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Sample records for junction barrier function

  1. Intestinal epithelial barrier function and tight junction proteins with heat and exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dokladny, Karol; Zuhl, Micah N; Moseley, Pope L

    2016-01-01

    A single layer of enterocytes and tight junctions (intercellular multiprotein complexes) form the intestinal epithelial barrier that controls transport of molecules through transcellular and paracellular pathways. A dysfunctional or "leaky" intestinal tight junction barrier allows augmented perme...

  2. Could tight junctions regulate the barrier function of the aged skin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Marek; Bílková, Zuzana; Muthný, Tomáš

    2016-03-01

    The skin is known to be the largest organ in human organism creating interface with outer environment. The skin provides protective barrier against pathogens, physical and chemical insults, and against uncontrolled loss of water. The barrier function was primarily attributed to the stratum corneum (SC) but recent studies confirmed that epidermal tight junctions (TJs) also play important role in maintaining barrier properties of the skin. Independent observations indicate that barrier function and its recovery is impaired in aged skin. However, trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) values remains rather unchanged in elderly population. UV radiation as major factor of photoageing impairs TJ proteins, but TJs have great self-regenerative potential. Since it may be possible that TJs can compensate TEWL in elderly due to its regenerative and compensatory capabilities, important question remains to be answered: how are TJs regulated during skin ageing? This review provides an insight into TJs functioning as epidermal barrier and summarizes current knowledge about the impact of ageing on the barrier function of the skin and epidermal TJs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Strain-dependent augmentation of tight-junction barrier function in human primary epidermal keratinocytes by Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium lysates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Reshma; McBain, Andrew J; O'Neill, Catherine A

    2013-08-01

    In this study, we investigated whether probiotic lysates can modify the tight-junction function of human primary keratinocytes. The keratinocytes were grown on cell culture inserts and treated with lysates from Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus fermentum, or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. With the exception of L. fermentum (which decreased cell viability), all strains markedly enhanced tight-junction barrier function within 24 h, as assessed by measurements of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). However, B. longum and L. rhamnosus GG were the most efficacious, producing dose-dependent increases in resistance that were maintained for 4 days. These increases in TEER correlated with elevated expression of tight-junction protein components. Neutralization of Toll-like receptor 2 abolished both the increase in TEER and expression of tight-junction proteins induced by B. longum, but not L. rhamnosus GG. These data suggest that some bacterial strains increase tight-junction function via modulation of protein components but the different pathways involved may vary depending on the bacterial strain.

  4. Tunnel junctions with multiferroic barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajek, Martin; Bibes, Manuel; Fusil, Stéphane; Bouzehouane, Karim; Fontcuberta, Josep; Barthélémy, Agnès; Fert, Albert

    2007-04-01

    Multiferroics are singular materials that can exhibit simultaneously electric and magnetic orders. Some are ferroelectric and ferromagnetic and provide the opportunity to encode information in electric polarization and magnetization to obtain four logic states. However, such materials are rare and schemes allowing a simple electrical readout of these states have not been demonstrated in the same device. Here, we show that films of La0.1Bi0.9MnO3 (LBMO) are ferromagnetic and ferroelectric, and retain both ferroic properties down to a thickness of 2nm. We have integrated such ultrathin multiferroic films as barriers in spin-filter-type tunnel junctions that exploit the magnetic and ferroelectric degrees of freedom of LBMO. Whereas ferromagnetism permits read operations reminiscent of magnetic random access memories (MRAM), the electrical switching evokes a ferroelectric RAM write operation. Significantly, our device does not require the destructive ferroelectric readout, and therefore represents an advance over the original four-state memory concept based on multiferroics.

  5. Double-barrier junction based dc SQUID

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartolomé, M.E.; Brinkman, Alexander; Flokstra, Jakob; Golubov, Alexandre Avraamovitch; Rogalla, Horst

    2000-01-01

    dc SQUIDs based on double-barrier Nb/Al/AlOx/Al/AlOx/Al/Nb junctions (DBSQs) have been fabricated and tested for the first time. The current–voltage curves have been measured at temperatures down to 1.4 K. The critical current, Ic, dependence on the temperature T is partially described by the

  6. Tight junction proteins contribute to barrier properties in human pleura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, Alexander G; Voronkova, Maria A; Volgin, George N; Yablonsky, Piotr K; Fromm, Michael; Amasheh, Salah

    2011-03-15

    The permeability of pleural mesothelium helps to control the volume and composition of the liquid lubricating pleural surfaces. Information on pleural barrier function in health and disease, however, is scarce. Tissue specimens of human pleura were mounted in Ussing chambers for measurement of transmesothelial resistance. Expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins was studied by Western blots and immune fluorescence confocal microscopy. Both visceral and parietal pleura showed barrier properties represented by transmesothelial resistance. Occludin, claudin-1, -3, -5, and -7, were detected in visceral pleura. In parietal pleura, the same TJ proteins were detected, except claudin-7. In tissues from patients with pleural inflammation these tightening claudins were decreased and in visceral pleura claudin-2, a paracellular channel former, became apparent. We report that barrier function in human pleura coincides with expression of claudins known to be key determinants of epithelial barrier properties. In inflamed tissue, claudin expression indicates a reduced barrier function. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Thermopower in double planar tunnel junctions with ferromagnetic barriers and nonmagnetic electrodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilczyński, M., E-mail: wilczyns@if.pw.edu.pl

    2017-01-01

    The Seebeck effect is investigated in double planar tunnel junctions consisting of nonmagnetic electrodes and the central layer separated by ferromagnetic barriers. Calculations are performed in the linear response theory using the free-electron model. The thermopower is analyzed as a function of the thickness of the central layer, temperature of the junctions and the relative orientation of magnetic moments of the barriers. It has been found that the thermopower can be significantly enhanced in the junction with special central layer thickness due to electron tunneling by resonant states. The thickness of the central layer for which the thermopower is enhanced depends not only on the temperature of the junction but also on the orientation of magnetic moments in the barriers. - Highlights: • Thermopower in the double planar junctions with magnetic barriers is analyzed. • Thermopower can be enhanced due to the resonant tunneling. • Thermopower depends on the magnetic configuration of the junction.

  8. Trends in drug delivery through tissue barriers containing tight junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscheik, Christian; Blasig, Ingolf E; Winkler, Lars

    2013-04-01

    A limitation in the uptake of many drugs is the restricted permeation through tissue barriers. There are two general ways to cross barriers formed by cell layers: by transcytosis or by diffusion through the intercellular space. In the latter, tight junctions (TJs) play the decisive role in the regulation of the barrier permeability. Thus, transient modulation of TJs is a potent strategy to improve drug delivery. There have been extensive studies on surfactant-like absorption enhancers. One of the most effective enhancers found is sodium caprate. However, this modulates TJs in an unspecific fashion. A novel approach would be the specific modulation of TJ-associated marvel proteins and claudins, which are the main structural components of the TJs. Recent studies have identified synthetic peptidomimetics and RNA interference techniques to downregulate the expression of targeted TJ proteins. This review summarizes current progress and discusses the impact on TJs' barrier function.

  9. Doping enhanced barrier lowering in graphene-silicon junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xintong; Zhang, Lining; Chan, Mansun

    2016-06-01

    Rectifying properties of graphene-semiconductor junctions depend on the Schottky barrier height. We report an enhanced barrier lowering in graphene-Si junction and its essential doping dependence in this paper. The electric field due to ionized charge in n-type Si induces the same type doping in graphene and contributes another Schottky barrier lowering factor on top of the image-force-induced lowering (IFIL). We confirm this graphene-doping-induced lowering (GDIL) based on well reproductions of the measured reverse current of our fabricated graphene-Si junctions by the thermionic emission theory. Excellent matching between the theoretical predictions and the junction data of the doping-concentration dependent barrier lowering serves as another evidence of the GDIL. While both GDIL and IFIL are enhanced with the Si doping, GDIL exceeds IFIL with a threshold doping depending on the as-prepared graphene itself.

  10. Niobium nitride Josephson junctions with silicon and germanium barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cukauskas, E.J.; Carter, W.L.

    1988-01-01

    Niobium nitride based junctions with silicon, germanium, and composite silicon/germanium barriers were fabricated and characterized for several barrier compositions. The current-voltage characteristics were analyzed at several temperatures using the Simmons model and numerical integration of the WKB approximation for the average barrier height and effective thickness. The zero voltage conductance was measured from 1.5 K to 300 K and compared to the Mott hopping conductivity model and the Stratton tunneling temperature dependence. Conductivity followed Mott conductivity at temperatures above 60 K for junctions with less than 100 angstrom thick barriers

  11. Fluoride barriers in Nb/Pb Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, H.; Tanabe, K.; Michikami, O.; Igarashi, M.; Beasley, M. R.

    1985-03-01

    Josephson tunnel junctions are fabricated using a new class of artificial barriers, metal fluorides (Al fluoride and Zr fluoride). These fluoride barriers are deposited on the surface of a Nb base electrode, which are previously cleaned using a CF4 cleaning process, and covered by a Pb counterelectrode. The junctions with both Al fluoride and Zr fluoride barriers exhibit good tunneling characteristics and have low specific capacitance. In the case of Zr fluoride, it is observed that reasonable resistances are obtained even at thickness greater than 100 A. This phenomenon might be explained by tunneling via localized states in Zr fluoride.

  12. Molecular anatomy of interendothelial junctions in human blood-brain barrier microvessels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej W Vorbrodt

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Immunogold cytochemical procedure was used to study the localization at the ultrastructural level of interendothelial junction-associated protein molecules in the human brain blood microvessels, representing the anatomic site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB. Ultrathin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex obtained during surgical procedures were exposed to specific antibodies, followed by colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibodies. All tight junction-specific integral membrane (transmembrane proteins--occludin, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM-1, and claudin-5--as well as peripheral zonula occludens protein (ZO-1 were highly expressed. Immunoreactivity of the adherens junction-specific transmembrane protein VE-cadherin was of almost similar intensity. Immunolabeling of the adherens junction-associated peripheral proteins--alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120 catenin--although positive, was evidently less intense. The expression of gamma-catenin (plakoglobin was considered questionable because solitary immunosignals (gold particles appeared in only a few microvascular profiles. Double labeling of some sections made possible to observe strict colocalization of the junctional molecules, such as occludin and ZO-1 or JAM-1 and VE-cadherin, in the interendothelial junctions. We found that in human brain microvessels, the interendothelial junctional complexes contain molecular components specific for both tight and adherens junctions. It is assumed that the data obtained can help us find the immunodetectable junctional molecules that can serve as sensitive markers of normal or abnormal function of the BBB.

  13. Spatial inhomogeneous barrier heights at graphene/semiconductor Schottky junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomer, Dushyant

    Graphene, a semimetal with linear energy dispersion, forms Schottky junction when interfaced with a semiconductor. This dissertation presents temperature dependent current-voltage and scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) measurements performed on graphene Schottky junctions formed with both three and two dimensional semiconductors. To fabricate Schottky junctions, we transfer chemical vapor deposited monolayer graphene onto Si- and C-face SiC, Si, GaAs and MoS2 semiconducting substrates using polymer assisted chemical method. We observe three main type of intrinsic spatial inhomogeneities, graphene ripples, ridges and semiconductor steps in STM imaging that can exist at graphene/semiconductor junctions. Tunneling spectroscopy measurements reveal fluctuations in graphene Dirac point position, which is directly related to the Schottky barrier height. We find a direct correlation of Dirac point variation with the topographic undulations of graphene ripples at the graphene/SiC junction. However, no such correlation is established at graphene/Si and Graphene/GaAs junctions and Dirac point variations are attributed to surface states and trapped charges at the interface. In addition to graphene ripples and ridges, we also observe atomic scale moire patterns at graphene/MoS2 junction due to van der Waals interaction at the interface. Periodic topographic modulations due to moire pattern do not lead to local variation in graphene Dirac point, indicating that moire pattern does not contribute to fluctuations in electronic properties of the heterojunction. We perform temperature dependent current-voltage measurements to investigate the impact of topographic inhomogeneities on electrical properties of the Schottky junctions. We observe temperature dependence in junction parameters, such as Schottky barrier height and ideality factor, for all types of Schottky junctions in forward bias measurements. Standard thermionic emission theory which assumes a perfect

  14. Niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions with magnesium oxide barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, A.; Aoyagi, M.; Kosaka, S.; Shinoki, F.; Hayakawa, H.

    1985-01-01

    Niobium nitride-niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions have been fabricated using amorphous magnesium oxide (a-MgO) films as barriers. These junctions have excellent tunneling characteristics. For example, a large gap voltage (V/sub g/ = 5.1 mV), a large product of the maximum critical current and the normal tunneling resistance (I/sub c/R/sub n/ = 3.25 mV), and a small subgap leakage current (V/sub m/ = 45 mV, measured at 3 mV) have been obtained for a NbN/a-MgO/NbN junction. The critical current of this junction remains finite up to 14.5 K

  15. NbCN Josephson junctions with AlN barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomasson, S.L.; Murduck, J.M.; Chan, H.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports on niobium carbonitride (NbCN) Josephson circuits which operate over a wider temperature range than either niobium or niobium nitride circuits. Higher operating temperature places NbCN technology more comfortably within the range of closed cycle refrigerators, a key factor in aerospace applications. We have fabricated tunnel junctions from NbCN films with transition temperatures up to 18 Kelvin. High quality NbCN tunnel junction fabrication generally requires low stress films with roughness less than the barrier thickness (∼20 Angstrom). We have developed scanning tunneling microscopy as a tool for measuring and optimizing film smoothness. Junctions formed in situ with AIN tunneling barriers show reproducible I-V characteristics

  16. Conductance of graphene based normal-superconductor junction with double magnetic barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahipour, B.; Mohebalipour, A.; Maleki, M. A.

    2018-05-01

    We study conductance of a graphene based normal metal-superconductor junction with two magnetic barriers. The magnetic barriers are induced via two applied magnetic fields with the same magnitudes and opposite directions accompanied by an applied electrostatic potential. We solve Dirac-Bogoliubov-De-Gennes (DBdG) equation to calculate conductance of the junction. We find that applying the magnetic field leads to suppression of the Andreev reflection and conductance for all energies. On the other hand, we observe a crossover from oscillatory to tunneling behavior of the conductance as a function of the applied potential by increasing the magnetic field.

  17. Spin-filtering junctions with double ferroelectric barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, Ju; Ding-Yu, Xing

    2009-01-01

    An FS/FE/NS/FE/FS double tunnel junction is suggested to have the ability to inject, modulate and detect the spin-polarized current electrically in a single device, where FS is the ferromagnetic semiconductor electrode, NS is the nonmagnetic semiconductor, and FE the ferroelectric barrier. The spin polarization of the current injected into the NS region can be switched between a highly spin-polarized state and a spin unpolarized state. The high spin polarization may be detected by measuring the tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of the double tunnel junction

  18. A charge-based model of Junction Barrier Schottky rectifiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre-Rey, Alvaro D.; Mudholkar, Mihir; Quddus, Mohammed T.; Salih, Ali

    2018-06-01

    A new charge-based model of the electric field distribution for Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes is presented, based on the description of the charge-sharing effect between the vertical Schottky junction and the lateral pn-junctions that constitute the active cell of the device. In our model, the inherently 2-D problem is transformed into a simple but accurate 1-D problem which has a closed analytical solution that captures the reshaping and reduction of the electric field profile responsible for the improved electrical performance of these devices, while preserving physically meaningful expressions that depend on relevant device parameters. The validation of the model is performed by comparing calculated electric field profiles with drift-diffusion simulations of a JBS device showing good agreement. Even though other fully 2-D models already available provide higher accuracy, they lack physical insight making the proposed model an useful tool for device design.

  19. Functional anatomy of the human ureterovesical junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  20. Asymmetric voltage behavior of the tunnel magnetoresistance in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur

    2012-06-01

    In this paper, we study the value of the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) as a function of the applied voltage in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DMTJs) with the left and right ferromagnetic (FM) layers being pinned and numerically estimate the possible difference of the TMR curves for negative and positive voltages in the homojunctions (equal barriers and electrodes). DMTJs are modeled as two single barrier junctions connected in series with consecutive tunneling (CST). We investigated the asymmetric voltage behavior of the TMR for the CST in the range of a general theoretical model. Significant asymmetries of the experimental curves, which arise due to different annealing regimes, are mostly explained by different heights of the tunnel barriers and asymmetries of spin polarizations in magnetic layers. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.

  1. Asymmetric voltage behavior of the tunnel magnetoresistance in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur; Gooneratne, Chinthaka Pasan; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we study the value of the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) as a function of the applied voltage in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DMTJs) with the left and right ferromagnetic (FM) layers being pinned and numerically estimate the possible difference of the TMR curves for negative and positive voltages in the homojunctions (equal barriers and electrodes). DMTJs are modeled as two single barrier junctions connected in series with consecutive tunneling (CST). We investigated the asymmetric voltage behavior of the TMR for the CST in the range of a general theoretical model. Significant asymmetries of the experimental curves, which arise due to different annealing regimes, are mostly explained by different heights of the tunnel barriers and asymmetries of spin polarizations in magnetic layers. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.

  2. Flexible MgO Barrier Magnetic Tunnel Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loong, Li Ming; Lee, Wonho; Qiu, Xuepeng; Yang, Ping; Kawai, Hiroyo; Saeys, Mark; Ahn, Jong-Hyun; Yang, Hyunsoo

    2016-07-01

    Flexible MgO barrier magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) devices are fabricated using a transfer printing process. The flexible MTJ devices yield significantly enhanced tunneling magnetoresistance of ≈300% and improved abruptness of switching, as residual strain in the MTJ structure is released during the transfer process. This approach could be useful for flexible electronic systems that require high-performance memory components. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Metal-semiconductor Schottky barrier junctions and their applications

    CERN Document Server

    1984-01-01

    The present-day semiconductor technology would be inconceivable without extensive use of Schottky barrier junctions. In spite of an excellent book by Professor E.H. Rhoderick (1978) dealing with the basic principles of metal­ semiconductor contacts and a few recent review articles, the need for a monograph on "Metal-Semiconductor Schottky Barrier Junctions and Their Applications" has long been felt by students, researchers, and technologists. It was in this context that the idea of publishing such a monograph by Mr. Ellis H. Rosenberg, Senior Editor, Plenum Publishing Corporation, was considered very timely. Due to the numerous and varied applications of Schottky barrier junctions, the task of bringing it out, however, looked difficult in the beginning. After discussions at various levels, it was deemed appropriate to include only those typical applications which were extremely rich in R&D and still posed many challenges so that it could be brought out in the stipulated time frame. Keeping in view the la...

  4. Skin barrier function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2016-01-01

    Renowned experts present the latest knowledge Although a very fragile structure, the skin barrier is probably one of the most important organs of the body. Inward/out it is responsible for body integrity and outward/in for keeping microbes, chemicals, and allergens from penetrating the skin. Since...... the role of barrier integrity in atopic dermatitis and the relationship to filaggrin mutations was discovered a decade ago, research focus has been on the skin barrier, and numerous new publications have become available. This book is an interdisciplinary update offering a wide range of information...... on the subject. It covers new basic research on skin markers, including results on filaggrin and on methods for the assessment of the barrier function. Biological variation and aspects of skin barrier function restoration are discussed as well. Further sections are dedicated to clinical implications of skin...

  5. Claudin-4 Overexpression in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Is Associated with Hypomethylation and Is a Potential Target for Modulation of Tight Junction Barrier Function Using a C-Terminal Fragment of Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babak Litkouhi

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Claudin-4, a tight junction (TJ protein and receptor for the C-terminal fragment of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (C-CPE, is overexpressed in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC. Previous research suggests DNA methylation is a mechanism for claudin-4 overexpression in cancer and that C-CPE acts as an absorption-enhancing agent in claudin-4expressing cells. We sought to correlate claudin-4 overexpression in EOC with clinical outcomes and TJ barrier function, investigate DNA methylation as a mechanism for overexpression, and evaluate the effect of C-CPE on the TJ. METHODS: Claudin-4 expression in EOC was quantified and correlated with clinical outcomes. Claudin-4 methylation status was determined, and claudin-4-negative cell lines were treated with a demethylating agent. Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing was used to calculate junctional (paracellular resistance (Rb in EOC cells after claudin-4 silencing and after C-CPE treatment. RESULTS: Claudin4 overexpression in EOC does not correlate with survival or other clinical endpoints and is associated with hypomethylation. Claudin-4 overexpression correlates with Rb and C-CPE treatment of EOC cells significantly decreased Rb in a dose- and claudin-4-dependent noncytotoxic manner. CONCLUSIONS: C-CPE treatment of EOC cells leads to altered TJ function. Further research is needed to determine the potential clinical applications of C-CPE in EOC drug delivery strategies.

  6. Microstructure of Josephson junctions: Effect on supercurrent transport in YBCO grain boundary and barrier layer junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merkle, K.L.; Huang, Y.

    1998-01-01

    The electric transport of high-temperature superconductors, such as YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7-x (YBCO), can be strongly restricted by the presence of high-angle grain boundaries (GB). This weak-link behavior is governed by the macroscopic GB geometry and the microscopic grain boundary structure and composition at the atomic level. Whereas grain boundaries present a considerable impediment to high current applications of high T c materials, there is considerable commercial interest in exploiting the weak-link-nature of grain boundaries for the design of microelectronic devices, such as superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The Josephson junctions which form the basis of this technology can also be formed by introducing artificial barriers into the superconductor. The authors have examined both types of Josephson junctions by EM techniques in an effort to understand the connection between microstructure/chemistry and electrical transport properties. This knowledge is a valuable resource for the design and production of improved devices

  7. Tunnel magnetoresistance in asymmetric double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Useinov, N.Kh.; Petukhov, D.A.; Tagirov, L.R.

    2015-01-01

    The spin-polarized tunnel conductance and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) through a planar asymmetric double-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (DBMTJ) have been calculated using quasi-classical model. In DBMTJ nanostructure the magnetization of middle ferromagnetic metal layer can be aligned parallel or antiparallel with respect to the fixed magnetizations of the top and bottom ferromagnetic electrodes. The transmission coefficients of an electron to pass through the barriers have been calculated in terms of quantum mechanics. The dependencies of tunnel conductance and TMR on the applied voltage have been calculated in case of non-resonant transmission. Estimated in the framework of our model, the difference between the spin-channels conductances at low voltages was found relatively large. This gives rise to very high magnitude of TMR. - Highlights: • The spin-polarized conductance through the junction is calculated. • Dependencies of the tunnel conductance vs applied bias are shown. • Bias voltage dependence of tunnel magnetoresistance for the structure is shown

  8. Exploiting the Gastric Epithelial Barrier: Helicobacter pylori's Attack on Tight and Adherens Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backert, Steffen; Schmidt, Thomas P; Harrer, Aileen; Wessler, Silja

    2017-01-01

    Highly organized intercellular tight and adherens junctions are crucial structural components for establishing and maintenance of epithelial barrier functions, which control the microbiota and protect against intruding pathogens in humans. Alterations in these complexes represent key events in the development and progression of multiple infectious diseases as well as various cancers. The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori exerts an amazing set of strategies to manipulate these epithelial cell-to-cell junctions, which are implicated in changing cell polarity, migration and invasive growth as well as pro-inflammatory and proliferative responses. This chapter focuses on the H. pylori pathogenicity factors VacA, CagA, HtrA and urease, and how they can induce host cell signaling involved in altering cell-to-cell permeability. We propose a stepwise model for how H. pylori targets components of tight and adherens junctions in order to disrupt the gastric epithelial cell layer, giving fresh insights into the pathogenesis of this important bacterium.

  9. The Ly6 protein coiled is required for septate junction and blood brain barrier organisation in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assia Hijazi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetic analysis of the Drosophila septate junctions has greatly contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the assembly of these adhesion structures, which bear strong similarities with the vertebrate tight junctions and the paranodal septate junctions. These adhesion complexes share conserved molecular components and have a common function: the formation of paracellular barriers restraining the diffusion of solutes through epithelial and glial envelopes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this work we characterise the function of the Drosophila cold gene, that codes for a protein belonging to the Ly6 superfamily of extracellular ligands. Analysis of cold mutants shows that this gene is specifically required for the organisation of the septate junctions in epithelial tissues and in the nervous system, where its contribution is essential for the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. We show that cold acts in a cell autonomous way, and we present evidence indicating that this protein could act as a septate junction component. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We discuss the specific roles of cold and three other Drosophila members of the Ly6 superfamily that have been shown to participate in a non-redundant way in the process of septate junction assembly. We propose that vertebrate Ly6 proteins could fulfill analogous roles in tight junctions and/or paranodal septate junctions.

  10. The Ly6 protein coiled is required for septate junction and blood brain barrier organisation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijazi, Assia; Haenlin, Marc; Waltzer, Lucas; Roch, Fernando

    2011-03-15

    Genetic analysis of the Drosophila septate junctions has greatly contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the assembly of these adhesion structures, which bear strong similarities with the vertebrate tight junctions and the paranodal septate junctions. These adhesion complexes share conserved molecular components and have a common function: the formation of paracellular barriers restraining the diffusion of solutes through epithelial and glial envelopes. In this work we characterise the function of the Drosophila cold gene, that codes for a protein belonging to the Ly6 superfamily of extracellular ligands. Analysis of cold mutants shows that this gene is specifically required for the organisation of the septate junctions in epithelial tissues and in the nervous system, where its contribution is essential for the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. We show that cold acts in a cell autonomous way, and we present evidence indicating that this protein could act as a septate junction component. We discuss the specific roles of cold and three other Drosophila members of the Ly6 superfamily that have been shown to participate in a non-redundant way in the process of septate junction assembly. We propose that vertebrate Ly6 proteins could fulfill analogous roles in tight junctions and/or paranodal septate junctions.

  11. Magnetic tunnel junctions with monolayer hexagonal boron nitride tunnel barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piquemal-Banci, M.; Galceran, R.; Bouzehouane, K.; Anane, A.; Petroff, F.; Fert, A.; Dlubak, B.; Seneor, P. [Unité Mixte de Physique, CNRS, Thales, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau 91767 (France); Caneva, S.; Martin, M.-B.; Weatherup, R. S.; Kidambi, P. R.; Robertson, J.; Hofmann, S. [Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB21PZ (United Kingdom); Xavier, S. [Thales Research and Technology, 1 avenue Augustin Fresnel, Palaiseau 91767 (France)

    2016-03-07

    We report on the integration of atomically thin 2D insulating hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) tunnel barriers into Co/h-BN/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). The h-BN monolayer is directly grown by chemical vapor deposition on Fe. The Conductive Tip Atomic Force Microscopy (CT-AFM) measurements reveal the homogeneity of the tunnel behavior of our h-BN layers. As expected for tunneling, the resistance depends exponentially on the number of h-BN layers. The h-BN monolayer properties are also characterized through integration into complete MTJ devices. A Tunnel Magnetoresistance of up to 6% is observed for a MTJ based on a single atomically thin h-BN layer.

  12. Spatial fluctuations in barrier height at the graphene-silicon carbide Schottky junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajput, S; Chen, M X; Liu, Y; Li, Y Y; Weinert, M; Li, L

    2013-01-01

    When graphene is interfaced with a semiconductor, a Schottky contact forms with rectifying properties. Graphene, however, is also susceptible to the formation of ripples upon making contact with another material. Here we report intrinsic ripple- and electric field-induced effects at the graphene semiconductor Schottky junction, by comparing chemical vapour-deposited graphene transferred on semiconductor surfaces of opposite polarization-the hydrogen-terminated silicon and carbon faces of hexagonal silicon carbide. Using scanning tunnelling microscopy/spectroscopy and first-principles calculations, we show the formation of a narrow Schottky dipole barrier approximately 10 Å wide, which facilitates the observed effective electric field control of the Schottky barrier height. We further find atomic-scale spatial fluctuations in the Schottky barrier that directly follow the undulation of ripples on both graphene-silicon carbide junctions. These findings reveal fundamental properties of the graphene/semiconductor Schottky junction-a key component of vertical graphene devices that offer functionalities unattainable in planar device architecture.

  13. HfO2 and SiO2 as barriers in magnetic tunneling junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Gokaran; Archer, Thomas; Sanvito, Stefano

    2017-05-01

    SiO2 and HfO2 are both high-k, wide-gap semiconductors, currently used in the microelectronic industry as gate barriers. Here we investigate whether the same materials can be employed to make magnetic tunnel junctions, which in principle can be amenable for integration in conventional Si technology. By using a combination of density functional theory and the nonequilibrium Green's functions method for quantum transport we have studied the transport properties of Co [0001 ] /SiO2[001 ] /Co [0001 ] and Fe [001 ] /HfO2[001 ] /Fe [001 ] junctions. In both cases we found a quite large magnetoresistance, which is explained through the analysis of the real band structure of the magnets and the complex one of the insulator. We find that there is no symmetry spin filtering for the Co-based junction since the high transmission Δ2' band crosses the Fermi level, EF, for both spin directions. However, the fact that Co is a strong ferromagnet makes the orbital contribution to the two Δ2' spin subbands different, yielding magnetoresistance. In contrast for the Fe-based junction symmetry filtering is active for an energy window spanning between the Fermi level and 1 eV below EF, with Δ1 symmetry contributing to the transmission.

  14. Inhomogeneity in barrier height at graphene/Si (GaAs) Schottky junctions

    OpenAIRE

    Tomer, D.; Rajput, S.; Hudy, L. J.; Li, C. H.; Li, L.

    2015-01-01

    Graphene interfaced with a semiconductor forms a Schottky junction with rectifying properties, however, fluctuations in the Schottky barrier height are often observed. In this work, Schottky junctions are fabricated by transferring chemical vapor deposited monolayer graphene onto n-type Si and GaAs substrates. Temperature dependence of the barrier height and ideality factor are obtained by current-voltage measurements between 215 and 350 K. An increase in the zero bias barrier height and decr...

  15. You Shall Not Pass – Tight junctions of the Blood Brain Barrier.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Christian eBauer

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Tissue barriers restricting the free diffusion of substances between the central nervous system and the systemic circulation are of great medical interest. Excessive leakage of blood-borne molecules into the parenchyma and the concomitant fluctuations in the microenvironment following a transient breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB during ischemic/hypoxic conditions or due to an autoimmune disease are detrimental to the physiology of nervous tissue.On the other hand, the treatment of neurological disorders is often hampered as only minimal amounts of therapeutic agents are able to penetrate a functional BBB or blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier. At the basis of the BBB are, next to an elaborate transporting machinery, intimate cell-cell contacts (tight junctions creating not only a paracellular diffusion constraint but also enabling the vectorial transport across cell monolayers.More recent findings indicate that functional barriers are already established during development, protecting the fetal brain. As an understanding of the biogenesis of TJs might reveal the underlying mechanisms of barrier formation during ontogenic development numerous in vitro systems have been developed to study the assembly and disassembly of TJs. In addition, monitoring the stage-specific expression of TJ proteins during development has brought much insight into the developmental tightening of tissue barriers. Further, over the last two decades a detailed molecular map of tight junctions has emerged.TJs not only represent a cell-cell adhesion structure, but integrate various signaling pathways, thereby directly or indirectly impacting upon processes such as cell proliferation, cytoskeletal rearrangement, and transcriptional control.This review will provide a brief overview on the establishment of the BBB during embryonic development in mammals and a detailed description of the ultrastructure, biogenesis, and molecular composition of epithelial and endothelial

  16. Tunnel magnetoresistance in alumina, magnesia and composite tunnel barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schebaum, Oliver; Drewello, Volker; Auge, Alexander; Reiss, Guenter; Muenzenberg, Markus; Schuhmann, Henning; Seibt, Michael; Thomas, Andy

    2011-01-01

    Using magnetron sputtering, we have prepared Co-Fe-B/tunnel barrier/Co-Fe-B magnetic tunnel junctions with tunnel barriers consisting of alumina, magnesia, and magnesia-alumina bilayer systems. The highest tunnel magnetoresistance ratios we found were 73% for alumina and 323% for magnesia-based tunnel junctions. Additionally, tunnel junctions with a unified layer stack were prepared for the three different barriers. In these systems, the tunnel magnetoresistance ratios at optimum annealing temperatures were found to be 65% for alumina, 173% for magnesia, and 78% for the composite tunnel barriers. The similar tunnel magnetoresistance ratios of the tunnel junctions containing alumina provide evidence that coherent tunneling is suppressed by the alumina layer in the composite tunnel barrier. - Research highlights: → Transport properties of Co-Fe-B/tunnel barrier/Co-Fe-B magnetic tunnel junctions. → Tunnel barrier consists of MgO, Al-Ox, or MgO/Al-Ox bilayer systems. → Limitation of TMR-ratio in composite barrier tunnel junctions to Al-Ox values. → Limitation indicates that Al-Ox layer is causing incoherent tunneling.

  17. Resonant tunneling via spin-polarized barrier states in a magnetic tunnel junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, R.; Lodder, J.C.

    2000-01-01

    Resonant tunneling through states in the barrier of a magnetic tunnel junction has been analyzed theoretically for the case of a spin-polarized density of barrier states. It is shown that for highly spin-polarized barrier states, the magnetoresistance due to resonant tunneling is enhanced compared

  18. Output voltage calculations in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with asymmetric voltage behavior

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur; Mryasov, Oleg; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we study the asymmetric voltage behavior (AVB) of the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) for single and double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) in range of a quasi-classical free electron model. Numerical calculations of the TMR

  19. The Effects of Glucagon-like Peptide-2 on the Tight Junction and Barrier Function in IPEC-J2 Cells through Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase–Protein Kinase B–Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changsong Yu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2 is important for intestinal barrier function and regulation of tight junction (TJ proteins, but the intracellular mechanisms of action remain undefined. The purpose of this research was to determine the protective effect of GLP-2 mediated TJ and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER in lipopolysaccharide (LPS stressed IPEC-J2 cells and to test the hypothesis that GLP-2 regulate TJ and TER through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K-protein kinase B (Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway in IPEC-J2 cells. Wortmannin and LY294002 are specific inhibitors of PI3K. The results showed that 100 μg/mL LPS stress decreased TER and TJ proteins occludin, claudin-1 and zonula occludens protein 1 (ZO-1 mRNA, proteins expressions (p<0.01 respectively. GLP-2 (100 nmol/L promote TER and TJ proteins occludin, claudin-1, and zo-1 mRNA, proteins expressions in LPS stressed and normal IPEC-J2 cells (p<0.01 respectively. In normal cells, both wortmannin and LY294002, PI3K inhibitors, prevented the mRNA and protein expressions of Akt and mTOR increase induced by GLP-2 (p<0.01 following with the significant decreasing of occludin, claudin-1, ZO-1 mRNA and proteins expressions and TER (p<0.01. In conclusion, these results indicated that GLP-2 can promote TJ’s expression and TER in LPS stressed and normal IPEC-J2 cells and GLP-2 could regulate TJ and TER through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

  20. [Dermoepidermic junction: a selective, complex and vital barrier].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frede, Silvia C; Dionisio de Cabalier, María E; Zaya, Alejandro; Hliba, Ernesto

    2004-01-01

    Dermoepidermic junction (DEJ) is a highly complex region, containing a great variety of cellular elements, which despite of having different embriogenesis, interact with each other, generating different substances that keep the function and homeostasis of the greatest organ of the human body. DEJ is regarded as a highly specialized basal lamina, which acts as a highly selective pathway for the migration of cells and macromolecules, inducing cellular differentiation and micro enviromental metabolism modifications. DEJ may be divided into three zones regarding the basal lamina 1--the nearest to epidermic zone, having tonofilaments and hemidesmosomes, which keep anchored basal cells. This region is limited by the lamina densa 2--the intermediate zone, represented exclusively by lamina densa and finally the lamina 3,--the third region--extends from lamina densa to the upper dermis and extracelullar matrix. Despite there is much to learn about DEJ, the knowledge about each molecule and function of every compartment will enable us to know more about the pathogenesis of several dermatologic diseases, with a great prevalence in the clinical practice.

  1. Spatial inhomogeneity in Schottky barrier height at graphene/MoS2 Schottky junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomer, D.; Rajput, S.; Li, L.

    2017-04-01

    Transport properties of graphene semiconductor Schottky junctions strongly depend on interfacial inhomogeneities due to the inherent formation of ripples and ridges. Here, chemical vapor deposited graphene is transferred onto multilayer MoS2 to fabricate Schottky junctions. These junctions exhibit rectifying current-voltage behavior with the zero bias Schottky barrier height increases and ideality factor decreases with increasing temperature between 210 and 300 K. Such behavior is attributed to the inhomogeneous interface that arises from graphene ripples and ridges, as revealed by atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopy imaging. Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the barrier height, a mean value of 0.96  ±  0.14 eV is obtained. These findings indicate a direct correlation between temperature dependent Schottky barrier height and spatial inhomogeneity in graphene/2D semiconductor Schottky junctions.

  2. Spatial inhomogeneity in Schottky barrier height at graphene/MoS2 Schottky junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomer, D; Rajput, S; Li, L

    2017-01-01

    Transport properties of graphene semiconductor Schottky junctions strongly depend on interfacial inhomogeneities due to the inherent formation of ripples and ridges. Here, chemical vapor deposited graphene is transferred onto multilayer MoS 2 to fabricate Schottky junctions. These junctions exhibit rectifying current–voltage behavior with the zero bias Schottky barrier height increases and ideality factor decreases with increasing temperature between 210 and 300 K. Such behavior is attributed to the inhomogeneous interface that arises from graphene ripples and ridges, as revealed by atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopy imaging. Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the barrier height, a mean value of 0.96  ±  0.14 eV is obtained. These findings indicate a direct correlation between temperature dependent Schottky barrier height and spatial inhomogeneity in graphene/2D semiconductor Schottky junctions. (paper)

  3. Bias voltage effect on electron tunneling across a junction with a ferroelectric–ferromagnetic two-phase composite barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Jian; Ju Sheng; Li, Z.Y.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of bias voltage on electron tunneling across a junction with a ferroelectric–ferromagnetic composite barrier is investigated theoretically. Because of the inversion symmetry breaking of the spontaneous ferroelectric polarization, bias voltage dependence of the electron tunneling shows significant differences between the positive bias and the negative one. The differences of spin filtering or tunnel magnetoresistance increase with the increasing absolute value of bias voltage. Such direction preferred electron tunneling is found intimately related with the unusual asymmetry of the electrical potential profile in two-phase composite barrier and provides a unique change to realize rectifying functions in spintronics. - Highlights: ► Electron tunneling across a ferroelectric–ferromagnetic composite barrier junction. ► TMR effect is different under the same value but opposite direction bias voltage. ► This directionality of the electron tunneling enhances with increasing bias voltage.

  4. Inhomogeneity in barrier height at graphene/Si (GaAs) Schottky junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomer, D; Rajput, S; Hudy, L J; Li, C H; Li, L

    2015-05-29

    Graphene (Gr) interfaced with a semiconductor forms a Schottky junction with rectifying properties, however, fluctuations in the Schottky barrier height are often observed. In this work, Schottky junctions are fabricated by transferring chemical vapor deposited monolayer Gr onto n-type Si and GaAs substrates. Temperature dependence of the barrier height and ideality factor are obtained by current-voltage measurements between 215 and 350 K. An increase in the zero bias barrier height and decrease in the ideality factor are observed with increasing temperature for both junctions. Such behavior is attributed to barrier inhomogeneities that arise from interfacial disorders as revealed by scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy. Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the barrier heights, mean values of 1.14 ± 0.14 eV and 0.76 ± 0.10 eV are found for Gr/Si and Gr/GaAs junctions, respectively. These findings resolve the origin of barrier height inhomogeneities in these Schottky junctions.

  5. Inhomogeneity in barrier height at graphene/Si (GaAs) Schottky junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomer, D; Rajput, S; Hudy, L J; Li, L; Li, C H

    2015-01-01

    Graphene (Gr) interfaced with a semiconductor forms a Schottky junction with rectifying properties, however, fluctuations in the Schottky barrier height are often observed. In this work, Schottky junctions are fabricated by transferring chemical vapor deposited monolayer Gr onto n-type Si and GaAs substrates. Temperature dependence of the barrier height and ideality factor are obtained by current–voltage measurements between 215 and 350 K. An increase in the zero bias barrier height and decrease in the ideality factor are observed with increasing temperature for both junctions. Such behavior is attributed to barrier inhomogeneities that arise from interfacial disorders as revealed by scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy. Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the barrier heights, mean values of 1.14 ± 0.14 eV and 0.76 ± 0.10 eV are found for Gr/Si and Gr/GaAs junctions, respectively. These findings resolve the origin of barrier height inhomogeneities in these Schottky junctions. (paper)

  6. Investigation of the tunnel magnetoresistance in junctions with a strontium stannate barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althammer, Matthias; Mishra, Rohan; Borisevich, Albina J.; Singh, Amit Vikam; Keshavarz, Sahar; Yurtisigi, Mehmet Kenan; Leclair, Patrick; Gupta, Arunava

    We experimentally investigate the structural, magnetic and electrical transport properties of La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 based magnetic tunnel junctions with a SrSnO3 barrier. Our results show that despite the high density of defects in the strontium stannate barrier the observed tunnel magnetoresistance is comparable to tunnel junctions with a better lattice matched SrTiO3 barrier, reaching values of up to 350 % at T = 5 K . Further analysis of the current-voltage characteristics of the junction and the bias voltage dependence of the observed tunnel magnetoresistance show a decrease of the TMR with increasing bias voltage. Our results suggest that by reducing the structural defects in the strontium stannate barrier, even larger TMR ratios might be possible in the future. We gratefully acknowledge financial support via NSF-ECCS Grant No. 1509875.

  7. Electrically tunable tunneling rectification magnetoresistance in magnetic tunneling junctions with asymmetric barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Huang, Qikun; Shi, Peng; Zhang, Kun; Tian, Yufeng; Yan, Shishen; Chen, Yanxue; Liu, Guolei; Kang, Shishou; Mei, Liangmo

    2017-10-26

    The development of multifunctional spintronic devices requires simultaneous control of multiple degrees of freedom of electrons, such as charge, spin and orbit, and especially a new physical functionality can be realized by combining two or more different physical mechanisms in one specific device. Here, we report the realization of novel tunneling rectification magnetoresistance (TRMR), where the charge-related rectification and spin-dependent tunneling magnetoresistance are integrated in Co/CoO-ZnO/Co magnetic tunneling junctions with asymmetric tunneling barriers. Moreover, by simultaneously applying direct current and alternating current to the devices, the TRMR has been remarkably tuned in the range from -300% to 2200% at low temperature. This proof-of-concept investigation provides an unexplored avenue towards electrical and magnetic control of charge and spin, which may apply to other heterojunctions to give rise to more fascinating emergent functionalities for future spintronics applications.

  8. Development of NbN Josephson junctions with TaxN semi-metal barrier; application to RSFQ circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Setzu, R.

    2007-11-01

    This thesis research, brought to the development and optimization of SNS (Superconductor / Normal Metal / Superconductor) Josephson junctions with NbN electrodes and a high resistivity Ta x N barrier. We were able to point out Josephson oscillations for frequencies above 1 THz and operation temperatures up to 10 K, which constituted the original goal of the project. This property makes these junctions unique and well adapted for realizing ultra-fast RSFQ (Rapid Single Flux Quantum) logic circuits suitable for spatial telecommunications. We showed a good reproducibility of Ta x N film properties as a function of the sputtering parameters. The NbN/Ta x N/NbN tri-layers exhibit high critical temperature (16 K). The junctions showed a clear dependence of the R n I c product as a function of the partial nitrogen pressure inside the reactive plasma; the R n I c is the product between the junction critical current and its normal resistance, and indicates the upper limit Josephson frequency. We have also obtained some really high R n I c products, up to 3.74 mV at 4.2 K for critical current densities of about 15 kA/cm 2 . Junctions show the expected Josephson behaviors, respectively Fraunhofer diffraction and Shapiro steps. up to 14 K. This allows expecting good circuit operations in a relaxed cryogenics environment (with respect to the niobium circuits limited at 4.2 K). The junctions appear to be self-shunted. The SNOP junctions J c -temperature dependence has been fitted by using the long SNS junction model in the dirty limit, which gives a normal metal coherence length of about 3.8 nm at 4.2 K. We have finally studied a multilayer fabrication process, including a common ground plane and bias resistors, suitable for RSFQ logic basic circuits. To conclude we have been able to show the performance superiority of NbN/Ta x N/NbN junctions over the actual niobium junctions, as well as their interest for realizing compact RSFQ logic circuits. In fact these junctions do not

  9. Spatially inhomogeneous barrier height in graphene/MoS2 Schottky junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomer, Dushyant; Rajput, Shivani; Li, Lian

    Graphene interfaced with a semiconductor forms a Schottky junction with rectifying properties. In this study, graphene Schottky junctions are fabricated by transferring CVD monolayer graphene on mechanically exfoliated MoS2 multilayers. The forward bias current-voltage characteristics are measured in the temperature range of 210-300 K. An increase in the zero bias barrier height and decrease in the ideality factor are observed with increasing temperature. Such behavior is attributed to Schottky barrier inhomogeneities possibly due to graphene ripples and ridges at the junction interface as suggested by atomic force microscopy. Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the barrier height, mean barrier of 0.97+/-0.10 eV is found for the graphene MoS2 junction. Our findings provide significant insight on the barrier height inhomogeneities in graphene/two dimensional semiconductor Schottky junctions. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering Award No. DEFG02-07ER46228.

  10. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... experiment showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, ... Studies of connexins show that channel gating and permeability .... have found that connexin assembled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% ..... high glucose reduces gap junction activity in microvascular endothelial cells.

  11. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LIJUAN CHEN

    2017-12-20

    Dec 20, 2017 ... showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, which indicates that the gap junction intercellular ... permeability could be affected by alterations of charged residues of .... bled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% Triton ..... regulation of connexin 43 expression by high glucose reduces.

  12. Temperature dependence of shot noise in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Jiasen; Liu, Liang; Feng, J. F.; Han, X. F.; Coey, J. M. D.; Zhang, X.-G.; Wei, Jian

    2018-03-01

    Shot noise reveals spin dependent transport properties in a magnetic tunnel junction. We report measurement of shot noise in CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions, which shows a strong temperature dependence. The Fano factor used to characterize shot noise increases with decreasing temperature. A sequential tunneling model can be used to account for these results, in which a larger Fano factor results from larger spin relaxation length at lower temperatures.

  13. Tight junctions at the blood brain barrier: physiological architecture and disease-associated dysregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luissint Anny-Claude

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Blood–brain barrier (BBB, present at the level of the endothelium of cerebral blood vessels, selectively restricts the blood-to-brain paracellular diffusion of compounds; it is mandatory for cerebral homeostasis and proper neuronal function. The barrier properties of these specialized endothelial cells notably depend on tight junctions (TJs between adjacent cells: TJs are dynamic structures consisting of a number of transmembrane and membrane-associated cytoplasmic proteins, which are assembled in a multimolecular complex and acting as a platform for intracellular signaling. Although the structural composition of these complexes has been well described in the recent years, our knowledge about their functional regulation still remains fragmentary. Importantly, pericytes, embedded in the vascular basement membrane, and perivascular microglial cells, astrocytes and neurons contribute to the regulation of endothelial TJs and BBB function, altogether constituting the so-called neurovascular unit. The present review summarizes our current understanding of the structure and functional regulation of endothelial TJs at the BBB. Accumulating evidence points to a correlation between BBB dysfunction, alteration of TJ complexes and progression of a variety of CNS diseases, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors, as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Understanding how TJ integrity is controlled may thus help improve drug delivery across the BBB and the design of therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders.

  14. Magnetic tunnel junctions with AlN and AlNxOy barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwickert, M. M.; Childress, J. R.; Fontana, R. E.; Kellock, A. J.; Rice, P. M.; Ho, M. K.; Thompson, T. J.; Gurney, B. A.

    2001-01-01

    Nonoxide tunnel barriers such as AlN are of interest for magnetic tunnel junctions to avoid the oxidation of the magnetic electrodes. We have investigated the fabrication and properties of thin AlN-based barriers for use in low resistance magnetic tunnel junctions. Electronic, magnetic and structural data of tunnel valves of the form Ta (100 Aa)/PtMn (300 Aa)/CoFe 20 (20 Aa - 25 Aa)/barrier/CoFe 20 (10 - 20 Aa)/NiFe 16 (35 - 40 Aa)/Ta (100 Aa) are presented, where the barrier consists of AlN, AlN x O y or AlN/AlO x with total thicknesses between 8 and 15 Aa. The tunnel junctions were sputter deposited and then lithographically patterned down to 2 x 2μm 2 devices. AlN was deposited by reactive sputtering from an Al target with 20% - 35% N 2 in the Ar sputter gas at room temperature, resulting in stoichiometric growth of AlN x (x=0.50±0.05), as determined by RBS. TEM analysis shows that the as-deposited AlN barrier is crystalline. For AlN barriers and AlN followed by natural O 2 oxidation, we obtain tunnel magnetoresistance >10% with specific junction resistance R j down to 60Ωμm 2 . [copyright] 2001 American Institute of Physics

  15. Temperature dependence of interlayer coupling in perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions with GdOX barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhouse-Illige, T.; Xu, Y. H.; Liu, Y. H.; Huang, S.; Kato, H.; Bi, C.; Xu, M.; LeRoy, B. J.; Wang, W. G.

    2018-02-01

    Perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions with GdOX tunneling barriers have shown a unique voltage controllable interlayer magnetic coupling effect. Here, we investigate the quality of the GdOX barrier and the coupling mechanism in these junctions by examining the temperature dependence of the tunneling magnetoresistance and the interlayer coupling from room temperature down to 11 K. The barrier is shown to be of good quality with the spin independent conductance only contributing a small portion, 14%, to the total room temperature conductance, similar to AlOX and MgO barriers. The interlayer coupling, however, shows an anomalously strong temperature dependence including sign changes below 80 K. This non-trivial temperature dependence is not described by previous models of interlayer coupling and may be due to the large induced magnetic moment of the Gd ions in the barrier.

  16. Degradation of magnetic tunnel junctions with thin AlOx barrier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Mihara, Yoshinari Kamakura, Masato Morifuji and Kenji Taniguchi

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The degradation of magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs with AlOx barrier was experimentally investigated. Constant voltage stress (CVS measurement was carried out to monitor the time evolution of the conductance and tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR of MTJs. The gradual increase of the stress-induced leakage current (SILC was observed prior to the breakdown, following a power law function of stress time with an exponent of about 0.2–0.4, which is similar to the case of the ultrathin gate oxide films in MOSFETs. The measured TMR for SILC suggests that the spin-dependent current component would be involved in the early stage of degradation, while spin-independent conduction becomes dominant before the breakdown resulting in a decrease of TMR.

  17. Optimization of a tunneling barrier in magnetic tunneling junction by tilted-plasma oxidation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, C.H.; Shim, Heejae; Kim, K.S.; Cho, B.K.

    2004-01-01

    Oxidation of an AlO x insulating barrier in a magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) was carried out by a tilted-plasma oxidation method. It was found that the tilted-plasma oxidation induced a gradual change in the extent of oxidation of an insulating layer, which consequently led to a gradual change in the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) and specific junction resistance (RA) of the MTJ. We found a linear relation in the TMR versus RA curve with positive and negative slopes for less- and overoxidized junctions, respectively, and a parabolic relation for optimally oxidized junctions. The crossover in the TMR versus RA curves provides an effective and useful way to optimize (and monitor) the oxidation condition of a tunneling barrier in MTJs especially of a tunneling barrier less than 10 A thick. The tunneling junctions were also investigated after thermal annealing at various temperatures. The observations after thermal annealing were found to be consistent with transmission electrons microscopy images and a scenario of the partial formation of an additional ultrathin tunneling barrier at the top surface of the bottom magnetic layer

  18. Spin asymmetry calculations of the TMR-V curves in single and double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur

    2011-10-01

    Spin-polarization asymmetry is the key parameter in asymmetric voltage behavior (AVB) of the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in magnetic tunnel junctions. In this paper, we study the value of the TMR as a function of the applied voltage Va in the single as well as double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (SMTJ & DMTJ, which are constructed from CoFeB/MgO interfaces) and numerically estimate the possible difference of the TMR-V a curves for negative and positive voltages in the homojunctions. As a result, we found that AVB may help to determine the exact values of Fermi wave vectors for minority and majority conducting spin sub-bands. Moreover, significant asymmetry of the experimental TMR-Va curves, which arises due to different annealing regimes, is explained by different heights of the tunnel barriers and values of the spin asymmetry. The numerical TMR-V a data are in good agreement with experimental ones. © 2011 IEEE.

  19. Functional Molecular Junctions Derived from Double Self-Assembled Monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Sohyeon; Hwang, Eunhee; Cho, Yunhee; Lee, Junghyun; Lee, Hyoyoung

    2017-09-25

    Information processing using molecular junctions is becoming more important as devices are miniaturized to the nanoscale. Herein, we report functional molecular junctions derived from double self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) intercalated between soft graphene electrodes. Newly assembled molecular junctions are fabricated by placing a molecular SAM/(top) electrode on another molecular SAM/(bottom) electrode by using a contact-assembly technique. Double SAMs can provide tunneling conjugation across the van der Waals gap between the terminals of each monolayer and exhibit new electrical functions. Robust contact-assembled molecular junctions can act as platforms for the development of equivalent contact molecular junctions between top and bottom electrodes, which can be applied independently to different kinds of molecules to enhance either the structural complexity or the assembly properties of molecules. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Skin Barrier Function and Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engebretsen, Kristiane Aasen; Thyssen, Jacob Pontoppidan

    2016-01-01

    The skin is an important barrier protecting us from mechanical insults, microorganisms, chemicals and allergens, but, importantly, also reducing water loss. A common hallmark for many dermatoses is a compromised skin barrier function, and one could suspect an elevated risk of contact sensitization...... and skin barrier status. Psoriasis has traditionally been regarded a Th1-dominated disease, but the discovery of Th17 cells and IL-17 provides new and interesting information regarding the pathogenesis of the disease. Research suggests an inverse relationship between psoriasis and CA, possibly due......) and Th2 (AD) have been proposed as an explanation. Finally, there is convincing evidence that exposure to irritants increases the risk of CS, and patients with ICD are, therefore, at great risk of developing CA. Skin irritation leads to the release of IL-1 and TNF-α, which affects the function of antigen...

  1. Study of 4H-SiC junction barrier Schottky diode using field guard ring termination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng-Ping, Chen; Yu-Ming, Zhang; Hong-Liang, Lü; Yi-Men, Zhang; Jian-Hua, Huang

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports that the 4H-SiC Schottky barrier diode, PiN diode and junction barrier Schottky diode terminated by field guard rings are designed, fabricated and characterised. The measurements for forward and reverse characteristics have been done, and by comparison with each other, it shows that junction barrier Schottky diode has a lower reverse current density than that of the Schottky barrier diode and a higher forward drop than that of the PiN diode. High-temperature annealing is presented in this paper as well to figure out an optimised processing. The barrier height of 0.79 eV is formed with Ti in this work, the forward drop for the Schottky diode is 2.1 V, with an ideality factor of 3.2, and junction barrier Schottky diode with blocking voltage higher than 400 V was achieved by using field guard ring termination. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  2. Functional barriers: Properties and evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feigenbaum, A.; Dole, P.; Aucejo, S.; Dainelli, D.; Cruz Garcia, C. de la; Hankemeier, T.; N'Gono, Y.; Papaspyrides, C.D.; Paseiro, P.; Pastorelli, S.; Pavlidou, S.; Pennarun, P.Y.; Saillard, P.; Vidal, L.; Vitrac, O.; Voulzatis, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Functional barriers are multilayer structures deemed to prevent migration of some chemicals released by food-contact materials into food. In the area of plastics packaging, different migration behaviours of mono- and multilayer structures are assessed in terms of lag time and of their influence of

  3. Photon-assisted Tunneling In Double-barrier Superconducting Tunnel-junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dierichs, M. M. T. M.; Dieleman, P.; Wezelman, J. J.; Honingh, C. E.; Klapwijk, T. M.

    1994-01-01

    Double-barrier Nb/Al2O3/Al/Al2O3/Nb tunnel junctions are used as mixing elements in a 345 GHz waveguide mixer. Noise temperatures (double side band) down to 720 K at 3.0 K are obtained without the need to apply a magnetic field to suppress the Josephson current. It is shown that the composite

  4. Interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 compromise the sinonasal epithelial barrier and perturb intercellular junction protein expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Sarah K; Laury, Adrienne M; Katz, Elizabeth H; Den Beste, Kyle A; Parkos, Charles A; Nusrat, Asma

    2014-05-01

    Altered expression of epithelial intercellular junction proteins has been observed in sinonasal biopsies from nasal polyps and epithelial layers cultured from nasal polyp patients. These alterations comprise a "leaky" epithelial barrier phenotype. We hypothesize that T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 modulate epithelial junction proteins, thereby contributing to the leaky epithelial barrier. Differentiated primary sinonasal epithelial layers cultured at the air-liquid interface were exposed to IL-4, IL-13, and controls for 24 hours at 37°C. Epithelial resistance measurements were taken every 4 hours during cytokine exposure. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining/confocal microscopy were used to assess changes in a panel of tight and adherens junction proteins. Western blot densitometry was quantified with image analysis. IL-4 and IL-13 exposure resulted in a mean decrease in transepithelial resistance at 24 hours to 51.6% (n = 6) and 68.6% (n = 8) of baseline, respectively. Tight junction protein junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) expression decreased 42.2% with IL-4 exposure (n = 9) and 37.5% with IL-13 exposure (n = 9). Adherens junction protein E-cadherin expression decreased 35.3% with IL-4 exposure (n = 9) and 32.9% with IL-13 exposure (n = 9). Tight junction protein claudin-2 showed more variability but had a trend toward higher expression with Th2 cytokine exposure. There were no appreciable changes in claudin-1, occludin, or zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) with IL-4 or IL-13 exposure. Sinonasal epithelial exposure to Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 results in alterations in intercellular junction proteins, reflecting increased epithelial permeability. Such changes may explain some of the phenotypic manifestations of Th2-mediated sinonasal disease, such as edema, nasal discharge, and environmental reactivity. © 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

  5. The functional anatomy of the ureterovesical junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thomson, A. S.; Dabhoiwala, N. F.; Verbeek, F. J.; Lamers, W. H.

    1994-01-01

    To obtain a new insight into the anti-reflux mechanism of the ureterovesical junction by studying the topographical anatomy of the juxta- and intravesical ureter and its relationship to the surrounding bladder musculature. Fresh pig bladders were fixed, frozen and serially sectioned. Enzyme

  6. Velocity barrier-controlled of spin-valley polarized transport in monolayer WSe2 junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Xuejun; Lv, Qiang; Cao, Zhenzhou

    2018-05-01

    In this work, we have theoretically investigated the influence of velocity barrier on the spin-valley polarized transport in monolayer (ML) WSe2 junction with a large spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Both the spin-valley resolved transmission probabilities and conductance are strong dependent on the velocity barrier, as the velocity barrier decreases to 0.06, a spin-valley polarization of exceeding 90% is observed, which is distinct from the ML MoS2 owing to incommensurable SOC. In addition, the spin-valley polarization is further increased above 95% in a ML WSe2 superlattice, in particular, it's found many extraordinary velocity barrier-dependent transport gaps for multiple barrier due to evanescent tunneling. Our results may open an avenue for the velocity barrier-controlled high-efficiency spin and valley polarizations in ML WSe2-based electronic devices.

  7. Compact modeling of SiC Schottky barrier diode and its extension to junction barrier Schottky diode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Dondee; Herrera, Fernando; Zenitani, Hiroshi; Miura-Mattausch, Mitiko; Yorino, Naoto; Jürgen Mattausch, Hans; Takusagawa, Mamoru; Kobayashi, Jun; Hara, Masafumi

    2018-04-01

    A compact model applicable for both Schottky barrier diode (SBD) and junction barrier Schottky diode (JBS) structures is developed. The SBD model considers the current due to thermionic emission in the metal/semiconductor junction together with the resistance of the lightly doped drift layer. Extension of the SBD model to JBS is accomplished by modeling the distributed resistance induced by the p+ implant developed for minimizing the leakage current at reverse bias. Only the geometrical features of the p+ implant are necessary to model the distributed resistance. Reproduction of 4H-SiC SBD and JBS current-voltage characteristics with the developed compact model are validated against two-dimensional (2D) device-simulation results as well as measurements at different temperatures.

  8. Electron transport and noise spectroscopy in organic magnetic tunnel junctions with PTCDA and Alq3 barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Isidoro; Cascales, Juan Pedro; Hong, Jhen-Yong; Lin, Minn-Tsong; Prezioso, Mirko; Riminucci, Alberto; Dediu, Valentin A.; Aliev, Farkhad G.

    2016-10-01

    The possible influence of internal barrier dynamics on spin, charge transport and their fluctuations in organic spintronics remains poorly understood. Here we present investigation of the electron transport and low frequency noise at temperatures down to 0.3K in magnetic tunnel junctions with an organic PTCDA barriers with thickness up to 5 nm in the tunneling regime and with 200 nm thick Alq3 barrier in the hopping regime. We observed high tunneling magneto-resistance at low temperatures (15-40%) and spin dependent super-poissonian shot noise in organic magnetic tunnel junctions (OMTJs) with PTCDA. The Fano factor exceeds 1.5-2 values which could be caused by interfacial states controlled by spin dependent bunching in the tunneling events through the molecules.1 The bias dependence of the low frequency noise in OMTJs with PTCDA barriers which includes both 1/f and random telegraph noise activated at specific biases will also be discussed. On the other hand, the organic junctions with ferromagnetic electrodes and thick Alq3 barriers present sub-poissonian shot noise which depends on the temperature, indicative of variable range hopping.

  9. Long-term reliable physically unclonable function based on oxide tunnel barrier breakdown on two-transistors two-magnetic-tunnel-junctions cell-based embedded spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takaya, Satoshi; Tanamoto, Tetsufumi; Noguchi, Hiroki; Ikegami, Kazutaka; Abe, Keiko; Fujita, Shinobu

    2017-04-01

    Among the diverse applications of spintronics, security for internet-of-things (IoT) devices is one of the most important. A physically unclonable function (PUF) with a spin device (spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory, STT-MRAM) is presented. Oxide tunnel barrier breakdown is used to realize long-term stability for PUFs. A secure PUF has been confirmed by evaluating the Hamming distance of a 32-bit STT-MRAM-PUF fabricated using 65 nm CMOS technology.

  10. Output voltage calculations in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with asymmetric voltage behavior

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur

    2011-10-22

    In this paper we study the asymmetric voltage behavior (AVB) of the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) for single and double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) in range of a quasi-classical free electron model. Numerical calculations of the TMR-V curves, output voltages and I-V characteristics for negative and positive values of applied voltages were carried out using MTJs with CoFeB/MgO interfaces as an example. Asymmetry of the experimental TMR-V curves is explained by different values of the minority and majority Fermi wave vectors for the left and right sides of the tunnel barrier, which arises due to different annealing regimes. Electron tunneling in DMTJs was simulated in two ways: (i) Coherent tunneling, where the DMTJ is modeled as one tunnel system and (ii) consecutive tunneling, where the DMTJ is modeled by two single barrier junctions connected in series. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Modeling of 4H—SiC multi-floating-junction Schottky barrier diode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong-Bin, Pu; Lin, Cao; Zhi-Ming, Chen; Jie, Ren; Ya-Gong, Nan

    2010-01-01

    This paper develops a new and easy to implement analytical model for the specific on-resistance and electric field distribution along the critical path for 4H—SiC multi-floating junction Schottky barrier diode. Considering the charge compensation effects by the multilayer of buried opposite doped regions, it improves the breakdown voltage a lot in comparison with conventional one with the same on-resistance. The forward resistance of the floating junction Schottky barrier diode consists of several components and the electric field can be understood with superposition concept, both are consistent with MEDICI simulation results. Moreover, device parameters are optimized and the analyses show that in comparison with one layer floating junction, multilayer of floating junction layer is an effective way to increase the device performance when specific resistance and the breakdown voltage are traded off. The results show that the specific resistance increases 3.2 mΩ·cm 2 and breakdown voltage increases 422 V with an additional floating junction for the given structure. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  12. IL-4 and IL-13 Compromise the Sinonasal Epithelial Barrier and Perturb Intercellular Junction Protein Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Sarah K.; Laury, Adrienne M.; Katz, Elizabeth H.; Den Beste, Kyle A.; Parkos, Charles A.; Nusrat, Asma

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Altered expression of epithelial intercellular junction proteins has been observed in sinonasal biopsies from nasal polyps and epithelial layers cultured from nasal polyp patients. These alterations comprise a “leaky” epithelial barrier phenotype. We hypothesize that Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 modulate epithelial junction proteins thereby contributing to the leaky epithelial barrier. Methods Differentiated primary sinonasal epithelial layers cultured at the air-liquid interface were exposed to IL-4, IL-13, and controls for 24 hours at 37°C. Epithelial resistance measurements were taken every 4 hours during cytokine exposure. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining/confocal microscopy were used to assess changes in a panel of tight and adherens junction proteins. Western blot densitometry was quantified with image analysis. Results IL-4 and IL-13 exposure resulted in a mean decrease in transepithelial resistance at 24 hours to 51.6% (n=6) and 68.6% (n=8) of baseline, respectively. Tight junction protein JAM-A expression decreased 42.2% with IL-4 exposure (n=9) and 37.5% with IL-13 exposure (n=9). Adherens junction protein E-cadherin expression decreased 35.3% with IL-4 exposure (n=9) and 32.9% with IL-13 exposure (n=9). Tight junction protein claudin-2 showed more variability but had a trend toward higher expression with Th2 cytokine exposure. There were no appreciable changes in claudin-1, occludin, or ZO-1 with IL-4 or IL-13 exposure. Conclusion Sinonasal epithelial exposure to Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 results in alterations in intercellular junction proteins, reflecting increased epithelial permeability. Such changes may explain some of the phenotypic manifestations of Th2-mediated sinonasal disease, such as edema, nasal discharge, and environmental reactivity. PMID:24510479

  13. Tight junction-associated MARVEL proteins marveld3, tricellulin, and occludin have distinct but overlapping functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raleigh, David R; Marchiando, Amanda M; Zhang, Yong; Shen, Le; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Wang, Yingmin; Long, Manyuan; Turner, Jerrold R

    2010-04-01

    In vitro studies have demonstrated that occludin and tricellulin are important for tight junction barrier function, but in vivo data suggest that loss of these proteins can be overcome. The presence of a heretofore unknown, yet related, protein could explain these observations. Here, we report marvelD3, a novel tight junction protein that, like occludin and tricellulin, contains a conserved four-transmembrane MARVEL (MAL and related proteins for vesicle trafficking and membrane link) domain. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction; analysis of RNA and protein tissue distribution; immunofluorescent and electron microscopic examination of subcellular localization; characterization of intracellular trafficking, protein interactions, dynamic behavior, and siRNA knockdown effects; and description of remodeling after in vivo immune activation show that marvelD3, occludin, and tricellulin have distinct but overlapping functions at the tight junction. Although marvelD3 is able to partially compensate for occludin or tricellulin loss, it cannot fully restore function. We conclude that marvelD3, occludin, and tricellulin define the tight junction-associated MARVEL protein family. The data further suggest that these proteins are best considered as a group with both redundant and unique contributions to epithelial function and tight junction regulation.

