WorldWideScience

Sample records for human oca2 function

  1. Human eye colour and HERC2, OCA2 and MATP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mengel-From, Jonas; Børsting, Claus; Sanchez, Juan J.

    2010-01-01

    Prediction of human eye colour by forensic genetic methods is of great value in certain crime investigations. Strong associations between blue/brown eye colour and the SNP loci rs1129038 and rs12913832 in the HERC2 gene were recently described. Weaker associations between eye colour and other...... value of typing either the HERC2 SNPs rs1129038 and/or rs12913832 that are in strong linkage disequilibrium was observed when eye colour was divided into two groups, (1) blue, grey and green (light) and (2) brown and hazel (dark). Sequence variations in rs11636232 and rs7170852 in HERC2, rs1800407...... in OCA2 and rs16891982 in MATP showed additional association with eye colours in addition to the effect of HERC2 rs1129038. Diplotype analysis of three sequence variations in HERC2 and one sequence variation in OCA2 showed the best discrimination between light and dark eye colours with a likelihood ratio...

  2. Importance of non-synonymous OCA2 variants in human eye colour prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jeppe Dyrberg; Pietroni, Carlotta; Johansen, Peter

    2016-01-01

    in the promotor region of OCA2 (OMIM #611409). Nevertheless, many eye colors cannot be explained by only considering rs12913832:A>G. Methods: In this study, we searched for additional variants in OCA2 to explain human eye color by sequencing a 500 kbp region, encompassing OCA2 and its promotor region. Results: We......Background: The color of the eyes is one of the most prominent phenotypes in humans and it is often used to describe the appearance of an individual. The intensity of pigmentation in the iris is strongly associated with one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs12913832:A>G that is located...... identified three nonsynonymous OCA2 variants as important for eye color, including rs1800407:G>A (p.Arg419Gln) and two variants, rs74653330:A>T (p.Ala481Thr) and rs121918166:G>A (p.Val443Ile), not previously described as important for eye color variation. It was shown that estimated haplotypes consisting...

  3. Blue eye color in humans may be caused by a perfectly associated founder mutation in a regulatory element located within the HERC2 gene inhibiting OCA2 expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiberg, Hans; Troelsen, Jesper; Boyd, Mette

    2008-01-01

    The human eye color is a quantitative trait displaying multifactorial inheritance. Several studies have shown that the OCA2 locus is the major contributor to the human eye color variation. By linkage analysis of a large Danish family, we finemapped the blue eye color locus to a 166 Kbp region...... within the HERC2 gene. By association analyses, we identified two SNPs within this region that were perfectly associated with the blue and brown eye colors: rs12913832 and rs1129038. Of these, rs12913832 is located 21.152 bp upstream from the OCA2 promoter in a highly conserved sequence in intron 86...... of HERC2. The brown eye color allele of rs12913832 is highly conserved throughout a number of species. As shown by a Luciferase assays in cell cultures, the element significantly reduces the activity of the OCA2 promoter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrate that the two alleles bind...

  4. Functional characterization of two novel splicing mutations in the OCA2 gene associated with oculocutaneous albinism type II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimoldi, Valeria; Straniero, Letizia; Asselta, Rosanna; Mauri, Lucia; Manfredini, Emanuela; Penco, Silvana; Gesu, Giovanni P; Del Longo, Alessandra; Piozzi, Elena; Soldà, Giulia; Primignani, Paola

    2014-03-01

    Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is characterized by hypopigmentation of the skin, hair and eye, and by ophthalmologic abnormalities caused by a deficiency in melanin biosynthesis. OCA type II (OCA2) is one of the four commonly-recognized forms of albinism, and is determined by mutation in the OCA2 gene. In the present study, we investigated the molecular basis of OCA2 in two siblings and one unrelated patient. The mutational screening of the OCA2 gene identified two hitherto-unknown putative splicing mutations. The first one (c.1503+5G>A), identified in an Italian proband and her affected sibling, lies in the consensus sequence of the donor splice site of OCA2 intron 14 (IVS14+5G>A), in compound heterozygosity with a frameshift mutation, c.1450_1451insCTGCCCTGACA, which is predicted to determine the premature termination of the polypeptide chain (p.I484Tfs*19). In-silico prediction of the effect of the IVS14+5G>A mutation on splicing showed a score reduction for the mutant splice site and indicated the possible activation of a newly-created deep-intronic acceptor splice site. The second mutation is a synonymous transition (c.2139G>A, p.K713K) involving the last nucleotide of exon 20. This mutation was found in a young African albino patient in compound heterozygosity with a previously-reported OCA2 missense mutation (p.T404M). In-silico analysis predicted that the mutant c.2139G>A allele would result in the abolition of the splice donor site. The effects on splicing of these two novel mutations were investigated using an in-vitro hybrid-minigene approach that led to the demonstration of the causal role of the two mutations and to the identification of aberrant transcript variants.

  5. Albinism in phylogenetically and geographically distinct populations of Astyanax cavefish arises through the same loss-of-function Oca2 allele.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, J B; Wilkens, H

    2013-08-01

    The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, comprises 29 populations of cave-adapted fish distributed across a vast karst region in northeastern Mexico. These populations have a complex evolutionary history, having descended from 'old' and 'young' ancestral surface-dwelling stocks that invaded the region ∼6.7 and ∼2.8 MYa, respectively. This study investigates a set of captive, pigmented Astyanax cavefish collected from the Micos cave locality in 1970, in which albinism appeared over the past two decades. We combined novel coloration analyses, coding sequence comparisons and mRNA expression level studies to investigate the origin of albinism in captive-bred Micos cavefish. We discovered that albino Micos cavefish harbor two copies of a loss-of-function ocular and cutaneous albinism type II (Oca2) allele previously identified in the geographically distant Pachón cave population. This result suggests that phylogenetically young Micos cavefish and phylogenetically old Pachón cave fish inherited this Oca2 allele from the ancestral surface-dwelling taxon. This likely resulted from the presence of the loss-of-function Oca2 haplotype in the 'young' ancestral surface-dwelling stock that colonized the Micos cave and also introgressed into the ancient Pachón cave population. The appearance of albinism in captive Micos cavefish, caused by the same loss-of-function allele present in Pachón cavefish, implies that geographically and phylogenetically distinct cave populations can evolve the same troglomorphic phenotype from standing genetic variation present in the ancestral taxon.

  6. HERC2 rs12913832 modulates human pigmentation by attenuating chromatin-loop formation between a long-range enhancer and the OCA2 promoter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Visser (Mijke); M.H. Kayser (Manfred); R.-J.T.S. Palstra (Robert-Jan)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractPigmentation of skin, eye, and hair reflects some of the most evident common phenotypes in humans. Several candidate genes for human pigmentation are identified. The SNP rs12913832 has strong statistical association with human pigmentation. It is located within an intron of the

  7. A nonsense nucleotide substitution in the oculocutaneous albinism II gene underlies the original pink-eyed dilution allele (Oca2(p)) in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Haruka; Kiniwa, Yukiko; Okuyama, Ryuhei; Yang, Mu; Higuchi, Keiichi; Mori, Masayuki

    2015-01-01

    The original pink-eyed dilution (p) on chromosome 7 is a very old spontaneous mutation in mice. The oculocutaneous albinism II (Oca2) gene has previously been identified as the p gene. Oca2 transcripts have been shown to be absent in the skin of SJL/J mice with the original p mutant allele (Oca2(p)); however, the molecular genetic lesion underlying the original Oca2(p) allele has never been reported. The NCT mouse (commonly known as Nakano cataract mouse) has a pink-eyed dilution phenotype, which prompted us to undertake a molecular genetic analysis of the Oca2 gene of this strain. Our genetic linkage analysis suggests that the locus for the pink-eyed dilution phenotype of NCT is tightly linked to the Oca2 locus. PCR cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis indicates that the NCT mouse has a nonsense nucleotide substitution at exon 7 of the Oca2 gene. Examination of three mouse strains (NZW/NSlc, SJL/J, and 129X1/SvJJmsSlc) with the original Oca2(p) allele revealed the presence of a nonsense nucleotide substitution identical to that in the NCT strain. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the Oca2 transcripts were absent in the skin of NCT mice, suggesting intervention of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. Collectively, the data in this study indicate that the nonsense nucleotide substitution in the Oca2 gene underlies the Oca2(p) allele. Our data also indicate that the NCT mouse can be used not only as a cataract model, but also as a model for human type II oculocutaneous albinism.

  8. Report of a novel OCA2 gene mutation and an investigation of OCA2 variants on melanoma risk in a familial melanoma pedigree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Jason E; Cassidy, Pamela B; Manga, Prashiela; Boissy, Raymond E; Goldgar, David; Cannon-Albright, Lisa; Florell, Scott R; Leachman, Sancy A

    2013-01-01

    Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) is caused by mutations of the OCA2 gene. Individuals affected by OCA2 as well as other types of albinism are at a significantly increased risk for sun-induced skin-cancers, including malignant melanoma (MM). To identify the molecular etiology of oculocutaneous albinism in a previously uncharacterized melanoma pedigree and to investigate the relationship between two OCA2 variants and melanoma predisposition in this pedigree. DNA and RNA were isolated from the peripheral blood of seven patients in a familial melanoma pedigree. Electron microscopy was performed on the individual with clinical oculocutaneous albinism. OCA2, TYRP1, MC1R, CDKN2A/p16, CDKN2A/p19ARF, and CDK4 genes were sequenced in affected individuals. The relationship between OCA2 variants and melanoma was assessed using a pedigree likelihood-based method. The proband was determined to be an OCA2 compound heterozygous mutation carrier with a previously reported conservative missense mutation (V443I) and a novel non-conservative missense mutation (L734R). The pedigree contained individuals diagnosed with both cutaneous and iris melanoma. Based on co-segregation analysis, the odds of these OCA2 variants being high penetrance loci for melanoma was: 1.3-to-1 if we include the iris melanoma as affected and 6.5-to-1 if we only consider cutaneous melanoma as affected. The discovery of this novel OCA2 variant adds to the body of evidence on the detrimental effects of OCA2 gene mutations on pigmentation, supports existing GWAS data on the relevance of the OCA2 gene in melanoma predisposition, and may ultimately assist in the development of targeted molecular therapies in the treatment of OCA and melanoma. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  9. Allele variations in the OCA2 gene (pink-eyed-dilution locus) are associated with genetic susceptibility to melanoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannot, Anne-Sophie; Meziani, Roubila; Bertrand, Guylene; Gérard, Benedicte; Descamps, Vincent; Archimbaud, Alain; Picard, Catherine; Ollivaud, Laurence; Basset-Seguin, Nicole; Kerob, Delphine; Lanternier, Guy; Lebbe, Celeste; Saiag, P; Crickx, Beatrice; Clerget-Darpoux, Françoise; Grandchamp, Bernard; Soufir, Nadem; Melan-Cohort

    2005-08-01

    The occuloalbinism 2 (OCA2) gene, localized at 15q11, encodes a melanosomal transmembrane protein that is involved in the most common form of human occulo-cutaneous albinism, a human genetic disorder characterized by fair pigmentation and susceptibility to skin cancer. We wondered whether allele variations at this locus could influence susceptibility to malignant melanoma (MM). In all, 10 intragenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 113 patients with melanomas and in 105 Caucasian control subjects with no personal or family history of skin cancer. By comparing allelic distribution between cases and controls, we show that MM and OCA2 are associated (p value=0.030 after correction for multiple testing). Then, a recently developed strategy, the 'combination test' enabled us to show that a combination formed by two SNPs was most strongly associated to MM, suggesting a possible interaction between intragenic SNPs. In addition, the role of OCA2 on MM risk was also detected using a logistic model taking into account the presence of variants of the melanocortin 1 receptor gene (MC1R, a key pigmentation gene) and all pigmentation characteristics as melanoma risk factors. Our data demonstrate that a second pigmentation gene, in addition to MC1R, is involved in genetic susceptibility to melanoma.

  10. Frequent intragenic deletion of the P gene in Tanzanian patients with Type II oculocutaneous albinism (OCA2)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spritz, R.; Fukai, K.; Holmes, S.A. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)] [and others

    1995-06-01

    Type II oculocutaneous albinism (OCA2) is an autosomal recessive disorder in which the biosynthesis of melanin pigment is reduced in the skin, hair, and eyes. OCA2, which results from mutations of the P gene, is the most frequent type of albinism in African and African-American patients. OCA2 is especially frequent in Tanzania, where it occurs with an incidence of {approximately}1/1,400. We have identified abnormalities of the P gene in each of 13 unrelated patients with OCA2 from Tanzania. One of these, a deletion of exon 7, is strongly predominant, accounting for {approximately}77% of mutant alleles in this group of patients. 20 refs., 2 figs.

  11. Albinism and disease causing pathogens in Tanzania: are alleles that are associated with OCA2 being maintained by balancing selection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuli, Abbas M; Valenzuela, Robert K; Kamugisha, Erasmus; Brilliant, Murray H

    2012-12-01

    Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) is present at significantly higher frequencies in sub-Saharan African populations compared to populations in other regions of the world. In Tanzania and other sub-Saharan countries, most OCA2 is associated with a common 2.7kb deletion allele. Leprosy is also in high prevalence in sub-Saharan African populations. The infectious agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, contains a gene, 38L, that is similar to OCA2. Hypopigmented patches of skin are early symptoms that present with infection of leprosy. In consideration of both the genetic similarity of OCA2 and the 38L gene of M. leprae and the involvement of pigmentation in both disorders, we hypothesized that the high rates of OCA2 may be due to heterozygote advantage. Hence, we hypothesized that carriers of the 2.7kb deletion allele of OCA2 may provide a protective advantage from infection with leprosy. We tested this hypothesis by determining the carrier frequency of the 2.7kb deletion allele from a sample of 240 individuals with leprosy from Tanzania. The results were inconclusive due to the small sample size; however, they enabled us to rule out a large protective effect, but perhaps not a small advantage. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is another infectious organism prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa that contains a gene, arsenic-transport integral membrane protein that is also similar to OCA2. Interestingly, chromosomal region 15q11-13, which also contains OCA2, was reported to be linked to tuberculosis susceptibility. Although variants within OCA2 were tested for association, the 2.7kb deletion allele of OCA2 was not tested. This led us to hypothesize that the deletion allele may confer resistance to susceptibility. Confirmation of our hypothesis would enable development of novel pharmocogenetic therapies for the treatment of tuberculosis, which in turn, may enable development of drugs that target other pathogens that utilize a similar infection mechanism as M. tuberculosis

  12. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  13. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Bilandžija

    Full Text Available Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish, albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  14. Analysis of P gene mutations in patients with type II (tyrosinase-positive) oculocutaneous albinism (OCA2)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, S.T.; Nicholls, R.D.; Schnur, R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)]|[Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)]|[Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    OCA2 is an autosomal recessive disorder in which the biosynthesis of melanin pigment is greatly reduced in the skin, hair, and eyes. Recently, we showed that OCA2 results from mutations of the P gene, in chromosome segment 15q11-q13. In addition to OCA2, mutations of P account for OCA associated with the Prader-Willi syndrome and some cases of {open_quotes}autosomal recessive ocular albinism{close_quotes} (AROA). We have now studied 38 unrelated patients with various forms of OCA2 or AROA from a variety of different ethnic groups. None of these patients had detectable abnormalities of the tyrosinase (TYR) gene. Among 8 African-American patients with OCA2 we observed apparent locus homogeneity. We detected abnormalities of the P gene in all 8 patients, including 12 different mutations and deletions, most of which are unique to this group and none of which is predominant. In contrast, OCA2 in other populations appears to be genetically heterogeneous. Among 21 Caucasian patients we detected abnormalities of the P gene in only 8, comprising 9 different point mutations and deletions, some of which also occurred among the African-American patients. Among 3 Middle-Eastern, 3 Indo-Pakistani, and 3 Asian patients we detected mutations of the P gene in only one from each group. In a large Indo-Pakistani kindred with OCA2 we have excluded both the TYR and P genes on the basis of genetic linkage. The prevalence of mutations of the P gene thus appears to be much higher among African-Americans with OCA2 than among patients from other ethnic groups. The incidence of OCA2 in some parts of equatorial Africa is extremely high, as frequent as 1 per 1100, and the disease has been linked to P in South African Bantu. The eventual characterization of P gene mutations in Africans will be informative with regard to the origins of P gene mutations in African-American patients.

  15. Loss of Oca2 disrupts the unfolded protein response and increases resistance to endoplasmic reticulum stress in melanocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Tsing; Orlow, Seth J; Manga, Prashiela

    2013-11-01

    Accumulation of proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) typically induces stress and initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to facilitate recovery. If homeostasis is not restored, apoptosis is induced. However, adaptation to chronic UPR activation can increase resistance to subsequent acute ER stress. We therefore investigated adaptive mechanisms in Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (Oca2)-null melanocytes where UPR signaling is arrested despite continued tyrosinase accumulation leading to resistance to the chemical ER stressor thapsigargin. Although thapsigargin triggers UPR activation, instead of Perk-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2α, in Oca2-null melanocytes, eIF2α was rapidly dephosphorylated upon treatment. Dephosphorylation was mediated by the Gadd34-PP1α phosphatase complex. Gadd34-complex inhibition blocked eIF2α dephosphorylation and significantly increased Oca2-null melanocyte sensitivity to thapsigargin. Thus, Oca2-null melanocytes adapt to acute ER stress by disruption of pro-apoptotic Perk signaling, which promotes cell survival. This is the first study to demonstrate rapid eIF2α dephosphorylation as an adaptive mechanism to ER stress.

  16. Association Between a Germline OCA2 Polymorphism at Chromosome 15q13.1 and Estrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer Survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Azzato, E.M.; Tyrer, J.; Fasching, P.A.;

    2010-01-01

    -sided. In the hypothesis-generating dataset, SNP rs4778137 (C > G) of the OCA2 gene at 15q13.1 was statistically significantly associated with overall survival among patients with estrogen receptor-negative tumors, with the rare G allele being associated with increased overall survival (HR of death per rare allele carried.......92, P = 5 x 10(-4)). The rare G allele of the OCA2 polymorphism, rs4778137, may be associated with improved overall survival among patients with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer...

  17. Hexasomy of the Prader-Willi/Angelman critical region, including the OCA2 gene, in a patient with pigmentary dysplasia: case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraoua, Lilia; Chaabouni, Myriam; Ewers, Elisabeth; Chelly, Imen; Ouertani, Ines; Ben Jemaa, Lamia; Maazoul, Faouzi; Liehr, Thomas; Chaabouni, Habiba

    2011-01-01

    Derivatives of chromosome 15, often referred to as inv dup(15), represent the most common supernumerary marker chromosome (SMC). SMC(15)s can be classified into two major groups according to their length: small SMC(15) and large ones. Depending on the amount of euchromatin, the carriers may either present with a normal phenotype or with a recognizable syndrome. Here we describe a patient with severe mental retardation, epilepsy, dysmorphic features and pigmentary dysplasia. His karyotype was 47,XY,+mar[41]/46,XY[9]. Chromosomal fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed the SMC to be originating from chromosome 15, dicentric and containing four copies of the Prader-Willi/Angelman Syndrome Critical Region (PWACR), including the OCA2 gene. Molecular studies indicated that it is maternally derived. This report supports the previous observations assuming that severity of phenotype in patients with SMC(15) depends on the dosage of the PWACR and that skin pigmentation is correlated to OCA2 gene copy number. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) with homozygous 2.7-kb deletion of the P gene and sickle cell disease in a Cameroonian family. Identification of a common TAG haplotype in the mutated P gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquaron, Robert; Soufir, Nadem; Bergé-Lefranc, Jean-Louis; Badens, Catherine; Austerlitz, Frederic; Grandchamp, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we report on a Cameroonian family from the Ewondo ethnic group, presenting with three oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) patients homozygous for the 2.7-kb deletion of the P gene. In one of these patients OCA2 was associated with sickle cell anaemia and in two with the sickle cell trait. We took this opportunity to determine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotypes within the P gene in this family in comparison with a group of 53 OCA2 patients homozygous for the same mutation and with a matched unrelated full-coloured control group of 49 subjects, originating from seven different ethnic groups of Southern Cameroon including Ewondo. A combination of five exonic and intronic SNPs in the OCA2 gene was genotyped by sequencing PCR products. We found 3 different haplotypes (TAGCT, TAGTT and TAGCC with frequencies of 0.66, 0.28 and 0.06, respectively) associated with the mutation in the 53 OCA2 patients, while 11 different haplotypes were observed in the control group. These observations suggest that the mutation appeared on the relatively frequent haplotype TAGCT, and that the two other haplotypes are derived from two independent recombination events. These haplotypic data, associated with a value of 1/15,000 for the prevalence of the 2.7-kb mutation, a present effective population size of 10,000,000 for Cameroon and a recombination rate of 0.0031, allowed us to estimate that this mutation originated 4,100-5,645 years ago.

  19. Human nervous system function emulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenger, P

    2000-01-01

    This paper describes a modular, extensible, open-systems design for a multiprocessor network which emulates the major functions of the human nervous system. Interchangeable hardware/software components, a socketed software bus with plug-and-play capability and self diagnostics are included. The computer hardware is based on IEEE P996.1 bus cards. Its operating system utilizes IEEE 1275 standard software. Object oriented design techniques and programming are featured. A machine-independent high level script-based command language was created for this project. Neural anatomical structures which were emulated include the cortex, brainstem, cerebellum, spinal cord, autonomic and peripheral nervous systems. Motor, sensory, autoregulatory, and higher cognitive artificial intelligence, behavioral and emotional functions are provided. The author discusses how he has interfaced this emulator to machine vision, speech recognition/speech synthesis, an artificial neural network and a dexterous hand to form an android robotic platform.

  20. A Genetic Mechanism for Convergent Skin Lightening during Recent Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhaohui; Zhong, Hua; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xiaoming; Zhang, Hui; Luo, Xin; Xu, Shuhua; Chen, Hua; Lu, Dongsheng; Han, Yinglun; Li, Jinkun; Fu, Lijie; Qi, Xuebin; Peng, Yi; Xiang, Kun; Lin, Qiang; Guo, Yan; Li, Ming; Cao, Xiangyu; Zhang, Yanfeng; Liao, Shiyu; Peng, Yingmei; Zhang, Lin; Guo, Xiaosen; Dong, Shanshan; Liang, Fan; Wang, Jun; Willden, Andrew; Seang Aun, Hong; Serey, Bun; Sovannary, Tuot; Bunnath, Long; Samnom, Ham; Mardon, Graeme; Li, Qingwei; Meng, Anming; Shi, Hong; Su, Bing

    2016-05-01

    Skin lightening among Eurasians is thought to have been a convergence occurring independently in Europe and East Asia as an adaptation to high latitude environments. Among Europeans, several genes responsible for such lightening have been found, but the information available for East Asians is much more limited. Here, a genome-wide comparison between dark-skinned Africans and Austro-Asiatic speaking aborigines and light-skinned northern Han Chinese identified the pigmentation gene OCA2, showing unusually deep allelic divergence between these groups. An amino acid substitution (His615Arg) of OCA2 prevalent in most East Asian populations-but absent in Africans and Europeans-was significantly associated with skin lightening among northern Han Chinese. Further transgenic and targeted gene modification analyses of zebrafish and mouse both exhibited the phenotypic effect of the OCA2 variant manifesting decreased melanin production. These results indicate that OCA2 plays an important role in the convergent skin lightening of East Asians during recent human evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. Control of human trophoblast function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biondi Carla

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The trophoblast, i.e. the peripheral part of the human conceptus, exerts a crucial role in implantation and placentation. Both processes properly occur as a consequence of an intimate dialogue between fetal and maternal tissues, fulfilled by membrane ligands and receptors, as well as by hormone and local factor release. During blastocyst implantation, generation of distinct trophoblast cell types begins, namely the villous and the extravillous trophoblast, the former of which is devoted to fetal-maternal exchanges and the latter binds the placental body to the uterine wall. Physiological placentation is characterized by the invasion of the uterine spiral arteries by extravillous trophoblast cells arising from anchoring villi. Due to this invasion, the arterial structure is replaced by amorphous fibrinoid material and endovascular trophoblastic cells. This transformation establishes a low-resistance, high-capacity perfusion system from the radial arteries to the intervillous space, in which the villous tree is embedded. The physiology of pregnancy depends upon the orderly progress of structural and functional changes of villous and extravillous trophoblast, whereas a derangement of such processes can lead to different types of complications of varying degrees of gravity, including possible pregnancy loss and maternal life-threatening diseases. In this review we describe the mechanisms which regulate trophoblast differentiation, proliferation, migration and invasiveness, and the alterations in these mechanisms which lead to pathological conditions. Furthermore, based on the growing evidence that proper inflammatory changes and oxidative balance are needed for successful gestation, we explain the mechanisms by which agents able to influence such processes may be useful in the prevention and treatment of pregnancy disorders.

  2. Reorganizing and restructuring the human resources function

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandrina Mirela, Stan

    2010-01-01

    To determine what kind of skills (internal or external) of human resources are adequate organization can use human resources audit. Audit is an action guide that provides step by step consistency of human resources activities within the organization with legal regulations and informal practices. This paper aims to highlight the importance of human resources audit which is an essential activity and is basis for the reorganization and restructuring of human resources function.

  3. Examination of Human Chemosensory Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smutzer, Gregory; Sayed, Samir; Sayed, Nabil

    2006-01-01

    An increased understanding of olfaction and gustation has underlined the critical importance of these two chemical senses in determining how humans respond to their environment. In this article, recent advances in chemosensory research are summarized. The use of a smell identification test, an odor discrimination test, and a test for anosmia to a…

  4. Functional anatomy of human speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szentágothai, J

    1993-01-01

    The outlines of an investigation into side differences between the Planum temporale (The Geschwind-Levitzky areas) of ten human brains are given. Volume of this area and cell numbers are clearly asymmetric, the left side being consequently larger by 38-34% over the same area at right. Cell density (cell No/volume) is virtually the same on both sides. Some comments upon the data are being made.

  5. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  6. The functions of human saliva

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    bolus, swallowing and speaking. Saliva provides the fluid in which solid tastants may dissolve and distributes tastants around the mouth to the locations of the taste buds. The hypotonic unstimulated saliva facilitates taste recognition. Salivary amylase is involved in digestion of starches. Saliva acts......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...... as a buffer to protect oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal mucosae from orally ingested acid or acid regurgitated from the stomach. Saliva protects the teeth against acid by contributing to the acquired enamel pellicle, which forms a renewable lubricant between opposing tooth surfaces, by being supersaturated...

  7. DFLAT: functional annotation for human development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wick, Heather C; Drabkin, Harold; Ngu, Huy; Sackman, Michael; Fournier, Craig; Haggett, Jessica; Blake, Judith A; Bianchi, Diana W; Slonim, Donna K

    2014-02-07

    Recent increases in genomic studies of the developing human fetus and neonate have led to a need for widespread characterization of the functional roles of genes at different developmental stages. The Gene Ontology (GO), a valuable and widely-used resource for characterizing gene function, offers perhaps the most suitable functional annotation system for this purpose. However, due in part to the difficulty of studying molecular genetic effects in humans, even the current collection of comprehensive GO annotations for human genes and gene products often lacks adequate developmental context for scientists wishing to study gene function in the human fetus. The Developmental FunctionaL Annotation at Tufts (DFLAT) project aims to improve the quality of analyses of fetal gene expression and regulation by curating human fetal gene functions using both manual and semi-automated GO procedures. Eligible annotations are then contributed to the GO database and included in GO releases of human data. DFLAT has produced a considerable body of functional annotation that we demonstrate provides valuable information about developmental genomics. A collection of gene sets (genes implicated in the same function or biological process), made by combining existing GO annotations with the 13,344 new DFLAT annotations, is available for use in novel analyses. Gene set analyses of expression in several data sets, including amniotic fluid RNA from fetuses with trisomies 21 and 18, umbilical cord blood, and blood from newborns with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, were conducted both with and without the DFLAT annotation. Functional analysis of expression data using the DFLAT annotation increases the number of implicated gene sets, reflecting the DFLAT's improved representation of current knowledge. Blinded literature review supports the validity of newly significant findings obtained with the DFLAT annotations. Newly implicated significant gene sets also suggest specific hypotheses for future

  8. 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.

  9. Segregating the functions of human hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    1999-01-01

    It is now accepted that hippocampal lesions impair episodic memory. However, the precise functional role of the hippocampus in episodic memory remains elusive. Recent functional imaging data implicate the hippocampus in processing novelty, a finding supported by human in vivo recordings and event-related potential studies. Here we measure hippocampal responses to novelty, using functional MRI (fMRI), during an item-learning paradigm generated from an artificial grammar system. During learning...

  10. Organization and sequence of the human P gene and identification of a new family of transport proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, S.T.; Fukai, K.; Spritz, R.A. [Univ. of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, WI (United States)] [and others

    1995-03-20

    We have determined the structure, nucleotide sequence, and polymorphisms of the human P gene. Mutations of the P gene result in type H oculocutaneous albinism (OCA2) in humans and pink-eyed dilution (p) in mice. We find that the human P gene is quite large, consisting of 25 exons spanning 250 to 600 kb in chromosome segment 15q11-q13. The P polypeptide appears to define a novel family of small molecule transporters and may be involved in transport of tyrosine, the precursor to melanin synthesis, within the melanocyte. These results provide the basis for analyses of patients with OCA2 and may point toward eventual pharmacologic treatment of this and related disorders of pigmentation. 40 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  11. Human Vestibular Function - Skylab Experiment M131

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    This set of photographs details Skylab's Human Vestibular Function experiment (M131). This experiment was a set of medical studies designed to determine the effect of long-duration space missions on astronauts' coordination abilities. This experiment tested the astronauts susceptibility to motion sickness in the Skylab environment, acquired data fundamental to an understanding of the functions of human gravity reception under prolonged absence of gravity, and tested for changes in the sensitivity of the semicircular canals. Data from this experiment was collected before, during, and after flight. The Marshall Space Flight Center had program management responsibility for the development of Skylab hardware and experiments.

  12. Functional differentiation of normal human neutrophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasser, L; Fiederlein, R L

    1987-03-01

    In the past differentiation of human neutrophils has been defined by morphology, cytochemistry, or surface markers. In our experiments we have sequenced the various events that occur during the functional differentiation of the normal human neutrophil and have also examined some of the functional properties in relationship to surface markers and biochemical events. Granulocytes were obtained from the bone marrow and blood of hematologically normal individuals. Cells were separated into different stages of maturation by their physical properties using counterflow centrifugal elutriation and density gradient separation. Three cell fractions were obtained that were enriched for either immature myeloid cells, band neutrophils, or segmented neutrophils. Since the enriched fractions were not entirely pure, methodologies for functional assays were chosen that allowed cytologic evaluation of the functional capacity of each cell type. The criteria used to classify the stages of differentiation included both morphology by light microscopy and DNA labeling with tritiated thymidine. Various neutrophilic properties were studied: Fc receptors, complement receptors (CR1, CR3), phagocytosis of both live and dead opsonized Staphylococcus aureus, microbial killing of S aureus, NBT dye reduction after cellular stimulation with endotoxin, and chemotaxis. Our results indicate that the functional properties of the neutrophil appear in a distinct order. The sequence for the functional differentiation of the human neutrophil appears to be the following: Fc receptors----immune phagocytosis----complement receptors----oxygen-independent microbial killing----oxygen-dependent microbial killing----chemotaxis.

  13. Functional properties of human auditory cortical fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L Woods

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available While auditory cortex in non-human primates has been subdivided into multiple functionally-specialized auditory cortical fields (ACFs, the boundaries and functional specialization of human ACFs have not been defined. In the current study, we evaluated whether a widely accepted primate model of auditory cortex could explain regional tuning properties of fMRI activations on the cortical surface to attended and nonattended tones of different frequency, location, and intensity. The limits of auditory cortex were defined by voxels that showed significant activations to nonattended sounds. Three centrally-located fields with mirror-symmetric tonotopic organization were identified and assigned to the three core fields of the primate model while surrounding activations were assigned to belt fields following procedures similar to those used in macaque fMRI studies. The functional properties of core, medial belt, and lateral belt field groups were then analyzed. Field groups were distinguished by tonotopic organization, frequency selectivity, intensity sensitivity, contralaterality, binaural enhancement, attentional modulation, and hemispheric asymmetry. In general, core fields showed greater sensitivity to sound properties than did belt fields, while belt fields showed greater attentional modulation than core fields. Significant distinctions in intensity sensitivity and contralaterality were seen between adjacent core fields A1 and R, while multiple differences in tuning properties were evident at boundaries between adjacent core and belt fields. The reliable differences in functional properties between fields and field groups suggest that the basic primate pattern of auditory cortex organization is preserved in humans. A comparison of the sizes of functionally-defined ACFs in humans and macaques reveals a significant relative expansion in human lateral belt fields implicated in the processing of speech.

  14. Hierarchical modularity in human brain functional networks

    CERN Document Server

    Meunier, D; Fornito, A; Ersche, K D; Bullmore, E T; 10.3389/neuro.11.037.2009

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  15. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  16. Biomimetics of human movement: functional or aesthetic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Christopher M

    2009-09-01

    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

  17. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay N; Rapoport, Judith L; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-04-10

    Human brain functional networks are embedded in anatomical space and have topological properties--small-worldness, modularity, fat-tailed degree distributions--that are comparable to many other complex networks. Although a sophisticated set of measures is available to describe the topology of brain networks, the selection pressures that drive their formation remain largely unknown. Here we consider generative models for the probability of a functional connection (an edge) between two cortical regions (nodes) separated by some Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In particular, we propose a model in which the embedded topology of brain networks emerges from two competing factors: a distance penalty based on the cost of maintaining long-range connections; and a topological term that favors links between regions sharing similar input. We show that, together, these two biologically plausible factors are sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of functional brain networks. Model parameters estimated in one set of functional MRI (fMRI) data on normal volunteers provided a good fit to networks estimated in a second independent sample of fMRI data. Furthermore, slightly detuned model parameters also generated a reasonable simulation of the abnormal properties of brain functional networks in people with schizophrenia. We therefore anticipate that many aspects of brain network organization, in health and disease, may be parsimoniously explained by an economical clustering rule for the probability of functional connectivity between different brain areas.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Hawthorn extract inhibits human isolated neutrophil functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalli, Ernesto; Milara, Javier; Cortijo, Julio; Morcillo, Esteban J; Cosín-Sales, Juan; Sotillo, José Francisco

    2008-06-01

    Hawthorn extract is a popular herbal medicine given as adjunctive treatment for chronic heart failure. In contrast to the cardiac properties of hawthorn extract, its anti-inflammatory effect has been scarcely investigated. This study examines the effects of a dry extract of leaves and flowers of Crataegus laevigata on various functional outputs of human neutrophils in vitro. Incubation of human neutrophils obtained from peripheral blood of healthy donors with C. laevigata extract (0.75-250 microg/ml) inhibited N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (FMLP)-induced superoxide anion generation, elastase release and chemotactic migration with potency values of 43.6, 21.9, and 31.6 microg/ml, respectively. By contrast, serum-opsonized zymosan-induced phagocytosis was unaltered by plant extract. C. laevigata extract (125 microg/ml) reduced FMLP-induced leukotriene B(4) production and lipopolysaccharide-induced generation of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-8. Extract inhibited FMLP-induced intracellular calcium signal with potency of 17.4 microg/ml. Extract also markedly inhibited the extracellular calcium entry into calcium-depleted neutrophils, and the thapsigargin-induced intracellular calcium response. In conclusion, C. laevigata extract inhibited various functional outputs of activated human neutrophils which may be relevant to the pathophysiology of cardiac failure.

  1. Functional Anatomy of the Human Microprocessor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tuan Anh; Jo, Myung Hyun; Choi, Yeon-Gil; Park, Joha; Kwon, S Chul; Hohng, Sungchul; Kim, V Narry; Woo, Jae-Sung

    2015-06-04

    MicroRNA (miRNA) maturation is initiated by Microprocessor composed of RNase III DROSHA and its cofactor DGCR8, whose fidelity is critical for generation of functional miRNAs. To understand how Microprocessor recognizes pri-miRNAs, we here reconstitute human Microprocessor with purified recombinant proteins. We find that Microprocessor is an ∼364 kDa heterotrimeric complex of one DROSHA and two DGCR8 molecules. Together with a 23-amino acid peptide from DGCR8, DROSHA constitutes a minimal functional core. DROSHA serves as a "ruler" by measuring 11 bp from the basal ssRNA-dsRNA junction. DGCR8 interacts with the stem and apical elements through its dsRNA-binding domains and RNA-binding heme domain, respectively, allowing efficient and accurate processing. DROSHA and DGCR8, respectively, recognize the basal UG and apical UGU motifs, which ensure proper orientation of the complex. These findings clarify controversies over the action mechanism of DROSHA and allow us to build a general model for pri-miRNA processing.

  2. 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.

  3. Fast optical imaging of human brain function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Gratton

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Great advancements in brain imaging during the last few decades have opened a large number of new possibilities for neuroscientists. The most dominant methodologies (electrophysiological and magnetic resonance-based methods emphasize temporal and spatial information, respectively. However, theorizing about brain function has recently emphasized the importance of rapid (within 100 ms or so interactions between different elements of complex neuronal networks. Fast optical imaging, and in particular the event-related optical signal (EROS, a technology that has emerged over the last 15 years may provide descriptions of localized (to sub-cm level brain activity with a temporal resolution of less than 100 ms. The main limitations of EROS are its limited penetration, which allows us to image cortical structures not deeper than 3 cm from the surface of the head, and its low signal-to-noise ratio. Advantages include the fact that EROS is compatible with most other imaging methods, including electrophysiological, magnetic resonance, and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation techniques, with which can be recorded concurrently. In this paper we present a summary of the research that has been conducted so far on fast optical imaging, including evidence for the possibility of recording neuronal signals with this method, the properties of the signals, and various examples of applications to the study of human cognitive neuroscience. Extant issues, controversies, and possible future developments are also discussed.

  4. Noninvasive analysis of human neck muscle function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conley, M. S.; Meyer, R. A.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Feeback, D. L.; Dudley, G. A.

    1995-01-01

    selected muscles that have been examined in human electromyographic studies. Neck muscle function and morphology can be studied at a detailed level using exercise-induced shifts in magnetic resonance images.

  5. Function and dysfunction of human sinoatrial node.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joung, Boyoung; Chen, Peng-Sheng

    2015-05-01

    Sinoatrial node (SAN) automaticity is jointly regulated by a voltage (cyclic activation and deactivation of membrane ion channels) and Ca(2+) clocks (rhythmic spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release). Using optical mapping in Langendorff-perfused canine right atrium, we previously demonstrated that the β-adrenergic stimulation pushes the leading pacemaker to the superior SAN, which has the fastest activation rate and the most robust late diastolic intracellular calcium (Cai) elevation. Dysfunction of the superior SAN is commonly observed in animal models of heart failure and atrial fibrillation (AF), which are known to be associated with abnormal SAN automaticity. Using the 3D electroanatomic mapping techniques, we demonstrated that superior SAN served as the earliest atrial activation site (EAS) during sympathetic stimulation in healthy humans. In contrast, unresponsiveness of superior SAN to sympathetic stimulation was a characteristic finding in patients with AF and SAN dysfunction, and the 3D electroanatomic mapping technique had better diagnostic sensitivity than corrected SAN recovery time testing. However, both tests have significant limitations in detecting patients with symptomatic sick sinus syndrome. Recently, we reported that the location of the EAS can be predicted by the amplitudes of P-wave in the inferior leads. The inferior P-wave amplitudes can also be used to assess the superior SAN responsiveness to sympathetic stimulation. Inverted or isoelectric P-waves at baseline that fail to normalize during isoproterenol infusion suggest SAN dysfunction. P-wave morphology analyses may be helpful in determining the SAN function in patients at risk of symptomatic sick sinus syndrome.

  6. Immunosurveillance function of human mast cell?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    (O)ner (O)zdemir

    2005-01-01

    Mast cell (MC) is so widely recognized as a critical effector in allergic disorders that it can be difficult to think of MC in any other context. Indeed, MCs are multifunctional and recently shown that MCs can also act as antigen presenters as well as effector elements of human immune system. First observations of their possible role as anti-tumor cells in peri- or intra-tumoral tissue were mentioned five decades ago and a high content of MCs is considered as a favorable prognosis,consistent with this study. Believers of this hypothesis assumed them to be inhibitors of tumor development through their pro-apoptotic and -necrolytic granules e.g.,granzymes and TNF-α. However, some still postulate them to be enhancers of tumor development through their effects on angiogenesis due to mostly tryptase.There are also some data suggesting increased MC density causes tumor development and indicates bad prognosis. Furthermore, since MC-associated mediators have shown to influence various aspects of tumor biology, the net effect of MCs on the development/progression of tumors has been difficult to evaluate. For instance, chymase induces apoptosis in targets; yet,tryptase, another MC protease, is a well-known mitogen.MCs with these various enzyme expression patterns may mediate different functions and the predominant MC type in tissues may be determined by the environmental needs. The coexistence of tryptase-expressing MCs(MCT) and chymase and tryptase-expressing MCs (MCTC)in physiological conditions reflects a naturally occurring balance that contributes to tissue homeostasis. We have recently discussed the role and relevance of MC serine proteases in different bone marrow diseases.

  7. Human Resource Function Competencies in European Companies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P.P.E.F. Boselie (Paul); J. Paauwe (Jaap)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractThis paper presents an overview of recent empirical research on human resource competencies in Europe. The data were collected in 2002 in the global Human Resource Competence Study, an initiative of the University of Michigan. The results suggest that personal credibility and HR delivery

  8. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-09

    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 of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/.

  9. Functional network organization of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Jonathan D; Cohen, Alexander L; Nelson, Steven M; Wig, Gagan S; Barnes, Kelly Anne; Church, Jessica A; Vogel, Alecia C; Laumann, Timothy O; Miezin, Fran M; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Petersen, Steven E

    2011-11-17

    Real-world complex systems may be mathematically modeled as graphs, revealing properties of the system. Here we study graphs of functional brain organization in healthy adults using resting state functional connectivity MRI. We propose two novel brain-wide graphs, one of 264 putative functional areas, the other a modification of voxelwise networks that eliminates potentially artificial short-distance relationships. These graphs contain many subgraphs in good agreement with known functional brain systems. Other subgraphs lack established functional identities; we suggest possible functional characteristics for these subgraphs. Further, graph measures of the areal network indicate that the default mode subgraph shares network properties with sensory and motor subgraphs: it is internally integrated but isolated from other subgraphs, much like a "processing" system. The modified voxelwise graph also reveals spatial motifs in the patterning of systems across the cortex.

