particular challenge, because the aneuploid region of Chr21 contains many genes of unknown function. Subcellular localization of human Chr21 proteins may contribute to further understanding of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of the genes that code for these proteins. Following this idea, we used a transfected-cell array technique to perform a rapid and cost-effective analysis of the intracellular distribution of Chr 21 proteins. Results We chose 89 genes that were distributed over the majority of 21q, ranging from RBM11 (14.5 Mb to MCM3AP (46.6 Mb, with part of them expressed aberrantly in the Down's syndrome mouse model. Open reading frames of these genes were cloned into a mammalian expression vector with an amino-terminal His6 tag. All of the constructs were arrayed on glass slides and reverse transfected into HEK293T cells for protein expression. Co-localization detection using a set of organelle markers was carried out for each Chr21 protein. Here, we report the subcellular localization properties of 52 proteins. For 34 of these proteins, their localization is described for the first time. Furthermore, the alteration in cell morphology and growth as a result of protein over-expression for claudin-8 and claudin-14 genes has been characterized. Conclusion The cell array-based protein expression and detection approach is a cost-effective platform for large-scale functional analyses, including protein subcellular localization and cell phenotype screening. The results from this study reveal novel functional features of human Chr21 proteins, which should contribute to further understanding of the molecular pathology of Down's syndrome.

  6. Clinical Implications of Human Population Differences in Genome-wide Rates of Functional Genotypes

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    Ali eTorkamani

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available There have been a number of recent successes in the use of whole genome sequencing and sophisticated bioinformatics techniques to identify pathogenic DNA sequence variants responsible for individual idiopathic congenital conditions. However, the success of this identification process is heavily influenced by the ancestry or genetic background of a patient with an idiopathic condition. This is so because potential pathogenic variants in a patient’s genome must be contrasted with variants in a reference set of genomes made up of other individuals’ genomes of the same ancestry as the patient. We explored the effect of ignoring the ancestries of both an individual patient and the individuals used to construct reference genomes. We pursued this exploration in two major steps. We first considered variation in the per-genome number and rates likely functional derived (i.e., non-ancestral, based on the chimp genome single nucleotide variants and small indels in 52 individual whole human genomes sampled from 10 different global populations. We took advantage of a suite of computational and bioinformatics techniques to predict the functional effect of over 24 million genomic variants, both coding and non-coding, across these genomes. We found that the typical human genome harbors ~5.5-6.1 million total derived variants, of which ~12,000 are likely to have a functional effect (~5000 coding and ~7000 non-coding. We also found that the rates of functional genotypes per the total number of genotypes in individual whole genomes differ dramatically between human populations. We then created tables showing how the use of comparator or reference genome panels comprised of genomes from individuals that do not have the same ancestral background as a patient can negatively impact pathogenic variant identification. Our results have important implications for clinical sequencing initiatives.

  7. Graph Theoretical Analysis of BOLD Functional Connectivity during Human Sleep without EEG Monitoring.

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    Jun Lv

    Full Text Available Functional brain networks of human have been revealed to have small-world properties by both analyzing electroencephalogram (EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI time series.In our study, by using graph theoretical analysis, we attempted to investigate the changes of paralimbic-limbic cortex between wake and sleep states. Ten healthy young people were recruited to our experiment. Data from 2 subjects were excluded for the reason that they had not fallen asleep during the experiment. For each subject, blood oxygen level dependency (BOLD images were acquired to analyze brain network, and peripheral pulse signals were obtained continuously to identify if the subject was in sleep periods. Results of fMRI showed that brain networks exhibited stronger small-world characteristics during sleep state as compared to wake state, which was in consistent with previous studies using EEG synchronization. Moreover, we observed that compared with wake state, paralimbic-limbic cortex had less connectivity with neocortical system and centrencephalic structure in sleep.In conclusion, this is the first study, to our knowledge, has observed that small-world properties of brain functional networks altered when human sleeps without EEG synchronization. Moreover, we speculate that paralimbic-limbic cortex organization owns an efficient defense mechanism responsible for suppressing the external environment interference when humans sleep, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the paralimbic-limbic cortex may be functionally disconnected from brain regions which directly mediate their interactions with the external environment. Our findings also provide a reasonable explanation why stable sleep exhibits homeostasis which is far less susceptible to outside world.

  8. Promotion of health and human functionality - 10.5020/18061230.2013.p5

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    Ana Cristhina de Oliveira Brasil

    2013-08-01

    Organization, signatory of Resolution WHA54.21-OMS54.21, which recommends the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF, translated into Portuguese in 2003. The main paradigm that ICF brings is the shift from an approach based on the disease to an approach focused on the human functionality (3. Only in May 2012 the National Health Council (Conselho nacioinal de Saúde – CNS approved the resolution 452 for the Ministry of Health to adopt the ICF, among other uses, as a generator of indicators of human functionality (4. Human functionality, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF of the World Health Organization, is a comprehensive term that designates the elements of the body, its functions and structures, the human activities and participation in the social processes, indicating the positive aspects of the interaction of individuals with certain health conditions and thee context in which he lives with regard to personal and environmental factors (structural and attitudinal (3. However, health information appears incomplete, since data regarding the human functionality is not yet meaningful enough to support the developed policies so that they could accomplish the expected results in the face of the disabilities posed by the deficiencies, limitations in activities and restrictions of participation(5. Given the above, a change in direction is required in the paths of public health policies in Brazil, disposing of the exclusively biological approach to the disease, and starting to see it as a problem produced by the society. Therefore, it is necessary to develop information that record not only the disease but the additional aspects of the individuals´ health status. The human functionality is directly influenced both by the presence of diseases, mainly the chronic ones (featuring the change induced by the epidemiologic transition, as by the occurance of negative context, like the

  9. Development of Functional Microfold (M Cells from Intestinal Stem Cells in Primary Human Enteroids.

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    Joshua D Rouch

    Full Text Available Intestinal microfold (M cells are specialized epithelial cells that act as gatekeepers of luminal antigens in the intestinal tract. They play a critical role in the intestinal mucosal immune response through transport of viruses, bacteria and other particles and antigens across the epithelium to immune cells within Peyer's patch regions and other mucosal sites. Recent studies in mice have demonstrated that M cells are generated from Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells (ISCs, and that infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium increases M cell formation. However, it is not known whether and how these findings apply to primary human small intestinal epithelium propagated in an in vitro setting.Human intestinal crypts were grown as monolayers with growth factors and treated with recombinant RANKL, and assessed for mRNA transcripts, immunofluorescence and uptake of microparticles and S. Typhimurium.Functional M cells were generated by short-term culture of freshly isolated human intestinal crypts in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. RANKL stimulation of the monolayer cultures caused dramatic induction of the M cell-specific markers, SPIB, and Glycoprotein-2 (GP2 in a process primed by canonical WNT signaling. Confocal microscopy demonstrated a pseudopod phenotype of GP2-positive M cells that preferentially take up microparticles. Furthermore, infection of the M cell-enriched cultures with the M cell-tropic enteric pathogen, S. Typhimurium, led to preferential association of the bacteria with M cells, particularly at lower inoculum sizes. Larger inocula caused rapid induction of M cells.Human intestinal crypts containing ISCs can be cultured and differentiate into an epithelial layer with functional M cells with characteristic morphological and functional properties. This study is the first to demonstrate that M cells can be induced to form from primary human intestinal epithelium, and that S. Typhimurium preferentially infect these cells in an

  10. Direct 3D cell-printing of human skin with functional transwell system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Byoung Soo; Lee, Jung-Seob; Gao, Ge; Cho, Dong-Woo