  14. Determination of the thickness of Al2O3 barriers in magnetic tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchanan, J.D.R.; Hase, T.P.A.; Tanner, B.K.; Hughes, N.D.; Hicken, R.J.

    2002-01-01

    The barrier thickness in magnetic spin-dependent tunnel junctions with Al 2 O 3 barriers has been measured using grazing incidence x-ray reflectivity and by fitting the tunneling current to the Simmons model. We have studied the effect of glow discharge oxidation time on the barrier structure, revealing a substantial increase in Al 2 O 3 thickness with oxidation. The greater thickness of barrier measured using grazing incidence x-ray reflectivity compared with that obtained by fitting current density-voltage to the Simmons electron tunneling model suggests that electron tunneling is localized to specific regions across the barrier, where the thickness is reduced by fluctuations due to nonconformal roughness

  15. Tunneling rates in electron transport through double-barrier molecular junctions in a scanning tunneling microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazin, G V; Wu, S W; Ho, W

    2005-06-21

    The scanning tunneling microscope enables atomic-scale measurements of electron transport through individual molecules. Copper phthalocyanine and magnesium porphine molecules adsorbed on a thin oxide film grown on the NiAl(110) surface were probed. The single-molecule junctions contained two tunneling barriers, vacuum gap, and oxide film. Differential conductance spectroscopy shows that electron transport occurs via vibronic states of the molecules. The intensity of spectral peaks corresponding to the individual vibronic states depends on the relative electron tunneling rates through the two barriers of the junction, as found by varying the vacuum gap tunneling rate by changing the height of the scanning tunneling microscope tip above the molecule. A simple, sequential tunneling model explains the observed trends.

  16. Tunneling rates in electron transport through double-barrier molecular junctions in a scanning tunneling microscope

    OpenAIRE

    Nazin, G. V.; Wu, S. W.; Ho, W.

    2005-01-01

    The scanning tunneling microscope enables atomic-scale measurements of electron transport through individual molecules. Copper phthalocyanine and magnesium porphine molecules adsorbed on a thin oxide film grown on the NiAl(110) surface were probed. The single-molecule junctions contained two tunneling barriers, vacuum gap, and oxide film. Differential conductance spectroscopy shows that electron transport occurs via vibronic states of the molecules. The intensity of spectral peaks correspondi...

  17. The intestinal barrier function and its involvement in digestive disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eloísa Salvo-Romero

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The gastrointestinal mucosal surface is lined with epithelial cells representing an effective barrier made up with intercellular junctions that separate the inner and the outer environments, and block the passage of potentially harmful substances. However, epithelial cells are also responsible for the absorption of nutrients and electrolytes, hence a semipermeable barrier is required that selectively allows a number of substances in while keeping others out. To this end, the intestine developed the "intestinal barrier function", a defensive system involving various elements, both intra- and extracellular, that work in a coordinated way to impede the passage of antigens, toxins, and microbial byproducts, and simultaneously preserves the correct development of the epithelial barrier, the immune system, and the acquisition of tolerance against dietary antigens and the intestinal microbiota. Disturbances in the mechanisms of the barrier function favor the development of exaggerated immune responses; while exact implications remain unknown, changes in intestinal barrier function have been associated with the development of inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract. This review details de various elements of the intestinal barrier function, and the key molecular and cellular changes described for gastrointestinal diseases associated with dysfunction in this defensive mechanism.

  18. Lamellar granule secretion starts before the establishment of tight junction barrier for paracellular tracers in mammalian epidermis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akemi Ishida-Yamamoto

    Full Text Available Defects in epidermal barrier function and/or vesicular transport underlie severe skin diseases including ichthyosis and atopic dermatitis. Tight junctions (TJs form a single layered network in simple epithelia. TJs are important for both barrier functions and vesicular transport. Epidermis is stratified epithelia and lamellar granules (LGs are secreted from the stratum granulosum (SG in a sequential manner. Previously, continuous TJs and paracellular permeability barriers were found in the second layer (SG2 of SG in mice, but their fate and correlation with LG secretion have been poorly understood. We studied epidermal TJ-related structures in humans and in mice and found occludin/ZO-1 immunoreactive multilayered networks spanning the first layer of SG (SG1 and SG2. Paracellular penetration tracer passed through some TJs in SG2, but not in SG1. LG secretion into the paracellular tracer positive spaces started below the level of TJs of SG1. Our study suggests that LG-secretion starts before the establishment of TJ barrier in the mammalian epidermis.

  19. Claudin Loss-of-Function Disrupts Tight Junctions and Impairs Amelogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardet, Claire; Ribes, Sandy; Wu, Yong; Diallo, Mamadou Tidiane; Salmon, Benjamin; Breiderhoff, Tilman; Houillier, Pascal; Müller, Dominik; Chaussain, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Claudins are a family of proteins that forms paracellular barriers and pores determining tight junctions (TJ) permeability. Claudin-16 and -19 are pore forming TJ proteins allowing calcium and magnesium reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL). Loss-of-function mutations in the encoding genes, initially identified to cause Familial Hypomagnesemia with Hypercalciuria and Nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC), were recently shown to be also involved in Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI). In addition, both claudins were expressed in the murine tooth germ and Claudin-16 knockout (KO) mice displayed abnormal enamel formation. Claudin-3, an ubiquitous claudin expressed in epithelia including kidney, acts as a barrier-forming tight junction protein. We determined that, similarly to claudin-16 and claudin-19, claudin-3 was expressed in the tooth germ, more precisely in the TJ located at the apical end of secretory ameloblasts. The observation of Claudin-3 KO teeth revealed enamel defects associated to impaired TJ structure at the secretory ends of ameloblasts and accumulation of matrix proteins in the forming enamel. Thus, claudin-3 protein loss-of-function disturbs amelogenesis similarly to claudin-16 loss-of-function, highlighting the importance of claudin proteins for the TJ structure. These findings unravel that loss-of-function of either pore or barrier-forming TJ proteins leads to enamel defects. Hence, the major structural function of claudin proteins appears essential for amelogenesis.

  20. Claudin Loss-of-Function Disrupts Tight Junctions and Impairs Amelogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Bardet

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Claudins are a family of proteins that forms paracellular barriers and pores determining tight junctions (TJ permeability. Claudin-16 and -19 are pore forming TJ proteins allowing calcium and magnesium reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL. Loss-of-function mutations in the encoding genes, initially identified to cause Familial Hypomagnesemia with Hypercalciuria and Nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC, were recently shown to be also involved in Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI. In addition, both claudins were expressed in the murine tooth germ and Claudin-16 knockout (KO mice displayed abnormal enamel formation. Claudin-3, an ubiquitous claudin expressed in epithelia including kidney, acts as a barrier-forming tight junction protein. We determined that, similarly to claudin-16 and claudin-19, claudin-3 was expressed in the tooth germ, more precisely in the TJ located at the apical end of secretory ameloblasts. The observation of Claudin-3 KO teeth revealed enamel defects associated to impaired TJ structure at the secretory ends of ameloblasts and accumulation of matrix proteins in the forming enamel. Thus, claudin-3 protein loss-of-function disturbs amelogenesis similarly to claudin-16 loss-of-function, highlighting the importance of claudin proteins for the TJ structure. These findings unravel that loss-of-function of either pore or barrier-forming TJ proteins leads to enamel defects. Hence, the major structural function of claudin proteins appears essential for amelogenesis.

  1. Sodium caprate transiently opens claudin-5-containing barriers at tight junctions of epithelial and endothelial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Del Vecchio, Giovanna; Tscheik, Christian; Tenz, Kareen

    2012-01-01

    Claudin-5 is a tight junction (TJ) protein which limits the diffusion of small hydrophilic molecules. Thus, it represents a potential pharmacological target to improve drug delivery to the tissues protected by claudin-5-dependent barriers. Sodium caprate is known as an absorption enhancer which...... opens the paracellular space acting on TJ proteins and actin cytoskeleton. Its action on claudin-5 is not understood so far. Epithelial and endothelial systems were used to evaluate the effect of caprate on claudin-5 in TJ-free cells and on claudin-5 fully integrated in TJ. To this aim, confocal...... of endothelial and epithelial cells. In conclusion, the study further elucidates the cellular effects of caprate at the tight junctions....

  2. Modulation of Tight Junction Structure and Function by Kinases and Phosphatases Targeting Occludin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Johannes Dörfel

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Tight junctions (TJs typically represent the most apical contacts in epithelial and endothelial cell layers where they play an essential role in the separation of extracellular or luminal spaces from underlying tissues in the body. Depending on the protein composition, TJs define the barrier characteristics and in addition maintain cell polarity. Two major families of integral membrane proteins form the typical TJ strand network, the tight junction-associated MARVEL protein (TAMP family members occludin, tricellulin, and MarvelD3 as well as a specific set of claudins. Occludin was the first identified member of these tetraspanins and is now widely accepted as a regulator of TJ assembly and function. Therefore, occludin itself has to be tightly regulated. Phosphorylation of occludin appears to be of central importance in this context. Here we want to summarize current knowledge on the kinases and phosphatases directly modifying occludin, and their role in the regulation of TJ structure, function, and dynamics.

  3. Barrier breakdown mechanism in nano-scale perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions with ultrathin MgO barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Hua; Leitao, Diana C.; Hou, Zhiwei; Freitas, Paulo P.; Cardoso, Susana; Kämpfe, Thomas; Müller, Johannes; Langer, Juergen; Wrona, Jerzy

    2018-05-01

    Recently, the perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (p-MTJs) arouse great interest because of its unique features in the application of spin-transfer-torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM), such as low switching current density, good thermal stability and high access speed. In this paper, we investigated current induced switching (CIS) in ultrathin MgO barrier p-MTJs with dimension down to 50 nm. We obtained a CIS perpendicular tunnel magnetoresistance (p-TMR) of 123.9% and 7.0 Ω.μm2 resistance area product (RA) with a critical switching density of 1.4×1010 A/m2 in a 300 nm diameter junction. We observe that the extrinsic breakdown mechanism dominates, since the resistance of our p-MTJs decreases gradually with the increasing current. From the statistical analysis of differently sized p-MTJs, we observe that the breakdown voltage (Vb) of 1.4 V is 2 times the switching voltage (Vs) of 0.7 V and the breakdown process exhibits two different breakdown states, unsteady and steady state. Using Simmons' model, we find that the steady state is related with the barrier height of the MgO layer. Furthermore, our study suggests a more efficient method to evaluate the MTJ stability under high bias rather than measuring Vb. In conclusion, we developed well performant p-MTJs for the use in STT-MRAM and demonstrate the mechanism and control of breakdown in nano-scale ultrathin MgO barrier p-MTJs.

  4. Particulate matter air pollution disrupts endothelial cell barrier via calpain-mediated tight junction protein degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Ting

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to particulate matter (PM is a significant risk factor for increased cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of PM-mediated pathophysiology remains unknown. However, PM is proinflammatory to the endothelium and increases vascular permeability in vitro and in vivo via ROS generation. Objectives We explored the role of tight junction proteins as targets for PM-induced loss of lung endothelial cell (EC barrier integrity and enhanced cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Methods Changes in human lung EC monolayer permeability were assessed by Transendothelial Electrical Resistance (TER in response to PM challenge (collected from Ft. McHenry Tunnel, Baltimore, MD, particle size >0.1 μm. Biochemical assessment of ROS generation and Ca2+ mobilization were also measured. Results PM exposure induced tight junction protein Zona occludens-1 (ZO-1 relocation from the cell periphery, which was accompanied by significant reductions in ZO-1 protein levels but not in adherens junction proteins (VE-cadherin and β-catenin. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, 5 mM reduced PM-induced ROS generation in ECs, which further prevented TER decreases and atteneuated ZO-1 degradation. PM also mediated intracellular calcium mobilization via the transient receptor potential cation channel M2 (TRPM2, in a ROS-dependent manner with subsequent activation of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain. PM-activated calpain is responsible for ZO-1 degradation and EC barrier disruption. Overexpression of ZO-1 attenuated PM-induced endothelial barrier disruption and vascular hyperpermeability in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions These results demonstrate that PM induces marked increases in vascular permeability via ROS-mediated calcium leakage via activated TRPM2, and via ZO-1 degradation by activated calpain. These findings support a novel mechanism for PM-induced lung damage and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

  5. A new spin-functional MOSFET based on magnetic tunnel junction technology: pseudo-spin-MOSFET

    OpenAIRE

    Shuto, Yusuke; Nakane, Ryosho; Wang, Wenhong; Sukegawa, Hiroaki; Yamamoto, Shuu'ichirou; Tanaka, Masaaki; Inomata, Koichiro; Sugahara, Satoshi

    2009-01-01

    We fabricated and characterized a new spin-functional MOSFET referred to as a pseudo-spin-MOSFET (PS-MOSFET). The PS-MOSFET is a circuit using an ordinary MOSFET and magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) for reproducing functions of spin-transistors. Device integration techniques for a bottom gate MOSFET using a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate and for an MTJ with a full-Heusler alloy electrode and MgO tunnel barrier were developed. The fabricated PS-MOSFET exhibited high and low transconductanc...

  6. Radon barrier field-test monitoring at Grand Junction tailings pile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, H.D.; Hartley, J.N.; Gee, G.W.

    1983-11-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), as part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) technology development program, has conducted three large-scale field tests of radon covers at the uranium mill tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado. The barrier systems, monitored for radon flux for over two years, include earthen, multilayer, and asphalt emulsion covers. Results of the monitoring have shown that a variety of cover systems can meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard. The most effective covers tested were asphalt emulsion and earthen (mancos shale). 10 references, 7 figures, 1 table

  7. Effect of the ion bombardment on the apparent barrier height in GaAs Schottky junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvath, Zs. J.

    1994-01-01

    The bombardment of the semiconductor with different particles often results in the change of the doping concentration at the semiconductor surface. In this paper the effects of this near-interface concentration change on the apparent and real Schottky barrier heights are discussed. Experimental results obtained in GaAs Schottky junctions prepared on ion-bombarded semiconductor surfaces are analysed, and it is shown that their electrical characteristics are strongly influenced by the near-interface concentration change due to the ion bombardment. (author). 36 refs., 2 figs

  8. Fabrication of magnetic tunnel junctions with a single-crystalline LiF tunnel barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishna Narayananellore, Sai; Doko, Naoki; Matsuo, Norihiro; Saito, Hidekazu; Yuasa, Shinji

    2018-04-01

    We fabricated Fe/LiF/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) by molecular beam epitaxy on a MgO(001) substrate, where LiF is an insulating tunnel barrier with the same crystal structure as MgO (rock-salt type). Crystallographical studies such as transmission electron microscopy and nanobeam electron diffraction observations revealed that the LiF tunnel barrier is single-crystalline and has a LiF(001)[100] ∥ bottom Fe(001)[110] crystal orientation, which is constructed in the same manner as MgO(001) on Fe(001). Also, the in-plane lattice mismatch between the LiF tunnel barrier and the Fe bottom electrode was estimated to be small (about 0.5%). Despite such advantages for the tunnel barrier of the MTJ, the observed tunnel magnetoresistance (MR) ratio was low (˜6% at 20 K) and showed a significant decrease with increasing temperature (˜1% at room temperature). The results imply that indirect tunneling and/or thermally excited carriers in the LiF tunnel barrier, in which the current basically is not spin-polarized, play a major role in electrical transport in the MTJ.

  9. Claudin-11 and occludin are major contributors to Sertoli cell tight junction function, in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J McCabe

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ is the key component of the blood-testis barrier, where it sequesters developing germ cells undergoing spermatogenesis within the seminiferous tubules. Hormonally regulated claudin-11 is a critical transmembrane protein involved in barrier function and its murine knockout results in infertility. We aimed to assess quantitatively the significance of the contribution of claudin-11 to TJ function, in vitro, using siRNA-mediated gene silencing. We also conducted an analysis of the contribution of occludin, another intrinsic transmembrane protein of the TJ. Silencing of claudin-11 and/or occludin was conducted using siRNA in an immature rat Sertoli cell culture model. Transepithelial electrical resistance was used to assess quantitatively TJ function throughout the culture. Two days after siRNA treatment, cells were fixed for immunocytochemical localization of junction proteins or lyzed for RT-PCR assessment of mRNA expression. Silencing of claudin-11, occludin, or both resulted in significant decreases in TJ function of 55% (P < 0.01, 51% (P < 0.01, and 62% (P < 0.01, respectively. Data were concomitant with significant decreases in mRNA expression and marked reductions in the localization of targeted proteins to the Sertoli cell TJ. We provide quantitative evidence that claudin-11 contributes significantly (P < 0.01 to Sertoli cell TJ function in vitro. Interestingly, occludin, which is hormonally regulated but not implicated in infertility until late adulthood, is also a significant (P < 0.01 contributor to barrier function. Our data are consistent with in vivo studies that clearly demonstrate a role for these proteins in maintaining normal TJ barrier structure and function.

  10. 1981 radon barrier field test at Grand Junction uranium mill tailings pile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Gee, G.W.; Baker, E.G.; Freeman, H.D.

    1983-04-01

    Technologies to reduce radon released from uranium mill tailings are being investigated by Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technology development program. These technologies include: (1) earthen cover systems, (2) multilayer cover systems, and (3) asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems. During the summer of 1981, a field test was initiated at the Grand Junction, Colorado, uranium tailings pile to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of each radon barrier system. Test plots cover about 1.2 ha (3 acres). The field test has demonstrated the effectiveness of all three cover systems in reducing radon release to near background levels ( 2 s - 1 ). In conjunction with the field tests, column tests (1.8 m diameter) were initiated with cover systems similar to those in the larger field test plots. The column tests allow a direct comparison of the two test procedures and also provide detailed information on radon transport

  11. Electron-spin polarization in tunnel junctions with ferromagnetic EuS barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hao, X.; Moodera, J.S.; Meservey, R.

    1989-01-01

    The authors report here spin-polarized tunneling experiments using non-ferromagnetic electrodes and ferromagnetic EuS barriers. Because of the conduction band in EuS splits into spin-up and spin-down subbands when the temperature is below 16.7 K, the Curie temperature of EuS, the tunnel barrier for electrons with different spin directions is different, therefore giving rise to tunnel current polarization. The spin-filter effect, as it may be called, was observed earlier, directly or indirectly, by several groups: Esaki et al. made a tunneling study on junctions having EuS and EuSe barriers; Thompson et al. studied Schottky barrier tunneling between In and doped EuS; Muller et al. and Kisker et al. performed electron field emission experiments on EuS-coated tungsten tips. The field emission experiments gave a maximum polarization of (89 + 7)% for the emitted electrons. Although the previous tunneling studies did not directly show electron polarization, their results were explained by the same spin- filter effect. This work uses the spin-polarized tunneling technique to show directly that tunnel current is indeed polarized and polarization can be as high as 85%

  12. Immune responses at brain barriers and implications for brain development and neurological function in later life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen B. Stolp

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available For a long time the brain has been considered an immune-privileged site due to a muted inflammatory response and the presence of protective brain barriers. It is now recognised that neuroinflammation may play an important role in almost all neurological disorders and that the brain barriers may be contributing through either normal immune signalling, or disruption of their basic physiological mechanisms. The distinction between normal function and dysfunction at the barriers is difficult to dissect, partly due to a lack of understanding of normal barrier function and partly because of physiological changes that occur as part of normal development and ageing. Brain barriers consist of a number of interacting structural and physiological elements including tight junctions between adjacent barrier cells and an array of influx and efflux transporters. Despite these protective mechanisms, the capacity for immune-surveillance of the brain is maintained, and there is evidence of inflammatory signalling at the brain barriers that may be an important part of the body’s response to damage or infection. This signalling system appears to change both with normal ageing, and during disease. Changes may affect diapedesis of immune cells and active molecular transfer, or cause rearrangement of the tight junctions and an increase in passive permeability across barrier interfaces. Here we review the many elements that contribute to brain barrier functions and how they respond to inflammation, particularly during development and aging. The implications of inflammation–induced barrier dysfunction for brain development and subsequent neurological function are also discussed.

  13. Radio-frequency shot-noise measurement in a magnetic tunnel junction with a MgO barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rehman, Mushtaq; Park, Junghwan; Song, Woon; Chong, Yonuk; Lee, Yeonsub; Min, Byoungchul; Shin, Kyungho; Ryu, Sangwan; Khim, Zheong

    2010-01-01

    We measured the noise power of a magnetic tunnel junction in the frequency range of 710 ∼ 1200 MHz. A low-noise cryogenic HEMT amplifier was used to measure the small noise signal at a high frequency with wide bandwidth. The MgO-barrier tunnel junction showed large tunnel magnetoresistance ratio of 215% at low temperature, which indicates electronic transport through the tunnel barrier without any significant spin-flip scattering. In the bias-dependent noise measurement, however, the zero-bias shot noise was enhanced compared to the value expected from a perfect tunnel barrier or the value observed from a good Al-AlO x -Al tunnel junction. We assume that this enhanced noise comes from inelastic tunneling processes through the barrier, which may be related to the observed zero-bias anomaly in the differential resistance of the tunnel junctions. We present a simple phenomenological model for how the inelastic scattering process can enhance the zero-bias noise in a tunnel junction.

  14. Type 2 innate lymphoid cells disrupt bronchial epithelial barrier integrity by targeting tight junctions through IL-13 in asthmatic patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugita, Kazunari; Steer, Catherine A; Martinez-Gonzalez, Itziar; Altunbulakli, Can; Morita, Hideaki; Castro-Giner, Francesc; Kubo, Terufumi; Wawrzyniak, Paulina; Rückert, Beate; Sudo, Katsuko; Nakae, Susumu; Matsumoto, Kenji; O'Mahony, Liam; Akdis, Mübeccel; Takei, Fumio; Akdis, Cezmi A

    2018-01-01

    Bronchial epithelial barrier leakiness and type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) have been separately linked to asthma pathogenesis; however, the influence of ILC2s on the bronchial epithelial barrier has not been investigated previously. We investigated the role of ILC2s in the regulation of bronchial epithelial tight junctions (TJs) and barrier function both in bronchial epithelial cells of asthmatic patients and healthy subjects and general innate lymphoid cell- and ILC2-deficient mice. Cocultures of human ILC2s and bronchial epithelial cells were used to determine transepithelial electrical resistance, paracellular flux, and TJ mRNA and protein expressions. The effect of ILC2s on TJs was examined by using a murine model of IL-33-induced airway inflammation in wild-type, recombination-activating gene 2 (Rag2) -/- , Rag2 -/- Il2rg -/- , and Rora sg/sg mice undergoing bone marrow transplantation to analyze the in vivo relevance of barrier disruption by ILC2s. ILC2s significantly impaired the epithelial barrier, as demonstrated by reduced transepithelial electrical resistance and increased fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran permeability in air-liquid interface cultures of human bronchial epithelial cells. This was in parallel to decreased mRNAs and disrupted protein expression of TJ proteins and was restored by neutralization of IL-13. Intranasal administration of recombinant IL-33 to wild-type and Rag2 -/- mice lacking T and B cells triggered TJ disruption, whereas Rag2 -/- Il2rg -/- and Rora sg/sg mice undergoing bone marrow transplantation that lack ILC2s did not show any barrier leakiness. Direct nasal administration of IL-13 was sufficient to induce deficiency in the TJ barrier in the bronchial epithelium of mice in vivo. These data highlight an essential mechanism in asthma pathogenesis by demonstrating that ILC2s are responsible for bronchial epithelial TJ barrier leakiness through IL-13. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

  15. Tight junctions and human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Norimasa; Murata, Masaki; Kikuchi, Keisuke; Osanai, Makoto; Tobioka, Hirotoshi; Kojima, Takashi; Chiba, Hideki

    2003-09-01

    Tight junctions are intercellular junctions adjacent to the apical end of the lateral membrane surface. They have two functions, the barrier (or gate) function and the fence function. The barrier function of tight junctions regulates the passage of ions, water, and various macromolecules, even of cancer cells, through paracellular spaces. The barrier function is thus relevant to edema, jaundice, diarrhea, and blood-borne metastasis. On the other hand, the fence function maintains cell polarity. In other words, tight junctions work as a fence to prevent intermixing of molecules in the apical membrane with those in the lateral membrane. This function is deeply involved in cancer cell biology, in terms of loss of cell polarity. Of the proteins comprising tight junctions, integral membrane proteins occludin, claudins, and JAMs have been recently discovered. Of these molecules, claudins are exclusively responsible for the formation of tight-junction strands and are connected with the actin cytoskeleton mediated by ZO-1. Thus, both functions of tight junctions are dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton as well as ATP. Mutations in the claudin14 and the claudin16 genes result in hereditary deafness and hereditary hypomagnesemia, respectively. Some pathogenic bacteria and viruses target and affect the tight-junction function, leading to diseases. In this review, the relationship between tight junctions and human diseases is summarized.

  16. Influence of functional groups on charge transport in molecular junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mowbray, Duncan; Jones, Glenn; Thygesen, Kristian Sommer

    2008-01-01

    Using density functional theory (DFT), we analyze the influence of five classes of functional groups, as exemplified by NO2, OCH3, CH3, CCl3, and I, on the transport properties of a 1,4-benzenedithiolate (BDT) and 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA) molecular junction with gold electrodes. Our analysis...... demonstrates how ideas from functional group chemistry may be used to engineer a molecule's transport properties, as was shown experimentally and using a semiempirical model for BDA [Nano Lett. 7, 502 (2007)]. In particular, we show that the qualitative change in conductance due to a given functional group can...... be predicted from its known electronic effect (whether it is sigma/pi donating/withdrawing). However, the influence of functional groups on a molecule's conductance is very weak, as was also found in the BDA experiments. The calculated DFT conductances for the BDA species are five times larger than...

  17. Modulation of spin transfer torque amplitude in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clément, P.-Y.; Baraduc, C.; Ducruet, C.; Vila, L.; Chshiev, M.; Diény, B.

    2015-09-01

    Magnetization switching induced by spin transfer torque is used to write magnetic memories (Magnetic Random Access Memory, MRAM) but can be detrimental to the reading process. It would be quite convenient therefore to modulate the efficiency of spin transfer torque. A solution is adding an extra degree of freedom by using double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with two spin-polarizers, with controllable relative magnetic alignment. We demonstrate, for these structures, that the amplitude of in-plane spin transfer torque on the middle free layer can be efficiently tuned via the magnetic configuration of the electrodes. Using the proposed design could thus pave the way towards more reliable read/write schemes for MRAM. Moreover, our results suggest an intriguing effect associated with the out-of-plane (field-like) spin transfer torque, which has to be further investigated.

  18. Modulation of spin transfer torque amplitude in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clément, P.-Y.; Baraduc, C.; Chshiev, M.; Diény, B.; Ducruet, C.; Vila, L.

    2015-01-01

    Magnetization switching induced by spin transfer torque is used to write magnetic memories (Magnetic Random Access Memory, MRAM) but can be detrimental to the reading process. It would be quite convenient therefore to modulate the efficiency of spin transfer torque. A solution is adding an extra degree of freedom by using double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with two spin-polarizers, with controllable relative magnetic alignment. We demonstrate, for these structures, that the amplitude of in-plane spin transfer torque on the middle free layer can be efficiently tuned via the magnetic configuration of the electrodes. Using the proposed design could thus pave the way towards more reliable read/write schemes for MRAM. Moreover, our results suggest an intriguing effect associated with the out-of-plane (field-like) spin transfer torque, which has to be further investigated

  19. Resonant tunnel magnetoresistance in double-barrier planar magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, A. N.

    2011-08-24

    We present a theoretical approach to calculate the spin-dependent current and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in a double-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (DMTJ), in which the magnetization of the middle ferromagnetic metal layer can be aligned parallel or antiparallel in relation to the fixed magnetizations of the left and right ferromagnetic electrodes. The electron transport through the DMTJ is considered as a three-dimensional problem, taking into account all transmitting electron trajectories as well as the spin-dependent momentum conservation law. The dependence of the transmission coefficient and spin-polarized currents on the applied voltage is derived as an exact solution to the quantum-mechanical problem for the spin-polarized transport. In the range of the developed physical model, the resonant tunneling, nonresonant tunneling, and enhanced spin filtering can be explained; the simulation results are in good agreement with experimental data.

  20. Resonant tunnel magnetoresistance in double-barrier planar magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, A. N.; Kosel, Jü rgen; Useinov, N. Kh.; Tagirov, L. R.

    2011-01-01

    We present a theoretical approach to calculate the spin-dependent current and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in a double-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (DMTJ), in which the magnetization of the middle ferromagnetic metal layer can be aligned parallel or antiparallel in relation to the fixed magnetizations of the left and right ferromagnetic electrodes. The electron transport through the DMTJ is considered as a three-dimensional problem, taking into account all transmitting electron trajectories as well as the spin-dependent momentum conservation law. The dependence of the transmission coefficient and spin-polarized currents on the applied voltage is derived as an exact solution to the quantum-mechanical problem for the spin-polarized transport. In the range of the developed physical model, the resonant tunneling, nonresonant tunneling, and enhanced spin filtering can be explained; the simulation results are in good agreement with experimental data.

  1. Fabrication and characteristics of a 4H-SiC junction barrier Schottky diode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Fengping; Zhang Yuming; Lue Hongliang; Zhang Yimen; Guo Hui; Guo Xin

    2011-01-01

    4H-SiC junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes with four kinds of design have been fabricated and characterized using two different processes in which one is fabricated by making the P-type ohmic contact of the anode independently, and the other is processed by depositing a Schottky metal multi-layer on the whole anode. The reverse performances are compared to find the influences of these factors. The results show that JBS diodes with field guard rings have a lower reverse current density and a higher breakdown voltage, and with independent P-type ohmic contact manufacturing, the reverse performance of 4H-SiC JBS diodes can be improved effectively. Furthermore, the P-type ohmic contact is studied in this work. (semiconductor devices)

  2. The Drosophila blood-brain barrier: Development and function of a glial endothelium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie eLimmer

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of neuronal function requires a well-balanced extracellular ion homeostasis and a steady supply with nutrients and metabolites. Therefore, all organisms equipped with a complex nervous system developed a so-called blood-brain barrier, protecting it from an uncontrolled entry of solutes, metabolites or pathogens. In higher vertebrates, this diffusion barrier is established by polarized endothelial cells that form extensive tight junctions, whereas in lower vertebrates and invertebrates the blood-brain barrier is exclusively formed by glial cells. Here, we review the development and function of the glial blood-brain barrier of Drosophila melanogaster. In the Drosophila nervous system, at least seven morphologically distinct glial cell classes can be distinguished. Two of these glial classes form the blood-brain barrier. Perineurial glial cells participate in nutrient uptake and establish a first diffusion barrier. The subperineurial glial cells form septate junctions, which block paracellular diffusion and thus seal the nervous system from the hemolymph. We summarize the molecular basis of septate junction formation and address the different transport systems expressed by the blood-brain barrier forming glial cells.

  3. The Drosophila blood-brain barrier: development and function of a glial endothelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limmer, Stefanie; Weiler, Astrid; Volkenhoff, Anne; Babatz, Felix; Klämbt, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The efficacy of neuronal function requires a well-balanced extracellular ion homeostasis and a steady supply with nutrients and metabolites. Therefore, all organisms equipped with a complex nervous system developed a so-called blood-brain barrier, protecting it from an uncontrolled entry of solutes, metabolites or pathogens. In higher vertebrates, this diffusion barrier is established by polarized endothelial cells that form extensive tight junctions, whereas in lower vertebrates and invertebrates the blood-brain barrier is exclusively formed by glial cells. Here, we review the development and function of the glial blood-brain barrier of Drosophila melanogaster. In the Drosophila nervous system, at least seven morphologically distinct glial cell classes can be distinguished. Two of these glial classes form the blood-brain barrier. Perineurial glial cells participate in nutrient uptake and establish a first diffusion barrier. The subperineurial glial (SPG) cells form septate junctions, which block paracellular diffusion and thus seal the nervous system from the hemolymph. We summarize the molecular basis of septate junction formation and address the different transport systems expressed by the blood-brain barrier forming glial cells.

  4. Spin asymmetry calculations of the TMR-V curves in single and double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Useinov, Arthur; Kosel, Jü rgen

    2011-01-01

    in the single as well as double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (SMTJ & DMTJ, which are constructed from CoFeB/MgO interfaces) and numerically estimate the possible difference of the TMR-V a curves for negative and positive voltages in the homojunctions

  5. Closure of the cribriform fascia: an efficient anatomical barrier against postoperative neovascularisation at the saphenofemoral junction? A prospective study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Maeseneer, M. G.; Philipsen, T. E.; Vandenbroeck, C. P.; Lauwers, P. R.; Hendriks, J. M.; de Hert, S. G.; van Schil, P. E.

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Neovascularisation at the sapheno-femoral junction (SFJ) ligation site in the groin may occur within one year after great saphenous vein (GSV) surgery. Several anatomical and prosthetic barrier techniques have been proposed to prevent this evolution. OBJECTIVE: A prospective study

  6. Hydrogen sulfide metabolism regulates endothelial solute barrier function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Yuan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogen sulfide (H2S is an important gaseous signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. In addition to free H2S, H2S can be oxidized to polysulfide which can be biologically active. Since the impact of H2S on endothelial solute barrier function is not known, we sought to determine whether H2S and its various metabolites affect endothelial permeability. In vitro permeability was evaluated using albumin flux and transendothelial electrical resistance. Different H2S donors were used to examine the effects of exogenous H2S. To evaluate the role of endogenous H2S, mouse aortic endothelial cells (MAECs were isolated from wild type mice and mice lacking cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE, a predominant source of H2S in endothelial cells. In vivo permeability was evaluated using the Miles assay. We observed that polysulfide donors induced rapid albumin flux across endothelium. Comparatively, free sulfide donors increased permeability only with higher concentrations and at later time points. Increased solute permeability was associated with disruption of endothelial junction proteins claudin 5 and VE-cadherin, along with enhanced actin stress fiber formation. Importantly, sulfide donors that increase permeability elicited a preferential increase in polysulfide levels within endothelium. Similarly, CSE deficient MAECs showed enhanced solute barrier function along with reduced endogenous bound sulfane sulfur. CSE siRNA knockdown also enhanced endothelial junction structures with increased claudin 5 protein expression. In vivo, CSE genetic deficiency significantly blunted VEGF induced hyperpermeability revealing an important role of the enzyme for barrier function. In summary, endothelial solute permeability is critically regulated via exogenous and endogenous sulfide bioavailability with a prominent role of polysulfides.

  7. Acrolein Disrupts Tight Junction Proteins and Causes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Mediated Epithelial Cell Death Leading to Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction and Permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Yang; Wang, Min; Zhang, Jingwen; Barve, Shirish S; McClain, Craig J; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2017-12-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that environmental and dietary factors can affect intestinal epithelial integrity leading to gut permeability and bacterial translocation. Intestinal barrier dysfunction is a pathogenic process associated with many chronic disorders. Acrolein is an environmental and dietary pollutant and a lipid-derived endogenous metabolite. The impact of acrolein on the intestine has not been investigated before and is evaluated in this study, both in vitro and in vivo. Our data demonstrate that oral acrolein exposure in mice caused damage to the intestinal epithelial barrier, resulting in increased permeability and subsequently translocation of bacterial endotoxin-lipopolysaccharide into the blood. Similar results were seen in vitro using established Caco-2 cell monolayers wherein acrolein decreased barrier function and increased permeability. Acrolein also caused the down-regulation and/or redistribution of three representative tight junction proteins (ie, zonula occludens-1, Occludin, Claudin-1) that critically regulate epithelial paracellular permeability. In addition, acrolein induced endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated death of epithelial cells, which is an important mechanism contributing to intestinal barrier damage/dysfunction, and gut permeability. Overall, we demonstrate that exposure to acrolein affects the intestinal epithelium by decrease/redistribution of tight junction proteins and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated epithelial cell death, thereby resulting in loss of barrier integrity and function. Our findings highlight the adverse consequences of environmental and dietary pollutants on intestinal barrier integrity/function with relevance to gut permeability and the development of disease. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Oncostatin M induces upregulation of claudin-2 in rodent hepatocytes coinciding with changes in morphology and function of tight junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imamura, Masafumi; Kojima, Takashi; Lan, Mengdong; Son, Seiichi; Murata, Masaki; Osanai, Makoto; Chiba, Hideki; Hirata, Koichi; Sawada, Norimasa

    2007-01-01

    In rodent livers, integral tight junction (TJ) proteins claudin-1, -2, -3, -5 and -14 are detected and play crucial roles in the barrier to keep bile in bile canaculi away from the blood circulation. Claudin-2 shows a lobular gradient increasing from periportal to pericentral hepatocytes, whereas claudin-1 and -3 are expressed in the whole liver lobule. Although claudin-2 expression induces cation-selective channels in tight junctions of epithelial cells, the physiological functions and regulation of claudin-2 in hepatocytes remain unclear. Oncostatin M (OSM) is a multifunctional cytokine implicated in the differentiation of hepatocytes that induces formation of E-cadherin-based adherens junctions in fetal hepatocytes. In this study, we examined whether OSM could induce expression and function of claudin-2 in rodent hepatocytes, immortalized mouse and primary cultured proliferative rat hepatocytes. In the immortalized mouse and primary cultured proliferative rat hepatocytes, treatment with OSM markedly increased mRNA and protein of claudin-2 together with formation of developed networks of TJ strands. The increase of claudin-2 enhanced the paracellular barrier function which depended on molecular size. The increase of claudin-2 expression induced by OSM in rodent hepatocytes was regulated through distinct signaling pathways including PKC. These results suggest that expression of claudin-2 in rodent hepatocytes may play a specific role as controlling the size of paracellular permeability in the barrier to keep bile in bile canaculi

  9. Integrin-Linked Kinase Is Indispensable for Keratinocyte Differentiation and Epidermal Barrier Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayedyahossein, Samar; Rudkouskaya, Alena; Leclerc, Valerie; Dagnino, Lina

    2016-02-01

    A functional permeability barrier is essential to prevent the passage of water and electrolytes, macromolecules, and pathogens through the epidermis. This is accomplished in terminally differentiated keratinocytes through formation of a cornified envelope and the assembly of tight intercellular junctions. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a scaffold protein essential for hair follicle morphogenesis and epidermal attachment to the basement membrane. However, the biological functions of ILK in differentiated keratinocytes remain poorly understood. Furthermore, whether ILK is implicated in keratinocyte differentiation and intercellular junction formation has remained an unresolved issue. Here we describe a pivotal role for ILK in keratinocyte differentiation responses to increased extracellular Ca(2+), regulation of adherens and tight junction assembly, and the formation of an outside-in permeability barrier toward macromolecules. In the absence of ILK, the calcium sensing receptor, E-cadherin, and ZO-1 fail to translocate to the cell membrane, through mechanisms that involve abnormalities in microtubules and in RhoA activation. In situ, ILK-deficient epidermis exhibits reduced tight junction formation and increased outside-in permeability to a dextran tracer, indicating reduced barrier properties toward macromolecules. Therefore, ILK is an essential component of keratinocyte differentiation programs that contribute to epidermal integrity and the establishment of its barrier properties. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Analysis of Schottky Barrier Parameters and Current Transport Properties of V/p-Type GaN Schottky Junction at Low Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asha, B.; Harsha, Cirandur Sri; Padma, R.; Rajagopal Reddy, V.

    2018-05-01

    The electrical characteristics of a V/p-GaN Schottky junction have been investigated by current-voltage (I-V) and capacitance-voltage (C-V) characteristics under the assumption of the thermionic emission (TE) theory in the temperature range of 120-280 K with steps of 40 K. The zero-bias barrier height (ΦB0), ideality factor (n), flat-band barrier height (ΦBF) and series resistance (R S) values were evaluated and were found to be strongly temperature dependent. The results revealed that the ΦB0 values increase, whereas n, ΦFB and R S values decrease, with increasing temperature. Using the conventional Richardson plot, the mean barrier height (0.39 eV) and Richardson constant (8.10 × 10-10 Acm-2 K-2) were attained. The barrier height inhomogeneities were demonstrated by assuming a Gaussian distribution function. The interface state density (N SS) values were found to decrease with increasing temperature. The reverse leakage current mechanism of the V/p-GaN Schottky junction was found to be governed by Poole-Frenkel emission at all temperatures.

  11. Uniting Control Lyapunov and Control Barrier Functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romdlony, Zakiyullah; Jayawardhana, Bayu

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a nonlinear control design for solving the problem of stabilization with guaranteed safety. The design is based on the merging of a Control Lyapunov Function and a Control Barrier Function. The proposed control method allows us to combine the design of a stabilizer based on

  12. Junction barrier Schottky rectifier with an improved P-well region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Ying; Li Ting; Cao Fei; Shao Lei; Chen Yu-Xian

    2012-01-01

    A junction barrier Schottky (JBS) rectifier with an improved P-well on 4H—SiC is proposed to improve the V F —I R trade-off and the breakdown voltage. The reverse current density of the proposed JBS rectifier at 300 K and 800 V is about 3.3×10 −8 times that of the common JBS rectifier at no expense of the forward voltage drop. This is because the depletion layer thickness in the P-well region at the same reverse voltage is larger than in the P + grid, resulting in a lower spreading current and tunneling current. As a result, the breakdown voltage of the proposed JBS rectifier is over 1.6 kV, that is about 0.8 times more than that of the common JBS rectifier due to the uniform electric field. Although the series resistance of the proposed JBS rectifier is a little larger than that of the common JBS rectifier, the figure of merit (FOM) of the proposed JBS rectifier is about 2.9 times that of the common JBS rectifier. Based on simulating the values of susceptibility of the two JBS rectifiers to electrostatic discharge (ESD) in the human body model (HBM) circuits, the failure energy of the proposed JBS rectifier increases 17% compared with that of the common JBS rectifier. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  13. Low-leakage superconducting tunnel junctions with a single-crystal Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} barrier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oh, S [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States); Cicak, K; Osborn, K D; Simmonds, R W; Pappas, D P [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States); McDermott, R; Cooper, K B; Steffen, M; Martinis, J M [University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States)

    2005-10-01

    We have developed a two-step growth scheme for single-crystal Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} tunnel barriers. The barriers are epitaxially grown on single-crystal rhenium (Re) base electrodes that are grown epitaxially on a sapphire substrate, while polycrystalline Al is used as the top electrode. We show that by first growing an amorphous aluminium (Al) oxide layer at room temperature and crystallizing it at a high temperature in oxygen environment, a morphologically intact single-crystal Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer is obtained. Tunnel junctions fabricated from these trilayers show very low subgap leakage current. This single-crystal Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} junction may open a new venue for coherent quantum devices.

  14. Leakage current reduction of vertical GaN junction barrier Schottky diodes using dual-anode process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashida, Tetsuro; Nanjo, Takuma; Furukawa, Akihiko; Watahiki, Tatsuro; Yamamuka, Mikio

    2018-04-01

    The origin of the leakage current of a trench-type vertical GaN diode was discussed. We found that the edge of p-GaN is the main leakage spot. To reduce the reverse leakage current at the edge of p-GaN, a dual-anode process was proposed. As a result, the reverse blocking voltage defined at the leakage current density of 1 mA/cm2 of a vertical GaN junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diode was improved from 780 to 1,190 V, which is the highest value ever reported for vertical GaN Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs).

  15. Superconducting tunnel junctions on MgB{sub 2} using MgO and CaF{sub 2} as a barrier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakoda, Masahito, E-mail: sakoda@cc.tuat.ac.jp [Department of Applied Physics, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 2-24-16, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588 (Japan); Aibara, Masato; Mede, Kazuya; Kikuchi, Motoyuki; Naito, Michio [Department of Applied Physics, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 2-24-16, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588 (Japan)

    2016-11-15

    Highlights: • We have revised the manuscript according to reviewer's comments. The details are in “Response to Reviewers”. • Superconducting junctions with MgO and CaF{sub 2} barrier were fabricated in order to improve the quality of junctions. • In SIN junctions with MgO barrier, clear superconducting gap was observed. (). • In SIS junctions with CaF2 barrier, Josephson current was observed over 30 K. (). • The compatibility of each barrier material at the upper and lower interfaces was clarified. (). - Abstract: We report the fabrication of superconducting tunnel junctions, both of superconductor–insulator-normal metal (SIN) and superconductor–insulator-superconductor (SIS), on MgB{sub 2} using MgO and CaF{sub 2} as a barrier. The SIN junctions fabricated using an MgO barrier showed excellent quasi-particle characteristics, including a large superconducting gap (Δ) of 2.5–3 meV and a low zero-bias conductance. We have also fabricated SIS junctions with an MgO barrier, but the quasi-particle characteristics of the SIS junctions are not as good as those of the SIN junctions, namely a reduced superconducting gap and a high zero-bias conductance. It appears that top MgB{sub 2} electrodes do not grow well on an MgO barrier, which is also suggested from in-situ RHEED observation. The SIN junctions fabricated using a CaF{sub 2} barrier showed less sharp quasi-particle characteristics than using an MgO barrier. However, the SIS junctions using a CaF{sub 2} barrier showed a fairly large I{sub c}R{sub N} value at 4.2 K over 1 mV and also exhibited finite Josephson current up to almost the film's T{sub c} (∼30 K). The RHEED observation revealed that top MgB{sub 2} electrodes grow well on a CaF{sub 2} barrier.

  16. Electrical transport across nanometric SrTiO3 and BaTiO3 barriers in conducting/insulator/conducting junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, H.; Sirena, M.; González Sutter, J.; Troiani, H. E.; del Corro, P. G.; Granell, P.; Golmar, F.; Haberkorn, N.

    2018-01-01

    We report the electrical transport properties of conducting/insulator/conducting heterostructures by studying current-voltage IV curves at room temperature. The measurements were obtained on tunnel junctions with different areas (900, 400 and 100 μm2) using a conducting atomic force microscope. Trilayers with GdBa2Cu3O7 (GBCO) as the bottom electrode, SrTiO3 or BaTiO3 (thicknesses between 1.6 and 4 nm) as the insulator barrier, and GBCO or Nb as the top electrode were grown by DC sputtering on (100) SrTiO3 substrates For SrTiO3 and BaTiO3 barriers, asymmetric IV curves at positive and negative polarization can be obtained using electrodes with different work function. In addition, hysteretic IV curves are obtained for BaTiO3 barriers, which can be ascribed to a combined effect of the FE reversal switching polarization and an oxygen vacancy migration. For GBCO/BaTiO3/GBCO heterostructures, the IV curves correspond to that expected for asymmetric interfaces, which indicates that the disorder affects differently the properties at the bottom and top interfaces. Our results show the role of the interface disorder on the electrical transport of conducting/insulator/conduction heterostructures, which is relevant for different applications, going from resistive switching memories (at room temperature) to Josephson junctions (at low temperatures).

  17. Permanent isolation surface barrier: Functional performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wing, N.R.

    1993-10-01

    This document presents the functional performance parameters for permanent isolation surface barriers. Permanent isolation surface barriers have been proposed for use at the Hanford Site (and elsewhere) to isolate and dispose of certain types of waste in place. Much of the waste that would be disposed of using in-place isolation techniques is located in subsurface structures, such as solid waste burial grounds, tanks, vaults, and cribs. Unless protected in some way, the wastes could be transported to the accessible environment via transport pathways, such as water infiltration, biointrusion, wind and water erosion, human interference, and/or gaseous release

  18. Volatile anesthetics influence blood-brain barrier integrity by modulation of tight junction protein expression in traumatic brain injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge C Thal

    Full Text Available Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB results in cerebral edema formation, which is a major cause for high mortality after traumatic brain injury (TBI. As anesthetic care is mandatory in patients suffering from severe TBI it may be important to elucidate the effect of different anesthetics on cerebral edema formation. Tight junction proteins (TJ such as zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 and claudin-5 (cl5 play a central role for BBB stability. First, the influence of the volatile anesthetics sevoflurane and isoflurane on in-vitro BBB integrity was investigated by quantification of the electrical resistance (TEER in murine brain endothelial monolayers and neurovascular co-cultures of the BBB. Secondly brain edema and TJ expression of ZO-1 and cl5 were measured in-vivo after exposure towards volatile anesthetics in native mice and after controlled cortical impact (CCI. In in-vitro endothelial monocultures, both anesthetics significantly reduced TEER within 24 hours after exposure. In BBB co-cultures mimicking the neurovascular unit (NVU volatile anesthetics had no impact on TEER. In healthy mice, anesthesia did not influence brain water content and TJ expression, while 24 hours after CCI brain water content increased significantly stronger with isoflurane compared to sevoflurane. In line with the brain edema data, ZO-1 expression was significantly higher in sevoflurane compared to isoflurane exposed CCI animals. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed disruption of ZO-1 at the cerebrovascular level, while cl5 was less affected in the pericontusional area. The study demonstrates that anesthetics influence brain edema formation after experimental TBI. This effect may be attributed to modulation of BBB permeability by differential TJ protein expression. Therefore, selection of anesthetics may influence the barrier function and introduce a strong bias in experimental research on pathophysiology of BBB dysfunction. Future research is required to investigate

  19. Epidermal Growth Factor and Intestinal Barrier Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaopeng Tang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidermal growth factor (EGF is a 53-amino acid peptide that plays an important role in regulating cell growth, survival, migration, apoptosis, proliferation, and differentiation. In addition, EGF has been established to be an effective intestinal regulator helping to protect intestinal barrier integrity, which was essential for the absorption of nutrients and health in humans and animals. Several researches have demonstrated that EGF via binding to the EGF receptor and subsequent activation of Ras/MAPK, PI3K/AKT, PLC-γ/PKC, and STATS signal pathways regulates intestinal barrier function. In this review, the relationship between epidermal growth factor and intestinal development and intestinal barrier is described, to provide a better understanding of the effects of EGF on intestine development and health.

  20. Anisotropic transport of normal metal-barrier-normal metal junctions in monolayer phosphorene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sarkar, Sangita; Agarwal, Amit; Sengupta, K

    2017-07-19

    We study transport properties of a phosphorene monolayer in the presence of single and multiple potential barriers of height U 0 and width d, using both continuum and microscopic lattice models, and show that the nature of electron transport along its armchair edge (x direction) is qualitatively different from its counterpart in both conventional two-dimensional electron gas with Schrödinger-like quasiparticles and graphene or surfaces of topological insulators hosting massless Dirac quasiparticles. We show that the transport, mediated by massive Dirac electrons, allows one to achieve collimated quasiparticle motion along x and thus makes monolayer phosphorene an ideal experimental platform for studying Klein paradox in the context of gapped Dirac materials. We study the dependence of the tunneling conductance [Formula: see text] as a function of d and U 0 , and demonstrate that for a given applied voltage V its behavior changes from oscillatory to decaying function of d for a range of U 0 with finite non-zero upper and lower bounds, and provide analytical expression for these bounds within which G decays with d. We contrast such behavior of G with that of massless Dirac electrons in graphene and also with that along the zigzag edge (y direction) in phosphorene where the quasiparticles obey an effective Schrödinger equation at low energy. We also study transport through multiple barriers along x and demonstrate that these properties hold for transport through multiple barriers as well. Finally, we suggest concrete experiments which may verify our theoretical predictions.

  1. Tight junctions: a barrier to the initiation and progression of breast cancer?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Brennan, Kieran

    2010-01-01

    Breast cancer is a complex and heterogeneous disease that arises from epithelial cells lining the breast ducts and lobules. Correct adhesion between adjacent epithelial cells is important in determining the normal structure and function of epithelial tissues, and there is accumulating evidence that dysregulated cell-cell adhesion is associated with many cancers. This review will focus on one cell-cell adhesion complex, the tight junction (TJ), and summarize recent evidence that TJs may participate in breast cancer development or progression. We will first outline the protein composition of TJs and discuss the functions of the TJ complex. Secondly we will examine how alterations in these functions might facilitate breast cancer initiation or progression; by focussing on the regulatory influence of TJs on cell polarity, cell fate and cell migration. Finally we will outline how pharmacological targeting of TJ proteins may be useful in limiting breast cancer progression. Overall we hope to illustrate that the relationship between TJ alterations and breast cancer is a complex one; but that this area offers promise in uncovering fundamental mechanisms linked to breast cancer progression.

  2. Reliability enhancement due to in-situ post-oxidation of sputtered MgO barrier in double MgO barrier magnetic tunnel junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chikako Yoshida

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We have investigated the effects of in-situ post-oxidation (PO of a sputtered MgO barrier in a double-MgO-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ and found that the short error rate was significantly reduced, the magnetoresistance (MR ratio was increased approximately 18%, and the endurance lifetime was extend. In addition, we found that the distribution of breakdown number (a measure of endurance exhibits trimodal characteristics, which indicates competition between extrinsic and intrinsic failures. This improvement in reliability might be related to the suppression of Fe and Co diffusion to the MgO barrier, as revealed by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS analysis.

  3. Sub 20 meV Schottky barriers in metal/MoTe2 junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Nicola J.; Amit, Iddo; Craciun, Monica F.; Russo, Saverio

    2018-04-01

    The newly emerging class of atomically-thin materials has shown a high potential for the realisation of novel electronic and optoelectronic components. Amongst this family, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are of particular interest. While their band gaps are compatible with those of conventional solid state devices, they present a wide range of exciting new properties that is bound to become a crucial ingredient in the future of electronics. To utilise these properties for the prospect of electronics in general, and long-wavelength-based photodetectors in particular, the Schottky barriers formed upon contact with a metal and the contact resistance that arises at these interfaces have to be measured and controlled. We present experimental evidence for the formation of Schottky barriers as low as 10 meV between MoTe2 and metal electrodes. By varying the electrode work functions, we demonstrate that Fermi level pinning due to metal induced gap states at the interfaces occurs at 0.14 eV above the valence band maximum. In this configuration, thermionic emission is observed for the first time at temperatures between 40 K and 75 K. Finally, we discuss the ability to tune the barrier height using a gate electrode.

  4. Low-resistance magnetic tunnel junctions prepared by partial remote plasma oxidation of 0.9 nm Al barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Ricardo; Freitas, Paulo P.; MacKenzie, Maureen; Chapman, John N.

    2005-01-01

    Current perpendicular to the plane read-head elements suitable for high-density magnetic storage require low resistance while maintaining a reasonable magnetoresistive (MR) signal (RxA 2 and MR>20% for areal densities >200 Gb/in 2 ). This letter shows that competitive low RxA junctions can be produced using underoxidized barriers starting from 0.9 nm thick Al layers. For as-deposited junctions, tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ∼20% for RxA∼2-15 Ω μm 2 is obtained, while in the RxA∼60-150 Ω μm 2 range, TMR values between 40% to 45% are achieved. A limited number of junctions exhibits considerably lower RxA values with respect to the average, while keeping a similar MR (down to 0.44 Ω μm 2 with TMR of 20% and down to 2.2 Ω μm 2 with TMR of 52%). Experimental data suggest that current confinement to small regions (barrier defects/hot spots) may explain these results

  5. Method of manufacturing Josephson junction integrated circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jillie, D.W. Jr.; Smith, L.N.

    1985-01-01

    Josephson junction integrated circuits of the current injection type and magnetically controlled type utilize a superconductive layer that forms both Josephson junction electrode for the Josephson junction devices on the integrated circuit as well as a ground plane for the integrated circuit. Large area Josephson junctions are utilized for effecting contact to lower superconductive layers and islands are formed in superconductive layers to provide isolation between the groudplane function and the Josephson junction electrode function as well as to effect crossovers. A superconductor-barrier-superconductor trilayer patterned by local anodization is also utilized with additional layers formed thereover. Methods of manufacturing the embodiments of the invention are disclosed

  6. Anisotropic transport of normal metal-barrier-normal metal junctions in monolayer phosphorene

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sarkar, Sangita; Agarwal, Amit; Sengupta, K.

    2017-07-01

    We study transport properties of a phosphorene monolayer in the presence of single and multiple potential barriers of height U 0 and width d, using both continuum and microscopic lattice models, and show that the nature of electron transport along its armchair edge (x direction) is qualitatively different from its counterpart in both conventional two-dimensional electron gas with Schrödinger-like quasiparticles and graphene or surfaces of topological insulators hosting massless Dirac quasiparticles. We show that the transport, mediated by massive Dirac electrons, allows one to achieve collimated quasiparticle motion along x and thus makes monolayer phosphorene an ideal experimental platform for studying Klein paradox in the context of gapped Dirac materials. We study the dependence of the tunneling conductance G\\equiv {{G}xx} as a function of d and U 0, and demonstrate that for a given applied voltage V its behavior changes from oscillatory to decaying function of d for a range of U 0 with finite non-zero upper and lower bounds, and provide analytical expression for these bounds within which G decays with d. We contrast such behavior of G with that of massless Dirac electrons in graphene and also with that along the zigzag edge (y direction) in phosphorene where the quasiparticles obey an effective Schrödinger equation at low energy. We also study transport through multiple barriers along x and demonstrate that these properties hold for transport through multiple barriers as well. Finally, we suggest concrete experiments which may verify our theoretical predictions.

  7. Enhanced voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy in magnetic tunnel junctions with an MgO/PZT/MgO tunnel barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Diana; Li, Xiang; Wong, Kin; Zurbuchen, Mark A.; Robbennolt, Shauna; Yu, Guoqiang; Tolbert, Sarah; Kioussis, Nicholas; Khalili Amiri, Pedram; Wang, Kang L.; Chang, Jane P.

    2016-03-01

    Compared with current-controlled magnetization switching in a perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), electric field- or voltage-induced magnetization switching reduces the writing energy of the memory cell, which also results in increased memory density. In this work, an ultra-thin PZT film with high dielectric constant was integrated into the tunneling oxide layer to enhance the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) effect. The growth of MTJ stacks with an MgO/PZT/MgO tunnel barrier was performed using a combination of sputtering and atomic layer deposition techniques. The fabricated MTJs with the MgO/PZT/MgO barrier demonstrate a VCMA coefficient, which is ˜40% higher (19.8 ± 1.3 fJ/V m) than the control sample MTJs with an MgO barrier (14.3 ± 2.7 fJ/V m). The MTJs with the MgO/PZT/MgO barrier also possess a sizeable tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) of more than 50% at room temperature, comparable to the control MTJs with an MgO barrier. The TMR and enhanced VCMA effect demonstrated simultaneously in this work make the MgO/PZT/MgO barrier-based MTJs potential candidates for future voltage-controlled, ultralow-power, and high-density magnetic random access memory devices.

  8. Plasma Separation Process: Betacell (BCELL) code: User's manual. [Bipolar barrier junction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taherzadeh, M.

    1987-11-13

    The emergence of clearly defined applications for (small or large) amounts of long-life and reliable power sources has given the design and production of betavoltaic systems a new life. Moreover, because of the availability of the plasma separation program, (PSP) at TRW, it is now possible to separate the most desirable radioisotopes for betacell power generating devices. A computer code, named BCELL, has been developed to model the betavoltaic concept by utilizing the available up-to-date source/cell parameters. In this program, attempts have been made to determine the betacell energy device maximum efficiency, degradation due to the emitting source radiation and source/cell lifetime power reduction processes. Additionally, comparison is made between the Schottky and PN junction devices for betacell battery design purposes. Certain computer code runs have been made to determine the JV distribution function and the upper limit of the betacell generated power for specified energy sources. A Ni beta emitting radioisotope was used for the energy source and certain semiconductors were used for the converter subsystem of the betacell system. Some results for a Promethium source are also given here for comparison. 16 refs.

  9. Overvalue relative renal function in unilateral ureteropelvic junction obstruction?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baquedano, P.; Orellana, P.; Varas, J.

    2002-01-01

    Introduction: Relative renal function (RRF) is used as an important parameter in the surgical decision of hydronephrosis. In addition, the presence of a supranormal RRF (RRF > 55%) in the hydronephrotic kidney had been recognized. However, this over estimation is, in our experience, not only present with a RRF over 55%. We evaluated demographic data, ultrasonographic finding, age of surgery, presentation (antenatal diagnosis vs postnatal clinical symptoms) in children with unilateral hydronephrosis and a RRF which decreased after surgery. Materials and Methods: Of a series of 66 patients with unilateral ureteropyelic junction obstruction (UPJ) obstruction consecutively operated and followed in the Pediatric Urology unit of Catholic University of Chile, we analyzed 8 cases (12%) in which the relative renal function quantified by diuretic renography with Tc99 MAG3 decreased during follow-up after surgery, over 10% of the baseline value; 6 to 12 months post pyeloplasty, 7 boys, 6 cases with UPJ obstruction of the left side. 3 cases were diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound, 1 by abdominal mass, 1 by urinary tract infection, 1 by abdominal pain and 2 by screening. The age at the time of the surgery was in 4 cases 1 month of life, in two children between 6 and 12 months of age, one boy was 2.4 year old and another one was 7.3 year old. All were considered as a severe hydronefrosis in the ultrasound and 4 cases had a severe atrophy of renal parenchyma. The initial RRF of these cases varied from 35% to 62%. In half of the cases the initial RRF was considered normal, in 2 cases was abnormal ( 55%). In all of these children the RRF decreased after surgery in an average of 35% (28%-54%) of the initial RRF, none of these patients had a normal RRF after surgery. There was no differences in clinical presentation and radiological findings among them. However, it is worth to mention that the symptomatic presentation (pain, abdominal mass) was more frequent in this group that in our

  10. Quantum size effects on spin-transfer torque in a double barrier magnetic tunnel junction with a nonmagnetic-metal (semiconductor) spacer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daqiq, Reza; Ghobadi, Nader

    2016-01-01

    We study the quantum size effects of an MgO-based double barrier magnetic tunnel junction with a nonmagnetic-metal (DBMTJ-NM) (semiconductor (DBMTJ-SC)) spacer on the charge current and the spin-transfer torque (STT) components using non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism. The results show oscillatory behavior due to the resonant tunneling effect depending on the structure parameters. We find that the charge current and the STT components in the DBMTJ-SC demonstrate the magnitude enhancement in comparison with the DBMTJ-NM. The bias dependence of the STT components in a DBMTJ-NM shows different behavior in comparison with spin valves and conventional MTJs. Therefore, by choosing a specific SC spacer with suitable thickness in a DBMTJ the charge current and the STT components significantly increase so that one can design a device with high STT and faster magnetization switching. - Highlights: • The quantum size effects are studied in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions. • Spin torque (ST) components oscillate for increasing of middle spacer thicknesses. • Due to the resonant tunneling in the quantum well, oscillations have appeared. • By replacement a metal spacer with a semiconductor (ZnO) ST has increased. • The ST components vs. bias show gradually decreasing unlike spin valves or MTJs.

  11. Quantum size effects on spin-transfer torque in a double barrier magnetic tunnel junction with a nonmagnetic-metal (semiconductor) spacer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daqiq, Reza; Ghobadi, Nader

    2016-07-15

    We study the quantum size effects of an MgO-based double barrier magnetic tunnel junction with a nonmagnetic-metal (DBMTJ-NM) (semiconductor (DBMTJ-SC)) spacer on the charge current and the spin-transfer torque (STT) components using non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism. The results show oscillatory behavior due to the resonant tunneling effect depending on the structure parameters. We find that the charge current and the STT components in the DBMTJ-SC demonstrate the magnitude enhancement in comparison with the DBMTJ-NM. The bias dependence of the STT components in a DBMTJ-NM shows different behavior in comparison with spin valves and conventional MTJs. Therefore, by choosing a specific SC spacer with suitable thickness in a DBMTJ the charge current and the STT components significantly increase so that one can design a device with high STT and faster magnetization switching. - Highlights: • The quantum size effects are studied in double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions. • Spin torque (ST) components oscillate for increasing of middle spacer thicknesses. • Due to the resonant tunneling in the quantum well, oscillations have appeared. • By replacement a metal spacer with a semiconductor (ZnO) ST has increased. • The ST components vs. bias show gradually decreasing unlike spin valves or MTJs.

  12. Structural and Functional Changes in the Tight Junctions of Asymptomatic and Serology-negative First-degree Relatives of Patients With Celiac Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Asha; Prakash, Shyam; Sreenivas, Vishnubhatla; Das, Taposh K; Ahuja, Vineet; Gupta, Siddhartha D; Makharia, Govind K

    2016-08-01

    Ten to 15% of first-degree relatives (FDRs) of celiac disease (CeD) patients develop CeD. Although intestinal barrier functions (intestinal permeability) are abnormal in the subset of serology-negative FDRs, what leads to the abnormal barrier function is not known. To study the ultrastructure and functions of tight junctions in serology-negative FDRs of CeD patients. The intestinal permeability was measured in 97 asymptomatic and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (anti-tTG Ab)-negative FDRs (using the lactulose mannitol ratio) and in 75 controls. The ultrastructure of tight junctions using transmission electron microscopy, and the expression of key tight junction proteins (claudin-2, claudin-3, occludin, JAM-A, and ZO-1) and zonulin using real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were assessed in anti-tTG Ab-negative, HLA-DQ2/-DQ8-positive FDRs having normal villi and in disease controls. In addition, the serum zonulin level was measured in 172 anti-tTG Ab-negative FDRs and 198 controls. The intestinal permeability was significantly increased in FDRs than in controls. Ultrastructural abnormalities such as dilatation of the tight junction (P=0.004) and loss of the pentalaminar structure (P=0.001) were more common in FDRs than in disease controls. There was significant underexpression of tight junction proteins ZO-1 (P=0.040) and occludin (P=0.041) in FDRs. There was no significant difference in the serum zonulin level between FDRs and controls (P=0.154). Even asymptomatic, anti-tTG-Ab-negative FDRs with a normal villous histology have both ultrastructural and functional abnormalities in tight junctions. These findings are indirect evidence of the presence of tight junction abnormalities before the onset of the disease and may have therapeutic implications.