  10. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biswal, B.B.; Mennes, M.J.J.; Zuo, X.N.; Gohel, S.; Kelly, C.; Smith, S.M.; Beckmann, C.F.; Adelstein, J.S.; Buckner, R.L.; Colcombe, S.; Dogonowski, A.M.; Ernst, M.; Fair, D.; Hampson, M.; Hoptman, M.J.; Hyde, J.S.; Kiviniemi, V.J.; Kotter, R.; Li, S.J.; Lin, C.P.; Lowe, M.J.; Mackay, C.; Madden, D.J.; Madsen, K.H.; Margulies, D.S.; Mayberg, H.S.; McMahon, K.; Monk, C.S.; Mostofsky, S.H.; Nagel, B.J.; Pekar, J.J.; Peltier, S.J.; Petersen, S.E.; Riedl, V.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.; Rypma, B.; Schlaggar, B.L.; Schmidt, S.; Seidler, R.D.; Siegle, G.J.; Sorg, C.; Teng, G.J.; Veijola, J.; Villringer, A.; Walter, M.; Wang, L.; Weng, X.C.; Whitfield-Gabrieli, S.; Williamson, P.; Windischberger, C.; Zang, Y.F.; Zhang, H.Y.; Castellanos, F.X.; Milham, M.P.

    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 of a

  11. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biswal, B.B.; Mennes, M.; Zuo, X.N.; Gohel, S.; Kelly, C.; Smith, S.M.; Beckmann, C.F.; Adelstein, J.S.; Buckner, R.L.; Colcombe, S.; Dogonowski, A.M.; Ernst, M.; Fair, D.; Hampson, M.; Hoptman, M.J.; Hyde, J.S.; Kiviniemi, V.J.; Kotter, R.; Li, S.J.; Lin, C.P.; Lowe, M.J.; Mackay, C.; Madden, D.J.; Madsen, K.H.; Margulies, D.S.; Mayberg, H.S.; McMahon, K.; Monk, C.S.; Mostofsky, S.H.; Nagel, B.J.; Pekar, J.J.; Peltier, S.J.; Petersen, S.E.; Riedl, V.; Rombouts, S.A.; Rypma, B.; Schlaggar, B.L.; Schmidt, S.; Seidler, R.D.; Siegle, G.J.; Sorg, C.; Teng, G.J.; Veijola, J.; Villringer, A.; Walter, M.; Wang, L.; Weng, X.C.; Whitfield-Gabrieli, S.; Williamson, P.; Windischberger, C.; Zang, Y.F.; Zhang, H.Y.; Castellanos, F.X.; Milham, M.P.

    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 of a pr

  12. 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 of a...

  13. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    OpenAIRE

    He Cui; Xi Lan; Shemin Lu; Fujun Zhang; Wanggang Zhang

    2017-01-01

    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...

  14. Musical Training Induces Functional Plasticity in Human Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Training can change the functional and structural organization of the brain, and animal models demonstrate that the hippocampus formation is particularly susceptible to training-related neuroplasticity. In humans, however, direct evidence for functional plasticity of the adult hippocampus induced by training is still missing. Here, we used musicians' brains as a model to test for plastic capabilities of the adult human hippocampus. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging optimized for ...

  15. Microbial functionality in the human intestinal tract

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salonen, A.; Palva, A.; Vos, de W.M.

    2009-01-01

    The extent of metabolic interactions between symbiotic intestinal microbes and the human host, and their system-wide effects on the host physiology are beginning to be understood. The metabolic capacity encoded by the intestinal microbiome significantly extends that of the host, making many of man's

  16. 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…

  17. Functional neutrophils from human ES cells

    OpenAIRE

    Sweeney, Colin L; Malech, Harry L.

    2009-01-01

    In this issue of Blood, Yokoyama and colleagues demonstrate in vitro differentiation of hESCs into mature neutrophils with functional capabilities (chemotaxis, phagocytosis, microbicidal oxidase activity, and bacterial killing) approaching or equal to that of normal peripheral blood neutrophils.

  18. The functional brain architecture of human morality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Chadd M; Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2009-12-01

    Human morality provides the foundation for many of the pillars of society, informing political legislation and guiding legal decisions while also governing everyday social interactions. In the past decade, researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience have made tremendous progress in the effort to understand the neural basis of human morality. The emerging insights from this research point toward a model in which automatic processing in parallel neural circuits, many of which are associated with social emotions, evaluate the actions and intentions of others. Through various mechanisms of competition, only a subset of these circuits ultimately causes a decision or an action. This activity is experienced consciously as a subjective moral sense of right or wrong, and an interpretive process offers post hoc explanations designed to link the social stimulus with the subjective moral response using whatever explicit information is available.

  19. Human neurologic function and the aging process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin, A R; Syndulko, K; Tourtellotte, W W; Lemmon, J A; Potvin, J H

    1980-01-01

    Sixty-one normal men whose ages ranged from 20 to 80 years were evaluated on two occasions by means of a comprehensive series of 128 instrumented tests of neurologic function. The tests measured cognition, vision, strength, steadiness, reactions, speed, coordination, fatigue, gait, station, sensations, and tasks of daily living. The reliability of each test measured was determined, and any measure found unreliable (r less than or equal to 0.41) was not further analyzed. Significant age-related linear decreases were found for almost all neurologic functions. The declines over the age span varied from less than 10 percent to more than 90 percent for different functions. For the upper extremities, the largest declines (greater than 50 percent) were in hand-force steadiness, speed of hand-arm movements, and vibration sense; for the lower extremities, the largest declines were in one-legged balance with eyes closed and in vibration sense. For 13 of 14 tests in which significant dominant body-side effects were found, larger re-testing 7-10 days later, the subjects improved their scores by more than 5 percent on only 17 tests, 9 of which concerned the activities of daily living. No significant differential learning effects were found across age groups. The results point to the importance of developing a data bank on age-based neurologic function so that therapeutic effects can be evaluated in terms of age- and sex-matched normal functioning.

  20. Cryopreservation of human skeletal muscle impairs mitochondrial function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have investigated if cryopreservation is a viable approach for functional mitochondrial analysis. Different tissues have been studied, and conflicting results have been published. The aim of the present study was to investigate if mitochondria in human skeletal muscle maintain...... loss from the mitochondria. The results from this study demonstrate that normal mitochondrial functionality is not maintained in cryopreserved human skeletal muscle samples....... 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...

  1. Cryopreservation of human skeletal muscle impairs mitochondrial function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have investigated if cryopreservation is a viable approach for functional mitochondrial analysis. Different tissues have been studied, and conflicting results have been published. The aim of the present study was to investigate if mitochondria in human skeletal muscle maintain...... 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...... loss from the mitochondria. The results from this study demonstrate that normal mitochondrial functionality is not maintained in cryopreserved human skeletal muscle samples....

  2. Forthergillian Lecture. Imaging human brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frackowiak, R S

    The non-invasive brain scanning techniques introduced a quarter of a century ago have become crucial for diagnosis in clinical neurology. They have also been used to investigate brain function and have provided information about normal activity and pathogenesis. They have been used to investigate functional specialization in the brain and how specialized areas communicate to generate complex integrated functions such as speech, memory, the emotions and so on. The phenomenon of brain plasticity is poorly understood and yet clinical neurologists are aware, from everyday observations, that spontaneous recovery from brain lesions is common. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of recovery may generate new therapeutic strategies and indicate ways of modulating mechanisms that promote plastic compensation for loss of function. The main methods used to investigate these issues are positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (M.R.I.). M.R.I. is also used to map brain structure. The techniques of functional brain mapping and computational morphometrics depend on high performance scanners and a validated set of analytic statistical procedures that generate reproducible data and meaningful inferences from brain scanning data. The motor system presents a good paradigm to illustrate advances made by scanning towards an understanding of plasticity at the level of brain areas. The normal motor system is organized in a nested hierarchy. Recovery from paralysis caused by internal capsule strokes involves functional reorganization manifesting itself as changed patterns of activity in the component brain areas of the normal motor system. The pattern of plastic modification depends in part on patterns of residual or disturbed connectivity after brain injury. Therapeutic manipulations in patients with Parkinson's disease using deep brain stimulation, dopaminergic agents or fetal mesencephalic transplantation provide a means to examine mechanisms underpinning

  3. 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...

  4. Napping and Human Functioning during Prolonged Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-04-30

    alternative to napping is prolonged wakefulness. Polyphasic sleep , with frequent naps rather than a single sleep period per 24 hours, is natural for both the...very young and for the aged. It is not practiced by most adults, perhaps because of societal demands. Possibly a polyphasic sleep schedule could be...Functioning 1.2 Scope of this Chapter 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE 2.1 Partial Sleep Deprivation Studies 2.2 Nap Studies: Four Nap Factors Affecting Performance

  5. Nonlinear functional mapping of the human brain

    OpenAIRE

    Allgaier, Nicholas; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth; Arun L W Bokde; Bongard, Josh C.; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Cattrell, Anna; Conrod, Patricia J.; Danforth, Christopher M.; Desrivières, Sylvane; Peter S. Dodds; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The field of neuroimaging has truly become data rich, and novel analytical methods capable of gleaning meaningful information from large stores of imaging data are in high demand. Those methods that might also be applicable on the level of individual subjects, and thus potentially useful clinically, are of special interest. In the present study, we introduce just such a method, called nonlinear functional mapping (NFM), and demonstrate its application in the analysis of resting state fMRI fro...

  6. Prenatal programming of human neurological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandman, Curt A; Davis, Elysia P; Buss, Claudia; Glynn, Laura M

    2011-01-01

    The human placenta expresses the genes for proopiomelanocortin and the major stress hormone, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), profoundly altering the "fight or flight" stress system in mother and fetus. As pregnancy progresses, the levels of these stress hormones, including maternal cortisol, increase dramatically. These endocrine changes are important for fetal maturation, but if the levels are altered (e.g., in response to stress), they influence (program) the fetal nervous system with long-term consequences. The evidence indicates that fetal exposure to elevated levels of stress hormones (i) delays fetal nervous system maturation, (ii) restricts the neuromuscular development and alters the stress response of the neonate, (iii) impairs mental development and increases fearful behavior in the infant, and (iv) may result in diminished gray matter volume in children. The studies reviewed indicate that fetal exposure to stress peptides and hormones exerts profound programming influences on the nervous system and may increase the risk for emotional and cognitive impairment.

  7. Experiment M-131 - Human vestibular function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

    The purpose of the M-131 experiment is to measure responses in astronauts throughout orbital flight that reflect vestibular function and compare them with measurements made before and after flight. Three subtasks require measurement of (1) susceptibility to motion sickness, (2) thresholds of response to stimulation of the semicircular canals, and (3) space perception, viz, visual and nonvisual localization, using external spacecraft and internal morphological frames of reference. Four astronauts will be available for all measurements in Skylab 2 and 3 and two additional astronauts for only the 'static' measurements during the flights.

  8. Inflammation modulates human HDL composition and function in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inflammation may directly impair HDL functions, in particular reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), but limited data support this concept in humans. Our study was designed to investigate this relationship. We employed low-dose human endotoxemia to assess the effects of inflammation on HDL and RCT-rel...

  9. Prenatal Programming of Human Neurological Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Curt A. Sandman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The human placenta expresses the genes for proopiomelanocortin and the major stress hormone, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH, profoundly altering the “fight or flight” stress system in mother and fetus. As pregnancy progresses, the levels of these stress hormones, including maternal cortisol, increase dramatically. These endocrine changes are important for fetal maturation, but if the levels are altered (e.g., in response to stress, they influence (program the fetal nervous system with long-term consequences. The evidence indicates that fetal exposure to elevated levels of stress hormones (i delays fetal nervous system maturation, (ii restricts the neuromuscular development and alters the stress response of the neonate, (iii impairs mental development and increases fearful behavior in the infant, and (iv may result in diminished gray matter volume in children. The studies reviewed indicate that fetal exposure to stress peptides and hormones exerts profound programming influences on the nervous system and may increase the risk for emotional and cognitive impairment.

  10. 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.

  11. Human-mouse comparative genomics: successes and failures to reveal functional regions of the human genome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pennacchio, Len A.; Baroukh, Nadine; Rubin, Edward M.

    2003-05-15

    Deciphering the genetic code embedded within the human genome remains a significant challenge despite the human genome consortium's recent success at defining its linear sequence (Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001). While useful strategies exist to identify a large percentage of protein encoding regions, efforts to accurately define functional sequences in the remaining {approx}97 percent of the genome lag. Our primary interest has been to utilize the evolutionary relationship and the universal nature of genomic sequence information in vertebrates to reveal functional elements in the human genome. This has been achieved through the combined use of vertebrate comparative genomics to pinpoint highly conserved sequences as candidates for biological activity and transgenic mouse studies to address the functionality of defined human DNA fragments. Accordingly, we describe strategies and insights into functional sequences in the human genome through the use of comparative genomics coupled wit h functional studies in the mouse.

  12. Functional residual capacity: the human windbag.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villars, Penelope S; Kanusky, Joseph T; Levitzky, Michael G

    2002-10-01

    Like the windbag of a bagpipe, the functional residual capacity (FRC) is the lung volume that acts as a reservoir of air for physiologic use. This reserve volume is particularly important during the period of apnea that occurs during induction of general anesthesia. The balance of the inward elastic recoil of the lung and the outward chest wall forces determines the FRC. Inward recoil forces are dependent on the interaction between the fibrous skeleton of the lung tissue and the alveolar surface tension regulated by pulmonary surfactant. Positioning and the use of inhaled and intravenous anesthetics influence outward chest wall forces. Factors that affect the FRC may be altered by volume recruitment maneuvers such as administration of vital capacity breaths, the application of positive end-expiratory pressure, and/or maintenance of anesthesia with a fraction of inspired oxygen of less than 1.0. This course reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of the FRC during the perioperative period. Understanding the processes that contribute to intraoperative loss of lung volume and knowledge of interventions that can allay them are paramount to providing a reliable and safe general anesthetic.

  13. Mapping Human Brain Function with MRI at 7 Tesla

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    @@ In the past decade, the most significant development in MRI is the introduction of fMRI, which permits the mapping of human brain function with exquisite details noninvasively. Functional mapping can be achieved by measuring changes in the blood oxygenation level (I.e. The BOLD contrast) or cerebral blood flow.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerel, Michelle; De Martino, Federico; Formisano, Elia

    2014-01-01

    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.

  16. Human functional neuroimaging of brain changes associated with practice

    OpenAIRE

    GARAVAN, HUGH PATRICK

    2005-01-01

    PUBLISHED The discovery that experience-driven changes in the human brain can occur from a neural to a cortical level throughout the lifespan has stimulated a proliferation of research into how neural function changes in response to experience, enabled by neuroimaging methods such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Studies attempt to characterize these changes by examining how practice on a task affects the functional anatomy underlying performance. ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution of the Human Nervous System Function, Structure, and Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, André M M; Meyer, Kyle A; Santpere, Gabriel; Gulden, Forrest O; Sestan, Nenad

    2017-07-13

    The nervous system-in particular, the brain and its cognitive abilities-is among humans' most distinctive and impressive attributes. How the nervous system has changed in the human lineage and how it differs from that of closely related primates is not well understood. Here, we consider recent comparative analyses of extant species that are uncovering new evidence for evolutionary changes in the size and the number of neurons in the human nervous system, as well as the cellular and molecular reorganization of its neural circuits. We also discuss the developmental mechanisms and underlying genetic and molecular changes that generate these structural and functional differences. As relevant new information and tools materialize at an unprecedented pace, the field is now ripe for systematic and functionally relevant studies of the development and evolution of human nervous system specializations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Inter-chromosomal variation in the pattern of human population genetic structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baye Tesfaye M

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Emerging technologies now make it possible to genotype hundreds of thousands of genetic variations in individuals, across the genome. The study of loci at finer scales will facilitate the understanding of genetic variation at genomic and geographic levels. We examined global and chromosomal variations across HapMap populations using 3.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms to search for the most stratified genomic regions of human populations and linked these regions to ontological annotation and functional network analysis. To achieve this, we used five complementary statistical and genetic network procedures: principal component (PC, cluster, discriminant, fixation index (FST and network/pathway analyses. At the global level, the first two PC scores were sufficient to account for major population structure; however, chromosomal level analysis detected subtle forms of population structure within continental populations, and as many as 31 PCs were required to classify individuals into homogeneous groups. Using recommended population ancestry differentiation measures, a total of 126 regions of the genome were catalogued. Gene ontology and networks analyses revealed that these regions included the genes encoding oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2, hect domain and RLD 2 (HERC2, ectodysplasin A receptor (EDAR and solute carrier family 45, member 2 (SLC45A2. These genes are associated with melanin production, which is involved in the development of skin and hair colour, skin cancer and eye pigmentation. We also identified the genes encoding interferon-γ (IFNG and death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1, which are associated with cell death, inflammatory and immunological diseases. An in-depth understanding of these genomic regions may help to explain variations in adaptation to different environments. Our approach offers a comprehensive strategy for analysing chromosome-based population structure and differentiation, and demonstrates the

  3. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

    In this paper we reviewed the applications of functional near infrared optical imager in human brain activity. Optical imaging results of brain activity, including memory for new association, emotional thinking, mental arithmetic, pattern recognition ' where's Waldo?, occipital cortex in visual stimulation, and motor cortex in finger tapping, are demonstrated. It is shown that the NIR optical method opens up new fields of study of the human population, in adults under conditions of simulated or real stress that may have important effects upon functional performance. It makes practical and affordable for large populations the complex technology of measuring brain function. It is portable and low cost. In cognitive tasks subjects could report orally. The temporal resolution could be millisecond or less in theory. NIR method will have good prospects in exploring human brain secret.

  4. 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.

  5. Dipeptides Increase Functional Activity of Human Skin Fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinin, V V; Durnova, A O; Polyakova, V O; Kvetnoi, I M

    2015-05-01

    We analyzed the effect of dipeptide Glu-Trp and isovaleroyl-Glu-Trp in concentrations of 0.2, 2 and 20 μg/ml and Actovegin preparation on functional activity of human skin fibroblasts. Dipeptides, especially Glu-Trp, produce a stimulating effect on human skin fibroblasts and their effect is equivalent to that of Actovegin. Dipeptides stimulate cell renewal processes by activating synthesis of Ki-67 and reducing expression of caspase-9 and enhance antioxidant function of the cells by stimulating the expression of Hsp-90 and inducible NO-synthase. These findings suggest that dipeptides are promising candidates for preparations stimulating reparative processes.

  6. Molecular functions of human endogenous retroviruses in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suntsova, Maria; Garazha, Andrew; Ivanova, Alena; Kaminsky, Dmitry; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Buzdin, Anton

    2015-10-01

    Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and related genetic elements form 504 distinct families and occupy ~8% of human genome. Recent success of high-throughput experimental technologies facilitated understanding functional impact of HERVs for molecular machinery of human cells. HERVs encode active retroviral proteins, which may exert important physiological functions in the body, but also may be involved in the progression of cancer and numerous human autoimmune, neurological and infectious diseases. The spectrum of related malignancies includes, but not limits to, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lupus, schizophrenia, multiple cancer types and HIV. In addition, HERVs regulate expression of the neighboring host genes and modify genomic regulatory landscape, e.g., by providing regulatory modules like transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). Indeed, recent bioinformatic profiling identified ~110,000 regulatory active HERV elements, which formed at least ~320,000 human TFBS. These and other peculiarities of HERVs might have played an important role in human evolution and speciation. In this paper, we focus on the current progress in understanding of normal and pathological molecular niches of HERVs, on their implications in human evolution, normal physiology and disease. We also review the available databases dealing with various aspects of HERV genetics.

  7. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions.

  8. Human skin hypoxia modulates cerebrovascular and autonomic functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Pucci

    Full Text Available Because the skin is an oxygen sensor in amphibians and mice, we thought to confirm this function also in humans. The human upright posture, however, introduces additional functional demands for the maintenance of oxygen homeostasis in which cerebral blood flow and autonomic nervous system (ANS function may also be involved. We examined nine males and three females. While subjects were breathing ambient air, at sea level, we changed gases in a plastic body-bag during two conditions of the experiment such as to induce skin hypoxia (with pure nitrogen or skin normoxia (with air. The subjects performed a test of hypoxic ventilatory drive during each condition of the experiment. We found no differences in the hypoxic ventilatory drive tests. However, ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities were modulated by skin hypoxia and the effect was significantly greater on the left than right middle cerebral arteries. We conclude that skin hypoxia modulates ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities and this might impact life styles and tolerance to ambient hypoxia at altitude. Thus the skin in normal humans, in addition to its numerous other functions, is also an oxygen sensor.

  9. Functional annotation of the human retinal pigment epithelium transcriptome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C. Booij (Judith); S. van Soest (Simone); S.M.A. Swagemakers (Sigrid); A.H.W. Essing (Anke); J.H.M. Verkerk (Annemieke); P.J. van der Spek (Peter); T.G.M.F. Gorgels (Theo); A.A.B. Bergen (Arthur)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractBackground: 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

  10. Functional annotation of the human retinal pigment epithelium transcriptome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booij, J.C.; van Soest, S.; Swagemakers, S.M.A.; Essing, A.H.W.; Verkerk, A.J.M.H.; van der Spek, P.J.; Gorgels, T.G.M.F.; Bergen, A.A.B.

    2009-01-01

    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 hu

  11. Astronauts Conrad and Kerwin practice Human Vestibular Function experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., commander of the first manned Skylab mission, checks out the Human Vestibular Function, Experiment M131, during Skylab training at JSC. Scientist-Astronaut Joseph P. Kerwin, science pilot of the mission, goes over a checklist. The two men are in the work and experiments compartment of the crew quarters of the Skylab Orbital Workshop (OWS) trainer at JSC.

  12. Beyond diversity: functional microbiomics of the human colon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egert, M.G.G.; Graaf, de A.; Smidt, H.; Vos, de W.M.; Venema, K.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular tools have revealed wide microbial diversity in the human alimentary tract. Most intestinal microorganisms have not been cultured and the in situ functions of distinct groups of the intestinal microbiota are largely unknown but pivotal to understanding the role of these microorganisms in h

  13. 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 gr

  14. Structure and function of the human skin microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schommer, Nina N; Gallo, Richard L

    2013-12-01

    An abundant and diverse collection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses inhabits the human skin. These microorganisms vary between individuals and between different sites on the skin. The factors responsible for the unique variability of the skin microbiome are only partly understood, but results suggest that host genetic and environmental influences play a major role. Today, the steady accumulation of data describing the skin microbiome, combined with experiments designed to test the biological functions of surface microbes, has provided new insights into links between human physiology and skin microbiota. This review describes some of the current information regarding the skin microbiome and its impact on human health. Specifically, we summarize the present understanding of the function of microbe-host interactions on the skin and highlight some unique features that distinguish skin commensal organisms from pathogenic microbes.

  15. Phenotype and functions of memory Tfh cells in human blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Nathalie; Bentebibel, Salah-Eddine; Ueno, Hideki

    2014-09-01

    Our understanding of the origin and functions of human blood CXCR5(+) CD4(+) T cells found in human blood has changed dramatically in the past years. These cells are currently considered to represent a circulating memory compartment of T follicular helper (Tfh) lineage cells. Recent studies have shown that blood memory Tfh cells are composed of phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets. Here, we review the current understanding of human blood memory Tfh cells and the subsets within this compartment. We present a strategy to define these subsets based on cell surface profiles. Finally, we discuss how increased understanding of the biology of blood memory Tfh cells may contribute insight into the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and the mode of action of vaccines.

  16. Ethanol inhibits human bone cell proliferation and function in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friday, K.E.; Howard, G.A. (University of Washington, Seattle (USA))

    1991-06-01

    The direct effects of ethanol on human bone cell proliferation and function were studied in vitro. Normal human osteoblasts from trabecular bone chips were prepared by collagenase digestion. Exposure of these osteoblasts to ethanol in concentrations of 0.05% to 1% for 22 hours induced a dose-dependent reduction in bone cell DNA synthesis as assessed by incorporation of 3H-thymidine. After 72 hours of ethanol exposure in concentrations of 0.01% to 1%, protein synthesis as measured by 3H-proline incorporation into trichbroacetic acid (TCA)-precipitable material was reduced in a dose-dependent manner. Human bone cell protein concentrations and alkaline phosphatase total activity were significantly reduced after exposure to 1% ethanol for 72 hours, but not with lower concentrations of ethanol. This reduction in osteoblast proliferation and activity may partially explain the development of osteopenia in humans consuming excessive amounts of ethanol.

  17. Strategies of functional food for cancer prevention in human beings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Ya-Wen; Yang, Jia-Zheng; Pu, Xiao-Ying; Du, Juan; Yang, Tao; Yang, Shu-Ming; Zhu, Wei-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Functional food for prevention of chronic diseases is one of this century's key global challenges. Cancer is not only the first or second leading cause of death in China and other countries across the world, but also has diet as one of the most important modifiable risk factors. Major dietary factors now known to promote cancer development are polished grain foods and low intake of fresh vegetables, with general importance for an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. The strategies of cancer prevention in human being are increased consumption of functional foods like whole grains (brown rice, barley, and buckwheat) and by-products, as well some vegetables (bitter melon, garlic, onions, broccoli, and cabbage) and mushrooms (boletes and Tricholoma matsutake). In addition some beverages (green tea and coffee) may be protective. Southwest China (especially Yunnan Province) is a geographical area where functional crop production is closely related to the origins of human evolution with implications for anticancer influence.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that human mitochondrial variants influence maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Whether mitochondrial respiratory capacity per mitochondrion (intrinsic activity) in human skeletal muscle is affected by differences in mitochondrial variants is not known. We recruited 54 males...... 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....

  19. Ketamine inhibits human sperm function by Ca(2+)-related mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yuanqiao; Zou, Qianxing; Li, Bingda; Chen, Houyang; Du, Xiaohong; Weng, Shiqi; Luo, Tao; Zeng, Xuhui

    2016-09-09

    Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, which was widely used in human and animal medicine, has become a popular recreational drug, as it can induce hallucinatory effects. Ketamine abuse can cause serious damage to many aspects of the organism, mainly reflected in the nervous system and urinary system. It has also been reported that ketamine can impair the male genital system. However, the detailed effect of ketamine on human spermatozoa remains unclear. Thus, we investigated the in vitro effects of ketamine on human sperm functions, to elucidate the underlying mechanism. Human sperm were treated in vitro with different concentrations of ketamine (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/L). The results showed that 0.25-1 g/L ketamine inhibited sperm total motility, progressive motility and linear velocity, in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the sperm's ability to penetrate viscous medium and the progesterone-induced acrosome reaction were significantly inhibited by ketamine. Ketamine did not affect sperm viability, capacitation and spontaneous acrosome reaction. The intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), which is a central factor in the regulation of human sperm function, was decreased by ketamine (0.125-1 g/L) in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the currents of the sperm-specific Ca(2+) channel, CatSper, which modulates Ca(2+) influx in sperm, were inhibited by ketamine (0.125-1 g/L) in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that ketamine induces its toxic effects on human sperm functions by reducing sperm [Ca(2+)]i through inhibition of CatSper channel. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Musical training induces functional plasticity in human hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herdener, Marcus; Esposito, Fabrizio; di Salle, Francesco; Boller, Christian; Hilti, Caroline C; Habermeyer, Benedikt; Scheffler, Klaus; Wetzel, Stephan; Seifritz, Erich; Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja

    2010-01-27

    Training can change the functional and structural organization of the brain, and animal models demonstrate that the hippocampus formation is particularly susceptible to training-related neuroplasticity. In humans, however, direct evidence for functional plasticity of the adult hippocampus induced by training is still missing. Here, we used musicians' brains as a model to test for plastic capabilities of the adult human hippocampus. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging optimized for the investigation of auditory processing, we examined brain responses induced by temporal novelty in otherwise isochronous sound patterns in musicians and musical laypersons, since the hippocampus has been suggested previously to be crucially involved in various forms of novelty detection. In the first cross-sectional experiment, we identified enhanced neural responses to temporal novelty in the anterior left hippocampus of professional musicians, pointing to expertise-related differences in hippocampal processing. In the second experiment, we evaluated neural responses to acoustic temporal novelty in a longitudinal approach to disentangle training-related changes from predispositional factors. For this purpose, we examined an independent sample of music academy students before and after two semesters of intensive aural skills training. After this training period, hippocampal responses to temporal novelty in sounds were enhanced in musical students, and statistical interaction analysis of brain activity changes over time suggests training rather than predisposition effects. Thus, our results provide direct evidence for functional changes of the adult hippocampus in humans related to musical training.

  2. 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

    2014-04-29

    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.

  3. Medroxyprogesterone acetate impairs human dendritic cell activation and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quispe Calla, N E; Ghonime, M G; Cherpes, T L; Vicetti Miguel, R D

    2015-05-01

    Does medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) impair human dendritic cell (DC) activation and function? In vitro MPA treatment suppressed expression of CD40 and CD80 by human primary DCs responding to Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist stimulation (i.e. DC activation). Moreover, this MPA-mediated decrease in CD40 expression impaired DC capacity to stimulate T cell proliferation (i.e. DC function). MPA is the active molecule in Depo-Provera(®) (DMPA), a commonly used injectable hormonal contraceptive (HC). Although DMPA treatment of mice prior to viral mucosal tissue infection impaired the capacity of DCs to up-regulate CD40 and CD80 and prime virus-specific T cell proliferation, neither DC activation marker expression nor the ability of DCs to promote T cell proliferation were affected by in vitro progesterone treatment of human DCs generated from peripheral blood monocytes. This cross-sectional study examined MPA-mediated effects on the activation and function of human primary untouched peripheral blood DCs. Human DCs isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells by negative immunomagnetic selection were incubated for 24 h with various concentrations of MPA. After an additional 24 h incubation with the TLR3 agonist polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), flow cytometry was used to evaluate DC phenotype (i.e. expression of CD40, CD80, CD86, and HLA-DR). In separate experiments, primary untouched human DCs were sequentially MPA-treated, poly I:C-activated, and incubated for 7 days with fluorescently labeled naïve allogeneic T cells. Flow cytometry was then used to quantify allogeneic T cell proliferation. Several pharmacologically relevant concentrations of MPA dramatically reduced CD40 and CD80 expression in human primary DCs responding to the immunostimulant poly I:C. In addition, MPA-treated DCs displayed a reduced capacity to promote allogeneic CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation. In other DC: T cell co-cultures, the addition of antibody blocking the CD40

  4. Activation of GPR119 Stimulates Human β-Cell Replication and Neogenesis in Humanized Mice with Functional Human Islets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansarullah; Free, Colette; Christopherson, Jenica; Chen, Quanhai; Gao, Jie; Liu, Chengyang; Naji, Ali; Rabinovitch, Alex; Guo, Zhiguang

    2016-01-01

    Using humanized mice with functional human islets, we investigated whether activating GPR119 by PSN632408, a small molecular agonist, can stimulate human β-cell regeneration in vivo. Human islets were transplanted under the left kidney capsule of immunodeficient mice with streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetes. The recipient mice were treated with PSN632408 or vehicle and BrdU daily. Human islet graft function in the mice was evaluated by nonfasting glucose levels, oral glucose tolerance, and removal of the grafts. Immunostaining for insulin, glucagon, and BrdU or Ki67 was performed in islet grafts to evaluate α- and β-cell replication. Insulin and CK19 immunostaining was performed to evaluate β-cell neogenesis. Four weeks after human islet transplantation, 71% of PSN632408-treated mice achieved normoglycaemia compared with 24% of vehicle-treated mice. Also, oral glucose tolerance was significantly improved in the PSN632408-treated mice. PSN632408 treatment significantly increased both human α- and β-cell areas in islet grafts and stimulated α- and β-cell replication. In addition, β-cell neogenesis was induced from pancreatic duct cells in the islet grafts. Our results demonstrated that activation of GPR119 increases β-cell mass by stimulating human β-cell replication and neogenesis. Therefore, GPR119 activators may qualify as therapeutic agents to increase human β-cell mass in patients with diabetes. PMID:27413754

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Human Vestibular Function, Rotating Litter Chair - Skylab Experiment M131

    Science.gov (United States)

    1970-01-01

    This 1970 photograph shows the Rotating Litter Chair, a major component of Skylab's Human Vestibular Function experiment (M131). The experiment was a set of medical studies designed to determine the effect of long-duration space missions on astronauts' coordination abilities. The M131 experiment tested the astronauts susceptibility to motion sickness in the Skylab environment, acquired data fundamental to an understanding of the functions of human gravity reception under prolonged absence of gravity, and tested for changes in the sensitivity of the semicircular canals. Data from this experiment was collected before, during, and after flight. The Marshall Space Flight Center had program management responsibility for the development of Skylab hardware and experiments.

  12. Changes in cognitive state alter human functional brain networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malaak Nasser Moussa

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of the brain as a whole system can be accomplished using network theory principles. Research has shown that human functional brain networks during a resting state exhibit small-world properties and high degree nodes, or hubs, localized to brain areas consistent with the default mode network (DMN. However, the study of brain networks across different tasks and or cognitive states has been inconclusive. Research in this field is important because the underpinnings of behavioral output are inherently dependent on whether or not brain networks are dynamic. This is the first comprehensive study to evaluate multiple network metrics at a voxel-wise resolution in the human brain at both the whole brain and regional level under various conditions: resting state, visual stimulation, and multisensory (auditory and visual stimulation. Our results show that despite global network stability, functional brain networks exhibit considerable task-induced changes in connectivity, efficiency, and community structure at the regional level.

  13. 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.

  14. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  15. Triazole fungicide tebuconazole disrupts human placental trophoblast cell functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-05

    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.

  16. Structural and functional characterization of human NAD kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, F; Niere, M; Ludwig, A; Ziegler, M

    2001-10-19

    NADP is essential for biosynthetic pathways, energy, and signal transduction. Its synthesis is catalyzed by NAD kinase. Very little is known about the structure, function, and regulation of this enzyme from multicellular organisms. We identified a human NAD kinase cDNA and the corresponding gene using available database information. A cDNA was amplified from a human fibroblast cDNA library and functionally overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The obtained cDNA, slightly different from that deposited in the database, encodes a protein of 49 kDa. The gene is expressed in most human tissues, but not in skeletal muscle. Human NAD kinase differs considerably from that of prokaryotes by subunit molecular mass (49 kDa vs 30-35 kDa). The catalytically active homotetramer is highly selective for its substrates, NAD and ATP. It did not phosphorylate the nicotinic acid derivative of NAD (NAAD) suggesting that the potent calcium-mobilizing pyridine nucleotide NAADP is synthesized by an alternative route.

  17. Functional diversity of human protein kinase splice variants marks significant expansion of human kinome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anamika Krishanpal

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein kinases are involved in diverse spectrum of cellular processes. Availability of draft version of the human genomic data in the year 2001 enabled recognition of repertoire of protein kinases. However, over the years the human genomic data is being refined and the current release of human genomic data has helped us to recognize a larger repertoire of over 900 human protein kinases represented mainly by splice variants. Results Many of these identified protein kinases are alternatively spliced products. Interestingly, some of the human kinase splice variants appear to be significantly diverged in terms of their functional properties as represented by incorporation or absence of one or more domains. Many sets of protein kinase splice variants have substantially different domain organization and in a few sets of splice variants kinase domains belong to different subfamilies of kinases suggesting potential participation in different signal transduction pathways. Conclusions Addition or deletion of a domain between splice variants of multi-domain kinases appears to be a means of generating differences in the functional features of otherwise similar kinases. It is intriguing that marked sequence diversity within the catalytic regions of some of the splice variant kinases result in kinases belonging to different subfamilies. These human kinase splice variants with different functions might contribute to diversity of eukaryotic cellular signaling.

  18. Functional characterization of the human mariner transposon Hsmar2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estel Gil

    Full Text Available DNA transposons are mobile elements with the ability to mobilize and transport genetic information between different chromosomal loci. Unfortunately, most transposons copies are currently inactivated, little is known about mariner elements in humans despite their role in the evolution of the human genome, even though the Hsmar2 transposon is associated to hotspots for homologous recombination involved in human genetic disorders as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Prader-Willi/Angelman, and Williams syndromes. This manuscript describes the functional characterization of the human HSMAR2 transposase generated from fossil sequences and shows that the native HSMAR2 is active in human cells, but also in bacteria, with an efficiency similar to other mariner elements. We observe that the sub-cellular localization of HSMAR2 is dependent on the host cell type, and is cytotoxic when overexpressed in HeLa cells. Finally, we also demonstrate that the binding of HSMAR2 to its own ITRs is specific, and that the excision reaction leaves non-canonical footprints both in bacteria and eukaryotic cells.

  19. Functional characterization of human cancer-derived TRKB mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Geiger

    Full Text Available Cancer originates from cells that have acquired mutations in genes critical for controlling cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. Often, tumors continue to depend on these so-called driver mutations, providing the rationale for targeted anticancer therapies. To date, large-scale sequencing analyses have revealed hundreds of mutations in human tumors. However, without their functional validation it remains unclear which mutations correspond to driver, or rather bystander, mutations and, therefore, whether the mutated gene represents a target for therapeutic intervention. In human colorectal tumors, the neurotrophic receptor TRKB has been found mutated on two different sites in its kinase domain (TRKB(T695I and TRKB(D751N. Another site, in the extracellular part of TRKB, is mutated in a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (TRKB(L138F. Lastly, our own analysis has identified one additional TRKB point mutation proximal to the kinase domain (TRKB(P507L in a human melanoma cell line. The functional consequences of all these point mutations, however, have so far remained elusive. Previously, we have shown that TRKB is a potent suppressor of anoikis and that TRKB-expressing cells form highly invasive and metastatic tumors in nude mice. To assess the functional consequences of these four TRKB mutations, we determined their potential to suppress anoikis and to form tumors in nude mice. Unexpectedly, both colon cancer-derived mutants, TRKB(T695I and TRKB(D751N, displayed reduced activity compared to that of wild-type TRKB. Consistently, upon stimulation with the TRKB ligand BDNF, these mutants were impaired in activating TRKB and its downstream effectors AKT and ERK. The two mutants derived from human tumor cell lines (TRKB(L138F and TRKB(P507L were functionally indistinguishable from wild-type TRKB in both in-vitro and in-vivo assays. In conclusion, we fail to detect any gain-of-function of four cancer-derived TRKB point mutations.

  20. Implication of Human Endogenous Retrovirus Envelope Proteins in Placental Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adjimon Gatien Lokossou

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Human endogenous retroviruses (ERVs represent 8% of the total human genome. Although the majority of these ancient proviral sequences have only retained non-coding long terminal repeats (LTRs, a number of “endogenized” retroviral genes encode functional proteins. Previous studies have underlined the implication of these ERV-derived proteins in the development and the function of the placenta. In this review, we summarize recent findings showing that two ERV genes, termed Syncytin-1 and Syncytin-2, which encode former envelope (Env proteins, trigger fusion events between villous cytotrophoblasts and the peripheral multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast layer. Such fusion events maintain the stability of this latter cell structure, which plays an important role in fetal development by the active secretion of various soluble factors, gas exchange and regulation of fetomaternal immunotolerance. We also highlight new studies showing that these ERV proteins, in addition to their localization at the cell surface of cytotrophoblasts, are also incorporated on the surface of various extracellular microvesicles, including exosomes. Such exosome-associated proteins could be involved in the various functions attributed to these vesicles and could provide a form of tropism. Additionally, through their immunosuppressive domains, these ERV proteins could also contribute to fetomaternal immunotolerance in a local and more distal manner. These various aspects of the implication of Syncytin-1 and -2 in placental function are also addressed in the context of the placenta-related disorder, preeclampsia.

  1. 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

  2. Functional and anatomical properties of human visual cortical fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shouyu; Cate, Anthony D; Herron, Timothy J; Kang, Xiaojian; Yund, E William; Bao, Shanglian; Woods, David L

    2015-04-01

    Human visual cortical fields (VCFs) vary in size and anatomical location across individual subjects. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with retinotopic stimulation to identify VCFs on the cortical surface. We found that aligning and averaging VCF activations across the two hemispheres provided clear delineation of multiple retinotopic fields in visual cortex. The results show that VCFs have consistent locations and extents in different subjects that provide stable and accurate landmarks for functional and anatomical mapping. Interhemispheric comparisons revealed minor differences in polar angle and eccentricity tuning in comparable VCFs in the left and right hemisphere, and somewhat greater intersubject variability in the right than left hemisphere. We then used the functional boundaries to characterize the anatomical properties of VCFs, including fractional anisotropy (FA), magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and the ratio of T1W and T2W images and found significant anatomical differences between VCFs and between hemispheres.

  3. Which activation function of cooperation describes human behavior?

    CERN Document Server

    Jarynowski, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    Properties of cooperation's probability function in Prisoner`s Dilemma have impact on evolution of game. Basic model defines that probability of cooperation depends linearly, both on the player's altruism and the co-player's reputation. I propose modification of activation function to smooth one (hyperbolic tangent with scaling parameter a, which corresponds to its shape) and observe three phases for different range of a. (1) For small a, strategies seem to randomly change in time and situation of mixed choices (one cooperates and second defects) dominate. (2) For medium a, players choose only one strategy for given period of time (the common state can switch to opposite one with some probability). (3) For large a, mixed strategy (once defect, once cooperate) is coexisting with common strategies and no change is allowed. I believe that proposed function characterizes better socio-economical phenomena and especially phase 1 and 2 contain most of human behavior.

  4. A secretory function of human insulin-producing cellsin vivo

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan-Hua Hu; De-Quan Wu; Feng Gao; Guo-Dong Li; Lei Yao; Xin-Chen Zhang

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood (UCB-MSCs) have good research and application prospects in the treatment of diabetes. We once induced UCB-MSCs to differentiate into insulin-producing cells (IPCs)in vitro, but we did not know the functions of these cellsin vivo. The aim of this study was to assess the functional effects of IPCs on insulin secretion and their role in the treatment of diabetesin vivo. METHODS: UCB-MSCs were induced to IPCs by an inducing protocol with extracellular matrix gel. BALB/C nude mice were made hyperglycemic by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. The diabetic mice were transplanted with 1×107 IPCs under the renal capsule or with phosphate-buffered saline as a control. After transplantation, the grafts were analyzed by immunocytochemistry for the expression of human insulin; the serum human insulin levels were measured; and blood glucose and body weight status were monitored. RESULTS: Immunolfuorescence showed that numerous IPCs under the kidney capsule were insulin-positive. On day 14 after transplantation, the serum human insulin level of the treatment group (n=9) averaged 0.44±0.12 mU/L, which was higher than that of the control group (n=9) that did not express insulin (t=10.842,P<0.05). The diabetic mice remained hyperglycemic and kept losing body weight after IPC transplantation, and there was no signiifcant difference in the control group. CONCLUSION: IPCs differentiated from UCB-MSCs generate human insulin in diabetic mice, but more research is needed to make further use of them to regulate hyperglycemia and body weightin vivo.