    2017-06-06

    Three-dimensional (3D) cell-printing has been emerging as a promising technology with which to build up human skin models by enabling rapid and versatile design. Despite the technological advances, challenges remain in the development of fully functional models that recapitulate complexities in the native tissue. Moreover, although several approaches have been explored for the development of biomimetic human skin models, the present skin models based on multistep fabrication methods using polydimethylsiloxane chips and commercial transwell inserts could be tackled by leveraging 3D cell-printing technology. In this paper, we present a new 3D cell-printing strategy for engineering a 3D human skin model with a functional transwell system in a single-step process. A hybrid 3D cell-printing system was developed, allowing for the use of extrusion and inkjet modules at the same time. We began by revealing the significance of each module in engineering human skin models; by using the extrusion-dispensing module, we engineered a collagen-based construct with polycaprolactone (PCL) mesh that prevented the contraction of collagen during tissue maturation; the inkjet-based dispensing module was used to uniformly distribute keratinocytes. Taking these features together, we engineered a human skin model with a functional transwell system; the transwell system and fibroblast-populated dermis were consecutively fabricated by using the extrusion modules. Following this process, keratinocytes were uniformly distributed onto the engineered dermis by the inkjet module. Our transwell system indicates a supportive 3D construct composed of PCL, enabling the maturation of a skin model without the aid of commercial transwell inserts. This skin model revealed favorable biological characteristics that included a stabilized fibroblast-stretched dermis and stratified epidermis layers after 14 days. It was also observed that a 50 times reduction in cost was achieved and 10 times less medium was

  11. Function-blocking antibodies to human vascular adhesion protein-1: a potential anti-inflammatory therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirton, Christopher M; Laukkanen, Marja-Leena; Nieminen, Antti; Merinen, Marika; Stolen, Craig M; Armour, Kathryn; Smith, David J; Salmi, Marko; Jalkanen, Sirpa; Clark, Michael R

    2005-11-01

    Human vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1) is a homodimeric 170-kDa sialoglycoprotein that is expressed on the surface of endothelial cells and functions as a semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase and as an adhesion molecule. Blockade of VAP-1 has been shown to reduce leukocyte adhesion and transmigration in in vivo and in vitro models, suggesting that VAP-1 is a potential target for anti-inflammatory therapy. In this study we have constructed mouse-human chimeric antibodies by genetic engineering in order to circumvent the potential problems involved in using murine antibodies in man. Our chimeric anti-VAP-1 antibodies, which were designed to lack Fc-dependent effector functions, bound specifically to cell surface-expressed recombinant human VAP-1 and recognized VAP-1 in different cell types in tonsil. Furthermore, the chimeric antibodies prevented leukocyte adhesion and transmigration in vitro and in vivo. Hence, these chimeric antibodies have the potential to be used as a new anti-inflammatory therapy.

  12. A foundation for allocating control functions to humans and machines in future CANDU nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lupton, L.R.; Lipsett, J.J.; Davey, E.C.; Olmstead, R.A.

    1990-06-01

    Since the control room for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited CANDU 6 plant was designed in the 1970s, requirements for control rooms have changed dramatically as a result of new licensing requirements, evolution of major new standards for control centre design and technological advances. The role of the human operator has become prominent in the design and operation of industrial and, in particular, nuclear plants. Major industrial accidents in the last decade have highlighted the need for paying significantly more attention to the requirements of the human as an integral part of the plant control system. A Functional Design Methodology has been defined that addresses the issues related to maximizing the strengths of the human and the machine in the next generation of CANDU plants. This method is based, in part, on the recently issued international standard IEC 964. The application of this method will lead to the definition of the requirements for detailed design of the control room, including man-machine interfaces, preliminary operating procedures, staffing and training. Further, it provides a basis for the verification and validation of the allocation of functions to the operator and the machine

  13. Fetal functional imaging portrays heterogeneous development of emerging human brain networks

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    Andras eJakab

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The functional connectivity architecture of the adult human brain enables complex cognitive processes, and exhibits a remarkably complex structure shared across individuals. We are only beginning to understand its heterogeneous structure, ranging from a strongly hierarchical organization in sensorimotor areas to widely distributed networks in areas such as the parieto-frontal cortex. Our study relied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 32 fetuses with no detectable morphological abnormalities. After adapting functional magnetic resonance acquisition, motion correction and nuisance signal reduction procedures of resting-state functional data analysis to fetuses, we extracted neural activity information for major cortical and subcortical structures. Resting fMRI networks were observed for increasing regional functional connectivity from 21st – 38th gestational weeks (GW with a network-based statistical inference approach. The overall connectivity network, short range and interhemispheric connections showed sigmoid expansion curve peaking at the 26-29. GW. In contrast, long-range connections exhibited linear increase with no periods of peaking development. Region-specific increase of functional signal synchrony followed a sequence of occipital (peak: 24.8 GW, temporal (peak: 26 GW, frontal (peak: 26.4 GW and parietal expansion (peak: 27.5 GW. We successfully adapted functional neuroimaging and image post-processing approaches to correlate macroscopical scale activations in the fetal brain with gestational age. This in vivo study reflects the fact that the mid-fetal period hosts events that cause the architecture of the brain circuitry to mature, which presumably manifests in increasing strength of intra- and interhemispheric functional macroconnectivity.

  14. Fetal functional imaging portrays heterogeneous development of emerging human brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakab, András; Schwartz, Ernst; Kasprian, Gregor; Gruber, Gerlinde M; Prayer, Daniela; Schöpf, Veronika; Langs, Georg

    2014-01-01

    The functional connectivity architecture of the adult human brain enables complex cognitive processes, and exhibits a remarkably complex structure shared across individuals. We are only beginning to understand its heterogeneous structure, ranging from a strongly hierarchical organization in sensorimotor areas to widely distributed networks in areas such as the parieto-frontal cortex. Our study relied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of 32 fetuses with no detectable morphological abnormalities. After adapting functional magnetic resonance acquisition, motion correction, and nuisance signal reduction procedures of resting-state functional data analysis to fetuses, we extracted neural activity information for major cortical and subcortical structures. Resting fMRI networks were observed for increasing regional functional connectivity from 21st to 38th gestational weeks (GWs) with a network-based statistical inference approach. The overall connectivity network, short range, and interhemispheric connections showed sigmoid expansion curve peaking at the 26-29 GW. In contrast, long-range connections exhibited linear increase with no periods of peaking development. Region-specific increase of functional signal synchrony followed a sequence of occipital (peak: 24.8 GW), temporal (peak: 26 GW), frontal (peak: 26.4 GW), and parietal expansion (peak: 27.5 GW). We successfully adapted functional neuroimaging and image post-processing approaches to correlate macroscopical scale activations in the fetal brain with gestational age. This in vivo study reflects the fact that the mid-fetal period hosts events that cause the architecture of the brain circuitry to mature, which presumably manifests in increasing strength of intra- and interhemispheric functional macro connectivity.

  15. The Brain Functional Networks Associated to Human and Animal Suffering Differ among Omnivores, Vegetarians and Vegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippi, Massimo; Riccitelli, Gianna; Falini, Andrea; Di Salle, Francesco; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Comi, Giancarlo; Rocca, Maria A.