  13. Structural details of Al/Al 2O3 junctions and their role in the formation of electron tunnel barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koberidze, M.; Puska, M. J.; Nieminen, R. M.

    2018-05-01

    We present a computational study of the adhesive and structural properties of the Al/Al 2O3 interfaces as building blocks of the metal-insulator-metal (MIM) tunnel devices, where electron transport is accomplished via tunneling mechanism through the sandwiched insulating barrier. The main goal of this paper is to understand, on the atomic scale, the role of the geometrical details in the formation of the tunnel barrier profiles. Initially, we concentrate on the adhesive properties of the interfaces. To provide reliable results, we carefully assess the accuracy of the traditional methods used to examine Al/Al 2O3 systems. These are the most widely employed exchange-correlation functionals—local-density approximation and two different generalized gradient approximations; the universal binding-energy relation for predicting equilibrium interfacial distances and adhesion energies; and the ideal work of separation as a measure of junction stability. In addition, we show that the established interpretation of the computed ideal work of separation might be misleading in predicting the optimal interface structures. Finally, we perform a detailed analysis of the atomic and interplanar relaxations in each junction, and identify their contributions to the tunnel barrier parameters. Our results imply that the structural irregularities on the surface of the Al film have a significant contribution to lowering the tunnel barrier height, while atomic relaxations at the interface and interplanar relaxations in Al2O3 may considerably change the width of the barrier and, thus, distort its uniformity. Both the effects may critically influence the performance of the MIM tunnel devices.

  14. Ceramides and barrier function in healthy skin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jungerstedt, J; Hellgren, Lars; Drachmann, Tue

    2010-01-01

    Lipids in the stratum corneum are key components in the barrier function of the skin. Changes in lipid composition related to eczematous diseases are well known, but limited data are available on variations within healthy skin. The objective of the present study was to compare ceramide subgroups...... and ceramide/cholesterol ratios in young, old, male and female healthy skin. A total of 55 participants with healthy skin was included in the study. Lipid profiles were correlated with transepidermal water loss and with information on dry skin from a questionnaire including 16 people. No statistically...

  15. Co2FeAl based magnetic tunnel junctions with BaO and MgO/BaO barriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Rogge

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We succeed to integrate BaO as a tunneling barrier into Co2FeAl based magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs. By means of Auger electron spectroscopy it could be proven that the applied annealing temperatures during BaO deposition and afterwards do not cause any diffusion of Ba neither into the lower Heusler compound lead nor into the upper Fe counter electrode. Nevertheless, a negative tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR ratio of -10% is found for Co2FeAl (24 nm / BaO (5 nm / Fe (7 nm MTJs, which can be attributed to the preparation procedure and can be explained by the formation of Co- and Fe-oxides at the interfaces between the Heusler and the crystalline BaO barrier by comparing with theory. Although an amorphous structure of the BaO barrier seems to be confirmed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM, it cannot entirely be ruled out that this is an artifact of TEM sample preparation due to the sensitivity of BaO to moisture. By replacing the BaO tunneling barrier with an MgO/BaO double layer barrier, the electric stability could effectively be increased by a factor of five. The resulting TMR effect is found to be about +20% at room temperature, although a fully antiparallel state has not been realized.

  16. Hypoxic Stress and Inflammatory Pain Disrupt Blood-Brain Barrier Tight Junctions: Implications for Drug Delivery to the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lochhead, Jeffrey J; Ronaldson, Patrick T; Davis, Thomas P

    2017-07-01

    A functional blood-brain barrier (BBB) is necessary to maintain central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis. Many diseases affecting the CNS, however, alter the functional integrity of the BBB. It has been shown that various diseases and physiological stressors can impact the BBB's ability to selectively restrict passage of substances from the blood to the brain. Modifications of the BBB's permeability properties can potentially contribute to the pathophysiology of CNS diseases and result in altered brain delivery of therapeutic agents. Hypoxia and/or inflammation are central components of a number of diseases affecting the CNS. A number of studies indicate hypoxia or inflammatory pain increase BBB paracellular permeability, induce changes in the expression and/or localization of tight junction proteins, and affect CNS drug uptake. In this review, we look at what is currently known with regard to BBB disruption following a hypoxic or inflammatory insult in vivo. Potential mechanisms involved in altering tight junction components at the BBB are also discussed. A more detailed understanding of the mediators involved in changing BBB functional integrity in response to hypoxia or inflammatory pain could potentially lead to new treatments for CNS diseases with hypoxic or inflammatory components. Additionally, greater insight into the mechanisms involved in TJ rearrangement at the BBB may lead to novel strategies to pharmacologically increase delivery of drugs to the CNS.

  17. Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood–Brain Barrier Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Junyun; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Kastin, Abba J.; Wang, Yuping

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. This merits attention not only in neuroscience research but also in public health policy and clinical practice. PMID:25355222

  18. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Junyun; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Kastin, Abba J; Wang, Yuping; Pan, Weihong

    2014-10-29

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. This merits attention not only in neuroscience research but also in public health policy and clinical practice. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414697-10$15.00/0.

  19. Barrier Parameters and Current Transport Characteristics of Ti/ p-InP Schottky Junction Modified Using Orange G (OG) Organic Interlayer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreenu, K.; Venkata Prasad, C.; Rajagopal Reddy, V.

    2017-10-01

    A Ti/Orange G/ p-InP metal/interlayer/semiconductor (MIS) junction has been prepared with Orange G (OG) organic layer by electron beam evaporation and spin coating processes. The electrical properties of Ti/ p-InP metal/semiconductor (MS) and Ti/OG/ p-InP MIS junctions have been analyzed based on current-voltage ( I- V) and capacitance-voltage ( C- V) characteristics. The MIS junction exhibited higher rectifying behavior than the MS junction. The higher barrier height (BH) of the MIS junction compared with the MS junction indicates effective modification by the OG layer. Also, the BH, ideality factor, shunt resistance, and series resistance were extracted based on the I- V characteristic, Cheung's and Norde's methods, and the ΨS- V plot. The BH evaluated by Cheung's and Norde's methods and the ΨS- V plot was shown to be similar, confirming the reliability and validity of the methods applied. The extracted interface state density ( N SS) of the MIS junction was less than for the MS junction, revealing that the OG organic layer reduced the N SS value. Analysis demonstrated that, in the lower bias region, the reverse current conduction mechanism was dominated by Poole-Frenkel emission for both the MS and MIS junction. Meanwhile, in the higher bias region, Schottky emission governed the reverse current conduction mechanism. The results suggest that such OG layers have potential for use in high-quality electronic devices.

  20. Functional and structural alterations of epithelial barrier properties of rat ileum following X-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dublineau, I.; Lebrun, F.; Grison, S.; Griffiths, N.M.

    2004-01-01

    Irradiation of the digestive system leads to alterations of the small intestine. We have characterized the disruption of the barrier integrity in rat ileum from 1 to 14 days following irradiation ranging from 6 to 12 Gy. The intestinal permeability to 14 C-mannitol and 3 H-dextran 70,000 was measured in vitro in Ussing chambers. In parallel to these functional studies, immunohistochemical analyses of junctional proteins (ZO-1 and β-catenin) of ileal epithelium were performed by confocal microscopy. Irradiation with 10 Gy induced a marked decrease in epithelial tissue resistance at three days and a fivefold increase in mannitol permeability, without modifications of dextran permeability. A disorganization of the localization for ZO-1 and β-catenin was also observed. At 7 days after irradiation, we observed a recovery of the organization of junctional proteins in parallel to a return of intestinal permeability to control value. In addition to these time-dependent effects, a gradual effect on epithelial integrity of the radiation doses was observed 3 days after irradiation. This study shows a disruption of the integrity of the intestinal barrier in rat ileum following abdominal X-irradiation, depending on the time postirradiation and on the delivered dose. The loss of barrier integrity was characterized by a disorganization of proteins of tight and adherent junctions, leading to increased intestinal permeability to mannitol. (author)

  1. Ceramides and barrier function in healthy skin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mutanu Jungersted, Jakob; Hellgren, Lars; Høgh, Julie Kaae

    2010-01-01

    Lipids in the stratum corneum are key components in the barrier function of the skin. Changes in lipid composition related to eczematous diseases are well known, but limited data are available on variations within healthy skin. The objective of the present study was to compare ceramide subgroups...... and ceramide/cholesterol ratios in young, old, male and female healthy skin. A total of 55 participants with healthy skin was included in the study. Lipid profiles were correlated with transepidermal water loss and with information on dry skin from a questionnaire including 16 people. No statistically...... significant differences were found between young and old skin for ceramide subgroups or ceramide/cholesterol ratios, and there was no statistically significant correlation between answers about dry skin and ceramide levels. Interestingly, a statistically significant higher ceramide/cholesterol ratio was found...

  2. Subacute stress and chronic stress interact to decrease intestinal barrier function in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauffer, Adriana; Vanuytsel, Tim; Vanormelingen, Christophe; Vanheel, Hanne; Salim Rasoel, Shadea; Tóth, Joran; Tack, Jan; Fornari, Fernando; Farré, Ricard

    2016-01-01

    Psychological stress increases intestinal permeability, potentially leading to low-grade inflammation and symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders. We assessed the effect of subacute, chronic and combined stress on intestinal barrier function and mast cell density. Male Wistar rats were allocated to four experimental groups (n = 8/group): 1/sham; 2/subacute stress (isolation and limited movement for 24 h); 3/chronic crowding stress for 14 days and 4/combined subacute and chronic stress. Jejunum and colon were collected to measure: transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER; a measure of epithelial barrier function); gene expression of tight junction molecules; mast cell density. Plasma corticosterone concentration was increased in all three stress conditions versus sham, with highest concentrations in the combined stress condition. TEER in the jejunum was decreased in all stress conditions, but was significantly lower in the combined stress condition than in the other groups. TEER in the jejunum correlated negatively with corticosterone concentration. Increased expression of claudin 1, 5 and 8, occludin and zonula occludens 1 mRNAs was detected after subacute stress in the jejunum. In contrast, colonic TEER was decreased only after combined stress, and the expression of tight junction molecules was unaltered. Increased mast cell density was observed in the chronic and combined stress condition in the colon only. In conclusion, our data show that chronic stress sensitizes the gastrointestinal tract to the effects of subacute stress on intestinal barrier function; different underlying cellular and molecular alterations are indicated in the small intestine versus the colon.

  3. Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasano, Alessio

    2011-01-01

    The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a "leaky gut" in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs.

  4. How hormones influence composition and physiological function of the brain-blood barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampl, R; Bičíková, M; Sosvorová, L

    2015-01-01

    Hormones exert many actions in the brain. Their access and effects in the brain are regulated by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Hormones as other substances may enter the brain and vice versa either by paracellular way requiring breaching tight junctions stitching the endothelial cells composing the BBB, or by passage through the cells (transcellular way). Hormones influence both ways through their receptors, both membrane and intracellular, present on/in the BBB. In the review the main examples are outlined how hormones influence the expression and function of proteins forming the tight junctions, as well as how they regulate expression and function of major protein transporters mediating transport of various substances including hormone themselves.

  5. Tumor necrosis factor alpha increases epithelial barrier permeability by disrupting tight junctions in Caco-2 cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Cui

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α on intestinal epithelial cell permeability and the expression of tight junction proteins. Caco-2 cells were plated onto Transwell® microporous filters and treated with TNF-α (10 or 100 ng/mL for 0, 4, 8, 16, or 24 h. The transepithelial electrical resistance and the mucosal-to-serosal flux rates of the established paracellular marker Lucifer yellow were measured in filter-grown monolayers of Caco-2 intestinal cells. The localization and expression of the tight junction protein occludin were detected by immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis, respectively. SYBR-Green-based real-time PCR was used to measure the expression of occludin mRNA. TNF-α treatment produced concentration- and time-dependent decreases in Caco-2 transepithelial resistance and increases in transepithelial permeability to the paracellular marker Lucifer yellow. Western blot results indicated that TNF-α decreased the expression of phosphorylated occludin in detergent-insoluble fractions but did not affect the expression of non-phosphorylated occludin protein. Real-time RT-PCR data showed that TNF-α did not affect the expression of occludin mRNA. Taken together, our data demonstrate that TNF-α increases Caco-2 monolayer permeability, decreases occludin protein expression and disturbs intercellular junctions.

  6. Ketamine alleviates bradykinin-induced disruption of the mouse cerebrovascular endothelial cell-constructed tight junction barrier via a calcium-mediated redistribution of occludin polymerization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Jui-Tai; Lin, Yi-Ling; Chen, Ta-Liang; Tai, Yu-Ting; Chen, Cheng-Yu; Chen, Ruei-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Ketamine could suppress bradykinin-induced intracellular calcium mobilization. • Ketamine induced B1R protein and mRNA expressions but did not change B2R protein levels. • Ketamine attenuated bradykinin-induced redistribution of occludin tight junctions. • Ketamine prevented bradykinin-induced breakage of the MCEC-constructed tight junction barrier. - Abstract: Following brain injury, a sequence of mechanisms leads to disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and subsequent cerebral edema, which is thought to begin with activation of bradykinin. Our previous studies showed that ketamine, a widely used intravenous anesthetic agent, can suppress bradykinin-induced cell dysfunction. This study further aimed to evaluate the protective effects of ketamine against bradykinin-induced disruption of the mouse cerebrovascular endothelial cell (MCEC)-constructed tight junction barrier and the possible mechanisms. Exposure of MCECs to bradykinin increased intracellular calcium (Ca 2+ ) concentrations in a time-dependent manner. However, pretreatment of MCECs with ketamine time- and concentration-dependently lowered the bradykinin-induced calcium influx. As to the mechanisms, although exposure of MCECs to ketamine induced bradykinin R1 receptor protein and mRNA expression, this anesthetic did not change levels of the bradykinin R2 receptor, a major receptor that responds to bradykinin stimulation. Bradykinin increased amounts of soluble occludin in MCECs, but pretreatment with ketamine alleviated this disturbance in occludin polymerization. Consequently, exposure to bradykinin decreased the transendothelial electronic resistance in the MCEC-constructed tight junction barrier. However, pretreatment with ketamine attenuated the bradykinin-induced disruption of the tight junction barrier. Taken together, this study shows that ketamine at a therapeutic concentration can protect against bradykinin-induced breakage of the BBB via suppressing calcium

  7. Krüppel-like factor 5 is essential for maintenance of barrier function in mouse colon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Chidgey, Martyn; Yang, Vincent W; Bialkowska, Agnieszka B

    2017-11-01

    , which is commonly exerted by cell junctions, including tight junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes. Numerous previous studies were focused on tight junctions and adherens junctions. However, this study provided a new perspective on how the intestinal barrier function is regulated by KLF5 through DSG2, a component of desmosome complexes. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Herbal medicines that benefit epidermal permeability barrier function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizhi Hu

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Epidermal permeability barrier function plays a critical role in regulating cutaneous functions. Hence, researchers have been searching for effective and affordable regimens to enhance epidermal permeability barrier function. In addition to topical stratum corneum lipids, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, and liver X receptor ligands, herbal medicines have been proven to benefit epidermal permeability barrier function in both normal and diseased skin, including atopic dermatitis, glucocorticoid-induced skin damage, and UVB-damaged skin. The potential mechanisms by which herbal medicines improve the permeability barrier include stimulation of epidermal differentiation, lipid production, antimicrobial peptide expression, and antioxidation. Therefore, utilization of herbal medicines could be a valuable alternative approach to enhance epidermal permeability barrier function in order to prevent and/or treat skin disorders associated with permeability barrier abnormalities.

  9. Polarized-photon frequency filter in double-ferromagnetic barrier silicene junction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chantngarm, Peerasak; Yamada, Kou [Domain of Mechanical Science and Technology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Gunma University, Gunma (Japan); Soodchomshom, Bumned, E-mail: Bumned@hotmail.com [Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University Bangkok 10900 (Thailand)

    2017-05-01

    We present an analytical study of effects from circularly polarized light illumination on controlling spin-valley currents in a dual ferromagnetic-gated silicene. Two different perpendicular electric fields are applied into the ferromagnetic (FM) gates and the photo-irradiated normal (NM) area between the gates. One parallel (P) and two anti-parallel (AP) configurations of exchange fields applied along with chemical potential to the gates are used in this investigation. Interestingly, the studied junction might give rise to polarized-photon frequency filter. Spin-valley filtering can be achieved at the off-resonant frequency region with appropriate direction of electric fields and the configuration of exchange fields (AP-1 or AP-2). Under the photo irradiation, this study found that tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) is controllable to achieve giant magnetoresistance (GMR) by adjusting electric fields or chemical potentials. Our study suggests the potential of photo-sensing devices in spin-valleytronics realm. - Highlights: • Photon-frequency control of spin-valley currents in silicene is investigated. • Complete photon frequency filtering effect is predicted. • Giant magnetoresistance induced by polarized photon is also found. • The junction is applicable for photo-sensing devices in spin-valleytronics realm.

  10. Development of NbN Josephson junctions with Ta{sub x}N semi-metal barrier; application to RSFQ circuits; Etude et realisation de jonction Josephson en NbN a barriere semi-metallique en Ta{sub x}N; application aux circuits logiques RSFQ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Setzu, R

    2007-11-15

    This thesis research, brought to the development and optimization of SNS (Superconductor / Normal Metal / Superconductor) Josephson junctions with NbN electrodes and a high resistivity Ta{sub x}N barrier. We were able to point out Josephson oscillations for frequencies above 1 THz and operation temperatures up to 10 K, which constituted the original goal of the project. This property makes these junctions unique and well adapted for realizing ultra-fast RSFQ (Rapid Single Flux Quantum) logic circuits suitable for spatial telecommunications. We showed a good reproducibility of Ta{sub x}N film properties as a function of the sputtering parameters. The NbN/Ta{sub x}N/NbN tri-layers exhibit high critical temperature (16 K). The junctions showed a clear dependence of the R{sub n}I{sub c} product as a function of the partial nitrogen pressure inside the reactive plasma; the R{sub n}I{sub c} is the product between the junction critical current and its normal resistance, and indicates the upper limit Josephson frequency. We have also obtained some really high R{sub n}I{sub c} products, up to 3.74 mV at 4.2 K for critical current densities of about 15 kA/cm{sup 2}. Junctions show the expected Josephson behaviors, respectively Fraunhofer diffraction and Shapiro steps. up to 14 K. This allows expecting good circuit operations in a relaxed cryogenics environment (with respect to the niobium circuits limited at 4.2 K). The junctions appear to be self-shunted. The SNOP junctions J{sub c}-temperature dependence has been fitted by using the long SNS junction model in the dirty limit, which gives a normal metal coherence length of about 3.8 nm at 4.2 K. We have finally studied a multilayer fabrication process, including a common ground plane and bias resistors, suitable for RSFQ logic basic circuits. To conclude we have been able to show the performance superiority of NbN/Ta{sub x}N/NbN junctions over the actual niobium junctions, as well as their interest for realizing compact

  11. Flexible 2D layered material junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balabai, R.; Solomenko, A.

    2018-03-01

    Within the framework of the methods of the electron density functional and the ab initio pseudopotential, we have obtained the valence electron density spatial distribution, the densities of electron states, the widths of band gaps, the charges on combined regions, and the Coulomb potentials for graphene-based flexible 2D layered junctions, using author program complex. It is determined that the bending of the 2D layered junctions on the angle α leads to changes in the electronic properties of these junctions. In the graphene/graphane junction, there is clear charge redistribution with different signs in the regions of junctions. The presence in the heterojunctions of charge regions with different signs leads to the formation of potential barriers. The greatest potential jump is in the graphene/fluorographene junction. The greatest value of the band gap width is in the graphene/graphane junction.

  12. Planar edge Schottky barrier-tunneling transistors using epitaxial graphene/SiC junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunc, Jan; Hu, Yike; Palmer, James; Guo, Zelei; Hankinson, John; Gamal, Salah H; Berger, Claire; de Heer, Walt A

    2014-09-10

    A purely planar graphene/SiC field effect transistor is presented here. The horizontal current flow over one-dimensional tunneling barrier between planar graphene contact and coplanar two-dimensional SiC channel exhibits superior on/off ratio compared to conventional transistors employing vertical electron transport. Multilayer epitaxial graphene (MEG) grown on SiC(0001̅) was adopted as the transistor source and drain. The channel is formed by the accumulation layer at the interface of semi-insulating SiC and a surface silicate that forms after high vacuum high temperature annealing. Electronic bands between the graphene edge and SiC accumulation layer form a thin Schottky barrier, which is dominated by tunneling at low temperatures. A thermionic emission prevails over tunneling at high temperatures. We show that neglecting tunneling effectively causes the temperature dependence of the Schottky barrier height. The channel can support current densities up to 35 A/m.

  13. Crossing safety barriers: influence of children's morphological and functional variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordovil, Rita; Vieira, Filomena; Barreiros, João

    2012-05-01

    Thirty-three children between 3 and 6 years of age were asked to climb four different types of safety barriers. Morphological and functional variables of the children, which were expected to influence climbing or passing through skills, were collected. The influence of those variables on children's success rate and time to cross was tested. No barrier offered a total restraining efficacy. The horizontal bars barrier was crossed by 97% of the children. In the group of children that succeeded in crossing the four barriers, mean time to cross the most difficult barrier was 15 s. Age was the best predictor for success in crossing most barriers but morphology and strength were important predictors of time to cross. The influence of anthropometric variables in time to cross was dependent upon the characteristics of the barrier. A good design of safety barriers should consider children's age, morphology and strength. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Zonulin, a regulator of epithelial and endothelial barrier functions, and its involvement in chronic inflammatory diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturgeon, Craig; Fasano, Alessio

    2016-01-01

    Beside digesting nutrients and absorbing solutes and electrolytes, the intestinal epithelium with its barrier function is in charge of a tightly controlled antigen trafficking from the intestinal lumen to the submucosa. This trafficking dictates the delicate balance between tolerance and immune response causing inflammation. Loss of barrier function secondary to upregulation of zonulin, the only known physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions, leads to uncontrolled influx of dietary and microbial antigens. Additional insights on zonulin mechanism of action and the recent appreciation of the role that altered intestinal permeability can play in the development and progression of chronic inflammatory disorders has increased interest of both basic scientists and clinicians on the potential role of zonulin in the pathogenesis of these diseases. This review focuses on the recent research implicating zonulin as a master regulator of intestinal permeability linked to the development of several chronic inflammatory disorders.

  15. Concerted regulation of retinal pigment epithelium basement membrane and barrier function by angiocrine factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedicto, Ignacio; Lehmann, Guillermo L; Ginsberg, Michael; Nolan, Daniel J; Bareja, Rohan; Elemento, Olivier; Salfati, Zelda; Alam, Nazia M; Prusky, Glen T; Llanos, Pierre; Rabbany, Sina Y; Maminishkis, Arvydas; Miller, Sheldon S; Rafii, Shahin; Rodriguez-Boulan, Enrique

    2017-05-19

    The outer blood-retina barrier is established through the coordinated terminal maturation of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), fenestrated choroid endothelial cells (ECs) and Bruch's membrane, a highly organized basement membrane that lies between both cell types. Here we study the contribution of choroid ECs to this process by comparing their gene expression profile before (P5) and after (P30) the critical postnatal period when mice acquire mature visual function. Transcriptome analyses show that expression of extracellular matrix-related genes changes dramatically over this period. Co-culture experiments support the existence of a novel regulatory pathway: ECs secrete factors that remodel RPE basement membrane, and integrin receptors sense these changes triggering Rho GTPase signals that modulate RPE tight junctions and enhance RPE barrier function. We anticipate our results will spawn a search for additional roles of choroid ECs in RPE physiology and disease.

  16. Large thermoelectric efficiency of doped polythiophene junction: A density functional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golsanamlou, Zahra; Bagheri Tagani, Meysam; Rahimpour Soleimani, Hamid

    2018-06-01

    The thermoelectric properties of polythiophene (PT) coupled to the Au (111) electrodes are studied based on density functional theory with nonequilibrium Green function formalism. Specially, the effect of Li and Cl adsorbents on the thermoelectric efficiency of the PT junction is investigated in different concentrations of the dopants for two lengths of the PT. Results show that the presence of dopants can bring the structural changes in the oligomer and modify the arrangement of the molecular levels leading to the dramatic changes in the transmission spectra of the junction. Therefore, the large enhancement in thermopower and consequently figure of merit is obtained by dopants which makes the doped PT junction as a beneficial thermoelectric device.

  17. Bias voltage dependence of magnetic tunnel junctions comprising amorphous ferromagnetic CoFeSiB layer with double barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yim, H.I.; Lee, S.Y.; Hwang, J.Y.; Rhee, J.R.; Chun, B.S.; Wang, K.L.; Kim, Y.K.; Kim, T.W.; Lee, S.S.; Hwang, D.G.

    2008-01-01

    Double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DMTJs) with and without an amorphous ferromagnetic material such as CoFeSiB 10, CoFe 5/CoFeSiB 5, and CoFe 10 (nm) were prepared and compared to investigate the bias voltage dependence of the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio. Typical DMTJ structures were Ta 45/Ru 9.5/IrMn 10/CoFe 7/AlO x /free layer 10/AlO x /CoFe 7/IrMn 10/Ru 60 (in nanometers). The interlayer coupling field and the normalized TMR ratios at the applied voltages of +0.4 and -0.4 V of the amorphous CoFeSiB free-layer DMTJ offer lower and higher values than that of the polycrystalline CoFe free-layer DMTJ, respectively. An amorphous ferromagnetic CoFeSiB layer improves the interface roughness of the free layer/tunnel barrier and, as a result, the interlayer coupling field and bias voltage dependence of the TMR ratio are suppressed at a given voltage. (copyright 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  18. Low frequency noise in asymmetric double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with a top thin MgO layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Hui-Qiang; Tang Wei-Yue; Liu Liang; Wei Jian; Li Da-Lai; Feng Jia-Feng; Han Xiu-Feng

    2015-01-01

    Low frequency noise has been investigated at room temperature for asymmetric double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DBMTJs), where the coupling between the top and middle CoFeB layers is antiferromagnetic with a 0.8-nm thin top MgO barrier of the CoFeB/MgO/CoFe/CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB DBMTJ. At enough large bias, 1/f noise dominates the voltage noise power spectra in the low frequency region, and is conventionally characterized by the Hooge parameter α mag . With increasing external field, the top and bottom ferromagnetic layers are aligned by the field, and then the middle free layer rotates from antiparallel state (antiferromagnetic coupling between top and middle ferromagnetic layers) to parallel state. In this rotation process α mag and magnetoresistance-sensitivity-product show a linear dependence, consistent with the fluctuation dissipation relation. With the magnetic field applied at different angles (θ) to the easy axis of the free layer, the linear dependence persists while the intercept of the linear fit satisfies a cos(θ) dependence, similar to that for the magnetoresistance, suggesting intrinsic relation between magnetic losses and magnetoresistance. (rapid communication)

  19. High-performance 4H-SiC junction barrier Schottky diodes with double resistive termination extensions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Liu; Zhang Feng; Liu Sheng-Bei; Dong Lin; Liu Xing-Fang; Liu Bin; Yan Guo-Guo; Wang Lei; Zhao Wan-Shun; Sun Guo-Sheng; He Zhi; Fan Zhong-Chao; Yang Fu-Hua

    2013-01-01

    4H-SiC junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes with a high-temperature annealed resistive termination extension (HARTE) are designed, fabricated and characterized in this work. The differential specific on-state resistance of the device is as low as 3.64 mΩ·cm 2 with a total active area of 2.46 × 10 −3 cm 2 . Ti is the Schottky contact metal with a Schottky barrier height of 1.08 V and a low onset voltage of 0.7 V. The ideality factor is calculated to be 1.06. Al implantation annealing is performed at 1250°C in Ar, while good reverse characteristics are achieved. The maximum breakdown voltage is 1000 V with a leakage current of 9 × 10 −5 A on chip level. These experimental results show good consistence with the simulation results and demonstrate that high-performance 4H-SiC JBS diodes can be obtained based on the double HARTE structure. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  20. Gap junctions in cells of the immune system: structure, regulation and possible functional roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Sáez

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction channels are sites of cytoplasmic communication between contacting cells. In vertebrates, they consist of protein subunits denoted connexins (Cxs which are encoded by a gene family. According to their Cx composition, gap junction channels show different gating and permeability properties that define which ions and small molecules permeate them. Differences in Cx primary sequences suggest that channels composed of different Cxs are regulated differentially by intracellular pathways under specific physiological conditions. Functional roles of gap junction channels could be defined by the relative importance of permeant substances, resulting in coordination of electrical and/or metabolic cellular responses. Cells of the native and specific immune systems establish transient homo- and heterocellular contacts at various steps of the immune response. Morphological and functional studies reported during the last three decades have revealed that many intercellular contacts between cells in the immune response present gap junctions or "gap junction-like" structures. Partial characterization of the molecular composition of some of these plasma membrane structures and regulatory mechanisms that control them have been published recently. Studies designed to elucidate their physiological roles suggest that they might permit coordination of cellular events which favor the effective and timely response of the immune system.

  1. Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK-3) influences epithelial barrier function by regulating Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Severson, Eric A.; Kwon, Mike; Hilgarth, Roland S.; Parkos, Charles A. [Epithelial Pathobiology Research Unit, Dept. of Pathology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322 (United States); Nusrat, Asma, E-mail: anusrat@emory.edu [Epithelial Pathobiology Research Unit, Dept. of Pathology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322 (United States)

    2010-07-02

    The Apical Junctional Complex (AJC) encompassing the tight junction (TJ) and adherens junction (AJ) plays a pivotal role in regulating epithelial barrier function and epithelial cell proliferative processes through signaling events that remain poorly characterized. A potential regulator of AJC protein expression is Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3). GSK-3 is a constitutively active kinase that is repressed during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In the present study, we report that GSK-3 activity regulates the structure and function of the AJC in polarized model intestinal (SK-CO15) and kidney (Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK)) epithelial cells. Reduction of GSK-3 activity, either by small molecule inhibitors or siRNA targeting GSK-3 alpha and beta mRNA, resulted in increased permeability to both ions and bulk solutes. Immunofluorescence labeling and immunoblot analyses revealed that the barrier defects correlated with decreased protein expression of AJC transmembrane proteins Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin without influencing other TJ proteins, Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Junctional Adhesion Molecule A (JAM-A). The decrease in Occludin and E-cadherin protein expression correlated with downregulation of the corresponding mRNA levels for these respective proteins following GSK-3 inhibition. These observations implicate an important role of GSK-3 in the regulation of the structure and function of the AJC that is mediated by differential modulation of mRNA transcription of key AJC proteins, Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin.

  2. Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK-3) influences epithelial barrier function by regulating Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Severson, Eric A.; Kwon, Mike; Hilgarth, Roland S.; Parkos, Charles A.; Nusrat, Asma

    2010-01-01

    The Apical Junctional Complex (AJC) encompassing the tight junction (TJ) and adherens junction (AJ) plays a pivotal role in regulating epithelial barrier function and epithelial cell proliferative processes through signaling events that remain poorly characterized. A potential regulator of AJC protein expression is Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3). GSK-3 is a constitutively active kinase that is repressed during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In the present study, we report that GSK-3 activity regulates the structure and function of the AJC in polarized model intestinal (SK-CO15) and kidney (Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK)) epithelial cells. Reduction of GSK-3 activity, either by small molecule inhibitors or siRNA targeting GSK-3 alpha and beta mRNA, resulted in increased permeability to both ions and bulk solutes. Immunofluorescence labeling and immunoblot analyses revealed that the barrier defects correlated with decreased protein expression of AJC transmembrane proteins Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin without influencing other TJ proteins, Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Junctional Adhesion Molecule A (JAM-A). The decrease in Occludin and E-cadherin protein expression correlated with downregulation of the corresponding mRNA levels for these respective proteins following GSK-3 inhibition. These observations implicate an important role of GSK-3 in the regulation of the structure and function of the AJC that is mediated by differential modulation of mRNA transcription of key AJC proteins, Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin.

  3. Protective Effects of Bifidobacterium on Intestinal Barrier Function in LPS-Induced Enterocyte Barrier Injury of Caco-2 Monolayers and in a Rat NEC Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Xiang; Linglong, Peng; Weixia, Du; Hong, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Zonulin protein is a newly discovered modulator which modulates the permeability of the intestinal epithelial barrier by disassembling intercellular tight junctions (TJ). Disruption of TJ is associated with neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). It has been shown bifidobacterium could protect the intestinal barrier function and prophylactical administration of bifidobacterium has beneficial effects in NEC patients and animals. However, it is still unknown whether the zonulin is involved in the gut barrier dysfunction of NEC, and the protective mechanisms of bifidobacterium on intestinal barrier function are also not well understood. The present study aims to investigate the effects of bifidobacterium on intestinal barrier function, zonulin regulation, and TJ integrity both in LPS-induced enterocyte barrier injury of Caco-2 monolayers and in a rat NEC model. Our results showed bifidobacterium markedly attenuated the decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance and the increase in paracellular permeability in the Caco-2 monolayers treated with LPS (P zonulin release (P zonulin (P zonulin protein release and improvement of intestinal TJ integrity.

  4. Interfering amino terminal peptides and functional implications for heteromeric gap junction formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43 is widely expressed in many different tissues of the human body. In cells of some organs, Cx43 is co-expressed with other connexins (Cx, including Cx46 and Cx50 in lens, Cx40 in atrium, Purkinje fibers, and the blood vessel wall, Cx45 in heart, and Cx37 in the ovary. Interactions with the co-expressed connexins may have profound functional implications. The abilities of Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 to function in heteromeric gap junction combinations with Cx43 are well documented. Different studies disagree regarding the ability of Cx43 and Cx40 to produce functional heteromeric gap junctions with each other. We review previous studies regarding the heteromeric interactions of Cx43. The possibility of negative functional interactions between the cytoplasmic pore-forming amino terminal (NT domains of these connexins was assessed using pentameric connexin sequence-specific NT domain (iNT peptides applied to cells expressing homomeric Cx40, Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 gap junctions. A Cx43 iNT peptide corresponding to amino acids 9 to 13 (Ac-KLLDK-NH2 specifically inhibited the electrical coupling of Cx40 gap junctions in a transjunctional (Vj voltage-dependent manner without affecting the function of homologous Cx37, Cx46, Cx50, and Cx45 gap junctions. A Cx40 iNT (Ac-EFLEE-OH peptide counteracted the Vj-dependent block of Cx40 gap junctions, whereas a similarly charged Cx50 iNT (Ac-EEVNE-OH peptide did not, suggesting that these NT domain interactions are not solely based on electrostatics. These data are consistent with functional Cx43 heteromeric gap junction formation with Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 and suggest that Cx40 uniquely experiences functional suppressive interactions with a Cx43 NT domain sequence. These findings present unique functional implications about the heteromeric interactions between Cx43 and Cx40 that may influence cardiac conduction in atrial myocardium and the specialized conduction system.

  5. Standards for the Protection of Skin Barrier Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giménez-Arnau, Ana

    2016-01-01

    The skin is a vital organ, and through our skin we are in close contact with the entire environment. If we lose our skin we lose our life. The barrier function of the skin is mainly driven by the sophisticated epidermis in close relationship with the dermis. The epidermal epithelium is a mechanically, chemically, biologically and immunologically active barrier submitted to continuous turnover. The barrier function of the skin needs to be protected and restored. Its own physiology allows its recovery, but many times this is not sufficient. This chapter is focused on the standards to restore, treat and prevent barrier function disruption. These standards were developed from a scientific, academic and clinical point of view. There is a lack of standardized administrative recommendations. Still, there is a walk to do that will help to reduce the social and economic burden of diseases characterized by an abnormal skin barrier function. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. ROS-activated calcium signaling mechanisms regulating endothelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Anke; Mehta, Dolly; Malik, Asrar B

    2016-09-01

    Increased vascular permeability is a common pathogenic feature in many inflammatory diseases. For example in acute lung injury (ALI) and its most severe form, the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), lung microvessel endothelia lose their junctional integrity resulting in leakiness of the endothelial barrier and accumulation of protein rich edema. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by neutrophils (PMNs) and other inflammatory cells play an important role in increasing endothelial permeability. In essence, multiple inflammatory syndromes are caused by dysfunction and compromise of the barrier properties of the endothelium as a consequence of unregulated acute inflammatory response. This review focuses on the role of ROS signaling in controlling endothelial permeability with particular focus on ALI. We summarize below recent progress in defining signaling events leading to increased endothelial permeability and ALI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Caveolin1 Is Required for Th1 Cell Infiltration, but Not Tight Junction Remodeling, at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Autoimmune Neuroinflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Lutz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Lymphocytes cross vascular boundaries via either disrupted tight junctions (TJs or caveolae to induce tissue inflammation. In the CNS, Th17 lymphocytes cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB before Th1 cells; yet this differential crossing is poorly understood. We have used intravital two-photon imaging of the spinal cord in wild-type and caveolae-deficient mice with fluorescently labeled endothelial tight junctions to determine how tight junction remodeling and caveolae regulate CNS entry of lymphocytes during the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE model for multiple sclerosis. We find that dynamic tight junction remodeling occurs early in EAE but does not depend upon caveolar transport. Moreover, Th1, but not Th17, lymphocytes are significantly reduced in the inflamed CNS of mice lacking caveolae. Therefore, tight junction remodeling facilitates Th17 migration across the BBB, whereas caveolae promote Th1 entry into the CNS. Moreover, therapies that target both tight junction degradation and caveolar transcytosis may limit lymphocyte infiltration during inflammation.

  8. Myosin light chain kinase knockout improves gut barrier function and confers a survival advantage in polymicrobial sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorentz, C Adam; Liang, Zhe; Meng, Mei; Chen, Ching-Wen; Yoseph, Benyam P; Breed, Elise R; Mittal, Rohit; Klingensmith, Nathan J; Farris, Alton B; Burd, Eileen M; Koval, Michael; Ford, Mandy L; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2017-06-07

    Sepsis-induced intestinal hyperpermeability is mediated by disruption of the epithelial tight junction, which is closely associated with the peri-junctional actin-myosin ring. Myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) phosphorylates the myosin regulatory light chain, resulting in increased permeability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether genetic deletion of MLCK would alter gut barrier function and survival from sepsis. MLCK -/- and wild type (WT) mice were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture and assayed for both survival and mechanistic studies. Survival was significantly increased in MLCK -/- mice (95% vs. 24%, p<0.0001). Intestinal permeability increased in septic WT mice compared to unmanipulated mice. In contrast, permeability in septic MLCK -/- mice was similar to that seen in unmanipulated animals. Improved gut barrier function in MLCK -/- mice was associated with increases in the tight junction mediators ZO-1 and claudin 15 without alterations in claudin 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, occludin or JAM-A. Other components of intestinal integrity (apoptosis, proliferation and villus length) were unaffected by MLCK deletion as were local peritoneal inflammation and distant lung injury. Systemic IL-10 was decreased greater than 10-fold in MLCK -/- mice; however, survival was similar between septic MLCK -/- mice given exogenous IL-10 or vehicle. These data demonstrate that deletion of MLCK improves survival following sepsis, associated with normalization of intestinal permeability and selected tight junction proteins.

  9. Lactobacillus frumenti Facilitates Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Function Maintenance in Early-Weaned Piglets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jun; Chen, Lingli; Zheng, Wenyong; Shi, Min; Liu, Liu; Xie, Chunlin; Wang, Xinkai; Niu, Yaorong; Hou, Qiliang; Xu, Xiaofan; Xu, Baoyang; Tang, Yimei; Zhou, Shuyi; Yan, Yiqin; Yang, Tao; Ma, Libao; Yan, Xianghua

    2018-01-01

    Increased intestinal epithelial barrier function damages caused by early weaning stress have adverse effects on swine health and feed utilization efficiency. Probiotics have emerged as the promising antibiotic alternatives used for intestinal barrier function damage prevention. Our previous data showed that Lactobacillus frumenti was identified as a predominant Lactobacillus in the intestinal microbiota of weaned piglets. However, whether the intestinal epithelial barrier function in piglets was regulated by L. frumenti is still unclear. Here, piglets received a PBS vehicle or PBS suspension (2 ml, 108 CFU/ml) containing the L. frumenti by oral gavage once a day during the period of 6–20 days of age prior to early weaning. Our data demonstrated that oral administration of L. frumenti significantly improved the intestinal mucosal integrity and decreased the serum endotoxin and D-lactic acid levels in early-weaned piglets (26 days of age). The intestinal tight junction proteins (including ZO-1, Occludin, and Claudin-1) were significantly up-regulated by L. frumenti administration. The serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, intestinal secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) levels, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) levels were significantly increased by L. frumenti administration. Furthermore, our data revealed that oral administration of L. frumenti significantly increased the relative abundances of health-promoting microbes (including L. frumenti, Lactobacillus gasseri LA39, Parabacteroides distasonis, and Kazachstania telluris) and decreased the relative abundances of opportunistic pathogens (including Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Candida humilis). Functional alteration of the intestinal bacterial community by L. frumenti administration was characterized by the significantly increased fatty acids and protein metabolism and decreased diseases-associated metabolic pathways. These findings suggest that L. frumenti facilitates intestinal epithelial barrier function maintenance

  10. Rectified tunneling current response of bio-functionalized metal-bridge-metal junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaqing; Offenhäusser, Andreas; Mayer, Dirk

    2010-01-15

    Biomolecular bridged nanostructures allow direct electrical addressing of electroactive biomolecules, which is of interest for the development of bioelectronic and biosensing hybrid junctions. In the present paper, the electroactive biomolecule microperoxidase-11 (MP-11) was integrated into metal-bridge-metal (MBM) junctions assembled from a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) setup. Before immobilization of MP-11, the Au working electrode was first modified by a self-assembled monolayer of 1-undecanethiol (UDT). A symmetric and potential independent response of current-bias voltage (I(t)/V(b)) was observed for the Au (substrate)/UDT/Au (tip) junction. However, the I(t)/V(b) characteristics became potential dependent and asymmetrical after binding of MP-11 between the electrodes of the junction. The rectification ratio of the asymmetric current response varies with gate electrode modulation. A resonant tunneling process between metal electrode and MP-11 enhances the tunneling current and is responsible for the observed rectification. Our investigations demonstrated that functional building blocks of proteins can be reassembled into new conceptual devices with operation modes deviating from their native function, which could prove highly useful in the design of future biosensors and bioelectronic devices. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Gap Junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Morten Schak; Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Sorgen, Paul L.; Verma, Vandana; Delmar, Mario; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential to the function of multicellular animals, which require a high degree of coordination between cells. In vertebrates, gap junctions comprise connexins and currently 21 connexins are known in humans. The functions of gap junctions are highly diverse and include exchange of metabolites and electrical signals between cells, as well as functions, which are apparently unrelated to intercellular communication. Given the diversity of gap junction physiology, regulation of gap junction activity is complex. The structure of the various connexins is known to some extent; and structural rearrangements and intramolecular interactions are important for regulation of channel function. Intercellular coupling is further regulated by the number and activity of channels present in gap junctional plaques. The number of connexins in cell-cell channels is regulated by controlling transcription, translation, trafficking, and degradation; and all of these processes are under strict control. Once in the membrane, channel activity is determined by the conductive properties of the connexin involved, which can be regulated by voltage and chemical gating, as well as a large number of posttranslational modifications. The aim of the present article is to review our current knowledge on the structure, regulation, function, and pharmacology of gap junctions. This will be supported by examples of how different connexins and their regulation act in concert to achieve appropriate physiological control, and how disturbances of connexin function can lead to disease. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1981-2035, 2012. PMID:23723031

  12. The effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on small intestinal barrier function and mucosal gene transcription; A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mujagic, Zlatan; Vos, De Paul; Boekschoten, Mark V.; Govers, Coen; Pieters, Harm J.H.M.; Wit, De Nicole J.W.; Bron, Peter A.; Masclee, Ad A.M.; Troost, Freddy J.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three Lactobacillus plantarum strains on in-vivo small intestinal barrier function and gut mucosal gene transcription in human subjects. The strains were selected for their differential effects on TLR signalling and tight junction protein

  13. The effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on small intestinal barrier function and mucosal gene transcription; a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mujagic, Zlatan; Vos, de Paul; Boekschoten, Mark; Govers, Coen; Pieters, Harm J.H.M.; Wit, de Nicole; Bron, Peter A.; Masclee, Ad A.M.; Troost, Freddy J.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three Lactobacillus plantarum strains on in-vivo small intestinal barrier function and gene transcription in human subjects. The strains were selected for their differential effects on TLR signalling and tight junction protein rearrangement,

  14. The effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on small intestinal barrier function and mucosal gene transcription; a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mujagic, Zlatan; de Vos, Paul; Boekschoten, Mark V.; Govers, Coen; Pieters, Harm-Jan H M; de Wit, Nicole J. W.; Bron, Peter A.; Masclee, Ad A M; Troost, Freddy J

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three Lactobacillus plantarum strains on in-vivo small intestinal barrier function and gut mucosal gene transcription in human subjects. The strains were selected for their differential effects on TLR signalling and tight junction protein

  15. Controlled fabrication of nano-scale double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions using focused ion beam milling method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei, H.X.; Wang, T.X.; Zeng, Z.M.; Zhang, X.Q.; Zhao, J.; Han, X.F.

    2006-01-01

    The controlled fabrication method for nano-scale double barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DBMTJs) with the layer structure of Ta(5)/Cu(10)/Ni 79 Fe 21 (5)/Ir 22 Mn 78 (12)/Co 6 Fe 2 B 2 (4)/Al(1) -oxide/Co 6 Fe 2 B 2 (6)/Al (1)-oxide/Co 6 Fe 2 B 2 (4)/Ir 22 Mn 78 (12)/Ni 79 Fe 21 (5)/Ta(5) (thickness unit: nm) was used. This method involved depositing thin multi-layer stacks by sputtering system, and depositing a Pt nano-pillar using a focused ion beam which acted both as a top contact and as an etching mask. The advantages of this process over the traditional process using e-beam and optical lithography in that it involve only few processing steps, e.g. it does not involve any lift-off steps. In order to evaluate the nanofabrication techniques, the DBMTJs with the dimensions of 200 nmx400 nm, 200 nmx200 nm nano-scale were prepared and their R-H, I-V characteristics were measured.

  16. Interfacial mixing in double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with amorphous NiFeSiB layers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun, B.S.; Ko, S.P.; Hwang, J.Y.; Rhee, J.R.; Kim, T.W.; Kim, Y.K.

    2007-01-01

    Double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DMTJs) comprising Ta 45/Ru 9.5/IrMn 10/CoFe 7/AlO x /free layer (CoFe 4/NiFeSiB 2/CoFe 4, CoFe 10, or NiFeSiB 10)/AlO x /CoFe 7/IrMn 10/Ru 60 (nm) have been examined with an emphasis given on understanding the interfacial mixing effects. The DMTJ, consisted of NiFeSiB, shows low switching field and low bias voltage dependence because the amorphous NiFeSiB has lower M S (=800 emu/cm 3 ) and offers smoother interfaces than polycrystalline CoFe. An interesting feature observed in the CoFe/NiFeSiB/CoFe sandwich free layered DMTJ is the presence of a wavy MR transfer curve at high-resistance region. Because the polycrystalline CoFe usually grows into a columnar structure, diamagnetic CoSi, paramagnetic FeSi, and/or diamagnetic CoB might have been formed during the sputter-deposition process. By employing electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), we were able to confirm that Si and B atoms were arranged evenly in the top and bottom portions of AlO x /CoFe interfaces. This means that the interfacial mixing resulted in a distorted magnetization reversal process

  17. Polyphenol-Rich Propolis Extracts Strengthen Intestinal Barrier Function by Activating AMPK and ERK Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Wang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Propolis has abundant polyphenolic constituents and is used widely as a health/functional food. Here, we investigated the effects of polyphenol-rich propolis extracts (PPE on intestinal barrier function in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells, as well as in rats. In Caco-2 cells, PPE increased transepithelial electrical resistance and decreased lucifer yellow flux. PPE-treated cells showed increased expression of the tight junction (TJ loci occludin and zona occludens (ZO-1. Confocal microscopy showed organized expressions in proteins related to TJ assembly, i.e., occludin and ZO-1, in response to PPE. Furthermore, PPE led to the activation of AMPK, ERK1/2, p38, and Akt. Using selective inhibitors, we found that the positive effects of PPE on barrier function were abolished in cells in which AMPK and ERK1/2 signaling were inhibited. Moreover, rats fed a diet supplemented with PPE (0.3% in the diet exhibited increased colonic epithelium ZO-1 expression. Overall, these data suggest that PPE strengthens intestinal barrier function by activating AMPK and ERK signaling and provide novel insights into the potential application of propolis for human gut health.

  18. E. coli O124 K72 alters the intestinal barrier and the tight junctions proteins of guinea pig intestine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Xiaomeng; Zhu, Yanyan; Gamallat, Yaser; Ma, Shenhao; Chiwala, Gift; Meyiah, Abdo; Xin, Yi

    2017-10-01

    Our research group previously isolated and identified a strain of pathogenic Escherichia coli from clinical samples called E. coli O124 K72. The present study was aimed at determining the potential effects of E. coli O124 K72 on intestinal barrier functions and structural proteins integrity in guinea pig. Guinea pigs were grouped into three groups; control (CG); E. coli O124 K72 (E. coli); and probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG). Initially, we create intestinal dysbiosis by giving all animals Levofloxacin for 10days, but the control group (CG) received the same volume of saline. Then, the animals received either E. coli O124 K72 (E. coli) or Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) according to their assigned group. E. coli O124 K72 treatment significantly affected colon morphology and distorted intestinal barrier function by up-regulating Claudin2 and down-regulating Occludin. In addition, E. coli upregulated the mRNA expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC13 and MUC15. Furthermore, suspected tumor was found in the E. coli treated animals. Our results suggested that E. coli O124 K72 strain has adverse effects on intestinal barrier functions and is capable of altering integrity of structural proteins in guinea pig model while at same time it may have a role in colon carcinogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. Prediction of chaos in a Josephson junction by the Melnikov-function technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartuccelli, M.; Christiansen, Peter Leth; Pedersen, Niels Falsig

    1986-01-01

    The Melnikov function for prediction of Smale horseshoe chaos is applied to the rf-driven Josephson junction. Linear and quadratic damping resistors are considered. In the latter case the analytic solution including damping and dc bias is used to obtain an improved threshold curve for the onset...... of chaos. The prediction is compared to new computational solutions. The Melnikov technique provides a good, but slightly low, estimate of the chaos threshold....

  20. Effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on gut barrier function in experimental obstructive jaundice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yu-Kun; Qin, Huan-Long; Zhang, Ming; Shen, Tong-Yi; Chen, Hong-Qi; Ma, Yan-Lei; Chu, Zhao-Xin; Zhang, Peng; Liu, Zhi-Hua

    2012-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the mechanisms of Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) action on gut barrier in preoperative and postoperative experimental obstructive jaundice in rats. METHODS: Forty rats were randomly divided into groups of sham-operation, bile duct ligation (BDL), BDL + L. plantarum, BDL + internal biliary drainage (IBD), and BDL + IBD + L. plantarum. Ten days after L. plantarum administration, blood and ileal samples were collected from the rats for morphological examination, and intestinal barrier function, liver function, intestinal oxidative stress and protein kinase C (PKC) activity measurement. The distribution and expression of the PKC and tight junction (TJ) proteins, such as occludin, zonula occludens-1, claudin-1, claudin-4, junction adhesion molecule-A and F-actin, were examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay. RESULTS: L. plantarum administration substantially restored gut barrier, decreased enterocyte apoptosis, improved intestinal oxidative stress, promoted the activity and expression of protein kinase (BDL vs BDL + L. plantarum, 0.295 ± 0.007 vs 0.349 ± 0.003, P plantarum, 0.407 ± 0.046 vs 0.465 ± 0.135, P plantarum, 0.266 ± 0.118 vs 0.326 ± 0.009, P plantarum was more prominent after internal biliary drainage ( BDL + IBD vs BDL + IBD + L. plantarum, 0.415 ± 0.105 vs 0.494 ± 0.145, P plantarum can decrease intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis, reduce oxidative stress, and prevent TJ disruption in biliary obstruction by activating the PKC pathway. PMID:22912548

  1. Anesthesia and Surgery Impair Blood–Brain Barrier and Cognitive Function in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Siming; Gu, Changping; Mandeville, Emiri T.; Dong, Yuanlin; Esposito, Elga; Zhang, Yiying; Yang, Guang; Shen, Yuan; Fu, Xiaobing; Lo, Eng H.; Xie, Zhongcong

    2017-01-01

    Blood–brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, e.g., increase in BBB permeability, has been reported to contribute to cognitive impairment. However, the effects of anesthesia and surgery on BBB permeability, the underlying mechanisms, and associated cognitive function remain largely to be determined. Here, we assessed the effects of surgery (laparotomy) under 1.4% isoflurane anesthesia (anesthesia/surgery) for 2 h on BBB permeability, levels of junction proteins and cognitive function in both 9- and 18-month-old wild-type mice and 9-month-old interleukin (IL)-6 knockout mice. BBB permeability was determined by dextran tracer (immunohistochemistry imaging and spectrophotometric quantification), and protein levels were measured by Western blot and cognitive function was assessed by using both Morris water maze and Barnes maze. We found that the anesthesia/surgery increased mouse BBB permeability to 10-kDa dextran, but not to 70-kDa dextran, in an IL-6-dependent and age-associated manner. In addition, the anesthesia/surgery induced an age-associated increase in blood IL-6 level. Cognitive impairment was detected in 18-month-old, but not 9-month-old, mice after the anesthesia/surgery. Finally, the anesthesia/surgery decreased the levels of β-catenin and tight junction protein claudin, occludin and ZO-1, but not adherent junction protein VE-cadherin, E-cadherin, and p120-catenin. These data demonstrate that we have established a system to study the effects of perioperative factors, including anesthesia and surgery, on BBB and cognitive function. The results suggest that the anesthesia/surgery might induce an age-associated BBB dysfunction and cognitive impairment in mice. These findings would promote mechanistic studies of postoperative cognitive impairment, including postoperative delirium. PMID:28848542

  2. Anesthesia and Surgery Impair Blood–Brain Barrier and Cognitive Function in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siming Yang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Blood–brain barrier (BBB dysfunction, e.g., increase in BBB permeability, has been reported to contribute to cognitive impairment. However, the effects of anesthesia and surgery on BBB permeability, the underlying mechanisms, and associated cognitive function remain largely to be determined. Here, we assessed the effects of surgery (laparotomy under 1.4% isoflurane anesthesia (anesthesia/surgery for 2 h on BBB permeability, levels of junction proteins and cognitive function in both 9- and 18-month-old wild-type mice and 9-month-old interleukin (IL-6 knockout mice. BBB permeability was determined by dextran tracer (immunohistochemistry imaging and spectrophotometric quantification, and protein levels were measured by Western blot and cognitive function was assessed by using both Morris water maze and Barnes maze. We found that the anesthesia/surgery increased mouse BBB permeability to 10-kDa dextran, but not to 70-kDa dextran, in an IL-6-dependent and age-associated manner. In addition, the anesthesia/surgery induced an age-associated increase in blood IL-6 level. Cognitive impairment was detected in 18-month-old, but not 9-month-old, mice after the anesthesia/surgery. Finally, the anesthesia/surgery decreased the levels of β-catenin and tight junction protein claudin, occludin and ZO-1, but not adherent junction protein VE-cadherin, E-cadherin, and p120-catenin. These data demonstrate that we have established a system to study the effects of perioperative factors, including anesthesia and surgery, on BBB and cognitive function. The results suggest that the anesthesia/surgery might induce an age-associated BBB dysfunction and cognitive impairment in mice. These findings would promote mechanistic studies of postoperative cognitive impairment, including postoperative delirium.

  3. Fatty acids are required for epidermal permeability barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao-Qiang, M; Elias, P M; Feingold, K R

    1993-08-01

    The permeability barrier is mediated by a mixture of ceramides, sterols, and free fatty acids arranged as extracellular lamellar bilayers in the stratum corneum. Whereas prior studies have shown that cholesterol and ceramides are required for normal barrier function, definitive evidence for the importance of nonessential fatty acids is not available. To determine whether epidermal fatty acid synthesis also is required for barrier homeostasis, we applied 5-(tetradecyloxy)-2-furancarboxylic acid (TOFA), an inhibitor of acetyl CoA carboxylase, after disruption of the barrier by acetone or tape stripping. TOFA inhibits epidermal fatty acid by approximately 50% and significantly delays barrier recovery. Moreover, coadministration of palmitate with TOFA normalizes barrier recovery, indicating that the delay is due to a deficiency in bulk fatty acids. Furthermore, TOFA treatment also delays the return of lipids to the stratum corneum and results in abnormalities in the structure of lamellar bodies, the organelle which delivers lipid to the stratum corneum. In addition, the organization of secreted lamellar body material into lamellar bilayers within the stratum corneum interstices is disrupted by TOFA treatment. Finally, these abnormalities in lamellar body and stratum corneum membrane structure are corrected by coapplication of palmitate with TOFA. These results demonstrate a requirement for bulk fatty acids in barrier homeostasis. Thus, inhibiting the epidermal synthesis of any of the three key lipids that form the extracellular, lipid-enriched membranes of the stratum corneum results in an impairment in barrier homeostasis.

  4. Excreted/secreted Trichuris suis products reduce barrier function and suppress inflammatory cytokine production of intestinal epithelial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hiemstra, I. H.; Klaver, E. J.; Vrijland, K.

    2014-01-01

    The administration of helminths is considered a promising strategy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases due to their immunomodulatory properties. Currently, the application of the helminth Trichuris suis as a treatment for Crohn's disease is being studied in large multi-center clinical trials....... The intestinal epithelium forms an efficient barrier between the intestinal lumen containing the microbial flora and helminths, and dendritic cells (DCs) present in the lamina propria that determine the TH response. Here, we investigated how excreted/secreted (E/S) products of T. suis affect the barrier function...... of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in order to reach the DCs and modulate the immune response. We show that T. suis E/S products reduce the barrier function and the expression of the tight junction proteins EMP-1 and claudin-4 in IEC CMT93/69 monolayers in a glycan-dependent manner. This resulted...

  5. The caecocolonic junction in humans has a sphincteric anatomy and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faussone Pellegrini, M S; Manneschi, L I; Manneschi, L

    1995-01-01

    Sphincteric anatomy and function are present at the caecocolonic junction in several mammals. In humans, radiologists and endoscopists have respectively reported a circumferential contraction and a prominent ileocaecal fold at the border area between the caecum and the ascending colon. Anatomical findings on necropsy material failed to confirm its presence. Microscopic studies on surgical specimens showed the existence of muscular and innervational patterns different from those of adjacent areas. The aim of this work was to confirm the existence of a specialised fold at the caecocolonic junction in humans and to ascertain its role by carrying out a study of functional anatomy. Pancolonoscopies were performed on 100 patients and ileocaecal fold behaviour was observed before and after mechanical stimulation. Isolated ileocaecocolonic regions, surgically obtained, were filled with a fixative solution to study their macro and microscopic morphology after stimulation. Endoscopically, the ileocaecal fold was semilunar or circular in shape and spontaneous or evoked spasms occurred in 52 patients. A prominent circular fold could be seen in surgical specimens after stimulation. The entire muscle coat deeply penetrated this fold, showing the features characteristic of the ileocaecal junction. In particular, the inner portion of the circular muscle showed a peculiar arrangement and was thicker than elsewhere. These results show that in humans the caecocolonic junction is provided with a sphincter morphology and function. Little is known about its physiological relevance in ileal flow accommodation and caecal filling and emptying but it should not be underestimated with regard to some colonic motility disorders. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:7489934

  6. All-Manganite Tunnel Junctions with Interface-Induced Barrier Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefrioui, Zouhair

    2011-03-01

    The recent discovery of several unexpected phases at complex oxide interfaces is providing new insights into the physics of strongly correlated electron systems. The possibility of tailoring the electronic structure of such interfaces has triggered a great technological drive to functionalize them into devices. In this communication, we describe an alternative strategy to produce spin filtering by inducing a ferromagnetic insulating state in an ultrathin antiferromagnetic layer in contact with a ferromagnetic layer. This artificially induced spin filtering persists up to relatively high temperatures and operates at high applied bias voltages. The results suggest that after playing a key role in exchange-bias for spin-valves, uncompensated moments at engineered antiferromagnetic interfaces represent a novel route for generating highly spin-polarized currents with antiferromagnets. Work done in collaboration with M. Bibes, C. Carrétéro, A. Barthélémy (Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales, Campus de Polytechnique, 1, Avenue A. Fresnel, 91767 Palaiseau (France) and Université Paris-Sud, 91045 Orsay (France)), F.A. Cuellar, C. Visani, A. Rivera-Calzada, , C. León, J. Santamaria (Grupo de Física de Materiales Complejos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain)), M.J. Calderón, L. Brey (Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, CSIC, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)), K. March, M. Walls, D. Imhoff (Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay (France)), R. Lopez Anton, T.R. Charlton (ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Oxon OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)), E. Iborra (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Telecomunicaciones, 28040 Madrid (Spain)), F. Ott (Léon Brillouin, CEA/CNRS, UMR 12, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)). This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Education programs MAT2008 06517, and the Réseau Thématique de Recherche Avanc

  7. Stabilization with guaranteed safety using Control Lyapunov–Barrier Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romdlony, Muhammad Zakiyullah; Jayawardhana, Bayu

    2016-01-01

    We propose a novel nonlinear control method for solving the problem of stabilization with guaranteed safety for nonlinear systems. The design is based on the merging of the well-known Control Lyapunov Function (CLF) and the recent concept of Control Barrier Function (CBF). The proposed control

  8. Junction and circuit fabrication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackel, L.D.

    1980-01-01

    Great strides have been made in Josephson junction fabrication in the four years since the first IC SQUID meeting. Advances in lithography have allowed the production of devices with planar dimensions as small as a few hundred angstroms. Improved technology has provided ultra-high sensitivity SQUIDS, high-efficiency low-noise mixers, and complex integrated circuits. This review highlights some of the new fabrication procedures. The review consists of three parts. Part 1 is a short summary of the requirements on junctions for various applications. Part 2 reviews intergrated circuit fabrication, including tunnel junction logic circuits made at IBM and Bell Labs, and microbridge radiation sources made at SUNY at Stony Brook. Part 3 describes new junction fabrication techniques, the major emphasis of this review. This part includes a discussion of small oxide-barrier tunnel junctions, semiconductor barrier junctions, and microbridge junctions. Part 3 concludes by considering very fine lithography and limitations to miniaturization. (orig.)

  9. Air pollution and children: neural and tight junction antibodies and combustion metals, the role of barrier breakdown and brain immunity in neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Vojdani, Aristo; Blaurock-Busch, Eleonore; Busch, Yvette; Friedle, Albrecht; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Sarathi-Mukherjee, Partha; Martínez-Aguirre, Xavier; Park, Su-Bin; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2015-01-01

    Millions of children are exposed to concentrations of air pollutants, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), above safety standards. In the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) megacity, children show an early brain imbalance in oxidative stress, inflammation, innate and adaptive immune response-associated genes, and blood-brain barrier breakdown. We investigated serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) antibodies to neural and tight junction proteins and environmental pollutants in 139 children ages 11.91 ± 4.2 y with high versus low air pollution exposures. We also measured metals in serum and CSF. MCMA children showed significantly higher serum actin IgG, occludin/zonulin 1 IgA, IgG, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein IgG and IgM (p < 0.01), myelin basic protein IgA and IgG, S-100 IgG and IgM, and cerebellar IgG (p < 0.001). Serum IgG antibodies to formaldehyde, benzene, and bisphenol A, and concentrations of Ni and Cd were significantly higher in exposed children (p < 0.001). CSF MBP antibodies and nickel concentrations were higher in MCMA children (p = 0.03). Air pollution exposure damages epithelial and endothelial barriers and is a robust trigger of tight junction and neural antibodies. Cryptic 'self' tight junction antigens can trigger an autoimmune response potentially contributing to the neuroinflammatory and Alzheimer and Parkinson's pathology hallmarks present in megacity children. The major factor determining the impact of neural antibodies is the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Defining the air pollution linkage of the brain/immune system interactions and damage to physical and immunological barriers with short and long term neural detrimental effects to children's brains ought to be of pressing importance for public health.

  10. Gastroesophageal reflux activates the NF-κB pathway and impairs esophageal barrier function in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yu; Chen, Hao; Hu, Yuhui; Djukic, Zorka; Tevebaugh, Whitney; Shaheen, Nicholas J.; Orlando, Roy C.; Hu, Jianguo

    2013-01-01

    The barrier function of the esophageal epithelium is a major defense against gastroesophageal reflux disease. Previous studies have shown that reflux damage is reflected in a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance associated with tight junction alterations in the esophageal epithelium. To develop novel therapies, it is critical to understand the molecular mechanisms whereby contact with a refluxate impairs esophageal barrier function. In this study, surgical models of duodenal and mixed reflux were developed in mice. Mouse esophageal epithelium was analyzed by gene microarray. Gene set enrichment analysis showed upregulation of inflammation-related gene sets and the NF-κB pathway due to reflux. Significance analysis of microarrays revealed upregulation of NF-κB target genes. Overexpression of NF-κB subunits (p50 and p65) and NF-κB target genes (matrix metalloproteinases-3 and -9, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8) confirmed activation of the NF-κB pathway in the esophageal epithelium. In addition, real-time PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining also showed downregulation and mislocalization of claudins-1 and -4. In a second animal experiment, treatment with an NF-κB inhibitor, BAY 11-7085 (20 mg·kg−1·day−1 ip for 10 days), counteracted the effects of duodenal and mixed reflux on epithelial resistance and NF-κB-regulated cytokines. We conclude that gastroesophageal reflux activates the NF-κB pathway and impairs esophageal barrier function in mice and that targeting the NF-κB pathway may strengthen esophageal barrier function against reflux. PMID:23639809

  11. Endothelium-Derived 5-Methoxytryptophan Protects Endothelial Barrier Function by Blocking p38 MAPK Activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-Yun Chu

    Full Text Available The endothelial junction is tightly controlled to restrict the passage of blood cells and solutes. Disruption of endothelial barrier function by bacterial endotoxins, cytokines or growth factors results in inflammation and vascular damage leading to vascular diseases. We have identified 5-methoxytryptophan (5-MTP as an anti-inflammatory factor by metabolomic analysis of conditioned medium of human fibroblasts. Here we postulated that endothelial cells release 5-MTP to protect the barrier function. Conditioned medium of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs prevented endothelial hyperpermeability and VE-cadherin downregulation induced by VEGF, LPS and cytokines. We analyzed the metabolomic profile of HUVEC conditioned medium and detected 5-MTP but not melatonin, serotonin or their catabolites, which was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Addition of synthetic pure 5-MTP preserved VE-cadherin and maintained barrier function despite challenge with pro-inflammatory mediators. Tryptophan hydroxylase-1, an enzyme required for 5-MTP biosynthesis, was downregulated in HUVECs by pro-inflammatory mediators and it was accompanied by reduction of 5-MTP. 5-MTP protected VE-cadherin and prevented endothelial hyperpermeability by blocking p38 MAPK activation. A chemical inhibitor of p38 MAPK, SB202190, exhibited a similar protective effect as 5-MTP. To determine whether 5-MTP prevents vascular hyperpermeability in vivo, we evaluated the effect of 5-MTP administration on LPS-induced murine microvascular permeability with Evans blue. 5-MTP significantly prevented Evans blue dye leakage. Our findings indicate that 5-MTP is a new class of endothelium-derived molecules which protects endothelial barrier function by blocking p38 MAPK.