  5. 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.

  6. Identification of discrete functional subregions of the human periaqueductal gray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satpute, Ajay B; Wager, Tor D; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Bianciardi, Marta; Choi, Ji-Kyung; Buhle, Jason T; Wald, Lawrence L; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2013-10-15

    The midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) region is organized into distinct subregions that coordinate survival-related responses during threat and stress [Bandler R, Keay KA, Floyd N, Price J (2000) Brain Res 53 (1):95-104]. To examine PAG function in humans, researchers have relied primarily on functional MRI (fMRI), but technological and methodological limitations have prevented researchers from localizing responses to different PAG subregions. We used high-field strength (7-T) fMRI techniques to image the PAG at high resolution (0.75 mm isotropic), which was critical for dissociating the PAG from the greater signal variability in the aqueduct. Activation while participants were exposed to emotionally aversive images segregated into subregions of the PAG along both dorsal/ventral and rostral/caudal axes. In the rostral PAG, activity was localized to lateral and dorsomedial subregions. In caudal PAG, activity was localized to the ventrolateral region. This shifting pattern of activity from dorsal to ventral PAG along the rostrocaudal axis mirrors structural and functional neurobiological observations in nonhuman animals. Activity in lateral and ventrolateral subregions also grouped with distinct emotional experiences (e.g., anger and sadness) in a factor analysis, suggesting that each subregion participates in distinct functional circuitry. This study establishes the use of high-field strength fMRI as a promising technique for revealing the functional architecture of the PAG. The techniques developed here also may be extended to investigate the functional roles of other brainstem nuclei.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Functional autonomy of distant-acting human enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Visel, Axel; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Shoukry, Malak; Afzal, Veena; Rubin, Edward M.; Pennacchio, Len A.

    2009-02-19

    Many human genes are associated with dispersed arrays of transcriptional enhancers that regulate their expression in time and space. Studies in invertebrate model systems have suggested that these elements function as discrete and independent regulatory units, but the in vivo combinatorial properties of vertebrate enhancers remain poorly understood. To explore the modularity and regulatory autonomy of human developmental enhancers, we experimentally concatenated up to four enhancers from different genes and used a transgenic mouse assay to compare the in vivo activity of these compound elements with that of the single modules. In all of the six different combinations of elements tested, the reporter gene activity patterns were additive without signs of interference between the individual modules, indicating that regulatory specificity was maintained despite the presence of closely-positioned heterologous enhancers. Even in cases where two elements drove expression in close anatomical proximity, such as within neighboring subregions of the developing limb bud, the compound patterns did not show signs of cross-inhibition between individual elements or novel expression sites. These data indicate that human developmental enhancers are highly modular and functionally autonomous and suggest that genomic enhancer shuffling may have contributed to the evolution of complex gene expression patterns in vertebrates

  9. Human adipocyte function is impacted by mechanical cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrinelli, V; Heuvingh, J; du Roure, O; Rouault, C; Devulder, A; Klein, C; Lacasa, M; Clément, E; Lacasa, D; Clément, K

    2014-06-01

    Fibrosis is a hallmark of human white adipose tissue (WAT) during obesity-induced chronic inflammation. The functional impact of increased interstitial fibrosis (peri-adipocyte fibrosis) on adjacent adipocytes remains unknown. Here we developed a novel in vitro 3D culture system in which human adipocytes and decellularized material of adipose tissue (dMAT) from obese subjects are embedded in a peptide hydrogel. When cultured with dMAT, adipocytes showed decreased lipolysis and adipokine secretion and increased expression/production of cytokines (IL-6, G-CSF) and fibrotic mediators (LOXL2 and the matricellular proteins THSB2 and CTGF). Moreover, some alterations including lipolytic activity and fibro-inflammation also occurred when the adipocyte/hydrogel culture was mechanically compressed. Notably, CTGF expression levels correlated with the amount of peri-adipocyte fibrosis in WAT from obese individuals. Moreover, dMAT-dependent CTGF promoter activity, which depends on β1-integrin/cytoskeleton pathways, was enhanced in the presence of YAP, a mechanosensitive co-activator of TEAD transcription factors. Mutation of TEAD binding sites abolished the dMAT-induced promoter activity. In conclusion, fibrosis may negatively affect human adipocyte function via mechanosensitive molecules, in part stimulated by cell deformation. Copyright © 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Choline Transporters in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma: Expression and Functional Implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Choline is an essential nutrient for cell survival and proliferation, however, the expression and function of choline transporters have not been well identified in cancer. In this study, we detected the mRNA and protein expression of organic cation transporter OCT3, carnitine/cation transporters OCTN 1 and OCTN2,and choline transporter-like protein CTL1 in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines A549, H1299 and SPC-A-1.Their expression pattern was further confirmed in 25 human primary adenocarcinoma tissues. The choline uptake in these cell lines was significantly blocked by CTL1 inhibitor, but only partially inhibited by OCT or OCTN inhibitors. The efficacy of these inhibitors on cell proliferation is closely correlated with their abilities to block choline transport. Under the native expression of these transporters, the total choline uptake was notably blocked by specific PI3K/AKT inhibitors. These results describe the expression of choline transporters and their relevant function in cell proliferation of human lung adenocarcinoma, thus providing a potential"choline-starvation" strategy of cancer interference through targeting choline transporters, especially CTL1.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Sleep spindles and hippocampal functional connectivity in human NREM sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Kátia C; Spoormaker, Victor I; Dresler, Martin; Wehrle, Renate; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G; Czisch, Michael

    2011-07-13

    We investigated human hippocampal functional connectivity in wakefulness and throughout non-rapid eye movement sleep. Young healthy subjects underwent simultaneous EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements at 1.5 T under resting conditions in the descent to deep sleep. Continuous 5 min epochs representing a unique sleep stage (i.e., wakefulness, sleep stages 1 and 2, or slow-wave sleep) were extracted. fMRI time series of subregions of the hippocampal formation (HF) (cornu ammonis, dentate gyrus, and subiculum) were extracted based on cytoarchitectonical probability maps. We observed sleep stage-dependent changes in HF functional coupling. The HF was integrated to variable strength in the default mode network (DMN) in wakefulness and light sleep stages but not in slow-wave sleep. The strongest functional connectivity between the HF and neocortex was observed in sleep stage 2 (compared with both slow-wave sleep and wakefulness). We observed a strong interaction of sleep spindle occurrence and HF functional connectivity in sleep stage 2, with increased HF/neocortical connectivity during spindles. Moreover, the cornu ammonis exhibited strongest functional connectivity with the DMN during wakefulness, while the subiculum dominated hippocampal functional connectivity to frontal brain regions during sleep stage 2. Increased connectivity between HF and neocortical regions in sleep stage 2 suggests an increased capacity for possible global information transfer, while connectivity in slow-wave sleep is reflecting a functional system optimal for segregated information reprocessing. Our data may be relevant to differentiating sleep stage-specific contributions to neural plasticity as proposed in sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

  13. The multisensory function of the human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Micah M; Thelen, Antonia; Thut, Gregor; Romei, Vincenzo; Martuzzi, Roberto; Matusz, Pawel J

    2016-03-01

    It has been nearly 10 years since Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) proposed that the neocortex is essentially multisensory in nature. However, it is only recently that sufficient and hard evidence that supports this proposal has accrued. We review evidence that activity within the human primary visual cortex plays an active role in multisensory processes and directly impacts behavioural outcome. This evidence emerges from a full pallet of human brain imaging and brain mapping methods with which multisensory processes are quantitatively assessed by taking advantage of particular strengths of each technique as well as advances in signal analyses. Several general conclusions about multisensory processes in primary visual cortex of humans are supported relatively solidly. First, haemodynamic methods (fMRI/PET) show that there is both convergence and integration occurring within primary visual cortex. Second, primary visual cortex is involved in multisensory processes during early post-stimulus stages (as revealed by EEG/ERP/ERFs as well as TMS). Third, multisensory effects in primary visual cortex directly impact behaviour and perception, as revealed by correlational (EEG/ERPs/ERFs) as well as more causal measures (TMS/tACS). While the provocative claim of Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) that the whole of neocortex is multisensory in function has yet to be demonstrated, this can now be considered established in the case of the human primary visual cortex.

  14. 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.  ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. The bi-functional organization of human basement membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halfter, Willi; Monnier, Christophe; Müller, David; Oertle, Philipp; Uechi, Guy; Balasubramani, Manimalha; Safi, Farhad; Lim, Roderick; Loparic, Marko; Henrich, Paul Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    The current basement membrane (BM) model proposes a single-layered extracellular matrix (ECM) sheet that is predominantly composed of laminins, collagen IVs and proteoglycans. The present data show that BM proteins and their domains are asymmetrically organized providing human BMs with side-specific properties: A) isolated human BMs roll up in a side-specific pattern, with the epithelial side facing outward and the stromal side inward. The rolling is independent of the curvature of the tissue from which the BMs were isolated. B) The epithelial side of BMs is twice as stiff as the stromal side, and C) epithelial cells adhere to the epithelial side of BMs only. Side-selective cell adhesion was also confirmed for BMs from mice and from chick embryos. We propose that the bi-functional organization of BMs is an inherent property of BMs and helps build the basic tissue architecture of metazoans with alternating epithelial and connective tissue layers.

  17. The bi-functional organization of human basement membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willi Halfter

    Full Text Available The current basement membrane (BM model proposes a single-layered extracellular matrix (ECM sheet that is predominantly composed of laminins, collagen IVs and proteoglycans. The present data show that BM proteins and their domains are asymmetrically organized providing human BMs with side-specific properties: A isolated human BMs roll up in a side-specific pattern, with the epithelial side facing outward and the stromal side inward. The rolling is independent of the curvature of the tissue from which the BMs were isolated. B The epithelial side of BMs is twice as stiff as the stromal side, and C epithelial cells adhere to the epithelial side of BMs only. Side-selective cell adhesion was also confirmed for BMs from mice and from chick embryos. We propose that the bi-functional organization of BMs is an inherent property of BMs and helps build the basic tissue architecture of metazoans with alternating epithelial and connective tissue layers.

  18. Functional Insight From Fruit Flies on Human ADHD Candidate Genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Arvidson, Sandra Marie Neumann

    2015-01-01

    , and increased risk of mental comorbidities, makes ADHD a disorder with high individual and societal costs. We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the phenotypic consequences of gene disruption of 14 genes with human orthologs, selected by their proposed contribution to increased risk...... for other mutants. Decreased activity level, when treated with dexamphetamine, is seen when using other ADHD animal models. Our findings suggest involvement of the proposed candidate genes Genes, Brain, and Behavior 2015 36 Talk Abstracts in hyperactivity in D. melanogaster, providing functional evidence...

  19. Astronaut Charles Conrad checks out Human Vestibular Function experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., commander of the first manned Skylab mission, checks out the Human Vestibular Function, Experiment M131, during Skylab training at JSC. Conrad is in the work and experiments compartment of the crew quarters of the Skylab Orbital Workshop (OWS) trainer at JSC. The reference sphere with a magnetic rod is used by the astronaut to indicate body orientation non-visually. The litter chair in which he is seated can be rotated by a motor at its base or, when not being rotated, can tilt forward, backward or to either side.

  20. Global properties and functional complexity of human gene regulatory variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Gaffney

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Identification and functional interpretation of gene regulatory variants is a major focus of modern genomics. The application of genetic mapping to molecular and cellular traits has enabled the detection of regulatory variation on genome-wide scales and revealed an enormous diversity of regulatory architecture in humans and other species. In this review I summarise the insights gained and questions raised by a decade of genetic mapping of gene expression variation. I discuss recent extensions of this approach using alternative molecular phenotypes that have revealed some of the biological mechanisms that drive gene expression variation between individuals. Finally, I highlight outstanding problems and future directions for development.

  1. Structural and functional topography of the human ribosome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dmitri Graifer; Galina Karpova

    2012-01-01

    This review covers data on the structural organization of functional sites in the human ribosome,namely,the messenger RNA binding center,the binding site of the hepatitis C virus RNA internal ribosome entry site,and the peptidyl transferase center.The data summarized here have been obtained primarily by means of a site-directed crosslinking approach with application of the analogs of the respective ribosomal ligands bearing cross-linkers at the designed positions.These data are discussed taking into consideration available structural data on ribosomes from various kingdoms obtained with the use of cryo-electron microscopy,X-ray crystallography,and other approaches.

  2. Towards a functional definition of the mitochondrial human proteome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Functional plasticity before the cradle: a review of neural functional imaging in the human fetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Amy L; Thomason, Moriah E

    2013-11-01

    The organization of the brain is highly plastic in fetal life. Establishment of healthy neural functional systems during the fetal period is essential to normal growth and development. Across the last several decades, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the development of human fetal functional brain systems. This is largely due to advances in imaging methodologies. Fetal neuroimaging began in the 1950-1970's with fetal electroencephalography (EEG) applied during labor. Later, in the 1980's, magnetoencephalography (MEG) emerged as an effective approach for investigating fetal brain function. Most recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has arisen as an additional powerful approach for examining fetal brain function. This review will discuss major developmental findings from fetal imaging studies such as the maturation of prenatal sensory system functions, functional hemispheric asymmetry, and sensory-driven neurodevelopment. We describe how with improved imaging and analysis techniques, functional imaging of the fetus has the potential to assess the earliest point of neural maturation and provide insight into the patterning and sequence of normal and abnormal brain development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Functional annotation of the human retinal pigment epithelium transcriptome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. In vivo functional neurochemistry of human cortical cholinergic function during visuospatial attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Michael; Bell, Tiffany; Iqbal, Somya; Mullins, Paul Gerald

    2017-01-01

    Cortical acetylcholine is involved in key cognitive processes such as visuospatial attention. Dysfunction in the cholinergic system has been described in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. Levels of brain acetylcholine can be pharmacologically manipulated, but it is not possible to directly measure it in vivo in humans. However, key parts of its biochemical cascade in neural tissue, such as choline, can be measured using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). There is evidence that levels of choline may be an indirect but proportional measure of acetylcholine availability in brain tissue. In this study, we measured relative choline levels in the parietal cortex using functional (event-related) MRS (fMRS) during performance of a visuospatial attention task, with a modelling approach verified using simulated data. We describe a task-driven interaction effect on choline concentration, specifically driven by contralateral attention shifts. Our results suggest that choline MRS has the potential to serve as a proxy of brain acetylcholine function in humans. PMID:28192451

  7. Functional integration of human neural precursor cells in mouse cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Wen Zhou

    Full Text Available This study investigates the electrophysiological properties and functional integration of different phenotypes of transplanted human neural precursor cells (hNPCs in immunodeficient NSG mice. Postnatal day 2 mice received unilateral injections of 100,000 GFP+ hNPCs into the right parietal cortex. Eight weeks after transplantation, 1.21% of transplanted hNPCs survived. In these hNPCs, parvalbumin (PV-, calretinin (CR-, somatostatin (SS-positive inhibitory interneurons and excitatory pyramidal neurons were confirmed electrophysiologically and histologically. All GFP+ hNPCs were immunoreactive with anti-human specific nuclear protein. The proportions of PV-, CR-, and SS-positive cells among GFP+ cells were 35.5%, 15.7%, and 17.1%, respectively; around 15% of GFP+ cells were identified as pyramidal neurons. Those electrophysiologically and histological identified GFP+ hNPCs were shown to fire action potentials with the appropriate firing patterns for different classes of neurons and to display spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs and sIPSCs. The amplitude, frequency and kinetic properties of sEPSCs and sIPSCs in different types of hNPCs were comparable to host cells of the same type. In conclusion, GFP+ hNPCs produce neurons that are competent to integrate functionally into host neocortical neuronal networks. This provides promising data on the potential for hNPCs to serve as therapeutic agents in neurological diseases with abnormal neuronal circuitry such as epilepsy.

  8. Epidemiological and functional implications of molecular variants of human papillomavirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sichero L.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Human papillomavirus genomes are classified into molecular variants when they present more than 98% of similarity to the prototype sequence within the L1 gene. Comparative nucleotide sequence analyses of these viruses have elucidated some features of their phylogenetic relationship. In addition, human papillomavirus intratype variability has also been used as an important tool in epidemiological studies of viral transmission, persistence and progression to clinically relevant cervical lesions. Until the present, little has been published concerning the functional significance of molecular variants. It has been shown that nucleotide variability within the long control region leads to differences in the binding affinity of some cellular transcriptional factors and to the enhancement of the expression of E6 and E7 oncogenes. Furthermore, in vivo and in vitro studies revealed differences in E6 and E7 biochemical and biological properties among molecular variants. Nevertheless, further correlation with additional functional information is needed to evaluate the significance of genome intratypic variability. These results are also important for the development of vaccines and to determine the extent to which immunization with L1 virus-like particles of one variant could induce antibodies that cross-neutralize other variants.

  9. Establishing human lacrimal gland cultures with secretory function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. Human Embryonic Stem Cells Form Functional Thyroid Follicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latif, Rauf; Davies, Terry F.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The molecular events that lead to human thyroid cell speciation remain incompletely characterized. It has been shown that overexpression of the regulatory transcription factors Pax8 and Nkx2-1 (ttf-1) directs murine embryonic stem (mES) cells to differentiate into thyroid follicular cells by initiating a transcriptional regulatory network. Such cells subsequently organized into three-dimensional follicular structures in the presence of extracellular matrix. In the current study, human embryonic stem (hES) cells were studied with the aim of recapitulating this scenario and producing functional human thyroid cell lines. Methods: Reporter gene tagged pEZ-lentiviral vectors were used to express human PAX8-eGFP and NKX2-1-mCherry in the H9 hES cell line followed by differentiation into thyroid cells directed by Activin A and thyrotropin (TSH). Results: Both transcription factors were expressed efficiently in hES cells expressing either PAX8, NKX2-1, or in combination in the hES cells, which had low endogenous expression of these transcription factors. Further differentiation of the double transfected cells showed the expression of thyroid-specific genes, including thyroglobulin (TG), thyroid peroxidase (TPO), the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), and the TSH receptor (TSHR) as assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining. Most notably, the Activin/TSH-induced differentiation approach resulted in thyroid follicle formation and abundant TG protein expression within the follicular lumens. On stimulation with TSH, these hES-derived follicles were also capable of dose-dependent cAMP generation and radioiodine uptake, indicating functional thyroid epithelial cells. Conclusion: The induced expression of PAX8 and NKX2-1 in hES cells was followed by differentiation into thyroid epithelial cells and their commitment to form functional three-dimensional neo-follicular structures. The data provide proof of principal that hES cells can be

  11. Functional Assessment of Pharmacological Telomerase Activators in Human T Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita B. Effros

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Telomeres are structures at the ends of chromosomes that shorten during cell division and eventually signal an irreversible state of growth arrest known as cellular senescence. To delay this cellular aging, human T cells, which are critical in the immune control over infections and cancer, activate the enzyme telomerase, which binds and extends the telomeres. Several different extracts from the Astragalus membranaceus root have been documented to activate telomerase activity in human T cells. The objective of this research was to compare two extracts from Astragalus membranaceus, TA-65 and HTA, for their effects on both telomerase and proliferative activity of human CD4 and CD8 T cells. Our results demonstrate that, TA-65 increased telomerase activity significantly (1.3 to 3.3-fold relative to controls in T cell cultures from six donors tested, whereas HTA only increased telomerase levels in two out of six donors. We also demonstrate that TA-65 activates telomerase by a MAPK- specific pathway. Finally, we determine that during a three-day culture period, only the T cells treated with the TA-65 extract showed a statistically significant increase in proliferative activity. Our results underscore the importance of comparing multiple telomerase activators within the same experiment, and of including functional assays in addition to measuring telomerase activity.

  12. Noninvasive topographical investigation of functional parameters in the human skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Manfred D.; Krug, Alfons; Hoeper, Jens

    1996-04-01

    A rapid micro-lightguide spectrometer (EMPHO II) coupled to an automatic three axis positioning system enables very precise and fast 2D-scans at the surface of human skin. The positioning accuracy amounts to 1 micrometer. This allows measurements with excellent spatial reproducibility. With this system examinations of local distribution of HbO2 and Hb have been performed in human skin. For this purpose at the back of the hand areas of 5 by 5 mm to 5 by 10 mm were scanned in defined steps of 100 micrometers. Functional images of local hemoglobin concentration and hemoglobin oxygenation of microscopical structures have been resolved by use of 250 micrometer lightguide sensors. Two-dimensional-images of local oxygen supply parameters corresponding directly to morphological structures of human skin have been gained. The local pattern matches the distribution of the papillas of the corium. In the papillas the capillary loops supplying the lower part of the epidermis are situated. The measured parameters describe very exactly the local oxygen supply situation of the area under investigation.

  13. 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.

  14. Resting-state functional connectivity of the human hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, Stephanie; Heni, Martin; Linder, Katarzyna; Zipfel, Stephan; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Veit, Ralf; Fritsche, Andreas; Preissl, Hubert

    2014-12-01

    The hypothalamus is of enormous importance for multiple bodily functions such as energy homeostasis. Especially, rodent studies have greatly contributed to our understanding how specific hypothalamic subregions integrate peripheral and central signals into the brain to control food intake. In humans, however, the neural circuitry of the hypothalamus, with its different subregions, has not been delineated. Hence, the aim of this study was to map the hypothalamus network using resting-state functional connectivity (FC) analyses from the medial hypothalamus (MH) and lateral hypothalamus (LH) in healthy normal-weight adults (n = 49). Furthermore, in a separate sample, we examined differences within the LH and MH networks between healthy normal-weight (n = 25) versus overweight/obese adults (n = 23). FC patterns from the LH and MH revealed significant connections to the striatum, thalamus, brainstem, orbitofrontal cortex, middle and posterior cingulum and temporal brain regions. However, our analysis revealed subtler distinctions within hypothalamic subregions. The LH was functionally stronger connected to the dorsal striatum, anterior cingulum, and frontal operculum, while the MH showed stronger functional connections to the nucleus accumbens and medial orbitofrontal cortex. Furthermore, overweight/obese participants revealed heightened FC in the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens within the MH network. Our results indicate that the MH and LH network are tapped into different parts of the dopaminergic circuitry of the brain, potentially modulating food reward based on the functional connections to the ventral and dorsal striatum, respectively. In obese adults, FC changes were observed in the MH network. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Low-dose endotoxemia and human neuropsychological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbe, Karen Suárez; Reichenberg, Abraham; Yirmiya, Raz; Smed, Annelise; Pedersen, Bente Klarlund; Bruunsgaard, Helle

    2005-09-01

    Epidemiological data demonstrate an association between systemic low-grade inflammation defined as 2- to 3-fold increases in circulating inflammatory mediators and age-related decline in cognitive function. However, it is not known whether small elevations of circulating cytokine levels cause direct effects on human neuropsychological functions. We investigated changes in emotional, cognitive, and inflammatory parameters in an experimental in vivo model of low-grade inflammation. In a double-blind crossover study, 12 healthy young males completed neuropsychological tests before as well as 1.5, 6, and 24 h after an intravenous injection of Escherichia coli endotoxin (0.2 ng/kg) or saline in two experimental sessions. Endotoxin administration had no effect on body temperature, cortisol levels, blood pressure or heart rate, but circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-6 increased 2- and 7-fold, respectively, reaching peak values at 3 h, whereas soluble TNF-receptors and IL-1 receptor antagonist peaked at 4.5 h. The neutrophil count increased and the lymphocyte count declined. In this model, low-dose endotoxemia did not affect cognitive performance significantly but declarative memory performance was inversely correlated with cytokine increases. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a negative association between circulating IL-6 and memory functions during very low-dose endotoxemia independently of physical stress symptoms, and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

  16. Resveratrol preserves the function of human platelets stored for transfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannan, Katie L; Refaai, Majed A; Ture, Sara K; Morrell, Craig N; Blumberg, Neil; Phipps, Richard P; Spinelli, Sherry L

    2016-03-01

    Stored platelets undergo biochemical, structural and functional changes that lead to decreased efficacy and safety of platelet transfusions. Not only do platelets acquire markers of activation during storage, but they also fail to respond normally to agonists post-storage. We hypothesized that resveratrol, a cardioprotective antioxidant, could act as a novel platelet storage additive to safely prevent unwanted platelet activation during storage, while simultaneously preserving normal haemostatic function. Human platelets treated with resveratrol and stored for 5 d released less thromboxane B2 and prostaglandin E2 compared to control platelets. Resveratrol preserved the ability of platelets to aggregate, spread and respond to thrombin, suggesting an improved ability to activate post-storage. Utilizing an in vitro model of transfusion and thromboelastography, clot strength was improved with resveratrol treatment compared to conventionally stored platelets. The mechanism of resveratrol's beneficial actions on stored platelets was partly mediated through decreased platelet apoptosis in storage, resulting in a longer half-life following transfusion. Lastly, an in vivo mouse model of transfusion demonstrated that stored platelets are prothrombotic and that resveratrol delayed vessel occlusion time to a level similar to transfusion with fresh platelets. We show resveratrol has a dual ability to reduce unwanted platelet activation during storage, while preserving critical haemostatic function.

  17. Low level CO2 effects on pulmonary function in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, J.; Mueller, K.; Elliott, A.; Gerzer, D.; Strohl, K. P.; West, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether chamber exposure to low levels of CO2 results in functional alterations in gas mixing and closing volume in humans. Four healthy volunteer subjects were exposed to 0.7% CO2 and to 1.2% CO2. Spirometry, lung volumes, single breath nitrogen washout, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) by two methods, and cardiac output were measured in triplicate. Values were obtained over two non-consecutive days during the training period (control) and on days 2 or 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, and 23 of exposure to each CO2 level. Measurements were made during the same time of day. There was one day of testing after exposure, while still in the chamber but off carbon dioxide. The order of testing, up until measurements of DLCO and cardiac output, were randomized to avoid presentation effects. The consistent findings were a reduction in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide and a fall in cardiac output, occurring to a similar degree with both exposures. For the group as a whole, there was no indication of major effects on spirometry, lung volumes, gas mixing or dead space. We conclude that small changes may occur in the function of distal gas exchanging units; however, these effects were not associated with any adverse health effects. The likelihood of pathophysiologic changes in lung function or structure with 0.7 or 1.2% CO2 exposure for this period of time, is therefore, low.

  18. 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

  19. Functional connectivity based parcellation of the human medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Fang; Ritchey, Maureen; Libby, Laura A; Ranganath, Charan

    2016-10-01

    Regional differences in large-scale connectivity have been proposed to underlie functional specialization along the anterior-posterior axis of the medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the hippocampus (HC) and the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG). However, it is unknown whether functional connectivity (FC) can be used reliably to parcellate the human MTL. The current study aimed to differentiate subregions of the HC and the PHG based on patterns of whole-brain intrinsic FC. FC maps were calculated for each slice along the longitudinal axis of the PHG and the HC. A hierarchical clustering algorithm was then applied to these data in order to group slices according to the similarity of their connectivity patterns. Surprisingly, three discrete clusters were identified in the PHG. Two clusters corresponded to the parahippocampal cortex (PHC) and the perirhinal cortex (PRC), and these regions showed preferential connectivity with previously described posterior-medial and anterior-temporal networks, respectively. The third cluster corresponded to an anterior PRC region previously described as area 36d, and this region exhibited preferential connectivity with auditory cortical areas and with a network involved in visceral processing. The three PHG clusters showed different profiles of activation during a memory-encoding task, demonstrating that the FC-based parcellation identified functionally dissociable sub-regions of the PHG. In the hippocampus, no sub-regions were identified via the parcellation procedure. These results indicate that connectivity-based methods can be used to parcellate functional regions within the MTL, and they suggest that studies of memory and high-level cognition need to differentiate between PHC, posterior PRC, and anterior PRC.

  20. Functional interactions of DNA topoisomerases with a human replication origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdurashidova, Gulnara; Radulescu, Sorina; Sandoval, Oscar; Zahariev, Sotir; Danailov, Miltcho B; Demidovich, Alexander; Santamaria, Laura; Biamonti, Giuseppe; Riva, Silvano; Falaschi, Arturo

    2007-02-21

    The human DNA replication origin, located in the lamin B2 gene, interacts with the DNA topoisomerases I and II in a cell cycle-modulated manner. The topoisomerases interact in vivo and in vitro with precise bonds ahead of the start sites of bidirectional replication, within the pre-replicative complex region; topoisomerase I is bound in M, early G1 and G1/S border and topoisomerase II in M and the middle of G1. The Orc2 protein competes for the same sites of the origin bound by either topoisomerase in different moments of the cell cycle; furthermore, it interacts on the DNA with topoisomerase II during the assembly of the pre-replicative complex and with DNA-bound topoisomerase I at the G1/S border. Inhibition of topoisomerase I activity abolishes origin firing. Thus, the two topoisomerases are closely associated with the replicative complexes, and DNA topology plays an essential functional role in origin activation.

  1. Primary function analysis of human mental retardation related gene CRBN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Wang; Xiaohua, Ni; Peilin, Chen; Xin, Chen; Yaqiong, Sun; Qihan, Wu

    2008-06-01

    The mutation of human cereblon gene (CRBN) is revealed to be related with mild mental retardation. Since the molecular characteristics of CRBN have not been well presented, we investigated the general properties of CRBN. We analyzed its gene structure and protein homologues. The CRBN protein might belong to a family of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent Lon protease. We also found that CRBN was widely expressed in different tissues, and the expression level in testis is significantly higher than other tissues. This may suggested it could play some important roles in several other tissues besides brain. Transient transfection experiment in AD 293 cell lines suggested that both CRBN and CRBN mutant (nucleotide position 1,274(C > T)) are located in the whole cells. This may suggest new functions of CRBN in cell nucleolus besides its mitochondria protease activity in cytoplasm.

  2. 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.

  3. Semiotic aspects of human nonverbal vocalizations: a functional imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Susanne; Hertrich, Ingo; Alter, Kai; Ischebeck, Anja; Ackermann, Hermann

    2007-12-03

    Humans produce a variety of distinct nonverbal vocalizations. Whereas affective bursts, for example, laughter, have an intrinsic communicative role bound to social behavior, vegetative sounds, for example, snoring, just signal autonomic-physiological states. However, the latter events, for example, belching, may also be used as intentional communicative actions (vocal gestures), characterized by an arbitrary culture-dependent sound-to-meaning (semiotic) relationship, comparable to verbal utterances. Using a decision task, hemodynamic responses to affective bursts, vegetative sounds, and vocal gestures were measured by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Affective bursts elicited activation of anterior left superior temporal gyrus. In contrast, arbitrary vocal gestures yielded hemodynamic reactions of the left temporo-parietal junction. Conceivably, a listener's interpretation of nonverbal utterances as intentional events depends upon a left-hemisphere temporo-parietal 'auditory-to-meaning interface' related to our mechanisms of speech processing.

  4. Functional characterization of serotonin receptor subtypes in human duodenal secretion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelmann, Bodil Elisabeth; Bindslev, Niels; Poulsen, Steen Seier;

    2006-01-01

    of dyspeptic patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection, and to determine the 5-HT receptor subtypes functionally involved. Biopsies from the second part of duodenum were obtained from 43 dyspeptic patients during routine endoscopy. Biopsies were mounted in modified Ussing chambers with air suction......: ketanserin, ondansetron, or SB-204070 (1-butyl-4 piperidinmethyl-8-amino-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-5-carboxylate HCl). Histological examination was performed on duodenal biopsies. Helicobacter urease testing and histological examination determined Helicobacter pylori infection. 5-HT induced a dose......-dependent and bumetanide-sensitive short-circuit current, which was independent of the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection. All the three 5-HT receptor antagonists failed to significantly effect basal and 5-HT-induced short-circuit current. Our results indicate that in human duodenum 1) 5-HT is a potent stimulator...

  5. 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.

  6. The human metabolic reconstruction Recon 1 directs hypotheses of novel human metabolic functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiele Ines

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Metabolic network reconstructions formalize our knowledge of metabolism. Gaps in these networks pinpoint regions of metabolism where biological components and functions are "missing." At the same time, a major challenge in the post genomic era involves characterisation of missing biological components to complete genome annotation. Results We used the human metabolic network reconstruction RECON 1 and established constraint-based modelling tools to uncover novel functions associated with human metabolism. Flux variability analysis identified 175 gaps in RECON 1 in the form of blocked reactions. These gaps were unevenly distributed within metabolic pathways but primarily found in the cytosol and often caused by compounds whose metabolic fate, rather than production, is unknown. Using a published algorithm, we computed gap-filling solutions comprised of non-organism specific metabolic reactions capable of bridging the identified gaps. These candidate solutions were found to be dependent upon the reaction environment of the blocked reaction. Importantly, we showed that automatically generated solutions could produce biologically realistic hypotheses of novel human metabolic reactions such as of the fate of iduronic acid following glycan degradation and of N-acetylglutamate in amino acid metabolism. Conclusions The results demonstrate how metabolic models can be utilised to direct hypotheses of novel metabolic functions in human metabolism; a process that we find is heavily reliant upon manual curation and biochemical insight. The effectiveness of a systems approach for novel biochemical pathway discovery in mammals is demonstrated and steps required to tailor future gap filling algorithms to mammalian metabolic networks are proposed.

  7. Plant-derived recombinant human serum transferrin demonstrates multiple functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandsma, Martin E; Diao, Hong; Wang, Xiaofeng; Kohalmi, Susanne E; Jevnikar, Anthony M; Ma, Shengwu

    2010-05-01

    Human serum transferrin (hTf) is the major iron-binding protein in human plasma, having a vital role in iron transport. Additionally, hTf has many other uses including antimicrobial functions and growth factor effects on mammalian cell proliferation and differentiation. The multitask nature of hTf makes it highly valuable for different therapeutic and commercial applications. However, the success of hTf in these applications is critically dependent on the availability of high-quality hTf in large amounts. In this study, we have developed plants as a novel platform for the production of recombinant (r)hTf. We show here that transgenic plants are an efficient system for rhTf production, with a maximum accumulation of 0.25% total soluble protein (TSP) (or up to 33.5 microg/g fresh leaf weight). Furthermore, plant-derived rhTf retains many of the biological activities synonymous with native hTf. In particular, rhTf reversibly binds iron in vitro, exhibits bacteriostatic activity, supports cell proliferation in serum-free medium and can be internalized into mammalian cells in vitro. The success of this study validates the future application of plant rhTf in a variety of fields. Of particular interest is the use of plant rhTf as a novel carrier for cell-specific or oral delivery of protein/peptide drugs for the treatment of human diseases such as diabetes.To demonstrate this hypothesis, we have additionally expressed an hTf fusion protein containing glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) or its derivative in plants. Here, we show that plant-derived hTf-GLP-1 fusion proteins retain the ability to be internalized by mammalian cells when added to culture medium in vitro.

  8. Characterization and functionality of proliferative human Sertoli cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chui, Kitty; Trivedi, Alpa; Cheng, C Yan; Cherbavaz, Diana B; Dazin, Paul F; Huynh, Ai Lam Thu; Mitchell, James B; Rabinovich, Gabriel A; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J; John, Constance M

    2011-01-01

    It has long been thought that mammalian Sertoli cells are terminally differentiated and nondividing postpuberty. For most previous in vitro studies immature rodent testes have been the source of Sertoli cells and these have shown little proliferative ability when cultured. We have isolated and characterized Sertoli cells from human cadaveric testes from seven donors ranging from 12 to 36 years of age. The cells proliferated readily in vitro under the optimized conditions used with a doubling time of approximately 4 days. Nuclear 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation confirmed that dividing cells represented the majority of the population. Classical Sertoli cell ultrastructural features, lipid droplet accumulation, and immunoexpression of GATA-4, Sox9, and the FSH receptor (FSHr) were observed by electron and fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Flow cytometry revealed the expression of GATA-4 and Sox9 by more than 99% of the cells, and abundant expression of a number of markers indicative of multipotent mesenchymal cells. Low detection of endogenous alkaline phosphatase activity after passaging showed that few peritubular myoid cells were present. GATA-4 and SOX9 expression were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), along with expression of stem cell factor (SCF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4). Tight junctions were formed by Sertoli cells plated on transwell inserts coated with fibronectin as revealed by increased transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and polarized secretion of the immunoregulatory protein, galectin-1. These primary Sertoli cell populations could be expanded dramatically in vitro and could be cryopreserved. The results show that functional human Sertoli cells can be propagated in vitro from testicular cells isolated from adult testis. The proliferative human Sertoli cells should have important applications in studying infertility

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    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 covert spatial attention-the selective processing of visual information in the absence of eye movements-to the same degree as neurotypical observers. We manipulated both involuntary (Experiment 1) and voluntary (Experiment 2) attention during an orientation discrimination task for which the effects of covert spatial attention have been well established in neurotypical and special populations. In both experiments, attention significantly improved accuracy and decreased reaction times to a similar extent (a) between the eyes of the amblyopic adults and (b) between the amblyopes and their age- and gender-matched controls. Moreover, deployment of voluntary attention away from the target location significantly impaired task performance (Experiment 2). The magnitudes of the involuntary and voluntary attention benefits did not correlate with amblyopic depth or severity. Both groups of observers showed canonical performance fields (better performance along the horizontal than vertical meridian and at the lower than upper vertical meridian) and similar effects of attention across locations. Despite their characteristic low-level vision impairments, covert spatial attention remains functionally intact in human amblyopic adults.

  11. Isolation and functional characterization of the human 90K promoter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brakebusch, C; Sures, I; Jallal, B;

    1999-01-01

    90K is a secreted protein thought to be involved in the body's defense against pathogens and cancer. To elucidate its transcriptional regulation, the promoter of human 90K (HGMW-approved symbol LGAL S3BP) was isolated and characterized. Analysis of the 3. 3-kb 5'-flanking region revealed that it ......90K is a secreted protein thought to be involved in the body's defense against pathogens and cancer. To elucidate its transcriptional regulation, the promoter of human 90K (HGMW-approved symbol LGAL S3BP) was isolated and characterized. Analysis of the 3. 3-kb 5'-flanking region revealed...... that it is a TATA-less promoter, but neither GC-rich nor dependent on SP1 sites. RNase protection assays detected one major transcription start site (+1) and several minor transcription start sites upstream and downstream. Deletion studies defined a minimal promoter (-103 --> -49) and indirectly suggested positive...... synergism between different elements within it. Consistent with the proposed function of 90K, its promoter activity could be stimulated by poly(I). poly(C), mimicking viral infection. Two regions mediating induction by poly(I). poly(C) (-171 --> -112, -32 --> 46) were identified by deletion mutants. A small...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Functions of NOD-like receptors (NLRs in human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yifei eZhong

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD-like receptors (NLRs are highly conserved cytosolic pattern recognition receptors that perform critical functions in surveying the intracellular environment for the presence of infection, noxious substances, and metabolic perturbations. Sensing of these danger signals by NLRs leads to their oligomerization into large macromolecular scaffolds and the rapid deployment of effector signaling cascades to restore homeostasis. While some NLRs operate by recruiting and activating inflammatory caspases into inflammasomes, others trigger inflammation via alternative routes including the NF-κB, MAPK and IRF pathways. The critical role of NLRs in development and physiology is demonstrated by their clear implications in human diseases. Mutations in the genes encoding NLRP3 or NLRP12 lead to hereditary periodic fever syndromes, while mutations in CARD15 that encodes NOD2 are linked to Crohn’s disease or Blau’s syndrome. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS have identified a number of risk alleles encompassing NLR genes in a host of diseases including allergic rhinitis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, multi-bacillary leprosy, vitiligo, early-onset menopause, and bone density loss in elderly women. Animal models have allowed the characterization of underlying effector mechanisms in a number of cases. In this review, we highlight the functions of NLRs in health and disease and discuss how the characterization of their molecular mechanisms provides new insights into therapeutic strategies for the management of inflammatory pathologies.

  15. A natural functionally graded biocomposite coating--human enamel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Li-Hong; Yin, Zi-Hong; van Vuuren, Ludwig Jansen; Carter, Elizabeth A; Liang, Xiu-Weng

    2013-05-01

    Human enamel has been found to be a coating with excellent mechanical performance, and has undergone extensive investigation and discussion. However, most of the reported studies consider the enamel as a homogeneous anisotropic biocomposite. The current study illustrated the graded properties of the biocomposite from its functional load-bearing direction. Within the thickness of the enamel, from the outer surface towards the enamel-dentin junction (EDJ), the elastic modulus (E(x)) and hardness (H(x)) of enamel exist in an exponential relationship with normalized thickness (x) as E(x)=111.64x(0.18) (R(2)=0.94) and H(x)=4.41x(0.16) (R(2)=0.87) GPa, respectively. Moreover, the creep ability of enamel increases towards the EDJ. The graded properties of the biocomposite can be explained by both microstructural and compositional changes along the thickness of the material towards the EDJ. Finite element analysis indicates that the graded properties of enamel have important roles in reducing the enamel-dentin interface stresses and maintaining the integrity of the multilayer tooth structure. The results provide a new angle to understand the excellent mechanical behaviour of the multilayer tooth structure and may inspire the development of new functionally graded materials and coating structures.

  16. The accommodative ciliary muscle function is preserved in older humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabernero, Juan; Chirre, Emmanuel; Hervella, Lucia; Prieto, Pedro; Artal, Pablo

    2016-05-01

    Presbyopia, the loss of the eye’s accommodation capability, affects all humans aged above 45–50 years old. The two main reasons for this to happen are a hardening of the crystalline lens and a reduction of the ciliary muscle functionality with age. While there seems to be at least some partial accommodating functionality of the ciliary muscle at early presbyopic ages, it is not yet clear whether the muscle is still active at more advanced ages. Previous techniques used to visualize the accommodation mechanism of the ciliary muscle are complicated to apply in the older subjects, as they typically require fixation stability during long measurement times and/or to have an ultrasound probe directly in contact with the eye. Instead, we used our own developed method based on high-speed recording of lens wobbling to study the ciliary muscle activity in a small group of pseudophakic subjects (around 80 years old). There was a significant activity of the muscle, clearly able to contract under binocular stimulation of accommodation. This supports a purely lenticular-based theory of presbyopia and it might stimulate the search for new solutions to presbyopia by making use of the remaining contraction force still presented in the aging eye.