    2010-01-01

    Empathy and affective appraisals for conspecifics are among the hallmarks of social interaction. Using functional MRI, we hypothesized that vegetarians and vegans, who made their feeding choice for ethical reasons, might show brain responses to conditions of suffering involving humans or animals different from omnivores. We recruited 20 omnivore subjects, 19 vegetarians, and 21 vegans. The groups were matched for sex and age. Brain activation was investigated using fMRI and an event-related design during observation of negative affective pictures of human beings and animals (showing mutilations, murdered people, human/animal threat, tortures, wounds, etc.). Participants saw negative-valence scenes related to humans and animals, alternating with natural landscapes. During human negative valence scenes, compared with omnivores, vegetarians and vegans had an increased recruitment of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). More critically, during animal negative valence scenes, they had decreased amygdala activation and increased activation of the lingual gyri, the left cuneus, the posterior cingulate cortex and several areas mainly located in the frontal lobes, including the ACC, the IFG and the middle frontal gyrus. Nonetheless, also substantial differences between vegetarians and vegans have been found responding to negative scenes. Vegetarians showed a selective recruitment of the right inferior parietal lobule during human negative scenes, and a prevailing activation of the ACC during animal negative scenes. Conversely, during animal negative scenes an increased activation of the inferior prefrontal cortex was observed in vegans. These results suggest that empathy toward non conspecifics has different neural representation among individuals with different feeding habits, perhaps reflecting different motivational factors and beliefs. PMID:20520767

  16. Functional characterisation of an engineered multidomain human P450 2E1 by molecular Lego.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairhead, Michael; Giannini, Silva; Gillam, Elizabeth M J; Gilardi, Gianfranco

    2005-12-01

    The human cytochrome P450s constitute an important family of monooxygenase enzymes that carry out essential roles in the metabolism of endogenous compounds and foreign chemicals. We present here results of a fusion between a human P450 enzyme and a bacterial reductase that for the first time is shown does not require the addition of lipids or detergents to achieve wild-type-like activities. The fusion enzyme, P450 2E1-BMR, contains the N-terminally modified residues 22-493 of the human P450 2E1 fused at the C-terminus to residues 473-1049 of the P450 BM3 reductase (BMR). The P450 2E1-BMR enzyme is active, self-sufficient and presents the typical marker activities of the native human P450 2E1: the hydroxylation of p-nitrophenol (KM=1.84+/-0.09 mM and kcat of 2.98+/-0.04 nmol of p-nitrocatechol formed per minute per nanomole of P450) and chlorzoxazone (KM=0.65+/-0.08 mM and kcat of 0.95+/-0.10 nmol of 6-hydroxychlorzoxazone formed per minute per nanomole of P450). A 3D model of human P450 2E1 was generated to rationalise the functional data and to allow an analysis of the surface potentials. The distribution of charges on the model of P450 2E1 compared with that of the FMN domain of BMR provides the ground for the understanding of the interaction between the fused domains. The results point the way to successfully engineer a variety of catalytically self-sufficient human P450 enzymes for drug metabolism studies in solution.

  17. TRPV1 channels in human skeletal muscle feed arteries: implications for vascular function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ives, Stephen J; Park, Song Young; Kwon, Oh Sung; Gifford, Jayson R; Andtbacka, Robert H I; Hyngstrom, John R; Richardson, Russell S

    2017-09-01

    What is the central question of this study? We sought to determine whether human skeletal muscle feed arteries (SFMAs) express TRPV 1 channels and what role they play in modulating vascular function. What is the main finding and its importance? Human SMFAs do express functional TRPV 1 channels that modulate vascular function, specifically opposing α-adrenergic receptor-mediated vasocontraction and potentiating vasorelaxation, in an endothelium-dependent manner, as evidenced by the α 1 -receptor-mediated responses. Thus, the vasodilatory role of TRPV 1 channels, and their ligand capsaicin, could be a potential therapeutic target for improving vascular function. Additionally, given the 'sympatholytic' effect of TRPV 1 activation and known endogenous activators (anandamide, reactive oxygen species, H + , etc.), TRPV 1 channels might contribute to functional sympatholysis during exercise. To examine the role of the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV 1 ) ion channel in the vascular function of human skeletal muscle feed arteries (SMFAs) and whether activation of this heat-sensitive receptor could be involved in modulating vascular function, SMFAs from 16 humans (63 ± 5 years old, range 41-89 years) were studied using wire myography with capsaicin (TRPV 1 agonist) and without (control). Specifically, phenylephrine (α 1 -adrenergic receptor agonist), dexmedetomidine (α 2 -adrenergic receptor agonist), ACh and sodium nitroprusside concentration-response curves were established to assess the role of TRPV 1 channels in α-receptor-mediated vasocontraction as well as endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxation, respectively. Compared with control conditions, capsaicin significantly attenuated maximal vasocontraction in response to phenylephrine [control, 52 ± 8% length-tension max (LT max ) and capsaicin, 21 ± 5%LT max ] and dexmedetomidine (control, 29 ± 12%LT max and capsaicin, 2 ± 3%LT max ), while robustly enhancing maximal

  18. Protection of visual functions by human neural progenitors in a rat model of retinal disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Gamm

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available A promising clinical application for stem and progenitor cell transplantation is in rescue therapy for degenerative diseases. This strategy seeks to preserve rather than restore host tissue function by taking advantage of unique properties often displayed by these versatile cells. In studies using different neurodegenerative disease models, transplanted human neural progenitor cells (hNPC protected dying host neurons within both the brain and spinal cord. Based on these reports, we explored the potential of hNPC transplantation to rescue visual function in an animal model of retinal degeneration, the Royal College of Surgeons rat.Animals received unilateral subretinal injections of hNPC or medium alone at an age preceding major photoreceptor loss. Principal outcomes were quantified using electroretinography, visual acuity measurements and luminance threshold recordings from the superior colliculus. At 90-100 days postnatal, a time point when untreated rats exhibit little or no retinal or visual function, hNPC-treated eyes retained substantial retinal electrical activity and visual field with near-normal visual acuity. Functional efficacy was further enhanced when hNPC were genetically engineered to secrete glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. Histological examination at 150 days postnatal showed hNPC had formed a nearly continuous pigmented layer between the neural retina and retinal pigment epithelium, as well as distributed within the inner retina. A concomitant preservation of host cone photoreceptors was also observed.Wild type and genetically modified human neural progenitor cells survive for prolonged periods, migrate extensively, secrete growth factors and rescue visual functions following subretinal transplantation in the Royal College of Surgeons rat. These results underscore the potential therapeutic utility of hNPC in the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases and suggest potential mechanisms underlying their effect in

  19. Interactions of human hemoglobin with charged ligand-functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles and effect of counterions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, Goutam, E-mail: ghoshg@yahoo.com [UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, Mumbai Centre (India); Panicker, Lata [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Solid State Physics Division (India)

    2014-12-15

    Human hemoglobin is an important metalloprotein. It has tetrameric structure with each subunit containing a ‘heme’ group which carries oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood. In this work, we have investigated the interactions of human hemoglobin (Hb) with charged ligand-functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles and the effect of counterions, in aqueous medium. Several techniques like DLS and ζ-potential measurements, UV–vis, fluorescence, and CD spectroscopy have been used to characterize the interaction. The nanoparticle size was measured to be in the range of 20–30 nm. Our results indicated the binding of Hb with both positively as well as negatively charged ligand-functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles in neutral aqueous medium which was driven by the electrostatic and the hydrophobic interactions. The electrostatic binding interaction was not seen in phosphate buffer at pH 7.4. We have also observed that the ‘heme’ groups of Hb remained unaffected on binding with charged nanoparticles, suggesting the utility of the charged ligand-functionalized nanoparticles in biomedical applications.