  12. Fabrication of Mg-X-O (X = Fe, Co, Ni, Cr, Mn, Ti, V, and Zn) barriers for magnetic tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakushiji, K.; Kitagawa, E.; Ochiai, T.; Kubota, H.; Shimomura, N.; Ito, J.; Yoda, H.; Yuasa, S.

    2018-05-01

    We fabricated magnetic tunnel junctions with a 3d-transition material(X)-doped MgO (Mg-X-O) barrier, and evaluated the effect of the doping on magnetoresistance (MR) and microstructure. Among the variations of X (X = Fe, Co, Ni, Cr, Mn, Ti, V, and Zn), X = Fe and Mn showed a high MR ratio of more than 100%, even at a low resistance-area product of 3 Ωμm2. The microstructure analysis revealed that (001) textured orientation formed for X = Fe and Mn despite substantial doping (about 10 at%). The elemental mappings indicated that Fe atoms in the Mg-Fe-O barrier were segregated at the interfaces, while Mn atoms were evenly involved in the Mg-Mn-O barrier. This suggests that MgO has high adaptability for Fe and Mn dopants in terms of high MR ratio.

  13. A study on the quantitative evaluation of skin barrier function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Tomomi; Kabetani, Yasuhiro; Kido, Michiko; Yamada, Kenji; Oikaze, Hirotoshi; Takechi, Yohei; Furuta, Tomotaka; Ishii, Shoichi; Katayama, Haruna; Jeong, Hieyong; Ohno, Yuko

    2015-03-01

    We propose a quantitative evaluation method of skin barrier function using Optical Coherence Microscopy system (OCM system) with coherency of near-infrared light. There are a lot of skin problems such as itching, irritation and so on. It has been recognized skin problems are caused by impairment of skin barrier function, which prevents damage from various external stimuli and loss of water. To evaluate skin barrier function, it is a common strategy that they observe skin surface and ask patients about their skin condition. The methods are subjective judgements and they are influenced by difference of experience of persons. Furthermore, microscopy has been used to observe inner structure of the skin in detail, and in vitro measurements like microscopy requires tissue sampling. On the other hand, it is necessary to assess objectively skin barrier function by quantitative evaluation method. In addition, non-invasive and nondestructive measuring method and examination changes over time are needed. Therefore, in vivo measurements are crucial for evaluating skin barrier function. In this study, we evaluate changes of stratum corneum structure which is important for evaluating skin barrier function by comparing water-penetrated skin with normal skin using a system with coherency of near-infrared light. Proposed method can obtain in vivo 3D images of inner structure of body tissue, which is non-invasive and non-destructive measuring method. We formulate changes of skin ultrastructure after water penetration. Finally, we evaluate the limit of performance of the OCM system in this work in order to discuss how to improve the OCM system.

  14. Silver nanoparticles induce tight junction disruption and astrocyte neurotoxicity in a rat blood–brain barrier primary triple coculture model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu L

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Liming Xu,1,2,* Mo Dan,1,* Anliang Shao,1 Xiang Cheng,1,3 Cuiping Zhang,4 Robert A Yokel,5 Taro Takemura,6 Nobutaka Hanagata,6 Masami Niwa,7,8 Daisuke Watanabe7,81National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, No 2, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, 2School of Information and Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 3School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, 4Beijing Neurosurgical Institute, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 5College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA; 6Nanotechnology Innovation Station for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 7Department of Pharmacology, Nagasaki University, 8BBB Laboratory, PharmaCo-Cell Company, Ltd., Nagasaki, Japan*These authors contributed equally to this workBackground: Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs can enter the brain and induce neurotoxicity. However, the toxicity of Ag-NPs on the blood–brain barrier (BBB and the underlying mechanism(s of action on the BBB and the brain are not well understood.Method: To investigate Ag-NP suspension (Ag-NPS-induced toxicity, a triple coculture BBB model of rat brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes was established. The BBB permeability and tight junction protein expression in response to Ag-NPS, NP-released Ag ions, and polystyrene-NP exposure were investigated. Ultrastructural changes of the microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes were observed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM. Global gene expression of astrocytes was measured using a DNA microarray.Results: A triple coculture BBB model of primary rat brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes was established, with the transendothelial electrical resistance values >200 Ω·cm2. After Ag-NPS exposure for 24 hours, the BBB permeability was significantly increased and expression of the

  15. Intestinal infection with Giardia spp. reduces epithelial barrier function in a myosin light chain kinase-dependent fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Kevin G-E; Meddings, Jonathon B; Kirk, David R; Lees-Miller, Susan P; Buret, André G

    2002-10-01

    Giardiasis causes malabsorptive diarrhea, and symptoms can be present in the absence of any significant morphologic injury to the intestinal mucosa. The effects of giardiasis on epithelial permeability in vivo remain unknown, and the role of T cells and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) in altered intestinal barrier function is unclear. This study was conducted to determine whether Giardia spp. alters intestinal permeability in vivo, to assess whether these abnormalities are dependent on T cells, and to assess the role of MLCK in altered epithelial barrier function. Immunocompetent and isogenic athymic mice were inoculated with axenic Giardia muris trophozoites or sterile vehicle (control), then assessed for trophozoite colonization and gastrointestinal permeability. Mechanistic studies using nontransformed human duodenal epithelial monolayers (SCBN) determined the effects of Giardia on myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, transepithelial fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran fluxes, cytoskeletal F-actin, tight junctional zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), and MLCK. Giardia infection caused a significant increase in small intestinal, but not gastric or colonic, permeability that correlated with trophozoite colonization in both immunocompetent and athymic mice. In vitro, Giardia increased permeability and phosphorylation of MLC and reorganized F-actin and ZO-1. These alterations were abolished with an MLCK inhibitor. Disruption of small intestinal barrier function is T cell independent, disappears on parasite clearance, and correlates with reorganization of cytoskeletal F-actin and tight junctional ZO-1 in an MLCK-dependent fashion.

  16. [The characteristics of esophagogastric junction contractile index in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease or functional heartburn].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K; Duan, L P; Ge, Y; Xia, Z W; Xu, Z J

    2016-04-01

    To study the role of esophagogastric junction contractile index (EGJ-CI) in evaluating the function of anti-reflux barrier, and in differentiating patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) from those with functional heartburn (FH). A total of 115 patients presenting heartburn were enrolled in the study from January 2012 to June 2015.All subjects had completed Gerd-Q questionnaire and undergone gastroscopy, 24-hour pH-impedance monitoring and esophageal high-resolution manometry. GERD patients were divided into as reflux esophagitis, acid-nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) and weakly acid-NERD groups. Patients with normal esophageal mucosa, normal acid exposure and negative proton pump inhibitor test were enrolled in FH group. EGJ-CI (mmHg·cm) as well as EGJ rest pressure and 4s integrated relaxation pressure (IRP 4s) were measured. Among the 115 patients, 18 were reflux esophagitis [(49.0±18.9) years, M∶F=10∶8], 25 were acid-NERD [(48.7±14.4) years, M∶F=13∶12], 37 were weakly acid-NERD [(52.0±14.8) years, M∶F=15∶22] and 35 were FH [(53.6±14.8), M∶F=8∶27]. No differences of Gerd-Q scores were noticed between the four groups. (1)Negative correlations were demonstrated between EGJ-CI and esophageal acid exposure time (r=-0.283, P=0.002), EGJ-CI and acid reflux events (r=-0.233, P=0.012), EGJ-CI and weakly acid reflux events (r=-0.213, P=0.022), EGJ-CI and non-acid reflux events (r=-0.200, P=0.032). (2)The value of EGJ-CI was significantly higher in FH patients than in the three subgroups of GERD(all P<0.01). EGJ rest pressure of FH group was higher than that of acid-NERD (P<0.01). IRP 4s in acid-NERD group was lower than that of FH and weakly acid-NERD (P<0.05). (3)The area under curve (AUC) of EGJ-CI was higher than that of EGJ-CIT, EGJ rest pressure or IRP 4s(0.686 vs 0.678, 0.641 and 0.578). The cut-off value of EGJ-CI to differentiate GERD from FH was 9.74 mmHg·cm with sensitivity 82.86% and specificity 51.52%. The EGJ-CI values are

  17. Moderate hypoxia followed by reoxygenation results in blood-brain barrier breakdown via oxidative stress-dependent tight-junction protein disruption.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph M Zehendner

    Full Text Available Re-canalization of cerebral vessels in ischemic stroke is pivotal to rescue dysfunctional brain areas that are exposed to moderate hypoxia within the penumbra from irreversible cell death. Goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of moderate hypoxia followed by reoxygenation (MHR on the evolution of reactive oxygen species (ROS and blood-brain barrier (BBB integrity in brain endothelial cells (BEC. BBB integrity was assessed in BEC in vitro and in microvessels of the guinea pig whole brain in situ preparation. Probes were exposed to MHR (2 hours 67-70 mmHg O2, 3 hours reoxygenation, BEC or towards occlusion of the arteria cerebri media (MCAO with or without subsequent reperfusion in the whole brain preparation. In vitro BBB integrity was evaluated using trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER and transwell permeability assays. ROS in BEC were evaluated using 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCF, MitoSox and immunostaining for nitrotyrosine. Tight-junction protein (TJ integrity in BEC, stainings for nitrotyrosine and FITC-albumin extravasation in the guinea pig brain preparation were assessed by confocal microscopy. Diphenyleneiodonium (DPI was used to investigate NADPH oxidase dependent ROS evolution and its effect on BBB parameters in BEC. MHR impaired TJ proteins zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1 and claudin 5 (Cl5, decreased TEER, and significantly increased cytosolic ROS in BEC. These events were blocked by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor DPI. MCAO with or without subsequent reoxygenation resulted in extravasation of FITC-albumin and ROS generation in the penumbra region of the guinea pig brain preparation and confirmed BBB damage. BEC integrity may be impaired through ROS in MHR on the level of TJ and the BBB is also functionally impaired in moderate hypoxic conditions followed by reperfusion in a complex guinea pig brain preparation. These findings suggest that the BBB is susceptible towards MHR and that ROS play a key role

  18. Methamphetamine transiently increases the blood-brain barrier permeability in the hippocampus: role of tight junction proteins and matrix metalloproteinase-9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Tânia; Baptista, Sofia; Gonçalves, Joana; Leal, Ermelindo; Milhazes, Nuno; Borges, Fernanda; Ribeiro, Carlos F; Quintela, Oscar; Lendoiro, Elena; López-Rivadulla, Manuel; Ambrósio, António F; Silva, Ana P

    2011-09-09

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a powerful stimulant drug of abuse that has steadily gained popularity worldwide. It is known that METH is highly neurotoxic and causes irreversible damage of brain cells leading to neurological and psychiatric abnormalities. Recent studies suggested that METH-induced neurotoxicity might also result from its ability to compromise blood-brain barrier (BBB) function. Due to the crucial role of BBB in the maintenance of brain homeostasis and protection against toxic molecules and pathogenic organisms, its dysfunction could have severe consequences. In this study, we investigated the effect of an acute high dose of METH (30mg/kg) on BBB permeability after different time points and in different brain regions. For that, young adult mice were sacrificed 1h, 24h or 72h post-METH administration. METH increased BBB permeability, but this effect was detected only at 24h after administration, being therefore a transitory effect. Interestingly, we also found that the hippocampus was the most susceptible brain region to METH, comparing to frontal cortex and striatum. Moreover, in an attempt to identify the key players in METH-induced BBB dysfunction we further investigated potential alterations in tight junction (TJ) proteins and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). METH was able to decrease the protein levels of zonula occludens (ZO)-1, claudin-5 and occludin in the hippocampus 24h post-injection, and increased the activity and immunoreactivity of MMP-9. The pre-treatment with BB-94 (30mg/kg), a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, prevented the METH-induced increase in MMP-9 immunoreactivity in the hippocampus. Overall, the present data demonstrate that METH transiently increases the BBB permeability in the hippocampus, which can be explained by alterations on TJ proteins and MMP-9. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. EMMPRIN Modulates Epithelial Barrier Function through a MMP–Mediated Occludin Cleavage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huet, Eric; Vallée, Benoit; Delbé, Jean; Mourah, Samia; Prulière-Escabasse, Virginie; Tremouilleres, Magali; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Doan, Serge; Baudouin, Christophe; Menashi, Suzanne; Gabison, Eric E.

    2011-01-01

    Dry eye is a common disease that develops as a result of alteration of tear fluid, leading to osmotic stress and a perturbed epithelial barrier. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) may be important in dry eye disease, as its genetic knockout conferred resistance to the epithelial disruption. We show that extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN; also termed CD147), an inducer of MMP expression, participates in the pathogenesis of dry eye through MMP-mediated cleavage of occludin, an important component of tight junctions. EMMPRIN expression was increased on the ocular surface of dry eye patients and correlated with those of MMP-9. High osmolarity in cell culture, mimicking dry eye conditions, increased both EMMPRIN and MMP-9 and resulted in the disruption of epithelial junctions through the cleavage of occludin. Exogenously added recombinant EMMPRIN had similar effects that were abrogated in the presence of the MMP inhibitor marimastat. Membrane occludin immunostaining was markedly increased in the apical corneal epithelium of both EMMPRIN and MMP-9 knock-out mice. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between EMMPRIN and occludin membrane staining was consistently observed both in vitro and in vivo as a function of corneal epithelial cells differentiation. These data suggest a possible role of EMMPRIN in regulating the amount of occludin at the cell surface in homeostasis beyond pathological situations such as dry eye disease, and EMMPRIN may be essential for the formation and maintenance of organized epithelial structure. PMID:21777561

  20. AKAP12 mediates barrier functions of fibrotic scars during CNS repair.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jong-Ho Cha

    Full Text Available The repair process after CNS injury shows a well-organized cascade of three distinct stages: inflammation, new tissue formation, and remodeling. In the new tissue formation stage, various cells migrate and form the fibrotic scar surrounding the lesion site. The fibrotic scar is known as an obstacle for axonal regeneration in the remodeling stage. However, the role of the fibrotic scar in the new tissue formation stage remains largely unknown. We found that the number of A-kinase anchoring protein 12 (AKAP12-positive cells in the fibrotic scar was increased over time, and the cells formed a structure which traps various immune cells. Furthermore, the AKAP12-positive cells strongly express junction proteins which enable the structure to function as a physical barrier. In in vivo validation, AKAP12 knock-out (KO mice showed leakage from a lesion, resulting from an impaired structure with the loss of the junction complex. Consistently, focal brain injury in the AKAP12 KO mice led to extended inflammation and more severe tissue damage compared to the wild type (WT mice. Accordingly, our results suggest that AKAP12-positive cells in the fibrotic scar may restrict excessive inflammation, demonstrating certain mechanisms that could underlie the beneficial actions of the fibrotic scar in the new tissue formation stage during the CNS repair process.

  1. Effects of Lactobacillus johnsonii and Lactobacillus reuteri on gut barrier function and heat shock proteins in intestinal porcine epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hao-Yu; Roos, Stefan; Jonsson, Hans; Ahl, David; Dicksved, Johan; Lindberg, Jan Erik; Lundh, Torbjörn

    2015-04-01

    Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a set of highly conserved proteins that can serve as intestinal gate keepers in gut homeostasis. Here, effects of a probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), and two novel porcine isolates, Lactobacillus johnsonii strain P47-HY and Lactobacillus reuteri strain P43-HUV, on cytoprotective HSP expression and gut barrier function, were investigated in a porcine IPEC-J2 intestinal epithelial cell line model. The IPEC-J2 cells polarized on a permeable filter exhibited villus-like cell phenotype with development of apical microvilli. Western blot analysis detected HSP expression in IPEC-J2 and revealed that L. johnsonii and L. reuteri strains were able to significantly induce HSP27, despite high basal expression in IPEC-J2, whereas LGG did not. For HSP72, only the supernatant of L. reuteri induced the expression, which was comparable to the heat shock treatment, which indicated that HSP72 expression was more stimulus specific. The protective effect of lactobacilli was further studied in IPEC-J2 under an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) challenge. ETEC caused intestinal barrier destruction, as reflected by loss of cell-cell contact, reduced IPEC-J2 cell viability and transepithelial electrical resistance, and disruption of tight junction protein zonula occludens-1. In contrast, the L. reuteri treatment substantially counteracted these detrimental effects and preserved the barrier function. L. johnsonii and LGG also achieved barrier protection, partly by directly inhibiting ETEC attachment. Together, the results indicate that specific strains of Lactobacillus can enhance gut barrier function through cytoprotective HSP induction and fortify the cell protection against ETEC challenge through tight junction protein modulation and direct interaction with pathogens. © 2015 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  2. Barrier functions for Pucci-Heisenberg operators and applications

    OpenAIRE

    Cutri , Alessandra; Tchou , Nicoletta

    2007-01-01

    International audience; The aim of this article is the explicit construction of some barrier functions ("fundamental solutions") for the Pucci-Heisenberg operators. Using these functions we obtain the continuity property, up to the boundary, for the viscosity solution of fully non-linear Dirichlet problems on the Heisenberg group, if the boundary of the domain satisfies some regularity geometrical assumptions (e.g. an exterior Heisenberg-ball condition at the characteristic points). We point ...

  3. Development of an Innovative Intradermal siRNA Delivery System Using a Combination of a Functional Stearylated Cytoplasm-Responsive Peptide and a Tight Junction-Opening Peptide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisako Ibaraki

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available As a new category of therapeutics for skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (AD, nucleic acids are gaining importance in the clinical setting. Intradermal administration is noninvasive and improves patients′ quality of life. However, intradermal small interfering RNA (siRNA delivery is difficult because of two barriers encountered in the skin: intercellular lipids in the stratum corneum and tight junctions in the stratum granulosum. Tight junctions are the major barrier in AD; therefore, we focused on functional peptides to devise an intradermal siRNA delivery system for topical skin application. In this study, we examined intradermal siRNA permeability in the tape-stripped (20 times back skin of mice or AD-like skin of auricles treated with 6-carboxyfluorescein-aminohexyl phosphoramidite (FAM-labeled siRNA, the tight junction modulator AT1002, and the functional cytoplasm-responsive stearylated peptide STR-CH2R4H2C by using confocal laser microscopy. We found that strong fluorescence was observed deep and wide in the epidermis and dermis of back skin and AD-like ears after siRNA with STR-CH2R4H2C and AT1002 treatment. After 10 h from administration, brightness of FAM-siRNA was significantly higher for STR-CH2R4H2C + AT1002, compared to other groups. In addition, we confirmed the nontoxicity of STR-CH2R4H2C as a siRNA carrier using PAM212 cells. Thus, our results demonstrate the applicability of the combination of STR-CH2R4H2C and AT1002 for effective intradermal siRNA delivery.

  4. Energy level alignment and quantum conductance of functionalized metal-molecule junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jin, Chengjun; Strange, Mikkel; Markussen, Troels

    2013-01-01

    We study the effect of functional groups (CH3*4, OCH3, CH3, Cl, CN, F*4) on the electronic transport properties of 1,4-benzenediamine molecular junctions using the non-equilibrium Green function method. Exchange and correlation effects are included at various levels of theory, namely density...... functional theory (DFT), energy level-corrected DFT (DFT+Σ), Hartree-Fock and the many-body GW approximation. All methods reproduce the expected trends for the energy of the frontier orbitals according to the electron donating or withdrawing character of the substituent group. However, only the GW method...... predicts the correct ordering of the conductance amongst the molecules. The absolute GW (DFT) conductance is within a factor of two (three) of the experimental values. Correcting the DFT orbital energies by a simple physically motivated scissors operator, Σ, can bring the DFT conductances close...

  5. Regulation of Tight Junctions in Upper Airway Epithelium

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    Takashi Kojima

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The mucosal barrier of the upper respiratory tract including the nasal cavity, which is the first site of exposure to inhaled antigens, plays an important role in host defense in terms of innate immunity and is regulated in large part by tight junctions of epithelial cells. Tight junction molecules are expressed in both M cells and dendritic cells as well as epithelial cells of upper airway. Various antigens are sampled, transported, and released to lymphocytes through the cells in nasal mucosa while they maintain the integrity of the barrier. Expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function in normal human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs are affected by various stimuli including growth factor, TLR ligand, and cytokine. In addition, epithelial-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP, which is a master switch for allergic inflammatory diseases including allergic rhinitis, enhances the barrier function together with an increase of tight junction molecules in HNECs. Furthermore, respiratory syncytial virus infection in HNECs in vitro induces expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function together with proinflammatory cytokine release. This paper summarizes the recent progress in our understanding of the regulation of tight junctions in the upper airway epithelium under normal, allergic, and RSV-infected conditions.

  6. HIV-1 impairs human retinal pigment epithelial barrier function: possible association with the pathogenesis of HIV-associated retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Suiyi; Duan, Heng; Xun, Tianrong; Ci, Wei; Qiu, Jiayin; Yu, Fei; Zhao, Xuyan; Wu, Linxuan; Li, Lin; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shibo; Liu, Shuwen

    2014-07-01

    The breakdown of human retinal pigment epithelial (HRPE) barrier is considered as the etiology of retinopathy, which affects the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients. Here we demonstrate that HIV-1 could directly impair HRPE barrier function, which leads to the translocation of HIV-1 and bacteria. HRPE cells (D407) were grown to form polarized, confluent monolayers and treated with different HIV-1 infectious clones. A significant increase of monolayer permeability, as measured by trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and apical-basolateral movements of sodium fluorescein, was observed. Disrupted tightness of HRPE barrier was associated with the downregulation of several tight junction proteins in D407 cells, including ZO-1, Occludin, Claudin-1, Claudin-2, Claudin-3, Claudin-4, and Claudin-5, after exposure to HIV-1, without affecting the viability of cells. HIV-1 gp120 was shown to participate in the alteration of barrier properties, as evidenced by decreased TEER and weakened expression of tight junction proteins in D407 monolayers after exposure to pseudotyped HIV-1, UV-inactivated HIV-1, and free gp120, but not to an envelope (Env)-defective mutant of HIV. Furthermore, exposure to HIV-1 particles could induce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in D407, including IL-6 and MCP-1, both of which downregulated the expression of ZO-1 in the HRPE barrier. Disrupted HRPE monolayer allowed translocation of HIV-1 and bacteria across the epithelium. Overall, these findings suggest that HIV-1 may exploit its Env glycoprotein to induce an inflammatory state in HRPE cells, which could result in impairment of HRPE monolayer integrity, allowing virus and bacteria existing in ocular fluids to cross the epithelium and penetrate the HRPE barrier. Our study highlights the role of HIV-1 in the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS-related retinopathy and suggests potential therapeutic targets for this ocular complication.

  7. Fabrication of fully epitaxial magnetic tunnel junctions with a Co2MnSi thin film and a MgO tunnel barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kijima, H.; Ishikawa, T.; Marukame, T.; Matsuda, K.-I.; Uemura, T.; Yamamoto, M.

    2007-01-01

    Fully epitaxial magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) were fabricated with a Co-based full-Heusler alloy Co 2 MnSi (CMS) thin film having the ordered L2 1 structure as a lower electrode, a MgO tunnel barrier, and a Co 50 Fe 50 upper electrode. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction patterns observed in situ for each layer in the MTJ layer structure during fabrication clearly indicated that all layers of the CMS lower electrode, MgO tunnel barrier, and Co 50 Fe 50 upper electrode grew epitaxially. The microfabricated fully epitaxial CMS/MgO/Co 50 Fe 50 MTJs demonstrated relatively high tunnel magnetoresistance ratios of 90% at room temperature and 192% at 4.2 K

  8. Acute Acrolein Exposure Induces Impairment of Vocal Fold Epithelial Barrier Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinxin Liu

    Full Text Available Acrolein is a ubiquitous pollutant abundant in cigarette smoke, mobile exhaust, and industrial waste. There is limited literature on the effects of acrolein on vocal fold tissue, although there are clinical reports of voice changes after pollutant exposures. Vocal folds are responsible for voice production. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the effects of acrolein exposure on viable, excised vocal fold epithelial tissue and to characterize the mechanism underlying acrolein toxicity. Vocal fold epithelia were studied because they form the outermost layer of the vocal folds and are a primary recipient of inhaled pollutants. Porcine vocal fold epithelia were exposed to 0, 50, 100, 500, 900 or 1300 μM of acrolein for 3 hours; the metabolic activity, epithelial resistance, epithelial permeability, tight junction protein (occludin and claudin 3 expression, cell membrane integrity and lipid peroxidation were investigated. The data demonstrated that acrolein exposure at 500 μM significantly reduced vocal fold epithelial metabolic activity by 27.2% (p≤0.001. Incubation with 100 μM acrolein caused a marked increase in epithelial permeability by 130.5% (p<0.05 and a reduction in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER by 180.0% (p<0.001. While the expression of tight junctional protein did not change in acrolein-treated samples, the cell membrane integrity was significantly damaged with a 45.6% increase of lipid peroxidation as compared to controls (p<0.05. Taken together, these data provide evidence that acute acrolein exposure impairs vocal fold epithelial barrier integrity. Lipid peroxidation-induced cell membrane damage may play an important role in reducing the barrier function of the epithelium.

  9. Safety barriers and safety functions a comparison of different applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harms-Ringdahl, L.

    1998-01-01

    A study is being made with the focus on different theories and applications concerning 'safety barriers' and 'safety functions'. One aim is to compare the characteristics of different kinds of safely functions, which can be purpose, efficiency, reliability, weak points etc. A further aim is to summarize how the combination of different barriers are described and evaluated. Of special interest are applications from nuclear and chemical process safety. The study is based on a literature review, interviews and discussions. Some preliminary conclusions are made. For example, it appears to exist a need for better tools to support the design and evaluation of procedures. There are a great number of theoretical models describing safety functions. However, it still appears to be an interest in further development of models, which might give the basis for improved practical tools. (author)

  10. Downregulation of blood-brain barrier phenotype by proinflammatory cytokines involves NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation: consequences for interendothelial adherens and tight junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith D Rochfort

    Full Text Available Blood-brain barrier (BBB dysfunction is an integral feature of neurological disorders and involves the action of multiple proinflammatory cytokines on the microvascular endothelial cells lining cerebral capillaries. There is still however, considerable ambiguity throughout the scientific literature regarding the mechanistic role(s of cytokines in this context, thereby warranting a comprehensive in vitro investigation into how different cytokines may cause dysregulation of adherens and tight junctions leading to BBB permeabilization.The present study employs human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMvECs to compare/contrast the effects of TNF-α and IL-6 on BBB characteristics ranging from the expression of interendothelial junction proteins (VE-cadherin, occludin and claudin-5 to endothelial monolayer permeability. The contribution of cytokine-induced NADPH oxidase activation to altered barrier phenotype was also investigated.In response to treatment with either TNF-α or IL-6 (0-100 ng/ml, 0-24 hrs, our studies consistently demonstrated significant dose- and time-dependent decreases in the expression of all interendothelial junction proteins examined, in parallel with dose- and time-dependent increases in ROS generation and HBMvEC permeability. Increased expression and co-association of gp91 and p47, pivotal NADPH oxidase subunits, was also observed in response to either cytokine. Finally, cytokine-dependent effects on junctional protein expression, ROS generation and endothelial permeability could all be attenuated to a comparable extent using a range of antioxidant strategies, which included ROS depleting agents (superoxide dismutase, catalase, N-acetylcysteine, apocynin and targeted NADPH oxidase blockade (gp91 and p47 siRNA, NSC23766.A timely and wide-ranging investigation comparing the permeabilizing actions of TNF-α and IL-6 in HBMvECs is presented, in which we demonstrate how either cytokine can similarly downregulate the

  11. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue; Panda, Satya P.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. → First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. → Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b 5 and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  12. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Panda, Satya P., E-mail: panda@uthscsa.edu [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-08-05

    Highlights: {yields} Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. {yields} First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. {yields} Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b{sub 5} and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  13. Acute Acrolein Exposure Induces Impairment of Vocal Fold Epithelial Barrier Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinxin; Zheng, Wei; Sivasankar, M Preeti

    2016-01-01

    Acrolein is a ubiquitous pollutant abundant in cigarette smoke, mobile exhaust, and industrial waste. There is limited literature on the effects of acrolein on vocal fold tissue, although there are clinical reports of voice changes after pollutant exposures. Vocal folds are responsible for voice production. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the effects of acrolein exposure on viable, excised vocal fold epithelial tissue and to characterize the mechanism underlying acrolein toxicity. Vocal fold epithelia were studied because they form the outermost layer of the vocal folds and are a primary recipient of inhaled pollutants. Porcine vocal fold epithelia were exposed to 0, 50, 100, 500, 900 or 1300 μM of acrolein for 3 hours; the metabolic activity, epithelial resistance, epithelial permeability, tight junction protein (occludin and claudin 3) expression, cell membrane integrity and lipid peroxidation were investigated. The data demonstrated that acrolein exposure at 500 μM significantly reduced vocal fold epithelial metabolic activity by 27.2% (p≤0.001). Incubation with 100 μM acrolein caused a marked increase in epithelial permeability by 130.5% (pacrolein-treated samples, the cell membrane integrity was significantly damaged with a 45.6% increase of lipid peroxidation as compared to controls (pacrolein exposure impairs vocal fold epithelial barrier integrity. Lipid peroxidation-induced cell membrane damage may play an important role in reducing the barrier function of the epithelium.

  14. Delayed Presentation of Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction and Loss of Renal Function After Initially Mild (SFU Grade 1-2) Hydronephrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Diana K; Yerkes, Elizabeth B; Lindgren, Bruce W; Gong, Edward M; Faasse, Mark A

    2015-07-01

    We report 4 pediatric cases of ureteropelvic junction obstruction involving delayed progression of initially mild postnatal hydronephrosis. All 4 children became symptomatic; however, 3 already had a substantial decrement of ipsilateral kidney function by the time of diagnosis. Two of these 3 patients had previous renal scintigraphy demonstrating normal differential function. We caution that counseling regarding hydronephrosis should emphasize the importance of prompt re-evaluation for any symptoms potentially referable to delayed presentation of ureteropelvic junction obstruction, irrespective of initial hydronephrosis grade. Future studies are needed to determine the optimal follow-up regimen for conservative management of hydronephrosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Microstructure and composition of a SNS Josephson junction using CaRuO3 as the metallic barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozeveld, S.; Merkle, K.L.; Char, K.

    1994-10-01

    Superconductor - normal - superconductor (SNS) edge junctions consisting of YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7-x /CaRuO 3 /YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7-x were fabricated on (001) LaA1O 3 substrates. These devices display an excess interface resistance which is not well understood but is related to the SN interface and interlayer structure. High-resolution and conventional transmission electron microscopy were employed to investigate the SN interface to determine the structure and possible interface defects. Energy-loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis were performed on the CaRuO 3 film and near interface regions to quantify the extent of interdiffusion between the CiRuO 3 and YBCO films. Changes in either the interface structure or the normal layer chemistry are expected to greatly influence the junction properties

  16. Interferon-gamma increased epithelial barrier function via upregulating claudin-7 expression in human submandibular gland duct epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Ayumi; Takano, Kenichi; Kojima, Takashi; Nomura, Kazuaki; Kakuki, Takuya; Kaneko, Yakuto; Yamamoto, Motohisa; Takahashi, Hiroki; Himi, Tetsuo

    2016-06-01

    Tight junctions (TJs) are necessary for salivary gland function and may serve as indicators of salivary gland epithelial dysfunction. IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a newly recognized fibro-inflammatory condition which disrupts the TJ associated epithelial barrier. The salivary glands are one of the most frequently involved organs in IgG4-RD, however, changes of the TJ associated epithelial barrier in salivary gland duct epithelium is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the regulation and function of TJs in human submandibular gland ductal epithelial cells (HSDECs) in normal and IgG4-RD. We examined submandibular gland (SMG) tissue from eight control individuals and 22 patients with IgG4-RD and established an HSDEC culture system. Immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, western blotting, and measurement of transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) were performed. Claudin-4, claudin-7, occludin, and JAM-A were expressed at the apical side of the duct epithelium in submandibular gland (SMG) tissue and at the cell borders in HSDECs of normal and IgG4-RD. The expression and distribution of TJs in SMG tissue were not different in control individuals and patients with IgG4-RD in vivo and in vitro. Although interferon-gamma (IFNγ) generally disrupts the integrity and function of TJs, as manifested by decreased epithelial barrier function, IFNγ markedly increased the epithelial barrier function of HSDECs via upregulation of claudin-7 expression in HSDECs from patients with IgG4-RD. This is the first report showing an IFNγ-dependent increase in epithelial barrier function in the salivary gland duct epithelium. Our results provide insights into the functional significance of TJs in salivary gland duct epithelium in physiological and pathological conditions, including IgG4-RD.

  17. Protective Effects of Bifidobacterium on Intestinal Barrier Function in LPS-Induced Enterocyte Barrier Injury of Caco-2 Monolayers and in a Rat NEC Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Ling

    Full Text Available Zonulin protein is a newly discovered modulator which modulates the permeability of the intestinal epithelial barrier by disassembling intercellular tight junctions (TJ. Disruption of TJ is associated with neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC. It has been shown bifidobacterium could protect the intestinal barrier function and prophylactical administration of bifidobacterium has beneficial effects in NEC patients and animals. However, it is still unknown whether the zonulin is involved in the gut barrier dysfunction of NEC, and the protective mechanisms of bifidobacterium on intestinal barrier function are also not well understood. The present study aims to investigate the effects of bifidobacterium on intestinal barrier function, zonulin regulation, and TJ integrity both in LPS-induced enterocyte barrier injury of Caco-2 monolayers and in a rat NEC model. Our results showed bifidobacterium markedly attenuated the decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance and the increase in paracellular permeability in the Caco-2 monolayers treated with LPS (P < 0.01. Compared with the LPS group, bifidobacterium significantly decreased the production of IL-6 and TNF-α (P < 0.01 and suppressed zonulin release (P < 0.05. In addition, bifidobacterium pretreatment up-regulated occludin, claudin-3 and ZO-1 expression (P < 0.01 and also preserved these proteins localization at TJ compared with the LPS group. In the in vivo study, bifidobacterium decreased the incidence of NEC from 88 to 47% (P < 0.05 and reduced the severity in the NEC model. Increased levels of IL-6 and TNF-α in the ileum of NEC rats were normalized in bifidobacterium treated rats (P < 0.05. Moreover, administration of bifidobacterium attenuated the increase in intestinal permeability (P < 0.01, decreased the levels of serum zonulin (P < 0.05, normalized the expression and localization of TJ proteins in the ileum compared with animals with NEC. We concluded that bifidobacterium may

  18. Embryonic Blood-Cerebrospinal Fluid Barrier Formation and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eBueno

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available During embryonic development and adult life, brain cavities and ventricles are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF. CSF has attracted interest as an active signaling medium that regulates brain development, homeostasis and disease. CSF is a complex protein-rich fluid containing growth factors and signaling molecules that regulate multiple cell functions in the central nervous system (CNS. The composition and substance concentrations of CSF are tightly controlled. In recent years, it has been demonstrated that embryonic CSF (eCSF has a key function as a fluid pathway for delivering diffusible signals to the developing brain, thus contributing to the proliferation, differentiation and survival of neural progenitor cells, and to the expansion and patterning of the brain. From fetal stages through to adult life, CSF is primarily produced by the choroid plexus. The development and functional activities of the choroid plexus and other blood–brain barrier (BBB systems in adults and fetuses have been extensively analyzed. However, eCSF production and control of its homeostasis in embryos, from the closure of the anterior neuropore when the brain cavities become physiologically sealed, to the formation of the functional fetal choroid plexus, has not been studied in as much depth and remains open to debate. This review brings together the existing literature, some of which is based on experiments conducted by our research group, concerning the formation and function of a temporary embryonic blood–CSF barrier in the context of the crucial roles played by the molecules in eCSF.

  19. Functional roles of the amino terminal domain in determining biophysical properties of Cx50 gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Communication through gap junction channels is essential for synchronized and coordinated cellular activities. The gap junction channel pore size, its switch control for opening/closing, and the modulations by chemicals can be different depending on the connexin subtypes that compose the channel. Recent structural and functional studies provide compelling evidence that the amino terminal (NT domains of several connexins line the pore of gap junction channels and play an important role in single channel conductance (γj and transjunctional voltage-dependent gating (Vj-gating. This article reviews recent studies conducted on a series of mutations/chimeras in the NT domain of connexin50 (Cx50. Functional examination of the gap junction channels formed by these mutants/chimeras shows the net charge number at the NT domain to be an important factor in γj and in Vj-gating. Furthermore, with an increase in the net negative charge at the NT domain, we observed an increase in the γj, as well as changes in the parameters of the Boltzmann fit of the normalized steady-state conductance and Vj relationship. Our data are consistent with a structural model where the NT domain of Cx50 lines the gap junction pore and plays an important role in sensing Vj and in the subsequent conformational changes leading to gating, as well as in limiting the rate of ion permeation.

  20. The Effects of Anthrax Lethal Toxin on Host Barrier Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Frucht

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The pathological actions of anthrax toxin require the activities of its edema factor (EF and lethal factor (LF enzyme components, which gain intracellular access via its receptor-binding component, protective antigen (PA. LF is a metalloproteinase with specificity for selected mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MKKs, but its activity is not directly lethal to many types of primary and transformed cells in vitro. Nevertheless, in vivo treatment of several animal species with the combination of LF and PA (termed lethal toxin or LT leads to morbidity and mortality, suggesting that LT-dependent toxicity is mediated by cellular interactions between host cells. Decades of research have revealed that a central hallmark of this toxicity is the disruption of key cellular barriers required to maintain homeostasis. This review will focus on the current understanding of the effects of LT on barrier function, highlighting recent progress in establishing the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.

  1. [Functional connectivity of temporal parietal junction in online game addicts:a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ji; Qian, Ruobing; Lin, Bin; Fu, Xianming; Wei, Xiangpin; Weng, Chuanbo; Niu, Chaoshi; Wang, Yehan

    2014-02-11

    To explore the functions of temporal parietal junction (TPJ) as parts of attention networks in the pathogenesis of online game addiction using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A total of 17 online game addicts (OGA) were recruited as OGA group and 17 healthy controls during the same period were recruited as CON group. The neuropsychological tests were performed for all of them to compare the inter-group differences in the results of Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and attention functions. All fMRI data were preprocessed after resting-state fMRI scanning. Then left and right TPJ were selected as regions of interest (ROIs) to calculate the linear correlation between TPJ and entire brain to compare the inter-group differences. Obvious differences existed between OGA group (71 ± 5 scores) and CON group (19 ± 7 scores) in the IAT results and attention function (P online game addicts showed decreased functional connectivity with bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), bilateral hippocampal gyrus and bilateral amygdaloid nucleus, but increased functional connectivity with right cuneus.However, left TPJ demonstrated decreased functional connectivity with bilateral superior frontal gyrus and bilateral middle frontal gyrus, but increased functional connectivity with bilateral cuneus (P online game addicts.It suggests that TPJ is an important component of attention networks participating in the generation of online game addiction.

  2. Functional connectivity profile of the human inferior frontal junction: involvement in a cognitive control network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sundermann Benedikt

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The human inferior frontal junction area (IFJ is critically involved in three main component processes of cognitive control (working memory, task switching and inhibitory control. As it overlaps with several areas in established anatomical labeling schemes, it is considered to be underreported as a functionally distinct location in the neuroimaging literature. While recent studies explicitly focused on the IFJ's anatomical organization and functional role as a single brain area, it is usually not explicitly denominated in studies on cognitive networks. However based on few analyses in small datasets constrained by specific a priori assumptions on its functional specialization, the IFJ has been postulated to be part of a cognitive control network. Goal of this meta-analysis was to establish the IFJ’s connectivity profile on a high formal level of evidence by aggregating published implicit knowledge about its co-activations. We applied meta-analytical connectivity modeling (MACM based on the activation likelihood estimation (ALE method without specific assumptions regarding functional specialization on 180 (reporting left IFJ activity and 131 (right IFJ published functional neuroimaging experiments derived from the BrainMap database. This method is based on coordinates in stereotaxic space, not on anatomical descriptors. Results The IFJ is significantly co-activated with areas in the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, medial frontal gyrus / pre-SMA, posterior parietal cortex, occipitotemporal junction / cerebellum, thalamus and putamen as well as language and motor areas. Results are corroborated by an independent resting-state fMRI analysis. Conclusions These results support the assumption that the IFJ is part of a previously described cognitive control network. They also highlight the involvement of subcortical structures in this system. A direct line is drawn from works on the functional

  3. Perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction with tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of 64% using MgO (100) barrier layer prepared at room temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohmori, Hideto; Hatori, Tomoya; Nakagawa, Shigeki

    2008-01-01

    MgO (100) textured films can be prepared by reactive facing targets sputtering at room temperature without postdeposition annealing process when they were deposited on (100) oriented Fe buffer layers. This method allows fabrication of perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (p-MTJ) with MgO (100) tunneling barrier layer and rare-earth transition metal (RE-TM) alloy thin films as perpendicularly magnetized free and pinned layers. The 3-nm-thick MgO tunneling barrier layer in p-MTJ multilayer prepared on glass substrate revealed (100) crystalline orientation. Extraordinary Hall effect measurement clarified that the perpendicular magnetic components of 3-nm-thick Fe buffer layers on the two ends of MgO tunneling barrier layer were increased by exchange coupling with RE-TM alloy layers. The RA of 35 kΩ μm 2 and tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of 64% was observed in the multilayered p-MTJ element by current-in-plane-tunneling

  4. Crossing the entropy barrier of dynamical zeta functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aurich, R.; Bolte, J.; Matthies, C.; Sieber, M.; Steiner, F.

    1992-01-01

    Dynamical zeta functions are an important tool to quantize chaotic dynamical systems. The basic quantization rules require the computation of the zeta functions on the real energy axis, where the Euler product representations running over the classical periodic orbits usually do not converge due to the existence of the so-called entropy barrier determined by the topological entropy of the classical system. We shown that the convergence properties of the dynamical zeta functions rewritten as Dirichlet series are governed not only by the well-known topological and metric entropy, but depend crucially on subtle statistical properties of the Maslow indices and of the multiplicities of the periodic orbits that are measured by a new parameter for which we introduce the notion of a third entropy. If and only if the third entropy is nonvanishing, one can cross the entropy barrier; if it exceeds a certain value, one can even compute the zeta function in the physical region by means of a convergent Dirichlet series. A simple statistical model is presented which allows to compute the third entropy. Four examples of chaotic systems are studied in detail to test the model numerically. (orig.)

  5. Crossing the entropy barrier of dynamical zeta functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aurich, R.; Bolte, J.; Matthies, C.; Sieber, M.; Steiner, F. (Hamburg Univ. (Germany). 2. Inst. fuer Theoretische Physik)

    1992-01-01

    Dynamical zeta functions are an important tool to quantize chaotic dynamical systems. The basic quantization rules require the computation of the zeta functions on the real energy axis, where the Euler product representations running over the classical periodic orbits usually do not converge due to the existence of the so-called entropy barrier determined by the topological entropy of the classical system. We shown that the convergence properties of the dynamical zeta functions rewritten as Dirichlet series are governed not only by the well-known topological and metric entropy, but depend crucially on subtle statistical properties of the Maslow indices and of the multiplicities of the periodic orbits that are measured by a new parameter for which we introduce the notion of a third entropy. If and only if the third entropy is nonvanishing, one can cross the entropy barrier; if it exceeds a certain value, one can even compute the zeta function in the physical region by means of a convergent Dirichlet series. A simple statistical model is presented which allows to compute the third entropy. Four examples of chaotic systems are studied in detail to test the model numerically. (orig.).

  6. Restoration of impaired intestinal barrier function by the hydrolysed casein diet contributes to the prevention of type 1 diabetes in the diabetes-prone BioBreeding rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, J T J; Lammers, K; Hoogendijk, A; Boer, M W; Brugman, S; Beijer-Liefers, S; Zandvoort, A; Harmsen, H; Welling, G; Stellaard, F; Bos, N A; Fasano, A; Rozing, J

    2010-12-01

    Impaired intestinal barrier function is observed in type 1 diabetes patients and animal models of the disease. Exposure to diabetogenic antigens from the intestinal milieu due to a compromised intestinal barrier is considered essential for induction of the autoimmune process leading to type 1 diabetes. Since a hydrolysed casein (HC) diet prevents autoimmune diabetes onset in diabetes-prone (DP)-BioBreeding (BB) rats, we studied the role of the HC diet on intestinal barrier function and, therefore, prevention of autoimmune diabetes onset in this animal model. DP-BB rats were fed the HC diet from weaning onwards and monitored for autoimmune diabetes development. Intestinal permeability was assessed in vivo by lactulose-mannitol test and ex vivo by measuring transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Levels of serum zonulin, a physiological tight junction modulator, were measured by ELISA. Ileal mRNA expression of Myo9b, Cldn1, Cldn2 and Ocln (which encode the tight junction-related proteins myosin IXb, claudin-1, claudin-2 and occludin) and Il-10, Tgf-ß (also known as Il10 and Tgfb, respectively, which encode regulatory cytokines) was analysed by quantitative PCR. The HC diet reduced autoimmune diabetes by 50% in DP-BB rats. In DP-BB rats, prediabetic gut permeability negatively correlated with the moment of autoimmune diabetes onset. The improved intestinal barrier function that was induced by HC diet in DP-BB rats was visualised by decreasing lactulose:mannitol ratio, decreasing serum zonulin levels and increasing ileal TEER. The HC diet modified ileal mRNA expression of Myo9b, and Cldn1 and Cldn2, but left Ocln expression unaltered. Improved intestinal barrier function might be an important intermediate in the prevention of autoimmune diabetes by the HC diet in DP-BB rats. Effects on tight junctions, ileal cytokines and zonulin production might be important mechanisms for this effect.

  7. Ablation of CD11c(hi) dendritic cells exacerbates Japanese encephalitis by regulating blood-brain barrier permeability and altering tight junction/adhesion molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin Hyoung; Hossain, Ferdaus Mohd Altaf; Patil, Ajit Mahadev; Choi, Jin Young; Kim, Seong Bum; Uyangaa, Erdenebelig; Park, Sang-Youel; Lee, John-Hwa; Kim, Bumseok; Kim, Koanhoi; Eo, Seong Kug

    2016-10-01

    Japanese encephalitis (JE), characterized by extensive neuroinflammation following infection with neurotropic JE virus (JEV), is becoming a leading cause of viral encephalitis due to rapid changes in climate and demography. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in restricting neuroinvasion of peripheral leukocytes and virus, thereby regulating the progression of viral encephalitis. In this study, we explored the role of CD11c(hi) dendritic cells (DCs) in regulating BBB integrity and JE progression using a conditional depletion model of CD11c(hi) DCs. Transient ablation of CD11c(hi) DCs resulted in markedly increased susceptibility to JE progression along with highly increased neuro-invasion of JEV. In addition, exacerbated JE progression in CD11c(hi) DC-ablated hosts was closely associated with increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and CC chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, CXCL2) in the brain. Moreover, our results revealed that the exacerbation of JE progression in CD11c(hi) DC-ablated hosts was correlated with enhanced BBB permeability and reduced expression of tight junction and adhesion molecules (claudin-5, ZO-1, occluding, JAMs). Ultimately, our data conclude that the ablation of CD11c(hi) DCs provided a subsidiary impact on BBB integrity and the expression of tight junction/adhesion molecules, thereby leading to exacerbated JE progression. These findings provide insight into the secondary role of CD11c(hi) DCs in JE progression through regulation of BBB integrity and the expression of tight junction/adhesion molecules. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Effect of graphene tunnel barrier on Schottky barrier height of Heusler alloy Co2MnSi/graphene/n-Ge junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Gui-fang; Hu Jing; Lv Hui; Cui Zhijun; Hou Xiaowei; Liu Shibin; Du Yongqian

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate that the insertion of a graphene tunnel barrier between Heusler alloy Co 2 MnSi and the germanium (Ge) channel modulates the Schottky barrier height and the resistance–area product of the spin diode. We confirm that the Fermi level is depinned and a reduction in the electron Schottky barrier height (SBH) occurs following the insertion of the graphene layer between Co 2 MnSi and Ge. The electron SBH is modulated in the 0.34 eV–0.61 eV range. Furthermore, the transport mechanism changes from rectifying to symmetric tunneling following the insertion. This behavior provides a pathway for highly efficient spin injection from a Heusler alloy into a Ge channel with high electron and hole mobility. (paper)

  9. Effect of graphene tunnel barrier on Schottky barrier height of Heusler alloy Co2MnSi/graphene/n-Ge junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui-fang, Li; Jing, Hu; Hui, Lv; Zhijun, Cui; Xiaowei, Hou; Shibin, Liu; Yongqian, Du

    2016-02-01

    We demonstrate that the insertion of a graphene tunnel barrier between Heusler alloy Co2MnSi and the germanium (Ge) channel modulates the Schottky barrier height and the resistance-area product of the spin diode. We confirm that the Fermi level is depinned and a reduction in the electron Schottky barrier height (SBH) occurs following the insertion of the graphene layer between Co2MnSi and Ge. The electron SBH is modulated in the 0.34 eV-0.61 eV range. Furthermore, the transport mechanism changes from rectifying to symmetric tunneling following the insertion. This behavior provides a pathway for highly efficient spin injection from a Heusler alloy into a Ge channel with high electron and hole mobility. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61504107) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant Nos. 3102014JCQ01059 and 3102015ZY043).

  10. Barrier function test: Laboratory evaluation of the protective function of some barrier creams against cashewnut shell oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasricha J

    1991-01-01

    Full Text Available A barrier function test has been designed to screen the protective capacity of a cream against the cauterizing effect of cashew nut shell oil (CNSO on the skin. The test consists of applying the barrier cream on a 5 cm circular area of skin on the back of a human volunteer and then at its centre applying a 1 cm sq Whatman no. 3 paper disc soaked in the CNSO for 15 minutes and looking for the evidence of cauterization reaction after 48 hours. Of the various creams containing a variety of paraffins, bees wax, polyethylene glycols, methyl cellulose gel, and petrolatum, only polyethylene glycol (PEG cream was found to afford adequate protection against cashew nut shell oil. Addition of 10% zinc oxide or 10% kaolin to the PEG cream did not seem to afford any additional protection. Castor oil already being used by the workers was found to be inferior to the PEG cream.

  11. Heat Transport in Graphene Ferromagnet-Insulator-Superconductor Junctions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Xiao-Wei

    2011-01-01

    We study heat transport in a graphene ferromagnet-insulator-superconducting junction. It is found that the thermal conductance of the graphene ferromagnet-insulator-superconductor (FIS) junction is an oscillatory function of the barrier strength x in the thin-barrier limit. The gate potential U0 decreases the amplitude of thermal conductance oscillation. Both the amplitude and phase of the thermal conductance oscillation varies with the exchange energy Eh. The thermal conductance of a graphene FIS junction displays the usual exponential dependence on temperature, reflecting the s-wave symmetry of superconducting graphene.%@@ We study heat transport in a graphene ferromagnet-insulator-superconducting junction.It is found that the thermal conductance of the graphene ferromagnet-insulator-superconductor(FIS)junction is an oscillatory function of the barrier strength X in the thin-barrier limit.The gate potential Uo decreases the amplitude of thermal conductance oscillation.Both the amplitude and phase of the thermal conductance oscillation varies with the exchange energy Eh.The thermal conductance of a graphene FIS junction displays the usual exponential dependence on temperature, reflecting the s-wave symmetry of superconducting graphene.

  12. The tight junction protein Z O-2 has several functional nuclear export signals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez-Mariscal, Lorenza; Ponce, Arturo; Alarcon, Lourdes; Jaramillo, Blanca Estela

    2006-01-01

    The tight junction (TJ) protein ZO-2 changes its subcellular distribution according to the state of confluency of the culture. Thus in confluent monolayers, it localizes at the TJ region whereas in sparse cultures it concentrates at the nucleus. The canine sequence of ZO-2 displays four putative nuclear export signals (NES), two at the second PDZ domain (NES-0 and NES-1) and the rest at the GK region (NES-2 and NES-3). The functionality of NES-0 and NES-3 was unknown, hence here we have explored it with a nuclear export assay, injecting into the nucleus of MDCK cells peptides corresponding to the ZO-2 NES sequences chemically coupled to ovalbumin. We show that both NES-0 and NES-3 are functional and sensitive to leptomycin B. We also demonstrate that NES-1, previously characterized as a non functional NES, is rendered capable of nuclear export upon the acquisition of a negative charge at its Ser369 residue. Experiments performed injecting at the nucleus WT and mutated ZO-2-GST fusion proteins revealed the need of both NES-0 and NES-1, and NES-2 and NES-3 for attaining an efficient nuclear exit of the respective amino and middle segments of ZO-2. Moreover, the transfection of MDCK cells with full-length ZO-2 revealed that the mutation of any of the NES present in the molecule was sufficient to induce nuclear accumulation of the protein

  13. Electron transport in a bilayer graphene/layered superconductor NbSe2 junction: effect of work function difference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarimizu, Katsuhide; Tomori, Hikari; Watanabe, Kenji; Taniguchi, Takashi; Kanda, Akinobu

    2018-03-01

    We have experimentally studied electron transport in a bilayer graphene (BLG)/layered superconductor NbSe2 junction encapsulated with hexagonal boron nitride. The junction exhibits nonlinear current-voltage characteristics which strongly depend on the gate voltage around the charge neutrality point (CNP) of the BLG. Besides, we observe that the gate voltage dependence of electron transport in the BLG portion close to the junction interface is different from that of the BLG portion apart from the interface, indicating that the spatial variation of the Dirac point in the charge transfer region due to the difference in work function between superconductor and graphene needs to be considered in the analysis of the superconducting proximity effect.

  14. Acyl-CoA binding protein and epidermal barrier function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bloksgaard, Maria; Neess, Ditte; Færgeman, Nils J

    2014-01-01

    The acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP) is a 10kDa intracellular protein expressed in all eukaryotic species and mammalian tissues investigated. It binds acyl-CoA esters with high specificity and affinity and is thought to act as an intracellular transporter of acyl-CoA esters between different...... includes tousled and greasy fur, development of alopecia and scaling of the skin with age. Furthermore, epidermal barrier function is compromised causing a ~50% increase in transepidermal water loss relative to that of wild type mice. Lipidomic analyses indicate that this is due to significantly reduced...

  15. Lipids and skin barrier function - a clinical perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jungersted, J.M.; Hellgren, Lars; Jemec, G.B.E.

    2008-01-01

    The stratum corneum (SC) protects us from dehydration and external dangers. Much is known about the morphology of the SC and penetration of drugs through it, but the data are mainly derived from in vitro and animal experiments. In contrast, only a few studies have the human SC lipids as their focus...... and in particular, the role of barrier function in the pathogenesis of skin disease and its subsequent treatment protocols. The 3 major lipids in the SC of importance are ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol. Human studies comparing levels of the major SC lipids in patients with atopic dermatitis...

  16. Macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson tunnel junctions and Coulomb blockade in single small tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cleland, A.N.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments investigated the process of macroscopic quantum tunneling in a moderately-damped, resistively shunted, Josephson junction are described, followed by a discussion of experiments performed on very-small-capacitance normal-metal tunnel junctions. The experiments on the resistively-shunted Josephson junction were designed to investigate a quantum process, that of the tunneling of the Josephson-phase variable under a potential barrier, in a system in which dissipation plays a major role in the dynamics of motion. All the parameters of the junction were measured using the classical phenomena of thermal activation and resonant activation. Theoretical predictions are compared with the experimental results, showing good agreement with no adjustable parameters. The experiments on small-capacitance tunnel junctions extend the measurements on the large-area Josephson junctions from the region in which the phase variable has a fairly well-defined value, i.e. its wave function has a narrow width, to the region where its value is almost completely unknown. The charge on the junction becomes well-defined and is predicted to quantize the current through the junction, giving rise to the Coulomb blockade at low bias

  17. Tunable Nitride Josephson Junctions.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Missert, Nancy A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Henry, Michael David [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lewis, Rupert M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Howell, Stephen W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolfley, Steven L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Brunke, Lyle Brent [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolak, Matthaeus [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We have developed an ambient temperature, SiO2/Si wafer - scale process for Josephson junctions based on Nb electrodes and Ta x N barriers with tunable electronic properties. The films are fabricated by magnetron sputtering. The electronic properties of the TaxN barriers are controlled by adjusting the nitrogen flow during sputtering. This technology offers a scalable alternative to the more traditional junctions based on AlOx barriers for low - power, high - performance computing.

  18. Functional lateralization of temporoparietal junction - imitation inhibition, visual perspective-taking and theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiesteban, Idalmis; Banissy, Michael J; Catmur, Caroline; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-10-01

    Although neuroimaging studies have consistently identified the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) as a key brain region involved in social cognition, the literature is far from consistent with respect to lateralization of function. For example, during theory-of-mind tasks bilateral TPJ activation is found in some studies but only right hemisphere activation in others. Visual perspective-taking and imitation inhibition, which have been argued to recruit the same socio-cognitive processes as theory of mind, are associated with unilateral activation of either left TPJ (perspective taking) or right TPJ (imitation inhibition). The present study investigated the functional lateralization of TPJ involvement in the above three socio-cognitive abilities using transcranial direct current stimulation. Three groups of healthy adults received anodal stimulation over right TPJ, left TPJ or the occipital cortex prior to performing three tasks (imitation inhibition, visual perspective-taking and theory of mind). In contrast to the extant neuroimaging literature, our results suggest bilateral TPJ involvement in imitation inhibition and visual perspective-taking, while no effect of anodal stimulation was observed on theory of mind. The discrepancy between these findings and those obtained using neuroimaging highlight the efficacy of neurostimulation as a complementary methodological tool in cognitive neuroscience. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. The effect of fucoidan on intestinal flora and intestinal barrier function in rats with breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Meilan; Ji, Xinqiang; Liang, Hui; Liu, Ying; Wang, Bing; Sun, Lingling; Li, Weiwei

    2018-02-21

    Recent research studies have shown that the intestinal flora are related to the occurrence and progress of breast cancer. This study investigates the effect of fucoidan on intestinal flora and intestinal barrier function in rats with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancers. Sixty female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to the control group, the model group, and the F1 and F2 groups, which were fed fucoidan at concentrations of 200 and 400 mg per kg bw (body weight), respectively. Intestinal histopathological analysis was performed and 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing was used to provide an overview of the intestinal flora composition. The contents of d-lactic acid (d-LA), diamine oxidase (DAO) and endotoxin in plasma were detected by ELISA. Expression levels of the tight junction (TJ) proteins, phosphorylated p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 were measured using western blotting. Our results suggested that the intestinal wall of the model group was damaged. However, after fucoidan intervention, the villi were gradually restored. ELISA showed that the levels of plasma endotoxin, d-LA and DAO decreased in the F1 and F2 groups compared to those in the model group. Fucoidan treatment also increased the expressions of ZO-1, occludin, claudin-1 and claudin-8. Furthermore, the expression levels of phosphorylated p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 were upregulated in fucoidan treatment groups. The results of 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing indicated that fucoidan increased the diversity of the intestinal microbiota and induced changes in microbial composition, with the increased Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes phylum ratio. In conclusion, the supplement of fucoidan could improve the fecal microbiota composition and repair the intestinal barrier function. The study suggested the use of fucoidan as an intestinal flora modulator for potential prevention of breast cancer.

  20. Microstructure of edge-type Josephson junctions with PrBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub 7-x] barrier layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lebedev, O I; Vasiliev, A L; Kiselev, N A [Inst. of Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russia); Mazo, L A; Gaponov, S V; Paveliev, D G; Strikovsky, M D [Inst. of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novgorod (Russia)

    1992-08-01

    HREM investigations of edge Josephson junctions (EJJ) with PrBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub 7-x] barrier layer (PB) were performed. All layers (superconducting YBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub 7-x]) (Y1) and (Y2), insulating PrBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub 7-x] (PI) and barrier (PB) were obtained by laser ablation. The edges were formed by ion sputtering using a fotoresist mask. EJJ shows Josephson conductivity at Tc=77 K, giving j[sub c]=10[sup 4] A/cm[sup 2] at U[sub c]=50 [mu]V. Cross-sectional images show that Y1, PI and PB layers are single crystalline with the c-axis normal to the substrate surface. The Y2 layer in the regions of a multilayered structure is polycrystalline. The PB/Y1 interface is characterised by APB line boundaries; it is inclined to the substrate by 20-35deg. (orig.).

  1. Blood-aqueous Barrier Function in a Patient With Choroideremia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muh-Shy Chen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose was to determine whether there was a breakdown of the blood-aqueous barrier in a patient with choroideremia. A 27-year-old man with typical choroideremia underwent standardized ophthalmo-logical evaluation, including quantitative measurement of aqueous flare intensity, by a laser flare-cell meter. The results showed areas of atrophy of the choriocapillaries and retinal pigment epithelium in the mid-periphery and posterior pole, although not in the macula. Fluorescein angiography showed areas of loss of the choriocapillaries and retinal pigment epithelium. The fovea was spared with a surrounding zone of hy-perfluorescence. Electroretinography showed a subnormal photopic amplitude and extinguished scotopic response. Electrooculography revealed that the light peak/dark trough ratio was reduced. Goldmann perimetry showed constricted peripheral fields. Laser photometry showed an increase in the aqueous flare intensity in both eyes, as compared with normal subjects. We conclude that the function of the blood-aqueous barrier might be affected in patients with choroideremia.

  2. Cardiotonic steroid ouabain stimulates expression of blood-testis barrier proteins claudin-1 and -11 and formation of tight junctions in Sertoli cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietze, Raimund; Shihan, Mazen; Stammler, Angelika; Konrad, Lutz; Scheiner-Bobis, Georgios

    2015-04-15

    The interaction of ouabain with the sodium pump induces signalling cascades resembling those triggered by hormone/receptor interactions. In the rat Sertoli cell line 93RS2, ouabain at low concentrations stimulates the c-Src/c-Raf/Erk1/2 signalling cascade via its interaction with the α4 isoform of the sodium pump expressed in these cells, leading to the activation of the transcription factor CREB. As a result of this signalling sequence, ouabain stimulates expression of claudin-1 and claudin-11, which are also controlled by a CRE promoter. Both of these proteins are known to be essential constituents of tight junctions (TJ) between Sertoli cells, and as a result of the ouabain-induced signalling TJ formation between neighbouring Sertoli cells is significantly enhanced by the steroid. Thus, ouabain-treated cell monolayers display higher transepithelial resistance and reduced free diffusion of FITC-coupled dextran in tracer diffusion assays. Taking into consideration that the formation of TJ is indispensable for the maintenance of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and therefore for male fertility, the actions of ouabain described here and the fact that this and other related cardiotonic steroids (CTS) are produced endogenously suggest a direct influence of ouabain/sodium pump interactions on the maintenance of the BTB and thereby an effect on male fertility. Since claudin-1 and claudin-11 are also present in other blood-tissue barriers, one can speculate that ouabain and perhaps other CTS influence the dynamics of these barriers as well. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mechanism of protection of transepithelial barrier function by Lactobacillus salivarius: strain dependence and attenuation by bacteriocin production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyauchi, Eiji; O'Callaghan, John; Buttó, Ludovica F; Hurley, Gráinne; Melgar, Silvia; Tanabe, Soichi; Shanahan, Fergus; Nally, Kenneth; O'Toole, Paul W

    2012-11-01

    Enhanced barrier function is one mechanism whereby commensals and probiotic bacteria limit translocation of foreign antigens or pathogens in the gut. However, barrier protection is not exhibited by all probiotic or commensals and the strain-specific molecules involved remain to be clarified. We evaluated the effects of 33 individual Lactobacillus salivarius strains on the hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced barrier impairment in human epithelial Caco-2 cells. These strains showed markedly different effects on H(2)O(2)-induced reduction in transepithelial resistance (TER). The effective strains such as UCC118 and CCUG38008 attenuated H(2)O(2)-induced disassembly and relocalization of tight junction proteins, but the ineffective strain AH43324 did not. Strains UCC118 and CCUG38008 induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in Caco-2 cells, and the ERK inhibitor U0126 attenuated the barrier-protecting effect of these strains. In contrast, the AH43324 strain induced phosphorylation of Akt and p38, which was associated with an absence of a protective effect. Global transcriptome analysis of UCC118 and AH43324 revealed that some genes in a bacteriocin gene cluster were upregulated in AH43324 under TER assay conditions. A bacteriocin-negative UCC118 mutant displayed significantly greater suppressive effect on H(2)O(2)-induced reduction in TER compared with wild-type UCC118. The wild-type strain augmented H(2)O(2)-induced phosphorylation of Akt and p38, whereas a bacteriocin-negative UCC118 mutant did not. These observations indicate that L. salivarius strains are widely divergent in their capacity for barrier protection, and this is underpinned by differences in the activation of intracellular signaling pathways. Furthermore, bacteriocin production appears to have an attenuating influence on lactobacillus-mediated barrier protection.