  17. Human Prostatic Acid Phosphatase: Structure, Function and Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William G. Chaney

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Human prostatic acid phosphatase (PAcP is a 100 kDa glycoprotein composed of two subunits. Recent advances demonstrate that cellular PAcP (cPAcP functions as a protein tyrosine phosphatase by dephosphorylating ErbB-2/Neu/HER-2 at the phosphotyrosine residues in prostate cancer (PCa cells, which results in reduced tumorigenicity. Further, the interaction of cPAcP and ErbB-2 regulates androgen sensitivity of PCa cells. Knockdown of cPAcP expression allows androgen-sensitive PCa cells to develop the castration-resistant phenotype, where cells proliferate under an androgen-reduced condition. Thus, cPAcP has a significant influence on PCa cell growth. Interestingly, promoter analysis suggests that PAcP expression can be regulated by NF-κB, via a novel binding sequence in an androgen-independent manner. Further understanding of PAcP function and regulation of expression will have a significant impact on understanding PCa progression and therapy.

  18. Mutant Parkin impairs mitochondrial function and morphology in human fibroblasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Grünewald

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mutations in Parkin are the most common cause of autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD. The mitochondrially localized E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Parkin has been reported to be involved in respiratory chain function and mitochondrial dynamics. More recent publications also described a link between Parkin and mitophagy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated the impact of Parkin mutations on mitochondrial function and morphology in a human cellular model. Fibroblasts were obtained from three members of an Italian PD family with two mutations in Parkin (homozygous c.1072delT, homozygous delEx7, compound-heterozygous c.1072delT/delEx7, as well as from two relatives without mutations. Furthermore, three unrelated compound-heterozygous patients (delEx3-4/duplEx7-12, delEx4/c.924C>T and delEx1/c.924C>T and three unrelated age-matched controls were included. Fibroblasts were cultured under basal or paraquat-induced oxidative stress conditions. ATP synthesis rates and cellular levels were detected luminometrically. Activities of complexes I-IV and citrate synthase were measured spectrophotometrically in mitochondrial preparations or cell lysates. The mitochondrial membrane potential was measured with 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide. Oxidative stress levels were investigated with the OxyBlot technique. The mitochondrial network was investigated immunocytochemically and the degree of branching was determined with image processing methods. We observed a decrease in the production and overall concentration of ATP coinciding with increased mitochondrial mass in Parkin-mutant fibroblasts. After an oxidative insult, the membrane potential decreased in patient cells but not in controls. We further determined higher levels of oxidized proteins in the mutants both under basal and stress conditions. The degree of mitochondrial network branching was comparable in mutants and

  19. Stable functional networks exhibit consistent timing in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapeton, Julio I; Inati, Sara K; Zaghloul, Kareem A

    2017-03-01

    Despite many advances in the study of large-scale human functional networks, the question of timing, stability, and direction of communication between cortical regions has not been fully addressed. At the cellular level, neuronal communication occurs through axons and dendrites, and the time required for such communication is well defined and preserved. At larger spatial scales, however, the relationship between timing, direction, and communication between brain regions is less clear. Here, we use a measure of effective connectivity to identify connections between brain regions that exhibit communication with consistent timing. We hypothesized that if two brain regions are communicating, then knowledge of the activity in one region should allow an external observer to better predict activity in the other region, and that such communication involves a consistent time delay. We examine this question using intracranial electroencephalography captured from nine human participants with medically refractory epilepsy. We use a coupling measure based on time-lagged mutual information to identify effective connections between brain regions that exhibit a statistically significant increase in average mutual information at a consistent time delay. These identified connections result in sparse, directed functional networks that are stable over minutes, hours, and days. Notably, the time delays associated with these connections are also highly preserved over multiple time scales. We characterize the anatomic locations of these connections, and find that the propagation of activity exhibits a preferred posterior to anterior temporal lobe direction, consistent across participants. Moreover, networks constructed from connections that reliably exhibit consistent timing between anatomic regions demonstrate features of a small-world architecture, with many reliable connections between anatomically neighbouring regions and few long range connections. Together, our results demonstrate

  20. Myeloperoxidase impairs the contractile function in isolated human cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalász, Judit; Pásztor, Enikő T; Fagyas, Miklós; Balogh, Ágnes; Tóth, Attila; Csató, Viktória; Édes, István; Papp, Zoltán; Borbély, Attila

    2015-07-01

    We set out to characterize the mechanical effects of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in isolated left-ventricular human cardiomyocytes. Oxidative myofilament protein modifications (sulfhydryl (SH)-group oxidation and carbonylation) induced by the peroxidase and chlorinating activities of MPO were additionally identified. The specificity of the MPO-evoked functional alterations was tested with an MPO inhibitor (MPO-I) and the antioxidant amino acid Met. The combined application of MPO and its substrate, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), largely reduced the active force (Factive), increased the passive force (Fpassive), and decreased the Ca(2+) sensitivity of force production (pCa50) in permeabilized cardiomyocytes. H2O2 alone had significantly smaller effects on Factive and Fpassive and did not alter pCa50. The MPO-I blocked both the peroxidase and the chlorinating activities, whereas Met selectively inhibited the chlorinating activity of MPO. All of the MPO-induced functional effects could be prevented by the MPO-I and Met. Both H2O2 alone and MPO + H2O2 reduced the SH content of actin and increased the carbonylation of actin and myosin-binding protein C to the same extent. Neither the SH oxidation nor the carbonylation of the giant sarcomeric protein titin was affected by these treatments. MPO activation induces a cardiomyocyte dysfunction by affecting Ca(2+)-regulated active and Ca(2+)-independent passive force production and myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity, independent of protein SH oxidation and carbonylation. The MPO-induced deleterious functional alterations can be prevented by the MPO-I and Met. Inhibition of MPO may be a promising therapeutic target to limit myocardial contractile dysfunction during inflammation.

  1. Differential changes in retina function with normal aging in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freund, Paul R; Watson, Juliane; Gilmour, Gregory S; Gaillard, Frédéric; Sauvé, Yves

    2011-06-01

    We evaluated the full field electroretinogram (ERG) to assess age-related changes in retina function in humans. ERG recordings were performed on healthy subjects with normal fundus appearance, lack of cataract and 20/20 acuity, aged 20-39 years (n = 27; mean age 25 ± 5, standard deviation), 40-59 years (n = 20; mean 53 ± 5), and 60-82 years (n = 18; mean 69 ± 5). Multiple ERG tests were applied, including light and dark-adapted stimulus-response function, dark adaptation and dynamic of recovery from a single bright flash under dark-adapted conditions. Changes in ERG properties were found in the oldest age group when compared with the two younger age groups. (1) The photopic hill effect was less pronounced. (2) Both photopic a-wave and b-wave amplitudes and implicit times were increased at high stimulus strengths. (3) Dark adaptation time was delayed for pure rod and L/M cone-driven responses, respectively. (4) Dark-adapted a-wave but not b-wave amplitudes were reduced, yielding higher B/A ratios. (5) Dark-adapted a- and b-waves implicit times were prolonged: there was a direct proportional correlation between minimal a-wave implicit times and age. (6) The dynamic of dark current recovery from a bright flash, under dark-adapted conditions, was transiently faster at intervals between 0.9 and 2 s. These results denote that aging of the healthy retina is accompanied by specific functional changes, which must be taken into account to optimally diagnose potential pathologies.

  2. A functional and clinical reinterpretation of human perineal neuromuscular anatomy: Application to sexual function and continence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plochocki, Jeffrey H; Rodriguez-Sosa, Jose R; Adrian, Brent; Ruiz, Saul A; Hall, Margaret I

    2016-11-01

    Modern anatomical and surgical references illustrate perineal muscles all innervated by branches of the pudendal nerve but still organized into anatomically distinct urogenital and anal triangles with muscles inserting onto a central perineal body. However, these conflict with the anatomy commonly encountered during dissection. We used dissections of 43 human cadavers to characterize the anatomical organization of the human perineum and compare our findings to standard references. We found bulbospongiosus and the superficial portion of the external anal sphincter (EAS) were continuous anatomically with a common innervation in 92.3% of specimens. The superficial transverse perineal muscle inserted anterior and lateral to the midline, interdigitating with bulbospongiosus. The three EAS subdivisions were anatomically discontinuous. Additionally, in 89.2% of our sample the inferior rectal nerve emerged as a branch of S3 and S4 distinct from the pudendal nerve and innervated only the subcutaneous EAS. Branches of the perineal nerve innervated bulbospongiosus and the superficial EAS and nerve to levator ani innervated the deep EAS. In conclusion, we empirically demonstrate important and clinically relevant differences with perineal anatomy commonly described in standard texts. First, independent innervation to the three portions of EAS suggests the potential for functional independence. Second, neuromuscular continuity between bulbospongiosus and superficial EAS suggests the possibility of shared or overlapping function of the urogenital and anal triangles. Clin. Anat. 29:1053-1058, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Functional Tissue Analysis Reveals Successful Cryopreservation of Human Osteoarthritic Synovium

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Marieke; Bennink, Miranda B.; van Lent, Peter L. E. M.; van der Kraan, Peter M.; Koenders, Marije I.; Thurlings, Rogier M.; van de Loo, Fons A. J.

    2016-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease affecting cartilage and is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. One third of OA patients have severe synovitis and less than 10% have no evidence of synovitis. Moreover, synovitis is predictive for more severe disease progression. This offers a target for therapy but more research on the pathophysiological processes in the synovial tissue of these patients is needed. Functional studies performed with synovial tissue will be more approachable when this material, that becomes available by joint replacement surgery, can be stored for later use. We set out to determine the consequences of slow-freezing of human OA synovial tissue. Therefore, we validated a method that can be applied in every routine laboratory and performed a comparative study of five cryoprotective agent (CPA) solutions. To determine possible deleterious cryopreservation-thaw effects on viability, the synovial tissue architecture, metabolic activity, RNA quality, expression of cryopreservation associated stress genes, and expression of OA characteristic disease genes was studied. Furthermore, the biological activity of the cryopreserved tissue was determined by measuring cytokine secretion induced by the TLR ligands lipopolysaccharides and Pam3Cys. Compared to non frozen synovium, no difference in cell and tissue morphology could be identified in the conditions using the CS10, standard and CryoSFM CPA solution for cryopreservation. However, we observed significantly lower preservation of tissue morphology with the Biofreeze and CS2 media. The other viability assays showed trends in the same direction but were not sensitive enough to detect significant differences between conditions. In all assays tested a clearly lower viability was detected in the condition in which synovium was frozen without CPA solution. This detailed analysis showed that OA synovial tissue explants can be cryopreserved while maintaining the morphology, viability and

  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. Thyrotropin receptor-adenylate cyclase function in human thyroid neoplasms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltiel, A R; Powel-Jones, C H; Thomas, C G; Nayfeh, S N

    1981-06-01

    The action of thyrotropin (TSH) on plasma membranes was studied to elucidate the mechanism of hormonal regulation of malignant versus normal human thyroid tissue. Thyroid plasma membranes of six specimens of papillary or follicular carcinoma and six of adenoma, as well as adjacent normal tissue obtained from these patients, were evaluated with respect to binding of 125I-labeled TSH and stimulation of adenylate cyclase. Scatchard analysis of TSH binding revealed the presence of two species of binding sites in normal thyroid of different affinities and capacities. In 11 of 12 tumors studied, the high-affinity binding site remained intact; however, the total number of low-affinity sites was markedly lower than normal tissue. Other parameters of binding were not altered in neoplastic thyroid. In each of these tissues, the hormone responsiveness and kinetics of adenylate cyclase activation were essentially identical to those observed in normal tissue, although basal activity was typically greater in the neoplasm. One carcinoma was totally deficient in both 125I-labeled TSH binding and TSH-stimulatable adenylate cyclase, although basal activity was detected. Furthermore, adenylate cyclase of this specimen was not activated by prostaglandin, in contrast to normal thyroid and other thyroid tumors. These results suggest that: (a) clinical behavior of thyroid carcinomas may not be reflected by TSH receptor-adenylate cyclase function; (b) lack of clinical response as manifest by tumor regression cannot be ascribed to the absence of functional TSH receptors or adenylate cyclase; and (c) decreased low-affinity binding present in tumors is not correlated with altered hormone responsiveness of adenylate cyclase but may reflect more general cancer-induced changes in membrane structure or composition.

  6. Structure learning and the Occam's razor principle: a new view of human function acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narain, Devika; Smeets, Jeroen B J; Mamassian, Pascal; Brenner, Eli; van Beers, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    We often encounter pairs of variables in the world whose mutual relationship can be described by a function. After training, human responses closely correspond to these functional relationships. Here we study how humans predict unobserved segments of a function that they have been trained on and we compare how human predictions differ to those made by various function-learning models in the literature. Participants' performance was best predicted by the polynomial functions that generated the observations. Further, participants were able to explicitly report the correct generating function in most cases upon a post-experiment survey. This suggests that humans can abstract functions. To understand how they do so, we modeled human learning using an hierarchical Bayesian framework organized at two levels of abstraction: function learning and parameter learning, and used it to understand the time course of participants' learning as we surreptitiously changed the generating function over time. This Bayesian model selection framework allowed us to analyze the time course of function learning and parameter learning in relative isolation. We found that participants acquired new functions as they changed and even when parameter learning was not completely accurate, the probability that the correct function was learned remained high. Most importantly, we found that humans selected the simplest-fitting function with the highest probability and that they acquired simpler functions faster than more complex ones. Both aspects of this behavior, extent and rate of selection, present evidence that human function learning obeys the Occam's razor principle.

  7. Structure and function of human histone H3.Y nucleosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kujirai, Tomoya; Horikoshi, Naoki; Sato, Koichi; Maehara, Kazumitsu; Machida, Shinichi; Osakabe, Akihisa; Kimura, Hiroshi; Ohkawa, Yasuyuki; Kurumizaka, Hitoshi

    2016-07-27

    Histone H3.Y is a primate-specific, distant H3 variant. It is evolutionarily derived from H3.3, and may function in transcription regulation. However, the mechanism by which H3.Y regulates transcription has not been elucidated. In the present study, we determined the crystal structure of the H3.Y nucleosome, and found that many H3.Y-specific residues are located on the entry/exit sites of the nucleosome. Biochemical analyses revealed that the DNA ends of the H3.Y nucleosome were more flexible than those of the H3.3 nucleosome, although the H3.Y nucleosome was stable in vitro and in vivo Interestingly, the linker histone H1, which compacts nucleosomal DNA, appears to bind to the H3.Y nucleosome less efficiently, as compared to the H3.3 nucleosome. These characteristics of the H3.Y nucleosome are also conserved in the H3.Y/H3.3 heterotypic nucleosome, which may be the predominant form in cells. In human cells, H3.Y preferentially accumulated around transcription start sites (TSSs). Taken together, H3.Y-containing nucleosomes around transcription start sites may form relaxed chromatin that allows transcription factor access, to regulate the transcription status of specific genes.

  8. Silibinin regulates lipid metabolism and differentiation in functional human adipocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignazio eBarbagallo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Silibinin, a natural plant flavonoid, is the main active constituent found in milk thistle (Silybum marianum. It is known to have hepatoprotective, anti-neoplastic effect and suppresses lipid accumulation in adipocytes. Objective of this study was to investigate the effect of silibinin on adipogenic differentiation and thermogenic capacity of human adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells. Silibinin (10 μM treatment, either at the beginning or at the end of adipogenic differentiation, resulted in an increase of SIRT-1, PPARα, Pgc-1α and UCPs gene expression. Moreover, silibinin administration resulted in a decrease of PPARγ, FABP4, FAS and MEST/PEG1 gene expression during the differentiation, confirming that this compound is able to reduce fatty acid accumulation and adipocyte size. Our data showed that silibinin regulated adipocyte lipid metabolism, inducing thermogenesis and promoting a brown remodelling in adipocyte. Taken together, our findings suggest that silibinin increases UCPs expression by stimulation of SIRT1, PPARα and Pgc-1α, improved metabolic parameters, decreased lipid mass leading to the formation of functional adipocytes.

  9. 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.)

  10. Iron acquisition functions expressed by the human pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Penwell, William F; Gaddy, Jennifer A; Menke, Sharon M; Tomaras, Andrew P; Connerly, Pamela L; Actis, Luis A

    2009-02-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is a gram-negative bacterium that causes serious infections in compromised patients. More recently, it has emerged as the causative agent of severe infections in military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. This pathogen grows under a wide range of conditions including iron-limiting conditions imposed by natural and synthetic iron chelators. Initial studies using the type strain 19606 showed that the iron proficiency of this pathogen depends on the expression of the acinetobactin-mediated iron acquisition system. More recently, we have observed that hemin but not human hemoglobin serves as an iron source when 19606 isogenic derivatives affected in acinetobactin transport and biosynthesis were cultured under iron-limiting conditions. This finding is in agreement with the observation that the genome of the strain 17978 has a gene cluster coding for putative hemin-acquisition functions, which include genes coding for putative hemin utilization functions and a TonBExbBD energy transducing system. This system restored enterobactin biosynthesis in an E. coli ExbBD deficient strain but not when introduced into a TonB mutant. PCR and Southern blot analyses showed that this hemin-utilization gene cluster is also present in the 19606 strain. Analysis of the 17978 genome also showed that this strain harbors genes required for acinetobactin synthesis and transport as well as a gene cluster that could code for additional iron acquisition functions. This hypothesis is in agreement with the fact that the inactivation of the basD acinetobactin biosynthetic gene did not affect the growth of A. baumannii 17978 cells under iron-chelated conditions. Interestingly, this second iron uptake gene cluster is flanked by perfect inverted repeats and includes transposase genes that are expressed transcriptionally. Also interesting is the observation that this additional cluster could not be detected in the type strain 19606, an observation that suggests some

  11. 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.

  12. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bradley, Brenda J; Pedersen, Anja; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-01-01

    Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work...... on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might...... have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Matrigel improves functional properties of primary human salivary gland cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria, Ola M; Zeitouni, Anthony; Gologan, Olga; Tran, Simon D

    2011-05-01

    Currently, there is no effective treatment available to patients with irreversible loss of functional salivary acini caused by Sjogren's syndrome or after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. A tissue-engineered artificial salivary gland would help these patients. The graft cells for this device must establish tight junctions in addition to being of fluid-secretory nature. This study analyzed a graft source from human salivary glands (huSG) cultured on Matrigel. Cells were obtained from parotid and submandibular glands, expanded in vitro, and then plated on either Matrigel-coated (2 mg/mL) or uncoated culture dish. Immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and transepithelial electrical resistance were employed. On Matrigel, huSG cells adopted an acinar phenotype by forming three-dimensional acinar-like units (within 24 h of plating) as well as a monolayer of cells. On uncoated surfaces (plastic), huSG cells only formed monolayers of ductal cells. Both types of culture conditions allowed huSG cells to express tight junction proteins (claudin-1, -2, -3, -4; occludin; JAM-A; and ZO-1) and adequate transepithelial electrical resistance. Importantly, 99% of huSG cells on Matrigel expressed α-amylase and the water channel protein Aquaporin-5, as compared to cells on plastic. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed an acinar phenotype with many secretory granules. Matrigel increased the secretion of α-amylase two to five folds into the media, downregulated certain salivary genes, and regulated the translation of acinar proteins. This three-dimensional in vitro serum-free cell culture method allows the organization and differentiation of huSG cells into salivary cells with an acinar phenotype.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Introduction: characterization and functions of human T regulatory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romagnani, Sergio

    2005-06-01

    The field of human T regulatory (Treg) cells is a rapidly progressing, but still confused field of immunology. The effects of dendritic cell (DC) manipulation in Treg generation and the main features of human "natural" Treg cells, as well as of different populations of adaptive Treg subsets, are still partially unclear. However, it is clear that Treg cells play an important role in human diseases, such as autoimmune disorders, allergy, HIV infection, tumors and graft-versus-host disease.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 renowned for

  1. 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

    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 mor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2005-04-01

    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.

  3. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - FROM FUNCTION TO STRATEGIC PARTNER

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Todericiu Ramona; Serban Anca;

    2013-01-01

    ...-term sustained performance. The recent chances in the economy and the development of new technologies are creating the proper set for a series of other changes regarding the human resource management...

  4. 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

  5. A systematic survey of loss-of-function variants in human protein-coding genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MacArthur, D.G.; Balasubramanian, S.; Frankish, A.; Huang, N.; Morris, J.; Walter, K.; Jostins, L.; Habegger, L.; Pickrell, J.K.; Montgomery, S.B.; Albers, C.A.; Zhang, Z.D.; Conrad, D.F.; Lunter, G.; Zheng, H.; Ayub, Q.; DePristo, M.A.; Banks, E.; Hu, M.; Handsaker, R.E.; Rosenfeld, J.A.; Fromer, M.; Jin, M.; Mu, X.J.; Khurana, E.; Ye, K.; Kay, M.; Saunders, G.I.; Suner, M.M.; Hunt, T.; Barnes, I.H.; Amid, C.; Carvalho-Silva, D.R.; Bignell, A.H.; Snow, C.; Yngvadottir, B.; Bumpstead, S.; Cooper, D.N.; Xue, Y.; Romero, I.G.; Genomes Project, C.; Wang, J.; Li, Y.; Gibbs, R.A.; McCarroll, S.A.; Dermitzakis, E.T.; Pritchard, J.K.; Barrett, J.C.; Harrow, J.; Hurles, M.E.; Gerstein, M.B.; Tyler-Smith, C.

    2012-01-01

    Genome-sequencing studies indicate that all humans carry many genetic variants predicted to cause loss of function (LoF) of protein-coding genes, suggesting unexpected redundancy in the human genome. Here we apply stringent filters to 2951 putative LoF variants obtained from 185 human genomes to det

  6. A Method for Functional Quantification of the Reflex Effect of Human Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Zehr, E. P.; Komiyama, Tomoyushi; Stein, R B

    2000-01-01

    E.P. Zehr, KOMIYAMA, T. and R.B. Stein. A Method for Functional Quantification of the Reflex Effect of Human Peripheral Nerve Stimulation. Adv. Exerc. Sports Physiol., Vol.6, No.1 pp25-32, 2000. We have developed simple method that accounts for the overrall function of reflex effects occurring in the surface electrimyogran (EMG) after human nerve stimulation. This method involves the subtraction of pre-stimulus EMG levels from EMG modulation curves obtained after human peripheral nerve stimul...

  7. Maintenance of Hepatic Functions in Primary Human Hepatocytes Cultured on Xeno-Free and Chemical Defined Human Recombinant Laminins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Masaaki; Zemack, Helen; Johansson, Helene; Hagbard, Louise; Jorns, Carl; Li, Meng; Ellis, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Refined methods for maintaining specific functions of isolated hepatocytes under xeno-free and chemical defined conditions is of great importance for the development of hepatocyte research and regenerative therapy. Laminins, a large family of heterotrimeric basement membrane adhesion proteins, are highly cell and tissue type specific components of the extracellular matrix and strongly influence the behavior and function of associated cells and/or tissues. However, detailed biological functions of many laminin isoforms are still to be evaluated. In this study, we determined the distribution of laminin isoforms in human liver tissue and isolated primary human hepatocytes by western blot analysis, and investigated the efficacy of different human recombinant laminin isoforms on hepatic functions during culture. Protein expressions of laminin-chain α2, α3, α4, β1, β3, γ1, and γ2 were detected in both isolated human hepatocytes and liver tissue. No α1 and α5 expression could be detected in liver tissue or hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated from five different individual livers, and cultured on human recombinant laminin isoforms -111, -211, -221, -332, -411, -421, -511, and -521 (Biolamina AB), matrigel (extracted from Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm sarcoma), or collagen type IV (Collagen). Hepatocytes cultured on laminin showed characteristic hexagonal shape in a flat cell monolayer. Viability, double stranded DNA concentration, and Ki67 expression for hepatocytes cultured for six days on laminin were comparable to those cultured on EHS and Collagen. Hepatocytes cultured on laminin also displayed production of human albumin, alpha-1-antitrypsin, bile acids, and gene expression of liver-enriched factors, such as hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha, glucose-6-phosphate, cytochrome P450 3A4, and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2. We conclude that all forms of human recombinant laminin tested maintain cell viability and liver-specific functions of primary human

  8. 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 netw

  9. Localization and functional characterization of the human NKCC2 isoforms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carota, I; Theilig, F; Oppermann, M;

    2010-01-01

    AIM: Salt reabsorption across the apical membrane of cells in the thick ascending limb (TAL) of Henle is primarily mediated by the bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC2. Three full-length splice variants of NKCC2 (NKCC2B, NKCC2A and NKCC2F) have been described. The NKCC2...... isoforms have specific localizations and transport characteristics, as assessed for rabbit, rat and mouse. In the present study, we aimed to address the localization and transport characteristics of the human NKCC2 isoforms. METHODS: RT-PCR, in situ hybridization and uptake studies in Xenopus oocytes were...... performed to characterize human NKCC2 isoforms. RESULTS: All three classical NKCC2 isoforms were detected in the human kidney; in addition, we found splice variants with tandem duplicates of the variable exon 4. Contrary to rodents, in which NKCC2F is the most abundant NKCC2 isoform, NKCC2A was the dominant...

  10. Impaired mitochondrial function in chronically ischemic human heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    mitochondrial damage, hereby reinforcing a vicious circle. Ischemic preconditioning has been proven protective in acute ischemia, but the subject of chronic ischemic preconditioning has not been explored in humans. We hypothesized that mitochondrial respiratory capacity would be diminished in chronic ischemic...... regions of human myocardium but that these mitochondria would be more resistant to ex vivo ischemia and, second, that ROS generation would be higher in ischemic myocardium. The aim of this study was to test mitochondrial respiratory capacity during hyperoxia and hypoxia, to investigate ROS production......, 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...

  11. Diverse functions of uterine proteoglycans in human reproduction (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Tada, Yoshihiro; Hayashi, Terumi; Taguchi, Sagiri; Funabiki, Miyako; Nakamura, Yoshitaka; Yasuo, Tadahiro

    2012-06-01

    Proteoglycans (PGs) are a group of heavily glycosylated proteins that are present throughout the mammalian body and are involved in a wide variety of biological phenomena, including structural maintenance, tissue remodeling, molecular presentation, cell adhesion and signal transmission. Previous studies have revealed an increasing number of roles for PGs in human reproduction. Several PGs are currently utilized or regarded as biomarkers for the diagnosis of certain pathological uterine conditions associated with infertility and obstetrical complications. The aim of this review was to discuss the involvement of PGs in the human uterus in reproductive biology and pathophysiology.

  12. Preservation of human skin structure and function in organ culture

    OpenAIRE

    Varani, J.

    1998-01-01

    Human keratinocytes can be maintained in monolayer culture under serum-free conditions for an extended period of time. Under low ca2+ conditions (e.g., 0.05-0.15 mM), an undifferentiated state is maintained and the cells proliferate optimally. When the ca2+ concentration is raised to approximately 1.0 mM, differentiation occurs and growth slows. Human dermal fibroblasts can also be maintained in monolayer culture under serum-free conditions, but in contrast to ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    associated with leptin, circulating interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R), and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) induced IL-2 production in whole blood in elderly humans. Circulating levels of TNF-alpha and sIL-2R were higher in elderly humans (N=42) compared to a young control group (N=37) whereas...... 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...... a new splice variant that is present in human brain as demonstrated by reverse transcription PCR. Heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed a 30-mV shift in the voltage dependence of activation to more depolarized potentials and slower activation together with faster deactivation...

  16. Functional characterization of cholera toxin inhibitors using human intestinal organoids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zomer-van Ommen, Domenique D.; Pukin, Aliaksei V.; Fu, Ou; Quarles Van Ufford, Linda H C; Janssens, Hettie M.; Beekman, Jeffrey M.; Pieters, Roland J.

    2016-01-01

    Preclinical drug testing in primary human cell models that recapitulate disease can significantly reduce animal experimentation and time-to-the-clinic. We used intestinal organoids to quantitatively study the potency of multivalent cholera toxin inhibitors. The method enabled the determination of IC

  17. 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).…

  18. 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 bas

  19. Functional characterization of cholera toxin inhibitors using human intestinal organoids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zomer-van Ommen, Domenique D.; Pukin, Aliaksei V.; Fu, Ou; Quarles Van Ufford, Linda H C; Janssens, Hettie M.; Beekman, Jeffrey M.; Pieters, Roland J.

    2016-01-01

    Preclinical drug testing in primary human cell models that recapitulate disease can significantly reduce animal experimentation and time-to-the-clinic. We used intestinal organoids to quantitatively study the potency of multivalent cholera toxin inhibitors. The method enabled the determination of

  20. 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

  1. 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 nec

  2. Can probiotics modulate human disease by impacting intestinal barrier function?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bron, Peter A.; Kleerebezem, Michiel; Brummer, Robert Jan; Cani, Patrice D.; Mercenier, Annick; MacDonald, Thomas T.; Garcia-Ródenas, Clara L.; Wells, Jerry M.

    2017-01-01

    Intestinal barrier integrity is a prerequisite for homeostasis of mucosal function, which is balanced to maximise absorptive capacity, while maintaining efficient defensive reactions against chemical and microbial challenges. Evidence is mounting that disruption of epithelial barrier integrity is

  3. The function of neuromuscular compartments in human shoulder muscles

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wickham, J B; Brown, J M M

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to use a surface electromyographic (sEMG) technique with a ballistic isotonic shoulder joint adduction movement to determine the function of the neuromuscular compartments (NMCs...

  4. Functional test of PCDHB11, the most human-specific neuronal surface protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Freitas, Guilherme Braga; Gonçalves, Rafaella Araújo; Gralle, Matthias

    2016-04-12

    Brain-expressed proteins that have undergone functional change during human evolution may contribute to human cognitive capacities, and may also leave us vulnerable to specifically human diseases, such as schizophrenia, autism or Alzheimer's disease. In order to search systematically for those proteins that have changed the most during human evolution and that might contribute to brain function and pathology, all proteins with orthologs in chimpanzee, orangutan and rhesus macaque and annotated as being expressed on the surface of cells in the human central nervous system were ordered by the number of human-specific amino acid differences that are fixed in modern populations. PCDHB11, a beta-protocadherin homologous to murine cell adhesion proteins, stood out with 12 substitutions and maintained its lead after normalizing for protein size and applying weights for amino acid exchange probabilities. Human PCDHB11 was found to cause homophilic cell adhesion, but at lower levels than shown for other clustered protocadherins. Homophilic adhesion caused by a PCDHB11 with reversion of human-specific changes was as low as for modern human PCDHB11; while neither human nor reverted PCDHB11 adhered to controls, they did adhere to each other. A loss of function in PCDHB11 is unlikely because intra-human variability did not increase relative to the other human beta-protocadherins. The brain-expressed protein with the highest number of human-specific substitutions is PCDHB11. In spite of its fast evolution and low intra-human variability, cell-based tests on the only proposed function for PCDHB11 did not indicate a functional change.

  5. Multidisciplinary Analysis of Cyclophilin A Function in Human Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    diagram of synthetic antibody production, which involves target protein immobilization, phase display library screening , and structural and functional...proteins, phase display library screening , and functional analysis of selected antigen-binding fragments (FABs) (Figure 4A). In brief, recombinant his...display library screening results in the generation of total 18 CypA- specific FABs including CsA sensitive (#1-11) and non CsA-sensitive (#12-18). A free

  6. Rescue and expression of human immunoglobulin genes to generate functional human monoclonal antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, A P; Parry, N; Peakman, T C; Crowe, J S

    1992-07-01

    Human monoclonal antibody production has been hampered for many years by the instability of cell lines and low levels of expression of the antibodies. We describe here the rescue of human immunoglobulin genes utilizing micro-mRNA preparation from a small number of human hybridoma cells and conventional cDNA cloning. This allows cloning and immediate high-level expression from full-length human heavy and light chain cDNA molecules and provides a mechanism to rescue whole human monoclonal antibodies of proven efficacy.

  7. Transfer function analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, R.; Zuckerman, J. H.; Giller, C. A.; Levine, B. D.; Blomqvist, C. G. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that spontaneous changes in cerebral blood flow are primarily induced by changes in arterial pressure and that cerebral autoregulation is a frequency-dependent phenomenon, we measured mean arterial pressure in the finger and mean blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (VMCA) during supine rest and acute hypotension induced by thigh cuff deflation in 10 healthy subjects. Transfer function gain, phase, and coherence function between changes in arterial pressure and VMCA were estimated using the Welch method. The impulse response function, calculated as the inverse Fourier transform of this transfer function, enabled the calculation of transient changes in VMCA during acute hypotension, which was compared with the directly measured change in VMCA during thigh cuff deflation. Beat-to-beat changes in VMCA occurred simultaneously with changes in arterial pressure, and the autospectrum of VMCA showed characteristics similar to arterial pressure. Transfer gain increased substantially with increasing frequency from 0.07 to 0.20 Hz in association with a gradual decrease in phase. The coherence function was > 0.5 in the frequency range of 0.07-0.30 Hz and transfer function with the quality of a high-pass filter in the frequency range of 0.07-0.30 Hz.

  8. Complementation of Yeast Genes with Human Genes as an Experimental Platform for Functional Testing of Human Genetic Variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamza, Akil; Tammpere, Erik; Kofoed, Megan; Keong, Christelle; Chiang, Jennifer; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey; Hieter, Philip

    2015-11-01

    While the pace of discovery of human genetic variants in tumors, patients, and diverse populations has rapidly accelerated, deciphering their functional consequence has become rate-limiting. Using cross-species complementation, model organisms like the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, can be utilized to fill this gap and serve as a platform for testing human genetic variants. To this end, we performed two parallel screens, a one-to-one complementation screen for essential yeast genes implicated in chromosome instability and a pool-to-pool screen that queried all possible essential yeast genes for rescue of lethality by all possible human homologs. Our work identified 65 human cDNAs that can replace the null allele of essential yeast genes, including the nonorthologous pair yRFT1/hSEC61A1. We chose four human cDNAs (hLIG1, hSSRP1, hPPP1CA, and hPPP1CC) for which their yeast gene counterparts function in chromosome stability and assayed in yeast 35 tumor-specific missense mutations for growth defects and sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. This resulted in a set of human-yeast gene complementation pairs that allow human genetic variants to be readily characterized in yeast, and a prioritized list of somatic mutations that could contribute to chromosome instability in human tumors. These data establish the utility of this cross-species experimental approach. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  9. Human NK cells of mice with reconstituted human immune system components require preactivation to acquire functional competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strowig, Till; Chijioke, Obinna; Carrega, Paolo; Arrey, Frida; Meixlsperger, Sonja; Rämer, Patrick C; Ferlazzo, Guido; Münz, Christian

    2010-11-18

    To investigate human natural killer (NK)-cell reactivity in vivo we have reconstituted human immune system components by transplantation of human hematopoietic progenitor cells into NOD-scid IL2Rγ(null) mice. We demonstrate here that this model allows the development of all NK-cell subsets that are also found in human adult peripheral and cord blood, including NKp46(+)CD56(-) NK cells. Similar to human cord blood, NK cells from these reconstituted mice require preactivation by interleukin-15 to reach the functional competence of human adult NK cells. Mainly the terminally differentiated CD16(+) NK cells demonstrate lower reactivity without this stimulation. After preactivation, both CD16(+) and CD16(-) NK cells efficiently produce interferon-γ and degranulate in response to stimulation with NK cell-susceptible targets, including K562 erythroleukemia cells. NK-cell lines, established from reconstituted mice, demonstrate cytotoxicity against this tumor cell line. Importantly, preactivation can as well be achieved by bystander cell maturation via poly I:C stimulation in vitro and injection of this maturation stimulus in vivo. Preactivation in vivo enhances killing of human leukocyte antigen class I negative tumor cells after their adoptive transfer. These data suggest that a functional, but resting, NK-cell compartment can be established in immune-compromised mice after human hematopoietic progenitor cell transfer.

  10. Functional Topography of the Fully Grown Human Oocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monti, Manuela; Calligaro, Alberto; Behr, Barry; Pera, Renee Rejo; Redi, Carlo Alberto; Wossidlo, Mark

    2017-01-01

    In vivo maturation (IVM) of human oocytes is a technique used to increase the number of usable oocytes for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and represents a necessity for women with different ovarian pathologies. During IVM the oocytes progress from the germinal vesicle stage (GV) through the metaphase II and during this journey both nuclear and cytoplasmic rearrangements must be obtained to increase the probability to get viable and healthy zygotes/embryos after IVF. As the successful clinical outcomes of this technique are a reality, we wanted to investigate the causes behind oocytes maturation arrest. For obvious ethical reasons, we were able to analyze only few human immature oocytes discarded and donated to research by transmission electron microscopy showing that, as in the mouse, they have different chromatin and cytoplasmic organizations both essential for further embryo development.

  11. 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.

  12. Structure and function of the human skin microbiome

    OpenAIRE

    Schommer, Nina N.; Gallo, Richard L.

    2013-01-01

    An abundant and diverse collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses inhabit the human skin. These microorganisms have been reported to vary between individuals and between different sites on the skin. The factors responsible for the unique variability of the skin microbiome are only partially understood, but results suggest host genetic and environmental influences play a major role. Today, the steady accumulation of data describing the skin microbiome, combined with experiments designed to tes...

  13. Transgenic rabbit that expresses a functional human lipoprotein (a)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouy, Didier; Duverger, Nicolas; Emmanuel, Florence; Denefle, Patrice; Houdebine, Louis-Marie; Viglietta, Celine; Rubin, Edward M.; Hughes, Steven D.

    2003-01-01

    A transgenic rabbit which has in its genomic DNA sequences that encode apolipoprotein (a) and apolipoprotein B polypeptides which are capable of combining to produce lipoprotein (a), a process for creating such a rabbit, and the use of the rabbit to identify compounds which are effective in the treatment of human diseases which are associated with, induced and/or exacerbated by Lp(a) expression.

  14. Functional Study of the Human BRCA2 Tumor Suppressor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-01

    Wang, Y., Lee, M. & Venkitaraman, A. R. Abnormal cytokinesis in cells deficient in the breast cancer susceptibility protein BRCA2. Science 306, 876...tumor suppressor genes in mitotic and meiotic cells. Mol Cell 2, 317-28 (1998). 28. Fuks, F., Milner, J. & Kouzarides, T. BRCA2 associates with...Scully, R. et al. Association of BRCA1 with Rad5l in mitotic and meiotic cells. Cell 88, 265-75 (1997). 49. Nakanishi, K. et al. Human Fanconi anemia

  15. The physical characteristics of human proteins in different biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tengjiao; Tang, Hailin

    2017-01-01

    The physical properties of gene products are the foundation of their biological functions. In this study, we systematically explored relationships between physical properties and biological functions. The physical properties including origin time, evolution pressure, mRNA and protein stability, molecular weight, hydrophobicity, acidity/alkaline, amino acid compositions, and chromosome location. The biological functions are defined from 4 aspects: biological process, molecular function, cellular component and cell/tissue/organ expression. We found that the proteins associated with basic material and energy metabolism process originated earlier, while the proteins associated with immune, neurological system process etc. originated later. Tissues may have a strong influence on evolution pressure. The proteins associated with energy metabolism are double-stable. Immune and peripheral cell proteins tend to be mRNA stable/protein unstable. There are very few function items with double-unstable of mRNA and protein. The proteins involved in the cell adhesion tend to consist of large proteins with high proportion of small amino acids. The proteins of organic acid transport, neurological system process and amine transport have significantly high hydrophobicity. Interestingly, the proteins involved in olfactory receptor activity tend to have high frequency of aromatic, sulfuric and hydroxyl amino acids.

  16. Estimation of the Functional Reserve of Human Liver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, Frank G.; Rikkers, Layton F.; Aldrete, Joaquin S.

    1974-01-01

    Functional hepatic reserve was determined in 32 patients with known liver or biliary tract disease employing kinetic analysis of hepatic removal of indocyanine green (ICG). The initial removal rates of incremental doses of ICG (0.5, 1.0 and 5.0 mg/kg body weight) were plotted as a reciprocal against the inverse of dose (Lineweaver-Burk plot) to provide a means of determining maximal removal rate from submaximal doses (Rmax). This function equalled 3.40 mg/kg/min in ten patients with normal livers, but was only .24 mg/kg/min in eight patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Portasystemic shunting did not further influence Rmax. Infiltrative liver disease had only a mild depressive effect on this function. The results show that hepatic function can be precisely quantitated by classical enzyme kinetics (Michaelis-Menten). If Rmax is an estimate of protein receptor mass for organic anions, then the technique may allow an indirect means for quantitating hepatocytes even in the presence of changes in blood flow or hepatic function. The profound depression in Rmax observed in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis is consistent with the progressive loss in hepatic mass associated with this disease. PMID:4413286

  17. Functional hemichannels formed by human connexin 26 expressed in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Mariana C; Krishnan, Srinivasan; Cortes, D Marien; Retamal, Mauricio A; Reuss, Luis; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Cuello, Luis G

    2015-03-18

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells and are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs), one from each of the neighbouring cells. GJCs mediate electrical and chemical communication between cells, whereas undocked HCs participate in paracrine signalling because of their permeability to molecules such as ATP. Sustained opening of HCs under pathological conditions results in water and solute fluxes that cannot be compensated by membrane transport and therefore lead to cell damage. Mutations of Cx26 (connexin 26) are the most frequent cause of genetic deafness and it is therefore important to understand the structure-function relationship of wild-type and deafness-associated mutants. Currently available connexin HC expression systems severely limit the pace of structural studies and there is no simple high-throughput HC functional assay. The Escherichia coli-based expression system presented in the present study yields milligram amounts of purified Cx26 HCs suitable for functional and structural studies. We also show evidence of functional activity of recombinant Cx26 HCs in intact bacteria using a new growth complementation assay. The E. coli-based expression system has high potential for structural studies and high-throughput functional screening of HCs.

  18. Erythropoietin treatment enhances mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulla ePlenge

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Erythropoietin (Epo treatment has been shown to induce mitochondrial biogenesis in cardiac muscle along with enhanced mitochondrial capacity in mice. We hypothesized that recombinant human Epo (rhEpo treatment enhances skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS capacity in humans. In six healthy volunteers rhEpo was administered by sub-cutaneous injection over eight weeks with oral iron (100 mg supplementation taken daily. Mitochondrial OXPHOS was quantified by high-resolution respirometry in saponin-permeabilized muscle fibers obtained from biopsies of the vastus lateralis before and after rhEpo treatment. OXPHOS was determined with the mitochondrial complex I substrates malate, glutamate, pyruvate and complex II substrate succinate in the presence of saturating ADP concentrations, while maximal electron transport capacity (ETS was assessed by addition of an uncoupler. rhEpo treatment increased OXPHOS (from 92±5 to 113±7 pmol.sec-1.mg-1 and ETS (107±4 to 143±14 pmol.sec-1.mg-1, P<0.05, demonstrating that Epo treatment induces an upregulation of OXPHOS and ETS in human skeletal muscle.