  20. The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratman, Gregory N; Hamilton, J Paul; Daily, Gretchen C

    2012-02-01

    Scholars spanning a variety of disciplines have studied the ways in which contact with natural environments may impact human well-being. We review the effects of such nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health, synthesizing work from environmental psychology, urban planning, the medical literature, and landscape aesthetics. We provide an overview of the prevailing explanatory theories of these effects, the ways in which exposure to nature has been considered, and the role that individuals' preferences for nature may play in the impact of the environment on psychological functioning. Drawing from the highly productive but disparate programs of research in this area, we conclude by proposing a system of categorization for different types of nature experience. We also outline key questions for future work, including further inquiry into which elements of the natural environment may have impacts on cognitive function and mental health; what the most effective type, duration, and frequency of contact may be; and what the possible neural mechanisms are that could be responsible for the documented effects. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. Functional analysis of free fatty acid receptor GPR120 in human eosinophils: implications in metabolic homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Yasunori; Ueki, Shigeharu; Takeda, Masahide; Kobayashi, Yoshiki; Tamaki, Mami; Moritoki, Yuki; Oyamada, Hajime; Itoga, Masamichi; Kayaba, Hiroyuki; Omokawa, Ayumi; Hirokawa, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence has shown that eosinophils play an important role in metabolic homeostasis through Th2 cytokine production. GPR120 (FFA4) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) for long-chain fatty acids that functions as a regulator of physiological energy metabolism. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether human eosinophils express GPR120 and, if present, whether it possesses a functional capacity on eosinophils. Eosinophils isolated from peripheral venous blood expressed GPR120 at both the mRNA and protein levels. Stimulation with a synthetic GPR120 agonist, GW9508, induced rapid down-regulation of cell surface expression of GPR120, suggesting ligand-dependent receptor internalization. Although GPR120 activation did not induce eosinophil chemotactic response and degranulation, we found that GW9508 inhibited eosinophil spontaneous apoptosis and Fas receptor expression. The anti-apoptotic effect was attenuated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors and was associated with inhibition of caspase-3 activity. Eosinophil response investigated using ELISpot assay indicated that stimulation with a GPR120 agonist induced IL-4 secretion. These findings demonstrate the novel functional properties of fatty acid sensor GPR120 on human eosinophils and indicate the previously unrecognized link between nutrient metabolism and the immune system.

  2. Expression and functional roles of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) in human eosinophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamaki, Mami; Konno, Yasunori; Kobayashi, Yoshiki; Takeda, Masahide; Itoga, Masamichi; Moritoki, Yuki; Oyamada, Hajime; Kayaba, Hiroyuki; Chihara, Junichi; Ueki, Shigeharu

    2014-07-01

    Sexual dimorphism in asthma links the estrogen and allergic immune responses. The function of estrogen was classically believed to be mediated through its nuclear receptors, i.e., estrogen receptors (ERs). However, recent studies established the important roles of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) as a novel membrane receptor for estrogen. To date, the role of GPER in allergic inflammation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether GPER might affect the functions of eosinophils, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma. Here, we demonstrated that GPER was expressed in purified human peripheral blood eosinophils both at the mRNA and protein levels. Although GPER agonist G-1 did not induce eosinophil chemotaxis or chemokinesis, preincubation with G-1 enhanced eotaxin (CCL11)-directed eosinophil chemotaxis. G-1 inhibited eosinophil spontaneous apoptosis and caspase-3 activities. The anti-apoptotic effect was not affected by the cAMP-phospodiesterase inhibitor rolipram or phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors. In contrast to resting eosinophils, G-1 induced apoptosis and increased caspase-3 activities when eosinophils were co-stimulated with IL-5. No effect of G-1 was observed on eosinophil degranulation in terms of release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN). The current study indicates the functional capacities of GPER on human eosinophils and also provides the previously unrecognized mechanisms of interaction between estrogen and allergic inflammation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Cloning and functional expression of a human pancreatic islet glucose-transporter cDNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Permutt, M.A.; Koranyi, L.; Keller, K.; Lacy, P.E.; Scharp, D.W.; Mueckler, M.

    1989-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that pancreatic islet glucose transport is mediated by a high-K m , low-affinity facilitated transporter similar to that expressed in liver. To determine the relationship between islet and liver glucose transporters, liver-type glucose-transporter cDNA clones were isolated from a human liver cDNA library. The liver-type glucose-transporter cDNA clone hybridized to mRNA transcripts of the same size in human liver and pancreatic islet RNA. A cDNA library was prepared from purified human pancreatic islet tissue and screened with human liver-type glucose-transporter cDNA. The authors isolated two overlapping cDNA clones encompassing 2600 base pairs, which encode a pancreatic islet protein identical in sequence to that of the putative liver-type glucose-transporter protein. Xenopus oocytes injected with synthetic mRNA transcribed from a full-length cDNA construct exhibited increased uptake of 2-deoxyglucose, confirming the functional identity of the clone. These cDNA clones can now be used to study regulation of expression of the gene and to assess the role of inherited defects in this gene as a candidate for inherited susceptibility to non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

  4. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro.

  5. Nanomelatonin triggers superior anticancer functionality in a human malignant glioblastoma cell line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Sanjeev Kumar; Srivastava, Anup Kumar; Dev, Atul; Kaundal, Babita; Choudhury, Subhasree Roy; Karmakar, Surajit

    2017-09-01

    Melatonin (MEL) has promising medicinal value as an anticancer agent in a variety of malignancies, but there are difficulties in achieving a therapeutic dose due to its short half-life, low bioavailability, poor solubility and extensive first-pass metabolism. In this study chitosan/tripolyphosphate (TPP) nanoparticles were prepared by an ionic gelation method to overcome the therapeutic challenges of melatonin and to improve its anticancer efficacy. Characterization of the melatonin-loaded chitosan (MEL-CS) nanoformulation was performed using transmission and scanning electron microscopies, dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. In vitro release, cellular uptake and efficacy studies were tested for their enhanced anticancer potential in human U87MG glioblastoma cells. Confocal studies revealed higher cellular uptake of MEL-CS nanoparticles and enhanced anticancer efficacy in human malignant glioblastoma cancer cells than in healthy non-malignant human HEK293T cells in mono- and co-culture models. Our study has shown for the first time that MEL-CS nanocomposites are therapeutically more effective as compared to free MEL at inducing functional anticancer efficacy in the human brain tumour U87MG cell line.

  6. Form and function of the human and chimpanzee forefoot: implications for early hominin bipedalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Peter J.; Holowka, Nicholas B.; Demes, Brigitte; Jungers, William L.

    2016-01-01

    During bipedal walking, modern humans dorsiflex their forefoot at the metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJs) prior to push off, which tightens the plantar soft tissues to convert the foot into a stiff propulsive lever. Particular features of metatarsal head morphology such as “dorsal doming” are thought to facilitate this stiffening mechanism. In contrast, chimpanzees are believed to possess MTPJ morphology that precludes high dorsiflexion excursions during terrestrial locomotion. The morphological affinity of the metatarsal heads has been used to reconstruct locomotor behavior in fossil hominins, but few studies have provided detailed empirical data to validate the assumed link between morphology and function at the MTPJs. Using three-dimensional kinematic and morphometric analyses, we show that humans push off with greater peak dorsiflexion angles at all MTPJs than do chimpanzees during bipedal and quadrupedal walking, with the greatest disparity occurring at MTPJ 1. Among MTPJs 2–5, both species exhibit decreasing peak angles from medial to lateral. This kinematic pattern is mirrored in the morphometric analyses of metatarsal head shape. Analyses of Australopithecus afarensis metatarsals reveal morphology intermediate between humans and chimpanzees, suggesting that this species used different bipedal push-off kinematics than modern humans, perhaps resulting in a less efficient form of bipedalism. PMID:27464580

  7. Selecting Tasks for Evaluating Human Performance as a Function of Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norcross, Jason R.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    A challenge in understanding human performance as a function of gravity is determining which tasks to research. Initial studies began with treadmill walking, which was easy to quantify and control. However, with the development of pressurized rovers, it is less important to optimize human performance for ambulation as pressurized rovers will likely perform gross translation for them. Future crews are likely to spend much of their extravehicular activity (EVA) performing geology, construction,a nd maintenance type tasks. With these types of tasks, people have different performance strategies, and it is often difficult to quantify the task and measure steady-state metabolic rates or perform biomechanical analysis. For many of these types of tasks, subjective feedback may be the only data that can be collected. However, subjective data may not fully support a rigorous scientific comparison of human performance across different gravity levels and suit factors. NASA would benefit from having a wide variety of quantifiable tasks that allow human performance comparison across different conditions. In order to determine which tasks will effectively support scientific studies, many different tasks and data analysis techniques will need to be employed. Many of these tasks and techniques will not be effective, but some will produce quantifiable results that are sensitive enough to show performance differences. One of the primary concerns related to EVA performance is metabolic rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the faster the astronaut will exhaust consumables. The focus of this poster will be on how different tasks affect metabolic rate across different gravity levels.