  4. Functional Food Market Development in Serbia: Motivations and Barriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Žaklina Stojanović

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to present main findings obtained from the empirical analysis of the functional food market in Serbia. The analysis is based on the in-depth interviews with relevant processors and retailers present on the market. The following set of topics are considered: (1 motivations (driving forces and barriers to offer products with nutrition and health (N&H claim and (2 perception of consumer demand toward N&H claimed products. Differences between Serbia and other Western Balkan Countries (WBC are explored by using nonparametric techniques based on the independent samples. Results support overall conclusion that this market segment in Serbia is underdeveloped and rather producer than consumer driven compared to more developed WBC markets.

  5. Tight junction protein ZO-2 expression and relative function of ZO-1 and ZO-2 during mouse blastocyst formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheth, Bhavwanti; Nowak, Rachael L.; Anderson, Rebecca; Kwong, Wing Yee; Papenbrock, Thomas; Fleming, Tom P.

    2008-01-01

    Apicolateral tight junctions (TJs) between epithelial cells are multiprotein complexes regulating membrane polarity and paracellular transport and also contribute to signalling pathways affecting cell proliferation and gene expression. ZO-2 and other ZO family members form a sub-membranous scaffold for binding TJ constituents. We investigated ZO-2 contribution to TJ biogenesis and function during trophectoderm epithelium differentiation in mouse preimplantation embryos. Our data indicate that ZO-2 is expressed from maternal and embryonic genomes with maternal ZO-2 protein associated with nuclei in zygotes and particularly early cleavage stages. Embryonic ZO-2 assembled at outer blastomere apicolateral junctional sites from the late 16-cell stage. Junctional ZO-2 first co-localised with E-cadherin in a transient complex comprising adherens junction and TJ constituents before segregating to TJs after their separation from the blastocyst stage (32-cell onwards). ZO-2 siRNA microinjection into zygotes or 2-cell embryos resulted in specific knockdown of ZO-2 mRNA and protein within blastocysts. Embryos lacking ZO-2 protein at trophectoderm TJs exhibited delayed blastocoel cavity formation but underwent normal cell proliferation and outgrowth morphogenesis. Quantitative analysis of trophectoderm TJs in ZO-2-deficient embryos revealed increased assembly of ZO-1 but not occludin, indicating ZO protein redundancy as a compensatory mechanism contributing to the mild phenotype observed. In contrast, ZO-1 knockdown, or combined ZO-1 and ZO-2 knockdown, generated a more severe inhibition of blastocoel formation indicating distinct roles for ZO proteins in blastocyst morphogenesis

  6. Applications of Skyrme energy-density functional to fusion reactions spanning the fusion barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Min; Wang, Ning; Li Zhuxia; Wu Xizhen; Zhao Enguang

    2006-01-01

    The Skyrme energy density functional has been applied to the study of heavy-ion fusion reactions. The barriers for fusion reactions are calculated by the Skyrme energy density functional with proton and neutron density distributions determined by using restricted density variational (RDV) method within the same energy density functional together with semi-classical approach known as the extended semi-classical Thomas-Fermi method. Based on the fusion barrier obtained, we propose a parametrization of the empirical barrier distribution to take into account the multi-dimensional character of real barrier and then apply it to calculate the fusion excitation functions in terms of barrier penetration concept. A large number of measured fusion excitation functions spanning the fusion barriers can be reproduced well. The competition between suppression and enhancement effects on sub-barrier fusion caused by neutron-shell-closure and excess neutron effects is studied

  7. Quantum conductance of 4,4-bipyridine molecular junctions: Role of electrode work function and local d band

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rauba, J.M.C.; Strange, Mikkel; Thygesen, Kristian Sommer

    2008-01-01

    conductance than the Pt-BPD junction due to the smaller work function of Au as compared to Pt. On the other hand, coupling to the local d band is stronger in the case of Pt and this broadens the LUMO resonance. We find that these effects largely outbalance each other leading to conductances of 0.01G(0) and 0......-principles results within a simple single-level model....

  8. Generation of functional neuromuscular junctions from human pluripotent stem cell lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja ePuttonen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Several neuromuscular diseases involve dysfunction of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, yet there are no patient-specific human models for electrophysiological characterization of NMJ. We seeded cells of neurally-induced embryoid body-like spheres derived from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC or embryonic stem cell (ESC lines as monolayers without basic fibroblast factor (bFGF and observed differentiation of neuronal as well as spontaneously contracting, multinucleated skeletal myotubes. The myotubes showed striation, immunoreactivity for myosin heavy chain, actin bundles typical for myo-oriented cells, and generated spontaneous and evoked action potentials (APs. The myogenic differentiation was associated with expression of MyoD1, myogenin and type I ryanodine receptor. Neurons formed end plate like structures with strong binding of α-bungarotoxin, a marker of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors highly expressed in the postsynaptic membrane of NMJs, and expressed SMI-32, a motoneuron marker, as well as SV2, a marker for synapses. Pharmacological stimulation of cholinergic receptors resulted in strong depolarization of myotube membrane and raised Ca2+ concentration in sarcoplasm, while electrical stimulation evoked Ca2+ transients in myotubes. Stimulation of motoneurons with N-Methyl-D-aspartate resulted in reproducible APs in myotubes and end plates displayed typical MEPs and tonic activity depolarizing myotubes of about 10 mV. We conclude that simultaneous differentiation of neurons and myotubes from patient-specific iPSCs or ESCs results also in the development of functional NMJs. Our human model of NMJ may serve as an important tool to investigate normal development, mechanisms of diseases and novel drug targets involving NMJ dysfunction and degeneration.

  9. Spin transport in spin filtering magnetic tunneling junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yun; Lee, Eok Kyun

    2007-11-01

    Taking into account spin-orbit coupling and s-d interaction, we investigate spin transport properties of the magnetic tunneling junctions with spin filtering barrier using Landauer-Büttiker formalism implemented with the recursive algorithm to calculate the real-space Green function. We predict completely different bias dependence of negative tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) between the systems composed of nonmagnetic electrode (NM)/ferromagnetic barrier (FB)/ferromagnet (FM) and NM/FB/FM/NM spin filtering tunnel junctions (SFTJs). Analyses of the results provide us possible ways of designing the systems which modulate the TMR in the negative magnetoresistance regime.

  10. Food Derived Bioactive Peptides and Intestinal Barrier Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Martínez-Augustin

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A wide range of food-derived bioactive peptides have been shown to exert health-promoting actions and are therefore considered functional foods or nutraceuticals. Some of these actions are related to the maintenance, reinforcement or repairment of the intestinal barrier function (IBF whose role is to selectively allow the absorption of water, nutrients and ions while preventing the influx of microorganisms from the intestinal lumen. Alterations in the IBF have been related to many disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease or metabolic syndrome. Components of IBF are the intestinal epithelium, the mucus layer, secretory immunoglobulin A and cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Here we review the effects of food derived bioactive peptides on these IBF components. In vitro and in vivo effects, both in healthy and disease states, have been reviewed. Although limited, the available information indicates a potential for food-derived peptides to modify IBF and to contribute to disease treatment, but further research is needed to better isolate responsible peptides, and to help define their mode of action.

  11. Renal pyramid echogenicity in ureteropelvic junction obstruction: correlation between altered echogenicity and differential renal function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chavhan, Govind; Daneman, Alan; Lim, Ruth; Traubici, Jeffrey [University of Toronto, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (Canada); Moineddin, Rahim [University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Toronto (Canada); Langlois, Valerie [University of Toronto, Division of Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Improvement in resolution and use of high-frequency transducers in US has enabled visualization of previously unreported changes in medullary pyramid echogenicity in children with obstructive hydronephrosis. To determine whether these unreported changes in echogenicity and morphology of the renal pyramids in ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction correlate with differential renal function (DRF) of the kidney as determined by technetium-99m mercaptoacetyltriglycine ({sup 99m}Tc-MAG3) scan. Renal sonograms in 60 children with UPJ obstruction were retrospectively reviewed. Children were divided into three groups based on the echogenicity of the pyramids: (1) normal echogenicity of the pyramids, (2) increased echogenicity of the pyramids with maintained corticomedullary differentiation (CMD), and (3) loss of CMD. DRF, as determined by {sup 99m}Tc-MAG3 scan, of the obstructed kidney of {>=}45% was considered normal and of {<=}44% was considered abnormal based on a published study correlating histological changes with DRF. Fisher's exact test was performed for assessing the association between DRF and altered echogenicity of the pyramids. In group 1, which consisted of 13 patients with normal pyramids on US, DRF was normal in 11 and abnormal in two. In group 2, which consisted of 33 patients with echogenic pyramids and preserved CMD, DRF was normal in 15 and abnormal in 18. In group 3, which consisted of 14 patients with complete loss of CMD, DRF was normal in 2 and abnormal in 12. There was a strong correlation between abnormal pyramids and DRF (P=0.0009). The risk ratio (RR) of DRF becoming abnormal for those kidneys with abnormal echogenicity of the pyramids with preserved CMD (group 2) compared to normal pyramid echogenicity (group 1) was 1.56 (95% CI 1.088-2.236). The RR of DRF becoming abnormal for those kidneys with loss of CMD (group 3) compared to normal pyramid echogenicity (group 1) was 5.571 (95% CI 1.530-20.294). We observed that in obstructed kidneys

  12. Glycoprotein A33 deficiency: a new mouse model of impaired intestinal epithelial barrier function and inflammatory disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin B. Williams

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The cells of the intestinal epithelium provide a selectively permeable barrier between the external environment and internal tissues. The integrity of this barrier is maintained by tight junctions, specialised cell-cell contacts that permit the absorption of water and nutrients while excluding microbes, toxins and dietary antigens. Impairment of intestinal barrier function contributes to multiple gastrointestinal disorders, including food hypersensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD and colitis-associated cancer (CAC. Glycoprotein A33 (GPA33 is an intestinal epithelium-specific cell surface marker and member of the CTX group of transmembrane proteins. Roles in cell-cell adhesion have been demonstrated for multiple CTX family members, suggesting a similar function for GPA33 within the gastrointestinal tract. To test a potential requirement for GPA33 in intestinal barrier function, we generated Gpa33−/− mice and subjected them to experimental regimens designed to produce food hypersensitivity, colitis and CAC. Gpa33−/− mice exhibited impaired intestinal barrier function. This was shown by elevated steady-state immunosurveillance in the colonic mucosa and leakiness to oral TRITC-labelled dextran after short-term exposure to dextran sodium sulphate (DSS to injure the intestinal epithelium. Gpa33−/− mice also exhibited rapid onset and reduced resolution of DSS-induced colitis, and a striking increase in the number of colitis-associated tumours produced by treatment with the colon-specific mutagen azoxymethane (AOM followed by two cycles of DSS. In contrast, Gpa33−/− mice treated with AOM alone showed no increase in sporadic tumour formation, indicating that their increased tumour susceptibility is dependent on inflammatory stimuli. Finally, Gpa33−/− mice displayed hypersensitivity to food allergens, a common co-morbidity in humans with IBD. We propose that Gpa33−/− mice provide a valuable model to study the mechanisms

  13. Improved split renal function after percutaneous nephrostomy in young adults with severe hydronephrosis due to ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shiwei; Zhang, Qing; Ji, Changwei; Zhao, Xiaozhi; Liu, Guangxiang; Zhang, Shun; Li, Xiaogong; Lian, Huibo; Zhang, Gutian; Guo, Hongqian

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated percutaneous nephrostomy for adult kidneys with severe hydronephrosis due to ureteropelvic junction obstruction and less than 10% split renal function. In this retrospective analysis we included patients who underwent percutaneous nephrostomy for unilateral ureteropelvic junction obstruction of the kidneys with hydronephrosis and less than 10% split renal function at our hospital between May 2009 and January 2012. Adults (age 18 years or greater) were divided into those 35 years or younger (young adults) and older than 35 years (older adults). The percutaneous nephrostomy remained in situ a mean ± SD of 6.62 ± 2.55 weeks and patients underwent repeat renography before pyeloplasty. When there was no significant improvement in split renal function (10% or greater) and drainage (greater than 400 ml per day), nephrectomy was performed. Otherwise pyeloplasty was performed. Patients were followed by renography, ultrasound and contrast computerized tomography at 3 and 6 months, at 1 year and annually thereafter. Of 53 patients 30 (56.6%) showed improvement after percutaneous nephrostomy drainage and urine output greater than 400 ml per day with percutaneous nephrostomy. Pyeloplasty was then performed. Of 29 young adults 24 (82.8%) showed improved split renal function vs 6 of 24 older adults (25%). Nephrectomy of the other 23 kidneys was performed. At a mean followup of 19.27 ± 7.82 months (range 12 to 36), no patient showed hypertension or urinary tract infection. Split renal function detected by renography may not accurately predict recovered, poorly functioning kidneys, especially in young adults. First observing the recoverability of hydronephrotic kidneys by percutaneous nephrostomy drainage and then preserving select kidneys may be an effective method to manage poorly functioning kidneys due to ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Copyright © 2015 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  14. Hexavalent chromium at low concentration alters Sertoli cell barrier and connexin 43 gap junction but not claudin-11 and N-cadherin in the rat seminiferous tubule culture model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carette, Diane [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Perrard, Marie-Hélène, E-mail: marie-helene.durand@ens-lyon.fr [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Prisant, Nadia [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Gilleron, Jérome; Pointis, Georges [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); Segretain, Dominique [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Durand, Philippe [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Kallistem SAS Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France)

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to toxic metals, specifically those belonging to the nonessential group leads to human health defects and among them reprotoxic effects. The mechanisms by which these metals produce their negative effects on spermatogenesis have not been fully elucidated. By using the Durand's validated seminiferous tubule culture model, which mimics the in vivo situation, we recently reported that concentrations of hexavalent chromium, reported in the literature to be closed to that found in the blood circulation of men, increase the number of germ cell cytogenetic abnormalities. Since this metal is also known to affect cellular junctions, we investigated, in the present study, its potential influence on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins present at this level such as connexin 43, claudin-11 and N-cadherin. Cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers expressed the three junctional proteins and ZO-1 for at least 12 days. Exposure to low concentrations of chromium (10 μg/l) increased the trans-epithelial resistance without major changes of claudin-11 and N-cadherin expressions but strongly delocalized the gap junction protein connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. The possibility that the hexavalent chromium-induced alteration of connexin 43 indirectly mediates the effect of the toxic metal on the blood–testis barrier dynamic is postulated. - Highlights: ► Influence of Cr(VI) on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins ► Use of cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers ► Low concentrations of Cr(VI) (10 μg/l) altered the trans-epithelial resistance. ► Cr(VI) did not alter claudin-11 and N-cadherin. ► Cr(VI) delocalized connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells.

  15. EMMPRIN modulates epithelial barrier function through a MMP-mediated occludin cleavage: implications in dry eye disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huet, Eric; Vallée, Benoit; Delbé, Jean; Mourah, Samia; Prulière-Escabasse, Virginie; Tremouilleres, Magali; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Doan, Serge; Baudouin, Christophe; Menashi, Suzanne; Gabison, Eric E

    2011-09-01

    Dry eye is a common disease that develops as a result of alteration of tear fluid, leading to osmotic stress and a perturbed epithelial barrier. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) may be important in dry eye disease, as its genetic knockout conferred resistance to the epithelial disruption. We show that extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN; also termed CD147), an inducer of MMP expression, participates in the pathogenesis of dry eye through MMP-mediated cleavage of occludin, an important component of tight junctions. EMMPRIN expression was increased on the ocular surface of dry eye patients and correlated with those of MMP-9. High osmolarity in cell culture, mimicking dry eye conditions, increased both EMMPRIN and MMP-9 and resulted in the disruption of epithelial junctions through the cleavage of occludin. Exogenously added recombinant EMMPRIN had similar effects that were abrogated in the presence of the MMP inhibitor marimastat. Membrane occludin immunostaining was markedly increased in the apical corneal epithelium of both EMMPRIN and MMP-9 knock-out mice. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between EMMPRIN and occludin membrane staining was consistently observed both in vitro and in vivo as a function of corneal epithelial cells differentiation. These data suggest a possible role of EMMPRIN in regulating the amount of occludin at the cell surface in homeostasis beyond pathological situations such as dry eye disease, and EMMPRIN may be essential for the formation and maintenance of organized epithelial structure. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Oligomeric structure and functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 gap junction protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-04-12

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels.

  17. Oligomeric Structure and Functional Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 Gap Junction Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels. PMID:23460640

  18. Specific inulin-type fructan fibers protect against autoimmune diabetes by modulating gut immunity, barrier function, and microbiota homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kang; Chen, Hao; Faas, Marijke M; de Haan, Bart J; Li, Jiahong; Xiao, Ping; Zhang, Hao; Diana, Julien; de Vos, Paul; Sun, Jia

    2017-08-01

    Dietary fibers capable of modifying gut barrier and microbiota homeostasis affect the progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we aim to compare modulatory effects of inulin-type fructans (ITFs), natural soluble dietary fibers with different degrees of fermentability from chicory root, on T1D development in nonobese diabetic mice. Female nonobese diabetic mice were weaned to long- and short-chain ITFs [ITF(l) and ITF(s), 5%] supplemented diet up to 24 weeks. T1D incidence, pancreatic-gut immune responses, gut barrier function, and microbiota composition were analyzed. ITF(l) but not ITF(s) supplementation dampened the incidence of T1D. ITF(l) promoted modulatory T-cell responses, as evidenced by increased CD25 + Foxp3 + CD4 + regulatory T cells, decreased IL17A + CD4 + Th17 cells, and modulated cytokine production profile in the pancreas, spleen, and colon. Furthermore, ITF(l) suppressed NOD like receptor protein 3 caspase-1-p20-IL-1β inflammasome in the colon. Expression of barrier reinforcing tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-2, antimicrobial peptides β-defensin-1, and cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide as well as short-chain fatty acid production were enhanced by ITF(l). Next-generation sequencing analysis revealed that ITF(l) enhanced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio to an antidiabetogenic balance and enriched modulatory Ruminococcaceae and Lactobacilli. Our data demonstrate that ITF(l) but not ITF(s) delays the development of T1D via modulation of gut-pancreatic immunity, barrier function, and microbiota homeostasis. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Structural and electrical characterization of ultra-thin SrTiO3 tunnel barriers grown over YBa2Cu3O7 electrodes for the development of high Tc Josephson junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Félix, L Avilés; Sirena, M; Guzmán, L A Agüero; Sutter, J González; Vargas, S Pons; Steren, L B; Bernard, R; Trastoy, J; Villegas, J E; Briático, J; Bergeal, N; Lesueur, J; Faini, G

    2012-12-14

    The transport properties of ultra-thin SrTiO(3) (STO) layers grown over YBa(2)Cu(3)O(7) electrodes were studied by conductive atomic force microscopy at the nano-scale. A very good control of the barrier thickness was achieved during the deposition process. A phenomenological approach was used to obtain critical parameters regarding the structural and electrical properties of the system. The STO layers present an energy barrier of 0.9 eV and an attenuation length of 0.23 nm, indicating very good insulating properties for the development of high-quality Josephson junctions.

  20. Structural and electrical characterization of ultra-thin SrTiO3 tunnel barriers grown over YBa2Cu3O7 electrodes for the development of high Tc Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avilés Félix, L; Sirena, M; Agüero Guzmán, L A; González Sutter, J; Pons Vargas, S; Steren, L B; Bernard, R; Trastoy, J; Villegas, J E; Briático, J; Bergeal, N; Lesueur, J; Faini, G

    2012-01-01

    The transport properties of ultra-thin SrTiO 3 (STO) layers grown over YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 electrodes were studied by conductive atomic force microscopy at the nano-scale. A very good control of the barrier thickness was achieved during the deposition process. A phenomenological approach was used to obtain critical parameters regarding the structural and electrical properties of the system. The STO layers present an energy barrier of 0.9 eV and an attenuation length of 0.23 nm, indicating very good insulating properties for the development of high-quality Josephson junctions. (paper)

  1. Functional Anatomy and Oncologic Barriers of the Larynx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mor, Niv; Blitzer, Andrew

    2015-08-01

    Laryngeal barriers to tumor spread are a product of laryngeal development, anatomic barriers, and enzymatic activity. Supraglottic and glottic/subglottic development is distinct and partially explains the metastatic behavior of laryngeal carcinoma. Dense connective tissues and elastic fibers provide anatomic barriers within the larynx. Laryngeal cartilage contains dense cartilage, enzyme inhibitors, and an intact perichondrium making it relatively resistant to tumor invasion; however, focal areas of vulnerability are created by ossified cartilage and natural interruptions in the perichondrium. Local inflammation and the enzymatic interplay between tumor and host are important factors in the spread of laryngeal tumor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Instabilities in thin tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konkin, M.K.; Adler, J.G.

    1978-01-01

    Tunnel junctions prepared for inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy are often plagued by instabilities in the 0-500-meV range. This paper relates the bias at which the instability occurs to the barrier thickness

  3. Measuring Neuromuscular Junction Functionality in the SOD1(G93A) Animal Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzuto, Emanuele; Pisu, Simona; Musarò, Antonio; Del Prete, Zaccaria

    2015-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that leads to motor neuron degeneration, alteration in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), muscle atrophy, and paralysis. To investigate the NMJ functionality in ALS we tested, in vitro, two innervated muscle types excised from SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice at the end-stage of the disease: the Soleus, a postural muscle almost completely paralyzed at that stage, and the diaphragm, which, on the contrary, is functional until death. To this aim we employed an experimental protocol that combined two types of electrical stimulation: the direct stimulation and the stimulation through the nerve. The technique we applied allowed us to determine the relevance of NMJ functionality separately from muscle contractile properties in SOD1(G93A) animal model. Functional measurements revealed that the muscle contractility of transgenic diaphragms is almost unaltered in comparison to control muscles, while transgenic Soleus muscles were severely compromised. In contrast, when stimulated via the nerve, both transgenic muscle types showed a strong decrease of the contraction force, a slowing down of the kinetic parameters, as well as alterations in the neurotransmission failure parameter. All together, these results confirm a severely impaired functionality in the SOD1(G93A) neuromuscular junctions.

  4. The enhanced spin-polarized transport behaviors through cobalt benzene-porphyrin-benzene molecular junctions: the effect of functional groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jue-Fei; Zhou, Liping; Wen, Zhongqian; Yan, Qiang; Han, Qin; Gao, Lei

    2017-05-01

    The modification effects of the groups amino (NH2) and nitro (NO2) on the spin polarized transport properties of the cobalt benzene-porphyrin-benzene (Co-BPB) molecule coupled to gold (Au) nanowire electrodes are investigated by the nonequilibrium Green’s function method combined with the density functional theory. The calculation results show that functional groups can lead to the significant spin-filter effect, enhanced low-bias negative differential resistance (NDR) behavior and novel reverse rectifying effect in Co-BPB molecular junction. The locations and types of functional groups have distinct influences on spin-polarized transport performances. The configuration with NH2 group substituting H atom in central porphyrin ring has larger spin-down current compared to that with NO2 substitution. And Co-BPB molecule junction with NH2 group substituting H atom in side benzene ring shows reverse rectifying effect. Detailed analyses confirm that NH2 and NO2 group substitution change the spin-polarized transferred charge, which makes the highest occupied molecular orbitals (HOMO) of spin-down channel of Co-BPB closer to the Fermi level. And the shift of HOMO strengthens the spin-polarized coupling between the molecular orbitals and the electrodes, leading to the enhanced spin-polarized behavior. Our findings might be useful in the design of multi-functional molecular devices in the future.

  5. Supramolecular tunneling junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wimbush, K.S.

    2012-01-01

    In this study a variety of supramolecular tunneling junctions were created. The basis of these junctions was a self-assembled monolayer of heptathioether functionalized ß-cyclodextrin (ßCD) formed on an ultra-flat Au surface, i.e., the bottom electrode. This gave a well-defined hexagonally packed

  6. Impaired barrier function by dietary fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS in rats is accompanied by increased colonic mitochondrial gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kramer Evelien

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dietary non-digestible carbohydrates stimulate the gut microflora and are therefore presumed to improve host resistance to intestinal infections. However, several strictly controlled rat infection studies showed that non-digestible fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS increase, rather than decrease, translocation of Salmonella towards extra-intestinal sites. In addition, it was shown that FOS increases intestinal permeability already before infection. The mechanism responsible for this adverse effect of FOS is unclear. Possible explanations are altered mucosal integrity due to changes in tight junctions or changes in expression of defense molecules such as antimicrobials and mucins. To examine the mechanisms underlying weakening of the intestinal barrier by FOS, a controlled dietary intervention study was performed. Two groups of 12 rats were adapted to a diet with or without FOS. mRNA was collected from colonic mucosa and changes in gene expression were assessed for each individual rat using Agilent rat whole genome microarrays. Results Among the 997 FOS induced genes we observed less mucosal integrity related genes than expected with the clear permeability changes. FOS did not induce changes in tight junction genes and only 8 genes related to mucosal defense were induced by FOS. These small effects are unlikely the cause for the clear increase in intestinal permeability that is observed. FOS significantly increased expression of 177 mitochondria-related genes. More specifically, induced expression of genes involved in all five OXPHOS complexes and the TCA cycle was observed. These results indicate that dietary FOS influences intestinal mucosal energy metabolism. Furthermore, increased expression of 113 genes related to protein turnover, including proteasome genes, ribosomal genes and protein maturation related genes, was seen. FOS upregulated expression of the peptide hormone proglucagon gene, in agreement with previous studies, as

  7. Emotional functioning, barriers, and medication adherence in pediatric transplant recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick King, Megan L; Mee, Laura L; Gutiérrez-Colina, Ana M; Eaton, Cyd K; Lee, Jennifer L; Blount, Ronald L

    2014-04-01

    This study assessed relationships among internalizing symptoms, barriers to medication adherence, and medication adherence in adolescents with solid organ transplants. The sample included 72 adolescents who had received solid organ transplants. Multiple mediator models were tested via bootstrapping methods. Bivariate correlations revealed significant relationships between barriers and internalizing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress, as well as between internalizing symptoms and medication adherence. Barriers indicative of adaptation to the medication regimen (e.g., forgetting, lack of organization) were related to medication adherence and mediated the relationship between internalizing symptoms and medication adherence. These findings indicate that barriers may serve as a more specific factor in the relationship between more general, pervasive internalizing symptoms and medication adherence. Results may help guide areas for clinical assessment, and the focus of interventions for adolescent transplant recipients who are experiencing internalizing symptoms and/or who are nonadherent to their medication regimen.

  8. Methamphetamine Effects on Blood-Brain Barrier Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Alia Northrop

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (Meth is a widely abuse psychostimulant. Traditionally, studies have focused on the neurotoxic effects of Meth on monoaminergic neurotransmitter terminals. Recently, both in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the effects of Meth on the BBB and found that Meth produces a decrease in BBB structural proteins and an increase in BBB permeability to various molecules. Moreover, preclinical studies are validated by clinical studies in which human Meth users have increased concentrations of toxins in the brain. Therefore, this review will focus on the structural and functional disruption of the BBB caused by Meth and the mechanisms that contribute to Meth-induced BBB disruption. The review will reveal that the mechanisms by which Meth damages dopamine and serotonin terminals are similar to the mechanisms by which the blood-brain barrier (BBB is damaged. Furthermore, this review will cover the factors that are known to potentiate the effects of Meth on the BBB, such as stress and HIV, both of which are co-morbid conditions associated with Meth abuse. Overall, the goal of this review is to demonstrate that the scope of damage produced by Meth goes beyond damage to monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems to include BBB disruption as well as provide a rationale for investigating therapeutics to treat Meth-induced BBB disruption. Since a breach of the BBB can have a multitude of consequences, therapies directed towards the treatment of BBB disruption may help to ameliorate the long-term neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits produced by Meth and possibly even Meth addiction.

  9. Effects of adenine nucleotide and sterol depletion on tight junction structure and function in MDCK cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ladino, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    The antitumor agent Hadacidin (H), N-formyl-hydroxyamino-acetic acid, reversibly inhibited the multiplication of clone 4 Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells at a 4 mM concentration within 24-48 hours. Treated cells were arrested in the S phase of the cell cycle. Accompanying this action was a 16-fold increase in the area occupied b the cells and a refractoriness to trypsin treatment. To test whether this effect was due to an increase in tight junction integrity, electrical resistance (TER) was measured across H-treated monolayers. Addition of H at the onset of junction formation reversibly prevented the development of TER. ATP and cAMP levels were decreased by H, as well as the rate of [ 3 H]-leucine incorporation into protein. When 1 mM dibutyryl-cAMP (d.cAMP) and theophylline were added, H had no effect on cell division or protein synthesis, and TER was partially restored. The addition of 1 mM d.cAMP and 1 mM theophylline to control cultures decreased TER, indicating a biphasic effect on TER development/maintenance. In a separate study, the effect of sterol depletion on tight junctions formation/maintenance in wild-type MDCK cells was investigated

  10. A nuclide transfer model for barriers of the seabed repository using response function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Youn Myoung; Kang, Chul Hyung; Hahn, Pil Soo

    1996-01-01

    A nuclide transfer by utilizing mass transfer coefficient and barrier response function defined for each barrier is proposed, by which the final nuclide transfer rate into the sea water can be evaluated. When simple and immediate quantification of the nuclide release is necessary in the conservative aspect, using this kind of approach may be advantageous since each layered barrier can be treated separately from other media in series in the repository system, making it possible to apply separate solutions in succession to other various media. Although one disadvantage is that while flux continuity can be maintained at the interface by using the exit nuclide flux from the first medium as the source flux for the next one, there may be no guarantee for concentration continuity, this problem could be eliminated assuming that there is no boundary resistance to mass transfer across the interface. Mass transfer coefficient can be determined by the assumption that the nuclide concentration gradient at the interface between adjacent barriers remains constant and barrier response function is obtained from an analytical expression for nuclide flow rate out of each barrier in response to a unit impulse into the barrier multiplied by mass transfer coefficient. Total time-dependent nuclide transfer rate from the barrier can then be obtained by convoluting the response function for the barrier with a previously calculated set of time-varying input of nuclide flow rate for the previous barrier. 18 refs., 5 figs. (author)

  11. Potential of Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM639 in Protecting against Aluminum Toxicity Mediated by Intestinal Barrier Function and Oxidative Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Leilei; Zhai, Qixiao; Tian, Fengwei; Liu, Xiaoming; Wang, Gang; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Narbad, Arjan; Chen, Wei

    2016-12-02

    Aluminum (Al) is a ubiquitous metal that can seriously harm the health of animals and humans. In our previous study, we demonstrated that Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM639 can decrease Al burden in the tissues of mice by inhibiting intestinal Al absorption. The main aim of the present research was to investigate whether the protection by the strain is also associated with enhancement of the intestinal barrier, alleviation of oxidative stress and modulation of the inflammatory response. In an in vitro cell model, two protection modes (intervention and therapy) were examined and the results indicated that L. plantarum CCFM639 alleviated Al-induced cytotoxicity. In a mouse model, L. plantarum CCFM639 treatment was found to significantly alleviate oxidative stress in the intestinal tract, regulate the function of the intestinal mucosal immune system, restore the integrity of tight junction proteins and maintain intestinal permeability. These results suggest that in addition to Al sequestration, L. plantarum CCFM639 can also inhibit Al absorption by protecting the intestinal barrier, alleviating Al-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory response. Therefore, L. plantarum CCFM639 has the potential to be a dietary supplement ingredient that provides protection against Al-induced gut injury.

  12. Potential of Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM639 in Protecting against Aluminum Toxicity Mediated by Intestinal Barrier Function and Oxidative Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leilei Yu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Aluminum (Al is a ubiquitous metal that can seriously harm the health of animals and humans. In our previous study, we demonstrated that Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM639 can decrease Al burden in the tissues of mice by inhibiting intestinal Al absorption. The main aim of the present research was to investigate whether the protection by the strain is also associated with enhancement of the intestinal barrier, alleviation of oxidative stress and modulation of the inflammatory response. In an in vitro cell model, two protection modes (intervention and therapy were examined and the results indicated that L. plantarum CCFM639 alleviated Al-induced cytotoxicity. In a mouse model, L. plantarum CCFM639 treatment was found to significantly alleviate oxidative stress in the intestinal tract, regulate the function of the intestinal mucosal immune system, restore the integrity of tight junction proteins and maintain intestinal permeability. These results suggest that in addition to Al sequestration, L. plantarum CCFM639 can also inhibit Al absorption by protecting the intestinal barrier, alleviating Al-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory response. Therefore, L. plantarum CCFM639 has the potential to be a dietary supplement ingredient that provides protection against Al-induced gut injury.

  13. Dissection of the functional domains of an archaeal holliday junction helicase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hong, Ye; Chu, Mingzhu; Li, Yansheng

    2012-01-01

    Helicases and nucleases form complexes that play very important roles in DNA repair pathways some of which interact with each other at Holliday junctions. In this study, we present in vitro and in vivo analysis of Hjm and its interaction with Hjc in Sulfolobus. In vitro studies employed Hjm from...... conformation change of the enzyme. Furthermore, StoHjm is able to prevent the formation of Hjc/HJ high complex, suggesting a regulation mechanism of Hjm to the activity of Hjc. We show that Hjm is essential for cell viability using recently developed genetic system and mutant propagation assay, suggesting...

  14. Accident Analysis and Barrier Function (AEB) Method. Manual for Incident Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Svenson, Ola [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Psychology

    2000-02-01

    The Accident Analysis and Barrier Function (AEB) Method models an accident or incident as a series of interactions between human and technical systems. In the sequence of human and technical errors leading to an accident there is, in principle, a possibility to arrest the development between each two successive errors. This can be done by a barrier function which, for example, can stop an operator from making an error. A barrier function can be performed by one or several barrier function systems. To illustrate, a mechanical system, a computer system or another operator can all perform a given barrier function to stop an operator from making an error. The barrier function analysis consists of analysis of suggested improvements, the effectiveness of the improvements, the costs of implementation, probability of implementation, the cost of maintaining the barrier function, the probability that maintenance will be kept up to standards and the generalizability of the suggested improvement. The AEB method is similar to the US method called HPES, but differs from that method in different ways. To exemplify, the AEB method has more emphasis on technical errors than HPES. In contrast to HPES that describes a series of events, the AEB method models only errors. This gives a more focused analysis making it well suited for checking other HPES-type accident analyses. However, the AEB method is a generic and stand-alone method that has been applied in other fields than nuclear power, such as, in traffic accident analyses.

  15. Accident Analysis and Barrier Function (AEB) Method. Manual for Incident Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svenson, Ola

    2000-02-01

    The Accident Analysis and Barrier Function (AEB) Method models an accident or incident as a series of interactions between human and technical systems. In the sequence of human and technical errors leading to an accident there is, in principle, a possibility to arrest the development between each two successive errors. This can be done by a barrier function which, for example, can stop an operator from making an error. A barrier function can be performed by one or several barrier function systems. To illustrate, a mechanical system, a computer system or another operator can all perform a given barrier function to stop an operator from making an error. The barrier function analysis consists of analysis of suggested improvements, the effectiveness of the improvements, the costs of implementation, probability of implementation, the cost of maintaining the barrier function, the probability that maintenance will be kept up to standards and the generalizability of the suggested improvement. The AEB method is similar to the US method called HPES, but differs from that method in different ways. To exemplify, the AEB method has more emphasis on technical errors than HPES. In contrast to HPES that describes a series of events, the AEB method models only errors. This gives a more focused analysis making it well suited for checking other HPES-type accident analyses. However, the AEB method is a generic and stand-alone method that has been applied in other fields than nuclear power, such as, in traffic accident analyses

  16. The impact of ultraviolet therapy on stratum corneum ceramides and barrier function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jungersted, Jakob Mutanu; Høgh, Julie Kaae; Hellgren, Lars

    2011-01-01

    therapy in dermatological patients on ceramides and skin barrier function.We found that UV light treatment does not change the ratio of important stratum corneum lipids, but we confirm earlier findings of decreased susceptibility to irritants after UV- therapy.......The ceramide profile as well as the barrier function is known to be deteriorated in atopic eczema and psoriasis, and ultraviolet (UV) light is known to improve the barrier function. The impact of UV light on ceramides, however, is not clarified.The aim of this study was to examine the effect of UV...

  17. The impact of ultraviolet therapy on stratum corneum ceramides and barrier function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jungersted, Jakob Mutanu; Høgh, Julie Kaae; Hellgren, Lars

    2011-01-01

    therapy in dermatological patients on ceramides and skin barrier function. We found that UV light treatment does not change the ratio of important stratum corneum lipids, but we confirm earlier findings of decreased susceptibility to irritants after UV- therapy.......The ceramide profile as well as the barrier function is known to be deteriorated in atopic eczema and psoriasis, and ultraviolet (UV) light is known to improve the barrier function. The impact of UV light on ceramides, however, is not clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of UV...

  18. 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.

  19. Thin film YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7} junctions with La{sub 2/3}Ca{sub 1/3}MnO{sub 3} barrier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hepting, Matthias; Stoehr, Andreas; Werner, Robert; Kleiner, Reinhold; Koelle, Dieter [Physikalisches Institut - Experimentalphysik II and Center for Collective Quantum Phenomena in LISAplus, Universitaet Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany)

    2012-07-01

    We report on the fabrication and electric transport properties of thin film YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7} (YBCO) junctions with La{sub 2/3}Ca{sub 1/3}MnO{sub 3} (LCMO) barrier. Heteroepitaxial YBCO/LCMO/YBCO multilayers were grown in-situ by pulsed laser deposition and subsequently patterned by photolithography and Ar ion milling to form rectangular junctions with typical area 5 {mu}m x 30 {mu}m. A self-alignment process was used for electrical contact via an Au wiring layer to the upper YBCO electrode, similarly as described. Samples were characterized at temperature T=4.2 K either in magnetically shielded environment or in in-plane magnetic fields B up to the Tesla range. We present and discuss current-voltage-characteristics and measurements of critical current vs B.

  20. Mast Cell Tryptase Reduces Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A) Expression in Intestinal Epithelial Cells: Implications for the Mechanisms of Barrier Dysfunction in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Wilcz-Villega, Ewa M

    2013-07-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate how mast cell tryptase may influence intestinal permeability and tight junction (TJ) proteins in vitro and explore translation to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  1. Tests of potential functional barriers for laminated multilayer food packages. Part I: Low molecular weight permeants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simal-Gándara, J; Sarria-Vidal, M; Koorevaar, A; Rijk, R

    2000-08-01

    The advent of the functional barrier concept in food packaging has brought with it a requirement for fast tests of permeation through potential barrier materials. In such tests it would be convenient for both foodstuffs and materials below the functional barrier (sub-barrier materials) to be represented by standard simulants. By means of inverse gas chromatography, liquid paraffin spiked with appropriate permeants was considered as a potential simulant of sub-barrier materials based on polypropylene (PP) or similar polyolefins. Experiments were performed to characterize the kinetics of the permeation of low molecular weight model permeants (octene, toluene and isopropanol) from liquid paraffin, through a surrogate potential functional barrier (25 microns-thick oriented PP) into the food stimulants olive oil and 3% (w/v) acetic acid. These permeation results were interpreted in terms of three permeation kinetic models regarding the solubility of a particular model permeant in the post-barrier medium (i.e. the food simulant). The results obtained justify the development and evaluation of liquid sub-barrier simulants that would allow flexible yet rigorous testing of new laminated multilayer packaging materials.

  2. Barrier mechanisms in the Drosophila blood-brain barrier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Jane Hindle

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The invertebrate blood-brain barrier field is growing at a rapid pace and, in recent years, studies have shown a physiologic and molecular complexity that has begun to rival its vertebrate counterpart. Novel mechanisms of paracellular barrier maintenance through GPCR signaling were the first demonstrations of the complex adaptive mechanisms of barrier physiology. Building upon this work, the integrity of the invertebrate blood-brain barrier has recently been shown to require coordinated function of all layers of the compound barrier structure, analogous to signaling between the layers of the vertebrate neurovascular unit. These findings strengthen the notion that many blood-brain barrier mechanisms are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, and suggest that novel findings in invertebrate model organisms will have a significant impact on the understanding of vertebrate BBB functions. In this vein, important roles in coordinating localized and systemic signaling to dictate organism development and growth are beginning to show how the blood-brain barrier can govern whole animal physiologies. This includes novel functions of blood-brain barrier gap junctions in orchestrating synchronized neuroblast proliferation, and of blood-brain barrier secreted antagonists of insulin receptor signaling. These advancements and others are pushing the field forward in exciting new directions. In this review, we provide a synopsis of invertebrate blood-brain barrier anatomy and physiology, with a focus on insights from the past 5 years, and highlight important areas for future study.

  3. Small intestine epithelial barrier function is compromised in pigs with low feed intake at weaning.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spreeuwenberg, M.A.; Verdonk, J.M.; Gaskins, H.R.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    2001-01-01

    Compromising alterations in gastrointestinal architecture are common during the weaning transition of pigs. The relation between villous atrophy and epithelial barrier function at weaning is not well understood. This study evaluated in vitro transepithelial transport by Ussing metabolic chambers,

  4. Connexin 26-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication suppresses paracellular permeability of human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morita, Hidekazu; Katsuno, Tatsuro; Hoshimoto, Aihiro; Hirano, Noriaki; Saito, Yasushi; Suzuki, Yasuo

    2004-01-01

    In some cell types, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with tight junctions. The present study was performed to determine the roles of GJIC in regulation of the barrier function of tight junctions. Caco-2 human colonic cells were used as a monolayer model, and barrier function was monitored by measuring mannitol permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The monolayers were chemically disrupted by treatment with oleic acid and taurocholic acid. Western blotting analyses were performed to evaluate the protein levels of connexins, which are components of gap junctional intercellular channels. Cx26 expression was detected in preconfluent Caco-2 cells, and its level increased gradually after the monolayer reached confluency. These results prompted us to examine whether overexpression of Cx26 affects barrier function. Monolayers of Caco-2 cells stably expressing Cx26 showed significantly lower mannitol permeability and higher TER than mock transfectants when the monolayers were chemically disrupted. The levels of claudin-4, an important component of tight junctions, were significantly increased in the stable Cx26 transfectant. These results suggest that Cx26-mediated GJIC may play a crucial role in enhancing the barrier function of Caco-2 cell monolayers

  5. Inhibition of Murine Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cell Apoptosis Promotes Recovery of Barrier Function under Septic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lefeng Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Sepsis is characterized by injury of the pulmonary microvasculature and the pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVEC, leading to barrier dysfunction and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS. Our recent work identified a strong correlation between PMVEC apoptosis and microvascular leak in septic mice in vivo, but the specific role of apoptosis in septic PMVEC barrier dysfunction remains unclear. Thus, we hypothesize that PMVEC apoptosis is likely required for PMVEC barrier dysfunction under septic conditions in vitro. Septic stimulation (mixture of tumour necrosis factor α, interleukin 1β, and interferon γ [cytomix] of isolated murine PMVEC resulted in a significant loss of barrier function as early as 4 h after stimulation, which persisted until 24 h. PMVEC apoptosis, as reflected by caspase activation, DNA fragmentation, and loss of membrane polarity, was first apparent at 8 h after cytomix. Pretreatment of PMVEC with the pan-caspase inhibitor Q-VD significantly decreased septic PMVEC apoptosis and was associated with reestablishment of PMVEC barrier function at 16 and 24 h after stimulation but had no effect on septic PMVEC barrier dysfunction over the first 8 h. Collectively, our data suggest that early septic murine PMVEC barrier dysfunction driven by proinflammatory cytokines is not mediated through apoptosis, but PMVEC apoptosis contributes to late septic PMVEC barrier dysfunction.

  6. Xenobiotic Receptor-Mediated Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function and Innate Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harmit S. Ranhotra

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The molecular basis for the regulation of the intestinal barrier is a very fertile research area. A growing body of knowledge supports the targeting of various components of intestinal barrier function as means to treat a variety of diseases, including the inflammatory bowel diseases. Herein, we will summarize the current state of knowledge of key xenobiotic receptor regulators of barrier function, highlighting recent advances, such that the field and its future are succinctly reviewed. We posit that these receptors confer an additional dimension of host-microbe interaction in the gut, by sensing and responding to metabolites released from the symbiotic microbiota, in innate immunity and also in host drug metabolism. The scientific evidence for involvement of the receptors and its molecular basis for the control of barrier function and innate immunity regulation would serve as a rationale towards development of non-toxic probes and ligands as drugs.

  7. An EMMPRIN–γ-catenin–Nm23 complex drives ATP production and actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Vanessa; Gonzalo, Pilar; Gómez-Escudero, Jesús; Pollán, Ángela; Acín-Pérez, Rebeca; Breckenridge, Mark; Yáñez-Mó, María; Barreiro, Olga; Orsenigo, Fabrizio; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Chen, Christopher S.; Enríquez, José A.; Dejana, Elisabetta; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Arroyo, Alicia G.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cell–cell adhesions are important sites through which cells experience and resist forces. In endothelial cells, these forces regulate junction dynamics and determine endothelial barrier strength. We identify the Ig superfamily member EMMPRIN (also known as basigin) as a coordinator of forces at endothelial junctions. EMMPRIN localization at junctions correlates with endothelial junction strength in different mouse vascular beds. Accordingly, EMMPRIN-deficient mice show altered junctions and increased junction permeability. Lack of EMMPRIN alters the localization and function of VE-cadherin (also known as cadherin-5) by decreasing both actomyosin contractility and tugging forces at endothelial cell junctions. EMMPRIN ensures proper actomyosin-driven maturation of competent endothelial junctions by forming a molecular complex with γ-catenin (also known as junction plakoglobin) and Nm23 (also known as NME1), a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, thereby locally providing ATP to fuel the actomyosin machinery. These results provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions and might have broader implications in biological contexts such as angiogenesis, collective migration and tissue morphogenesis by coupling compartmentalized energy production to junction assembly. PMID:24994937

  8. An EMMPRIN-γ-catenin-Nm23 complex drives ATP production and actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Vanessa; Gonzalo, Pilar; Gómez-Escudero, Jesús; Pollán, Ángela; Acín-Pérez, Rebeca; Breckenridge, Mark; Yáñez-Mó, María; Barreiro, Olga; Orsenigo, Fabrizio; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Chen, Christopher S; Enríquez, José A; Dejana, Elisabetta; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Arroyo, Alicia G

    2014-09-01

    Cell-cell adhesions are important sites through which cells experience and resist forces. In endothelial cells, these forces regulate junction dynamics and determine endothelial barrier strength. We identify the Ig superfamily member EMMPRIN (also known as basigin) as a coordinator of forces at endothelial junctions. EMMPRIN localization at junctions correlates with endothelial junction strength in different mouse vascular beds. Accordingly, EMMPRIN-deficient mice show altered junctions and increased junction permeability. Lack of EMMPRIN alters the localization and function of VE-cadherin (also known as cadherin-5) by decreasing both actomyosin contractility and tugging forces at endothelial cell junctions. EMMPRIN ensures proper actomyosin-driven maturation of competent endothelial junctions by forming a molecular complex with γ-catenin (also known as junction plakoglobin) and Nm23 (also known as NME1), a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, thereby locally providing ATP to fuel the actomyosin machinery. These results provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions and might have broader implications in biological contexts such as angiogenesis, collective migration and tissue morphogenesis by coupling compartmentalized energy production to junction assembly. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Adenosine Receptors in Developing and Adult Mouse Neuromuscular Junctions and Functional Links With Other Metabotropic Receptor Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Nadal, Laura; Hurtado, Erica; Simó-Ollé, Anna; Cilleros-Mañé, Víctor; Just-Borràs, Laia

    2018-01-01

    In the last few years, we have studied the presence and involvement in synaptogenesis and mature transmitter release of the adenosine autoreceptors (AR) in the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here, we review and bring together the previously published data to emphasize the relevance of these receptors for developmental axonal competition, synaptic loss and mature NMJ functional modulation. However, in addition to AR, activity-dependent mediators originating from any of the three cells that make the synapse (nerve, muscle, and glial cells) cross the extracellular cleft to generate signals in target metabotropic receptors. Thus, the integrated interpretation of the complementary function of all these receptors is needed. We previously studied, in the NMJ, the links of AR with mAChR and the neurotrophin receptor TrkB in the control of synapse elimination and transmitter release. We conclude that AR cooperate with these receptors through synergistic and antagonistic effects in the developmental synapse elimination process. In the adult NMJ, this cooperation is manifested so as that the functional integrity of a given receptor group depends on the other receptors operating normally (i.e., the functional integrity of mAChR depends on AR operating normally). These observations underlie the relevance of AR in the NMJ function.

  10. Adenosine Receptors in Developing and Adult Mouse Neuromuscular Junctions and Functional Links With Other Metabotropic Receptor Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Tomàs

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years, we have studied the presence and involvement in synaptogenesis and mature transmitter release of the adenosine autoreceptors (AR in the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ. Here, we review and bring together the previously published data to emphasize the relevance of these receptors for developmental axonal competition, synaptic loss and mature NMJ functional modulation. However, in addition to AR, activity-dependent mediators originating from any of the three cells that make the synapse (nerve, muscle, and glial cells cross the extracellular cleft to generate signals in target metabotropic receptors. Thus, the integrated interpretation of the complementary function of all these receptors is needed. We previously studied, in the NMJ, the links of AR with mAChR and the neurotrophin receptor TrkB in the control of synapse elimination and transmitter release. We conclude that AR cooperate with these receptors through synergistic and antagonistic effects in the developmental synapse elimination process. In the adult NMJ, this cooperation is manifested so as that the functional integrity of a given receptor group depends on the other receptors operating normally (i.e., the functional integrity of mAChR depends on AR operating normally. These observations underlie the relevance of AR in the NMJ function.

  11. Executive Functioning, Barriers to Adherence, and Nonadherence in Adolescent and Young Adult Transplant Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Colina, Ana M; Eaton, Cyd K; Lee, Jennifer L; Reed-Knight, Bonney; Loiselle, Kristin; Mee, Laura L; LaMotte, Julia; Liverman, Rochelle; Blount, Ronald L

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE : To evaluate levels of executive functioning in a sample of adolescent and young adult (AYA) transplant recipients, and to examine executive functioning in association with barriers to adherence and medication nonadherence.  METHOD : In all, 41 caregivers and 39 AYAs were administered self- and proxy-report measures.  RESULTS : AYA transplant recipients have significant impairments in executive functioning abilities. Greater dysfunction in specific domains of executive functioning was significantly associated with more barriers to adherence and greater medication nonadherence.  CONCLUSION : AYA transplant recipients are at increased risk for executive dysfunction. The assessment of executive functioning abilities may guide intervention efforts designed to decrease barriers to adherence and promote developmentally appropriate levels of treatment responsibility. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Effect of wild-type Shigella species and attenuated Shigella vaccine candidates on small intestinal barrier function, antigen trafficking, and cytokine release.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fiorentino

    Full Text Available Bacterial dysentery due to Shigella species is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The pathogenesis of Shigella is based on the bacteria's ability to invade and replicate within the colonic epithelium, resulting in severe intestinal inflammatory response and epithelial destruction. Although the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Shigella in the colon have been extensively studied, little is known on the effect of wild-type Shigella on the small intestine and the role of the host response in the development of the disease. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge no studies have described the effects of apically administered Shigella flexneri 2a and S. dysenteriae 1 vaccine strains on human small intestinal enterocytes. The aim of this study was to assess the coordinated functional and immunological human epithelial responses evoked by strains of Shigella and candidate vaccines on small intestinal enterocytes. To model the interactions of Shigella with the intestinal mucosa, we apically exposed monolayers of human intestinal Caco2 cells to increasing bacterial inocula. We monitored changes in paracellular permeability, examined the organization of tight-junctions and the pro-inflammatory response of epithelial cells. Shigella infection of Caco2 monolayers caused severe mucosal damage, apparent as a drastic increase in paracellular permeability and disruption of tight junctions at the cell-cell boundary. Secretion of pro-inflammatory IL-8 was independent of epithelial barrier dysfunction. Shigella vaccine strains elicited a pro-inflammatory response without affecting the intestinal barrier integrity. Our data show that wild-type Shigella infection causes a severe alteration of the barrier function of a small intestinal cell monolayer (a proxy for mucosa and might contribute (along with enterotoxins to the induction of watery diarrhea. Diarrhea may be a mechanism by which the host attempts to eliminate harmful bacteria and transport them

  13. Structural and functional insights into the malaria parasite moving junction complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Vulliez-Le Normand

    Full Text Available Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which include the malaria parasite Plasmodium, share many features in their invasion mechanism in spite of their diverse host cell specificities and life cycle characteristics. The formation of a moving junction (MJ between the membranes of the invading apicomplexan parasite and the host cell is common to these intracellular pathogens. The MJ contains two key parasite components: the surface protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1 and its receptor, the Rhoptry Neck Protein (RON complex, which is targeted to the host cell membrane during invasion. In particular, RON2, a transmembrane component of the RON complex, interacts directly with AMA1. Here, we report the crystal structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with a peptide derived from the extracellular region of PfRON2, highlighting clear specificities of the P. falciparum RON2-AMA1 interaction. The receptor-binding site of PfAMA1 comprises the hydrophobic groove and a region that becomes exposed by displacement of the flexible Domain II loop. Mutations of key contact residues of PfRON2 and PfAMA1 abrogate binding between the recombinant proteins. Although PfRON2 contacts some polymorphic residues, binding studies with PfAMA1 from different strains show that these have little effect on affinity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the PfRON2 peptide inhibits erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and that this strong inhibitory potency is not affected by AMA1 polymorphisms. In parallel, we have determined the crystal structure of PfAMA1 in complex with the invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 derived by phage display, revealing an unexpected structural mimicry of the PfRON2 peptide. These results identify the key residues governing the interactions between AMA1 and RON2 in P. falciparum and suggest novel approaches to antimalarial therapeutics.

  14. Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii (Seed of Burdock) Reinforces Intestinal Barrier Function in Caco-2 Cell Monolayers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Hee Soon; Jung, Sun Young; Back, Su Yeon; Do, Jeong-Ryong; Shon, Dong-Hwa

    2015-01-01

    Fructus Arctii is used as a traditional herbal medicine to treat inflammatory diseases in oriental countries. This study aimed to investigate effect of F. Arctii extract on intestinal barrier function in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells and to reveal the active component of F. Arctii. We measured transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) value (as an index of barrier function) and ovalbumin (OVA) permeation (as an index of permeability) to observe the changes of intestinal barrier function. The treatment of F. Arctii increased TEER value and decreased OVA influx on Caco-2 cell monolayers. Furthermore, we found that arctigenin as an active component of F. Arctii increased TEER value and reduced permeability of OVA from apical to the basolateral side but not arctiin. In the present study, we revealed that F. Arctii could enhance intestinal barrier function, and its active component was an arctigenin on the functionality. We expect that the arctigenin from F. Arctii could contribute to prevention of inflammatory, allergic, and infectious diseases by reinforcing intestinal barrier function. PMID:26550018

  15. Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii (Seed of Burdock Reinforces Intestinal Barrier Function in Caco-2 Cell Monolayers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hee Soon Shin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Fructus Arctii is used as a traditional herbal medicine to treat inflammatory diseases in oriental countries. This study aimed to investigate effect of F. Arctii extract on intestinal barrier function in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells and to reveal the active component of F. Arctii. We measured transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER value (as an index of barrier function and ovalbumin (OVA permeation (as an index of permeability to observe the changes of intestinal barrier function. The treatment of F. Arctii increased TEER value and decreased OVA influx on Caco-2 cell monolayers. Furthermore, we found that arctigenin as an active component of F. Arctii increased TEER value and reduced permeability of OVA from apical to the basolateral side but not arctiin. In the present study, we revealed that F. Arctii could enhance intestinal barrier function, and its active component was an arctigenin on the functionality. We expect that the arctigenin from F. Arctii could contribute to prevention of inflammatory, allergic, and infectious diseases by reinforcing intestinal barrier function.

  16. Quasiparticle Green's function theory of the Josephson effect in chiral p-wave superconductor/diffusive normal metal/chiral p-wave superconductor junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sawa, Y.; Yokoyama, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Golubov, Alexandre Avraamovitch

    2007-01-01

    We study the Josephson effect in chiral p-wave superconductor/diffusive normal metal (DN)/chiral p-wave superconductor (CP/DN/CP) junctions using quasiclassical Green's function formalism with proper boundary conditions. The px+ipy-wave symmetry of superconducting order parameter is chosen which is

  17. The important role of stratum corneum lipids for the cutaneous barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Smeden, J; Janssens, M; Gooris, G S; Bouwstra, J A

    2014-03-01

    The skin protects the body from unwanted influences from the environment as well as excessive water loss. The barrier function of the skin is located in the stratum corneum (SC). The SC consists of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix. This lipid matrix is crucial for the lipid skin barrier function. This paper provides an overview of the reported SC lipid composition and organization mainly focusing on healthy and diseased human skin. In addition, an overview is provided on the data describing the relation between lipid modulations and the impaired skin barrier function. Finally, the use of in vitro lipid models for a better understanding of the relation between the lipid composition, lipid organization and skin lipid barrier is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. Guest Editors: Kenneth R. Feingold and Peter Elias. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Effect of ruminal acidosis and short-term low feed intake on indicators of gastrointestinal barrier function in Holstein steers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pederzolli, Rae-Leigh A; Van Kessel, Andrew G; Campbell, John; Hendrick, Steve; Wood, Katie M; Penner, Gregory B

    2018-02-15

    The objective of this study was to determine effect of ruminal acidosis (RA) and low feed intake [LFI] on the regional barrier function of the gastrointestinal tract. Twenty-one Holstein steers were fed for ad libitum intake for 5 d (control [CON]), fed at 25% of ad libitum intake for 5 d (LFI), or provided 2 d of ad libitum intake followed by 1-d of feed restriction (25% of ad libitum intake), 1 d where 30% of ad libitum dry matter intake (DMI) was provided as pelleted barley followed by the full allocation (RA) and fed for ad libitum intake the following day. Tissues and digesta from the rumen, omasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, proximal, and distal colon were collected. Permeability was assessed using the mucosal-to-serosal flux of inulin (JMS-inulin) and mannitol (JMS-mannitol). Digesta pH was 0.81, 0.63, and 0.42 pH units less for RA than CON in the rumen, cecum, and proximal colon; while, LFI had pH that was 0.47 and 0.36 pH units greater in the rumen and proximal colon compared to CON. Total ruminal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration were less for LFI (92 mM; P = 0.010) and RA (87 mM; P = 0.007) than CON (172 mM) steers. In the proximal colon, the proportion of butyrate (P = 0.025 and P = 0.022) and isobutyrate (P = 0.019 and P = 0.019) were greater, and acetate (P = 0.028 and P = 0.028) was less for LFI and RA, respectively, when compared to CON steers. Ruminal papillae length, width, perimeter, and surface area were 1.21 mm, 0.78 mm, 3.84 mm, and 11.15 mm2 less for LFI than CON; while, RA decreased papillae width by 0.52 mm relative to CON. The JMS-mannitol was less for LFI steers than CON in the proximal colon (P = 0.041) and in the distal colon (P = 0.015). Increased gene expression for claudin 1, occludin, tight-cell junction protein 1 and 2, and toll-like receptor 4 were detected for LFI relative to CON in the rumen, jejunum, and proximal colon. For RA steers, expression of toll-like receptor 4 in the rumen, and occludin and tight

  19. SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 and focal adhesion kinase protein interactions regulate pulmonary endothelium barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chichger, Havovi; Braza, Julie; Duong, Huetran; Harrington, Elizabeth O

    2015-06-01

    Enhanced protein tyrosine phosphorylation is associated with changes in vascular permeability through formation and dissolution of adherens junctions and regulation of stress fiber formation. Inhibition of the protein tyrosine phosphorylase SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2) increases tyrosine phosphorylation of vascular endothelial cadherin and β-catenin, resulting in disruption of the endothelial monolayer and edema formation in the pulmonary endothelium. Vascular permeability is a hallmark of acute lung injury (ALI); thus, enhanced SHP2 activity offers potential therapeutic value for the pulmonary vasculature in diseases such as ALI, but this has not been characterized. To assess whether SHP2 activity mediates protection against edema in the endothelium, we assessed the effect of molecular activation of SHP2 on lung endothelial barrier function in response to the edemagenic agents LPS and thrombin. Both LPS and thrombin reduced SHP2 activity, correlated with decreased focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation (Y(397) and Y(925)) and diminished SHP2 protein-protein associations with FAK. Overexpression of constitutively active SHP2 (SHP2(D61A)) enhanced baseline endothelial monolayer resistance and completely blocked LPS- and thrombin-induced permeability in vitro and significantly blunted pulmonary edema formation induced by either endotoxin (LPS) or Pseudomonas aeruginosa exposure in vivo. Chemical inhibition of FAK decreased SHP2 protein-protein interactions with FAK concomitant with increased permeability; however, overexpression of SHP2(D61A) rescued the endothelium and maintained FAK activity and FAK-SHP2 protein interactions. Our data suggest that SHP2 activation offers the pulmonary endothelium protection against barrier permeability mediators downstream of the FAK signaling pathway. We postulate that further studies into the promotion of SHP2 activation in the pulmonary endothelium may offer a therapeutic approach for patients

  20. Effect of ionising radiation exposure on structure and permeability of epithelial junctions in rat ileum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebrum, F.; Dublineau, I.; Grison, S.; Strup, C.; Griffiths, N.M.

    2002-01-01

    Exposure of the digestive tract to ionising radiation results in both morphological and functional alterations of the small intestine. However little is known about the effect of irradiation on the junctions playing a major role in the maintenance of epithelial barrier integrity. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate, in rat ileum, the effect of radiation exposure on the permeability of the epithelial barrier in parallel with the localization of certain inter- and intra-cellular proteins of tight and adherent junctions

  1. Fabrication of magnetic tunnel junctions with epitaxial and textured ferromagnetic layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Y. Austin; Yang, Jianhua Joshua

    2008-11-11

    This invention relates to magnetic tunnel junctions and methods for making the magnetic tunnel junctions. The magnetic tunnel junctions include a tunnel barrier oxide layer sandwiched between two ferromagnetic layers both of which are epitaxial or textured with respect to the underlying substrate upon which the magnetic tunnel junctions are grown. The magnetic tunnel junctions provide improved magnetic properties, sharper interfaces and few defects.

  2. dc properties of series-parallel arrays of Josephson junctions in an external magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewandowski, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    A detailed dc theory of superconducting multijunction interferometers has previously been developed by several authors for the case of parallel junction arrays. The theory is now extended to cover the case of a loop containing several junctions connected in series. The problem is closely associated with high-T c superconductors and their clusters of intrinsic Josephson junctions. These materials exhibit spontaneous interferometric effects, and there is no reason to assume that the intrinsic junctions form only parallel arrays. A simple formalism of phase states is developed in order to express the superconducting phase differences across the junctions forming a series array as functions of the phase difference across the weakest junction of the system, and to relate the differences in critical currents of the junctions to gaps in the allowed ranges of their phase functions. This formalism is used to investigate the energy states of the array, which in the case of different junctions are split and separated by energy barriers of height depending on the phase gaps. Modifications of the washboard model of a single junction are shown. Next a superconducting inductive loop containing a series array of two junctions is considered, and this model is used to demonstrate the transitions between phase states and the associated instabilities. Finally, the critical current of a parallel connection of two series arrays is analyzed and shown to be a multivalued function of the externally applied magnetic flux. The instabilities caused by the presence of intrinsic serial junctions in granular high-T c materials are pointed out as a potential source of additional noise

  3. Clinical characteristics and epidermal barrier function of papulopustular rosacea: A comparison study with acne vulgaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Maosong; Xie, Hongfu; Cheng, Lin; Li, Ji

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the clinical characteristics and epidermal barrier function of papulopustular rosacea by comparing with acne vulgaris. Four hundred and sixty-three papulopustular rosacea patients and four hundred and twelve acne vulgaris patients were selected for the study in Xiangya Hospital of Central South University from March 2015 to May 2016. They were analyzed for major facial lesions, self-conscious symptoms and epidermal barrier function. Erythema, burning, dryness and itching presented in papulopustular rosacea patients were significantly higher than that in acne vulgaris patients ( P acne vulgaris patients ( P acne vulgaris patients ( P acne vulgaris patients in comparison with that of healthy subjects ( P >0.05, P acne vulgaris patients and healthy subjects ( P acne vulgaris patients than that of healthy subjects ( P acne vulgaris. The epidermal barrier function was damaged in papulopustular rosacea patients while not impaired in that of acne vulgaris patients.

  4. A search for parameters of universal sub-barrier fusion excitation function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qu, W.W. [Medical College of Soochow University, School of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow (China); Zhang, G.L. [Beihang University, School of Physics and Nuclear Energy Engineering, Beijing (China); Wolski, R. [Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics PAS, Cracow (Poland)

    2016-11-15

    Many fusion experimental data have been analyzed in terms of a simple universal function which could be used for predictions of fusion cross section below the barrier for arbitrary systems. Sub-barrier fusions based on the concept of Q -fusion value dependence were studied. It is attempted to parameterize the energy-reduced fusion excitation functions around the Coulomb barriers by an analytical phenomenological function. It was found that the speed of driving nuclei towards fusion is faster with the increase of mass asymmetry of colliding systems and those systems with a large difference of the ratio of neutrons to protons. However, a general trend with respect to total mass has not been observed. An exposition of more qualitative conclusions is hindered by apparent inconsistencies of measured fusion cross sections. (orig.)

  5. Expression pattern of adhesion molecules in junctional epithelium differs from that in other gingival epithelia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatakeyama, S; Yaegashi, T; Oikawa, Y; Fujiwara, H; Mikami, T; Takeda, Y; Satoh, M

    2006-08-01

    The gingival epithelium is the physiologically important interface between the bacterially colonized gingival sulcus and periodontal soft and mineralized connective tissues, requiring protection from exposure to bacteria and their products. However, of the three epithelia comprising the gingival epithelium, the junctional epithelium has much wider intercellular spaces than the sulcular epithelium and oral gingival epithelium. Hence, the aim of the present study was to characterize the cell adhesion structure in the junctional epithelium compared with the other two epithelia. Gingival epithelia excised at therapeutic flap surgery from patients with periodontitis were examined for expression of adhesion molecules by immunofluorescence. In the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium, but not in the junctional epithelium, desmoglein 1 and 2 in cell-cell contact sites were more abundant in the upper than the suprabasal layers. E-cadherin, the main transmembranous molecule of adherens junctions, was present in spinous layers of the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium, but was scarce in the junctional epithelium. In contrast, desmoglein 3 and P-cadherin were present in all layers of the junctional epithelium as well as the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium. Connexin 43 was clearly localized to spinous layers of the oral gingival epithelium, sulcular epithelium and parts of the junctional epithelium. Claudin-1 and occludin were expressed in the cell membranes of a few superficial layers of the oral gingival epithelium. These findings indicated that the junctional epithelium contains only a few desmosomes, composed of only desmoglein 3; adherens junctions are probably absent because of defective E-cadherin. Thus, the anchoring junctions connecting junctional epithelium cells are lax, causing widened intercellular spaces. In contrast, the oral gingival epithelium, which has a few tight junctions, functions as a barrier.