  19. Recombinant Functional Human Lactoferrin Expressed in Baculovirus System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao LIU; Yao-Zhou ZHANG; Xiang-Fu WU

    2006-01-01

    Human lactoferrin (hLf) is a multifunctional iron-binding glycoprotein. In this study, we amplified hLfcDNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction from normal human mammary gland.The nucleotide sequence of the hLf was identical to the known hLf. We constructed a recombinant virus,vBm-hLf, harboring the hLfgene and exploited the BmN cells as host to produce recombinant human lactoferrin(rhLf). It was found that a recombinant protein with a molecular mass of approximately 78 kDa was expressed.Approximately 13.5 μg rhLf was purified from 1-2× 105 BmN cells infected by vBm-hLf and the rhLf proved to be biologically active. This method established in our study will pave the way for efficient production of rhLf for further application of this protein in the future.

  20. Phenotypic and functional characteristics of human newborns' B lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durandy, A; Thuillier, L; Forveille, M; Fischer, A

    1990-01-01

    It has been demonstrated two major facts concerning human newborns' B lymphocytes: 1) they differentiate poorly into Ig-producing cells and 2) they express CD5 and CD1c membrane proteins. We have further analyzed human newborns' B cell characteristics and found that approximately half of them express activation Ag, i.e., 4F2 and IL-2R, both associated in significant proportions with CD23 and Bac-1. These membrane Ag were found both on CD5(+) and CD5(-) B cells. Newborns' B cells do not exhibit other activation markers because they express surface IgD, and because their size, RNA, and DNA contents do not differ from those of adults' B cells, indicating that they are in the G0/G1 cell cycle phase. Newborns' B cell proliferation can be induced by rIL-2, rIL-4, low m.w. B cell growth factor, and by Staphylococcus aureus protein A. It is presently difficult to build a hypothesis accounting for all the specific findings made on newborns' B cells. It is not known for instance whether CD5(+) and (-) B cells belong to distinct subsets as suggested by the fluorescence intensity curve obtained with an anti-CD5 antibody or to distinct stages in a unique pattern of B cell maturation during fetal and newborn life. This may indicate that partially activated B cells actually produce natural polyspecific autoantibodies of the IgM isotype found in newborns' human serum.

  1. Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence 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

    2012-02-05

    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. For cases in which 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 assessed similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we revealed 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 framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models.

  2. Mapping multiplex hubs in human functional brain networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Arenas

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly centralones, i.e. hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studieshave shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components ofbrain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However,the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneouslyis still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify eachfrequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploitingthe recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that eachfrequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately modelbrain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in generaldifferent from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signalsas usual, provide a more accurate map of brain’s most important functional regions, allowingto distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventionalnetwork approaches.

  3. Interpolation function for approximating knee joint behavior in human gait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth-Taşcǎu, Mirela; Pater, Flavius; Stoia, Dan Ioan

    2013-10-01

    Starting from the importance of analyzing the kinematic data of the lower limb in gait movement, especially the angular variation of the knee joint, the paper propose an approximation function that can be used for processing the correlation among a multitude of knee cycles. The approximation of the raw knee data was done by Lagrange polynomial interpolation on a signal acquired using Zebris Gait Analysis System. The signal used in approximation belongs to a typical subject extracted from a lot of ten investigated subjects, but the function domain of definition belongs to the entire group. The study of the knee joint kinematics plays an important role in understanding the kinematics of the gait, this articulation having the largest range of motion in whole joints, in gait. The study does not propose to find an approximation function for the adduction-abduction movement of the knee, this being considered a residual movement comparing to the flexion-extension.

  4. Functional partial agonism at cloned human muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bräuner-Osborne, Hans; Ebert, B; Brann, M R

    1996-01-01

    , and a competitive antagonist, atropine or pirenzepine, at fixed ratios display functional partial agonism. The levels of apparent intrinsic activity of the functional partial agonist responses were shown to be dependent of the receptor density and G-protein concentration in the same manner as that determined...... agonist response, which is dependent on the agonist/antagonist ratio, is predictable from the Waud equation, describing competitive receptor/ligand interactions. In agreement with the relative antagonist potencies of pirenzepine at m1 and m5, a 10:1 ratio of carbachol and pirenzepine produced very low...

  5. Cognitive neuroscience 2.0: building a cumulative science of human brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarkoni, Tal; Poldrack, Russell A; Van Essen, David C; Wager, Tor D

    2010-11-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly recognize that continued progress in understanding human brain function will require not only the acquisition of new data, but also the synthesis and integration of data across studies and laboratories. Here we review ongoing efforts to develop a more cumulative science of human brain function. We discuss the rationale for an increased focus on formal synthesis of the cognitive neuroscience literature, provide an overview of recently developed tools and platforms designed to facilitate the sharing and integration of neuroimaging data, and conclude with a discussion of several emerging developments that hold even greater promise in advancing the study of human brain function. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. 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) stud

  8. Structure and function of the human megalin receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dagil, Robert

    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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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 remaine

  11. Structure and function relationship of human heart from DENSE MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghaddam, Abbas N.; Gharib, Morteza

    2007-03-01

    The study here, suggests a macroscopic structure for the Left Ventricle (LV), based on the heart kinematics which is obtained through imaging. The measurement of the heart muscle deformation using the Displacement ENcoding with Stimulated Echoes (DENSE) MRI, which describes the heart kinematics in the Lagrangian frame work, is used to determine the high resolution patterns of true myocardial strain. Subsequently, the tangential Shortening Index (SI) and the thickening of the LV wall are calculated for each data point. Considering the heart as a positive-displacement pump, the contribution of each segment of LV in the heart function, can be determined by the SI and thickening of the wall in the same portion. Hence the SI isosurfaces show the extent and spatial distribution of the heart activity and reveals its macro structure. The structure and function of the heart are, therefore, related which in turn results in a macroscopic model for the LV. In particular, it was observed that the heart functionality is not uniformly distributed in the LV, and the regions with greater effect on the pumping process, form a band which wraps around the heart. These results, which are supported by the established histological evidence, may be considered as a landmark in connecting the structure and function of the heart through imaging. Furthermore, the compatibility of this model with microscopic observations about the fiber direction is investigated. This method may be used for planning as well as post evaluation of the ventriculoplasty.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Human Dendritic Cell Development, Survival and Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. van de Laar (Lianne)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractDendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells (APC) with a dual function in the immune system. On the one hand, these specialized leukocytes are equipped to alert the immune system to invading pathogens or other danger signals. On the other, DC can promote tolerogenic re

  13. Structure and function of the human megalin receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dagil, Robert

    Megalin is an endocytic lipoprotein receptor expressed widely throughout the body, ranging from the proximal tubule in the kidneys to the cochlea in the inner ear. Megalin is known to bind over 50 different ligands and is involved in protein clearance of the renal ultrafiltrate via endocytosis...... was studied using NMR spectroscopy. The structure of the tenth CR domain from the human megalin receptor was solved using NMR spectroscopy and a HADDOCK model of the complex between this domain and gentamicin was determined. The structural complex showed that a Trp residue and three Asp residues from megalin...

  14. Effects of NSAIDs on Differentiation and Function of Human and Murine Osteoclasts – Crucial ‘Human Osteoclastology’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Kotake

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Osteoclasts play a critical role in both normal bone metabolism and bone resorption in the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It has been reported that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs inhibit murine osteoclastogenesis in vitro and murine arthritis models in vivo, but not the destruction of joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In the current review article, we review the recent findings in the effect of NSAIDs on the formation and function of human and murine osteoclasts both in vitro and in vivo, underlining the importance of studies using human osteoclasts. Since 2009, we have suggested a novel term ‘human osteoclastology’.

  15. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA. [Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-01-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  16. Human Serum Albumin (HSA) Suppresses the Effects of Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) on Human T Cell Activation and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Michael S.; Houtman, Jon C. D.

    2016-01-01

    Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a monoglyceride with well characterized anti-microbial properties. Because of these properties, GML is widely used in food, cosmetics, and personal care products and currently being tested as a therapeutic for menstrual associated toxic shock syndrome, superficial wound infections, and HIV transmission. Recently, we have described that GML potently suppresses select T cell receptor (TCR)-induced signaling events, leading to reduced human T cell effector functions. However, how soluble host factors present in the blood and at sites of infection affect GML-mediated human T cell suppression is unknown. In this study, we have characterized how human serum albumin (HSA) affects GML-induced inhibition of human T cells. We found that HSA and other serum albumins bind to 12 carbon acyl side chain of GML at low micromolar affinities and restores the TCR-induced formation of LAT, PLC-γ1, and AKT microclusters at the plasma membrane. Additionally, HSA reverses GML mediated inhibition of AKT phosphorylation and partially restores cytokine production in GML treated cells. Our data reveal that HSA, one of the most abundant proteins in the human serum and at sites of infections, potently reverses the suppression of human T cells by GML. This suggests that GML-driven human T cell suppression depends upon the local tissue environment, with albumin concentration being a major determinant of GML function. PMID:27764189

  17. 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.

  18. Adrenergic receptor polymorphisms and autonomic nervous system function in human obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, Koichiro; Matsunaga, Tetsuro; Adachi, Tetsuya; Aoki, Norihiko; Tsujimoto, Gozoh; Tsuda, Kinsuke

    2006-09-01

    Adrenergic receptors (ARs) are cell-surface G-protein-coupled receptors for catecholamines. They are essential components of the sympathetic nervous system, organized within the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls various physiological functions, including energy homeostasis and metabolism of glucose and lipids. An impairment of ANS function in metabolism is considered to be one of the pathological states associated with human obesity and related metabolic diseases; thus, alterations in AR function might be implicated in the pathophysiology of these diseases. Several studies have suggested an association between obesity phenotypes and some AR polymorphisms. In vitro and human clinical studies indicate that some of these polymorphisms have functional and pathophysiological significance, including the linkage to ANS function. This review summarizes present knowledge of AR polymorphisms related to human obesity, and their association with ANS function.

  19. Hsp10: anatomic distribution, functions, and involvement in human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Sabrina; Bucchieri, Fabio; Corrao, Simona; Czarnecka, Anna M; Campanella, Claudia; Farina, Felicia; Peri, Giovanni; Tomasello, Giovanni; Sciumè, Carmelo; Modica, Giuseppe; La Rocca, Giampiero; Anzalone, Rita; Giuffrè, Mario; Conway De Macario, Everly; Macario, Alberto J L; Cappello, Francesco; Zummo, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that molecular chaperones/heat shock proteins are involved in the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases, known as chaperonopathies. A better molecular understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms is essential for addressing new strategies in diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical management of chaperonopathies, including those in which Hsp10 is involved. This chaperonin has been studied for a long time as a member of the mitochondrial protein-folding machine. However, although in normal cells Hsp10 is mainly localized in the mitochondrial matrix, it has also been found during and after stress in other subcellular compartments, such as cytosol, vesicles and secretory granules, alone or in combination with other proteins. In these extramitochondrial locales, Hsp10 plays an active role in cell signalling. For example, cancer cells often show altered levels of Hsp10, compared to normal cells. Hsp10 may also be found in the extracellular space and in the bloodstream, with a possible immunomodulatory activity. This minireview focuses on some studies to date on the involvement of Hsp10 in human disease pathogenesis.

  20. Threat effects on human oculo-motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo, E N; Cleworth, T W; Allum, J H J; Inglis, J T; Lea, J; Westerberg, B D; Carpenter, M G

    2017-09-17

    Neuro-anatomical evidence supports the potential for threat-related factors, such as fear, anxiety and vigilance, to influence brainstem motor nuclei controlling eye movements, as well as the vestibular nuclei. However, little is known about how threat influences human ocular responses, such as eye saccades (ES), smooth pursuit eye tracking (SP), and optokinetic nystagmus (OKN), and whether these responses can be facilitated above normal baseline levels with a natural source of threat. This study was designed to examine the effects of height-induced postural threat on the gain of ES, SP and OKN responses in humans. Twenty participants stood at two different surface heights while performing ES (ranging from 8° to 45° from center), SP (15, 20, 30°/s) and OKN (15, 30, 60°/s) responses in the horizontal plane. Height did not significantly increase the slope of the relationship between ES peak velocity and initial amplitude, or the gain of ES amplitude. In contrast height significantly increased SP and OKN gain. Significant correlations were found between changes in physiological arousal and OKN gain. Observations of changes with height in OKN and SP support neuro-anatomical evidence of threat-related mechanisms influencing both oculo-motor nuclei and vestibular reflex pathways. Although further study is warranted, the findings suggest that potential influences of fear, anxiety and arousal/alertness should be accounted for, or controlled, during clinical vestibular and oculo-motor testing. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Differentiation and functional regulation of human fetal NK cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivarsson, Martin A; Loh, Liyen; Marquardt, Nicole; Kekäläinen, Eliisa; Berglin, Lena; Björkström, Niklas K; Westgren, Magnus; Nixon, Douglas F; Michaëlsson, Jakob

    2013-09-01

    The human fetal immune system is naturally exposed to maternal allogeneic cells, maternal antibodies, and pathogens. As such, it is faced with a considerable challenge with respect to the balance between immune reactivity and tolerance. Here, we show that fetal natural killer (NK) cells differentiate early in utero and are highly responsive to cytokines and antibody-mediated stimulation but respond poorly to HLA class I-negative target cells. Strikingly, expression of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) did not educate fetal NK cells but rendered them hyporesponsive to target cells lacking HLA class I. In addition, fetal NK cells were highly susceptible to TGF-β-mediated suppression, and blocking of TGF-β signaling enhanced fetal NK cell responses to target cells. Our data demonstrate that KIR-mediated hyporesponsiveness and TGF-β-mediated suppression are major factors determining human fetal NK cell hyporesponsiveness to HLA class I-negative target cells and provide a potential mechanism for fetal-maternal tolerance in utero. Finally, our results provide a basis for understanding the role of fetal NK cells in pregnancy complications in which NK cells could be involved, for example, during in utero infections and anti-RhD-induced fetal anemia.

  2. Prestimulus functional connectivity determines pain perception in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploner, Markus; Lee, Michael C; Wiech, Katja; Bingel, Ulrike; Tracey, Irene

    2010-01-05

    Pain is a highly subjective experience that can be substantially influenced by differences in individual susceptibility as well as personality. How susceptibility to pain and personality translate to brain activity is largely unknown. Here, we report that the functional connectivity of two key brain areas before a sensory event reflects the susceptibility to a subsequent noxious stimulus being perceived as painful. Specifically, the prestimulus connectivity among brain areas related to the subjective perception of the body and to the modulation of pain (anterior insular cortex and brainstem, respectively) determines whether a noxious event is perceived as painful. Further, these effects of prestimulus connectivity on pain perception covary with pain-relevant personality traits. More anxious and pain-attentive individuals display weaker descending connectivity to pain modulatory brain areas. We conclude that variations in functional connectivity underlie personality-related differences in individual susceptibility to pain.

  3. Structure, function, and mechanism of human MIF and parasitic orthologs

    OpenAIRE

    Zierow, Swen

    2008-01-01

    The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a key mediator of the innate and adaptive immune system and plays a critical role in many inflammatory diseases. MIF is required to combat serious infections; however, high-level production of MIF has been linked to a severe outcome of many diseases including adult respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and cancer. Over the last years, MIF has also been ascribed important functions in the ...

  4. Functional Compartmentalization of the Human Superficial Masseter Muscle

    OpenAIRE

    Guzmán-Venegas, Rodrigo A.; Biotti Picand, Jorge L.; Francisco J Berral de la Rosa

    2015-01-01

    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 e...

  5. Morphology and functions of the human seminal vesicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumüller, G; Riva, A

    1992-01-01

    The seminal vesicles originate in embryos of about 58 mm crown-rump-length from the Wolffian duct under the influence of testosterone. Along with the ampulla of the vas deferens and the ejaculatory duct, they form a functional unit that develops slowly until the onset of puberty. Developmental malformations occur as uni- or bilateral agenesis, aplasia, cysts, or ureterovesicular fistules. After puberty, the glands form sac-like structures which have a capacity of about 3.4-4.5 ccm and contribute about 70% of the seminal fluid. In addition to secretion, they are capable of reabsorption of fluids or dissolved substances, and of spermatophagy (ingestion and degradation of damaged spermatozoa by epithelial cells). Secretory activity of the glands is a measure of testosterone supplementation to the epithelium. Nervous regulation of secretion is realized by cholinergic post-ganglionic, sympathetic (and perhaps parasympathetic) fibres, derived from pelvic plexus. Contraction of the muscular wall occurs under the influence of excitatory adrenergic and modulatory NPY-encephalin-peptidergic nerve fibres. The secretory products of the seminal vesicles encompass (1) ions (K+: 1.1 mM ml-1) (2) low molecular weight substances (fructose: above 1.2 mg ml-1; prostaglandins above 250 microliters ml-1, (3) peptides (endorphin: 330 pg ml-1), and (4) proteins. In addition to plasma protein related forms such as transferrin, lactoferrin, and fibronectin, specific proteins such as semenogelin (52 kDa) are synthesized, the scaffold protein of semen coagulate forming the substrate for PSA (prostate specific antigen), sperm motility inhibitor (ca. 18 kDa), and others (placental protein 5, protein kinase inhibitor, carboanhydrase, 5'-nucleotidase), some of which are immunosuppressive. Therefore, functions of the seminal vesicles concern (a) formation of seminal coagulum, (b) modification of sperm functions (motility, capacitation), and (c) immunosuppression. Additional functions within the

  6. Transporters in human platelets: physiologic function and impact for pharmacotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlitschky, Gabriele; Greinacher, Andreas; Kroemer, Heyo K

    2012-04-12

    Platelets store signaling molecules (eg, serotonin and ADP) within their granules. Transporters mediate accumulation of these molecules in platelet granules and, on platelet activation, their translocation across the plasma membrane. The balance between transporter-mediated uptake and elimination of signaling molecules and drugs in platelets determines their intracellular concentrations and effects. Several members of the 2 major transporter families, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters and solute carriers (SLCs), have been identified in platelets. An example of an ABC transporter is MRP4 (ABCC4), which facilitates ADP accumulation in dense granules. MRP4 is a versatile transporter, and various additional functions have been proposed, notably lipid mediator release and a role in aspirin resistance. Several other ABC proteins have been detected in platelets with functions in glutathione and lipid homeostasis. The serotonin transporter (SERT, SLC6A4) in the platelet plasma membrane represents a well-characterized example of the SLC family. Moreover, recent experiments indicate expression of OATP2B1 (SLCO2B1), a high affinity transporter for certain statins, in platelets. Changes in transporter localization and expression can affect platelet function and drug sensitivity. This review summarizes available data on the physiologic and pharmacologic role of transporters in platelets.

  7. Age associated variations in human neutrophil and sperm functioning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kaveri Purandhar; Sriram Seshadri

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To determine the functional and biochemical variations in sperm and the neutrophil with the progression of age. Methods: Ninety healthy male subjects were selected in the age group 26-40 for the collection of semen and blood samples were collected. Basic semen analysis, hematogram, differential count serum analysis, seminal plasma and serum biochemistry was performed. Mitochondrial isolation from sperm and neutrophil was done to ascertain mitochondrial markers. Results: Our data shows a significant age-dependent reduction in the levels of mitochondrial Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Catalase (CAT) in sperm and the neutrophil. The functional attributes of sperm and neutrophil did not show any specific trend.Conclusion:The decreasing trend of the mitochondrial antioxidants enzymes in the sperm and the neutrophil is an indicative of the reduction in the functioning of sperm and the neutrophil. The antioxidants enzymes of sperm and neutrophil shows similar declining trend with the progression of age suggesting its possible role as a prognostic marker for age related deformities and even in male fertility.

  8. Dietary restriction, mitochondrial function and aging: from yeast to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruetenik, Andrea; Barrientos, Antoni

    2015-11-01

    Dietary restriction (DR) attenuates many detrimental effects of aging and consequently promotes health and increases longevity across organisms. While over the last 15 years extensive research has been devoted towards understanding the biology of aging, the precise mechanistic aspects of DR are yet to be settled. Abundant experimental evidence indicates that the DR effect on stimulating health impinges several metabolic and stress-resistance pathways. Downstream effects of these pathways include a reduction in cellular damage induced by oxidative stress, enhanced efficiency of mitochondrial functions and maintenance of mitochondrial dynamics and quality control, thereby attenuating age-related declines in mitochondrial function. However, the literature also accumulates conflicting evidence regarding how DR ameliorates mitochondrial performance and whether that is enough to slow age-dependent cellular and organismal deterioration. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge about how and to which extent the influence of different DR regimes on mitochondrial biogenesis and function contribute to postpone the detrimental effects of aging on health-span and lifespan. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Aging.

  9. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Domenico, Manlio; Sasai, Shuntaro; Arenas, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly central ones, i.e., hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studies have shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components of brain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However, the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneously is still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify each frequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploiting the recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that each frequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately model brain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in general different from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signals as usual, provide a more accurate map of brain's most important functional regions, allowing to distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventional network approaches. PMID:27471443

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashida, Masahiro; Yamauchi, Syuichi [Yamaguchi Univ., Ube (Japan). Hospital; Wu, Jing-Long (and others)

    2001-06-01

    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)

  11. Modulation of Higher-Order Olfaction Components on Executive Functions in Humans.

    OpenAIRE

    Fagundo, Ana B.; Jiménez Murcia, Susana; Giner Bartolomé, Cristina; Anisul Islam, Mohammed; Torre Fornell, Rafael de la; Pastor, Antonio; Casanueva, Felipe F.; Crujeiras, Ana B.; Granero, Roser; Baños, Rosa; Botella, Cristina; Fernández Real, Jose M.; Frühbeck, Gema; Gómez Ambrosi, Javier; Menchón, José M.

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal (PFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) appear to be associated with both executive functions and olfaction. However, there is little data relating olfactory processing and executive functions in humans. The present study aimed at exploring the role of olfaction on executive functioning, making a distinction between primary and more cognitive aspects of olfaction. Three executive tasks of similar difficulty were used. One was used to assess hot executive functions (Iowa Gambling T...

  12. Application technology on human general function as a group

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Numano, Masayoshi; Matsuoka, Takeshi; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Fukuto, Junji; Mitomo, Nobuo; Miyazaki; Keiko; Matsukura, Hiroshi; Niwa, Yasuyuki; Ando, Hirotomo [Ship Research Inst., Tokyo (Japan)

    2000-02-01

    An operation assistant system for two operators as an object of plant model simulated on PWR was made experimentally, effectiveness on applying 3D-VR spatial indication and repulsive feedback input apparatus to plant operation assistance was investigated. By adopting a transmission type HMD, combination use with the conventional type operation monitoring system was made possible, and then it could be thought to become possible that human error was found by oneself by adding intuitive indication and feedback to judgement and operation used by a system assisting with logic understanding. And, by sharing these informations in a group, it was also found that correction of not only selfish but also other operator's error was made possible. (G.K.)

  13. Brain functional magnetic resonance imaging response to glucose and fructose infusions in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: In animals, intracerebroventricular glucose and fructose have opposing effects on appetite and weight regulation. In humans, functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies during carbohydrate ingestion suggest that glucose may regulate HT signaling but are potentially confoun...

  14. Human Resource Staffing and Service Functions of Community Health Services Organizations in China

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jun; Guo, Aimin; Wang, Yadong; Zhao, Yali; Yang, Xinhua; Li, Hang; Duckitt, Roger; Liang, Wannian

    2008-01-01

    PURPOSE We report a study on the developmental status of human resource staffing and service functions of community health services (CHS) in China and offer recommendations for improving the CHS in the future.

  15. Expression and function of beta1 integrins on human eosinophils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria-Cristina Seminario

    1997-12-01

    Full Text Available Eosinophils preferentially accumulate at sites of chronic allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma. The mechanisms by which selective eosinophil migration occurs are not fully understood. However, interactions of cell-surface adhesion molecules on the eosinophil with molecular counterligands on endothelial and epithelial cells, and on extracellular matrix proteins, are likely to be critical during the recruitment process. One possible mechanism for selective eosinophil recruitment involves the alpha4beta 1 (VLA-4 integrin which is not expressed on neutrophils. Correlations have been found between infiltration of eosinophils and endothelial expression of VCAM-1, the ligand for VLA-4, in the lungs of asthmatic individuals as well as in late phase reactions in the lungs, nose and skin. Epithelial and endothelial cells respond to the Th2-type cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 with selective de novo expression of VCAM-1, consistent with the possible role of VCAM-1/VLA-4 interactions in eosinophil influx during allergic inflammation. Both beta 1 and beta 2 integrins on eosinophils exist in a state of partial activation. For example, eosinophils can be maximally activated for adhesion to VCAM-1 or fibronectin after exposure to beta 1 integrin-activating antibodies or divalent cations, conditions that do not necessarily affect the total cell surface expression of beta 1 integrins. In contrast, cytokines like IL-5 prevent beta 1 integrin activation while promoting beta 2 integrin function. Furthermore, ligation of integrins can regulate the effector functions of the cell. For example, eosinophil adhesion via beta 1 and/or beta 2 integrins has been shown to alter a variety of functional responses including degranulation and apoptosis. Thus, integrins appear to be important in mediating eosinophil migration and activation in allergic inflammation. Strategies that interfere with these processes may prove to be useful for treatment of allergic diseases.

  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. Human cytosolic glutathione transferases: structure, function, and drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Baojian; Dong, Dong

    2012-12-01

    Glutathione transferases (GSTs) are important detoxifying enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of electrophilic substrates to glutathione. In recent years, GSTs have been of great interest in pharmacology and drug development because of their involvement in many important biological processes such as steroid and prostaglandin biosynthesis, tyrosine catabolism, and cell apoptosis. This review describes crystal structures for cytosolic GSTs and correlates active-site features with enzyme functions (e.g., steroid synthesis, tyrosine degradation, and dehydroascorbate reduction) and substrate selectivity. Use of these crystal structures for the design of specific inhibitors for several GST enzymes is also discussed.

  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...... can all be predicted. Although the method relies on protein sequences as the sole input, it does not rely on sequence similarity, but instead on sequence derived protein features such as predicted post translational modifications (PTMs), protein sorting signals and physical/chemical properties...

  19. 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

  20. Barrier function in reconstructed epidermis and its resemblance to native human skin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ponec, M.; Gibbs, S.; Pilgram, G.; Boelsma, E.; Koerten, H.; Bouwstra, J.; Mommaas, M.

    2001-01-01

    One of the prerequisites for the use of human skin equivalents for scientific and screening purposes is that their barrier function is similar to that of native skin. Using human epidermis reconstructed on de-epidermized dermis we demonstrated that the formation of the stratum corneum (SC) barrier i

  1. 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...

  2. Human Parotid Gland Alpha-Amylase Secretion as a Function of Chronic Hyperbaric Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    parotid ...Pullman, WA 99163 Gilman, S. C, G. J. Fischer, R. J. Biersner, R. D. Thornton, and D. A. Miller. 1979. Human parotid gland alpha-amylase secretion...as a function of chronic hyperbaric exposure. Undersea Biomed. Res. 6(3):303-307.—Secretion of a-amylase by the human parotid gland increased

  3. PGC-1α and reactive oxygen species regulate human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.J. Birket (Matthew); S. Casini (Simona); G. Kosmidis (Georgios); D.J. Elliott (David); A.A. Gerencser (Akos); A. Baartscheer (Antonius); C. Schumacher (Cees); P.G. Mastroberardino (Pier); A.G. Elefanty (Andrew); E.G. Stanley (Ed); C.L. Mummery (Christine)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractDiminished 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, wh

  4. IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN ISLET FUNCTION BY ADENOVIRUS MEDIATED HO-1 GENE TRANSFER

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Objective To investigate in vitro heme oxygenase-1 gene (HO-1) delivery to human pancreatic islets by adenovirus vectors. Methods Recombinant adenovirus containing HO-1 or enhanced green fluorescent protein gene(EGFP) was generated by using the AdEasy System. The purified human pancreatic islets were infected with recombinant adenovirus vectors at various multiplicity of infection (MOI). Transduction was confirmed by fluorescence photographs and Western blot. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was detected by using Human insulin radioimmunoassay kits and was used to assess the function of human islets infected by recombinant adenovirus.Results Viral titers of Ad-hHO-1 and Ad-EGFP were 1.96×109 and 1.99×109 pfu/mL, respectively. Human pancreatic islets were efficiently infected by recombinant adenovirus vectors in vitro. Transfection of human islets at an MOI of 20 did not inhibit islet function. Recombinant adenovirus mediated HO-1gene transfer significantly improved the islet function of insulin release when simulated by high level glucose. Conclusion Recombinant adenovirus is efficient to deliver exogenous gene into human pancreatic islets in vitro. HO-1 gene transfection can improve human islet function.

  5. Effect of contractile protein alterations on cardiac myofilament function in human heart failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Narolska, N.A.

    2006-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis was to elucidate the effect of translational and post-translational alterations in contractile proteins occurring during heart failure on contractile function in human cardiac tissue. Isometric force and ATPase activity measurements were performed in skinned human

  6. Barrier function in reconstructed epidermis and its resemblance to native human skin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ponec, M.; Gibbs, S.; Pilgram, G.; Boelsma, E.; Koerten, H.; Bouwstra, J.; Mommaas, M.

    2001-01-01

    One of the prerequisites for the use of human skin equivalents for scientific and screening purposes is that their barrier function is similar to that of native skin. Using human epidermis reconstructed on de-epidermized dermis we demonstrated that the formation of the stratum corneum (SC) barrier

  7. Electrophysiological and functional connectivity of the human supplementary motor area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayana, Shalini; Laird, Angela R; Tandon, Nitin; Franklin, Crystal; Lancaster, Jack L; Fox, Peter T

    2012-08-01

    Neuro-imaging methods for detecting functional and structural inter-regional connectivity are in a rapid phase of development. While reports of regional connectivity patterns based on individual methods are becoming common, studies comparing the results of two or more connectivity-mapping methods remain rare. In this study, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation during PET imaging (TMS/PET), a stimulation-based method, and meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM), a task-based method to map the connectivity patterns of the supplementary motor area (SMA). Further, we drew upon the behavioral domain meta-data of the BrainMap® database to characterize the behavioral domain specificity of two maps. Both MACM and TMS/PET detected multi-synaptic connectivity patterns, with the MACM-detected connections being more extensive. Both MACM and TMS/PET detected connections belonging to multiple behavioral domains, including action, cognition and perception. Finally, we show that the two connectivity-mapping methods are complementary in that, the MACM informed on the functional nature of SMA connections, while TMS/PET identified brain areas electrophysiologically connected with the SMA. Thus, we demonstrate that integrating multimodal database and imaging techniques can derive comprehensive connectivity maps of brain areas.

  8. 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.

  9. Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perani, Daniela; Saccuman, Maria Cristina; Scifo, Paola; Spada, Danilo; Andreolli, Guido; Rovelli, Rosanna; Baldoli, Cristina; Koelsch, Stefan

    2010-03-09

    In adults, specific neural systems with right-hemispheric weighting are necessary to process pitch, melody, and harmony as well as structure and meaning emerging from musical sequences. It is not known to what extent the specialization of these systems results from long-term exposure to music or from neurobiological constraints. One way to address this question is to examine how these systems function at birth, when auditory experience is minimal. We used functional MRI to measure brain activity in 1- to 3-day-old newborns while they heard excerpts of Western tonal music and altered versions of the same excerpts. Altered versions either included changes of the tonal key or were permanently dissonant. Music evoked predominantly right-hemispheric activations in primary and higher order auditory cortex. During presentation of the altered excerpts, hemodynamic responses were significantly reduced in the right auditory cortex, and activations emerged in the left inferior frontal cortex and limbic structures. These results demonstrate that the infant brain shows a hemispheric specialization in processing music as early as the first postnatal hours. Results also indicate that the neural architecture underlying music processing in newborns is sensitive to changes in tonal key as well as to differences in consonance and dissonance.

  10. Impaired mitochondrial function in human placenta with increased maternal adiposity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mele, James; Muralimanoharan, Sribalasubashini; Maloyan, Alina; Myatt, Leslie

    2014-09-01

    The placenta plays a key role in regulation of fetal growth and development and in mediating in utero developmental programming. Obesity, which is associated with chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction in many tissues, exerts a programming effect in pregnancy. We determined the effect of increasing maternal adiposity and of fetal sex on placental ATP generation, mitochondrial biogenesis, expression of electron transport chain subunits, and mitochondrial function in isolated trophoblasts. Placental tissue was collected from women with prepregnancy BMI ranging from 18.5 to 45 following C-section at term with no labor. Increasing maternal adiposity was associated with excessive production of reactive oxygen species and a significant reduction in placental ATP levels in placentae with male and female fetuses. To explore the potential mechanism of placental mitochondrial dysfunction, levels of transcription factors regulating the expression of genes involved in electron transport and mitochondrial biogenesis were measured. Our in vitro studies showed significant reduction in mitochondrial respiration in cultured primary trophoblasts with increasing maternal obesity along with an abnormal metabolic flexibility of these cells. This reduction in placental mitochondrial respiration in pregnancies complicated by maternal obesity could compromise placental function and potentially underlie the increased susceptibility of these pregnancies to fetal demise in late gestation and to developmental programming.

  11. 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.

  12. Functional Genomic Analysis of Human Mitochondrial RNA Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley R. Wolf

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Both strands of human mtDNA are transcribed in continuous, multigenic units that are cleaved into the mature rRNAs, tRNAs, and mRNAs required for respiratory chain biogenesis. We sought to systematically identify nuclear-encoded proteins that contribute to processing of mtRNAs within the organelle. First, we devised and validated a multiplex MitoString assay that quantitates 27 mature and precursor mtDNA transcripts. Second, we applied MitoString profiling to evaluate the impact of silencing each of 107 mitochondrial-localized, predicted RNA-binding proteins. With the resulting data set, we rediscovered the roles of recently identified RNA-processing enzymes, detected unanticipated roles of known disease genes in RNA processing, and identified new regulatory factors. We demonstrate that one such factor, FASTKD4, modulates the half-lives of a subset of mt-mRNAs and associates with mtRNAs in vivo. MitoString profiling may be useful for diagnosing and deciphering the pathogenesis of mtDNA disorders.

  13. L-carnitine--metabolic functions and meaning in humans life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekala, Jolanta; Patkowska-Sokoła, Bozena; Bodkowski, Robert; Jamroz, Dorota; Nowakowski, Piotr; Lochyński, Stanisław; Librowski, Tadeusz

    2011-09-01

    L-Carnitine is an endogenous molecule involved in fatty acid metabolism, biosynthesized within the human body using amino acids: L-lysine and L-methionine, as substrates. L-Carnitine can also be found in many foods, but red meats, such as beef and lamb, are the best choices for adding carnitine into the diet. Good carnitine sources also include fish, poultry and milk. Essentially, L-carnitine transports the chains of fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, thus allowing the cells to break down fat and get energy from the stored fat reserves. Recent studies have started to shed light on the beneficial effects of L-carnitine when used in various clinical therapies. Because L-carnitine and its esters help reduce oxidative stress, they have been proposed as a treatment for many conditions, i.e. heart failure, angina and weight loss. For other conditions, such as fatigue or improving exercise performance, L-carnitine appears safe but does not seem to have a significant effect. The presented review of the literature suggests that continued studies are required before L-carnitine administration could be recommended as a routine procedure in the noted disorders. Further research is warranted in order to evaluate the biochemical, pharmacological, and physiological determinants of the response to carnitine supplementation, as well as to determine the potential benefits of carnitine supplements in selected categories of individuals who do not have fatty acid oxidation defects.

  14. Influence of cigarette smoking on human autonomic function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedermaier, O. N.; Smith, M. L.; Beightol, L. A.; Zukowska-Grojec, Z.; Goldstein, D. S.; Eckberg, D. L.

    1993-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Although cigarette smoking is known to lead to widespread augmentation of sympathetic nervous system activity, little is known about the effects of smoking on directly measured human sympathetic activity and its reflex control. METHODS AND RESULTS. We studied the acute effects of smoking two research-grade cigarettes on muscle sympathetic nerve activity and on arterial baroreflex-mediated changes of sympathetic and vagal neural cardiovascular outflows in eight healthy habitual smokers. Measurements were made during frequency-controlled breathing, graded Valsalva maneuvers, and carotid baroreceptor stimulation with ramped sequences of neck pressure and suction. Smoking provoked the following changes: Arterial pressure increased significantly, and RR intervals, RR interval spectral power at the respiratory frequency, and muscle sympathetic nerve activity decreased. Plasma nicotine levels increased significantly, but plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, and neuropeptide Y levels did not change. Peak sympathetic nerve activity during and systolic pressure overshoots after Valsalva straining increased significantly in proportion to increases of plasma nicotine levels. The average carotid baroreceptor-cardiac reflex relation shifted rightward and downward on arterial pressure and RR interval axes; average gain, operational point, and response range did not change. CONCLUSIONS. In habitual smokers, smoking acutely reduces baseline levels of vagal-cardiac nerve activity and completely resets vagally mediated arterial baroreceptor-cardiac reflex responses. Smoking also reduces muscle sympathetic nerve activity but augments increases of sympathetic activity triggered by brief arterial pressure reductions. This pattern of autonomic changes is likely to influence smokers' responses to acute arterial pressure reductions importantly.

  15. Markers of human sperm functions in the ICSI era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muratori, Monica; Marchiani, Sara; Tamburrino, Lara; Forti, Gianni; Luconi, Michaela; Baldi, Elisabetta

    2011-01-01

    The process of fertilization is crucial for species development and maintenance. Due to social and environmental problems, the number of infertile couples is increasing worldwide. Male and female factors contribute equally, and about 7% of men experiences problems in conceiving a child due to sperm defects. Assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs), including the most invasive intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), are the only available therapy for severe male factor infertility. Whether such techniques are associated with increased birth defects is still debated, and search for alternative options should go on. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the process of fertilization may lead to the development of new pharmacological strategies to treat infertile men and new male contraceptive agents. In addition, in view of the low predictive power of routine semen analysis, new tests aimed to better predict the fertilization potential could be developed. The present review summarizes current evidence of the molecular mechanisms involved in fertilization in human spermatozoa, with particular emphasis on the main post-ejaculatory maturation events, i.e. sperm capacitation and motility.

  16. Dopamine function and the efficiency of human movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gepshtein, Sergei; Li, Xiaoyan; Snider, Joseph; Plank, Markus; Lee, Dongpyo; Poizner, Howard

    2014-03-01

    To sustain successful behavior in dynamic environments, active organisms must be able to learn from the consequences of their actions and predict action outcomes. One of the most important discoveries in systems neuroscience over the last 15 years has been about the key role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in mediating such active behavior. Dopamine cell firing was found to encode differences between the expected and obtained outcomes of actions. Although activity of dopamine cells does not specify movements themselves, a recent study in humans has suggested that tonic levels of dopamine in the dorsal striatum may in part enable normal movement by encoding sensitivity to the energy cost of a movement, providing an implicit "motor motivational" signal for movement. We investigated the motivational hypothesis of dopamine by studying motor performance of patients with Parkinson disease who have marked dopamine depletion in the dorsal striatum and compared their performance with that of elderly healthy adults. All participants performed rapid sequential movements to visual targets associated with different risk and different energy costs, countered or assisted by gravity. In conditions of low energy cost, patients performed surprisingly well, similar to prescriptions of an ideal planner and healthy participants. As energy costs increased, however, performance of patients with Parkinson disease dropped markedly below the prescriptions for action by an ideal planner and below performance of healthy elderly participants. The results indicate that the ability for efficient planning depends on the energy cost of action and that the effect of energy cost on action is mediated by dopamine.

  17. Functional Organization of Human Sensorimotor Cortex for Speech Articulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Kristofer E.; Mesgarani, Nima; Johnson, Keith; Chang, Edward F.

    2013-01-01

    Speaking is one of the most complex actions we perform, yet nearly all of us learn to do it effortlessly. Production of fluent speech requires the precise, coordinated movement of multiple articulators (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue, larynx) over rapid time scales. Here, we used high-resolution, multi-electrode cortical recordings during the production of consonant-vowel syllables to determine the organization of speech sensorimotor cortex in humans. We found speech articulator representations that were somatotopically arranged on ventral pre- and post-central gyri and partially overlapping at individual electrodes. These representations were temporally coordinated as sequences during syllable production. Spatial patterns of cortical activity revealed an emergent, population-level representation, which was organized by phonetic features. Over tens of milliseconds, the spatial patterns transitioned between distinct representations for different consonants and vowels. These results reveal the dynamic organization of speech sensorimotor cortex during the generation of multi-articulator movements underlying our ability to speak. PMID:23426266

  18. Anatomical and functional characteristics of carotid sinus stimulation in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Querry, R. G.; Smith, S. A.; Stromstad, M.; Ide, K.; Secher, N. H.; Raven, P. B.

    2001-01-01

    Transmission characteristics of pneumatic pressure to the carotid sinus were evaluated in 19 subjects at rest and during exercise. Either a percutaneous fluid-filled (n = 12) or balloon-tipped catheter (n = 7) was placed at the carotid bifurcation to record internal transmission of external neck pressure/neck suction (NP/NS). Sustained, 5-s pulses, and rapid ramping pulse protocols (+40 to -80 Torr) were recorded. Transmission of pressure stimuli was less with the fluid-filled catheter compared with that of the balloon-tipped catheter (65% vs. 82% negative pressure, 83% vs. 89% positive pressure; P Anatomical location of the carotid sinus averaged 3.2 cm (left) and 3.6 cm (right) from the gonion of the mandible with a range of 0-7.5 cm. Transmission was not altered by exercise or Valsalva maneuver, but did vary depending on the position of the carotid sinus locus beneath the sealed chamber. These data indicate that transmission of external NP/NS was higher than previously recorded in humans, and anatomical variation of carotid sinus location and equipment design can affect transmission results.

  19. 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.

  20. Selenium glutathione peroxidase activities and thyroid functions in human individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellisola, G.; Calza Contin, M.; Ceccato, D.; Cinque, G.; Francia, G.; Galassini, S.; Liu, N. Q.; Lo Cascio, C.; Moschini, G.; Sussi, P. L.