  8. Signaling signatures and functional properties of anti-human CD28 superagonistic antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Waibler

    Full Text Available Superagonistic CD28 antibodies (CD28SAs activate T lymphocytes without concomitant perturbation of the TCR/CD3-complex. In rodents these reagents induce the preferential expansion of regulatory T cells and can be used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Unexpectedly, the humanized CD28 superagonist TGN1412 caused severe and life threatening adverse effects during a recently conducted phase I clinical trail. The underlying molecular mechanisms are as yet unclear. We show that TGN1412 as well as the commercially available CD28 superagonist ANC28.1 induce a delayed but extremely sustained calcium response in human naïve and memory CD4+ T cells but not in cynomolgus T lymphocytes. The sustained Ca++-signal was associated with the activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways and together these events culminated in the rapid de novo synthesis of high amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines, most notably IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Importantly, sustained transmembranous calcium flux, activation of Src-kinases as well as activation of PI3K were found to be absolutely required for CD28SA-mediated production of IFN-gamma and IL-2. Collectively, our data suggest a molecular basis for the severe side effects caused by TGN1412 and impinge upon the relevance of non-human primates as preclinical models for reagents that are supposed to modify the function of human T cells.

  9. HLA-G in human reproduction: aspects of genetics, function and pregnancy complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2006-01-01

    The non-classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ib genes, HLA-E, -G and -F, are located on chromosome 6 in the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC). HLA class Ib antigens resemble the HLA class Ia antigens in many ways, but several major differences have been described. This review will, in particular, discuss HLA-G and its role in human reproduction and in the human MHC. HLA-G seems to be important in the modulation of the maternal immune system during pregnancy and thereby the maternal acceptance of the semiallogenic fetus. Recent findings regarding aspects of HLA-G polymorphism, the possible significance of this polymorphism in respect to HLA-G function and certain complications of pregnancy (such as pre-eclampsia and recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA)) are discussed together with possible importance to IVF. Finally, aspects of a possible role of HLA-G in organ transplantation and in inflammatory or autoimmune disease, and of HLA-G in an evolutionary context, are also briefly examined.

  10. Functional MRI studies of acupuncture analgesia modulating within the human brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou Jinwen; Huang Weihao; Wang Qing; Feng Jingwei; Pu Yonglin; Gao Jiahong

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the correlation between acupuncture analgesia and specific functional areas of the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods: Acupuncture stimulation was induced by manipulating acupuncture needle at the acupuncture point, large intestine 4 (LI 4, Hegu) on the right (dominant) hand of 8 healthy subjects. Functional MRI data were obtained from scanning the whole brain. A block-design paradigm was applied. Functional responses were established by students' group t-test analysis. Results: The data sets from 6 of 8 subjects were used in the study. Signal increases and signal decreases elicited by acupuncture stimulating were demonstrated in multiple brain regions. Signal increases in periaqueductal gray matter and ventral posterior nucleus of the left thalamus, and signal decreases in bilateral anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral occipital lobes were considered as the response to the acupuncture modulating within the human brain. Conclusion: The therapeutic effect of acupuncture analgesia was probably produced by the interaction of multiple brain structures of functional connectivity rather than through the activation of a single brain region

  11. Urea uptake enhances barrier function and antimicrobial defense in humans by regulating epidermal gene expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grether-Beck, Susanne; Felsner, Ingo; Brenden, Heidi; Kohne, Zippora; Majora, Marc; Marini, Alessandra; Jaenicke, Thomas; Rodriguez-Martin, Marina; Trullas, Carles; Hupe, Melanie; Elias, Peter M.; Krutmann, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Urea is an endogenous metabolite, known to enhance stratum corneum hydration. Yet, topical urea anecdotally also improves permeability barrier function, and it appears to exhibit antimicrobial activity. Hence, we hypothesized that urea is not merely a passive metabolite, but a small-molecule regulator of epidermal structure and function. In 21 human volunteers, topical urea improved barrier function in parallel with enhanced antimicrobial peptide (LL-37 and β-defensin-2) expression. Urea both stimulates expression of, and is transported into keratinocytes by two urea transporters, UT-A1 and UT-A2, and by aquaporin 3, 7 and 9. Inhibitors of these urea transporters block the downstream biological effects of urea, which include increased mRNA and protein levels for: (i) transglutaminase-1, involucrin, loricrin and filaggrin; (ii) epidermal lipid synthetic enzymes, and (iii) cathelicidin/LL-37 and β-defensin-2. Finally, we explored the potential clinical utility of urea, showing that topical urea applications normalized both barrier function and antimicrobial peptide expression in a murine model of atopic dermatitis (AD). Together, these results show that urea is a small-molecule regulator of epidermal permeability barrier function and antimicrobial peptide expression after transporter uptake, followed by gene regulatory activity in normal epidermis, with potential therapeutic applications in diseased skin. PMID:22418868

  12. Interaction between graviception and carotid baroreflex function in humans during parabolic flight-induced microgravity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogoh, Shigehiko; Marais, Michaël; Lericollais, Romain; Denise, Pierre; Raven, Peter B; Normand, Hervé

    2018-05-10

    The aim of the present study was to assess carotid baroreflex (CBR) during acute changes in otolithic activity in humans. To address this question, we designed a set of experiments to identify the modulatory effects of microgravity on CBR function at a tilt angle of -2{degree sign}, which was identified to minimize changes in central blood volume during parabolic flight. During parabolic flight at 0g and 1g, CBR function curves were modelled from the heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) responses to rapid pulse trains of neck pressure (NP) and neck suction (NS) ranging from +40 to -80 Torr; CBR control of HR (carotid-HR) and MAP (carotid-MAP) baroreflex function curves, respectively. The maximal gain (G max ) of both carotid-HR and carotid-MAP baroreflex function curves were augmented during microgravity compared to 1g (carotid-HR, -0.53 to -0.80 beats/min/mmHg, Pflight-induced acute change of otolithic activity may modify CBR function and identifies that the vestibular system contributes to blood pressure regulation under fluctuations in gravitational forces.

  13. Synthetic alleles at position 121 define a functional domain of human interleukin-1 beta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosetti, D C; Palla, E; Mirtella, A; Galeotti, C; Solito, E; Navarra, P; Parente, L; Melli, M

    1996-06-01

    The non-conservative substitution of the tyrosine residue at position 121 of human interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) generates protein mutants showing strong reduction of the capacity to induce (a) prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release from fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells, (b) murine T-cells proliferation and (c) activation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene expression. It is generally accepted that these functions are mediated by the type-I interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1RI). However, the mutant proteins maintain the binding affinity to the types-I and II IL-1 receptors, which is the same as the control IL-1 beta, suggesting that this amino acid substitution does not alter the structure of the molecule, except locally. Thus we have identified a new functional site of IL-1 beta different from the known receptor binding region, responsible for fundamental IL-1 beta functions. Moreover, we show that the same mutants maintain at least two hypothalamic functions, that is, the in vitro short-term PGE2 release from rat hypothalamus and the induction of fever in rabbits. This result suggests that there is yet another site of the molecule responsible for the hypothalamic functions, implying that multiple active sites on the IL-1 beta molecule, possibly binding to more than one receptor chain, trigger different signals.

  14. Investigation of dynamic SPECT measurements of the arterial input function in human subjects using simulation, phantom and human studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winant, Celeste D.; Aparici, Carina Mari; Zelnik, Yuval R.; Reutter, Bryan W.; Sitek, Arkadiusz; Bacharach, Stephen L.; Gullberg, Grant T.