  6. Transplantation of in vitro cultured endothelial progenitor cells repairs the blood-brain barrier and improves cognitive function of APP/PS1 transgenic AD mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shishuang; Zhi, Yongle; Li, Fei; Huang, Shan; Gao, Huabin; Han, Zhaoli; Ge, Xintong; Li, Dai; Chen, Fanglian; Kong, Xiaodong; Lei, Ping

    2018-04-15

    To date, the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unclear. It is well-known that excessive deposition of Aβ in the brain is a crucial part of the pathogenesis of AD. In recent years, the AD neurovascular unit hypothesis has attracted much attention. Impairment of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leads to abnormal amyloid-β (Aβ) transport, and chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes Aβ deposition throughout the onset and progression of AD. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are the universal cells for repairing blood vessels. Our previous studies have shown that a reduced number of EPCs in the peripheral blood results in cerebral vascular repair disorder, cerebral hypoperfusion and neurodegeneration, which might be related to the cognitive dysfunction of AD patients. This study was designed to confirm whether EPCs transplantation could repair the blood-brain barrier, stimulate angiogenesis and reduce Aβ deposition in AD. The expression of ZO-1, Occludin and Claudin-5 was up-regulated in APP/PS1 transgenic mice after hippocampal transplantation of EPCs. Consistent with previous studies, EPC transplants also increased the microvessel density. We observed that Aβ senile plaque deposition was decreased and hippocampal cell apoptosis was reduced after EPCs transplantation. The Morris water maze test showed that spatial learning and memory functions were significantly improved in mice transplanted with EPCs. Consequently, EPCs could up-regulate the expression of tight junction proteins, repair BBB tight junction function, stimulate angiogenesis, promote Aβ clearance, and decrease neuronal loss, ultimately improve cognitive function. Taken together, these data demonstrate EPCs may play an important role in the therapeutic implications for vascular dysfunction in AD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Damage and recovery of skin barrier function after glycolic acid chemical peeling and crystal microdermabrasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Ji Youn; Kang, Hyun A; Kim, Mi-Yeon; Park, Young Min; Kim, Hyung Ok

    2004-03-01

    Superficial chemical peeling and microdermabrasion have become increasingly popular methods for producing facial rejuvenation. However, there are few studies reporting the skin barrier function changes after these procedures. To evaluate objectively the degree of damage visually and the time needed for the skin barrier function to recover after glycolic acid peeling and aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion using noninvasive bioengineering methods. Superficial chemical peeling using 30%, 50%, and 70% glycolic acid and aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion were used on the volar forearm of 13 healthy women. The skin response was measured by a visual observation and using an evaporimeter, corneometer, and colorimeter before and after peeling at set time intervals. Both glycolic acid peeling and aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion induced significant damage to the skin barrier function immediately after the procedure, and the degree of damage was less severe after the aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion compared with glycolic acid peeling. The damaged skin barrier function had recovered within 24 hours after both procedures. The degree of erythema induction was less severe after the aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion compared with the glycolic acid peeling procedure. The degree of erythema induced after the glycolic acid peeling procedure was not proportional to the peeling solution concentration used. The erythema subsided within 1 day after the aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion procedure and within 4 days after the glycolic acid peeling procedure. These results suggest that the skin barrier function is damaged after the glycolic acid peeling and aluminum oxide crystal microdermabrasion procedure but recovers within 1 to 4 days. Therefore, repeating the superficial peeling procedure at 2-week intervals will allow sufficient time for the damaged skin to recover its barrier function.

  8. In silico simulations of tunneling barrier measurements for molecular orbital-mediated junctions: A molecular orbital theory approach to scanning tunneling microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terryn, Raymond J.; Sriraman, Krishnan; Olson, Joel A., E-mail: jolson@fit.edu; Baum, J. Clayton, E-mail: cbaum@fit.edu [Department of Chemistry, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida 32901 (United States); Novak, Mark J. [Department of Chemistry and Applied Biological Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 501 E. Saint Joseph Street, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701 (United States)

    2016-09-15

    A new simulator for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is presented based on the linear combination of atomic orbitals molecular orbital (LCAO-MO) approximation for the effective tunneling Hamiltonian, which leads to the convolution integral when applied to the tip interaction with the sample. This approach intrinsically includes the structure of the STM tip. Through this mechanical emulation and the tip-inclusive convolution model, dI/dz images for molecular orbitals (which are closely associated with apparent barrier height, ϕ{sub ap}) are reported for the first time. For molecular adsorbates whose experimental topographic images correspond well to isolated-molecule quantum chemistry calculations, the simulator makes accurate predictions, as illustrated by various cases. Distortions in these images due to the tip are shown to be in accord with those observed experimentally and predicted by other ab initio considerations of tip structure. Simulations of the tunneling current dI/dz images are in strong agreement with experiment. The theoretical framework provides a solid foundation which may be applied to LCAO cluster models of adsorbate–substrate systems, and is extendable to emulate several aspects of functional STM operation.

  9. In silico simulations of tunneling barrier measurements for molecular orbital-mediated junctions: A molecular orbital theory approach to scanning tunneling microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terryn, Raymond J.; Sriraman, Krishnan; Olson, Joel A.; Baum, J. Clayton; Novak, Mark J.

    2016-01-01

    A new simulator for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is presented based on the linear combination of atomic orbitals molecular orbital (LCAO-MO) approximation for the effective tunneling Hamiltonian, which leads to the convolution integral when applied to the tip interaction with the sample. This approach intrinsically includes the structure of the STM tip. Through this mechanical emulation and the tip-inclusive convolution model, dI/dz images for molecular orbitals (which are closely associated with apparent barrier height, ϕ_a_p) are reported for the first time. For molecular adsorbates whose experimental topographic images correspond well to isolated-molecule quantum chemistry calculations, the simulator makes accurate predictions, as illustrated by various cases. Distortions in these images due to the tip are shown to be in accord with those observed experimentally and predicted by other ab initio considerations of tip structure. Simulations of the tunneling current dI/dz images are in strong agreement with experiment. The theoretical framework provides a solid foundation which may be applied to LCAO cluster models of adsorbate–substrate systems, and is extendable to emulate several aspects of functional STM operation.

  10. Density functional theory study on Herzberg-Teller contribution in Raman scattering from 4-aminothiophenol-metal complex and metal-4-aminothiophenol-metal junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shasha; Zhao, Xiuming; Li, Yuanzuo; Zhao, Xiaohong; Chen, Maodu

    2009-06-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT calculations have been performed to investigate the Raman scattering spectra of metal-molecule complex and metal-molecule-metal junction architectures interconnected with 4-aminothiophenol (PATP) molecule. The simulated profiles of normal Raman scattering (NRS) spectra for the two complexes (Ag2-PATP and PATP-Au2) and the two junctions (Ag2-PATP-Au2 and Au2-PATP-Ag2) are similar to each other, but exhibit obviously different Raman intensities. Due to the lager static polarizabilities of the two junctions, which directly influence the ground state chemical enhancement in NRS spectra, the calculated normal Raman intensities of them are stronger than those of two complexes by the factor of 102. We calculate preresonance Raman scattering (RRS) spectra with incident light at 1064 nm, which is much lower than the S1 electronic transition energy of complexes and junctions. Ag2-PATP-Au2 and Au2-PATP-Ag2 junctions yield higher Raman intensities than those of Ag2-PATP and PATP-Au2 complexes, especially for b2 modes. This effect is mainly attributed to charge transfer (CT) between the metal gap and the PAPT molecule which results in the occurrence of CT resonance enhancement. The calculated pre-RRS spectra strongly depend on the electronic transition state produced by new structures. With excitation at 514.5 nm, the calculated pre-RRS spectra of two complexes and two junctions are stronger than those of with excitation at 1064 nm. A charge difference densities methodology has been used to visually describe chemical enhancement mechanism of RRS spectrum. This methodology aims at visualizing intermolecular CT which provides direct evidence of the Herzberg-Teller mechanism.

  11. Analysis of trafficking, stability and function of human connexin 26 gap junction channels with deafness-causing mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Ambrosi

    Full Text Available Human Connexin26 gene mutations cause hearing loss. These hereditary mutations are the leading cause of childhood deafness worldwide. Mutations in gap junction proteins (connexins can impair intercellular communication by eliminating protein synthesis, mis-trafficking, or inducing channels that fail to dock or have aberrant function. We previously identified a new class of mutants that form non-functional gap junction channels and hemichannels (connexons by disrupting packing and inter-helix interactions. Here we analyzed fourteen point mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix of connexin26 (Cx26 that cause non-syndromic hearing loss. Eight mutations caused mis-trafficking (K188R, F191L, V198M, S199F, G200R, I203K, L205P, T208P. Of the remaining six that formed gap junctions in mammalian cells, M195T and A197S formed stable hemichannels after isolation with a baculovirus/Sf9 protein purification system, while C202F, I203T, L205V and N206S formed hemichannels with varying degrees of instability. The function of all six gap junction-forming mutants was further assessed through measurement of dye coupling in mammalian cells and junctional conductance in paired Xenopus oocytes. Dye coupling between cell pairs was reduced by varying degrees for all six mutants. In homotypic oocyte pairings, only A197S induced measurable conductance. In heterotypic pairings with wild-type Cx26, five of the six mutants formed functional gap junction channels, albeit with reduced efficiency. None of the mutants displayed significant alterations in sensitivity to transjunctional voltage or induced conductive hemichannels in single oocytes. Intra-hemichannel interactions between mutant and wild-type proteins were assessed in rescue experiments using baculovirus expression in Sf9 insect cells. Of the four unstable mutations (C202F, I203T, L205V, N206S only C202F and N206S formed stable hemichannels when co-expressed with wild-type Cx26. Stable M195T hemichannels

  12. Barrier and system performances within a safety case: their functioning and evolution with time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedin, A.; Voinis, S.; Fillion, E.; Keller, S.; Lalieux, Ph.; Nachmilner, L.; Nys, V.; Rodriguez, J.; Sevougian, D.; Wollrath, J.

    2002-01-01

    The following six questions were used as the basis for the discussions in a Working Group: - What is the role of each barrier as a function of time or in the different time frames? What is its contribution to the overall system performance or safety as a function of time? - Which are the main uncertainties on the performance of barriers in the timescales? To what extent should we enhance the robustness of barriers because of the uncertainties of some component behaviour with time? - What is the requested or required performance versus the expected realistic or conservative behaviour with time? How are these safety margins used as arguments in a safety case? - What is the issue associated with the geosphere stability for different geological systems? - How are barriers and system performances, as a function of time, evaluated (presented and communicated) in a safety case? - What kind of measures are used for siting, designing and optimising robust barriers corresponding to situations that can vary with time? Are human actions considered to be relevant? (authors)

  13. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of α and β-catenins and ZO-2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Mroue, Rana; Mokalled, Mayssa; Abi-Mosleh, Lina; Nehme, Ralda; Ismail, Ayman; Khalil, Antoine; Zaatari, Mira; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2008-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJ) are required for mammary epithelial differentiation. Using epithelial (SCp2) and myoepithelial-like (SCg6) mouse-derived mammary cells, the role of heterocellular interaction in assembly of GJ complexes and functional differentiation (β-casein expression) was evaluated. Heterocellular interaction is critical for β-casein expression, independent of exogenous basement membrane or cell anchoring substrata. Functional differentiation of SCp2, co-cultured with SCg6, is more sensitive to GJ inhibition relative to homocellular SCp2 cultures differentiated by exogenous basement membrane. Connexin (Cx)32 and Cx43 levels were not regulated across culture conditions; however, GJ functionality was enhanced under differentiation-permissive conditions. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated association of junctional complex components (α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2) with Cx32 and Cx43, in differentiation conditions, and additionally with Cx30 in heterocellular cultures. Although β-catenin did not shuttle between cadherin and GJ complexes, increased association between connexins and β-catenin in heterocellular cultures was observed. This was concomitant with reduced nuclear β-catenin, suggesting that differentiation in heterocellular cultures involves sequestration of β-catenin in GJ complexes

  14. Urea uptake enhances barrier function and antimicrobial defense in humans by regulating epidermal gene expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grether-Beck, Susanne; Felsner, Ingo; Brenden, Heidi; Kohne, Zippora; Majora, Marc; Marini, Alessandra; Jaenicke, Thomas; Rodriguez-Martin, Marina; Trullas, Carles; Hupe, Melanie; Elias, Peter M.; Krutmann, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Urea is an endogenous metabolite, known to enhance stratum corneum hydration. Yet, topical urea anecdotally also improves permeability barrier function, and it appears to exhibit antimicrobial activity. Hence, we hypothesized that urea is not merely a passive metabolite, but a small-molecule regulator of epidermal structure and function. In 21 human volunteers, topical urea improved barrier function in parallel with enhanced antimicrobial peptide (LL-37 and β-defensin-2) expression. Urea both stimulates expression of, and is transported into keratinocytes by two urea transporters, UT-A1 and UT-A2, and by aquaporin 3, 7 and 9. Inhibitors of these urea transporters block the downstream biological effects of urea, which include increased mRNA and protein levels for: (i) transglutaminase-1, involucrin, loricrin and filaggrin; (ii) epidermal lipid synthetic enzymes, and (iii) cathelicidin/LL-37 and β-defensin-2. Finally, we explored the potential clinical utility of urea, showing that topical urea applications normalized both barrier function and antimicrobial peptide expression in a murine model of atopic dermatitis (AD). Together, these results show that urea is a small-molecule regulator of epidermal permeability barrier function and antimicrobial peptide expression after transporter uptake, followed by gene regulatory activity in normal epidermis, with potential therapeutic applications in diseased skin. PMID:22418868

  15. Characterization of the insulator barrier and the superconducting transition temperature in GdBa2Cu3O7−δ/BaTiO3 bilayers for application in tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarro, H.; Sirena, M.; Haberkorn, N.; Yang, Ilkyu; Kim, Jeehoon

    2015-01-01

    The optimization of the superconducting properties in a bottom electrode and the quality of an insulator barrier are the first steps in the development of superconductor/insulator/superconductor tunnel junctions. Here, we study the quality of a BaTiO 3 tunnel barrier deposited on a 16 nm thick GdBa 2 Cu 3 O 7−δ thin film by using conductive atomic force microscopy. We find that the tunnel current is systematically reduced (for equal applied voltage) by increasing the BaTiO 3 barrier thickness between 1.6 and 4 nm. The BaTiO 3 layers present an energy barrier of ≈1.2 eV and an attenuation length of 0.35–0.5 nm (depending on the applied voltage). The GdBa 2 Cu 3 O 7−δ electrode is totally covered by a BaTiO 3 thickness above 3 nm. The presence of ferroelectricity was verified by piezoresponse force microscopy for a 4 nm thick BaTiO 3 top layer. The superconducting transition temperature of the bilayers is systematically suppressed by increasing the BaTiO 3 thickness. This fact can be associated with stress at the interface and a reduction of the orthorhombicity of the GdBa 2 Cu 3 O 7−δ . The reduction in the orthorhombicity is expected by considering the interface mismatch and it can also be affected by reduced oxygen stoichiometry (poor oxygen diffusion across the BaTiO 3 barrier)

  16. Characterization of the insulator barrier and the superconducting transition temperature in GdBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7−δ}/BaTiO{sub 3} bilayers for application in tunnel junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navarro, H., E-mail: henrynavarro@cab.cnea.gov.ar; Sirena, M.; Haberkorn, N. [Instituto Balseiro, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and CNEA, 8400 Bariloche (Argentina); Centro Atómico Bariloche, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica. Av. Bustillo 9500, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina); Yang, Ilkyu [Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jeehoon [Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang (Korea, Republic of); CALDES, Institute for Basic Science, Pohang (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-07-28

    The optimization of the superconducting properties in a bottom electrode and the quality of an insulator barrier are the first steps in the development of superconductor/insulator/superconductor tunnel junctions. Here, we study the quality of a BaTiO{sub 3} tunnel barrier deposited on a 16 nm thick GdBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7−δ} thin film by using conductive atomic force microscopy. We find that the tunnel current is systematically reduced (for equal applied voltage) by increasing the BaTiO{sub 3} barrier thickness between 1.6 and 4 nm. The BaTiO{sub 3} layers present an energy barrier of ≈1.2 eV and an attenuation length of 0.35–0.5 nm (depending on the applied voltage). The GdBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7−δ} electrode is totally covered by a BaTiO{sub 3} thickness above 3 nm. The presence of ferroelectricity was verified by piezoresponse force microscopy for a 4 nm thick BaTiO{sub 3} top layer. The superconducting transition temperature of the bilayers is systematically suppressed by increasing the BaTiO{sub 3} thickness. This fact can be associated with stress at the interface and a reduction of the orthorhombicity of the GdBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7−δ}. The reduction in the orthorhombicity is expected by considering the interface mismatch and it can also be affected by reduced oxygen stoichiometry (poor oxygen diffusion across the BaTiO{sub 3} barrier)

  17. Functions of an engineered barrier system for a nuclear waste repository in basalt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coons, W.E.; Moore, E.L.; Smith, M.J.; Kaser, J.D.

    1980-01-01

    Defined in this document are the functions of components selected for an engineered barrier system for a nuclear waste repository in basalt. The definitions provide a focal point for barrier material research and development by delineating the purpose and operative lifetime of each component of the engineered system. A five-component system (comprised of waste form, canister, buffer, overpack, and tailored backfill) is discussed in terms of effective operation throughout the course of repository history, recognizing that the emplacement environment changes with time. While components of the system are mutually supporting, redundancy is provided by subsystems of physical and chemical barriers which act in concert with the geology to provide a formidable barrier to transport of hazardous materials to the biosphere. The operating philosophy of the conceptual engineered barrier system is clarified by examples pertinent to storage in basalt, and a technical approach to barrier design and material selection is proposed. A method for system validation and qualification is also included which considers performance criteria proposed by external agencies in conjunction with site-specific models and risk assessment to define acceptable levels of system performance

  18. Structure and Function of a Novel ATPase that Interacts with Holliday Junction Resolvase Hjc and Promotes Branch Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Binyuan; DuPrez, Kevin; Doukov, Tzanko I; Li, Huan; Huang, Mengting; Shang, Guijun; Ni, Jinfeng; Gu, Lichuan; Shen, Yulong; Fan, Li

    2017-04-07

    Holliday junction (HJ) is a hallmark intermediate in DNA recombination and must be processed by dissolution (for double HJ) or resolution to ensure genome stability. Although HJ resolvases have been identified in all domains of life, there is a long-standing effort to search in prokaryotes and eukarya for proteins promoting HJ migration. Here, we report the structural and functional characterization of a novel ATPase, Sulfolobus islandicusPilT N-terminal-domain-containing ATPase (SisPINA), encoded by the gene adjacent to the resolvase Hjc coding gene. PINA is conserved in archaea and vital for S. islandicus viability. Purified SisPINA forms hexameric rings in the crystalline state and in solution, similar to the HJ migration helicase RuvB in Gram-negative bacteria. Structural analysis suggests that ATP binding and hydrolysis cause conformational changes in SisPINA to drive branch migration. Further studies reveal that SisPINA interacts with SisHjc and coordinates HJ migration and cleavage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Resonant behavior of the barrier of YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7} grain boundary Josephson junctions fabricated on bicrystalline substrates with different geometries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navacerrada, M.A., E-mail: mdelosangeles.navacerrada@upm.es [Grupo de Acustica Arquitectonica, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Avenida Juan de Herrera 4, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Lucia, M.L.; Sanchez-Quesada, F. [Departamento Fisica Aplicada III (Electricidad y Electronica), Facultad de Cc. Fisicas, Universidad Complutense, Avenida Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain)

    2012-12-14

    We have analyzed a resonant behavior in the dielectric constant associated to the barrier of YBa{sub 2}Cu{sub 3}O{sub 7} (YBCO) grain boundary Josephson junctions (GBJJs) fabricated on a wide variety of bicrystalline substrates: 12 Degree-Sign [0 0 1] tilt asymmetric, 24 Degree-Sign [0 0 1] tilt asymmetric, 24 Degree-Sign [0 0 1] tilt symmetric, 24 Degree-Sign [1 0 0] tilt asymmetric, 45 Degree-Sign [1 0 0] tilt asymmetric and 24 Degree-Sign [0 0 1] tilt symmetric +45 Degree-Sign [1 0 0] tilt asymmetric bicrystals. The resonance analysis allows us to estimate a more appropriate value of the relative dielectric constant, and so a more adequate value for the length L of the normal N region assuming a SNINS model for the barrier. In this work, the L dependence on the critical current density Jc has been investigated. This analysis makes possible a single representation for all the substrate geometries independently on around which axes the rotation is produced to generate the grain boundary. On the other hand, no clear evidences exist on the origin of the resonance. The resonance frequency is in the order of 10{sup 11} Hz, pointing to a phonon dynamic influence on the resonance mechanism. Besides, its position is affected by the oxygen content of the barrier: a shift at low frequencies is observed when the misorientation angle increases.

  1. Oral and fecal Campylobacter concisus strains perturb barrier function by apoptosis induction in HT-29/B6 intestinal epithelial cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Linde Nielsen

    Full Text Available Campylobacter concisus infections of the gastrointestinal tract can be accompanied by diarrhea and inflammation, whereas colonization of the human oral cavity might have a commensal nature. We focus on the pathophysiology of C. concisus and the effects of different clinical oral and fecal C. concisus strains on human HT-29/B6 colon cells. Six oral and eight fecal strains of C. concisus were isolated. Mucus-producing HT-29/B6 epithelial monolayers were infected with the C. concisus strains. Transepithelial electrical resistance (R(t and tracer fluxes of different molecule size were measured in Ussing chambers. Tight junction (TJ protein expression was determined by Western blotting, and subcellular TJ distribution was analyzed by confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Apoptosis induction was examined by TUNEL-staining and Western blot of caspase-3 activation. All strains invaded confluent HT-29/B6 cells and impaired epithelial barrier function, characterized by a time- and dose-dependent decrease in R(t either after infection from the apical side but even more from the basolateral compartment. TJ protein expression changes were sparse, only in apoptotic areas of infected monolayers TJ proteins were redistributed. Solely the barrier-forming TJ protein claudin-5 showed a reduced expression level to 66±8% (P<0.05, by expression regulation from the gene. Concomitantly, Lactate dehydrogenase release was elevated to 3.1±0.3% versus 0.7±0.1% in control (P<0.001, suggesting cytotoxic effects. Furthermore, oral and fecal C. concisus strains elevated apoptotic events to 5-fold. C. concisus-infected monolayers revealed an increased permeability for 332 Da fluorescein (1.74±0.13 vs. 0.56±0.17 10(-6 cm/s in control, P<0.05 but showed no difference in permeability for 4 kDa FITC-dextran (FD-4. The same was true in camptothecin-exposed monolayers, where camptothecin was used for apoptosis induction.In conclusion, epithelial barrier dysfunction by oral and

  2. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy A Umbach

    Full Text Available A key objective of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cells suitable for modeling disease pathologies in vitro. Much progress towards this goal has been made in the area of motor neuron (MN disease through the development of methods to direct spinal MN formation from both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous studies have characterized these neurons with respect to their molecular and intrinsic functional properties. However, the synaptic activity of stem cell-derived MNs remains less well defined. In this study, we report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived MNs and muscle cells in vitro. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the expression of numerous synaptic proteins at these contacts, while dual patch clamp recording detects both spontaneous and multi-quantal evoked synaptic responses similar to those observed in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that stem cell-derived MNs innervate muscle cells in a functionally relevant manner. This dual recording approach further offers a sensitive and quantitative assay platform to probe disorders of synaptic dysfunction associated with MN disease.

  3. Thermal transport through a spin-phonon interacting junction: A nonequilibrium Green's function method study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zu-Quan; Lü, Jing-Tao

    2017-09-01

    Using the nonequilibrium Green's function method, we consider heat transport in an insulating ferromagnetic spin chain model with spin-phonon interaction under an external magnetic field. Employing the Holstein-Primakoff transformation to the spin system, we treat the resulted magnon-phonon interaction within the self-consistent Born approximation. We find the magnon-phonon coupling can change qualitatively the magnon thermal conductance in the high-temperature regime. At a spectral mismatched ferromagnetic-normal insulator interface, we also find thermal rectification and negative differential thermal conductance due to the magnon-phonon interaction. We show that these effects can be effectively tuned by the external applied magnetic field, a convenient advantage absent in anharmonic phonon and electron-phonon systems studied before.

  4. Effects of industrial detergents on the barrier function of human skin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, G D; Nielsen, Jesper Bo; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    2000-01-01

    Detergents are involved in the causation of contact dermatitis and in promoting percutaneous absorption of toxic chemicals, but limited information is available to allow an assessment of their relative effects on the skin barrier function. The effect of detergents on skin permeability to water...

  5. The blood-brain barrier and oncology : new insights into function and modulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bart, J; Groen, HJM; Hendrikse, NH; van der Graaf, WTA; Vaalburg, W; de Vries, EGE

    2000-01-01

    The efficacy of chemotherapy for malignant primary or metastatic brain tumours is still poor. This is at least partly due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The functionality of the BBB can be explained by physicochemical features and efflux pump mechanisms. An overview of the

  6. Effect of saline iontophoresis on skin barrier function and cutaneous irritation in four ethnic groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, J; Gross, M; Sage, B; Davis, H T; Maibach, H I

    2000-08-01

    The effect of saline iontophoresis on skin barrier function and irritation was investigated in four ethnic groups (Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks and Asians). Forty healthy human volunteers were recruited according to specific entry criteria. Ten subjects, five males and five females, were assigned to each ethnic group. Skin barrier function was examined after 4 hours of saline iontophoresis at a current density of 0.2 mA/cm(2) on a 6.5 cm(2) area in terms of the measured responses: transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin capacitance, skin temperature and visual scores. There were significant differences in TEWL among the ethnic groups prior to patch application. TEWL at baseline in ethnic groups was in the rank order: Caucasian>Asian>Hispanic>Black. Iontophoresis was generally well tolerated, and skin barrier function was not irreversibly affected by iontophoresis in any group. There was no significant skin temperature change, compared to baseline, in any ethnic groups at any observation point. Edema was not observed. At patch removal, the erythema score was elevated in comparison to baseline in all ethnic groups; erythema resolved within 24 hours. Thus, saline iontophoresis produced reversible changes in skin barrier function and irritation in healthy human subjects.

  7. Modelling of migration from multi-layers and functional barriers: Estimation of parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dole, P.; Voulzatis, Y.; Vitrac, O.; Reynier, A.; Hankemeier, T.; Aucejo, S.; Feigenbaum, A.

    2006-01-01

    Functional barriers form parts of multi-layer packaging materials, which are deemed to protect the food from migration of a broad range of contaminants, e.g. those associated with reused packaging. Often, neither the presence nor the identity of the contaminants is known, so that safety assessment

  8. The pH-sensing receptor OGR1 improves barrier function of epithelial cells and inhibits migration in an acidic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vallière, Cheryl; Vidal, Solange; Clay, Ieuan; Jurisic, Giorgia; Tcymbarevich, Irina; Lang, Silvia; Ludwig, Marie-Gabrielle; Okoniewski, Michal; Eloranta, Jyrki J; Kullak-Ublick, Gerd A; Wagner, Carsten A; Rogler, Gerhard; Seuwen, Klaus

    2015-09-15

    The pH-sensing receptor ovarian cancer G protein-coupled receptor 1 (OGR1; GPR68) is expressed in the gut. Inflammatory bowel disease is typically associated with a decrease in local pH, which may lead to altered epithelial barrier function and subsequent gastrointestinal repair involving epithelial cell adhesion and migration. As the mechanisms underlying the response to pH changes are not well understood, we have investigated OGR1-mediated, pH-dependent signaling pathways in intestinal epithelial cells. Caco-2 cells stably overexpressing OGR1 were created and validated as tools to study OGR1 signaling. Barrier function, migration, and proliferation were measured using electric cell-substrate impedance-sensing technology. Localization of the tight junction proteins zonula occludens protein 1 and occludin and the rearrangement of cytoskeletal actin were examined by confocal microscopy. Paracellular permeability and protein and gene expression analysis using DNA microarrays were performed on filter-grown Caco-2 monolayers. We report that an acidic pH shift from pH 7.8 to 6.6 improved barrier function and stimulated reorganization of filamentous actin with prominent basal stress fiber formation. Cell migration and proliferation during in vitro wound healing were inhibited. Gene expression analysis revealed significant upregulation of genes related to cytoskeleton remodeling, cell adhesion, and growth factor signaling. We conclude that acidic extracellular pH can have a signaling function and impact the physiology of intestinal epithelial cells. The deconstruction of OGR1-dependent signaling may aid our understanding of mucosal inflammation mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  9. Topical antihistamines display potent anti-inflammatory activity linked in part to enhanced permeability barrier function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lin, Tzu-Kai; Man, Mao-Qiang; Santiago, Juan-Luis

    2013-01-01

    antagonists likely oppose mast cell-derived histamines. In four immunologically diverse, murine disease models, characterized by either inflammation alone (acute irritant contact dermatitis, acute allergic contact dermatitis) or by prominent barrier abnormalities (subacute allergic contact dermatitis, atopic...... of epidermal differentiation, leading to thickened cornified envelopes; and (ii) enhanced epidermal lipid synthesis and secretion. As barrier homeostasis was enhanced to a comparable extent in mast cell-deficient mice, with no further improvement following application of topical H1/2r antagonists, H1/2r...... dermatitis), topical H1/2r agonists aggravated, whereas H1/2r antagonists improved, inflammation and/or barrier function. The apparent ability of topical H1r/2r antagonists to target epidermal H1/2r could translate into increased efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory dermatoses, likely due to decreased...

  10. GEN1 from a thermophilic fungus is functionally closely similar to non-eukaryotic junction-resolving enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Alasdair D J; Liu, Yijin; Déclais, Anne-Cécile; Gartner, Anton; Lilley, David M J

    2014-12-12

    Processing of Holliday junctions is essential in recombination. We have identified the gene for the junction-resolving enzyme GEN1 from the thermophilic fungus Chaetomium thermophilum and expressed the N-terminal 487-amino-acid section. The protein is a nuclease that is highly selective for four-way DNA junctions, cleaving 1nt 3' to the point of strand exchange on two strands symmetrically disposed about a diagonal axis. CtGEN1 binds to DNA junctions as a discrete homodimer with nanomolar affinity. Analysis of the kinetics of cruciform cleavage shows that cleavage of the second strand occurs an order of magnitude faster than the first cleavage so as to generate a productive resolution event. All these properties are closely similar to those described for bacterial, phage and mitochondrial junction-resolving enzymes. CtGEN1 is also similar in properties to the human enzyme but lacks the problems with aggregation that currently prevent detailed analysis of the latter protein. CtGEN1 is thus an excellent enzyme with which to engage in biophysical and structural analysis of eukaryotic GEN1. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Glucose Transporters at the Blood-Brain Barrier: Function, Regulation and Gateways for Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patching, Simon G

    2017-03-01

    Glucose transporters (GLUTs) at the blood-brain barrier maintain the continuous high glucose and energy demands of the brain. They also act as therapeutic targets and provide routes of entry for drug delivery to the brain and central nervous system for treatment of neurological and neurovascular conditions and brain tumours. This article first describes the distribution, function and regulation of glucose transporters at the blood-brain barrier, the major ones being the sodium-independent facilitative transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3. Other GLUTs and sodium-dependent transporters (SGLTs) have also been identified at lower levels and under various physiological conditions. It then considers the effects on glucose transporter expression and distribution of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia associated with diabetes and oxygen/glucose deprivation associated with cerebral ischemia. A reduction in glucose transporters at the blood-brain barrier that occurs before the onset of the main pathophysiological changes and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is a potential causative effect in the vascular hypothesis of the disease. Mutations in glucose transporters, notably those identified in GLUT1 deficiency syndrome, and some recreational drug compounds also alter the expression and/or activity of glucose transporters at the blood-brain barrier. Approaches for drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier include the pro-drug strategy whereby drug molecules are conjugated to glucose transporter substrates or encapsulated in nano-enabled delivery systems (e.g. liposomes, micelles, nanoparticles) that are functionalised to target glucose transporters. Finally, the continuous development of blood-brain barrier in vitro models is important for studying glucose transporter function, effects of disease conditions and interactions with drugs and xenobiotics.

  12. A synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramide improves skin barrier functions from diversely perturbed epidermal conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Myoung Jin; Nam, Jin Ju; Lee, Eun Ok; Kim, Jin Wook; Park, Chang Seo

    2016-10-01

    Omega-hydroxyceramides (ω-OH-Cer) play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. ω-OH-Cer are the primary lipid constituents of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE) covalently attached to the outer surface of the cornified envelope linked to involucrin to become bound form lipids in stratum corneum (SC). CLE becomes a hydrophobic impermeable layer of matured corneocyte preventing loss of natural moisturizing factor inside the corneocytes. More importantly, CLE may also play an important role in the formation of proper orientation of intercellular lipid lamellar structure by interdigitating with the intercellular lipids in a comb-like fashion. Abnormal barrier conditions associated with atopic dermatitis but also UVB-irradiated skins are known to have lowered level of bound lipids, especially ω-OH-Cer, which indicate that ω-OH-Cer play an important role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. In this study, protective effects of a novel synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramides (ω-OH-phytoceramide) on skin barrier function were investigated. Epidermal barrier disruption was induced by UVB irradiation, tape-stripping in hairless mouse and human skin. Protective effect of damaged epidermis was evaluated using the measurement of transepidermal water loss and cohesion of SC. Increased keratinocyte differentiation was verified using cultured keratinocyte through western blot. Results clearly demonstrated that a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide enhanced the integrity of SC and accelerated the recovery of damaged skin barrier function by stimulating differentiation process. In a conclusion, a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide treatment improved epidermal homeostasis in several disrupted conditions.

  13. Early effects of gliadin on enterocyte intracellular signalling involved in intestinal barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemente, M G; De Virgiliis, S; Kang, J S; Macatagney, R; Musu, M P; Di Pierro, M R; Drago, S; Congia, M; Fasano, A

    2003-02-01

    Despite the progress made in understanding the immunological aspects of the pathogenesis of coeliac disease (CD), the early steps that allow gliadin to cross the intestinal barrier are still largely unknown. The aim of this study was to establish whether gliadin activates a zonulin dependent enterocyte intracellular signalling pathway(s) leading to increased intestinal permeability. The effect of gliadin on the enterocyte actin cytoskeleton was studied on rat intestinal epithelial (IEC-6) cell cultures by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry. Zonulin concentration was measured on cell culture supernatants by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Transepithelial intestinal resistance (Rt) was measured on ex vivo intestinal tissues mounted in Ussing chambers. Incubation of cells with gliadin led to a reversible protein kinase C (PKC) mediated actin polymerisation temporarily coincident with zonulin release. A significant reduction in Rt was observed after gliadin addition on rabbit intestinal mucosa mounted in Ussing chambers. Pretreatment with the zonulin inhibitor FZI/0 abolished the gliadin induced actin polymerisation and Rt reduction but not zonulin release. Gliadin induces zonulin release in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Activation of the zonulin pathway by PKC mediated cytoskeleton reorganisation and tight junction opening leads to a rapid increase in intestinal permeability.

  14. Disruption of the epithelial barrier during intestinal inflammation: Quest for new molecules and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechuga, Susana; Ivanov, Andrei I

    2017-07-01

    The intestinal epithelium forms a key protective barrier that separates internal organs from the harmful environment of the gut lumen. Increased permeability of the gut barrier is a common manifestation of different inflammatory disorders contributing to the severity of disease. Barrier permeability is controlled by epithelial adherens junctions and tight junctions. Junctional assembly and integrity depend on fundamental homeostatic processes such as cell differentiation, rearrangements of the cytoskeleton, and vesicle trafficking. Alterations of intestinal epithelial homeostasis during mucosal inflammation may impair structure and remodeling of apical junctions, resulting in increased permeability of the gut barrier. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of how altered epithelial homeostasis affects the structure and function of adherens junctions and tight junctions in the inflamed gut. Specifically, we focus on the transcription reprogramming of the cell, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and junctional endocytosis and exocytosis. We pay special attention to knockout mouse model studies and discuss the relevance of these mechanisms to human gastrointestinal disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Surface flattening processes of metal layer and their effect on transport properties of magnetic tunnel junctions with Al-N barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshimura, S.; Nozawa, T.; Shoyama, T.; Tsunoda, M.; Takahashi, M.

    2005-01-01

    In order to form ultrathin insulating layer in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs), two surface flatting processes of metal films are investigated. Oxygen-additive sputter-deposition process was applied to the bottom Cu electrode and the Al layer to be nitrided. Dry-etching process was applied for the surface treatment of lower Co-Fe layer. As a result, the surface roughness of stacked ultrathin Al layer to be nitrided is reduced from 3.2A to 1.7A, and the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio of the MTJs increases from 1% to 26% while maintaining resistance-area product (RxA) less than 5x10 2 Ω μm 2 in the Co-Fe/Al(6A)-N/Co-Fe MTJs. We conclude that the decrease of the surface roughness of Al layer is one of the key factors to realize high performance MTJs with low RxA and high TMR ratio

  16. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance study on the barrier function of pig corneal epithelium and endothelium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yokoi, Norihiko; Kinoshita, Shigeru; Morimoto, Taketoshi; Yoshizaki, Kazuo.

    1995-01-01

    Using gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) as a tracer, the barrier function of the corneal epithelium and endothelium was evaluated by proton nuclear magnetic resonance. Whole pig eyes and cornea excised with scleral rim, which had been incubated in dextran-added Gd-DTPA solution, were subjected to T 1 relaxation measurement and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After incubation, the T 1 relaxation rate (1/T 1 ) of the excised cornea increased to a steady value, whereas that of the cornea from the whole eye increased only slightly. These results indicated that the increase in the T 1 relaxation rate of the excised cornea was attributable to Gd-DTPA penetration from the corneal endothelium and that the corneal epithelium exhibited a strong barrier function against Gd-DTPA entry. The MRI study also confirmed the strong barrier, enhanced signals being detected within the aqueous fluid in the T 1 -weighted image only when the corneal epithelium was abraded. Since Gd-DTPA scarcely penetrates the intact corneal epithelium, Gd-DTPA-enhanced MRI shows potential as a quantitative tracer in evaluating epithelial barrier disruption. (author)

  17. Phase Sensitive Measurements of Ferromagnetic Josephson Junctions for Cryogenic Memory Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedzielski, Bethany Maria

    A Josephson junction is made up of two superconducting layers separated by a barrier. The original Josephson junctions, studied in the early 1960's, contained an insulating barrier. Soon thereafter, junctions with normal-metal barriers were also studied. Ferromagnetic materials were not even theoretically considered as a barrier layer until around 1980, due to the competing order between ferromagnetic and superconducting systems. However, many exciting physical phenomena arise in hybrid superconductor/ferromagnetic devices, including devices where the ground state phase difference between the two superconductors is shifted by pi. Since their experimental debut in 2001, so-called pi junctions have been demonstrated by many groups, including my own, in systems with a single ferromagnetic layer. In this type of system, the phase of the junction can be set to either 0 or pi depending on the thickness of the ferromagnetic layer. Of interest, however, is the ability to control the phase of a single junction between the 0 and pi states. This was theoretically shown to be possible in a system containing two ferromagnetic layers (spin-valve junctions). If the materials and their thicknesses are properly chosen to manipulate the electron pair correlation function, then the phase state of a spin-valve Josephson junction should be capable of switching between the 0 and ? phase states when the magnetization directions of the two ferromagnetic layers are oriented in the antiparallel and parallel configurations, respectively. Such a phase-controllable junction would have immediate applications in cryogenic memory, which is a necessary component to an ultra-low power superconducting computer. A fully superconducting computer is estimated to be orders of magnitude more energy-efficient than current semiconductor-based supercomputers. The goal of this work was to experimentally verify this prediction for a phase-controllable ferromagnetic Josephson junction. To address this

  18. Similarities between normal- and super-currents in topological insulator magnetic tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soodchomshom, Bumned; Chantngarm, Peerasak

    2010-01-01

    This work compares the normal-current in a NM/Fi/NM junction with the super-current in a SC/Fi/SC junction, where both are topological insulator systems. NM and Fi are normal region and ferromagnetic region of thickness d with exchange energy m playing a role of the mass of the Dirac electrons and with the gate voltage V G , respectively. SC is superconducting region induced by a s-wave superconductor. We show that, interestingly, the critical super-current passing through a SC/Fi/SC junction behaves quite similar to the normal-current passing through a NM/Fi/NM junction. The normal-current and super-current exhibit N-peak oscillation, found when currents are plotted as a function of the magnetic barrier strength χ ∼ md/hv F . With the barrier strength Z ∼ V G d/hv F , the number of peaks N is determined through the relation Z ∼ Nπ + σπ (with 0 < σ≤1 for χ < Z). The normal- and the super-currents also exhibit oscillating with the same height for all of peaks, corresponding to the Dirac fermion tunneling behavior. These anomalous oscillating currents due to the interplay between gate voltage and magnetic field in the barrier were not found in graphene-based NM/Fi/NM and SC/Fi/SC junctions. This is due to the different magnetic effect between the Dirac fermions in topological insulator and graphene.

  19. Work function and temperature dependence of electron tunneling through an N-type perylene diimide molecular junction with isocyanide surface linkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Christopher E; Xie, Zuoti; Bâldea, Ioan; Frisbie, C Daniel

    2018-01-18

    Conducting probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM) was employed to examine electron tunneling in self-assembled monolayer (SAM) junctions. A 2.3 nm long perylene tetracarboxylic acid diimide (PDI) acceptor molecule equipped with isocyanide linker groups was synthesized, adsorbed onto Ag, Au and Pt substrates, and the current-voltage (I-V) properties were measured by CP-AFM. The dependence of the low-bias resistance (R) on contact work function indicates that transport is LUMO-assisted ('n-type behavior'). A single-level tunneling model combined with transition voltage spectroscopy (TVS) was employed to analyze the experimental I-V curves and to extract the effective LUMO position ε l = E LUMO - E F and the effective electronic coupling (Γ) between the PDI redox core and the contacts. This analysis revealed a strong Fermi level (E F ) pinning effect in all the junctions, likely due to interface dipoles that significantly increased with increasing contact work function, as revealed by scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM). Furthermore, the temperature (T) dependence of R was found to be substantial. For Pt/Pt junctions, R varied more than two orders of magnitude in the range 248 K tunneling mechanism and allow independent determination of ε l , giving values compatible with estimates of ε l based on analysis of the full I-V data. Theoretical analysis revealed a general criterion to unambiguously rule out a two-step transport mechanism: namely, if measured resistance data exhibit a pronounced Arrhenius-type temperature dependence, a two-step electron transfer scenario should be excluded in cases where the activation energy depends on contact metallurgy. Overall, our results indicate (1) the generality of the Fermi level pinning phenomenon in molecular junctions, (2) the utility of employing the single level tunneling model for determining essential electronic structure parameters (ε l and Γ), and (3) the importance of changing the nature of the contacts to

  20. Internal resistor of multi-functional tunnel barrier for selectivity and switching uniformity in resistive random access memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sangheon; Woo, Jiyong; Lee, Daeseok; Cha, Euijun; Hwang, Hyunsang

    2014-01-01

    In this research, we analyzed the multi-functional role of a tunnel barrier that can be integrated in devices. This tunnel barrier, acting as an internal resistor, changes its resistance with applied bias. Therefore, the current flow in the devices can be controlled by a tunneling mechanism that modifies the tunnel barrier thickness for non-linearity and switching uniformity of devices. When a device is in a low-resistance state, the tunnel barrier controls the current behavior of the device because most of the bias is applied to the tunnel barrier owing to its higher resistance. Furthermore, the tunnel barrier induces uniform filament formation during set operation with the tunnel barrier controlling the current flow.

  1. Prolonged phonation impairs the integrity and barrier function of porcine vocal fold epithelium: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chi; Paddock, Kieran; Chou, Adriana; Scholp, Austin; Gong, Ting; Jiang, Jack J

    2018-04-18

    Voice abuse is known to be a common risk factor of voice disorders and prolonged; high-intensity phonation has been shown to damage the vocal fold epithelium. We aim to evaluate the effects of phonation on the integrity and barrier function of vocal fold epithelium using a porcine laryngeal model. Ex vivo porcine larynges were phonated at low intensity or high intensity for 15, 30, or 60 min within 4 h after harvest. Vocal fold epithelium was visualized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The barrier function of vocal fold epithelium was evaluated by measuring the permeability to model molecules, fluorescein (376 Da), and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextrans of 4000 and 10,000 Da (FD4, FD10), in a Franz diffusing cell. Cell death and dilated intercellular space after phonation were observed using TEM. Thickness of vocal fold epithelium was significantly reduced after low-intensity phonation for 30 and 60 min and high-intensity phonation for 15, 30, and 60 min. Epithelial permeability to fluorescein was significantly increased after low-intensity phonation for 30 and 60 min, and high-intensity phonation. Permeability to FD4 was significantly increased after high-intensity phonation for 30 and 60 min. Phonation did not alter the permeability to FD10 significantly. Long-duration phonation destroys the integrity and barrier function of vocal fold epithelium. These effects likely make vocal folds more vulnerable to other environmental irritants, such as tobacco smoke, reflux components, allergens, and inhaled pollutants. Destroyed barrier function may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of voice lesions related to voice abuse.

  2. Simulations of Skin Barrier Function: Free Energies of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Transmembrane Pores in Ceramide Bilayers

    OpenAIRE

    Notman, Rebecca; Anwar, Jamshed; Briels, W. J.; Noro, Massimo G.; den Otter, Wouter K.

    2008-01-01

    Transmembrane pore formation is central to many biological processes such as ion transport, cell fusion, and viral infection. Furthermore, pore formation in the ceramide bilayers of the stratum corneum may be an important mechanism by which penetration enhancers such as dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) weaken the barrier function of the skin. We have used the potential of mean constraint force (PMCF) method to calculate the free energy of pore formation in ceramide bilayers in both the innate gel pha...

  3. Electronic noise of superconducting tunnel junction detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jochum, J.; Kraus, H.; Gutsche, M.; Kemmather, B.; Feilitzsch, F. v.; Moessbauer, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The optimal signal to noise ratio for detectors based on superconducting tunnel junctions is calculated and compared for the cases of a detector consisting of one single tunnel junction, as well as of series and of parallel connections of such tunnel junctions. The influence of 1 / f noise and its dependence on the dynamical resistance of tunnel junctions is discussed quantitatively. A single tunnel junction yields the minimum equivalent noise charge. Such a tunnel junction exhibits the best signal to noise ratio if the signal charge is independent of detector size. In case, signal charge increases with detector size, a parallel or a series connection of tunnel junctions would provide the optimum signal to noise ratio. The equivalent noise charge and the respective signal to noise ratio are deduced as functions of tunnel junction parameters such as tunneling time, quasiparticle lifetime, etc. (orig.)

  4. Common features of a vortex structure in long exponentially shaped Josephson junctions and Josephson junctions with inhomogeneities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyadjiev, T.L.; Semerdjieva, E.G.; Shukrinov, Yu.M.

    2007-01-01

    We study the vortex structure in three different models of the long Josephson junction: the exponentially shaped Josephson junction and the Josephson junctions with the resistor and the shunt inhomogeneities in the barrier layer. For these three models the critical curves 'critical current-magnetic field' are numerically constructed. We develop the idea of the equivalence of the exponentially shaped Josephson junction and the rectangular junction with the distributed inhomogeneity and demonstrate that at some parameters of the shunt and the resistor inhomogeneities in the ends of the junction the corresponding critical curves are very close to the exponentially shaped one

  5. Functions and requirements for subsurface barriers used in support of single-shell tank waste retrieval

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowe, S.S.

    1993-01-01

    The mission of the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Program is to store, treat, and immobilize highly radioactive Hanford waste in an environmentally sound, safe, and cost-effective manner. The scope of the TWRS Program includes project and program activities for receiving, storing, maintaining, treating, and disposing onsite, or packaging for offsite disposal, all Hanford tank waste. Hanford tank waste includes the contents of 149 single-shell tanks (SSTs) and 28 double-shell tanks (DSTs), plus any new waste added to these facilities, and all encapsulated cesium and strontium stored onsite and returned from offsite users. A key element of the TWRS Program is retrieval of the waste in the SSTs. The waste stored in these underground tanks must be removed in order to minimize environmental, safety, and health risks associated with continuing waste storage. Subsurface barriers are being considered as a means to mitigate the effects of tank leaks including those occurring during SST waste retrieval. The functions to be performed by subsurface barriers based on their role in retrieving waste from the SSTs are described, and the requirements which constrain their application are identified. These functions and requirements together define the functional baseline for subsurface barriers

  6. Simulations of skin barrier function: free energies of hydrophobic and hydrophilic transmembrane pores in ceramide bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notman, Rebecca; Anwar, Jamshed; Briels, W J; Noro, Massimo G; den Otter, Wouter K

    2008-11-15

    Transmembrane pore formation is central to many biological processes such as ion transport, cell fusion, and viral infection. Furthermore, pore formation in the ceramide bilayers of the stratum corneum may be an important mechanism by which penetration enhancers such as dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) weaken the barrier function of the skin. We have used the potential of mean constraint force (PMCF) method to calculate the free energy of pore formation in ceramide bilayers in both the innate gel phase and in the DMSO-induced fluidized state. Our simulations show that the fluid phase bilayers form archetypal water-filled hydrophilic pores similar to those observed in phospholipid bilayers. In contrast, the rigid gel-phase bilayers develop hydrophobic pores. At the relatively small pore diameters studied here, the hydrophobic pores are empty rather than filled with bulk water, suggesting that they do not compromise the barrier function of ceramide membranes. A phenomenological analysis suggests that these vapor pores are stable, below a critical radius, because the penalty of creating water-vapor and tail-vapor interfaces is lower than that of directly exposing the strongly hydrophobic tails to water. The PMCF free energy profile of the vapor pore supports this analysis. The simulations indicate that high DMSO concentrations drastically impair the barrier function of the skin by strongly reducing the free energy required for pore opening.

  7. Host-dependent zonulin secretion causes the impairment of the small intestine barrier function after bacterial exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Asmar, Ramzi; Panigrahi, Pinaki; Bamford, Penelope; Berti, Irene; Not, Tarcisio; Coppa, Giovanni V; Catassi, Carlo; Fasano, Alessio; El Asmar, Rahzi

    2002-11-01

    Enteric infections have been implicated in the pathogenesis of both food intolerance and autoimmune diseases secondary to the impairment of the intestinal barrier. On the basis of our recent discovery of zonulin, a modulator of small-intestinal tight junctions, we asked whether microorganisms might induce zonulin secretion and increased small-intestinal permeability. Both ex vivo mammalian small intestines and intestinal cell monolayers were exposed to either pathogenic or nonpathogenic enterobacteria. Zonulin production and changes in paracellular permeability were monitored in Ussing chambers and micro-snapwells. Zonula occludens 1 protein redistribution after bacteria colonization was evaluated on cell monolayers. Small intestines exposed to enteric bacteria secreted zonulin. This secretion was independent of either the species of the small intestines or the virulence of the microorganisms tested, occurred only on the luminal aspect of the bacteria-exposed small-intestinal mucosa, and was followed by a decrease in small-intestinal tissue resistance (transepithelial electrical resistance). The transepithelial electrical resistance decrement was secondary to the zonulin-induced tight junction disassembly, as also shown by the disengagement of the protein zonula occludens 1 protein from the tight junctional complex. This zonulin-driven opening of the paracellular pathway may represent a defensive mechanism, which flushes out microorganisms and contributes to the host response against bacterial colonization of the small intestine.

  8. A novel role for inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins as regulators of endothelial barrier function by mediating RhoA activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornburger, Michael C; Mayer, Bettina A; Leonhardt, Stefanie; Willer, Elisabeth A; Zahler, Stefan; Beyerle, Andrea; Rajalingam, Krishnaraj; Vollmar, Angelika M; Fürst, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, such as XIAP or cIAP1/2, are important regulators of apoptosis in cancer cells, and IAP antagonists are currently evaluated as antitumor agents. Beyond their function in cancer cells, this study demonstrates a novel role of IAPs as regulators of vascular endothelial permeability. Two structurally different IAP antagonists, ABT and Smac085, as well as silencing of IAPs, reduced the thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP)-induced barrier dysfunction in human endothelial cells as assessed by measuring macromolecular permeability or transendothelial electrical resistance. ABT diminished thrombin-evoked stress fiber formation, activation of myosin light chain 2, and disassembly of adherens junctions independent of calcium signaling, protein kinase C, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. Interestingly, ABT and silencing of IAPs, in particular XIAP, reduced the TRAP-evoked RhoA activation, whereas Rac1 was not affected. XIAP and, to a lesser extent, cIAP1 were found to directly interact with RhoA independently of the RhoA activation status. Under cell-free conditions, XIAP did not induce an ubiquitination of RhoA. In summary, our work discloses IAPs as crucial regulators of endothelial permeability and suggests IAP inhibition as interesting approach for the prevention of endothelial barrier dysfunction.

  9. Molecular Characterization of Barrier Properties in Follicle-Associated Epithelium of Porcine Peyer's Patches Reveals Major Sealing Function of Claudin-4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Radloff

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The pig represents a preferred model for the analysis of intestinal immunology. However, the barrier of the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE covering porcine Peyer's patches (PP has not yet been characterized in detail. This study aimed to perform this characterization in order to pave the way toward an understanding of the functional contribution of epithelial barrier properties in gut immunology. Porcine tissue specimens were taken from the distal small intestine in order to obtain electrophysiological data of PP FAE and neighboring villous epithelium (VE, employing the Ussing chamber technique. Transepithelial resistance (TER and paracellular fluorescein flux were measured, and tissues were morphometrically compared. In selfsame tissues, expression and localization of major tight junction (TJ proteins (claudin-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, and -8 were analyzed. PP FAE specimens showed a higher TER and a lower apparent permeability for sodium fluorescein than VE. Immunoblotting revealed an expression of all claudins within both epithelia, with markedly stronger expression of the sealing TJ protein claudin-4 in PP FAE compared with the neighboring VE. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression and localization of all claudins in both PP FAE and VE, with stronger claudin-4 abundance in PP FAE. The results are in accordance with the physiological function of the FAE, which strongly regulates and limits antigen uptake determining a mandatory transcellular route for antigen presentation, highlighting the importance of this structure for the first steps of the intestinal immune response. Thus, this study provides detailed insights into the specific barrier properties of the porcine FAE covering intestinal PP, at the interface of intestinal immunology and barriology.

  10. Ischemic preconditioning enhances integrity of coronary endothelial tight junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Zhao; Jin, Zhu-Qiu

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Cardiac tight junctions are present between coronary endothelial cells. ► Ischemic preconditioning preserves the structural and functional integrity of tight junctions. ► Myocardial edema is prevented in hearts subjected to ischemic preconditioning. ► Ischemic preconditioning enhances translocation of ZO-2 from cytosol to cytoskeleton. -- Abstract: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is one of the most effective procedures known to protect hearts against ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Tight junction (TJ) barriers occur between coronary endothelial cells. TJs provide barrier function to maintain the homeostasis of the inner environment of tissues. However, the effect of IPC on the structure and function of cardiac TJs remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that myocardial IR injury ruptures the structure of TJs and impairs endothelial permeability whereas IPC preserves the structural and functional integrity of TJs in the blood–heart barrier. Langendorff hearts from C57BL/6J mice were prepared and perfused with Krebs–Henseleit buffer. Cardiac function, creatine kinase release, and myocardial edema were measured. Cardiac TJ function was evaluated by measuring Evans blue-conjugated albumin (EBA) content in the extravascular compartment of hearts. Expression and translocation of zonula occludens (ZO)-2 in IR and IPC hearts were detected with Western blot. A subset of hearts was processed for the observation of ultra-structure of cardiac TJs with transmission electron microscopy. There were clear TJs between coronary endothelial cells of mouse hearts. IR caused the collapse of TJs whereas IPC sustained the structure of TJs. IR increased extravascular EBA content in the heart and myocardial edema but decreased the expression of ZO-2 in the cytoskeleton. IPC maintained the structure of TJs. Cardiac EBA content and edema were reduced in IPC hearts. IPC enhanced the translocation of ZO-2 from cytosol to cytoskeleton. In conclusion, TJs occur in

  11. Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Aaron; Matthias, Torsten

    2015-06-01

    The incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing along with the expansion of industrial food processing and food additive consumption. The intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junction, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self-antigens. As a result, particular attention is being placed on the role of tight junction dysfunction in the pathogenesis of AD. Tight junction leakage is enhanced by many luminal components, commonly used industrial food additives being some of them. Glucose, salt, emulsifiers, organic solvents, gluten, microbial transglutaminase, and nanoparticles are extensively and increasingly used by the food industry, claim the manufacturers, to improve the qualities of food. However, all of the aforementioned additives increase intestinal permeability by breaching the integrity of tight junction paracellular transfer. In fact, tight junction dysfunction is common in multiple autoimmune diseases and the central part played by the tight junction in autoimmune diseases pathogenesis is extensively described. It is hypothesized that commonly used industrial food additives abrogate human epithelial barrier function, thus, increasing intestinal permeability through the opened tight junction, resulting in entry of foreign immunogenic antigens and activation of the autoimmune cascade. Future research on food additives exposure-intestinal permeability-autoimmunity interplay will enhance our knowledge of the common mechanisms associated with autoimmune progression. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Suitability of polystyrene as a functional barrier layer in coloured food contact materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genualdi, Susan; Addo Ntim, Susana; Begley, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Functional barriers in food contact materials (FCMs) are used to prevent or reduce migration from inner layers in multilayer structures to food. The effectiveness of functional barrier layers was investigated in coloured polystyrene (PS) bowls due to their intended condition of use with hot liquids such as soups or stew. Migration experiments were performed over a 10-day period using USFDA-recommended food simulants (10% ethanol, 50% ethanol, corn oil and Miglyol) along with several other food oils. At the end of the 10 days, solvent dyes had migrated from the PS bowls at 12, 1 and 31,000 ng cm(-)(2) into coconut oil, palm kernel oil and Miglyol respectively, and in coconut oil and Miglyol the colour change was visible to the human eye. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images revealed that the functional barrier was no longer intact for the bowls exposed to coconut oil, palm kernel oil, Miglyol, 10% ethanol, 50% ethanol and goat's milk. Additional tests showed that 1-dodecanol, a lauryl alcohol derived from palm kernel oil and coconut oil, was present in the PS bowls at an average concentration of 11 mg kg(-1). This compound is likely to have been used as a dispersing agent for the solvent dye and aided the migration of the solvent dye from the PS bowl into the food simulant. The solvent dye was not found in the 10% ethanol, 50% ethanol and goat's milk food simulants above their respective limits of detection, which is likely to be due to its insolubility in aqueous solutions. A disrupted barrier layer is of concern because if there are unregulated materials in the inner layers of the laminate, they may migrate to food, and therefore be considered unapproved food additives resulting in the food being deemed adulterated under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

  13. Protein Homeostasis Imposes a Barrier on Functional Integration of Horizontally Transferred Genes in Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershtein, Shimon; Serohijos, Adrian W R; Bhattacharyya, Sanchari; Manhart, Michael; Choi, Jeong-Mo; Mu, Wanmeng; Zhou, Jingwen; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2015-10-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a central role in bacterial evolution, yet the molecular and cellular constraints on functional integration of the foreign genes are poorly understood. Here we performed inter-species replacement of the chromosomal folA gene, encoding an essential metabolic enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), with orthologs from 35 other mesophilic bacteria. The orthologous inter-species replacements caused a marked drop (in the range 10-90%) in bacterial growth rate despite the fact that most orthologous DHFRs are as stable as E.coli DHFR at 37°C and are more catalytically active than E. coli DHFR. Although phylogenetic distance between E. coli and orthologous DHFRs as well as their individual molecular properties correlate poorly with growth rates, the product of the intracellular DHFR abundance and catalytic activity (kcat/KM), correlates strongly with growth rates, indicating that the drop in DHFR abundance constitutes the major fitness barrier to HGT. Serial propagation of the orthologous strains for ~600 generations dramatically improved growth rates by largely alleviating the fitness barriers. Whole genome sequencing and global proteome quantification revealed that the evolved strains with the largest fitness improvements have accumulated mutations that inactivated the ATP-dependent Lon protease, causing an increase in the intracellular DHFR abundance. In one case DHFR abundance increased further due to mutations accumulated in folA promoter, but only after the lon inactivating mutations were fixed in the population. Thus, by apparently distinguishing between self and non-self proteins, protein homeostasis imposes an immediate and global barrier to the functional integration of foreign genes by decreasing the intracellular abundance of their products. Once this barrier is alleviated, more fine-tuned evolution occurs to adjust the function/expression of the transferred proteins to the constraints imposed by the intracellular

  14. Protein Homeostasis Imposes a Barrier on Functional Integration of Horizontally Transferred Genes in Bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimon Bershtein

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Horizontal gene transfer (HGT plays a central role in bacterial evolution, yet the molecular and cellular constraints on functional integration of the foreign genes are poorly understood. Here we performed inter-species replacement of the chromosomal folA gene, encoding an essential metabolic enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR, with orthologs from 35 other mesophilic bacteria. The orthologous inter-species replacements caused a marked drop (in the range 10-90% in bacterial growth rate despite the fact that most orthologous DHFRs are as stable as E.coli DHFR at 37°C and are more catalytically active than E. coli DHFR. Although phylogenetic distance between E. coli and orthologous DHFRs as well as their individual molecular properties correlate poorly with growth rates, the product of the intracellular DHFR abundance and catalytic activity (kcat/KM, correlates strongly with growth rates, indicating that the drop in DHFR abundance constitutes the major fitness barrier to HGT. Serial propagation of the orthologous strains for ~600 generations dramatically improved growth rates by largely alleviating the fitness barriers. Whole genome sequencing and global proteome quantification revealed that the evolved strains with the largest fitness improvements have accumulated mutations that inactivated the ATP-dependent Lon protease, causing an increase in the intracellular DHFR abundance. In one case DHFR abundance increased further due to mutations accumulated in folA promoter, but only after the lon inactivating mutations were fixed in the population. Thus, by apparently distinguishing between self and non-self proteins, protein homeostasis imposes an immediate and global barrier to the functional integration of foreign genes by decreasing the intracellular abundance of their products. Once this barrier is alleviated, more fine-tuned evolution occurs to adjust the function/expression of the transferred proteins to the constraints imposed by the

  15. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-01-01

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO x /Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 /Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to π-coupling is observed for a thickness d F =6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  16. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-03-04

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO{sub x}/Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18}/Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to {pi}-coupling is observed for a thickness d{sub F}=6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  17. Assessment of skin barrier function and biochemical changes of ex vivo human skin in response to physical and chemical barrier disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Döge, Nadine; Avetisyan, Araks; Hadam, Sabrina; Pfannes, Eva Katharina Barbosa; Rancan, Fiorenza; Blume-Peytavi, Ulrike; Vogt, Annika

    2017-07-01

    Topical dermatotherapy is intended to be used on diseased skin. Novel drug delivery systems even address differences between intact and diseased skin underlining the need for pre-clinical assessment of different states of barrier disruption. Herein, we studied how short-term incubation in culture media compared to incubation in humidified chambers affects human skin barrier function and viability. On both models we assessed different types and intensities of physical and chemical barrier disruption methods with regard to structural integrity, biophysical parameters and cytokine levels. Tissue degeneration and proliferative activity limited the use of tissue cultures to 48h. Viability is better preserved in cultured tissue. Tape-stripping (50×TS) and 4h sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) pre-treatment were identified as highly reproducible and effective procedures for barrier disruption. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values reproducibly increased with the intensity of disruption while sebum content and skin surface pH were of limited value. Interleukin (IL)-6/8 and various chemokines and proteases were increased in tape-stripped skin which was more pronounced in SLS-treated skin tissue extracts. Thus, albeit limited to 48h, cultured full-thickness skin maintained several barrier characteristics and responded to different intensities of barrier disruption. Potentially, these models can be used to assess pre-clinically the efficacy and penetration of anti-inflammatory compounds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Caspase-14 Expression Impairs Retinal Pigment Epithelium Barrier Function: Potential Role in Diabetic Macular Edema

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selina Beasley

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We recently showed that caspase-14 is a novel molecule in retina with potential role in accelerated vascular cell death during diabetic retinopathy (DR. Here, we evaluated whether caspase-14 is implicated in retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE dysfunction under hyperglycemia. The impact of high glucose (HG, 30 mM D-glucose on caspase-14 expression in human RPE (ARPE-19 cells was tested, which showed significant increase in caspase-14 expression compared with normal glucose (5 mM D-glucose + 25 mM L-glucose. We also evaluated the impact of modulating caspase-14 expression on RPE cells barrier function, phagocytosis, and activation of other caspases using ARPE-19 cells transfected with caspase-14 plasmid or caspase-14 siRNA. We used FITC-dextran flux assay and electric cell substrate impedance sensing (ECIS to test the changes in RPE cell barrier function. Similar to HG, caspase-14 expression in ARPE-19 cells increased FITC-dextran leakage through the confluent monolayer and decreased the transcellular electrical resistance (TER. These effects of HG were prevented by caspase-14 knockdown. Furthermore, caspase-14 knockdown prevented the HG-induced activation of caspase-1 and caspase-9, the only activated caspases by HG. Phagocytic activity was unaffected by caspase-14 expression. Our results suggest that caspase-14 contributes to RPE cell barrier disruption under hyperglycemic conditions and thus plays a role in the development of diabetic macular edema.