    1996-04-01

    At least two enzymes are involved in metabolism of thyroid hormones. GSHPx protects thyrocyte from high H 2O 2 levels that are required for iodination of prohormones to form T4 in thyroid cell. Type I iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase (5'-D) catalyzes the deiodination of L-thyroxin (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone 3,3'-5-triiodothyronine (T 3) in liver, in kidney and in thyroid tissues. Circulating thyroid hormones, plasma Se levels, GSHPx activities in platelets and in plasma were investigated in 29 human individuals with increased thyroid mass. PIXE was applied to measure Se in 1 ml of plasma because we supposed patients were in a marginal carential status for Se. Plasma Se concentrations were compared with those of normal individuals. Correlation studies between plasma Se level and both GSHPx activities were carried out as well as between platelets and plasma GSHPx activities to verify the hypothesis of a marginal Se deficiency in patients. Significance of circulating thyroid hormones levels will be discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. Functional involvement of cerebral cortex in human narcolepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliviero, A; Della Marca, G; Tonali, P A; Pilato, F; Saturno, E; Dileone, M; Versace, V; Mennuni, G; Di Lazzaro, V

    2005-01-01

    The pathophysiology of human narcolepsy is still poorly understood. The hypoactivity of some neurotransmitter systems has been hypothesised on the basis of the canine model. To determine whether narcolepsy is associated with changes in excitability of the cerebral cortex, we assessed the excitability of the motor cortex with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in 13 patients with narcolepsy and in 12 control subjects. We used several TMS paradigms that can provide information on the excitability of the motor cortex. Resting and active motor thresholds were higher in narcoleptic patients than in controls and intracortical inhibition was more pronounced in narcoleptic patients. No changes in the other evaluated measures were detected. These results are consistent with an impaired balance between excitatory and inhibitory intracortical circuits in narcolepsy that leads to cortical hypoexcitability. We hypothesise that the deficiency of the excitatory hypocretin/orexin-neurotransmitter-system in narcolepsy is reflected in changes of cortical excitability since circuits originating in the lateral hypothalamus and in the basal forebrain project widely to the neocortex, including motor cortex. This abnormal excitability of cortical networks could be the physiological correlate of excessive daytime sleepiness and it could be the substrate for allowing dissociated states of wakefulness and sleep to emerge suddenly while patients are awake, which constitute the symptoms of narcolepsy.

  3. 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.

  4. Air Pollution by Hydrothermal Volcanism and Human Pulmonary Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Linhares

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess whether chronic exposure to volcanogenic air pollution by hydrothermal soil diffuse degassing is associated with respiratory defects in humans. This study was carried in the archipelago of the Azores, an area with active volcanism located in the Atlantic Ocean where Eurasian, African, and American lithospheric plates meet. A cross-sectional study was performed on a study group of 146 individuals inhabiting an area where volcanic activity is marked by active fumarolic fields and soil degassing (hydrothermal area and a reference group of 359 individuals inhabiting an area without these secondary manifestations of volcanism (nonhydrothermal area. Odds ratio (OR and 95% confidence intervals (CIs were adjusted for age, gender, fatigue, asthma, and smoking. The OR for restrictive defects and for exacerbation of obstructive defects (COPD in the hydrothermal area was 4.4 (95% CI 1.78–10.69 and 3.2 (95% CI 1.82–5.58, respectively. Increased prevalence of restrictions and all COPD severity ranks (mild, moderate, and severe was observed in the population from the hydrothermal area. These findings may assist health officials in advising and keeping up with these populations to prevent and minimize the risk of respiratory diseases.

  5. Osmotic stress affects functional properties of human melanoma cell lines

    CERN Document Server

    La Porta, Caterina A M; Pasini, Maria; Laurson, Lasse; Alava, Mikko J; Zapperi, Stefano; Amar, Martine Ben

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the role of microenvironment in cancer growth and metastasis is a key issue for cancer research. Here, we study the effect of osmotic pressure on the functional properties of primary and metastatic melanoma cell lines. In particular, we experimentally quantify individual cell motility and transmigration capability. We then perform a circular scratch assay to study how a cancer cell front invades an empty space. Our results show that primary melanoma cells are sensitive to a low osmotic pressure, while metastatic cells are less. To better understand the experimental results, we introduce and study a continuous model for the dynamics of a cell layer and a stochastic discrete model for cell proliferation and diffusion. The two models capture essential features of the experimental results and allow to make predictions for a wide range of experimentally measurable parameters.

  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. 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 (

  8. 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.

  9. Functional compartmentalization of the human superficial masseter muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Venegas, Rodrigo A; Biotti Picand, Jorge L; de la Rosa, Francisco J Berral

    2015-01-01

    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).

  10. 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.

  11. Human-mediated loss of phylogenetic and functional diversity in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'agata, Stéphanie; Mouillot, David; Kulbicki, Michel; Andréfouët, Serge; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cowman, Peter F; Kronen, Mecki; Pinca, Silvia; Vigliola, Laurent

    2014-03-03

    Beyond the loss of species richness, human activities may also deplete the breadth of evolutionary history (phylogenetic diversity) and the diversity of roles (functional diversity) carried out by species within communities, two overlooked components of biodiversity. Both are, however, essential to sustain ecosystem functioning and the associated provision of ecosystem services, particularly under fluctuating environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of human activities on the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of fish communities in coral reefs, while teasing apart the influence of biogeography and habitat along a gradient of human pressure across the Pacific Ocean. We detected nonlinear relationships with significant breaking points in the impact of human population density on phylogenetic and functional diversity of parrotfishes, at 25 and 15 inhabitants/km(2), respectively, while parrotfish species richness decreased linearly along the same population gradient. Over the whole range, species richness decreased by 11.7%, while phylogenetic and functional diversity dropped by 35.8% and 46.6%, respectively. Our results call for caution when using species richness as a benchmark for measuring the status of ecosystems since it appears to be less responsive to variation in human population densities than its phylogenetic and functional counterparts, potentially imperiling the functioning of coral reef ecosystems.

  12. Shape and function of the diaphysis of the human tibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristofolini, Luca; Angeli, Eva; Juszczyk, Jan M; Juszczyk, Mateusz M

    2013-07-26

    There is an agreement about the principle that bones are optimized to resist daily loads. This has never been ascertained for the human tibia. One of the main load components in the tibia in vivo is a cantilever load (with a linearly varying bending moment, with its largest component in the sagittal plane). investigated if the cross-section of the diaphysis and its variation along the tibia make it an optimized structure with respect to such loads. Six cadaveric tibias were CT-scanned. The geometry and material properties were extracted from the CT-scans, and analyzed along the tibias. A linear variation along the tibia was found for the second moments of area and inertia, and the section modulus in the sagittal plane (slightly less linear in the frontal plane). Conversely, the other properties (polar moments and cross-section are) were much less linear. This suggests that the structure is optimized to resist a bending moment that varies linearly along the tibia. The tibias were instrumented with 28 triaxial straingauges each. Strain was measured under cantilever loading in the sagittal and frontal planes, under quasi-constant-bending in the sagittal and frontal planes, under torsional loading, and with an axial force. The strain distribution was remarkably uniform when cantilever loading was applied in the sagittal plane and slightly less uniform when cantilever loading was applied in the frontal plane. Strain variations were one order of magnitude larger for all other loading configurations. This shows that the tibia is a uniform-stress structure (i.e. optimized) for cantilever loading.

  13. Structural and functional correlates of visual field asymmetry in the human brain by diffusion kurtosis MRI and functional MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Caitlin; Ho, Leon C; Murphy, Matthew C; Conner, Ian P; Wollstein, Gadi; Cham, Rakie; Chan, Kevin C

    2016-11-09

    Human visual performance has been observed to show superiority in localized regions of the visual field across many classes of stimuli. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to determine whether the visual information processing in the human brain is dependent on the location of stimuli in the visual field and the corresponding neuroarchitecture using blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion kurtosis MRI, respectively, in 15 healthy individuals at 3 T. In fMRI, visual stimulation to the lower hemifield showed stronger brain responses and larger brain activation volumes than the upper hemifield, indicative of the differential sensitivity of the human brain across the visual field. In diffusion kurtosis MRI, the brain regions mapping to the lower visual field showed higher mean kurtosis, but not fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity compared with the upper visual field. These results suggested the different distributions of microstructural organization across visual field brain representations. There was also a strong positive relationship between diffusion kurtosis and fMRI responses in the lower field brain representations. In summary, this study suggested the structural and functional brain involvements in the asymmetry of visual field responses in humans, and is important to the neurophysiological and psychological understanding of human visual information processing.

  14. The Human Placenta Project: placental structure, development, and function in real time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guttmacher, A E; Maddox, Y T; Spong, C Y

    2014-05-01

    Despite its crucial role in the health of both the fetus and the pregnant woman, the placenta is the least understood human organ. Since a growing body of evidence also underscores the importance of placental development in the lifelong health of both mother and offspring, this lack of knowledge about placental structure and function is particularly concerning. Given modern approaches and technologies and the ability to develop new methods, we propose a coordinated "Human Placenta Project", with the ultimate goal of understanding human placental structure, development, and function in real time.

  15. The Human Placenta Project: Placental Structure, Development, and Function in Real Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guttmacher, Alan E.; Maddox, Yvonne T.; Spong, Catherine Y.

    2014-01-01

    Despite its crucial role in the health of both the fetus and the pregnant woman, the placenta is the least understood human organ. Since a growing body of evidence also underscores the importance of placental development in the lifelong health of both mother and offspring, this lack of knowledge about placental structure and function is particularly concerning. Given modern approaches and technologies and the ability to develop new methods, we propose a coordinated “Human Placenta Project,” with the ultimate goal of understanding human placental structure, development, and function in real time. PMID:24661567

  16. 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.

  17. Integrating functional and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging for analysis of structure-function relationship in the human language network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria L Morgan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI to measure structural and functional connectivity in the human brain have motivated growing interest in characterizing the relationship between these measures in the distributed neural networks of the brain. In this study, we attempted an integration of structural and functional analyses of the human language circuits, including Wernicke's (WA, Broca's (BA and supplementary motor area (SMA, using a combination of blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD and diffusion tensor MRI. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Functional connectivity was measured by low frequency inter-regional correlations of BOLD MRI signals acquired in a resting steady-state, and structural connectivity was measured by using adaptive fiber tracking with diffusion tensor MRI data. The results showed that different language pathways exhibited different structural and functional connectivity, indicating varying levels of inter-dependence in processing across regions. Along the path between BA and SMA, the fibers tracked generally formed a single bundle and the mean radius of the bundle was positively correlated with functional connectivity. However, fractional anisotropy was found not to be correlated with functional connectivity along paths connecting either BA and SMA or BA and WA. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that structure-function relations in the human language circuits may involve a number of confounding factors that need to be addressed. Nevertheless, the insights gained from this work offers a useful guidance for continued studies that may provide a non-invasive means to evaluate brain network integrity in vivo for use in diagnosing and determining disease progression and recovery.

  18. Discoveries of rhythms in human biological functions: a historical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Björn

    2009-08-01

    Though there are very early and ancient observations on the daily variation in physiological and pathophysiological functions (e.g., bronchial asthma), more detailed and scientific reports were not published until the beginning of the 17th century. The aim of this review is to bring those reports to the attention of researchers of chronobiology and chronopharmacology. The ancient books and their contents, which constitute the basis for this review, are part of the personal library collection of the author; numerous observations and reports on biologic rhythms in man are presented here for the first time. The intent of this review is to demonstrate that the fields of chronobiology and chronopharmacology are not only a new and modern branch of science, but that it stands on the shoulders of wonderful and insightful observations and explanations made by our scientific forefathers. It is the hope that the reader will enjoy the richness of the ancient reports that contribute to our present knowledge achieved through astute early biologic rhythm research.

  19. Functional anatomy of the human lateral pterygoid muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Haddioui, A; Laison, F; Zouaoui, A; Bravetti, P; Gaudy, J F

    2005-11-01

    The authors studied the lateral pterygoid muscle of 179 fresh cadavers by both anatomical dissection and magnetic resonance imaging. The aim was to define the general morphology and the architectural organisation of the lateral pterygoid muscle. Dissection plane by plane, anatomical sections in different planes of space and dissections via multiple approaches on harvested blocks allowed the demonstration that the lateral pterygoid shows an architectural arrangement different from that which is usually described but similar to that, from its typically penniform structure of the masseter and the medial pterygoid. The anatomical situation of this muscle gives rise to numerous differences in opinion much to its morphology as to its functional examination. This study has shown that one part of the muscle has a typical penniform structure made up of alternating musculo-aponeurotic layers and by the absence of individual muscle bellies. In addition the particular shape of this muscle makes it useless to insert intramuscular electrodes in its only accessible portion, which makes the results of electromyographic studies debatable.

  20. Cytokines and macrophage function in humans - role of stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnenfeld, Gerald (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    We have begun this study to commence the determination of the role of mild chronic stress in the effects of space flight on macrophage/monocyte function, a component of the immune response. Medical students undergoing regular periods of stress and relaxation have been shown to be an excellent model for determining the effects of stress on immune responses. We have begun using this model using the macrophage/monocyte as model leukocyte. The monocyte/macrophage plays a central role in immunoregulation. The studies to be included in this three year project are the effects of stress on: (1) interactions of monocytes with microbes, (2) monocyte production of cytokines, (3) monocyte phagocytosis and activity, and (4) monocyte expression of cell surface antigens important in immune responses. Stress hormone levels will also be carried out to determine if there is a correlation between stress effects on immune responses and hormonal levels. Psychological testing to insure subjects are actually stressed or relaxed at the time of testing will also be carried out. The results obtained from the proposed studies should be comparable with space flight studies with whole animals and isolated cell cultures. When complete this study should allow the commencement of the establishment of the role of stress as one compartment of the induction of immune alterations by space flight.

  1. 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

  2. HOMOLOGY OF ASSESSMENT OF VISUAL FUNCTION IN HUMAN AND ANIMAL MODELS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compromised sensory function is an adverse consequence of toxic exposure. Given the frequency with which it occurs and the ability to measure sensory function in both humans and animals, sensory evaluations offer fertile ground for cross-species extrapolation. In some cases, id...

  3. 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.

  4. A large-scale functional approach to uncover human genes and pathways in Drosophila

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rong Xu; Yuan Zhuang; Tian Xu; Kejing Deng; Yi Zhu; Yue Wu; Jing Ren; Min Wan; Shouyuan Zhao; Xiaohui Wu; Min Han

    2008-01-01

    We demonstrate the feasibility of performing a systematic screen for human gene functions in Drosophila by assay-ing for their ability to induce overexpression phenotypes. Over 1 500 transgenic fly lines corresponding to 236 human genes have been established. In all, 51 lines are capable of eliciting a phenotype suggesting that the human genes are functional. These heterologous genes are functionally relevant as we have found a similar mutant phenotype caused either by a dominant negative mutant form of the human ribosomal protein L8 gene or by RNAi downregulation of the Drosophila RPL8. Significantly, the Drosophila RPL8 mutant can be rescued by wild-type human RPL8. We also provide genetic evidence that Drosophila RPL8 is a new member of the insulin signaling pathway. In summary, the functions of many human genes appear to be highly conserved, and the ability to identify them in Drosophila repre-sents a powerful genetic tool for large-scale analysis of human transcripts in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E; Brown, Jesse A; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shastri, Rupal; Marusak, Hilary A; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Berman, Susan; Hassan, Sonia S; Romero, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    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 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:22479152

  9. Cloning, Expression and Functional Characterization of In-House Prepared Human Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Rassouli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Human basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF plays an important role in cellular proliferation, embryonic development, and angiogenesis as well as in several signaling pathways of various cell types. bFGF is an essential growth factor for the maintenance of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs.Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, we present a straightforward method to produce biologically active recombinant human bFGF protein in E. coli that has long-term storage ability.Results: This procedure provides a rapid, cost effective purification of a soluble human bFGF protein that is biologically active and functional as measured in hESCs and hiPSCs in vitro and in vivo.Conclusion: The results show no significant difference in function between our in-house produced and commercialized bFGF.

  10. Functional changes of human quadriceps muscle injured by eccentric exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.V. Serrão

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated functional changes of quadriceps muscle after injury induced by eccentric exercise. Maximal isometric torque of quadriceps and the surface electromyography (root mean square, RMS, and median frequency, MDF of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO and vastus lateralis (VL muscles were examined before, immediately after and during the first 7 days after injury. Serum creatine kinase (CK levels and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI were used to identify muscle injury. The subject was used as her own control and percent refers to pre-injury data. Experiments were carried out with a sedentary 23-year-old female. Injury was induced by 4 bouts of 15 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions (angular velocity of 5º/s; range of motion from 40º to 110º of knee flexion. The isometric torque of the quadriceps (knee at 90º flexion decreased 52% immediately after eccentric exercise and recovered on the 5th day. The highest reduction of RMS occurred on the 2nd day after injury in both VL (63% and VMO (66% and only VL recovered to the pre-injury level on the 7th day. Immediately after injury, the MDF decreased by 5 and 3% (VMO and VL, respectively and recovered one day later. Serum CK levels increased by 109% on the 2nd day and were still increased by 32% on the 7th day. MRI showed large areas of injury especially in the deep region of quadriceps. In conclusion, eccentric exercise decreased the isometric torque and electromyographic signals of quadriceps muscle, which were recovered in one week, despite the muscle regeneration signals.

  11. Cerebrovascular and corticomotor function during progressive passive hyperthermia in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Emma Z; Cotter, James D; Wilson, Luke; Fan, Jui-Lin; Lucas, Samuel J E; Ainslie, Philip N

    2012-03-01

    The present study examined the integrative effects of passive heating on cerebral perfusion and alterations in central motor drive. Eight participants underwent passive hyperthermia [0.5°C increments in core temperature (Tc) from normothermia (37 ± 0.3°C) to their limit of thermal tolerance (T-LIM; 39.0 ± 0.4°C)]. Blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (CBFv) and respiratory responses were measured continuously. Arterial blood gases and blood pressure were obtained intermittently. At baseline and each Tc level, supramaximal femoral nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were performed to assess neuromuscular and cortical function, respectively. At T-LIM, measures were (in a randomized order) also made during a period of breathing 5% CO(2) gas to restore eucapnia (+5% CO(2)). Mean heating time was 179 ± 51 min, with each 0.5°C increment in Tc taking 40 ± 10 min. CBFv was reduced by ∼20% below baseline from +0.5°C until T-LIM. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of the knee extensors was decreased at T-LIM (-9 ± 10%; P ventilation (Ve; R(2) = 0.76; P < 0.05) and partial pressure of end-tidal CO(2) (Pet(CO(2)); R(2) = 0.63; P < 0.05) and to changes in CBFv (R(2) = 0.61; P = 0.067). Interestingly, although CBFv was not fully restored, MVC and cortical VA were restored towards baseline values during inhalation of 5% CO(2). These results indicate that descending voluntary drive becomes progressively impaired as Tc is increased, presumably due, in part, to reductions in CBFv and to hyperthermia-induced hyperventilation and subsequent hypocapnia.

  12. [New views on the functional morphology of human clitoris].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miko, M; Urban, L; Kajanová, M; Polák, S; Varga, I

    2014-04-01

    The clitoris is the female external sexual organ and is composed of erectile bodies. The distal portion of the vagina, clitoris and urethra form an integrated entity sui generis. All these components share a common vasculature and nerve supply and during sexual stimulation they respond as one functional unit. The clitoris is closely linked to the mechanism of sexual arousal in women. Glans has a dense network of receptors, innervated often with a several nerves at the same time - taking care of tactile sensitivity, thus, standing on the beginning of the journey, which culminates in orgasm. Nervus dorsalis clitoridis, which is a branch of n. pudendus, takes care of sensitive innervation. For blood supply is responsible a. clitoridis, which is a branch of a. pudenda interna. The most common congenital developmental anomalies of the clitoris include: clitoromegaly, penis-like clitoris and bifid clitoris. All, however, are among the relatively rare birth defects. Mechanism of orgasm gets attention between both laic and scientific community, although to this date there are speculations about its exact mechanism. There is relevant opinion, influenced by Freuds doctrine, which strictly recognizes two kinds of female orgasms - vaginal and clitoral, and, according to proponents of this theory, only the second mentioned is caused by stimulation of the clitoris. The second school unifies the term orgasm and claims that only clitoral stimulation (digital, penile, cunnilingus) and contraction of striated perineal muscle are responsible for orgasm, whether the glans (external part) or the body of the clitoris from the vaginal approach is stimulated. Therewithal, special term for mythical and still undocumented (despite many attempts and bold claims about its finding) G spot (named after Ernst Gräfenberg, a German doctor who predicted the existence of this place) is redundant. Important role in the regulation of female sexuality and responsiveness play a hormonal influences and

  13. A Phase-Dependent Hypothesis for Locomotor Functions of Human Foot Complex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lei Ren; David Howard; Lu-quan Ren; Chris Nester; Li-mei Tian

    2008-01-01

    The human foot is a very complex structure comprising numerous bones, muscles, ligaments and synovial joints. As the only component in contact with the ground, the foot complex delivers a variety of biomechanical functions during human locomotion, e.g. body support and propulsion, stability maintenance and impact absorption. These need the human foot to be rigid and damped to transmit ground reaction forces to the upper body and maintain body stability, and also to be compliant and resilient to moderate risky impacts and save energy. How does the human foot achieve these apparent conflicting functions? In this study, we propose a phase-dependent hypothesis for the overall locomotor functions of the human foot complex based on in-vivo measurements of human natural gait and simulation results of a mathematical foot model. We propse that foot functions are highly dependent on gait phase, which is a major characteristics of human locomotion. In early stance just after heel strike,the foot mainly works as a shock absorber by moderating high impacts using the viscouselastic heel pad in both. vertical and horizontal directions. In mid-stance phase(~80% of stance phase), the foot complex can be considered as a springy rocker,reserving external mechanical work using the foot arch whilst moving ground contact point forward along a curved path to maintain body stability. In late stance after heel off, the foot complex mainly serves as a force modulator like a gear box,modulating effective mechanical advantages of ankle plantiflexor muscles using metatarsal-phalangeal joints. A sound understanding of how diverse functions are implemented in a simple foot segment during human locomotion might be useful to gain insight into the overall foot locomotor functions and hence to facilitate clinical diagnosis, rehabilitation product design and humanoid robot development.

  14. A functional and structural investigation of the human fronto-basal volitional saccade network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiaan F W Neggers

    Full Text Available Almost all cortical areas are connected to the subcortical basal ganglia (BG through parallel recurrent inhibitory and excitatory loops, exerting volitional control over automatic behavior. As this model is largely based on non-human primate research, we used high resolution functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to investigate the functional and structural organization of the human (prefrontal cortico-basal network controlling eye movements. Participants performed saccades in darkness, pro- and antisaccades and observed stimuli during fixation. We observed several bilateral functional subdivisions along the precentral sulcus around the human frontal eye fields (FEF: a medial and lateral zone activating for saccades in darkness, a more fronto-medial zone preferentially active for ipsilateral antisaccades, and a large anterior strip along the precentral sulcus activating for visual stimulus presentation during fixation. The supplementary eye fields (SEF were identified along the medial wall containing all aforementioned functions. In the striatum, the BG area receiving almost all cortical input, all saccade related activation was observed in the putamen, previously considered a skeletomotor striatal subdivision. Activation elicited by the cue instructing pro or antisaccade trials was clearest in the medial FEF and right putamen. DTI fiber tracking revealed that the subdivisions of the human FEF complex are mainly connected to the putamen, in agreement with the fMRI findings. The present findings demonstrate that the human FEF has functional subdivisions somewhat comparable to non-human primates. However, the connections to and activation in the human striatum preferentially involve the putamen, not the caudate nucleus as is reported for monkeys. This could imply that fronto-striatal projections for the oculomotor system are fundamentally different between humans and monkeys. Alternatively, there could be a bias in published reports of

  15. The Human Resource function contribution to human development in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penny Abbott

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: This article discusses the extent to which human under-development in South Africa and the consequent societal problems of poverty and inequality are addressed by the work of HR practitioners. Research purpose: The purpose of the study was to provide empirical evidence of the appropriateness of current HR practice in South African socio-economic conditions and to make suggestions for improvement. Motivation for the study: Societal problems caused by human under-development are impacting more and more on organisations in South Africa. It is currently not known to what extent and in what way HR work contributes to the improvement of this situation. Research design and method: An interpretive approach was adopted. Qualitative methods within a basic qualitative study strategy were used, including interviewing and a focus group. A sample of 50 individual HR practitioners at various organisational levels was interviewed. Data were analysed by means of thematic analysis. Main findings: Societal problems caused by human under-development impact tremendously on the daily work of HR practitioners. Many HR practitioners do play an Employee Advocate role within the workplace but do not see this role as extending further to any degree. Some role models of more strategic responses were found. Practical/managerial implications: HR practitioners would better fulfil their mandate to work for the success of their organisation if they took pro-active steps to accelerate human development outside their organisations. Contribution/value-add: Empirical evidence is presented to support efforts to broaden the focus of HR work to human development. This linkage has not previously been researched.

  16. Functional analysis of carboxylesterase in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived enterocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabeya, Tomoki; Matsumura, Wakana; Iwao, Takahiro; Hosokawa, Masakiyo; Matsunaga, Tamihide

    2017-04-22

    Human carboxylesterase (CES) is a key esterase involved in the metabolism and biotransformation of drugs. Hydrolysis activity in the human small intestine is predominantly mediated by CES2A1 rather than CES1A. In drug development studies, Caco-2 cells are commonly used as a model to predict drug absorption in the human small intestine. However, the expression patterns of CES2A1 and CES1A in Caco-2 cells differ from those in the human small intestine. There are also species-specific differences in CES expression patterns between human and experimental animals. Furthermore, it is difficult to obtain primary human intestinal epithelial cells. Therefore, there is currently no system that can precisely predict features of drug absorption, such as CES-mediated metabolism, in the human intestine. To develop a novel system to evaluate intestinal pharmacokinetics, we analyzed CES expression and function in human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived enterocytes. CES2A1 mRNA and protein levels in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes were comparable to Caco-2 cells, whereas CES1A levels were lower in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes compared with Caco-2 cells. p-nitrophenyl acetate hydrolysis in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes was significantly inhibited by the CES2A1-specific inhibitor telmisartan. Hydrolysis levels of the CES2A1-specific substrate aspirin were similar in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes and Caco-2 cells, whereas hydrolysis of the CES1A-specific substrate monoethylglycylxylidine was observed in Caco-2 cells but not in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes. These findings demonstrated that the expression and activity of CES isozymes in human iPS cell-derived enterocytes are more similar to the human small intestine compared with Caco-2 cells.

  17. Application of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to the Study of Brain Function in Humans and Animal Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hak Yeong; Seo, Kain; Jeon, Hong Jin; Lee, Unjoo; Lee, Hyosang

    2017-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a noninvasive optical imaging technique that indirectly assesses neuronal activity by measuring changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin in tissues using near-infrared light. fNIRS has been used not only to investigate cortical activity in healthy human subjects and animals but also to reveal abnormalities in brain function in patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders and in animals that exhibit disease conditions. Because of its safety, quietness, resistance to motion artifacts, and portability, fNIRS has become a tool to complement conventional imaging techniques in measuring hemodynamic responses while a subject performs diverse cognitive and behavioral tasks in test settings that are more ecologically relevant and involve social interaction. In this review, we introduce the basic principles of fNIRS and discuss the application of this technique in human and animal studies. PMID:28835022

  18. 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.

  19. Escherichia coli RecG functionally suppresses human Bloom syndrome phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Killen Michael W

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Defects in the human BLM gene cause Bloom syndrome, notable for early development of tumors in a broad variety of tissues. On the basis of sequence similarity, BLM has been identified as one of the five human homologs of RecQ from Escherichia coli. Nevertheless, biochemical characterization of the BLM protein indicates far greater functional similarity to the E. coli RecG protein and there is no known RecG homolog in human cells. To explore the possibility that the shared biochemistries of BLM and RecG may represent an example of convergent evolution of cellular function where in humans BLM has evolved to fulfill the genomic stabilization role of RecG, we determined whether expression of RecG in human BLM-deficient cells could suppress established functional cellular Bloom syndrome phenotypes. We found that RecG can indeed largely suppress both the definitive elevated sister chromatid exchange phenotype and the more recently demonstrated gene cluster instability phenotype of BLM-deficient cells. In contrast, expression of RecG has no impact on either of these phenotypes in human cells with functional BLM protein. These results suggest that the combination of biochemical activities shared by RecG and BLM fill the same evolutionary niche in preserving genomic integrity without requiring exactly identical molecular mechanisms.

  20. Escherichia coli RecG functionally suppresses human Bloom syndrome phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Michael W; Stults, Dawn M; Wilson, William A; Pierce, Andrew J

    2012-10-30

    Defects in the human BLM gene cause Bloom syndrome, notable for early development of tumors in a broad variety of tissues. On the basis of sequence similarity, BLM has been identified as one of the five human homologs of RecQ from Escherichia coli. Nevertheless, biochemical characterization of the BLM protein indicates far greater functional similarity to the E. coli RecG protein and there is no known RecG homolog in human cells. To explore the possibility that the shared biochemistries of BLM and RecG may represent an example of convergent evolution of cellular function where in humans BLM has evolved to fulfill the genomic stabilization role of RecG, we determined whether expression of RecG in human BLM-deficient cells could suppress established functional cellular Bloom syndrome phenotypes. We found that RecG can indeed largely suppress both the definitive elevated sister chromatid exchange phenotype and the more recently demonstrated gene cluster instability phenotype of BLM-deficient cells. In contrast, expression of RecG has no impact on either of these phenotypes in human cells with functional BLM protein. These results suggest that the combination of biochemical activities shared by RecG and BLM fill the same evolutionary niche in preserving genomic integrity without requiring exactly identical molecular mechanisms.

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluation of high-throughput functional categorization of human disease genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jianrong

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biological data that are well-organized by an ontology, such as Gene Ontology, enables high-throughput availability of the semantic web. It can also be used to facilitate high throughput classification of biomedical information. However, to our knowledge, no evaluation has been published on automating classifications of human diseases genes using Gene Ontology. In this study, we evaluate automated classifications of well-defined human disease genes using their Gene Ontology annotations and compared them to a gold standard. This gold standard was independently conceived by Valle's research group, and contains 923 human disease genes organized in 14 categories of protein function. Results Two automated methods were applied to investigate the classification of human disease genes into independently pre-defined categories of protein function. One method used the structure of Gene Ontology by pre-selecting 74 Gene Ontology terms assigned to 11 protein function categories. The second method was based on the similarity of human disease genes clustered according to the information-theoretic distance of their Gene Ontology annotations. Compared to the categorization of human disease genes found in the gold standard, our automated methods can achieve an overall 56% and 47% precision with 62% and 71% recall respectively. However, approximately 15% of the studied human disease genes remain without GO annotations. Conclusion Automated methods can recapitulate a significant portion of classification of the human disease genes. The method using information-theoretic distance performs slightly better on the precision with some loss in recall. For some protein function categories, such as 'hormone' and 'transcription factor', the automated methods perform particularly well, achieving precision and recall levels above 75%. In summary, this study demonstrates that for semantic webs, methods to automatically classify or analyze a majority of

  3. Functional characterisation of human synaptic genes expressed in the Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zografos, Lysimachos; Tang, Joanne; Hesse, Franziska; Wanker, Erich E; Li, Ka Wan; Smit, August B; Davies, R Wayne; Armstrong, J Douglas

    2016-05-15

    Drosophila melanogaster is an established and versatile model organism. Here we describe and make available a collection of transgenic Drosophila strains expressing human synaptic genes. The collection can be used to study and characterise human synaptic genes and their interactions and as controls for mutant studies. It was generated in a way that allows the easy addition of new strains, as well as their combination. In order to highlight the potential value of the collection for the characterisation of human synaptic genes we also use two assays, investigating any gain-of-function motor and/or cognitive phenotypes in the strains in this collection. Using these assays we show that among the strains made there are both types of gain-of-function phenotypes investigated. As an example, we focus on the three strains expressing human tyrosine protein kinase Fyn, the small GTPase Rap1a and human Arc, respectively. Of the three, the first shows a cognitive gain-of-function phenotype while the second a motor gain-of-function phenotype. By contrast, Arc, which has no Drosophila ortholog, shows no gain-of-function phenotype.

  4. Functional characterisation of human synaptic genes expressed in the Drosophila brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lysimachos Zografos

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila melanogaster is an established and versatile model organism. Here we describe and make available a collection of transgenic Drosophila strains expressing human synaptic genes. The collection can be used to study and characterise human synaptic genes and their interactions and as controls for mutant studies. It was generated in a way that allows the easy addition of new strains, as well as their combination. In order to highlight the potential value of the collection for the characterisation of human synaptic genes we also use two assays, investigating any gain-of-function motor and/or cognitive phenotypes in the strains in this collection. Using these assays we show that among the strains made there are both types of gain-of-function phenotypes investigated. As an example, we focus on the three strains expressing human tyrosine protein kinase Fyn, the small GTPase Rap1a and human Arc, respectively. Of the three, the first shows a cognitive gain-of-function phenotype while the second a motor gain-of-function phenotype. By contrast, Arc, which has no Drosophila ortholog, shows no gain-of-function phenotype.

  5. Human amniotic fluid stem cells as a model for functional studies of genes involved in human genetic diseases or oncogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosner, Margit; Dolznig, Helmut; Schipany, Katharina; Mikula, Mario; Brandau, Oliver; Hengstschläger, Markus

    2011-09-01

    Besides their putative usage for therapies, stem cells are a promising tool for functional studies of genes involved in human genetic diseases or oncogenesis. For this purpose induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be derived from patients harbouring specific mutations. In contrast to adult stem cells, iPS cells are pluripotent and can efficiently be grown in culture. However, iPS cells are modulated due to the ectopic induction of pluripotency, harbour other somatic mutations accumulated during the life span of the source cells, exhibit only imperfectly cleared epigenetic memory of the source cell, and are often genomically instable. In addition, iPS cells from patients only allow the investigation of mutations, which are not prenatally lethal. Embryonic stem (ES) cells have a high proliferation and differentiation potential, but raise ethical issues. Human embryos, which are not transferred in the course of in vitro fertilization, because of preimplantation genetic diagnosis of a genetic defect, are still rarely donated for the establishment of ES cell lines. In addition, their usage for studies on gene functions for oncogenesis is hampered by the fact the ES cells are already tumorigenic per se. In 2003 amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells have been discovered, which meanwhile have been demonstrated to harbour the potential to differentiate into cells of all three germ layers. Monoclonal human AFS cell lines derived from amniocenteses have a high proliferative potential, are genomically stable and are not associated with ethical controversies. Worldwide amniocenteses are performed for routine human genetic diagnosis. We here discuss how generation and banking of monoclonal human AFS cell lines with specific chromosomal aberrations or monogenic disease mutations would allow to study the functional consequences of disease causing mutations. In addition, recently a protocol for efficient and highly reproducible siRNA-mediated long-term knockdown of endogenous gene

  6. Spontaneous Functional Network Dynamics and Associated Structural Substrates in the Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuhong eLiao

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent imaging connectomics studies have demonstrated that the spontaneous human brain functional networks derived from resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI include many non-trivial topological properties, such as highly efficient small-world architecture and densely connected hub regions. However, very little is known about dynamic functional connectivity (D-FC patterns of spontaneous human brain networks during rest and about how these spontaneous brain dynamics are constrained by the underlying structural connectivity. Here, we combined sub-second multiband R-fMRI data with graph-theoretical approaches to comprehensively investigate the dynamic characteristics of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks, and then employed diffusion imaging data in the same participants to further explore the associated structural substrates. At the connection level, we found that human whole-brain D-FC patterns spontaneously fluctuated over time, while homotopic D-FC exhibited high connectivity strength and low temporal variability. At the network level, dynamic functional networks exhibited time-varying but evident small-world and assortativity architecture, with several regions (e.g., insula, sensorimotor cortex and medial prefrontal cortex emerging as functionally persistent hubs (i.e., highly connected regions while possessing large temporal variability in their degree centrality. Finally, the temporal characteristics (i.e., strength and variability of the connectional and nodal properties of the dynamic brain networks were significantly associated with their structural counterparts. Collectively, we demonstrate the economical, efficient and flexible characteristics of dynamic functional coordination in large-scale human brain networks during rest, and highlight their relationship with underlying structural connectivity, which deepens our understandings of spontaneous brain network dynamics in humans.

  7. Purification and Characterization of Progenitor and Mature Human Astrocytes Reveals Transcriptional and Functional Differences with Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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; Gephart, Melanie G Hayden; Barres, Ben A

    2016-01-01

    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 abilities similar to those of murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to existing observations in mice, we found that mature human astrocytes respond robustly to glutamate. Next, we performed RNA sequencing of healthy human astrocytes along with astrocytes from epileptic and tumor foci and compared these to human neurons, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells (available at http://www.brainrnaseq.org). With these profiles, we identified novel human-specific astrocyte genes and discovered a transcriptome-wide transformation between astrocyte precursor cells and mature post-mitotic astrocytes. These data represent some of the first cell-type-specific molecular profiles of the healthy and diseased human brain.

  8. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the primary motor cortex in humans: response to increased functional demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khushu, S; Kumaran, S S; Tripathi, R P; Gupta, A; Jain, P C; Jain, V

    2001-06-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been performed on 20 right handed volunteers at 1.5 Tesla using echo planar imaging (EPI) protocol. Index finger tapping invoked localized activation in the primary motor area. Consistent and highly reproducible activation in the primary motor area was observed in six different sessions of a volunteer over a period of one month. Increased tapping rate resulted in increase in the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal intensity as well as the volume/area of activation (pixels) in the contralateral primary motor area up to tapping rate of 120 taps/min (2 Hz), beyond which it saturates. Activation in supplementary motor area was also observed. The obtained results are correlated to increased functional demands.

  9. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the primary motor cortex in humans: response to increased functional demands

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Khushu; S S Kumaran; R P Tripathi; A Gupta; P C Jain; V Jain

    2001-06-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been performed on 20 right handed volunteers at 1.5 Tesla using echo planar imaging (EPI) protocol. Index finger tapping invoked localized activation in the primary motor area. Consistent and highly reproducible activation in the primary motor area was observed in six different sessions of a volunteer over a period of one month. Increased tapping rate resulted in increase in the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal intensity as well as the volume/area of activation (pixels) in the contralateral primary motor area up to tapping rate of 120 taps/min (2 Hz), beyond which it saturates. Activation in supplementary motor area was also observed. The obtained results are correlated to increased functional demands.

  10. 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

  11. Mapping the functional neuroanatomy of spatial neglect and human parietal lobe functions: progress and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2013-08-01

    Spatial neglect is generally defined by various deficits in processing information from one (e.g., left) side of space contralateral to focal (e.g., right) hemisphere damage. Although classically associated with parietal lobe functions, there is now compelling evidence that neglect can follow lesions in many different cortical and subcortical sites, suggesting a dysfunction in distributed brain networks. In addition, neglect is likely to result from a combination of distinct deficits that co-occur due to concomitant damage affecting juxtaposed brain areas and their connections, but the exact nature of core deficits and their neural substrates still remains unclear. The present review describes recent progress in identifying functional components of the neglect syndrome and relating them to distinct subregions of parietal cortex. A comprehensive understanding of spatial neglect will require a more precise definition of cognitive processes implicated in different behavioral manifestations, as well as meticulous mapping of these processes onto specific brain circuits, while taking into account functional changes in activity that may arise in structurally intact areas subsequent to damage in distant portions of the relevant networks. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  12. 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.

  13. Land use change around protected areas: management to balance human needs and ecological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFries, Ruth; Hansen, Andrew; Turner, B L; Reid, Robin; Liu, Jianguo

    2007-06-01

    Protected areas throughout the world are key for conserving biodiversity, and land use is key for providing food, fiber, and other ecosystem services essential for human sustenance. As land use change isolates protected areas from their surrounding landscapes, the challenge is to identify management opportunities that maintain ecological function while minimizing restrictions on human land use. Building on the case studies in this Invited Feature and on ecological principles, we identify opportunities for regional land management that maintain both ecological function in protected areas and human land use options, including preserving crucial habitats and migration corridors, and reducing dependence of local human populations on protected area resources. Identification of appropriate and effective management opportunities depends on clear definitions of: (1) the biodiversity attributes of concern; (2) landscape connections to delineate particular locations with strong ecological interactions between the protected area and its surrounding landscape; and (3) socioeconomic dynamics that determine current and future use of land resources in and around the protected area.

  14. Functional characterization of the antibiotic resistance reservoir in the human microflora

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, Morten; Church, George M; Dantas, Gautam

    2010-01-01

    The increasing levels of multi-drug resistance in human pathogenic bacteria are compromising our ability to treat infectious disease. Since antibiotic resistance determinants are readily exchanged between bacteria through lateral gene transfer, there is an increasing interest in investigating...... reservoirs of antibiotic resistance accessible to pathogens. Due to the high likelihood of contact and genetic exchange with pathogens during disease progression, the human microflora warrants special attention as perhaps the most accessible reservoir of resistance genes. Indeed, numerous previous studies...... have demonstrated substantial antibiotic resistance in cultured isolates from the human microflora. By applying metagenomic functional selections, we recently demonstrated that the functional repertoire of resistance genes in the human microbiome is much more diverse than suggested using previous...

  15. An extended set of yeast-based functional assays accurately identifies human disease mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Song; Yang, Fan; Tan, Guihong; Costanzo, Michael; Oughtred, Rose; Hirschman, Jodi; Theesfeld, Chandra L.; Bansal, Pritpal; Sahni, Nidhi; Yi, Song; Yu, Analyn; Tyagi, Tanya; Tie, Cathy; Hill, David E.; Vidal, Marc; Andrews, Brenda J.; Boone, Charles; Dolinski, Kara; Roth, Frederick P.

    2016-01-01

    We can now routinely identify coding variants within individual human genomes. A pressing challenge is to determine which variants disrupt the function of disease-associated genes. Both experimental and computational methods exist to predict pathogenicity of human genetic variation. However, a systematic performance comparison between them has been lacking. Therefore, we developed and exploited a panel of 26 yeast-based functional complementation assays to measure the impact of 179 variants (101 disease- and 78 non-disease-associated variants) from 22 human disease genes. Using the resulting reference standard, we show that experimental functional assays in a 1-billion-year diverged model organism can identify pathogenic alleles with significantly higher precision and specificity than current computational methods. PMID:26975778

  16. A new theory of health promoting schools based on human functioning, school organisation and pedagogic practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Wolfgang A; Aveyard, Paul

    2003-03-01

    This paper outlines a novel explanatory frame for understanding how schools may intervene in order to promote pupils' health. The new theory is synthesised from an Aristotelian interpretation of human functioning and a theory of cultural transmission. In keeping with recent influential theoretical developments, it is proposed that health has its roots in human functioning. It follows from this concept that the promotion of pupils' health is facilitated by the promotion of pupil functioning and the primary mechanisms through which schools promote pupil functioning and, hence, health, are through the influences of school organisation, curriculum development and pedagogic practice on pupil development. According to the new theory, good human functioning is dependent on the realisation of a number of identified essential human capacities and the meeting of identified fundamental human needs. Two essential capacities, the capacity for practical reasoning and the capacity for affiliation with other humans, plan and organise the other essential capacities. The realisation of these two capacities should, it is argued, be the primary focus of health promoting schools. Additionally, health promoting schools should ensure that fundamental human needs concerning non-useful pain and information about the body are met. A number of testable hypotheses are generated from the new theory. Comparisons with existing interpretations of health promoting schools indicate there are similarities in the actions schools should take to promote health. However, the new theory can, uniquely, be used to predict which pupils will enjoy the best health at school and in adulthood. Additionally, according to the new theory, schools do not need designated health education classes or teaching staff with specialist health education roles in order to be health promoting. It is concluded that the new theory may have a number of advantages over existing theories at both the policy and intervention levels.