    2012-01-01

    Computer simulations, a phantom study and a human study were performed to determine whether a slowly rotating single-photon computed emission tomography (SPECT) system could provide accurate arterial input functions for quantification of myocardial perfusion imaging using kinetic models. The errors induced by data inconsistency associated with imaging with slow camera rotation during tracer injection were evaluated with an approach called SPECT/P (dynamic SPECT from positron emission tomography (PET)) and SPECT/D (dynamic SPECT from database of SPECT phantom projections). SPECT/P simulated SPECT-like dynamic projections using reprojections of reconstructed dynamic 94Tc-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (94Tc-MIBI) PET images acquired in three human subjects (1 min infusion). This approach was used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in rate parameters K1 for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 or 54 s. Blood input and myocardium tissue time-activity curves (TACs) were estimated using spatiotemporal splines. These were fit to a one-compartment perfusion model to obtain wash-in rate parameters K1. For the second method (SPECT/D), an anthropomorphic cardiac torso phantom was used to create real SPECT dynamic projection data of a tracer distribution derived from 94Tc-MIBI PET scans in the blood pool, myocardium, liver and background. This method introduced attenuation, collimation and scatter into the modeling of dynamic SPECT projections. Both approaches were used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in parameters for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 and 54 s. Dynamic cardiac SPECT was also performed in a human subject at rest using a hybrid SPECT/CT scanner. Dynamic measurements of 99mTc-tetrofosmin in the myocardium were obtained using an infusion time of 2 min. Blood input, myocardium tissue and liver TACs were estimated using the same spatiotemporal splines. The spatiotemporal maximum

  15. Investigation of dynamic SPECT measurements of the arterial input function in human subjects using simulation, phantom and human studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winant, Celeste D; Aparici, Carina Mari; Bacharach, Stephen L; Gullberg, Grant T; Zelnik, Yuval R; Reutter, Bryan W; Sitek, Arkadiusz

    2012-01-01

    Computer simulations, a phantom study and a human study were performed to determine whether a slowly rotating single-photon computed emission tomography (SPECT) system could provide accurate arterial input functions for quantification of myocardial perfusion imaging using kinetic models. The errors induced by data inconsistency associated with imaging with slow camera rotation during tracer injection were evaluated with an approach called SPECT/P (dynamic SPECT from positron emission tomography (PET)) and SPECT/D (dynamic SPECT from database of SPECT phantom projections). SPECT/P simulated SPECT-like dynamic projections using reprojections of reconstructed dynamic 94 Tc-methoxyisobutylisonitrile ( 94 Tc-MIBI) PET images acquired in three human subjects (1 min infusion). This approach was used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in rate parameters K 1 for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 or 54 s. Blood input and myocardium tissue time-activity curves (TACs) were estimated using spatiotemporal splines. These were fit to a one-compartment perfusion model to obtain wash-in rate parameters K 1 . For the second method (SPECT/D), an anthropomorphic cardiac torso phantom was used to create real SPECT dynamic projection data of a tracer distribution derived from 94 Tc-MIBI PET scans in the blood pool, myocardium, liver and background. This method introduced attenuation, collimation and scatter into the modeling of dynamic SPECT projections. Both approaches were used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in parameters for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 and 54 s. Dynamic cardiac SPECT was also performed in a human subject at rest using a hybrid SPECT/CT scanner. Dynamic measurements of 99m Tc-tetrofosmin in the myocardium were obtained using an infusion time of 2 min. Blood input, myocardium tissue and liver TACs were estimated using the same spatiotemporal splines. The spatiotemporal

  16. Localization and function of ATP-sensitive potassium channels in human skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Jung; Kristensen, Michael; Hellsten, Ylva

    2003-01-01

    The present study investigated the localization of ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels in human skeletal muscle and the functional importance of these channels for human muscle K+ distribution at rest and during muscle activity. Membrane fractionation based on the giant vesicle technique...... or the sucrose-gradient technique in combination with Western blotting demonstrated that the KATP channels are mainly located in the sarcolemma. This localization was confirmed by immunohistochemical measurements. With the microdialysis technique, it was demonstrated that local application of the KATP channel...... to in vitro conditions, the present study demonstrated that under in vivo conditions the KATP channels are active at rest and contribute to the accumulation of interstitial K+....

  17. CD146/MCAM defines functionality of human bone marrow stromal stem cell populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harkness, Linda; Zaher, Walid; Ditzel, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Identification of surface markers for prospective isolation of functionally homogenous populations of human skeletal (stromal, mesenchymal) stem cells (hMSCs) is highly relevant for cell therapy protocols. Thus, we examined the possible use of CD146 to subtype a heterogeneous hMSC...... population. METHODS: Using flow cytometry and cell sorting, we isolated two distinct hMSC-CD146(+) and hMSC-CD146(-) cell populations from the telomerized human bone marrow-derived stromal cell line (hMSC-TERT). Cells were examined for differences in their size, shape and texture by using high...... and adipocytes on the basis of gene expression and protein production of lineage-specific markers. In vivo, hMSC-CD146(+) and hMSC-CD146(-) cells formed bone and bone marrow organ when implanted subcutaneously in immune-deficient mice. Bone was enriched in hMSC-CD146(-) cells (12.6 % versus 8.1 %) and bone...

  18. A Conceptual Project of a Device for Human Wrist Functional Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewandowski B.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the paper, the problems of devices supporting functional rehabilitation of a human wrist were addressed. A literature review and a description of selected devices together with an indication of their advantages and disadvantages were conducted. The biomechanical structure of a human wrist was analyzed. On this basis and after taking into consideration ranges of motion of the selected joints the concept of a new mechanism was developed. A 3D model of the device was built in the Autodesk Inventor system. For the purpose of simulations another model was developed in the MSC Adams system. Issues of drives and sensors selection, as well as requirements for the control system, were examined.

  19. HLA-G in human reproduktion: aspects of genetics, function, and pregnancy complications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, TVF

    2006-01-01

    -G polymorphism, the possible significance of this polymorphism in respect to HLA-G function and certain complications of pregnancy (such as pre-eclampsia and recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA)) are discussed together with possible importance to IVF. Finally, aspects of a possible role of HLA-G in organ...... transplantation and in inflammatory or autoimmune disease, and of HLA-G in an evolutionary context, are also briefly examined......The non-classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ib genes, HLA-E, -G and -F, are located on chromosome 6 in the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC). HLA class Ib antigens resemble the HLA class Ia antigens in many ways, but several major differences have been described. This review...

  20. All printed touchless human-machine interface based on only five functional materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheipl, G.; Zirkl, M.; Sawatdee, A.; Helbig, U.; Krause, M.; Kraker, E.; Andersson Ersman, P.; Nilsson, D.; Platt, D.; Bodö, P.; Bauer, S.; Domann, G.; Mogessie, A.; Hartmann, Paul; Stadlober, B.

    2012-02-01

    We demonstrate the printing of a complex smart integrated system using only five functional inks: the fluoropolymer P(VDF:TrFE) (Poly(vinylidene fluoride trifluoroethylene) sensor ink, the conductive polymer PEDOT:PSS (poly(3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonic acid) ink, a conductive carbon paste, a polymeric electrolyte and SU8 for separation. The result is a touchless human-machine interface, including piezo- and pyroelectric sensor pixels (sensitive to pressure changes and impinging infrared light), transistors for impedance matching and signal conditioning, and an electrochromic display. Applications may not only emerge in human-machine interfaces, but also in transient temperature or pressure sensing used in safety technology, in artificial skins and in disposable sensor labels.