  19. The oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu represents a cell culture system to examine functional expression of the mouse gap junction gene connexin29 (Cx29

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential gap junction forming mouse connexin29 (Cx29 protein is concomitantly expressed with connexin32 (Cx32 in peripheral myelin forming Schwann cells and together with both Cx32 and connexin47 (Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of the CNS. To study the genomic structure and functional expression of Cx29, either primary cells or cell culture systems might be selected, from which the latter are easier to cultivate. Both structure and expression of Cx29 is still not fully understood. In the mouse sciatic nerve, brain and the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu the Cx29 gene is processed in two transcript isoforms both harbouring a unique reading frame. In contrast to Cx32 and Cx47, only Cx29 protein is abundantly expressed in undifferentiated as well as differentiated Oli-neu cells but the absence of Etbr dye transfer after microinjection concealed the function of Cx29 mediated gap junction communication between those cells. Although HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx29 or Cx29-eGFP neither demonstrated any permeability for Lucifer yellow nor for neurobiotin, blocking of Etbr uptake from the media by gap junction blockers does suppose a role of Cx29 in hemi-channel function. Thus, we conclude that, due to its high abundance of Cx29 expression and its reproducible culture conditions, the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu might constitute an appropriate cell culture system to study molecular mechanisms or putative extracellular stimuli to functionally open Cx29 channels or hemi-channels.

  20. Improving Dispersion and Barrier Properties of Polyketone/Graphene Nanoplatelet Composites via Noncovalent Functionalization Using Aminopyrene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jaehyun; Jeon, Ikseong; Kim, Seong Yun; Lim, Soonho; Jho, Jae Young

    2017-08-23

    A series of polyketone (PK) nanocomposite films with varying content of noncovalently functionalized graphene nanoplatelet with 1-aminopyrene (GNP/APy) is prepared by solution blending with a solvent of hexafluoro-2-propanol. GNP/APy, prepared by a facile method, can effectively induce specific interaction such as hydrogen bonding between the amine functional group of GNP/APy and the carbonyl functional group of the PK matrix. With comparison of GNP and GNP/Py as reference materials, intensive investigation on filler-matrix interaction is achieved. In addition, the dispersion state of the functionalized GNP (f-GNPs; GNP/Py and GNP/APy) in the PK matrix is analyzed by three-dimensional nondestructive X-ray microcomputed tomography, and the increased dispersion state of those fillers results in significant improvement in the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR). The enhancement in WVTR of the PK/GNP/APy nanocomposite film at 1 wt % loading of filler leads to a barrier performance approximately 2 times larger compared to that of PK/GNP nanocomposite film and an approximately 92% reduction in WVTR compared to the case of pristine PK film. We expect that this facile method of graphene functionalization to enhance graphene dispersibility as well as interfacial interaction with the polymer matrix will be widely utilized to expand the potential of graphene materials to barrier film applications.

  1. Qualitative assessment of anorectal junction levels and anorectal angles to investigate functional differences between constipation and fecal incontinence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shannon, S.I.; Somers, S.; Anvari, M.; Stevenson, G.W.; Waterfall, W.E.; Huizinga, J.D.

    1989-01-01

    Female patients consecutively referred for defecography, with either chronic constipation or incontinence, were assessed for posterior anorectal angle and anorectal junction level as measured from the ischial tuberosities. The clinical groups did not differ in grades of rectoceles, enteroceles, or intussusception. Both constipated and incontinent patients had a low resting anorectal junction position compared with that of volunteers, indicating a stretched pelvic floor. Despite this, the constipated patients achieved a similar degree of lift of the pelvic floor on squeezing as controls, and they also showed significant angle changes on lifting and straining. Incontinent patients showed a significantly smaller amount of lift than controls, a significantly larger descent than constipated patients, and no angle changes on lifting and straining. These data are consistent with significantly weaker pelvic floor muscles in incontinent compared with constipated patients, despite a similar degree of stretching

  2. Identification of MarvelD3 as a tight junction-associated transmembrane protein of the occludin family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balda Maria S

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tight junctions are an intercellular adhesion complex of epithelial and endothelial cells, and form a paracellular barrier that restricts the diffusion of solutes on the basis of size and charge. Tight junctions are formed by multiprotein complexes containing cytosolic and transmembrane proteins. How these components work together to form functional tight junctions is still not well understood and will require a complete understanding of the molecular composition of the junction. Results Here we identify a new transmembrane component of tight junctions: MarvelD3, a four-span transmembrane protein. Its predicted transmembrane helices form a Marvel (MAL and related proteins for vesicle traffic and membrane link domain, a structural motif originally discovered in proteins involved in membrane apposition and fusion events, such as the tight junction proteins occludin and tricellulin. In mammals, MarvelD3 is expressed as two alternatively spliced isoforms. Both isoforms exhibit a broad tissue distribution and are expressed by different types of epithelial as well as endothelial cells. MarvelD3 co-localises with occludin at tight junctions in intestinal and corneal epithelial cells. RNA interference experiments in Caco-2 cells indicate that normal MarvelD3 expression is not required for the formation of functional tight junctions but depletion results in monolayers with increased transepithelial electrical resistance. Conclusions Our data indicate that MarvelD3 is a third member of the tight junction-associated occludin family of transmembrane proteins. Similar to occludin, normal expression of MarvelD3 is not essential for the formation of functional tight junctions. However, MarvelD3 functions as a determinant of epithelial paracellular permeability properties.

  3. Brain barriers and functional interfaces with sequential appearance of ABC efflux transporters during human development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møllgård, Kjeld; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Holst, Camilla B.

    2017-01-01

    Adult brain is protected from entry of drugs and toxins by specific mechanisms such as ABC (ATP-binding Cassette) efflux transporters. Little is known when these appear in human brain during development. Cellular distribution of three main ABC transporters (ABCC1, ABCG2, ABCB1) was determined...... at blood-brain barriers and interfaces in human embryos and fetuses in first half of gestation. Antibodies against claudin-5 and-11 and antibodies to α-fetoprotein were used to describe morphological and functional aspects of brain barriers. First exchange interfaces to be established, probably at 4...... three transporters. Results provide evidence for sequential establishment of brain exchange interfaces and spatial and temporal timetable for three main ABC transporters in early human brain....

  4. Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Functional Family Therapy in a Community Setting: Client and Practitioner Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Kerri E; Kerr, Susan; Casey, Beth; Marshall, John

    2017-10-01

    While Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is known to be effective in addressing adolescent behavioral problems, there has been little exploration of issues relevant to its transport from the tightly controlled setting of clinical trials into routine service delivery. This study sought the views of key stakeholders, clients, and practitioners, on barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation of FFT. Undertaken in a community setting in Scotland, interviews were carried out with 12 adolescents, 14 parents/caregivers, and 6 practitioners. Results focus on: Referral process and pre-intervention contact; Engagement of families; Structure and delivery; Organizational factors. Although barriers to engagement were identified, FFT was viewed as an acceptable, appropriate and feasible intervention with the potential to improve adolescent wellbeing in 'real-world' settings. © 2017 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

  5. Curcumin-mediated regulation of intestinal barrier function: The mechanism underlying its beneficial effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Siddhartha S; He, Hongliang; Wang, Jing; Gehr, Todd W; Ghosh, Shobha

    2018-01-02

    Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative properties established largely by in vitro studies. Accordingly, oral administration of curcumin beneficially modulates many diseases including diabetes, fatty-liver disease, atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer and neurological disorders such as depression, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. However, limited bioavailability and inability to detect curcumin in circulation or target tissues has hindered the validation of a causal role. We established curcumin-mediated decrease in the release of gut bacteria-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into circulation by maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier function as the mechanism underlying the attenuation of metabolic diseases (diabetes, atherosclerosis, kidney disease) by curcumin supplementation precluding the need for curcumin absorption. In view of the causative role of circulating LPS and resulting chronic inflammation in the development of diseases listed above, this review summarizes the mechanism by which curcumin affects the several layers of the intestinal barrier and, despite negligible absorption, can beneficially modulate these diseases.

  6. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palatinus, Joseph A; Gourdie, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart.

  7. Biosensor Technology Reveals the Disruption of the Endothelial Barrier Function and the Subsequent Death of Blood Brain Barrier Endothelial Cells to Sodium Azide and Its Gaseous Products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kho, Dan T; Johnson, Rebecca H; O'Carroll, Simon J; Angel, Catherine E; Graham, E Scott

    2017-09-21

    Herein we demonstrate the sensitive nature of human blood-brain barrier (BBB) endothelial cells to sodium azide and its gaseous product. Sodium azide is known to be acutely cytotoxic at low millimolar concentrations, hence its use as a biological preservative (e.g., in antibodies). Loss of barrier integrity was noticed in experiments using Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) biosensor technology, to measure endothelial barrier integrity continuously in real-time. Initially the effect of sodium azide was observed as an artefact where it was present in antibodies being employed in neutralisation experiments. This was confirmed where antibody clones that were azide-free did not mediate loss of barrier function. A delayed loss of barrier function in neighbouring wells implied the influence of a liberated gaseous product. ECIS technology demonstrated that the BBB endothelial cells had a lower level of direct sensitivity to sodium azide of ~3 µM. Evidence of gaseous toxicity was consistently observed at 30 µM and above, with disrupted barrier function and cell death in neighbouring wells. We highlight the ability of this cellular biosensor technology to reveal both the direct and gaseous toxicity mediated by sodium azide. The sensitivity and temporal dimension of ECIS technology was instrumental in these observations. These findings have substantial implications for the wide use of sodium azide in biological reagents, raising issues of their application in live-cell assays and with regard to the protection of the user. This research also has wider relevance highlighting the sensitivity of brain endothelial cells to a known mitochondrial disruptor. It is logical to hypothesise that BBB endothelial dysfunction due to mitochondrial dys-regulation could have an important but underappreciated role in a range of neurological diseases.

  8. MicroRNA-147b regulates vascular endothelial barrier function by targeting ADAM15 expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Chatterjee

    Full Text Available A disintegrin and metalloproteinase15 (ADAM15 has been shown to be upregulated and mediate endothelial hyperpermeability during inflammation and sepsis. This molecule contains multiple functional domains with the ability to modulate diverse cellular processes including cell adhesion, extracellular matrix degradation, and ectodomain shedding of transmembrane proteins. These characteristics make ADAM15 an attractive therapeutic target in various diseases. The lack of pharmacological inhibitors specific to ADAM15 prompted our efforts to identify biological or molecular tools to alter its expression for further studying its function and therapeutic implications. The goal of this study was to determine if ADAM15-targeting microRNAs altered ADAM15-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction during septic challenge by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS. An in silico analysis followed by luciferase reporter assay in human vascular endothelial cells identified miR-147b with the ability to target the 3' UTR of ADAM15. Transfection with a miR-147b mimic led to decreased total, as well as cell surface expression of ADAM15 in endothelial cells, while miR-147b antagomir produced an opposite effect. Functionally, LPS-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction, evidenced by a reduction in transendothelial electric resistance and increase in albumin flux across endothelial monolayers, was attenuated in cells treated with miR-147b mimics. In contrast, miR-147b antagomir exerted a permeability-increasing effect in vascular endothelial cells similar to that caused by LPS. Taken together, these data suggest the potential role of miR147b in regulating endothelial barrier function by targeting ADAM15 expression.

  9. Improvement of hydration and epidermal barrier function in human skin by a novel compound isosorbide dicaprylate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, R K; Bojanowski, K

    2017-10-01

    The study involved the synthesis of a novel derivative of caprylic acid - isosorbide dicaprylate (IDC) - and the evaluation of its potential in improving water homoeostasis and epidermal barrier function in human skin. The effect of IDC on gene expression was assayed in skin organotypic cultures by DNA microarrays. The results were then confirmed for a few key genes by quantitative PCR, immuno- and cytochemistry. Final validation of skin hydration properties was obtained by four separate clinical studies. Level of hydration was measured by corneometer either by using 2% IDC lotion alone vs placebo or in combination with 2% glycerol lotion vs 2% glycerol only. A direct comparison in skin hydration between 2% IDC and 2% glycerol lotions was also carried out. The epidermal barrier function improvement was assessed by determining changes in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) on the arms before and after treatment with 2% IDC lotion versus placebo. IDC was found to upregulate the expression of AQP3, CD44 and proteins involved in keratinocyte differentiation as well as the formation and function of stratum corneum. A direct comparison between 2% IDC versus 2% glycerol lotions revealed a three-fold advantage of IDC in providing skin hydration. Severely dry skin treated with 2% IDC in combination with 2% glycerol showed 133% improvement, whereas 35% improvement was observed with moderately dry human skin. Topical isosorbide dicaprylate favourably modulates genes involved in the maintenance of skin structure and function, resulting in superior clinical outcomes. By improving skin hydration and epidermal permeability barrier, it offers therapeutic applications in skin ageing. © 2017 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.

  10. Magnetic tunnel junction thermocouple for thermoelectric power harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhnert, T.; Paz, E.; Ferreira, R.; Freitas, P. P.

    2018-05-01

    The thermoelectric power generated in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) is determined as a function of the tunnel barrier thickness for a matched electric circuit. This study suggests that lower resistance area product and higher tunnel magnetoresistance will maximize the thermoelectric power output of the MTJ structures. Further, the thermoelectric behavior of a series of two MTJs, a MTJ thermocouple, is investigated as a function of its magnetic configurations. In an alternating magnetic configurations the thermovoltages cancel each other, while the magnetic contribution remains. A large array of MTJ thermocouples could amplify the magnetic thermovoltage signal significantly.

  11. Model of a tunneling current in a p-n junction based on armchair graphene nanoribbons - an Airy function approach and a transfer matrix method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suhendi, Endi; Syariati, Rifki; Noor, Fatimah A.; Khairurrijal; Kurniasih, Neny

    2014-01-01

    We modeled a tunneling current in a p-n junction based on armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNRs) by using an Airy function approach (AFA) and a transfer matrix method (TMM). We used β-type AGNRs, in which its band gap energy and electron effective mass depends on its width as given by the extended Huckel theory. It was shown that the tunneling currents evaluated by employing the AFA are the same as those obtained under the TMM. Moreover, the calculated tunneling current was proportional to the voltage bias and inversely with temperature

  12. Enhanced barrier functions and anti-inflammatory effect of cultured coconut extract on human skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soomin; Jang, Ji Eun; Kim, Jihee; Lee, Young In; Lee, Dong Won; Song, Seung Yong; Lee, Ju Hee

    2017-08-01

    Natural plant oils have been used as a translational alternative to modern medicine. Particularly, virgin coconut oil (VCO) has gained popularity because of its potential benefits in pharmaceutical, nutritional, and cosmetic applications. Cultured coconut extract (CCE) is an alternative end product of VCO, which undergoes a further bacterial fermentation process. This study aimed to investigate the effects of CCE on human skin. We analyzed the expression of skin barrier molecules and collagens after applying CCE on human explanted skin. To evaluate the anti-inflammatory properties of CCE, the expression of inflammatory markers was analyzed after ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation. The CCE-treated group showed increased expression of cornified cell envelope components, which contribute to protective barrier functions of the stratum corneum. Further, the expression of inflammatory markers was lower in the CCE-treated group after exposure to UVB radiation. These results suggest an anti-inflammatory effect of CCE against UVB irradiation-induced inflammation. Additionally, the CCE-treated group showed increased collagen and hyaluronan synthase-3 expression. In our study, CCE showed a barrier-enhancing effect and anti-inflammatory properties against ex vivo UVB irradiation-induced inflammation. The promising effect of CCE may be attributed to its high levels of polyphenols and fatty acid components. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Collaborative learning to unlock investments for functional ecological infrastructure: Bridging barriers in social-ecological systems in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Angelstam, P

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available . Based on expert knowledge at three scales, we analysed South Africa's opportunity to active adaptive management and to unlock investments that enhance functional ecological infrastructure. Barriers included lack of trust among actors, limited...

  14. Impact of exogenous lipase supplementation on growth, intestinal function, mucosal immune and physical barrier, and related signaling molecules mRNA expression of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sen; Feng, Lin; Jiang, Wei-Dan; Liu, Yang; Jiang, Jun; Wu, Pei; Zeng, Yun-Yun; Xu, Shu-De; Kuang, Sheng-Yao; Tang, Ling; Tang, Wu-Neng; Zhang, Yong-An; Zhou, Xiao-Qiu

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated the effects of exogenous lipase supplementation on the growth performance, intestinal growth and function, immune response and physical barrier function, and related signaling molecules mRNA expression of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 450 grass carp (255.02 ± 0.34 g) were fed five diets for 60 days. There were 5 dietary treatments that included a normal protein and lipid diet containing 30% crude protein (CP) with 5% ether extract (EE), and the low-protein and high-lipid diets (28% CP, 6% EE) supplemented with graded levels of exogenous lipase supplementation activity at 0, 1193, 2560 and 3730 U/kg diet. The results indicated that compared with a normal protein and lipid diet (30% CP, 5% EE), a low-protein and high-lipid diet (28% CP, 6% EE) (un-supplemented lipase) improved lysozyme activities and complement component 3 contents in the distal intestine (DI), interleukin 10 mRNA expression in the proximal intestine (PI), and glutathione S-transferases activity and glutathione content in the intestine of young grass carp. In addition, in low-protein and high-lipid diets, optimal exogenous lipase supplementation significantly increased acid phosphatase (ACP) activities and complement component 3 (C3) contents (P exogenous lipase supplementation significantly decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl (PC) contents (P exogenous lipase supplementation significantly elevated the mRNA levels of tight junction proteins (Occludin, zonula occludens 1, Claudin b, Claudin c and Claudin 3) (P exogenous lipase supplementation improved growth, intestinal growth and function, intestinal immunity, physical barrier, and regulated the mRNA expression of related signal molecules of fish. The optimal level of exogenous lipase supplementation in young grass carp (255-771 g) was estimated to be 1193 U kg(-1) diet. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Actin-interacting protein 1 controls assembly and permeability of intestinal epithelial apical junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechuga, Susana; Baranwal, Somesh; Ivanov, Andrei I

    2015-05-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are crucial regulators of the integrity and restitution of the intestinal epithelial barrier. The structure and function of epithelial junctions depend on their association with the cortical actin cytoskeleton that, in polarized epithelial cells, is represented by a prominent perijunctional actomyosin belt. The assembly and stability of the perijunctional cytoskeleton is controlled by constant turnover (disassembly and reassembly) of actin filaments. Actin-interacting protein (Aip) 1 is an emerging regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, playing a critical role in filament disassembly. In this study, we examined the roles of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in human intestinal epithelium. Aip1 was enriched at apical junctions in polarized human intestinal epithelial cells and normal mouse colonic mucosa. Knockdown of Aip1 by RNA interference increased the paracellular permeability of epithelial cell monolayers, decreased recruitment of AJ/TJ proteins to steady-state intercellular contacts, and attenuated junctional reassembly in a calcium-switch model. The observed defects of AJ/TJ structure and functions were accompanied by abnormal organization and dynamics of the perijunctional F-actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, loss of Aip1 impaired the apico-basal polarity of intestinal epithelial cell monolayers and inhibited formation of polarized epithelial cysts in 3-D Matrigel. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated role of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of intestinal epithelial junctions and early steps of epithelial morphogenesis. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Elucidation of the Synthetic Mechanism of Acylceramide, an Essential Lipid for Skin Barrier Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Yusuke

    2017-01-01

    The primary function of the skin is to act as a permeability barrier that prevents water loss from inside the body and external invasion such as by pathogens, harmful substances, and allergens. Lipids play a critical role in skin barrier formation by forming multi-lamellar structures in the stratum corneum, the outermost cell layer of the epidermis. Ceramide, the backbone of sphingolipids, accounts for more than 50% of the stratum corneum lipids. Acylceramides are epidermis-specific ceramide species essential for skin barrier formation. Decreases in acylceramide levels and changes in ceramide composition and chain-length are associated with such cutaneous disorders as ichthyosis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Acylceramide consists of a long-chain base and an amide-linked ultra-long-chain fatty acid (ULCFA, 28-36 carbon chain), which is ω-hydroxylated and esterified with linoleic acid. Although the molecular mechanism by which acylceramide is generated has not been fully understood for decades, we recently identified two genes, CYP4F22 and PNPLA1, involved in acylceramide synthesis and elucidated the entire biosynthetic pathway of acylceramide: the synthesis of ULCFA by ELOVL1 and ELOVL4, ω-hydroxylation of the ULCFA by CYP4F22, amide-bond formation with a long-chain base by CERS3, and transacylation of linoleic acid from triacylglycerol to ω-hydroxyceramide by PNPLA1 to generate acylceramide. CYP4F22 and PNPLA1 are the causative genes of ichthyosis. We demonstrated that mutations of CYP4F22 or PNPLA1 markedly reduced acylceramide production. Our recent findings provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of skin barrier formation and of ichthyosis pathogenesis.

  17. Stereodynamic tetrahydrobiisoindole “NU-BIPHEP(O”s: functionalization, rotational barriers and non-covalent interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Golo Storch

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Stereodynamic ligands offer intriguing possibilities in enantioselective catalysis. “NU-BIPHEPs” are a class of stereodynamic diphosphine ligands which are easily accessible via rhodium-catalyzed double [2 + 2 + 2] cycloadditions. This study explores the preparation of differently functionalized “NU-BIPHEP(O” compounds, the characterization of non-covalent adduct formation and the quantification of enantiomerization barriers. In order to explore the possibilities of functionalization, we studied modifications of the ligand backbone, e.g., with 3,5-dichlorobenzoyl chloride. Diastereomeric adducts with Okamoto-type cellulose derivatives and on-column deracemization were realized on the basis of non-covalent interactions. Enantioselective dynamic HPLC (DHPLC allowed for the determination of rotational barriers of ΔG‡298K = 92.2 ± 0.3 kJ mol−1 and 99.5 ± 0.1 kJ mol−1 underlining the stereodynamic properties of “NU-BIPHEPs” and “NU-BIPHEP(Os”, respectively. These results make the preparation of tailor-made functionalized stereodynamic ligands possible and give an outline for possible applications in enantioselective catalysis.

  18. Human immunodeficiency virus-associated disruption of mucosal barriers and its role in HIV transmission and pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugizov, Sharof

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Oral, intestinal and genital mucosal epithelia have a barrier function to prevent paracellular penetration by viral, bacterial and other pathogens, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV can overcome these barriers by disrupting the tight and adherens junctions of mucosal epithelia. HIV-associated disruption of epithelial junctions may also facilitate paracellular penetration and dissemination of other viral pathogens. This review focuses on possible molecular mechanisms of HIV-associated disruption of mucosal epithelial junctions and its role in HIV transmission and pathogenesis of HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). PMID:27583187

  19. War experiences, general functioning and barriers to care among former child soldiers in Northern Uganda: the WAYS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amone-P'Olak, Kennedy; Jones, Peter; Meiser-Stedman, Richard; Abbott, Rosemary; Ayella-Ataro, Paul Stephen; Amone, Jackson; Ovuga, Emilio

    2014-12-01

    Exposure to war is associated with considerable risks for long-term mental health problems (MHP) and poor functioning. Yet little is known about functioning and mental health service (MHS) use among former child soldiers (FCS). We assessed whether different categories of war experiences predict functioning and perceived need for, sources of and barriers to MHS among FCS. Data were drawn from an on-going War-affected Youths (WAYS) cohort study of FCS in Uganda. Participants completed questionnaires about war experiences, functioning and perceived need for, sources of and barriers to MHS. Regression analyses and parametric tests were used to assess between-group differences. Deaths, material losses, threat to loved ones and sexual abuse significantly predicted poor functioning. FCS who received MHS function better than those who did not. Females reported more emotional and behavioural problems and needed MHS more than males. FCS who function poorly indicated more barriers to MHS than those who function well. Stigma, fear of family break-up and lack of health workers were identified as barriers to MHS. Various war experiences affect functioning differently. A significant need for MHS exists amidst barriers to MHS. Nevertheless, FCS are interested in receiving MHS and believe it would benefit them. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory: barrier heights and main group and transition metal energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Rebecca K; Li Manni, Giovanni; Sonnenberger, Andrew L; Truhlar, Donald G; Gagliardi, Laura

    2015-01-13

    Kohn-Sham density functional theory, resting on the representation of the electronic density and kinetic energy by a single Slater determinant, has revolutionized chemistry, but for open-shell systems, the Kohn-Sham Slater determinant has the wrong symmetry properties as compared to an accurate wave function. We have recently proposed a theory, called multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT), in which the electronic kinetic energy and classical Coulomb energy are calculated from a multiconfiguration wave function with the correct symmetry properties, and the rest of the energy is calculated from a density functional, called the on-top density functional, that depends on the density and the on-top pair density calculated from this wave function. We also proposed a simple way to approximate the on-top density functional by translation of Kohn-Sham exchange-correlation functionals. The method is much less expensive than other post-SCF methods for calculating the dynamical correlation energy starting with a multiconfiguration self-consistent-field wave function as the reference wave function, and initial tests of the theory were quite encouraging. Here, we provide a broader test of the theory by applying it to bond energies of main-group molecules and transition metal complexes, barrier heights and reaction energies for diverse chemical reactions, proton affinities, and the water dimerization energy. Averaged over 56 data points, the mean unsigned error is 3.2 kcal/mol for MC-PDFT, as compared to 6.9 kcal/mol for Kohn-Sham theory with a comparable density functional. MC-PDFT is more accurate on average than complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2) for main-group small-molecule bond energies, alkyl bond dissociation energies, transition-metal-ligand bond energies, proton affinities, and the water dimerization energy.

  1. Poly(2-vinyl pyridine)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) featuring a furan group at the block junction-synthesis and functionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, Tobias; Barthel, Markus J; Kretschmer, Florian; Mansfeld, Ulrich; Hoeppener, Stephanie; Hager, Martin D; Schubert, Ulrich S; Schacher, Felix H

    2014-05-01

    Furfuryl glycidyl ether (FGE) represents a highly versatile monomer for the preparation of reversibly cross-linkable nanostructured materials via Diels-Alder reactions. Here, the use of FGE for the mid-chain functionalization of a P2VP-b-PEO diblock copolymer is reported. The material features one furan moiety at the block junction, P2VP68 -FGE-b-PEO390 , which can be subsequently addressed in Diels-Alder reactions using maleimide-functionalized counterparts. The presence of the FGE moiety enables the introduction of dyes as model labels or the formation of hetero-grafted brushes as shell on hybrid Au@Polymer nanoparticles. This renders P2VP68 -FGE-b-PEO390 , a powerful tool for selective functionalization reactions, including the modification of surfaces. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Neutron induced permanent damage in Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mueller, G.P.; Rosen, M.

    1982-01-01

    14 MeV neutron induced permanent changes in the critical current density of Josephson junctions due to displacement damage in the junction barrier are estimated using a worst case model and the binary collision simulation code MARLOWE. No likelihood of single event hard upsets is found in this model. It is estimated that a fluence of 10 18 -10 19 neutrons/cm 2 are required to change the critical current density by 5%

  3. Superconducting tunnel-junction refrigerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melton, R.G.; Paterson, J.L.; Kaplan, S.B.

    1980-01-01

    The dc current through an S 1 -S 2 tunnel junction, with Δ 2 greater than Δ 1 , when biased with eV 1 +Δ 2 , will lower the energy in S 1 . This energy reduction will be shared by the phonons and electrons. This device is shown to be analogous to a thermoelectric refrigerator with an effective Peltier coefficient π* approx. Δ 1 /e. Tunneling calculations yield the cooling power P/sub c/, the electrical power P/sub e/ supplied by the bias supply, and the cooling efficiency eta=P/sub c//P/sub e/. The maximum cooling power is obtained for eV= +- (Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) and t 1 =T 1 /T/sub c/1 approx. 0.9. Estimates are made of the temperature difference T 2 -T 1 achievable in Al-Pb and Sn-Pb junctions with an Al 2 O 3 tunneling barrier. The performance of this device is shown to yield a maximum cooling efficiency eta approx. = Δ 1 /(Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) which can be compared with that available in an ideal Carnot refrigerator of eta=T 1 /(T 2 -T 1 ). The development of a useful tunnel-junction refrigerator requires a tunneling barrier with an effective thermal conductance per unit area several orders of magnitude less than that provided by the A1 2 O 3 barrier in the Al-Pb and Sn-Pb systems

  4. Atomic-scaled characterization of graphene PN junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaodong; Wang, Dennis; Dadgar, Ali; Agnihotri, Pratik; Lee, Ji Ung; Reuter, Mark C.; Ross, Frances M.; Pasupathy, Abhay N.

    Graphene p-n junctions are essential devices for studying relativistic Klein tunneling and the Veselago lensing effect in graphene. We have successfully fabricated graphene p-n junctions using both lithographically pre-patterned substrates and the stacking of vertical heterostructures. We then use our 4-probe STM system to characterize the junctions. The ability to carry out scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in our STM instrument is essential for us to locate and measure the junction interface. We obtain both the topography and dI/dV spectra at the junction area, from which we track the shift of the graphene chemical potential with position across the junction interface. This allows us to directly measure the spatial width and roughness of the junction and its potential barrier height. We will compare the junction properties of devices fabricated by the aforementioned two methods and discuss their effects on the performance as a Veselago lens.

  5. Lithium chloride contributes to blood-spinal cord barrier integrity and functional recovery from spinal cord injury by stimulating autophagic flux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Minji; He, Zili; Lin, Xiaoxiao; Zhou, Yulong; Wang, Qingqing; Zheng, Zengming; Chen, Jian; Xu, Huazi; Tian, Naifeng

    2018-01-22

    Blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) disruption following spinal cord injury (SCI) significantly compromises functional neuronal recovery. Autophagy is a potential therapeutic target when seeking to protect the BSCB. We explored the effects of lithium chloride (LiCl) on BSCB permeability and autophagy-induced SCI both in a rat model of SCI and in endothelial cells subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation. We evaluated BSCB status using the Evans Blue dye extravasation test and measurement of tight junction (TJ) protein levels; we also assessed functional locomotor recovery. We detected autophagy-associated proteins in vivo and in vitro using both Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining. We found that, in a rat model of SCI, LiCl attenuated the elevation in BSCB permeability, improved locomotor recovery, and inhibited the degradation of TJ proteins including occludin and claudin-5. LiCl significantly induced the extent of autophagic flux after SCI by increasing LC3-II and ATG-5 levels, and abolishing p62 accumulation. In addition, a combination of LiCl and the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine not only partially eliminated the BSCB-protective effect of LiCl, but also exacerbated TJ protein degradation both in vivo and in vitro. Together, these findings suggest that LiCl treatment alleviates BSCB disruption and promotes locomotor recovery after SCI, partly by stimulating autophagic flux. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson tunnel junctions and Coulomb blockade in single small tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cleland, A.N.

    1991-04-01

    Experiments investigating the process of macroscopic quantum tunneling in a moderately-damped, resistively shunted, Josephson junction are described, followed by a discussion of experiments performed on very small capacitance normal-metal tunnel junctions. The experiments on the resistively-shunted Josephson junction were designed to investigate a quantum process, that of the tunneling of the Josephson phase variable under a potential barrier, in a system in which dissipation plays a major role in the dynamics of motion. All the parameters of the junction were measured using the classical phenomena of thermal activation and resonant activation. Theoretical predictions are compared with the experimental results, showing good agreement with no adjustable parameters; the tunneling rate in the moderately damped (Q ∼ 1) junction is seen to be reduced by a factor of 300 from that predicted for an undamped junction. The phase is seen to be a good quantum-mechanical variable. The experiments on small capacitance tunnel junctions extend the measurements on the larger-area Josephson junctions from the region in which the phase variable has a fairly well-defined value, i.e. its wavefunction has a narrow width, to the region where its value is almost completely unknown. The charge on the junction becomes well-defined and is predicted to quantize the current through the junction, giving rise to the Coulomb blockade at low bias. I present the first clear observation of the Coulomb blockade in single junctions. The electrical environment of the tunnel junction, however, strongly affects the behavior of the junction: higher resistance leads are observed to greatly sharpen the Coulomb blockade over that seen with lower resistance leads. I present theoretical descriptions of how the environment influences the junctions; comparisons with the experimental results are in reasonable agreement

  7. Spin-transfer torque in spin filter tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Ortiz Pauyac, Christian; Kalitsov, Alan; Manchon, Aurelien; Chshiev, Mairbek

    2014-01-01

    Spin-transfer torque in a class of magnetic tunnel junctions with noncollinear magnetizations, referred to as spin filter tunnel junctions, is studied within the tight-binding model using the nonequilibrium Green's function technique within Keldysh formalism. These junctions consist of one ferromagnet (FM) adjacent to a magnetic insulator (MI) or two FM separated by a MI. We find that the presence of the magnetic insulator dramatically enhances the magnitude of the spin-torque components compared to conventional magnetic tunnel junctions. The fieldlike torque is driven by the spin-dependent reflection at the MI/FM interface, which results in a small reduction of its amplitude when an insulating spacer (S) is inserted to decouple MI and FM layers. Meanwhile, the dampinglike torque is dominated by the tunneling electrons that experience the lowest barrier height. We propose a device of the form FM/(S)/MI/(S)/FM that takes advantage of these characteristics and allows for tuning the spin-torque magnitudes over a wide range just by rotation of the magnetization of the insulating layer.

  8. Spin-transfer torque in spin filter tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Ortiz Pauyac, Christian

    2014-12-08

    Spin-transfer torque in a class of magnetic tunnel junctions with noncollinear magnetizations, referred to as spin filter tunnel junctions, is studied within the tight-binding model using the nonequilibrium Green\\'s function technique within Keldysh formalism. These junctions consist of one ferromagnet (FM) adjacent to a magnetic insulator (MI) or two FM separated by a MI. We find that the presence of the magnetic insulator dramatically enhances the magnitude of the spin-torque components compared to conventional magnetic tunnel junctions. The fieldlike torque is driven by the spin-dependent reflection at the MI/FM interface, which results in a small reduction of its amplitude when an insulating spacer (S) is inserted to decouple MI and FM layers. Meanwhile, the dampinglike torque is dominated by the tunneling electrons that experience the lowest barrier height. We propose a device of the form FM/(S)/MI/(S)/FM that takes advantage of these characteristics and allows for tuning the spin-torque magnitudes over a wide range just by rotation of the magnetization of the insulating layer.

  9. Planar Josephson tunnel junctions in a transverse magnetic field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Monacoa, R.; Aarøe, Morten; Mygind, Jesper

    2007-01-01

    demagnetization effects imposed by the tunnel barrier and electrodes geometry are important. Measurements of the junction critical current versus magnetic field in planar Nb-based high-quality junctions with different geometry, size, and critical current density show that it is advantageous to use a transverse......Traditionally, since the discovery of the Josephson effect in 1962, the magnetic diffraction pattern of planar Josephson tunnel junctions has been recorded with the field applied in the plane of the junction. Here we discuss the static junction properties in a transverse magnetic field where...

  10. Thiolated silicone oils as adhesive skin protectants for improved barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partenhauser, A; Zupančič, O; Rohrer, J; Bonengel, S; Bernkop-Schnürch, A

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was the evaluation of thiolated silicone oil as novel skin protectant exhibiting prolonged residence time, enhanced barrier function and reinforced occlusivity. Two silicone conjugates were synthesized with mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) and thioglycolic acid (TGA) as thiol ligands. Adhesion, protection against artificial urine and water vapour permeability with both a Payne cup set-up and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurements on porcine skin were assessed. Silicone thiomers showed pronounced substantivity on skin with 22.1 ± 6.3% and 39.2 ± 6.7% remaining silicone after 8 h for silicone-TGA and silicone-MPA, respectively, whereas unmodified silicone oil and dimethicone were no longer detectable. In particular, silicone-MPA provided a protective shield against artificial urine penetration with less than 25% leakage within 6 h. An up to 2.5-fold improved water vapour impermeability for silicone-MPA in comparison with unmodified control was discovered with the Payne cup model. In addition, for silicone-MPA a reduced TEWL by two-thirds corresponding to non-thiolated control was determined for up to 8 h. Thiolation of silicone oil leads to enhanced skin adhesiveness and barrier function, which is a major advantage compared to commonly used silicones and might thus be a promising treatment modality for various topical applications. © 2015 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.

  11. A Lactobacillus mutant capable of accumulating long-chain polyphosphates that enhance intestinal barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, Asako; Ishida, Yasuaki; Segawa, Shuichi; Hirota, Ryuichi; Nakamura, Takeshi; Kuroda, Akio

    2016-05-01

    Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) was previously identified as a probiotic-derived substance that enhances intestinal barrier function. PolyP-accumulating bacteria are expected to have beneficial effects on the human gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we selected Lactobacillus paracasei JCM 1163 as a strain with the potential to accumulate polyP, because among the probiotic bacteria stored in our laboratory, it had the largest amount of polyP. The chain length of polyP accumulated in L. paracasei JCM 1163 was approximately 700 phosphate (Pi) residues. L. paracasei JCM 1163 accumulated polyP when Pi was added to Pi-starved cells. We further improved the ability of L. paracasei JCM 1163 to accumulate polyP by nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. The mutant accumulated polyP at a level of 1500 nmol/mg protein-approximately 190 times that of the wild-type strain. PolyP extracted from the L. paracasei JCM 1163 significantly suppressed the oxidant-induced intestinal permeability in mouse small intestine. In conclusion, we have succeeded in breeding the polyP-accumulating Lactobacillus mutant that is expected to enhance intestinal barrier function.

  12. Effects of glyceryl glucoside on AQP3 expression, barrier function and hydration of human skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, A; Siefken, W; Kueper, T; Breitenbach, U; Gatermann, C; Sperling, G; Biernoth, T; Scherner, C; Stäb, F; Wenck, H; Wittern, K-P; Blatt, T

    2012-01-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) present in the epidermis are essential hydration-regulating elements controlling cellular water and glycerol transport. In this study, the potential of glyceryl glucoside [GG; alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-alpha-(1->2)-glycerol], an enhanced glycerol derivative, to increase the expression of AQP3 in vitro and ex vivo was evaluated. In vitro studies with real-time RT-PCR and FACS measurements were performed to test the induction by GG (3% w/v) of AQP3 mRNA and protein in cultured human keratinocytes. GG-containing formulations were applied topically to volunteer subjects and suction blister biopsies were analyzed to assess whether GG (5%) could penetrate the epidermis of intact skin, and subsequently upregulate AQP3 mRNA expression and improve barrier function. AQP3 mRNA and protein levels were significantly increased in cultured human keratinocytes. In the studies on volunteer subjects, GG significantly increased AQP3 mRNA levels in the skin and reduced transepidermal water loss compared with vehicle-controlled areas. GG promotes AQP3 mRNA and protein upregulation and improves skin barrier function, and may thus offer an effective treatment option for dehydrated skin. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Parametric frequency conversion in long Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irie, F.; Ashihara, S.; Yoshida, K.

    1976-01-01

    Current steps at voltages corresponding to the parametric coupling between an applied r.f. field and junction resonant modes have been observed in long Josephson tunnel junctions in the flux-flow state. The observed periodic variations of the step height due to the applied magnetic field are explained quantitatively by a perturbational analysis using Josephson phase equations. The present study demonstrates that the moving vortex array can serve as a coherent pump wave for signal waves propagating in the barrier region, which indicates, as a result, the possibility of traveling-wave parametric devices with long Josephson tunnel junctions. (author)

  14. Lipid rafts regulate PCB153-induced disruption of occludin and brain endothelial barrier function through protein phosphatase 2A and matrix metalloproteinase-2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eum, Sung Yong, E-mail: seum@miami.edu; Jaraki, Dima; András, Ibolya E.; Toborek, Michal

    2015-09-15

    Occludin is an essential integral transmembrane protein regulating tight junction (TJ) integrity in brain endothelial cells. Phosphorylation of occludin is associated with its localization to TJ sites and incorporation into intact TJ assembly. The present study is focused on the role of lipid rafts in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-induced disruption of occludin and endothelial barrier function. Exposure of human brain endothelial cells to 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB153) induced dephosphorylation of threonine residues of occludin and displacement of occludin from detergent-resistant membrane (DRM)/lipid raft fractions within 1 h. Moreover, lipid rafts modulated the reduction of occludin level through activation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) after 24 h PCB153 treatment. Inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity by okadaic acid or fostriecin markedly protected against PCB153-induced displacement of occludin and increased permeability of endothelial cells. The implication of lipid rafts and PP2A signaling in these processes was further defined by co-immunoprecipitation of occludin with PP2A and caveolin-1, a marker protein of lipid rafts. Indeed, a significant MMP-2 activity was observed in lipid rafts and was increased by exposure to PCB153. The pretreatment of MMP-2 inhibitors protected against PCB153-induced loss of occludin and disruption of lipid raft structure prevented the increase of endothelial permeability. Overall, these results indicate that lipid raft-associated processes, such as PP2A and MMP-2 activation, participate in PCB153-induced disruption of occludin function in brain endothelial barrier. This study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to brain endothelial barrier dysfunction in response to exposure to environmental pollutants, such as ortho-substituted PCBs. - Highlights: • PCB153 disturbed human brain endothelial barrier through disruption of occludin. • Lipid raft-associated PP

  15. Desmoglein 2 regulates the intestinal epithelial barrier via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungewiß, Hanna; Vielmuth, Franziska; Suzuki, Shintaro T; Maiser, Andreas; Harz, Hartmann; Leonhardt, Heinrich; Kugelmann, Daniela; Schlegel, Nicolas; Waschke, Jens

    2017-07-24

    Intestinal epithelial barrier properties are maintained by a junctional complex consisting of tight junctions (TJ), adherens junctions (AJ) and desmosomes. Desmoglein 2 (Dsg2), an adhesion molecule of desmosomes and the only Dsg isoform expressed in enterocytes, is required for epithelial barrier properties and may contribute to barrier defects in Crohn's disease. Here, we identified extradesmosomal Dsg2 on the surface of polarized enterocytes by Triton extraction, confocal microscopy, SIM and STED. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed Dsg2-specific binding events along the cell border on the surface of enterocytes with a mean unbinding force of around 30pN. Binding events were blocked by an inhibitory antibody targeting Dsg2 which under same conditions activated p38MAPK but did not reduce cell cohesion. In enterocytes deficient for Dsg2, p38MAPK activity was reduced and both barrier integrity and reformation were impaired. Dsc2 rescue did not restore p38MAPK activity indicating that Dsg2 is required. Accordingly, direct activation of p38MAPK in Dsg2-deficient cells enhanced barrier reformation demonstrating that Dsg2-mediated activation of p38MAPK is crucial for barrier function. Collectively, our data show that Dsg2, beside its adhesion function, regulates intestinal barrier function via p38MAPK signalling. This is in contrast to keratinocytes and points towards tissue-specific signalling functions of desmosomal cadherins.

  16. Functional Two-Dimensional Coordination Polymeric Layer as a Charge Barrier in Li–S Batteries

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Jing-Kai

    2018-01-04

    Ultrathin two-dimensional (2D) polymeric layers are capable of separating gases and molecules based on the reported size exclusion mechanism. What is equally important but missing today is an exploration of the 2D layers with charge functionality, which enables applications using the charge exclusion principle. This work demonstrates a simple and scalable method of synthesizing a free-standing 2D coordination polymer Zn2(benzimidazolate)2(OH)2 at the air–water interface. The hydroxyl (−OH) groups are stoichiometrically coordinated and implement electrostatic charges in the 2D structures, providing powerful functionality as a charge barrier. Electrochemical performance of the Li–S battery shows that the Zn2(benzimidazolate)2(OH)2 coordination polymer layers efficiently mitigate the polysulfide shuttling effects and largely enhance the battery capacity and cycle performance. The synthesis of the proposed coordination polymeric layers is simple, scalable, cost saving, and promising for practical use in batteries.

  17. RNase L Interacts with Filamin A To Regulate Actin Dynamics and Barrier Function for Viral Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Mohammad Adnan; Dayal, Shubham; Naji, Merna; Ezelle, Heather J.; Zeng, Chun; Zhou, Aimin; Hassel, Bret A.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The actin cytoskeleton and its network of associated proteins constitute a physical barrier that viruses must circumvent to gain entry into cells for productive infection. The mechanisms by which the physical signals of infection are sensed by the host to activate an innate immune response are not well understood. The antiviral endoribonuclease RNase L is ubiquitously expressed in a latent form and activated upon binding 2-5A, a unique oligoadenylate produced during viral infections. We provide evidence that RNase L in its inactive form interacts with the actin-binding protein Filamin A to modulate the actin cytoskeleton and inhibit virus entry. Cells lacking either RNase L or Filamin A displayed increased virus entry which was exacerbated in cells lacking both proteins. RNase L deletion mutants that reduced Filamin A interaction displayed a compromised ability to restrict virus entry, supporting the idea of an important role for the RNase L-Filamin A complex in barrier function. Remarkably, both the wild type and a catalytically inactive RNase L mutant were competent to reduce virus entry when transfected into RNase L-deficient cells, indicating that this novel function of RNase L is independent of its enzymatic activity. Virus infection and RNase L activation disrupt its association with Filamin A and release RNase L to mediate its canonical nuclease-dependent antiviral activities. The dual functions of RNase L as a constitutive component of the actin cytoskeleton and as an induced mediator of antiviral signaling and effector functions provide insights into its mechanisms of antiviral activity and opportunities for the development of novel antiviral agents. PMID:25352621

  18. The Effects of Fire on the Function of the 200-BP-1 Engineered Surface Barrier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ward, Anderson L.; Link, Steven O.; Hasan, Nazmul; Draper, Kathryn E.

    2009-09-01

    A critical unknown in use of barrier technology for long-term waste isolation is performance after a major disturbance especially when institutional controls are intact, but there are no resources to implement corrective actions. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of wild fire on alterations the function of an engineered barrier. A controlled burn September 26, 2008 was used to remove all the vegetation from the north side of the barrier. Flame heights exceeded 9 m and temperatures ranged from 250 oC at 1.5 cm below the surface to over 700 oC at 1 m above the surface. Post-fire analysis of soil properties show significant decreases in wettability, hydraulic conductivity, air entry pressure, organic matter, and porosity relative to pre-fire conditions whereas dry bulk density increased. Decreases in hydraulic conductivity and wettabilty immediately after the fire are implicated in a surface runoff event that occurred in January 2009, the first in 13 years. There was a significant increase in macro-nutrients, pH, and electrical conductivity. After one year, hydrophobicity has returned to pre-burn levels with only 16% of samples still showing signs of decreased wettability. Over the same period, hydraulic conductivity and air entry pressure returned to pre-burn levels at one third of the locations but remained identical to values recorded immediately after the fire at the other two thirds. Soil nutrients, pH, and electrical conductivity remain elevated after 1 year. Species composition on the burned surface changed markedly from prior years and relative to the unburned surface and two analog sites. An increase in the proportion of annuals and biennials is characteristic of burned surfaces that have become dominated by ruderal species. Greenhouse seedling emergence tests conducted to assess the seed bank of pre- and post-burn soils and of two analog sites at the McGee Ranch show no difference in the number of species emerging from soils collected

  19. Four-state non-volatile memory in a multiferroic spin filter tunnel junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Jieji; Li, Chen; Yuan, Zhoushen; Wang, Peng; Li, Aidong; Wu, Di

    2016-12-01

    We report a spin filter type multiferroic tunnel junction with a ferromagnetic/ferroelectric bilayer barrier. Memory functions of a spin filter magnetic tunnel junction and a ferroelectric tunnel junction are combined in this single device, producing four non-volatile resistive states that can be read out in a non-destructive manner. This concept is demonstrated in a LaNiO3/Pr0.8Ca0.2MnO3/BaTiO3/La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 all-oxide tunnel junction. The ferromagnetic insulator Pr0.8Ca0.2MnO3 serves as the spin filter and the ferromagnetic metal La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 is the spin analyzer. The ferroelectric polarization reversal in the BaTiO3 barrier switches the tunneling barrier height to produce a tunneling electroresistance. The ferroelectric switching also modulates the spin polarization and the spin filtering efficiency in Pr0.8Ca0.2MnO3.

  20. Electron tunneling across a tunable potential barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mangin, A; Anthore, A; Rocca, M L Della; Boulat, E; Lafarge, P

    2009-01-01

    We present an experiment where the elementary quantum electron tunneling process should be affected by an independent gate voltage parameter. We have realized nanotransistors where the source and drain electrodes are created by electromigration inducing a nanometer sized gap acting as a tunnel barrier. The barrier potential shape is in first approximation considered trapezoidal. The application of a voltage to the gate electrode close to the barrier region can in principle affect the barrier shape. Simulations of the source drain tunnel current as a function of the gate voltage predict modulations as large as one hundred percent. The difficulty of observing the predicted behaviour in our samples might be due to the peculiar geometry of the realized tunnel junction.

  1. Stretching of BDT-gold molecular junctions: Thiol or thiolate termination?

    KAUST Repository

    Souza, Amaury De Melo; Rungger, Ivan; Pontes, Renato Borges; Rocha, Alexandre Reily; Da Silva, Antô nio José Roque; Schwingenschlö gl, Udo; Sanvito, S.

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that the hydrogen atoms in the thiol groups of a benzene-1,4-dithiol dissociate when Au-benzene-1,4-dithiol-Au junctions are formed. We demonstrate, by stability and transport property calculations, that this assumption cannot be made. We show that the dissociative adsorption of methanethiol and benzene-1,4-dithiol molecules on a flat Au(111) surface is energetically unfavorable and that the activation barrier for this reaction is as high as 1 eV. For the molecule in the junction, our results show, for all electrode geometries studied, that the thiol junctions are energetically more stable than their thiolate counterparts. Due to the fact that density functional theory (DFT) within the local density approximation (LDA) underestimates the energy difference between the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital and the highest occupied molecular orbital by several electron-volts, and that it does not capture the renormalization of the energy levels due to the image charge effect, the conductance of the Au-benzene-1,4-dithiol-Au junctions is overestimated. After taking into account corrections due to image charge effects by means of constrained-DFT calculations and electrostatic classical models, we apply a scissor operator to correct the DFT energy level positions, and calculate the transport properties of the thiol and thiolate molecular junctions as a function of the electrode separation. For the thiol junctions, we show that the conductance decreases as the electrode separation increases, whereas the opposite trend is found for the thiolate junctions. Both behaviors have been observed in experiments, therefore pointing to the possible coexistence of both thiol and thiolate junctions. Moreover, the corrected conductance values, for both thiol and thiolate, are up to two orders of magnitude smaller than those calculated with DFT-LDA. This brings the theoretical results in quantitatively good agreement with experimental data.

  2. Role of Vitamin D in Maintaining Renal Epithelial Barrier Function in Uremic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milos Mihajlovic

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available As current kidney replacement therapies are not efficient enough for end-stage renal disease (ESRD treatment, a bioartificial kidney (BAK device, based on conditionally immortalized human proximal tubule epithelial cells (ciPTEC, could represent an attractive solution. The active transport activity of such a system was recently demonstrated. In addition, endocrine functions of the cells, such as vitamin D activation, are relevant. The organic anion transporter 1 (OAT-1 overexpressing ciPTEC line presented 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1, 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1 and vitamin D receptor (VDR, responsible for vitamin D activation, degradation and function, respectively. The ability to produce and secrete 1α,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3, was shown after incubation with the precursor, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3. The beneficial effect of vitamin D on cell function and behavior in uremic conditions was studied in the presence of an anionic uremic toxins mixture. Vitamin D could restore cell viability, and inflammatory and oxidative status, as shown by cell metabolic activity, interleukin-6 (IL-6 levels and reactive oxygen species (ROS production, respectively. Finally, vitamin D restored transepithelial barrier function, as evidenced by decreased inulin-FITC leakage in biofunctionalized hollow fiber membranes (HFM carrying ciPTEC-OAT1. In conclusion, the protective effects of vitamin D in uremic conditions and proven ciPTEC-OAT1 endocrine function encourage the use of these cells for BAK application.

  3. Employment status, employment functioning, and barriers to employment among VA primary care patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivin, Kara; Yosef, Matheos; Levine, Debra S; Abraham, Kristen M; Miller, Erin M; Henry, Jennifer; Nelson, C Beau; Pfeiffer, Paul N; Sripada, Rebecca K; Harrod, Molly; Valenstein, Marcia

    2016-03-15

    Prior research found lower employment rates among working-aged patients who use the VA than among non-Veterans or Veterans who do not use the VA, with the lowest reported employment rates among VA patients with mental disorders. This study assessed employment status, employment functioning, and barriers to employment among VA patients treated in primary care settings, and examined how depression and anxiety were associated with these outcomes. The sample included 287 VA patients treated in primary care in a large Midwestern VA Medical Center. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted examining associations between socio-demographic and clinical predictors of six employment domains, including: employment status, job search self-efficacy, work performance, concerns about job loss among employed Veterans, and employment barriers and likelihood of job seeking among not employed Veterans. 54% of respondents were employed, 36% were not employed, and 10% were economically inactive. In adjusted analyses, participants with depression or anxiety (43%) were less likely to be employed, had lower job search self-efficacy, had lower levels of work performance, and reported more employment barriers. Depression and anxiety were not associated with perceived likelihood of job loss among employed or likelihood of job seeking among not employed. Single VA primary care clinic; cross-sectional study. Employment rates are low among working-aged VA primary care patients, particularly those with mental health conditions. Offering primary care interventions to patients that address mental health issues, job search self-efficacy, and work performance may be important in improving health, work, and economic outcomes. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Shottky-barrier formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guines, F.; Sanchez-Dehesa, J.; Flores, F.

    1983-01-01

    In this paper a realistic selfconsistent calculation of an abrupt metal-semiconductor junction is presented by means of a tight-binding approach. A specific Si-Ag junction has been considered, and the charge neutrality level as well as the barrier height have been determined in good agreement with experiments. For a generaljunction it is shown that the interface properties depend essentially on the characteristics of the first metal layer and its interaction with the semiconductor. (Author) [pt

  5. Value of 'functional' magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of ligamentous affection at the craniovertebral junction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lummel, Nina, E-mail: nina.lummel@med.uni-muenchen.de [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Munich (LMU), Marchioninistrasse 15, D - 81377 Munich (Germany); Bitterling, Harro, E-mail: Harro.Bitterling@shs.regionsyddanmark.dk [Billeddiagnostisk Afdeling SBS/TS, Sygehus Sonderjylland, Sydvang 1, DK - 6400 Sonderborg (Denmark); Kloetzer, Andrea, E-mail: andreakloetzer@yahoo.de [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Munich (LMU), Marchioninistrasse 15, D - 81377 Munich (Germany); Zeif, Christian, E-mail: zeif@ilo.de [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Munich (LMU), Marchioninistrasse 15, D - 81377 Munich (Germany); Brueckmann, Hartmut, E-mail: hartmut.brueckmann@med.uni-muenchen.de [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Munich (LMU), Marchioninistrasse 15, D - 81377 Munich (Germany); Linn, Jennifer, E-mail: jennifer.linn@med.uni-muenchen.de [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Munich (LMU), Marchioninistrasse 15, D - 81377 Munich (Germany)

    2012-11-15

    Introduction: Objective of this investigation was to evaluate the rotational mobility at the craniocervical junction and changes in the width of the subarachnoid space during head rotation in healthy volunteers using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Materials and Methods: In 30 healthy volunteers axial 3 mm Half-Fourier Acquisition Single-Shot Turbo Spin-Echo (HASTE) sequences were obtained with the subject's head in neutral position, and in maximal rotation to the left and right respectively. All MRI examinations were evaluated by two neuroradiologists in consensus. The ranges of axial rotation at C0-C2 as well as the width of the subarachnoid space in neutral, and in maximal rotated position were measured. Student's t-tests were used to compare group differences. Results: Total range of right-to-left-rotation at C0-C2 was 59-183 Degree-Sign with mean rotation to the right and left side of 70 Degree-Sign ({+-}12.7 Degree-Sign ) and 75 Degree-Sign ({+-}13.0 Degree-Sign ). Difference between degrees of rotation to both sides was on average 4.9 Degree-Sign ({+-}7.1 Degree-Sign ) with a significantly greater rotational range to the left compared to the right. In neutral position, distance between the dura and the ventral wall of the cervical spinal cord was 1.6-4.2 mm. In active rotation interface between dura and myelon was evident in 19 volunteers with unilateral contact in 7, and bilateral contact in 12 cases. Conclusions: High variablity of rotational mobility at the craniocervical junction and attenuation of width of the subarachnoid space during head rotation are frequent findings in an asymptomatic population. Our results indicate that the assessment of these parameters is of limited diagnostic value in patients with whiplash-associated disorders.

  6. Spatial dependence of plasma oscillations in Josephson tunnel junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, Thorsten; Hansen, Jørn Bindslev

    1991-01-01

    of an applied magnetic field. Numerical simulations of the governing partial-differential sine-Gordon equation were performed and compared to the experimental results and a perturbation analysis. The theoretical results support the experiments and allow us to interpret the observed crossover as due...... field threading the tunneling barrier. We compare measurements where the plasma frequency was tuned either by applying a magnetic field or by raising the temperature. A crossover from short- to long-junction behavior of the functional dependence of the plasma oscillations was observed in the case...

  7. Experimental fusion excitation functions and derived barrier distributions for heavy ion systems involving prolate and oblate target nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bierman, J.D.; Chan, P.; Liang, J.F.; Kelly, M.P.; Sonzogni, A.A.; Vandenbosch, R.

    1996-01-01

    Fusion excitation functions spanning the entire barrier region in 1 MeV energy steps for the two systems 40 Ca + 192 Os, 194 Pt are presented. The results of fission fragment angular distribution measurements for fusion-fission of 40 Ca + 197 Au at several projectile energies within the barrier region are also presented. The fusion data is of high enough precision to allow for extraction of the distribution of fusion barriers from the second differential of the product of E and σ. Basic coupled channels calculations which are in quite good agreement with the data are shown and discussed

  8. Fulfillment of the long-term safety functions by the different barriers during the main time frames after repository closure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Preter, P. de; Lalieux, Ph.

    2002-01-01

    In general terms the basis long-term safety functions of a disposal system (i.e. the engineered barrier system, including the waste forms and the host rock) are the functions that the system as a whole or its constituents must fulfill in order to assure an adequate level of long-term radiological safety. The long-term safety functions of a disposal system constitute a generic and methodological tool that can be used in a double sense. In the first place these functions provide an a priori instrument for designing the system: the implementer must ensure that these safety functions are fulfilled by a series of robust system barriers and components. These functions can also be used as an a posteriori means to describe and assess in general terms the functioning of the system. In this way they are an important qualitative element to help to support the safety case and to identify further R and D priorities. By providing a general description of system functioning they are also a communication tool to stakeholders who are less familiar with the details of a safety case. Instead of limiting the description to a multi-barrier system, the safety functions enable to better explain how the different barriers contribute to one or more safety functions and by which processes this is performed. By doing so the system description moves from multi-barrier to multi-function. The aim of this paper is to provide such a general description of the system functioning for the Belgian case of deep disposal of high-level waste (mainly spent fuel or vitrified waste from fuel reprocessing) in the Boom Clay, o poorly-indurated argillaceous formation. From the detailed safety and performance evaluations the main time frames after repository closure are identified. Each time frame relates to a period during which the successive safety functions play a key role. Also, in each time frame the radiological impact on the environment is distinctly different. (authors)

  9. Alteration of intestinal barrier function during activity-based anorexia in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jésus, Pierre; Ouelaa, Wassila; François, Marie; Riachy, Lina; Guérin, Charlène; Aziz, Moutaz; Do Rego, Jean-Claude; Déchelotte, Pierre; Fetissov, Sergueï O; Coëffier, Moïse

    2014-12-01

    Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder often leading to malnutrition and cachexia, but its pathophysiology is still poorly defined. Chronic food restriction during anorexia nervosa may induce gut barrier dysfunction, which may contribute to disease development and its complications. Here we have characterized intestinal barrier function in mice with activity-based anorexia (ABA), an animal model of anorexia nervosa. Male C57Bl/6 ABA or limited food access (LFA) mice were placed respectively in cages with or without activity wheel. After 5 days of acclimatization, both ABA and LFA mice had progressively limited access to food from 6 h/d at day 6 to 3 h/d at day 9 and until the end of experiment at day 17. A group of pair-fed mice (PF) was also compared to ABA. On day 17, food intake was lower in ABA than LFA mice (2.0 ± 0.18 g vs. 3.0 ± 0.14 g, p anorexia nervosa. The role of these alterations in the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa should be further evaluated. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.

  10. Peltier cooling in molecular junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Longji; Miao, Ruijiao; Wang, Kun; Thompson, Dakotah; Zotti, Linda Angela; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Meyhofer, Edgar; Reddy, Pramod

    2018-02-01

    The study of thermoelectricity in molecular junctions is of fundamental interest for the development of various technologies including cooling (refrigeration) and heat-to-electricity conversion1-4. Recent experimental progress in probing the thermopower (Seebeck effect) of molecular junctions5-9 has enabled studies of the relationship between thermoelectricity and molecular structure10,11. However, observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions—a critical step for establishing molecular-based refrigeration—have remained inaccessible. Here, we report direct experimental observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions. By integrating conducting-probe atomic force microscopy12,13 with custom-fabricated picowatt-resolution calorimetric microdevices, we created an experimental platform that enables the unified characterization of electrical, thermoelectric and energy dissipation characteristics of molecular junctions. Using this platform, we studied gold junctions with prototypical molecules (Au-biphenyl-4,4'-dithiol-Au, Au-terphenyl-4,4''-dithiol-Au and Au-4,4'-bipyridine-Au) and revealed the relationship between heating or cooling and charge transmission characteristics. Our experimental conclusions are supported by self-energy-corrected density functional theory calculations. We expect these advances to stimulate studies of both thermal and thermoelectric transport in molecular junctions where the possibility of extraordinarily efficient energy conversion has been theoretically predicted2-4,14.

  11. Barriers to Medical Compassion as a Function of Experience and Specialization: Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and General Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, Antonio T; Consedine, Nathan S

    2017-06-01

    Compassion is an expectation of patients, regulatory bodies, and physicians themselves. Most research has, however, studied compassion fatigue rather than compassion itself and has concentrated on the role of the physician. The Transactional Model of Physician Compassion suggests that physician, patient, external environment, and clinical factors are all relevant. Because these factors vary both across different specialities and among physicians with differing degrees of experience, barriers to compassion are also likely to vary. We describe barriers to physician compassion as a function of specialization (psychiatry, general practice, surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics) and physician experience. We used a cross-sectional study using demographic data, specialization, practice parameters, and the Barriers to Physician Compassion Questionnaire. Nonrandom convenience sampling was used to recruit 580 doctors, of whom 444 belonged to the targeted speciality groups. The sample was characterized before conducting a factorial Multivariate Analysis of Covariance and further post hoc analyses. A 5 (speciality grouping) × 2 (more vs. less physician experience) Multivariate Analysis of Covariance showed that the barriers varied as a function of both speciality and experience. In general, psychiatrists reported lower barriers, whereas general practitioners and internal medicine specialists generally reported greater barriers. Barriers were generally greater among less experienced doctors. Documenting and investigating barriers to compassion in different speciality groups have the potential to broaden current foci beyond the physician and inform interventions aimed at enhancing medical compassion. In addition, certain aspects of the training or practice of psychiatry that enhance compassion may mitigate barriers to compassion in other specialities. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Barrier mechanisms in the Drosophila blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, Samantha J; Bainton, Roland J

    2014-01-01

    The invertebrate blood-brain barrier (BBB) field is growing at a rapid pace and, in recent years, studies have shown a physiologic and molecular complexity that has begun to rival its vertebrate counterpart. Novel mechanisms of paracellular barrier maintenance through G-protein coupled receptor signaling were the first demonstrations of the complex adaptive mechanisms of barrier physiology. Building upon this work, the integrity of the invertebrate BBB has recently been shown to require coordinated function of all layers of the compound barrier structure, analogous to signaling between the layers of the vertebrate neurovascular unit. These findings strengthen the notion that many BBB mechanisms are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, and suggest that novel findings in invertebrate model organisms will have a significant impact on the understanding of vertebrate BBB functions. In this vein, important roles in coordinating localized and systemic signaling to dictate organism development and growth are beginning to show how the BBB can govern whole animal physiologies. This includes novel functions of BBB gap junctions in orchestrating synchronized neuroblast proliferation, and of BBB secreted antagonists of insulin receptor signaling. These advancements and others are pushing the field forward in exciting new directions. In this review, we provide a synopsis of invertebrate BBB anatomy and physiology, with a focus on insights from the past 5 years, and highlight important areas for future study.

  13. Composite of microgels and lipids as biofilm to restore skin barrier function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudshoorn, M.H.M.

    2008-01-01

    The mature epidermis is an effective barrier which prevents the body from dehydration and protects it against various environmental influences. If the natural barrier is immature or damaged, the skin barrier is impaired and desiccation occurs. Hence, the regeneration of impaired skin is an essential

  14. Tests of potential functional barriers for laminated multilayer food packages. Part II: Medium molecular weight permeants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simal-Gándara, J; Sarria-Vidal, M; Rijk, R

    2000-09-01

    Experiments were performed to characterize the kinetics of the permeation of different medium molecular weight model permeants: bisphenol A, warfarin and anthracene, from liquid paraffin, through a surrogate potential functional barrier (25 microns-thick orientated polypropylene--OPP) into the food simulants olive oil and 3% (w/v) acetic acid. The characterization of permeation kinetics generally observed the permeation models previously reported to explain the experimental permeation results obtained for a low molecular weight group of model permeants. In general, the model permeants exhibited behaviour consistent with their relative molecular weights with respect to (a) the time taken to attain steady-state permeation into the food simulant in which they were more soluble, (b) their subsequent steady-state permeation rates, and (c) their partition between liquid paraffin and the OPP membrane.

  15. Structure modeling and mutational analysis of gap junction beta 2 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-04-03

    Apr 3, 2012 ... Three dimensional (3 D) structure is very useful for understanding biological functions. Gap junction beta 2 (GJB2), human gene encoding for gap junction beta 2 protein is involved in ... Research in deafness became real.