  17. A sensitive RNase protection assay to detect transcripts from potentially functional human endogenous L1 retrotransposons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woodcock, D M; Williamson, M R; Doherty, J P

    1996-01-01

    A high background of read-through transcripts from degenerate human L1 retrotransposons is present in almost all human cell types. This prevents the detection of RNA transcripts from potentially functional elements. To overcome this, we have developed an RNase protection assay based on the recons...... transcripts from divergent L1 families but are either discrete shorter transcripts or specifically processed products from longer initial transcripts....

  18. Bioengineered human IAS reconstructs with functional and molecular properties similar to intact IAS

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Jagmohan; Rattan, Satish

    2012-01-01

    Because of its critical importance in rectoanal incontinence, we determined the feasibility to reconstruct internal anal sphincter (IAS) from human IAS smooth muscle cells (SMCs) with functional and molecular attributes similar to the intact sphincter. The reconstructs were developed using SMCs from the circular smooth muscle layer of the human IAS, grown in smooth muscle differentiation media under sterile conditions in Sylgard-coated tissue culture plates with central Sylgard posts. The bas...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Fusion and Fission of Cognitive Functions in the Human Parietal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, Gina F.; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    How is higher cognitive function organized in the human parietal cortex? A century of neuropsychology and 30 years of functional neuroimaging has implicated the parietal lobe in many different verbal and nonverbal cognitive domains. There is little clarity, however, on how these functions are organized, that is, where do these functions coalesce (implying a shared, underpinning neurocomputation) and where do they divide (indicating different underlying neural functions). Until now, there has been no multi-domain synthesis in order to reveal where there is fusion or fission of functions in the parietal cortex. This aim was achieved through a large-scale activation likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis of 386 studies (3952 activation peaks) covering 8 cognitive domains. A tripartite, domain-general neuroanatomical division and 5 principles of cognitive organization were established, and these are discussed with respect to a unified theory of parietal functional organization. PMID:25205661

  3. Functional human artificial chromosomes are generated and stably maintained in human embryonic stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandegar, Mohammad A.; Moralli, Daniela; Khoja, Suhail; Cowley, Sally; Chan, David Y.L.; Yusuf, Mohammed; Mukherjee, Sayandip; Blundell, Michael P.; Volpi, Emanuela V.; Thrasher, Adrian J.; James, William; Monaco, Zoia L.

    2011-01-01

    We present a novel and efficient non-integrating gene expression system in human embryonic stem cells (hESc) utilizing human artificial chromosomes (HAC), which behave as autonomous endogenous host chromosomes and segregate correctly during cell division. HAC are important vectors for investigating the organization and structure of the kinetochore, and gene complementation. HAC have so far been obtained in immortalized or tumour-derived cell lines, but never in stem cells, thus limiting their potential therapeutic application. In this work, we modified the herpes simplex virus type 1 amplicon system for efficient transfer of HAC DNA into two hESc. The deriving stable clones generated green fluorescent protein gene-expressing HAC at high frequency, which were stably maintained without selection for 3 months. Importantly, no integration of the HAC DNA was observed in the hESc lines, compared with the fibrosarcoma-derived control cells, where the exogenous DNA frequently integrated in the host genome. The hESc retained pluripotency, differentiation and teratoma formation capabilities. This is the first report of successfully generating gene expressing de novo HAC in hESc, and is a significant step towards the genetic manipulation of stem cells and potential therapeutic applications. PMID:21593218

  4. 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.

  5. The functional neuroanatomy of the human orbitofrontal cortex: evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kringelbach, Morten L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2004-04-01

    The human orbitofrontal cortex is an important brain region for the processing of rewards and punishments, which is a prerequisite for the complex and flexible emotional and social behaviour which contributes to the evolutionary success of humans. Yet much remains to be discovered about the functions of this key brain region, and new evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical neuropsychology is affording new insights into the different functions of the human orbitofrontal cortex. We review the neuroanatomical and neuropsychological literature on the human orbitofrontal cortex, and propose two distinct trends of neural activity based on a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. One is a mediolateral distinction, whereby medial orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to monitoring the reward value of many different reinforcers, whereas lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to the evaluation of punishers which may lead to a change in ongoing behaviour. The second is a posterior-anterior distinction with more complex or abstract reinforcers (such as monetary gain and loss) represented more anteriorly in the orbitofrontal cortex than simpler reinforcers such as taste or pain. Finally, we propose new neuroimaging methods for obtaining further evidence on the localisation of function in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

  6. 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.

  7. Decoding lifespan changes of the human brain using resting-state functional connectivity MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubin Wang

    Full Text Available The development of large-scale functional brain networks is a complex, lifelong process that can be investigated using resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI. In this study, we aimed to decode the developmental dynamics of the whole-brain functional network in seven decades (8-79 years of the human lifespan. We first used parametric curve fitting to examine linear and nonlinear age effect on the resting human brain, and then combined manifold learning and support vector machine methods to predict individuals' "brain ages" from rs-fcMRI data. We found that age-related changes in interregional functional connectivity exhibited spatially and temporally specific patterns. During brain development from childhood to senescence, functional connections tended to linearly increase in the emotion system and decrease in the sensorimotor system; while quadratic trajectories were observed in functional connections related to higher-order cognitive functions. The complex patterns of age effect on the whole-brain functional network could be effectively represented by a low-dimensional, nonlinear manifold embedded in the functional connectivity space, which uncovered the inherent structure of brain maturation and aging. Regression of manifold coordinates with age further showed that the manifold representation extracted sufficient information from rs-fcMRI data to make prediction about individual brains' functional development levels. Our study not only gives insights into the neural substrates that underlie behavioral and cognitive changes over age, but also provides a possible way to quantitatively describe the typical and atypical developmental progression of human brain function using rs-fcMRI.

  8. Reliability of spontaneous electrodermal activity in humans as a function of sleep stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freixa i Baqué, E

    1983-01-01

    This study was designed to examine the reliability of spontaneous electrodermal activity (EDA) as a function of the sleep stages in human subjects. Recordings were made from 10 volunteer paid male students during four complete nights. The results show that: (a) reliability of EDA varies as a function of sleep stages for both frequency and amplitude parameters although in a different way: frequency reliability shows a U-shape curve whereas amplitude reliability grows monotically with the depth of sleep and; (b) paradoxical sleep appears to be the most reliable stage for both frequency and amplitude variables. These results are compared to those obtained in waking human subjects and in sleeping cats.

  9. 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.

  10. Ingestion of broccoli sprouts does not improve endothelial function in humans with hypertension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Buris; Bellostas Muguerza, Natalia; Petersen, Atheline Major

    2010-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Ingestion of glucosinolates has previously been reported to improve endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats, possibly because of an increase in NO availability in the endothelium due to an attenuation of oxidative stress; in our study we tried to see if this also would...... be the case in humans suffering from essential hypertension. METHODS: 40 hypertensive individuals without diabetes and with normal levels of cholesterol were examined. The participants were randomized either to ingest 10 g dried broccoli sprouts, a natural donor of glucosinolates with high in vitro...... endothelial function in the presence of hypertension in humans. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00252018....

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosnovtsev, Stanislav V; Sandoval-Jaime, Carlos; Parra, Gabriel I; Tin, Christine M; Jones, Ronald W; Soden, Jo; Barnes, Donna; Freeth, Jim; Smith, Alvin W; Green, Kim Y

    2017-02-14

    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.IMPORTANCE Vesiviruses, such as San Miguel sea lion virus and feline calicivirus, are typically associated with infection in animal hosts. Following the accidental infection of a laboratory worker with San Miguel sea lion virus, a related virus was isolated in cell culture and named Hom-1. In this study, we found that Hom-1 could be propagated in a number of human cell lines, making it the first calicivirus to replicate efficiently in cultured human cells. Screening of a library of human cell surface membrane proteins showed that the virus could utilize human junctional adhesion molecule 1 as a receptor to enter cells and initiate replication. The Hom-1 virus presents a new

  13. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-10-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  14. Functional expression of human heme oxygenase-1 gene in renal structure of spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Alvin I; Quan, Shou; Yang, Liming; Synghal, Arika; Abraham, Nader G

    2003-05-01

    Heme oxygenase (HO), by catabolizing heme to bile pigments, regulates the levels and activity of cellular hemoprotein and HO activity. We examined the effect of delivery of the human HO-1 gene on cellular heme in renal tissue using a retroviral vector. We used a single intracardiac injection of the concentrated infectious viral particles in 5-day-old spontaneously hypertensive rats; 25 were transduced with empty vector and 25 were transduced with the human HO-1 gene. Functional expression of human and rat HO-1 was measured after 2 and 4 weeks. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that human HO-1 mRNA was expressed as early as 2 weeks, with the highest levels in the kidney. Western blot analysis showed distribution of human HO-1 protein in rat kidney structures, predominantly in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle as well as in proximal tubules and preglomerular arterioles. These areas also demonstrated higher HO activity as measured by increased conversion of heme to bilirubin and carbon monoxide. Functional expression of the human HO-1 gene was associated with a decrease in blood pressure in 4- and 8-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats. Compared with nontransduced rats, human HO-1 gene overexpression in transduced rats was associated with a 35% decrease in urinary 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, a potent vasoconstrictor and an inhibitor of tubular Na(+) transport, which may be related to the decrease in blood pressure.

  15. Weak functional connectivity in the human fetal brain prior to preterm birth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E.; Scheinost, Dustin; Manning, Janessa H.; Grove, Lauren E.; Hect, Jasmine; Marshall, Narcis; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Berman, Susan; Pappas, Athina; Yeo, Lami; Hassan, Sonia S.; Constable, R. Todd; Ment, Laura R.; Romero, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    It has been suggested that neurological problems more frequent in those born preterm are expressed prior to birth, but owing to technical limitations, this has been difficult to test in humans. We applied novel fetal resting-state functional MRI to measure brain function in 32 human fetuses in utero and found that systems-level neural functional connectivity was diminished in fetuses that would subsequently be born preterm. Neural connectivity was reduced in a left-hemisphere pre-language region, and the degree to which connectivity of this left language region extended to right-hemisphere homologs was positively associated with the time elapsed between fMRI assessment and delivery. These results provide the first evidence that altered functional connectivity in the preterm brain is identifiable before birth. They suggest that neurodevelopmental disorders associated with preterm birth may result from neurological insults that begin in utero. PMID:28067865

  16. Weak functional connectivity in the human fetal brain prior to preterm birth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E; Scheinost, Dustin; Manning, Janessa H; Grove, Lauren E; Hect, Jasmine; Marshall, Narcis; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Berman, Susan; Pappas, Athina; Yeo, Lami; Hassan, Sonia S; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R; Romero, Roberto

    2017-01-09

    It has been suggested that neurological problems more frequent in those born preterm are expressed prior to birth, but owing to technical limitations, this has been difficult to test in humans. We applied novel fetal resting-state functional MRI to measure brain function in 32 human fetuses in utero and found that systems-level neural functional connectivity was diminished in fetuses that would subsequently be born preterm. Neural connectivity was reduced in a left-hemisphere pre-language region, and the degree to which connectivity of this left language region extended to right-hemisphere homologs was positively associated with the time elapsed between fMRI assessment and delivery. These results provide the first evidence that altered functional connectivity in the preterm brain is identifiable before birth. They suggest that neurodevelopmental disorders associated with preterm birth may result from neurological insults that begin in utero.

  17. 50-60 Hz electric and magnetic field effects on cognitive function in humans: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crasson, M

    2003-07-01

    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)

  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.......059) to limit mass-specific maximal oxidative phosphorylation capacity. These data suggest that 9-11 days of exposure to high altitude do not markedly modify integrated measures of mitochondrial functional capacity in skeletal muscle despite significant decrements in the concentrations of enzymes involved...

  19. 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...... a role in the cellular immune system, may also function in mitochondrial RNA turnover....

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 mor...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Andras eJakab; Ernst eSchwartz; Gregor eKasprian; Gerlinde Maria Gruber; Daniela ePrayer; Veronika eSchöpf; Georg eLangs

    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 data of 32 fetuses with no detectable morphologi...

  2. 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

  3. Geomagnetic Storms and their Influence on the Human Brain Functional State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elchin S. Babayev

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available An investigation of the influence of geomagnetic storms of various intensities on healthy adults' human brain activity and its functional state was conducted. Results of electroencephalogram (EEG investigations were used as the most objective method reflecting functional state of the human brain. Studies on the influence of geomagnetic storms on the human brain functional state of healthy adult women patients (permanent group in states of relaxation, photo-stimulation and hyper-ventilation have revealed a negative influence of severe geomagnetic storms on functional state of the human brain. As a rule, during periods of strong geomagnetic disturbances, indisposition, weakness and presence of indistinct localized headaches were recorded for majority of patients. Complex of nonspecific shifts on EEG reflects disorganization of functional activity of cortex of large hemispheres of the human brain at geomagnetically disturbed days, which is likely connected with dysfunction of integrative subcortical systems, with disbalance of its ascending synchronizing and desynchronizing influences. Imbalance of activating and deactivating mechanisms including dysfunctions of ergo- and tropho-tropic over-segmentary centers was registered. Strengthening cortical connections in the right cortical hemisphere and their short circuit on temporal sections during geomagnetically disturbed days were observed, while, in geomagnetically quiet days, a profile of correlation interrelations reflected weak internal- and inter-hemispheric connections. The threshold of convulsive (spasmodic readiness of the human brain is reduced, which is especially dangerous for risk group persons. It is established that, in general, weak and moderate geomagnetic storms exert stimulating influence while strong disturbances of geomagnetic conditions activate braking (inhibiting processes.

  4. Model-free functional MRI analysis for detecting low-frequency functional connectivity in the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wismueller, Axel; Lange, Oliver; Auer, Dorothee; Leinsinger, Gerda

    2010-03-01

    Slowly varying temporally correlated activity fluctuations between functionally related brain areas have been identified by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research in recent years. These low-frequency oscillations of less than 0.08 Hz appear to play a major role in various dynamic functional brain networks, such as the so-called 'default mode' network. They also have been observed as a property of symmetric cortices, and they are known to be present in the motor cortex among others. These low-frequency data are difficult to detect and quantify in fMRI. Traditionally, user-based regions of interests (ROI) or 'seed clusters' have been the primary analysis method. In this paper, we propose unsupervised clustering algorithms based on various distance measures to detect functional connectivity in resting state fMRI. The achieved results are evaluated quantitatively for different distance measures. The Euclidian metric implemented by standard unsupervised clustering approaches is compared with a non-metric topographic mapping of proximities based on the the mutual prediction error between pixel-specific signal dynamics time-series. It is shown that functional connectivity in the motor cortex of the human brain can be detected based on such model-free analysis methods for resting state fMRI.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Stephen J A; Shih, Chung-Hsuan; Noble, Mark; Mayer-Proschel, Margot; Davies, Jeannette E; Proschel, Christoph

    2011-03-02

    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 astrocytes that

  7. Functions of Polo-Like Kinases: A Journey From Yeast To Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaid, Rajni; Sharma, Nitin; Chauhan, Sujata; Deshta, Ankita; Dev, Kamal; Sourirajan, Anuradha

    2016-01-01

    Polo-like kinases (PLKs) belong to the serine/threonine kinase subfamily, characterized by the presence of the signature motif called Polo-box domain. PLK members studied so far have emerged as the conserved regulator of cell cycle and cell division in eukaryotes. The Polo-box domain adds diversity to PLK functions by targeting the enzyme to an array of substrates found at different sub-cellular structures for exquisite regulation of cell cycle. More than a dozen members of PLK subfamily have been identified in the eukaryotic world except in the higher plants. Despite the similarities in governing cell division, PLKs have diverse and unique functions in different organisms. This review summarizes the plethora of functions of PLK in yeast to humans. Along with its classical functions, this review also emphasizes on the role of PLKs in regulating DNA replication, repair, genome integrity, development, and morphogenesis pathways. Perturbations in PLK functions have disease implications, such as cancer in humans, and thus human PLK1 is targeted for cancer therapeutics. PLKs also play a vital role in regulating several stages of meiotic cell division. Thus, PLKs are emerging as a unique class of proteins with multiple and diverse functions in different organisms.

  8. Functional exploration of the human spinal cord during voluntary movement and somatosensory stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, Paul E; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Porro, Carlo A

    2010-10-01

    Demonstrations of the possibility of obtaining functional information from the spinal cord in humans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have been growing in number and sophistication, but the technique and the results that it provides are still perceived by the scientific community with a greater degree of scepticism than fMRI investigations of brain function. Here we review the literature on spinal fMRI in humans during voluntary movements and somatosensory stimulation. Particular attention is given to study design, acquisition and statistical analysis of the images, and to the agreement between the obtained results and existing knowledge regarding spinal cord anatomy and physiology. A striking weakness of many spinal fMRI studies is the use of small numbers of subjects and of time-points in the acquired functional image series. In addition, spinal fMRI is characterised by large physiological noise, while the recorded functional responses are poorly characterised. For all these reasons, spinal fMRI experiments risk having low statistical power, and few spinal fMRI studies have yielded physiologically relevant information. Thus, while available evidence indicates that spinal fMRI is feasible, we are only approaching the stage at which the technique can be considered to have been rigorously established as a viable means of noninvasively investigating spinal cord functioning in humans.

  9. 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.

  10. Continuous representation of human portraits and natural scenery in human ventral temporal cortex:evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    肖壮伟; 林冲宇; 罗小景; 黄芳梅; 庄伟端; 李俊雄; 翁旭初; 吴仁华

    2004-01-01

    Background Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a powerful tool for tracking human brain activity in vivo. This technique is mainly based on blood oxygenation level dependence (BOLD) contrast. In the present study, we employed this newly developed technique to characterize the neural representations of human portraits and natural sceneries in the human brain.Methods Nine subjects were scanned with a 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner using gradient-recalled echo and echo-planar imaging (GRE-EPI) pulse sequence while they were visually presented with 3 types of white-black photographs: natural scenery, human portraits, and scrambled nonsense pictures. Multiple linear regression was used to identify brain regions responding preferentially to each type of stimulus and common regions for both human portraits and natural scenery. The relative contributions of each type of stimulus to activation in these regions were examined using linear combinations of a general linear test.Results Multiple linear regression analysis revealed two distinct but adjacent regions in both sides of the ventral temporal cortex. The medial region preferentially responded to natural scenery, whereas the lateral one preferentially responded to the human portraits. The general linear test further revealed a distribution gradient such that a change from portraits to scenes shifted areas of activation from lateral to medial.Conclusions The boundary between portrait-associated and scenery-associated areas is not as clear as previously demonstrated. The representations of portraits and scenes in ventral temporal cortex appear to be continuous and overlap.

  11. Lactodifucotetraose, a human milk oligosaccharide, attenuates platelet function and inflammatory cytokine release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newburg, David S; Tanritanir, Ayse C; Chakrabarti, Subrata

    2016-07-01

    Human milk strongly quenches inflammatory processes in vitro, and breastfed infants have lower incidence of inflammatory diseases than those fed artificially. Platelets from neonates, in contrast to those from adults, are less responsive to platelet agonists such as collagen, thrombin, ADP, and epinephrine. Breastfed infants absorb oligosaccharides intact from the human milk in their gut to the circulation. This study was to determine whether these oligosaccharides can attenuate platelet function and platelet secretion of pro-inflammatory proteins, and to identify the active component. The natural mixture of oligosaccharides from human milk and pure individual human milk oligosaccharides were tested for their ability to modulate responses of platelets isolated from human blood following exposure to thrombin, ADP, and collagen. Human milk and the natural mixture of human milk oligosaccharides inhibited platelet release of inflammatory proteins. Of the purified human milk oligosaccharides tested, only lactodifucotetraose (LDFT) significantly inhibited thrombin induced release of the pro-inflammatory proteins RANTES and sCD40L. LDFT also inhibited platelet adhesion to a collagen-coated surface, as well as platelet aggregation induced by ADP or collagen. These data indicate that LDFT may help modulate hemostasis by suppressing platelet-induced inflammatory processes in breastfed infants. This activity suggests further study of LDFT for its potential as a therapeutic agent in infants and adults.

  12. Tracing the origin of functional and conserved domains in the human proteome: implications for protein evolution at the modular level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Lipika R; Guda, Chittibabu

    2006-11-07

    The functional repertoire of the human proteome is an incremental collection of functions accomplished by protein domains evolved along the Homo sapiens lineage. Therefore, knowledge on the origin of these functionalities provides a better understanding of the domain and protein evolution in human. The lack of proper comprehension about such origin has impelled us to study the evolutionary origin of human proteome in a unique way as detailed in this study. This study reports a unique approach for understanding the evolution of human proteome by tracing the origin of its constituting domains hierarchically, along the Homo sapiens lineage. The uniqueness of this method lies in subtractive searching of functional and conserved domains in the human proteome resulting in higher efficiency of detecting their origins. From these analyses the nature of protein evolution and trends in domain evolution can be observed in the context of the entire human proteome data. The method adopted here also helps delineate the degree of divergence of functional families occurred during the course of evolution. This approach to trace the evolutionary origin of functional domains in the human proteome facilitates better understanding of their functional versatility as well as provides insights into the functionality of hypothetical proteins present in the human proteome. This work elucidates the origin of functional and conserved domains in human proteins, their distribution along the Homo sapiens lineage, occurrence frequency of different domain combinations and proteome-wide patterns of their distribution, providing insights into the evolutionary solution to the increased complexity of the human proteome.

  13. Systematic Characterization and Analysis of the Taxonomic Drivers of Functional Shifts in the Human Microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manor, Ohad; Borenstein, Elhanan

    2017-02-08

    Comparative analyses of the human microbiome have identified both taxonomic and functional shifts that are associated with numerous diseases. To date, however, microbiome taxonomy and function have mostly been studied independently and the taxonomic drivers of functional imbalances have not been systematically identified. Here, we present FishTaco, an analytical and computational framework that integrates taxonomic and functional comparative analyses to accurately quantify taxon-level contributions to disease-associated functional shifts. Applying FishTaco to several large-scale metagenomic cohorts, we show that shifts in the microbiome's functional capacity can be traced back to specific taxa. Furthermore, the set of taxa driving functional shifts and their contribution levels vary markedly between functions. We additionally find that similar functional imbalances in different diseases are driven by both disease-specific and shared taxa. Such integrated analysis of microbiome ecological and functional dynamics can inform future microbiome-based therapy, pinpointing putative intervention targets for manipulating the microbiome's functional capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Human combinatorial Fab library yielding specific and functional antibodies against the human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauchenberger, Robert; Borges, Eric; Thomassen-Wolf, Elisabeth; Rom, Eran; Adar, Rivka; Yaniv, Yael; Malka, Michael; Chumakov, Irina; Kotzer, Sarit; Resnitzky, Dalia; Knappik, Achim; Reiffert, Silke; Prassler, Josef; Jury, Karin; Waldherr, Dirk; Bauer, Susanne; Kretzschmar, Titus; Yayon, Avner; Rothe, Christine

    2003-10-03

    The human combinatorial antibody library Fab 1 (HuCAL-Fab 1) was generated by transferring the heavy and light chain variable regions from the previously constructed single-chain Fv library (Knappik, A., Ge, L., Honegger, A., Pack, P., Fischer, M., Wellnhofer, G., Hoess, A., Wölle, J., Plückthun, A., and Virnekäs, B. (2000) J. Mol. Biol. 296, 57-86), diversified in both complementarity-determining regions 3 into a novel Fab display vector, yielding 2.1 x 10(10) different antibody fragments. The modularity has been retained in the Fab display and screening plasmids, ensuring rapid conversion into various antibody formats as well as antibody optimization using prebuilt maturation cassettes. HuCAL-Fab 1 was challenged against the human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3, a potential therapeutic antibody target, against which, to the best of our knowledge, no functional antibodies could be generated so far. A unique screening mode was designed utilizing recombinant functional proteins and cell lines differentially expressing fibroblast growth factor receptor isoforms diversified in expression and receptor dependence. Specific Fab fragments with subnanomolar affinities were isolated by selection without any maturation steps as determined by fluorescence flow cytometry. Some of the selected Fab fragments completely inhibit target-mediated cell proliferation, rendering them the first monoclonal antibodies against fibroblast growth factor receptors having significant function blocking activity. This study validates HuCAL-Fab 1 as a valuable source for the generation of target-specific antibodies for therapeutic applications.

  16. 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 the existing model of the life expectancy production function, and correcting for spatial dependence, we evaluated the determinants of life expectancy using county level data. Results indicate that after controlling for socio-demographic and economic factors, medical...

  17. 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.

  18. Adaptive function of soil consumption: An in vitro study modeling the human stomach and small intestine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dominy, N.J.; Davoust, E.; Minekus, M.

    2004-01-01

    Despite occurring in a wide variety of taxa, deliberate soil consumption (geophagy) is a poorly understood behavior. In humans, geophagy is sometimes considered aberrant or a sign of metabolic dysfunction. However, geophagy is normally assigned an adaptive function in nonhuman primates and various

  19. A functional and structural investigation of the human fronto-basal volitional saccade network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neggers, S.F.W.; Diepen, R.M. van; Zandbelt, B.B.; Vink, M.; Mandl, R.C.W.; Gutteling, T.P.

    2012-01-01

    Almost all cortical areas are connected to the subcortical basal ganglia (BG) through parallel recurrent inhibitory and excitatory loops, exerting volitional control over automatic behavior. As this model is largely based on non-human primate research, we used high resolution functional MRI and diff

  20. 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...

  1. 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 th

  2. A combined approach exploring gene function based on Worm-Human Orthology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnsen Robert

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans biology are conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates establishing this particular organism as an excellent genetic model. Because of its small size, large populations and self-fertilization of the hermaphrodite, functional predictions carried out by genetic modifications as well as RNAi screens, can be rapidly tested. Results In order to explore the function of a set of C. elegans genes of unknown function, as well as their potential functional roles in the human genome, we performed a phylogenetic analysis to select the most probable worm orthologs. A total of 13 C. elegans genes were subjected to down- regulation via RNAi and characterization of expression profiles using GFP strains. Previously unknown distinct expression patterns were observed for four of the analyzed genes, as well as four visible RNAi phenotypes. In addition, subcellular protein over-expression profiles of the human orthologs for seven out of the thirteen genes using human cells were also analyzed. Conclusion By combining a whole-organism approach using C. elegans with complementary experimental work done on human cell lines, this analysis extends currently available information on the selected set of genes.

  3. A combined approach exploring gene function based on Worm-Human Orthology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamas, Ivica; Hodges, Emily; Dessi, Patrick; Johnsen, Robert; Vaz Gomes, Ana

    2005-01-01

    Background Many aspects of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans biology are conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates establishing this particular organism as an excellent genetic model. Because of its small size, large populations and self-fertilization of the hermaphrodite, functional predictions carried out by genetic modifications as well as RNAi screens, can be rapidly tested. Results In order to explore the function of a set of C. elegans genes of unknown function, as well as their potential functional roles in the human genome, we performed a phylogenetic analysis to select the most probable worm orthologs. A total of 13 C. elegans genes were subjected to down- regulation via RNAi and characterization of expression profiles using GFP strains. Previously unknown distinct expression patterns were observed for four of the analyzed genes, as well as four visible RNAi phenotypes. In addition, subcellular protein over-expression profiles of the human orthologs for seven out of the thirteen genes using human cells were also analyzed. Conclusion By combining a whole-organism approach using C. elegans with complementary experimental work done on human cell lines, this analysis extends currently available information on the selected set of genes. PMID:15877817

  4. 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 distinc...

  5. Analysis of diversity and function of the human small intestinal microbiota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booijink, C.C.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the main site where the conversion and absorption of food components takes place in humans. As the small intestine is the first site of interaction between the microbiota and ingested food, knowledge about the microbial composition as well as functionality is essen

  6. 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

  7. Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human brain morphology and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Dienke J.; Montfort, van Simone J.T.; Oranje, Bob; Durston, Sarah; Smeets, P.A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Public opinion and media coverage suggest that there are benefits of long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) intake on brain functioning. However, it is an open question whether this is indeed the case. Therefore, we reviewed the evidence for effects of ω-3 LC-PUFA on human brain morp

  8. Human and mouse tissue-engineered small intestine both demonstrate digestive and absorptive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Christa N; Mojica, Salvador Garcia; Sala, Frederic G; Hill, J Ryan; Levin, Daniel E; Speer, Allison L; Barthel, Erik R; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Zachos, Nicholas C; Grikscheit, Tracy C

    2015-04-15

    Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a devastating condition in which insufficient small intestinal surface area results in malnutrition and dependence on intravenous parenteral nutrition. There is an increasing incidence of SBS, particularly in premature babies and newborns with congenital intestinal anomalies. Tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) offers a therapeutic alternative to the current standard treatment, intestinal transplantation, and has the potential to solve its biggest challenges, namely donor shortage and life-long immunosuppression. We have previously demonstrated that TESI can be generated from mouse and human small intestine and histologically replicates key components of native intestine. We hypothesized that TESI also recapitulates native small intestine function. Organoid units were generated from mouse or human donor intestine and implanted into genetically identical or immunodeficient host mice. After 4 wk, TESI was harvested and either fixed and paraffin embedded or immediately subjected to assays to illustrate function. We demonstrated that both mouse and human tissue-engineered small intestine grew into an appropriately polarized sphere of intact epithelium facing a lumen, contiguous with supporting mesenchyme, muscle, and stem/progenitor cells. The epithelium demonstrated major ultrastructural components, including tight junctions and microvilli, transporters, and functional brush-border and digestive enzymes. This study demonstrates that tissue-engineered small intestine possesses a well-differentiated epithelium with intact ion transporters/channels, functional brush-border enzymes, and similar ultrastructural components to native tissue, including progenitor cells, whether derived from mouse or human cells.

  9. 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.

  10. Analysis of diversity and function of the human small intestinal microbiota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booijink, C.C.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the main site where the conversion and absorption of food components takes place in humans. As the small intestine is the first site of interaction between the microbiota and ingested food, knowledge about the microbial composition as well as functionality is

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.F. Janssen (Sarah); T.G.M.F. Gorgels (Theo); K. Bossers (Koen); J.B. ten Brink (Jacoline); A.H.W. Essing (Anke); M.H. Nagtegaal (Marleen); P.J. van der Spek (Peter); N.M. Jansonius (Nomdo); A.A.B. Bergen (Arthur)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractPurpose: 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 molecu

  12. SARM: a novel Toll-like receptor adaptor, is functionally conserved from arthropod to human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belinda, Loh Wei-Ching; Wei, Wang Xiao; Hanh, Bui Thi Hong; Lei, Luan Xiao; Bow, Ho; Ling, Ding Jeak

    2008-03-01

    Sterile-alpha and Armadillo motif containing protein (SARM) was recently identified as the fifth member of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor family. Whilst the Caenorhabditis elegans SARM homologue, TIR-1, is crucial for efficient immune responses against bacterial infections, human SARM was demonstrated to function as a specific inhibitor of TRIF-dependent TLR signaling. The opposing role of SARM in C. elegans and human is intriguing, prompting us to seek clarification on the enigmatic function of SARM in an ancient species which relies solely on innate immunity for survival. Here, we report the discovery of a primitive but functional SARM (CrSARM) in the immune defense of a "living fossil", the horseshoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda. CrSARM shares numerous signature motifs and displays significant homology with vertebrate and invertebrate SARM homologues. CrSARM downregulates TRIF-dependent TLR signaling suggesting the conservation of SARM function from horseshoe crab to human. During infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, CrSARM is rapidly upregulated within 3h and strongly repressed at 6h, coinciding with the timing of bacterial clearance, thus demonstrating its dynamic role in innate immunity. Furthermore, yeast-two-hybrid screening revealed several potential interaction partners of CrSARM implying the role of SARM in downregulating TLR signaling events. Altogether, our study shows that, although C. elegans SARM upregulates immune signaling, its disparate role as a suppressor of TLR signaling, specifically via TRIF and not MyD88, is well-conserved from horseshoe crab to human.

  13. 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 signatur

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Georgiadis, Janniko R.

    2015-01-01

    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 res

  15. Effect of human liver source on the functionality of isolated hepatocytes and liver slices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olinga, Peter; Hof, I.H; de Jong, Kurt; Slooff, M.JH; Meijer, D.K F; Groothuis, Geny; Merema, M.T.

    1998-01-01

    In vitro experiments using human liver tissue to study drug metabolism and transport are usually performed and interpreted without real consideration of the differences in procurement of the tissue, if it is obtained from different sources. Therefore, in this study the functionality of isolated hepa

  16. Adaptive function of soil consumption: An in vitro study modeling the human stomach and small intestine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dominy, N.J.; Davoust, E.; Minekus, M.

    2004-01-01

    Despite occurring in a wide variety of taxa, deliberate soil consumption (geophagy) is a poorly understood behavior. In humans, geophagy is sometimes considered aberrant or a sign of metabolic dysfunction. However, geophagy is normally assigned an adaptive function in nonhuman primates and various o

  17. 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.

  18. Bovine milk as a source of functional oligosaccharides for improving human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivkovic, Angela M; Barile, Daniela

    2011-05-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides are complex sugars that function as selective growth substrates for specific beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Bovine milk is a potentially excellent source of commercially viable analogs of these unique molecules. However, bovine milk has a much lower concentration of these oligosaccharides than human milk, and the majority of the molecules are simpler in structure than those found in human milk. Specific structural characteristics of milk-derived oligosaccharides are crucial to their ability to selectively enrich beneficial bacteria while inhibiting or being less than ideal substrates for undesirable and pathogenic bacteria. Thus, if bovine milk products are to provide human milk-like benefits, it is important to identify specific dairy streams that can be processed commercially and cost-effectively and that can yield specific oligosaccharide compositions that will be beneficial as new food ingredients or supplements to improve human health. Whey streams have the potential to be commercially viable sources of complex oligosaccharides that have the structural resemblance and diversity of the bioactive oligosaccharides in human milk. With further refinements to dairy stream processing techniques and functional testing to identify streams that are particularly suitable for enriching beneficial intestinal bacteria, the future of oligosaccharides isolated from dairy streams as a food category with substantiated health claims is promising.

  19. Functional characterization and localization of AQP3 in the human colon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silberstein C.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Water channels or aquaporins (AQPs have been identified in a large variety of tissues. Nevertheless, their role in the human gastrointestinal tract, where their action is essential for the reabsorption and secretion of water and electrolytes, is still unclear. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the structure and function of water channels expressed in the human colon. A cDNA fragment of about 420 bp with a 98% identity to human AQP3 was amplified from human stomach, small intestine and colon by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and a transcript of 2.2 kb was expressed more abundantly in colon than in jejunum, ileum and stomach as indicated by Northern blots. Expression of mRNA from the colon of adults and children but not from other gastrointestinal regions in Xenopus oocytes enhanced the osmotic water permeability, and the urea and glycerol transport in a manner sensitive to an antisense AQP3 oligonucleotide, indicating the presence of functional AQP3. Immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence studies in human colon revealed that the AQP3 protein is restricted to the villus epithelial cells. The immunostaining within these cells was more intense in the apical than in the basolateral membranes. The presence of AQP3 in villus epithelial cells suggests that AQP3 is implicated in water absorption across human colonic surface cells.

  20. 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......–microbiota relationships and are readily applicable to other host-associated and free-living microbial communities....

  1. Functional organization of human intraparietal and frontal cortex for attending, looking, and pointing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astafiev, Serguei V.; Shulman, Gordon L.; Stanley, Christine M.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Van Essen, David C.; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2003-01-01

    We studied the functional organization of human posterior parietal and frontal cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map preparatory signals for attending, looking, and pointing to a peripheral visual location. The human frontal eye field and two separate regions in the intraparietal sulcus were similarly recruited in all conditions, suggesting an attentional role that generalizes across response effectors. However, the preparation of a pointing movement selectively activated a different group of regions, suggesting a stronger role in motor planning. These regions were lateralized to the left hemisphere, activated by preparation of movements of either hand, and included the inferior and superior parietal lobule, precuneus, and posterior superior temporal sulcus, plus the dorsal premotor and anterior cingulate cortex anteriorly. Surface-based registration of macaque cortical areas onto the map of fMRI responses suggests a relatively good spatial correspondence between human and macaque parietal areas. In contrast, large interspecies differences were noted in the topography of frontal areas.

  2. 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.

    2016-02-01

    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.

  3. Glycan-functionalized graphene-FETs toward selective detection of human-infectious avian influenza virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Takao; Oe, Takeshi; Kanai, Yasushi; Ikuta, Takashi; Ohno, Yasuhide; Maehashi, Kenzo; Inoue, Koichi; Watanabe, Yohei; Nakakita, Shin-ichi; Suzuki, Yasuo; Kawahara, Toshio; Matsumoto, Kazuhiko

    2017-03-01

    There are global concerns about threat of pandemic caused by the human-infectious avian influenza virus. To prevent the oncoming pandemic, it is crucial to analyze the viral affinity to human-type or avian-type sialoglycans with high sensitivity at high speed. Graphene-FET (G-FET) realizes such high-sensitive electrical detection of the targets, owing to graphene’s high carrier mobility. In the present study, G-FET was functionalized using sialoglycans and employed for the selective detection of lectins from Sambucus sieboldiana and Maackia amurensis as alternatives of the human and avian influenza viruses. Glycan-functionalized G-FET selectively monitored the sialoglycan-specific binding reactions at subnanomolar sensitivity.

  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. Tracing the origin of functional and conserved domains in the human proteome: implications for protein evolution at the modular level

    OpenAIRE

    Guda Chittibabu; Pal Lipika R

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background The functional repertoire of the human proteome is an incremental collection of functions accomplished by protein domains evolved along the Homo sapiens lineage. Therefore, knowledge on the origin of these functionalities provides a better understanding of the domain and protein evolution in human. The lack of proper comprehension about such origin has impelled us to study the evolutionary origin of human proteome in a unique way as detailed in this study. Results This stu...

  6. A method for the assessment of the functional neuroanatomy of human sleep using FDG PET.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nofzinger, E A; Mintun, M A; Price, J; Meltzer, C C; Townsend, D; Buysse, D J; Reynolds, C F; Dachille, M; Matzzie, J; Kupfer, D J; Moore, R Y

    1998-03-01

    Although sleep is characterized by relative behavioral inactivity, cortical activity is known to cycle in well-defined periods across this state. Cognitive function during sleep has been difficult to define, although disturbances in sleep are known to result from, and to cause, various human pathologies, including neuropsychiatric disorders. Assessment of brain function in humans (related to cognitive operations) during sleep has been limited, until recently, to surface electrophysiologic recordings that limit analysis of regional function, particularly in deep structures. The current report describes one method of assessing human forebrain activation during sleep using the [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose ([18F]FDG) method and positron emission tomography (PET) measures of regional cerebral glucose utilization. In comparison with other functional brain imaging techniques (e.g., assessment of blood flow or functional magnetic resonance imaging), this method offers the advantage of a more naturalistic study of sleep since subjects do not have to sleep in a scanning device. This leads to a higher rate of successful completion of studies. The primary disadvantage of this method is the decreased temporal resolution necessitating assessments of global sleep states (e.g., REM or NREM) as opposed to assessing events within a sleep state (e.g., sleep spindles or rapid eye movements).

  7. Expression of functional neurotransmitter receptors in Xenopus oocytes after injection of human brain membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo; Palma, Eleonora; Trettel, Flavia

    2002-01-01

    The Xenopus oocyte is a very powerful tool for studies of the structure and function of membrane proteins, e.g., messenger RNA extracted from the brain and injected into oocytes leads to the synthesis and membrane incorporation of many types of functional receptors and ion channels, and membrane vesicles from Torpedo electroplaques injected into oocytes fuse with the oocyte membrane and cause the appearance of functional Torpedo acetylcholine receptors and Cl− channels. This approach was developed further to transplant already assembled neurotransmitter receptors from human brain cells to the plasma membrane of Xenopus oocytes. Membranes isolated from the temporal neocortex of a patient, operated for intractable epilepsy, were injected into oocytes and, within a few hours, the oocyte membrane acquired functional neurotransmitter receptors to γ-aminobutyric acid, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, kainate, and glycine. These receptors were also expressed in the plasma membrane of oocytes injected with mRNA extracted from the temporal neocortex of the same patient. All of this makes the Xenopus oocyte a more useful model than it already is for studies of the structure and function of many human membrane proteins and opens the way to novel pathophysiological investigations of some human brain disorders. PMID:12237406

  8. Are protected areas required to maintain functional diversity in human-modified landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Eden W Cottee-Jones

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. In vivo functional analysis of the human NF2 tumor suppressor gene in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather S Gavilan

    Full Text Available The proper control of tissue growth is essential during normal development and an important problem in human disease. Merlin, the product of the Neurofibromatosis 2 tumor suppressor gene, has been extensively studied to understand its functions in growth control. Here we describe experiments in which we used Drosophila as an in vivo system to test the functions of the normal human NF2 gene products and patient-derived mutant alleles. Although the predominant NF2 gene isoform, isoform 1, could functionally replace the Drosophila Merlin gene, a second isoform with a distinct C-terminal tail could not. Immunofluorescence studies show that the two isoforms have distinct subcellular localizations when expressed in the polarized imaginal epithelium, and function in genetic rescue assays correlates with apical localization of the NF2 protein. Interestingly, we found that a patient-derived missense allele, NF2L64P, appears to be temperature sensitive. These studies highlight the utility of Drosophila for in vivo functional analysis of highly conserved human disease genes.