  1. Visualization of light propagation in visible Chinese human head for functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; Gong, Hui; Luo, Qingming

    2011-04-01

    Using the visible Chinese human data set, which faithfully represents human anatomy, we visualize the light propagation in the head in detail based on Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation is verified to agree with published experimental results in terms of a differential path-length factor. The spatial sensitivity profile turns out to seem like a fat tropical fish with strong distortion along the folding cerebral surface. The sensitive brain region covers the gray matter and extends to the superficial white matter, leading to a large penetration depth (>3 cm). Finally, the optimal source-detector separation is suggested to be narrowed down to 3-3.5 cm, while the sensitivity of the detected signal to brain activation reaches the peak of 8%. These results indicate that the cerebral cortex folding geometry actually has substantial effects on light propagation, which should be necessarily considered for applications of functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

  2. Distinct functions of human RecQ helicases during DNA replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Vaclav; Dobrovolna, Jana; Janscak, Pavel

    2017-06-01

    DNA replication is the most vulnerable process of DNA metabolism in proliferating cells and therefore it is tightly controlled and coordinated with processes that maintain genomic stability. Human RecQ helicases are among the most important factors involved in the maintenance of replication fork integrity, especially under conditions of replication stress. RecQ helicases promote recovery of replication forks being stalled due to different replication roadblocks of either exogenous or endogenous source. They prevent generation of aberrant replication fork structures and replication fork collapse, and are involved in proper checkpoint signaling. The essential role of human RecQ helicases in the genome maintenance during DNA replication is underlined by association of defects in their function with cancer predisposition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Immunomodulatory effects of Bacteroides products on in vitro human lymphocyte functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenker, B J; Slots, J

    1989-03-01

    Bacteroides spp. have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including periodontal diseases. In this study sonic extracts of 6 Bacteroides spp. were examined for their abilities to alter human lymphocyte function. We found that soluble extracts from Bacteroides intermedius, Bacteroides endodontalis, Bacteroides asaccharolyticus, Bacteroides melaninogenicus, and to a lesser degree Bacteroides loescheii, caused dose-dependent inhibition of human lymphocyte responsiveness to both mitogens and antigens. Suppression involved altered DNA, RNA and protein synthesis as well as immunoglobulin production. In contrast, Bacteroides gingivalis did not suppress these responses; instead, it stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and enhanced immunoglobulin production. It has been proposed that impaired host defense may play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of many infections. The data presented in this paper suggest that microbial mediated immunosuppression may conceivably alter the nature and consequences of host-parasite interactions in periodontal disease.

  4. Functional Dynamics within the Human Ribosome Regulate the Rate of Active Protein Synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Angelica; Wang, Leyi; Altman, Roger B; Terry, Daniel S; Juette, Manuel F; Burnett, Benjamin J; Alejo, Jose L; Dass, Randall A; Parks, Matthew M; Vincent, C Theresa; Blanchard, Scott C

    2015-11-05

    The regulation of protein synthesis contributes to gene expression in both normal physiology and disease, yet kinetic investigations of the human translation mechanism are currently lacking. Using single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods, we have quantified the nature and timing of structural processes in human ribosomes during single-turnover and processive translation reactions. These measurements reveal that functional complexes exhibit dynamic behaviors and thermodynamic stabilities distinct from those observed for bacterial systems. Structurally defined sub-states of pre- and post-translocation complexes were sensitive to specific inhibitors of the eukaryotic ribosome, demonstrating the utility of this platform to probe drug mechanism. The application of three-color single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) methods further revealed a long-distance allosteric coupling between distal tRNA binding sites within ribosomes bearing three tRNAs, which contributed to the rate of processive translation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Glycerol restores the p53 function in human lingual cancer cells bearing mutant p53

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ota, Ichiro; Yane, Katsunari; Yuki, Kazue; Kanata, Hirokazu; Hosoi, Hiroshi; Miyahara, Hiroshi

    2001-01-01

    Mutations in p53, tumor suppressor gene, have recently been shown to have an impact on the clinical course of several human tumors, including head and neck cancers. The genetic status of the p53 gene has been focused on as the most important candidate among various cancer-related genes for prognosis-predictive assays of cancer therapy. We examined the restoration of radiation- or cisplatin (CDDP)-induced p53-dependent apoptosis in human lingual cancer cells. The results suggest that glycerol is effective in inducing a conformational change of p53 and restoring normal function of mutant p53, leading to enhanced radiosensitivity or chemosensitivity through the induction of apoptosis. We have also represented the same results in vivo as in vitro. Thus, this novel tool for enhancement of radiosensitivity or chemosensitivity in cancer cells bearing m p53 may be applicable for p53-targeted cancer therapy. (author)

  6. Establishment of functioning human corneal endothelial cell line with high growth potential.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Yokoi

    Full Text Available Hexagonal-shaped human corneal endothelial cells (HCEC form a monolayer by adhering tightly through their intercellular adhesion molecules. Located at the posterior corneal surface, they maintain corneal translucency by dehydrating the corneal stroma, mainly through the Na(+- and K(+-dependent ATPase (Na(+/K(+-ATPase. Because HCEC proliferative activity is low in vivo, once HCEC are damaged and their numbers decrease, the cornea begins to show opacity due to overhydration, resulting in loss of vision. HCEC cell cycle arrest occurs at the G1 phase and is partly regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs in the Rb pathway (p16-CDK4/CyclinD1-pRb. In this study, we tried to activate proliferation of HCEC by inhibiting CKIs. Retroviral transduction was used to generate two new HCEC lines: transduced human corneal endothelial cell by human papillomavirus type E6/E7 (THCEC (E6/E7 and transduced human corneal endothelial cell by Cdk4R24C/CyclinD1 (THCEH (Cyclin. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis of gene expression revealed little difference between THCEC (E6/E7, THCEH (Cyclin and non-transduced HCEC, but cell cycle-related genes were up-regulated in THCEC (E6/E7 and THCEH (Cyclin. THCEH (Cyclin expressed intercellular molecules including ZO-1 and N-cadherin and showed similar Na(+/K(+-ATPase pump function to HCEC, which was not demonstrated in THCEC (E6/E7. This study shows that HCEC cell cycle activation can be achieved by inhibiting CKIs even while maintaining critical pump function and morphology.

  7. Human neural progenitors express functional lysophospholipid receptors that regulate cell growth and morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Callihan Phillip

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lysophospholipids regulate the morphology and growth of neurons, neural cell lines, and neural progenitors. A stable human neural progenitor cell line is not currently available in which to study the role of lysophospholipids in human neural development. We recently established a stable, adherent human embryonic stem cell-derived neuroepithelial (hES-NEP cell line which recapitulates morphological and phenotypic features of neural progenitor cells isolated from fetal tissue. The goal of this study was to determine if hES-NEP cells express functional lysophospholipid receptors, and if activation of these receptors mediates cellular responses critical for neural development. Results Our results demonstrate that Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA and Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P receptors are functionally expressed in hES-NEP cells and are coupled to multiple cellular signaling pathways. We have shown that transcript levels for S1P1 receptor increased significantly in the transition from embryonic stem cell to hES-NEP. hES-NEP cells express LPA and S1P receptors coupled to Gi/o G-proteins that inhibit adenylyl cyclase and to Gq-like phospholipase C activity. LPA and S1P also induce p44/42 ERK MAP kinase phosphorylation in these cells and stimulate cell proliferation via Gi/o coupled receptors in an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR- and ERK-dependent pathway. In contrast, LPA and S1P stimulate transient cell rounding and aggregation that is independent of EGFR and ERK, but dependent on the Rho effector p160 ROCK. Conclusion Thus, lysophospholipids regulate neural progenitor growth and morphology through distinct mechanisms. These findings establish human ES cell-derived NEP cells as a model system for studying the role of lysophospholipids in neural progenitors.