  16. Investigating the Potential Barrier Function of Nanostructured Materials Formed in Engineered Barrier Systems (EBS) Designed for Nuclear Waste Isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Jaime; Ruiz, Ana Isabel; Fernández, Raúl

    2018-02-21

    Clay and cement are known nano-colloids originating from natural processes or traditional materials technology. Currently, they are used together as part of the engineered barrier system (EBS) to isolate high-level nuclear waste (HLW) metallic containers in deep geological repositories (DGR). The EBS should prevent radionuclide (RN) migration into the biosphere until the canisters fail, which is not expected for approximately 10 3  years. The interactions of cementitious materials with bentonite swelling clay have been the scope of our research team at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) with participation in several European Union (EU) projects from 1998 up to now. Here, we describe the mineral and chemical nature and microstructure of the alteration rim generated by the contact between concrete and bentonite. Its ability to buffer the surrounding chemical environment may have potential for further protection against RN migration. © 2018 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Concatenated logic circuits based on a three-way DNA junction: a keypad-lock security system with visible readout and an automatic reset function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Junhua; Zhou, Shungui; Wen, Junlin

    2015-01-07

    Concatenated logic circuits operating as a biocomputing keypad-lock security system with an automatic reset function have been successfully constructed on the basis of toehold-mediated strand displacement and three-way-DNA-junction architecture. In comparison with previously reported keypad locks, the distinctive advantage of the proposed security system is that it can be reset and cycled spontaneously a large number of times without an external stimulus, thus making practical applications possible. By the use of a split-G-quadruplex DNAzyme as the signal reporter, the output of the keypad lock can be recognized readily by the naked eye. The "lock" is opened only when the inputs are introduced in an exact order. This requirement provides defense against illegal invasion to protect information at the molecular scale. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Beyond Gap Junction Channel Function: the Expression of Cx43 Contributes to Aldosterone-Induced Mesangial Cell Proliferation via the ERK1/2 and PKC Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiqing Zhang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Aims: This study aimed to explore the precise mechanism and signaling pathways of mesangial cell (MC proliferation from a new point of view considering Connexin 43 (Cx43. Methods: MC proliferation was measured by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR. Cx43 was over-expressed in MC cells using lipofectamine 2000, and the expression level was tested with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The gap junction channel function was explored by Lucifer Yellow scrape loading and dye transfer (SLDT, and the intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i were characterized by confocal microscopy on cells loaded with Fura-3/AM. Results: There was an inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and MC proliferation (P0.05. Our data also showed that the mineralcorticoid receptor (MR antagonist spironolactone, ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 and PKC inhibitor GF109203X could attenuate the down-regulation of Cx43 expression in Aldo-induced MC proliferation; however, the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 could block MC proliferation without affecting Cx43 expression at either the mRNA or protein level. In addition, Aldo promoted MC proliferation in parallel with increasing [Ca2+]i (PConclusions: Our study provides preliminary evidence that Cx43 is an important regulator of Aldo-promoted MC proliferation. Furthermore, reduced Cx43 expression promoted MC proliferation independent of the gap junction channel function, and this process might be mediated through the ERK1/2- and PKC-dependent pathways.

  19. Robust spin transfer torque in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions

    KAUST Repository

    Saidaoui, Hamed Ben Mohamed; Waintal, Xavier; Manchon, Aurelien

    2017-01-01

    We theoretically study the current-induced spin torque in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions, composed of two semi-infinite antiferromagnetic layers separated by a tunnel barrier, in both clean and disordered regimes. We find that the torque

  20. Intestinal barrier integrity and inflammatory bowel disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmberg, Fredrik Eric Olof; Pedersen, Jannie; Jørgensen, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Disruption of normal barrier function is a fundamental factor in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, which includes increased epithelial cell death, modified mucus configuration, altered expression and distribution of tight junction-proteins, along with a decreased expression of antim......Disruption of normal barrier function is a fundamental factor in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, which includes increased epithelial cell death, modified mucus configuration, altered expression and distribution of tight junction-proteins, along with a decreased expression...... of antimicrobial peptides. Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with life-long morbidity for affected patients, and both the incidence and prevalence is increasing globally, resulting in substantial economic strain for society. Mucosal healing and re-establishment of barrier integrity is associated......, novel treatment strategies to accomplish mucosal healing and to re-establish normal barrier integrity in inflammatory bowel disease are warranted, and luminal stem cell-based approaches might have an intriguing potential. Transplantation of in vitro expanded intestinal epithelial stem cells derived...

  1. Functional assessment of gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional cultures of human tendon cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

    OpenAIRE

    Kuzma-Kuzniarska, Maria; Yapp, Clarence; Pearson-Jones, Thomas W.; Jones, Andrew K.; Hulley, Philippa A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication influences a variety of cellular activities. In tendons, gap junctions modulate collagen production, are involved in strain-induced cell death, and are involved in the response to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in healthy human tendon-derived cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The FRAP is a noninvasive technique that allows qu...

  2. Hydration effects on the barrier function of stratum corneum lipids: Raman analysis of ceramides 2, III and 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tfayli, Ali; Jamal, Dima; Vyumvuhore, Raoul; Manfait, Michel; Baillet-Guffroy, Arlette

    2013-11-07

    The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin; its barrier function is highly dependent on the composition and the structure as well as the organization of lipids in its extracellular matrix. Ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol represent the major lipid classes present in this matrix. They play an important role in maintaining the normal hydration levels required for the normal physiological function. Despite the advancement in the understanding of the structure, composition and the function of the stratum corneum (SC), the concern of "dry skin" remains important in dermatology and care research. Most studies focus on the quantification of water in the skin using different techniques including Raman spectroscopy, while the studies that investigate the effect of hydration on the quality of the barrier function of the skin are limited. Raman spectroscopy provides structural, conformational and organizational information that could help elucidate the effect of hydration on the barrier function of the skin. In order to assess the effect of relative humidity on the lipid barrier function; we used Raman spectroscopy to follow-up the evolution of the conformation and the organization of three synthetic ceramides (CER) differing from each other by the nature of their polar heads (sphingosine, phytosphingosine and α hydroxyl sphingosine), CER 2, III and 5 respectively. CER III and 5 showed a more compact and ordered organization with stronger polar interactions at intermediate relative humidity values, while CER 2 showed opposite tendencies to those observed with CER III and 5.

  3. Room-temperature current blockade in atomically defined single-cluster junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovat, Giacomo; Choi, Bonnie; Paley, Daniel W.; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Venkataraman, Latha; Roy, Xavier

    2017-11-01

    Fabricating nanoscopic devices capable of manipulating and processing single units of charge is an essential step towards creating functional devices where quantum effects dominate transport characteristics. The archetypal single-electron transistor comprises a small conducting or semiconducting island separated from two metallic reservoirs by insulating barriers. By enabling the transfer of a well-defined number of charge carriers between the island and the reservoirs, such a device may enable discrete single-electron operations. Here, we describe a single-molecule junction comprising a redox-active, atomically precise cobalt chalcogenide cluster wired between two nanoscopic electrodes. We observe current blockade at room temperature in thousands of single-cluster junctions. Below a threshold voltage, charge transfer across the junction is suppressed. The device is turned on when the temporary occupation of the core states by a transiting carrier is energetically enabled, resulting in a sequential tunnelling process and an increase in current by a factor of ∼600. We perform in situ and ex situ cyclic voltammetry as well as density functional theory calculations to unveil a two-step process mediated by an orbital localized on the core of the cluster in which charge carriers reside before tunnelling to the collector reservoir. As the bias window of the junction is opened wide enough to include one of the cluster frontier orbitals, the current blockade is lifted and charge carriers can tunnel sequentially across the junction.

  4. An empirical orthogonal function analysis of ocean shoreline location on the Virginia barrier islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haluska, J. D.

    2017-12-01

    Shoreline change along the Eastern Atlantic shore of Virginia has been studied for the individual barrier islands but not as an integrated system. This study combines the Atlantic shoreline locations for eleven barrier islands obtained from LANDSAT 5, 7, and 8 images. Approximately 250 shoreline locations over a 24-year period from Jan 1990 to Dec 2014 were extracted from the digitized shoreline data at 338 transects. The resulting 338 by 250 matrix was analyzed by the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) technique. The first four principal components (PC) explained 86 percent of the sample variance. Since the data was not detrended, the first PC was the overall trend of the data with a discontinuity in 2004-2005. The 2004-2005 interval included storm events and large shoreline changes. PCs 2 to 4 reflect the effects of El Nino events and tropical and non-tropical storms. Eigenvectors 1 to 4 all show the effects of the nine inlets in the island group. Eigenvector (EV) 1 explains 59 percent of the shoreline spatial variance and shows the largest changes at the northern and southern island ends. EVs 2 to 4 reflect the pattern of EV1 but at sequentially smaller percentages of the spatial variance. As a group, the eleven islands are losing ocean side shoreline. The lone exception is Hog Island. Sea level had the strongest correlation with the shoreline loss trend of PC1. The coefficient of determination was 0.41. The NAO and MEI also correlated with PC1 with correlations of determination of 0.05 and 0.12 respectively. These confidence level for the three factors was better than 99 percent. Sea level also correlated with PC3 and PC4. The PCs as a group show that the year intervals 2004-2005 and 2009-2010 had large effects on the shoreline change pattern for the island group. EVs 1 to 4 had the highest range of shoreline change at the island ends indicating the effect the changes of the inlets have on the adjacent islands. The smaller islands as a group had a higher level

  5. Cell-cell junctions: a target of acoustic overstimulation in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Guiliang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to intense noise causes the excessive movement of the organ of Corti, stretching the organ and compromising sensory cell functions. We recently revealed changes in the transcriptional expression of multiple adhesion-related genes during the acute phases of cochlear damage, suggesting that the disruption of cell-cell junctions is an early event in the process of cochlear pathogenesis. However, the functional state of cell junctions in the sensory epithelium is not clear. Here, we employed graded dextran-FITC, a macromolecule tracer that is impermeable to the organ of Corti under physiological conditions, to evaluate the barrier function of cell junctions in normal and noise-traumatized cochlear sensory epithelia. Results Exposure to an impulse noise of 155 dB (peak sound pressure level caused a site-specific disruption in the intercellular junctions within the sensory epithelium of the chinchilla cochlea. The most vulnerable sites were the junctions among the Hensen cells and between the Hensen and Deiters cells within the outer zone of the sensory epithelium. The junction clefts that formed in the reticular lamina were permeable to 40 and 500 but not 2,000 kDa dextran-FITC macromolecules. Moreover, this study showed that the interruption of junction integrity occurred in the reticular lamina and also in the basilar membrane, a site that had been considered to be resistant to acoustic injury. Finally, our study revealed a general spatial correlation between the site of sensory cell damage and the site of junction disruption. However, the two events lacked a strict one-to-one correlation, suggesting that the disruption of cell-cell junctions is a contributing, but not the sole, factor for initiating acute sensory cell death. Conclusions Impulse noise causes the functional disruption of intercellular junctions in the sensory epithelium of the chinchilla cochlea. This disruption occurs at an early phase of cochlear

  6. Controlled thermoelectric response of a tunable Rashba coupled metal-insulator-superconductor junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapri, Priyadarshini; Adhikary, Priyanka; Sinha, Shubham; Basu, Saurabh

    2018-05-01

    Thermoelectric effect for metal, insulator and the superconductor junctions has been studied with Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC) being present at the interfaces via modified Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk (BTK) theory. We find that the thermopower, as a function of an effective barrier potential that characterizes the intermediate insulating layer, displays an oscillatory behavior. Interesting interplay between the strength of RSOC and the effective barrier potential has been carried out in details in this regard. For specific ranges of the effective barrier potential, RSOC enhances the thermopower, while the reverse happens for other values. Moreover it is found that the effective barrier potential plays a crucial role in determining the thermopower spectrum. For a tunable Rashba coupling, the thermopower of the junction can be controlled with precision, which may useful for the thermoelectric applications, at low temperatures. Further the efficiency of the system is obtained for different pairing correlations of the superconducting lead where we find that the system with a d-wave symmetry is more efficient as compared to a s-wave correlation, in some selective regions of effective barrier potential. It is found that for some selective regions of effective barrier potential, the efficiency of the system increases with RSOC and the opposite happens for other values.

  7. Celiac Disease: Role of the Epithelial BarrierSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Schumann

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In celiac disease (CD a T-cell–mediated response to gluten is mounted in genetically predisposed individuals, resulting in a malabsorptive enteropathy histologically highlighted by villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia. Recent data point to the epithelial layer as an under-rated hot spot in celiac pathophysiology to date. This overview summarizes current functional and genetic evidence on the role of the epithelial barrier in CD, consisting of the cell membranes and the apical junctional complex comprising sealing as well as ion and water channel-forming tight junction proteins and the adherens junction. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms are discussed, including apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells, biology of intestinal stem cells, alterations in the apical junctional complex, transcytotic uptake of gluten peptides, and possible implications of a defective epithelial polarity. Current research is directed toward new treatment options for CD that are alternatives or complementary therapeutics to a gluten-free diet. Thus, strategies to target an altered epithelial barrier therapeutically also are discussed. Keywords: Celiac Sprue, Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy, Tight Junction, Epithelial Polarity, Partitioning-Defective Proteins, α-Gliadin 33mer

  8. Abl family kinases regulate endothelial barrier function in vitro and in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M Chislock

    Full Text Available The maintenance of endothelial barrier function is essential for normal physiology, and increased vascular permeability is a feature of a wide variety of pathological conditions, leading to complications including edema and tissue damage. Use of the pharmacological inhibitor imatinib, which targets the Abl family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases (Abl and Arg, as well as other tyrosine kinases including the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR, Kit, colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R, and discoidin domain receptors, has shown protective effects in animal models of inflammation, sepsis, and other pathologies characterized by enhanced vascular permeability. However, the imatinib targets involved in modulation of vascular permeability have not been well-characterized, as imatinib inhibits multiple tyrosine kinases not only in endothelial cells and pericytes but also immune cells important for disorders associated with pathological inflammation and abnormal vascular permeability. In this work we employ endothelial Abl knockout mice to show for the first time a direct role for Abl in the regulation of vascular permeability in vivo. Using both Abl/Arg-specific pharmacological inhibition and endothelial Abl knockout mice, we demonstrate a requirement for Abl kinase activity in the induction of endothelial permeability by vascular endothelial growth factor both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, Abl kinase inhibition also impaired endothelial permeability in response to the inflammatory mediators thrombin and histamine. Mechanistically, we show that loss of Abl kinase activity was accompanied by activation of the barrier-stabilizing GTPases Rac1 and Rap1, as well as inhibition of agonist-induced Ca(2+ mobilization and generation of acto-myosin contractility. In all, these findings suggest that pharmacological targeting of the Abl kinases may be capable of inhibiting endothelial permeability induced by a broad range of agonists and that use

  9. Novel Functionally Graded Thermal Barrier Coatings in Coal-Fired Power Plant Turbines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Jing [Indiana Univ., Indianapolis, IN (United States)

    2016-11-01

    This project presents a detailed investigation of a novel functionally graded coating material, pyrochlore oxide, for thermal barrier coating (TBC) in gas turbines used in coal-fired power plants. Thermal barrier coatings are refractory materials deposited on gas turbine components, which provide thermal protection for metallic components at operating conditions. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a manufacturing process to produce the novel low thermal conductivity and high thermal stability pyrochlore oxide based coatings with improved high-temperature durability. The current standard TBC, yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ), has service temperatures limited to <1200°C, due to sintering and phase transition at higher temperatures. In contrast, pyrochlore oxide, e.g., lanthanum zirconate (La2Zr2O7, LZ), has demonstrated lower thermal conductivity and better thermal stability, which are crucial to high temperature applications, such as gas turbines used in coal-fired power plants. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has collaborated with Praxair Surface Technologies (PST), and Changwon National University in South Korea to perform the proposed research. The research findings are critical to the extension of current TBCs to a broader range of high-temperature materials and applications. Several tasks were originally proposed and accomplished, with additional new opportunities identified during the course of the project. In this report, a description of the project tasks, the main findings and conclusions are given. A list of publications and presentations resulted from this research is listed in the Appendix at the end of the report.

  10. Human Skin Barrier Structure and Function Analyzed by Cryo-EM and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundborg, Magnus; Narangifard, Ali; Wennberg, Christian L; Lindahl, Erik; Daneholt, Bertil; Norlén, Lars

    2018-04-24

    In the present study we have analyzed the molecular structure and function of the human skin's permeability barrier using molecular dynamics simulation validated against cryo-electron microscopy data from near native skin. The skin's barrier capacity is located to an intercellular lipid structure embedding the cells of the superficial most layer of skin - the stratum corneum. According to the splayed bilayer model (Iwai et al., 2012) the lipid structure is organized as stacked bilayers of ceramides in a splayed chain conformation with cholesterol associated with the ceramide sphingoid moiety and free fatty acids associated with the ceramide fatty acid moiety. However, knowledge about the lipid structure's detailed molecular organization, and the roles of its different lipid constituents, remains circumstantial. Starting from a molecular dynamics model based on the splayed bilayer model, we have, by stepwise structural and compositional modifications, arrived at a thermodynamically stable molecular dynamics model expressing simulated electron microscopy patterns matching original cryo-electron microscopy patterns from skin extremely closely. Strikingly, the closer the individual molecular dynamics models' lipid composition was to that reported in human stratum corneum, the better was the match between the models' simulated electron microscopy patterns and the original cryo-electron microscopy patterns. Moreover, the closest-matching model's calculated water permeability and thermotropic behaviour were found compatible with that of human skin. The new model may facilitate more advanced physics-based skin permeability predictions of drugs and toxicants. The proposed procedure for molecular dynamics based analysis of cellular cryo-electron microscopy data might be applied to other biomolecular systems. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Structural Molecular Components of Septate Junctions in Cnidarians Point to the Origin of Epithelial Junctions in Eukaryotes

    KAUST Repository

    Ganot, P.; Zoccola, D.; Tambutte, E.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Aranda, Manuel; Allemand, D.; Tambutte, S.

    2014-01-01

    Septate junctions (SJs) insure barrier properties and control paracellular diffusion of solutes across epithelia in invertebrates. However, the origin and evolution of their molecular constituents in Metazoa have not been firmly established. Here

  12. Impaired barrier function in patients with house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis is accompanied by decreased occludin and zonula occludens-1 expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steelant, Brecht; Farré, Ricard; Wawrzyniak, Paulina; Belmans, Jochen; Dekimpe, Emily; Vanheel, Hanne; van Gerven, Laura; Kortekaas Krohn, Inge; Bullens, Dominique M. A.; Ceuppens, Jan L.; Akdis, Cezmi A.; Boeckxstaens, Guy; Seys, Sven F.; Hellings, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    Tight junction (TJ) defects have recently been associated with asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis. The expression, function, and regulation of nasal epithelial TJs remain unknown in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR). We investigated the expression, function, and regulation of TJs in the nasal

  13. Oxygen functionalization of MWCNTs in RF-dielectric barrier discharge Ar/O2 plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Fattah, E.; Ogawa, D.; Nakamura, K.

    2017-07-01

    The oxygenation of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was performed via a radio frequency dielectric barrier discharge (RF-DBD) in an Ar/{{\\text{H}}2}\\text{O} plasma mixture. The relative intensity of the Ar/{{\\text{O}}2} plasma species was characterized by optical emission spectroscopy (OES). The effects of treatment time, RF power and oxygen gas percentage on the chemical composition and surface morphology of MWCNTs were investigated by means of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The results of FTIR and XPS revealed the presence of oxygen-containing functional groups on the MWCNTs treated in an Ar/{{\\text{O}}2} plasma at an RF power of 50 W and pressure of 400 Pa. The amount of oxygen functional groups (C=O, C-O, and O-COO) also increased by increasing treatment time up to 6 min, but slightly decreased when treatment time was increased by 10 min. The increase of oxygen gas percentage in the plasma mixture does not affect the oxygen content in the treated MWCNTs. Meanwhile, MWCNTs treated at high power (80 W) showed a reduction in oxygen functional groups in comparison with low RF power conditions. The Raman analysis was consistent with the XPS and FTIR results. The integrity of the nanotube patterns also remained damaged as observed by FE-SEM images. The MWCNTs treated in RF-DBD using the Ar/{{\\text{O}}2} plasma mixture showed improved dispersibility in deionized water. A correlation between the OES data and the observed surface characterization for an improved understanding of the functionalization of MWCNTs in Ar/{{\\text{O}}2} plasma was presented.

  14. Benchmarking density functional tight binding models for barrier heights and reaction energetics of organic molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruden, Maja; Andjeklović, Ljubica; Jissy, Akkarapattiakal Kuriappan; Stepanović, Stepan; Zlatar, Matija; Cui, Qiang; Elstner, Marcus

    2017-09-30

    Density Functional Tight Binding (DFTB) models are two to three orders of magnitude faster than ab initio and Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods and therefore are particularly attractive in applications to large molecules and condensed phase systems. To establish the applicability of DFTB models to general chemical reactions, we conduct benchmark calculations for barrier heights and reaction energetics of organic molecules using existing databases and several new ones compiled in this study. Structures for the transition states and stable species have been fully optimized at the DFTB level, making it possible to characterize the reliability of DFTB models in a more thorough fashion compared to conducting single point energy calculations as done in previous benchmark studies. The encouraging results for the diverse sets of reactions studied here suggest that DFTB models, especially the most recent third-order version (DFTB3/3OB augmented with dispersion correction), in most cases provide satisfactory description of organic chemical reactions with accuracy almost comparable to popular DFT methods with large basis sets, although larger errors are also seen for certain cases. Therefore, DFTB models can be effective for mechanistic analysis (e.g., transition state search) of large (bio)molecules, especially when coupled with single point energy calculations at higher levels of theory. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. The intestinal complement system in inflammatory bowel disease: Shaping intestinal barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sina, Christian; Kemper, Claudia; Derer, Stefanie

    2018-06-01

    The complement system is part of innate sensor and effector systems such as the Toll-like receptors (TLRs). It recognizes and quickly systemically and/or locally respond to microbial-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) with a tailored defense reaction. MAMP recognition by intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and appropriate immune responses are of major importance for the maintenance of intestinal barrier function. Enterocytes highly express various complement components that are suggested to be pivotal for proper IEC function. Appropriate activation of the intestinal complement system seems to play an important role in the resolution of chronic intestinal inflammation, while over-activation and/or dysregulation may worsen intestinal inflammation. Mice deficient for single complement components suffer from enhanced intestinal inflammation mimicking the phenotype of patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the mechanisms leading to complement expression in IECs seem to differ markedly between UC and CD patients. Hence, how IECs, intestinal bacteria and epithelial cell expressed complement components interact in the course of IBD still remains to be mostly elucidated to define potential unique patterns contributing to the distinct subtypes of intestinal inflammation observed in CD and UC. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular electronic junction transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solomon, Gemma C.; Herrmann, Carmen; Ratner, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Whenasinglemolecule,oracollectionofmolecules,isplacedbetween two electrodes and voltage is applied, one has a molecular transport junction. We discuss such junctions, their properties, their description, and some of their applications. The discussion is qualitative rather than quantitative, and f...

  17. Dissipative current in SIFS Josephson junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vasenko, A.; Kawabata, S.; Golubov, Alexandre Avraamovitch; Kupriyanov, M. Yu; Hekking, F.W.J.

    2010-01-01

    We investigate superconductor/insulator/ferromagnet/superconductor (SIFS) tunnel Josephson junctions in the dirty limit, using the quasiclassical theory. We consider the case of a strong tunnel barrier such that the left S layer and the right FS bilayer are decoupled. We calculate quantitatively the

  18. Critical current of pure SNS junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Golub, A.A.; Bezzub, O.P.

    1982-01-01

    Boundary conditions at the superconductor-normal metal interface are determined, taking into account the differences in the effective masses and the density of states of the metals constituting the transition and assumed to be pure. The potential barrier of the interface is chosen to be zero. The critical current of the junction is calculated [ru

  19. Molecular series-tunneling junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Kung-Ching; Hsu, Liang-Yan; Bowers, Carleen M; Rabitz, Herschel; Whitesides, George M

    2015-05-13

    Charge transport through junctions consisting of insulating molecular units is a quantum phenomenon that cannot be described adequately by classical circuit laws. This paper explores tunneling current densities in self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based junctions with the structure Ag(TS)/O2C-R1-R2-H//Ga2O3/EGaIn, where Ag(TS) is template-stripped silver and EGaIn is the eutectic alloy of gallium and indium; R1 and R2 refer to two classes of insulating molecular units-(CH2)n and (C6H4)m-that are connected in series and have different tunneling decay constants in the Simmons equation. These junctions can be analyzed as a form of series-tunneling junctions based on the observation that permuting the order of R1 and R2 in the junction does not alter the overall rate of charge transport. By using the Ag/O2C interface, this system decouples the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO, which is localized on the carboxylate group) from strong interactions with the R1 and R2 units. The differences in rates of tunneling are thus determined by the electronic structure of the groups R1 and R2; these differences are not influenced by the order of R1 and R2 in the SAM. In an electrical potential model that rationalizes this observation, R1 and R2 contribute independently to the height of the barrier. This model explicitly assumes that contributions to rates of tunneling from the Ag(TS)/O2C and H//Ga2O3 interfaces are constant across the series examined. The current density of these series-tunneling junctions can be described by J(V) = J0(V) exp(-β1d1 - β2d2), where J(V) is the current density (A/cm(2)) at applied voltage V and βi and di are the parameters describing the attenuation of the tunneling current through a rectangular tunneling barrier, with width d and a height related to the attenuation factor β.

  20. A review on all-perovskite multiferroic tunnel junctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuewei Yin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Although the basic concept was proposed only about 10 years ago, multiferroic tunnel junctions (MFTJs with a ferroelectric barrier sandwiched between two ferromagnetic electrodes have already drawn considerable interests, driven mainly by its potential applications in multi-level memories and electric field controlled spintronics. The purpose of this article is to review the recent progress of all-perovskite MFTJs. Starting from the key functional properties of the tunneling magnetoresistance, tunneling electroresistance, and tunneling electromagnetoresistance effects, we discuss the main origins of the tunneling electroresistance effect, recent progress in achieving multilevel resistance states in a single device, and the electrical control of spin polarization and transport through the ferroelectric polarization reversal of the tunneling barrier.

  1. Unique cell type-specific junctional complexes in vascular endothelium of human and rat liver sinusoids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrill Géraud

    Full Text Available Liver sinusoidal endothelium is strategically positioned to control access of fluids, macromolecules and cells to the liver parenchyma and to serve clearance functions upstream of the hepatocytes. While clearance of macromolecular debris from the peripheral blood is performed by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs using a delicate endocytic receptor system featuring stabilin-1 and -2, the mannose receptor and CD32b, vascular permeability and cell trafficking are controlled by transcellular pores, i.e. the fenestrae, and by intercellular junctional complexes. In contrast to blood vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells in other organs, the junctional complexes of LSECs have not yet been consistently characterized in molecular terms. In a comprehensive analysis, we here show that LSECs express the typical proteins found in endothelial adherens junctions (AJ, i.e. VE-cadherin as well as α-, β-, p120-catenin and plakoglobin. Tight junction (TJ transmembrane proteins typical of endothelial cells, i.e. claudin-5 and occludin, were not expressed by rat LSECs while heterogenous immunreactivity for claudin-5 was detected in human LSECs. In contrast, junctional molecules preferentially associating with TJ such as JAM-A, B and C and zonula occludens proteins ZO-1 and ZO-2 were readily detected in LSECs. Remarkably, among the JAMs JAM-C was considerably over-expressed in LSECs as compared to lung microvascular endothelial cells. In conclusion, we show here that LSECs form a special kind of mixed-type intercellular junctions characterized by co-occurrence of endothelial AJ proteins, and of ZO-1 and -2, and JAMs. The distinct molecular architecture of the intercellular junctional complexes of LSECs corroborates previous ultrastructural findings and provides the molecular basis for further analyses of the endothelial barrier function of liver sinusoids under pathologic conditions ranging from hepatic inflammation to formation of liver metastasis.

  2. Study of the Wigner function at the device boundaries in one-dimensional single- and double-barrier structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savio, Andrea; Poncet, Alain

    2011-01-01

    In this work, we compute the Wigner distribution function on one-dimensional devices from wave functions generated by solving the Schroedinger equation. Our goal is to investigate certain issues that we encountered in implementing Wigner transport equation solvers, such as the large discrepancies observed between the boundary conditions and the solution in the neighborhood of the boundaries. By evaluating the Wigner function without solving the Wigner transport equation, we intend to ensure that the actual boundary conditions are consistent with those commonly applied in literature. We study both single- and double-barrier unbiased structures. We use simple potential profiles, so that we can compute the wave functions analytically for better accuracy. We vary a number of structure geometry, material, meshing, and numerical parameters, among which are the contact length, the barrier height, the number of incident wave functions, and the numerical precision used for the computations, and we observe how the Wigner function at the device boundaries is affected. For the double-barrier structures, we look at the density matrix function and we study a model for the device transmission spectrum which helps explain the lobelike artifacts that we observe on the Wigner function.

  3. Barrier properties of cultured retinal pigment epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolo, Lawrence J

    2014-09-01

    The principal function of an epithelium is to form a dynamic barrier that regulates movement between body compartments. Each epithelium is specialized with barrier functions that are specific for the tissues it serves. The apical surface commonly faces a lumen, but the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) appears to be unique by a facing solid tissue, the sensory retina. Nonetheless, there exists a thin (subretinal) space that can become fluid filled during pathology. RPE separates the subretinal space from the blood supply of the outer retina, thereby forming the outer blood-retinal barrier. The intricate interaction between the RPE and sensory retina presents challenges for learning how accurately culture models reflect native behavior. The challenge is heightened by findings that detail the variation of RPE barrier proteins both among species and at different stages of the life cycle. Among the striking differences is the expression of claudin family members. Claudins are the tight junction proteins that regulate ion diffusion across the spaces that lie between the cells of a monolayer. Claudin expression by RPE varies with species and life-stage, which implies functional differences among commonly used animal models. Investigators have turned to transcriptomics to supplement functional studies when comparing native and cultured tissue. The most detailed studies of the outer blood-retinal barrier have focused on human RPE with transcriptome and functional studies reported for human fetal, adult, and stem-cell derived RPE. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Transport properties of molecular junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Zimbovskaya, Natalya A

    2013-01-01

    A comprehensive overview of the physical mechanisms that control electron transport and the characteristics of metal-molecule-metal (MMM) junctions is presented. As far as possible, methods and formalisms presented elsewhere to analyze electron transport through molecules are avoided. This title introduces basic concepts—a description of the electron transport through molecular junctions—and briefly describes relevant experimental methods. Theoretical methods commonly used to analyze the electron transport through molecules are presented. Various effects that manifest in the electron transport through MMMs, as well as the basics of density-functional theory and its applications to electronic structure calculations in molecules are presented. Nanoelectronic applications of molecular junctions and similar systems are discussed as well. Molecular electronics is a diverse and rapidly growing field. Transport Properties of Molecular Junctions presents an up-to-date survey of the field suitable for researchers ...

  5. Investigation of the functional lifetime of TRISOPLASTr in relation to chemical compositions of pore water solutions in barriers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boels, D.; Beest, te H.; Zweers, H.; Groeneveld, P.

    2003-01-01

    Trisoplastr is a mixture of sand, bentonite and a polymer, used amongst others as landfill cover as well as barriers. Its permeability is generally lower than 1-2 x 10-11 m/s. Trisoplast keeps its functionality even in contact with different kinds of liquids, is not susceptible to cyclic drying and

  6. Effects of single and repeated exposure to biocidal active substances on the barrier function of the skin in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buist, H.E.; Sandt, J.J.M. van de; Burgsteden, J.A. van; Heer, C. de

    2005-01-01

    The dermal route of exposure is important in worker exposure to biocidal products. Many biocidal active substances which are used on a daily basis may decrease the barrier function of the skin to a larger extent than current risk assessment practice addresses, due to possible skin effects of

  7. Effect of cAMP derivates on assembly and maintenance of tight junctions in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beese Michaela

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Endothelial tight and adherens junctions control a variety of physiological processes like adhesion, paracellular transport of solutes or trafficking of activated leukocytes. Formation and maintenance of endothelial junctions largely depend on the microenvironment of the specific vascular bed and on interactions of the endothelium with adjacent cell types. Consequently, primary cultures of endothelial cells often lose their specific junctional pattern and fail to establish tight monolayer in vitro. This is also true for endothelial cells isolated from the vein of human umbilical cords (HUVEC which are widely used as model for endothelial cell-related studies. Results We here compared the effect of cyclic 3'-5'-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP and its derivates on formation and stabilization of tight junctions and on alterations in paracellular permeability in HUVEC. We demonstrated by light and confocal laser microscopy that for shorter time periods the sodium salt of 8-bromoadenosine-cAMP (8-Br-cAMP/Na and for longer incubation periods 8-(4-chlorophenylthio-cAMP (pCPT-cAMP exerted the greatest effects of all compounds tested here on formation of continuous tight junction strands in HUVEC. We further demonstrated that although all compounds induced protein kinase A-dependent expression of the tight junction proteins claudin-5 and occludin only pCPT-cAMP slightly enhanced paracellular barrier functions. Moreover, we showed that pCPT-cAMP and 8-Br-cAMP/Na induced expression and membrane translocation of tricellulin. Conclusions pCPT-cAMP and, to a lesser extend, 8-Br-cAMP/Na improved formation of continuous tight junction strands and decreased paracellular permeability in primary HUVEC. We concluded that under these conditions HUVEC represent a feasible in vitro model to study formation and disassembly of endothelial tight junctions and to characterize tight junction-associated proteins

  8. Modulating the skin barrier function by DMSO: molecular dynamics simulations of hydrophilic and hydrophobic transmembrane pores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Otter, Wouter K.; Notman, R.; Anwar, J.; Noro, M.G.; Briels, Willem J.

    2008-01-01

    The dense lipid bilayers at the outer surface of the skin represent the primary barrier to molecules penetrating the human skin. One approach to overcome this barrier, with promising applications in administering medicinal drugs to the body, is to employ chemical permeability enhancers. How these

  9. Several alternative approaches to the manufacturing of HTS Josephson junctions

    OpenAIRE

    Villegier , J.; Boucher , H.; Ghis , A.; Levis , M.; Méchin , Laurence; Moriceau , H.; Pourtier , F.; Vabre , M.; Nicoletti , S.; Correra , L.

    1994-01-01

    In this work we describe comparatively the fabrication and the characterization of various types of HTS Josephson junctions manufactured using different processes : grain boundary junctions have been studied both by the way of junctions on bicrystal substrates and of bi-epitaxial junctions. Ramp-edge types have been elaborated and characterized using mainly N-YBaCuO thin film as a barrier while the trilayer approach has been investigated through a-axis structures. YBaCuO or GdBaCuO supercondu...

  10. Phenomenological approach to bistable behavior of Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishi, K.; Nara, S.; Hamanaka, K.

    1985-01-01

    The interaction of unbiased Josephson junction with external electromagnetic field in the presence of externally applied uniform magnetic field is theoretically examined by means of phenomenological treatment. It is proposed that an irradiated junction with suitably chosen parameters shows a bistable behavior of voltage across the junction as a function of the radiation intensity

  11. Effects of carprofen on the integrity and barrier function of canine colonic mucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briere, Catherine A; Hosgood, Giselle; Morgan, Timothy W; Hedlund, Cheryl S; Hicks, Merrin; McConnico, Rebecca S

    2008-02-01

    To measure effects of carprofen on conductance and permeability to mannitol and histologic appearance in canine colonic mucosa. Colonic mucosa from 13 mature mixed-breed dogs. Procedures-Sections of mucosa from the transverse colon and proximal and distal portions of the descending colon were obtained immediately after dogs were euthanized. Sections were mounted in Ussing chambers. Carprofen (400 microg/mL) was added to the bathing solution for treated sections. Conductance was calculated at 15-minute intervals for 240 minutes. Flux of mannitol was calculated for three 1-hour periods. Histologic examination of sections was performed after experiments concluded. Conductance was graphed against time for each chamber, and area under each curve was calculated. Conductance X time, flux of mannitol, and frequency distribution of histologic findings were analyzed for an effect of region and carprofen. Carprofen significantly increased mean conductance X time, compared with values for control (untreated) sections for all regions of colon. Carprofen significantly increased mean flux of mannitol from period 1 to period 2 and from period 2 to period 3 for all regions of colon. Carprofen caused a significant proportion of sections to have severe sloughing of cells and erosions involving >or= 10% of the epithelium, compared with control sections. Carprofen increased in vitro conductance and permeability to mannitol in canine colonic mucosa. Carprofen resulted in sloughing of cells and erosion of the colonic mucosa. These findings suggested that carprofen can compromise the integrity and barrier function of the colonic mucosa of dogs.

  12. Role of epidermis-type lipoxygenases for skin barrier function and adipocyte differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberger, Gerhard; Epp, Nikolas; Eckl, Katja-Martina

    2007-01-01

    12R-lipoxygenase (12R-LOX) and epidermis-type LOX-3 (eLOX-3) are novel members of the multigene family of mammalian LOX. A considerable gap exists between the identification of these enzymes and their biologic function. Here, we present evidence that 12R-LOX and eLOX-3, acting in sequence, and eL...... evidence indicates that this ligand is an eLOX-3-derived product. In accordance with this data is the observation that forced expression of eLOX-3 enhances adipocyte differentiation.......LOX-3 in combination with another, not yet identified LOX are critically involved in terminal differentiation of keratinocytes and adipocytes, respectively. Mutational inactivation of 12R-LOX and/or eLOX-3 has been found to be associated with development of an inherited ichthyosiform skin disorder...... in humans and genetic ablation of 12R-LOX causes a severe impairment of the epidermal lipid barrier in mice leading to post-natal death of the animals. In preadipocytes, a LOX-dependent PPARgamma activating ligand is released into the cell supernatant early upon induction of differentiation and available...

  13. The blood-brain barrier: structure, function and therapeutic approaches to cross it.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajes, Marta; Ramos-Fernández, Eva; Weng-Jiang, Xian; Bosch-Morató, Mònica; Guivernau, Biuse; Eraso-Pichot, Abel; Salvador, Bertrán; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier; Roquer, Jaume; Muñoz, Francisco J

    2014-08-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is constituted by a specialized vascular endothelium that interacts directly with astrocytes, neurons and pericytes. It protects the brain from the molecules of the systemic circulation but it has to be overcome for the proper treatment of brain cancer, psychiatric disorders or neurodegenerative diseases, which are dramatically increasing as the population ages. In the present work we have revised the current knowledge on the cellular structure of the BBB and the different procedures utilized currently and those proposed to cross it. Chemical modifications of the drugs, such as increasing their lipophilicity, turn them more prone to be internalized in the brain. Other mechanisms are the use of molecular tools to bind the drugs such as small immunoglobulins, liposomes or nanoparticles that will act as Trojan Horses favoring the drug delivery in brain. This fusion of the classical pharmacology with nanotechnology has opened a wide field to many different approaches with promising results to hypothesize that BBB will not be a major problem for the new generation of neuroactive drugs. The present review provides an overview of all state-of-the-art of the BBB structure and function, as well as of the classic strategies and these appeared in recent years to deliver drugs into the brain for the treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases.

  14. Macleaya cordata Extract Decreased Diarrhea Score and Enhanced Intestinal Barrier Function in Growing Piglets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Macleaya cordata extract is of great scientific and practical interest to researchers, due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory responses within experimental animals. This study was designed to determine the diarrhea score and innate immunity of growing piglets after they had received Macleaya cordata extract supplements. A total of 240 growing pigs were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments, with 8 replicates per treatment and 10 piglets per replicate. All pigs received a basal diet containing similar amounts of nutrients. The three treatments were a control (no additive, an antibiotic (200 mg/kg colistin, and the Macleaya cordata extract supplement group (40 mg/kg Macleaya cordata extract. The diarrhea score was calculated after D 28. The jejunal samples were obtained from five piglets selected randomly from each treatment on D 28. In comparison with the control group, the dietary Macleaya cordata extract and colistin group demonstrated a substantially decreased diarrhea score. The introduction of Macleaya cordata extract supplements to the diet significantly increased volumes of ZO-1 and claudin-1, particularly in comparison with the pigs in the control group (P<0.05. The findings indicate that Macleaya cordata extract does enhance intestinal barrier function in growing piglets and that it could be used as a viable substitute for antibiotics.

  15. The role of apical cell-cell junctions and associated cytoskeleton in mechanotransduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sluysmans, Sophie; Vasileva, Ekaterina; Spadaro, Domenica; Shah, Jimit; Rouaud, Florian; Citi, Sandra

    2017-04-01

    Tissues of multicellular organisms are characterised by several types of specialised cell-cell junctions. In vertebrate epithelia and endothelia, tight and adherens junctions (AJ) play critical roles in barrier and adhesion functions, and are connected to the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. The interaction between junctions and the cytoskeleton is crucial for tissue development and physiology, and is involved in the molecular mechanisms governing cell shape, motility, growth and signalling. The machineries which functionally connect tight and AJ to the cytoskeleton comprise proteins which either bind directly to cytoskeletal filaments, or function as adaptors for regulators of the assembly and function of the cytoskeleton. In the last two decades, specific cytoskeleton-associated junctional molecules have been implicated in mechanotransduction, revealing the existence of multimolecular complexes that can sense mechanical cues and translate them into adaptation to tensile forces and biochemical signals. Here, we summarise the current knowledge about the machineries that link tight and AJ to actin filaments and microtubules, and the molecular basis for mechanotransduction at epithelial and endothelial AJ. © 2017 Société Française des Microscopies and Société de Biologie Cellulaire de France. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Common loss-of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palmer, Colin N A; Irvine, Alan D; Terron-Kwiatkowski, Ana

    2006-01-01

    most genetic studies have focused on immunological mechanisms, a primary epithelial barrier defect has been anticipated. Filaggrin is a key protein that facilitates terminal differentiation of the epidermis and formation of the skin barrier. Here we show that two independent loss-of-function genetic...... variants (R510X and 2282del4) in the gene encoding filaggrin (FLG) are very strong predisposing factors for atopic dermatitis. These variants are carried by approximately 9% of people of European origin. These variants also show highly significant association with asthma occurring in the context of atopic...

  17. Consequences of bisphenol a perinatal exposure on immune responses and gut barrier function in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaisé, Yann; Ménard, Sandrine; Cartier, Christel; Lencina, Corinne; Sommer, Caroline; Gaultier, Eric; Houdeau, Eric; Guzylack-Piriou, Laurence

    2018-01-01

    The potent immunomodulatory effect of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A during development and consequences during life span are of increasing concern. Particular interests have been raised from animal studies regarding the risk of developing food intolerance and infection. We aimed to identify immune disorders in mice triggered by perinatal exposure to bisphenol A. Gravid mice were orally exposed to bisphenol (50 μg/kg body weight/day) from day 15 of pregnancy until weaning. Gut barrier function, local and systemic immunity were assessed in adult female offspring. Mice perinatally exposed to bisphenol showed a decrease in ileal lysozyme expression and a fall of fecal antimicrobial activity. In offspring mice exposed to bisphenol, an increase in colonic permeability was observed associated with an increase in interferon-γ level and a drop of colonic IgA + cells and fecal IgA production. Interestingly, altered frequency of innate lymphoid cells type 3 occurred in the small intestine, with an increase in IgG response against commensal bacteria in sera. These effects were related to a defect in dendritic cell maturation in the lamina propria and spleen. Activated and regulatory T cells were decreased in the lamina propria. Furthermore, perinatal exposure to bisphenol promoted a sharp increase in interferon-γ and interleukin-17 production in the intestine and elicited a T helper 17 profile in the spleen. To conclude, perinatal exposure to bisphenol weakens protective and regulatory immune functions in the intestine and at systemic level in adult offspring. The increased susceptibility to inflammatory response is an interesting lead supporting bisphenol-mediated adverse consequences on food reactions and infections.

  18. I. Fission Probabilities, Fission Barriers, and Shell Effects. II. Particle Structure Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jing, Kexing [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1999-05-01

    In Part I, fission excitation functions of osmium isotopes 185,186, 187, 189 Os produced in 3He +182,183, 184, 186W reactions, and of polonium isotopes 209,210, 211, 212Po produced in 3He/4He + 206, 207, 208Pb reactions, were measured with high precision. These excitation functions have been analyzed in detail based upon the transition state formalism. The fission barriers, and shell effects for the corresponding nuclei are extracted from the detailed analyses. A novel approach has been developed to determine upper limits of the transient time of the fission process. The upper limits are constrained by the fission probabilities of neighboring isotopes. The upper limits for the transient time set with this new method are 15x 10–21 sec and 25x 10–21 sec for 0s and Po compound nuclei, respectively. In Part II, we report on a search for evidence of the optical modulations in the energy spectra of alpha particles emitted from hot compound nuclei. The optical modulations are expected to arise from the ~-particle interaction with the rest of the nucleus as the particle prepares to exit. Some evidence for the modulations has been observed in the alpha spectra measured in the 3He-induced reactions, 3He + natAg in particular. The identification of the modulations involves a technique that subtracts the bulk statistical background from the measured alpha spectra, in order for the modulations to become visible in the residuals. Due to insufficient knowledge of the background spectra, however, the presented evidence should only be regarded as preliminary and tentative.

  19. Identification of blood-brain barrier function following subarachnoid hemorrhage in rats at different stages

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zongyi Xie; Weiwei Shen; Ying Ma; Yuan Cheng

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recent studies have indicated that blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) significantly correlates with the development of brain injury and poor prognosis of patients subjected to SAH. OBJECTIVE: To investigate both functional and structural changes related to BBB in various phases after SAH in rats through quantitative and qualitative methods.DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: This experiment, a completely randomized design and controlled experiment, was performed at the Department of Neurosurgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing University of Medical Sciences from June 2006 to March 2007.MATERIALS: A total of 128 female, healthy, Sprague-Dawley rats were selected for this study. Main reagents and instruments: Evans Blue dye (Sigma Company, USA), fluorescence spectrophotometer (Shimadzu Company, Japan), and transmission electron microscope (Olympus Company, Japan). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Brain tissue water content was determined by the wet-dry method. BBB permeability in the cerebral cortex was determined by Evans Blue dye and fluorescent spectrophotometer. The ultrastructural changes in BBB were observed with transmission electron microscope.RESULTS: Compared with the sham-operated group, SAH induced a significant increase in brain water content between 24 and 60 hours (F = 888.32, P 0.05). Electron microscopy demonstrated only a mild perivascular edema at 24 hours after SAH. By 36 hours, a notable perivascular edema was associated with a collapse of the capillary. Astrocytic endfeet surrounding the capillary were prominently swollen in the edematous areas. The above-mentioned abnormal ultrastructural changes in the BBB were reversed by 72 hours after SAH. No obvious morphological changes in the BBB were detected in the sham-operated rats.CONCLUSION: These results directly suggest that SAH could induce rapid changes in BBB function and structure during the acute phases of BBB breakdown. Moreover, these dynamic

  20. Ischemic preconditioning enhances integrity of coronary endothelial tight junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zhao [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States); Jin, Zhu-Qiu, E-mail: zhu-qiu.jin@sdstate.edu [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)

    2012-08-31

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cardiac tight junctions are present between coronary endothelial cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Ischemic preconditioning preserves the structural and functional integrity of tight junctions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Myocardial edema is prevented in hearts subjected to ischemic preconditioning. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Ischemic preconditioning enhances translocation of ZO-2 from cytosol to cytoskeleton. -- Abstract: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is one of the most effective procedures known to protect hearts against ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Tight junction (TJ) barriers occur between coronary endothelial cells. TJs provide barrier function to maintain the homeostasis of the inner environment of tissues. However, the effect of IPC on the structure and function of cardiac TJs remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that myocardial IR injury ruptures the structure of TJs and impairs endothelial permeability whereas IPC preserves the structural and functional integrity of TJs in the blood-heart barrier. Langendorff hearts from C57BL/6J mice were prepared and perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer. Cardiac function, creatine kinase release, and myocardial edema were measured. Cardiac TJ function was evaluated by measuring Evans blue-conjugated albumin (EBA) content in the extravascular compartment of hearts. Expression and translocation of zonula occludens (ZO)-2 in IR and IPC hearts were detected with Western blot. A subset of hearts was processed for the observation of ultra-structure of cardiac TJs with transmission electron microscopy. There were clear TJs between coronary endothelial cells of mouse hearts. IR caused the collapse of TJs whereas IPC sustained the structure of TJs. IR increased extravascular EBA content in the heart and myocardial edema but decreased the expression of ZO-2 in the cytoskeleton. IPC maintained the structure of TJs. Cardiac EBA content and edema were reduced in IPC hearts. IPC

  1. Influence of sunflower seed oil or baby lotion on the skin barrier function of newborns: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanti, Varvara; Günther, Malise; Stroux, Andrea; Sawatzky, Sabine; Henrich, Wolfgang; Abou-Dakn, Michael; Blume-Peytavi, Ulrike; Garcia Bartels, Natalie

    2017-12-01

    Skin care influences skin barrier function during the first postnatal weeks. Although the use of natural oils in preterms has been investigated, there are currently no data comparing the effect of sunflower oil to an emollient on barrier development in healthy term newborns. In a prospective, randomized clinical study, 50 healthy full-term newborns aged ≤72 h were randomly assigned to two groups: group baby lotion (L, n=22) and sunflower seed oil (SSO, n=24). The skin barrier function was evaluated in three anatomical areas (front, abdomen, and thigh) by noninvasive assessment of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), stratum corneum hydration (SCH), sebum, and skin pH at inclusion and after five weeks. In both groups, skin pH decreased and SCH increased statistically significantly in all measured areas at W5 compared to baseline. TEWL decreased statistically significantly on the forearm in both groups, on the upper leg in group L, and on the abdomen in group SSO. Both skin care regimes did not harm skin barrier function adaptation in healthy term neonates during the first five weeks of life. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Permeability measurement of some barrier materials as a function of temperature and pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maqsood, M.; Faisal, S.; Ali, J.; Usman, A.; Alamgir, K.; Farooq, K.

    2011-01-01

    Barrier materials possess the ability to restrict the passage of gases, vapors, and organic liquids through their boundaries. These barrier materials have large number of applications in industry and scientific research. To measure the permeability of barrier materials, a specific gas flow system has been developed, pure helium gas is used to measure the back ground reading through SS-316. The permeability and break-through time has been measured through Inconel X-750, NBR and Viton below and above the atmospheric pressure and at different temperatures 20 deg. C, 40 deg. C and 70 deg. C. (author)

  3. Defective functional connectivity between posterior hypothalamus and regions of the diencephalic-mesencephalic junction in chronic cluster headache.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Stefania; Nigri, Anna; Bruzzone, Maria Grazia; Brivio, Luca; Proietti Cecchini, Alberto; Verri, Mattia; Chiapparini, Luisa; Leone, Massimo

    2018-01-01

    Objective We tested the hypothesis of a defective functional connectivity between the posterior hypothalamus and diencephalic-mesencephalic regions in chronic cluster headache based on: a) clinical and neuro-endocrinological findings in cluster headache patients; b) neuroimaging findings during cluster headache attacks; c) neuroimaging findings in drug-refractory chronic cluster headache patients improved after successful deep brain stimulation. Methods Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging, associated with a seed-based approach, was employed to investigate the functional connectivity of the posterior hypothalamus in chronic cluster headache patients (n = 17) compared to age and sex-matched healthy subjects (n = 16). Random-effect analyses were performed to study differences between patients and controls in ipsilateral and contralateral-to-the-pain posterior hypothalamus functional connectivity. Results Cluster headache patients showed an increased functional connectivity between the ipsilateral posterior hypothalamus and a number of diencephalic-mesencephalic structures, comprising ventral tegmental area, dorsal nuclei of raphe, and bilateral substantia nigra, sub-thalamic nucleus, and red nucleus ( p cluster headache patients mainly involves structures that are part of (i.e. ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra) or modulate (dorsal nuclei of raphe, sub-thalamic nucleus) the midbrain dopaminergic systems. The midbrain dopaminergic systems could play a role in cluster headache pathophysiology and in particular in the chronicization process. Future studies are needed to better clarify if this finding is specific to cluster headache or if it represents an unspecific response to chronic pain.

  4. Theoretical evaluation of two dimensional electron gas characteristics of quaternary AlxInyGa1-x-yN/GaN hetero-junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahbardar Mojaver, Hassan; Manouchehri, Farzin; Valizadeh, Pouya

    2016-04-01

    The two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) characteristics of gated metal-face wurtzite AlInGaN/GaN hetero-junctions including positions of subband energy levels, fermi energy level, and the 2DEG concentration as functions of physical and compositional properties of the hetero-junction (i.e., barrier thickness and metal mole-fractions) are theoretically evaluated using the variational method. The calculated values of the 2DEG concentration are in good agreement with the sparsely available experimental data reported in the literature. According to our simulation results, a considerable shift in the positive direction of threshold voltage of AlInGaN/GaN hetero-junction field-effect transistors can be achieved by engineering both the spontaneous and the piezoelectric polarizations using a quaternary AlInGaN barrier-layer of appropriate mole-fractions.

  5. microRNA-4516 Contributes to Different Functions of Epithelial Permeability Barrier by Targeting Poliovirus Receptor Related Protein 1 in Enterovirus 71 and Coxsackievirus A16 Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yajie Hu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71 and coxsackievirus A16 (CV-A16 remain the predominant etiological agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD. The clinical manifestations caused by the two viruses are obviously different. CV-A16 usually triggers a repeated infection, and airway epithelial integrity is often the potential causative factor of respiratory repeated infections. Our previous studies have demonstrated that there were some differentially expressed miRNAs involved in the regulation of adhesion function of epithelial barrier in EV-A71 and CV-A16 infections. In this study, we compared the differences between EV-A71 and CV-A16 infections on the airway epithelial barrier function in human bronchial epithelial (16HBE cells and further screened the key miRNA which leaded to the formation of these differences. Our results showed that more rapid proliferation, more serious destruction of 16HBE cells permeability, more apoptosis and disruption of intercellular adhesion-associated molecules were found in CV-A16 infection as compared to EV-A71 infection. Furthermore, we also identified that microRNA-4516 (miR-4516, which presented down-regulation in EV-A71 infection and up-regulation in CV-A16 infection was an important regulator of intercellular junctions by targeting Poliovirus receptor related protein 1(PVRL1. The expressions of PVRL1, claudin4, ZO-1 and E-cadherin in CV-A16-infected cells were significantly less than those in EV-A71-infected cells, while the expressions of these proteins were subverted when pre-treated with miR-4516-overexpression plasmid in EV-A71 infected and miR-4516-knockdown plasmid in CV-A16 infected 16HBE cells. Thus, these data suggested that the opposite expression of miR-4516 in EV-A71 and CV-A16 infections might be the initial steps leading to different epithelial impairments of 16HBE cells by destroying intercellular adhesion, which finally resulted in different outcomes of EV-A71 and CV-A16 infections.

  6. [Changes in expression of Slingshot protein in hypoxic human intestinal epithelial cell and its relation with barrier function of the cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jian; Wang, Pei; He, Wen; Wang, Fengjun

    2016-04-01

    higher than that of cells exposed to hypoxia for 0 h (1.00, Pprotein expression, which in turn affects the tight junction of human intestinal epithelial cells, thus leading to deterioration of barrier function of these cells.

  7. Negative tunnel magnetoresistance and spin transport in ferromagnetic graphene junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zou Jianfei; Jin Guojun; Ma Yuqiang

    2009-01-01

    We study the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) and spin transport in ferromagnetic graphene junctions composed of ferromagnetic graphene (FG) and normal graphene (NG) layers. It is found that the TMR in the FG/NG/FG junction oscillates from positive to negative values with respect to the chemical potential adjusted by the gate voltage in the barrier region when the Fermi level is low enough. Particularly, the conventionally defined TMR in the FG/FG/FG junction oscillates periodically from a positive to negative value with increasing the barrier height at any Fermi level. The spin polarization of the current through the FG/FG/FG junction also has an oscillating behavior with increasing barrier height, whose oscillating amplitude can be modulated by the exchange splitting in the ferromagnetic graphene.

  8. Negative tunnel magnetoresistance and spin transport in ferromagnetic graphene junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Jianfei; Jin, Guojun; Ma, Yu-Qiang

    2009-03-25

    We study the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) and spin transport in ferromagnetic graphene junctions composed of ferromagnetic graphene (FG) and normal graphene (NG) layers. It is found that the TMR in the FG/NG/FG junction oscillates from positive to negative values with respect to the chemical potential adjusted by the gate voltage in the barrier region when the Fermi level is low enough. Particularly, the conventionally defined TMR in the FG/FG/FG junction oscillates periodically from a positive to negative value with increasing the barrier height at any Fermi level. The spin polarization of the current through the FG/FG/FG junction also has an oscillating behavior with increasing barrier height, whose oscillating amplitude can be modulated by the exchange splitting in the ferromagnetic graphene.

  9. Superoperator nonequilibrium Green's function theory of many-body systems; applications to charge transfer and transport in open junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harbola, U.; Mukamel, S.

    2008-01-01

    Nonequilibrium Green's functions provide a powerful tool for computing the dynamical response and particle exchange statistics of coupled quantum systems. We formulate the theory in terms of the density matrix in Liouville space and introduce superoperator algebra that greatly simplifies the derivation and the physical interpretation of all quantities. Expressions for various observables are derived directly in real time in terms of superoperator nonequilibrium Green's functions (SNGF), rather than the artificial time-loop required in Schwinger's Hilbert-space formulation. Applications for computing interaction energies, charge densities, average currents, current induced fluorescence, electroluminescence and current fluctuation (electron counting) statistics are discussed

  10. Impaired function of the blood-testis barrier during aging is preceded by a decline in cell adhesion proteins and GTPases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catriona Paul

    Full Text Available With increasing age comes many changes in the testis, including germ cell loss. Cell junctions in the testis tether both seminiferous epithelial and germ cells together and assist in the formation of the blood-testis barrier (BTB, which limits transport of biomolecules, ions and electrolytes from the basal to the adluminal compartment and protects post-meiotic germ cells. We hypothesize that as male rats age the proteins involved in forming the junctions decrease and that this alters the ability of the BTB to protect the germ cells. Pachytene spermatocytes were isolated from Brown Norway rat testes at 4 (young and 18 (aged months of age using STA-PUT velocity sedimentation technique. RNA was extracted and gene expression was assessed using Affymetrix rat 230 2.0 whole rat genome microarrays. Microarray data were confirmed by q-RT-PCR and protein expression by Western blotting. Of the genes that were significantly decreased by at least 1.5 fold, 70 were involved in cell adhesion; of these, at least 20 are known to be specifically involved in junction dynamics within the seminiferous epithelium. The mRNA and protein levels of Jam2, Ocln, cdh2 (N-cadherin, ctnna (α-catenin, and cldn11 (involved in adherens junctions, among others, were decreased by approximately 50% in aged spermatocytes. In addition, the GTPases Rac1 and cdc42, involved in the recruitment of cadherins to the adherens junctions, were similarly decreased. It is therefore not surprising that with lower expression of these proteins that the BTB becomes diminished with age. We saw, using a FITC tracer, a gradual collapse of the BTB between 18 and 24 months. This provides the opportunity for harmful substances and immune cells to cross the BTB and cause the disruption of spermatogenesis that is observed with increasing age.

  11. Addressing barriers to eco-innovation: Exploring the finance mobilisation functions of institutional innovation intermediaries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polzin, Friedemann; Flotow, von Paschen; Klerkx, L.W.A.

    2016-01-01

    This research article explores the role of institutional innovation intermediaries in accelerating the commercialisation of (clean) technologies. Drawing on the finance and innovation intermediaries literatures, we show that financial barriers to eco-innovation can be partly overcome by particular

  12. Use of radial basis functions for meshless numerical solutions applied to financial engineering barrier options

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele Tessari Santos

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available A large number of financial engineering problems involve non-linear equations with non-linear or time-dependent boundary conditions. Despite available analytical solutions, many classical and modified forms of the well-known Black-Scholes (BS equation require fast and accurate numerical solutions. This work introduces the radial basis function (RBF method as applied to the solution of the BS equation with non-linear boundary conditions, related to path-dependent barrier options. Furthermore, the diffusional method for solving advective-diffusive equations is explored as to its effectiveness to solve BS equations. Cubic and Thin-Plate Spline (TPS radial basis functions were employed and evaluated as to their effectiveness to solve barrier option problems. The numerical results, when compared against analytical solutions, allow affirming that the RBF method is very accurate and easy to be implemented. When the RBF method is applied, the diffusional method leads to the same results as those obtained from the classical formulation of Black-Scholes equation.Muitos problemas de engenharia financeira envolvem equações não-lineares com condições de contorno não-lineares ou dependentes do tempo. Apesar de soluções analíticas disponíveis, várias formas clássicas e modificadas da conhecida equação de Black-Scholes (BS requerem soluções numéricas rápidas e acuradas. Este trabalho introduz o método de função de base radial (RBF aplicado à solução da equação BS com condições de contorno não-lineares relacionadas a opções de barreira dependentes da trajetória. Além disso, explora-se o método difusional para solucionar equações advectivo-difusivas quanto à sua efetividade para solucionar equações BS. Utilizam-se funções de base radial Cúbica e Thin-Plate Spline (TPS, aplicadas à solução de problemas de opções de barreiras. Os resultados numéricos, quando comparados com as soluções analíticas, permitem afirmar

  13. Process of tight junction recovery in the injured vocal fold epithelium: Morphological and paracellular permeability analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Ryo; Katsuno, Tatsuya; Kishimoto, Yo; Nakamura, Ryosuke; Mizuta, Masanobu; Suehiro, Atsushi; Yamashita, Masaru; Nakamura, Tatsuo; Tateya, Ichiro; Omori, Koichi

    2018-04-01

    The vocal fold epithelium that includes tight junction (TJ)-based barrier function protects underlying connective tissues from external insults. TJs play an important role to control paracellular permeability of not only solutes but also ions, and preserve the vocal fold homeostasis. However, the distribution of TJs and paracellular diffusion barrier across the entire vocal fold epithelium are still unknown. The aim of this study was to identify the distribution of TJs in the vocal fold epithelium and to characterize the recovery process of TJ-based paracellular diffusion barrier in a rat model of vocal fold injury. Animal experiments with controls. Normal and vocal fold-injured rats were used. Larynges were harvested for immunohistochemical examination of TJ proteins. For functional analysis, a tracer permeability assay was performed using EZ-Link Sulfo-NHS-LC-Biotin. TJ proteins occludin and zonula occludens 1 signals were localized to the junctional regions of the most luminal cell layers of the vocal fold epithelium. The injured region had been recovered with epithelium at 5 days postinjury, but the paracellular diffusion barrier assays revealed that biotinylation reagents diffused into the lamina propria at 5 days postinjury, and were blocked at the epithelium at 14 and 28 days postinjury. It was strongly suggested that TJs in the vocal fold epithelium exist at the junctional regions of the first layer of stratified squamous epithelium. TJ-based paracellular diffusion barrier following vocal fold injury is recovered by 14 days postinjury, and this period corresponds with the time course of structural changes in the regenerating epithelium layer. NA. Laryngoscope, 128:E150-E156, 2018. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  14. Bifidobacterium longum CCM 7952 Promotes Epithelial Barrier Function and Prevents Acute DSS-Induced Colitis in Strictly Strain-Specific Manner.

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    Dagmar Srutkova

    Full Text Available Reduced microbial diversity has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD and probiotic bacteria have been proposed for its prevention and/or treatment. Nevertheless, comparative studies of strains of the same subspecies for specific health benefits are scarce. Here we compared two Bifidobacterium longum ssp. longum strains for their capacity to prevent experimental colitis.Immunomodulatory properties of nine probiotic bifidobacteria were assessed by stimulation of murine splenocytes. The immune responses to B. longum ssp. longum CCM 7952 (Bl 7952 and CCDM 372 (Bl 372 were further characterized by stimulation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cell, HEK293/TLR2 or HEK293/NOD2 cells. A mouse model of dextran sulphate sodium (DSS-induced colitis was used to compare their beneficial effects in vivo.The nine bifidobacteria exhibited strain-specific abilities to induce cytokine production. Bl 372 induced higher levels of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in spleen and dendritic cell cultures compared to Bl 7952. Both strains engaged TLR2 and contain ligands for NOD2. In a mouse model of DSS-induced colitis, Bl 7952, but not Bl 372, reduced clinical symptoms and preserved expression of tight junction proteins. Importantly, Bl 7952 improved intestinal barrier function as demonstrated by reduced FITC-dextran levels in serum.We have shown that Bl 7952, but not Bl 372, protected mice from the development of experimental colitis. Our data suggest that although some immunomodulatory properties might be widespread among the genus Bifidobacterium, others may be rare and characteristic only for a specific strain. Therefore, careful selection might be crucial in providing beneficial outcome in clinical trials with probiotics in IBD.

  15. Impedance analysis of GPCR-mediated changes in endothelial barrier function: overview and fundamental considerations for stable and reproducible measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolwijk, Judith A; Matrougui, Khalid; Renken, Christian W; Trebak, Mohamed

    2015-10-01

    The past 20 years has seen significant growth in using impedance-based assays to understand the molecular underpinning of endothelial and epithelial barrier function in response to physiological agonists and pharmacological and toxicological compounds. Most studies on barrier function use G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists which couple to fast and transient changes in barrier properties. The power of impedance-based techniques such as electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) resides in its ability to detect minute changes in cell layer integrity label-free and in real-time ranging from seconds to days. We provide a comprehensive overview of the biophysical principles, applications, and recent developments in impedance-based methodologies. Despite extensive application of impedance analysis in endothelial barrier research, little attention has been paid to data analysis and critical experimental variables, which are both essential for signal stability and reproducibility. We describe the rationale behind common ECIS data presentation and interpretation and illustrate practical guidelines to improve signal intensity by adapting technical parameters such as electrode layout, monitoring frequency, or parameter (resistance versus impedance magnitude). Moreover, we discuss the impact of experimental parameters, including cell source, liquid handling, and agonist preparation on signal intensity and kinetics. Our discussions are supported by experimental data obtained from human microvascular endothelial cells challenged with three GPCR agonists, thrombin, histamine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate.

  16. Children’s Belief- and Desire-reasoning in the Temporopartietal Junction: Evidence for Specialization from Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

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    Lindsay Caroline Bowman

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Behaviorally, children’s explicit theory-of-mind (ToM proceeds in a progression of mental-state understandings: developmentally, children demonstrate accurate explicit desire-reasoning before accurate explicit belief-reasoning. Given its robust and cross-cultural nature, we hypothesize this progression may be paced in part by maturation/specialization of the brain. Neuroimaging research demonstrates that the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ becomes increasingly selective for ToM reasoning as children age, and as their ToM improves. But this research has narrowly focused on beliefs or on undifferentiated mental-states. A recent ERP study in children included a critical contrast to desire-reasoning, and demonstrated that right posterior potentials differentiated belief-reasoning from desire-reasoning. Taken together, the literature suggests that children’s desire-belief progression may be paced by specialization of the right TPJ for belief-reasoning specifically, beyond