  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. Identification of a novel human tRNA(Ser(CGA)) functional in murine leukemia virus replication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Anders Henrik; Schmitz, A; Pedersen, F S

    2000-01-01

    (CGA)) was detected in cell lines of human, monkey and mouse origin. The UCG codon is the most rarely used codon in human genes. The cloned human tRNA(Ser(CGA)) gene encodes an 85 nucleotide, intron-less tRNA, contains a consensus split intragenic promoter and is located at region p21.3-22.2 on chromosome 6......We have identified a human tRNA(Ser) isoacceptor matching the UCG codon. The tRNA was discovered via its ability to act in reverse transcription of a murine leukemia virus vector containing a complementary tRNA primer binding site (Lund et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 28 (2000) 791-799). The tRNA(Ser....... The integrity and functionality of the cloned tRNA(Ser(CGA)) gene was verified by in vitro transcription analysis in HeLa nuclear extracts....

  12. Time dependent human hip joint lubrication for periodic motion with stochastic asymmetric density function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzcholski, Krzysztof

    2014-01-01

    The present paper is concerned with the calculation of the human hip joint parameters for periodic, stochastic unsteady, motion with asymmetric probability density function for gap height. The asymmetric density function indicates that the stochastic probabilities of gap height decreasing are different in comparison with the probabilities of the gap height increasing. The models of asymmetric density functions are considered on the grounds of experimental observations. Some methods are proposed for calculation of pressure distributions and load carrying capacities for unsteady stochastic conditions in a super thin layer of biological synovial fluid inside the slide biobearing gap limited by a spherical bone acetabulum. Numerical calculations are performed in Mathcad 12 Professional Program, by using the method of finite differences. This method assures stability of numerical solutions of partial differential equations and gives proper values of pressure and load carrying capacity forces occurring in human hip joints.

  13. Integration of visual and motor functional streams in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulcre, Jorge

    2014-05-01

    A long-standing difficulty in brain research has been to disentangle how information flows across circuits composed by multiple local and distant cerebral areas. At the large-scale level, several brain imaging methods have contributed to the understanding of those circuits by capturing the covariance or coupling patterns of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity between distributed brain regions. The hypothesis is that underlying information processes are closely associated to synchronized brain activity, and therefore to the functional connectivity structure of the human brain. In this study, we have used a recently developed method called stepwise functional connectivity analysis. Our results show that motor and visual connectivity merge in a multimodal integration network that links together perception, action and cognition in the human functional connectome. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Linear systems analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging in human V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boynton, G M; Engel, S A; Glover, G H; Heeger, D J

    1996-07-01

    The linear transform model of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) hypothesizes that fMRI responses are proportional to local average neural activity averaged over a period of time. This work reports results from three empirical tests that support this hypothesis. First, fMRI responses in human primary visual cortex (V1) depend separably on stimulus timing and stimulus contrast. Second, responses to long-duration stimuli can be predicted from responses to shorter duration stimuli. Third, the noise in the fMRI data is independent of stimulus contrast and temporal period. Although these tests can not prove the correctness of the linear transform model, they might have been used to reject the model. Because the linear transform model is consistent with our data, we proceeded to estimate the temporal fMRI impulse-response function and the underlying (presumably neural) contrast-response function of human V1.

  15. [Association of the insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene with human cognitive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfimova, M V; Lezheĭko, T V; Gritsenko, I K; Golimbet, V E

    2012-08-01

    Active search for candidate genes whose polymorphisms are associated with human cognitive functions has been in progress in the past years. The study focused on the role that the insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene may play in the variation of cognitive processes related to executive functions. The ApaI polymorphism of the IGF2 gene was tested for association with selective attention during visual search, working memory/mental control, and semantic verbal fluency in a group of 182 healthy individuals. The ApaI polymorphism was associated with the general cognitive index and selective attention measure. Carriers of genotype AA displayed higher values of the two parameters than carriers of genotype GG. It was assumed that the ApaI polymorphism of the IGF2 gene influences the human cognitive functions, acting possibly via modulation of the IGF-II level in the central nervous system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose M. Miranda

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaynor, Louise M.; Colucci, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28484462

  18. 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.

  19. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Barragán

    Full Text Available The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha. Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  20. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán, Felipe; Moreno, Claudia E; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; Navarrete, Dario

    2011-03-23

    The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha). Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  1. Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases: structures of the human liver enzymes, functional properties and evolutionary aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörnvall, H; Hempel, J; von Bahr-Lindström, H; Höög, J O; Vallee, B L

    1987-01-01

    All three types of subunit of class I human alcohol dehydrogenase have been analyzed both at the protein and cDNA levels, and the structures of alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 1, and gamma 2 subunits are known. The same applies to class II pi subunits. Extensive protein data are also available for class III chi subunits. In the class I human isozymes, amino acid exchanges occur at 35 positions in total, with 21-28 replacements between any pair of the alpha/beta/gamma chains. These values, compared with those from species differences between the corresponding human and horse enzymes, suggest that isozyme developments in the class I enzyme resulted from separate gene duplications after the divergence of the human and equine evolutionary lines. All subunits exhibit some unique properties, with slightly closer similarity between the human gamma and horse enzyme subunits and somewhat greater deviations towards the human alpha subunit. Differences are large also in segments close to the active site zinc ligands and other functionally important positions. Species differences are distributed roughly equally between the two types of domain in the subunit, whereas isozyme differences are considerably more common in the catalytic than in the coenzyme-binding domain. These facts illustrate a functional divergence among the isozymes but otherwise similar changes during evolution. Polymorphic forms of beta and gamma subunits are characterized by single replacements at one and two positions, respectively, explaining known deviating properties. Class II and class III subunits are considerably more divergent. Their homology with class I isozymes exhibits only 60-65% positional identity. Hence, they reflect further steps towards the development of new enzymes, with variations well above the horse/human species levels, in contrast to the class I forms. Again, functionally important residues are affected, and patterns resembling those previously established for the divergently related

  2. Local network topology in human protein interaction data predicts functional association.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Li

    Full Text Available The use of high-throughput techniques to generate large volumes of protein-protein interaction (PPI data has increased the need for methods that systematically and automatically suggest functional relationships among proteins. In a yeast PPI network, previous work has shown that the local connection topology, particularly for two proteins sharing an unusually large number of neighbors, can predict functional association. In this study we improved the prediction scheme by developing a new algorithm and applied it on a human PPI network to make a genome-wide functional inference. We used the new algorithm to measure and reduce the influence of hub proteins on detecting function-associated protein pairs. We used the annotations of the Gene Ontology (GO and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG as benchmarks to compare and evaluate the function relevance. The application of our algorithms to human PPI data yielded 4,233 significant functional associations among 1,754 proteins. Further functional comparisons between them allowed us to assign 466 KEGG pathway annotations to 274 proteins and 123 GO annotations to 114 proteins with estimated false discovery rates of <21% for KEGG and <30% for GO. We clustered 1,729 proteins by their functional associations and made functional inferences from detailed analysis on one subcluster highly enriched in the TGF-beta signaling pathway (P<10(-50. Analysis of another four subclusters also suggested potential new players in six signaling pathways worthy of further experimental investigations. Our study gives clear insight into the common neighbor-based prediction scheme and provides a reliable method for large-scale functional annotation in this post-genomic era.

  3. 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.

  4. Prediction of biological functions on glycosylation site migrations in human influenza H1N1 viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shisheng; Wang, Qinzhe; Zhao, Fei; Chen, Wentian; Li, Zheng

    2012-01-01

    Protein glycosylation alteration is typically employed by various viruses for escaping immune pressures from their hosts. Our previous work had shown that not only the increase of glycosylation sites (glycosites) numbers, but also glycosite migration might be involved in the evolution of human seasonal influenza H1N1 viruses. More importantly, glycosite migration was likely a more effectively alteration way for the host adaption of human influenza H1N1 viruses. In this study, we provided more bioinformatics and statistic evidences for further predicting the significant biological functions of glycosite migration in the host adaptation of human influenza H1N1 viruses, by employing homology modeling and in silico protein glycosylation of representative HA and NA proteins as well as amino acid variability analysis at antigenic sites of HA and NA. The results showed that glycosite migrations in human influenza viruses have at least five possible functions: to more effectively mask the antigenic sites, to more effectively protect the enzymatic cleavage sites of neuraminidase (NA), to stabilize the polymeric structures, to regulate the receptor binding and catalytic activities and to balance the binding activity of hemagglutinin (HA) with the release activity of NA. The information here can provide some constructive suggestions for the function research related to protein glycosylation of influenza viruses, although these predictions still need to be supported by experimental data.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarada Devi Ramachandran

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. IL-10 is excluded from the functional cytokine memory of human CD4+ memory T lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Jun; Ivascu, Claudia; Chang, Hyun-Dong; Wu, Peihua; Angeli, Roberta; Maggi, Laura; Eckhardt, Florian; Tykocinski, Lars; Haefliger, Carolina; Möwes, Beate; Sieper, Jochen; Radbruch, Andreas; Annunziato, Francesco; Thiel, Andreas

    2007-08-15

    Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, profoundly influence gene expression of CD4(+) Th-specific cells thereby shaping memory Th cell function. We demonstrate here a correlation between a lacking fixed potential of human memory Th cells to re-express the immunoregulatory cytokine gene IL10 and its DNA methylation status. Memory Th cells secreting IL-10 or IFN-gamma were directly isolated ex vivo from peripheral blood of healthy volunteers, and the DNA methylation status of IL10 and IFNG was assessed. Limited difference in methylation was found for the IL10 gene locus in IL-10-secreting Th cells, as compared with Th cells not secreting IL-10 isolated directly ex vivo or from in vitro-established human Th1 and Th2 clones. In contrast, in IFN-gamma(+) memory Th cells the promoter of the IFNG gene was hypomethylated, as compared with IFN-gamma-nonsecreting memory Th cells. In accordance with the lack of epigenetic memory, almost 90% of ex vivo-isolated IL-10-secreting Th cells lacked a functional memory for IL-10 re-expression after restimulation. Our data indicate that IL10 does not become epigenetically marked in human memory Th cells unlike effector cytokine genes such as IFNG. The exclusion of IL-10, but not effector cytokines, from the functional memory of human CD4(+) T lymphocytes ex vivo may reflect the need for appropriate regulation of IL-10 secretion, due to its potent immunoregulatory potential.

  7. Functional organization and its implication in evolution of the human protein-protein interaction network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Yiqiang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Based on the distinguishing properties of protein-protein interaction networks such as power-law degree distribution and modularity structure, several stochastic models for the evolution of these networks have been purposed, motivated by the idea that a validated model should reproduce similar topological properties of the empirical network. However, being able to capture topological properties does not necessarily mean it correctly reproduces how networks emerge and evolve. More importantly, there is already evidence suggesting functional organization and significance of these networks. The current stochastic models of evolution, however, grow the network without consideration for biological function and natural selection. Results To test whether protein interaction networks are functionally organized and their impacts on the evolution of these networks, we analyzed their evolution at both the topological and functional level. We find that the human network is shown to be functionally organized, and its function evolves with the topological properties of the network. Our analysis suggests that function most likely affects local modularity of the network. Consistently, we further found that the topological unit is also the functional unit of the network. Conclusion We have demonstrated functional organization of a protein interaction network. Given our observations, we suggest that its significance should not be overlooked when studying network evolution.

  8. 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.

  9. Alpha cells secrete acetylcholine as a non-neuronal paracrine signal priming human beta cell function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Diaz, Rayner; Dando, Robin; Jacques-Silva, M. Caroline; Fachado, Alberto; Molina, Judith; Abdulreda, Midhat; Ricordi, Camillo; Roper, Stephen D.; Berggren, Per-Olof; Caicedo, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in the function of the insulin secreting pancreatic beta cell1,2. Parasympathetic innervation of the endocrine pancreas, the islets of Langerhans, has been shown to provide cholinergic input to the beta cell in several species1,3,4, but the role of autonomic innervation in human beta cell function is at present unclear. Here we show that, in contrast to mouse islets, cholinergic innervation of human islets is sparse. Instead, we find that the alpha cells of the human islet provide paracrine cholinergic input to surrounding endocrine cells. Human alpha cells express the vesicular acetylcholine transporter and release acetylcholine when stimulated with kainate or a lowering in glucose concentration. Acetylcholine secretion by alpha cells in turn sensitizes the beta cell response to increases in glucose concentration. Our results demonstrate that in human islets acetylcholine is a paracrine signal that primes the beta cell to respond optimally to subsequent increases in glucose concentration. We anticipate these results to revise models about neural input and cholinergic signaling in the endocrine pancreas. Cholinergic signaling within the islet represents a potential therapeutic target in diabetes5, highlighting the relevance of this advance to future drug development. PMID:21685896

  10. Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 is a functional receptor for the emerging human coronavirus-EMC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, V Stalin; Mou, Huihui; Smits, Saskia L; Dekkers, Dick H W; Müller, Marcel A; Dijkman, Ronald; Muth, Doreen; Demmers, Jeroen A A; Zaki, Ali; Fouchier, Ron A M; Thiel, Volker; Drosten, Christian; Rottier, Peter J M; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Bosch, Berend Jan; Haagmans, Bart L

    2013-03-14

    Most human coronaviruses cause mild upper respiratory tract disease but may be associated with more severe pulmonary disease in immunocompromised individuals. However, SARS coronavirus caused severe lower respiratory disease with nearly 10% mortality and evidence of systemic spread. Recently, another coronavirus (human coronavirus-Erasmus Medical Center (hCoV-EMC)) was identified in patients with severe and sometimes lethal lower respiratory tract infection. Viral genome analysis revealed close relatedness to coronaviruses found in bats. Here we identify dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4; also known as CD26) as a functional receptor for hCoV-EMC. DPP4 specifically co-purified with the receptor-binding S1 domain of the hCoV-EMC spike protein from lysates of susceptible Huh-7 cells. Antibodies directed against DPP4 inhibited hCoV-EMC infection of primary human bronchial epithelial cells and Huh-7 cells. Expression of human and bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) DPP4 in non-susceptible COS-7 cells enabled infection by hCoV-EMC. The use of the evolutionarily conserved DPP4 protein from different species as a functional receptor provides clues about the host range potential of hCoV-EMC. In addition, it will contribute critically to our understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of this emerging human coronavirus, and may facilitate the development of intervention strategies.

  11. Evolutionarily conserved and nonconserved cellular localizations and functions of human SIRT proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michishita, Eriko; Park, Jean Y; Burneskis, Jenna M; Barrett, J Carl; Horikawa, Izumi

    2005-10-01

    Sir2 is a NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase that extends lifespan in yeast and worms. This study examines seven human proteins homologous to Sir2 (SIRT1 through SIRT7) for cellular localization, expression profiles, protein deacetylation activity, and effects on human cell lifespan. We found that: 1) three nuclear SIRT proteins (SIRT1, SIRT6, and SIRT7) show different subnuclear localizations: SIRT6 and SIRT7 are associated with heterochromatic regions and nucleoli, respectively, where yeast Sir2 functions; 2) SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5 are localized in mitochondria, an organelle that links aging and energy metabolism; 3) cellular p53 is a major in vivo substrate of SIRT1 deacetylase, but not the other six SIRT proteins; 4) SIRT1, but not the other two nuclear SIRT proteins, shows an in vitro deacetylase activity on histone H4 and p53 peptides; and 5) overexpression of any one of the seven SIRT proteins does not extend cellular replicative lifespan in normal human fibroblasts or prostate epithelial cells. This study supports the notion that multiple human SIRT proteins have evolutionarily conserved and nonconserved functions at different cellular locations and reveals that the lifespan of normal human cells, in contrast to that of lower eukaryotes, cannot be manipulated by increased expression of a single SIRT protein.

  12. Human embryonic stem cells differentiate into functional renal proximal tubular-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Karthikeyan; Schumacher, Karl M; Tasnim, Farah; Kandasamy, Karthikeyan; Schumacher, Annegret; Ni, Ming; Gao, Shujun; Gopalan, Began; Zink, Daniele; Ying, Jackie Y

    2013-04-01

    Renal cells are used in basic research, disease models, tissue engineering, drug screening, and in vitro toxicology. In order to provide a reliable source of human renal cells, we developed a protocol for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into renal epithelial cells. The differentiated stem cells expressed markers characteristic of renal proximal tubular cells and their precursors, whereas markers of other renal cell types were not expressed or expressed at low levels. Marker expression patterns of these differentiated stem cells and in vitro cultivated primary human renal proximal tubular cells were comparable. The differentiated stem cells showed morphological and functional characteristics of renal proximal tubular cells, and generated tubular structures in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the differentiated stem cells contributed in organ cultures for the formation of simple epithelia in the kidney cortex. Bioreactor experiments showed that these cells retained their functional characteristics under conditions as applied in bioartificial kidneys. Thus, our results show that human embryonic stem cells can differentiate into renal proximal tubular-like cells. Our approach would provide a source for human renal proximal tubular cells that are not affected by problems associated with immortalized cell lines or primary cells.

  13. Large, stratified, and mechanically functional human cartilage grown in vitro by mesenchymal condensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhumiratana, Sarindr; Eton, Ryan E.; Oungoulian, Sevan R.; Wan, Leo Q.; Ateshian, Gerard A.; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2014-01-01

    The efforts to grow mechanically functional cartilage from human mesenchymal stem cells have not been successful. We report that clinically sized pieces of human cartilage with physiologic stratification and biomechanics can be grown in vitro by recapitulating some aspects of the developmental process of mesenchymal condensation. By exposure to transforming growth factor-β, mesenchymal stem cells were induced to condense into cellular bodies, undergo chondrogenic differentiation, and form cartilagenous tissue, in a process designed to mimic mesenchymal condensation leading into chondrogenesis. We discovered that the condensed mesenchymal cell bodies (CMBs) formed in vitro set an outer boundary after 5 d of culture, as indicated by the expression of mesenchymal condensation genes and deposition of tenascin. Before setting of boundaries, the CMBs could be fused into homogenous cellular aggregates giving rise to well-differentiated and mechanically functional cartilage. We used the mesenchymal condensation and fusion of CMBs to grow centimeter-sized, anatomically shaped pieces of human articular cartilage over 5 wk of culture. For the first time to our knowledge biomechanical properties of cartilage derived from human mesenchymal cells were comparable to native cartilage, with the Young’s modulus of >800 kPa and equilibrium friction coeffcient of CMBs have capability to form mechanically strong cartilage–cartilage interface in an in vitro cartilage defect model. The CMBs, which acted as “lego-like” blocks of neocartilage, were capable of assembling into human cartilage with physiologic-like structure and mechanical properties. PMID:24778247

  14. Human endometrial side population cells exhibit genotypic, phenotypic and functional features of somatic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Cervelló

    Full Text Available During reproductive life, the human endometrium undergoes around 480 cycles of growth, breakdown and regeneration should pregnancy not be achieved. This outstanding regenerative capacity is the basis for women's cycling and its dysfunction may be involved in the etiology of pathological disorders. Therefore, the human endometrial tissue must rely on a remarkable endometrial somatic stem cells (SSC population. Here we explore the hypothesis that human endometrial side population (SP cells correspond to somatic stem cells. We isolated, identified and characterized the SP corresponding to the stromal and epithelial compartments using endometrial SP genes signature, immunophenotyping and characteristic telomerase pattern. We analyzed the clonogenic activity of SP cells under hypoxic conditions and the differentiation capacity in vitro to adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. Finally, we demonstrated the functional capability of endometrial SP to develop human endometrium after subcutaneous injection in NOD-SCID mice. Briefly, SP cells of human endometrium from epithelial and stromal compartments display genotypic, phenotypic and functional features of SSC.

  15. Studies of human intervertebral disc cell function in a constrained in vitro tissue culture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Maitre, Christine Lyn; Hoyland, Judith Alison; Freemont, Anthony J

    2004-06-01

    This is a laboratory-based study examining a novel in vitro culture system for intervertebral disc tissue. Address the hypothesis that "the novel culture system will preserve intervertebral disc tissue matrix and cell function and prevent cellular apoptosis for periods up to 21 days." Studies of cell function in human intervertebral disc tissue are scarce. In vivo study of human intervertebral disc cells remains impracticable; in situ molecular biology in histologic sections lacks a dynamic dimension; and as for in vitro studies, cell culture often lacks physiologic relevance and explant cultures are subject to loss of tissue integrity and altered cell behavior. There is a biologic and therapeutic need for a satisfactory explant culture system for studying human intervertebral disc tissue in a controlled environment. Samples of human intervertebral disc tissue, obtained at surgery, were examined for a number of tissue and cell parameters immediately after excision (controls) and following culture of tissue samples either in a plastic ring or unconstrained in tissue culture medium for up to 3 weeks. Data were compared between cultured tissue and controls. By comparison with control tissue, unconstrained explants swelled, tissue structure was disturbed, and there were profound changes in cell function. By contrast, tissue cultured in plastic rings maintained tissue structure, and after 3 weeks, the cellular parameters were the same as in controls. This is the first reported system to preserve cell function of human discal explants for long periods in tissue culture. It will be a useful tool for a wide range of investigations of intervertebral disc biology that have not hitherto been possible.

  16. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26857012

  17. 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

  18. Human regulatory T cell suppressive function is independent of apoptosis induction in activated effector T cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Vercoulen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: CD4(+CD25(+FOXP3(+ Regulatory T cells (Treg play a central role in the immune balance to prevent autoimmune disease. One outstanding question is how Tregs suppress effector immune responses in human. Experiments in mice demonstrated that Treg restrict effector T cell (Teff responses by deprivation of the growth factor IL-2 through Treg consumption, resulting in apoptosis of Teff. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we investigated the relevance of Teff apoptosis induction to human Treg function. To this end, we studied naturally occurring Treg (nTreg from peripheral blood of healthy donors, and, to investigate Treg function in inflammation in vivo, Treg from synovial fluid of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA patients (SF-Treg. Both nTreg and SF-Treg suppress Teff proliferation and cytokine production efficiently as predicted. However, in contrast with murine Treg, neither nTreg nor SF-Treg induce apoptosis in Teff. Furthermore, exogenously supplied IL-2 and IL-7 reverse suppression, but do not influence apoptosis of Teff. SIGNIFICANCE: Our functional data here support that Treg are excellent clinical targets to counteract autoimmune diseases. For optimal functional outcome in human clinical trials, future work should focus on the ability of Treg to suppress proliferation and cytokine production of Teff, rather than induction of Teff apoptosis.

  19. Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Mora

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Muramyl dipeptide-Lys stimulates the function of human dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todate, A; Suda, T; Kuwata, H; Chida, K; Nakamura, H

    2001-11-01

    Muramyl dipeptide (MDP)-Lys (L18), a synthetic MDP analogue derived from bacterial cell walls, has been reported to be a potent immunoadjuvant that enhances protective immunity against pathogens and tumors by stimulating immune-competent cells, such as monocytes and macrophages. However, it is not known whether MDP-Lys modulates the function of dendritic cells (DCs), which are the most potent antigen-presenting cells and play a crucial role in initiating T cell-mediated immunity. Therefore, we examined the effects of MDP-Lys on the expression of surface molecules, cytokine production, and antigen-presenting function of human DCs generated from peripheral blood cells in the presence of interleukin (IL)-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. We found that MDP-Lys markedly up-regulated the expression of CD80, CD83, CD86, and CD40, but not human leukocyte antigen-DR, and stimulated the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12 (p40) by human DCs in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, MDP-Lys-treated DCs showed enhanced antigen-presenting function compared with untreated DCs, as assessed by an allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction. These results suggested that the immunoadjuvant activity of MDP-Lys in vivo is mediated, in part, by its stimulation of DC function.

  1. Ligation of the adhesion-GPCR EMR2 regulates human neutrophil function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yona, Simon; Lin, Hsi-Hsien; Dri, Pietro; Davies, John Q; Hayhoe, Richard P G; Lewis, Sion M; Heinsbroek, Sigrid E M; Brown, K Alun; Perretti, Mauro; Hamann, Jörg; Treacher, David F; Gordon, Siamon; Stacey, Martin

    2008-03-01

    At present, approximately 150 different members of the adhesion-G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family have been identified in metazoans. Surprisingly, very little is known about their function, although they all possess large extracellular domains coupled to a seven-transmembrane domain, suggesting a potential role in cell adhesion and signaling. Here, we demonstrate how the human-restricted adhesion-GPCR, EMR2 (epidermal growth factor-like module-containing mucin-like hormone receptor), regulates neutrophil responses by potentiating the effects of a number of proinflammatory mediators and show that the transmembrane region is critical for adhesion-GPCR function. Using an anti-EMR2 antibody, ligation of EMR2 increases neutrophil adhesion and migration, and augments superoxide production and proteolytic enzyme degranulation. On neutrophil activation, EMR2 is rapidly translocated to membrane ruffles and the leading edge of the cell. Further supporting the role in neutrophil activation, EMR2 expression on circulating neutrophils is significantly increased in patients with systemic inflammation. These data illustrate a definitive function for a human adhesion-GPCR within the innate immune system and suggest an important role in potentiating the inflammatory response. Ligation of the adhesion-GPCR EMR2 regulates human neutrophil function.

  2. 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.

  3. A Conceptual Project of a Device for Human Wrist Functional Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowski, B.; Olinski, M.; Wudarczyk, S.; Gronowicz, A.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  4. The Design of the Human Resource Function in Collaborative Communities of Firms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Sabine; Snow, Charles C.; Ulhøi, John Parm

    The new multifaceted collaborative organizational forms result in new challenges because of increasing collaboration, innovation and mutual interdependence. Apart from joint purpose and values, coordination is likely, from the point of view of human resource management (HRM), to be an important...... 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...

  5. Structural and biophysical characteristics of human skin in maintaining proper epidermal barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boer, Magdalena; Duchnik, Ewa; Maleszka, Romuald; Marchlewicz, Mariola

    2016-02-01

    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.

  6. The ordered assembly of tau is the gain-of-toxic function that causes human tauopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goedert, Michel

    2016-10-01

    A pathological pathway leading from soluble to insoluble and filamentous tau underlies human tauopathies. This ordered assembly causes disease and is the gain-of-toxic function. It involves the transition from an intrinsically disordered monomer to a highly structured filament. Based on recent findings, one can divide the ordered assembly into propagation of pathology and neurodegeneration. Short tau fibrils constitute the major species of seed-competent tau in the brains of mice transgenic for human P301S tau. The molecular species of aggregated tau that are essential for neurodegeneration remain to be identified. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. The frequent evolutionary birth and death of functional promoters in mouse and human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Young, Robert S.; Hayashizaki, Yosihide; Andersson, Robin;

    2015-01-01

    sequence changes at promoters, we show that dramatic changes such as the complete gain and loss (collectively turnover) of functional promoters are common. Using quantitative measures of transcription initiation in both humans and mice across 52 matched tissues we discriminate promoter sequence gains from...... the same biological systems are similarly inclined to transcriptional rewiring. The genes affected by promoter turnover show evidence of adaptive evolution. In mice, promoters are primarily lost through deletion of the promoter containing sequence; whereas in humans, many promoters appear to be gradually...

  8. 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.

  9. Investigation of Function of Novel Sperm Binding Protein HBRP in Human

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Objective To investigate the biology function of novel protein related to bovie seminal plasma protein in human testis.Methods Recombination pcDNA3/HBRP was constructed and transfected to HEK293 cell and permanently expression cell line was established.The activity of protein kinase C (PKC) of the cell line was detected by autoradiography method.Results The stable expression cell line of HBRP was obtained.The HBRP inhibited the activity of PKC significantly.Conclusion One of the newfunctions of novel sperm binding protein in human is the inhibitor action on activity of PKC.It may be involved in the sperm capacitation,and acrosome reaction.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A bioinformatics study concerning structural and functional properties of human caveolin proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isvoran Adriana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We performed a bioinformatics study to predict and compare the structural and functional properties of human caveolins: caveolin-1, -2 and -3. The computed local physico-chemical properties, predictions of their secondary structure elements and interacting partners of caveolin-2 and -3 are compared to experimentally proved structural and functional properties of caveolin-1. These data combined with the sequences alignment of the three caveolins, allowed predicting and characterizing the functional domains of caveolin-2 and -3. The hydrophobic regions of these proteins are highly similar in sequences and physicochemical properties and it is in good agreement with their known membrane locations and functions. The most divergent in sequences and properties are the C-terminal regions of caveolins suggesting that they might be responsible for their distinct predicted interactions, with direct consequences on signalling processes.

  14. Fc functional antibodies in humans with severe H7N9 and seasonal influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderven, Hillary A.; Liu, Lu; Ana-Sosa-Batiz, Fernanda; Nguyen, Thi H.O.; Wan, Yanmin; Hogarth, P. Mark; Tilmanis, Danielle; Parsons, Matthew S.; Hurt, Aeron C.; Davenport, Miles P.; Kotsimbos, Tom; Cheng, Allen C.; Kedzierska, Katherine; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Jianqing; Kent, Stephen J.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Both seasonal and novel avian influenza viruses can result in severe infections requiring hospitalization. Anti-influenza antibodies (Abs) with Fc-mediated effector functions, such as Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), are of growing interest in control of influenza but have not previously been studied during severe human infections. As such, the objective of this study was to examine Fc-mediated Ab functions in humans hospitalized with influenza infection. METHODS. Serum Ab response was studied in subjects hospitalized with either pandemic H7N9 avian influenza virus in China (n = 18) or circulating seasonal influenza viruses in Melbourne, Australia (n = 16). Recombinant soluble Fc receptor dimer ELISAs, natural killer (NK) cell activation assays, and Ab-dependent killing assays with influenza-infected target cells were used to assess the Fc functionality of anti-influenza hemagglutinin (HA) Abs during severe human influenza infection. RESULTS. We found that the peak generation of Fc functional HA Abs preceded that of neutralizing Abs for both severe H7N9 and seasonal influenza infections. Subjects who succumbed to complications of H7N9 infection demonstrated reduced HA-specific Fc receptor–binding Abs (in magnitude and breadth) immediately prior to death compared with those who survived. Subjects who recovered from H7N9 and severe seasonal influenza infections demonstrated increased Fc receptor–binding Abs not only against the homologous infecting strain but against HAs from different influenza A subtypes. CONCLUSION. Collectively, survivors of severe influenza infection rapidly generate a functional Ab response capable of mediating ADCC against divergent influenza viruses. Broadly binding HA Abs with Fc-mediated functions may be a useful component of protective immunity to severe influenza infection. FUNDING. The National Health and Medical Research Council ([NHMRC] grants 1023294, 1041832, and 1071916), the Australian Department of Health

  15. Evaluation of Head and Brain Injury Risk Functions Using Sub-Injurious Human Volunteer Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Erin J; Gabler, Lee F; McGhee, James S; Olszko, Ardyn V; Chancey, V Carol; Crandall, Jeff R; Panzer, Matthew B

    2017-08-15

    Risk assessment models are developed to estimate the probability of brain injury during head impact using mechanical response variables such as head kinematics and brain tissue deformation. Existing injury risk functions have been developed using different datasets based on human volunteer and scaled animal injury responses to impact. However, many of these functions have not been independently evaluated with respect to laboratory-controlled human response data. In this study, the specificity of 14 existing brain injury risk functions was assessed by evaluating their ability to correctly predict non-injurious response using previously conducted sled tests with well-instrumented human research volunteers. Six degrees-of-freedom head kinematics data were obtained for 335 sled tests involving subjects in frontal, lateral, and oblique sled conditions up to 16 Gs peak sled acceleration. A review of the medical reports associated with each individual test indicated no clinical diagnosis of mild or moderate brain injury in any of the cases evaluated. Kinematic-based head and brain injury risk probabilities were calculated directly from the kinematic data, while strain-based risks were determined through finite element model simulation of the 335 tests. Several injury risk functions substantially over predict the likelihood of concussion and diffuse axonal injury; proposed maximum principal strain-based injury risk functions predicted nearly 80 concussions and 14 cases of severe diffuse axonal injury out of the 335 non-injurious cases. This work is an important first step in assessing the efficacy of existing brain risk functions and highlights the need for more predictive injury assessment models.

  16. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Shi

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (MA and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1. TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2 mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6 mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD family of recombinant inbred (RI strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options.

  17. 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.

  18. Functional genomics of human brain development and implications for autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziats, M N; Grosvenor, L P; Rennert, O M

    2015-10-27

    Transcription of the inherited DNA sequence into copies of messenger RNA is the most fundamental process by which the genome functions to guide development. Encoded sequence information, inherited epigenetic marks and environmental influences all converge at the level of mRNA gene expression to allow for cell-type-specific, tissue-specific, spatial and temporal patterns of expression. Thus, the transcriptome represents a complex interplay between inherited genomic structure, dynamic experiential demands and external signals. This property makes transcriptome studies uniquely positioned to provide insight into complex genetic-epigenetic-environmental processes such as human brain development, and disorders with non-Mendelian genetic etiologies such as autism spectrum disorders. In this review, we describe recent studies exploring the unique functional genomics profile of the human brain during neurodevelopment. We then highlight two emerging areas of research with great potential to increase our understanding of functional neurogenomics-non-coding RNA expression and gene interaction networks. Finally, we review previous functional genomics studies of autism spectrum disorder in this context, and discuss how investigations at the level of functional genomics are beginning to identify convergent molecular mechanisms underlying this genetically heterogeneous disorder.

  19. Correlation of apical fluid-regulating channel proteins with lung function in human COPD lungs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runzhen Zhao

    Full Text Available Links between epithelial ion channels and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD are emerging through animal model and in vitro studies. However, clinical correlations between fluid-regulating channel proteins and lung function in COPD remain to be elucidated. To quantitatively measure epithelial sodium channels (ENaC, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR, and aquaporin 5 (AQP5 proteins in human COPD lungs and to analyze the correlation with declining lung function, quantitative western blots were used. Spearman tests were performed to identify correlations between channel proteins and lung function. The expression of α and β ENaC subunits was augmented and inversely associated with lung function. In contrast, both total and alveolar type I (ATI and II (ATII-specific CFTR proteins were reduced. The expression level of CFTR proteins was associated with FEV1 positively. Abundance of AQP5 proteins and extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3 was decreased and correlated with spirometry test results and gas exchange positively. Furthermore, these channel proteins were significantly associated with severity of disease. Our study demonstrates that expression of ENaC, AQP5, and CFTR proteins in human COPD lungs is quantitatively associated with lung function and severity of COPD. These apically located fluid-regulating channels may thereby serve as biomarkers and potent druggable targets of COPD.

  20. Specificity and Effector Functions of Human RSV-Specific IgG from Bovine Milk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerco den Hartog

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether IgG purified from bovine milk (bIgG can modulate immune responses against human RSV. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Expression and functions of long noncoding RNAs during human T helper cell differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurlock, Charles F; Tossberg, John T; Guo, Yan; Collier, Sarah P; Crooke, Philip S; Aune, Thomas M

    2015-04-23

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate an array of biological processes in cells and organ systems. Less is known about their expression and function in lymphocyte lineages. Here we have identified >2000 lncRNAs expressed in human T-cell cultures and those that display a TH lineage-specific pattern of expression and are intragenic or adjacent to TH lineage-specific genes encoding proteins with immunologic functions. One lncRNA cluster selectively expressed by the effector TH2 lineage consists of four alternatively spliced transcripts that regulate the expression of TH2 cytokines, IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13. Genes encoding this lncRNA cluster in humans overlap the RAD50 gene and thus are contiguous with the previously described TH2 locus control region (LCR) in the mouse. Given its genomic synteny with the TH2-LCR, we refer to this lncRNA cluster as TH2-LCR lncRNA.

  3. Antimicrobial Functions of Lactoferrin Promote Genetic Conflicts in Ancient Primates and Modern Humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew F Barber

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Lactoferrin is a multifunctional mammalian immunity protein that limits microbial growth through sequestration of nutrient iron. Additionally, lactoferrin possesses cationic protein domains that directly bind and inhibit diverse microbes. The implications for these dual functions on lactoferrin evolution and genetic conflicts with microbes remain unclear. Here we show that lactoferrin has been subject to recurrent episodes of positive selection during primate divergence predominately at antimicrobial peptide surfaces consistent with long-term antagonism by bacteria. An abundant lactoferrin polymorphism in human populations and Neanderthals also exhibits signatures of positive selection across primates, linking ancient host-microbe conflicts to modern human genetic variation. Rapidly evolving sites in lactoferrin further correspond to molecular interfaces with opportunistic bacterial pathogens causing meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis. Because microbes actively target lactoferrin to acquire iron, we propose that the emergence of antimicrobial activity provided a pivotal mechanism of adaptation sparking evolutionary conflicts via acquisition of new protein functions.

  4. Antimicrobial Functions of Lactoferrin Promote Genetic Conflicts in Ancient Primates and Modern Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronenberg, Zev; Yandell, Mark; Elde, Nels C.

    2016-01-01

    Lactoferrin is a multifunctional mammalian immunity protein that limits microbial growth through sequestration of nutrient iron. Additionally, lactoferrin possesses cationic protein domains that directly bind and inhibit diverse microbes. The implications for these dual functions on lactoferrin evolution and genetic conflicts with microbes remain unclear. Here we show that lactoferrin has been subject to recurrent episodes of positive selection during primate divergence predominately at antimicrobial peptide surfaces consistent with long-term antagonism by bacteria. An abundant lactoferrin polymorphism in human populations and Neanderthals also exhibits signatures of positive selection across primates, linking ancient host-microbe conflicts to modern human genetic variation. Rapidly evolving sites in lactoferrin further correspond to molecular interfaces with opportunistic bacterial pathogens causing meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis. Because microbes actively target lactoferrin to acquire iron, we propose that the emergence of antimicrobial activity provided a pivotal mechanism of adaptation sparking evolutionary conflicts via acquisition of new protein functions. PMID:27203426

  5. Promoting effect of lactoferrin on barrier function and epithelial differentiation of human keratinocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Ryo; Aoki, Reiji; Aoki-Yoshida, Ayako; Tajima, Atsushi; Takayama, Yoshiharu

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of bovine lactoferrin on keratinocyte differentiation and barrier function. Addition of bovine lactoferrin to differentiating HaCaT human keratinocytes led to increased transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), a marker of epithelial barrier function. This elevation was followed by upregulation of two differentiation markers, involucrin and filaggrin. The expression level of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 was also enhanced by bovine lactoferrin. The lactoferrin-induced upregulation of involucrin and filaggrin expression were confirmed in normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK). Treatment with SB203580, a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) α inhibitor, impaired the upregulation of involucrin and filaggrin expression in response to lactoferrin. The elevation of p38 MAPK phosphorylation was further enhanced by lactoferrin in the initial stage of differentiation of HaCaT keratinocytes. The findings suggest that bovine lactoferrin promotes epithelial differentiation by a p38-MAPK-dependent mechanism.

  6. 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.

  7. Emerging synbiotics and their effect on the composition and functionality of the human gut microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zanten, Gabriella Christina

    , 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...... effects of both probiotics and prebiotics, they may be combined to synbiotics. The definition of synbiotics implies that the prebiotic should be specific to the probiotic in question. Therefore, a library of 37 emerging prebiotics, comprising carbohydrates with a large range of degrees of polymerization...... emerging prebiotics were selected for further investigation using a four-stage semi-continuous model system of the human colon. The selected combinations were NCFM with isomaltulose, cellobiose, raffinose and oat β-glucan hydrolyzed with endo-1,3-β-glucanase (OBGH), respectively and Bl-04 with melibiose...

  8. 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.

  9. Virus-like particle-based human vaccines: quality assessment based on structural and functional properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qinjian; Li, Shaowei; Yu, Hai; Xia, Ningshao; Modis, Yorgo

    2013-11-01

    Human vaccines against three viruses use recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) as the antigen: hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis E virus. VLPs are excellent prophylactic vaccine antigens because they are self-assembling bionanoparticles (20 to 60 nm in diameter) that expose multiple epitopes on their surface and faithfully mimic the native virions. Here we summarize the long journey of these vaccines from bench to patients. The physical properties and structural features of each recombinant VLP vaccine are described. With the recent licensure of Hecolin against hepatitis E virus adding a third disease indication to prophylactic VLP-based vaccines, we review how the crucial quality attributes of VLP-based human vaccines against all three disease indications were assessed, controlled, and improved during bioprocessing through an array of structural and functional analyses.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Qiang

    ) were conducted to investigate the potential relationship between gut microbiome and diseases such as colorectal adenoma (CRA) and carcinoma (CRC), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and coronary heart disease (CHD). Compared to the healthy individuals, CRA and CRC patients exhibited an enrichment of specificly...... abnormality in CHD patients. The extended integrated gene catalog of the human gut microbiome and the following association studies in a series of complex diseases highlight the strong connection between intestinal microorganisms and human health. These studies also shows a great potential of using microbiome...... 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...

  11. ADAM15 Is Functionally Associated with the Metastatic Progression of Human Bladder Cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guadalupe Lorenzatti Hiles

    Full Text Available ADAM15 is a member of a family of catalytically active disintegrin membrane metalloproteinases that function as molecular signaling switches, shed membrane bound growth factors and/or cleave and inactivate cell adhesion molecules. Aberrant metalloproteinase function of ADAM15 may contribute to tumor progression through the release of growth factors or disruption of cell adhesion. In this study, we utilized human bladder cancer tissues and cell lines to evaluate the expression and function of ADAM15 in the progression of human bladder cancer. Examination of genome and transcriptome databases revealed that ADAM15 ranked in the top 5% of amplified genes and its mRNA was significantly overexpressed in invasive and metastatic bladder cancer compared to noninvasive disease. Immunostaining of a bladder tumor tissue array designed to evaluate disease progression revealed increased ADAM15 immunoreactivity associated with increasing cancer stage and exhibited significantly stronger staining in metastatic samples. About half of the invasive tumors and the majority of the metastatic cases exhibited high ADAM15 staining index, while all low grade and noninvasive cases exhibited negative or low staining. The knockdown of ADAM15 mRNA expression significantly inhibited bladder tumor cell migration and reduced the invasive capacity of bladder tumor cells through MatrigelTM and monolayers of vascular endothelium. The knockdown of ADAM15 in a human xenograft model of bladder cancer inhibited tumor growth by 45% compared to controls. Structural modeling of the catalytic domain led to the design of a novel ADAM15-specific sulfonamide inhibitor that demonstrated bioactivity and significantly reduced the viability of bladder cancer cells in vitro and in human bladder cancer xenografts. Taken together, the results revealed an undescribed role of ADAM15 in the invasion of human bladder cancer and suggested that the ADAM15 catalytic domain may represent a viable

  12. Accessory subunits are integral for assembly and function of human mitochondrial complex I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, David A; Surgenor, Elliot E; Formosa, Luke E; Reljic, Boris; Frazier, Ann E; Dibley, Marris G; Osellame, Laura D; Stait, Tegan; Beilharz, Traude H; Thorburn, David R; Salim, Agus; Ryan, Michael T

    2016-10-06

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is the first enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and is composed of 45 subunits in humans, making it one of the largest known multi-subunit membrane protein complexes. Complex I exists in supercomplex forms with