  8. Efficient generation of functional pancreatic β-cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabe, Shigeharu G; Fukuda, Satsuki; Takeda, Fujie; Nashiro, Kiyoko; Shimoda, Masayuki; Okochi, Hitoshi

    2017-02-01

    Insulin-secreting cells have been generated from human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by mimicking developmental processes. However, these cells do not always secrete glucose-responsive insulin, one of the most important characteristics of pancreatic β-cells. We focused on the importance of endodermal differentiation from human iPSCs in order to obtain functional pancreatic β-cells. A six-stage protocol was established for the differentiation of human iPSCs to pancreatic β-cells using defined culture media without feeders or serum. The effects of CHIR99021, a selective glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor, were examined in the presence of fibroblast growth factor 2, activin, and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (FAB) during definitive endodermal induction by immunostaining for SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 17 (SOX17) and Forkhead box protein A2 (FOXA2). Insulin secretion was compared between the last stage of monolayer culture and spheroid culture conditions. Cultured cells were transplanted under kidney capsules of streptozotocin-diabetic non-obese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency mice, and blood glucose levels were measured once a week. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed 4 and 12 weeks after transplantation. Addition of CHIR99021 (3 μmol/L) in the presence of FAB for 2 days improved endodermal cell viability, maintaining the high SOX17-positive rate. Spheroid formation after the endocrine progenitor stage showed more efficient insulin secretion than did monolayer culture. After cell transplantation, diabetic mice had lower blood glucose levels, and islet-like structures were detected in vivo. Functional pancreatic β-cells were generated from human iPSCs. Induction of definitive endoderm and spheroid formation may be key steps for producing these cells. © 2016 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  9. Generation of Functional Lentoid Bodies From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived From Urinary Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qiuli; Qin, Zhenwei; Jin, Xiuming; Zhang, Lifang; Chen, Zhijian; He, Jiliang; Ji, Junfeng; Yao, Ke

    2017-01-01

    The pathological mechanisms underlying cataract formation remain largely unknown on account of the lack of appropriate in vitro cellular models. The aim of this study is to develop a stable in vitro system for human lens regeneration using pluripotent stem cells. Isolated human urinary cells were infected with four Yamanaka factors to generate urinary human induced pluripotent stem cells (UiPSCs), which were induced to differentiate into lens progenitor cells and lentoid bodies (LBs). The expression of lens-specific markers was examined by real-time PCR, immunostaining, and Western blotting. The structure and magnifying ability of LBs were investigated using transmission electron microscopy and observing the magnification of the letter "X," respectively. We developed a "fried egg" differentiation method to generate functional LBs from UiPSCs. The UiPSC-derived LBs exhibited crystalline lens-like morphology and a transparent structure and expressed lens-specific markers αA-, αB-, β-, and γ-crystallin and MIP. During LB differentiation, the placodal markers SIX1, EYA1, DLX3, PAX6, and the specific early lens markers SOX1, PROX1, FOXE3, αA-, and αB-crystallin were observed at certain time points. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of lens epithelial cells adjacent to the lens capsule as well as both immature and mature fiber-like cells. Optical analysis further demonstrated the magnifying ability (1.7×) of the LBs generated from UiPSCs. Our study provides the first evidence toward generating functional LBs from UiPSCs, thereby establishing an in vitro system that can be used to study human lens development and cataractogenesis and perhaps even be useful for drug screening.

  10. Functional characterization of human COQ4, a gene required for Coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casarin, Alberto; Jimenez-Ortega, Jose Carlos; Trevisson, Eva; Pertegato, Vanessa; Doimo, Mara; Ferrero-Gomez, Maria Lara; Abbadi, Sara; Artuch, Rafael; Quinzii, Catarina; Hirano, Michio; Basso, Giuseppe; Ocana, Carlos Santos; Navas, Placido; Salviati, Leonardo

    2008-01-01

    Defects in genes involved in coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis cause primary CoQ deficiency, a severe multisystem disorders presenting as progressive encephalomyopathy and nephropathy. The COQ4 gene encodes an essential factor for biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have identified and cloned its human ortholog, COQ4, which is located on chromosome 9q34.13, and is transcribed into a 795 base-pair open reading frame, encoding a 265 amino acid (aa) protein (Isoform 1) with a predicted N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence. It shares 39% identity and 55% similarity with the yeast protein. Coq4 protein has no known enzymatic function, but may be a core component of multisubunit complex required for CoQ biosynthesis. The human transcript is detected in Northern blots as a ∼1.4 kb single band and is expressed ubiquitously, but at high levels in liver, lung, and pancreas. Transcription initiates at multiple sites, located 333-23 nucleotides upstream of the ATG. A second group of transcripts originating inside intron 1 of the gene encodes a 241 aa protein, which lacks the mitochondrial targeting sequence (isoform 2). Expression of GFP-fusion proteins in HeLa cells confirmed that only isoform 1 is targeted to mitochondria. The functional significance of the second isoform is unknown. Human COQ4 isoform 1, expressed from a multicopy plasmid, efficiently restores both growth in glycerol, and CoQ content in COQ4 null yeast strains. Human COQ4 is an interesting candidate gene for patients with isolated CoQ 10 deficiency

  11. Functional conservation of coenzyme Q biosynthetic genes among yeasts, plants, and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Hayashi

    Full Text Available Coenzyme Q (CoQ is an essential factor for aerobic growth and oxidative phosphorylation in the electron transport system. The biosynthetic pathway for CoQ has been proposed mainly from biochemical and genetic analyses of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae; however, the biosynthetic pathway in higher eukaryotes has been explored in only a limited number of studies. We previously reported the roles of several genes involved in CoQ synthesis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we expand these findings by identifying ten genes (dps1, dlp1, ppt1, and coq3-9 that are required for CoQ synthesis. CoQ10-deficient S. pombe coq deletion strains were generated and characterized. All mutant fission yeast strains were sensitive to oxidative stress, produced a large amount of sulfide, required an antioxidant to grow on minimal medium, and did not survive at the stationary phase. To compare the biosynthetic pathway of CoQ in fission yeast with that in higher eukaryotes, the ability of CoQ biosynthetic genes from humans and plants (Arabidopsis thaliana to functionally complement the S. pombe coq deletion strains was determined. With the exception of COQ9, expression of all other human and plant COQ genes recovered CoQ10 production by the fission yeast coq deletion strains, although the addition of a mitochondrial targeting sequence was required for human COQ3 and COQ7, as well as A. thaliana COQ6. In summary, this study describes the functional conservation of CoQ biosynthetic genes between yeasts, humans, and plants.

  12. Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into highly functional classical brown adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishio, Miwako; Saeki, Kumiko

    2014-01-01

    We describe a detailed method for directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), into functional classical brown adipocytes (BAs) under serum-free and feeder-free conditions. It is a two-tiered culture system, based on very simple techniques, a floating culture and a subsequent adherent culture. It does not require gene transfer. The entire process can be carried out in about 10 days. The key point is the usage of our special hematopoietic cytokine cocktail. Almost all the differentiated cells express uncoupling protein 1, a BA-selective marker, as determined by immunostaining. The differentiated cells show characteristics of classical BA as assessed by morphology and gene/protein expression. Moreover, the expression of myoblast marker genes is transiently induced during the floating culture step. hESC/hiPSC-derived BAs show significantly higher oxygen consumption rates (OCRs) than white adipocytes generated from human mesenchymal stem cell. They also show responsiveness to adrenergic stimuli, with about twofold upregulation in OCR by β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) agonist treatments. hESC/hiPSC-derived BAs exert in vivo calorigenic activities in response to β-AR agonist treatments as assessed by thermography. Finally, lipid and glucose metabolisms are significantly improved in hESC/hiPSC-derived BA-transplanted mice. Our system provides a highly feasible way to produce functional classical BA bearing metabolism-improving capacities from hESC/hiPSC under a feeder-free and serum-free condition without gene transfer. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings